"Zephyr - Tales from the Void" Campaign Setting Primer

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

Welcome to the Zephyr - Tales from the Void!

Zephyr - Tales from the Void is fantasy "dieselpunk" setting for 5th Edition!  
For a glimpse into the concept behind this setting, view our Pintrest Board!

Adventure abounds in the action packed, neo-arcane world of Baennor where magic is tempered by science, and your daily life is shaped by incredible magically-engineered inventions.   Captains of industry and The Sovereign compete for the hearts and souls of the people, while you and your fellow agents work from the shadows to defend and serve the Commonwealth...or to sell your skills to the highest bidder.

  Tales from the Void was created with early 20th-Century Europe in mind - on the world of Baennor, however magic, not science has paved the way for industry and technology. Gone are many of the oft repeated tropes of a typical fantasy setting - you will not see any fantasy-style elves; there are no gnomes or halflings; wizards don't walk the fields in white robes waving their staff about.   Instead, dwearh aetherists walk the streets in jackets and tie, while aos'si scoundrels may crawl the rooftops in black skinsuits; wogan aeronauts fly the skies, while daonn soldiers take aim at a target hundreds of meters away. Players will find these and other new and interesting races to play, exciting and adventure-filled locations to explore, and a witness a new take on the golden age of industrialization.  
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Tales from the Void

Imagine a campaign setting where magic instead of science forged the basis for some of the common technological items we are familiar with today. From the telephone to the automobile. Devices which are powered through the energy provided by the five primary elements known as aether, phlogiston, ion, apiom, and sulphuria. With these primary elements, scientists - known as aetherists - of the Commonwealth have brought prosperity to the land through the industrialization of magic. The ability to wield magic is nearly as common among craftsmen as there are of any other trade, and aethertech devices are readily available to those with the notes to pay for them.  
Eryphir is one of several major continents on the world of Baennor. Today the Commonwealth of Ustren, a magically infused, technologically advanced nation rules the majority of the continent using the power of the Voidsphere to spread wealth and prosperity. However, it has not always been so. The following is a brief history of not only the continent of Eryphir, but the world of Baennor itself.
 

History of Baennor

The First Inhabitants

While Baennor today plays host to a large number of intelligent races, it was not always so. On its own, the planet was once dominated by a wide variety of saurian creatures, some of whom developed into intelligent beings over the course of hundreds of millions of years of evolution. It is thought these creatures were originally created by one of the Great Old Ones, but very little is known of their existence short of the fossil record discovered across landscape today. What is commonly agreed upon, however, is that the end of this era of life on Baennor began with the arrival of the Outer Plane, Nihor. The horrors brought forth from the Chaos Lords laid waste to these creatures in a mass extinction event - perhaps the largest in the planet's long history.   Several of these saurian species did survive, however. Reptiles such as crocodiles and alligators; amphibians such as frogs and toads; avians such as hawks and ravens; and saurians such as wyverns and basilisks are all thought to be direct descendants of these first inhabitants of Baennor. Two intelligent races also emerged from the chaos - the exceedingly rare dragons, and the secretive and reclusive varanids.  

The First Plane

After the Great Old Ones went into their eternal slumber, the multiverse was left to its own devices for the first time. Powerful creatures, once minions and servitors to the Old Ones, were now the major domos of the multiverse. The first outer dimension to enter the Inner Planes after the Old Ones disappeared was Nihor, the plane of Chaos. The Chaos Lords invaded the Inner Planes with vast armies of abominations and horrors, destroying nearly everything they encountered. Planets like Baennor were nearly wiped out in the initial onslaught.   After a time, these Chaos Lords each began to lay claim to the remnants of the Inner Planes of which they had conquered. Baennor lay under the control of a particularly vile creature named Wrycrahx. This abomination populated Baennor with the goblinoid races of bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, ogres, and wogan in order to entrench itself and maintain its grip on the planet. These creatures, in turn, established kingdoms and empires across nearly the entirety of the planet. Remnants of their rule can be found across the globe, in the most far off of locations.   The Chaos Lord's dominion would control most of Baennor for nearly 300,000 years. It was not until the Plane of Chaos exited the Inner Planes that Wrycrahx would finally begin losing its grip. Rebellion among the goblinoids began to foment and the massive Dominion of Wrycrahx started to fracture.  

