Dirt Campaign Setting

Fantasy setting with flavor from Earth’s ancients(Rome, Egypt, Assyrian, Babylonian. iron-age tech, high-magic, (some)advanced cultures,

races | languages | glossary | house rules {DM}| thoughtpile | Top Seven Lists{DM END}

====== The World ====== The “Known World” consists of two continents and a few islands on one side of a small planet. Similarly to how we call our planet “Earth” the residents of this one call it “Dirt” if they bother to talk about it at all.

This planet lacks any discernible moons. Although there is still a slight tidal action. The night sky is not completely empty .pelos:culture#The Sky

Dirt has very little axial tilt and a nearly circular orbit around it’s sun. Therefor the climate of a given area is fairly consistent with little seasonal change. But climate does vary over the years. What is arid badlands today might have been a verdant forest a few centuries ago.

====== Time Line ====== Pelosian dates are given as their .pelos:calendar is the most widely used. .fist:contents|Fist believes the current year is 17968 and uses a different .fist:calendar. Nobody has any idea what Kjore or the Dwarves use. The various uncivilized peoples aren’t sophisticated enough to record the passing of time.

{DM} – Zepre enter system in dyson sphere, attack their enemy “Demons”, get totally blasted, lose ability to move sphere. “Demons” get devestated by nanovirus. – Million years pass. – Zepre become aware of sentience on surface. Start to meddle out of boredom, compassion. – Various species uplifted. Zepre become “Gods.” – Elf Empire and Human Empire p0wn all and love each other. Worship, beliefs, culture all similar. Eventually form Eastern and Western halves of united empire. – Great advances in scientific and mystical arts. – 1st breach (Cataclysm) caused when hubris overtakes the Empires and they try to reach the gods. Devastates both empires and all life on surface. {DM END}

– ??? The before time… – ??? glossary#Great Cataclysm which tumbled mountains, boiled the seas, and laied to waste whatever civilizations existed at this time. – ??? glossary#The Twilight many hundreds of years, perhaps thousands. Almost nothing is known of the era after the sentient races where brought low and clawed their way back to civilization. – -80-0 Scattered men start to form what will be called the #Old Kingdom. – 0 Founding of #Pelos, #Old Kingdom continues to slowly reform/rise. – ~150 Qatrun discover The glossary#Statue of Light. – 200 Qatrun population explodes, they migrate and expand. Bring #Fist:mythology with them. Unifying various nomads and peoples of region soon to be known as #Fist. – ~250 The glossary#Statue of Light grows dim and never returns. – 267 The Senate of #Pelos is formed. – 450-650 #Fist expands to it’s present borders. Many .babrem:contents|Babrem abandon thier nomadic lifestyle for the cities. – 525 Existence of #Fist is “discovered” trade between it and the other nations is rapidly established. Knowledge, technology and unusual products drive advancement all around. – 550-860 #Pelos and the #Old Kingdom come to conflict over and over. #Pelos slowly gains the upper hand. – 600 #Pelos starts colonizing, rises to preeminence. – 749 Sunesh is conquered and made part of the Pelos Empire. – 777 Melinar builds his tower. – 837 First True Dwarf is spot in Pelos. – 860 First known contact with and knowledge of #Kjore. Destruction of Pelosian colony south of Sunesh. – 860-890 1st Kjore War. #Pelos and #Old Kingdom colonies are raided, some are destroyed, many die. But the fighting never reaches the home territories. #Kjore is beat back and are unseen for 50 years. But the #Old Kingdom is severely weakened and begins a precipitous decline. – 890 Pelos civil war caused by difficulties in fighting #1st Kjore War. Rise of Pelos Minor. – 892 #Sunesh breaks free of Pelos Empire – 940-955 2nd Kjore War aka Great Kjore war starts when dozens of Kjorian death barges attack Bozi, the #Old Kingdom’s capital, which is soon overrun. The war quickly expands to include Major/Minor #Pelos, #Fist, #Old Kingdom. Kjorians devastate parts of Pelos and what will become known as contents#The Wildlands. The glossary#Lost Isle is created, most colonies are devastated and abandoned. #Old Kingdom completely shattered only the #Citystate of Darsis remains mostly intact. – 1003 Fleet from #Far West sited west of #Pelos. – 1012 Fleet from #Far West leaves after visiting most of the glossary#Known World.. – 1022 #Fist starts a holy crusade against #Kjore. Some are calling this the 3rd Kjore War. – 1023 The crusade goes well. #Kjore is not accustomed to fighting defensively. The many Cults are not coordinated and Hlark blessed warriors cut through them. – 1024.3 The #Fist drives a spear ever deeper into #Kjore. They seek the center, the source of this corruption and mean to obliterate it. – 1024.5 NOW – 1024.8 The crusade stalls, no center is found, the tip meanders while all along the shaft attack after attack is launched by Kjore. – 1025.2 Shaft is broken, large numbers of troops are trapped and lost {DM} – 1025.6 A valiant effort to rescue the trapped troops succeeds but less than 1/2 remain to be saved. – 1025.7+ Fist conducts a fighting retreat. – 1026 Fist crusades end in failure. Many Kjore where killed but no land retaken and no permanent damage. In the near future Fist soldiers are faced with the horror of fighting their reanimated/recycled brethren. – 1028- 4th Kjore War, ongoing #Pelos looses all remaining colonies. – Fey(winged) get jacked by #Kjore. Join #Pelos. – Sacking of Darsis. – Return of Dwarves to fight #Kjore. – Melinars Journey – Break up of the four. Armor goes home, Brain gets picked up by his friends, Monk achieves The Way, Child remains as he always had (returns to center) – If breach. #Kjore with many demon allies invades big time trying to slay gods. – If no breach. {DM END}

