Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Whole New World

Picture this: You're a teenager who has been voraciously devouring D&D 3.5 books. You've recently found out about the OGL. You decide to yourself "I'll write something and sell it!" Then you realize that writing RPG stuff takes a lot of work (especially in D&D 3.5).

The person described above was me about 10 years ago. And now I'm feeling kinda nostalgic for those days when I didn't realize how crappy 3rd edition and my early homebrew attempts were. So I'm going to grab all that horrible stuff, polish it, combine it with some more recent ideas into a new setting, and post it as recurring feature on this blog. So let's dive right in.

The world in question is formally known as "Taurion Effel", Elvish for the "True World". Ancient Elven scholars of the Fourth Age so named the world in contrast to "Kadarion Effel", the "False World", which is commonly known as the Dreamworld. Over time, the name has changed drastically. At the current time, commonly designate the Fifth Age, the most common form of the name survives as Tarfel. Other variants include Tarfil, Taronel, Tarfland, and Tarfiland.

The historians and chroniclers generally recognize that there are four or five vast stretches of time commonly referred to as Ages that are differentiated by environmental characteristics and by which race(s) seemed to be most influential. The commonly recognized Ages are:
  • The First Age, or The Age of The Seafolk: Back when Tarfel was almost entirely covered by water, numerous aquatic races forged mighty empires. These races are referred to as the Seafolk. Although such a term is the same as modern parlance for Merfolk and even Sahuagin, the ancient Seafolk were more alien and farther removed from their descendants. As the waters retreated and icecaps formed, these empires crumbled. 
  •  The Second Age, or The Age of The Insectoids: As trees spread to the newly-dried land, the air of Tarfel become much richer (in oxygen). Insects and arthropods grew and some among them grew sapient. The greatest of these Insectoid races were the ant-like Formi, the spider-like Aran, and the beetle-like Otubak. Warring between these three and others destroyed much of the tree-choked land. The air became poorer and these races began to literally shrink or die outright.
  •  The Third Age, or The Age of The Serpents: A slight warming of Tarfel enabled the reptilian races that were formerly enslaved by the Insectoids to expand into new territories. The most illustrious of these are the Serpentine, who still persist in a greatly weakened state and work tirelessly toward the extinction of Elvenknind. A minor ice age doomed the vast realms of the reptilian races. Now only pitiful remnants clinging to ancient history remain.
  •  The Fourth Age, or The Age of Elves: This age was marked by the rule of the Elves. They discovered new magical secrets and devised several ingenious technologies, particularly in the field of astronomy. The Elven empires crumbled after the Great Schism, the Sin of King Tabel, and numerous civil wars. The Elves still remain a strong presence in the modern world.
  • The Fifth Age, or The Age of Men: Humans, the bastard race born of the union between Dwarves and Elves, has spread and conquered all over Tarfel. Unlike their predecessors they are far more fractious and disorganized. Some (Human) scholars fear that these division may be their downfall.  
  •  The Sixth Age: The Sixth Age is currently mere conjecture. Several kingdoms look upon the notion that Humans will be replaced as an offense against religion, culture, and the crown. Nevertheless, in hidden cabals and cozy studies, those with knowledge of the past puzzle over the portents of the times. 

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