[3.5e] Fate’s Edifice

The time is midnight. You can hear the temperate breeze rustle the tips of the tall grasses, while a cacophony of natural sounds echoes around you; the staccato chittering of Highland cicadas, the warbling call of a lone dawningale, the slow, rumbling snore of something ancient underneath your feet. The sun’s rays creep just over the horizon, slowly unveiling from the grasp of darkness a land of rolling hills, sparse forests adorned with all manner of flora, lush fields of grass and exotic flowers, and craggy rocks that jut out of the ground like the spines of a long-extinct monstrosity. This land is untamed, and shall forever remain unconquered so long as the herds roam its vibrant expanse and the seasons pass, bringing with them the tides of salvation and destruction.

In the distance, you see a kingdom. In the horizon, you see a future.

Fate’s Edifice is a custom campaign created for the Revised 3rd Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, featuring completely original locations, characters, and content. The focus of the campaign is mainly storytelling, along with characterization, combat, and dialogue. In many ways, the story is designed to be an exercise in both the ability of the game master to create a concise, engaging plot, and the ability of the players to take action, both in character building and the advancement of the plot.

The campaign takes place in the year 8009 AE (Aeon Elysiri, lit. the Age of Ascendance) on the eve of the Spring Equinox, a day called the Sylvanrise, in a large continent called the Land of Providence. The eastern kingdom of Lucis is at war with its eternal enemy, the western kingdom of Revas in an archaic struggle for land and power. On the other side of continent, far to the east, lies Fenrir Mountains, where the Dragonlord, Niadhogr, was dragged down to the earth and slain by a mighty hero of an age past, and where the orcs dwell, building their empires. To the north lie the Blighted Fens, a place where the Material Plane intersects partially with a Negative Energy Plane. Here, a terrible secret lies hidden within the cursed waters, and living adventurers waste away slowly in decrepitude unless protected by a holy shroud. To the south lies Fortran’s Ruins, a huge abandoned city whose derelict buildings constantly shift around, revealing deeper, subterranean levels and a host of twisted horrors from other planes. There are many more locations to be braved, but those who find them are either swallowed by their depths or silenced by other adventurers.

The nations of Revas and Lucis are currently at war, driven by ancient conflicts over land. The Kingdom of Revas is a totalitarian empire, ruled by a capable king and an Enclave of select advisors. The ruler’s name is unknown to the populace, who are forced to refer to him as the “The Grand Exalt”. The Exalt’s son, a young, accomplished prince and the leader of the Red Guard, is the next to ascend to the throne, taking within his hands an entire nation to control as he sees fit. However, there is talk of dissent, and a group of shadowy rebels are rumored to be working in the shadows to overthrow those in power, shaking the country’s already fragile foundations.

The Holy Empire of Lucis is an nation older than even Revas whose history is marred by a long period of bloodshed in the name of the official religion, Lucianism. The nation is ruled by the clergy, who command immense power in the dealings of state and trade, and the High Clerics are devoted to stamping out any pagan belief within their walls. The country’s laws are rigid, and prisoners can expect to meet a public execution for sinning in the eyes of Amon, the patron god of light and order. In the meanwhile, an enigmatic cult travels through Lucis, delivering word of a different path to salvation. They are somehow able to travel unimpeded by the law, and may bear a connection to the mystery in the far east…

You are a group of mercenaries who have been entrusted with a small, magically-sealed parcel from an unknown benefactor and told to bring it to a location in the Fenrir Mountains for a huge sum of gold. In the middle of your journey, you are ambushed and succinctly defeated by a group of individuals, who immediately make off with the parcel. Your search for the parcel leads you to the gates of Revas, and with regained spirits, you continue your adventure.

Features of this campaign:

  • Reputation. Your standing with the two kingdoms and other factions becomes increasingly important as you gain strength and influence.
  • Magic, psionics and extraordinary abilities. Psions and wilders hold equal sway in the Land of Providence as wizards and sorcerers, and the use of magic and psionics is a part of daily life, although not all are blessed with supernatural gifts. Those who are not fortunate enough to hold power instead train hard in order to achieve preternatural prowess.
  • Decision-making. Some of the creatures you encounter in your adventures will be above your ability to fight or subdue. The decision-making process of the group to fight or run may be the difference between life and death. You may find yourself without food or water in the middle of a desert; be confronted with a band of gold-lusting mercenaries; or worst yet, come face-to-face with your greatest dreams but have no choice but to abandon them for the greater good.
  • Revolution. Changes are sweeping through the land; one of these is magitech, technology that incorporates supernatural forces into its workings in order to drastically improve its output with little effort. Vehicles, weapons, and even sentient constructs have been created, though more complex designs cannot yet be mass-produced. Magitech is rejected in Lucis as an sacrilegious practice, and is attributed to Abaddon the Devourer, the unholy figure of Lucian dogma.
  • Realism. Many races have been revised in order to bear a more realistic niche in the world of Fate’s Edifice. For example, Orcs don’t have an Intelligence and Wisdom penalty, and are not inherently evil, creating a parallel with human societies. The two, however, still bear enmity toward each other, creating a more realistic portrayal of a similar species.
  • Homebrew. Within the Land of Providence, many mysteries lie dormant, waiting to be uncovered. Homebrew is encouraged as long as it has been checked for balance by the standards of the D&D Wiki.

 

-R

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