What follows on this page is a in progress setting I use for all my sessions. It borrows much from the official setting in the DMG, as well as ideas from common mythology, and other fantasy settings. The setting is consistently being updated as I write new sessions and material. Further background information for each story arc will also be posted on a separate page. This is originally to be used as a reference for my players, but I always like to share material.
Nations Of Anead
Present year 1653 (2019)
Griffin Empire: The Griffon Empire’s Heart beats at Greyhawk. It fair King, Harold The Champion has ruled for 52 years. And his Family for 8 generations. The Empire doesn’t shy away from war, but actively promotes peace between in and the neighboring nations. Only 20 years ago the empire invaded the brutal tribelands, to preempt an invasion from the local tribes. The region has been civilized to a degree and now acts as a naval refueling and trading base.
The Pillar of Epebeus: a powerful wizard’s tower outside Valona, in the Griffin Empire, it is named after the prophet wizard Epebus, who foretold the coming of the New god Illidar.
Trinity Alliance: “Ladder” System of Rule for succession
Mendus Kingdom: The Mendus kingdom was forged in both fire and war. Ruled by a ruthless Dark Skinned elf, Named Mendus Bloodtalon. Mendus is constantly seeking a battle, and looks at both the Griffin Empire, and the Occupation of Twilight with greedy eyes. His personal order of heavily armored warriors, called the “Blood Cleavers” act as a brutal police force and private assassin outfit.
Aracon: Placed at the Center of Anend, Acaron has become a merchant republic and banker capital of the Continent. Wielding powerful economic power over the rest of the nations.
Thugon Dynasty: Deep in the Bleak Emptiness rule the Deathless Thugon Necromancers. The Emptiness was created when Bathar the God of Death, and the married gods of Remorse and Vengeance, Wosi and Lelitar, battled over the proper collection of souls. Such a powerful battle destroyed the coast and forest that existed before and created a bleak and desolate mix of badlands and desert. Few living creatures can bear the lifeless Emptiness, and thus only monsters and the deathless roam the waste. The Thugon’s Deathless Lords use Necromancy to craft unholy creatures, and more notably the deathless forest, woven of countless bones that attack any intruders.
The Teocan empire resides between the Rhineheart Jungle and the Bleak Emptiness, devoted to Vedros, The Old Elven God of Tranquility, because of this Elves flock to the empire, and take to the elements the Teocan’s command easily, The Sealords command the stark white fleets of Empire, and Woadlords command their armies, a mix of Elven and Human commanders and magical woodland creatures that battle with them. The skylords ride the Wyverns and snakedragons, exploring across the realms and readying for the inevitable clash with both the Deathless lords and the Occupation of Twilight.
Occupation of Twilight: A deeply religious theocracy, the Occupation claims they are safeguarding territory for the arrival of Xolton, God of Dusk. Xolton, is said to reside in a shadowy palace on the edge of the Plane of darkness, actually connecting the Plane and the Underworld. The Occupation believes the end of times will come when Xolton unleashes the Plane of darkness to overwhelm the underworld, and the material plane. This will usher in an age of 10,000 years on darkness. After which Xolton, will pull the shadows back to their plane, and life will begin again anew.
Day and Night Cycle: The Sun and Moon rise and fall like any in any other realm. However they are brought through the sky by Illidar, the God of Betrayal. Illidar takes his chariot which drags the twin moon and sun behind him. The Sun and moon are chained together, and slow slip past each other as the chain is rattled in transit. This means that for a singler month, the Moon and Sun cross the sky at exactly the same time. This month in the dead middle of the year, has a blood moon for the entire month, and strengthens the powerful evils on the plane.
Winds of Magic, Magical energies enter the material plane by slipping through the Veil, originating from the elemental planes the winds blows differently at different physical locations on the material plane. In areas where the winds blow strongly magic is extremely powerful, and aspects of the planes bleed on the material realm. The winds do not always blow constantly at locations, meaning a location could be extremely magical one day, and completely inert the next.
