The World of Emaxus
Emaxus is an ancient world littered with the corpses of ancient civilizations. In the Reckoning, the gods killed each other---and they almost took everything with them. Only 5% of Emaxus's population survived, clustered in Shelter Cities and sprawled across the world's broken surface. The people and cultures of Emaxus are diverse and changing; some claim heritage from before the Reckoning, others are barely a century old.
From the ancient shelter cities of Iotura, to the ravaged peoples of Aitreas, to the warring clans of Aasveig and the brave trailblazers of Drumis, the people of Emaxus live, fight, and die in countless ways. But most importantly, they hope, dream, and strive to achieve their goals in any way they can.
For players, I hope that I have provided a varied and detailed world from which you can create your own beautiful stories and personalized characters. Whether its an iceborn barbarian who lived a hard life in the taigas of Aasveig, or a human merchant who has turned to a life of adventuring after hardships in Yathra Silthame, or countless other options, I strive to provide players with the tools to make characters as unique and complex as they are as people. Take any number of the threads that this world is woven from and run with it. Perhaps the corruption lurking in Dimtodhir is some ancient mind flayer, and his minions slew your parents, sending you on a life-long quest to gain the power to slay the monster! Maybe you wish to further the Theussaun Protectorate's ambitions, or help the Imperium recover from the Collapse? All of these and many, many more are potential plotlines for your character to pursue!
For Game Masters, I would want nothing more than for someone else to run a campaign in my world. I write and build my setting not only with the goal of having a well-developed, beautifully complex world, but also one that is accessible and possible for someone to run a campaign or one-shot within it as though it were a campaign setting. Naturally, this is the campaign setting I am using, so as my campaigns cause it to evolve and change, that will be reflected in the WorldAnvil page, but take the foundations of what I've made and make it your own. Change, remove, or entirely replace whatever elements you want, as this world is your oyster!
For simple readers and passersby, I truly hope you enjoy my work, and if you have criticisms, just comment on the article or message me! The only way to truly get better is practicing with others. No matter what brings you to my WorldAnvil, it is my pleasure to introduce: Emaxus.
The Continents of Emaxus
The continents of Emaxus are varied, and of the four that have been well-documented and settled, they are well-detailed and can, frankly, be overwhelming. When considering where you want your character to be set, or where you may want to set a campaign, read through the introductions to the continents below, before heading more in-depth in their respective articles within Locations
Aasveig is a vast archipelago of islands dominated by swaths of untamed wilderness. Demigods
walk the earth here, and the various Norse-inspired clans of the Maor people war amongst each other for gold, glory, and praise from their gods.
Campaigns in Aasveig can be deeply political tales of intrigue and diplomacy, heroic tales of conquest or monster hunting, gritty tales of survival and exploration, and more. Perhaps you wish to create a party of Fenryrthal clanmates who seek vengeance against Bjornstir for the war ten years prior, or a group of Harrkykthorla explorers that hope to earn the praise of their patron god by exploring the high seas. Countless tales of glory and triumph await the prospective adventurer in the frigid lands of Aasveig.
Aitreas is a continent that knows the scars of war and the beauty of peace. After the successful and joyous reign of the Imperium of Aitreas all but ended four years ago in an event known as the Collapse, the Imperials of Aitreas are struggling to find their footing in this new world they live in.
Campaigns in Aitreas can be as varied as the continent itself. For a story of political intrigue or perhaps heroic reunification, look to the Meditullium Constituerint, where the Imperium holds on to the last vestiges of their power from the capital of Ariminium. In the sun-baked dunes of the Ureret Desert, many struggle to survive in the brutal heat and the even more brutal bandit warlords rising in power. In the recently-unified Aitrean Triumvirate of Aeceanata, the peoples of the region grapple with the horrors of the nearby Scar and the curios of the ruins dotting the region, as well as the political struggles of seceding and forming a new state. The Caledonian Protectorate of the Meridionali Peninsula bears similar struggles, as the people of the area struggle to maintain independence against increasingly hostile environments. And finally, the Scar itself is a desolate archipelago of arcane devastation, ripe for a never-ending megadungeon. Aitreas truly is a vast place, and the adventures that take place in it are innumerable.
Drumis was the Obsidian Lords' power base on Emaxus during the Reckoning, and thus it was nearly destroyed by the Ten's assault on the dark gods' citadels. Largest of the continents, and mostly unexplored, Drumis is a land of wildly varied and largely inhospitable regions, forever changed and corrupted by the battles of the Reckoning and the Empires of Obsidian that dominated the continent.
A campaign set in Drumis will largely owe itself to two things: exploration or politics. Relative to other continents, Drumis has a small population of mortals spread across a relatively small stretch of coastline. In Aitreas, adventurers can pass unnoticed for a time, but in Drumis, adventurers are heralded as saviors or as villains, depending on where you are. No matter the perception of it, the winds of change follow the backs of adventuring parties, whether they be explorers, prospective lords, or willful conquerors.
When the seas boiled and the earth rumbled, Iotura where the bulk of Emaxus's survivors huddled. Most of the dominant cultures and civilizations of modern Emaxus trace their roots to Iotura, as countless brave explorers, ambitious conquerors, and glory-driven nobles set out from the Shelter Cities (especially Yathra Silthame) to stake their claim on the bones of the old world. Iotura is dotted by ancient ruins, varied cultures, and wildly different regions.
