Asylon (3.5e Campaign Setting)
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Dedication and Foreword
~A Guide to Aina and Her Constituents~
Being a Concise Reference to the Lands, Peoples, and History of this the Greatest Realm beneath the Gaze of Moiar's Eye.
By Pilus Valius, Cleric of Asha the Highest
Camilla Doxim IV, Ordained by Heaven, Empress, and Mother and Daughter of Emperors, Inspiration of Faith and Safeguard of Justice, Praise with Great Praisings! May the Light of Your Wisdom and the Glory of your Reign Illuminate this Humble Work of Hand and Heart!
Come to me, Asha, for without you, my resolution falters, and my pen is still and dry, though all the seas were full of ink, and the sky my parchment.
Come to me, Valde, for without you, My Lady and Empress springs from rootless dust, and the Empire is scattered before the winds of war and ignorance.
Come to me, Krinios, for without you, my wit is weak to sort the wheat from the chaff, and my eyes should neither know the true from the false, nor sense from folly, nor justice from prejudice and interest.
Come to me, Daraith, for without you, I might not know the mysteries of the world, and so blind and in error, I might consume and profane the abundance of your beautiful treasures.
Come to me, Adagri, for without you, like a child, I might fiddle and fret, when only through struggle and labor may I craft a work worthy of your name and the name of my patron.
Come to me, En-Salus, for without you, I might be deaf to the manswarm murmurings of thy people, and forgetting their need for comfort and wisdom, I might indulge myself in vain scribblings.
Come to me, Utsirte, for without you, I might forget the ways of our fathers, and preening by the light of latest fashion, my words might tremble like the thin reeds of novelty in the tempest of enthusiasms.
Come to me, Aseyri, for without you, my words must lie dull and leaden without the gilding of grace and sagacity to enchant the reader's ear and eye.
Come to me, Sarga-Tol, for without you, there is neither breath nor beginning, nor can any man live, love, or learn without the spark of your spirit.
Since the original printing of this Guide to the continent of Aina almost 450 years ago, much has changed. The guide was originally commissioned by Emperor Valde Doxim, may the glory of his vision last forever, as a way to aquaint the peoples of Atralonia with the breadth of his new empire, as well as informing them about the lands beyond Atralonian borders. Ancient kingdoms had been overthrown, old lines of royalty crumbled to dust, and the citizenry were frightened by wild rumors and incredible fantasies of the cultures and traditions of neighboring regions. Truly, the idea of the reinstatement of an Atralonian Empire after lying dormant for thousands of years was strange and held threats of cruelty and corruption. In his wisdom, Valde Doxim resolved to inform, educate, and reassure a newly-joined nation.
From the beginning there has been the AETHER, that immortal seat of magic and energy. Within the AETHER exists ARU--the force of order and sustenance--and TESURA--the force of creation and change.
These two forces danced together to create PANTON, the material plane that contains the vastness of the heavens and the breadth of the lands and waters of IRTE.
As a shield against the raw, limitless power of AETHER, there exists the dark fabric of ORA, which contains within it the four outer planes. These planes are AXIUS, the paragon of Law, BEDLAM the land of ultimate Chaos, ELYSIUM, the tranquil lands of Good, and ABYSS, the realm of total Evil.
PANTON and ORA (and the realms within ORA) are completely separate from one another, save for the three transitive planes which mingle with all of them. There is ASTRA, the space between realms, ETHERIA, the misty realm above, and SHADOW, the dark realm below.
The joined realms of PANTON and ORA, known as ASYLON (a name which means "Great Sanctuary" in the old tongue), make up the island of existence where lives all Men, Elves, Feykind and Gods. It is awash in the infinity of AETHER, a jewel of calm in a riot of power.
Aina is a continent situated on the planet Irte, itself but a small part of the vast realm known as Asylon. It has a rich history filled with legends of heroes and villains, celestial creatures and vile monsters. This is a brief overview of its history.
The Ordering of Lands and of Life on Aina
The land of Aina is made up of a wide range of climates and cultures, locales and rulers. Everything from lush jungle, barren deserts, cosmopolitan cities and virgin frontier can be found in the breadth of its countryside.
Geatahem is a snowy land to the Northeast, full of lowland plains, mighty mountains, and riddled with fjords. Home to the seafaring and warlike Geats.
A harsh land of mountains, rocky terrain, and dark pine forest located in Northern central Aina. Home to the Krônians, a race of nomadic, melancholy humans.
The Empire of Atralonia occupies much of the fertile land of central Aina, as well as commanding substantial access to the Gulf of Tears. It has recently increased its holdings to the south in battle with the Ra'Virr. It is a melting pot and home to most of Aina's humans.
Lilandor stretches across the rolling grasslands of Eastern central Aina. It is a temperate land home to the magical Althieri, but also to roving tribes of humans and Ra'Virr, and wandering Gypsy wagon trains.
Ersatis, which means "The House of Flame," is home to the superstitious, ritualistic Dothieri. These dark-skinned, red-eyed elves live in service to their chaotic gods in the shadow of the great volcano Durgu Giru, which holds religious significance for all of Aina
Home to the Ra'Virr, a race of agile cat folk, the jungles of Virr are at once beautiful and dangerous. They are choked with ancient ruins and deadly creatures, and the Ra'Virr jockey for control of resources with themselves, outsiders, and the land itself.
The Mire is a seemingly endless expanse of swamp and marshland, fetid and black with evil. It is home to the Hressh, a race of anthropomorphic lizards with latent skills in sorcery.
