Lerune (3.5e Campaign Setting)
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Sins of the Father
Over ten millennia ago a great war tore the land of Lerune apart, both literally and figuratively. Although the details are lost to time, I will attempt to convey to you what knowledge there is. The war started as a war between the Dragons, specifically between Bahamut and Tiamat and their followers. The war spread as each deity won other deities to their cause eventually resulting in all out war between good and evil consuming gods and mortals alike. Possibly the most destructive aspect of the war was the bringing of the Blood Wars to the material realm. The war lasted nearly a decade with no clear victor in sight. The landmass that had once been the single continent of Lerune had been shattered. Add to that the death of countless mortals and several gods, and it became apparent that existence itself was in jeopardy. The accounts are spotty at best, but somehow an accord was reached. The two dragon gods agreed to create a new mortal race, the Dragonborn who would decide for themselves which deity to serve and whose existence was hoped to maintain the future balance. Another measure of balance was the creation of two parallel worlds residing on the border of and occasionally intersecting with the material realm: One of darkness and shadow, known as the Shadowfell and one of beauty and magic, the Feywild. Each creature was given a choice to take up residence in these new worlds. Many elves decided to leave for the Feywild as did the Gnomes. It fell to those left behind to rebuild all that had been destroyed. For nearly ten millennia, the world knew peace. In that time the Dragonborn flourished and came to control the powerful empire of Arkhosia. At the same time, the kingdom of Windyr had rebuilt itself. Seeking to return to its pre-war glory, its rulers made pacts with devils for dark power creating the first Tieflings. The world once again found itself engulfed in war, this time between the two empires. It was at this time that the elves that had left for the Feywild returned, however they were dramatically changed and referred to themselves as Eladrin to distinguish themselves from the elves living in the material world. The war resulted in the destruction of both empires. The survivors rebuilt and created civilization as it stands today.
Timeline of Lerune
- Approx. 240,000 Years O.R.
Scholars debate over the age of the world (known as Osis) but estimate it around 250,000 years. There are many beliefs held as to the origin of Osis, but most believe that at the beginning of the world there was great a war between the gods and the primordial beings living in the Elemental Chaos. According to common belief, the gods were able to defeat the Primordials and worked together to form the world from the Elemental Chaos. In doing this they also created beings to inhabit the world from dragons to humans. The main races were all created during this time including the Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Halflings, Gnomes. Many of the monster races were also created during this time. It is believed that these earliest beings lived as primitives slowly developing into their modern forms.
- Approx. 55,000 Years O.R.
A great schism occured among the Elves resulting in a group following the goddess Lolth into what would eventually become known as the Underdark.
- Approx. 8,000 Years O.R.
The first written records of settlements in Lerune date back to this time. The first of the major human kingdoms were that of Windyr and the Cantonian Empire. The tribes of Myrmoon are also believed to have come about at this time. It was during this time that the First Darkaxe kingdom of Dwarves came into existence. Little is known of the other races during this time as the remaining races record their history in stories passed down from generation to generation.
- Approx. 6,000 O.R.
The Gnome alliance came into being as a defense against increased giant attacks. The Lighthammer Clan of Dwarves split off from the Darkaxe clan due to internal strife. The first Drow appear emerging from Darkwood. They launch a surprise attack against an ancient elven city slaughtering the entire population with strange magical powers and poisons.
- Approx. 4,000 O.R.
The Ironcloud and Mountainbarrel clans come into being when Dwarves start to travel east in search of new homes. The Ironclouds came upon large populations of Orcs which they were forced to deal with. Using their greater numbers, they were able to drive the Orcs back into the land that would eventually become known as the Orc Hordes. The great kingdom, Windyr did the same with goblins in the west with the help of the Morrowood Elves.
- Approx. 180 O.R.
The Darkaxe clan falls after the heir to the throne disappears and other minor clans begin to fight over the rule. A short civil war follows with the Silverbeard clan victorius.
- Approx. 40 O.R.
A group of heroes slays the ancient dragon Clauth. Stories said that a great force of Orcs led by two half-orcs were able to slay the great beast. Soon after they face Tiamat who they fight to a standstill. Her avatar is slain and she is temporarily weakened.
- Approx. 1 O.R.
The Myrmoon Chieftan of the Drake Tribe, Barvane begins a ritual to become one with a demon prince. A group of heroes fails to stop the ritual and are captured. The new demon prince, Barvane rises and opens a portal to the Abyss summoning forth demon hordes into the material realm. Soon following are legions of devils. The Blood Wars came to the material realm.
