Old World's End
Question and Answer Number Zero
- What other if any landmasses are nearby? Did the isle’s inhabitants sail abroad to discover them, or were they visited from afar?
The most well-travelled sailors suggest that there are landmasses to the northeast and to the west of the Isles, but they also claim to have witnissed numerous mythical water-creatures (e.g. Sea Serpants, Sirens, etc.), and few inhabitants of the Isles much believe either. Trading is intra-Isle only, for the most part.
- Did the creator make all the works and it’s life, or focus specifically on these isles?
The Creator is believed only to have made the humanoid races who now live on the Isles, and in some cases only created their precursor races (e.g. the Sulis before their elemental infusion). Plant life was, largely, outside the creator’s intent, and there was plenty of plant/animal life in the isles before Creation.Further, some humanoid races (most clearly hags, giants, and gnomes, as well as many other monstrous races) pre-date creation in their inhabiting of the isles in ways that are largely beyond dispute.
- Had any effort been made to investigate the precreation forts, or what happened to their architects?
Yes, and few are willing to speak of the results. Tragedy, unfortunate magics, or deep horrors are all possibilities.
- How violent or irregular is the weather? Does it have yearly cycles? How long is a year? Do all the inhabitants use the same calendar?
There is a pattern of seasons that will be explained in detail soon. If you imagined the midwestern united states having a southern coastline, the isles are a near mirroring. Also, lacking any really-high places, weather events like tornados and hurricanes are unfortunately very common in non-forested areas.
- Do any of the island’s elevations reach a height that snow falls?
More or less no, the Isles are by and large deceptively flat. The exception is the volcano-home of the Ifrits.
- Are there significant constellations? Do they change from month to month? Do different people have different ones? Is there an aurora?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And all of this is impacted by the four crazy moons.
- What predators prowl the isles? The waters between them? The waters beyond? Did the creator make them as well?
Predators, Competitor-races (e.g. Locathah), and any number of interesting or scary things below the surface. Having said that, most ships arrive at their destinations unmolested if human intervention is not a factor.
- Where does fresh water come from?
A lot of wells, and quite a few rivers/ponds not shown on the map.
- Are any of the isles actively volcanic?
Fire-Mountain Isle (Now with a map icon on the Roll20 page); where Ifrits became Ifrits
- Are the names of the isles universally agreed upon by the inhabitants? If so, who coined them?
Universally? Absolutely not, but we’ve got to call them something among ourselves. The map as you see it is currently about as detailed as any but the best-travelled would have access to for the whole of the Isles, but is less detailed than what would be available to in-the-know individuals in specific areas.
- Speaking of coins, what do the inhabitants use as currency? Does it change from town to town? Race to race? Island’s to island’s?
Refined Gold and Silver. CP are uncommon, usually use some kind of staple instead. Eventually you’ll be able to read about the production of these coins in the description of Trader’s Avoy, as that’s where the minting is done.
- What do cities / races do to pass the time? What sports if any exist? Are they regional or all over? Are there leagues? Or even teams? Is there any arenas? Theaters? Gambling houses?
This can be as deep as we decide, but I’m pretty shallow on details at the moment. Given the lack of regional governance beyond a relatively small scale, I think team sports seem rather unlikely. However, celebratory/funerary games would often be held, with those present able to compete for prize treasure.
- Are most cities evenly populated, or does a race trends to dominate its own area?
I have (or eventually will have) demographics for each city. There are also towns/villiages which are not on the map. The general answer to your question is the latter statement; Aasimar dominate in the south-most cities, and Humans are common most places. Beyond that, each settlement has some demographics in common with nearby settlement in most circumstances. Feel free to ask about specific ones.
- Can races interbreed? Are the children sterile?
Almost universally and almost never.
- What races have significant and actionable policies about other races? What is considered the age of adulthood, if any, by the various people?
I will make a big chart soon, but would like player input from those playing different races.
- How are they ruled?
Almost universally: Poorly.
- Have there been any plague or disaster since creation to bring otherwise hostile people together?
Surprisingly, no. Some individual cities have experienced rioting, plagues, or tornadoes, but most settlements have survived and stood on their own strength. Occasional philanthropy is a possibility, but only from the super-rich.
#17a Magic. Who uses it and how? How does it exist in the isles? Inherited genetically, randomly discovered, taught, or bestowed upon a person?
Most of this is a question to individuals. Magic manifests very differently for different races. Many have innate magical ability and use it frequently; some are highly averse. However, to give a specific ‘this-is-how-magic-always-works’ strikes me as unhelpful anyway: Pathfinder’s magic system is based on the assumption of a variety of different ways of gaining magical talent and ability, and I feel it’s only fair to leave that open for the moment.
