The World of Evertide
The vast majority of the world is blanketed by the Aurianis Sea a vast ocean that binds all lands together. It is said that the world once long ago was mostly land, but some devastating event flooded much of the world – leaving scattered islands that were once the highest points of continents and continents that were once plateaus. However, few know if there is any truth to this story. The islands of the world are many and scattered continents exist throughout but the true feature of the world is the vast Aurianis Sea. Ships matter much more than anything else in Evertide.
An often uncivilized and smallish continent barely eight hundred miles across, Turenevad contains many treasures and undomesticated areas… Including the treasure-hunter’s paradise – a two hundred mile stretch across its western shore known as The Forever Wild, a dangerous jungle that has never been charted due to its habit of killing anyone that spends too much time there and the fantastic treasures lurking within its overgrown ruins a significant incentive to keep any knowledge one does acquire to oneself. Merchant and adventurer guilds have disproportionate power over the local high lords – with the Silverferns being by far the most influential merchant family and the most powerful adventurer guilds being a tossup between the Black Claws and the Red Guards.
This land mass takes the shape of a rough circle around a thousand mile sea of lava at its center known as the Sea of Flames. The rim of Elyssa is several hundred miles thick on its own – allowing many kingdoms and territories to be established there, such as the Kingdom of Caile and the territories of Galifar and Ravenwold. Within the Sea of Flames itself lies the Dragovar Empire, a proud empire of dragonborn with tremendous military might. It is fortunate that they seem mostly content to stay on the sea of flames for now.
This desert landmass was once a rich island paradise before an order of archmages uncovered an immensely powerful arcane technique that allowed them to multiply their powers by draining life from the land around them. The wars that ensued eventually resulted in their being bound by an Exarch of Corellon and the mightiest priests and archmages of the day to the continent of Athas and their constant magical feuds eventually turned the lush paradise to a barren desert. Athas is still a significant power in the world and a home of exotic trade goods, ruled entirely under the thumb of the trapped Sorcerer Kings. Or at least it was until recently. Little less than a decade ago the adventuring group known as Chimera worked against a mad sorcerer king who had summoned a constellation comprised of the spirits of long-dead dragon archmages into the sky above the Aurianis Sea with the power to warp reality in an attempt to undo the barrier trapping the kings on the island. The heroes resurrected He Who Was and convinced the elder deity to undo the damage wrought by the constellation and destroy the Sorcerer Kings once and for all. The sudden power vacuum this created led to chaos in Athas as the generals and other powerful advisers of the sorcerer kings fought to seize control. Eventually seven settled control of Athas, dubbed the Sand Lords. They now rule Athas with similar oppression, but are no longer as invulnerable as the Sorcerer Kings they supplanted. Some day Athas may indeed know freedom.
Near the center of the sea of flames lies Dragovar – a smaller landmass nearing three hundred miles. Ringed by both the Sea of flames and the continent of Elyssa – Dragovar serves as the seat of the Dragovian Empire. Though relatively small, the might of the empire and its natural defenses more than make up for it – and it is thought of as one of the most impregnable locations in all the Aurianis Sea… Bested only by Athas and Aurixan.
Raven’s Walk is the smallest of the major landmasses, a haunted land of vicious terrors corrupted by the Shadowfell and even touches of the far realm from a conflict long ago. It is a nightmare land that few willingly call home, lying just beyond the Black Curtain. The term ’Raven’s Walk’ also usually refers to the island chain that envelopes the small continent – though they may independently be referred to as the ‘Black Isles’ or, ‘Raven Isles’ as well.
The Frozen Wastes
The north pole of Aurianis is covered by a glacial mass that one might mistake for a true continent. This great icy wasteland is called the Frozen Wastes. Rocky islands protrude from the thick sheets of ice here and there, but the land is frigid and inhospitable. White dragons and other cold-dwelling creatures lair in caves carved out of the rock and ice, and many ships have been lost exploring the Frozen Wastes for secrets of the ancient dragon dynasties. Seafaring explorers are also drawn to the Frozen Wastes by ageless rumors of a great caldera hiding an obsidian palace-fortress with the spoils of a thousand dragons locked in its vaults.
