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The Land of the First People

This is the world that my campaign will take place in.
by

Nicholas Crosby

on 6 May 2014

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Transcript of The Land of the First People

The Land of Vakonash, or, in the common tongue: The Land of the First People. Ancient Myths say that when the gods created the world, they placed their first children, the Humans, Giants, Elves, Orcs, and Dwarves, here. It was meant to be a paradise, a place of peace and plenty. But that did not last, the greed of mortals soon drove them to war. Many were slaughtered, and the land was thrown into chaos. Enraged, the gods split the land into six pieces, separating the warring races from each other. Eventually, in isolation, an uneasy peace was found, and the world grew into what it is today, a place filled with beautiful landscapes, fantastical creatures and wondrous magic.
Of course, this is all myth, but it entertains the common folk well enough. In truth, it is a land like any other. There are warring factions of every race spread across all the islands; greedy nobles and scheming opportunists are commonplace, and while this fragile system functions properly most days, corruption is slowly eating away at the heart of this land. Elders speak of better times, and for once, it isn't simple nostalgia. Change is lurking around the corner, but who will be the one to find it?

The Northern Reach, homeland of the humans. A frigid, mountainous island, populated by several barbarian and viking tribes. Those humans that have not traveled from their homeland have held their ancient traditions close to them for many centuries. Each tribe lives independently from each other, dealing with their own affairs (and occasionally fighting each other) unless threatened by outside forces, then they band together under an Urar, or High Jarl, whom is selected from the tribes' leaders. Outsiders often mistake the Northern Reach as a single nation, calling it the Kingdom of Urar because of this.
While the tribes are predominantly human, and are typically very insular by nature, they are welcoming to peoples of all races who wish to accept their ways. This often means that the human tribes will be supplemented by families of orcs, gnolls, giants, goblins and other primordial creatures that have migrated from Thackziloex, to the south.
As a warrior culture, they thrive off raiding and looting, though it is very rare that they go to war, since, unless threatened, it is unlikely that they will unite. Only the Ithicairn Cities have the might to go toe-to-toe with the Reachers united tribes, but, as they are already tied up in a war, don't have the resources to do so.
They have few large cities, the largest being Urar Ha Uthin, The Seat of the High Jarl, which is the closest thing to a trade city the barbarians have. In times of peace, it is watched over by warriors of every tribe, and in times of war, is the High Jarl's home.
Mail Ithicar is certainly the most diverse of all the islands. Once homeland of the giants, they were pushed out long ago, in a war that few remember, save the giant shamans that keep their history. Now, it is a bustling, rich country, filled with people of every kind, living in great cities with high stone walls, defended by well trained soldiers and powerful wizards. But this land is far from perfect. Each city stands separate from the next, led by powerful and greedy sorcerers. Those who find themselves without magical talent, are slaves to the mages and warlocks that hold the satrapies' power. These wizards vie for power against each other, often killing one another in duels fought over even the most trivial of conflicts.
Each satrapy holds it's own army and court dealings, and is led by whichever wizard proves himself strong enough to cow the others into submission. The greatest city is Teotihuacan, and is considered by many to be the capitol of Mail Ithicar. The finest school of magic is housed within it's walls and even the lowliest mage can find a place in this metropolis, (most likely behind a more powerful mage's robe). And while it is a beautiful place, the center of knowledge and learning in the known world, it was built with the sweat of slaves. If you look carefully enough, the oppression here is evident. The slums, though well hidden, are crowded with the poor and suffering. Non-magical servants refuse to meet the eyes of others for fear of rebuke due to some imagined slight. Even in low class homes, people wearing the telling golden cuffs can be found, performing degrading tasks for their magic-wielding owners.
