• Human (Rugnosant)
• Human (Saurian)
• Human (Hallan)
• Mountain Dwarf (Hallan)
• Wayward Dwarf (Non-Hallan)
• Anarian (Wood Elf)
• Valarian (High Elf)
• Talarian (Sun Elf)
• Half-Uk'ura (Half-Orc)*
Note: Hybrids and outsider races are generally regarded with negative racial bias in most parts of the world.
All standard classes listed in the PHB are acceptable. Homebrew classes might be considered.
All standard backgrounds listed in the PHB or here.
Homebrew backgrounds might be considered.
• Common (Rugnosant/Hallan)
• Common (Saurian)
• Elf (Wood)
• Elf (High/Dark)
• Dwarven (Hallan)
• Uk'uran (Orc/Greenskin)
• Wyrdan (Old Hallan)
Pick as many as are appropriate to your character's background.
Please clearly pick a god. If your character worships more than one god, choose one as their primary. You are not required to play a character where worship is a major part of their lives, but pure atheism is extremely rare in Volera, especially since there is walking proof of meddlesome gods among men. Your character does not have to pray or be particularly devout; "worship" can be as little as hanging your god's symbol in your house or using their name in a curse on someone else.
Starting Gold: 150gp
Ignore class + background standards. Everyone starts with the same amount of gold for this campaign. You may purchase mundane items that are relevant to your character backstory. Just remember: over-encumberance is a thing.
To the cold north are the Voleran Highlands, where Hallan warriors and clansmen claim home and live the way of the sword. There are no stronger folk than those that have been tempered by the uneasy frosts and hardships of Halla. The Hallan believe that every man, woman, and child should be proficient with sword and horse and are trained in both early in their years. Duty to family runs deep in their kind -- they are a fiercely proud and stubborn people, divided by the three major Clans and their loyalty to them: Clan Deergrin of the Mountain Lion, Clan Bathor of the Wolf, and Clan Nivgar of the Bear. Each Clan is led by a Jarl and every decade or so, a Moot is convened by Hallan elders to determine the ruler of the jewel of the north, the capital of Hellis. There is no royalty in Halla -- only the freemen, their Jarls, and their slaves. It is very uncommon for a Hallan to live outside of association of one of the Clans as the people are quite communal and family-like even to non-blood relations so long as they are of the same Clan.
Disputes between people are settled by their Jarls. Honor and oath-keeping are serious and binding in the eyes of the Hallan, to the point where many believe the purposeful failure of following through is punishable, sometimes even by death. Few Hallan ever leave their lands and those that do are oftentimes forced to as an exile or traitor. The only typical exceptions are merchants, craftsmen, or raiders, but even then they regularly return home. Most troubles of the world beyond do not make it this far north -- the Hallan are wary of outsiders and prefer to keep to themselves.
The Dwarves of Halla are not much different -- though they greatly outnumber the Humans of the north, they seclude themselves in their stone city of Korta, deep in the mountains of the Broan Chain and away from Human settlements. They usually have little interest of wandering beyond the mountains, but when they do, most exchanges between the Kortan Dwarves and Hallan Humans tend to be aggressive and bloody.
Halla is world-renowned for its blacksmithing, strange history and magic, warriors, and seafaring.
The Wayland Wilds
Some scholars say that Halla was once home to ancient civilizations that predate the Unknowing Days -- even in the Wayland Wilds, the wyrd wood that separates southern Halla from northern Rugnos, adventurers may occasionally stumble across evidence of cultures and people lost to time. Some even say that they have witnessed bizarre, paranormal events within this forest. Practitioners of magic also argue that they can certainly feel a latent sort of power within this realm, sleeping and incomprehensible... some say something similar might be found in the archival catacombs beneath the Occalund Monasteries north of Hellis, where ancient scripts and treasures have been buried long before the recording of time...
