Carallion (3.5e Campaign Setting)
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Welcome traveller to the world of Carallion.
Races of Carallion
PC Races of Carallion
The Time of Fire and Confusion
Most of Carallion's early history was recorded by the Dwarves, who claim to be the original inhabitants. The Dwarven calender goes back 5417 years to what they call the Time of Fire when the green lands they inhabited were destroyed by a mysterious catastrophe. The survivors fled into caves and underground shelters, where they found an undground ecological system capable of sustaining life. Safe in their new undeground realms, they waited for the land to rebuild itself and after patiently waiting a thousand years, they ventured outside only to find another race, the Elves had appeared and had claimed the land for themselves. Most Dwarves had grown fond of their underground existence and did not challenge the Elves at first. Though a group of Dwarves did attempt to reclaim the overworld for themselves. Over the years the differences between both races led to frequent conflicts until in the year 1871 when open war was declared. The Elves were caught by surprise and lost their first battle, but they returned in force and using their powerful sorcery, drove the Dwarves back into their mountain fortresses. The Elves were unable to breach their defences and withdrew after sieges lasting nearly a century.
The Age of Highest
Hostility between Dwarves and Elves continued for a long time, until three new races suddenly appeared on Carallion, Humans and Urak came from the East and the beings known as the Highest began to mediate between the Dwarves and the Elves. The Highest were a noble race, wielding magic power that rivalled that of the Elves and were stronger and fitter than any Dwarf or Urak. They tirelessly strived to create a world where all races could live in peace and harmony and under their influence old hatreds became mere rivalries. The Age of the Highest was one of great prosperity for all the races of Carallion. New kingdoms were founded and life was good. Trade between the Elves and Dwarves created some of the most coveted magical artifacts ever made.
But this golden age did not last. Around 3100, mysterious occurrances were noted. Strange beings appeared in more remote areas of Carallion. Many kingdoms were unable to stop these new invaders and called upon the Highest to help them in their fight. At first the Highest sent champions and paladins to defeat the evil creatures which came to be known as Demons, Devils, Dragons, Giants, Ogres, Dopplegangers, Goblinoids, Undead and other abominations. Soon only the Highest were the only ones standing between this growing evil and the peaceful kingdoms. Despite their valliant stand, several great Elven and Dwarven realms fell to evil invaders. And soon martial law was declared by the Highest. Most were unhappy to surrender the control of their land to the Highest, but safety came at a price, except for a group of kingdoms in the Scarda peninsula. They formed a loose alliance and were able to hold the evil forces at bay without the help of the Highest. This was an unusual feat, considering that the two major powers in the kingdoms were the Elven realm of Alfhëm and the Dwarven hold of Blackmountain and their alliance was precarious at best.
Over time the Highest pressed increasingly for their presence in the kingdoms, but King Faerill and Forgemaster Gunther declined all offers of help. Shortly afterwards new evil beings appeared and began to threaten the kingdoms. Trolls, Giants and sea monsters destroyed the Elven trading ships and burrowed into the mountains, threatening the Dwarves.
King Faerill was found dead in 3271, apparently murdered by an evil creature. The Highest sent an army to Alfhëm and effectively took control. Queen Aelia became a figurehead, while the effective control of the kingdom came into the hands of a Highest chancellor.
It was tanks to a group of bold adventurers that a remarkable discovery was made. They hunted a White Dragon who in exchange for safety for her young, claimed that most of the evil beings had been summoned by the Highest themselves. Though the Dragon could not make its claims true as it was slain soon after by a Highest paladin.
The League of Free Realms
Queen Aelia made an unusual move and sought the council of her allies and decided that they should be masters of their own destiny. Supported by the Archmage Galtor and a council of legendary heroes, they laid the foundation for a new alliance and became the League of Free Realms. All Highest were asked to leave their lands. The Highest complied and left, but the onslaught of evil monsters only redoubled in vigour. But the League held and with a united effort were able to clear the evil from their lands.