The Great Island Cities
Syvax – The Twisted City
Seat of the Council of Lords, Syvax it is a city of the highest class and most luxurious accommodations. Its most distinctive feature are that many of its buildings are made from a dark metal that glows at night. It is nigh-indestructible and has never been scratched over the many thousands of years of its existence. It is these towers that twist oddly into the sky and glow with a silvery light once night falls give Syvax its altered names (the Starlit City and Twisted City). The origin of these towers and the metal that comprises it is unknown, though of course many theories abound.
A merchant paradise off the coast of Turenevad, Mercencia an isand-wide bazaar where most anything of the standard fair can be bought or sold – as well as some of the wondrous treasures being unearthed in the Forever Wild. However, as it is controlled entirely by the Merchant Association – irritating and important merchant clan can be disastrous, particularly if the person in question is put on the Blacklisted list. No one would dare engage in legitimate business with a blacklisted individual.
Aurixan is a most extraordinary city. Resting in the east of the Aurianis sea – Aurixan rests on a massive and active volcano. The lava from the volcano’s activity is channeled and constrained into pure elemental power through the use of ancient artifacts few but the city’s lord understand. Despite its active nature, these wards hold strong and Aurixan’s volcano has never erupted in all remembered time.
Aurixan is ruled over by an ancient red dragon named Aurix. The name, “Aurixan” comes from an ancient Draconian tongue – where “an” means, “land” or, “lair”. Thus the name literally translates into Aurix’s Lair. A most curious red, Aurixan shares the greed of its kin but chose to go about a different and much more effective way of increasing his hoard. He opened his lair for trade with any who would come to him and show the proper respect. Due to the extraordinary vastness and richness of his hoard, merchants soon flocked to him (after they got over their fear of being eaten alive that is). Aurixan proved an fierce bargainer but a reasonably fair one – and his hoard and reputation soon grew to even more astounding levels.
Over the centuries, Aurixan became so widely visited that the temporary living arrangements the merchants and others interested in trade constructed for themselves began to form into a bustling city – a vast bazaar of goods from across the realms. Aurixan was happy to let the city grow, as it increased the number of traders that would come and the interesting treasures they would bring, and he rules as its lord. Though he has no care for settling petty disputes or keeping in with the laws of mortal realms, he does prevent any single group monopolizing the trade or erecting any barriers that would lessen the flow of treasures to his own horde or make Aurixan too unattractive for others to come and trade.
Other than these vague restrictions, and a required tribute from those that arrive or mean to stay, Aurix allows the inhabitants to do as they wish and does not mind in the least if those that arrive are honorable paladins or the most vicious of pirates. Aurixan is a very dangerous place, but a very profitable one – and many items can be found nowhere else.
Sargasso – The Floating City
One of the most unique cities in the world is Sargasso, a city built not on an island but on a series of floating platforms. It is thought that the city was constructed at the time of whatever calamity sank the major continents of Evertide as an evacuation measure. It is impossible to confirm this however, as the earliest records of the city chart it as the discovery of the famed seafarer Milon Sargasso – hence why it bears his name. The city was discovered intact and empty of ‘civilized’ people (a significant tribe of half-orcs had taken up residence in its vastness and a series of conflicts ensued over the centuries… With them now being second-class citizens at best). Due to its unique nature and proximity to many significant shipping routes – Sargasso is an oft-visited city by seafarers and a source for many types of common trade… As well as some more mysterious knowledge if one would speak to the arcane scholars studying the magics of the city and nearby lands. Sargasso is home to the Tower of the Arcane – a prestigious magical research institute where only the finest arcanists are given fellowships.
