An introduction to the land of Skyrholme, and some of the surrounding lands.
- Is this a new world? Is it a remade world? Is it a futuristic/past version of another campaign world?
- New world
- The world is young? Old?
- Old although not ancient and dying
- What is this world’s place in the cosmos? Is it wholly in the prime material? Is it in a demi-plane? Is it a plane of its own?
- Wholly in the prime material
- Are there other non-natives in the world? Is it only non-natives?
- All natives to the planet
- Is planar travel possible? Is it common?
- None is known of.
- Are the gods uninvolved? Dead? Evil? Good? Psychotic?
- There are 3 main religions in the country, each dedicated to a single god. While some people claim to have had visitations or experienced miracles, that is definitely the exception rather than the rule.
- What and when was the creation?
- Read the Creation Myth?
- What was the previous age?
- There are some artifacts and ruined cities that speak of a passed age of enlightenment. The most stunning of these relics can be found in Skyrethorne – the capital city. The three ancient stone-built spires reach for the sky in defiance of everything now known of construction. They seem to reach almost to the gods themselves, and it is no surprise that the three main religions have each colonized a spire for the seat of their power.
- The other well known ancient relics are the two arrow-straight roads that cross the country, meeting at the ruined town of Rathnagar of which we will speak no further lest we bring ill fortune to visit.
- Is good or evil in charge? Neither?
- What keeps the balance between good and evil, or what is it keeping good or evil in charge?
- The land is ruled by a secular king, and the three religions tend to counteract each other. This has generally prevented any one faction from gaining power.
- Is there anything unique about the physical earth? Plants? Air? Sky? Sun? moon? Stars? Water? Weather?
- The climate is largely temparate, although the country stretches from a somewhat colder and mountainous north, to a warmer and wetter south.
- What does the typical human/elf/Eladrin/Halfling/gnome/dwarf/orc/goblin/tiefling look like in this world?
- The majority of the population is human, although some more unusual peoples from distant lands arrive from time to time. Some of these travelers look very strange to our eyes and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
- What is the technological level? Is there gunpowder? Is there steel? Adamantite or other special metals?
- Generally medieval, although legends of weapons, armour, and other such artifacts made from remarkable materials are known throughout the land.
- What are the animals like?
- Largely normal, although again, mythical tales tell of incredible creatures in the dark and lonely places of the world.
- Is the world a future/past version of an existing campaign setting?
- There is no existing campaign ;)
- How did the world get to this age, or this place in time?
- Read the creation myth?
- Were there major historical events that have shaped the world?
- Are there important racial histories?
- See the unification of our nation?
- Does magic function as written in the core books? As another system? As purely elemental? As purely arcane? As purely sorcery?
- Magic use is rare and somewhat distrusted but not entirely unknown. This distrust was exacerbated by the recent terrible plague, which the self-proclaimed "magicians" were unwilling or unable to curb. There are mutterings in some places that the plague was punishment from the gods for dabbling in powers we should not interfere with.
- How about psionics?
- While some claim the power to read minds and move objects, these people are considered charlatans.
- How about other power sources?
- Legends from the Age of Enlightenment? talk of items of great power, although none have ever been found.
- Are there multiple continents?
- Few from our land, Skyreholme, have traveled far from its borders, and even fewer have returned. However, travellers from far-away lands do arrive from time to time and telling tales of their distant homes.
- Are there major bodies of water?
- To the south-west, the Great Sea extends beyond the reach of our ships – which sail from Longcliffe to fish and trade along the coast with Storith, our western neighbour.
- Are there important, large geographical features? (i.e. deserts, tundra, a gaping hole)
- To the north, the country is bounded by a high mountain range. Two passes through these mountains are the only routes through to the lands of the savage Northmen. These passes are guarded by the twin castles of Aysgill (to the west) and Aysgarth (to the east).
- To the west, the powerful river Eimot barrels its way south from the mountains to the coast, separating Skyrholme from neighbouring Storith.
- To the east the earth itself seems to have ripped apart. What can be seen of the land is twisted and cratered, and strange creatures have been seen in the distance. Fortunately, towering cliffs separate us from this wasteland, and travel there is forbidden. A very limited trade exists in the town of Oughtershaw – conducted via a pulley system on the cliff – but no other contact is allowed.
- Marsh lands surround Longcliffe, and to the south these stretch entirely across the narrow strip of land that separates the sea to the west from the blasted lands to the east.
- Are all core races available? Some? Only humans? Only another? In what proportions?
- Pretty much all, although only humans are common and any other races are from far-off lands.
- Do the 5 senses function as normal? Are any diminished? Accentuated?
- All senses work as normal.
- What is day-to-day life like in this world? For PCs? For good NPCs? For evil ones? For the rich/highest social or poor/lowest social?
- What is civilization like? Is there any?
- In the Age of the Long Dark – the time that that followed the fall of the Age of Enlightenment – civilisation was lost and man fell upon man in a struggle to survive. Finally, a great hero arose to unify the country and become the founding father of Skyrholme. His long and wise reign brought civilisation back to the land and set the foundations for the great nation it has become.
- Are there cities? How common are cities? Is most of the world rural or is it urban?
- The world is largely comparable with European medieval times. There are large cities, and castles – especially the seats of power for the Barons – but a large percentage of the population remains rural.
- What are the familial units like? Do they vary from race to race?
- Largely normal
- What is the form of government? Hierarchical? Anarchy? Oligarchy? Aristocracy? Theocracy?
- This is an essentially Feudal society, with the Barons controlling areas of the country, which they parcel out as rewards to their trusted knights and functionaries in return for the promise of military aid should it be needed. These groups then pass the land on down to peasants who work the land in exchange for a tithe of their harvest, and a promise to serve in the army for their lord should it be requested. It is worth noting that some areas of the land still belong directly to the Barons and the peasants thus work directly for them.
- As well as the Barons, the Patriarchs of the 3 major religions hold an equivalent ranking to the Barons and are feudal superiors in the same manner. However, the religious holdings are much smaller than any of the Barons and their major source of power and funding comes from a 10% tithe on the King's treasury that is split equally among the religions.
- Overseeing all these is a hereditary, secular, monarch. The monarchy is only hereditary in a direct line and for a maximum of three generations. When either the line dies out or three generations have ruled, the monarchy passes to the next of the nine great families in turn.
- Finally, there are the growing number of the Merchant class who live in cities and are relatively independant of the Feudal system. The wealthiest merchants can now match the Barons in financial terms, and some fear that they will soon begin to challenge them politically despite their lack of official position in the feudal hierarchy.
- Are there political factions?
- Of course!