- Approx. 0 O.R.
The heroes return and are sent on a mission to find the last remnants of the Drake tribe to go back and stop Barvane. The trail leads to a Lich Lord who has been helping Clauth (who had apparently been returned to life by his master, Tiamat). The Lich was organizing raids against metallic dragons, stealing their eggs for Clauth who long ago mastered a ritual to increase his own power by consuming the lifeforce of Dragon eggs. The heroes managed to slay the lich. Unbeknownst to them, this actually served to spark the Dragon Wars. The result was all out war between the forces of good and evil. Many mortals and several gods lost their lives in the struggle. The continent of Lerune itself split in the conflict. In the end, the Dragonborn were created as a measure of balance. In addition, the Feywild and the Shadowfell were created. At this time the elves that would become Eladrin left for the Feywild as well as the Gnomes. A nomadic tribe of human mages decided to move to the Shadowfell after their god, Wee Jas disappeared. They would become the Shadar-kai. The events of this time mark the beginning of a new age. The age of Empires.
- 0 - 10,000 N.R.
The Dragonborn flourish into the powerful Arkhosian Empire while the kingdom of Windyr sought to rebuild itself. It did this by making deals with devils and the first Tieflings appeared. At the end of the 10th milennium, the Eladrin returned from the Feywild just as war broke out between Windyr and Arkhose. The war turned out to be almost as bloody as the Dragon Wars and left both empires in ruins. The survivors were left to rebuild. Contact with the Eastern half of the continent was never restored after the Dragon Wars.
- 10001 N.R.
The Dragonborn remain in the ruins of their empire and begin to live as a tribal society vowing never to return to any form of organized kingdom.
- 10880 N.R.
Small kingdoms began to appear and disappear as time passed. The largest (although tiny in comparison to pre-Dragon War kingdoms) to emerge are Ferrum and Viridis. The kingdom of the Forgotten Sun also appears during this time.
- 12481 N.R. - The Current Year
Campaigns in Lerune begin in this year.
Kingdoms of Western Lerune
Kingdom of Ferrum
Ruled by King Farris(human) from the capital city of Aprastitch, the kingdom of Ferrum is by far the largest kingdom in the realm. It is unaligned and is populated by a mix of all the races. Major cities include Redglade, Miravale, Kodi, Yiri, and Fort Shreg. Most of Ferrum consist of plains and hills and is dotted with forests and lakes.Its patron deity is Erathis and is a land of ideas and invention.
Kingdom of the Forgotten Sun
A theocracy of Pelor, ruled by High Priest Kalos (Dragonborn). Although it is relatively small, it has a strong influence on the world and is Ferrum's most powerful ally. It is primarily a good aligned kingdom dedicated to protecting the realm from any major threats. Its warriors are well known as defenders of righteousness. It often sends out people to neighboring nations to help wherever they can. Its capital city is Othdoxi which surrounds a large keep which functions as the seat of power and the High Temple of Pelor.
The Viridis Empire
Ferrum's greatest enemy, the Emperor Klauth (Tiefling) rules with an iron fist subjugating all other races. His grandest goal is to reestablish the great kingdom of Windyr which has failed miserably at. Despite hundreds of tries, no one he has sent to the island that holds the mysterious ruins of Windyr has returned. The empire is evil aligned and is a thorn in both Farris' and Kalos' sides. Its capital is Thov which no non-tiefling has ever seen. All other races are kept as slaves with Dwarves and Dragonborn making up the majority of them. Elves and Eladrin are rarely seen in the Empire.Other cities include Byshe.
The Darkaxe Kingdom
Ruled by the great Dwarven king, Lorn Darkaxe VI, the Darkaxe kingdom lies just to the north of Ferrum. They maintain peaceful ties with Ferrum but spend most of their time defending Orc raids coming from the coast. Their capital city lies in the largest of the Silverstone mountains known as Silverbeard Keep. It is said the great stonelord, Niolgi Silverbeard himself designed and constructed the keep using materials recovered after the fall of the Silverbeard clan during the Great War.
Morrowood is home to many elves and their mysterious settlements. Largely unexplored, Morrowood is a mystery to non-elves. It is rumored that much of the wood borders on the Feywild.
A mysterious forest full of dark creatures and entrances to the Shadowfell. It is also rumored to contain an entrance to the Underdark.
The ancestral home of the Dragonborn. Since the fall of their empire they have since returned to a tribal lifestyle ruled by a council of elders.
