This is a homebrew world that will include a mix of many different elements. This world will include a lot of player influenced content. It will start out in the city of Pitax, but we’ll be using the world building creation technique found in the Dresden Files RPG.
300 Years Ago – Angel Demon War
Before this time most of the land was under the Tiefling Realm of Bael Turath. It is said that the Tieflings of Vor Rukoth summoned a mighty demon which started this war. This gave rise to the human Empire of Nerath which united dragonborn, tiefling, eladrin, elf, halfling, dwarf and human alike under one flag of justice, peace and prosperity—for an age.
100 Years Ago – Dragon Demon War
Demons appeared once again, this time from the great Worldwound. There were no Angels sent from the Gods to stop them this time. A council of metallic dragons stepped in, but it was too late to save the human empire of Nerath.
Present Day – Life in the River Kingdoms
For the past 100 years most of the “civilized” races have been slowly rebuilding and forming small but spread out kingdoms and nation-states. However, most of the world is still a wild and dangerous place.
The land now known as the River Kingdoms became verdant and lively once the Dragon Demon war ended. This gave the human race new territory to explore, putting them in conflict with kobolds, orcs, goblins, and suspicious fey. With its dozens of tributary rivers dividing the region into countless small territories, it has become a natural place for outcasts, rebels, and petty tyrants to stake claims and declare themselves rulers of whatever land they could grab and hold.
Passing crusaders headed to Mendev complain of the chaos in the River Kingdoms, but this is hyperbole. Far removed from the horror of the Worldwound, the River Kingdoms are as predictable as a cauldron—you never know what will come bubbling up, but you can be sure the whole thing is hot. This heat makes the River Kingdoms a singular place to live.
The River Kingdoms are split into more than two dozen sovereign realms, ruled by despots of varying temperament. Tyrants who raise a keep in the River Kingdoms often hail from surrounding lands, but are almost always castoffs,criminals, or wayward offspring of more important folk. Most rule by force, though some are gentler than others.
Life in the River Kingdoms is harsh. Bandits can attack at any time, local governments shift like riverbanks, invading armies pillage the land, and unexpected monstrous and magical threats occur with alarming frequency. Every family has lost someone to sudden violence. The perilous uncertaintykeeps everyone tense, suspicious, and often angry. Trust is paramount. Anyone unrecognizable is not just a potential threat, but also a potential vanguard for an army of threats. “Trust costs more than money” is a common Riverfolk aphorism.
For all this danger, though, the land is still beautiful and bountiful. Even the marshes and forests are fertile. Raiders, not the land or weather, make farming hard. Wheat, corn, oats, and rice are quick and plentiful crops grown throughoutthe kingdoms. Livestock grow fat on the rich grasses fed by the hydra-headed tributaries of the Sellen River.
Act I: Pitax
Pitax – The Kingdom
Long a haven for thieves and smugglers, Pitax is a hub for trade in the River Kingdoms. It aspires to be a center of culture and higher learning as well, but cannot escape its more unsavory origins. Threats and plots from other lands, as well as from within the borders of Pitax itself, have the potential to tear the small kingdom apart. Greedy adventurers eye the rich land on its northern frontier and picture themselves as rulers of their own kingdoms, collecting taxes that this kingdom so desperately needs for itself. Only the actions of Pitax’s shrewd leader, Lord Irovetti, have managed to stave off this downward spiral to ruin…at least, for the moment.
Pitax is the northernmost territory of the River Kingdoms. It has two lights of civilization, the city of Pitax and the town of Fallcrest. Fallcrest trades with the Dwarven city of Hammerfast to the north located in the mountains known as Moradin’s Spine. The Trade Road is dangerous, with a plethora of bandits, thieves, and other not-so-friendly beasts.
Pitax sits as the frontier to what was once the heart of the Tiefling Realm of Bael Turath. This is an area that Lord Irovetti covets and has desires to annex as part of his kingdom. It is rumored that he has hired a few adventuring guilds to clear the area of monsters and brigands.
Pitax – The City
Most folks in Pitax are performers of some kind. Don’t have to be on a stage, but
they’re performers just the same. It’s a little odd living in a city where everyone’s
always “on” and no one seems to be in the crowd. But though it’s not a large audience, there’s definitely folks watching, and the most important sort of folks—the types who make decisions, not like whether you’ll be a star or be trapped in the chorus, but whether or not folks will ever remember you even took the stage in your time. It can be hard keeping it up all the time, but you do, ’cause what other option is there? So the question for any soul who wanders through those gates isn’t the size of your part in the grand play, or how sweetly you sing your song—the question is, will you make it to the final act, bowing as the curtains close?
—Meonora Tevorri, player at the Red Crescent Theater
The people of Pitax divide the city into three regions, each with its own specific quirks and personality. Troutmouth, encompassing the docks of Pitax, holds most of the merchant houses and is where merchants conduct most of their business. The Shattered Ward contains the older buildings of Pitax and its longtime citizenry, including manor houses and temples. The New Ruins, abandoned in the days following a bloody civil war 60 years ago that nearly consumed Pitax,rose from the ashes and became the realization of Irovetti’s strange dreams of grandeur. The New Ruins hold the Academy of Grand Arts as well as the Red Crescent Theater, shining paragons of the city’s rebirth.
Born from the blood and sweat of criminals, Pitax was initially conceived as nothing more than a den of thieves, where bandits could hide from authorities. Though this criminal haven has grown into something far greater, with much influence among the other River Kingdoms and many legitimate businesses driving its economy, its heart remains unchanged. The real goings-on in Pitax take place at night under cover of darkness, where the thieves and bandits who control both the city and the kingdom conduct most of their business.
Your base of operations is the city of Pitax. Your group recently joined the Pillars of the Red Adventuring Guild, owned by the eccentric Gentleman Rend Valek. Your sponsor is the Archmage Allic Galemar.