In 3297, the Archmage Galtor was arrested in Quruumqual the magnificent capital city of the Highest. He was put on trial, accused of spying, inciting revolt and murdering a major Highest official. The League demanded his liberation, but a series of confessions were spread through the land that the League were involved in the evils that plagued the land and were secretly controlling the evil forces. Several client realms of the Highest declared war and marched against the League.
The main entry to the peninsula was controlled by the Human Kingdom of Svardia. Their ruler, king Ulfar IV, yielded to the invaders and allowed their armies to pass.
The hopes of the kingdoms now rested upon holding Daggermouth pass. The threat of war had shaken the alliance and old rivalries flared. The Elves decided to retreat to their forest realm and let the invaders come to them. But their central position left the other realms open to invasion.
A handful of young heroes sought help with the Forgemaster, but he refused all help and ordered the access to Blackmountain sealed. They petitioned the Dwarves and assembled a force of Dwarf warriors, all volunteers, while other heroes would plead the Queen to abandon her plan and get the other realms to join battle. 300 Dwarves and a handful of Human, Elven and Urak allies took position on the pass and were determined to hold it as long as possible.
The Highest army was fifty times its size and expected a swift victory, but the defenders held the pass despite several attacks. The invaders began to besiege them and the defenders lasted for nearly 50 days, their numbers slowly dwindling from continuous battles. Exhausted, nearly all of them wounded, the last defenders formed a square and the Highest contingent, which had stayed out of the battle until then reserved itself the right to Wipe this blight off the face of Carallion.
The defenders fought with the greatest courage, but fell to the sheer power of the Highest. A handful of survivors were captured and were scheduled for execution when out the passes two armies suddenly appeared. Elves and Dwarves fell onto the Highest army and drove it off. The Heroes of Daggermouth were rescued from their horrible fate.
It had been discovered that Queen Aelia had been replaced by a doppleganger and that the Forgemaster was under the influence of a mind-controlling creature.
The Highest demanded the immediate surrender of the League. The alternative was complete destruction. Some began to question the motives of the Highest, but many who spoke out too loudly were silenced, often forever. Still many believed that the League had surrendered to evil and that the Highest were acting for the good of all.
The League and the Highest faced in open battle in 3398 on the area that is now known as the Bloodmoors. The Highest had underestimated the resolve of the League and the weakness of its allies. In mid-battle many Elves and Dwarves joined the side of the League. The Highest withdrew with heavy losses and the death of one of their High Lords, Juzinn-Thaarq. Though this was shocking enough a terrible discovery was made when his body was retrieved. The mask had fallen and if Juzinn Thaarq had appeared as a noble being, his true form was horrible and twisted.
More began to doubt the Highest after this and several realms and kingdoms joined the League. The War of Freedom began in 3399. For nearly five years the League and the Highest fought bitterly. But the Highest fell to hubris and believed their hold on the other realms was strong and that they could win the war by using them as sword-fodder. Many still believed the Highest were true and fair but their ranks soon held only the most fanatical followers.
The tide turned against the Highest, their true nature was revealed and they attempted to unleash the evil hordes, but they had lost their grasp on many of their followers and while the could muster a terrible force, the coming battle seemed uncertain.
The Siege of Quruumqual
The Highest withdrew to their capital city of , the mightiest fortress in Carallion. They summoned hordes of fiends and monsters to guard the walls while the wings of dragons blackened the skies.
The League armies laid siege to the city. They attacked the walls many times, but were repulsed each time. The Highest then sprung their trap. Still loyal armies of Elves, Dwarves, Urak and Humans suddenly attacked the besiegers from behind. Forgemaster Gunther fell in battle and Queen Aelia was grievously wounded. Thousands were slaughtered as the forces of evil fell upon the broken ranks of the League armies.
But the Heroes of Daggermouth had slipped inside the Citadel and freed many powerful prisoners of the Highest, including Galtor. They found the Great Chasm, deep beneath the city from which the Highest had summoned evil beings from other worlds to do their bidding. Galtor activated the powerful magic of the Chasm and used it to summon forces of good to join battle. The Chasm also released the essence of very powerful beings which became the ruling deities of Carallion.
