War has waged on the land of Aussa for longer than anyone living remembers. The golden days of the "Conqueror King" Lug are long past, and humanity has broken into several countries and city states, spread across the realms, each clinging to their own way of life. The once proud and noble fey folk who assisted the great hero have been all but wiped out in their war to rid Aussa of monsters, their last communities hidden from civilization and slow to trust another alliance. The mighty dwarves who once forged legends from steel, retired to their underground kingdom beneath the Worldspire mountains. The bickering and conflicts of the human realms made the other races slow to trust humanity, but none foresaw the renewed threat of the beastmen. Ferocious and vile, monstrous humanoids consisting of goblinkind, orcs and gnolls swept over the land as great horde of demons intent on destroying civilization. That event marked the beginning of the war, centuries ago. Since then, nations united and forged alliances, even some of the waning races joined the fight, putting aside their distrust for humans to fight the greater threat. Under the guidance of the Spire of Truth and the Council of the Chosen made up of the high priest of each deity, the allience fought for civilization's very survival for countless years. Blood was spilled, bodies piled and borders redrawn as the seemingly never-ending conflict was drawn out forever... It was two years ago that a child of prophecy has made herself known and united each of the races, including a tribe of orcs to end the destructive conflict. The great revelation of a puppetmaster upset the powers, as the leading member of the Council of Chosen was revealed to be an extremely old, powerful sorcerer, responsible for the centuries of suffering. Lady Paladin Yustissa decided to storm the Spire of Truth, the very church that raised her to serve a false prophecy, and handpicked a squad of the finest in her army to break through enemy lines and slay the "Supreme Traitor" High Priest Hagan at the seat of his power.
Map of Aussa Island.Locations and Origin:The Beastlands:
Territory occupied by the seemingly endless hordes of orcs, gnolls and goblinkind. It's borders are constantly shifting as battle rages on against West Yranur and the Allied City-states. Any orc and some half-orc characters might come from this region, but other characters can't select this as their home region. Should player characters be captured, they will eventually be transported to this region where they will be kept as slaves until a rescue party penetrates into enemy lands deep enough to free them. About 90% of slaves never leave the Beastlands once they get there.Yranur:
Yranur is a kingdom with very strict laws and a caste system. It has also the most history, since it is what remains of Hero King Lug's original nation, that once spanned almost the entire island. Yranur resembles Medieval Europe a lot, with a definite upper class ruling over the people, and using a code of chivalry to control their highly trained knights. Heavily armored warriors, knights, paladins are likely to hail from this region. Some half-orcs might also be born here, because the kingdom shares a border with the Beastlands and monster raids on the Western territories of Yranur are frequent and brutal.
Yranur's king and his son were killed three months ago, and Princess Charlotte, the young and fierce princess knight has taken up the crown to avenge her famiy, leaning towards much more agressive and reckless tactics against the Beastmen.The Republic of Gimir:
Gimir is a land of craftsmen and scholars, bordering most of the other nations. Masters of all trade are found here, and while the citizens are do not like warfare, they do have a standing army in case Yranur requests reinforcements, or raiders from the North decide to make their lives harder. The Worldspire mountains are located here as well, a citadel built on the tallest peak where arcane spellcasters are trained in the ways of the art. All members of the Citadel of Nine Winds are marked with a special, magical tattoo that identifies them, as mages who do not bear this mark are renegades that are feared and hunted down. Almost any character can hail from this region.
Gimir is governed by a parliament and the Citadel of Nine Winds is led by Archmage Gavin Wardenhawk.Untamed Lands:
The Northern region is a vast grassy plain as far as the eye can see, with an occasional hill popping out of the flat landscape. Nomadic tribes of barbarians inhabit most of this land, living free and wandering with herds of animals, hunting and gathering for food. They exchange and barter, trading pelts, food and items as needed and have no currency of their own. While they fight the Beastmen, they are also unfriendly towards other outsiders, save for a few tribes that joined Lady Yustissa's alliance. Mostly barbarian characters would come from this region, though other classes with a "nomadic" feel could also qualify.Meklier:
The first to break away from Yranur, the kingdom of Meklier is located along the East Coast of Aussa. They have vast forests and built a powerful navy that allows them trade - or warfare with any other nation along the shores. While Meklier has undeniably the strongest and largers fleet of ships, their ground troops aren't up to par with Yranurian knights, or even trained fighters from the Free City-states. While a kingdom, Meklier has very loose regulations and laws compared to Yranur, and is home to many gangs and spy networks. It is a public secret that the king rules with the help of these networks and guilds in fact. Somehow, this government seems to work, perhaps due to the war diverting everyone's attentions to the West... Most rogues, swashbuckling heroes and secretive characters might be from Meklier.
Meklier is ruled by King Theodore Saberghost II.Allied City-states:
The Southern shore region of Aussa is littered with independent city-states, reminscent of ancient Greek cities like Athens or Sparta. While there were many feuds and battles between these states in the past, the Beastmen threat forged them into a tight alliance, so they can defend themselves against the frenzied monsters, and avoid being annexed into neighboring countries at the same time. Because of the variety of city-states in this region, almost any character class or race could be found here, but religous classes such as cleric might be most common, due to the Spire of Truth being located in the Eastern regions of these lands.
Each city-state has its own ruler, and the Spire of Truth serves as a central church and place of pilgrimige for most, led by the Council of the Chosen, recently overthrown by High Priest Hagan.Kisaki Empire:
The Kisaki Empire resembles feudal Japan after its unification, with creatures of Japanese folklore such as spirits and animal-folk living there as well. Currently, the empire has closen its borders to all foreigners and people living there usually keep to themselves.Elven and dwarven lands:
It is rare that a member of these races would join with humans, Lady Yustissa convinced many to aid her cause against the traitorous High Priest. However, there characters would either be outcasts from their lands or would have sworn blood-oaths never to reveal the way to their homes to others. This has to do with most non-human races almost being wiped out in the past and their overall distrust towards anyone but their kind.Magic:
Magic will be readily available to all characters, with one major exeption to how d&d and pathfinder usually roll. Permanent magic items will be extremely rare, and most of them unique and too valueable to have a real price. As such, supplies will be limited to mundane items, and magic items like potions, scrolls and wands from the right vendor. Character ability and in-character decisions will carry more weight than gear in this game, and if the party finds a magic item, it will truly be exceptional.