Fresh water oceans
The seas and oceans are all sweet water. The practical consequences of this are:
Animal and plant life in rivers, lakes and the oceans are all very similar, and many species are
found in both regions. A kind of freshwater coral tends to grown in slower rivers and lakes, creating
dangerous shoals and slowly changing the shape of lakes over time.
Storms are more vicious and common near the ocean, with heavier rainfall. Coasts tend to be
constantly cloaked in mists and most days are rainy.
Ice forms much more quickly on fresh water, and any colder coasts become clogged with ice in
Salt is rare, expensive, and vital. Most comes from the sands and mines of the Kurz badlands,
distributed by the trading organization / guild of Dust Traders. Because this trade is so vital most states
do not interfere with the Dust Traders, and in fact have laws giving them strong protection. Only natives
can survive the harsh conditions of the badlands, and so the Dust Traders remain secure in their
Dwarves mine their own salt in their deepest mines, but jealously hoard this commodity as it is
vital to their independence from the rest of the world. Mountain dwarves do not respect the Dust Traders.
Iron is as scarce as silver, making steel and iron tools, armor, weapons and such rare and costly
(10X base cost). Most communities possess only a few iron or steel tools, which are treated as
irreplaceable heirlooms. Richer merchants may own steel knives for eating, and possibly a sword and
dagger set. The most famous knights in the land have steel armor, but most make do with bronze.
Bronze is the metal used for most applications. Bronze is nearly as strong as steel, but it is
heavy and hard to work, and therefore difficult to use in complicated applications (such as those with
moving parts). Bronze is an alloy composed mostly of the semi-common metal copper, and a very small
portion of tin. Tin is about as valuable as silver, being found only in a few mines. Copper tools are
common, though they are soft and tarnish quickly. Brass is another common material.
All non-steel weapons are treated normally. Bronze items are 10% heavier, and no bronze
swords are made larger than a short sword. Axes and most other weapons can be crafted from bronze.
Most farmers and craftsmen work with silver pennies and silver crowns. Silver pennies are about
the size of a US penny, and crowns are the size of a 50 cent piece. The silver penny is worth one silver
piece as per the D&D rulebooks, and the silver crown is worth the same as a gold piece. Large steel and
brass coins are also common. Gold coins are known, but rarely encountered. The most famous are the
florins which used to be common among the traders of Vicenza. They have the value of 10 gp (one
platinum piece by the rule books).
Game Name Official Value
“brass mark” copper piece (cp)
“silver penny” silver piece (sp)
“silver crown” gold piece (gp)
“ducat” (steel) gold piece (gp)
“florin” (gold) platinum piece (pp)
Nations / Cultures / Cities
Luxor / Luxorian Holds
Luxor is a large metropolis on the plains to the east of the Eisenwald plateau, where four rivers
come together (the Neuse from the Eisenwald plateau, the Morrigan from Vicenza, the Indal from Caer
Bannough and northern tundra, and the Sulphur river from the Plains of Fire). Luxor is a center of trade,
learning, religion, and government. The city itself is relatively new (last few hundred years) and
constantly seeking to expand. It is the largest human city you know of, and controls vast tracts of
farmland on the plains, each ruled by local lords (the Luxorian Holds) in the feudal style of manor houses
and abject peasants.
Order of the Guiding Hand
The dominant religion of Luxor is Order of the Guiding Hand. They worship the All-Father, also
known as the Lord of Law (law, magic, knowledge; Lawful) and seek magical knowledge and history.
Most knights and lords of the plain are nominally members. The Order has its own dedicated warriors
and wizards as well, and their ambition is to control all magic (divine and arcane) practiced in the land.
Peasants of the plains have worshipped Pelor throughout memory, though the Order seeks to criminalize
the worship of all but the Lord of Law.
Order members may serve as magistrates, lords, clerics in town temples, inquisitors, magical
martial forces, or missionaries.
The Eisenwald plateau is a large region encompassing mostly hilly pine forests in the south, taiga
in the north and bordered by craggy, wintry mountains. Even the valleys and fields are a few thousand
feet above sea level. There are few settlements on the plateau. Most communities are mining
communities. No central government exists, there are no magical organizations and no common temples
or religions. Wetzlar is the largest town, located on the eastern edge of the plateau on the Neuse river.
