Shadows of Evil
It has been over 2000 years since the Cataclysm, when the world was reshaped, and vulgar displays of power by the gods became all but a distant memory. They are not nearly as active as they might have once been. Granted after so much time passing, it is not like anyone would know much less remember, save for few powerful intelligent undead. With the power of religious institutions falling to the wayside, technology and commerce have flourished alongside magic. Alliances with Guilds and Organizations are now the only way to get ahead, and everybody is out to fend for themselves through either guile, wit, brute strength, or a combination of all.
In the northern lands in the Easternmost part of the map, in the Ramshead Penninsula, events are unfolding which threaten to reshape the world once more. The party begins in the twin port towns of Ramshorn & Ramsnout. Just south of Ramsnout is the Ramsteeth Swamp. Taking up most of the southern expans of the Ramshead Penninsula is the Coldwood Forest where various smaller settlements overseen by the Church of the Eldest Wood manage several lumber and pelting enterprises. Traveling up the western coast of the Ramshead Gulf where the Ramshorn Mountain Range and the Ramshead River meet is the city of Vorrelhelm. Further north along the northernmost ends of the Ramshorn Mountain Range is the Kaveri Citadel, Castille Hold. There the Kaveri control the safest pass toward the Winter Crown. Within the Winter Crown is a network of tunnels cut into the ice which somewhere within lies the glacial city of Tundrous.
West of the Ramshorn Mountain Range is the rest of the main continent. There area several major regions which make up the continent which the city of Union is trying to unite with a new Lightning Rail System. In the Cold Desert there is the city of Lacoux which is dominated by gladiatorial fights, and overseen mainly by desert dwelling Meheisto. Further south along the mainland from the Ramshead Penninsula is Dirion Harbor a trade point to the Amydo Islands which are filled with ruins, and is thus far the land which the Laureate is most eager to explore and has had the greatest trouble doing so because it is home to several colossal beasts which no one seems to be able to tame.
South West of the Ramshead Penninsula and basically what would be considered the Eastern most point on the map is the Faeldridd Continent.
Operating in the world there are several organizations and guilds. There are a few of them.
Sea Wolves – An allegiance of pirates who rule the Cold Seas and the areas outside of the Ram’s Gulf. They pay homage to the Dark Maiden Lana, and basically extort a fee for safe passage through seas on all trades.
Kaveri – One of many fighters guild, perhaps the Kaveri are the most fearsome, as they rule most of the area along the Ram’s Spine along the Wall of Eternal Ice. They are a guild who most closely resembles a country unto itself with a proud military tradition, and rigid structure hierarchy rumored to go back to the Era of Dust and maybe even pre-cataclysm. The Kaveri are a self-sufficient military with no nation, paying heed only to what will make itself stronger and richer. They are feared by virtue of their discipline, and tactics
The Miheisto – Probably the only other military force/fighter’s guild strong enough to take on the Kaveri. Where the Kaveri are very structured, and tolerate no dissention, the Miheisto are united by a common love for battle and rebuffing of rules. They are also some of the most numerous.
Church of the Eldest Wood – Probably the oldest and most unchanged organization in the world. The collective of druids, rangers, and barbarians, as well as other wilderness lovers are focused on maintaining a balance between civilization and the wild. They have a grueling and problematic fight in the Ramshead Peninsula due to a surge of some kind of energy called “the Blight” which has been destroying the evergreen forest in the region.
The Shroud – A Cabal of necromancers who have ritualistically either skinned their faces, or treated their skin making them appear as undead. They see undeath as an additional step in the cycle of life, and revere undead and deathless ancestors, and history for the lessons in order to avoid, or better survive a second or subsequent cataclysm. Some are evil, some are not, but they usually team up with members of the Laureate to explore ancient ruins and cities.
The Laureate – A collection and allegiance of mages mainly, as well as other knowledge seekers who seek to catalogue arcane discoveries, and subsequently the remnants of pre-cataclysm civilization by any means possible. They offer counsel to city rulers and are basically organized like a loose conglomerate of Acadameas named after regions or cities in the area.
The Clockwork Syndicate – These are traffickers in information, and dirty little secrets. They are by and large fronted as a “Guild accountability” group wanting to expose any sort of back room deals and shady business contracts the Guilds have going on exploiting the work of the masses. The Clockwork are both revolutionaries as well as spies who have a hand in the deals struck by other guilds and organizations. In the Ramshead Peninsula, they are involved in acts of sabotage against the Laureate and the Kaveri, playing both sides against each other in a power struggle for control of the Ramshead Pass at the north of the peninsula.
The Calloused Hands A collection of laborers, handymen, smiths, journeymen, and anyone who uses their hands to make a living. Rather than having item shops, most items are purchased through the Calloused Hands and enchanted through other guilds.
Order of the Silver Star is one of the few guilds who actively tries to be a force of good in the world. The manage various shelters and hospitals, and provide a modicum of comfort for the Calloused Hands. They try to convert people to various good religions, but they are not pushy about it, preferring to let their actions speak louder than words. In terms of a particular market which they specialize in, they are accomplished fiend hunters, whose prowess in demon and devil hunting is unmatched by even the most tactically proficient Kaveri joukkue.
Secret Cults and Organizations
Cult of Asmodeus Underground cult of a dark lord from the pre-cataclysm days. The patrons of this cult are involved thievery, trickery, and enslavement. Blackmail, extortion, and clandestine affairs are the usual for the higher ranking members. The cult does not advertise, though they are abundant and have a greeting to recognize each other.