Enter The Dreaming

Roughly 145,000 years ago, The Dreaming - the realm of the Fey Courts - entered the Inner Planes. As the barriers between these dimensions waned, the Fey Courts sent their people through to take measure of these new lands open to them. What they encountered on Baennor was beyond the pale for many among the Court and they knew the agents of Chaos must be purged from that world. The Fey Queen and her ancient Courtesans created the Aos'si (ee-shee) to inhabit Baennor and gain a foothold against the darkness of Wrycrahx's domain.   For tens of thousands of years, the battle between the long-lived aos'si and the prolific goblinoids raged across Baennor. Neither side gained much of an advantage in that time. The magic of the fey far surpassed anything the goblinoid armies possessed, but the vast hordes of rapidly procreating goblinoids could not be dwindled by the far-outnumbered aos'si either. It was not until the Fey Court devised a plan to destroy Wrycrahx where it resided on the continent of Daelus that the tide would finally turn.  

An End to Chaos

Nearing the end of the time in which The Dreaming would remain within the Inner Planes, the aos'si secreted a massive weapon into the very heart of the Wrycrahx Dominion, killing the Chaos Lord and destroying its city of Pyorxic on Daelus. With its destruction, this effectively ended the rule of Chaos over Baennor and the Fey Court rapidly gained ground against the remaining goblinoid kingdoms. Nearly all of Daelus was abandoned - the after effects of the magical weapon used against Wrycrahx made much of the continent uninhabitable for hundreds, if not a thousand years.   On Eryphir, the in-fighting amongst the remaining goblinoid kingdoms resulted in a major consolidation of power in the city-state of Mhgor - present day Rynmark. It was from this bastion, the orcs and other goblinoid races would wait out the aos'si and the Fey Courts, successfully defending against the aos'si for several centuries until The Dreaming finally exited the Inner Planes.  

An Elemental Age

After the Fey Courts were gone, there was a major power vacuum in the Inner Planes. Powerful beings on the elemental planes took this opportunity and themselves invaded the Prime in an effort to mine the worlds there of their elemental motes of energy. These True Elements were long ago scoured in any great quantity from their planes of residence and the Prime was the only known remaining reliable source for the material.   Due to the fact that the elemental beings on these planes could not long reside on the Prime, they each created their own races intended to harvest the elemental motes for them. On the plane of Philogistia, the lords there created the kazzixi - a diminutive race of saurian-like humanoids who would dig deep into the mountains to find the fire element. The rulers of Apiomia created the Dryssk, those on Sulphurias created the Mazabim, and the lords of Ionios created the Wisfoh. Each of these races were created to harvest their specific element, and each failed to live up to their creator's expectations.   The Wisfoh were too difficult to contain and force to work. The Mazabim were seemingly more rock than creature and were too slow in their extraction of the precious material. The dryssk were entirely too superstitious and developed endless rituals surrounding the True Element apiom. The Kazzixi were wily and conniving creatures who would turn against their masters the moment their backs were turned. They were too greedy and treacherous to be trusted with the True Element Philogiston.  

Birth of the Child Races

In the end, each of these races were abandoned by the elemental lords. Instead the rulers of each of these planes came together and formed pacts in order to create a race suitable for their needs. Around 27,000 years ago, the lords of Sulfurias and Philogistia came together and created the Dwearh, a hearty, clan-based race which prided itself on their ability to extract True Element from deep within the ground. They were large humanoids with powerful builds, capable of moving large amounts of rock and stone in a single day. The dwearh established kingdoms that would eventually span the length and breadth of the Reinhelm mountains, and at one point could be found in nearly every mountain range or hilltop across Eryphir.   At the same time, the elemental lords of Ionios and Apiomia created the Daonni, a creative and innovative race of humanoids meant to harvest the True Elements of the air and the oceans. Within just a few centuries, the crafty daonni had invented vessels to explore the depths of the sea and the clouds in the sky in search of apiom and ionia. Residing mostly on the coastal regions of Eryphir, the daonni too established many small kingdoms and territories. Unlike the dwearh, however, they were also forced early on to learn the art of war as they were at constant odds to some degree with the aos'si, but more so with the orcs of M'ghor. Like the aos'si before them, they were superior in their equipment and technology, but lacked the numbers to truly conquer the host of goblinoid ravagers from the orc empire.  

