Tag: D&D

The Verdant Kingdoms – Lyria – Geography

Lyria surrounds the Lyrian Gulf like a horseshoe. The gulf is 50 leagues (250 km) from the northern most shore until the deep waters of the outer gulf. It’s 26 leagues (130km) at it’s broadest on the inner gulf, just north of Kenton to just south of Eastray, and 13 (65km) leagues at the mouth of the inner gulf, from the Lyrian Tooth to the eastern shore south of Fulcaster.

The kingdom is 112 leagues (560km) from its eastern most point, on the three kingdom border with Silesia and Mazuria, to it’s western most point on the border with Beauclair. Remarkably, it’s 112 leagues from its northern most border straight south until it reaches the latitude of its southern coastline. The total land mass is 7007 square leagues, making it the third largest kingdom on the continent behind Beauclair and the Daerlan Empire.

Northern Lyria

The economic heart of the kingdom, Northern Lyria has some of the most fertile and sought after lands. Kingsport is the largest port, the largest city and the seat of the royal court. This means that every ambitious noble house worth its salt has a presence in Northern Lyria, with an exception of a few ancient mainstays who are such a part of Lyria that they no longer have to worry about jockeying for position at court. It is the richest part of Lyria.

Ard Thoradun

The northern mountain range of Ard Thoradun is named after the hidden fortress city of Caer Thoradun, home of clan Thoradun. The Thoradun mountain dwarves are the only people capable of withstanding the harsh environment of Lyria’s tallest peaks and harshest weather, and the only people brave enough to battle the wyverns, frost giants and other supernatural creatures that inhabit the Thoradun mountain range.

Regular caravans of traders descend down the mountain to resupply the mercenaries on the Plains of Strife and bringing their goods to White Fork for sale and transport downriver. The Thoradun metalworks are praised throughout the Verdant Kingdoms and their masonry is sought after by all of the noble families.

Elder Foothills

The hills in the north-west of Lyria, east of Beauclair and south of the Daerlan Empire is named so for the many abandoned elven ruins that can be found there. Several settlements can be found filled with mostly hill dwarf prospectors, elven sorcerors and opportunistic humans. The hill dwarves are excavating the ruins, the elves are searching for their history and lost artifacts, and the humans are mostly Lyrian scholars and Beauclairois dilettantes.


The most populated region of all of Lyria is nestled along the northern coast. Here, countless noble houses compete and clash over valuable coastlines and fertile farmlands. Kingsport is the seat of power and the largest port on the Lyrian Gulf, and ambitious noble houses want to get a piece of the influence and wealth that is available there. As a result, there are twice as many noble houses in Northshire than there are in the rest of Lyria combined, the largest of which command unbelievable wealth and power.

The Silesian Road leads east away from Kingsport, all the way to Silesia, and the Beauclair Boulevard leads west towards Beauclair. The quality of these two roads varies from place to place, but in Northshire, they are both neatly cobbled and well-maintained, with sign-posts at every intersection indicating how many leagues to the next important town or city.

Plains of Strife

Officially the Daerlan Empire isn’t infringing on Lyrian sovereignty, but regular incursions are rebuffed on the Plains of Strife. The area is flanked to the east by the Ard Thoradun and the Elder Foothills to the west, forming a natural valley heading south to the Riverlands. From the border it is a straight corridor of easy terrain to one of the three parts of the river Trident. Once the river would be reached a hostile force only has to overcome the garrisons at White Fork, a small town on the Trident in order to sail all the way down to the river Lyn and to Kingsport.

As a result of this constant and imminent threat of invasion the Plains of Strife are sparsely populated, despite the pleasant hills, grasslands and plenty arable land. Several mercenary companies have a heavy presence in the area, as well as several semi-permanent hosts of fighting men on retainer to some of the more patriotic lords of the Riverlands and Northshire.

It’s an isolated part of Lyria where lots of men have lost their lives. Packs of scavengers, carrion crawlers and necrophages can be found prowling old battle fields. They are a plague to the camps and rare villages on the Plains of Strife.


The Riverlands are bordered by the Trident, the river Lyn to the west and the river Teign to the east, Northshire to the south and the Silverpine hills to the north. It is dotted with small hunting and farming communities, isolated from one another by woodlands and rivers running from the Silverpines to the gulf.

The people are honest, hard working and enjoy simple pleasures. They are more prone to follow the old gods than the rest of Northern Lyria, likely due to their connection to the woods. The ability to straddle the line between woodlands and farmlands draws many half-elves to settle in the Riverlands, where they are often appreciated as excellent woodsmen.

Silverpine Hills

The Silverpine hills, or the Silverpines as they are affectionately called by the locals, are the foothills to the south of Ard Thoradun, just west of the Silesian border. Densely wooded, the region gets its name for the steady amounts of snow that comes down from the mountains and dusts pine trees.

The people that live in the Silverpines are industrious and joyous. A surprisingly high number of promising students and professors at the Bournemouth Academy are from the Silverpines and they take enormous pride in perfecting whatever trade they decide to take up.

Not unsurprisingly, the noble houses hailing from the Silverpines are some of the liberal in terms of the freedoms they allow their people. The upward mobility of serfs and peasants in this area is by far the highest in Lyria, provided they can excel at something, which isn’t always easy to prove, but most lords and ladies offer the opportunity to those who are willing to grab it.

The fortress of Gryphon’s Roost, home to the renowned Order of the Gryphon makes its home in the northern part of the Silverpines.

Tiverton Glades

North of the Polivar river and west of the river Lyn, rolling all the way to the Elder Foothills, are the Tiverton Glades. A beautifully wooded area, rich with game, streams and ponds. The soil is fertile so many small farming communities make their home in Tiverton. Tivertonians consider themselves blessed to live in such an idyllic part of the kingdom, while the rest of the kingdom looks upon them as soft and lazy people who never had to work for anything.

