In the Beginning…

Legend says that the world of Shiizara has always existed.  The name Shiizara means “The dusk brings the dawn”.  It is said that when the Dawn War was ending the gods Moradin and Corellon fashioned this world from the primal chaos around them, claimed it as their own and placed their children here to live in peace.   Here the dwarves burrowed deep into the earth and the fey frolicked on the surface.  Legend says that the gods also charged their children to safeguard a powerful weapon leftover from the Dawn War.  Though no one has ever been able to prove any validity to this tale.

Jealous that this land was a paradise for only a small few of the mortal races, other gods brought humans, orcs, goblins, halflings and other races to the world.  The fey quickly conquered the “lesser races” and subjugated them as slaves or drove them into the dwarven lands below.

The gods, angry that the fey had enslaved their children, tried to intervene.  They created monsters and opened doorways to the elemental chaos, nine hells, astral plane and many other realms.  The dwarves had delved deep into the earth but they had treated exiles to their land with equal hostility.  Because of this they were not spared the wrath of the gods.  Dark illithids and creatures from the far realms started spreading through the dwarvendark leaving chaos and destruction in their wake.  Corellon came swiftly to the aid of his children and with the assistance of several archfey he opened portals to the feywild where his kind could live in safety and happiness.  There they stayed for thousands of years until memories faded and politics changed.

Kingdoms of Man

After the fey fled the world, the dwarves sealed their tunnels and left the remaining races to fend for themselves.  Many nations carved their mark into the land.  The goblin nation of Kith’ik rose in the west.  The remaining eladrin and gnomes scattered to the Great Forest on the eastern continent and lived in seclusion.  Several orc tribes claimed territory in the plains and mountains across the entire world.  The most prosperous, however, were the kingdom of man.  Many small kingdoms spread across the countryside.  They practiced swordplay and magic and the humans learned how to craft metal for both war and for their daily lives.

The realm was far from peaceful.  Conflicts broke out constantly for a multitude of reasons, but territory or honor were paramount among them.  With no way to unify, the human kings and all other races lived in an era of nations each caring for their own people and warring harshly with their neighbors.

The Solar Crusade

One day an eladrin prince named Aramil was passing the time by reading some of his great grandfather’s ancient books when he stumbled upon a ritual that would open one of Corellon’s old portals.  Eager to please his family he organized a crusade to retake the homeland and remind the “lesser races” that the fey were still mighty.  Though many believed him foolish Aramil was a skilled diplomat.  Modifying the sun burst symbol of Corellon as his banner he rallied roughly 10,000 fey to his side.  He promised them immortality in song, bringing hundreds of bards along with his army to chronicle the events. They marched back to Shiizara and found a world very different than how they left it.  Human kingdoms ruled the majority of the world.  Petty little kings with petty rivalries all battling it out to see who was superior.  Offended at how small they felt the world had become, and confident in their assessment of these “lesser races” the eladrin fiercely committed themselves to reclaiming their territory.

The crusade was violent and merciless.  Aramil encountered elves, descendants of the eladrin who hadn’t fled to the feywild.  He welcomed them with open arms and promised them glory, comfort and wealth if they aided in the crusade.  The elves joined their cousins and the gnomes soon followed.  The humans and other races banded together to try to defeat the fey crusade.  But they were no match for Aramil’s crusaders.  One by one the nations of Shiizara fell until after a decade of warfare the entire world was under Eladrin rule.

The Solar Court

Aramil divided his new empire into nine provinces and dispatched his nine most trusted companions to rule them in his name.  Each Sidhe Lord would have dominion over his or her province and would report to the Solar Court in the capital city of Ishara.  He also appointed a single human as representative of the “lesser races”.  At the Solar Court Aramil held counsel and dealt with the affairs of the realm.  Within the first few months of the new empire, the archfey of the feywild courts came to pay tribute to the new realm and officially recognize Aramil as Archfey of the Solar Court.

Bael Voljin

In the year 437 SC the wizards of Cendrianil Province, in the western part of the eastern continent, grew complacent and lazy in caring for the people.  They became obsessed with personal wealth and grew fat.  Many enraged slaves stole the secrets of magic from their eladrin masters and made pacts with demons to enhance their power.  They rebelled against the fey in the city of Cendriane, razed the glass city to the ground and scattered the surprised eladrin east across the Great Forest into other provinces.  Out of the fire of the rebellion the tiefling kingdom of Bael Voljin was formed.  Using eldritch magic the tieflings created massive sentinels made from earth and elemental fire, standing hundreds of feet high, to defend their borders from the eladrin.  The sentinels rained fire down upon any significant fey force that crossed their sight.  Corruption and treachery reigned in Bael Voljin.  For three hundred years they held their own against the eladrin and battled with each other for the best resources and political position.

