Welcome to the Island realms of Arune!
I started drawing up the maps for this game setting back in ’81 for my first scratch build D&D (1st Ed) campaign. The original idea was very simple and inspired by the “Earth Sea” books of Ursula LeGuin. Basically I thought if I buy a module and wanna run it I can simply draw its own Island to fit it on!
Surprisingly it seemed to work, but as with all stories the thing began to gather some momentum of its own and I ended up creating a whole cosmology and mythos for the setting. Too long to go into now perhaps, one day I’ll write it all all up in a readable form but “today is not that day!” as Aragorn woulda said.
The World here is NOT round BTW. Nor is it square or any other solid. Like Fritz Leibers “Newhon” and a few others the sea goes on and on seemingly infinitely past the furthest shores. Sages say that if you travel far enough you will end up on the edge of one of the Elemental or para elemental planes. Fact is nobody knows: not even me right now LOL!
The Known world is separated into 4 sub continental land masses at roughly each major compass point a few other very large islands are thrown in for good measure. And the amount of smaller (10 square miles or less) island is literally without count. Each major race dominates one of the Major land masses but you will find elements from all races pretty much everywhere.
In addition there are a couple of player races (well they were playable in other systems I have no immediate plans to activate them here except as NPC’s) Main one you might need to know about is the Gor’Bayen (Goblin & Family races). In this world Goblins Hobgoblins and Bug bears are all the same race. If a Goblin gives birth two only two young they are sure to be Hogboblins and physically bigger but a shade less mentally talented. They are also usually sterile some 80% of the time. A fertile Hobbo is automatically treated as a celebrity! As their offspring are slightly (figure 5% better) like to be fertile as well. A single birth in one litter always creates a Bo’Dach (Bug Bear) they are huge strong but not too bright (max int is a 7) and always infertile.
The Gor’Bayen are masters of Alchemy, they have clerics of course and occasionally one may study Magecraft but many of the brightest of them excel in the arts of making Acids, and chemical poisons etc. Oh yes explosives as well naturally… Consider yourself warned.
As they are a major race you may well see one just walking through town now and again a trader or perhaps an Alchemist doing their rounds. Don’t auto attack them they are not the usual faceless “evil goblinoid” race here.
As the campaign is set in the south eastern corner of the world map the felinoid Kaizen of the Northern continent are highly unlikely and not worth mentioning at this time. But they are the other major special race in the world. You probably heard of them (a 7 foot tall walking Snow leopard leaves an impression after all!) But know zero about them and their culture.
The current campaign is set as I said on a medium island set some 6 weeks off the coast of the Eastern subcontinent of Eildon. Eildon is the Elven dominated land with the exception of the two southern Human kingdoms of Oldraw and Mengath. You originally hail from Mengath and the intro adventure is set there. Picture a mediterranean type land with lots of sand on one edge a bit like Tunisia in our world, if you would like a fast frame of reference.
The Rahkan Isle you are going to is warm but less hot as it is more isolated and cooled by the Ocean surrounding it. Figure mid to southern France for climate references.
As a result of the nature of the world more folks than normal can sail without sea sickness (Dwarfs excepted they hate it) and swimming is a bit more common than it would be in the equivalent medieval cultures as a result as well. If you read this far you can automatically swim well (even if a Dwarf) as a reward for paying attention!
We are newly in the 5th epoc known to history as the Gods return. Some hundred years ago a band of brave souls banished the Black Demon from Cloudspear Isle and restored the Balance between Man and the (Lesser) Gods. This was mostly played out in a Play By Email game I ran years ago (during which I met Lori) That campaign never quite finished due to outside pressures sadly but was one of the best adventures I have ever had the privilege of running. I may re use some of the guys from there as NPC’s in tribute.
Satisfied that his world was again back in balance the Highlord the one greater god and purported creator of the universe retired somewhat allowing his new spiritual children (the lesser gods) to take control of the various aspect of the world once more. In practical terms this means that all clerics will be from very new sects/cults. It will be rare that you will have heard of other Gods and their clergy outside any other members of your party that are also Clerics. It is also possible you may run across a “Pilgrim” the specially non priest anointed of the Highlord. Some say they are unkillable while others states that they are just men that can channel the healing of the Highlord seemingly at will. Regardless they seem benevolent to most, it is agreed.
So be wary, just because you have not heard of a “god” it does not mean they are not very real and with a nice militant clerical following! tread carefully is the watchword.
Humans are generally not liked by all non human races. The reasons go back for hundreds of years. But elves especially will be “cool” towards them initially. So figure some curious looks, and watch your step, if you drift into areas that are not at least 50% Human dominated.
Not to be a total toad the area I am gonna start you off in is about 85% Human but this will drop off as you penetrate further into the interior of the Island. So hopefully you’ll get used to things before the social aspect of the game clicks into overdrive.