A time for hope? in 13 | World Anvil

A time for hope?

"You better have gone through the plague, traveller, if you dare step beyond the threshold."

The world of 13 germinated from the idea of a world-spanning sickness. One that could not be cured with magic or herbs. This insidious sickness has come to be known by many names, but "Plague" is the most commonly used. This plague devastated every part of the known world.   The plague is dying out; scarred survivors are starting to look ahead once more, no longer living day by day.

Good hunt, brother. That wildebeest and her calf will remind everyone that the crown still provides. One way or another.
— Mejool, a centaur guard
It has been more than 10 years since we last spawned! If we don't mate soon, our clan will die. You say we risk infecting our tadpoles if the plague comes back. But I tell you, the alternative is that the clan disappears as those of us who survived the plague slowly die of old age.
— Binwaal, a desperate grippli

I wanted to explore through roleplaying the aftermath of a civilization shattering event. An invisible event from an invisible enemy: a disease. Power structures that failed or reinvented themselves, cultures that adapted versus cultures that crumbled, a world of misfortune for most, and opportunities for a few.


The world turned out hopeful grim (as coined by TC) instead of dark grim. People are dealing with the consequences of over a decade of neglect and changes at every scale in their lives. This is a struggle, but it also offers many possibilities.

by BlackDog1966

The world of 13 has been written and designed for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Knowledge of table-top roleplaying games is not necessary but it will help. The world is written assuming some background fantasy knowledge, adding short tooltips for words that may not be common knowledge.


The world does have a few departures from the "norm" when talking about fantasy table-top settings, however... To name a few, drow are not evil, humans are not the dominant species, and there are no dragons!


As a final note, this project started long before the current pandemic. While the world is recovering from said plague, I understand this topic is particularly sensitive at this moment. I fully understand that a world based on a world-changing sickness is not everyone's cup of tea.

High Magic & Fantasy
Technological level
Differs between cultures.
There is a mixture of ancient greek technologies and early medieval ages.
Glass, for example, is a relatively new material.
  • Friac'seoue (African inspired)
  • Oceasile (Australia inspired)
  • Tiel (Europe inspired)
13 in a few adjectives
  • Aprehensive but Hopeful
  • Shifting and Yearning
  • Tired yet Tireless
The Plague had many effects on the societies of 13.
In its wake, some species have lost entire generations; power vacuums are the norm and not the exception; food shortages continue, due to the drastic decrease of abled-body individuals.
There was a winter where the supplies run out before the new year had dawned. I think it was the following year when we stopped growing everything but rye and wheat. At some point, there were so many sick or dead we just... we just didn't sow anything. Each foraging on their own, growing secret little gardens here and there in the growing forests.
— Nesile, a human remembering the plague days
by pngegg

If you want to read a brief intro of the world's history, continents, and species, check out the article to the side. It should cover all the basics in order to get a good understanding of the world.


If, on the other hand, you prefer to learn by immersing yourself in the world, below you can find a series of articles of all types. From professions and ethnicities, all the way to an in-world one-shot.


Cover image: by darksouls1


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Dec 1, 2021 19:51

Excellent introduction for someone looking to get started on this :)

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Dec 2, 2021 07:21

Thanks, Qurilion!

Dec 1, 2021 22:22 by Chris L

Great overview of the world. I've actually had an adventure in it and I know understand what was going on behind the scenes that you can't get from just a one-shot! Lovely work as usual.

See WorldEmber 2023 Hub for my WorldEmber progress.

Check out my challenge winning article: Ghost Boy.

Dec 2, 2021 07:26

Thanks for stopping by, Kitoypoy! Hehehe, yeah... Being told "this is the only kid in the village that survived" may not carry the message all the way through.
I am actually doing these intros not only because it's due... but also because I'm gonna be looking for players soon. My next article is a primer :P

Dec 2, 2021 09:47 by TC

Oh this is a really good introduction, great work!! Allow me to save it for later reference because this is very inspiring :D

Creator of Arda Almayed
Feb 11, 2022 11:48

Thanks, I'm glad you found it interesting. Did you find it fits what you have previously read about my world?

Dec 2, 2021 21:28 by Chi

I immediately want to know more about the centaurs and the grippli. Very interesting concept and a very good introduction!

Dec 4, 2021 01:09 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is an excellent introduction to the world. I really liked getting to see your inspiration behind why you started it and how the feeling of the world changed as it developed more. Hopeful grim is great. :D

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Feb 11, 2022 11:58

Thanks, Amy! I am glad you think so. Do you think the intro fits with what you have read about my world previously?

Feb 11, 2022 12:47 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Yes, I think so! :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 6, 2022 10:45

Wow, what a fantastic intro! I love that you'll be focusing on the hopefulness of the situation - the default these days with mainstream fantasy seems to be grim dark, so it'll be nice to read a different, more positive spin instead :)

~ write what you love
Garlan | Ma'rune | Osiron | WorldEmber 2023
Feb 11, 2022 11:58

Hahaha, well, it sort of just happened. It happened to be what I naturally seem to gravitate about, so why fight it?