To the east of Wetzlar the Neuse descends a series of waterfalls to the grassy plains. Beyond the Fork
where the Neuse becomes a true river there are no human or dwarf settlements, though a few halfling
clans live in the deeper wilderness. The plateau is the home of roving bands of wolves, goblins and
The people of the plateau generally keep to themselves and are self reliant. They don't seem to
realize how odd some aspects of the area are, but are more superstitious than normal and aren't found
outside after dark. The Witch of the Wood is widely believed to reside in the deepest forests and control
the plateau. No aristocracy has ever survived on the Eisenwald plateau; any nobles who lay claim to the
land tend to sicken and their family dies out.
Some of the more obvious aspects of the plateau: the moon rises at the same time every night,
and it never deviates from full. Flowers are unknown on the plateau, and no fruits or honey are produced
Vicenza is a hilly, coastal region to the south of the Eisenwald plateau. The rich valleys and
gentle hills receive plenty of sun and rain and are very productive. Vicenza is a small country but
produces many luxuries of the world, including olives, honey, figs, wine, glass, silk and fine brass blades.
In the hills of Vicenza the rivers Morrigan and Ombra flow past each other, offering excellent trade routes.
The alchemists of Vicenza are world renowned and have several fine schools. Vicenza is
experiencing a religious resurgence and most citizens, from peasants to lords, have a strong calling to
one faith or another, which they vigorously debate and preach. No one religion dominates; it is
considered healthy and respectable to debate the merits of all approaches instead. The only known pure
magical academy (Saint Vincent Academy) is located in the capital city of Batali.
Batali sits on the delta of the river Ombra. The merchant princes of Batali fiercely contend with
the sea elves for control of oceanic trade, and do not allow any sea elf towns along their coasts. Batalian
lords control their country with their legions of sun golems: semi-intellingent brass contructs which act as
messengers, guards, and troops and even magistrates. Every major house has at least half a hundred
A few dwarvish settlements exist in the hills which produce excellent brass and bronze goods.
The Druids of Ashdown Forest
To the northeast of Vicenza, on the rolling foothills of the Eisenwald plateau, there stands the
ancient Ashdown Forest. This forest is guarded and preserved by a circle of druids. These druids
worship no specific deity, but instead the land itself and the elemental spirits they believe preserve it.
Anyone may join these orders, but primarily humans of the surrounding lands feel the call.
Vicenza and Luxor would dearly love to control these woods, but so far the druids have proved
The Swamps of Caer Bannough
North of Ashdown Forest, bordering the grassy plains to the east is Caer Bannough, hundreds of
square miles of marshes, bogs and wetlands. The Indal river flows out of the northern tundra here and
meets smaller tributaries coming down out of the Eisenwald foothills. Every spring these rivers flood and
cover the land in water from horizon to horizon. Few people live here because it is infested with dragons.
North of the Eisenwald plateau lies the Sundered Vale, nestled among the tallest, craggiest and
most impassable mountains around. The Sundered Vale is a huge valley carved straight down among
these mountains, like the furrough of a plow or an axe stroke of the gods. Here the wind blows
unceasingly from the north, never deviating, never slackening. Not even goblins, kobolds or dwarves
claim this vale.
To the north of the Luxorian Holds are wintry mountains, and beyond those mountains, tundra.
Elven barbarian tribes live in those mountains. They are not united under a single ruler, but often
skirmish with each other. They share a common language and religion, and produce many wizards and
sorcerors. Many other fey folk are also found in these mountains, which the elves both fight and ally
These mountains and the plains used to part of the Firthran Empire. All humans and other
remains of the Empire have long since disappeared.
Elves from these regions are distrusted throughout the world, thought to be volatile and
Farther back than history records, elves have been building ships and sailing the oceans. Their
craft are of unsurpassed beauty and speed, but tend to be frail. Sea elves do not fear death and do not
think much about the future, and so sail very recklessly. Sea elven ships are often shipwrecked on
coasts, destroyed in typhoons, frozen in the ice, sunk by sea monsters, disappear in uncharted waters, or
lost to famine, disease and becalming.
However, the supply of sea elves and ships appears to be nearly endless, and their reckless
ways allow them to make the greatest profits and claim the best sea lanes, discovering lands unknown to
more cautious travelers. Cutters, windjammers and frigates are protected by powerful clerics and
wizards, and they have highly skilled crews. It’s not uncommon to see a full elven frigate come flying out
of the worst tempests, tearing across the ocean with incredible speed.