Many planes exist alongside the Material one, they exist in concentric rings, which rotate slowly around the material plane. Elemental opposites exist on the same rings, meaning they never clash, while harmonious planes often intersect and effect each other. Various smaller planes are created and destroyed in this process, and some even drift between the rings, or are outside of them entirely. These planes require exceptional power, or specialized magics to access.
The Celestial Plane: A plane that exist far above the others, the Celestial plane is literally where the oldest, and most powerful gods dwell. A plane divided into territories each claimed and shaped by the god who owns it.
The Veil, The Veil’s power, and significance are second only to the Celestial and Material Planes. It is the largest and most nondescript plane of them all. The Veil exist to connect every other plane, and creates a membrane between the planes, separating them from each other, most of the time. A foggy and ever changing realm, the Veil takes on the attributes of any nearby plane, looking more and more like that plane the closer it is. When closest the veil acts as a mirror image of a plane, but one in which detail are foggy and colors hazey. Effectively navigating the plane is nearly impossible, and the lost souls of those who never made it to the underworld roam freely here, the playthings of necromancers and saviors alike.
Plane of Darkness The plane of darkness is seldomly the home of good being. More often evil, but a fair share of neutral creates exist there as well. Every shadow cast in the material realm is a sliver of this plane, but only as an exit, never as an entrance. To travel across the plane is to travel in endless night, no light, save the purple everflame of its most powerful creatures will live for long, Few non-native beings have even dared to seek out this realm. While rare, this plane is sometimes used as a banishment for the darkest of souls, abandoning them to eternal night.
Plane of Light: As to be expected the Plane of light exist in exact opposition to the plane of darkness. The Plane of light sits on the highest orbital of the planes, while the plane of darkness is on its lowest. Poetically, this places them in synchronous rotation with each other always keeping the balance between the two perfect. The plane of light is composed of endless floating platforms, each of which houses a community of heroic or good souls. It’s natural inhabitants are of a lawful good alignment, and many beings here seek justice for those in other planes.
Plane of Fire: The Brass City.
Plane of Air: Sky of 1,000 Islands. Home of Kramera, Goddess of the Sky
Plane of Water: Palace of Ten Thousand Pearls
Plane of Earth: Underrelam of Endless Riches Home of Drorena,The Old Goddess of Seasons
Lesser planes lay host to the fantastic creations of the gods, and the accidental intersecting of the planes. Each lesser plane serves some purpose which the major planes cannot, even if no one can divine the true nature of these planes they all hold a space in the cosmos.
Mechanus, the Grand Design:
Ysguard, The Eternal Battlefield: A raging plane of ice, fire and battle. Upon the freezing mountain tops and Fjords, warriors who died honorable deaths battle one another endlessly. Below the mountains fiery canyons and fields play host to those who died above, and these who die here appear above. Warriors admitted here never find boredom in the endless battles and many legendary heroes and items reside on this plane.
Elysium, the Eternal Peace, Elysium is known as the great reward, as souls pass through the cycle of life and death, they pray to enter Elysium. Created as a fragment broken off from the underworld, Wosi and Lelitar allows entry into Elysium in only the most extreme circumstances, in cases of overly heroic lives, or a cycle of lives lived in devotion.
Hades, The Three Glooms: When the twin gods, of Remorse and Vengeance cannot decided on the fate of a soul it is sent here. The Three Glooms, are a depressing grayscale version of Elysium. Souls sent here eventually become Larva, massive putrid maggots, who retain their human faces. Larvae hold only scant memories of their past lives, and are often stolen by dark creatures for even darker rituals.
Nine Hells, The Nine Hells are a layered realm between Hades and the Plane of Darkness, the True gate to the plane rest at the deepest pit of the hells. Despite the name the Plane is relatively well controlled by a complex and byzantine system devised by the devils and demons who reside there. It would take an outsider years to divine the inner workings of the Nine Hells, but endless contracts and concise rules govern even the most modest of interactions. However this culture of contracts and rules has breed a legion of powerful businessmen, it is said any that even the rarest of magical items can be found in the markets of the Hells. Each ring of the Hells contains a more powerful demon, it is the misguided goal of devout adventures to rid the hells of Demons, however demons are born of the dark thoughts of men and cannot be defeated in the Hells alone.