Many of the Northshire nobility have small keeps in the Tiverton Glades, using it as a retreat from the precarious life at court. They hunt, spend their days picnicking around the ponds and organise masquerades at night. The Tiverton Glades are very well protected. While the protection level is as high as in Northshire, the area is significantly larger and hiding out in its woods is much easier. This has meant that on occasion, outlaws, brigands and bandits have used its woods to hide out in, capturing the small keeps only protected by a skeleton retinue of guards. This was always met with a very swift and united response from the nobility, who learnt how to work together in the Tiverton Glades despite being at each other’s throats in Northshire. Outlaw activity has since significantly died down.

Eastern Lyria

The eastern part of Lyria likely has the most diversity of terrain; from the marshlands of Eastmarsh, to moors of Dunashire, to the golden farmlands of Fairfields, to the Mazurian hills, to the dark, impenetrable forests of Worthwilde, to the desolation of Farcorner.


The coastal area of Dunashire is very exposed to high winds and therefore has wilder nature with sheer cliffs made of granite which rise up to 300 meters at the highest point. Behind the cliffs, the exposed upland is rugged and infertile with grass- and moorlands. The cliffs are sheer but occasionally open up for small fine sand beaches, small rivers and estuaries, offering safe anchorage.

Due to the rugged nature of region, it’s sparsely populated. Those who live there either live off sheep herding, a tradition they share with their northern Fulham cousins, or off the sea. Dunashire sailors are renowned as great sailors, having been brought up knowing how to navigate the treachery of The Jagged Coast.

The Dunan river that gives the region its name has taken countless generations to etch itself into the granite bedrock and carve a path to the coast just south of Dunagore.

The city of Dunagore sits at the top of a small, 110 meter cliff. At the bottom, near the mouth of the river Dunan, there is a stretch of beach. Large steps have been carved into the rock going all the way from the beach to the top of the cliff. There are exactly 333 steps, each 33 centimeter tall and 3 meters deep and 3 meters wide, going back and forth in a zig-zag exactly three times, for a total distance of 999 meters.

At high tide, the beach is drowned out by the sea. At low tide, it allows access to Dunagore Mount, a tidal island off the coast of Dunagore. An artificial causeway of carved, granite blocks, 3 meters wide and 3 meters deep, 333 in total is accessible at low tide. The island stands at a little under 33 acres.

Dunagore Fortress, which sits atop Dunagore Mount, is a heavily fortified fortress. While its style has a lot in common with the fortress at Fulcaster, it seems it was made for people standing much larger in height. Doorsways are larger, hallways are taller, etc.

Who built Dunagore Fortress the causeway that connects to the mainland, or the steps in the side of the cliff, is a mystery to scholars. There are many theories, but none of them seem to have enough evidence to support them. It is considered a wonderous and mystical place. Many people make pilgrimages to Dunagore to walk the causeway and visit the mount, believing that it was once the home of Paladine himself.

Currently, the Order of the Shield makes its home at Dunagore Fortress.


Due to the natural currents in the Lyrian Gulf, the waters off the eastern shore is noticeably colder than its western twin. The resulting precipitation makes the area of Eastmarsh a very dreary place. The swell of the rain water makes the Ivel river a fast moving river until it gets to the coast where a reef in the gulf blocks the river from shedding its water. Due to the sudden slowdown of the river, all of the sediment gets deposited before it reaches the gulf, over time further blocking its watershed. The resulting delta around Eastray has caused much of the hinterlands to turn into a large marshland. The soil is very fertile, but hard to work. The soggy foundation also means that there is a lack of woodlands in the area, which means that settlements and engineering projects are hard to erect. Instead, freshwater fisheries, sugarcane farming and cultivating rare, herbaceous plants.

People from Eastmarsh are referred to as “marsh dwellers” or the less friendly “mud men” or “frog eaters.” They got the latter nickname due to their propensity for supplementing their diet with fish, frogs, grubs and lizards. This as a result of their inability to keep cattle due to the soggy ground. They shun armour and heavy weapons, preferring spears and tridents, and they are rumoured to poison their weapons and arrows. The marsh dwellers are clannish, dour and xenophobic and are considered “odd” by other Lyrians. They talk in thick accent and tend to be more superstitious than the rest of the Lyrians.

Eastray is a small city on a hillock in the mouth of the delta and one of the few larger settlements. Most of the houses inside the city are made of the traditional logs and thatch because the ground simply can’t carry the weight of any stone constructions. The rest of the settlements throughout Eastmarsh are much the same. Some families live on large, log pontoons.


South of the river Bourne lies a very fertile piece of arable land by the name of Fairfields. Many thriving farming communities have been established here, which supply most of the Lyrian demand for wheat, barley and oats. The orchards are renowned for their ciders and fruits, and the breweries make high grade spirits, ales, meads and beers. There are a few vineyards that make decent wines, but they pale in comparison to the Beauclairois wines.

Wind- and watermills dot the landscape and carts haul harvests up to Bournemouth, Egremont and Bournebridge for distribution throughout the kingdoms.

Various noble and merchant houses have a stranglehold on almost all available land here, but ownership of farmsteads and farmholds are constantly changing as they get traded, bartered and swindled between houses. Experienced Fairfields farmers and farmhands are sought after throughout the kingdom for their skills and abilities.


The three kingdom border of Silesia, Mazuria and Lyria is the furthest point away from the seat of power in Kingsport, at roughly 68 leagues. Sherbourne is the closest town to Farcorner, but there are only a few small villages in the region. The area is lightly wooded and due to its desolation the home to several tribes of savage races, like orcs, goblins, ogres and gnolls.


Fulham is an unremarkable region of Lyria. It’s not moderately populated and has a lot of cattle ranchers that keep mostly sheep. There is lively wool production and as a result the weaving is of the highest quality. Many of the nobility commission the weavers guild in Fulcaster for tapestries for their halls. Linen production is also common, and as a result, so is paper production.

Most of the people in Fulham live close to the river Wye. Fulcaster is the largest city, which is set on the foundation of an ancient fortress the origins of which are lost in history. Legends have it that a large battle was fought just south of Fulcaster, the remnants of which sometimes can still be found when a new field is plowed. Old weapons and armour are found, as well as bones from men, elves and dwarves alike, as well as some large, horrible looking beasts that can no longer be identified.