Mail Ithicar would be the most powerful nation in the world, if only they could stop fighting each other. Even thought they are currently at war, they always find time to try and subvert their rivals plans. The southern most satrapies are in constant conflict with the nation of Elya'dor. Their navies clash in the sea and sky between their islands, and their armies make frequent (yet brief) forays into each others lands. For the Ithicairn wizards, only one thing can be considered to rival their hate for each other, and that's the desire to bring the descendants of the slaves, that escaped in a bloody war long ago, back under their control.
Elya'dor, once land of the elves, now home to anyone who wants to make a new start. Anyone can find a place here, though in the north-eastern parts magic is regarded with suspicion at best, and open hostility at worst. Long ago, in Mail Ithicar, many slaves finally found the courage to fight back against their magic wielding masters, and in a brutal and bloody war they won their freedom, but only by taking it from others. After it became clear that they could not win, they sought out their own place to the south. The elves of Elya'dor welcomed them, wishing to give them refuge from the oppression they faced to the north. But the newly freed people found their greed quickly, and began to push the elves out of their homes, starting another war. It lasted nearly a decade, and the elves were completely pushed off Elya'dor, seeking refuge with the dwarves of the Badlands.
Many years passed, and the descendants of those freed slaves decided to make amends, welcoming the elves back onto the land, giving them the south-western half of the island to make their nation. Now the elves, and the diverse people of Va'aren, or Free People, live together in relative peace. They share a capitol city, called Elya'ur by the elves and Va'atar by the slaves descendants.
Now, the Va'aren are frequently at war with the satrapies of Mail Ithicar, who wish to reclaim their lost slaves. The Va'atar are highly advanced, technologically, and command great power through a strange black powder, the formula to which they guard closely. Without their advanced technology, however, they would have undoubtedly fallen back under Ithicairn power long ago.
The Badlands, a vast, mountainous island, and homeland of the dwarves. Mnay years ago, the dwarven people took in the elves that fled from the Va'aren crusade, and many elves remain to this day. Some live atop the mountain peaks as hunters and shepards, though most shoose to live underground with the dwarves. They are considered to be full dwarven citizens and have all the rights a dwarf would in the kingdom of Tara'strix, at least on paper. Some see the elves as second class citizens, and they are not always afforded every right a dwarf might have, but it's a good life for most. Living under the mountain of course has it's perils, deep beasts and cave-ins are a constant danger, but the real threat comes from the drow, that make constant attacks on the dwarven people from the occupied city of Kukateeafez. The drow appeared a few centuries ago, before the elven exodus, and began taking land from the dwarves. The only dwarven occupied town west of Kukateeafez is now Watchport, and is only accessible through above ground mountain passes, as all the tunnels to it are blocked or occupied by drow.
Thackziloex is a land of conflict. Filled with barbaric and violent races. Originally the homeland of orcs, it now plays host to gnolls, kobolds, goblins, minataurs, and many others. Each race stays mostly to themselves, save for when they wish for a fight. The tribes are constantly at war with one another and the land has been ravaged by decades of violence. There are a few cities on the island, controlled mostly by orcs, which are the dominant race here.
Taouloex, the largest city, if it can be called that, is where the orc cheiftans meet once a year for a "peaceful" celebration of their gods and battles of the past year. Little else is known about this land, as Taouloex is the only place outsiders are welcome. Anywhere else, they are simply another opportunity for loot and glory in battle. An outpost is maintained by the Ithicairn city Port Oran to keep an eye on happenings in the region and on the southern tip of the island, the elven settlement of Loah'tu ships goods, that are not available elsewhere, to all the islands.
The Charred Isle, a home to naught but dust and ruin. At the top of the mountain, on the western side of the island, is the burnt husk of a once great fortress. The old myths say that it was once the seat of the gods in our world, where they met to discuss the great changes they were to make in the mortal realm. When the First War angered them, they destroyed their fortress and left the world, but not before sundering the continent into six pieces and leaving their island a desolate wasteland, not to be used by sinful mortals. No one ventures here now, save for the occasional brave (or perhaps foolhardy) adventurer, seeking riches left behind by the gods, usually never to be seen again.
Map artwork a product of
Peter Riverwall
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