D&D Campaign Setting: Tibera

Tibera is the setting I created for the physical 5th Edition D&D campaign I’m running. Here’s the campaign setting for my online campaign, Itasoa, which I posted last week, which is a bit less of a traditional fantasy world.

Tibera is a stolen world. Five centuries ago, seven gods, tired of sharing their worlds with others, conspired to fashion their own world. They severed parts of other worlds, reforging and reassembling them into a world all their own at the farther ends of the multiverse, hiding it from any other gods. The souls of Tiberan dead are treated as currency by the gods.

The clouds of Tibera are like no others in the multiverse- each of them reflects the assorted afterlives ruled by the seven gods. If you look up on a cloudy day, you might see sculpted on the bottom of the clouds any of the assorted hells, heavens, or other afterlives of the Seven, with buildings, landscapes, and souls of the dead hanging above you.

~OTFMNII001F

Hey, shitty hand drawn map! Ceylas Region.

The Seven:

-Green Mantled Sadaga: Goddess of the forests and plains, Sadaga joined the Seven from a world being consumed by a single, massive city- not before leaving behind a deadly plague to punish those left behind on that world. Rules over a two sided afterlife- a heaven filled with rolling meadows and gentle forests, and a hell below its soil, where those who have displeased Sadaga are bound by the roots of trees. Those who have pleased her wander the surface, where springs, fruit and nut trees, and fish filled streams abound. Those punished by her are bound deep beneath the soil, unable to breath or move, pinioned by the tree roots growing around and through them, completely isolated. Priests of hers follow the Nature domain.

-Sun King Anothad: God of the sky, Anothad joined the Seven due to a political feud against his twin brother for rule of their pantheon. When his brother gained the upper hand, he killed his brother and fled, taking his old world’s sun and dooming it to die an icy death. Anothad’s heaven is a glorious, radiant tiered city. His hell is very classical- fire, brimstone, demonic servitors. Anothad is nothing if not a traditionalist. Light domain.

-Nyrn, the Listener: Nyrn is the goddess who actually worked out the how for building Tibera- it was her blueprint that the others followed. Nyrn is renowned for her wisdom, and seeks and preaches a way of learning and patience, yet is herself extremely close-mouthed about her past.  She was the one who gathered the Seven in the first place. Nyrn only has one afterlife, which takes the form of a gargantuan library. The souls of all her dead are placed into the books, where Nyrn and her servants write them new dream lives- the blessed gain wondrous lives, the damned gain unspeakable ones. When the clouds reflect her realm, many of the books are left open to display the afterlives inside. Knowledge domain.

-Dravek, Who Walks Beneath the Waves: Greed alone inspired the Sea God to join the Seven- He merely wished for a greater dominion, and found it in the creation of Tibera. His heaven is an archipelago of wondrous tropical islands and reefs, his hell abyssal depths, where the damned are chained for fish to devour again and again for eternity. Tempest Domain.

-Lit-Thún: Trickster goddess from the same world as Gort. Their world had grown peaceful, civilized, and boring. The two gods ignited war and chaos on their plane, then fled the wrath of the rest of their pantheon. Her heaven and hells are shifting, abstract places, with floating shapes merging in and out of the ground. The big difference between the two is that her hell is much more active, and filled with jagged spines and pits constantly appearing and disappearing rather than gently drifting shapes and soft terrain. Trickery Domain.

-Gort, Herald of Strife: War god from the same world as Lit-Thún. Their world had grown peaceful, civilized, and boring. The two gods ignited war and chaos on their plane, then fled the wrath of the rest of their pantheon. His heaven and hells are linked by a miles-wide bridge, where the damned and blessed battle every day in a tumultuous free for all. The heaven is filled with mead halls, rich fields, and beautiful landscapes. The hell is a bitter, icy, desolate wasteland. The survivors at the end of a day of battle are allowed into the heaven, and the slain are revived at the far end of the hell. War Domain.