People from Fulham are considered hard working, hard-nosed and no nonsense. They work hard, drink hard and fight hard. Travelling shows often have strong men from Fulham, who challenge anyone to wrestle or fight for the chance of winning a silver stag.

Mazurian Hills

The Mazurian Hills are located directly south of the Worthwilde. Straddling the border with Mazuria, the hills are lightly wooded and quite desolate. Few people have settled in the hills except a clan of hill dwarves by the name of Clann Dearg Carraigh, or Children of the Crimson Rock.

The Jagged Coast

The south-eastern coast of the Lyrian Gulf is rugged and treacherous and only navigable by the most experienced captains. Rough granite rocks stick out from the water like teeth, but the real danger lies below the surface where the rocks hide from inexperienced sailors.


The Worthwilde, or the Wilde, is a region of Eastern Lyria that is fully covered in very dense woods. It is flanked to the south by the Mazurian Hills and to the east by the plains of Silesia. The western part slowly changes from woods to the bogs and marshlands of the Eastmarsh and there is a fairly clear and hard border with the river Bourne to the north.

It is called the Worthwilde because of the potential timber that could be harvested from the area if it wasn’t for the Aen Canell, or the People of the Oak, as the wood elves like to call themselves. They are fiercely protective of the forest and have declared war on anyone who dared to threaten it. The royal Valois family has brokered a peace treaty with the Aen Canell long ago that they are not willing to break, but devious lords and thieving commoners have occasionally dared to enter the forest. Few have ever made it back and those who did came back with their mind shattered, incapable of coherently recalling what happened to them in the dark depths of the Worthwilde. Some courtiers have suggested that such a passively hostile force inside the kingdom is dangerous, but the royal family has always insisted that the faith between the kingdom and the Aen Canell was not to be broken.

The Aen Canell have a city somewhere in the forest which they call the Duén Gwyndeith, or Palace of the White Flame, named after the ruler of the Aen Canell, Gwyndeith, who is also known as Hlaith N’Deireadh, or Lady Without Ending. Legend has it that she is immortal and vividly remembers the time before the Great Waning, when legends still walked the Verdant Kingdoms.

Western Lyria

Probably the least populated part of Lyria, the west has some of the oldest and proudest houses in the kingdom. The people of the west are fiercely patriotic and chivalrous, and believe in Gods, Queen and Country.


South of the Polivar river, Ashenvale is a large valley filled with ash trees, giving the valley its name. The only river in the area is the river Baugh, which flows into the gulf at Wulferton, the seat of House Grey, an old and important house in the Lyrian peerage who have been dominant in Ashenvale for centuries. Even Blue Harbour, a larger port city on a larger river doesn’t have the same pull as House Grey of Wulferton. There are two small keeps along the Beauclair Boulevard, Ashbury and Woodbury, strategically protecting the vale from both sides. These keeps have become less important now that relations with Beauclair are warm and cordial, but the people of Ashenvale have not forgotten their sacred charge of protecting the western border in case these relationships shift suddenly.

In autumn, with the fading sets in, the ash trees of the vale turn bright colours of orange and red. Many Lyrian artists have marveled at the remarkable and dramatic shift from green to red in only a few short weeks and have tried to capture it in song and paintings, but it is said that all Lyrians should witness autumn in Ashenvale at least once in their lives.


The western shore of the gulf, as well as the western part of the shores off the southern sea are much warmer in temperature and milder in temperament than the eastern part. The coast at Dunashire is very rugged, but the shores off Southernhay are mostly fine sand beaches, with a few treacherous reefs here and there, but much more navigable than its cousin. The reason for its ominous name is due to the amount of pirate activity along that coast. There are many coves and places for anchorage that allow for ambushes.

Long ago the Lyrian fleet fought a severe naval battle against the Càrceres armada, which left the shore littered with shipwrecks. There are regular claims of ghostly ships and strange lights seen off the coast, but nothing which has been substantiated. Occasionally, divers go hunting for the treasures of the many ships under the waves.


The region of Southernhay is a popular retreat for elderly lords and ladies due to the warm climate. The gently rolling hills are also a prime location for vineyards, and several Beauclairois families have invested heavily in the development of the area. It’s not unusual to find small villages and vineyards run by people not speaking the common Lyrian tongue. This has caused some concerns with the Lyrians in the area, resulting in some skirmishes, fights and ongoing feuds.

The Darkshore is a known resting place for many Lyrian and Càrceres ships who fought each other in a naval battle several generations ago. Those and the havoc the pirate wreak along the coast are a regular cause of debris washing up on the beaches or getting caught in gyres off the coast of Flotsam. It’s such a regular occurrence that debris washes ashore that it gave the city of Flotsam its name.

The Lyrian Tooth

Technically part of Westershire, the Lyrian Tooth is a strategic area along the western coast of the Lyrian Gulf. It hides Westchester, the largest city in Westershire, from anyone sailing up the gulf. As a result, the Lyrian fleet is at anchor in the Westershire bay and keeps tight control to the inner gulf and Kingsport beyond. Between the fortification of Dunagore Fortress, and the fortifications on the Tooth, the Lyrians feel that the inland waters of Lyria are well defended.

As a result of the presence of the fleet and the soldiers on the Tooth, the coastal area of Westershire, especially around Westchester, is high in soldiers and mercenaries looking for work. This is also the place for merchant vessels to take on protection before they sail into less safe waters. Most of the mercenaries that are found on the Tooth are older and more experienced than the glory seekers that roam the Plains of Strife in the north, but the gold that a soldier can earn on the Tooth is also significantly less than on the Plains.


The largest region in the west, Westershire is known for producing the best tournament knights, supplying the most troops to the Plains of Strife, and fiercely supporting the Order of the Lance at Ironrath Keep, deep in the heart of Westershire. What is unique about Westershire are the Ironwood forests that occupy large parts of the region. Ironwood is incredibly hard wood which is highly valued for spears, shields and lances. It is also sought after the by the shipwrights guild for use as masts. Not only is ironwood incredibly hard, it is also incredibly difficult to work. It requires patience, skill and exceptional tools. Westermen have been doing it for generations and are renowned throughout the Verdant Kingdoms for their ability.

