[Locations] Non-Human Nations of Tymarel

Kharanos (Kah-Ran-Ose)

                Kharanos is nestled deep within the mountains of Tymarel, and is the ancestral home of the Dwarves.  Small clans of Dragonborn, groups of bandits, and orc raiding parties are quite common in these mountains as well.  Orcish raiding parties are a common occurrence in the mountains of Kharanos, only beaten back by the seasoned Dwarven veterans, and their neighboring allies from Alleria.  The Orcs have been trying to push their way through the mountains for centuries, trying to gain access to the fertile lands of Tymarel.  The massive mountain complex the Dwarves reside in, is aptly referred to at Thunder Ridge, due to the thunderous ringing of hammers, which is almost a constant noise in the background.  Thunder Ridge contains the highest chain of mountains in Kharanos, and the Dwarves have taken to tunneling into these mountains in particular.  Commonly, the mountains are hollowed out and formed into living quarters for the Dwarven citizens; while the area below the surface contains the actual cities, the markets, and the mines.  The Mines of Kharanos have some of the richest mineral deposits in all of Tymarel, and as such, the smithies and mason that reside in these hallowed halls are the best in the land. 

Llael (Lah-Yell)

                Llael is one of the largest nations in Tymarel, contains the largest body of water, and has the most abundant forests.  All manner of Elves populate Llael, from the haughty Eladrin to their more wild cousins, the wood elves.  Apart from the dwarves, the Elves are one of the oldest races in the world, and have remained completely neutral throughout all of history, even now, openly trading with all nations of Tymarel.  The lands of Llael are also home to the Sylvan Rangers, an elite group of warriors and marksman.  The Sylvan Rangers have sworn a blood-oath to protect the nation from anyone looking to cause it any harm, and to be chosen to join their ranks is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon elven-kind.  One of the largest threats to Llael, and all of Tymarel are the nightmarish manifestations that emanate from The Scar.  Using the most ancient magicks, their knowledge and power over nature, and their agile combat ability, the elves have managed to keep a good majority of The Scar’s physical manifests from overrunning the lush green lands.
 

Calacia (Sell-Ay-She-Uh)

                Calacia is not so much of a Kingdom, as it is a large city-state, in which no ruler claims sovereignty.  Formed after the events of the Spellplague, this nation started as a large college to help train people in the proper use of magick.  Over the years, the region surrounding the Mage College quickly expanded.  As more and more people began to attend the college, the city required resources to sustain the population, and small outlying villages sprang up to meet this call.  The college’s influence has spread all over the small region, and as a result, magick is rampant in the city and towns.  Contrary to the Elven nation of Llael, and the Human’s of Erathel, the mage’s of Calacia have to taken to studying the magick inherent in The Scar.  They are busy trying to determine the cause of the nightmarish terrors prevalent in the areas surrounding The Scar.
 

Cirion (Ser-Ion)

                The island nation of Cirion is one of the only human-ruled nations to never have held a seat in the Chamber of Nobility.  The massive island itself was formed after the events of the Spellplague caused the seas to churn and sundered an expanse of land from the coast of Tymarel.  Due to the moderate isolation of Cirion, almost all trade is done over open waters, and as such, the island nation has the largest amount of seafaring vessels compared to any of the other coastal nations.  The Cirion navy makes regular patrols between the various fishing platforms, all over the seas, that make up the largest export from the island.  The Merchant Coast of the mainland is rife with pirates and banditry, as are the small chains of islands that exist within.  However the laws of Cirion are slightly more lax when it comes to criminals that exist in that manner, having been founded by a fleeing criminal, and it is thought that bands of pirates actually call the smaller islands home.

[History] Brief Timeline of Tymarel

About -1500 Imperial Reckoning — Elves and Dwarves coexisted peacefully in the early days. Dwarves taking to the deep places of the world; Elves taking to lush green overworld. 

