Looking (a long way) forward 2

Following on from my previous post, this posts looks at the Hann Empire in more detail. It isn’t formatted prettily, mainly because it is an analysis, that I will be working with later. Function over form!’

Nation States and the predominant deities.

This is turning into an exercise of how to represent a mature ‘Celts met Normans’ society – without the influence of Christianity and the Roman Empire – using deities from 3e, then overlaying the PF pantheon.  My earliest settings were Celtic.  It moved to Norse overrunning Celtic,  a bit of Al Qadim, 3e and then pathfinder – this is an attempt to tie them together.  In the process, it does away with the RL gods from  the early legends and Lore and replaces then with 3e deities.

Imperial Deities:  Pelor, Abadar, Pharasma, Sarenrae

Hannish (Celtic, 3e) – Ehlhonna (NG), Obad Hai (N), Kord (CG), Wee Jas (LN) – – – – 

Hannish (Norse, 3e) – Pelor (NG), St Cuthbert (LN), Hieroneous (LG), Kord (CG) – –)

Sakaran Influence  (from Al Quadim and PF) – Haku (Sakar, Freedom) Bala (Sakar, Music)- – – – Sarenrae (NG), Sivanah (N)

Telidan (Pathfinder) –  Abadar, Pharasma, Erstil, Iomedae, Desna, Irori, Cayden, Torag.

Cult of the Small Gods – Takri (Demigod, Psycopomp, patron of sailors and navigators, N); Way (Quasi-Deity, patron of travellers); Azan the Wise (Quasi-Deity, patron  markets and small traders)


The Strongholds & Greater Hann

The strongholds was the first area I wrote, based on the AD&D1 rules.  Holdings were based on characters from a previous game –  but we played (TT) in Byrny and Westland.  It isn’t an adventuring area.

Galinia has featured in two games.  The first (online) involved reclaiming it from Humanoids. Those rulers eventually became mages/necromancers obsessed with Wee Jas, but then it was lost again. A NWN game was based around rescuing it from the humanoids/undead that overpowered the nation.  For this setting, the recovery continues, a Wizard rules a small strip by the shore, and is still dealing with the aftermath.  It makes a good base for adventures with undead, shape changers  and  normal monsters.

Angasa has never been more than a staging post for adventures in Galinia.  As a well defended island, it is very stable.  It makes its money out of trade, and can still act as a staging point for Galinia.

Nation StateRuler / statusNotesOriginalWangatePF
StilanKing Frederick Military College(Norse)PelorAbadar
MelangeDuke Mes Strong Religious(Norse)Pelor 
The ComplexPrince GoogleplexMagic College(Celtic)Deity Pelor & Wee Jas 
Rostil IslandLady Ryanne(illusionist)(Celtic)  
WestlandLord von Froog (Celtic)  
ByrnyLord Heplan Norse Abadar
Deep DelveLord GorwinDwarf Mines(Moradin)(Moradin)(Moradin)
Holy IsleOliver Green-Barrel Raven King of Armes,(Celtic)GreenGreen faith (Old Lords)

Brief description:  A well established confederation led by King Frederick VI of Stilan.  Pelor. Abadar and Pharasma  are the most prominent deities – which leads to a very stable and well organised nation, that is at peace with itself.  Pharasma and the Green Faith are the secondary deities, while most dwarves follow Moradin.  It has a large Military College and a Magic university.  Holy Isle also hosts meetings of the Empire council and has training bases for the Imperial Guard and the Imperial Navy.  (Pelor, Abadar, Pharasma, Green Faith, Moradin).  Holy Isle is very druidic, and is home to the Imperial College of Arms, that ratifies and records royal and noble titles – as well as their genealogies.

GaliniaLady, Xxxx Briganda-Shay Norse/Celtic/Finnish)Wee Jas and Obad-Hai
N with L and E tendencies?
 