A Time of Daonn Expansion

While both the dwearh and the daonn were created to harvest the True Elements from Baennor, it was the adventurous spirit of the daonni that truly allowed them to flourish and expand on Baennor. Within just a few hundred years, the Daonn had tamed much of the wilderness along the southern coast of Eryphir. They had established cities and towns hundreds of miles inland and were producing mountains of elemental motes for their slave-lords.   It was around this time the first city-states of the daonni first took hold. What is present-day Seaside was a prime location for both fishing and harvesting apiom, while what is today Belosia, to the southeast, was a major trading hub with the Dwearh in the mountains and sat on an inexplicably rich deposit of ionia. Both cities flourished some 12,000 years ago and continue to do so today.  

Misguided Revolt

It was during this expansion that the people of Eryphir attempted to liberate themselves from their elemental masters. While the cause was noble, the instigators could not garner enough support and the rebellion was quickly quelled. Thousands of daonn were killed in reprisal and the location of the initial uprising was completely razed, the earth salted in its wake. It would be thousands of years before another attempt was made - meaning millions of daonni and dwearh would suffer in the mean time.  

Insidious Deceit

With the loss of influence over Baennor and lacking direct guidance from the Fey Courts, there were many among the aos'si who sought other, more malign ways to return their people to power. Roughly 8,000 years ago, there were those fey who began gathering ancient texts and relics of the Old Ones. While not much exists in writing regarding these inconceivable beings, there was enough to make contact with their minions. These beings, immensely powerful in their own right, guided these fey on a path abhorrent to the aos'si of Mirasandoral.   When discovered, the Court attempted to wipe out this cult, but it proved to be far more difficult than they imagined. For several centuries, the Mirasandoral Court hunted these misled souls, attempting to eradicate them. This served to only fan the flames and resulted in more aos'si flocking to the Fa'moire - "the forsaken" in feyspeech. It took nearly 400 years, but in the end, the now powerful Fa'moire split from their kin in the court and fled to the continent of Drocrath - where they founded Ge'ata and their own version of the Fey Court, the Wyrd Crown.  

Conquest of the Reinhelms

No later than 6,500 years ago, the dwearh had established networks, tunnels, cities, and enclaves throughout the entire length of the Reinhelm Mountains. In addition to harvesting the elemental motes, they were also mining things like gold, iron, and mithral in vast quantities as well. The dwearh of Dwevrheim in the south held control over the entirety of iron trade in the world and were also well known for their capital weapons mounted to the great iron aeroships in their navy.  

Dwverheim's Assault on M'ghor

It was with these massive ships that the dwearh would be the first of the new races to assault the orcs in 6,001 BV. The dwearh had come to a crossroads with the orcs of M'Ghor. While the dwearh themselves were relatively safe from all but the occasional orcish raid, it was their trade routes and shipments to the other kingdoms that suffered from brigands and interdiction. The dwearh attempted to adopt daonn technology and began flying their cargo out to other ports of call. The M'ghori orcs were quick to adapt, however, and would often crash these aeroships through the use of magic and wyvern riders.   Finally, this led the dwearh to organize an assault on the orcs. It took a decade to assemble the fleet, but the dwearh launched a flotilla of 22 massive, iron-clad aeroships against the M'ghori Empire in 6,001 BV, taking the orcs completely by surprise. The invasion force wrought death and destruction across a 500 mile route from the mountains all the way to the stronghold of M'ghor itself. They were unable to press the advantage after running out of supplies and munitions on the very doorstep of the orcish empire. Suffering from a lack of a supply train and under constant harassment by orc shamanistic magic and what seemed like swarms of wyvern riders, the dwearh fleet was forced to retreat. In the end, four of the titanic vessels were destroyed or forced down, but the message was clear - M'ghor was not impregnable.   The assault had inextricably changed the way future wars on the continent would be fought and won.  

The Aos'Si Withdraw from the World

Around 4,700 BV (Before the Void), the aos'si of Mirasandoral withdrew from their groves and glades throughout Eryphir, Icia, and Drocrath. The world was changing too fast for their kind and the loss of their direct connection to the Fey Courts began to heavily impact their ability to maintain the massive leylines they had previously established across Baennor. That combined with the growing influence of Ge'ata, the fey of the Court had no choice but to regroup. They recused themselves from the world and instead stayed almost exclusively within the borders of the massive forest of Tela'tethadyr. While still immensely powerful, they would henceforth shun the goings on of the rest of the world.  