The largest realm of Volera without contestation is Rugnos, a land of learning, industry, and innovation. Set in the temperate heart of the world, wide hilly expanses of the realm are fertile farmlands where it is not handsomely forested. A long history of trading and tolerance for outsiders has heavily attributed to the success of the realm -- over time, it has become a great medley of races and cultures. It is not uncommon for travelers from far corners of the world to eventually settle in Rugnos, as both scholars and merchants are often tempted to the prosperous realm with promises of glory, fame, and wealth, if they are devoted to their craft and willing to compete. Mercenaries are plentiful and opportunities are, supposedly, limitless, especially at places like Herrat, The City of Guilds. Rugnos is, however, not without conflict. Nobility in Rugnos is fickle at best -- the majority of noble houses are young and barely better off than commoners, settled anywhere from single manors in the capital to small farmlands in the outskirting Hillsides. The most cunning nobles manage to stay afloat of the politic-heavy culture and the ruthless play with influence and power. Wealth can be found in many varieties in Rugnos, but trade is often best done in the capital, Thun, or at the coastal city of the Cinderports. There are many foresting and mining colonies between, as well as many farm states, and villages, all connected by various trade routes and roads. While racial tolerance is softest in Rugnos, it is not uncommon to find communities throughout the realm that prefer to stick to their own.
Beyond the internal politics and civil wars of nobles, there are other conflicts that affect citizens of Rugnos that live on the territorial fringes of their kingdom -- the northern Rugnosant settlements often find themselves at odds against Hallan raiders that travel through the Wayland Wilds, a wyrd wood that separates the two realms, to plunder. To the southwest, belly up against the Lowlands, is a large expanse of contested territory where greenskins, werewolves, and other wild things threaten those that inhabit regions closeby -- such as the once fortress-city of Mardura, which has been reduced to a lawless, neutral settlement of vagrants and criminals, as it was surrendered and considered beyond the protective reach of the kingdom.
Rugnos is world-renowned for its military power, its diversified population, its love for trade, and for being the origin of strange sciences and interesting inventions.
For centuries, the Men of Rugnos have attempted to conquer the Lowlands as their own, but to this day they remain unclaimed. A great manner of wild creatures and savage beings make their home in the Lowlands. The geography there is wild and difficult to traverse, ranging from knotted forests so thick the sun does not penetrate their canopies, to swampy, fetid marshes that pull and devour. The Lowlands are known to be the homeland of wicked things like werewolves and various kinds of nomadic greenskin tribes.
The northern fringe of the Lowlands is considered contested territory, often the meeting place of Rugnosant soldiers and Orcish berserkers. This dangerous frontier has waned and waxed throughout the years, resulting in a destruction of settlements, a loss of fortresses, and a handful of abandoned ruins. Only soldiers, daring treasure-seekers, or fools ever make the journey towards the Lowlands.
Most civilization in Sauria wraps the grassland shore or rivers that feed out into the Astan or the Burning Seas. While the majority of the kingdom is comprised of sandy wastelands, Saurian ancestors have long braved the merciless heat of the Tassam Desert and it is not in their nature to surrender tradition. The people of Sauria are passionate, powerful, persuasive, and naturally beguiling. They possess a great appreciation for subtleties and find pleasure in discovering and studying little details. These traits are, perhaps, why Sauria produces the finest wines, songs, and daughters. Wealth and security are hard to come by in Sauria, so it is often the case that locals and foreigners alike are forced to seek both through means that will put them in the debt of someone else.
There are very few cities in Sauria -- beyond Puruja and Talam, most settlements are meager villages or smaller. Talam is a port city and considered the trading capital of Sauria where travelers, merchants, and pirates from around the world come to barter. Beyond its busy docks, great bazaars of countless goods and people fill crooked, poorly cobbled streets through the day and into most of every evening. Though you are likely to bump into the city guard on a regular basis, be warned -- Talam is home to a handful of corrupt gangs and it is likely that the local law sways in favor of whoever is weighing their pockets. Cheats, thieves, panhandlers, and pickpockets frequent crowds and harass foreigners.
