The Savage Realm
Dungeons and Dragons 3.5e
It has been thirteen years since the southern kingdoms went to war, dragging the second largest power in all the land into conflict and all but sealing the fate of over three quarters of the continent. What was already a dark age in the decline of the arcane arts and each sovereign holding the world over has now reached breaking point, that which has made possible the terrible things of a dangerous realm to return and no more are there heroic champions of many banners or many guilds to stop them. Instead, there is only one forsaken hold on the land that is the border between the outer turmoil that has crept in over this period and that of the inner turmoil between kings and their kingdoms, the Marches.
It is a mountainous, woodland buffer between Dorrathar
, the last great crown and the sole one not embroiled in warfare across its rolling countryside, and the untamed Hinterlands
which are plagued by all manner of things from the Great Wilds
further east.The Marches
is a land blasted by events long since forgotten, where crumbling stonework defenses dot various peaks and hills among the thickets of trees or plentiful chill grassland, and only dared into by the desperate - of which now there are many. It is now a frontier land, backed only by the remains of the continent spanning Western Wall
, and increasingly filled with those fleeing the worst conflict seen in a millennia or more since the gods and their influence were cast out of the Material Plane
, or the famine and illnesses that came with these refugees in their exodus. These people, ill prepared and ill equipped to face those things of the east, are now trapped. This land, that of the Marches
, is the place where one bars their home not only to ward off thieves, but the wolves outside their door; a place where even the roaring flame of a torch is not enough to scare off anything that dares lurk the night. They face their deaths either at the hands of the hostile environment or the world they fled from. Many scrounge for what they can and so what farming communities do exist, they cling tooth and nail on all that they have, one poor harvest from disappearing into the merciless winter or the hungering jaws of those beasts which stalk it.
There is no further travel to the east at that, for as the wilderness grows thicker the closer one comes to the Great Wilds
, so too does the likelihood of encountering elves. Unlike their now distant cousins who held out in the west long after the fall of the Lost King
and the crusade which broke the grasp of the divines, these elves have turned to ways far older. They are deadly killers, stalkers among the trees, and have only searing, vengeful hatred for any and all interlopers. There is no refuge to the north either, for even if one pressed through the mountains of the roaring wilds and every manner of monster that calls them and their sporadic ruins home, the dwarves in their mountain citadel have not been seen for ages, and the towering stone doors remain sealed. So it cannot be said if they live any longer or at all, rather that there is no escape. Either one must fight for every little scrap they may or that too disappear into the Marches'
unspoken history for good.
However, in this dire twilight hour, some hope still exists. Even as the nobility of the land hides away in their timeworn keeps and feuds amongst themselves and one another, and even as the peasantry scrounges by to keep the wheels of their mills and little villages turning, opportunity has arisen. Those with novel or unusual skills, even those who have but arm to swing the sword, can find work in a land of dangerous opportunity. Yet that is not the case, at least not yet for you
The adventure begins with one of the harsher realities of life in the Savage Realm
, that the world is not good, and the world is not fair. Your character, right or wrong, has been arrested by the militia of one of the Marches'
villages. Punishment is often brutal and humiliating and while trial by jury in this land is the law, there is no one that your character knows or who knows your character, thus there are no willing jurors to side on their behalf. This, by default, has made the defendant guilty and while the worst of punishments in death has been avoided, it is clear that whatever the peasantry and their few officials intend, it will not be pleasant or in the favor of the character. Fortunately, as fate would have it, a few other poor, miserable souls have been brought in from the surrounding countryside and other villages to stand justice - these individuals just so happen to be the other members of the party in some cases. Regardless of their guilt, or your own character's guilt, they are found guilty in public demonstration but are instead wrangled together to serve the interests of the community until their "debt" to justice is paid.
The militia is not as well armed, equipped, prepared, or even trained as your party, and it becomes quickly evident the best use of them in their "service" to have their names and their marks cleared is to perform those tasks too dangerous for the rest of the communities in the area. Congratulations, the party are now "adventurers" in name, even if not in actuality. What is done from there, if anything, depends upon your actions for your characters and that of others. The overarching narrative, with or without the party, will continue, and consequences from whatever deeds done or not done will continue to accumulate and play out.
This is a Dungeons and Dragons 3e
, Dungeons and Dragons 3.5e
, and Pathfinder
hybrid campaign, where all first and second party material is legal with approval, starting with characters at 1st level. It will be largely geared toward inexperienced players as several of the participants have never played a tabletop of this variety and or on a forum topic. The majority of the setting will orient itself toward a "sword and sorcery", "low fantasy", adventure through a dense, diverse wilderness environment alongside sporadic traditional "dungeon crawls" with a large amount of exploration and combat. Likewise, despite the game orienting toward a fair amount of combat, combat is not always the only solution, and moreover not everything should be fought - sometimes withdrawing might be the safest plan of action. Players are expected to be active and utilize the plethora of resources provided to them via an off-site service, while the game itself will be entirely play-by-post on the forum. Character submissions are expected to be grounded, more serious submissions, and focus on a narrative of trying to build character by overcoming adversity and trial, as well as forming a party dynamic by bonding with one another. The Dungeon Master, in all circumstances, retains ultimate executive authority but the game will be played verbatim by its rules unless exceptions need be made to account for events or decisions that the rules do not cover.
The individuals listed below are the following persons who have been permitted access to this game. At this time of writing, at most two applications will be accepted, for a total party of five characters. Interested persons may voice their interest in this topic but may not
post character sheets in that section until first approved by the Dungeon Master. Applicants must be active members with reliable posting.The Dungeon Master@The Harbinger of FerocityThe Party@BangoSkank@Hellion@TyrannosaursRex