Welcome to a world where the sky falls, the old gods are lost or dead, and the practitioners of magic are rare and hunted. Psionics has come to be the way of things as the New Gods struggle for worshippers and legitimacy, while the growing sects of cult-like elemental priests spreads. The stench of the hellish Incursion still pockmarks the land and the once worldwide network of portals is now damaged and dangerous. Elves control arcane magic, dwarves control commerce and trade, halflings have gone mad, and gnomes have been eradicated. Civilization has receded behind walls of city-states, leaving the land along broken roads to be reclaimed by nature. Outside the gates of the remaining great cities, Skinwalkers, halflings and orcs take control of the wilds and instill fear in any who dare traverse them.
Tone of Aerinwohl
Aerinwohl is a campaign setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. While not everything in every book can be included, it does include much of it in the core of this world. Fear, horror, and brute strength are all used. There is a great divide between the civilized and the barbarians. The outside world is a dangerous to most humanoids, but inside the walls there is a mess of intrigue, political espionage, and back alley dealings. While there are world maps that show what the world used to be, how it is now may have changed dramatically. History has been rewritten, so even what the players think they know may be completely wrong.
This is a game about discovery and exploration. What happened to the world? What has happened to the other cities and nations? Will the Devils come back? Do any of the portals still work?
Aerinwohl is a place where magic was once common. After a mishap with a portal to Hell, the Incursion began as an army of devils ran over the world in a torrent. With the closing of the portal and all access to the outer planes, the world was now nearly godless and scarred. The destruction of the portals was both physical and spiritual. The moon was reduced to fragments that rained down on the surface, creating craters infused with magic and warping anything left living nearby. The intelligent races fled to the cities, protected from the onslaught with magic, psionics, and the remaining magitech. As such, only the foolish or primitive would live beyond the city gates, and most people never have need to step outside.
There are several great cities still remaining. The largest, Eberdeen, sits on the River Nethien’s delta and near the coast of the Coladran Sea. The once great stronghold Bisgemalkin rests to the northwest, built in the Drachenbar Mountains, but now flooded by the Nethien as its path changed years ago, making a new flow through the city and beneath the mountians instead of around it. Far to the north in the frozen wastes is a nation of hobgoblins, led with strong leaders, harsh and impartial laws, and a growing dedication to the Lethos, individuals marked at birth with the taint of an archdevil on them. At the other end of the known world, deep in savannah and desert, is the Horde of the orcs and the followers of the Horde Father Gulgac. He leads the orcs to further conquest and expansion with a high cleric as his voice. Between the Horde and Eberdeen hides Mikabrun, a dark realm closely in conjunction with the Shadow Plane where the dead are never truly dead and servitude in undeath is a great honor. Even more reclusive than the necromancers there are the elves of Fiiregon, named for the martyr-god Illshanafiir. In the expanse between these cities and holdings is a world damaged, tainted, and dangerous.
Eight Things You Need To Know
- A broken world. Aerinwohl is damaged, to say the least, both physically and metaphysically. The world used to have a network of portals that transversed the globe and allowed transport, communication, and trade between even the smallest towns and the metropolises. With the skyfall that occurs frequently, magic and physical destruction are wrought, leaving craters and background arcane energies.
- New religions everywhere. Most of the Old Gods are dead or missing since the sacrifice of Illshanfiir nearly 300 years ago and the sealing of the portals. A few deities were left stranded on Aerinwohl and had to find new ways to grant spells and powers to their clerics. The New Gods that arrived, such as Rurik the Merchant Lord, struggle to find worshippers, while Mythkael has the devout following of every drow. Others worship spirits, elements, or obscure concepts. A few still follow Demon Lords or Archdevils, but how they get their power is unknown.
- Magic is almost illegal. While the high elves still teach arcane magic to their own kind, a militant branch of their society called the Magehunters seeks to destroy all arcane knowledge in the hands of outsiders and they actively patrol the world looking for wizards that are not pure elf.
- A world of psionics. Though the idea of a mindwalker has been known for centuries, it is only since the Incursion that psionics has taken over what magic used to do. Schools and academies have sprung up in most cities and much of the populace has a talent for the art at least a little.
- Magitech used to make life easier. Before the Incursion, humans were adept at creating magitech devices that ran on arcane batteries. Though the art has been lost, there is still technology out in the world waiting to be rediscovered. While the knowledge is no longer common, they are relatively simple to use and coveted by their owners.
- Tieflings, tieflings everywhere. Because of the centuries-long Incursion, devilkin are very common. There are new races that breed true, while many are born randomly to seemingly untainted parents. Tieflings also do not have a uniform appearance, even of the same parent race. The evil within comes out in a variety or forms, making each tiefling unique despite their common ancestry.
- Touched by the Gods. With the death of Illshanafiir and the deific energies disrupted with the forming of the barrier, many of the Old Gods found their little remaining essence on Aerinwohl spread across the globe and infused in mortals. These Godtouched are mortal, for the most part. While different from demigods, aasimar, and tieflings, they still have an ancestral connection to the outer planes. A Godtouched can be any race and through the killing of others with the touch of a god, they can increase their power and reach levels unseen by mortals.
- New races. While not new to the world, they are new to the game. are a saurian race that long ago killed their own gods and followed a path of strict science and engineering. Through the use of some mix of alchemy and breeding, the have developed the creation and use of , living creatures that can be used as tools and grafted onto a host, creating monstrous combinations of warriors especially. The other new race is the , strange beings from an unknown realm that feed off magic and work hand in hand with the Magehunters. They are inept at using magic themselves, but can syphon it off living creatures, spells being cast, and magic items.