FarfobestLord …..Dwarf Mines(Moradin)(Moradin)(Moradin)
AngasaPrinc, Augustus Briganda (Norse/Celtic) Abadar

Descriptions

Angasa is a bustling island state, its main settlement is a small city, that has been built on the back of trade along the western shores of the Hann Sea.  Prince Augustus Briganda (seventh of that name) runs a well organised administration, with clear (and fair) laws that he expects people to follow.  Primary Deities are Pelor and Abadar, although the Cult of the Small Gods has a large following here.  (Pelor, Abadar, Small Gods)

Galinia is almost the complete opposite, Lady Briganda-Shay’s state does not have a city, and the Lady’s Tower is situated in a coastal town.  Away from the town you will find a rural strip along the coast, with small towns and villages, often owned by the Treverii family.  Inland, you will still find humanoid tribes, abandoned keeps and ruined settlements.  Treated it with care, many of the ruins are infested with undead. The main deities are Wee Jas, Ehlona, Obad Hai, Cayden and the Green Faith.  The Dwarves are followers of Moradin.  (Wee Jas, Ehlona, Obad Hai, Cayden, Green Faith)

Note: Briganda-Shay and Briganda are  separate parts of the old (Celtic) Briganda family, who used to rule the land that was  ‘Galinia and Angasa’.  Once they feuded, now these ‘cousins’ work together (most of the time)


Urgon

http://urgon.wikidot.com/

Urgon featured in two (connected) 3e games (and a spinoff).  One game saw a PC group travel across the top of Urgon – from Rediton to Falmar (With stops at Rebul and Dersolbek).  The second game  featured a party based in a stronghold close to the great lake, they adventured for a while, built a home in a disused wine factory, and ‘adopted’ a group of kids that they rescued.  The spinoff took some NPC class characters into the mountains –  but the characters all had some levels of commoner and  weren’t quite heroic enough.  Urgon is now very stable and doesn’t look like  a good place for adventures  (It has beaten off two waves of humanoid attack, and the tribes are now very disorganised.  However, there is scope to run something in the mountains behind – perhaps associating it with Kana (the Big Baddy) from The far coast.

 Primary 3e DeityPF additions
Gonma – KingdomPelor 
* Laroy – PrincipalitySt Cuthbert 
* Versair – Elected Governor – Sovereign LordElhona 
* Rebul – Theocracy (Hieroneous) – Sovereign LordHeironeous 
* Dersolbek – Dwarven Minehold –  Sovereign LordMoradin 
* Falmar – PrincipalityPelor 
Rediton – Elected Mayor –  Sovereign LordKord 

Overall – LN(g)

Urgon is a very stable area, led by the King of Gonma from the capital city of Dingonal.  Most of the inland is filled with rural towns and villages although smaller cities at Falmar, Carford and Laroy give the land stability.  Urgon also has a Dwarf enclave and a province controlled by priests and paladins of Hieroneous.   Pelor, St Cuthbert and Abadar are the primary deities, which leads to a strong central administration – which in some areas is really quite oppressive.  Rediton, at the other end of the nation, is a completely free town that elects its own mayor.

(Pelor, St Cuthbert, Abadar, Heironeous, Green Faith, Moradin)


Far Coast States

Initially, this was a D&D2 area –  with very little game time spent in these cities,  although a game based in Lower Smokey, the traditional homeland of the Pagini family, was set in an outlaying province of Sybarite. 

The Pagini still have a home and are one of the last, old-style, Clans recognised by the Empire. Jekleal was invaded by the southern Arab/Moorish state  (Sakar / Berbary) before the spread of the  3e deities.  It was liberated shortly after The Strongholds broke free from the Wangate Empire and the 3e deities started to creep in.

Probably not a good place for adventuring.  It was written too long ago, and I don’t have a good idea of the layout –  BUT the original campaign was based on a big Baddie (Kana/Kane/Kaine/Cane) based up in the mountains and organising the tribes.  No one even met him, but he was envisioned as an immortal wizard.  Perhaps an Mythic Character, perhaps a Lich –  perhaps even a demi-god’s avatar.

  • The Duke of Sybarite. (inland nation)
  • Prince Hardin of Bime (Coastal City State) – Magic Academy
  • Samia, Sovereign Lady of Jekleal (Coastal state without a city) Bardic College. 
  • Sovereign Lord Xxxxx, of Rockhome (Dwarven minehold – follower of Moradin.)