Gods exist across the planes, each favoring a particular one, however, the oldest, most powerful, and arguably original gods exist on the Celestial Plane.
Old Gods: The Olds Gods have existed at least since the fall of the Elven kingdoms, and are the most powerful gods. They each claim a territory on the Celestial plane, and each commands legions of minions who do their bidding throughout the planes. These gods have seen the rise fall of civilizations, and obtained their power (and status) through means that have been lost to all but them. They have seen much, and care little for mortal problems, however when necessary their intervention is swift, powerful, and awe-inspiring. More often prayers to these gods are answered by their powerful celestial minions.
New Gods: Created from ambitions to rival the gods themselves, the New gods are a weaker breed of Celestial being. While still immensely old, they came after the Old gods, each created through the conflicts of mortals and celestial. These new gods now battle for followers and power with the Old gods. They reside throughout the planes and each New God’s relationship with the others is tenuous. On the material plane, followers are attracted to the New gods due to their high activity in mortal affairs, the New Gods encourage their priest and clerics to recruit new followers to improve their own prestige and power. While they offer their followers much less raw power, they answer more prayers, more frequently.
The Creation of Godhood: While many gods exist, and some Old Gods refuse to reveal their own origins, No god is all powerful, and few possess the ability of creation. Rather Gods control the natural power of the realms. For instance, a god of earth would not create earth when he summons a mountain, but rather activate the potential of the area to be a mountain. Ascending to Godhood is an act of harnessing celestial energy which as a natural force has the greatest potential. Once a mortal has grasped the control of celestial energy, they gain stronger from the prayers of mortals. However harnessing celestial energy is not the only aspect of being a god, Demi-gods, Titans, and Celestial servants all harness Celestial energy as well. Many New gods ascended themselves or were raised to these lesser status, before they became New gods.
Arkara, The New Goddess of Lighting:
Akara was once a priestess of Xolton, the god of dusk and bringer of the end. She is said to be the first to hear, and see the prophecy of the Dark end, and horrified fled from her faith. She lead a group of warrior-mages who practiced light magics to prepare to battle Xolton’s minions, and as she did she became worshiped as a god herself, eventually ascending to join the other new gods. She actively leads this group of warrior mages, battling against the spread of Xolton’s Occupation of Twilight.
Drorena,The Old Goddess of Seasons
Illidar, The New God of Betrayal
Illidar, Once a servant of the (god of the sun), betrayed him/her. Now in exile from the Celestial plane he rides a chariot which pulls the chained Sun and Moon, he races across the Material planes sky and brings Night and Day. Much like the heavenly bodies he drags behind his chariot, Illidar’s temperament changes depending on the status of the chain. When the Sun is closest, he is furious in his feeling. Typically jovial and fun, but quick to change and always intense. While the Moon is closer he much calmer, and typically forlorn. Changing his attitude in this state is often very difficult or even impossible.
Itoz, Old God of the Winds of Magic,
Itoz is as changing as the winds of magic themselves. As an Old god he controls a small area in the Celestial plane, but hardly ever visits it. Preferring instead to travel the planes and create marvelous homes where he wishes to stay. Where he visits the Winds blow strong, and Arcane users of all kinds worship and hope to encounter him their whole lives. His minions are typically mortal wizards who have overstretched their hands at the use of magic, now mutated and deformed, they hide massive claws, writhing tentacles and beastal features under robes. These minions also travel the planes seeking to disperse and concentrate the winds of magic and warn arcane magic users of the perils they may face.
