Altereuropa, Into Drachenheim
SYSTEM: First things first, the system employed. Right now its best to keep the mechanics as true as possible to the DND 3.5 system, with various tweaks, which will be explained later on, to fit the world setting. So far, for quick reference, the tweaks made are as follows:
*Druidic Companions must be Fey in nature. *Level 5 Arcane Spells and above require some manner of binding or contract with a Fey. *Halflings, Half-Orcs, Drow, Monster-races are forbidden and non-existent. *The Monk Class also does not exist. *The Prestige Class of Harper Scout, Harper Agent, Harper Mage all require that the taker be a worshipper of The Wayfinder. *Paladins abilities work differently. Detect/Smite powers are not based on alignments, but deeds committed by the target within the last week. within the last month if they are fey-bound or particularly evil. *Shadowbane Inquisitors and Shadowbane Stalkers must be members of either the Concordate Tribunal or the Knights Executor. *Divine Champion is one prestige class, rather than many. *Arcane Archers must originate in either Morea or Brigantes.
RACES: There are 9 legitimate sapient races in the game-world, and although there are many other non-sapient beasts and monsters, they are just that- magical beasts, aberrations or animals. Undead are a special category that will be dealt with elsewhere. Monster races exist within the Unseelie Fey, such as Redcaps, which will fill the role of Orcs and other similar creatures. expect Unseelie Giants(Formorians) and Unseelie Hags!
ELDEST RACES: *Gods/Fey *Faekin(unplayable, comes in two varieties, Seelie and Unseelie) *Dragons(unplayable)
ELDER RACES: *Elves *Dwarves *Yuan-Ti(unplayable)
YOUNG RACES: *Humans *Gnomes *Lizardfolk (unplayable, primary monster race)
Magic works a little differently in this world. Arcane Magic is a neutral, all-pervasive force that ebbs and flows with the centuries, with localized monthly tides- Full Moon brings High Tide, and a moonless night is Low Tide. Currently, our world is starting to experience a Flow period, where Arcane magic is rife and the weave of the world is loosened, allowing the Fey to move about and become drunk with the magic, becoming Unseelie.
Arcane Magic is strictly regulated by the Concordate, a powerful merging of several theomagical bodies with similar goals, which dedicates itself to the regulation of arcane magic. However, High Elves, and the Yuan-Ti all have their own arcane magic, able to unlock without fey binding. This powerful body is a force in politics aswell as society, with all those posessing innate talent with Arcane Magic required to be registered with the church as Laymen, or become fully fledged Mages. The Concordate also embraces the Church of the Protector, a bloated and vastly swollen Order of Clergy dedicated to the Protector,one of the four Gods, who also recieve his divine blessings. The Concordate also maintains the Praetorate States, several powerful holdings ruled over by the Praetor, the official head of the Concordate, aswell as supporting the Knightly Orders and the Tribunal, which acts as the primary authority in maintaining Arcane doctrine.
Higher Levels of Arcane Magic are only reachable through unlocking or binding. Binding is the core of Arcane Magic, and taps the innate power of the most magical race, the Fey. In a similar fashion to how demons are employed, Fey can be bound to become familliars, or bargained with in order to gain their power or learn how to unlock.
Unlocking varies from individual to individual, and allows the Mage to shift themselves to become cosmically polarized- allowing themselves to access the full power of Arcane Magic (Level 5+ Spells) but also making them highly vulernable to fey influence, and prone to chaotic behaviour, and even madness. Certain Fey know ancient arcane secrets, and Certain others can read you, and see how you may unlock yourself. The exact nature of this is definitely unknown, and the Concordate has officially outlawed making deals with the Unseelie Fey, who are, as a rule, the ones most likely to give you what you want- if not exactly how you intended it.
Necromancy is completely banned, and although there are various outcasts and dabblers who try to study various Necromantic cantrips, the Concordate’s agents seek out any hint of this vile art, and send the Knights Executor(also known as the black-tabards) to crush any Necromantic activity.
The Knights Executor are one of three Knightly Orders that the Concordate controls. The Knights Constant are the Concordate’s religious paladins, who defend the churches, chapels and shrines of the Protector, and the Knights Vigile are those tasked with the elimination of all Unseelie activity. The Knights Vigile work closely with the Tribunal, to root out unregistered arcane practitioners.