Hikipale is the Land of the Broken Covenant, and is dominated by the islands known as The Shattered Soul. The kingdom is home to the Vethieri, the distant descendants of the greatest culture of the First Age. They are a nation of naturalistic, benevolent elf villages with a common ruling family. The Vethieri hold their land more for the purposes of protecting nature than for need of resources, but they are friendly to all those who would respect the wilds.
This land is filled with monstrous races like Goblins and Orcs, and has done a remarkable job of resisting Atralonian expansion. The mountains hold significant deposits of ore, but the creatures of the land refuse to yield ground to the imperious Atralonians.
There are 21 deities at work within Asylon, and they run the gamut between Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil. They are categorized into generally lawful deities, called "the Nine Divines" or "the Aenen", and 12 generally chaotic deities called "the Draenic Princes" or "the Draenen." These deities have been opposed countless times in countless ways, from the Unfolding to the present age.
Asylon is home to many forms of sentient life, but in no place is there such diversity as the continent of Aina. Often called "The Arena," it is home to 8 distinct races that wax and wane in power and control through the ages.
Atralonian - The standard humans of the world, they are an imperious culture trying to hold on to their waning glory. They are righteous, pious, and perhaps have their hands in too many of the world's affairs.
Krônian - A culture of barbaric nomads in the northern highlands of Aina, the people of Krôn are powerful and hardy. They rise every morning to toil for their resources and fight for their territory, only to lay down at night and repeat it the next day.
Geat - The adventurous Geats are a culture of warlike raiders who make their home on the icy northern shores of Aina. The Geats are a people of gigantic mirth and gigantic anger, and are responsible for the transmission of much of Aina's cultures from one place to another.
Althier - Tall, regal, golden-skinned elves, this race inhabits the plains in the center of Aina. They are a race practically obsessed with the knowledge and display of magical power, and look at other races as unfortunate primitives.
Dothier - The ashen-skinned elves of the eastern lands, the Dothieri live in reverence of the great volcano, Durgu Giru. Theirs is a land of law ruled by gods of chaos, and intrigue and honor exist hand-in-hand in this strange, bleak country.
Vethier - The remnants of Irte's first great civilization, the Vethieri (also known as "Wild Elves" in some parts of the world) are an uncomplicated race of sea-dwelling elves. They are known for their reverence towards nature, and for their positive outlook on life.
Ra'Virr - A race of small, feline humanoids, the Ra'Virr inhabit the dense jungles of the southern reaches of Aina. Naturally agile and stealthy, they are often found serving as scouts or scraping out a living as thieves in more civilized parts of the world.
Hressh - The Hressh are reptilian humanoids that dwell in the trackless expanse of the Mire of Troubles. Magic runs latent through their cold-blooded veins, and they are more aware than any other race of the meaning of "survival of the fittest."
The world of Aina is home to some specific and specialized individuals, and this is a place to chronicle classes or prestige classes unique to the world.
Falcon - Legendary Ra'Virr warriors who attack from the skies with devasting blows from a unique spear.
Asylon is a realm filled with many different beings and creatures. Many of these souls speak their own language, while some speak several. This is a list of all the known languages of Asylon, examples of species that use each language, and which alphabet they utilize.
Cosmology and Calendar
Aina has one sun which looks and behaves almost exactly like our own. The sun, called Moiar's Eye, and the stars are actually holes in the fabric of Ora, the barrier protecting the planes, which lead to an outlying chaos known as the Aether. Ora is a perfect sphere, and the planets orbit an unspecified point in the middle of it, giving the illusion of the sun and stars rising and setting, just like our own world. The planets are the long-vacant physical bodies of the Eight Aenen, with the exception of Irte itself, which is the still-inhabited body of the Aenen Utsirte.
Aina also has two moons, the red-hued Pristis and the smaller, gray-blue-hued Feltis, which are the fractured body of Sheor, the Deceiver. These behave exactly like our own moon, except that they follow separate, non-colliding orbits. When they are seen overlapping even partially it is considered to be an omen of mischief or wrongdoing.
The Ainan calendar has days of 24 hours arranged into a seven day week, beginning with Moiadas and continuing with Pantodas, Ordas, Irdas, Andas, Agradas, and Valdas. Four weeks make up a month, and 12 months make up a year, equalling a 336 day year. These months are reckoned by the solstices and equinoxes, with the year beginning on the winter solstice:
- Aetherdark: Winter Solstice
- Moiar's Dawn: Late Winter
- First Stock: Early Spring
- Waterboon: Spring Equinox
- Second Stock: Late Spring
- Heatswell: Early Summer
- Midyear: Summer Solstice
- Late Stock: Late Summer
- Harvestfire: Early Fall
- First Frost: Fall Equinox
- Moiar's Flight: Late Fall
- Asipta's Rise: Early Winter
The years are categorized into eras, which are reckoned by momentous events rather than any mathematical formula. The common notation for a date is to specify the day of the month followed by the month, followed by the era and then the year. For instance, "Valde Doxim, our god and progenitor, was born a mortal on Valdas, the 24th of First Stock, 3e 2977."
I have written these words in an effort to help our people, the people of Atralonia, to better understand the world around them and the multitude of races and creatures within it. As I have sworn an oath in defense of the ideals of this great empire, so too do I defend the people of this land. Not only do I safeguard their health and livelihoods, but so too do I defend them against the greatest of all evils: ignorance. May this work glorify the names of all the Nine Divines, and may my hand continue to be a fitting tool in their eyes. May you, reader, take this knowledge and use it for the betterment of you and your fellows, and strive to lead lives of honest work and true devotion to the Divines, united as one people under the Eye of Moiar in this great land.
signed PILUS VALIUS, Cleric of ASHA the Highest, Champion of VALDE DOXIM, Knight of the Imperial Gryphon, and Hero of the Atralonian Empire