The Known World
|Size:||3500 miles across|
|Deities:||The Darkness, The Demon Prince, The Light|
The World of Rodinia is a large place. Much of it is unexplored and unknown by the inhabitants of the globe. The extents of the Known World are about 3,500 miles across by about 1,800 miles from top to bottom. Scholars have determined that the Known World is probably actually located in the northern hemisphere of the planet as there are icy tundras in the north and dense, hot jungles in the south.
The Known World of Rodinia is split into three main continents: Khemit in the west, Rodinia in the centre and Lucarcia in the east. Rodinia is the largest and holds the most significant civilisation known on the planet, that of the Empire of Rodinia which ultimately gives the world its name.
As a place to adventure, Rodinia is rich and varied with many different cultures to savour, myriad ruins to explore and countless dangerous creatures to face and overcome.
Rodinia is a humanocentric world with the majority of settled and civilised lands being controlled by humans. There are nations of other races, notably fey kingdoms hidden in the large forests which swath the landscape and dwarven strongholds dug deep and secure underground, but the large majority are human lands.
Outside the civilised lands, in the heights of the mountains or the depths of dark foreboding marshes lay the lairs of many a foul creature. Dragons roost in extinct volcanoes, orc chieftains control areas outside the patrols of king or emperor and undead lords claim dominion over lands no human would care to settle.
Magic is a force to be reckoned with in Rodinia, with arcane sorcerers and holy priests wielding great power and able to make the fantastical and unnatural happen at their whim. The common man fears and respects these great magic users and is all too aware that such people have control over things which are best not dwelt upon by mortals.
This gazetteer allows the interested visitor the chance to stroll easily along the busy streets of a hot, dusty Khemit bazaar, to drift through the lazy and peaceful countryside of Albion's feudal kingdom. The powerful and civilised empire of Rodinia can be explored, following the legions across their conquered lands, or the exotic lands of Honshu can be seen through the eyes of a devoted samurai warrior.
Places of Interest
An ancient land, now mostly turned to desert. This is the home of the kheri-heb, Mage-Priests who wield unspeakable power. The culture and civilization is almost entirely squeezed into the small arible basin surrounding the life-giving Nylle river.
Lucarcia is an island continent. Historically home to two empires; the Lucarcian Empire and the Rainbow Empire before that; it recently became a Republic after the emperor died leaving no heir. This is a land still finding its way in the aftermath of the power struggle the old emperors death precipitated.
The main continent of the World of Rodinia. This is the location of the powerful Rodinian Empire and its vassals. It is also home to the tiny Kingdom of Albion, a place with more than its fair share of history and excitement over the years. The dark and malevolent realm of Marlek can also be found here, casting a brooding shadow over the lands.
The Void was a maelstrom of swirling and powerful energies. Fire, earth, air and water roiled in an endless dance. Never standing still; always in flux. Amid this turmoil of fundamental Elemental forces, two primordial energies battled endlessly. Darkness and Light were one another’s nemeses, each an anathema to the other. They waged an unending war for supremacy in the Void. And all was in balance.
Then a rift formed in the edge of the Void and some elemental energies spilled out. They spun into the nothingness beyond and coalesced to form a huge lump of earth, fire and water, cocooned in a bubble of air. This was the planet now called Rodinia formed.
But the elements were not all that escaped that rift. Darkness poured forth into the space beyond the Void and filled it. Moments later followed the Light. It was but an instant later in the reckoning of time, but coming second to the space beyond the Void was hugely significant. Light was only able to find small spots in the space that Darkness had not already filled. Thus were the stars formed.
Yet Light was the first to find the planet. And it created a giant sun in the air above the planet and Light suffused the lands. Then Darkness arrived and the two began their eternal battle over the lands. The buffeting of these primordial forces caused the world to spin in place and so the Light’s orb was visible to each place on the land for half the time. The rest of the time the land was thrown into darkness.