Divine Magic is tied to the Gods of Order and the Fey of Elemental Chaos, of which four have survived the Godswar with the Fey. These Nine divine beings are The Protector, The Wayfinder, The Labourer, The Sage, The Moonqueen, The Sunking, The Songsmistress, The Wavemaster and the Outsider. The Outsider is unique, representing both the neutral good of life and the neutral evil of death, and is seen as responsible for the existence of the Undead. Necromantic Cults worshipping the Outsider, whom they call the Gatekeeper or The Returner, have sprung up from time to time, but generally bloody wars with the Knights Executor and other, similar bodies have seen it crushed into the smallest of minorities.
Druidic Magic is tied to the natural order of things, and as such requires close communion with the Seelie Fey. Druidic Companions, required for a Druid to obtain closer empathy with the harmonic forces, are often bonded Fey, who are willing companions of the Druid. Bonded Fey do not easily become Unseelie, however, since they share a part of their essence with the Druid, and the Druid shares a part of their essence with the Fey. Druids are nonetheless rare, and shunned by the general populace, blamed for bringing the Fey when disasters occur, and sometimes actively prosecuted by over-eager Knights Executor.
Rangers are often worshippers of the Wayfinder, those who seek close communion with the harmonic forces of nature, but do not Bond with the Fey. Instead, they may choose to have an Animal Companion, perhaps something they raised and domesticated. Sometimes they have an innate resonance with the forces of life, and may even be “Feytouched”, whatever that means. Some say that there is a Secret Order of the Wayfinder, known as the Harpers, who travel the wilds as woodsguides, foresters, roving bands of Gypsies, and travellers, ensuring that the bounds of the Ancient Woods and the Threads of Balance are respected and maintained. They observe the Seelie, and try to prevent them from becoming Unseelie. They also try to put down Unseelie before the Concordate discovers them, or persuade them to leave for the Fayplane.
LANGUAGES: The following may be taken as Languages: Fey Sylvan(Wood Elf Language) Old Elven(non-spoken) Old Dwarven(non-spoken) Draconic Ayyubic(Yuan-Ti and Lizardfolk) High Elven(Couronnan) Morean/Dark Elven Dwarvish Gnomish Heimlander/Common Brigantine Estanzan Thieve’s Cant Gardarak Dacian Sahakharan Marlettan Nordspeak Fryssenmann Wolynian Leii Avarian
Paladins must be a member of one of the 3 Knightly Orders, and swear at least one Vow. All Paladins get Smite Chaos instead of Smite Evil. All Paladins also get Turn Undead, as the Mad One’s poison cannot stand the presence of agents of Order or Chaos, being of both and neither.
Rogues can be many things, Thieves, Pirates of the Emerald or Sapphire Sea, or general “rogues”. They can learn to use Artifacts, which act as Reservoirs of magical power, being anything from say, flaming swords to music boxes which can fill men with the strength of whole armies. These Artifacts usually come from the 2nd Era, or are crafted by Dwarves or Elves. They are jealousy sought out and purchased or obtained by the Concordate, for its own purposes.
Bards are similar, perhaps being driven by some unacknowledged innate feyborn talent to sing and preform, to wander the lands and gain fame and glory. They are sometimes members of the secretive Order of the Harpers.
Fighters are generally freemen, mercenaries that wander the Heimmark, accepting jobs and contracts from the various bickering Princes, Barons, Lords and other States that make up the fractious central lands. They may also sometimes be Landsknechts, younger sons seeking their fortune and posessing of higher quality armour and weaponry than your average Fighter.
Barbarians may be Desertmen from the Southlands, the arid sandy Sakahra wastes, or they may be brutal raiders from the Frigid North, the Ejersbrynd and the Fryssenmark, or even the mist-shrouded island of the Brigantes. They are uncomplicated warriors, with a tendency towards more chaotic behaviour.
Monks, or more correctly, Martial Artists, do not properly exist in this setting.
Clerics must belong to one of the Four Godly Temples, or one of the Four Fae Faiths. Different regions and different races have different emphasis.
Wizards and Sourcerers must be registered with the Concordate, as Lay Mages or as fully fledged Initiates. Lay mages often become Hedge Wizards or Magicians, preforming low-end cantrips necessary for society, such as enchanting crops to grow, dismissing low-end fey, creating magical traps and the like. However, the truth as to why arcane magic is fey-reliant is hidden from all but the most powerful and trustworthy.
Initiates often work hard to become Journeymen, and spend time wandering the Lands, gaining practical field experience, although they may also take a short-cut and become Adepts in the Protector’s Order, and as such spend their time gaining the needed “experience” as a scholar or theologian, before being considered to apply for Mastership, and as such access to Level 5 Arcane Spells.