The Collapse of the M'ghori Empire

While it took generations, the vast tracks of the M'ghori Empire were slowly eaten away by the constant onslaught of the dwearh and daonn attacks. By 4,200 BV the M'ghori Empire was reduced to just the Blackwood Vale and the city-state itself on Eryphir. Unbeknownst to many, however, there were major populations of goblinoids still on the continent of Drocrath. These populations were quickly falling under the sway of the Fa'moire and the Old Ways.  

West Coast Conquered

With the vacuum created by M'Ghor's loss of territory, the daonni were able to move westward across the Sea of Dust and settle much of the western portions of Eryphir. Within just a few hundred years there were settlements dotting the entire west coast including modern day Nofre-Maz, the former capital of the kingdom of Nofrest. The increase in the collection and refinement of apiom and ionia increased one-hundred fold over the same time period, propelling the daonni forward in their understanding of magic and the planes far beyond anything they had ever reached previously.  

The Seeds of Rebellion

It would take hundreds of years, but eventually the children of the elemental pacts would again attempt to throw off the yokes of their masters. As they began to collect more and more elemental motes, the daonni and dwearh kingdoms began to withhold True Elements from their masters on the elemental planes. The magic-users and scholars among them grew in their understanding of how these elements could be used to enhance their abilities and magical devices. Weapons were created that could be used effectively against their masters and held in secret until the time was right.   In 2,521 BV, the dwearh of Dwverheim were the first to strike. They collapsed the gate in their stronghold leading to the elemental planes of Sulfurias and Philogistias. They slaughtered their overseers and pit bosses left on the Prime. From that spark, rebellion struck like a match across many of the dwearh strongholds in the Reinhelms. Swiftly, but not fast enough to stave off the retribution from their furious masters.  

The Destruction of Dwverheim

Until this point, very few on Baennor had ever witnessed the immensity of any one elemental lord on the Prime. After the attack by the dwearh, however, three of the elemental lords manifested themselves on the Prime to lay waste to the insurrection. Each of the titans were as big as the mountain in which they attacked - thousands of feet tall, they tore into dwearh stronghold, sundering the mountain until it was nothing more than a smoking hole in the earth. More than a million dwearh were slaughtered and it is said the light from their rage could be seen as far away as Seaside, nearly one-thousand miles away. After this incredible destruction, the legacy of the dwearh would never fully recover from this massive atrocity. Millions were dead, but still millions more fled the ravaged mountains and into the plains, seeking solace among their daonn kin. The kingdom of the dwearh would persist, but as a mere flicker of its once proud glory.  

The Shadow Rebellion

The destruction of Dwverheim did not have the impact expected upon the slave-people of Baennor. Although defeated, the slaughter of so many of their kith only served to steel their resolve. They worked with the various Daonn kingdoms to help them build terrible, destructive weapons in secret. They collaborated with kings, offering riches and rewards in return for expeditions into the mountains in order to make contact with disparate tribes of dwearh and to recover precious artifacts lost during the attack.   Overseers and elemental sympathizers were assassinated across the continent, and insurgencies were innumerable across Eryphir. Cities would burn, but the attacks continued with the people of Baennor fighting on in a simmering shadow war for centuries.  

Defiance and Ascension

The year 2,014 BV is a marked period in the history of Baennor. It is forever known as the year the New Gods would bring about definitive change for the slave-people of Baennor. It is said that early in the year a soothsayer in what is modern day Nofre-Maz foretold of a gateway in which the righteous would ascend to the Radiant and the damned would fall into Shadow. In either case, it was foretold, anyone who completed the journey would gain immense power and reign over the world of Baennor as gods.   Hundreds of adventurers attempted the quest to find the gates to these other planes, but in the end only seventeen survived the journey. Eleven were to make it to the Radiant, while six descended to the Shade. These New Gods would become the pantheon behind which all the daonni and dwearh of Baennor would soon rally.  