The Cataclysm

In the year 762 SC a great cataclysm changed the world of Shiizara forever.  No one knows how the cataclysm happened, but what is known is that it originated in Bael Voljin.   There are many legends about the cataclysm, one says that the demons that the tieflings made pacts with called in their debts and when the wizards refused to own up to their bargains the demons destroyed them all.  Another legend says that they destroyed each other in a brutal civil war.  Yet another says that they woke a primordial sleeping beneath the earth.  What is known is that the sky over Bael Voljin darkened and the darkness spread north to frozen wasteland at the polar region.  The land shuttered and the ground in the frozen waste cracked apart and toxic fumes poured through them, extending miles into the sky.

The sudden release of fire and heat in this wasteland melted the glaciers and miles of ice rapidly.  Tidal waves and tsunamis rushed south across the world.  Coastal cities were destroyed and most of the landmass sunk beneath the waves.  With the release of so much steam a permanent fog settled over the entire north polar region and extended south into Bael Voljin.  The mist stops the sun from shining and keeps the land in eternal gloom and twilight.  Despite the near thousand years that has passed, the mist has not dissipated and in fact seems to be slowly spreading.  The deeper one gets into the mist the thicker it becomes.  None who have ventured too deep have ever returned, though legends persist that Bael Voljin and what is left of the northern wasteland is rich with magic and demonic power.

After the oceans settled the people learned that the land had been forever changed.  Most of the Great Forest on the eastern continent was under water.  Most of the Sentinels of Bael Voljin were destroyed and the ones that remained standing seemed to be dormant.  Both continents had become archipelagos.  Aramil and his Sidhe Lords were devastated by the cataclysm.  They reacted to the disaster slowly, trying to determine the best course of action and leaving hundreds of thousands to fend for themselves.

Rise of Riva

Forced to fend for themselves, a large group of human slaves on the western continent of Alveryne had had enough. During the chaos a group of rebellious humans led by a charismatic house slave named Riva’Lyn Aurelie killed several important lords in the province of Kariandar to the south.  After the slaughter they stole off into the night and began to roam the province starting uprisings and sewing unrest.

Within a few short months the entire province was in open rebellion.  Unlike the tieflings, the humans didn’t have powerful magic to block Aramil’s armies.  The warriors of the Rivan Order, as they came to be known, managed to capture the Kariandar capital and port city of Telith’e in 764 SC and held it for nearly a year, yet lost it in a terrible and decisive battle against Aramil and his army.

The Battle for Telith’e

Aramil personally led the army when he was given a prophecy about his victory.  One day when walking through the woods near the capital of Jaerin, surveying the damage the cataclysm had wrought, Aramil came to a drowned meadow with a massive tree, twisted and nearly uprooted by the storm.  He tied a rope to the tree and, using all his strength, he pulled the tree back upright.  After stabilizing the tree he sat down on an exposed root when suddenly a dryad appeared from within the branches above.  “Brave Aramil, you saved my tree.  For that I will give you a gift.  A warning take ye heed.  Victory will be yours on Telith’e but only if your most precious gift you pay.”   After speaking these words, the dryad melted back inside her tree.  Overwhelmed by the dryad’s prophecy Aramil immediately hurried back to the Solar Court.  He locked himself in his room for the rest of the day and when he came out for supper he spent the night in silence staring at his family.

Aramil brooded on the prophecy for several weeks.  He called in every diviner and soothsayer in the province to confirm the prophecy.  Each gave him the same response, great victory at Telith’e if you pay for it with your most precious gift.  Aramil turned angry and his temper shortened.  Then one morning he woke calm, for he had decided what to do.  He grabbed his sword and climbed the stairs to his nine year old daughter’s bed chamber.  He entered the chamber, knelt beside her bed and kissed her sleeping forehead.  Then, as she stirred slightly he ran his blade through her chest, killing her instantly.

