A Plane Scarred
The Call to Players
Players in this campaign will be playing as young citizens of Arlane. Their characters should already have at least one heroic event in their backstory. This heroic event has roused interest from Aegis, and their character has received their secret calling card – a small metal trinket of a silver shield with blue paint decorating it. Hidden in a compartment of the trinket, the player’s character will find a small scroll telling them to meet a person about opportunities with Aegis. It is shortly before this meeting that we will begin our first session.
The following are rules and advice for rolling your character in this campaign.
As stated above your character is a citizen of Arlane, making him or her a descendant of the people who fled there from the infernal invasion. Though the nations from the mainland are no more, their spirit and ideal carries on in the current generation via the factions that control the city. Every citizen of Arlane belongs to one of these factions, even if it’s only by their birth, though some do work or visit the city who are independent of the factions. Though each faction has its outsiders, most citizens are proud believers in their faction’s beliefs. That said, they also recognize the need to co-operate with the other factions, so most are more moderate in their actions following these beliefs than they let on.
Your character must choose a faction to belong to as part of his or her backstory. It’s important to note that there are members of every playable race in each faction (except when listed below), so do not let any race’s ties to a faction make you think you have to belong to that faction.
Below is a list of the faction with some details. Under the bonuses entry lists two skills. For each skill your character gains a misc +2 bonus to each skill. In addition, members of this faction can train in that skill even if it is not a class skill for them. Each faction also lists martial styles. Players rolling martial characters from this faction can take feats from Martial Power 2 representing the unique fighting styles of that nation, traditions still taught today.
Kingdom of Averia
Bonuses: +History and Arcana
Martial Styles: Nerathian Highblade and Steel Vanguard
Founded in the rolling lowlands of Shandria, the Kingdom of Averia began as an alliance of human lordships, unified under a single banner through marriages and conquest. The people of Averia value nobility, history, tradition, and learning. The have a very traditional approach to religion, worshiping Bahamut, Erathis, and Ioun. The Averians also have a traditional view of magic, producing some of the land’s most learned wizards, bards, and sword mages (outside of the Feywild anyway). Over time many people came to live under the Averian banner, Most notably few surviving dragonborn families of Averia that survived the Pale Scale Plague found refugee and recovery within the Kingdom’s borders.
Today Averians occupy the southern districts of Arlane, and occupy themselves with maintaining their traditions amidst the other nations, colleges where citizens can learn magic, and libraries to hold onto what history is left.
Bonuses: +Endurance and Athletics
Martial Styles: Reaving Axe and Black Hood
Started by an alliance of Dwarves seeking to defeat the threats within the mountains, the Karzariks grew in power and influence thanks to their military dedication and might. Though publicly they hold both Kord and Maradin in high regard, many outside the kingdom suspect the lords of Karzariks are more interested in Bane’s teachings. You see, once the threats within the mountains were defeated, the armies of Karzarik only grew more and more, causing them to expand southward towards the lowlands. Further still the Karzariks respect The Raven Queen for her control of the bitter winters on their mountains and to guide their fallen heroes to proper afterlives. In time, their conquests also impressed the nomadic Goliath tribes of the mountains to join their nation, and as a result, the Goliaths who do live in Arlane are all descendants of those who joined Karzarik.
Today, the Karzariks are proud of their martial traditions, and consider themselves the most capable warriors of all the factions. They focus on maintaining their military hierarchy and hunger for the day they can return to battle across the lands of Shandaria.
Bonuses: +Nature and Perception
Martial Styles: Adamant Arrow and Midnight Blade
To the east of the lowlands of Shandaria lies a great, untouched forest. Within this forest live many people, most significantly of which is the alliance of elven city-states. Called the “Eldrathian Alliance,” this loose gathering of peoples was originally founded out desire for mutual defense. Over time however, the Eldrathians grew pleased with what they could accomplish united, and they formed a great city-state near the center of the forest. The Eldrathians were very committed in their dedication to the primal spirits of the forest, a commitment that eventually brought the local Shifter populations under their sway as well. While the Elrathians never committed to an invasion of a foreign power, their forests were oft-fought over resources for both the Averians and Karzarkiks, and both nations quickly learned that their rangers and their primal warriors were to be feared and respected, especially when defending their home turf. Many Eldrathians worship Meloria and Sehanine, and the Elves especially worship Corellon as well.
Today the Eldrathians concern themselves with keeping Alrane in balance with nature and managing the island’s natural resources. They also call to both Melora and the primal spirits to calm the seas when expeditions set sail.
