Heroes of the Sky
In this setting, the people refer to the mortal world as “Norita.” Norita’s civilized people live primarily on its largest continent, which they call “Touria.” At the center of Touria lies the city of Bahest (bah-est), once the capital of a Draconic empire, now it is considered the center of the world. Still ruled over and protected by an ancient Gold Dragon of untold age name Gahzrital (Gahz-rit-al), the city is populated by all kinds of people now, primarily humans and similar natural humanoids, and is a place of learning. Bahest is a massive city, not an empire, and it is content to remain neutral to all other nations. Most dragonborn of Touria hail from Bahest or the surrounding lands.
To the west of Bahest are the Cascade Mountains. These snowy peaks are populated by plenty of healthy Dwarven kingdoms and nomadic Goliath tribes, but far beneath them lies the malevolent underdark and all the threats it holds. Both the dwarves and the goliaths of the Cascade Mountains consider it a proud cultural tradition to be the first line of defense against any threats that emerge from there. The most prominent nation in the mountains is Moraz’Dun.
Right down the middle of the Cascade Mountains is a sudden gap of flatland known as “Moradin’s Pass.” Legend speaks that during the shaping of the world, Moradin struck down the mountain itself while in combat with one of the primordials. The pass now forms a critical trade route between the eastern side and the western side of Touria. To the west of the mountains lies an area of lands generally known as the Sub-continent of Seraph. This area is known for its verdant forest and rolling planes, and is home to many peoples, primarily elves, minotaurs, and shifters, and of course a sizable human population.
There are two kingdoms in Seraph, Acktavia and Riddel. The Acktavians hail from a large island of the same name, where only humans live, and as such have human interests primarily in mind. They are not complete xenophobes, but its no secret that Acktavian leadership would sooner see all other races put to service humans or be subjects to the Acktavian crown. Otherwise the Acktavians are a pleasant people, if a little elitist, and value justice, peace, and learning. The kingdom of Riddel is situated near off a peninsula of Seraph, and consists of various cities along its roads. Several elven cities belong to the kingdom, and the royal family is primarily half-elven. Internationally they consider themselves the diplomatic counter to Acktavia, often speaking out to Bahest about their “secret evil agenda” and using it to justify border skirmishes and other conflicts with Acktavia.
To the east of Bahest is a vast desert known as the Dry March. A few scattered kingdoms make their home there, but for the most part the Dry March is a no-man’s land that most except brigands and the desperate avoid. To the northeast of and southeast surrounding the Dry March are much more pleasant coastal lands settled by small kingdoms.
To the east beyond the Dry March is the Talon Peninsula. It is here that the Hikone (Hi-cone-eh) Empire’s vast lands lie. The empire itself is ruled over by a family of humans that fought long and hard to unite the disparate tribes of humans, halflings, elves, and teiflings in the region. Once this unity was achieved, the empire grew, swallowing nearby kingdoms into itself, some through peace, others through conquest. The empire is prone to civil conflict, often because one family tries to take over dynastic rule over another, but for the last 100 years the human family of Setawa has held imperial rule. The empire has pleasant trade relations with the kingdoms to the west, although at this point they stay more or less out of each others affairs.
While there are a few Eladrin cities that pop in and out of the Feywild throughout the continent, the greatest of these, Ever Spire, appears a mere 30 north of Bahest. Most Eladrin and Gnomes of Touria can trace their lineage to the city, if not call it their home. The second largest appears in Hikone Imperial lands, and their ongoing struggle to maintain their independence when they appear in the world as resulted in an increased population in fey people forced to live in the world.
At this point, the rest of the world has been discovered, but no real effort has been made to colonize or make relations with those who live in the other continents. By in large, the people of Touria worry about Touria, and not the other continents. To the Southeast lies the large continent known as Haspia. Across a vast ocean on either side also exists content roughly half the total size of Touria known as Yuste. There are also a few smaller contents south east of Touria, the largest of which a massive island known as Machia.
Significant Historical Events
The people of Touria by and large observe the Draconic Calendar, a counting of years established in Bahest when it was re-founded by Gahzital and the human Prince Amar Odin. It recognizes this moment as the start of the first year of the “United Age”, named as this is the first time in the city’s history that it is controls by more than Dragons and their Dragonborn servants. This is often abbreviated as “1 UA.” For the record, among dragons, this is recognized as the “Third Draconic Age,” as it is the third time the city of Bahest has been established.
Your character must be trained in history to know of all of these events.
- The re-founding of Bahest(1 UA): Strife and blood shed between dragonborn, dragons, and humans who migrated from the Dry March comes to a close as an alliance between Gahzrital’s Brood and the human kingdom of Sulhaad defeats the red dragon Sorezah (Sore-A-zah) and his armies. Shortly there after the people of Sulhaad migrate to the ruins of Bahest and rebuild it, founding the city-state for the third time in history.
- The unification of Hikone (45 UA): The Yuu family establishes the first dynasty of the Hikone Empire, achieving rule over the land after successfully forging powerful alliances with remnants of the Tiefling empire that once stood there and the various human bands. This is the first time humans wield great political power in the Talon Peninsula.
- The 40 Year War (107 UA): This conflict marks the first time Acktavia and Riddel enter into open war with each other. The war is caused when an Acktavian noble rapes and murdered an elven visitor, not knowing she was the cousin of Riddel’s heir princess. The second she took the throne she swore revenge, and the half-elf personally lead her troops to remove all Acktavian prescience from the mainland, and struck down the offending noble in single combat. The war ended when she was struck down by a human knight of Acktavia, before she could have an heir. In his grief, the king of Riddel ended the war and then set to figuring out how to best heal his nation’s wounds, though not before he had the knight who killed his beloved assassinated.