The dwarves of Halraven live on a low, rocky peninsula to the west, and their land forms the
western coast of the Dalrashi sea. This country is rocky, bleak, cold and constantly soaked by storms.
The living is tough, but the dwarves are industrious and uncomplaining. Halraven is rich in tin (the world’s
largest source), and most settlements are based around mining tin.
Halraven dwarves are dour, quiet, and distrustful of strangers. They have no strong cultural
expressions to speak of, except for their beautiful pewter. They spend their entire lives struggling to
carve out a living and mining for tin. However, they value life and build numerous wondrous lighthouses
along the coast to prevent shipwreck. They worship Moradin, and their clerics are extremely skilled,
dedicated, and generous.
Dwarves do not make voyages on the ocean, and so they trade tin in bulk with elvish and
Khal Moran Mountain Dwarves
The mountain dwarves of Khal Moran (south of Vicenza and Luxor) are as industrious as their
cousins around the world and in Halraven, but much more friendly. Strangers are openly welcomed to
their mountain cities, but religiously barred from entering the deepest levels. Mountain dwarves delve for
metals and gems, which they love and covet (as do all good dwarves).
They are stalwart and loyal fighters and many youngsters leave home to seek their fortune in the
world as mercenaries and body guards. Mountain dwarves have a tradition of leaving home for the first
hundred years of their life to gain wealth and experience. Dwarves who do not become mercenaries
become miners and craftsmen, some settling in towns and villages, others living as nomadic tinkers.
All mountain dwarves plan to return home when they turn one hundred and start a household.
They are deeply loyal to the Mountain King and are obsessed with increasing the territory, power, and
influence of Khal Moran. Mountain dwarf civilization is booming and expanding rapidly, a renaissance to
dwarves and a threat to outsiders.
Dwarf wizards are not unknown, though generally they specialize in transmutations, fire and earth
magics. Dwarf wizards rarely travel, and they do not share their knowledge with outsiders. It is
considered respectable for a dwarf to show such respect to his or her ancestors by making a study of
their writings, and in the last few hundred years dwarvish magic has been on the rise.
Tensions are on the rise between Luxor and Khal Moran, and over the last half-decade more than
a few skirmishes have taken place. Border towns and provinces have become heavily armed and
Minotaurs live in the deep badlands and deserts of Kurz, where they exist either as nomads or
dwell in a few cities of their own to the far east of the desert. They are practical and value good weapons
and tools, not baubles or jewels. Minotaurs are large and have huge reservoirs of endurance, and can go
weeks without water.
Their principal contact is with the Dust Traders, but minotaurs can occasionally be found in
settlements throughout the world. They hate the unnatural, among which they count undead, demons,
evil elementals and spirits; they pursue them relentlessly. When young it’s not uncommon for a minotaur
to leave home and spend a few years hunting “the unnatural” as kind of pilgrimage and spiritual journey.
Goliaths share the deserts and badlands of Kruz with the minotaur tribes, sticking to the rockier
and more mountainous regions instead of the open sands favored by the minotaurs. While they trade with
the Dust Traders to some extent, they supplement their tribe’s resources through raiding the surrounding
areas to the north and west of the plains.
Goliaths share a connection with earth and stone, but on a more primal level than most dwarves.
They worship the mountains, as well as a variety of rock and other spirits. They have great respect for
dwarves, and highly prize any dwarven goods they come across. Goliaths are uncommon, but not
unheard of in both Vicenza and the Luxorian Holds.
The Dust Traders are spoken of with fear and either respect or envy, depending on who’s
speaking. Said to hail from human stock mixed with an evil race from another plane once in alignment,
they bare horns, thick non-prehensile tails, sharply pointed teeth, and eyes that are solid orbs of black,
red, or gold. Their skin color tends towards a deep brick red. Their hair is often black, red, or dusky
Not known to mingle with other races, the Dust Traders keep to their caravans and the desert
wastes. It is rumored they also inhabit the ruins of a great city to the South East of the Kurz Badlands.
One of the merchant families of Bastilo is a family of Dust Traders. They command the respect of the
other families, but are mistrusted by the people overall. Dust Traders are very rarely seen outside of their
caravans, Bastilo, or the Badlands.
