Under the Burning Moon (3.5e Campaign Setting)
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Before, there was only Chaos and the Void. Then Aesasris arrived, and the world knew Law. Aesasris created the Greater Gods, for he was lonely. Utiolth, the God of Death, came first, then came Ashar, the Goddess of Life. Then came the Elves, and their beliefs reached across the ether and created the Seldarine. But then Chaos struck back. The Elder Evils arrived from an unknown realm, and Vasilios, God of Justice, and Asmodeus, God of War, were born to fight them. The race of Angels came into being at around this time. The war was the greatest war ever fought, but the Elder Evils would not stop their assault.
Finally, Utiolth and Asmodeus fell, creating the Conquest of Death, the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna and the Nine Hells of Baator. Two-thirds of the Angels fell with them, becoming the first Baatezu and Yugoloths respectively. But then the Elder Evils were finally vanquished, cast into the Far Realms, for they were immortal and could never be destroyed. But the stain of their evil fell upon the Abyss and tainted it forever, and for the first time men knew evil. Aesasris retired away from mortal affairs at this point, and the Second Generation of Gods existed, some the sons and daughters of the First Generation, some created out of whole cloth by human belief and emotion.
It was at this point that Utiolth took his bride. Taking Ashana, the daughter of Ashar, by arts foul and tormenting he broke her will and remade her as his bride, for which he has earned the emnity of Ashar to this day. Lolth also betrayed the Seldarine, and in the ensuing battle was forced to flee into the Abyss, even as her followers fled into the dark beneath the world, nursing their hurts and planning their terrible vengeance, waiting for the time to pounce and crush the Empire of the Eladrin.
Human civilisation began to flourish a few millennia later, growing up on the plains of Kumlichar. At first their death-cult was a relatively innocent and minor worship of Adhan, Utiolth's replacement, but over time it became grander and became that of Utiolth himself, and in an event known as the Night of Knives, the followers of the gods of Good were driven out of the land.
Fleeing from the Kumlichar Empire, whose grand death-cult had grown into a hellish torment, a large group of Humans, Dwarves, Halflings and Elves built up new homes and citadels on the peninsula of Westhome, trading with the Dragonborn of the southern deserts, the people of the Dusk Isles and the Eladrin of the North.
Such it was until the War of Kumlichar, when Kumlichar's hordes invaded, revealing that their innocent worship of Adhan had turned to that of Utiolth long ago, as Undead hordes swept through the land, killing all in their path. They were followed shortly after by the Baatezu, as Kumlichar unleashed its full, terrible might. The first Paladins were born in the fury of the war, hacking through the undead and diabolical hordes with wild abandon, but eventually the war ended and Kumlichar stopped its assault for unknown reasons. Perhaps they were tired of war - perhaps it was merely part of a larger plan - all is unknown.
Then came the Dark Crusade. Terrible hordes came sweeping from the south, the legions of Kumlichar marched again and the Kadurar invaded the Eladrin Empire. The Kingdom of Westhome fell, collapsing into many city-states, but the hordes were driven off for the time being.
Now, it is 1700 years after the Dark Crusade. New dangers are growing on the horizon. The Tamared Horde advances through the lands of the Eladrin, killing thousands. The Dragonborn fear that another assault from Kumlichar is nigh, but they are busy dealing with the drow and a terrible threat from the south. Monsters have been increasing in numbers in recent years, and it is feared that all this is a sign of darker things...
In the center stands the Prime, which floats in the Astral Sea and is surrounded by the Elemental Realms, which form the Inner Ring, also known as the Elemental Chaos. Above and below the Prime float the Positive and Negative Energy Planes, as well as the Light and Dark Mirror Planes, known as the Feywild and Shadowfell respectively. Further out go the Outer Planes, which float in the Astral along with the corpses of Dead Gods, forming the Outer Ring. 'Below' lie the Planes of evil, while 'above' lie the Planes of good and the neutral Planes are on the same level as the Prime. Around all this construct are the Far Realms, home to the Elder Evils, and finally the Void, which is pure Chaos.
- The Inevitable City
- The Realms of Conflict
- The Citadel of Celestis
- Nature's Strength
- The Conquest of Death
- Shadowfell and Feywild
- The Abyss
- The Nine Hells of Baator
- the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna
- The Eternal Prison of Carceri
- The Gray Waste of Hades
- The Blessed Fields of Elysium
- The Machine-God
The Four Riders
- Belisarion, the Rider of Conquest
- Alexandros, the Rider of Strife
- Thanatos, the Rider of Death
- Tzaranios, the Rider of Damnation
- Asmodeus (also a God).
- The Primordials 1
- Obyrath 2
- Pale Night
1 These are the direct Spawn of the Elder Evils, those immortal horrors from outside the Multiverse. They created evil and the Abyss. 2 These are beings halfway between Demon Prince and God. 3 These are demon lords that have risen from the lowest level of demon to the highest.
After a soul passes from its mortal coil, it goes to the Domain of Law, where Adhan judges it and takes it to the realm of the god it worshipped, to be recreated as a petitioner. These petitioners have many forms, such as Reapers of Utiolth or Shivans of Thule, but are all the same type of creature. If a soul does not worship a god, it is kept in the Courts of Law until further notice, a period during which it is inevitably tricked into Baator to become a Devil and taken or stolen by the Tanar'ri and taken into the Abyss to be reborn as a Demon, however unwilling it may be. In such ways the legions of the Blood War multiply.
Aasimar are the descendents of celestials, and in Westhome are treated as a blesssing from the gods. They are given good lives and often become clerics or paladins, while some become warlocks and make dark pacts with unknown power.
The lands of Westhome are a large peninsula, where the majority of the human populace lives. As they are fertile and wild, many elves, halflings and other creatures live there as well, with the dwarven populace living within Westhome's Spine, a large mountain range in the center. The majority of Westhome's populace are farmers, city folk, or villagers, guarded over by the many orders of Paladins that dwell within the population.
Westhome can be divided into three approximate areas. The Marches are those areas of the peninsula that border Kumlichar, and are an area of swamps, bogs and moors, with the black waters of the River Lethe forming the boundary between those areas and Kumlichar proper. The Warding Forests are a great series of forests that form the peninsula's other areas, and are a large group of scattered forests that form another barrier against an invasion from Kumlichar.
The Assilan Plains are the largest part of the peninsula, wide empty (apart from villages and farmland) plains that form on either side of Westhome's Spine, and eventually reach the beaches of the north and southern coasts. Finally, one reaches the Westward Cliffs, the great cliffs that overlook the West Sea.
Kumlichar is a tainted land. Years and years of sacrifices to Utiolth and summoning of his servants have tainted the place with the unholy energies of undeath. This taint manifests in many ways, from ghost-hauntings and spontaneous undead risings to the corruption of the land, animals and plants.
Kumlichar is divided into three areas - The Shadowlands are the initially tainted areas, heavily fortified and bounded on the westward side by the river Lethe, and are composed of bogs and marshes just like the marches of Westhome. As one goes deeper however, the land becomes darker and the sun shows its face less often, until it is dark during the day. These are the Hollow Lands and where Kumlichar's great cities are and the majority of its population live.
Then are the Accursed Lands, areas so tainted by the horrors of Utiolth that they are impossible to live in. The dead must be burnt immediately, as otherwise they will rise, and wandering groups of undead mindlessly wander through the wastes of impossible decay. However, this is where Kumlichar's ancient capital, Ulzjan-Kumch, lies, and with it ancient catacombs and innumerable riches.