- Gut’rendah the Conquer (154 UA): The mightiest Orcish warlord ever to live unites bands of Orcs from across the continent in a bloody crusade. The kingdom of Riddel is all but destroyed, its capital sacked, its royal family go into hiding in Bahest. The Acktavians hold the line, suffering great casualty as the Orcs invade their homeland, but push them back as Bahest builds its largest army since the third founding to force the orcs to fight a two front War. The Orc’s empire still covers most of Seraph for 50 years before infighting and the dedicated actions of heroes restore it to glory.
- The founding of “Techno-Magic” (165 UA): As a direct result of the war against Gut’rendah, researchers in Bahest assemble the first airships and warforged. For a time, this technology becomes prolific, and Bahest becomes a new center of learning and culture for the continent.
- The foundation wars (212 UA): The people of Riddel re-establish their kingdom and in a number of short but successful campaigns, retake all the land they lost to the Orcs and opportunistic Acktavians. The Half-elven royal family is restored to order, finally moving back home from Bahest.
- The Warlock Crisis (234 UA): While Seraph was finally getting back in order, the tiefling population in Hikone boomed. In a surprise coup, the general of imperial guard seized the capital and before the main army could stop him, crowned himself Emperor. So began 60 years of bloody civil conflict which the Emperor and his son won with quite a bit of demonic help. Against better judgment they re-instated the rituals of Bael Turath, further securing their power. This act caused Bahest to intervene, over time allowing Halfling, human, and elven rebels to seize the capital again. In an act of distrust of humans, an elven family was given dynastic rule of the empire ordered by Gahzital.
- Black Dragon Wars (239 UA): As Bahest was recovering from its efforts to stabilize Hikone, the black dragon Ravekai (Rav-eh-kai) saw this as a moment of weakness in Bahest and assaulted the city directly from the Dry March, with an army of undead, evil dragonborn, and other nasties in their support. The attack ravages the city and Gahzital is severely injured in the final battle with Ravekai. Were it not for timely intervention by King Alistar of Riddel, the city and its secrets would be lost. As it stood, the research in Techno-magic was lost, and most of Bahest’s warforged and airships were destroyed. The city effectively entered a dark age.
- The lost age (242 UA to 350 UA): For just over 100 years, the people of Touria lost contact with each other and each struggled to deal with their own internal crisis. Riddel was stretched thin fighting off Gnolls, goblins, and orcs. Hakone was in the midst of rebuilding after the Warlock Crisis when the human Setawa family stages another coup and plunges the nation into separation again. Setawa doesn’t succeed in re-unifying the empire until 260 UA, at which point there is much rebuilding to do. Bahest had a lot of rebuilding to do amidst raids from both Seraph and the Dry March. Arcktavia hides in isolation during this time, in part to avoid the chaos of the world around them, and also to deal with a horrid plague that breaks out across their island nation.
- The Drow Wars (250 to 268 UA): While the surface was rebuilding, the dwarven kingdoms of the Cascade Mountains single handedly fought almost twenty years of war against the largest and boldest Drow campaign against the surface ever lead. While it would be some time before other nations heard about it, two of the three mighty dwarf kingdoms were lost, but the people of Moraz’Dun and their goliath allies held fast, and not a single Drow trooper ever made it out of the mountains. As the lost age ended, it was stronger bonds between the beleaguered dwarves and Bahest that helped both kingdoms recover from their respective crisis.
- The Arcane Renaissance (351 UA to Present): As Bahest rebuilt , refugees from across the continent come to settle behind its walls. The diverse population shared great knowledge with each other and together they plumbed the depths of the great city and rediscovered many lost arts. “Techno-Magic,” as it was once called, was rediscovered, though now it was just treated as a branch of Arcane study as much as any other.
- The second Chromatic Massacre (360 UA): an assault launched by the Black and Red Dragon Broods of Touria upon the Dry March and subsequently Bahest. Though most believe that the attack was an attempt to get revenge upon the gold dragon Ghazrital, there are a handful that believe the attack was a cover to protect a far more sinister attempt to return the evil dragon goddess Tiamat to the world. Regardless of what version of the story, it is widely known that heroes in service to the mercenary airship, the Skystrider, had a big part to play in saving the city from the assault.
Last year (Summer, 360 UA)
((This would be where the campaign began at level 1. This entry once read “Present day”))
Touria enjoys relative peace at the moment. The world itself is as a result is enjoying a golden age of learning. Magic academies, while still for the brightest of a population, are seeing record attendance, and leaps and bounds in the re-discovery of “techno-magic” as lead to a growing demand for Artificers and the devices they can build using tools and a little arcane power.
However, while the lands inside a given kingdom are safe, the lands between are not. Marauding bands or Orcs, Goblins, and Gnolls are all getting fat off the growing trade between the empires, and in a few places people are speaking of weakening bonds with the fabric of the planes, resulting in horrible fissures in the Dry March and other less populated areas. Furthermore, the increase in air travel powered by this techno-magic renaissance seems to have drawn the attention of various airborne nasties, particularly a few dragon broods long thought to have been slain or dormant.
Present Day ( Winter 362 UA)
Please see Two Years Have Passed….