But then one Hero, the clumsy rogue Hadlen discovered a gem of inestimable worth and size, it was beyond his strength to lift and it fell, shattering into a thousand pieces, liberating magical forces beyond belief.
The masks which had covered the Highest were lost and the magic backfired onto their allies, twisting them into monstrosities and abominations. As their ranks fell in disarray, the forces of good summoned by Galtor, lead by the Metallic Dragons counter-attacked and destroyed the Highest. Only a handful of Highest escaped.
The followers of the Highest fell from power. They fled into remote lands and deep underground, Dark Elves, Duergar, lycanthropes, undead and many other foul creatures preying upon.
In 3400, the Great Pact was signed between the Elves and the Dwarves. The new Forgemaster Duncan and Queen Aelia pledged that Dwarves and Elves were now bound by the greatest possible oath and would always stand together in times of war and need. This never stopped them bickering and arguing for that is in their natures, but the oath, while at times strained, was never broken until today and no self-respecting Elf or Dwarf would dare to argue if the other invoked the Oath.
The Age of the Gods
For nearly a thousand years most races lived in relative harmony. Unfortunately it was a time of slow decline for Dwarves and Elves. Their long-lived existence meant their numbers had always been low, and the high toll of the war began to favour the Human realms who prospered and grew into powerful Empires. The Dwarves were safe in their underground domains, while the Elves either retreated to the Northern lands or into the last great forests of Ärenn. But Human expansion is slowly reducing the once mighty forests into shadows of their former glory.
Meanwhile the Gods brought a new kind of magic to Carallion and began to attract followers, some legendary heroes also achieved divine status, becoming shining examples for others. Deities had been worshipped previously, but only very rarely intervened in mortal affairs, except for some Druidic and Elemental powers which were tied to Carallion itself. It is now believed that the Chasm was a huge magical gate that allowed passage for the Highest and their followers to Carallion, and also barred access to other beings.
By 5000, Elves were rare and most Humans believed them to be mere legend and folklore. Short after, Queen Aelia passed and the memories of the age of Peace began to fade and on their way to become legends.
The Age of Man
Qu'araid South East of Ärenn is often viewed as the Human homelands, where most of their oldest empires are located. While still powerful, those empires now live in the shadow of those that arose in Ärenn such as Khrecia and Tolas. But Human empires rarely endure and Tolas fell during the Great Invasion when the Urak invaded Ärenn in 5353.
The North Western Helmlands parts have gained their true independence from Tolas. A few small Elven realms and Dwarf holdings dot the more remote parts of the helmlands. The old cities of Glan Dirak and Glan Elgis are now centers of learning and the many believe that an alliance through the marriage between King Mark and Princess Kathrine will create a strong new realm in this part of Ärenn.
Geography of Carallion
The world of Carallion is dominated by the great continent of Khandala which stretches from Ärenn in the West to the mysterious Dragon Empires over the Great Steppes down to Qu'araid in the southeast.
- Ärenn (Carallion Supplement)
- Qu'araid (Carallion Supplement)
- The Great Steppes (Carallion Supplement)
- The Dragon Empires (Carallion Supplement)
Farik, also known as the Black Continent is a land of jungles and savannahs. Relatively little of Farik has been explored and but many legends tell of its untold riches and the terrible dangers that await bold adventurers.
Nui'wé is the westernmost continent on Carallion, also known as Vestlund. The population is mostly human who live in tribal nations. Initial contacts between explorers from Ärenn and the natives have been difficult and after several battles a peace treaty was signed. The only surviving Ärenn enclave in Nui'wé is Bjornhold, a well-defended town located on an island off the shore, near the mouth of a mighty river. It serves as a trading post between the natives and the Northmen explorers. Relationships have been improving in the last few years but remain uneasy at best.