Southwest of Talam, connected by the Spice Road, is Puruja, the City of Palaces. Many "princes" claim the ancestral city as their birthplace -- the distribution of wealth is stark in Puruja, with a tight circle of royalty, only a handful of merchant-lords (the closest thing to nobility in Sauria) to claim the middle class, and otherwise commoners that live close to total poverty, forced to share hovels with other families for shelter. Once past the filthy tenements of the common class, Puruja is a beautiful city with grand architecture and lavish artistry -- Saurian royalty knows no restraint when flaunting their wealth and they are not shy to turn their homes into palaces worthy of their station. Sauria is world-renowned for its immense wealth, art, spices, jewels, and for breeding tough, unique, war-ready horses.
Beyond the Tassam Desert, south of Sauria, lies the Deadlands, a seemingly infinite stretch of withered wastelands devoid of all life and habitability, as physical attestation to powers and consequences beyond mortal comprehension and capacity. Whatever became of the territories before the Deadlands remains a mystery, likely to have happened long before the Unknowing Days. Only the undead can be found there now.
The Deadlands - Arrival of the Elves
An ancient war forever scars the face of the world. The Deadlands were created as a catastrophic result of an immense and terrifying battle that decimated all life within the heart of Sauria, resulting in the eventual withering of the cursed land. The Tassam Wilds eventually became the Tassam Desert and the first Elves that lived there were forced to settle on the coast of the Astan shore. Elves that were faithful to a prophecy given to them from their gods took sail to seek fertile lands to the north. The Tassam Elves that stay are eventually known as Sun Elves.
The Elves that come to inhabit the Anari Forest thrive and find themselves with a natural ability to commune with the verdant nature of the new continent. As they grow populous, they seek to expand their guardianship over the Anari Forest. Some go as far north as the Wayland Wilds to call home. Elven history following their arrival to Rugnos is kept secret from outsiders, made intentionally vague and contradictory. It is uncertain what creates the conflict between the High Elves and Wood Elves.
The Siege of Baramunz - The Great War of the North begins
Supposedly, terrible miscommunication between Hallan traders and Kortan miners escalates and explodes horrifically, leading to a swift and violent rally of Hallan raiders to seize the Dwarven settlement of Baramunz. Attempts for diplomacy fail and, tensions rising, circumstances unclear, the denizens of Baramunz are slaughtered. Thus began the long and irreparable conflict between the Hallan humans and the Kortan dwarves, neither side inclined to accept the guilt of having ignited the war. No resolution comes of the war and it does not formally or informally end.
Wyrdan worship is outlawed in Halla, Thonep faiths adopted
Solfri Styrkison of Clan Deergrin is named Greatjarl by Moot and decrees Wyrdan worship unlawful as one of his first proclamations. The motion is popular due to recent, catastrophic events involving uncontrolled wild magic. Major followings of Thonep begin to form in the north and Wyrdan worshipers are forced to exile or to practice in secrecy. The population of witches and warlocks diminishes significantly among cities and larger villages as they flee to smaller settlements, which seem more tolerant of them, especially those that have had their kind as healers for generations.
Enlightenment - Herrat is established
The Knowing Days begin. The City of Guilds, Herrat, is established in the Kingdom of Rugnos with the greatest undertaking of collecting history and knowledge known to mortal-kind. In the decades to follow, passable relations and global trade are established with neighboring kingdoms despite uneasy politics and petty warring.
The Dead War - Magic introduced to common people
Despite the surfacing of a secret society that came to be known as the Occulan Order and their warnings of dangers to come, the Dead War began abruptly and violently as the dead began to rise and lay waste indiscriminately to anything in their roving path. To fight against the undead hordes, the Occulan Order shared the secret of magic. Together with the help of outsiders, but not after great loss and difficulty, the Occulan Order was able to destroy most of the undead forces and brought about the end of the war in 522 KD.