Due to the valuable resource, a few very rich and ancient houses have been trying to outmaneuver each other to gain control over the biggest forests. Even though logging is a large part of the business in Westershire, everyone there knows that if they cannabalise the groves, the next generation won’t be as fortunate as they are, so they are very careful not to harvest too many trees each season. This has also driven the price for ironwood up, and some merchants and nobles have complained about the stranglehold the Westermen have over the trade.

The Verdant Kingdoms – Pantheons

The cultures of the Verdant Kingdoms are varied, and so are the gods the people worship. Below is a description of each of the occurring patheons, their gods, portfolio’s, alignments, symbols and their suggested cleric domains. Where necessary there might be some notes on the way the gods are worshiped, or where.

The Verdant Pantheon

Beauclair, Lyria and parts of Silesia share the largest pantheon of gods. Below is a small selection of the most important ones. There are many more.

Verdant Pantheon (Beauclair, Lyria and Silesia)
Deity Portfolio Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Paladine guardians, order LG War Silver triangle
Pholtus sun, light, healing LG Light, Life Sun
Chauntea agriculture NG Nature Cornucopia
Sedna water, rivers, lakes NG Nature, Water Five Fishes
Tymora fortune CG Trickery Coin
Mystra magic CG Arcana, Knowledge Star
Raven Queen death, fate LN Death Black Feather
Ioun knowledge, craft, skill N Knowledge Eye
Silvanus nature N Nature Oak Leaf
Tharizdun chaos, change CN Trickery Flame
Takhisis ambition, hatred LE Death Black Crescent
Bane tyranny, terror LE War Clenched Fist
Baal murder, destruction NE Death, Tempest Skull
Belial lies, greed CE Trickery Forked tongue
Beshaba misfortune CE Trickery Antlers
Dagon sea CE Tempest, Water Tentacle
Paladine and Takhisis are siblings. They are both also known as Bahamut and Tiamat, or the platinum and chromatic dragon. In that form they are also worshiped by dragons and the dragonborn.

The Æsir, the Northern Pantheon

The northern countries of Miðgarður, Hellmark and Fintra worship a set of deities who are closely aligned with nature, oftentimes brash, tempestuous and impulsive. They are called the Æsir.

Northern Pantheon (Miðgarður, Hellmark, Fintra)
Deity Portfolio Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Heimdall watchfulness, loyalty LG Light, War Curling musical horn
Odin knowledge, war NG Knowledge, War Watching blue eye
Baldur beauty, poetry NG Life, Light Gem-encrusted silver chalice
Freya birth, fertility, love, motherhood NG Life Falcon
Odur light, sun CG Light Solar disk
Thor storms, thunder CG Tempest Warhammer
Tyr courage, justice, strategy LN Knowledge, War Sword
Forseti law N Light Head of a bearded man
Hermod luck CN Trickery Winged scroll
Uller hunting, winter CN Nature Longbow
Skadi earth, mountains N Nature Mountain peak
Surtur fire giants, war LE War Flaming sword
Aegir sea, storms NE Tempest Rough ocean waves
Hel underworld NE Death Woman’s face, rotting on one side
Loki thieves, trickery CE Trickery Flame
Thrym frost giants, cold CE War White double-bladed axe

The Tuatha Dé Danann

In Kaedwyn the gods are considered legendary people who long ago ascended to immortality and godhood. They are called the Tuatha Dé Danann, or Tribe of Gods, who long ago roamed the lands.

Tuatha Dé Danann
Deity Portfolio Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Dian Cecht medicine, healing LG Life Crossed oak and mistletoe branches
Belenus sun, light, warmth NG Light Standing stones
Oghma speech, writing, knowledge NG Knowledge Scroll
An Dagda fertility, weather, harvest, strength, magic, druids, wisdom CG Nature, Knowledge Bubbling cauldron
Lugh arts, travel, commerce, oaths, truth, law LN Knowledge, Life Pair of long hands
Nuada war, warriors N War Silver hand on black background
The Three Morrígna
Macha conquest, rulership, domination LE War Two crossed spears
Badhbh battle, death, fate, doom NE Death Crow
Nemain havoc, frenzy, slaughter CE Tempest Fang

Monotheism of the Daerlan Empire and Mazuria

In the Daerlan Empire and Mazuria most people are monotheistic and follow Deus. Silesia is generally also considered monotheistic, but it is much more diverse and accepting of other beliefs.

Monotheism (The Daerlan Empire, Mazuria, Silesia)
Deity Portfolio Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Deus Good G Life, Light, Nature, Knowledge, Forge Two hands in the sign of the aquila
Asmodeus Evil E Death, Trickery, Tempest, War Bloody pentagram
There are aspects of good and evil that some people pay homage to, but those are represented by angels and demons in service of Deus and Asmodeus.

The Aspects

Southern-West Lyria, is the home to a belief system which originates from beyond the southern sea and somehow suits the people that live it its distinct arid climate. Established generations ago by a group of travelers whose passage can only be felt by the gods they left behind. The aspects are like gods in the way that someone can have a personal relationship with them, but they rarely have anthropomorphised character traits and personalities like most gods from other pantheons seem to have. They represent more forces, elements or ideals that can be

The Aspects (Cypria, Arroyo and Càrceres)
Deity Portfolio Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Aspect of Light sun LG Light Dove-headed female
Aspect of Love love, music, motherhood NG Life Swan-headed female
Aspect of Nature nature CG Nature Stag-headed male
Aspect of Craft crafts LN Knowledge Fox-headed male
Aspect of Knowledge knowledge N Knowledge Owl-headed female
Aspect of Luck luck CN Trickery Cat-headed female
Aspect of War war LE War, Death Lion-headed male
Aspect of Deceit deceit NE Trickery Cobra-headed female
Aspect of Tempest storms CE Tempest Eagle-headed male

The Old Gods

The old gods are hard to describe. To those who worship them, mostly wildermen in the south-east of the Verdant Kingdoms, and the szygani that roam the lands and swear no fealty to anyone but their family, they are more like forces than actual personalities. They have no real names, but people who worship them still have a close, personal relationship with them. They are called the Čhonči, or the moons.