 About -1000 Imperial Reckoning — Two empires begin to rise. The honorable warrior-like race of Dragonborn, and the intelligent arcane-wielding Tieflings

 About -600 Imperial Reckoning — Dragonborn and Tiefling empires begin to expand rapidly, spreading their respective beliefs where they go. The younger race, Humans were swept up by both sides. (Humans at this time weren’t banded together; they lived in small self sustaining groups)

About -350 Imperial Reckoning — The Dragonborn and Tiefling inevitably meet on the field of battle. Each empire has expanded to the point of invasion. Small skirmishes break out across the land

 About -200 Imperial Reckoning — The battles between the two empires have increased in intensity and frequency. The nations are on the verge all out war.

 About -180 Imperial Reckoning — War breaks out. Casualties are uncountable on both sides. The Dragonborn warriors are without equal in martial skills, and the same can be said for the Tiefling’s arcane abilities.  Blood soaks the land, and magic darkens the sky.

 About -150 Imperial Reckoning — Unceasing war rages for years, ravaging both nations. Supplies cannot be gathered nor delivered fast enough, and both armies are running on empty.

 About -130 Imperial Reckoning — Fearing total loss on both sides: The Dragonborn make a massive push to destroy the capital city of the Tiefling. Unable to stop the onslaught of Dragonborn that had breached their city walls, the Tiefling begin an incredibly difficult ritual to rip the Dragonborn capital from the face of the world. Overnight, both empires fall to complete ruin, both nearly being entirely destroyed by the other. (Centuries pass before either races can even begin to rebuild any semblance of their fallen society, neither race ever rise to power again)

 About -100 Imperial Reckoning — In the decades that precede “The Demon-Dragon War” humans learned from the fallen empires of the Dragonborn and Tiefling and have begun to band together forming cities and villages.  The idea of nobility is born. Families of Humans develop fertile land or find mineral rich deposits, and grow wealthy on the fruit of the land, expanding their cities and land. These people gave themselves a higher station over the common man, and call themselves Nobles. For years these nobles act as the sole lord over their respective lands.

 About -50 Imperial Reckoning — The nobility begins to band together, and form trade ties. Trade begins to prosper between the noble ruled lands, a peaceful time of prosperity and growth begins. The nobles begin clearing lands and building roads to further increase the speed and productivity of their trade lines.

0 Imperial Reckoning — The Chamber of Nobility is founded and the first meeting convenes to discuss the future of the land.  A series of guiding principles and laws are passed, to be enforced throughout the land.  The topic of a single ruling body is broached at the meeting, and it is decided that Arelius the First will be chosen from among the noble families, and rule under the guidance of the Chamber of Nobility. This newly formed nation flourishes. Seeking alliances with the intelligent races of the world, the Human Empire sent hundreds of messengers out into the world to attempt contact with the more civilized races; Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, what was left of the Dragonborn and Tiefling, etc.

224 Imperial Reckoning — The Human Empire rules over the land with no contestation.  The Chamber of Nobility would meet whenever a king died to select a new king to rule. There is a mutual balance between all the races of the world and as the years pass the races assimilate more and more.  Some of the races become so close as to breed with one another.  The older races of the world begin to teach the young humans the magickal arts, and how to draw from each font of power, be it Arcane, Primal, or Divine.  Humans are quite adept at the magickal arts, taking to it as though they had used it all their lives.  The era is one of magickal awakening. Magick makes easy the daily lives of all the citizens of the Empire, augments and strengthens the armies and helps them drive back the primal creatures that ruled the world before it was civilized.

 658 Imperial Reckoning — The flagrant usage of magick attracts the attention of individuals with sinister hearts and minds, and equally dark ideas.  A cult begins to rise, seemingly from nowhere, calling itself The Cult of The Chaos Lords and begins building power. Bent on channeling power from the legendary Ancients, to serve their dark ends, the cult infiltrated every facet of the Empire, from outlying villages to King’s inner circle.

694 Imperial Reckoning — The Cult of The Chaos Lords continues to gain power in secret, performing ritual on top of dark ritual, attaining powers far beyond their level of comprehension, and unleashing a torrent of powerful magicks into the lands.  The Spellplague, as it became known, affected the landscape, making the ground rumble and heave up and down like the surface of the sea, fragments on land broke off and drifted to sea forming islands. Curtains of blue flame swept the landscape, reshaping the land by cutting crevasses or lifting and sculpting the plain into hills and ridges. The only place seemingly untouched by the plague was the mountainous peak, Jorvaskar. Waves of azure fires appeared everywhere, killing whatever they touched.  Most permanent magical items, such as artifacts, were either destroyed, warped, or simply ceased to function. Many of the members of the cult were killed by this ritual of immense power, and those that weren’t fled into hiding, never to be seen again.