The Orders of Occula are established
What was introduced to common people to be an effective weapon in the Dead War becomes capricious without formal education and control. Those that are able to wield magic prove to be a minority to those that cannot and those that fear it. The Orders of Occula decide to take the burden of tutoring the Awakened and form colleges throughout the world. Eventually, over time, they evolve into their modern consolidations: The Herratian Guilds of Magic in Rugnos, the House of Mirrors in Sauria, and the Occalund Monastery in Halla.
The Uk'uran Crusades - Mardura is established
Though Rugnos has long suffered Uk'uran raids in their territories that fringe the Lowlands, it is discovered that the greenskins have somehow come into possession of magic. Emboldened by their new powers, the Uk'ura become an immense threat on the western Rugnosant border. Even as the military fortress of Mardura is established to push back the Uk'uran line, the Rugnosant defense falls and Mardura is overwhelmed. A full-scale war is declared on the Lowlands and the quest to find the source of the Uk'uran power and sever it begins.
The effort of the Crusades staggers occasionally with political stresses in the Rugnosant capital and the long war finally ends in 1499 KD after a successful expedition uncovers the tribal leaders hidden in the heart of the Lowlands and they are met with their deaths, effectively splintering the united Uk'uran tribes. The territories lost by the Crusades are never truly recovered. Over time, Mardura is transformed into an illegitimate settlement of exiles and criminals forced to fend for themselves.
Now - six years after the fall of Broodmother Shara Veyrak
|Thonep, The Worldmaker, God of Creation, God of Roads|
Domains: Protection, Travel, Creation, Life, Light, War
Within the Great Darkness, it was Thonep that Shaped many worlds. He is the Worldmaker, God of Creation, father of this world and the countless that have followed. To many, he is worshipped as a patron of Life and Light. To others, he is the God of Burdens, Lord of the Weary, Shepherd of the Lost. As he watches over his many children his people pray for his guidance in their journeys across land and sea and his protection on the field of battle.
He is the most powerful of the Four and the most involved -- he is known to walk among men often, however, he is also known for his wanderlust. Volera is only one of many worlds he must guardian, so there are many stretches of time in where he is absent.
His sigils generally possess a wounded bird wing, large wings, hammers, the color white, suns, or an elderly man.
|Roth, Goddess of Death, Lady of the Long Night|
Domains: Death, Time, Order, Immortality, Life, War
Death is not an evil thing -- it is a part of everyday life. So it is the Lady of the Long Night that guides the souls of those that have passed beyond the Veil and into the afterlife safely. She is the mother of souls, the Keeper of Final Judgment, the Curator of Balance, and the mistress of the inevitable decay that becomes all things that breathe. The sick pray that she will pass their door. Soldiers swear her wrath upon their enemies. She is a solemn god, quiet and slow in her work. Though not typically the main deity of worship in most households, her sigil guardians most crypts and healing houses. She is reclusive and distant, subtle and often uncredited in her divine interventions. Her most faithful understand the importance of patience. Her rewards are greatest, but they are slowly earned.
She loves all her children equally, no matter who they may be.
Unfortunately, there are some that pervert her generosity with their dark, twisted ways...
Her sigils generally possess hourglasses, skulls, black suns, and snakes.
|Ebelen, The Red Goddess, Fatekeeper|
Domains: Chaos, Passion, Fortune, Elements, Life, Nature, Tempest, Trickery
Old legends say that, from her very clay, Roth broke a piece of herself and had it Shaped by Thonep to become Volera. It was a cold, dead place, so barren and lonely that Thonep was inspired to fill it with warmth and light -- of his clay, for this very purpose, he Shaped the immortal muse that came to be known as Ebelen. Together, Ebelen and Thonep filled the empty world with creations that the gods themselves had never seen before -- with oceans and mountains, creatures and men. Her world, now born of beauty impossible without Ebelen, sparked adoration in Roth and and she was enraptured. The Goddess of Passion, however, was elusive, capricious, and could not be bound. Though her desires went and remain unanswered from many unfathomable ages ago, Roth patiently waits and endures, knowing that all things will come to pass and it will only be a matter of Time.