Before any had discovered what he had done, Aramil donned his armor, mounted his horse and rode out with his honor guard to the battle front to personally ensure his victory against Riva.  When Aramil reached the battle he swiftly organized the troops into an all out frontal assault on the city.  The battle was furious and costly for both sides.  After suffering heavy losses Aramil and his troops broke through the city defenses and swarmed the streets.  Aramil pushed to the castle where he met the slave leader Riva’Lyn Aurelie.  He charged her and they locked blades.  Aramil had centuries of training and battle experience but Aurelie fought with a passion and ferocity born from life as a slave.  After a long battle Aurelie overcame Aramil and delivered the killing blow.  As the life left him, Aramil realized how he had erred when he misinterpreted the prophecy, it was not his daughter’s life but his was the price he must pay.

Despite the death of their leader the eladrin routed the Rivan Order and forced them out onto the large, rocky island to the south.  There the survivors were able to hide in the many mountain caves, regroup and declare the island independant of Eladrin rule.  They founded the human kingdom of Riva as a nation where any could be free from the eladrin.

Shiizara Today

The year is 1589 SC and Alyria Del’Roh, former general of Aramil’s crusade, rules as Archfey the Solar Court.  She is significantly more patient and understanding than her predecessors.  Alyria is the fourth leader of the Solar Court and she has ruled the longest save for Aramil himself.  Alyria allows each province to handle most of their own affairs but when she ascended to the crown in 970 SC she outlawed slavery throughout the land.  However the slaves were often forced to continue their former lives but now for pay which just went back into the housing costs they used to get for free.  On the mainland life goes on as usual, with the fey enjoying rather universal prosperity and the other “lesser races” striving to do their best with what they have.  Some are successful while many live impoverished lives.

After the cataclysm the lands that were once  Cendrianil Province had sunk beneath the waves.  The seat remains open in Court.  Alyria has declared that if anyone can tame and claim the lands of Bael Voljin, expelling the mist, be he of fey birth or lesser, would be granted the vacant seat at the Solar Court, and made Sidhe Lord of the new province.

When Alyria claimed the title of Archfey in 970 SC she banished her chief rival, a powerful fey named Arkon to the feywild and claimed his province as her own.  She moved the capital from the aging city of Jaerin, near the feywild portal to the Golden City of Ishara, the city where the sun never sets.  Alyria set about rebuilding Jaerin as a fortress so that she would be able to control passageway in and out of the feywild.

Eight Provincial Lords of Shiizara

Gali’fre Province

  • Sidhe Lord – Alyria Del’Roh (eladrin female)
  • Banner – Golden Sun
  • Capital – Ishara (pop. 24,200)

 Kariander Province

  • Sidhe Lord – Asterion (minotaur male)
  • Banner – Bull Horns
  • Capital – Telith’e (pop. 12,000)

Jakari Province

  • Sidhe Lord – Deedlyt (pixie female)
  • Banner – blooming rose
  • Capital – Hedge of Heron (pop. 3,500)

Morima Province

  • Sidhe Lord – Haedas (satyr male)
  • Banner – crossed spears
  • Capital – Jaerin (pop. 1,900)

Shin’lou Province

  • Sidhe Lord – Xiu Lee’raw (eladrin male)
  • Banner – Iron Shackles 
  • Capital – Kune (pop. 6,000) 

La’Raska Province

  • Sidhe Lord – Merywin Daelhara (eladrin female)
  • Banner – kraken
  • Capital – Stormhaven (pop. 5,500)

Kaddub’Albin Province

  • Sidhe Lord – Azif Al’Heim (fire genesai male)
  • Banner – potion decanter
  • Capital – Shif *pronounced Sheef (pop. 3,100) 

Bjet Province

  • Sidhe Lord – The Kraken King (tentacle beast thing male)
  • Banner – hurricane cloud
  • Capital – Mattir’s Folly (pop. 4,800)

The Shattered Isles

Formerly the continent of Kertola, where the goblins built their nation of Kith’ik before the Solar Crusade toppled their only attempt at civilization.  On the islands laying between the continents life is significantly different than in the main archipelagos.  The Solar Court maintains a small presence on some of the larger or more influential islands, but for the most part the inhabitants of the islands live outside the reach of the empire.  Many exiles, bandits, pirates or those wishing to live far away from the influence of the Solar Court, come to these isles seeking freedom.