 723 Imperial Reckoning — Following the years of the Spellplague, the land began to heal itself, albeit painful slow, however the Human Empire began to decline.  The Chamber of Nobility convened again to discuss the failures of King Darius Evellum and how best to deal with him.  Two factions immerged within the Chamber, one side wanting to remove the king from his station and replace him with someone they felt more qualified, while the other side was willing to let the current king stay in power under a more watchful eye.  No official verdict was ever reached, and the King stayed in power.  Upon the death of the king, the Chamber of Nobility met to choose a new King from amongst themselves.  This meeting, unlike those of the past, was met with much hostility and infighting, and as such, it was several years that the Empire was without a king but instead lead by the Chamber itself.

 786 Imperial Reckoning — Finally the members of the Chamber fell to reason, and a decision was made for the next king, Desmond Gargos.  In the years proceeding, the different nobles began to recede further and further into their own lands. They still answered to the call of their King, should there rise a need in the land, apart from that, there were far less patrols send out by the nobles, and soon only the Imperial Forces were left to maintain the trade roads.  The Empire continued to decline much the way it had been for years. Its people slowly losing faith in the empire itself, and beginning to depend more and more on the individual noble families.  The King tried to hold the nation together as best he could, but his health had been failing for the last few years, and with little-to-no assistance from the Chamber of Nobility, there was nothing he could do but watch the empire slowly fall apart.

 852 Imperial Reckoning — The King’s health continues to rapidly decline until he ultimately died at the hand of his trusted aide.  The aide had been poisoning the king for years, making it look like he was suffering from an unknown ailment.  When the King passed, the aide was nowhere to be found, and no one ever saw him leave the castle grounds.  For the decades to follow, the members of the Chamber of Nobility each accused the others of being the unseen benefactor of the King’s assassin.  The Chamber of Nobles was unable to come to an agreement on another king, as no member trusted any of the others for fear that they were behind the last king’s assassination.

 876 Imperial Reckoning — The nobles had already pulled troops from the Empire, and now they all but walled off the lands they managed to declare rightfully theirs. The noble families built massive walled cities, from which they ruled their lands, each making himself a de facto King in his own right.  The lands that made up the empire fell into ruin and became new distinct regions.  While still trading with the humans, and in many cases, living among them in the various new countries, some of the civilized races receded slightly.  The Dwarves, never having truly left the underground returned to their mountain keeps.  The various eleven races, still living in great number among the humans, sought land to call their own, and build their own kingdom.

1000 Imperial Reckoning – Current year.

[House Rules] At The Table

House Rules

Characters Are Heroes

As defined by The Merriam-Webster Dictionary:  A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability; an illustrious warrior; a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities; one who shows great courage.
Based on that definition alone, the characters that live in Tymarel are Heroes.  No lone wolves, no evil destiny; you stand for, and are driven by the desire to do good.  This by no means is me telling you that you have to all be Lawful-Good Paladins, either.
Heroes are good, Villians are bad.

 

Magical Items Are Unique

A typical adventurer will embark on a quest with one or two magical items, therefore should the PC’s stumble upon the deceased body of an adventurer in a dungeon or other location, there were typically be a magical item. The closer to the entrance of the dungeon, the less likely there will be an magic item. Because magical items are extremely valuable, the majority of stores in the world will not be equipped to sell then, let alone purchase them from the PC’s, however a wealthy collector may be willing to purchase magic items from the PC’s. Creating magical items can only be done through powerful ritual, and requires high level knowledge of the arcane arts, typically only found in Calacia, or by court mages.

Leveling Up In Towns

Without proper training, practice or knowledge, PC’s are unable to learn new moves. Experience will be given as per the standard rule set, however without an extended rest and proper time to train, the PC will not gain the benefits from an increase in levels.

