A New Horizon

Setting

A rugged and isolated continent surrounded by uncharted sea, Northwall was once home to a great many peoples. Human clans formed large tribes and banded together to claim the land from the giants and take halflings as servants and thralls. A nation of dragonborn loomed large in the east, and dwarves kept a sprawling underground kingdom, locked in an endless war with the trolls. Elves and gnomes were so rare a sight that many believed them mythical beings – a reputation they were happy to cultivate from their isolated realms hidden by magic.

What Northwall once was is long forgotten, swept away by the coming of the dragons in the Great Conquest. With their terrible might, they razed one settlement after another, plundering the wreckage. With promises of safety, power, and wealth, they divided Northwallers against one another until none could resist the empire they had assembled, and, when the war was won, they split the land into four nations that stand to this day. The largest and most advanced of these is Vesterfold, where the dragons installed a proxy government of high elven noble houses to manage daily affairs and ensure stability.

In modern Vesterfold, most humans live in vassalage or thralldom in settlements ruled by the elves, but some communities in the reaches are largely self-ruled (though must still answer to elven authority, especially when tributes are collected). The vast dwarven kingdom is long gone, fallen in a civil war that left it vulnerable to the cruel depredations of deep-dwelling horrors. The dragonborn were all but eradicated, and only the scattered and fractious Lirrodogath tribe remains. Three human tribes have accepted unfavorable terms to
maintain their independence, scratching out lives of hardship in inhospitable stretches of the country where they receive no assistance or protection from the bands of marauding frost giants that cross the sea in winter.

Great monasteries, the Houses of the Sun and Moon, have risen near the cities under the banner of new religious teachings. The monks have formed self-sustaining communities that offer relief to the cities’ most desperate citizens, especially the half-elven children that would once have been left to die of exposure. Meanwhile, the Antiquarian Society hoards a great deal of magic and knowledge in the Empyrean Tower, devising means to protect the land and advance the way of life throughout the continent.

Character Creation

New characters’ ability scores are generated by a roll of 4d6, dropping the lowest die. All scores below 8 are rerolled. Setting-appropriate races, classes, and backgrounds can be found on respective wiki pages.

Dramatis Personae

A host of characters hold the fate of Northwall in their hands.

A New Horizon

Through A Prism Stix