A campaign set in Iotura can explore plenty of facets of TTRPGs. One could expect to be exploring ancient, pre-Reckoning ruins in the Isututh Timberlands one day, before bargaining with the Deeplord of Demtodhir the next. War rages in the Ioturan Heartland, while the Silver City, Yathra Silthame, grapples with Obsidian Lord corruption. In the untold hundreds of square miles of woods in the Arakhor Tathra, the monstrous kingdom of Orakgra seek to carve a home for themselves even as Camaerith and Theussau would see them eradicated, while the swamps of the Saltmeadow Marshes hide the followers of horrors unknown. The Theussaun Protectorate battles the infernal armies within the Desolate Foothills, and the drakinnid of Drakarri navigate the hostile lands of the Draconic Wastes. There truly is almost any avenue for a quest, and the locales of Iotura can host any number of adventures, encounters, or dangers.
Calendar and Time
I can't stress this enough: keeping track of time in TTRPGs is hugely important. Time gives events context, and lets things marinade and stew before coming to a head. While it does depend on the game, keeping track of time lets you, as the GM, pace things in a manner that makes sense when viewed through the lens of the second world (i.e., Emaxus itself).
If a group of adventurers go from zero to hero in two weeks, then they are a blip on the world conscience. A group of villains that make moves spanning decades can put their plans in perspective and give them gravity. As a player, understanding the flow of time in a world can be a fun and easy way to add flair to your character. Consider giving your character a birthday, or keeping track of the anniversary of a sibling's death. Having a solid grasp of the passage of time in a world is a small investment for players and DMs that can have a huge payoff in any number of ways.
Moons of Emaxus
Two known moons orbit Emaxus, Luna, the Elder, and Lysithea, the Younger. Luna, the larger yet further of the two moons, shines a brilliant greyish-white, securing its place as the dominant feature in the night sky. Luna is believed to have been a creation of Alindr and An'liceth, meant to suffuse arcane magic unto the world and bring light in even the darkness of night. Lysithea, the smaller and closer of the two, is regarded with trepidation and fear. Glowing a sickly greenish-grey, Lyisthea can be seen with its definitive cracks upon its surface, like some great titan slammed into its side. It is believed that Lysithea was ruined by Laaelum during the Reckoning, destroyed or changed as a part of her campaign against Alindr's systems of magic across Yophas. Or, its origins are something else entirely, or even more ancient...
Daily Life in Emaxus
While it varies wildly, certain aspects of daily life in Emaxus remain constant across nearly all continents and cultures. Any character would be familiar with their homeland's currency and relationship to technology.
Various coins are minted on various continents and in varying kingdoms and empires, and though some slight differences exist between currencies, all regions readily accept gold, silver, and copper coins. Spending money of Aitrean mint in Iotura might beg some questions, but a gold coin is still a gold coin.
While all languages found in the Player's Handbook
and the Monster Manual
are fair game in Emaxus, there are a handful of other languages found on this planet. This setting has four languages unique to it, detailed below.
- Maor.Believed to have been the language Isael herself used to communicate with her ancient champions, Maor is the language of choice for most of the natives of Aasveig. Though many of the people there speak Common as well due to their nautical endeavors, between their clans and in ceremonies, only Maor is employed.
- Camaerath. More of a dialect than a language, Camaerath is a form of elvish employed by the Camaerithian elves. Dating back to the early years of the Age of Rebirth, some scholars believe Camaerath was the original dialect from which modern Elvish evolved. For the elves of Camaerith, their language is a symbol of their devotion to their pure heritage, and they rarely speak in anything else. Luckily, anyone fluent in elvish can navigate their way through Camaerath, but some phrases and lingo is lost on any non-speaker.
- Euxinan. The primary language spoken within the noble courts and amongst the leadership of Aitreas, Euxinan was a language from before the Reckoning. The people who settled Ariminium atop the ruins of a pre-Reckoning city discovered ancient texts and the like written in Euxinan, and revived it. Since then, it has become the primary language of the learned, scholarly, and wealthy within Aitreas.
- Taesunese. The language used by the splintered people of ancient Taesuxuzou, Taesunese is a language often employed among those who sail the Obsidian Ocean as well.
The levels of technology in Emaxus vary wildly, as technology is slow to diffuse. In the lands of Aitreas, artificers and the horrifically advanced relics of Krathum have driven the diffusion of a wild amount of technology. This affords the Aitrean people a generally high quality of life and easy access to magic (relatively). Meanwhile, in the brutal lands of Aasveig, your life expectancy is only as long as your will to survive.
Generally speaking though, one can find any basic item or weapon in most all markets of Emaxus, with certain cultures favoring certain types or classes of weapons/tools. In Aitreas, magical weaponry of lower degrees is common---though less so with the Collapse. Other continents and cultures have been slow to adopt Aitrean levels of technology, but they can still be found to a much lesser extent. As a GM, consider how a player might be able to attain these items based off their location or their actions, and if you're a player seeking these items, talk to your GM about where/how you might be able to get your hands on such weaponry.
Generally speaking, the people of Emaxus are accepting and open. There are people of all species, sexual orientations, and gender identities. By and large, all people are accepted; Emaxians find much better reasons to fight. Despite this openness, ignorance and hate exists in the darker corners of the world, and in some more isolated societies, this bigotry may even be open and allowed to flourish. Openness towards ideas of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as diversity among the races and equal rights/treatment between genders varies around the world, but by and large Emaxians are judged not by who they are, but by what they do and who they become.