Example:
1. A caster gains a level and on the next visit to a town, discovers an ancient tome buried in the bowels of a library. Now when that PC levels he can learn new spells from that book
2. A melee character thinks of a new combat ability, finds the local militia’s training ground, and practices on one of the training dummies, perfecting his technique

Critical Failure Re-roll

On a natural 1, or “botch”, the PC will re-roll a d20:
11 – 20: Standard miss
2 – 10: PC risks dropping his weapon
Botch: PC risks injuring himself, his allies, or an NPC

Inclement Weather Affects Combat

Inclement or fantastic weather can have positive and adverse affects on various aspects of the world of Tymarel, none more-so than combat.

Blinding snow/pelting rain/dense fog obscures vision and grants concealment.
Deep snow/ thick mud slows movement creates difficult terrain.


Astrology Bonus

PC’s will roll 1d6 to determine birth month based on the Tymarel calendar. Each month has two corresponding skills, and the PC may choose one of which to gain a +1 bonus.

Reliable Healing Surge

Once per day, per daily power: A PC can sacrifice a healing surge to give a failed daily power the reliable keyword.

Playable Races

Common Races

Uncommon Races

Rare Races

DM’s Discretion

Dwarf

Dragonborn

Changeling

Revenant

Eldarin

Tiefling

Goblin

Warforged

Elf

 

Goliath

 

Gnome

 

 

 

Half-Elf

 

 

 

Halfling

 

 

 

Human

 

 

 

Wild Elf

 

 

 

Wood Elf

 

 

 

 

[Map] Tymarel – A Step By Step Guide

 
Basic outline of Tymarel

Basic Geography of Tymarel

 
     The first major accomplishment in the creation of Tymarel was the map of the continent that my players exist in.  I went through several maps or historical areas, as well as fantasy based settings, collecting data on the generic outline of different countries.  My co-DM and I decided on that fact that we wanted at least one island, and that the other three sides of the land would be mostly blocked off by natural borders.  So here we have the basic outline, to include a large island, and a chain of several small islands
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
Basic Geography of Tymarel

Basic Geography of Tymarel

 
     Step 2 of the map creation process involved the designation of natural geography.  As I said previously, we wanted the land to be blocked off on most of its sides my natural borders.  As you can see, the mountains in the west nearly block off that entire side of the country and a small portion of the north.  The eastern side of the map is blocked off by what will be known as The Scar, which is a series of incredibly deep depressions that resemble a scar made by a massive animal claw (but that’s a story for another blog post).  Next I took the several inlets/peninsulas and added a few more small islands into them, giving the coastline more character.  I then followed by added several lakes of various sizes and having them lead to the water with rivers and streams.  My next step was to add flora, created forests around most of the lake and at the foot of the mountains, and lastly i wanted another feature of terrain so I added a large swamp and a series of rolling hills throughout the land.
 
  
 
 
Regional Borders of Tymarel

Regional Borders of Tymarel

     Step 3 in the creation process was to decide how many, and where to put the various regions of Tymarel.  My co-DM and I decided we wanted a nation ruled by Dwarves, Elves, Mages and some manner of Trade Prince, followed by five nations ruled by Humans.  Not straying too far from the fantasy stereotype, the Dwarven kingdom was placed in the mountains, and the Elves were places in the forest close to The Scar (because we wanted them to be combating the darkness from The Scar).  It was decided that the Mage nation would be the smallest, not really being a full-fledged nation unto itself but more of an accidentally created nation due to more and more people joining the mage colleges.  The Trade nation would make sense placed on the island, being able to grow foods not “native” to the mainland, and being able to have deep-sea fishing platforms.  The final set of nations would be the five human nations.  All we had decided about the human nations was that one was going to more aggressive than the rest of them.  For the aggressive nation, I used the kingdom backed by the mountains, as it was easily defensible from the other nations.  When defining the border of the aggressive nation, I pushed its borders slightly in neighboring nations to simulate aggravated advance.  

The final step for this map was to place the kingdoms and at least one major city inside the regional borders that where just created, and to create a scale for the map.  Placing the larger cities closer towards The King’s Road only made sense to expedite trade, owing to the fact the all cities and towns would suppliment the kindgom therefore the kingdoms themselves wouldnt have to be close to the main road in the country.