Description: The Far Coast States are one of the most cosmopolitan areas in Hann.  Originally settled by refugees from Greater Hann, it was invaded (and conquered) by troops from Sakar, although they were driven out before they could become firmly entrenched.  Then the new faiths and philosophy started to spread down this way.  Now it is a cosmopolitan island chain, that melds Hann, Telidan and Sakaran ideologies, to give this range of islands a culture all of its own.

For example:- – the Duke and Prince are followers of Pelor (Hann), The Sovereign Lady of Jekleal is a follower of Sarenrae (Sakar), while the Dwarves are followers of Moradin.   The bardic college follows many of the philosophies of Bala (Sakar), while the magic college specialises in Sivanah’s (Telidan) field of Illusions, and the merchants are all followers of Abadar.  The Green Faith are strong in Sybarite’s hinterlands. It makes for a dynamic and lively culture that is not dominated by any one section of society.

Pelor (NG), Kord (CG), Ehlonna (NG), Moradin.  Sarenrae (Sakar, NG) Bala (Sakar, Music). Cayden (CG), Sivanah (N) Pharasma (N), Abadar (LN). Green Faith,


Western Isles

Razardi was an AD&D2 gaming area, while Finaroka is supposed to be a base for adventuring.  These are some of the most multicultural areas of The Empire –  and feature deities from all over the place –  including Sarenrae, and the Small Gods.  Both are subtropical island chains.  The Razardi Isles were used in an AD&D2? TT game –  they have Hannish, Telidan and Sakaran deities here.  Probably used as a supply base for long distance adventures  (Possibly a Colonisation / Pirate adventure area in a semi Caribbean setting) and the main supply base for Finaroka.

The Razardi islands are a subtropical archipelago, south of the far coast states, and closest (of the established states)  to Sakar.  It is, in many ways, and ideal place to live.  The climate is good, the sea is teeming with fish and the Sovereign Lord rules fairly – and there is just enough rain to make the crops grow well –  if they are carefully managed.  The downside (perhaps) is that it is a very simple life, no great theatres, colleges or other institutions, even the churches are low-key.  Then, of course, there are the occasional pirate raids …  In recent times it has gained new importance as it supports expansion in Finaroka, and the lands beyond. House. Sovereign Lord Lief Alfson rules The Razardi Islands.

Pelor, Haku (Sakar, Freedom)  – Sarenrae (NG), Cayden (CG), Abadar (LN), Cult of the Small Gods

Finaroka – Imperial Governor of Finaroka.

Finaroka represents The Empire’s claim on new territory. This group of Islands off of the Sakar Coast, is overseen by an Imperial Governor, and is little more that a single large town, perched on one of the smaller islands.  They trade with a Dwarven Holding, and fish –  but there is little agriculture yet and the islands are dry, growing crops will be difficult.  Not only that the town is subject to pirate attacks by pirates –  both from Sakar and the Fiord Orcs.  It is a new and exiting place to be –  if you don’t mind the risks, the rewards could be great.

Deities = Pelor, Abadar, Sarenrae & The cult of the Small Gods.

Industry = Fishing, Salt Pans


West Telida

The Tannery League

Originally designed to support the birthday game, this region has never been played in.

The Tannery League is another well established state, controlled by three great royal families (Serise, Krote  & Momir), who each control; a third of the main city.  Other, lesser, noble estates are scattered around the area.  It is primarily an agricultural community, although the town s have enough industry to make items for export.  However, while the tannery league is very fair, many people think the laws are restrictive.

Abadar, Erastil, Sarenrae & Pharasma are the main deities of the Tannery League however, Iomedae and the Green Faith both regular followings.

The Farran Isles

Another area that has never been played in, which was originally part of the Tannery league, but, for this setting, will be an independent state.

A string of rocky islands along the coast with one small Port city and many fishing villages.  The Farran Islands are where the main trade vessels from Port Elizabeth and Porters Bar bring their goods for redistribution, and provides them with a link into The Empire’s trading routes.

Abadar, Sarenrae, Desna and the Cult of the small Gods are the main deities here.

Berhof

Berhof is the setting for the Birthday campaign.  A Table Top game that runs for just one weekend a year. 

Set high up in the Telidan mountains, this run down ex-barony is ‘owned’ by the Duke of Krote (See the tannery states)  although he has little interest in the area.  Once it controlled a trade route along the spine of the mountains, now that trading by sea has replaced the longer, more difficult, overland trail and Berhof has little income.  The Duke has appointed a Hereditary Governor, who collects a small tax on his behalf, and lets them get on with it.  It is run by a small ‘noble’ council, who are desperately trying to make the Barony self-sufficient.  It’s only claim to fame is a great monastery/library dedicated to Irori – and the sages that reside there.  It is, potentially, a good place for adventuring.

Deities:  Pharasma, Erastil, Iodemae, Desna and Irori.


Not in the Empire but Friendly

Porters Bar

Built as an exercise in world building, at PBW, many years ago – with some input from the other world builders.  It has never been played in.

Porters Bar is an unusual place, the current rulers, the Shay Family,  trace their history all the way back to the original founders of the City, and claim that they are now deities.  Only direct descendants of The Royal Ancestors can become priest – they can cast spells and seem perfectly competent in their other clerical abilities and duties.    The original founders intermingled, and intermarried, with people from the local tribes, and they have their own, unique set of deities.

  • The Royal Ancestors
  • Yarma – god of hope and the downtrodden (originally Native).
  • Arth – Psychopomp and patron of soldiers (originally Native).
  • Shan – an Oriental weather deity imported by the founders.

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth comes from an old module, that has been played through a couple of times.  However, the town is only a staging point for the adventure.

Port Elizabeth is an independent frontier town set on a subtropical jungle island.  The interior of the island is a full-on jungle and is a very dangerous place to be, however, the hinterland is safe and used for farming as all the local tribes, humanoids and monsters have been befriended or driven away over the years.  Ruled by a mishmash council, the town feels very disorganised and is not well defended.  Mainly Sakaran, it has the feeling of a frontier town.  Almost all the buildings are made of wood, and the marketplace is often has people from the jungle selling their wares.  It is home to the Al-Tajir, a trading brotherhood, who work closely with the FFTC.  Vessels from here travel north to Porters Bar and  the Farran isles –  but also trade along the Sakar coast, eventually arriving in Razardi and Finaroka.

Deities

  • Yarma – god of hope and the downtrodden (originally Native).
  • Arth – Psychopomp and patron of soldiers (originally Native).
  • Haku (Sakar, Freedom)
  • The Cult of the Small Gods (which is reputed to have started here)

Various Elven  Enclaves. –  Elves are isolationist.  My elves are Tolkienesque elves.  The live deep in well protected forests and don’t welcome visitors.  They send ambassadors to the rest of the world, and a few elves  make journeys of ‘discovery’, a bit like the ‘European Grand Tour’ – but they are occasionally.  I will ask that PCs to be played with the appropriate sense of naivety and arrogance (almost like a British Tourist abroad) ‘Elvish Culture is much better, I miss Fish and Chips and expect to be going home in a couple of years.’  This is where all those half elves come from :]  (female elves will quite happily leave a child with the father …)


Not in the Empire and unfriendly

Sakar

Isn’t really a nation but a region of independent city states and tribes – all following the same (or very similar) philosophies.  They aren’t organised to make a strong force (anymore), they are generally on neutral terms with each other  (recognised, traded with, raided) – but would probably come together to defend their way of life.  This is a concept more than anything else.  Deities (etc)  might change.  It isn’t intended as an adventuring area, but more of an occasional antagonist.

Each City (or town) has a pyramid that contains the ‘Gods in the City’  (Did I forget to mention  Lankhmar as an influence) -these are burial crypts for the Founders and rulers of the city.  It is said that they will ‘come back’ to help defend their city from invasion – think Mummies, Skeletons and, perhaps, more.  Could there be a Mythic Lich controlling thing?  Not really a place for adventuring – unless the party are very high level  :]  There are other deities worshipped there too – 

  • Besmara (CN Patron of Pirates),
  • Azan the Wise (Quasi-Deity, patron of markets and small traders)
  • Sivanah (N)  Goddess of Illusions
  • Vataqatal: God of war and duty
  • Wee Jas  (Patron of necromancers)

Inland from the cities, the land becomes a mix of Badlands and dessert.  It is dry  (apart from Oases) and the home of semi-nomadic family tribes, who are fiercely protective of their tribal lands and assets.  Deities:-

  • Haku (Sakar, Freedom)
  • Sarenrae (NG)
  • Vataqatal: God of war and duty
  • Kor: God of wisdom.
  • Bala (Sakar, Music)

Strangely, these two very different groups recognise their kinship and deal comfortably with each other.


Adventuring areas

Written in:  Based from:-

  • Galinia
  • Finaroka
  • Berhof
  • Port Elizabeth  (Short)
  • Porters Bar

Possible

  • Western Mountain Chain  – Far Coast to Urgon
  • West Telida
  • The two marshy areas each side of The Strongholds


Death Gods

Pharasma  (Greater Goddess) sits in judgement and her Psychopomp assistants have a responsibility to shepherd any unprotected souls to the Bone yard.

Wee Jas (Lesser / Intermediate Goddess) is a strange goddess (She in LN with evil overtones – although her clerics are all LN).  She is a community deity in that her priests have all the normal Psychopomp priest spells, carry out burials, protect bodies and souls – etc.  However, she is also a patron of Magic (and necromancers and doesn’t have a philosophical issue with the undead – so long as they were lawfully created)

Takri (Demi-god) is from the Southern Seas and is a Psychopomp, but is also a patron of Navigators and Sailors.  She is generally worshipped in coastal areas as part of the pantheon of Small Gods.

Arth (quasi-god) is a deity specific to Porters Bar.  As a human, he had a dark history, but swore to redeem himself in the afterlife.  He is a psychopomp and patron of guards  and soldiers.

Looking (a long way) forward

I have been thinking about the next game I want to run  :}  I can’t see The Stolen Land game finishing soon, and it could be three or four years before I start a new game.  However, I must have a project, of some sort, to keep my might occupied. 

I don’t have much more to do on the main Campaign System used in The Stolen lands, it is running fairly smoothly and no one is asking for anything new.  I am working on a room-by-room version for another game that, I am helping out in, and I am trying to develop it in a way that the two parts of the system can be used together.   And, ideally, I would like to use that overall system in a game set in my own game world.

My game world (not the setting for The Stolen Lands) has grown over the years.  It started off as an AD&D1 world, and has progressed through AD&D2, 3e and Pathfinder – so the various parts of the world all work together on a basic level, but the deities and pantheons changed as the game systems changed.  My challenge is to draw those together in a way that creates different cultures across the game world, that give players a small push towards cultural Role Playing.  My first online game, based around reclaiming Galinia, a land lost to humanoid tribes, that incorporated Celtic, Norse and Finnish overtones, which many of the players picked up on and ran with.  I would like to try and create something like that again.  I started that game over twenty years ago, and as you can see from the  name of this blog, and the web address, that game has stayed with me for a long time

For years, I have been messing around with deities and pantheons trying to create the right ‘feel’ for my game world, The Hann Empire, without changing the basic ambience of a D&D / Pathfinder world.  However, most of my attempts at creating deities haven’t worked as well as I would have hoped.  So now I thought I would try a mash-up of the deities from the different editions – as well as a small pantheon that draws together a few deities that I created.  

My first game area was in the north and was based on deities from the 1st and 2ed book Deities and Demi-gods.  I moved to the west when I changed to 3e, and used the core deities when I designed it, then when I switched to Pathfinder, I moved east and built a new playing area based on those deities.  Between times, I wrote a few minor deities, that I liked, that were rolled into different games, and ran a game based on the Al Quadim setting, which sits at the south of my game world, then incorporated an oriental deity into a project world that has never been played in.  Now it is time to try and bring those together!

This is an overview of the deities that have been strong in the word.  This gives me the tools to get to work on the various starts within the Empire – and work out what each one’s religious landscape looks like.  I told you I like a project :}

The Old Gods.

The deities used in my first game areas, The Strongholds and Galinia, were heavily based on the Norse and Celtic (with a bit of Finnish thrown in) pantheons, as described in Deities and Demi-gods, will be incorporated into the Green Way.  While it follows the concepts of Pathfinder’s Green Faith, it (clearly) has a different history.  Followers of the Old Gods (known as The Green) believe that nature spirits are everywhere, and need to be treated with respect.  This doesn’t mean that every single nature spirit is worshipped individually (although in some areas they are) but that they, and the natural areas they embody,  should be treated respectfully.  There are a couple of ‘Greater Spirits’ that represent the overall concept, but even they are little more than names for outsiders.  It is the concept that is important. Any divine caster who follows The Old Gods draws their power from Nature itself. 

  • Gaia – the World Spirit.
  • Dunatis – the Great Spirit of mountains everywhere.
  • Manannan – the Great Spirit of the sea.
  • Mielikki – The Great Spirit of Forests.
  • Aegir – The Great Spirit of Storms.
  • Uller – The Great Spirit of the Hunt.

That said, each area of forest could have its own Dryad, a lake or river might be home to a Naiad – or some similar spirit, and all of them should be respected. 

This is not a major pantheon that controls any specific area of The Hann Empire, but clings on around the edges, in natural and wilderness areas, and as folk lore.  There are one or two major families or groups who are followers of The Old Gods, but they incorporate their beliefs into their modern-day activities.  They recognize the other gods, and even make sacrifice to them occasionally – but the core philosophy of respect for nature permeates their world view.

The Wangate Pantheon

When the Strongholds and Galinia were attacked and  overwhelmed by the Wangate Empire, who were a major antagonist during the early days, the 3e gods came to the fore.  The Wangate Empire was a LN/LE group of Humans and Humanoids, who swept down from the northern mountains.  Most of their gods were sent back north with them, the few who remained became the main deities of the West Coast.

OK, I need a new name for these guys.

The main 3e Playing area was based around Urgon, a state carved out and populated by refugees from The Wangate Empire’s depredations.  Eventually they, alongside local resistance fighters, magical help from Galina, and support from the nascent Telidan civilizations) were able to help liberate The Strongholds – which laid the groundwork for the formation of the Hann Empire.

These new deities spread out along the western shores of the Hann Sea, and their influence finally spread right down to the Razardi Islands and beyond.

  • in Urgon – St Cuthbert, Heironus, Pelor were the main deities, although Kord was also respected
  • in Galinia –  Wee Jas and Obad-Hai were dominant
  • In the strongholds Pelor was dominant in both towns and rural areas, while Elhonna was popular in wilder areas.
  • Across the land  -Elhonna and Obad-Hai were recognized as nature’s representatives and were accepted by followers The Green Way.
  • Dwarves in This region are generally followers of Moradin.

The Main Pantheon

The main Pantheon (the Pathfinder Deities) came to the fore in Telida, and spread westward across the Sea of Hann, as the Telidans traded their way around the coast.    In West Telida (the main trading state) Abadar is prominent in the cities while Erastil holds sway in the countryside and Pharasma is the main death deity across the land.  All three of those deities have been particularly successful, and are now the major deities of The Hann Empire.

You will find other PF deities spread around,  Irori has a small following of Monks, Gozreh is prevalent in wilderness areas and Iomedae has a number of specialist monasteries.  Of the three, Gozreh has travelled better than the others, as S/he had been recognized by the Green Faith as a representative of Nature.

Other PF deities can be found in Telida (and the rest of the world)  However, they are not so concentrated as the deities listed.

Dwarves in Telida are generally followers of Torag.

Southern Influence

Sarenrae, goddess of the Sun and Second Chances, has spread into The Hann Empire from the more barbarous states in the south, and brings with her a hint of a middle eastern culture.  She is generally found on the southwest coast of the Hann Sea, although she is also popular in Port Elizabeth (south-east)

Porters Bar

Porters Bar have their own set of Unique deities.  The Royal Family are generally devotees of The Royal Ancestors, but Yarma (a psychopomp with an interest in the Military),  Arth (Patron of the Hopeless) and Shan (A minor wind deity) also have a place.

The Small Gods

Those deities that I have written – that I quite like.  They are demi-gods or godlings and have limited spell granting powers.   They are particularly favoured by sailors, but also have a, smaller, following among other travellers.

  • Takri – Godling of Sailors, Navigators and a Psychopomp
  • Way – Godling of Travel
  • Azan the Wise – Godling of the Market Place and small traders.
  • Peter the Bodiless – Patron of Libraries.