Possible Campaign Setting?
A draft of an idea I had today for a campaign setting…
Generations ago, the Kingdom of Tulvania was the most powerful in the land. Its warriors were the strongest, its sages the wisest, its rulers the fairest. While there had been occasional wars with the neighboring land of Distania from across the sea, an uneasy truce usually held sway.
But then, over 100 years ago, all communication and trade with Distania stopped. Tulvania’s craftiest spies were sent but never returned. Fearing war, some of the strongest warriors were dispatched, just to be lost as well. The only person to ever come back, in fact, was a single madman on a ghost ship. His mind broken, he spoke largely in riddles, sometimes in rhyme. These rantings were written down by the sages in case they were prophecies, but the public was told nothing of this. Nor were they told of the madman’s claim that Distania had simply… vanished.
The public was sold a lie that a great plague beset Distania, and that all trade and communication with it had to be halted due to a kingdom-wide quarantine. As the public believed in their leaders – they were the fairest after all – they accepted this story and went on with their lives.
Lies, however, often hold truths.
A generation later, fishermen started to disappear off the coast of Tulvania. Whole ships vanished. Brave, or perhaps just too poor to survive without their trade, some fishermen continued to venture out. They told of a great fog that had settled on the sea. Or rather, those that could still speak did.
The “fog-touched” were as blank as infants and as weak as newborns. Many died, too weak to even breathe. But a few survived and, with time, were retaught the skills of living. Shunned by their peers who feared that they carried some form of the Distanian Plague, they and their families were forced to leave the villages and settle outside of the Great Tulvanian Wall. This is, ironically, what saved them.
It was a generation ago that the Fog took the Kingdom of Tulvania. It rolled out across the plains one hot summer night and settled on the land, shriveling the crops on touch. Livestock disappeared. Whole villages became fog-touched, and people cried out to their King to save them, only to find his mind had been taken as well. While a few seemed to be immune to the effects of the fog, most succumbed within a fortnight. The Kingdom descended into anarchy.
The Fog, however, never crossed the Wall of Tulvania… until 5 years ago. This time, however, instead of things vanishing, things started to appear. At first, it was a blessing – cows, goats, fish – all manner of living things would just wander (or flop) out of the fog. The people thanked the Gods for this bounty. More, however, was to come.
It was an invasion.
Creatures of all types spilled out of the fog, sometimes dazed and confused, sometimes violent and hungry things of nightmare. Forced to flee, the refugees beyond the Tulvanian Wall crossed back into Tulvania itself, seeking sanctuary. They found a wasteland. They also found that they had to keep moving, or hungry creatures would start spilling out nearby.
One thing, however, gave them hope. The children seemed to have a way with the fog. Sometimes, it obeyed them, bringing food and supplies. Sometimes, it brought them knowledge of things they had no way of knowing. And sometimes, it brought them great strength and power. This power seemed to come with a cost, however, as the children were also sometimes confused and fog-touched for hours, even days at a time. A 12-year-old boy could recite complex, ancient spells one day and not know his letters the next. A 14-year-old girl could fight with the strength of an experienced swordsman in battle, only to be confused and lost for days.
You can become a character in Tulvania. Will you be one of those immune to the Fog, or one who wields it? Will you be human, or one of the creatures that spilled out of the Fog dazed and confused, but not violent and hungry? Will you do nothing but run, or will you try to fight back the invasion? And what of the madman’s riddles? Will you discover them in time?
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