After a time the Light created life on the planet, as was its way. The fey were creatures of the Light and the element of air. They began to spread and thrive in the fields and valleys of the lands. They populated the sylvan woods and the deeper, airy forests. And they thrived. The Light worked with the element of earth and so moulded the first of the dwarfs. These creatures burrowed into the earth, which concerned the Light until it saw that they were a goodly and honourable race. They did not dig too deep and spent much of their time on the surface in the light.
The Darkness was not to be outdone and it too created life, though this life was foul and wicked. Darkness merged with the earth to make the races of orcs, goblins and giant-kind. It merged with fire to create the powerful and malign dragons. These creatures of Darkness moved into the deep dark places of the world. They tunnelled underground. They found caves and holes to live in. They made their lairs in the deepest, darkest forests and swamps.
The fey and the dwarfs did not get along, being from opposite elements, but their joint heritage of the Light stopped them from outright war most of the time. The orcs, goblins and giants warred constantly - with the fey and dwarves when they could find them; with each other when they could not.
Then a most unexpected and unlikely event occurred. Millennia ago, a union of fey and orc occurred. From this union a new race was sired. This race combined the benevolence of the Light and the destructive nature of Darkness. It combined the energies of the four elements. It was a race of Balance. Thus was humankind spawned.
Humans were voracious. Much shorter lived than their cousins, the fey and the dwarves, they lived life to the full, devouring all opportunities that presented themselves. This energetic and driven race explored; they questioned; they invented and they bred. And soon they took over. It wasn't long before the humans were so numerous that they forced the fey out of the lands that had been forever their own. The humans preferred to live in the flat and arable lands where the fey had lived for time immemorial. And the humans were warlike so they forced their desires on the more peaceful fey.
The Darkness that made up half the human spirit drove them to take what they coveted. They would negotiate and compromise where possible. But if they came across an adversary who would not listen, they were merciless. Thus they drove the fey out of the fertile lands and into the forests. They pushed the dwarves deeper underground.
But the humans also hated the foul orcs and goblins. These creatures of Darkness would fight first and talk second. This was not the right way to deal with the proud and aggressive humans. As the orcs and goblins fought the newly arriving humans for access to the tillable lands, the humans, growing far superior in numbers, drove the orcs back into their dark holes and lairs.
Thus humanity grew to become the primary species on the surface of the World of Rodinia. Now, the humans are everywhere, and their mixed nature of shadow - merging the mercy of Light with the hostility of Darkness and the energies of the four elements - means that the land remains in balance. For the most part.
The Void is a maelstrom of swirling and powerful energies. Fire, earth, air and water roil in an endless dance. Never standing still; always in flux. Amid this turmoil of fundamental Elemental forces, two primordial energies battle endlessly. Darkness and Light are one another’s nemeses, each an anathema to the other. They wage an unending war for supremacy in the Void.
Occasionally tiny rifts into the Void from in the reality of the Cosmos. These rifts allow primal energy to leak into the Cosmos and have unusual results and effects. They are usually too small to be noted and are passed off as imaginations, déjà vu and the like. But some people possess the ability to create and control these rifts at will.
Wielders of the arcane and divine powers are controllers and manipulators of rifts to the Void. Their incantations and spells are rituals which allow them power over the rifts - their creation, duration and access. These magi and priests are able to open portals into the Void and summon energies from that place, drawing them into the Cosmos. Regardless of if it is a Pyromancer in Lucarcia using a simple cantrip to light a small torch, or a Priest of the Sun in Albion, endeavouring to return health and vitality to a half-dead companion, all mystical spellcasting is basically the same process. It is merely differentiated by the size of the rift, the control over it that is maintained, the type of energy that is summoned and the way that energy is channelled into the Cosmos that differs.
