Monday Sep 18, 2023
Monday Sep 18, 2023
Monday Sep 18, 2023
Welcome to the first of three lore episodes introducing the new campaign! Included is a transcript of the episode for those who prefer to read!
Welcome, one and all, to Through the Balcony and welcome, for the first time, to the world of Hy’ilrith. For those of you joining us here for the first time, I am Adam, the Dungeon Master for this homebrew campaign. This particular episode, and the next few like it, are not our usual live play content, which I only specify because I’ve had family members get confused about that before. Instead, today, we’re going to explore a little bit of our new world before we fully dive in.
Now, if you want to go into the game with a blank slate and learn all of it over the course of the story that is totally alright. However, during the process of making characters my players were given a primer on the world that covered things like magic, and religion and history so they’re going into this with at least a basic knowledge of the world at large. That way as we go into the world I can mention things like countries and gods in passing until we have a good moment to dive into those details further. So my goal over these little lore episodes is just to introduce anyone interested to the world just a bit. No spoilers, but if you aren’t interested come back in a few weeks for the official start of the campaign. I will warn you that this first one is a little more technical since it’s focus is on the elements that make the backbone of the campaign. It’s still fun, but you have been warned!
For those hanging around…welcome to Hy’ilrith.
Hy’ilrith is the second moon of the gas giant Osharra, orbiting it once in a day. As for Osharra itself, it is the fourth planet orbiting the sun Corisdrin. Its orbit around the sun is slightly elliptical and is the main cause of the seasons on Osharra’s moons. At perigee, when the planet is nearest the sun, Hy’ilrith is at the height of summer and in winter when it is at apoge.
Something of note is that Hy’ilrith itself is tidally locked to its parent planet. The side of the moon facing Osharra is, unsurprisingly, known at the moon’s planetward side, and the side away from it known as the starward side. On the planetward side, the presence of Osharra in the sky above leads to a different day and night cycle from the starward side where the sun rises at dawn in the east and sets at night in the west. On the planetward side the sun rises at first light and sets for true night when it passes behind the planet in the sky above. True dawn is when the sun rises yet again, and the time when the sun sets is often referred to simply as night, though it is also called Osharra light, as the sun’s light reflected from the planet is bright enough to easily read by.
Here would probably be the best time to talk about seasons, though there is a slight challenge to that because magic, the gods, and the seasons are all intimately tied together. A cleverer person than I might be able to introduce them all at once but you’re stuck with me, so we’ll just start with the seasons and delve more deeply into the magic later.
Throughout the year the world goes through two different cycles. The first is a cycle of light and dark, the magics of creation and decay.. When Hy’ilrith halfway between its apogee and perigee, the power of light and dark are in equilibrium. As the planet moves towards perigee light waxes to its height before waning back to equilibrium. The cycle then repeats for dark; equilibrium, waving to full, and waning back to equilibrium. Within these cycles there is another cycle within the other three elemental powers in the world: Growth, Stability, and Change. Once per cycle of light or dark, these powers have a period of dominance. Starting from the equilibrium of light and dark, the magic of Growth rises to prominence. It shifts to Stability,then to Change, and then repeats. This happens once per cycle of light, and once per cycle of dark, and the combination of these two cycles is the basis of the seasons of Hy’ilrith. The year starts with Spring’s Blooming as equilibrium shifts towards light. This is followed by Summer’s Bounty and then Autumn’s Tapestry before the balance shifts towards darkness. That shift is marked by the start of Fall’s Quieting which eventually leads into Winter’s Respite and Vernal Dawn. Each season is 63 days long, dividing up the 378 day long Hy’ilrith year.
So now that we’ve talked about how magic affects the seasons, let’s get a little bit more into the specifics of it. I will try to keep it as simple as possible. There are five prime elemental forces that shape the magic of Hy’ilrith. Elemental in the sense that they are the key ingredients that make up all magic, rather than elements like fire, earth, and water. These elements are known as Aya, the element of creation and light; Era, the element of chance; Kan, the element of stability; Fai, the element of growth; and Ru, the element of shadow and decay.
All magic is made up of these elements. A simple way to look at it would be to compare magic to colors. Just as any color is made up of Red, Blue, and Yellow and shaded by white and black, all magic is made up Era, Kan, and Fai and influenced by Aya and Ru. This means that Aya and Ru work in their own axis that affects the other three. This means that Era, Kan, and Fai directly interact with each other, but that they can also be either light or dark aspected.
While all magic divine and arcane alike use the same elements, diving casters like clerics draw magic from the source, and arcanists draw their magic from the world around them. Some alchemists can dilute the elemental essence in plants and minerals in the world and shape them into a form anyone can use. At the end of the day, however, these things all exist in a balance that is critical for all on Hy’ilrith to live.
And overseeing that balance we have the gods, the embodied will of the elements themselves.