Perhaps the strangest of the Great Cities, the ever-shifting streets of Neversame rarely appear in the same way twice. Home to many a doppelganger, Neversame is ever-morphing and ever-changing – its streets, layout and often the shape of the island itself continually reshaping into new patterns. Few understand the mysterious origin of this city, popular theories proposing the city has some tie to the elemental chaos. Regardless, Neversame is both unique and extraordinarily disorienting to those unfamiliar with its constantly shifting nature. However, as the home of many dopplegangers – Neversame is host to some of the richest stores of information in the world… Particularly with regard to political dealings. The official policy of Neversame’s Dopplegangers is to gather knowledge from the world for the sake of chronicling it, uncovering the world’s secrets. This has resulted in the Grand Library of Neversame, also known as the Shifting Library, is perhaps the grandest store of knowledge in all the Aurianis Sea. This store of knowledge makes Neversame an important destination for scholars of many kinds, though only a very special few are allowed into the Restricted Stacks of the Grand Library where it is rumored are held secrets of enough power to topple kingdoms or even crack the world in two.
Features of the World
The Black Curtain
A ship that travels west or east eventually comes to the Black Curtain, a miles-high barrier of dark mist that stretches across the horizon and envelops the world like a death shroud. Ships can’t sail around the Black Curtain without coming into contact with the Frozen Wastes to the north or the Everstorm to the south.
Within the Black Curtain, vision (including darkvision) is limited to a few feet. This alone is enough to discourage timid seafarers, but some believe that the Black Curtain isn’t boundless—that it hides idyllic lands untouched by whatever event caused the world to be so blanketed in the Aurianis Sea. Many hopeful explorers have passed through the Black Curtain, hoping to come out the other side and see a vast, unclaimed paradise. None of them have ever returned.
Perhaps the most troubling thing about the Black Curtain is that it seems to be closing in. Islands on the edge of the black mist are gradually being swallowed up. It may take years, but it seems that the Black Curtain will eventually engulf the entire world. Consequently, many learned scholars have dedicated their lives to solving the mystery of this sinister phenomenon.
The Eye of Kord
Despite its vastness, the Aurianis Sea is surprisingly calm. Storms happen rarely, making safe travel from island to island feasible even across great distances. However, that is not true for all parts of the world. Swirling about the southern pole is an eternal, rolling storm. The tempest is called the Eye of Kord, and it measures nearly six hundred miles in diameter. Some say the Eye of Kord is a vestige of an ancient tempest that sank the continents of Evertide tens of thousands of years ago – others going so far as to claim it was triggered by Kord’s eye being cut out in a vicious battle and striking the sea. Whatever the truth, only magically warded ships can enter the Eye of Kord safely, and even then, the powers that watch over it are often just as likely to smash a ship to smithereens as brook intrusion into their tempestuous domain. Some believe that the Eye of Kord is a gateway to a distant plane called the Elemental Chaos, but any captain wishing to cross over must pay a king’s ransom in tribute to the powers that control it.
The Sea of Flames
A thousand miles wide with great landmasses dotting its vastness – the Sea of Flames is a tremendous lake of lava vast as some oceans. Many myths surround the creation the Sea of Flames – ranging from being the blood of Asmodeus spilled when other deities attempted to exact vengeance on him for committing the first murder of a god. Others claim it was the result of a mighty dragon-mage’s attempts to tear open a gateway to the elemental chaos and gain dominion over its inhabitants (which would account for the fact that Dragovar, the great island near the center of the lake, vaguely resembles the form of a gigantic petrified dragon). Still others claim it is merely a natural occurrence due to a vast volcanic eruption or series of eruptions… Though these scholars have difficulty accounting for the fact that Sea of Flames never shows signs of cooling into hard volcanic rock – but they point to the Obsidian Isles as evidence that the sea might well someday cool centuries hence.
Regardless of its origins, the Sea of Flames is a vast region of the world and many important sites lie within it. The Obsidian Isles are a vast island chain comprised solely of volcanic glass that radiates with elemental power. Many fiery dragons have nested on these islands, gathering hordes of treasure. Those isles without dragon lords have often been used by pirates and all other sorts with something to hide to store their most valuable treasures in this dangerous environment. Perhaps most notably of all, the small continent of Dragovar acts as the imperial establishment of the Dragovian Empire – the mightiest of Dragonborn (and many other) civilizations. However, the Sea of Flames is beyond even the control of the Dragovians – and pirates, privateers and many others of both greater and lesser honor than these scoundrels flourish in its vast and dangerous landscape.