====== Major Cultures ====== === Pelos === .pelos:names | .pelos:culture | .pelos:mythology | .pelos:calendar | .pelos:military

== Pelos Major == .pelos:pelos major|details

Was arguably the grandest, most powerful empire since glossary#The Cataclysm. Those glorious times are in the past. Since then it has lost colonies to Kjore’s destruction, subject nations have revolted, and part of the home territories, Pelos Minor, have seceded.

Pelos Major is a technologically, culturally, and magically advanced civilization. It is still the strongest naval power in the glossary#Known World and although its land forces are small they are mostly powerful crossbow armed calvary with plenty of magical enhancements and support. Law, order, and safety are the norm throughout the home provinces. Monsters and supernatural threats are virtually unknown. This becomes less true in the border provinces and colonies esp those in/near glossary#The Wildlands.

Pelos has a prosperous and vigorous economy. Trade is very important for it’s appetite for resources and exotic goods is ever growing. Most Pelosians are educated and don’t want for food or shelter. Many are wealthy and lead comparatively decadent lives. They value individuality and liberty. They are as a rule very adept with magic making regular use of it in their daily lives.

The population consists primarily of races#Pelosian|Pelosians and races#Pelosian Gnome|Gnomes.

== Pelos Minor == .pelos:pelos minor|details

Pelos Minor split away from Pelos 134 years ago. After a short civil war good relations were established. It is very similar to Pelos Major although not as large, populous and economically powerful. They are certainly more militant taking the lead in the fight against Kjore and fielding a larger army.

Pelosians here tend to be more combative, cynical, and pragmatic than their northern cousins. The mostly false view in Pelos Major is that it’s erstwhile southern provinces are a little rustic and not as sophisticated. While Pelos Minor thinks the North is decadent, soft, and not realistic about the Kjorian threat.

The population consists primarily of races#Pelosian|Pelosians with fewer races#Pelosian Gnome|Gnomes and more races#men than Pelos Major.

== Pelosian Gnomes == .pelos:names

Alternatively called halflings, dwarves(by the ignorant), or little people. They remain one of the more peculiar races#Pelosian Gnome|races in the known world. About 10% of the Pelosian population consists of gnomes.

Not being explorers or conquerors they haven’t claimed much territory. They have followed Pelosians to wherever they have spread. Although, they tend to stick together and form their own communities instead of intermingling with Pelosians. Exceptions exist of course.

The many “packs” of 1-6 thousand gnomes form a loose federation that is semi-autonomous from and has good relations with Pelos for centuries.