O’Mat’Re, Sower of Souls: Genderless god of life and death. The most mysterious of the gods, O’Mat’Re joined the others of the Seven for reasons of its own. It has no afterlife of its own, instead being the one to sort souls into the various afterlives, and maintaining the balance between the other gods. O’Mat’Re seems to be perfectly content to be left alone as much as possible. Life and Death domains.

Economy of Souls:

The Seven treat the souls of the dead like currency- perpetually fought over, hoarded, bargained for, stolen, and traded. A soul that might qualify for heaven in one god’s afterlife might be banished to another god’s hell, and they have no say over transactions made with their souls. The gods barter them for favors, territory, and influence.

Spirit Weather:

Though the reflections of the afterlife are usually restrained to the clouds, the weather sometimes grows more extreme.

-Ghost Fogs: On occasion, especially dense fogs will be filled with whispering spirits- sometimes merely visiting from a heaven, othertimes furiously trying to find a mortal body to claim for their own, so that the inhabitant is sent to one of the hells in their place.

-Tarnfath: A gale-like, furious wind that appears only on cloudless days, rapidly shifting direction for no apparent reason. Apart from doing immense damage to trees and buildings with its sheer force, strange, twisted plants tend to grow in its wake, which can be processed to make several different psychoactive drugs, banned in most nations, but popular nonetheless. Those who are exposed to the Tarnfath too often tend to develop strange, chronic nightmares.

-Gatestorms: Occasionally, a particularly powerful storm will result in a temporary portals opening into one or more afterlives, spewing out spirits and sucking in people, animals, and other physical detritus. Storms that produce tornadoes and waterspouts are particularly prone to these.

Geography:

Tibera is an exceptionally young world. The most dense populations dwell in the Ceylas region in the southern hemisphere, where the largest number of the original settlers were placed by the Seven. Ceylas is culturally somewhere between Europe and Southeast Asia. The world has begun to be explored in the last fifty years, though, and contact with the inhabitants of far lands has begun to be made.

Nations:

-Serdan: The archipelago kingdom of Serdan’s monarchy was recently overthrown by the church of Dravek. The new theocracy has begun pushing raids into other nations, drowning thousands as a sacrifice to Dravek. The islands are mountainous and heavily forested.

-Ereban: A culturally enlightened republic, renowned for its food and wine. One of the wealthiest and most powerful nations in the Ceylas region. Has traditionally acted as one of the main buffers on the Fondathan Empire, though the recent attacks by Serdan are stretching their forces a bit thin.

-The Topaz Dominion: A league of constantly squabbling city states, who only stop when an intruder appears. In recent years, the squabbling has devolved into near civil war, with actual raids and espionage, which has allowed the Serdan raiders a foothold.

-Fondath: An enormous landlocked empire with designs on their neighbors. The empress rules ruthlessly from Imperial Fondath, the seat of the empire and largest city in the world by far.

-Kuarna: Rainy, cool, low lying coastal nation with a large, densely packed population. Their extremely fertile farmland and rich fisheries allow them to avoid famine, though plague is an occasional concern.

-Elban Rid: One of the few remaining monarchies. Fairly small, but firmly entrenched in the mountains. Controls trade through a major mountain pass.

-Dunat: Poor, disease and famine ridden, and ruled by a corrupt military junta, it has had its attention on Elban Rid for some time, desperate for land trade without the tariffs. The enormous Dula plateau provides immense strategic value to Dunat- it dominates the land for miles around, as well as being the staging point for most of the paths through the Hellebore Desert. The residents, however, tend to lock themselves in at night, and mysterious disappearances are not uncommon.

-The Mannan Fleet: An almost entirely sea-borne nation, comprising thousands of ships and dozens of floating towns and cities, led by the Council of Captains. The Mannan Fleet have been hit harder than any by the Serdan raids- while they have more ships than anyone, relatively few of them are warships. Most are built to hold communities, not fight battles.

