Lands of Blamakar (3.5e Campaign Seed)
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The lands of Blamkar are a large group of nations that make up one large mountainous continent. It has its own deities as well as a defined system of languages that replace common. It can be used on its own or as a part of a larger world. If the latter then it may make sense to scale down the populations and so on to fit. The world is and has been for most of its existence, heavily deity focused. The taint rules as presented in Hero's of Horror are usually used.
A Brief and incomplete History of the Lands
The realm in which the Lands of Blamakar have four times been purged by a semi-realized Armageddon. The first through acts of god, the second through acts of technology (nuclear war), third through acts of fiends and fourth through mundane war. Very little is known about events even before the war, except for the fact that it was caused by a crusade against evil that caused all nations to fall to anarchy. The world now view Good and Evil as secondary to the battle of Law against Chaos. This is a pattern that is common to all the ages, after the first world death gods became taboo leading to focus on technology, technology after the second did also leading to a focus on magic that caused the fiend assault, and after the third the world war galvanized into strong good-evil divides.
After the war crushed nations under their own weight there was a time when the nations of the pre-reckoning era were still recognised, then the dates where reset with the final fall of city of Telmigon into anarchy. Modern historians place year 0 at the time that the scattered villages and cites of the east coast united into the nation of Krelmiss. As such dates run as follows:
3459-3521 PA (post Armageddon, referring to the third one)
6743-0 BA (Barbaric age)
1-3244(modern day) KA (Krelmiss age)
The first history that is recorded by the Tower of History (see organizations bellow) takes place in 350-347 BA, when Dolmil the Vile, a cleric of Mordenad, united the mountain lands that are now known as Doldamia into the first true civilisation since the fall of Telmigon. There is some doubt as to whether this is true or whether previous nations has tried and failed but what is known is that Doldamia is the oldest surviving nation.
It was this moment that catalysed the formation of the other nations. Selviton was formed by a group of mages who wished protection from Dolmil, and Temil, Bethral, Deulk and Grlva all came into existence when Doldamia expanded, suffered economic troubles and collapsed back from an empire into a nation, leaving civilisation behind. Bethral expanded and fell much like a small Doldamia, creating Tuulk and Sumtam. Krelmiss was then united by King Helumin the first to better defend itself from the Tuulk and Suntam alliance. It is also rumoured, and denied most strongly by the Krelmenes people, that he had something to do with the curse of men on Sumtam.
The Lands and the Great Wheel
The cosmology described briefly here and in the deities articles is not that of the great wheel. However Morganna, Bendigeidfran and Ultrak all guard a gate into the appropriate great wheel elemental plane. Logically a fire portal should exist, but none have found it yet (or maybe the Daemon Gods don’t want it found).
There are eight planes apart form the material and each has its own shadow and ethereal planes, except for Soltavia and Camtalla which have no shadow planes.
- Ocientica has the strong Law and moderate Good alignment traits. Most of it has the water planar descriptor, except for a few bubble cites. All of the celestials from this plane have the Water sub-type but retain the ability to breath air if they normally can. It is home to the water elementals.
- Camtalla has the strong Law and strong Positive traits. It appears to be a large rolling area of plains dotted with giant castle cites.
- Terrorix is strongly Lawful and moderately Evil and has the Earth dominant traits. All Fiends from this plane have the earth descriptor and it is home to the earth elementals.
- Soltavia is strongly Good aligned and has the fire and moderate positive planar traits. All celestials from this plane have the Fire sub-type.
- Lunulis is strongly Evil aligned and has the cold and moderate negative planar traits. All fiends from this plane have the Cold sub-type.
- Avornia is Strongly chaotic and moderately Good aligned. There are quite a few chunks of stable land as well. All celestials from this plane have the Air sub-type and gain a fly speed equal to their ground speed (average) form a supernatural source of they cannot fly already.
- Nocrostia is Strongly chaotic and strongly negative. Slaad are now immune to this planar effect. It resembles a mass of rolling and dead woodland.
- Pyrolmixkor is Strongly chaotic and Evil as well as Strongly Negative and Fire dominant. All fiends from this plane have the Fire sub-type.
The Races of the Lands
Although all of the standard races are here they take slightly different aspects due to the nature of the world.
Dwarves are considered by civilised men to be the epitome of civilization. Even the eternal war between Dwarves and Duregar ends briefly every 17 years for the grand counsel of Thanes to take place.