Fall of the Elemental Gods

A little more than 100 years after the Ascension, the people of Baennor had established elaborate religions around most of these deities. Major churches spanned the continent, established in most major cities. Their growing power posed a significant threat to the elemental lords. For as their worshipers grew in strength and in number, so too did the power of the gods grow. In 1,886 BV, the eleven gods from the Radiant, fueled by their followers, led attacks against the elemental lords both on Baennor and throughout the elemental planes themselves. It would take many decades, but eventually the daonni and dwearh of Baennor won their freedom and a new age of magic and prosperity would soon begin.   A new Age of Magic (1,800 BV) Within just a few short years after the fall of the elemental lords, the people of Baennor had turned the tables on their former masters. While they were no longer in control, the elementals of other planes still desperately needed elemental motes. Not only were the motes used as a sort of currency on the elemental planes, it was also a way for individual elemental beings to gain strength and prestige.   The outcome of the war with the elementals was not one the people of Baennor expected. Brokers and traders from these planes began bargaining with the people they once enslaved, trading the one commodity they could offer in exchange for access to the motes - their magical selves.   M'Ghor Assault on the Mountain (1,791 BV)   The Kingdom of the Dwearh Collapses (1750 BV)   Discovery of Daelus (1,551 BV)   The Pirate Threat (1,510 BV)   Seaside Sacked (1,300 BV)   Teutor Allies with M'ghor (1,290 BV)   The Hegemony of Belos Falls (1,203 BV)   The Sacking of Vingor (1,154 BV)   Belor Conquers M'ghor; The Rise of Rynmark (990 BV)   Gods War (590 BV)   Teutor Sacked (473 BV)   Elemongers Rise in the West (470 BV)   Three Kingdoms Simmer (346 BV)   Fifth Element Discovered (66 BV)   Creation of the Void (42 BV)   Illuminated Order of Aetherists Established (37 BV)   The Shadow War Begins Anew (32 BV)   Aethertech Dominates the Industry (12 BV)   The Dawn of the Age of Wonder   The War for Unification begins (3 AV)   Teutor Falls in the North (10 AV)   Nofre-Maz Falls in the West (16 AV)   Eryphir United (18 AV)   Downfall of the Monarchy (21 AV)   A New Ship Commissioned for a New Age (27 AV)   Syndicates Dominate the Industry (31 AV)   The Zephyr Is Lost on its Maiden Voyage (34 AV)   The Commonwealth Today (34 AV)    

Magic as a Commodity

Magic-borne technology, commonly referred to as aethertech, has been used to greatly improve people's way of life. Trade and commerce expands all across the continent of Eryphir. The Commonwealth of Ustren governs the people, but largely stays out of the day-to-day life of its citizens. The War of Unification that ravaged the continent ended nearly twenty-years ago and is on the verge of becoming a distant memory. Peace and prosperity are the goals to which most strive - but for every shining example of success in the Commonwealth, there is an equally dark shadow looming.   With exceptional technology comes incredibly rich and powerful people - the likes of which Eryphir has never seen. The Commonwealth may cover most of Eryphir, but many merchant syndicates are world-spanning, dealing in trade and business across Baennor. These merchant houses not only compete with the Commonwealth for profit, but also vie for supremacy in trade, resources, and territory amongst each other. For many, these syndicates are more powerful and far-reaching than the Commonwealth itself. They may see the soldiers in the fields, and the constables in the streets, but its the merchant enforcers they see in the alleys and on their doorsteps.  

Unrest in the World

Similarly, not all of the people that fall under the rule of the Commonwealth are happy with the current regime. Unrest simmers just below the surface for many who see the Commonwealth as conquerors, rather than leaders. Places like Nofre-Maz in the west or in parts of the colonies on the continent of Daelus foment rebellion, cursing the Commonwealth, sometimes openly, often behind closed doors, but always with venom in their voices.   Information is bought and sold on the black markets, allowing those who would use it to gain illicit advantage over their competition. As members of The Blackwood Society, you have answered a call many would not dare. While not officially part of any government agency, your charge is nevertheless to support the overall prosperity of the Commonwealth, whether that is keeping the merchant houses in check, or thwarting the machinations of corrupt politicians. It is a a pledge made hundreds of years before when your predecessors vowed to defend Belor, the kingdom that would one day become the Commonwealth.   As privateer-types, you walk a fine line between service to The Sovereign and your dedication to the Blackwood Society. Whether you are in the field, or lounging in the Raven's Lodge, one thing is for certain, the story is never-ending; your legend is one in the making!  

