Etheria is a land rich with mystery and magic, with most of its landscape dominated by a seemingly endless forest known as The Expanse. Much of The Expanse remains unexplored, giving players and game masters alike the opportunity to define the particulars of their adventures together.
A single bastion of civilization exists amidst the vast forest; a walled city atop a plateau, called Et. In our setting, Et exists as a reference point for your adventures. There are always opportunities to join caravans or find parties to explore The Expanse with, and merchants, travelers, and adventurers come to Et to trade, share rumors, and recruit members for their next excursion out into The Expanse.
Our setting is designed to work with the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Use the information herein to create characters and adventures to play at home!
Et is a walled city on the continent of Etheria, sitting amidst a forest of unknown reach which is simply referred to as The Expanse. Et has two main areas, the Inner Wall and the Outer Wall. Each is subdivided into districts according to the settlers who occupy a particular segment.
Et's Inner Wall sits atop a plateaued hill rising just above the height of nearby trees in The Expanse. The Outer Wall encircles the hill, with the outskirts reaching just over a mile from the base of the hill housing the Inner Wall.
The Expanse stretches beyond the boundaries of known geography, and it’s thick canopy in most places makes it difficult to know what lies beneath without a physical expedition to map out the area. On a clear day, from a high vantage point with a spyglass, one can make out 14 enormous statues miles and miles away to the East. It is unknown what these are, but 200 years ago there were only 12.
Et is governed by a council of high elves; each of the original settling families of Et designates one council member. Each council member can be replaced at the discretion of their family if a better candidate becomes available. There has yet to be a precedent of a non-high elf council member, but it is not a rule that only high elves can serve.
The council's main goal is the maintenance of Et's safety. Citizens of Et are granted freedom to trade, meet, and travel at will unless such actions endanger another citizen; ingress offices are stationed at the entrances to the city, put in place to monitor and record the spoils of expeditions into The Expanse. High elves are themselves citizens, including the members of the council, and regard each other with scrutiny to ensure the purity of the council's aims.
The two main avenues of trade for Et are the dwarven settlement of Kolfür to the north and the various tribes that have chosen to pursue life in The Expanse rather than request citizenship to Et.
Et's primary trade with Kolfür is the flora and fauna in the southern regions The Expanse. The tribes in the surrounding regions to Et will supply these materials in exchange for materials from Kolfür or services to process their raw materials into something more complex or refined.
An elite guard, called the Vanguard, maintains order within the city. It is open to the most proficient of any race or tribe, and potential members are given tests and a probationary period before they achieve the title of Vanguard and enter active duty. The Vanguard answer directly to the council, and are subject to the same scrutiny of any council member (by both the High Families and the council itself).
Defense of the city against outside aggression is entrusted to a coalition of mercenaries. The same groups that most notably command, guard, or organize expeditions outside of Et will select members of their roster to temporarily act as the defense force for the city. This defense force is given temporary authority over the Vanguard for affected districts in the Outer Wall in case of a breach. The individuals in these roles (and their parent organizations) are highly rewarded for success, but may suffer severe penalties (including exile) for further endangerment of the city or its citizens.
The gods of Etheria embody broad concepts that include both good and evil. Worship is largely influenced by the culture or focus of a god’s disciple and may not be a universal experience. For example, many tribes worship Detrius as an honorable bringer of light and truth, while some worship him as an all-powerful god of war and conquest.
There are six gods in the pantheon of Etheria:
“The great storyteller, telling the story of the world.”
Domains: Fate, Luck, Persistence
Nidiq is the creator of the gods, the world, and all else. Existence comes into being as they write it into a massive tome, which details all that ever was, and in which the potential for every possible future exists.
Worshipers of Nidiq try to model their lives into compelling stories, hoping to receive their god’s favor as their story is written.
“Goddess of life, and all that it entails. Every pain, joy, and challenge of life falls into her domain.”
Domains: Life and death, Illness and health, Aging
Adey is one of the most commonly worshipped deities in Etheria. All of life’s glories and mundanities fall within the sphere of her influence, and her followers vary in their practices widely; some focusing on an individual aspect of life, others on the progression of life in the world, and still more who simply wish to preserve life as best they can.
“Resplendent god of the sun. He presides over the good things in the world.”
Domains: Truth, Passion, Healing
Worship of Detrius is common among those who wish to change the world. Often depicted as a great leader, Detrius rewards achievement and rejection of antagonistic forces. His name is lauded in great endeavors seemingly without limit; in the past, great battles have been fought with both sides praising Detrius’ name and asking for his blessing for victory.
“Goddess of guides and explorers. She shows the way.”
Domains: Discovery, Fear, The ocean
Even those who don’t worship Aluin frequently pay their respects before joining any expedition into The Expanse. Her love is for the brightest and darkest moments of mystery; the thrill of discovery or the moments before an untimely demise. She commends courage and the fortitude to resist adversity. Her followers pray for her guidance so that they might overcome danger during exploration in The Expanse.
“The smiling god of deals and wealth. He reigns where pain is worth the reward.”
Domains: Trade, Friendship, Failure
Bradley delights in profit and collaboration. His worship is common in markets and with tavern-keepers; people who rely on the good nature of others for profit. Bradley’s name is often casually referenced in negotiations to imply good faith and desire for mutual benefit.
“The Great Chaos; the Usurper.”
Domains: The Expanse, Omens, Language
Velsprun ripped single page out of the Nidiq’s book and altered fate. The stolen page granted further ability to this Usurper, and it is unknown how much power the god now has.