Religion in Rodinia is both simple and complex all at once. The simplest explanation is that all worship of divine powers boils down to veneration of either Light or Darkness, though occasionally the more primitive elements of earth, air, fire and water are also worshipped. Though all worshippers of essentially 'good' gods venerate the power of Light, they may label it in different ways. The god 'Ra' as worshipped in Khemit and the Sun god of Albion are alike enough to easily see as the same god. But ultimately the dwarven goddess of the home and the Rodinian father-god are still simply facets of the same power: the Light. In Lucarcia the Light is called simply that. Equally the Darkness is the power behind most 'evil' deities, whether they be gods of destruction, war, murder or disease.
To complicate matters slightly, there are the servants of Light and Darkness. Oft times known as angels and demons, these beings live in the Void and are directly tied to the primordial powers they serve. At times these quasi-deities are effectively worshipped as gods. The most obvious example being the Demon Prince, the most powerful and infamous of Darkness' servants of the last few millennia. The Demon Prince was significant enough to have spawned many cults in Rodinia and his followers worshipped him like a god. However if ever they prayed to him and called up 'his power' what they were actually doing was opening a rift into the Void and summoning forth the power of Darkness for their ends.
The Old Faith is about being attuned to the World of Rodinia itself, sometimes opening portals to the Void and drawing on the Light, Darkness or the elements, sometimes simply controlling the elements from which the world is formed.
History of The Known World
three thousand five hundred years agoScholars trace the origins of Khemit back over three thousand years ago when the island was inhabbited by hunters and Khemit itself was a sprawling green grassland. Climatic changes turned the island into a desert, but the hunters survived by hunting and fishing and through a pnmitive form of cultivation they developed.
three thousand years agoHumans arrived in and drove the elves from what is now the Wildlands. This is the first recorded event in the history in the Rodinian continent. It is a topic of hit debate with scholars as to where these humans came from. Most assume from nearby Khemit, which has been proven to have had civilization predating this time.
Around this time the first real civilizations began to flourish in the known world. Scholars now refer to this as the beginning of the First Age. It would last around two thousand years.
one thousand years agoA little over a thousand years ago, the servant of the Darkness, known as The Demon Prince made his way into the world through a portal opened in the Kingdom of Albion. He spent four devastating months roaming the lands around Albion and beyond and the damage he and his minions wreaked was devastating.
Eventually, heroes from across the lands joined with the massed armies of the realms and the Demon Prince was finally defeated and his Reign of Terror came to an end. The free people of Rodinia breathed a huge collective sigh of relief and began the process of trying to restore peace and order to the shattered lands. Thus the First Age of Rodinia came to an end and the Second Age began.
Around the same time, The Rainbow Empire was formed in the region that is now known as the Lucarcian Continent. At that time the landmass was one huge area in this region.
six hundred seventy-seven years agoThe City of Rodin was founded. This marked a significant moment in the history of the world as the Rodinian Empire would form around this settlement - a civilization which would eventually give its name to the very world itself.
five hundred years agoThe Writhing Death was released in the lands of the Rainbow Empire. Emperor Lucar made the fateful decision to destroy his capital of Antissa in an effort to rip the lands asunder and stop the terrible curse. He succeeded but destroyed the empire in the process. The Empire of Lucaria was formed in its stead.
eight years agoA thousand years passed, mostly peacefully in Rodinia. Wars were fought between nations and the people had their usual share of troubles, but the great evils of the First Age were past and it was a prosperous time. However, unknown to most of the folk of Rodinia, the terrible Demon Prince had spent a thousand years in banishment, biding his time and planning his revenge on the people of Rodinia. Now he was free to return - and so he did. This time, however, his approach was more subtle. He began to work his malevolance on the lands in subtle ways, perverting members of the churches which worshipped the Light to his following.
Eventually a group of hardened warriors and adventurers responded to his growing threat and assaulted the lairs and strongholds of his evil minions. They took the fight right into The Void and there confronted his mortal form. In a titanic battle they defeated the Demon Prince and destroyed him. What exactly that means is unknown at this stage. If the Demon Prince can ever come back from this defeat is also a matter for the sages, priests and philosophers to debate. So ended the Second Age of Rodinia.
The Third Age began with the people hopeful for a new beginning and a prosperous future.