[Ecology] Dragonborn Clans

     To their enemies, dragonborn are brutal and fearsome opponents, without parallel in their ferocity and cunning. To their allies, they are noble and honorable, following the traditions of the past. Though brutal in combat, dragonborn fight with a feral grace that equals even the finest fencing of an eladrin noble. For a dragonborn, skill in battle brings great honor. The concept of personal honor that pervades all echelons of dragonborn society has made the race more cohesive and more of a threat to their adversarie. Even the naming of a dragonborn is temporary until he has performed a rite of passage. Once a dragonborn has brought honor to his name and the name of his clan, the elders give him a second name based upon his deed. For a dragonborn, personal reputation is as important as his or her clan, and most will fight to the death in defense of either. While the dragonborn might seem quick to anger, they are tempered by the wisdom of their leaders.

     Dragonborn society has always been characterized by hardy and rugged living. As a result they are staunch pragmatists, and never shy from killing if it will protect the future of the dragonborn or his clan. All dragonborn, regardless of gender or station, are expected to pull their own weight and weakness is considered a grave liability. The weakness of one contaminates the strength of all, and it is punishable by the greatest humiliation a dragonborn can receive: exile. Dragonborn prize honor over all other things in life — first to bring honor to their clan (and by extension, the Empire) and secondly bringing honor to the self and to their sense of self-worth as an individual. Likewise, hospitality is considered one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed. There is no discrimination between genders in dragonborn society. Women are able to pursue the same career choices as men, rise to positions of power and are even expected to answer to the call for battle just as men are. Strength (both physical and mental), courage, initiative and independence are prized traits in all dragonborn. Traditionally, children are seen as children of the parents, but are raised as children of the clan.

     One tradition of the dragonborn of ancient Arkohsia was a ceremony for healthy newborns of the clan. The infant’s parents would stand in a body of water near the encampment with the entire clan observing from shore. The mother would hand the baby to the father, who would then proclaim the child as his, through himself and his father, and present the baby for the clan’s blessings. The clan master would then hold the baby and declare the infant under their protection, with the hope that they bring honor and glory to the clan. The clan master’s heir would then give a blessing. Finally the Elder would ask for the blessing of the elemental and wild spirits, and the hope that the ancestors would watch over the newborn. If the child instead appears sickly or frail, they will instead be drowned, likely by the father. A common expression of scorn is that a dragonborn “should have been drowned at birth”.

     Dragonborn culture is concerned with survival over artistic achievement, reveres its elderly and honors its ancestors, and values valor over cunning, as long as valor doesn’t lead to disaster.

     Magic is not uncommon, but is closely watched.  Those showing an affinity for arcane arts of any kind are most often groomed to serve as council directly under the Clan Master, with an Elder (highest ranking arcane user) given mastery over any number of Councilors.  These Councilors typically have one apprentice that they train for life as their replacement

Creating A New World

For years I have been obsessed with bending the rules of DnD to suit my own ends.  I have created everything from minute weapons, creatures, and NPC’s to thriving cities, magical artifacts, and Big Bad Evil guys that seem never to quit.  However recently, I have been inspired by a new friend of mine (Jason Dawson; see [un]Made Blog Support) to actually sit down and create my own world to use for any and all future campaigns, that my players can actually affect in meaningful ways.

Having OCD, ADD, and an analytical functioning brain made for some complicated work when it came to creating this world.  I had notebooks full of lists of what I had to do next, usually followed by the scribbling of my brainstorms, and then reformed into mostly complete topics of the aforementioned lists.  The pages probably spanned in the hundreds.  But it wasnt until a friend of mine stepped up and offered to assist in keeping my brain in check.  Now, we constantly bounce ideas off of each other in an attempt to come up with new and unique ideas that feel like they have been around forever.

And now I have started this blog to begin compiling the data we have created into one neat place, as well as any other DnD (or really any) related ramblings that I feel would be better removed from my brain and instead placed in a forum for all the world to see.

Welcome Friends, to [un]Made Gaming; I will be your host: The [un]Made Man.