Elves are far less trusted. Not only do Drow have a good foothold on the subterranean parts of this world but surface elves are creatures of chaos. A tribe of elves known as the Scradi have become accepted as traders and diplomats, but the not lawful and patriarchal Scradi have been all but disowned by other elves, to the point that Drow will allay with elves to fight Scradi.
Other races can be split by habits or alignment. Those who lean towards civilisation or lawful alignments have a place in almost any city, even the evil ones such as hobgoblins. Those who do not are considered savage barbarians.
Land of strong theocracies and influential clergy, Doldamia is somewhat reduced these past centuries. Once a mighty empire Doldamia still claims a large part of the continent as its own, despite the fact that they lost some of those territories in the BA era. Over the millennia they have had many wars with their neighbours, Temil, Bethral and Deulk. They are now due to border shifts the smallest of these nations and as such have been forced into more clandestine assaults. This in turn has shifted the focus of their religion.
All races who fear and revere the Earth pantheon are welcome in Doldamia, providing they are willing to conform to the laws of the state. In line with earth pantheon dogma, Doldamia is strongly in favour of capital punishment and many forms of mutilation, rather than imprisonment or fines. No other religion is tolerated in theory, but in practice both the sun and moon cult as well as the druidic faith are present, albeit in very small numbers.
Doldamia operates on a feudal system with all clergy also having land and the other requirements for ruler ship seconded to them by the church and crown should they desire it. They maintain a strong and varied army.
Notable persons include King Kelekin Dolmil, Aristocrat 6, and the court advisers and royal champions, all of whom happen to be the arch priests of either the Earth cult or an earth god. Kelekin is rare in the nations history as he is not a cleric himself.
The nation is still reasonably large. The state languages are Drol and Terran. Most of the populous speak Drilkam, whilst the nobles speak Drol. It is not unknown for a lord to need a personal interpreter.
Temil is a name for both a valley and a nation. Sandwiched between the Theocratic Doldamia and the Arcane haven that is the silver towers of Selviton Temil is a very long and thin nation, centred on the valley of the river Temm. The Temil people are devout if pragmatic worshippers of the Water and Life cults. The lands are divided into fiefdoms that are ruled by separate individual races with the chosen leader of each race acting as a voting member of the parliament of Temil. The areas are known as Thirds from the time when humans dwarves and giants where the only races, but today there are far more. The thirds are, in order of political significance.
- Human. Ruled by a hereditary ruler, currently Wizard3/Aristocrat 2.
- Dwarf. Ruled by a chosen Thane.
- Storm Giant. Ruled by a hereditary ruler, currently fighter 8.
- Stone Giant. Ruled by a theocracy of Life, Sun, Moon, Air and Water Cults.
- Frost and Fire Giants. Ruled by one leader chosen in a challenge of strength. The mountains here are semi-Arctic, with four active volcanoes.
- Goblin. Rules by a hereditary ruler, currently Aristocrat 1/Fighter 9.
- Halfling. A very small are of the human third ruled by its own parliament.
- Hill Giant. Ruled by a clan chief, although which is questionable. Utterly disorganized.
Temil is constantly forced to defend itself from its aggressive neighbours along its very long border and as such it has a very high level of military might for a nation of its size.
The official state language is Deu, and indeed most humans do speak that tongue.
Making up the entire north coast of the continent Bethral is a relatively fragile alliance of city states rather than a nation. The general public and the government are generally afraid of magic of all kinds, as a result only a select few religions are permitted. All of the allowed gods are drawn from the water and earth pantheons, but they are far from all allowed. Any religion that places any significance on magic is instantly disallowed, as are any that move from strictly lawful alignments. Evnisien is also forbidden.
Bethral's largest city is Gimol. Gimol is the home of the closest thing Bethral has to a unified ruler in the fact that she has a large enough personal army to deal with up to two average or one strong opposing nation. She is Lady Patrisca, aristocrat 7/rogue 3, and one time head of the which hunter's league.
Races with hereditary ties to magic are also banned.
The state language is Deu.
