Greetings and salutations travelers. Join me as I return to the realms of Wizards, Warriors and wondrous sights. As announced in the previous post, I am running a D&D (5th Edition) campaign for my two sons, and occasional others. They are currently working their way through The Lost Mine of Phandelver module and I am working out what they will deal with afterward. Yes, I am building my own encounters, adventures, and indeed the whole campaign. It is almost as if I were a real DM.
The purpose of this blog series is to share some ideas I have for the above mentioned campaign and hopefully to elicit some other good ideas from the rich imaginations of you, my dear readers. Before getting into those ideas, however, I need to provide a brief introduction to the homebrew setting within which these adventures will take place.
I have based my campaign world on the setting used in a forum-based, play-by-post fantasy RPG for which I moderated and wrote many years ago called the Kingdoms of Telgard. Telgard is a world populated by most of the creatures common to Fantasy RPGs plus a few that are not quite as familiar.
Here’s a map.
I have renamed the setting to The Five Kingdoms, because, as you can see in the map, there are five major regions. Starting from the top they are: Garr, Tahnn, Korresh, Lirynn, and Mirg.
Garr is the home of the dwarves who live among the crags and spires of the Greycloak mountains to the North. Their captial city, Korgarr, sits above the deep caverns of their oldest mines.
The western deserts of Tahnn are home to the dragonborn and their reptilian cousins the ss’tiss. Very little is known about this unforgiving land. Most trade is either through the Viper Pass from Dilgarr to Naczach’sh or by sea to Hasst.
Empire of Korresh sits at the center of the other four kingdoms amidst the vast plains and grasslands that stretch between the Greycloak Mountains and the Telgard Sea. The Emperor holds court in Maston, though his reach is not so long as it once was. While primarily a human empire there are plenty of representatives of the other sentient peoples as well.
West across the Ahrin Straits, deep within the Glimmerwood forest of Lirynn the High-born Elves walk among the immense branches of their tree city, Silverdawn. They keep to themselves and barely acknowledge the existence of the other races, except their dread enemies, the ixit. A slightly more welcoming, though still secretive, breed of Elves are encountered in the Lirynn trade city Na’el and the village of Thornmist.
To the South the Ixit survive among the jungles of Mirg. Only two locations which might generously be called cities are known to exist in Mirg. Their capital city of Krull and a village near the Bittering Swamp called Deeg. It is rumored that the ixit clans are spread widely throughout the deep jungles, but no non-ixit has ventured within to find them.
The following races from the D&D 5e rules books are available to player characters: Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Human, Dragonborn, Tiefling, and Aasimar. In addition, there are five races exclusive to Telgard which are also available for player characters. These are the Delphae, Ixit, Misharr, Ss’tiss, and Taru.
The Delphae are a mysterious sub-terranean people who live primarily in the depths beneath the Greycloak Mountains. The dwarves share this space with them and the two are allies against threats from far below. The delphae are highly attuned to magical energy and have the ability to concentrate and focus it. They are innately skilled in meta-magic.
You may notice that halflings and gnomes do not appear in the lists above. Primarily this is because I am not a fan of either species. The one is just a shade too tolkien-esque and the other is, in my opinion, silly and superfluous. I keep seeing a garden gnome on the beach. I do recognize their niche in the D&D ecology, however, and so fill that niche, partially, with the ixit and misharr.
The ixit are actually cousins to the goblins. They were at one time a goblin tribe that found a home in the jungles of Mirg. There they learned to survive and thrive by their wits and became more civilized and crafty. Some say they benefited from the intervention of an Archfey patron. In any case, the ixit are the tinkerers and traders par exellence in the Five Kingdoms.
The misharr are a species of sentient felinoids. They were created by a powerful wizard hundreds of years ago in an effort to create a legion of minions. Cats are not so much into the minion thing. Misharr have insinuated themselves among all the five kingdoms and range from feral to nearly domestic. They are similar to the tabaxi from Volo’s Guide to Monsters, dexterous and nimble and fit the agile acrobatic role quite well.
The ss’tiss are basically the lizardfolk from Volo’s Guide to Monsters. They originate from the deserts of Tahnn where they roam in matriarchal tribes. They share the desert with the more civilized dragonborn who built their cities of dragon-fired glass. (I stole that last part from Matt Colville)
Finally, there are the taru. They are minotaurs similar to the ones from Krynn (as outlined in Unearthed Arcana: Waterborne Adventures), except that they follow a strict code of non-violence a portion of which is a ban against touching any weapon of war. They are an itinerant people in the Five Kingdoms. Ever since the disaster that drove them from their homeland, they have been wandering from town to town and village to village. Only the elves in Lirynn have ever not welcomed these gentle souls.
I will likely post further details on the Five Kingdoms at a later time. This should give you enough to get some idea of the lay of the land, as it were. Next time I will present the characters my boys have cooked up, a summation of what they have been up to, and maybe get into some of my ideas on what they will get into after Phandalin.