The Old Gods, Čhonči (Neutral, Szygani)
Deity Portfolio Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Lačhi (Lačhin, Lačhi Čhon) good NG Life, Light A white disk
Maškar (Mačhan, Maškar Čhon) neutrality N Arcana, Knowledge, Nature A red disk
Nasul (Nasčhon, Nasul Čhon) evil NE Ambition, Death, Trickery, War A black disk with a purple rim
There are aspects of good, evil and neutrality that some people pay homage to, but those are represented by spirits and demons in service to that alignment.

The Elder Pantheons

The elder races have pantheons of their own. Below are some of the elven and dwarven gods. Their pantheons are small, but have many demi-gods who are usually legendary figures who became champions to one of the gods and were awarded for their deeds with ascension.

The Seldarine

Elven Pantheon
Deity Portfolio Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Corellon Larethian art, magic CG Arcana, Light Starburst
Aerdrie Faenya air, sky CG Tempest, Trickery Bird silhouette
Hanali Celanil love, beauty, art CG Life Golden heart
Sehanine Moonbow dreams, death, travel CG Death, Knowledge, Light Crescent moon
Labelas Enoreth time, history, philosophy CG Arcana, Knowledge Setting sun
Rillifane Rallathil nature, beasts, seasons CG Nature Oak tree
Solonor Thelandira archery, hunting, survival CG Nature, War Silver arrow with green fletching
Naralis Analor healing LN Life Shield with white dove
Erevan Ilesere mischief, change CN Trickery Asymmetrical starburst
Dark Seldarine
Lolth drow, spiders, assassins, darkness CE Trickery Spider
Vhaeraun arrogance, thieves CE Trickery, War Black mask
Kiaransalee undead CE Arcana, Death Drow hand with silver rings
Knowledge of the drow and the Dark Seldarine pantheon is very limited even among the elves.

The Morndinsamman

Dwarven Pantheon
Deity Portfolio Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Moradin creation LG Knowledge Hammer and anvil
Berronar Truesilver hearth, home LG Life Two interlocking silver rings
Clanggedin Silverbeard war LG War Crossed axes
Gorm Gulthyn vigilance LG War Bronze mask
Marthammor Duin wanderers NG Nature, Trickery Mace and boot
Dugmaren Brightmantle invention, discovery CG Knowledge Open book
Haela Brightaxe luck, battle CG War Flaming sword
Dumathoin undermountain, secrets, death N Death, Knowledge Mountain silhouette with a central gemstone
Vergadain luck, wealth, commerce N Trickery Gold coin
Hanseath festivity, brewing, song CN Trickery, War Beer stein
Laduguer duergar, magic, craft LE Arcana, Death Broken arrow
Abbathor greed NE Trickery Jeweled dagger
Duerra conquest CE Arcana, War Cracked skull

Gaea and the Great Conjunction of Planes

Countless aeons ago, before the Time of Conflict and the Age of Heroes, there was equilibrium and harmony among the Gaean races. The elves lived in the woods and communed with animals, the dwarves mined the earth and worked their forges, and the humans built towns and plowed their fields. Magic was rare and weak, and only really mastered by the elves, who used it to further their connection to the forest and the fae creatures that lived deep within it.

The elves and dwarves were old, wise and experienced. They had mastered the arts and sciences long before humans first appeared on Gaea. Humans often referred to the elves and dwarves as the elders, because of their longevity and because they could turn to them for care and advice. It was a special kind of relationship, like that of a child with its parents. The dwarves were stern like a father, teaching the humans the truth of hard work and perseverance. While the elves were kind like a mother, nourishing the finer things in humans, like curiosity and poetry.

This situation changed when strange creatures started to appear that nobody had ever seen before. Dragons and manticores, werewolves and vampires, wyverns and giants. The worst of the creatures were the demons. The only thing that matched their cruelty was the incredible magic they commanded in battle and their ability to corrupt the hearts and minds of even the most righteous and steadfast.

They appeared gradually and over the course of several generations and upset the delicate balance between the elder races and the young humans. To their surprise, the elves found that with the coming of all these creatures their connection to the weave of magic had deepened as well. Their first instinct was to use that newfound knowledge to retreat deeper into their forests to protect themselves from the chaos. The dwarves learned how to infuse their ore and forges with magical power soon after.  In turn, they used their new abilities to carve powerful runes and wards onto the gates of their mountain fortresses, closing them in horror.

The humans were far too young and too inexperienced to have the gift of magic within their grasp. Unable to defend themselves like the elder races could, the humans quickly found their towns and fields overrun by demons. When they turned towards their allies for help, they found the forests impenetrable and the mountain gates closed. They were turned away. The pain this rejection caused was such that it would permanently alter the way humans regarded the elder races.

For generations the humans suffered at the hands of the demons and magical creatures that ran roughshod throughout the lands. Their homes were burned, their fields were spoiled, their minds were corrupted, their flesh was lacerated and their children were taken. The horrors that were inflicted upon them while the elder races hid in their sanctuaries further deepened the rift.

Their short lives had taught humans to be ambitious and resourceful. So when the rising level of magic finally put it within their reach they started experimenting. Soon after they found themselves capable of harnessing magic enough to start fighting back. Sorcerers found increasingly intricate ways to harness more power from the weave and priests found that their prayers became ever more effective. All within the help from the elder races. It was the first achievement of the emancipated humans.

As soon as the humans started to achieve some minor success in their own defense, the elves took notice. They reprimand the humans for their recklessness, telling them that the humans did not have the wisdom to harness the power of the weave. They argued that exposure to the weave of magic would leave the humans vulnerable to corruption. The resurgence of magic went hand in hand with the coming of demons, after all.

The admonishment was the nail in the coffin of the trust humans once had in the elder races.

For generations the power of magic grew and so did the understanding of it among the different races. They came to discover magic was like the tides; it would roll in and out of Gaea. In times of high magic the fabric that separated the different planes of existence wore thin. Causing rifts or opening up portals between one plane and another became easier. In times of low magic, these rifts would heal and opening portals became much harder.