Komis,The Old Goddess of Justice
Komis achieved godhood when she preserved the laws of the Elven courts at the empire’s fall. Why not technically a goddess of the elven culture many new elves have taken to worshipping the Goddess of Justice. Komis is a powerful and vengeful goddess, enforcing contracts and agreements with extreme prejudice. Often her followers enter into agreements with the Goddess, in exchange for some power or vengeance equal to a slight, or service. Komis is the second most worshiped being in the Nine Hells, devils often use her name to strike bargains, and hope her watchful eye is on their agreements. While Komis is one of the more active Old Gods, she is also known as the missing god. Komis has not been seen in many decades, however arrangement between the Goddess and mortals are still upheld, thanks to her perfectly fashioned plane of Mechanus often called “The Great Design”.
Kramera, The Old Goddess of the Sky
Mistress of the Plane of Air, and it’s thousand Islands, Kramera is believed to be or originator of the Aroka people, as she often chooses their form for her own. The legend says she created the Aroka to best Drorena,The Old Goddess of Seasons, Mistress to the Plane of Earth, in a competition of creation.
Leltar, The Old God of Vengeance with his Wife Wosi, Leltar argues over the souls of the dead on their way through the underworld. Leltar and his wife Wosi battled Bathar, the God of Death because Bathat began claiming the souls of the dead preventing their passing to the underworld and from the cycle of rebirth that controls the planes.
Vedros, The Old Elven God of Tranquility
The only remaining Elven god, Vendros is the sole deity of the Teocan Empire. A revival of the ancient elven ways, Vendros taught the first Lords of the Teocan’s to master the sea, air, and woad Dragons, and to seek a peaceful existence. The Teocan empire struggles to prepare for the two sided conflict when they battle the Occupation and the Deathless lords, to prevent the end of times both empires seek.
Wosi,The Old Goddess of Remorse With her Husband Leltar, Wosi argues over the souls of the dead, helping to decide where they go in the underworld.
Xolton, The Old God of Dusk: Xolton resides in a shadowy place on the edge of the Plane of Darkness. In his Palace is a doorway to the underworld, the only known way to escape the plane. Xolton, is cold blooded and ruthless taking his role as guardian of the celestial prison of evil very seriously. He cares little for people’s motivations, or reason they are in the plane. He simply knows if one is sent to the plane they deserve their fate, and must not leave. Xolton, is the center of a prophecy he either does not know exist or doesn’t care about, It states that once all of Anend worships him, he will open the gates of darkness and set free the most ancient of evils on the land, destroying all that they touch and covering the place in darkness as part of a global purge.
Anaz, the Titan of the Hells
Anaz rest at the bottom of the Nine Hells, She is the oldest demon born of the lust of Elves, Men and Dwarves, she plots to destroy the other planes and control the moral realms. However Anaz has much to deal with in the Hells alone, and while her plans often bleed into the planes, they rarely threaten the order of the Realms.
Bathar, Titan of Death
Once the Old God of Death, Bathar’s clash with Wosi and Leltar released most of his celestial power destroying the land now called the Bleak Expanse. Bathar began to slowly claim the souls of the dead rather than fairy them to the underworld, as is his duty. As these Actions drew the attention of Wosi, and Leltar, those responsible for judging the dead so they may pass on to the cycle of rebirth , the two sides clashed over what is now the Bleak Emptiness. The Battle drained the celestial power of the god, and he was drained of the rest by Wosi and Leltar, Now simply the Titan of Death, Bathar begrudgingly serves the two faithfully regaining his power by carrying the souls to the underworld. Bathar’s energies birthed the Deathless lords, who now worship him as more than a god, they believe he is the world ender, the only creature capable of truly ending the cycle of rebirth, and creating a deathless eternity.
Durgash the Idiot Orc
Once the great scourge of Anend, Durgash lead a massive orcish horde larger than most empires. Durgash lead by pure force, and thought little about his actions. Regardless the empires of man feared the Orc, and his followers worshiped his every idioc step. The Occupation of Twilight lead a coalition to defeat the Orcs, and in the final battle Durgash ascended admist the massive carnage. He became a Celestial Titan because of his hordes belief in him, and abandoned them, presumably to roam idiocialy through the endless planes. Some say the Idiot Orc hears his lasting followers and aids them, some say when he intervenes in the material plane, it is merely coincidence.