Stories of Ebelen through the ages spoke of a curious but meddlesome god. It was said that her whimsical nature drew her to walk among her revelers and though there were enough of these claims that some of them could have been true, drunks and lunatics were frequent enough at her festivals to encourage doubt. To artisans, storytellers, gamblers, lovers, and thrill-seekers, she became known as Fatekeeper, Lady of Revelry and Revelations, Lady of Fervor and Fortune.
To others, healers and woodland-folk, those born of the wilds, she was the very embodiment of the world she had Shaped, breathing through Wind, laughing with Fire, her blood in Rain, her flesh in Earth. Shaped of her clay, all mortal things were formed from her and she is the Red Goddess.
Her sigils generally possess depictions of the elements, red and/or gold, colorful animals, or a burning mirror.
|Occula, The Shapeless God, Mother of Magic, Sire of Secrets|
Domains: Secrets, Magic, Trickery, Knowledge
A thousand years ago, a secret society rose from hiding and presented themselves to the world as worshipers of an ancient and otherworldly deity. Seen as an outsider and a false god, the Orders of Occula were aggressively rejected. Their supposedly prophetic doom-sayings were greatly unpopular and largely fell unheard, ignored and branded as lunacy, for many years. Despite their efforts to prepare the world for the disasters to come, the Occulan Orders persisted and when the dead began to rise, their insignificant forces were ready nevertheless. A great and horrible terror seized Volera as their loved ones, once cold and buried, were suddenly unearthed, and driven by some unholy power to murder and rage. So began the Dead War.
However, the Occulan Orders had not come unprepared -- wielding weapons and powers long believed to be possessed only by the wyrdan, the damned, and the divine, magic was introduced to the mortals of Volera. Mastery of magic was a difficult undertaking and it came slow, entirely impossible to some. Over time, with great cost and effort, the majority of undead hordes were broken and destroyed. As the Dead War came to an end, the world was forced to adjust to this gift -- or curse -- of magic. Undisciplined by urgency, those that were taught to tap into their powers were considered dangerous and incapable of control. For some, it became an unstable tool for their own selfish means, but for others, it was a hazard that could be triggered unwillingly. Too many had been awakened to consider simple, grim solutions, so, the world turned to Occula. Given colleges and monasteries, the Occulan Orders took any students that came their way.
In the passing of ages to follow, the depth of knowledge that the Occulan Orders came to share eased the tolerance of their god into the world. The purpose of the Shapeless God was not always entirely forthcoming and the lack of transparency in some of its teachings would always make some wary, but it was indisputable that Occula was useful and, though knowledge always came at a price, its ways seemed to never be malicious. Despite being indebted to the Occulan Order, acceptance came slow -- over time, however, the people of Volera came to welcome Occula among their pantheon as a patron of study and science, of magic and mystery. Some followings came to see her as the Mother of Magic. To others, he became the Sire of Secrets. Some centered their beliefs to worship Occula, while others argued it to be an entity that transcended mere religion into something more vast, immeasurable, and necessary. Regardless of any face or shape Occula was given, however, it was apparent that the deity was needed and it was always eager to provide.
Their sigils generally possess many countless eyes, the embodiment of water, the color blue, octopi, and books.
The ancient gods that once ruled Volera may be dead or sleeping, but they are not entirely forgotten. An extremely small populace of Volerans may reach out, spiritually or religiously, to these entities and find, in their own way, something reaching back. From demons to devils, fey to elementals, a great number of things may be seen or felt, especially in the wyrdwood of the Wayland Wilds. Nothing is for certain, only that Volera is very old and, in ages before these, something much more powerful could once be found here.
Their sigils generally possess inscriptions in the Wyrdan language and can vary immensely depending on the patron.