The Sea of Flames is ringed in by the continent of Elyssa, and is thus passage through it is one of the most efficient ways to construct trade routes to the cities on opposite sides of the hollowed-out continent. Special ships are required to sail the Sea of Flames – a type of smoky metal called Ashsteel then empowered with fire elementals or similar beings to navigate the waves of lava safely. Such ships are expensive, but the trade options and convenience is often worth their use.
The Forever Wild
A two hundred mile stretch across Turenevad’s western shore, the Forever Wild is aptly named. Infamous for being an untamed and unexplored stretch of a mostly well-charted world. Its rich grasslands and twisting jungles are full of ruins and stuffed with treasure from fallen civilizations – but despite hundreds of years and thousands of explorers over the centuries… The wilderness remains without any comprehensive maps. The reason is simple. No one has yet survived long enough top map it all, or even a significant portion of it.
Those few who can survive the vicious wild are much more interested in getting in and getting out with treasure – and keeping their knowledge of whatever region they specialize in to themselves. While maps of small regions may be traded and some are even generally well understood – the wild at large remains forever untamed. For this reason it has earned its name, The Forever Wild. Never has a name been so true.
On the northern edfe of The Forever Wild stands the city of Land’s Down. At first a tent village of adventurers setting up for expeditions – Land’s Down has grown into a bustling city over the years, filled with shops that sell everything an adventurer might need. Comfortable inns and taverns also populate the city, housing the many adventurers simply passing through on their way to the wild, as well as gambling establishments galore and dealers in luxuries that an adventurer who has managed to strike it rich by procuring a valuable treasure (and surviving the process) will undoubtedly enjoy.
Due to the rowdy and often temporary nature of the people in Land’s Down – enforcing an ordered law can be difficult. However, Turgan Ironmantle does his best as the dwarven constable of the city and has no tolerance for the lawbreakers he manages to catch. He’s apt to be rough with them and quick to jump to conclusions that fit his preconceptions, but ultimately fair.
The Dragon Sea
Not truly a sea at all, The Dragon Sea is a section of the Aurianis dotted with hundreds of small islands. What makes it notable is that nearly each and every one of these islands is overrun with dragons. A society has formed between the dragons of this section of the Aurianis Sea and they attack anyone sailing near their islands with extreme prejudice. For this reason, it is known as the Dragon Sea – a part of the great Aurianis that belongs to the Dragons and is under their domain. Some say that the wealth of the many islands gathered by the dragons there dwarfs all the treasuries in the rest of the world combined (though Aurix’s own horde is often exempted from such calculations). The more suspiciously minded claim that the dragons there are the secret architects charting the course of the world and manipulating events to their benefit – but no solid evidence of this has ever been provided.
Upon the clouds that blanket the skies of Aurianis is a fabulous land of shifting islands using the clouds as their base. This land is known as the Oversky – a shifting expanse with no formal governments beyond the individual islands that make it up (as the islands are always shifting in relation to each-other it makes large territory claims utterly impossible to sustain). Some of the greatest dragons nest in the Oversky, along with Cloud Giants, Thunder Giants, Griffons and other beasts of the air and storm. Very little is known of the Oversky, and it is little better than legend to most common dwellers in the world, but it is there… Waiting for those that dare enter its domain.
The earth of Evertide is not a tightly compacted mass of rock and soil. The deeps of Evertide are hollowed with winding passages and caverns… Filled with monsters and magics foreign to any surface civilization. The Hollowdeep is also home to several underground societies, few of them savory by surface standards. The Moglins are the exception, the little furballs somehow keeping a relatively cheery attitude despite their dark surroundings. It is also said that the Hollowdeep contains several bridges to the Shadowfell, which might account for the influence of the darker energies on many of the Hollowdeep’s inhabitants.
Due west of Raven’s Walk lies a vast stretch of the Dragon Sea called the Demonmaw. The perimeter of the Demonmaw is so shallow that sailors can see the black coral that covers the sea floor. After a few miles, these shallows give way as the sea floor plunges into an inky abyss, where the waters are eerily calm. A lucky ship can use oars to cross the Demonmaw without incident. An unlucky ship finds itself inexorably drawn to a location where the watery horizon dips menacingly into a briny vortex. By the time one sees the vortex, it is already too late: The hungry Demonmaw pulls the vessel down into its black depths, never to be seen again.
