Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The World of Endara and Other Awesome News

So this last week or so, I've been working fairly hard on the basics of my new "Endara" campaign world... while also collecting art from Anthony Cournoyer, who has shown back up to do some amazing art for Races of the Tatakama.

I've got the religions, a good (if somewhat vague) understanding of the regions of the Endaran world, and I've started writing up weapons and gadgets. This campaign setting will draw a bit on two older PFRPG releases I've put out: Armors of the Ancients and The Thinking Races: Diverse Humanity. Lots of content from those two books will be re-mixed and respun into a cohesive, He-Man flavored campaign setting.

Over on the right, a basic map I hacked together for Endara. This will, of course, eventually get transformed into a decent piece of fantasy cartography, but it serves the purpose. It's a bit vague, there's only a few cities shown, and there's no rivers, lakes, ect, nor are most of the geographic features marked down.

Here's a copy of the first world info I set down for Endara. I put together a bulleted list of terrain features and setting details for each major region. It'll give you an idea of what this world will feel like as it comes together. Note that since this document is a couple of weeks old at this point, it's already a bit out of date. Especially the religions overview at the end: I've firmed up the demi-human faiths quite a bit, for example.

Continent One: Endara

Ravanna (Kingdom)

  • Old growth forests, center of the Raven’s Faith.
  • Lightly populated, small feudal villages in miles high wilderness, raven towers rising high above the forest.
  • Few ruins. Pre-Cataclysm society didn’t reach this far north.
  • Conservative, believes the rising monotheism out of Ducharr is a heresy. Religiously zealous. Dirty tricks and espionage to destabilize Durcharr and limit the rising tide of monotheism. Matriarchal and theocratic.
  • Lots of clerics, druids, inquisitors, bird-sorcerers.
  • Pale skinned humans, black hair, More than half of births are albino, others powder their bodies.

Mallard’s Landing (Free city)

  • Huge glacial cliffs miles high. Spectacular waterfalls feeding the Delta.
  • Trade city built on the lake. Old, dating to a time when cities had to be built on water to protect from monsters. Sorta like the one town in the Hobbit. City is rundown, crumbling, jury-rigged.
  • Originated the worship of the Mallard.
  • A “Arab Market” type feel. Lots of outdoor stalls, you can buy anything here. Great place to pick up weird tech items and magic items.
  • Green and gold sails on ships, onion domes on roofs.
  • Ethnically diverse population, lots of non-humans.

The Vall Lowlands (Loose confederation of tribes)

  • Far below sea level, whole region is an enormous valley/basin, bordered on all sides by cliffs and mesas. Chaotic, rocky, Earl Norem style terrain.
  • Barbarian tribes. Vall-ling is equivalent to ‘Viking’. Primitive raider culture.
  • Relatively low tech, only recently come into the Endaran Alliance and not fitting in too well yet.
  • Lots of old ruins cities, fallen pre-Cataclysm monuments. A ‘Dragon-line’ rail system is being built but its slow going.
  • Half Orcs (a separate, true breeding species called Tuskers) and Humans interbreed here. Also Gnomes (weird little oracles to the tribes).
  • In ancient days, Tuskers immigrated from Terra Mortis by sea. That explains by there are Tuskers in Endara and Terra Mortis. Endaran Tuskers are green, brown, blue. Terra Mortis Tuskers are crimson, magenta, purple.

The Sunlands /Solar Kingdom (Kingdom)

  • Equatorial savannah/veldt and desert. Lots of pre-Cataclysm ruins and archeological sites. Huge, broken, moss-covered statues rising out of the grass.
  • Local population is mostly black. Worship the Sun Following Fox and other animal deities.
  • Green, browns, blacks and golds, some pale blues are common in dress and architecture. Simple geometric designs, vaguely tribal/African motifs. Decorated, attractive armor.
  • Very high tech, first by copying pre-Cat tech and then by bootstrapping their own tech. Bionics, blasters, magi-tech golems. Feels similar to Asgard or Wakanda- Kirbytech utopia.
  • Strong allies to the Endarans. Mutual aid treaties, arranged marriages, military alliances, going back centuries.
  • Capitol is a techno-magical floating city that drifts over the plains and can be deployed to defend threatened regions of the Solar Kingdom. .

The Wheatlands of Amn (Endaran Province)

  • Breadbasket of the Endaran Empire. Lush farmland, cultivated fields as far as the eye can see, some forests and grassland.
  • Feudal kingdoms. Mostly medieval society, lots of farms, keeps, castles, stone granaries, roadside inns, ect. However, there’s a sub-current of tech though; villages have comm-links to Endara to call for help from the legions if needed, there’s robot farm equipment, some blasters, other minor tech.
  • People are big, reddish skinned / dark Caucasian behemoths, curly red or brown hair, beards & bushy eyebrows. Stereotyped the same as Red State America- hardworkers, farmers, but unimaginative, conservative, powerful but not too bright. Strong military traditions.
  • Current king of Endaran Empire (Andar something or other) is an Amnite. Point of pride for the region, feels like its finally getting its due.