The Multiverse

The cosmos of this campaign setting is unlike many before it. In Zephyr - Tales from the Void - the all of existence was created by the Great Old Ones, those who came before anything in the multiverse existed. There was nothing but a vast expanse of astral space and the Great Old Ones were its masters. Within astral space, these beings could simultaneously create and destroy anything they desired. In a flash of brilliance (or madness) these masters created the multiverse, a vast collection of dimensions, planes, galaxies, and worlds.   The Old Ones fractured existence and created all the planes of the multiverse for their own machinations. The inner planes were the game board, while the outer planes were used to develop weapons, house their armies, and plan domination. Over the eons they fought a seemingly eternal war over dominion over the Inner Planes. At some point, however, the war simply…ceased. Nearly one million years ago, The Great Old Ones went inexplicably into torpor and life across the multiverse was, for the first time ever, on its own.   What they created, however, has endured and makes up the cosmology that exists and surrounds the world of Baennor today. It is its very composition, in fact, that has shape the course of history of this world and has led to the existence of the Voidsphere and other aethertech on Baennor. To understand this, we must first look at the make up of the multiverse and how the all interact with one another.   Astral Space - The existence of everything resides in vast nothingness of Astral Space. Many scholars have described Astral Space as an incomprehensible dimension of color and haze. The average person would likely go mad with but a glimpse of Astral Space. Those who venture outside the fold of reality and into Astral Space find themselves assaulted by echoes and ghosts of events from across the multiverse - from any and all planes of existence. It is a chaotic realm where seemingly the Old Ones played their Great Game for millions upon millions of years.   The Ethereal Plane - The ethereal plane was created as a current for the other outer planes to float upon. Many refer to the great gray dimension as a great river endlessly flowing through Astral Space. Those educated in the older texts will see the name River Isleron which is another name for the Ethereal plane. The Ethereal plane was used by the Great Old Ones to change the game board of their cosmic game. The outer planes slowly drift upon the River Isleron which passes directly through the Inner Planes. When this occurs, the make-up of the Inner Planes change as the barriers between the inner planes and invading outer plane weaken or fall.   After the Great Old Ones entered their slumber, only two outer planes have since passed through the Inner Planes - Nihor, the Plane of Chaos, and The Dreaming, the realm of the Fey. Both have left indelible marks upon the world of Baennor, with the former bringing orcs and goblinoids to the planet, while the latter introduced the aos'si and other fey to the world.   The Outer Planes - There are over a dozen dimensions exist outside of the Inner Planes. These are commonly referred to as simply the "Outer Planes". Each of them has a different make-up and composition, and, unlike the melting pot that is the Prime, each has a primary focus. Nihor, the plane of Chaos, for example. The Dreaming is a realm of fey and fairy magic. On a collision course with the Inner Planes is Baegherix, a plane of sinister evil and cruelty where devils and infernals reside. Each of these planes floats along the River Isleron and will eventually pass through the Inner Planes of existence.   The Inner Planes - There are eight Inner Planes which consists of the Prime, the Radiant, the Shade, the Wild, and the elemental planes of Sulfurias (earth), Ionios (air), Philogistia (fire), and Apiomia (water). These dimensions border one another in an overlapping, stationary cluster in Astral Space. For the most part, there are distinct borders between these planes, but in still others the barriers between them are non-existent. On Baennor, these locations are referred to gates - a well-known Philogistia Gate resides in the Reinhelm Mountains, deep in the heart of a kazzixi stronghold. Most of these gates are closely guarded for, as we will see, the elemental motes known as True Elements are a precious commodity traded between the Prime and the other Inner Planes. Those with control over the gates have become extremely wealthy and powerful over the years.   The Prime - Life as we understand it exists primarily on the Prime, a plane of existence not unlike what you, the reader, live in today. After the Old Ones went into torpor and abandoned the multiverse, the planes continued as before without them. As the Outer Planes pass through the Inner Planes it is referred to as "resident" within the Inner Planes. When this occurs the spaces between the dimensions are often as easy to pass through as a curtain into another room. In recorded history, only two such planes have been resident within the Inner Planes - Nihor and The Dreaming. However, Baegherix - the plane of devils and infernals - is drifting inexorably closer and will someday collide with reality on the Prime.  
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The World of Baennor

Baennor is just one of the many planets used by the Great Old Ones during their ancient cosmic game. The planet mostly consists of vast oceans, sitting as the third planet from an orange dwarf star called Orlad. Today the world of Baennor is at relative peace. The War of Unification ended some two decades ago and commerce has largely taken over the daily lives of the people there. That is not, of course, to say there is no conflict - open warfare has been replaced by political intrigue, competing syndicates, and the collection of valuable information.  

