Pathfinder World of Gaia

The main setting is the Imperium, a continent spanning empire. So enormous it is split into multiple provinces that are so far apart there is no real communication from east and west. Only a small number of imperial agencies cross the vast expanses of the empire. The Ecclesiarchy, the Administratum, the Imperial Army, and the Inquisition all have the resources to cross the vast expanse of the Imperium.

The Ecclesiarchy is the unified church of the Imperium. It has numerous sects but the two main divisions are the Ecclesium, which provides clergy for each city, town, and settlement, and the Schola Ordinalis with sets up universities and schools. The Ordinalis has a division that cares for Imperial orphans known as the Schola Progenium. The Ecclesium also controls the Ministorum a division that sends missionaries into the non-Imperial lands and supports orders of warrior knights, monks, and nuns.

The Administratum provides the bureaucrats that run the local, provincial, and imperial governments. Its Taxorum division collects the taxes and is the most corrupt of the agencies, but even with terrible corruption, the empire’s coffers are filled. The Magesterium runs the national police force, broken down into province then city sized divisions. Its agents, the Arbites, are part marshal, part sheriff, and part judge enforcing the Lex Imperialis as it is written in the great Book of Judgment. Their soldiers and assistants are called Reeves. They act in support of local constabularies.

The Imperial Army draws levies from each province to fight in distant provinces. There are local regiments called Provincial Defense Forces that guard local provinces. These Provincial forces are often corrupted by rebellious governors and are put down by the main army. The Imperial Army is broken down into smaller units like the navy, cavalry, infantry, engineering corps, special forces, and provincial forces.

The Inquisition is made of agents culled from the best of every other organization. Incorruptible and fanatical they defend the empire from hidden rebels, infiltrating spies, demonic heresies and foul aberrations. The Inquisition is divided into 3 orders: one to fight demons and devils, the one to fight invaders and spies from non-Imperium nations and races, and one which tracks down rebels, traitors, mutants, necromancers, and other aberrations.

The Imperium is a massive empire spanning several continents. Most of its provinces were independent nations conquered centuries ago. The oldest provinces are on the continent of Yurosia. The Imperium hasn’t expanded to a new border in over a century. It has lost and retaken provinces every few years for just as long. Most believed the Imperium is as large as an empire can be and be ruled by one government. Many believe it is too large, and rebellions are common. While its might is unquestioned, there are many enemy nations who would love to carve off a piece of the Imperium. Others simply hope to avoid its attention.

Hostile nations include:
ï‚· The Yuan Hegemony (a sprawling collection of yuan-ti controlled city states)
ï‚· The Lolthan League (a confederation of drow controlled cities and fiefdoms)
ï‚· The Ashtaran Ascendancy (a tiefling theocracy).

Examples of other nations:
ï‚· The Khanate of Dorne (human and orc horse nomads led by half-orc khans)
ï‚· The Peoples Republic of Moriagrad (a dwarven communist state)
ï‚· The Rovers of Hin (a nation of migrating wagon riding Halflings within the Imperium who wander the Sea of Grass). The Rovers occasionally wander out of the Sea of Grass and can be found anywhere in the Imperium.

Examples of Imperium provinces in Yurosia
ï‚· Gavaria known for its military traditions and handlebar mustaches
ï‚· Ilmiora know for its poets, plays and philosophy
ï‚· Sheegoth known for its brutal winters, endless steppes, and fiery liquor known as voostya
ï‚· Lorymr known as the Isle of the Mighty and for its heroes, bards, and poverty
ï‚· Imrryr known as the Beautiful Country and its deadly longbow
ï‚· Vilmar known for beautiful women, impetuous and hot-blooded noblemen, and fine architecture
ï‚· Dharzi known now as the Deadland, a place of desert and death after one too many rebellions
ï‚· Tarkesh known for its hedonistic nobles, water pipes and dream weed
ï‚· Dharijor known for its fine cuisine, feuding nobles, and deep dark forests

Only two provinces in Westica
ï‚· Columbica known for its necromantic ruins of the Old Race
ï‚· Ginior known for its vast plantations

The Emperor has ruled the Imperium from its creation over 2000 years ago. The last 1800 years he has ruled while bound to his Golden Throne. It is known that the Emperor is the son of a minor nobleman (from a long line of kings of the ancient Aerdi Kingdom) and a golden dragon named Bathnumia. The Emperor waged a great crusade to unite the nations of man under his rule. When he completed uniting the human nations of Yurosia, he turned to the independent nations of elf, dwarf, gnome, and halfling. These independent non-human nations stood no chance against the armies of the Emperor and quickly submitted to his rule. The Emperor’s vision did not see these races as inferior to man but as his equal and raised all races to the status of full citizens. This turned the Empire of Man into the Imperium.

