The 12 Facts of Sanlibutan (Karanduun Setting)
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The setting of Karanduun is named after its titular heroes. The world of Karanduun is known as the Sanlibutan, and the Sanlibutan is part of the great cosmic realm known as the Tapiserya. The World of Karanduun is very much unique in several ways. Sanlibutan is a fractured world, where people fight sword, faith, and word over a land that is the corpse of a primordial god.
A newcomer to Sanlibutan has much to learn about their ways, since it is built upon a rather different foundation than Nentir Vale or Forgotten Realms. The following 12 facts of Sanlibutan encapsulate the most important facts and characteristics of the world that the Worthy now tread upon.
12 Facts of Sanlibutan
1. Inspired by Filipino Mythology. The starflies are the remnants of Alitaptap, the smitten daughter of the Tala. The Mad Sky God Maykaptan defeated the heroes of old, but the Thousand Tears Lightnings Apocalypse has sent him into a deep torpor. Aswang prowl the night, dangerous beings that walk as normal humans in the day. Gawigawen walk their stride and go about their pilgrimages. Kapre and Agta smoke tobacco, caught in a constant war against each other. The current lands of the setting were truly made by a squabble amongst the Apo, the Higher Gods, of deities inspired by Filipino Myth. And thus, many of the heroes are capable of amazing, and soon mythological feats as they accumulate power. They soon become as strong as Bernardo Carpio, holding two plates of the earth apart. As royal as Handiong, the Bikolano king that smote the boar Tayandag and established a Bikolano Golden Age. As heroic as Lam-Ang, who fought and won against various dangers with pure, brute force, and many more.
2. But the Myths are now twisted. The starflies are used to power mekanikal lights. The Mad Sky God bides his time and power. Aswang might be that merchant selling you utensils from anotehr land. Gawigawen threaten to destroy mekanikal marvels such as the walls of Indigo. Tamawo, Kapre, Duwende alike all live in shadowed communities with humans in the great metropolises as their own enchanted kingdom crumbles due to political warfare. Nature Gods and Ancestral Spirits are captured and then harvested for their 'Tigas', solidified essence of the fundamental aspect of the universe, to power great engines of war. This is a time of mourning.
3. The Gods are Alive and Scrambling for Power. Heaven is alive… and rife with political warfare. After the Thousand Tears and Lightnings Apocalypse, which sundered the spheres of natural and spiritual, many gods forgot who they are, even more died, and in the vacuum of that power the Gods tried to fill in and gain dominance. Along with the rules of Apotheosis, that allowed almost any kind of Mortal -- if Tadhana wills it -- to ascend into Godhood, this resulted in a great many Gods fighting in the Maka, the Skyworld, in an attempt to gain a foothold and influence the natural world.
4. Industrial Revolutions and Native Cultures. At the cusp of industrial revolution, the Age of Luminance, 1197 of Yavum’s Slumber, was the year that Al-Kaig set it’s sights on dominance. With technology and the miracles of Yavum on their side, they expanded their empire’s reach, fighting back against the various monsters and maligno (direbeasts in their vocabulary). While their reach is limited, thanks to the scarred lands that the races now live upon, they discovered a way to reach the Cradle of Civilization -- the Lakungdulan Isles.
5. Monsters and Maligno roam the land. Before the Sundering of the Spheres, the spirits roamed the land beside the first races. Now the land -- which had been blessed and nurtured by the Spirits -- was burnt and ravaged and it desiccated into nothingness. The dark-spirits and creatures of monstrous mien -- maligno -- appeared then, formed from the sudden destruction of the land. Some of these dark taint latched on to already living humans and other such races, malforming them into twisted beings. Now most of the land is populated by these direbeasts, guarding ruins which they themselves lived in, or walking across the land in search of things to destroy. Many of the maligno only have destruction and death in their minds, but this is by no means applicable to all of them. This is punctuated by the fact that many of the Itim faction of Engkanto -- those that exist only to counteract the normal Engkanto faction -- now roam freely, creating vast monuments and civilizations which would be torn down the next day, again and again. A vicious cycle of primal anarchy.
6. The races live behind walled bastions. In the midst of this all, the various Souled Races created bastions of civilization, to guard against the maligno that now roam the lands. These new empires and kingdoms and cities -- Lakungdula’s Lakandoms, the entire God-Shielded Island of Tabun, the Colony-Cities of Zuhayras, Al-Kaig’s Phaedrus, Giro'jji's Silken City, Qirong’s Blossom-Petal City, the Galadarian Mountain Steads, the Ento’Sekjan’s Coccoon Enclaves, the Garuda’s Aviaries, the Great Indigo Metropolis of Seven Cities in Zuhayras -- all stand as Points of Light in this otherwise World of Darkness.
7. And they must work together to survive. In this sundered land, there is no room for prejudice. When a maligno can shapeshift into your loved one and kill you while you feel you are safest, or when gigantic monsters roam the land, felling mighty walls built in years with one mighty swoop, one needs all the help it can get. After the Enchanted Strife, the Mortal Races seem to have forgotten that. With the looming threat of the various dark forces now returning, there has never been as important a time as this to band together the warring races to stand against the common threat. Despite this...
8. Civilizations war against each other while not heeding the various monsters and malevolent sorcery of the Sundered Land. Despite this truth, the points of light still fight amongst each other. With the light of better technology coming through, as well as the various Gods being powerful enough to grant protection, and with Sorcery being somewhat prevalent in the Lakungdulan Isles, many of the people have forgotten the threat of the...
9. Maligno and the Monsters. They create vast agricultural fields, and manufacture powerful weapons of war against each other, and not the majority of the land. This will, inevitably, become their downfall. Halimaw, monsters that have migrated from the Espiritu and given corporeal form by the natural world. Yawa that ascends from the depths of hell.
10. The Time of Malice: a Post-Sundering World. The World Before has ended, torn away from history by the Thousand Tears and Lightnings Apocalypse. Sanlibutan, as the Qirong Philosophers and Scholars call the world (after one has travelled to Lakungdula and heard a Lakungdulan refer to the world in that way) is now in a new time, a time after the Thousand Lightnings and Tears Apocalypse. A Time of Malice.
11. Adventurers and Heroes are needed. And in the cusp of war, and destruction, and with maligno prowling the land, with various prophecies being enacted, with the esoteric whispers of the earth heralding certain doom, with the Gods tied up in their campaigns for power, with the points of light trying to snuff other points of light in a world of darkness, heroes arise. They carry with them a little candle, a small wick of flame to face the horrors of the night, but one little candle, when joined with other little candles, can form a torch. And torches joined by other torches become bonfires. While this world of darkness seems to be unassailable, the bonfires of the heroes to come will be enough to light the way.
12. The Karanduun have returned. You are one of those heroes. Whether you were born, or you were manufactured, or your Inheritance was cultivated, you join the ranks of the Heroes that have returned. Upon your hands rests the fate of Sanlibutan. Will it return to its time of glories, or descend into its ultimate doom?