Boardering onto Bethral and Doldamia Deulk the nation was a rather small area of land around the mountain city of Deulk the city. Also known as the city of ten thousand trades Deulk was able, by virtue of advanced gnomic devices and creative human tactics to expand during a was with Doldamia. This however presented a problem which is still common today, many of the population desire to return to "the old land". The nation is divided into two areas, the mountain which is relatively peaceful and ruled by an open parliment, twenty hereditary peers make laws that must be ratified by a varying majority (depending on the type of law) of the citizens who turn up to vote on it. For the most part less than thirty citizens vote on any one law and all tend to vote the same way. The area outside this is governed by these laws but its lords have no say on them. The area around is therefore considered a vassal state. Peace here is far less uniform and attacks on manor houses by rebels is still not considered out of the ordinary.
The most powerful weapon Deulk has today of economic might. A free and open city it has almost every trade and craft imaginable and all nearby nations, even Doldamia, buy weapons, tools, art, raw minerals, refined metal and so on from Deulk. Most also owe money and other favours to the city making it effectively unattackable.
The state languadge is Deu.
The swamp nation of Tuulk is one of the few actual nations that does not worship a lawful pantheon. The death pantheon is worshipped here and it shows in the attitudes of the people. Lacking a unified government or even any governance above the tribe level the nation is only unified in times of war. It has been commented that the tribes war constantly meaning that when they go to war as a nation they become a very potent force made up almost entirely of veterans. It is as though the barbarians became a nation without becoming civilised, an idea that worries many of their neighbours.
In order to unify the nation a challenge of strength endurance and wisdom is held between the leaders of each tribe. Clergy of the death house adjudicate.
Almost all races can be found here and almost all languages, often bastardized, as well. The unique human tongue of the nation is Tuulmatan, but it is used only by a few isolated tribes these days.
The nation that shares its name with a desert is a cursed place. A primarily water, sun and moon worshiping place it is both a Monarchy and a Theocracy, only those who have divine favour may rule. In ages past the land was ruled by a line of fierce and dedicated sultans and in theory it still is, but they have a problem.
Some time in their history the land was cursed so that only one in every hundred children would be born male. This was weakened over tiem but it is still near 1:50. The rulers managed to deal with the problem and now the nation is stable, but very peculiar. To be a man in Sumtam is to be a celebrity. Whenever a male child is born the mother is heralded as a hero and the child taken by the royal courts. There it is raised until it reaches puberty. In order to ensure that they have sufficient males every male child and adult is kept in conditions (room temperature, food, exercise, etc.) that ensure longevity and sexual potency. A minimum of four in seven nights (less later in life) they lay down with a woman selected but to her likelihood to conceive. As a result men are revered, and indeed technically have a lot of political power, but almost treated as second class. Male adventurers who visit Sumtan are likely to be offered all kinds of help, to the point that it is patronizing. Even the most lazy adventurer will have difficulty when women are offering to cut his food for him.
The language of Sumtan is also called Sumtan.
Making up most of the western coast Selviton is a Magocricy focused around its legendary Silver towers. All of the people of the nation are considered subservient to it's arcane magic using population. Divine magic users are considered second class citizens as well, but valuable like all craftsmen.
Selviton has had many difficulties keeping internal order in the past, mainly stired up by the which hunter league of Bethral.
The Selvitonesse speak Selkat, but the arcanists favour Melkor.
Krelmiss is a large and prosperous feudal nation that makes up the eastern portion of the continent. It is ruled on a very detached but well regulated level, with local lords having near total autonomy within certain guidelines. Unlike most other nations it observes a wide view of religious tolerance and almost all religions can be found here. It's royal family and many of its noble families are elven. It does however have a few problems.
First is the Gelmaton mountain range that splits the kingdom north to south. With few passes, especially in winter, this mountain range cuts the western kingdom off from the capitol in the east to the extent that many western nobles have "lost" orders sent to them and successfully blamed it on a missing messenger.
The people of Krelmiss speak Krell, but the nobles of the court use Freltum.
South of the nations listed above, the world falls to barbarians. The south lands are inhabited by tribes of barbarians, monsters and other savage creatures. Few have attempted to create a nation out of this chaos, and all have failed. The southlands are in the main flatter than the northern lands, but they contain the famous "world edge mountains". None truly believe that these mountains are the edge of the world in a true sense, but in a practical sense they are, for no expedition has ever managed to cross them and return to tell the tale.
The humans here speak a veriaty of tongues that in fact belong to other races, many tribes have Goblin as their native tounge for example.