When powerful demons opened up rifts between to Gaea it caused ripples across all planes. Sometimes these ripples were strong enough to cause small fractures that allowed other creatures from other planes to pass through to Gaea as well. And how the demons reveled in the chaos they sowed.

With their growing understanding of the planes and its denizens, Gaean scholars also started to map the planes and make some startling discoveries. They found that some of the planes and its denizens stood in opposition to others.

The most notorious rivalry was that between the demons from the Abyss and the devils from the Nine Hells of Baator. They had been in conflict with one another in what they called the Blood War since before time began on Gaea. They had long since fought each other to a stalemate on all fronts and what they needed was a new battleground that could break the tie.

And so Gaea was used as a fresh battleground in the Blood War. The first things demons and devils would do when they came through to Gaea was corrupt and sacrifice anyone and anything they could find. The blood fueled their magic, the newly corrupted joined their demonic ranks, their power increased and the Gaean skies darkened.

The humans fought for their survival. Against the magical beasts, against the demons, and against each other as kingdoms, tribes and clans were corrupted to join one side or the other in the Blood War. Powerful artifacts were created, or recovered from fallen demon princes or Baatezu archdukes. Fortresses were erected whose walls were inscribed with powerful warding magics all in service of the survival of the human race.

For aeons the survival of the human race hung in the balance. But eventually the tide of magic rolled back out and magic once again subsided. The rifts in the fabric between the planes started to heal, closing off access to the other planes to all but the most powerful creatures. The humans slowly got the upper hand and most of the demons and devils that were left behind were slain. Inevitably, some of them went deep into hiding, subtly manipulating things in preparation for the next tide of magic to come rolling back in.

The elves reemerged from their forests and the dwarves opened their gates. They found a radically different landscape, with strange creatures inhabiting it. Humans were changed as well, no longer resembling the young race that they had turned their back on. The elder races had forfeited the upper hand, both morally as well as militarily. It would be a long time before magic would be at its peak again, before the races would once again be faced with such incredible evil. Hopefully, it would prove to be enough time to mend the rift between the humans and the elder races.

Serpentswood Motte

Serpentswood Motte. That’s what I decided I will continue to call what we up until now have dubbed the Lizard’s Keep. It’s not the troglodytes’ keep. Upon careful reflection I decided that I would refuse to cede linguistic ground to the idea that it might be. Names are important. It’s why I forfeited my name and chose my own.

And so I choose Serpentswood Motte. It sits on a hillock in a wooded area and it was infested with serpent-worshiping lizards when we found it. The name suits it perfectly. Later, when the keep has been reclaimed and refortified, we can consider renaming it to something less ominous sounding.

5th Day, 1st Ride, 10th Month, 1374th Year

Right before the troglodyte and gnoll forces reached Glister they seemed to turn on one another. Perhaps this already started much earlier, but it was incredibly beneficial to the defense of the town. Their forces withdrew and we could survey the damage they had done, which turned out to be minimal.

Because we had arrived from the east, coming over in barges from The Range to The Hoof, I decided to get some rest in Jago’s hut. I was dead tired and probably wouldn’t have been able to make the trip to Wizard’s Hill without collapsing. Jago and Widukin decided to rest as well, while Quentyn made sure he was seen in and around town. David and his ward prepared to take care of the wounded militia men and villagers.

I am not sure I ever stopped to consider that Jago and Widukin shared a hut together. When we came in and bedded down for a few hours, I remember thinking about it for a few seconds before sleep found me. I don’t quite recall what I thought about it at the time, but now that I have some time to reflect upon it further, I think it’s remarkable. I am not one to cast stones, of course, considering my own history, it’s remarkable because rural people tend to be isolated and superstitious about this sort of thing. In the case of Jago and Widukin they might simply be sharing a hut. They bedded down in separate cots after all, though this could have been a bit of theatre for my benefit.

When I awoke later in the day, I felt groggy and disoriented. I forced myself to get up, and I was once again confronted by the disparity between my body and mind. The fog of sleep was easily shaken from my mind, but the sluggishness that came along with it lingered much, much longer.

I forced myself to eat something that my stomach would accept and would cause any trouble later in the day, and I went through my preparatory ritual. We would be heading back out to Serpentswood Motte to relieve Ser Fosco and the men we left behind, and we’d likely have to cross through hostile territory to get there. Once again, I felt like my frailty was becoming a serious problem and so I spent some extra time reading through the abjuration spells I have collected over time. My collection has grown quite considerably, and I believe it is time for me to focus on some basic protective spells if I am to continue putting myself in harm’s path the way I have in the last few weeks.

Eventually, we all met up back at The Hoof in order to take several barges. It had been decided that the fastest and likely safest course to make our way back to Serpentswood Motte was to go by water. Gilbert, who had the most experience traversing the waters of the Shadowed Lake, arrived in a kayak, ready to lead us east.

Quentyn had assembled another party of able-bodied men to accompany us, and I recognised a few faces in their midst. We divided ourselves across several barges and we started to head east.

After several hours we spotted a large group of ogres and gnolls on the northern bank, lead by the horned ogre. Whispers of “blue giant” went through our group as tensions rose, which irked me. I have read about giants, and from all accounts a giant is to an ogre as a human is to a halfling.

One of the gnolls was carrying a stick with a white cloth attached to the end of it. It seemed they wanted to parlay. Quentyn took them up on the offer and one of our barges slowly made its way towards the northern bank. We had decided to take a smaller group of people to talk, the rest stayed behind on the other barge.

When we came within distance, I noticed that the horned ogre was somewhat smaller than the other ogres, more hunched but with a clear, intelligent look in its eyes. The arcane abilities of the horned ogre was clearly not innate, but learned, like mine. A chill went down my spine as its gaze settled on me for a moment and again, the only thing I could think of was how ill prepared I am in defense.

The horned ogre tried to convince us to give him the bloodstone. The way he put it, he was doing us a favour by taking it from us. That he turned on Oxul’Nitha when she wanted to march on Glister to get the stone. That he saved us and that there were worse things coming for the stone. He could take it away, into the mountains, where it wouldn’t threatened us or the town any more.