#17b Is it feared, craved, rare for some and common to others? Prohibited in areas? Either by law or land?
As to societies reacting to magic, the Isles run the full gamut: Planetar’s Militaristic Aasimar might persecute (and imprison and maybe execute) any magic-user who practices magic beyond enchanting weapons, while the latest magic items (including Rods, Rings, and Scrolls) with a large variety of effects and a large variety of sources can be bought in Trader’s Avoy or Great-Solar.
- What about the tribes that existed precreation? Do they feel encroached by the New people? What legends do they have about the event? Are they a threat, a nuisance, an ally, or a mystery? Here to stay Or fading away?
There are many different types of pre-Creation humanoids in the Isles, from Giants to Hags to wilder and more destructive creatures. They aren’t usually very friendly to the ‘Created’, although some tales of warm seduction have their basis in truth. It’s hard to generalize about them except that ‘Creation’ and its aftermath have permanently altered the way they think about the Isles. One of the story arcs of this campaign will be the way in which these interactions fare. Up to this point, most of them have been content to retreat away into the cold, dark corners of the world, but for what could they be waiting?
- What superstitions or omens do inhabitants of the Isles look to? Are they believed to be from the Creator? (Not actually a submitted question, but something you might find helpful in thinking about your characters)
Births in which both mother and child survive are (narrowly) the norm, but every family has lost at least one mother to a difficult birth. Those who do survive are believed to be helped by nature-spirits. These spirits are said to take many different forms and hide when looked for.
Big families with single-sexed siblings (e.g. 4 boys in a row) are considered profoundly unlucky.
Any night with three or more moons (The planet has four satellites) is considered especially dangerous, except among creatures who see well in the dark. When all four moons are in the sky at the same time, it is customary to remain indoors all day long to avoid being snatched away by horrible wind-spirits, except if one is a fisherman, in which case one is expected to fish continually to help feed others.
Those who develop sudden personality changes or sudden, unprecedented magical ability are believed demon-possessed, and their whole families are often chased from settlements.
Few, if any of these superstitions have anything to do with the Creator.
- Are merfollk present at all in the world?
No. Nor are Grippli, Vishkanya, Lizardfolk, or Elves
- Have there been any wars since creation? Who fought? Does each city state have a military? Are there any alliances between regions?
These are very good questions. The short answers are: Yes; various people (but especially the Planetar-Aasimar); only temporary ones, and I need to get back to you on the con-temporary ones.
- What methods of travel are available? Ate they available to everyone equally? If roads, does any one maintain or protect them? Were they built or were they there already?
Rhodes? Never Heard of Him.
- Crime and punishment. Who makes the laws, and how far do they reach? Who enforces them, who ignores then? How are they punished?
Each city answers this question differently, and several are potentially contradictory, leading to circumstances where one city might attempt to prosecute an individual in a city a distance away for an act that was probably legal under the laws of the city he was in when he committed the alleged act.
- Being a naval setting, does any group utilize lighthouses?
Most likely. If not Lighthouses, some other means of safe-approach. However, I’m not sure I’d call this a truly naval setting.
- What drugs exist on the island? Are they illegal?
I encourage you to speculate based on the answer to #23.
- What death rites ate observed? Burial, cremation, etc?
A ton of different ones, many involving burning. More on this later.
- What is the average life time of the races?
70 years for someone who survives infanthood and doesn’t die of war or plague.
- Aside from bovine herds and horses, what animals have been domesticated?
This question presents such a good opportunity for player-input that I’ll take suggestions and adjust the world accordingly.
- How do people navigate? With the land as fractious as it is, did someone manage to map the whole of the isles, or do most people only know their local geography? Are compasses useful? Sextants?
See #9; Non-magical Compasses require a metal which has magnetic properties. Iron, Nickle, and Cobalt are the ones of which I know; these are not commonly processed in the isles. An ordinary Iron compass would be worth a small fortune, and point reliably South. More reliable is the mighty astrolabe.
- Clearly the Isles must be fairly large to have diverse forests, cattle ranges, and crop fields.
This is not a question, but isn’t a crazy assumption. I’m still not 100% set on the scale for the isles, and will ask players to suspend disbelieve if geographical variance seems unlikely.
- Do commonly communicable curses spread on the island? Lycanthropy, vampirism, undeath, etc?
The ‘three great L’s’ would be: Leporacy, Lycanthropy, and Lust for Power.
- Any krakens, aboleths, great whales etc that scare sailors away from the far waters?
Probably, but you’ve never seen one.
- You may want to rethink the name “Lake Activity”. Is it a holy place to some people? Is there a settlement there, ritualistic or otherwise? Where is it on the map?
