Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hammers of the Dawn Campaign – An Introduction to Isaldar

My current Pathfinder game is loosely based on the Crônicas da Sétima Lua (Chronicles of the Seventh Moon) setting. I’ll try to post now and then the general events of the campaign, always seeking to keep them short and straightforward. But first, some lines about the world…

Isaldar is the seventh moon of the Primeval Orb of Elaria, itself the third celestial body circling around the Twin Suns. Centuries ago, Elaria was consumed by the Annihilation, a cataclysmic event still poorly understood by mortals. The Gods of Elaria saved their most devoted followers, carrying them through the Aether to the Seventh Moon. After saving the last and most numerous mortal race – the Humans – the Gods were destroyed by the Annihilation. Their immortal remains fell from the sky over the Seventh Moon, in the middle of the continent of Aldar, destroying the ancient civilization of the orcs – natives of that land – and creating the wastelands known as the Scar. The last act of the Gods sealed the Annihilation inside Elaria, transforming it into an Orb of dark clouds and green firestorms.

The most powerful mortal races – specially the dwarves and the yakshas – blame the humans for the death of the Elarian pantheon. After the Annihilation, a few devoted mystics created the Holy Order of the Moons and became the first clerics – pious mortals able to hear the fading echoes of the Dead Gods and to follow their ambiguous and ephemeral commands.

The Falling created not only the Scar. From the bones and blood of the Dead Gods, the Humans give birth to the Craft – a blend of technology, alchemy and the empowered remains of the deities. From this sacrilegious lore was built the Melkhar Empire, whose main power was the monopoly of primordium – a metal extracted from the Scar and originated of the Dead Gods’ bones. Primordium is light, resistant like steel and totally antimagic. To secure its primordium mines, the Empire is constantly forced to face the barbarian orcs and the insane outsiders trapped inside the Scar.

South of the Empire stands a union of neutral, lawful and benign kingdoms, free cities and cultures (mostly humans) known as the Shining Principalities. In this land, the role traditional held by adventurers is not only legalized – an idea from the gnomes of the great city of Concordia – but actually encouraged by rulers and sovereigns.

The myriad groups of adventurer and mercenary are called scuderias*, each one readily identified by its own heraldic symbol. All the scuderias are registered by the bard colleges of Concordia – their deeds, members and defeats constantly updated through messengers and lesser wandering bards. Scuderias are an integral part of aldarian society, especially before the Shining Princes. Scuderias have fame and status, like modern artists or athletes, and are bound by social duties and rules. Reputation gained from brave accomplishments and the assistance of influential patrons are things sought by all scuderias, who work for merchant houses, temples, nobles and other powerful groups – like the Archmages of the Tower of Impossibilities. There is an intense competition among scuderias. The most famous groups are inscribed on the Halls of the Heralds at Concordia.

This campaign follows the adventures of the Hammers of the Dawn, one of the various young and inexperienced scuderias of the Shining Principalities. Their name is derived from the dead god of the Yellow Sun – Mitra’el. Their leaders are the mysterious alien paladin Hilguen of the Ark and the maiden-priestess of Mitra’el, Drícia. The other members are the cheerful halfling wanderer Garet (and his saddle-dog Higgi), the roguish fey wizard Heian (and his distressed familiar Valkir) and the blind hian monk Nogard.

* I’m really at a loss for how translating this word. In portuguese it’s “escuderia”, a word that denotes a small, elite team of soldiers or explorers (probably originated from the word “escudo” or shield). Online translators gave me what I believe to be a word of italian origin. If anyone can give me other suggestions, I would be grateful.

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