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GameNerd: D&D world design



I have this high fantasy setting I've been noodling about for well over a decade, now. The recent frequency of pez_minotaur's D&D game has got me thinking about it more, and updating it for D&D 3.5. I'm going to post it here, because, well, that is what I do. Posts will be lj cut for those who do not care.

The western edge of the continent is the Blasted Lands - fields of glass and desert, dust and silt. Some life has started to regain a foothold here after the Fall centuries ago. Full of pockets of wild magic and null magic areas. The life here is prone to freakish mutations and is generally unpleasant. Most intelligent creatures avoid the area if at all possible.

East and south of the Blasted Lands are a band of plains and forests, still relatively undeveloped, and populated by tribes of barbarians both monstrous and otherwise.


The Solari Imperium

In the centre of the southern coast, there is an extension into the sea (think India, Italy or Greece), which holds what is left of the old Imperium. The Imperium once ruled the known world, but has grown weak, and has lost a lot of territory in the last five hundred years. What is left is still controlled by an organized government, and protected by the only standing army in the human lands. The Imperium follows the god of Sun, Strength and Health, Solis. The Imperium no longer has the edge it used to, military-wise, since the Seven Kingdoms can also field a disciplined army, so conquest is not really an option at present. None of the Seven Kingdoms are strong enough to risk direct assault on the Imperium, but they have made it known that any attack by the Imperium will be met by the combined might of all seven. This has resulted, though, in an era of increased trade between the Imperium and the Seven Kingdoms.

The population in the Imperium is mainly human. The Dwarves and Elves left when the empire began to fall. There are Halfliing ghettos (in some places, think Merchant of Venice). While enslaving humans is illegal, it is legal to enslave "monster" races, like orcs, goblins, etc. This is something of a point of contention between the Imperium and the Seven Kingdoms.

Modesty is a strongly enforced social convention in the Imperium - Solari women, especially nobles, are expected to remain covered from chin to ankle in public. Higher ranking women are expected to cover increasing amounts of their bodies - at the upper levels, to the point of veils and headscarves to obscure facial features. Solari women's clothing is heavily embellished with embroidery and jewelry to compensate. Women will often establish personal sets of decoration as common across their wardrobe to establish personal style. For men, long, simply decorated robes are popular, as are oiled, curled beards.

Magic in the Imperium was once the sole province of the wizards of the Citadel of the Eternal Sunrise, more colloquially known as the Sun Mages, but the government has allowed its support to wane, to the point where other groups of wizards are making inroads.

Religiously, the Imperium holds Solis highest among gods, and after him, his consort and children. (the Goddess of the Moon, and the Goddesses of Light/Day and Darkness/Night, respectively).

The Imperium holds the largest seaports, and control most of the trade with the nations to the distant south and east.

More to come later as time allows.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
mycrazyhair
Feb. 5th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC)
Heh. Oddly, the one detail that sticks out here is the oiled, curled beards, which reminds me of C.S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy.
night__watch
Feb. 5th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
Sorry, but it must be shared.
Heh. The shape of it sounds vaguely familiar. I, too, once had a fantasy world. The Western Lands were a Wilderness, occasionally peppered with ruins. The South East had a penisula, and an Empire that was decaying (incidently, the Mage's Guild used to have a monoploy on magic, but the Sorcerors have actually gotten reputable enough to have two Houses associated with the Knighthood)

There was also a northern colony that has since been cut off from the Empire and has declared indepedence, and is trying to sign agreements with the local "monster" populace.

About the only difference is that I still had the Elves in between the Wildland and Vestraik (Orc territory) and the Empire. But they mostly stayed in their forest and shot people who came in. You know, like Elves.

I wonder if there's some sort of Jungian collective unconscious underlying all this.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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