Amn’s Spear (Endaran Province)

  • Named for a legendary mythic warrior, Amn, who supposedly settled this region.
  • Peninsula is super densely populated. Multiple cities, harbors, factories, warehouses. Shipping and commercial hub. Waters are crowded, dirty.
  • Even monsters from Terra Mortis are allowed to trade here if they come in peace!
  • At the tip of the spear we’ve got Schendenwatt: the ultimate cosmopolitian city, like NYC or Sharn. Major trade center, every race found here. Near by is High Harbor, its rival city that isn’t quite as big or powerful.
  • Schendenwatt has the best and most universities and military academies in the world. The wealthy and nobility from every nation send their kids to school here. Cutting edge art scene, theaters, huge influence on culture and fasion across Endara.
  • Techno-magical shield wall and huge artillery pieces protect the Endaran mainland from Terra Mortis invasion. This is pre-Cat tech, kept maintained and improved into the present day.

Dragon’s Roost (Border City between Endaran Empire & Solar Kingdom)

  • A relatively new innovation are bullet trains spanning the continent.
  • The oldest and most famous line, the Orient Express of the setting, is the Silver Dragon. It runs from Alldura to Schendenwatt, built in partnership between the Endaran Empire and Solar Kingdom. It looks like a Tokyo bullet train with a dragon head prow.
  • Maybe an NPC Silver Dragon secretly protects its namesake train.
  • Other lines are named Gold Dragon, Copper Dragon, Brass Dragon, ect.
  • Lines only service the Central Endaran region. No service down to Martyns or Serpis, lines still being built towards the Vall Lowlands. Ravenna rejected the trains.
  • Metallic (good) Dragons are mythic, probably extinct.
  • Dragon’s Roost is a very new city, a product of the monotheism/tech revolution. Less than a century old. No dragons here, named for the dragon trains that are switched and serviced here. Shared jurisdiction by the Endaran Empire and Solar Kingdom.

Alldura (Endaran city)

  • Endaran capitol city.
  • Name implies “All Enduring”.
  • Old, like Mallard’s Landing, from a time when cities were built on water for defense. But unlike the crumbling, archaic Mallard’s Landing, Alldura is undergoing a renaissance.
  • Durcharri ideas about monotheism have found fertile ground here. Lots of sciences, universities, tech centers.
  • Mostly surreal Earl Norem style Art Deco architecture. Grand, sweeping structures, impossibly tall spires, clean lines and white marble.

Martyns (Endaran Province)

  • Rugged coastline, lots of shipwrecks, cold fog. Weather like San Francisco basically, throughout the whole region. Cool to cold plains and heaths.
    People are poorer, lower tech, hard-living, tough. Pessimistic, with a dark sense of humor, fatalistic.
  • Some Dwarves and Halflings mixed in with humans.
  • Has been invaded multiple times by Terra Mortis sea fleets, always expecting another invasion of monsters. Lots of humans here have Monster blood, some look Irish, but a majority have orange or brownish-gold skin, cat-like eyes, feral features, as a result of ‘impure bloodlines’.

Ghiles (
Endaran Province)

  • Hilly, warm, gentle farmland. Good soil.
    People are arrogant, dueling tradition, corrupt nobility, decadent city states.
  • In old days, they enslaved the Martyns population, and there’s still lots of prejudice. Mutual distrust and hate on both sides.
  • Halflings live in the burrows under the hills, traditional Tolkien style halfings. They’re a client state of the Endaran Empire and the Solar Kingdom, no real military might to speak of.
  • Luxury good exports: wines, cheeses, jewelry, precious metals, art, courtesans.

Serpis (Kingdom)

  • Cold to cool, rainy mountains. Some good soil, but its hard to work. Tiny, scattered farms, individual micro-fields are the norm. Similar to the Andes
  • Volcanic activity. Ancient volcano temples where old sacrifices and atrocities happened, stained with evil, haunted.
  • People look Hispanic.
    Step pyramids, obelisks, ziggurats. A very Meso-American feel, with a snake motif. The official state religion no longer sacrifices humans, but there are demon/snake cults in the wilderness that still cling to the old ways. Reluctant to embrace the new monotheism.
  • They worship snake deities that are similar to some of the demons worshipped by the Terra Mortis creatures. Some prejudice by other Endarans- worry the Serpis nation are demon worshippers, In reality they’re more like barbaric, sorta creepy heroes.
  • Lower tech. Very few blasters. Most heroes are clerics, druids, barbarians, summoners, rangers. Close to nature and warlike.