The Continents

  Daelus - Long forgotten by the daonni during the dawning of this new age, the continent of Daelus sits as an uncharted new world to many explorers across the Commonwealth. During the Age of Chaos when the Plane of Nihor sat resident within the Prime, unspeakable beings plagued the land. Orcs and all other manner of humanoids were warrior-slaves to the Terrors who ruled the planet.   A once mighty nation resided on Daelus, controlled by the Overlord Wrycrahx - but as the Age of Chaos came to an end, he was betrayed. An explosion of magic so powerful it was said to have turned the night into day across all the lands destroyed the entire nation of Pyortex in a flash. Very little survived the blast. In the hundreds of thousands of years since, the wilds of Daelus have reclaimed the land from the once fearsome Terror.   Just within the last fifty or so years, the Commonwealth has been making in-roads into Daelus. Called “The Frontier”, colonies from the Commonwealth have been established across much of the northeastern segment of the continent. The rich and the poor alike have flocked to the continent in search of adventure or a new chance at a happy life. The merchant syndicates have not missed a beat either, establishing trade routes and claiming their choice of real estate all along the Frontier. The nobility is not immune to the sense of urgency either. The Sovereign’s court will throw a title at almost anyone of noble to semi-noble birth who is willing to tame the wilderness.   Drocrath - The last known bastion of goblinoids on the planet. These creatures were forced from their homelands across Daelus and Eryphir by the aos'Si, daonni, and dwearh as these races gained power and strength. The continent is ruled by the Fa'moire, a sect of fey who have abandoned the ways of the Fairy Courts exchanging them instead for the corrupt ways of the Old Gods. There are five clans of goblinoids across the continent, each strictly segregated by their race - bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, and ogres. These clans are organized by the Fa'moire and used by them as something of a buffer between their home of Ge'ata and their enemies - the aos'si - on the continent of Eryphir.   Eryphir - The continent of Eryphir has been populated for over one million years by one race or another. Originally inhabited by the armies of the Old Ones, it has since seen several ages in which different god-like beings have reigned over the planet. Currently, in the Age of Wonder, in which no outer plane holds sway over the Prime, magic reigns supreme. The Commonwealth is the largest government on the continent, but does not control the whole of it. While that is certainly their goal, there are many other smaller nations and people who do not fall under their sway.   Icia - The last of the major continents, is something of a mystery. The only organization of any sort on this small continent are the Pirate Princes who inhabit the innumerable coves and caves along its porous coasts. The pirates have resided hundreds of years, ever since the Belorian fleets drove them from Seaside and their coastal forts on Daelus. Today few outside the pirate clans make it to the continent itself, generally falling prey to the numerous pickets and coastal defenses established by the princes.   Medrevos - The lost continent is a vast wilderness located just to the southeast of Eryphir. Where Daelus had once been inhabited and is now in the process of being revived, Medrevos has proven to be an inhospitable and overgrown landscape where very few have traveled. The main jungle region, known as Lockhart's Labyrinth, was once traversed by the jungle's famous namesake Vernold Lockhart. Medrevos is a continent that feels tilted, with its eastern edge dipping into the ocean, while the western side has been thrust up into the air. Massive cliffs and mountains have historically prevented most explorers from even making it onto the landmass.   It is said to be inhabited by a race of intelligent lizardfolk who use toxic gas and poisons as weapons to hunt and capture their prey.   Medrevos is perhaps most well known for the flight of the Zephyr. The historic aeroship was one of the first, and perhaps one of the largest built in Rynmark after the creation of the Void. Its commissioning was by the Geographical Society of the Commonwealth (GSC), a posh and influential organization based in Rynmark proper. The Zephyr was a massive ship for its time, capable of carrying almost 400 people with supplies for over a year on board. The ship was to map the breadth and depth of Medrevos, bringing back samples of flora and fauna, images of the indigenous people, and, perhaps most expectedly, treasures from the lost continent.   The Zephyr was in contact with Rynmark for nearly a month before abruptly cutting all communication. The expedition was pronounced "lost" with all hands by the GSC in 34 AV. Only a few half-hearted attempts to recover the Zephyr have ever been attempted, so no one truly knows what happened to the ship or its crew.  