Re: Names, I’m open to suggestion. I wanted to solidly contrast it with Lake Serenity on the far western end of the Isles. It’s an absurdly holy place for some people, but it’s awfully hard to live there, as mortal flesh tends to age very quickly there, and plants refuse to grow. It’s two hexes north of the Isle of True-Man.
- For that matter, where is the mentioned forest of Serenity?
I made the common mistake of calling the Serene Forest ‘The Forest of Serenity’, which would make any Samsaran present twitch.
- What are the rifts? All that is said is that there is planar energy there. Is it a land of roiling chaos? Do eerie lights flicker in the night? Is it dangerous to travel there? does it have defined borders?
The Rifts are an area of serious planar instability. Generally, incoming planar energy is full of elemental energy (e.g. Fire, Water, or Electricity), but occasionally positive or negative energy spew forth instead. Most of the time you can find a steady foothold, but you might want a tough umbrella in case fire rains from the sky. Dalliance with elemental beings, while not recommended, is easier here than most other places in the Isles, and it is said that certain individual planar outsiders have been known to appear yearly to grant mortals favor and affection. Travelling through the rifts is best left to those with serious (>10 point resistance) to various elements.
As to borders, the rough area of the effect ebbs and flows. Well out of sync with ocean waves, it seems likely that some extra-planar body is responsible for the planar tides.
- Do the undines have a great underwater ( or floating in the open ocean) city that they take refuge within?
The Bay of Undines is a large sea-plane with dozens of independant Undine settlements, more details to follow.
- So it sounds like Tieflings at least have a slave race?
- It also sounds like after the brief history of creation that most settlements will have a high predominance of a singular species with smatterings of others ? and that each settlement has one or two species that are disallowed within? or at least not expected to be treated well?
See #12, and expect more details eventually.
- What became of the Angels and Devils that sired the aasimar and tieflings? Do they remain in positions of power in their respective cities? Did they depart after they became bored with their children?
These are exceptionally astute questions, but the likelihood of level 1 characters not from the areas around Great-Solar or Dark Lake having any idea is pretty low.
- How cursed is the Lake Activity area? Is it just desolate from lack of vegetation able to take root, or is it actively blighted, withering any living thing that lingers in the area?
I liked your suggestion so much I integrated it: see #33.
- You mention in the character creation guide that bronze equipment is more common than iron based equipment. Is this a decorative note, or are there stat based differences between the two materials that require consideration during purchase?
Please see this wiki page.
- Do the Wayang’s precede the Tieflings in the race list under first creations simply because there is more of them than the tieflings?
No, they precede Tieflings because they were created in more or less their present form, while Tieflings were morphed by evil extraplanar influences.
- How do the wayangs feel about their forced inferiority? do they chafe under rule, or gladly serve? Are the tieflings by nature cruel masters?
They desire to be crueler masters when their day of power arises, and the thought brings a horrible pleasure; Yes.
- If half-Gnomes exist on the island, where did they come from? Were they part of the creative genesis and emerged that way? If so, how are they known what their other half is? If they are from distant lands, how did they arrive? how was their arrival received? how long ago was that?
The answers to these questions are well-kept secrets of the half-gnomes of Gnomeport. I suggest getting one drunk to find out.
- Knowing that Dhampir exist, vampire must exist on the isles. If that is the case, were they too created, or do their un-aging bodies predate the event? Dot hey have their own secret citadel? Are they hunted, feared, or simply known and accepted as long as they don’t cause too much trouble?
Dhampir are a hybrid race, blending more-or-less vanilla humans (any other Created race could technically be the base race in an individual siring) with the ‘seed’ of vampires; All of the above, dependent on the individual settlement: as a general pattern, the further southwest you go, the less friendly this toleration is. Full Vampires are rare, powerful, and well-hidden.
- Do ships rely exclusively on magical artillery for naval combat, or do they mostly employ conventional Cannon?
Lacking ‘normal’ access to iron or gunpowder, non-magical cannons are not present. This leaves four shipboard weapon schemes: ramming, boarding, catapults/balistae and magical artillery. Most ships can do the first two, while the latter two are rare.
- Is there a pirate haven or lawless island shanty town they congregate at? Probably. Ask a Pirate.
- How large are the ships on average or do they run the scale from gut to galley?
See here] Anything smaller than a Warship is likely available, with some modifications for setting reasons, but sailing on a bigger ship can be dangerous, as they stand out for Pirates as worth the risks.
- There are some strange gaps in your numbering in this Q&A page.
I may eventually fill them. I have a few other questions to be answering. Please continue to send questions: more often that not, ideas that I get from thinking about one question help me to answer others.