The southern islands are loosely allied in commerce.  Most trade comes through this region between the continents.  Storms in the region are few and the tropical weather makes it a very hospitable place to live.  Each island is ruled in different ways depending on the island.  Some islands have brutal tyrants and others are run by priests or popular vote.  All governments in the region pay homage to the Storm Court.  Ruled by eight pirate kings known as Storm Lords, the Storm Court patrols the Shattered Isles preying on those who do not pay tribute to them.  Hundreds of smaller captains all pay tribute to a specific Storm Lord for protection from the other Storm Lords.

The Maelstrom

Cutting off the north trade passage is a massive maelstrom comprised of several whirlpools, floating earth motes, and maze-like passageways.  The region appears to be heavily affected by the elemental chaos.  Massive motes of land that once sat at the bottom of the sea floor now float overhead.  The region has a maze of passages that drop off on both sides into massive waterfalls that ends with rocks and mist.  The region has several whirlpools and still many more small islands provide safety for those who don’t want to be found.  Some say that the remains of an ancient empire were pushed up from the seafloor and lay scattered in the extremely dangerous waters of the Maelstrom.

The Frozen Waste

In both north and south polar regions are lands of ice and snow.  The south polar region is home to those who naturally dwell in subzero temperatures.  White and blizzard dragons, frost giants and other monstrosities build their lairs and plot their schemes against the rest of the world.  Little is known about the northern polar region.  Since the cataclysm that land has been shrouded in a thick mist that is slowly spreading south to the rest of the world, swallowing everything in it’s shadow.

The Great Expanse

To the west of the archipelago of Alveryne and east of the Faesili Archipelago lies the Great Expanse.  It is simply a massive body of blue.  The ocean stretches as far as the eye can see.  Many have turned and sailed into it, trying to find what lay beyond, but so far those that have returned tell tales of nothing but water extending forever.  If there is something out there besides water, no one has yet found it.

The Dwarvendark

The dwarves of Shiizara dug into the mountains and beneath the earth. They built great cities carved from the stone, mined precious gems and metals, and lived apart from the surface dwellers. Their civilization was one based on xenophobia and an overwhelming desire to build a fortress out of their caves.

Eventually the dwarves dug into a large region that was twisted and broken.  The Hive, as it became known was a region deep in the earth that the far realm had perverted.  Creatures unlike any the dwarves had ever encountered rushed forth from the Hive.  The dwarves recovered quickly from the shock and began a bloody conflict against the mad monsters of the Hive.  After centuries of fighting the dwarves began to falter in the defense of their land.  Outposts began to fall, then villages, and finally cities.

The dwarves were saved, if you can call it that, by the cataclysm.  When the earth shook many caverns were suddenly flooded with sea water.  The Hive was drowned and although they were shaken, the dwarves rallied and have begun to rebuild their once mighty empire.  Most of the dwarvendark is under water or in small pockets of air, but the spirits of the dwarves are high.  They have recently opened the doors to their underground kingdom and many dwarves have begun roaming the countryside.

The DemonGate

In the southwest region of the Kaddub’Albin Province sits a massive sinkhole that stretches down into a dark abyss.  Named the DemonGate, the sink hole eminates powerful necrotic magic and has blighted the land for miles around it.  Strange creatures and abominations roam the ruined countryside.  At night one can hear demonic noises echo from within the pit.  No one who has ever gone exploring within the pit has ever returned.

The pit appeared recently, during an earthquake in 1587 the town of Purtu’idin was swallowed whole as the sink hole formed.  Several rescue teams were sent down the pit to try to find survivors but none returned.  Lord Azif Al’Heim had five towers built around the border of the blighted land and guards are stationed there at all times to keep watch and make sure nothing dangerous emerges.  So far, the pit has been calm.

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Organizations of Power

Kingdom of Riva

Isolated on a rocky and mountainous island in the stormy southern sea the Kingdom of Riva builds and prepares for the day it will retake the continent of Alveryne and free the people from the fey.  The kingdom of Riva is ruled today by a human king named Dakon.  Devoted to his people, Dakon has spent recent years focusing on mining and creating new weapons of war.  Recently a new kind of metal was discovered in the mountains around the island.  Dakon hopes to use this new metal to build new weapons and armor for his people to use in their efforts to liberate the mainland.

In addition to training for war, the people of Riva are noted for their discipline and devotion to finding joy even in harsh conditions.  Many monasteries and temples dot the landscape and monks spend their days meditating and training both their bodies and minds to stillness and finding peace in simplicity.