Nemnera, The Dragon of Oracles Titan of Dragons, created by the old eleven gods, as an oracle of war. From Nemnera, flows all prophecies and dragonkin, born in the midst of a terrible war, Nemnera is prone to great rage and power.
Malachi, The Prophet of the End
The servant of Xolton, Malachai as a near immortal vampire celestial that both rules and controls the Occupation of Twilight. He was the Second priest to see the Prophecy of Xolton, and enjoys a following that while larger then Akara’s sees him as only the messenger, thus his Titan status rather than that of a true god. He works tirelessly to bring the eternal night, some say for his own reasons.
Death and the Underworld:
Death is a fluid barrier in this world. At death the body, mind, and soul are separated. The body decomposes to return to the earth. The Mind is returned to the flow of mana which creates it, and the soul is sent to the underworld to be judged.
People who travel to the underworld must shed their bodies, but may retain their mind and soul, This means to return a body must be preserved, or a new one created.
A soul is first ferried across (Death’s river), to enter the underworld, from there they are judged by a god of Remorse, and a god of Vengeance. The souls is judged in a comedic but socratic debate between the two gods, each impactful action is reviewed and decided upon as the result recorded, at the end whichever side a person falls on is their fate. If allowed the soul may continue to Elysium, a realm of peaceful and simple existence to await their rebirth. If a soul is found unjust, or evil it may be cast to the Nine Hells, a place of eternal torment and anguish. Here demons and devils reign, battling one another for control over the several layers. Souls are rarely chosen from the The Nine Hells for rebirth as more often than not souls are forced into committing even more unspeakable deeds to survive the hellscape.
The Lesser Races
Aroka, the Winged Men:
The Elven Kingdoms:
The ancient Elvish kingdoms are nothing more piles of old stone now, but in their time, legends say they were even more advanced than the current kingdoms. With their near immortal life spans, the Elves stood haughtily above the other races, calling them “Balchoth”. Their unmatched abilities in magic,science, and statecraft are still legacies even the greatest heros strive to achieve. In their time, their own gods reigned as the lesser races came into their own over the millennia. Some of the most magnificent and terrible battles were waged in the infancy of Man, but the scars remain as a testament to the power once wielded. The Elven Gods were first, before even the Old gods, but with the fall of their kingdoms, came the fall of their gods.
The Dwarven Paragons:
The Squat creatures who inhabit the Mountains and Underoads have a mysterious past. After the long darkness, when brought the fall of the Elven kingdoms, the Dwarven lords reemerged and protected the fledgling lower races. It is said the Dwarves’ creation was a fluke, Drorena, Goddess of Seasons, and Kramera, The Old Goddess of the Sky held a competition with one another. Drorena claimed her lands birthed all things, while Kramera claimed her skys were not only essential to creation, but the most powerful force of destruction as well. Kramera, created winged creature resembling the Aroka, Drorena squat creatures called Dwarves, the two competed in challenges but in the end the two races were tied in the competition. Each race went their own ways, and now harbor a healthy spirit of competition that is prone to boil over into conflict. However instead of worshiping the gods proper the Dwarves favor their Paragons. Elected on merit, Paragons are Dwarves who have achieved “perfection” in some task. Descendants of Paragons wield powerful influence, and often strive to become paragons themselves. Revered like gods a living paragon rivals a Dwarven king in power.
The Kingdoms of Man:
The Infantacy of Humans started during the decline of the Elven kingdoms, believed to be the product of a war between two elven gods, they roamed aimlessly as they explored the world. In this angry and violent time the humans took the worst of traits from the elves, greed, anger, violence, and deception. They received too the art of statebuilding, and inherited the knowledge of magic. The elves has long passed as the dominant culture, and Humanity now vies for control.