-Tyrinan: Cold. Somewhat boring. Otherwise a pretty nice place to live, with the exception of some moderate piracy based out of their fjords. Ruled by merchant councils and artisan guilds.

-Eridane: An immense forest, stretching from the cold evergreens of the south up into the Fondathan Empire. Though the Fondathans nominally control a long, upwards stretching neck of the forest, the nomadic clans that rule Eridane pay little attention to the border. Despite having a fairly huge population, the clans rarely engage in open battle, preferring to engage in guerrilla warfare, slowly leading enemy forces astray until they’ve gotten lost in the forest, then crushing them. Extremely suspicious of strangers. There are large elven and halfling populations, but the clans aren’t segregated by species.

-Surdenholm: A well defended mountainous kingdom. Relatively isolationist, but willing to engage in trade with their neighbors- especially the Eridane nomads and Bulgath, since they have a well earned suspicion of the Fondathan Empire. Heavy dwarven population.

-Far Estevald: Heavily forested, stormy, and wild. Its inhabitants tend to huddle together in fortified hamlets, prey to assorted monsters, undead, lycanthropes, and cultists.

-Bulgath: A largely agrarian nation, it has survived Fondath aggression largely due to Fondath being focused on its more powerful neighbors.

-Tionvelle: A wealthy desert nation, Tionvelle is the halfway point to exotic, far reaching territories. Survives largely off trade.

-Other Locations:

-Dirapest: Dirapest, despite being located at the border of Elban Rid, Ereban, and the Fondathan Empire, somehow stays out of the control of all three of them. There is no known city government, no crime, no dissidents, no disease, no famine, no beggars. Everyone works, everyone is happy. Visitors are only welcome for trade during the day, and only in the outer reaches of the city.

-Hellebore Desert: Not the fiercest desert, but certainly one of the largest. Inhabited by nomadic dwarven clans.

-Forest of Standing Stones: An immense petrified forest, prone to frequent windstorms, and hunted by strange beasts. They forest is held sacred by the nomadic dwarven clans, and battles between them and petrified wood poachers are common.

-Mt. Thurban: An immense volcano, prone to frequent eruptions and lavaflows. Despite this, there is heavy traffic there- precious gems and rare metals abound on its slopes, leading to temporary villages, dangerous mines, heavy trade, and frequent pirate raids, as well as attempts by various nations to claim it as their own.

-Siarvan Steppes: The grasses in the Siarvan Steppes grow well over the height of a man- up to twenty feet in places. Roads through the steppes have to be re-cleared every year. The steppes are filled with warring horse-clans, immense herds of buffalo, packs of drop-bears, and seemingly unending predators. The only reason anyone crosses it is to get to the Vanth river, and the Transvanth, an immensely fertile region undergoing settlement, largely by refugees from Dunat.

-The Deadlands: Prone to frequently shifting weather, a region might be dry as a desert one year, then swamplike the next. Poisonous plants and animals abound, as well as fierce predators. Serdan and the Mannan Fleet have both made a large number of colonization and exploitation missions, but they have universally suffered immense casualties, revealing the most unpleasant thing about this immense island: Every single intelligent being that dies there rises as some form of undead or another. Every single one. Despite that, missions there remain common, thanks to the wide variety of strange and rare medicines, exotic woods, and other valuable trade goods. There are no surviving native inhabitants, though a few missions that have penetrated deeper into the twisted terrain have reported the ruins of strange, angle-less cities swarming with the undead. All the buildings are tall, rounded, and tower-like, with bridges crossing between their higher stories.

-Dern: Nominally a city under the control of Elban Rid, Dern undergoes rebellion every decade or so. The mines near Dern are immensely productive, so Elban Rid suppresses them quickly. Ereban frequently eyes the city in jealousy, though with the Serdan situation and the constant low level border war against Fondath, it does little more than look. Dern is currently mid-rebellion, this most recent one kicked off by a strange plague that is racing through the slums, affecting miners most heavily.

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