Not all were happy with these events and many escaped from the borders of the Imperium to found new nations. The most vehement in his opposition was the man closest to the Emperor, his eldest son. This son, enraged by what he saw as a betrayal of all his hard work as Warmaster, voiced his outrage at the convening of the first Great Senate. The Emperor removed his son from the post of Warmaster, which created a divide in the Imperial armies. A civil war erupted between those loyal to the Emperor and those loyal to the Warmaster. The Warmaster realized his followers could not prevail against the Emperor’s genius and the allied powers of elf, dwarf, gnome, halfling and human. So he made pact with foul demons and rose up in rebellion.

The civil war raged for a decade and made deserts of once green provinces. In the final battle the Warmaster and his demonic allies drove the Emperor and his human armies back to the Imperial palace. There in the halls where he grew up, the son mortally wounded his father. The Emperor, near immortal from his draconic heritage, beseeched the powers of good for one last breath. He sacrificed his life and dreams to break the power of his son. The Emperor rose up one last time and struck the Traitor Son down.

As the Emperor lay dying noble Dagonet, his halfling page, found him amidst the ruins of the palace. Small Dagonet of the Great Heart somehow carried the Emperor’s body out to the elf lord Aeron Evenstar. Aeron and the other High Lords had come with their armies to break the siege and finished shattering the Warmaster’s hordes. Aeron used mighty and ancient eleven magics to keep the Emperor alive but no cleric could heal his demonic wounds. The gnome magister Hobleworthy designed a device to keep the Emperor alive until he could be healed. Deep lord Grimner of the dwarves crafted the device. This device, the Golden Throne, keeps the Emperor alive to this day and his wounds slowly heal. This collaboration of the other races to save the Emperor cemented forever the alliance of human, elf, dwarf, halfling and gnome. It is said that one day the last of his wounds will heal and the Emperor will rise. When he rises a new age will dawn.

The Imperium is host to many races. The main races from the Pathfinder rulebook are all represented. Humans are by far the most numerous. Followed by halflings, dwarves, gnomes, elves, half-elves, and half-orcs. Other races may be seen as citizens but only rarely. Aasimar, tieflings, half-dragons, half-ogres, etc are all very rare and stand out as exceptions. Half-dragons are more common than in other worlds, and many are seen as semi-divine based on the Emperor being a half dragon. Any adult who takes the oath of loyalty can become a citizen regardless of race.

Religion is governed by a well-organized church organization. The Ecclesiarchy is organized along the lines of the Catholic and Sovereign Host churches. There is one main creator named Primarch whose domains are artifice, runes, magic, etc favored weapon unarmed strike. He/she created a host of helpers to create the world the greatest of which are called Seraphs or the Seraphim. One of these lesser gods rebelled when he/she found it was all created for lesser beings like elves and humans. This rebel, Asmodeus, led a small handful of others into open revolt. For this they were banished, creating hell and the ranks to devils and demons. These Fallen are lead by the Diabolon, lords of he demonic and devilish hosts. Asmodeus is the foremost of these Fallen lords. The Loyal Seraphs are members of the Pantheos. These lesser gods/arch angels includes Sarenrae from the Pathfinder rulebook. Powerful mortals can rise to sainthood equal in power to the greater angelic or demonic beings of the Bestiary. The truly powerful can ascend to godhood. Examples are Cayden Cailean and the Emperor who joined the Pantheos and the Warmaster (the emperor’s traitor son) who fell into the Diabolon. Two other deities are Morphael protector to the dead, called Arvandros by the old race of Westica, member of the Pantheos and Leviathan the mother of monsters, also known and Lolth to the drow, and a member of the Diabolon. Several other exist but have not been detailed as yet.

Language is important in the Imperium.
ï‚· The higher levels of the Administratum and Ecclesiarchy speak High Gothic.
ï‚· Across the Imperium, Low Gothic is the equivalent of common.
ï‚· Several provinces have their own language and the nobles, nationalists, and others may speak that language to the frustration of outsiders.
ï‚· All the languages in the book are found in the Imperium.
ï‚· Foreign nations all speak their own languages, some of which may be racial languages.