The Unseen

A terrorist organization, little is known about the Unseen.  They have no clear leader, no organizational structure, and each cell seems to operate independently of the others.  If they interact, no one knows how or why.  The only thing that is certain is that the Unseen are violently opposed to both the Solar Court and the Kingdom of Riva.  Their slogan, written all across the world, is “Independent People, Independent Nations”.  The Solar Court sees their actions as barbaric and scoff at the Unseen’s desire to return to the old ways before the Crusade.  Riva calls them traitors to freedom, and fey hired monsters, using the Unseen’s habit of sending suicide attacks as a clear sign that the Solar Court is behind their actions.

The Storm Court

Despite it’s name, the Storm Court has no affiliation with the feywild though some fey are members of the court.  This loose alliance of pirates and merchant kings controls the waters around the Shattered Isles and acts as a kind of mafia, taking tribute and protecting vessels against other ships under the control of a particular Storm Lord.  The current Storm Lords don’t get along, and often fight amongst themselves.  They form temporary alliances and then betray each other when convenient.

Any who live in the Shattered Isles knows the origins of the Storm Lords.  Shortly after the cataclysm a powerful, dragonborn pirate king named Greyscale made a deal with a sea god and received a powerful sword as a gift.  He used this sword to unite the Shattered Isles under his rule.  He was a ruthless tyrant that choked trade between the continents and kept the majority of the wealth earned by the other pirate kings for himself on a secret island.  After nearly a decade of suffering, eight pirate kings banded together and with their combined armadas managed to best Greyscale and take his sword.  In order to ensure that no one ever abused the power of the sword again they performed a ritual that bound the sword in chains and sank it to the bottom of the ocean.  Then the pirates formed an alliance and called themselves the Storm Lords, to ensure that no one person ever ruled the seas again.

The Solar Court

From the golden city of Ishara, where the sun never sets, Alyria Del’Roh holds the Solar Court.  The Court is divided into eight provinces all under the direct control of Archfey Alyria.  Included in the court is Lord Mangus, a human and Steward of Ishara.  He is the representative for the “lesser races” in the Court.  He has no vote, but he is capable of influencing the votes of other Sidhe Lords.

Bael Voljin

Since the cataclysm Bael Voljin has fractured into city states and island nations, each ruled by a power hungry tiefling Seikh.  The mist that pervades Bael Voljin has kept the slaves docile and prevented revolts like the ones in the rest of the world.  Shadar’kai, Shades and Warforged all serve the Seikhs.  Quiet assassinations, deals in dark allies, and all out warfare is common place here as each Seikh tries to out maneuver and kill his rivals.  Desecrated ruins of old Seikhs and old world lords litter the archipelago, waiting with their sinister secrets.  The mist, ever present, is slowly expanding, swallowing up islands in the north as it moves south at a slow, but ever increasing pace.

Dwarf Lords

 Gerdric Stillhammer, ninth of his name and King of the Dwarven Empire rules from the capital city of Valmorine.  The king is attended by fourteen dwarven lords who sit with him in council and assist him on decisions.  These lords are selected based on age and experience by the rest of the dwarven population.  Only an elder may be considered for the title and he or she must be able to boast a long list of accomplishments in life.  For a dwarf, this is an easy task to accomplish as many enjoy a good boast.  The goals of the dwarf lords are ones of reconstruction and defense against the far realm abominations.

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The Calendar

The old calendars were abandoned when the eladrin court formed. It is now the fifteen hundred and eighty-ninth Year of the Solar Court (1589 SC). Across Shiizara, it is widely held that there are 7 days in a week, 4 weeks in a month, and 12 months in a year. The days and months of the calendar year are as follows:

Days of the Week

  • Sunday
  • Moonday
  • Earthday
  • Waterday
  • Thunderday
  • Fireday
  • Starday

Months of the Year

  • Jale’ar
  • Fem’ar
  • Maco’ar
  • Agil’ar
  • Mai’ar
  • Juw’ar
  • Jaqif’ar
  • Awer’ar
  • Setrik’ar
  • Oglum’ar
  • Nove’ar
  • Derti’ar

Continental Regions

  • Alveryne – name for western archipelago region/former continent
  • Faesili – name for eastern archipelago region/former continent
  • Shattered Isles – name for former continent of Kertola

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