Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Campaign for 5e - Tentative Title "Bright Sun Dark Forest"



TL;DR


The setting was inspired by study of the transition from the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages, the creation of the Holy Roman Empire and amalgamation and exaggeration of the disasters of the Dark Ages.  The Lords are just yesterday’s war chiefs and we only know they’re Kings now because they don’t have shit on them.

And yes, it's a mythology necessitated by the evolving backstory (because all the best stories evolve from necessity and not design) of the megadungeon mentioned here.

Now that you've read the TL;DR version, here's the one page flavor text version:



How the world came to be

The 8 Pointed Star of Sol Invictus, The Almighty Sun
The New Empire was blessed by Patriarch of the Church of the Almighty Sun.  But now this beacon of hope is breaking, the pieces slipping into darkness.  Plagues, war, and worse ravage the survivors.  Saxon war chiefs aspire to be lords and re-forge the glory of the Old Empire, but the cities empty as their promises of the security and wealth of the Old Empire fail.
Tradition says that the Old, Rhodan Empire fell apart when the Trickster, Lady Dischordia, angered the Almighty Sun by sitting upon the Throne of the Patriarch, leader both material and spiritual of the Old Empire.  That day the Sun fell dark at noon, when Sol Invictus came to earth to deal justice to Dischordia for usurping the natural order.  But in the chaos, the barbarian hordes overwhelmed the legions, even the core of the Imperial Army, the Hobgoblin centurions, and the Empire of Rhodan fell.  Struck with madness, the last Rhodan Patriarch of the Old Empire declared war on the Dwarves, once a friendly nation fully within the Empire.  The Elves, never within the Empire but paying tribute to it, disappeared, leaving empty forest towers.  Tradition also says that the Sun has never again shined as bright as it had before.
Yet the faith of the people of the Empire persisted.  Former barbarian tribes who now followed the Church of the Almighty Sun, Franks, Lombards, Goths, fought back against the darkness and declared the New Empire.  Now there were two power structures, material and spiritual divided.  Material was lead by The New Emperor, chief over the in-fighting Lords and their conflicting loyalties.  Spiritual lead by the Patriarch in Rhodan and the Church hierarchy he tries to reform.  Each jealously guards their prerogatives while striving against disasters and the newest waves of barbarian and orc invaders.
People in cities cling to the faith that the Rhodans had brought for them, the Almighty Sun.  Many rural people still cling to their ancient rituals of the Forest Mother.  Witch Hunters of the Church hunt the worshippers in their groves, witches with their forbidden magics, or even the sins of heresy in the hierarchy of the Church itself. 
Survivors of catastrophes are cast adrift.  Some seek their own power and fortune as the only means to survive in the world.  Some would be heroes to change the world.  Others muddle between, as Lady Chance throws opportunity their way.

Didn't you think this was a megadungeon entrance when you first saw it?
 All in all, the back story needs more flying monkeys, but I've got the yellow brick road laid out.