Technology is DnD standard level. Prices match those in the book. Unless book set other amount they will get only 50% value for goods, art, and jewelry. The Administratum Taxorum closely regulates selling magic items. There are very few dealers in magic items and all have government licenses and report items sold and by whom. These bring 25% of value. Trading items is not regulated and brings a 50% return for item value. Magic should be common enough to be had but it’s only rarely for sale. Few magic item creators can be found and they charge higher rates, 125% of book value. This will encourage the PCs to use what they find and perhaps make their own items.

There are 13 months in the Imperial calendar. Each month has 4 weeks of 7 days. The year is 364.25 days long. An additional day is added every four years. The 7 days are, in order, Makers Day, Crafters Day, Warriors Day, Priest Day, Farmer Day, Rest Day, Prayer Day, or more commonly, Maker, Craft, War, Priest, Farm, Rest, Pray. The 13 months are Snowdeep, Wintersend, Rainscome, Planting, Greenall, Suncome, Fallingstar, Longsun, Starfall, Ripening, Harvest, Leafturn, Shadows, and Coldday. This extra day every 4 years comes between the months of Wintersend and Rainscome. It marks the day of the death of the Traitor Son. It is not celebrated but mourned across the Imperium. It marks a day of loss and betrayal. While it has no official name it is often called Traitor’s Day. Other holidays include Emperor’s Day, in Wintersend, which marks the day the Emperor created the Imperium and ended the Wars of Consolidation. Ascension Day in Ripening marks the day the hero Cayden Cailen ascended to godhood. Petition Day is held once every four months. It marks the beginning of each season. Any Administorum official or noble from local governments up to provincial governors open their doors to hear petitions and legal cases from any citizen of the Imperium. There are specific holidays for each saint and lesser god.

Creation Myth:

Long ago a being named Primarch came to this world. She had left behind her world after a cataclysm that destroyed all she knew. Primarch found it this new world was a cold dark place full of despair. She decided to reshape this world into a remembrance of her home world. A seed planted in honor of what she had loved and lost. She came across a small tribe of early humanoids run by a twin brother-sister pair. They were graceful beings but were savage and only possessed the most basic of language. The tribe was cold and many of the hunters injured after a poorly executed hunt. Primarch took pity on these beings and decided to aid them. She presented herself to the tribe from atop of a large boulder. She gathered the tribe around the boulder and opened a rift in space to a place of light. This brought the clean light of day to a world of twilight. In this light she gave the tribe it’s first name and called them eladrin or children of light. From this plane she then summoned a host of servants. Primarch dubbed them the Seraphim and tasked these them to improve this world she then named Gaia. Each Seraph was given it's own set duties in the newly named world. The Seraphim went about their tasks as best they could, but were limited in their ability to affect quick change the farther they moved from the light. To accelerate the process, Primarch moved the brilliance rift into the dark sky so it would shine down upon the world, this became the sun. Then she set the world turning so the light would reach all corners of the world in time. Still part of the world remained in darkness so she scattered handfuls of light across the sky to guide her Seraphim even in the dark, these became the four moons.
As the Great Task neared completion there were those among the Seraphim who like what they had helped to make and desired to keep it and not share it with the eladrin and the other monkeys and kine they had found upon this world. A rift formed among the ranks of the Seraphim. Primarch was greatly dismayed that the covetousness that had destroyed her home world had followed her here to Gaia, that she had brought it here for herself. She determined to do no further harm and would remove herself from Gaia. But in her infinite wisdom, Primarch knew she has sown not just seeds of remembrance but of discord. She knew her seraphim would need guidance to renounce there desires and so she formed a plan. Those dissenters had hidden from her in the dark places of the world. So she gathered the light from the moons and bound it upon herself and moved it through her in to the boulder she stood upon. This caused the moons to wax and wane in their light. Infusing her essence and the power of light into the boulder. The boulder was now a giant glowing diamond of many facets, which the eladrin called the Star Stone. Primarch then made ready to remove herself from Gaia.