The Devil’s Forge
In the far east of the Sea of Flames lies a ring of Obsidian Isles known only as, “The Devil’s Forge”. Here the lava of the Sea of Flames burns so hot that it can melt even the enchanted Ashsteel ships to slag. The supposed source of this heat is a mystery, though legend holds that a great Primordial spirit bound by the gods in the center of the isles is responsible for the incredible heat. It is said dragons once forged the greatest weapons of the Aurianis Sea within the unparalleled heat of the Devil’s Forge for use in an ancient war. However, this tale has never been confirmed and most regard it as a fanciful myth.
The Black Tower
The Black Tower has been a stomach-churning sight for all who frequent Elyssa’s northern slopes of Ravenwold for as long as anyone can remember. Set directly in the middle of the most popular trade routes, The Black Tower is darker than a moonless night and utterly indestructible. Spiraling nearly a hundred feet into the sky in a strange, twisting pattern, many scholars studying the structure note its similarity to the structures that make up Syvax… Though the Black Tower carries with it a dreadful aura that makes even merchants who have passed it for years on their way to trade cities shudder. Perhaps most unsettling of all are the giant double doors made of the same black metal as the rest of the structure… But unlike the rest of the seemingly impregnable tower, these doors can be easily opened by any who turn the handle. Scholars, adventurers and many others have all entered the tower over the centuries. None have ever come out again.
Few in the Aurianis Sea understand anything about how time travel works and no one knows for sure WHY it works the way it does. However, they do understand the basic principles if you can find an expert.
1) A character traveling through time is removed from play in the present timeline.
2) A character traveling to the past or future is not affected by the changing states of creatures around him, including older or younger versions of himself. He can be wounded and killed as normal, but nothing adverse happens to him if his younger or older self is injured or dies. Many theorists believe this has something to do with the fact that the time traveler is removed from play in the ‘present’ while traveling – leaving nothing to affect by the changing state of the past or future.
3) Time travel effects have durations. No matter how far into the past or present a character travels, he only gets to stay there for a finite amount of time before the time travel effect ends and he returns to the time and place whence he came. In this way, time travel is like an elastic band; eventually, the time traveler gets pulled back to the exact time and place he left, minus any gear he left behind or resources he expended.
4) If a character acquires an item in the past or future, he still has the item when he returns to his normal time. So, if the character travels to the past, kills an evil wizard and takes the wizard’s staff back to the present, the character now has the staff and the wizard does not.
5) All this adds up to the fact that individuals can travel to the past, alter events, then be returned to whence they came to view the results of their actions. It is thus true that the further one goes back into the past, the more unpredictable the changes wrought by their actions become.
6) All known time travel devices are amulets, one-use and follow these rules. Many theories abound as to where they came from or how to create more. However, none have ever been successful or confirmed.
It is worth emphasizing that no one knows precisely why time travel works the way it does, as it would seem to run into paradoxes in some areas and does not always appear wholly consistent. The underlying logic or rules are difficult to express in a single theory, much like the mix of the rules of subatomic and newtonian physics. Some people theorize that multiple forces are at work in time travel instead of one singular methodology.
Comprehending the unifying logic of how time travel operates is extremely difficult, if not impossible. One of the most popular models that seems consistent with the rules is the following. Some theorists like to envision the time stream as a person with the layers of past the memories and experiences that make the person up. when you time travel, they likes to think of it as entering a ‘memory’ and altering it… Which changes the person… The present
It is not a perfect model, but it is one of the most effective and popular models in the academic community. It has been so effective as to cause some hypotheses as to theoretical travel to the future and back – representing the future as the person’s ‘ideas’ that are based on its current personality and experiences. However, there has never been a single documented example of this occurring. It remains only theory.
[There is much more to the world of Evertide but I don’t have time at the moment to put up all the details. I will only post what is directly relevant and what I have time to add as we go on]