Religions of Carallion
Cultures of Carallion
Notable Characters of Carallion
The Lord Protector of Elves and High Mage, Aelan is a Fey Elf with silver hair. He is unusually focused for an Elf and is considered very young for one so talented in the magical arts at barely 350 years. Unlike many of his kind, Aelan is a Wizard rather than a Sorcerer.
Aelan is a wanderer, offering his help and assistance to those who require it. He is quite famous among Elves, but less so with Humans, except among Wizards. He holds an honourary chair at the Collegium of Glan Dirak. He is a well known associate of the Church of Galtor, the Deity of Magic and has performed many missions for it. He has a number of faithful traveling companions, including Zip his Pseudodragon and Khm'nlynn, a young adult golden dragon, who serves as his mount on occasion.
Little is known about this mysterious man. He is said to be a warrior of uncanny ability and skill, and there is a rumour that he can kill anything that stands in his way and has been undefeated for centuries. None know his true appearance and those who claim to have met him have given different descriptions of him. His real name is unknown and is commonly called the Slayer, he is not a killer and has never drawn his weapons against those that did not deserve to die. Some believe he was trained by the Master of the Mountain, the last Grandfather of Assassins who vanished many years ago. Others claim the Slayer carries an exceptional weapon, referred to as the Doomblade a weapon that is so dangerous is might even slay a Deity. If this is true, the Slayer might be one of the most dangerous men alive, if he is indeed a man ...
This stunning dark-skinned Half-Elven beauty currently holds sway over the mountain keep where the Grandfather of Assassins trained his killers. It is unknown if she defeated him in combat or took over after he left, but she has trained many in the arts of Assassination, though she does not condone its uses for evil means. Under her tutelage, the Assassins have become a force for good and are extensively used a spies, scouts and highly trained special forces. Those that break the teachings are ruthlessly hunted down and "withered" to the point they are unable to lift even a dagger. In recent years new Assassin clans have appeared and some have tried to hunt down and murder Mika to establish themselves as the dominant clan, but all have failed so far. Reprisal raids have dampened the enthusiasm of all but the most fanatical ones.
This charismatic Half-Elf Warrior-Wizard travels the wilder parts of the Helmlands seeking ancient magical artifacts and helping adventuring parties in need.
Vornath, who describes himself as an Archmage is a bit of a joke in the Helmlands. A wiry middle-aged man with dull brown eyes, black hair and goatee, dressed in crimson robes with gold trim and always followed by his faithful servant and bodyguard, the hulking, brutish and quite dim-witted Gurd. Vornath dreams of power and wealth and is ready to commit all manner of foul acts to achieve this dream, but it seems that bad luck is always standing in his way. It is unknown if this bad luck is the result of a curse or merely natural, but it has stopped Vornath on more than one occassion and if his own bad luck doesn't spoil things, Gurd is always there as a backup to ruin even the best of plans. While he is hardly a sympathetic character, his misfortune had many take pity on him, something he loathes tremendously. It seems that for Vornath crime does not pay, something he himself has recently begun to acknowledge, but he is reluctant to abandon his criminal ways yet. Vornath is not without magical talent and can actually be dangerous at times.
A friendly young monk, who is a frequent companion of Bar-Meraelin. He lost his left arm in battle and had it replaced with a magical prosthetic hand, which functions as a normal hand, except that it counts as a +3 magical weapon.
She is the only K'Tann known by her actual name. A statuesque female of fierce beauty with jet black skin as hard as granite and eyes burning with a cold white fire, she can transform into a 10-foot tall multi-armed avatar of destruction, capable of teleporting at will and creating energy blasts from her hands. She saved the life of King Mark during the battle of Caedlenn, healing his grievous injuries. Despite her fearsome abilities she is courteous and helpful, but maintains her distances.
Although only his early thirties, Mark appears at least twenty years older, due to a curse cast upon him. So far all attempts to restore his youth have failed. King Mark was crowned King of the new unified kingdom of Aldaria by his father, the Duke of Kaltric. Mark holds court in Glan Elgis.