== Thyrellon == A of small races#Thyrellon|avaian race humanoids. No government or civilization to speak of. Instead they form form small flocks of 20-80 individuals. Probably no more than a few thousand Thyrellons exist.

They stick to their mountain rookeries and desire little else than to be left alone. Pelos has often tried but failed to invite/bribe/force into an alliance against #Kjore.

{DM} They refused but eventually get jacked by #Kjore. Then what’s left of them are absorbed into Pelos as refugees.{DM END}

=== Old Kingdom === .old_kingdom:names | .old_kingdom:culture | .pelos:mythology | .pelos:calendar

What was once called the Old Kingdom ceased to be when it’s capital was destroyed in the opening battle of the 2nd Kjore War. All that remains are a few city states and devastated Wildlands. Although people still refer to the area as the Old Kingdom.

Primarily inhabited by races#men. Though this region has so often been invaded, colonized, center of trade, and refuge to the war ravaged that one can find almost any lineage be it Pelosian, Sunesh, Qatrun, or gnomish. Amongst the many faces you may even run into spies and saboteurs from Kjore.

== Citystate of Darsis == .darsis:contents|details

Strongest remnant of the Old Kingdom which has fallen far from its glory days. Retains control of surrounding lands, a few towns, and colonies.

Some similarities and many shared beliefs with Pelos. Such as calendar and many gods. But not their government, trinary, or dependence on magic.

== The Wildlands == wildlands|details

Parts of the Old Kingdom beyond Darsis’ control. A few smaller city states, many townships and warlords hold sway over small areas. Pelos and Darsis have both established colonies here and come to conflict over them. But since the rise of Kjore both Darsis and Pelos have better things to do than squabble over this poor land.

Many parts of the Wildlands have been corrupted by Kjorian depredations during the 2nd Kjore War. Even the more civilized areas are dangerous. Filled with monsters and worse.

=== Peoples of the Deserts === The deserts include the most arid lands in the glossary#known world. From dune “seas” to gravely baked flatlands. The harsh environment has led to harsh people inhabiting it.

== Fist == .fist:contents|details | .fist:names | .fist:culture | .fist:mythology | .fist:calendar

Primarily inhabited by the races#Qatrun, a mannish race, whose ancestors stumbled into an pre-cataclysm ruin and discovered an avatar of Hlark in the form of a statue of light. For many years the statue taught them the secrets of civilization agriculture, medicine, science, war. Especially war for the statue told them of a terrible enemy the would one day be called on to defeat.

The Fist is ruled by Hlark,their god, through his mouths(high priests). In this theocracy, religion is paramount and religious law is strictly enforced. But The Chosen as they call themselves gladly obey. For Hlark and his laws brought them out of glossary#The Twilight of barbarism.

Arcane magic is shunned and often dealt with as a corrupt abomination. That is, it is obliterated.

== Babrem Nomads == .babrem:contents|details | .fist:names

Many races#Babrem have civilized and now live in the cites of the races#Qatrun. But a few tribes still roam the deserts and caravan routes. Some are faithful .fist:mythology|followers of Hlark, many are not.

== Arite == These races#Arite|non-men of the wastes have known the lands of Fist from since before it was a desert. They persist along the fringes of history their glory days having long been swallowed by the sands.

Very little is known of them. The Babrem soon learned to leave them be and Fist considers them no more than dangerous animals to be kept away from caravans and cities.

{DM} Since the rise of Fist and migration of peoples away from the deserts the Arite have grown to a degree not imagined in the high-towers of Fist. Some believe it is time to emerge from the sand and shadow. Remind man to fear the name Arite once again. {DM END}

=== The Southern Continent === == Sunesh == .sunesh:contents|details | .sunesh:names | .sunesh:contents|culture | .sunesh:contents|mythology | .sunesh:contents|calendar

Sunesh is less advanced that the other nations but still has civilization. For a long time it was part of the Pelos Empire. But it broke free after the 1st Kjore War.

{DM} == Paosh & Nesher == Egypt hidden deeper in the continent, not as advanced civil but around for 5000 years {DM END}

== Zafar, Utbah, and Ka’im Tribes == .tribes:names

Uncivilized barbarians(orcs) of the Southern Continent. They have a common language and many cultural similarities. There are three main racial and cultural groupings.