Ducharr (Free city)

  • Wet, rainy land, decent farmland and rice paddies. Lots of rivers and some swamp land.
  • Extremely high-tech location, lots of universities, stellar/astronomical observatories. Huge techno-domes rising out of the fields.
  • Founded by iconoclasts who struck out from Alldura for religious freedom centuries ago.
  • These guys have invented monotheism. Realizing all the gods are just manifestations of the One, the universal order, ways for mortal minds to comprehend the One.
  • Monotheism is the cutting edge, sweeping across Endaran Empire. With it, there’s a science and magical rennisance.
  • New buildings, new tech, new hope. New discoveries in physics, advanced mathematics, quantum physics, techno-magic, chemistry, medicine, lots more. It’s all coming out of Ducharr.
  • Distrusted and despised by Ravenna. Political infighting, dirty tricks.
  • Heroes are alchemists, bards, wizards, summoners, fighters, monks, all with a high-tech bent.

New Sulan (Free city)

  • The desert/savannah region is wilderness, most of the area outside the city-state of Ducharr is wildland, unclaimed frontier.
  • Immigrant push into the wilderness from the Central Endaran region. Lots of unexplored and un-searched ruins to explore. Place for the PCs to claim as their own.
  • New Sulan is an Elven city, founded by immigrants from Continent 3: Althena. Half Elves are common here, probably the only place in Endara they are.
  • Sorta Moorish/Muslim architecture and culture for the Elves.

V’Lak (Endaran Province)

  • Freezing arctic tundra and glacial plains. Months of endless night due to orbital rotation, the Dark Sea gets its name from this.
    Spectacular aurora, lots of moons visible. Some Durcharri observatories located up here for a clear view of the dark sky.
  • Local tribes are basically Iniut style hunter gatherers. Smallest and weakest Endaran province, effectively a territorial afterthought.
  • Mostly rangers, druids. Almost no human tech. Dwarves are much higher tech- vast forges and tech-centers in the mountain caves.
  • Dwarves live in the mountains, as do ice creatures, Bear anthros, yeti, and other winter/cold themed creatures.
    Polar worms, white dragons, other acrtic monsters.

Continent Two: Terra Mortis (Dead Earth)

The Sea Fires

  • Huge volcanic island, visible from hundreds of miles away.
  • The largest active volcano on Endara is here. Crazy levels of tectonic activity makes the seas choppy and ultra-dangerous between Endara and Terra Mortis.
  • New islands and sandbars raise and sink randomly, hazards to navigation. Most people prefer to fly.
  • The Sea Fires are never quiet. Sometimes belch so much smoke and ash into the sky they block out the sun: the CO2 pollution causes the spectacular sunsets visible in Endara. Sometimes its like a mini-ice age, lasting weeks, or even months or years.
  • Terra Mortis’ monsters become more active when the ash hangs in the sky.
  • Dragons, fire elementals, salamanders, and other fiery creatures.

Traitor Town

  • Wilderness, frontier city behind walls to protect it from monsters and crazy wildlife.
  • Founded by exiled criminals from the Endaran Empire and/or the Solar Kingdom.
    Like Austraila, the only recognizable humanoid settlements on Terra Mortis clings to the coast, because the interior is too harsh.

Continent Three: Althena


  • Elven nation.
  • Isolated from the struggle, a legendary location for heroes to journey to in search of greater power, magic items given to the worthy.
  • Sorta a Moorish or Muslim feel to the culture.
  • New Sulan in Endara is an outpost of this culture.

Old Endaran Colony

  • During the Cataclysm, a few surviors from whatever the pre-Cat Endaran culture was settled here.
  • Buried their tech and then vanished. Lots of ancient relics, major and minor artifacts, and unique spells found here.
  • Adventuring site for mid/high level characters.

Religious Basics

  • Religion wasn’t a big point of the cartoon, almost never mentioned, but let’s make it dominant in the setting.
  • Everybody on Endara worships gods who manifest as cosmic animals, each addressed by animal name commonly, their secret names used only in ritual. You don’t say their true names causally.
  • Like humanoid heroes with their punning, MOTU style nom de gurres/codenames.
  • Ravenna worships birds. The raven is the queen of all birds. The Mallard is a merchant god, the Parrot, the Rook, the Kestrel (sin eater).
  • The Solar Kingdom worships the Sun Following Fox. Other gods there include the Coyote, the Dog, the Lion, mammals.
  • Serpis worships Snake and Dragon gods. Lizards, Little White Snake.
  • Coming out of the Ducharr city/state there’s monotheism. All Gods are representations of the One Universal Order. That’s spreading throughout the continent, sparking the renaissance.
  • Not sure what the Vall Lowlands worship. Not sure about demi-human deities. Not sure about the Elves.

In Non-Endaran news, we may have a new artist working for otherverse games. Shinkei, who does amazing CGI stock art available from UKG Games,

has agreed to do original artwork for me. Hopefully, you'll see some of his art on the upcoming Kodiak Island sourcebook, as well as a Synthetic Heroes III he's convinced me to do.

Blessed Be,

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