The Frontier of the Southern Crown
The Frontier of the Southern Crown
There is a new frontier to the north. A wild to be tamed, a lost to be found, riches to be made and power to be taken.
Join our adventure of action and intrigue set in a time of lawlessness.
Core Assumptions of the world of Pharn:
Pharn is a Dark World.
The current age has no all-encompassing empire. The world is shrouded in a dark age, between the collapse of the last great empire and the rise of the next. Minor kingdoms prosper, to be sure: baronies, holdings, city-states. But each settlement appears as a point of light in the widespread darkness, a haven, an island of civilization in the wilderness that covers the world. Adventurers can rest and recuperate in settlements between adventures. No settlement is entirely safe, however, and adventures often break out within (or under) cities and towns.
The World of Pharn is a Fantastic Place.
Magic works, servants of Eilu (god) wield divine power, and fire giants build strongholds in active volcanoes. The world might be based on reality, but it’s a blend of real-world physics, cultures, and history with a heavy dose of fantasy. For the game’s purposes, it doesn’t matter what historical paladins were like; it cares about what paladins are like in the fantasy world. Adventurers visit the most fantastic locations: wide cavern passages cut by rivers of lava, towers held aloft in the sky by ancient magic, and forests of twisted trees draped in shimmering fog.
The Pharn Is Ancient.
Empires rise and empires crumble, leaving few places that have not been touched by their grandeur. Ruin, time, and natural forces eventually claim all, leaving Pharn (the world) rich with places of adventure and mystery. Ancient civilizations and their knowledge survive in legends, artifacts, and the ruins they left behind, but chaos and darkness inevitably follow an empire’s collapse. Each new realm must carve a place out of the world rather than build on the efforts of past civilizations.
The Pharn Is Mysterious.
Wild, uncontrolled regions abound and cover most of the world. City-states of various races dot the darkness, bastions in the wilderness built amid the ruins of the past. Some of these settlements are “points of light” where adventurers can expect peaceful interaction with the inhabitants, but many more are dangerous. No one race lords over the world, and vast kingdoms are rare. People know the area they live in well, and they’ve heard stories of other places from merchants and travelers, but few know what lies beyond the mountains or in the depth of the great forest unless they’ve been there personally.
Monsters Are Everywhere.
Most monsters of the world are as natural as bears or horses are on Earth, and monsters inhabit civilized parts of the world and the wilderness alike. Griffon riders patrol the skies over dwarf cities, domesticated behemoths carry trade goods over long distances, a yuan-ti empire holds sway just a few hundred miles from a human kingdom, and a troop of ice archons from the Elemental Chaos might suddenly appear in the mountains near a major city.
Adventurers Are Exceptional.
Player characters are the pioneers, explorers, trailblazers, thrill seekers, and heroes of the world. An NPC veteran of numerous battles may never become a 3rd-level fighter; an army of elves is made up of soldiers, not fighters.
The Civilized Races Band Together.
The great races of the world—humans, dwarves, eladrin, elves, and halflings—drew closer together during the time of the last great empire (which was human-dominated). That’s what makes them the civilized races—they’re the ones found living together in the towns and cities of civilization. Other races, including dragonborn and tieflings, are in decline, heirs of ancient empires long forgotten. Goblins, orcs, gnolls, kobolds, and similar savage races were never part of that human empire. Some of them, such as the militaristic hobgoblins, have cities, organized societies, and kingdoms of their own. These are islands of civilization in the wilderness, but they are not “points of light.”
Magic Is Not Everyday, but it Is Natural.
No one is superstitious about magic, but neither is the use of magic trivial. Practitioners of magic are as rare as fighters. People might see evidence of magic every day, but it’s usually minor—a fantastic monster, a visibly answered prayer, a wizard flying by on a griffon. However, true masters of magic are rare. Many people have access to a little magic, and such minor magic helps those living within the “points of light” to maintain their communities. But those who have the power to shape spells the way a blacksmith shapes metal are as rare as adventurers and appear as friends or foes to the player characters.
Eilu (god) created Existence and His Servants filled it.
Eilu is distant, yet is near.
At the end of the Dawn War, the mighty primal spirits of the world exerted their influence and beseeched Eilu to not directly influence the world. Eilu, wanting his creation to mature granted their wish. Now exarchs (religious leaders) act in the world on behalf of Eilu, and angels appear to undertake missions that promote His agendas.