Quentyn was in conversation with the ogre, and I tried to remind him of the ogre’s duplicitous nature by softly singing the first two lines from a Cormyrian nursery rhyme about an evil spirit called the Mirrorman;

His smile fair as spring, as towards him he draws you
His tongue sharp and silvery, as he implores you

I don’t know if he heard me, or if his house didn’t have the resources for schooling in letters and literature, or even if this nursery rhyme is perhaps not as common in Westchester. This is the full rhyme:

His smile fair as spring, as towards him he draws you
His tongue sharp and silvery, as he implores you
Your wishes he grants, as he swears to adore you
Gold, silver, jewels – he lays riches before you
Dues need be repaid, and he will come for you
All to reclaim, no smile to console you
He’ll snare you in bonds, eyes glowin’, a fire
To gore and torment you, til the stars expire

When we didn’t want to relinquish the bloodstone to him, he pulled out a large, hail-white stone and withdrew, saying that it would withdraw back into the mountains from whence it came. The stone had some significance, but I couldn’t discern it at the time. I didn’t believe that the horned ogre would depart for the mountains and no longer pose a threat, and so I asked Blackwing to follow him and return to me immediately if it would come close to Glister.

At the end of the day Serpentswood Motte came into view and the troglodyte activity in the area went up. Eventually, I saw a smaller female that I recognised to be Gal’Nutha. Once we docked the barges and disembarked, and talked to Gal’Nutha who was unhappy about us leaving people behind in the keep. I tried to make it clear that were there to pick up Ser Fosco and leave. She wanted to escort us and make sure that we weren’t moving more people into the keep. Also, she wanted to eat one of us in retaliation of what she considered a breach of our agreement.

At that point, I may have lost my temper. She didn’t seem to back down until Quentyn drew Scalebane and Gal’Nutha probably understood that even if she and her warriors would overwhelm us, she herself would be the first to be slain. That seemed to settle things.

Once we got to Ser Fosco, he and the others he was in charge of were visibly relieved. Our extraction from the keep was swift and painless, and everyone felt relieved. Something in the back of my mind kept gnawing at me; we took a major risk in liberating Serpentswood Motte, only to relinquish it to Gal’Nutha because we can’t fortify and hold it over the winter.

The winter. Again I was reminded of the coming of the Frostmaiden’s embrace. I decided to place a cup of water outside of my window to determine when night frost would set in. Many things will need to happen before the first snow falls.

6th Day, 1st Ride, 10th Month, 1374th Year

Night had fallen and we were still on our way back to Glister, when David suddenly asked me if learning magic was hard. Pretty quickly, I realised what he wanted; he wanted one of the townsfolk to go into study with me. I explained that the gift first had to manifest itself and that I could only consider tutoring someone once I had seen the way the dealt with their ability.

The night had been cold but clear and quiet. Calm and peaceful. I was enjoying the boat ride until David brought up the tutelage. The weight of what had been bothering me for months came crashing down on me. I didn’t want to teach, I wanted to be taught! I hardly had time to study myself, let alone offer the proper guidance for someone else. And then I haven’t even address the question of propriety. I would essentially be raising one or more renegade mages.

While I hardly ever saw eye to eye with the Circle of Wizards at the Tower of High Sorcery, I did agree with them that a renegade mage, or a hedgewizard, had the potential to cause a lot of disruption in the realm. I considered myself a starting wizard. Could I bring to graduation someone who I had tutored all by myself?

I got frustrated and angry at the thought of it. David brought it as an essential part of Glister’s defenses to teach someone the mysteries of the arcane. I just saw it as an opportunity for a novice to accidentally burn down a building, or get devoured by their first conjuration, or get absorbed in their own hunger for more power.

I wanted to leave Glister. I didn’t get to study under Marbrand, I didn’t find Marbrand’s grimoires, I stagnated as a wizard and had been distracted by the ambitions of a local lord. On the way over from The Hoof to Wizard’s Hill I confided in Quentyn and shared all my frustrations with him. He has come to rely on me, I needed him to know what was going on with me so that he could prepare for my eventual departure. He was remarkably understanding about it.

That night I was awoken by soft but incessant tapping on my window. I sat up and raised the lantern that I keep next to my bed and walked over to the window. I saw that on the windowsill, next to an overturned cup of water, which I had left there before turning in, sat an extraordinary snow owl. It was pecking at the window.

My suspicion was confirmed that this was the horned ogre’s familiar and it came to deliver a message, carefully written on a piece of troglodyte skin, carefully rolled up and tied to the bird’s leg. The message was a snide congratulations on being able to hide the bloodstone from him, but also a promise that he would get the stone eventually. He referred to it as his “quarry,” which I thought was remarkable. He also offered the opportunity to get in touch if I was ever in need of it, saying that Blackwing would know how to find him.

I tossed the skin in the flames of the low fire in my room and went back to bed.

7th Day, 1st Ride, 10th Month, 1374th Year

The following morning, at breakfast, I discussed my plans to depart from Glister after the winter. David, Jago and Quentyn were there, and so was Ser Fosco. I explained myself and suggested that I was perhaps to travel onward to the Dalelands, but that nothing was set in stone yet.

David, to his credit, was quick to offer help of finding the grimoires during the winter months. Quentyn reminded me that traders could be persuaded to buy scrolls from Thentia and bring them to Glister for my consumption. I, however, didn’t believe that Lord Marbrand’s grimoires were out there to find in the keep at Wizard’s Hill, otherwise I would have found them already. And also didn’t think that buying scrolls, which is expensive, was going to give me the speed of development that I yearned for. I thanked them for the offer nonetheless.

10th Day, 1st Ride, 10th Month, 1374th Year

A few days went by and I found myself in the process of making some sketches of a windmill that I wanted to design. I had noticed the winds across certain parts of the Oldmark could be high, which would make it an excellent place for a good windmill in which we could place a large millstone for grinding. It could simultaneously act as a granary.

I already had the design for the internals mechanics drawn up, partly by my own design, and partly taken from different books in Lord Marbrand’s study. The only thing to calculate was the load bearing capacity that the outer framework would need to have, and come up with a pleasing design that was within the capacity of the woodworkers of Glister to accomplish.

