Fortress Celestia (3.5e Campaign Setting)
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This setting is inspired by cannon settings from various versions of D&D, particularly the Planescape setting, as well as the boardgame Fortress America. I do not own any intellectual property related to D&D or Fortress America other than the original ideas represented by my contributions to this website. These contributions are presented purely as fanfiction and parody, and are not for profit.
The Fortress Celestia setting is a multiverse where Bad Things happen all the time. Even in many realms defending the causes of good, slavery, euthanasia, and other such things are accepted, if not necessarily admired, practices. While they can be omitted from adventures here, gaming groups that are uncomfortable with these ideas should use other settings.
Fortress Celestia is a parody of the Planescape setting moved to the 3.5e system with a tip of the hat to the semi - postapocalyptic feel of 4e. It is also partially inspired by the boardgame Fortress America. The setting is designed to allow players to play traditional D&D heroes such as humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes and halflings, all the popular antiheroes such as half - orcs, drow, goblins, outsiders, etc, or even races they make up themselves.
The Planescape Blood War between order and chaos has ended in disaster. Chaos was defeated, but at the cost of reducing both law and chaos to pathetic versions of their former selves. Of the original chaotic outsider races, only the demons remain common; once beings of truly Lovecraftian horror, most are now ragged mercenaries, petty psycopaths, and slaves. The cities of law are now more often home to broken legal systems, mismanagement, and tyranny than proud examples of the proper application of order. Out of the ashes, the archfiends have turned their eyes to the conquest of the formerly peaceful upper planes. The celestials are now preparing their final stand. Fleeing mistreatment under infernal rule, refugees, including many traditionally evil creatures, now seek their mercy. Brave adventurers are needed to help the celestials defend the lands and peoples not yet under enemy control.
See the History of the Setting section for more.
Inhabitants and Culture
The whole setting was originally conceived as a deliberate Fantasy Kitchen Sink so that almost any creature, deity, site, etc from any cannon or homebrew setting from any and d.html version of D&D could potentially be present in this setting. I have since modified the setting around a limited subset of D&D Wiki 3.5e SRD and homebrew races as the primary inhabitants. If you want, you can substitute other races.
See the Inhabitants of Fortress Celestia Campaign Setting Supplement for more.
As a Planescape parody, alignment is one of the most important aspects of the Fortress Celestia setting. I created the Netbook of Alignment mainly for this setting. Spiritual warfare, the middle ranks rule, and the cute monster rule are all in full effect, and nothing is as it seems.
See the Netbook of Alignment for more.
- Technology varies locally from No Tech to Hyperadvanced.
- Mostly Normal: Fortress Celestia is primarily a sword and sorcery setting. Most armies and adventurers carry nothing more advanced than crossbows.
- This is not because more advanced technology does not exist, however. In most places, however, more advanced technology is less useful than in the real world. In the real world, an army equpped with short swords and wooden shields would not last long against machine guns. Here, the reverse is true. But not everyone has given up on technological revolution. High technology infrastructure is not as useless as personal weapons, however, and in a very few places, modern conveniences such as subways or vaccines are commoplace. Secretly, a few wizards help brilliant engineers test exotic superweapons under development.
- Technology that exceeds local native technology is usually transformed into something from local technology that most resembles the item in function, stops working, or acts like overtechnology with all the limitations.
- is affected by a special status given to large vehicles in the setting. Technology normally found onboard vehicles acts normally onboard or in the immediate vacinity of the ship, provided the ship does not enter areas where the antitechnological magic is particularly strong. When used in combat it is subject to the same limitations as overtechnology.
Articles for this Setting
At the beginning of time, the first prime mover created the first ones, who built the first universes. Amung these was the Gygax, who forged the great wheels. But the Gygax was parted from his creation, and wizards of sand and sea changed wheels into trees. In one multiverse, wheel met tree, and unbalance resulted, breaking the planes from their positions. The two became one, and to this dying multiverse came the Arbiter of Planes. The Arbiter granted the power to the Planar Lords to rebuild their world by uniting together their realms into the new planes. But the planar lords fought amungst themselves, ruining countless minor planes and collecting the remains until only eight remained.
End of the Blood War
The multiverse of Fortress Celestia is a multiverse that has known continuous military and spiritual conflict dating from beyond record. The most important of these was the War Blood War between the devils and the demons. For untold centuries they faught in a bloody stalemate that cost the lives of billions of lemures and other fiends. The souls of the dead were reborn according to their alignment, and the fiends stole souls of those who died in lands under fiendish control, providing each side with a virtually unlimited supply of lives.
In an instant the balance was upset. New planes entered the multiverse; among these was the plane that became the Court of the Dead. The Court took in the dead and sentanced all those not already claimed by the deities to whom they were loyal, to a life of slavery in the court or under the devils. Once, the demons could expect a constant influx of souls; now it slowed to a trickle. Within the next century, the impossible occurred: the demons surrendered. The historians would confirm what we already knew: the devils had been helped to power. The demons at that time were considered a gravest danger to the multiverse by the forces of lawful good. The Archons, the planar lords in charge of the Courts of the Dead, and many formerly neutral fiends and angels shifted from merely favoring the devils to wholehartedly supporting them. Unable to bring in the flow of souls they once commanded and defeated on the battlefield, the demons were forced back until their own planar lords made a deal with more than one devil. Against both the planar lords and all the other outsider races, the demons faced a choice not between freedom and slavery but between extinction and survival.
In the meantime, a second conflict threatened to spread into the peaceful Court of the Gods. A movement led by chaotic good forces threatened to overthrow the lawful neutral judges of the dead. In the end, the gods called the overdeities and the Arbiter of Planes to break the impasse. It was decided that each surviving plane had the right to determine the fate of its own souls by means of operating a franchise of the Court of the Dead. While in theory this changed little, in practice it provided an opportunity for each plane to tweak the rules just enough to make a difference.
With chaos defeated except on its home plane, the devils now looked to the remaining planes. The celestials formed new alliances and moved to occupy unclaimed land to forestall any incursions. But it was too late. In the end the celestial alliance could only save one plane, collecting as many realms from shattered planes to build the greatest work of military fortification ever conceived: Fortress Celestia.
The surviving planes will likely soon be reduced in number yet again. The Plane of Ideological Conflict, once the heart of the multiverse, is being slowly eroded by constant battle. Once it is gone, the fiendish armies will be able to sail directly from the Barrens of Evil to the shores of Fortress Celestia. The celestials are involved in a delaying action, in hopes that one day the devils can be forced to abandon their conquest.