The Silver Angel
This mysterious silver figure has been travelling through the Helmlands these last few years. It looks like a statue of a youthful woman entirely made of mithral. She does not appear to be a suit of armour since she is made of one single piece of mithral without joints, and the consensus is that she is some kind of sophisticated construct such as a golem. The Angel is covered with mystical symbols which glow with a blueish light when moves her limbs or uses one of her magical powers such as deploy the large metal wings that allow her to fly, hence her name. A set of stones resembling Ioun Stones are embedded in her upper chest, their function is unclear. Attempts to establish her nature through divination spells have failed so far. Having joined an adventuring party, the Angel has recently been hunting various dangerous creatures, most notably Digesters which abound in the region. The Angel speaks with a soft, melodious voice and appears to be fully sentient. The Angel's combat tactics are simple, but effective, it is nearly completely immune to sword blows and will use spells and her fists to strike enemies down.
Valran is the commander of the forces protecting the Markland. This former adventurer and skilled fighter is hard pressed to keep up with the raiding Urak for several months now. It has been suggested that Valran be replaced, but King Mark has refused to do so with the belief that he will find a way to defeat the raiders. A man in his sixties, Valran has the vitality and youthfullness of a man of twenty, leading some to believe magic has kept age at bay.
Though somewhat lacking in stature, Serena is the commander of the Order of Paladins of Compassion. She is a petite woman with short blonde hair the colour of honey. Soft-spoken, she rarely raises her voice, even when giving orders. A skilled warrior and devoted to the protection of others, she is kind and generous to those in need, and her combat skills are something to behold. She uses her size and speed to their greatest advantage and her blows are as strong as any man's.
A charming, roguish, irresistible bad-boy and perhaps one of the most evil men ever, N'Zaarth is the unlikeliest champion of good in the whole of Carallion. N'Zaarth was a mortal who became a deity only to challenge unknown greater powers and was punished for his crimes, forced to perform good deeds to redeem himself. Reluctantly, N'Zaarth assumed this task and is now a force for good. He is one of the few deities which manifests itself directly on the Prime plane, though he has lost and regained his divine status a few times, he has always managed to find a way to regain his powers, abusing every possible option and loophole. He remains on friendly terms with several evil deities and on speaking terms with all of them, if only through his blackmailing and uncanny ability to exploit every possible weakness. N'Zaarth will sometimes appear to those in dire need and help them in various ways or point them in the right direction. He is quite vicious in his dealings with evil-doers and is very creative in dealing out terrible punishment upon them. Though he serves the forces of good, most authorities refuse to deal with him and consider him a nuisance and a bad example.
One of Bar-Meraelin's occasional travelling companions, this stunning raven-haired woman is a skilled warrior, wielding an ornate elven war-axe in battle. She also travels with another adventuring party made up almost exclusively of women, some including Ayla, a half-elven Sorceress, Laura; a human Rogue, and Tindomerel Elessedil an Elf Wizard as well as a tame Winter Wolf and a giant dire Sabretooth Tiger.
Notable Foes of Carallion
Once believed dead, the dreaded Queen of the Ice Women has recently returned to her domain in the high frozen north. One of the seven daughters of Krangath the Destroyer, she is as evil as beautiful. Investigators sent to gather information have vanished. Though she is apparently rebuilding her armies, there has been little or no activity so far, except for minor raids, though it is only a matter of time before her hordes regroup and begin marauding the northern wastes. Kyrellia appears as a stunningly beautiful woman wearing black armour, covered in a layer of frost.
Untold centuries old, the Wartroll is believed to be the very first of its kind, and is a most formidable foe. His thick skin is covered by a multitude of scars and the broken remains of arrows and weapons still embedded. The Wartroll delights in fighting the most powerful beings in Carallion, seeking ever greater challenges. Some of his rumoured victories include several great dragons, the Tarrasque (though he could not permanently kill it), and even the avatar of a war deity. The Wartroll will offer his services to those who can afford it, and demands magic weapons and armour as part of his payment. Much revered by the other Wartrolls, he is a loner and will only rarely join armies and units on a very temporary basis.
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