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth of Ustren is a relatively new government in the grand history of Baennor, having only completed their conquest of Eryphir some two decades ago when the Soumi of the West fell to Belorian forces from the city of Rynmark. With the surrender of the city of Nofre-Maz, the Soumi people were absorbed and most of the former kingdoms of the daonni fell sway under the Commonwealth. The build-up of this mighty empire, however, is a story that dates back tens of thousands of years.   Rynmark (formerly Mhorag) - The Belorian armies took the seat of the Orcish warlords and settled here, creating a capital from the ashes of the former rulers. The once fearsome power base for the orcish empire, Mhorag, was razed to the ground and given a new name - Rynmark - the seat of The Sovereign and host to representatives from all the Houses across the Commonwealth of Ustren.   Today, Rynmark is the center for commerce on Eryphir, as well as its military and administrative centers. In addition, the agents of The Blackwood Society make their headquarters here, along with most overly wealthy merchants and much of the upper class. It is indisputably the “Gem of the Realm” on Eryphir.   The Blackwood Society - As the Belorian armies converged on Mhorag, the last bastion of goblinoid power on the continent of Eryphir, the fledgling Sovereign, Travier the Bold had his army laying in wait in The Blackwoods - a marshland to the east of Mhorag. The plan was to draw out the orcs with a feint from the South, then Travier would sack the defenseless city from the East. Unbeknownst to the young leader, there was a completely different threat in The Blackwoods, the varanids.   Varanids are a reptilian race living in the swamps at the foot of the Reimhelm Mountains. So reclusive were these humanoids that up to this point, it is believed daonni had not ever encountered them before. Their first encounter in The Blackwoods was not a friendly one, either. Travier and his band were ambushed on all sides by a varanid war party who laid waste to the small force. A small group of adventurers who had accompanied the young leader banded together and pledged their lives on the spot to protect Travier.   The group was able to push through the ambush and help Travier escape back to his front lines. The assault on Mhorag was foiled, however, and it would be another one hundred years before another attempt was made against the orcish capital. The adventurers, having shown exceptional heroism in the face of overwhelming odds were each granted the title of Lord. From this the First Lodge of The Blackwood Society was born in what is today the city of Seaside.   Today, the Society has become an group of semi-organized adventurous types who stand collectively behind the ideal that, as a united group, they can serve and protect the Commonwealth more effectively than operating independently. More than a “guild”, The Blackwood Society spans much of the Commonwealth, often found in some number (even if that number is just one agent) even in the smallest villages throughout the Commonwealth.   The cornerstone of the society are its agents - the Ravens - adventurers from all walks of life. Brave souls who answer the call whenever and wherever threats to the Commonwealth emerge. Other than a desire to serve, there is no qualifier to join the Blackwoods. Once someone decides to join, they must find a sponsoring patron and subsequently pledge to serve the people of the Commonwealth above all else.   Hopefully this introduction has helped you envision a world of magic, intrigue, and adventure. We look forward to seeing what worlds you create with Zephyr - Tales from the Void as a backdrop to your campaign! So grab your rapier and your Volt pistol, and prepare yourself for high adventure in the neo-arcane realm of Eryphir!

Quellis Avernath
The Races   The Major Races
Aos'Si
The remnants of a once proud kingdom of fey ruled by the Seelie Court of The Dreaming

Daonn
Conquerers of Eryphir. Leaders of the Commonwealth. Masters of Aethertech

Dwearh
Master engineers. The dwearh have cohabited with the daonni for centuries after losing their homeland to the Elemental Earth Lord

Wogan
This proud, nomadic people are the last vestiges of goblinkin on the continent of Eryphir.

The Minor Races
Boggarts
Wayward goblinoids from the Plane of Chaos who hide among the daonn and dwearh settlements.
Fa'Moire
Fey of the North who have forsaken the way of the Courts, instead embracing the power of the Great Old Ones.
Hobs
Minor, solitary fairy-kin who have been cut off from their place among the fey.
Halbkin
Not a race on their own, these cursed half-men are born of mortal tragedy and divine spite.

Other Races
Dreesa

Kazzixi

Mafabim

Wisfoh

Adventures in Eryphir


The Corruption in Daelus
ERY-S118- E1 - Rumblings in Ravens Barrow
ERY-S118- E2 - A Knight's Terror
ERY-S118- E3 - Missteps in Meresburg
ERY-S118- E4 - Reckoning in Ravens Barrow

Rise of the Internationalé Coalition Endothermiqué

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