Lerune is dotted with independent settlements, mostly consisting of trading outposts, ports, and smaller cities. Such as the "Free City of West Crook".
All of the following races exist as player character options without any special modifications in Lerune: Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, Dragonborn, Half-elves, Half-orcs, Tieflings.
The following races only exist in small populations in Lerune: Eladrin, Genasi, Gnomes, Goliaths. Each of these races should be treated as rare and any PC's that are members of these races draw a fair amount of attention and respect.
The following races are extremely rare in Lerune: Drow, Shadar-kai. Many people consider members of these races to exist only in legends and very few people have ever seen one. Any Drow or Shadar-kai PC should feel as though everyone is always watching them and whispering about them when they are around. There is a certain level of fear and mistrust concerning these races. Any PC would have to perform several openly good acts to get around these social stigmas.
The following races are virtually unknown in Lerune and should only be allowed with DM's permission: Shifters, Devas. No one in Lerune has ever heard of a Shifter or a Deva. Most people will react to PC's of these races with wonderment and fear. In fact it should be very rare that a Shifter knows where he/she came from or what he/she is. They will attract much attention simply because they are complete unknowns in the world.
Warforged do not exist in any form in Lerune.
Years are measured based on the amount of time that has passed since the Dragon Wars. The year is currently is 12481 New Reckoning.
There are 10 months to the year with 29 days in each month and 22 hours in the day. There are 4 weeks to each month with the first 3 having 7 days and the fourth having 8. On this extra day of each month there is a special holiday related to the month. The days of the week are known as Morad, Uske', Enyein, Dumoti, Idrak, Omyi, Ironu. The 8th day is simply known by the name of holiday that is celebrated on it. The sun known as Alasair burns yellow in the sky. Three moons in the skies at night ensure that there are no dark nights. They are known as Thran, Zym, and Vala. Very rarely are all full at the same time. When they are it is considered a very dark omen.
- Dakhur - The first month of the year and the beginning of Spring for most of Lerune. Also, start of the planting season. The special holiday in this month is known as Theandi, the elven word for spring. Its celebrated with ritual and prayers dedicated to Corellon, asking him to bless the spring season.
- Forem - The second month and the most active rainy season. The holiday in this month is called Hearth. It is a holiday of family and celebrating loved ones. It is customary to exchange a small gift with your loved ones on Hearth.
- Nethern - The third month and the end of the planting season. The holiday in this month is known as Labor's End. On this day all of Lerune takes a well deserved rest from planting and celebrate with their fellow workers drinking and eating heartily.
- Ascine - The beginning of the summer season. The holiday of this month is Pelor's Dawn. For the week following up to this holiday, inhabitants of Lerune (at least the good aligned ones) consider their misdeeds of the past year and spend much of the week in prayer and supplication. On the day itself they write down all of their wrongdoings and burn them in a central fire lit in each village and town as a symbol of forgetting past mistakes and Pelor's forgiveness.
- Glast - The longest and hottest days of the year are during Glast. The holiday of this month is known as Autumn's Bliss. It is customary to make offerings to Sehanine praying for a quick transition in the cool weather of Autumn. Being the goddess of love, it is also custom for each member of a couple to seek out a different companion for the day and to do whatever you wish together without any consequences. Anyone participating in this custom wears a purple and blue mask covering the face that resembles the symbol of Sehanine.
- Barra - Summer wanes during Barra. The holiday in Barra is another dedicated to Corellon in which people participate in what can only be best described as druidic rituals designed to bless and protect the coming harvest. It is called Rel'aniel (the elven word for guidance and protection).
- Jadar - marks the beginning of fall and the harvest season. The day of Bounty celebrates the beginning of Autumn and is celebrated with a great family feast. It is also customary for everyone to share their successes and failures of the previous year.
- Scila - Scila is considered a time of rest and renewal for Lerune. The leaves begin to change colors during Scila. The holiday of Scila is dedicated to Melora and is known as Siladrilus (an elven word for beauty and wonderment). It is customary to spend the day in a wilderness setting with a small group of your closest friends. During this holiday, one must only eat what you have hunted and killed yourself and may only drink from a wild source. It is also custom to sleep outside under the stars.
- Doma -The winds begin to blow and the weather turns cold during Doma. The holiday of both Doma and Seren merge into a two day affair called Winter's Bliss. It is a day of remembrance for those who have passed on into the waiting arms of the Raven Queen. The first day is spent in mourning, while the second day is spent in celebration.
- Seren - The coldest month of the year. This is the only month where the first week is the longest rather than the fourth.