The people of the north believe that there is no civilisation in the south. The Rulmui people believe there is no civilisation in the north. Rulmui is on the continents south coast with its border coming up to the world edge mountains in places. The society is feudal and of an oriental feel, but with social and political power derived primarily from the wealth of the people, therefore whilst nobles are often the most important occasionally a peasant may have more real power. This is rare however.
The Rulmui people speak Ramulk.
- The Witch Hunter League
A Bethralian organization primarily the witch hunter league is a hierarchical organization based on the idea that all arcane and psionic magic is inherently chaotic and must be destroyed. At various points in its history it has burned entire villages to the ground, overthrown cites and declared war on pretty much everyone. The organization has members the world over and is a real threat to all arcanists who have to deal with the underworld. You never know where they are.
- The Tower of History
Set up in what is now Selviton the tower of history is the oldest building in existence, believed to date from the first age. Here the dedicated monks record all events. They believe that whilst time destroys many things a repository of knowledge like theirs is vital. As they possess many secrets concerning the fall of the worlds however many are skeptical of them.
- The Never Vault
Operating from inside a building from the end of the second age the never vault seeks to userp magic with technology and to unleash the weapons of this bygone era upon the world.
- Evnisien's Inquisition
All clerics of Evnisien are de facto members of his inquisition too, but this is only a small portion of their membership. The aims of the inquisition are to find and destroy all subversive and destructive elements in society and to ensure order prevails. The frequently come into conflict with the which hunter league. Both organization believe that the other uses inherently chaotic and disorderly tactics and has ulterior motives.
- The Black Seal
Are the black seal real? Are they fiction? None are sure, even the clerics of those earth house deities who are supposed to be tied to the order. It is certain that some have done things for those who they believed to be members. It is also certain that some of those act where definitely done for non members. If they are true, then they are a group who manipulate the entire world. If they are fiction, then they have done enough damage anyway as a ghost of an idea.
And as for non humans:
- Dwarves have two tongues, High and Low Dwarvish. All Dwarves know both. Low Dwarvish is used every day and shares some of the same alphabet as High Dwarvish. High Dwarvish has a much larger alphabet, syntax and vocabulary. With over 89 tenses it is very pedantic and is used solely for official ceremonies, laws, trials and contracts where the hours it takes to speak are considered worth it for the accuracy.
- Gnomes have only one language but an interesting factor in it is the fact that most of the syntax and grammar is arranged around how the words are said, there only being a total of 6000 gnomic words. "Gemstone" said one way means "large cracked ruby" and said another means "small murky sapphire". The written language therefore contains punctuation to indicate volume/pitch/speed/emotion and so on.
- Elves have a grand total of 6 written and 4 spoken tongues, none of which shares syntax and grammar with the others. This is in addition to the tribal dialect of common elvish. They all know all of them. The spoken tongues are Common (day to day), Master's (used by royalty and those in royal surroundings), Singer's (built around sounding good when sung) and Hunter's (simple and basic for conveying information fast). The written tongues are Written Common (totally different grammar to common), Ancient (no longer used day to day, once had a spoken form), Writer's (used to convey imagery), Craftsman's (used to convey instructions), Ceremonial (highly detailed and elegant used for religious occasions) and Grand (used by royalty and other important persons day to day). Other than ancient they all use a letter->word alphabet in which the word alters depending on size, context, angle, place on the page and so on.
Most traders use either Hunter's elvish (for face to face) or Craftsman's elvish (for letters and contracts) as a lingua franca where one is needed. High Dwarvish and sometimes Freltum are used in political circles for dealing with similar problems, although this is less often needed.
The Deities of Blamakar are powerful, and at the same time limited. They gain divine rank only through worship and any deity who loses large amounts of followers or simply ignores them will fade and die. By a similar pattern however, the path to godhood is quite clearly marked and obvious. If enough people believe in you, that is to say associate certain qualities and abilities to you without question, you too can become a god. In practice this has never happened to above divine rank 1.
The gods are separated into houses. Each deity is within one step of that house's alignment and all clerics must be within one step of both the god and the house's alignment. The houses may also be worshiped as divine forces in their own right. There are therefore effectively 65 different "gods", including the Druidic faith. The houses may be tied to an element, in which case it is the real that that element comes from, not the element itself that shares that alignment. Elementals are still neutral. Positive energy is tied to Law and negative energy to Chaos; adjust the alignments of undead and undead creating spells respectively.
There are no clerics without deities.
The order in which the information is presented is