Bonuses: +Bluff and Diplomacy
Martial Style: Desert Moon and Harrowing Swarm
The Rovans began as desert nomads, a mix of Humans and Teiflings trying to eek out an existence in the harsh deserts to the western edge of Shandaria. Through their mutual tenacity, they eventually found an oasis to settle and worked on building a civilization. They still struggled to keep up with all the work it took to maintain it, and that was when the Rovans stumbled upon lost relics of a bygone age. From those relics, they were able to create a new branch of magical study, one where the power of elementals and the arcane could be harnessed to empower machines. They called this new study “Magi-science” and from it, the created the Warforged. Though at first created for labor, the Warforged in time became warriors as well, helping the Rovans as they tried to lay claim to more fertile land within former Averian and Karzarik territories. The Rovans are also known for their skills in trade and diplomacy, and are known all around for their effective, and persuasive, mercenary bands comprised of both living and construct members. As such, they pay much respect to Avandra to bless them in their business ventures, but also respect Meloria and Pelor to give them protection from the harsh environments of the desert.
Today, the Rovans are often the builders and craftsmen of Arlane, as well as bankers, merchants, and businessmen. Their skills in trade are finding a new home on the seas between the Thane Islands and the few mainland outposts.
There are a few other minor factions at play in Arlane, though their minor influence stops them from providing a potential hero the kind of benefits the major factions can. Still, they might provide good roleplay motivations.
- Pirates of the Azure Sea: The sea between Shandaria and the Thane Islands often contain ships scouting the coastlines and running trade goods between the few footholds the nations have. These shipments are ripe for piracy, and many refugees who cannot find a home in the streets of Arlane try to find one in the high seas. Pirates gain a skill bonus to Intimidate and Acrobatics.
- Order of the Severed Spider: Though surface Drow are still very rare, there was a secret order maintained by the Kingdom of Averia for the purpose of committing covert operations. This order was founded by a drow defector, who then structured the order around the teachings she learned in the underdark. Today the operatives still live and are still sheltered by the Averians, even though the truth about the order is out. As such, what few Drow who live in Arlane are descendants of this order who claim it is disbanded, though it isn’t. Severed Spiders gain skill bonus to Stealth and Bluff.
- Make your own. With DM permission, you may attempt to invent your own sub-faction for your character.
Limits and Regulations
For this campaign I have decided that players may play a character of any Race from Players Handbook 1 or Players Handbook 2. In addition, players may play a Warforged as found in the Eberron Players Guide or a Drow as found in the Forgotten Realms players guide with the following exceptions:
- Drow characters must from the Order of the Severed Spider or Averian. (Forgotten Relams)
- Warforged characters must be from the Rovan Republic. (Eberron)
- Shifters should be from Eldrathian Alliance.
- Dragonborn should be from Averia
- Goliaths should be from Karzarik.
Players may choose to play any class from Players Handbook 1, 2, 3. Players may also use the Swordmage from Forgotten Realms, the Artificer from Eberron, and some options from Dark Sun with the following limitations:
- Swordmages must be from Averia. (Forgotten Realms)
- Players wishing to be Dark Pact Warlocks must be from the Order of the Severed Spider.
- Artificers must must be from the Rovan Republic. (Eberron)
- Players may feel free to use the Wild Battlemind build as they wish. (Dark Sun)
- Players who wish to use the Arena Fighter build must be from Karzarik (Dark Sun).
Players should feel free to take advantage of options presented in the “Powers” books as well, although please consult with me before settling on using a “Weapon Style” as described in Martial Power 2 unless it has already been assigned to your chosen faction.
To those newer with the game, while this opens up the game to substantial additional options, please do not feel like you must use them. I would be more than happy if everyone played characters of only the Divine, Martial, and Arcane power sources.
These rules are not hard and fast. If you have a good ROLEPLAYING idea that requires you to play a Shardmind or Minotaur or Gensai, then we can talk about those options. Unless we speak about it though please assume such races are off limits.
Creating your character’s Motivation
Finally, I’d like to experiment with players thinking about their characters’ motivations. As you roll your character, keep in mind some long term goals you might have for him or her. These may be things like “Marry a handsome prince someday” or “die gloriously in battle to save my fellow party mates” or “Have a meaningful NPC Rival.” The goal here would not be for this to be an objective that will be fulfilled quickly, but they provide me with hooks I can use for both adventures and to help keep you interested in your character’s future. Please feel free to communicate with me your ideas for your character’s motivation.