As a group we have been running our home brew Adoraith Campaign since 2003. The first campaign ended at the beginning of 2008 and we started with new characters set 500 years following the events of the first campaign. Our current campaign is set in an era where few mages and clerics exist and a great deal of magic has been lost. Item creation is a lost lore that some of the players seek to revive. As a result magic is extremely rare but the items that survive are generally very powerful. The antagonist, Hans Drubal, is a blackguard that seeks to revive the cult of Tharizdun and see the shackled god set free. Initially, the players were manipulated into unknowingly aiding the blackguard but after realizing their folly they now work to expose and hopefully end his scheming.
When constructing the campaign I wanted to create a largely hostile world where your race and particularly your nationality was incredibly significant. Racial tensions coupled with empire building and the race for resources has been a major theme within Adoraith and in more than one case hampered the ability of the party to combat evil. With this in mind I wrote the following background as an introduction to the current state of affairs in Adoraith (from the perspective of an Ohtaran Human):
Five hundred years have past since our world was laid to waste by dragons in the second of their great wars. The first blood feud raged for nearly a thousand years without so much as a ripple felt by the mortal races. The second war lasted only a fraction of that time but this war was different. The dragon plague began with fires lighting up the skies above our cities, then spilled into our villages, fields, and homes. From the great Dwarven halls to the lowliest human village, virtually no civilization was spared.
From the start, the elves of Tenraishima believed that all races should join the followers of Bahamut. Gradually, we did rally to the side of the metallic dragons but after years of fighting it was clear that we were nothing more than ants to these beasts. Time and again mortals were sent to die, used as distractions or fodder, while the metallics would strike from positions of strength. As the war progressed we mortals realized that neither side was gaining an advantage and that this conflict was destined to last as long if not longer than the first. All the while, the metallics arrogantly lorded over us while it was our cities, villages, schools, fields, and families that were in ashes.
Perhaps if we had acted sooner we could have saved our culture. After a virtual genocide of our people we realized that we had to fight for the only thing we had left, our lives. If we were to survive as a race we mortals had to take control of our destinies. The time had come to cleanse our lands, bring an end to this war and preserve what little chance we had for a future. A small trickle of soldiers turned into a torrent as all dragons, chromatic and metallic alike, were slain. The first true dragon slayers were born from those heroes. Half dragons and those with draconic blood lines were also hunted vigorously. Wizards and sorcerers attempted to end the slaughter, believing that dragons were an integral part of magic, but, in the end, they too were put to the blade. Their hidden schools were uncovered and burned before anymore could come to the aid of the dragons.
Meanwhile, the elves retreated to their island home, still untouched by the ravages of the war. Many wanted to see the elves killed for their treachery and cowardice but once the fighting ended the people of Adoraith returned to the ashen fields that had once been their home and started to rebuild. The few clerics and holy men that were living tried to unify communities around worship of their gods but the people had enough of their empty words. Where were the gods when our world was burning? Most turned their backs on the gods looking to strong warriors for guidance and leadership. When the people abandoned their faith many priests tried to impose their doctrine by force. Some communities succumbed to their new rulers while others rebelled, burning the temple and executing the priest. Religious communities are now rare and, while priests still try to spread their message, it largely falls on deaf ears.
As the people began to rebuild the scarcity of resources soon drove them back to war. Only this time we were fighting each other. Warlords led their warriors against unsuspecting villages pillaging as much as they could carry. Eventually, the warlords began occupying the lands they once raided creating the first kingdoms.
Our world is now one of battle, empires, and struggle. Conflict over territory and resources are not only commonplace but a way of life. The peoples of Adoraith are in a constant state of war over the scraps left from the plague of dragons that swept our lands. Only calling short cease fires to deal with news of a new dragons lair being found. Large bounties are paid, depending on the age of the dragon, for a dragon’s hide and skull. Many rulers also pay handsomely for the capture of half dragons and Arcane spell casters. We mortals lived too long under the thumb of those who thought themselves superior. This is our age, a martial age, and with the sword, spear, and axe we shall never be slaves to anyone again.
See Calabacita bring Hans to life:
Learn more about Nicole’s art at her website.