To be honest, while Glister could use a more advance grain storage, and could definitely benefit from a windmill, the only reason I was engaging in the mental exercise of designing it was because of the stagnation I feel in my studies. It’s not uncommon for magically talented people with a stellar intellect to seek diversions in matters of engineering and crafting.

There was a knock at the door. It was Quentyn, informing me that two guardsmen had come calling to inform him that a wounded troglodyte had appeared at the ferry across the moat dividing the Oldmark from the Newmark. We decided to go to the ferry together to investigate. The walk was tedious, and once again Quentyn remarked that a couple of horses in the lord’s stable wouldn’t be misplaced.

When we arrived at the ferry we saw a slight figure standing across the moat. She wore a severed troglodyte hand around her neck. Oxul’Nitha. She was severely wounded.

We felt little threat from her, so Quentyn and I, together with two militia men, made our way across the moat by ferry. I was there to translate, but Quentyn did most of the talking. The militia men were commanded to keep an eye on our surroundings.

She came to deliver us a warning; the horned ogre had three stones with entities inside, and it wanted the bloodstone. He had a white one, probably the one that we saw the the ogre take out during our encounter on the northern shore of the shadowed lake. When we asked her where the ogre found the stone, she pointed to the north-west, in the direction of the abandoned mine. Another stone was red, and had been found somewhere on the Thar. The last one was black, and Oxul’Nitha couldn’t say where the ogre had found it. When we asked her where the ogre was staying, she said that it was staying in the mountains somewhere east of the High Pass keep.

The shaman seemed very wounded, tired, and resigned to her death. When she wanted to leave, Quentyn decided that she wasn’t going to steal away into the night for a slow death. He would have her head on a spike, and he drew his sword. Like a cornered wolverine, she fought fiercely! She ultimately fell to the combination of my magic and Quentyn’s Scalebane.

During the fight, she was lobbing small globes of fire at us. The dragonskin doublet made me over-confident, and I stepped in front of Quentyn to protect him, trusting the doublet to absorb the fire. It would have, had I not gotten too close to Oxul’Nitha, close enough for her to swipe at me with her claws. Her nails raking into my skin probably physically hurt me as much as anything ever has, reminding me once again that I was going to have to do something about my own protection soon.

The Conjunction Campaign (Under Construction)


What happens when the different planes of existence occasionally come in contact with each other, where the fabric between the planes tears and allows passage from one plane to the next? What if hordes of demons are working from the Nine Hells and the Abyss to tear open the thin membrane to pass through and wreak havoc and dominate the prime material plane? What if Elysium and the Seven Heavens are working to prevent this? Celestial beings are fighting infernal ones and the prize is dominion over the prime material plane. The celestial forces are more powerful, but far fewer in number. The infernal forces are numerous, but infighting and backstabbing undermine their efforts.

The bleak atmosphere of The Witcher and Ravenloft. The Celestial vs Infernal clash of In Nomine and Diablo. The planes of Planescape.

The Outer Planes

The Conjunction of Planes is a concept lifted from The Witcher’s Conjuction of Spheres. But then using the outer planes model that’s used in D&D.

Outer Planes
Celestia Bytopia Elysium Beastlands Arborea
Arcadia ↑ Good ↑ Ysgard
Mechanus ← Lawful Outlands Chaotic → Limbo
Acheron ↓ Evil ↓ Pandemonium
Baator Gehenna Hades Carceri Abyss


While it’s tempting to use the Forgotten Realms as the setting, there is too much canon to ignore. We can simply use the outer planes that are commonly used in all D&D settings (adjusted to suit the setting) and build a setting around it.

It would likely start with a rather generic fantasy trope familiar like we see in The Witcher, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, set in a medieval European inspired land set with elves, dwarves, halflings, orcs, ogres, gnolls, etc. In that sense it is not dissimilar to the Forgotten Realms. The big difference is that magic will be far less prevalent than in FR. Magic is potent, but dangerous. Magical items are artifacts from a bygone age and only a select few people have a true grasp of magic and they guard their secrets closely. Common folk are superstitious, follow a pantheon of different gods, deities and powers. They appeal to witches, crones, druids, hermits and pellars to grant them health and good fortune, but fear them in equal measure.

An adventurer who is magically gifted, either with nature (rangers, druids), divine (priests, clerics, paladins) or arcane (wizard, sorcerer, warlock, witches, warlocks, shamans) magic, is a rarity. Warriors, archers and rogues generally found their comeuppance as a soldier in one of the many wars, as a mercenary in one of the numerous companies, or on the cut-throat alleys of the larger cities. The fact that they survived their battles in order to strike out on their own is proof of their exceptionalism.

Character Types and Backgrounds

I think it could be very useful to suggest to players that they should consider a character background where they are somehow an outsider and not part of the establishment. Whether that means that they are magically gifted and therefore both feared and respected, or because they always had a different outlook on life than their brothers and sisters of whatever order they belonged to, there needs to be a good reason why they leave the comfort of numbers and venture out into the world by themselves as adventurers. This is a world where only the gifted and exceptional can make their own way, while others have to band together behind walls and in towns, villages and farming communities. Straying from the village and venturing out into the woods means falling pray to lycantropes. Leaving the undermountain for the surface wilds means getting crushed by ogres and hill giants. Leaving the tops of the songspire trees to walk among the ruins means awakening the dead and ancient evils. There has to be a reason why they did leave their communities, or why they were never accepted in their communities in the first place.

Which brings me to the next point; the players will need to make a very conscious choice to have their character be familiar with, or be a stranger in, the area that the campaign will be set in. If they are familiar with the area, then they will have a cultural understanding of the significance of certain customs, traditions, superstitions and certain legends and lore. Equally, they will likely have a personal stake in what happens to the area. They might fight for friends, family, social redemption, etc. If they are strangers, than they will be regarded with suspicion, discrimination and will likely start off with social penalties. They will probably also have to play catch up when it comes to the cultural and historical significance of certain events.

The DM will provide a general overview of the different areas the story could take place in, hopefully with enough information so that players can make a decision where they would like their character to originate from, and what kind of background they would like to have.

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