There are five gods on Hy’ilrith whose only purpose is to maintain the careful balance of elements that allows life on Hy’ilrith to thrive. While they work on a macro scale, it is their clerics, and on rare occasions their Champions and Avatars, who work in the world on a daily basis to make sure that problems on the smaller scale are never able to rise to a scale that the gods need to directly intervene.
The last time that happened the world was never the same, but that’s a story for next time.
The first of the five gods is Ardayn. He is known as the Life Giver, Light Bearer and Creations hammer. He rules over the forces of creation and light, and guides crafters, builders, and many others. Temples to him are the most common among the gods, and he is very much seen as a protector and guide to the world. His paladins are known as Dawnknights and often devote themselves to protecting the world and those that live in it.
The second god is Eowra, and they are the first of the three deities influenced by light and dark. As the god that presides over the powers of change the effect of those forces on them isn’t as easily discerned as with their fellows as their form is often changing and thus they only bear one name. Their titles are many, however, and they are known as the Endless Ocean, the Weaver and the Tempest, among many others. Any who spend time on the water turn to them for guidance, and their temples are often found near the water. The Tidebearers that protect these temples also seek to ensure safe passage for those upon the rivers and seas of the world.
The next god is referred to as Ravv as a general term, but the aspect of light or dark they align to gives them two distinct sides, much like a coin. Their light aspected name is Ravkai, and she is a creator and crafter said to form the very land itself. When aligned with shadow, however, he is known as Ravkin, and he is said to bring tremors to the world when he walks. Any who work with earth or stone or metal, and those that work the land, are among those that pay Ravv homage. Kan, the power of stability, is the domain of magic they rule over, and the Stalwart Guard that serve him have been a shield against danger for millenia.
The last of the trio is known as Nefen, but much like Ravv the are better known by their aspected names. Nefenth, the light aligned form, and Nefena, the dark aligned form, oversee the powers of Fai; the powers of grown. When people speak of Nefenth they talk about how gentle and encouraging he is, how comforting he is. Nefena, on the other hand, is wary and suspicious. She takes the path she ust with little regard for others. Many travelers and hunters, and merchants pay visits to their shrines, but give the Tempestsworn Paladins a wide berth.
This brings us to the last of the gods: Ardayn’s balance, Ruin. She is known as Wither, Decay, Entropy. The Darkness Before the End. Few openly worship her, but all respect and fear her. Her duty is necessary as she rules over the powers of shadow and decay. And though least loved among the gods, she carries on with her task without cease. Her clerics and her Fadeknights are rarely seen, but much like shadows she is never far away.
There are other powerful beings in the world, such as the Primordial Dragons, or the god simply known as the Keeper that watches over the souls of the dead, but out of all of them Ruin is the only one with a day wholly devoted to her. The day at the very center of Winter’s Respite is known as the Day of Remembrance. A day when the world goes dark, all light seeming to abandon it. It is a day to gather with those you love and reflect on the past. Reflect, and remember what matters to you. It is a day that also serves as a reminder that Ruin should be respected, for it is said she was the one that brought about the Decimation nearly two millennia ago.
But, like I said, we’ll get to that next time when we cover the History of Hy’ilrith. For now, I hope you enjoyed yourself. We’ll be back soon, but until then, take care.
"Teller of Tales" by Kevin MacLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License, Incompetech;
Monday Oct 28, 2019
Monday Oct 28, 2019
Monday Oct 28, 2019
If Cairith has anything going for it, it's truth in advertising: the adventurers from N'drin have found nothing but cold and ghosts since arriving. As they made their way across the Straits of Khada on their way to Farglenn the group had to deal with a ghost that had possess both Thyme and Kizzy in an attempt to seek revenge. In the aftermath of that, the party must regather themselves and prepare themselves for what lies ahead as the end of the year, true beginning of Winter, and the total eclipse of the Broken Moon, Xhilasha, draws near.
Music in this episode is:"Teller of Tales" by Kevin MacLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License, Incompetech;
"Ashen" by Misha Dioxin, Licensed under Creative Commons: Attibution-NonCommercial 4.0 International, Free Music Archives;
"Gates" by Sergey Cherimisinov, Licensed under Creative Commons: Attibution-NonCommercial 4.0 International, Free Music Archives;
"Mist and Clouds" by Kai Engel, Licensed under Creative Commons: Attibution-NonCommercial 4.0 International, Free Music Archives;
"Now You Are Here" by Sergey Cherimisinov, Licensed under Creative Commons: Attibution-NonCommercial 4.0 International, Free Music Archives;
"Terminal" by Kevin MacLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License, Incompetech;
"Five Armies" by Kevin MacLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License, Incompetech;
"Breath of Death Part 1" by Sergey Cherimisinov, Licensed under Creative Commons: Attibution-NonCommercial 4.0 International, Free Music Archives;
"Hermit Hut" by Tabletop Audio, Licensed under Creative Commons: Attibution-NonCommercial 4.0 International, TableTopAudio.com;
"Rise Again" by Alexander Nakarada, Licensed under Creative Commons: Attibution-NonCommercial 4.0 International, Bandcamp;