The Promised Land
For three thousand years the empire of Penrith has stood—an empire that has spanned all of Avalon, spreading east into the dunes of Sangkhum and south into the Hyde Islands. And for three thousand years it has grown and thrived and evolved, no matter the cataclysm or threat before it.
And then, Premetiia was discovered.
The Ocean of Oaths spreads out to the west of Penrith for thousands upon thousands of miles. So much water is there, that it is said that only an oath with the gods could allow one to cross it, hence its name. Whether said oath was finally made or not, one cannot say, but the ocean was crossed and the new world was discovered. Prometiia, its founder called it; the Promised Land spoken of in scripture.
But such lofty rumors did not blind the practical eye. The nobles of Penrith had their mages establish portal islands in the ocean to hasten travel, and then they set loose their appraisers. Prometiia was a land of resources infinite, vast lakes, sprawling forests, towering mountains, untapped magic. And so the first colonizers were sent three centuries ago to Prometiia to find and retrieve the wealth of this Promised Land, and to further increase the power of the Penrith Empire.
Table of Contents
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- Base Setting Information
- Colony+Culture Information
- Religion Summary
Base Setting Information
Setting Name: Prometiia
Basis: Prometiia is based off of colonial America, and includes elements of horror, action, suspense, and adventure.
Government: Colony/Territory. Ruled by Penrith.
Population: 17 million
Civilian Races: High Elves, Wood Elves, Humans, Hill Dwarves, Lightfoot Halflings, All Gnomes
Slave Races: (Some) Wood Elves, Minotaurs, Mountain Dwarves, Stout Halflings, Warforged
Enemy Races: Tieflings, Half-Orcs, (Some) Wood Elves, (Some) Humans, Mountain Dwarves
Undiscovered Races: Drow, Eladrin, Deep Gnomes, Birdmen, Goliath, Dragonborn, Genasi, Shifters, Changelings
Territory Size: Prometiia colonies span 3,000 miles of coast, and extend approx. six hundred miles inland.
Brief Colony Summary: The Penrith Empire itself has 13 unique city-states within it that make up a council, with the thirteenth—Penrith itself—being the greatest and holding the most authority. When colonization began, the majority of the city-states wanted in on the resources and possible treasures of the promised land. Overtime, some colonies were absorbed, abandoned, or destroyed while others have remained. Those are:
Espellismo – Situated near the bottom of Prometiia. It sits in the middle of the swamp lands, which is considered to be one of the hubs of magical power flowing through the continent. Controlled by Hazerth, the colony itself is scattered throughout the swamps, with one capital—Espellismo proper—sitting on the coast itself. This territory is under constant attack from Tieflings from the south, along with other, more monstrous threats that prow the waters. Old ruins from civilizations long withered can be found in the glades and marshes, and after hundreds of years, it is thought that only ten percent of these ruins have been found and studied.
Verdade – The original colony established by Penrith herself, Veraded sits on the northern coast, surrounded by lush farmlands and rolling hills. Long since cultivated and tamed, Verdade controls the biggest territory, with its capital city doubling as the biggest port in all of known Prometiia. From it a dozen roads stretch out, reaching towards the other colonies and deeper inland. Verdade is also where the Church of Penrith is strongest in Prometiia, and where their own branch of the Holy Army is stored. While Trabayo is more rural and Espellismo strange, Verdade is incredibly advanced, with their main cities containing towering buildings of metal, stone, and magic.
Trabayo – Trabayo was once four different colonies, situated in the middle of Prometiia’s coast. They have since merged and expanded far south, linking Verdade and Espellismo and providing the biggest contribution to the new land’s economy. It is here the resources are most vibrant without going too deep inland, with its own share forests, lakes, rivers, farmland, and even a small mountain range. And it is also here that slavery is practiced. Unlike Verdade, which forbids it, and Espellismo, which has no need for it, Trabayo enslaves many of the native races found on Prometiia and uses them to mine the land of resources. Controlled by very rich noblemen with very strong militias, and backed by a number of nobles in Penrith, Trabayo’s lucrative slave system does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The Frontier – The Frontier is exactly as it is called—the frontier of Prometiia. Starting four hundred miles inland, just beyond Trabayo’s Nachedo Mountains, it extends wildly into lands hardly tapped. It is here that the other three colonies are at their weakest, with scattered towns that follow their own rules, tribes of wood elves and other things, and rolling plains, skyscraping mountains, twisted forest, and dark lakes that all extend to what some believe to be the end of the world.
Religious Summary of Prometiia: The spiritual beliefs of Penrith lie in a pantheon of gods well worshipped. They are Mana, the Female Goddess of Magic; Lustrian, the Holy Warrior God of the Sun; Intriga, the Formless God of the Moon; Axia, the God of All Lands; Picos, the God of Water and All Who Dwell Within; Cazadan, Who Hunts God, Beast, and Man Alike; and Tranzuill, the Hungry God of the Dead. These seven are the established faith called the Seven Circles, though there are other beliefs in the Penrith Empire.
In Prometiia, these other faiths hold more strength, as do the strange gods of the natives. Pelor, the God of Good and Order, is worshipped by a rapidly spreading cult. The Wood Elves worship their ancestors, who are said to become the land itself when they die. Mountain Dwarves share similar beliefs, while Halflings have all but lost their original faith from years of servitude. The Tieflings are said to hold no gods themselves, and are thought of as evil spirits, but in reality they too hold a strong belief in their demonic ancestors.
Still, despite the strength of odd and uncanny religions in Prometiia, the Seven Circles command the most followers, holds the most sway, and, perhaps most importantly, commands the largest force of war clerics and paladins. As such, while there is strong discrimination against other religions, only the foolish or the suicidal openly disdain the Seven Circles.
Economy: Natural resources and treasures from adventures provide the most money. Slavery powers the former, fools the latter. The monetary system is standard fifth edition coinage, with different dialects of common calling coins by different names.
Brief Explanation of Races: There are four categories of races, as mentioned earlier. Civilian Races are, obviously, civilians in Promish territories. Likewise, slave races are slaves in Trabayo, and considered second-class in Verdade and Espellismo. Enemy races are races that are in constant battle with the colonies and territories, either to reclaim land, or because of spiritual reasons. Undiscovered races are not even rumor yet—they are things that no one knows exists in the civilized world. All four categories can be made from, however the Undiscovered Races should only be used after talking with the DM.
Below is a brief summary of individual playable races, barring undiscovered ones.
High Elves – High Elves were, for the longest time, the only type of elf that actually existed in the Penrith Empire. Their ancient lines, immortal blood, and aptitude for magic gave them an advantage no other race had. Thus, their conquering of Penrith was all but inevitable. All High Elves are nobles of some sort, unless exiled or imprisoned, and generally belong to estates that command great wealth.
Wood Elves – Wood Elves are a race of elves discovered in Prometiia, and thought to be a savage, unevolved, and unenlightened cousin to the High Elves. They are incredibly tribal at a glance, but their actual socities and many of their ways are very advanced. Tribes of Wood Elves span all of Prometiia, with many having been enslaved, many more in war against the colonies, and even more then that undiscovered or uninterested in dealing with their new foreign neighbors. Wood Elves are easily identified by their reddish or brown skin tones, as well as their multitude of tattoos. They speak a different style of Elvish then High Elves.
Humans – Humans are humans, plain and simple. In the Penrith Empire, that spans all of Avalon, they come in many different colors, cultures, and varieties. All of these mix together in the Promish Colonies. Additionally, a breed of human lived in Prometiia as well. These humans, all of which are brown or red of skin, were more numerous than the Wood Elves, but far more violent as well. For the most part, their tribes have been pushed back or completely extinguished, their culture burned away almost completely.
Hill Dwarves – The Hill Dwarves of Avalon have no central home. For the most part, their territories were split up by the High Elves and Humans, with noble lineages reduced to merchants and laborers. The vast majority of the race has left Avalon due to discrimination and come to Prometiia hoping to find a new, and better life. It is in the promised land where they truly thrive, a diverse culture of hardy folk that make up a large portion of Prometiia’s backbone.
Mountain Dwarves – Just as it did humans and elves, so too did the new world contain its own breed of dwarves. They come in two types: Salty or Stoney. The Salty Mountain Dwarves were discovered in the island volcanos off the southern coast of Prometiia. They wield the power of fire and molten earth, and despite some of their slavery, work very closely with the High Elves who wish to learn their powers. The Stoney were not as lucky. These dwarves lived in the Trabayo’s mountain range and, for the most part, have been totally enslaved, their empires destroyed along with much of their culture, and their technology assimilated into the growing beast that is the colonies.
Stout Halflings – The Halflings were discovered in Prometiia and quickly dominated by the foreign invaders. Their strong bodies, high dexterity, and quick minds make them the perfect slaves when domesticated. The groups of Stout Halflings, called Holes, have for the most part all been discovered and absorbed into the growing plantations of Trabayo. Many more, however, exist, hidden in the most random nooks and crannies of the new world.
Lightfoot Halflings – The Lightfoot Halflings are just like their Stout brothers, but have been bred much like how dogs come from wolves. The Lightfoots are used as messengers and civil servants, for no one can deliver mail, run a message, or pour a glass of whiskey like a Lightfoot Halfling can. These are exceedingly rare outside of Trabayo, though they have been seen to form circus troops or have become wandering bards in the lands where they are free.
Gnomes – Gnomes of all types in Avalon are one of the most prized races, second only to High Elves and, in many cases, considered above even them. This is because of both their small numbers, making up no more than three percent of the total population, while also being the driving force behind so much of the empire’s advances. In Prometiia, they are the cause behind Verdade’s massive, skyscaping cities, as well as the highway system that connects the colonies. Gnomes can find lucrative work and positions of power no matter where they go, and their houses often have well established and well-trialed roots.
Half Orcs – Orcs are one of the biggest enemies of most humanoid races. Their seemingly endless hoards and twisted war machines have been a plague on Avalon for millennia, their constant raids from the north limiting expansion and threatening the safety of the empire. When Prometiia was discovered and colonized, many were surprised to see that the Orcs had not only discovered it before them, but had also created their own colonists. The Half-Orcs—children of rape and slavery—are in force in the new world, with their own territory far to the north of Verdade. It is only the distance and the nature of the frontier that keeps the two forces from going to war, though raids on both lands are not an uncanny thing.
Warforged – The Warforged, a child born from the artificing of the Gnomes and the magic of the High Elves, are the soldiers of Trabayo and Verdade. They outnumber the mortal armies three-to-one, their constructed bodies making them the perfect weapons for the strange lands of the frontier. Often, guilds or merchants will purchase or commission their own Warforged and use them as bodyguards, or to assist adventurers.
Minotaur – The “savage” Minotaur are so only because of the hell they are put through. Hailing from the southern island nations of Avalon, Minotaur are captured and hunted for sport and nothing else. On Prometiia, they are imported, drugged, and then used in gladiatorial games against slaves, fools, and prisoners. Even in Verdade they have next to no rights, and are so heavily discriminated against that they must often flee to the frontier or risk returning to shackles, drugs, and violence.
Tieflings — The enemies of Prometiia, Tieflings hail from an empire far south of the promised land. From across the sea they sail, raiding and kidnapping people for their rituals and desires. Tieflings themselves see the Prometiians as savages. As a race, they practice blood sacrifice, believing that by doing so they can continue pleasing the gods that gave birth to them millennia ago. Likewise, many also believe in the Great Old Gods, who they believe manipulated the events that led to their creation. Regardless of which faction is right, they both believe that the only way to honor and commune with these divinities is through the sacrifice of living beings.
Aaracroka — A people yet undiscovered, the Aaracroka live more than three thousand miles to the west, admist a mountain range greater then any other. There, they live in flocks, fighting amongst themselves in an attempt to determine both who rules the skies, and who is worthy of contacting their forefather god. Aaracroka civilization is not the most advanced, and is hindered by their natural, predatory instincts.
Goliath — Living alongside the Aaracroka are the Goliath–a race of people who descend from the giants of old. Though they are far smaller in number than their feathered bretheren, their tribes are no less powerful; they have an unsteady peace with one another, and often erupt into war. Goliath tribes are diverse and war often, though in times of great need they come together without hesitation to preserve their way. Many find themselves as travelers, so that they may find ways to prove themselves adults to their tribes.
Drow — A close cousin to Wood Elves, the Drow are an underground race no longer capable of existing above surface. They follow their Spider Goddess, Lloth, believing her to be their saviors from thousands of years ago. Their empire stretches from underground coast to coast, enslaving Deep Gnomes, Duerger, and other species that cannot face the sun. Within the last several hundred years, the Drow has began to splinter; new, mystical forces have entered into the Underdark, disturbing the balance Lloth has created. And now, many question the dogma that has been stuffed down their throats for so long.
Genasi – A race that shares the southern continent with the Tieflings, Genasi are souls touched by the elemental planes deep in their ancestry. Due to their planetouched abilities, they often wrestle with the Tieflings for power, using their bonds to the world around them to fend off the greater numbers of their foes. However, as time has passed, their war has become one of attrition–and slowly, they are losing. Genasi have now began to move north, hoping that the Prometiians will accept them where their planetouched brothers have not.
Aasimar — Above even the High Elves of the Penrith Empire aer the Aasimar. They are those touched by the gods themselves, having recieved the blood of celestial beings that stand above all other mortals. Because of this, they are rarely seen in Prometiia. Instead, they prefer to remain in Avalon proper, ruling from a distance. When they do visit the colonies it is with great fanfare. For all intents and purposes, they are the true nobility of the world.
Brief Explanation of Classes and Armies in Prometiia: The armies of Prometiia are varied and rarely used. They are composed of soldiers from the mainland, members of the guild, a vast number of civilians that know no trade, and an incredible amount of Warforged. Their battles occure at the edges of their territories, against the wilds of Prometiia untapped, and at times against each other to settle less important disputes.
There are also the many adventuring parties, guilds, and other such factions in Prometiia, whose young and relatively Penrith-free government has allowed the new world to serve as a breeding ground for these types. Throughout the last few hundred years, this had led to a number of stereotypes forming, as well as reputations for a number of important groups.
Paladins – The paladins of Prometiia are both the most famed and infamous group in all the land. Organized into Choirs, they are spread through every territory, each subscribing to one of the Seven Circles (generally Lustrian). Their reputations vary, but the intensity does not. Paladins are either the heroes of the land, representing the shining light of the sun that saves the innocent, or they are cold-blooded, almost psychopathic killers of the things that go bump in the dark. Because of this polarity, most people give paladins a wide berth—there have been cases where guild leaders or even mayors have been smote in broad daylight because a paladin has deemed them wicked. The Holy Army of Verdade has over five thousand of these individuals, making them a formidable force even in the face of the mighty Penrith Empire.
Clerics – The clerics are a more diverse, less extreme form of the paladin. Every town must have a church to one or all of the Seven Circles, and cities often have dozens of these. Clerics are the medicine men and spiritual leaders of their communities and in some cases, especially on the frontier, the first and only line of defense. Clerics geared for combat are not a strange thing, as they make up a large bulk of the Holy Army, serve as bodyguards for certain missions, and at times form their own adventuring parties to spread the love of their god and to smite those they deem as evil. Minor cults and other religious have their own clerics as well. Because of the Seven Circle’s dominance, this has led to tension in many cities between competing religions, and a times, full on gang warfare.
Rangers – The Rangers of Prometiia are much like the Paladins, in that they are extremely polarized and given a wide berth by civilians. They spend most of their time out in the frontier, seeking out and destroying, sealing, or somehow removing threats to civilization. Generally employed by the army or government directly, they are sent to the fringes of civilization and beyond, and if they come back, often retire after their first ranging. Those that don’t often become somehow scarred, transforming into grizzled veterans of battle or even going mad from the things they’ve seen.
Druids – The Druid Circles of Avalon are famous protectors of the land that supersede political boundaries, and for the most part, are untouched by the Penrith Empire. When Prometiia was discovered, this did not change. In the last few hundred years, there are less than ten cases of anyone seeing a druid in a city or town, as they have spread out into the new world to learn about it, to protect its secrets, and to tame the wilds. Only on the frontier are people likely to see them, and when they do, it is often because the druids are warning them to run from something or another.
Warlocks – In Avalon, Warlocks are killed-on-sight save in the most unique of cases. Making deals with devils, demons, archfey, and other, stranger things is a recipe sure to create chaos. In Prometiia, with the exception of Espellismo, this rule still applies. Those that become Warlocks must hide their powers from the rest of the world or find others like them, or else they risk summary execution or being burned at the stake. Civilians are afraid of these unknowns and will not hesitate to report warlocks if they discovered.
Sorcerers – Odd things, Sorcerers in Prometiia. They have no need for the wizarding guilds of Avalon, as their powers cannot be controlled or learned through complicated formula. Many are useless to the army as well, as their powers are often too chaotic to properly control. Thus, most sorcerers turn to a life of adventure, or serve as mercenaries or bodyguards for the rich and elite. Many others serve in the gladiator pits, work a trade enhanced by their magic, or are simply hermits that live in the frontier. The public often disdains sorcerers, saying they are dangerous if uncontrolled, though there have been enough heroes in the past so that some view them in a positive light.
Wizards – Wizards are the movers of the world. Their magic, technological advances, and prestige have allowed for every advance in Prometiia and Avalon for thousands of years. Likewise, they have become damn good at politics, and appear as heroes, saviors, or loved lords in the public’s eye. This only applies to wizards that join guilds, however. Guildless wizards are often demonized, hunted, politically attacked, and are likely to suffer a host of unlikeable things that guild wizards would not. Many guildless wizards have formed their own wizarding circles in response to this, but they are often crushed behind the machines that are the guilds proper.
Fighters – The soldiers, gladiators, bodyguards, and mercenaries of the world. Being good with a sword or spear is never seen as a bad thing, though those that claim to be some type of fighter are never the same. They have no cohesive reputation or stereotype, and are as variable as the races themselves.
Barbarians – The fighters of the wild, barbarians are not the most liked in Prometiia. The Orcs, the Wood Elves, the Tieflings, and virtually everyone else in the world is considered a barbarian, and thus when one comes to civilization they face either slavery or intense discrimination. Even in the army, the few that are there are often subjected to one form of punishment or another, being relegated to front lines (which they foolishly love) and used as cannon fodder.
Bards – Wandering minstrels, devil-beating fiddlers, circus performers, and famous musicians make up the bard class in Prometiia. They may be famous or they may be underground, geared for battle or geared for play. Bards in the cities are rarely of the adventuring sort and often know only a trick or two for magic. Those in the army that serve as drummers use their abilities to keep morale up, and to inspire troops when the cards are down. It is the bards on the frontier that are the most talked about, for their stories of the world beyond civilization, and of tales long forgotten, and songs of the Wood Elves and Tieflings draw great crowds. And with great crowds, comes great coin.
Rogues – Where there are laws, there are lawbreakers. Where there is coin, there are thieves. And where there are the good, the just, and the righteous, there are the scummy, the heinous, and the ugly. Thieving guilds, orders of assassins, and tricksters of all sorts plague Prometiia, often composed of the less favored races and the humans that consort with them. From the sterling cities of Verdade to the dank towns of the frontier, the black markets and thief guilds can be found in bulk. To be a rogue is to be a part of the seedy underbelly of Prometiia, for better or worse.
Monks – Though few in number, there are those who worship the gods and spirits, or other, more humane things, in ways other than prayer and devotion. Monk monasteries and temples are scattered throughout Avalon, training their disciples in martial arts and giving them a more practical education. In Prometiia, a few of these same factions have come over in bulk. Most of their temples can be found dotting the mountain ranges of the frontiers, though a few are close enough to civilization so as not to be in danger. Monks are often left to their own devices, and it is rare that they seek to get involved with the political or material world.