The Kholdan empire lives along the northern shores and hills. The people there are little better
than slaves, and toil endlessly for their lords. They make war on Halraven and skirmish with the dwarves,
hassle travelers along their coasts, and eke out a squalid living in the cold forests. Whole cities are given
over to mining deep in the hills, but they are very metal poor. It is rumored the Emperor is digging not for
metals or gems, but for an ancient artifact now lost. It is also said the Emperor has been in power for
over 300 years, and is not even human.
Eladrin are a race of elves who left the world long before recorded history for another plane. A
few have come back to this world over time, but traveling between the planes is dangerous and fraught
with perils. They look the same as elves, allowing them to pass through society with little question.
However, their temperament and nature often give others the strong sense that they aren’t like most elves
in the world. Few outside scholarly circles are even aware of this race.
Five years ago, a star fell to the earth. It fell with great fiery fury and carved a trough through the
living earth. Out from the ruin came a gigantic fiery wyrm, who laid waste to Hannapolis, the capital of
Deismaar. The lands around Starfall are twisted and dark. It has become known as the Burning Forests
for the unquenchable fires in the undergrowth, and the kingdom itself has collapsed. The nearer Luxorian
lords have begun to make war on the former provinces of Deismaar, attempting to assimilate the
The Green Wind
All throughout the land blows the Green Wind. Any lands not heavily active with a strong civilized
presence quickly revert to nature. Buildings rot, roads grow over, fields turn to woods, weeds, or desert
(depending on the region). Wildlife replenishes quickly and strange spirits appear, as well as monstrous
creatures. Civilized life is a constant battle against these forces, borders and frontiers tending to shrink
as fast as they expand.
These are accrued over time by various mentally stressing experiences. Insanity points apply as
a negative modifier to Will saves against an effect causing the character to lose control in a chaotic
This setting uses non-standard planes. I haven’t completely mapped them out, but there’s more
of them, and they have less well defined alignments and positions in the world. Examples: Faerie, the
Realm of Madness, Hell, Niflheim, etc. The Astral is a strange gateway accessed by many means, but
always carries a strong danger. The souls of creatures in the Astral might become trapped, or simply
“touched” and become mad. There is no such thing as a safe transit between the planes.
Magic is common, but not fully in the grasp of the common man in the world. Most communities
have a hedge wizard or other minor practitioner they can access in times of need. More powerful users
often hire themselves to guarding salt caravans for periods of time to ensure income and gain safety in
numbers while traveling the world. However, magic isn’t used for mundane purposes, instead being
viewed as a powerful tool best handled with care.
Many towns have at least a small temple building, dedicated to a variety of gods. People worship
and acknowledge many different gods, and observe a variety of holy days throughout the year. However,
commoners don’t often feel highly dedicated to a particular god, and tend to view those who do with a
note of caution.
Eladrin are Outsiders in this campaign. Also, please see me if you wish to play one.
Nestled in on the south foothills of the Eisenwald Plateau in northern Vicenza, Elwin Forest is a
vast woodland of stately hardwoods atop a gorgeous span of fertile land and thick forests. Brightly sunny
and cheerful during the day and silent and peaceful at night, Elwin enjoys consistently good weather,
warm and humid with few stormy days. Gentle rain falls just enough to make everything grow full and
The area has been inhabited by humans for ages, but mostly in smaller communities. The largest
town in Elwin Forest, Goldshire is just a step above a sleepy trading town. Fortunes have been up for
many years though, and trade has increased through the town. With a sizable blacksmith, tavern, and
common house, many travelers & traders often spend a day or so resting up before continuing onwards.
Located in a pristine valley deep in the north of Elwin Forest, Northshire Valley is home both the
Northshire Abby and Crystal River, which provides water for the quality vineyards to the east. Solid and
imposing, the Abby itself is the oldest structure for miles around. Northshire Abby is surrounded by a few
houses and farms, the occupants of which are mostly connected to the Abby in one way or another. The
Abby also used to operate the mines in the hills to the north, but they’ve been long sense abandoned.
Recently, Northshire Valley has been the scene of strange happenings. While always somewhat
dangerous, the woods are considered to be deadly by many of the residents after the grisly
disappearance of a long time trapper. A previously unheard of group of bandits have moved into the
farther reaches of the vineyards, waylaying all those who trespass on what they consider to be their
property. Finally, the normally passive kobolds thought to inhabit the abandoned mines to the north and
east have recently begun raiding into the valley with much more frequency, as well as an unheard of