Before her creation of the Star Stone, Primarch tasked one Seraph with protecting it. This Seraph known as The Adversary. The Adversary was the first to touch the Star Stone and hence became once of its most powerful Facets. Primarch then tasked him with his only other duty, to only allow the faithful to touch the Star stone. She then withdrew and visited Gaia no more. Content to watch and guide, but not interfere.

A Facet would be a Seraph who has proven their loyalty to Primarch and her ideals a lesser good or goddess who is singularly dedicated to a small number of domains. The domains as assigned to them during the Great Task. All the other Seraphim were invited to touch the Star Stone, so that they too could gain power to fulfill their duties and complete the Great Task. But before they could touch the stone, they had to prove their dedication and strength by challenging The Adversary. The Adversary must always be near the Star Stone to protect it, so the challenge occurred near the Star Stone.

For many of the Seraphim, it was easy to promote their worth and strength to The Adversary and they were allowed to touch the Star Stone and rise to the level of Facet. The faithful Seraphim had grown strong while fulfilling their duties and were full of their power when they challenged The Adversary. The dissenting Seraphim had not worked at their duties but squandered their power instead of honing it. These Seraphim were found lacking and were forced away from the Star Stone, never allowed to gaze upon it again.

The Facets called these Seraphim who had been driven off the Fallen. The shame of being driven off turned them fully against Primarch and the light. They turned their hands to vengeance and hatred. While the loyal Facets continued with their Great Task, the Fallen gathered the eladrin to them and planned war. They sought out the other creatures of Gaia and created a host of the foulest and most loathsome beings gathered from the dark. Using guile they lured the Facets away from the camps of the eladrin and by surprise attacked the Adversary in order to seize the Star Stone. Their victory would have been complete but they underestimated their hold on the eladrin. A handful had fled and warned the scattered loyalists. When the loyal Facets came upon the Star Stone, the Fallen had defeated the Adversary and were approaching the stone in an attempt to steal away with it. A great battle ensued and many Facets loyal and Fallen were destroyed. To save it the Adversary did the unthinkable. He smashed it with a giant mallet known as the Ash Hammer. Fragments of the Star Stone were scattered on the ground and far into the sky. The Fallen grabbed these grounded Shards and fled into the darkest reached of Gaia.

Those of the Fallen who had captured the Shards were transformed into dark copies of the loyal Facets. These Dark Facets quickly became the leaders of the Fallen and formed themselves into a ruling body that called itself the Diablon. These used the power of the captured Shards to warp the other Fallen into twisted mockeries of their former selves. This was the creation of the demonic and diabolic hosts. The eladrin who followed the Fallen were cursed and driven from the sun to become the drow. The Diablon will occasionally allow a lesser being access to the Shard and elevation into the Diablon. The only known mortal to have done this is the Traitor Son, now called the Warmaster.

The Facets resolved to keep a better guard on the Star Stone and created a high and bright place to keep the stone and only the most enlightened could approach it and the Adversary who guards it. They named them selves the Pantheos and ordered their ranks to be better prepared should the Fallen ever return. They used the power of the Star Stone to shape and mold both the lesser Seraphim and the creatures of Gaia. Those eladrin who remained loyal became the elves.

So the world was not entirely free of the Star Stone, there is a path of enlightenment that can lead one to the Hidden Temple and the Star Stone. The Temple defenses are now very strong and anyone wishing to gaze upon or even touch the stone had to first prove their worth to The Advesary. Few have ever done so since among those who have are Cayden Cailean and the Emperor.

Before he successfully completed the Test of the Star Stone, the man known as Cayden Cailean was a sellsword working out of Aerdi in pre-Imperium days. He strongly believed that no man should hold power over another, and went so far as to leave jobs unfinished rather than violate his principles. His refusal to compromise his ideals was as well known as his love for drink, and the combination of the two resulted in a less-than-favorable reputation among potential employers. Ultimately, however, the latter would lead to the man's ascension to the Pantheos. Cailean never planned to become a god, but when a drunken friend challenged him to take the Test of the Star Stone, an equally inebriated Cailean accepted. Legends abound regarding the challenges Cailean faced at the Star Stone, but no one knows the truth of what happened. Regardless, after three days had passed, the sellsword -- to everyone's surprise -- emerged as a deity. Cayden Cailean has lived his immortal life much as he did his mortal one. He holds freedom and adventure in high regard, and opposes tyranny and oppression on principle.

