Thursday, August 26, 2010

World of Avis: Campaign Setting

The world and setting will be of the sort that many Fantasy Role-Playing Games tend to be, though with my own twists and turns. Manking shares the world of Avis with a host of other, non-human races. Dwarves, Elves and Halflings are more-or-less allies to man, at least when compared to the Giants, Goblin-kin and other creatures that haunt the corners of the world.

Peoples and Classes
Here is a brief overview of the peoples that populate the world of Avis, especially those found in the immediate area of Ulbrand, seen in the map below.
Dwarves: The dwarves of Avis live almost exclusively on the Northern Continent (see Map). In the far north they hold large kingdoms beneath the ice and under the mountains, from which they wage nearly constant war with the Frost Giants, White Dragons and other creatures. All dwarves see the Dwarf Czar Borislav VIII as the true King of The Dwarves, and make a point of bringing it up when meeting Human or Elf kings. Most Dwarves keep to Clan/Guild affiliations rather than ranks of nobility.
Elves: The elves live primarily in the Summerlands, a land thought by most Northerners to be a magical otherworld, but is in-fact the Southern Continent (see Map). Some elves still remain in the north, maintaining beautiful (and usually hidden) fortress-citadels and enchanted forests, though many such places are long abandoned and grown wild and dangerous. In the Summerlands the Elves are ruled by an immortal Empress whose power in nearly that of a goddess. Some elves wander the lands of men as exiles due to mixed human heritage and a lust for adventure. Such "pilgrims" like in a manner much like gypsies, along with human husbands wives and half-kin, selling magic and mysteries to the peoples of the lands.
Halflings: Rural beings of farm and meadow, these people are the most like humankind in look and temperament. Most halflings can be found living in or near human settlements and cities, living much as anyone else. Halflings are renowned as the best cooks and brewers of all the races, and are much sought after in this regard. While many halflings are farmers and similar rural folk, Avis Halflings are also renowned as trackers and hunters.
Humans: Humans of Avis are much like those found in our world, save perhaps a bit more robust and adventurous. The people of Ulbrand are much like mixed European peoples, leaning towards Slavic and Nordic types. Men wear beards and women tend to be full-figured. Clothing is practical first and stylish second with fur-lined cloaks, coats and hats common. Though most humans live in the towns and cities, a great many also live in homesteads, farms and in nomadic bands.
Clerics: Clerics are the servants of the Gods, and thus represent their chosen deity amongst the races. The gods of Avis are- Mother Nature, Father Time, The Man in The Moon, Sun Maiden, Mother Necessity, Lady Justice, Spirit of Invention, Old Man of the Sea, North Wind, South Wind, East Wind, and the West Wind. Though they represent broad elemental concepts, these gods are persons, though powerful ones. More on these gods will be coming soon.
Fighters: From Barbarian warriors to shining Paladins, fighters are in great demand all over Avis. Wars between rival lords, highwaymen, monsters and raiders all keep a fighters life exciting, and often quite short.
Magic Users: Wizards, witches and the like are fairly widespread on Avis, though few reach great power. All seeking to gain true might typically join one or another magical society, where they might gain greater access to spells. Some significant societies will be detailed very soon.
Thieves: Those who make their living through stealth and guile are far from rare on Avis. These men and women can be found in cities as thieves and con-men, or working in the wilderness as bandits, scouts and spies.

Central Ulbrand and Environs (Avis)
Here is a map of the campaign setting. The land is deeply forested and pretty wild. Winters here are crisp, beautiful and dangerous (a great place for a Christmas Special). Some places of note:
Goldseeker Mountains: Despite the name, there are few profitable gold mines in these mountains. Though many valuable ores are indeed present in the mountains, Orcs are plentiful here as are far worse beings.
Brackenmoor: A large stretch of moorland Northeast of the mountains. This region is haunted by fell spirits and fairy lights that are a danger to all who wander here at night.
Dunford (Small Town): A prosperous town that sports the largest bridge along the Grey River. The town is a famous stopping place for caravans.
Grandpool Sea: Really a large freshwater lake, this lake is teeming with fish all year round. In the winter, the Grandpool freezes over, and though this means that the larger amount of snowfall ceases, it allows the giants of the far bank to more easily raid human lands.
Hillbeard (Small Town): This town was originally a trade town for the Dwarven Fortress of Nightscar before it fell. Now it hosts many of the survivors of that lost citadel. Those who did not move on have expanded this riverside village into a small town more to the liking of the Dwarves. Hillbeard is considered the best locale for quality metalwork.
Keeptree (Hamlet): More of a trading post for traveling elves, this hamlet consists largely of humans with professed elf-blood (treat as elfin humans and elves) and a small number of elves.
Littlesur (Village): This Halfling village is renowned for its cheese and beer. Not alot happens here, and few visitors come through. Still, those looking to do business will find the Halfling to be shrewd businessfolk and well aware of the value of their labors.
Longfort (Thorp): A fortress with an accompanying cluster of shops, farms and related industries. The fortress itself was built by the now receded Aubadian Empire, but is now controlled by Earl Davril Whiteham, from which his forces watch the Grandpool for raiders.
Newbend (Hamlet): A small hamlet along the Grey River and home to the powerful wizard Edward Klute (16th Level). This wizard does not rule the city in any way, but is known far and wide as a good and helpful mage, though one who dislikes uninvited guests.
Nightscar (Small City/Ruin): Once a mighty Dwarven citadel and trade city, now taken by the Dragon Driligan The Red and its orc minions. Though the dragon itself is only rarely seen, orc raiders are far more common, particularly during the long winter when the sun is hidden behind gray skies.
Oneyaw (Thorp): A small settlement not far from the Brackenmoor and home to a tough breed of farmer. The people here are hard-working but friendly folk. Archery is very popular here, both as a sport and for when orcs or other menaces come raiding.
Whiteham (Large Town): This bustling place is the seat of the local Whiteham family, a powerful noble family. The town focuses largely around fishing, but is home to a large number of other industries.
Swamphorn Forest: A dense wood that is more than half swamp, This forest is home to a large number of wild game, but is considered haunted by the locals.
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan