Introduction to the Setting
Humans are Just these Guys:
Most of the action centers around the Free Kingdoms, a loose coalition of ove 100 primarily human principalities that separate Elvendom from the Long Sea. Only three of these kingdoms have large ports: Farrow, Freeport and Victing.
“Holy” Ferrow is the religious center of the major pantheon of the Long Sea. Ferrow has a massive temple district and a large house built by ancient elves that serves as the modern seat of governent. The most common foreigners in Ferrow are pilgrims either from the Dragonlands or from the Elven Archduchy of Gwenalda.
Freeport is a corrupt hive of scum and villainy run by amoral merchants. The two most important merchant houses are those of Hatehowl and Silvertree. Freeport currently hosts much of what is left of the losing side from the Elven Civil War. The most common foreigners in Freeport are either Eiyan clerics, or subjects of the Elven Archduchy of Nemalida
Victing is a beautiful but expensive city that does its best to hide its underclass. Victing is excessively proud of its navy and boasts of having the world’s finest naval war college. Victing also has the Free Kingdoms’ oldest college of magic which is housed in the Free Kingdoms’ tallest building: the Tower of Shades.
Further to the east, along the border with the Dragonlands is Kizalda, which is like Freeport but with a lot of monsters. The Gwenalid elves have forbidden all elven trade with the city. Victing has placed Kizalda under embargo. Eiya has sent her priests to warn the city to repent lest they should perish by fire and even the Slaver Guild of Port Flesh has advised its members to keep fifty leagues from the place. All of this has just made the party BETTER as far as Kizalda’s inhabitants are concerned.
What about Elves?
Elves come in three varieties: Sun-elves (your standard blond-haired, blue-eyed, facial-hairles, magical, keen-eyed, long-lived, pointy-eared fair folk), Shade-elves (Sun-elves with unnaturally black skin, hair & eyes) and Faerie-Elves (Sun-Elves with unnaturally white skin, hair & eyes)
Until Elven Civil War, Sun-Elves lived in north central Tezra as a coalition of fourteen kingdoms. Sun-elves think they are better than the other elves because the other elves fled into the Faerie realm the last time the world was destroyed. Since the civil war, the Sun-elves are arranged into one Empire ruled be Empress Rashellin from her magical city of Jenda. Beneath Rashellin are four sun-elf archdukes seated in the other major cities: Gwenalda, Savianda, Nemalida & Paerenda.
Shade-elves are unnaturally dark because of a contract they made with Deep Shade, an eldrich abomination that is trying to destroy the Faerie realm. Half of the Shade-elves live in Kallasihya, half live on the eastern side of the Sun-elves’ lands in east central Tezra. The Tezran elves followed their king, Sigginor, to help the Sun-elves win a war with the dragons. Rashellin’s consort was originally a prince of kingdom of Sigginor. Sigganda is now its own archduchy within the Elven Empire.
Faerie-Elves are unnaturally white because they have become partially linked (sun-elves would say “corrupted”) by the Faerie realm. It is not known why the Faerie-elves have come back to the world. Faerie-elves launched an invasion of Eastern Brea from the Faerie realm in 3630, and have thus far conquered around a 6th of that continent from the native orcs. Faerie-elves are centered around the cities of Whitetower and Ivory Roads.
Player characters may be either Sun-Elves or Shade-Elves.
Toss me a Dwarf!
After whatever great cataclysm ended the ancient elven empire ten thousand years ago, the world fell into the lap of Dwarvenkind. The Dwarves proved unready to run the world, and the TIME OF THE DWARVES ended with a coalition of sun-elves, orcs and humans chasing the dwarves back underground. Over time, the dwarves rebuilt their relations with the elves and orcs, but humanity never quite got over their terror of the little bearded hell-men from the world underground.
Isolated from the resources of the surface world, the dwarves fought a long string of deadly civil wars which culminated during the first war between elves and dragons. A faction of dwarves massacred a camp of elven children to disrupt the diplomacy between the dwarven rules and the elves, and the elves declared that they would erase dwarvenkind from the world. The dwarves were thus subject to the first Edict of Eradication, and every dwarf in central Tezra was quickly slaughtered.
At the conclusion of the wars between dragons and elves, the dragon Chasm established itself as the ruler of the beneath, and conquered all dwarves in Tezra that survived the elves’ reprisals. Over time, Chasm has negotiated a waiver to the Edict of Eradication for all of its own dwarves.
Chasmatic dwarves may be player characters.
Orcs and You
Orcs in Dragonfall are race of large, exotically-colored, muscular cool guys. Orcs inhabit Brea and the other lands south of Tezra. The recent invasion of the Faerie-elves has prospered at the expense of the Orcs of east Brea.
Dragons are right there in the name, yes?
Dragons are a race of immortal shapeshifting lizards that fell out of the sky one sunny day six thousand years ago. Originally there were twenty-four dragons, but only thirteen of the originals have survived to the present day. Most of the dragons in the world are hatchlings. Perversely, most of the hatchlings are descended from one of the eleven original dragons that have not survived to the present day.
Of the surviving original dragons, the important ones are Eiya, Grickard, Chasm and Naarackard. Eiya rules the far west of Tezra and has a large human religion devoted to her. Grickard rules the lands between Eiya’s domain and Elvendom and has four other of the original dragons in his service. Chasm rules The Beneath, the great world underground. Naarackard is a dragon of the sea and has three other great sea dragons sharing the oceans with him. Nothing has been seen of the other two original dragons for three thousand years-they are believed to have flown far away from Tezra.
Hatchling dragons are either too feral to be controlled as a player character, or too powerful to have them reasonably interact with a group of adventurers. Dragons are not a playable race.