Campaign Pitch – Terrentia

Campaign Pitch – Adventures in the Dutchy of Drigbolton (levels 2-5)

The world was apparently a lot smaller in ages past. Travel was easy. Safe. The Roil annihilated that. 

2 or 3 centuries ago, no-one can remember exactly when, the Roil arose in the sea, shattering the surrounding nations. While Kings, Emirs & Sultans desperately clung the power, the natural disasters were too much. Some rulers lost power due to the sheer power of the massive storms and earthquakes, whereas others were brought down from the subsequent food shortages and riots. Like the land, most of the people in the regions were fractured and unable to travel, stuck. Shipping routes and trade that had previously resulted in great prosperity were destroyed overnight. Ships now will not travel beyond the sight of land, the threat from the Roil is that ever-present.

The time of absolute chaos following the Roil has passed, the humanoids of the region are currently attempting to rebuild. Barons and newly minted nobles (some self-proclaimed) are trying to claim wild territories by force in competition with others. Without ocean trade however, each nation must be self sufficient and establishing and maintaining food production and reserves is paramount, while also needing to defend your lands from others who may covet your progress. The Roil is still there though, thundering in the Crystal Sea, a massive maelstrom of destructive elemental force.

The land has grown wild and fierce in the interim though, as though fed by the Roil’s elemental force.  The great roads and trade routes are no more. Once great cities have disappeared. The old roads are dangerous. The forests are dangerous. It’s as though the land has grown dark, with death waiting around every corner and tree trunk. The various civilised humanoids of different races and cultures cling together in fear, boarding their windows and bracing their doors from the creatures that roam in the night.

However, opportunity abounds and social elevation for the lower classes is possible. If a peasant can civilise the wilds, many can become landowners – which would have been unheard of in the formerly feudal society centuries ago.  There’s real money in small scale farming, so many take the risk to move to a small settlement and stake a claim.

This money has brought mercenaries and problem-solvers to these settlements. There’s money to be made helping settlements with sword and magic – but there’s also vast riches to be found in the wilds from former settlements destroyed centuries ago with the coming of the Roil. 

Very small bands of mercenaries or adventurers have formed to service the needs of these settlements. Some go rogue and do deplorable acts, but most are motivated by the excellent coin. Your group is one of these adventuring groups, joined by the bond that each of you have a significant debt to repay to someone, somewhere. Your group was established in the City of New Terrentia, and encouraged to travel to the Village of Hommlet, a small outpost to the south that has had trouble with demons in the last few years. Most farmers and landowners will not trust adventurers immediately, but will give them an opportunity to prove their worth. In terms of your ancestry:

Humans were  most populous and adaptable in the time of devastation following the Roil. You might have connections to the once great empire of Nerath that ruled these lands over 1000 years ago. 

You could be an elf. The Roil and darkening of the forests have devastated the elves, who can barely cling onto their historic homelands in the forests of the world. The darkening of the forests has correlated with the coming of the Roil. If you are an Elven spellcaster, humans will be standoffish with you, assuming you plot with the forest to retake civilised lands. 

You could be a dwarf – the earthquakes destroyed a large percentage of the underground dwarven kingdoms in the area. Were you forced from the ground by the Roil and now wander, or are you searching for lost great kingdoms and glory? All civilised folk assume that the greedy dwarves will try to rip them off, expect resistance.

You could be a Dragonborn – you could be one of the shattered remnants of the once great Arkhosia empire, although few will remember. Tieflings and half-orc will not like you. Full Orcs will go out of their way to kill you.

You could be a Halfling, fierce compact and adaptable fighters and mercenaries known for switching sides as much as standing their ground. In civilised lands, it will be assumed that conflict will follow you everywhere you go.

You could be an otherworldly gnome, touched by the feywilds. You will be welcomed in civilised lands, if not completely trusted due to your other-planar nature, which is evident.

You could be a Half-orc, sneered at by civilised folk as a “Soulless one’, being a derogatory term for an Orc. How accepted you are in society will depend on the extent to which orcs have raided and pillaged in the area. Dragonborn will consider you little better than a packmule and unlikely to trust you, being the “war-breed” of the Akhosian empire that arose and betrayed their creators. Others will likely assume you are a poorly dressed orcish spy.

You could be Goliath or Tiefling – both are rare and will draw attention, if only because of your unusual nature. Goliaths usually live in the lands of Yoon Suin (see below). Tieflings and Dragonborn have an enmity from times past. 

Foreign Regions

Prior to the Roil, travel between regions was readily available by sea. Therefore, your line could be from one of the following regions surrounding the Crystal Sea in which the Roil currently sits:

  1. Terrentia – the land in which the campaign is set. The land is plains, forests, marshes and mountains, ruled from fortified villages and castles by lords and barons. The kingdoms of old have been mostly destroyed by the Roil, with new kingdoms now forming. 

  2. The Sultans and Emirates of Al-Qadim to the north of the Crystal Sea and the Roil, sits the desert and nomadic lands of Al-Qadim. A land of sand, adventure and magic.

  3. Yoon Suin to the East, the lands of Yoon Suin, with rice paddied flats and impossibly tall mountains.  A land of custom, tradition and myths becoming reality. 

  4. The Thousand Thousand Islands – the Thousand Thousand Islands were a great chain of islands out in the Sea, now consumed by the Roil. It is unknown whether any still live on the islands, who were the greatest fisherman and sailors in the region.

If your ancestors were from one of these regions, think about what it means for your character. Do they ever want to return, or is Terrentia now their home?

Religion – Uses the Points of Light / Dawn War Pantheon. Shrines and religious buildings in the setting have actual power from prayer and ritual belief from the masses. 

Rules Amendments / house rules:

  1. Feats are not allowed. 

  2. Passive perception is calculated as 5+ perception, and will be used when not actively looking for something. When actively looking for something, use the higher or rolled perception or passive perception.

  3. Customised backgrounds – pick any two skill proficiencies and a tool/instrument proficiency.

  4. Gold as EXP system – Exp is earned for gathering treasure, and spending it (with a modifier depending how it is spent). Only those attending sessions earn the experience from treasure gained during that session. 

  5. All new characters start the game in debt, work with DM to figure out how much, to whom and the consequences of non-payment. Be outlandish, the theme of the campaign is that you will work if the coin is right.

  6. Instead of rations/water, track “days of supplies” which can be tracked by the group inventory. Intelligent monsters will usually carry days of supplies. Unintelligent creatures will be drawn to your supplies.

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