The Emperor ascended as he lay dying. When the Traitor Son struck him down he called upon the powers of good for the strength to defeat his evil son. Hen and there in an infinite instant he walked he road of enlightenment to the Temple of the Star Stone. It is said that when the Adversary saw hid wound he stepped aside. His worthiness proven by the wounds he bore.

In an act of contempt for the Pantheos, Asmodeus intervened in the death of the Traitor Son. Already one of his favorites, Asmodeus was enraged by the interference in the Emperor’s death. So he whisked the Traitor Son away at his moment of death. The Diabolon was unanimous in their decision and allowed the dying man to tough the Shards. The new Dark Facet was named the Warmaster and stands in opposition to the Emperor.

Recent Posts

A hastily scrawled note
Father, I cannot remember how long it has been since we left Eboracum to come to the Borderlands. The urn from Necropolis of the Skeleton King calls to me, it seems to consume my idle thoughts, Cassius has even told me I speak of it in my sleep. I wish to go back to the Necropolis and see why this urn beckons me, perhaps it will tell me of your murderer father... perhaps.
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DM's log
Having finished the Hunt for the Cult of the Sons of Sek, the valiant PCs have moved on to exploring the Necropolis of the Skeleton King. The Necropolis lies in the catacombs below the Imperium city of Eboracum.

The PCs have finished the dungeon crawl through the Necropolis of the Skeleton King. They are enjoying a well deserved rest to spend their loot. That is if Dhelan ever finishes cataloging an dividing the treasure. Yet Inigo is haunted by the call of the urn. What is in the urn and why does it call to him? Perhaps a quick trip back, he could take the cleric. What would be the harm............

The group organized and registered as a lawful band of mercenaries under the laws of the Imperium. They named themselves the Laughing Dragons after the tavern where they first met. They took another job for the Inquisition. The job was to escort a band of trainee Inquisitors out to the Borderlands and their posting in the border city of Carse. Joining a caravan the Laughing Dragons posed as bodyguards for the Inquisitors who in turn posed as young noble students off to catalogue the flora and fauna of the Borderlands.

Along the 300-mile journey the Dragons fought packs of lizards, a rampaging water elemental, ogre bandits and eventually a band of renegade cavalrymen. The last foes were the most worrisome. They were members of the 13th Columbican Hussars. The unit led by the Colonel Dvim before he fled from the Inquisition. He was the father and husband of Sek cultists the Dragons had slain. They were specifically looking for the Dragons, and had detailed information about Casius, Valeros, Zordlon, and Kyra.

The caravan eventually reached the city of Carse and the Dragons were surprised to find the local soldiers were dismissive or even contemptuous of the Emperor and the Imperium. They delivered their charges to the hidden Inquisition Observarium. They were paid and went off to spend their loot in the infamous Jackal’s Tavern.

In the Tavern they gathered rumors looking for their next job. They decided to take a job involving the mysterious disappearance of whole village populations. Their new patrons, a group of farmers, led them to the village of Bannerpole where the Dragons turned up signs of a struggle. Following tracks they headed deeper into the wilderness and picked up more clues along the way. They found another deserted village called Melonfield. The Princes of Org were systematically looting it. The Princes are degenerate inbred thugs, sons of the self proclaimed King of Org, a small village in the Border lands. They dispatched the Princes and continued on the trail of the missing villagers.

The trail eventually led to an old dwarven mine. As they descended into the depths, they battled drow sentries and a minotaur guardian. Eventually they entered the Bitterroot Trading post, a duergar operation that specialized in slavery, poison, and weapons. They made a deal with a tiefling named Eslaf G’nilfeit. He provided maps and information. The Dragons had to do several distasteful missions for him in exchange. They were able to free the slaves and escape the tunnels. Brave Valeros was slain in the final battle, holding off duergar pursuers while the rescued villagers escaped.

The Dragons returned to Carse in glory, the name of their band, the Laughing Dragons, being talked about in local taverns across the Borderlands.

Soon after they were tasked with delivering medicines to a Lumber Consortium town named Falcon’s Hollow. The town was suffering from an outbreak of disease. The town herbalist suggested a remedy was possible but three ingredients where missing. The Dragons quickly headed into the deep wood, looking for moss from the Eldest Tree, pickled rat’s tail from an infamous witch, and ironbloom mushrooms from an old dwarven monastery.
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Game Master:
Homebrew (3.5)
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