First up, there is new map in addition to the previously posted one (click to enlarge):
Next are some points about the setting (there's supposed to be 10, but I've only had time to compile 6 so far; keep an eye here for further updates)1. Tone and Attitude
The campaign combines standard medieval-esque fantasy of Pathfinder with swashbuckling action and dark adventure. Everything about the world of Allukashia is intrinsically linked to a dark and sinister past that carries through to the present.
Alignments are relative gauges of a character or a creature’s viewpoint, and not an absolute barometer of affiliation and action; nothing is exactly as it seems. By and far, the larger part of the civilised peoples of Allukashia are neutral, but tend to have some definitely leanings towards evil, or are at least very mercenary in their outlook – as to good aligned people, it is probably safe to say that there are more good-aligned creatures than good-aligned people in the world.2. Civilisation and Magic
Magic is essential to the very survival of civilisation on Allukashia, and without it, the creatures of the wild would quickly overrun even the most stalwart defenders and the highest walls. Even the humblest of settlements boasts at least a contingent of battle-capable arcanists whose sole job is to defend the community.
In the more highly urbanised areas of the kingdom of Vallusia, magic is a science unto itself, thanks to the mastery of arcane magic brought by the Witch-Queens. The binding and harnessing of elemental creatures makes airships and rail transport possible, and a working class of minor mages use spells to provide energy and other necessities in towns and cities.3. A Savage and Unexplored World
Almost 70% of Allukashia remains unexplored, despite the fact that the humanoid races have spread to almost every corner. Outside of the Kingdoms of Vallusia and Illusaran, the most prominent bastions of civilisation are city-states, which generally control a region of the surrounding land out to 8 miles. From steaming jungles to colossal ruins, from burning deserts to the blasted hills of the Demon Wastes, Allukashia is a world of action and adventure.
Relic hunters are always in high demand since the discovery of a much older civilisation than present chroniclers can account for, and there is evidence that suggests that the humanoid races were not the first to inhabit Allukashia. The Witch-Queens relentlessly sponsor expeditions to credible adventurers in the hope of learning how this earlier civilisation seemed to have done what not one else has done since – taming Allukashia.4. On Men and Women
Women hold the reigns of power on Allukashia, and something about the world seems to make them smarter and more forceful of personality than men. Despite this, men and women go along with their lives – on Allukashia, they live and hate, laugh and embrace, scheme and dance to the whims of fortune as do people on any other world, but always with a bleak pragmatism colouring their actions and intentions. If nothing else, the sexes are united in their grim determination to survive and thrive.
Women are more likely to show drive and determination when it comes to pursuing what they want, though it’s not a quality unique to them. Despite not often having access to positions of power in society, men have managed to not become relegated to the position of second-class citizens – the reign of the Priest-Kings showed Allukashia the worth of men, even if it was not the most pleasant period of history – most of the present day settlements and cities were built during those times.
The reign of the Priest-Kings, however, has done something to unbalance this dynamic, and men who are capable of divine magic are viewed with intense suspicion, especially by those in authority, and the Witch-Queens are ever vigilant for the rise of another Priest-King. The one and only exception to this anathema towards divine magic amongst men are male priests of the Silver Flame, who are sanctioned by the Witch-Queens and generally accepted by the populace (despite being seen as strange for their beliefs).
In terms of population, the ratio of men to women is approximately 7:5. This discrepancy would be larger still, save that most men live and die protecting civilisation from monstrous onslaughts from the wild. Almost 1 in 5 men join a military body of some kind, because it is the most likely way that they can attain true social prestige.5. Sexual Liberalism and Deviance
On Allukashia, sex comes easily and almost no one past their age of majority remains virgin for long. Most disturbingly to those who immigrate from other worlds, is sexual deviance from norms and taboos. Native inhabitants have very few scruples when it comes to pleasure, generally because of the general affirmation that life on Allukashia is simply too harsh to be choosy. Despite this, most people won’t actually notice this tendency towards deviance unless they go poking – natives do not particularly care enough to gossip, especially since it’s not particularly out of the ordinary to them.
Bisexuality is a societal norm, though hetero- and homosexuals don’t suffer any particular stigmatisation for their preferences. Marriage is a relatively rare thing, and usually signifies that money or politics is at work behind the scenes – hence only the rich and powerful tend to enter marriage. The only really ironclad prohibition law and generally accepted taboo on Allukashia is of sexual activity before age of majority. Update - Prostitution:
Despite sexual promiscuity, prostitution still occurs, the main difference being that it is usually a choice rather than necessity – a chance to make a few extra coins. Non-professional prostitutes are generally those who know that they’re attractive enough that some would part with their hard (or ill-gotten) coin to spend a night in their arms. Professionals are just that; they’re not just men and women selling their bodies for money – their skill in sexual ability is above par of what most people can do – they are selling a quality commodity that most just won’t get to experience with the free thing. The Slaanii (slah-nai):
On Allukashia, it is a given that women are somewhat more sexually promiscuous than other settings, but its not necessarily a great deal for men. Approximately 1 in 100 women are what are known as Slaanii, they are perfectly normal members of their race and gender, but with the exception that when they first lose their virginity, the latent magical power within with flare suddenly (awakening power as a sorcerer or oracle). The process is ecstatic for them, but fatal for the male partner. This sort of Sexual Russian Roulette has been a large contributing factor to bisexuality, at least until men can confirm a woman in no longer a virgin. There are always rumours that this death-curse does not only occur the first time a Slaanii sleeps with a man, but every time that she does - and in doing so gathers immense amounts of magical power in very short order. GM’s Note:
This is general information to set the tone. As a general rule, I won’t be throwing sexual content in the group’s path apart from the very occasional flirting or propositioning NPC – in short, sexual content only becomes an issue if players start pursuing it (just remember to keep in mind what your fellow players might find offensive).6. Evil Religions, Good-aligned cults
Despite it being the Priest-Kings who brought religion to Allukashia, it has since spread without them. On Allukashia, evil religions are institutionalised and their temples are out in the open. Conversely, good-aligned religions find themselves forced into basements and into the dark woods, for they face prosecution from the major established religions, save for the Silver Flame, which is sanctioned by law. The religions of neutral-aligned gods don’t generally receive harassment, since their interests only rarely intersect with the workings of society that most evil religions seek to control.
Though gods of light can’t enter or influence Allukashia, their servants can and several aspects of the Lords of the Empyreal have made their way to Allukashia to try and redeem the world and lead it to salvation. Most prominent among their number are: Arshea the Spirit of Abandon, Damerrich The Weighted Swing, Korada The Open Hand of Harmony, Olheon The Just Arbiter, Ragathiel General of Vengeance, and Vildeis The Cardinal Martyr (all of which can be found in Chronicles of the Righteous). Meeting these Empyreals and offering allegiance, will grant the same domains in same manner as if they were a deity.