Campaign Setting

My new campaign will be starting a little less than 2 weeks. I’ve begun to work on the setting, and I shall continue to do so until the weekend at least. Here is my first installment: the Starting Town. Dibble helped me out with this, and is a large part of the reason it is not a European-based setting in the beginning.

Sorry if This is a little sloppy- I didn’t have a post ready and it’s almost time to sleep, so I just threw up what I have given to my players to start planning their characters.

Starting Town
Name: Al-Qasab
Population: 3000
Location: Built on marshlands, near the delta of the Sura River, Al-Qasab is the last port that sizeable traffic can get to. They trade manufactured goods (metal items, medicines, talismans) with the small villages and tribes to the south, farther into the delta (for rare herbs, venoms, exotic animals, and tribal arts). Because of their river trade connection, they are much more “civilized” than most of the nearby peoples, and have metal weapons and armor, as well as books and complex tools (although these luxuries are expensive).

Being a civilization that grew up by a river, and close to the sea, they are master boat-makers (although mostly of reeds). They herd water buffalo, which are the only large non-monstrous animals around, and thus a lot of labor is done by these. Because of this, cheese and milk are a big part of their diets, and on rare occasion, they will slaughter a water buffalo for its meat. Their primary source of protein is various types of fish in the river and delta, which are plentiful in number and variety. On the outskirts, rice is grown in large, swampy patties, and varies in texture and flavor across the different deltaic regions. Several spices grow here, the most popular of which is Calem (a spicy, rich savory flavor), and is used heavily in most local cuisine.

Common street foods involve frog legs, strips of duck or other fowl, and the starchy root of cattails fried into cakes. These are also integrated into other cuisine of the region.

The culture reveres fire, and they worship Agni, the Firebird. They see a local fowl, the flaming heron (named for its magnificent red plumage) as his messengers. Elder flaming herons are generally left alone, as they grow very large, develop horrible tempers, as well as flaming breath.

Their great temple (the Agna Rayya) is on a great rock (which is a marvel, as most heavy rocks simply sink into the muck), and is a nesting ground for the flaming herons. Hundreds are often seen perching on its roof. The temple itself is made of mud and reeds, and it burned to the ground each year at the summer solstice, before it is rebuilt over the fall and the winter.

The climate goes from warm in the winter to sweltering in the summer; this land has never seen snow. Mosquitoes and other pests gather by the thousands in the summer, which has led to much of the city being magically protected from insects. On the outskirts, however, you have to rely on fire.

Al-Qasab is primarily peopled by humans (as is most of the world), but there are other races around. The distribution is something like this: 45% Humans, 25% Halflings, 10% Half Elves, 8% Elves, 5% Eldarin, 3% Dwarves, 3% Tieflings, and 1% Dragonborn. Humans and Halflings are at home in this environment, there is an Elf tribe to the south in the delta, so Elves and Half Elves are in relative abundance. Eldarin and Dwarves are around, but not prominent. There are a few Tieflings here, who are looked upon in fear and awe, as they have some essence of fire in them. The few Dragonborn that live there are of the fire type and are priests. They are revered as the closest to god, and below the head priestess, are the highest ranked in the temple.

The Reed Hut: a small tavern where people from the delta typically stay. It serves spiced rice wine and traditional dishes, 2s/night.

The Firebird’s Rest: a large inn crafted of wood imported from northern lands. The building is very much a step away from the local culture, serving meats, fine imported foods, and fruit wines. This is where merchants from upstream tend to stay, as well as diplomats and royals from other lands. 1g-100g/night.

Abdul Jharesh: a Halfling tribal, he is an excellent source of wares from the delta. He always has herbs, venoms, skins, exotic animals, tribal art, non-metal equipment, and cheap adventuring supplies, and can get other things from the delta given a few days.

Sikhand Qattar: A Dwarven merchant from up the river, he deals in wares from Baccam and farther North. He carries medicines, metal weapons and armor, expensive adventuring supplies, simple magic items, and can get specific magic items given a week or two.

Al-Qasab is ruled by a hereditary chief, whose actual authority is mainly over minor disputes and small governances. Most of the laws and significant control over the military lies with the priests.

The military:
The city guards dress in leather armor painted red with the symbol of Agni. They carry glaives as well as ceremonial “authority knives.” They are well-known for their prowess at combat in the swamps around Al-Qasab.

The elite guard dresses in heavy leather armor painted brown and green to blend in with the marshlands. They use glaives, hand-axes, and shortbows.

The militia typically wear padded armor made of reeds and use spears.

The Sura River heads north, past several indo-arabic cities, until it hits the city of Baccam (“Bahamut”, derived from Terran), which is a giant city of clashing indo-arabic and European culture some 150 miles North. This is where most trade goods come from. The Sura River spreads out in a delta for 50 miles before it reaches the sea, and at the sea, it spreads across 100 miles. The river itself is very wide and slow moving, so traveling downstream is easy, and traveling upstream is possible, though time consuming. In order for trade to work, merchants going upstream use magically powered boats. Traveling far to the West, there are several small rivers and streams before the terrain turns to desert. There is one last city before the desert, and then endless expanses. To the East, after about 20 miles is a slow progression into jungle. There are cities farther to the East and West, but to get to them you generally have to go North to Baccam before you find a road that will take you there. The Sea is about the size of the Mediterranean, with many islands throughout. To the South of the sea lies another continent (200 miles south of the shore). To the North of Baccam, there are more European-style cities.

Baccam is its own city-state, and the cities to the south are mostly hereditary tribes turned into cities by the lawful influence of Baccam’s missionaries. Al-Qasab is the exception, and has been a city of relatively stable population for a hundred years. To the North of Baccam is the border of Fernreich, the Southern-most European-style country.

~ by episoen on June 3, 2008.

2 Responses to “Campaign Setting”

  1. Neat!

    Can I play

  2. Yes. Actually, I kind of just assumed it would be Mark, Morgan, Beth, Avi, and you. But I guess it doesn’t HAVE to be you 5 if somebody can’t make it. but until I hear otherwise, I got my 5.

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