The Ka’im are friendly and mostly agrarian. Many are subjects of the Pelosian Empire and previously The Old Kingdom. They are concentrated in Northwestern and Western regions.

The dark skinned Utbah are notorious pirates, slave traders, and mercenaries. The Northern and Eastern shores as well as the many islands in those areas are home to the Utbah.

The least civilized are the Zafar, nomadic herdsmen universally hostile to everyone including each other. Luckily they are mostly contained withing the interior of the continent.

All three are primitive and tribal lacking larger organization. Although, in the past strong individuals, sometimes foreigners, have united many of the tribes for some purpose.

=== Dwarves === .dwarves:names

The True Dwarves had been lost for a 1000 years and nearly forgotten.

Retreating underground during the cataclysm. Many separate clans of races#True Dwarf| dwarves have survived and prospered throughout the depths of Dirt. Their last king died long ago. Combined with the isolation of living in different underground regions has created a extremely clan oriented and insular culture.

Over the last few centuries a few Dwarves have surfaced. No more than a thousand or so are believed to up and about as it were. There is no good information on their total population. Learned sages have given numbers from “no more than we see on the surface” to “millions”.

=== Niptia/Seafolk === Named the races#Niptia___Seafolk|Niptia by Pelosians and races#Niptia___Seafolk|Seafolk by Darsisians. Their own name and language are not pronounceable by air breathing vocal cords.

They form no unified “nation”. Instead organizing themselves into semi-nomadic and independent “pods”. No reputable count has been made of their population, nor even the number of pods. They themselves are of no use answering questions of how many are in your family/pod/ with “enough”.

They claim to have lived in the waters for thousands of years. Few believe this as they don’t remember glossary#The Cataclysm.

=== Far West === .tuan:names

A few decades ago a Pelosian trimaran patrolling just west of Pelos Minor encountered a stunning fleet of over 300 unusual ships many of which were several times larger than the largest Pelosian ship.

This fleet was helmed by unusual men who claimed to have come from a land far across the glossary#Endless Sea and are conducting a peaceful exploration of the world on behalf of the Empress of Tu’an, their ruler and homeland. With the goal of sailing East right round Dirt until they arrive back whence they started.

Although, much of the Pelosian Navy was activated in response to the initial alarm they turned out to be true to their claim of peacefulness. Suspicion and caution were soon swept away by curiosity and profit. Their ships arrived heavy with all sorts of strange trade goods, plants, animals, foods, devices, and magic. The same ships left heavy with goods from the known world.

Several thousand of their number stayed behind in Pelos and Darsis. Philosophers, mystics, sages, masters of strange arts. They and their land truly seem to be as civilized and advanced as our own.

Pelos and Fist accepted invitations to have their envoys transported back to their homeland and were received in the Imperial City by the Empress herself.

Since then several voyages back and forth have been made and a small but consistent trade has been established.

Pelos is trying not so subtly to access their military might and recruit them to fight against Kjore. So far without success. They haven’t met the Kjore before and profess interest only in peace, trade, and diplomacy.

=== Kjore === {DM}.kjore:names | .kjore:contents | .kjore:military{DM END}

Having destroyed and enslaved the unknown lands far to the east and south .kjore:contents#The Priestess Queen now drives the .kjore:contents#Demon Cults chaotic evil towards the glossary#Known World.

Kjore is not so much a nation as a plague. Its rulers, High Priestesses, each lead a cult dedicated to a different vile demon. The men, humanoids, and monsters that make up its population are corrupt and tainted from worshiping these chaotic “gods”. Kjore lays waste to where ever it spreads consuming all life, desecrating the land and waters.

{DM} ====== Places of Note ======

=== Melinar’s Tower === Greatest living(ever?) Pelosian Magus. Built colossal tower at the end of the Ancient Path near the Great Swirl.

=== Zouka’s Skullmount ===

====== Adventures ====== Melinars Journey - The great wizard is seeking the adventurous for several expiditions to the middle of Dirt. {DM END}