Taking a break from the previous postings on the character creation for playtesting, as that’s a boring subject matter that most people won’t care about anyway. :)
My current Pathfinder/D&D Hybrid game is drawing to a close soon (probably this month) and, as usual, I’m charged with figuring out just what the hell is going on in that campaign world.
.. let me step back a couple of moments and explain with this post. My campaign universe for Pathfinder is known for subverting, crushing, and utterly destroying the trope of Status Quo Is God. At least one major event per campaign in that universe changes the course of everything, and it isn’t usually intentional. As a result, I have a campaign universe where the phrase “Always Alignment” means nothing, a major group of devils and demons are chaotic good native outsiders, the average lifespan of a deity is slightly below that of an elf, there is an entire race of people with a (totally justified) abject fear of magic, and there are giant holes in the campaign world where battles have rendered the nearby area inhospitable to life.
Oh yeah, and did I mention that almost all of these were caused by player actions?
Welcome to Mion… and Teningur… and some other world…
This campaign universe is set in two worlds. Originally, people came from the world known as Teningur (Icelandic for “Cube” or “Die”, a bit of a joke on it being a roleplaying campaign world), a gigantic cube world that rotated around and minded its own business. Said world had hundreds of deities (Earth pantheons of Greece, Egypt, and Scandinavia; about 300 total deities), each with their own agendas, dislikes, likes, and motives. Then a world-consuming horror came and screwed everything up. The world was split up into eight different ‘cubelets’ (as it was nicknamed by one of my players), one of which became the elemental planes, one became the celestial/demonic planes, two became uninhabitable, and the other four were the so-called material plane (what would later be referred to as the anti-prime material plane). The world-consuming horror, in my first campaign, was attempting to enlist the help of some allies to finish off the rest of the gods and attempt to finish what it had started; consuming all of the souls of everyone that had ever died. The party had just begun to figure out that the “allies” were none other than the angels of the campaign setting when everything sort-of collapsed and the campaign came to a premature end. I decided to extrapolate their actions a bit further and it resulted in the defeat of the world-consuming horror, but at the cost of all of the gods of the campaign world. Most of the mortals (Dwarves being the only race not represented in the refugees) and several groups of angels and devils fled the world into a gate to another plane, thinking that the world was going to end. It never did end, but the end result was that the angels of that world were usually evil (the rest had fled with the mortals) and the devils/demons of the world were usually good (the rest had fled with the mortals). This sets up Mion.
Mion (Irish for “small”) is the world that most of those groups eventually ended up in. It too is a cubic world, only much smaller than Teningur. Mion’s primary face (eventually known as the prime material plane) had belonged to a pair of races before colonization; the gnomes who lived on the ground in low lying areas and the avians that lived in the skies near tall mountains. The rest of the mortals settled in and developed; new deities were born of these initial colonists which supplemented the lords of the preexisting races (around 95 deities total) and they mostly lived like a more standard campaign world… until the rise of Corrione.
Corrione was a curiosity – a mortal born of two gods, the Goddess of Water and the God of Air. She lived as a standard human, albeit a very powerful human who regularly communicated directly with gods. One day, she got into a bet with her best friend, the God of War. She stated that War was obsolete if people as a whole had decided on it and that it would continue to be that way unless the gods themselves tried to interfere. Seeing as he was a God of War, he disagreed and took her up on that bet; she would exist merely as her mortal self and would attempt to unite the entire world without lifting a sword. He promised he would not interfere and sent down his avatar to accompany her in her travels. Long story short, she actually succeeded in uniting nearly the entire world. The gods, having become envious of the near-worship the mortals had upon this person, were the ones that started the Great War. Only a small handful of gods were either uninvolved with the war or sided with the mortals and Corrione. Unfortunately for the gods as a whole, they believed that Corrione had chosen her path because she was incapable of fighting, when in truth the God of War was no longer able to duel with her for she was stronger than him. End result: All but thirty deities of the world were killed in that battle. This was merely backstory – the player incited actions would come later.
The next campaign was my first D&D campaign that actually finished. It started with a monk leaping through a stained glass window in handcuffs and ended in said villain-monk becoming a deity and removing all of the other deities in the world’s power (either via killing them or making them surrender their power). That’s right, the party allowed Team Evil to win, rather than Team Good. Mostly because Team Good was going to be a ridiculously up-hill fight and they themselves had little beef with Team Evil. Team Evil became three of the four deities of the campaign world, with the fourth being the sole good NPC that the party didn’t have a beef with.
Campaign after that started as a random insanity style campaign where objects were being stolen from a small sleepy town – objects like roads, that is. It ended with the party killing one of the four gods of the campaign world and, at one time, not a single deity of the world had any power for around ten days. This drastically shifted the balance of power away from Evil to Good, given that two of “Team Evil” from before were really more of a neutral or good alignment. The world started looking up! The epilogue of this campaign (currently ongoing) has allowed the party to explore Urbanus, the so-called “Plane of Cities” (actually another face of the cube Mion) and discover that a couple of the original people that were refugees from Teningur were alive – a demon by the name of Old Jad. Old Jad had given them some information, including the existence of the Dimensional Lighthouse, a sort of dimensional train station that allowed people to go between planes. There also existed a third world – apparently, one that is a sphere. Both this spherical world and Teningur had been ‘unlinked’ from the Dimensional Lighthouse by inhabitants from each of the worlds, and Old Jad believed that his home world had been completely destroyed.
Final campaign brought things back to their roots. A mysterious witch had been attempting to summon heroes from another land to aid them in their cause and stop a great evil from being summoned to their world. The “other land”, in this case, being Mion. The “witch” lived in Teningur and was named… Corrione. The same one from the backstory. Everything was coming full cycle. End result was that the “great evil” had been prevented, the one summoning things (“The One Who Knows”; yes, I borrowed the name from a webcomic, but the personality is completely different) was killed, and Teningur was once again linked to the gate system in the Dimensional Lighthouse.
Quite the mouthful of history from a campaign world, and I even skipped some things like the comet landing in a bay that killed a few thousand people (PC-caused), or the Isle of Mystery (where anything normal outside of the isle is abnormal inside and vice versa).
In a later post, I’ll start going over what I’m going to do with the world between now and the next game, whenever that may be.