Born from the spawn of Nermnara, as servants to the dragons, Dragonborn exist in hereditary clans which feel strong loyalty to a parental dragon. However, they still possess immense free will and often leave a clan over a grievance or mistreatment. Strong and intelligent, they must go through only a short adjustment period before they can find a place in society.
Born from Nemnera, Dragonkin take many forms, from that of their mother, to the strange “dragon-ogres”, they feel a sense of loyalty to Nemnera, as long as their own goals align. Treachery has never been outside the realm of dragonkin and few dragons trust each other anymore then outsiders. Ciphel, Destroyer of Men, is a notorious dragon, who hunts the great kings of men for sport.
Orders and Organisations of Note
The Druid Circles
The Order of the Prophet:
Born from the horrors of Ankara’s visions of Xolton’s prophecy, Ankara began gathering Warrior mages, and training them in Light magics. These Warrior mages now worship Ankara’s Godly form and actively work against the plans of Malachi and the Occupation of Twilight to prevent the Prophecy of Xolton. The Order seeks for “The Tempest Soul” a spirit said to be imbued with the power of Ankara, but due the method he used to created the soul, Ankara herself cannot detect the soul. The Order seeks endlessly for this person to lead them to victory against the Occupation.
The Trinity Justicars
The Trinity Justicars were formed after the Battle of the Betrayed King, a War between the fledgling alliance, and the Griffon Empire, The Betrayed King Clarenbald had united the three kingdoms and invaded in hopes of expanding land, however as the battle waged the other two kings turned on him, killing his men and him. After the battle the kings became paranoid and wary, plunging the alliance into a massive civil war. The Justicars formed from this chaos, wholly devoted to Komis the Old Elven god of Justice, they held men accountable to their oaths and promises and brought peace to the kingdom. They then formed the Alliance giving each king a fair and equal time to rule. THey then watched over the realm enforcing each and every Oath made.
The Wizard Towers
History of the Realms
The Griffon Empire:
Drust Greycrest, the First Ruled (1453-1502): Founder of Greyhawk and the Emperor after the first Miracle of Greyhawk where the Griffons of the Greyhawk Mountains, came to his aid against the local tribes in a battle over the early Greyhawk settlement.
Malbron Greycrest the Explorer, Ruled (1502-1545): Malbron earned his moniker “Explorer” due do his aptitude to survey the Kingdom personally, riding across it’s reaches to better understand his people. His reform and changes brought the Kingdom an entirely new level of prosperity.
Geroldus the Impetus Ruled(1545-1626): Know for his brash attitude and lust for battle, this early king expanded the Kingdom greatly and is the namesake for the “gerondus” province. He had a fanasation with elvish ruins, although he lacked the intelligence to truly appreciate them he conquered and settled several elven ruins through the Kingdom.
Branko Troske, the Pious Ruled (1627- 1635):
Segrund Strusk, the Soldier Emperor (1635-present (1653)): Nicknamed the Soldier Emperor, after his violent and successful coup, Segrund turned the weakened empire into a military powerhouse. Redesigning its military structure, and founded the Strusk Military Academy, after moving the Empire’s military center to Tideguard.
Emperor Harold Lucaenus The Champion
Grand Prince Gabriel Lucanus the Confident (missing presumed dead)
Sheera Theynore, an ancient Elven Queen, who ruled from Fya Serin.
The Wizard Epebus: the Hero of the Empire, know for his role in the Second Miracle of Greyhawk, was the founder of the Tower of Epebus, and the Wizards College’s as we know them today.
The Trinity Alliance:
Formally organized after the Battle of the Betrayed King, the Trinity Justicars, and three kings finally agreed to form an Alliance. Utilizing the Ladder succession, the High King rules for three years, over the Middling King, and the Low King, after these three years, the High King becomes the Low King, and each other king advances one step. The Trinity Justicars enforce this system, and any other Oaths sworn by the men of the Realm.
The War of the Three Kings however puts all of this into question, where are the justicars, and why have they not enforced the Sucession?
The Betrayed King Clarenbald, who is memorialized at the Battlefield of the Betrayed King, just outside Cliff Coast.