What is Paldoran?Paldoran is a brutal and cutthroat place, mainly characterized by its dark, red-tinted skies and abundance of undead. Some say that the district is so polluted that souls get caught in the smog and manifest as full-bodied spirits. Economically, Paldoran mostly sustains itself through exporting metal and being paid off to imprison criminals of all sorts from the elite districts. Ultimately, Paldoran was built to be a prison for those deemed ugly by Yezev, liars by Birial, or tasteless by The Bastille. However, few who stay here want to leave. Maybe they find a sense of acceptance under the burning skies, or maybe the nearby alternatives are simply that unfavourable.
SectorsPaldoran is set up as a series of four concentric rings, known as sectors among the populace. The transition from one to another is always denoted by a wall with specific gates, all decorated with the image of Paldoran's goddess Fintessa.
The SmelteryThe outermost sector of Paldoran is home to mostly furnaces, mines, occasional farms, and working class housing. Stone is abundant in this district, as are ore veins, so this ends up being the economic center of the district. Metal is Paldoran's most important export by far, and the district has practically hollowed out the mountain it rests on, building structures from the top down over the years rather than the bottom up. Unfortunately, while The Smeltery is in the most defensible positon in the district being at the top of the Hollow Mountain, this is where most of the poorest people live. Oath of the Menace paladins roam the streets from time to time, but overwhelmingly the denizens are working class people paid by the Enforcers just enough to keep themselves alive. Need based crime is more than common, leading to a vicious cycle of pain, death, and holy decrees of destitution.
The Ring of BurdensThe second sector of Paldoran is the base of operations for the Enforcers. The Ring of Burdens is mostly middle class paladins and knights, clad in black armour and loyal to Verreaux. This sector is responsible for the conquest of Venal, leading (along with their prophecy) to their lashing out against Tamel. The Ring of Burdens is also home to the infamous Onyx University, a school of dark arts and forbidden knowledge. This sector is geographically below the Smeltery, so doesn't get the worst of its many toxic outputs. However, it is still witness to Flagelli's ever present furnace smoke.
The Great Southern TempleA temple to Fintessa spans this entire sector of Paldoran. At the northern edge lies the temple itself, a vast dark structure overshadowing the stone buildings all around it. However, the whole secotor is considered holy ground, especially with the smoke from Flagelli choking its streets. Aside from the pit of Flagelli prison, this is geographically the lowest part of Paldoran, giving people a perfect view of all the smog and pollution as it chokes the district's skies. Unfortunately a massive number of killings happen on the streets of the Great Southern Temple, all tributes to the Goddess of Smog and Death.
FlagelliThe innermost sector of Paldoran, Flagelli is a massive prison drilled into the ground which serves double purpose as a massive furnace. People sentenced to death are tossed into the Pit, a burning, nearly bottomless hole bored straight into Paldoran's core. None survive the drop, or so the Enforcers think. Even if they did, how could they survive the burning furnace at the bottom? Truly, every soul sentenced to death becomes fuel for Paldoran's many industries. Only one soul has ever survived both the furnace and the drop -- Krim Omicci. This monster rests at the bottom of Flagelli, chains fused to his charred bones. He feels every moment of the flames torching his body, but has slowly become used to these horrible conditions. Now he's escaped, and a multitude of killings marked with puppets have followed in his wake.
ConcordanceThe Concordance makes itself known to Paldoran in a few ways. Most notable is the red hue in the sky, though most chock this up to pollution. Truly, the red hue comes from condensed ley getting caught in the smog. Furthermore, the spirits which fall from the sky happen to be a result of the Concordance as well. Finally, the strange happenings at the Onyx University are a result of ley condensing into this one area near the center of the world. People warp and write, transformed into creatures from whichever documents they peruse for too long.
LocationsPaldoran is incredibly dense, but it's little more than a stepping stone from one district to another in terms of sightseeing. Many of the most important locations serve an important purpose rather than being something people come to visit. Luckily, Paldoran thrives enough on its mining and exports to survive perfectly fine without tourists.
Flagelli PrisonThe centermost sector of Paldoran is a massive, circular prison with a furnace at the bottom. Drilled directly into the ground, this Flagelli is ringed with cells and has an abundance of space for new convicts. Flagelli is rather difficult to navigate. The further down a prisoner is, the more time needs to be spent traversing the rings. For this reason, high security prisoners are placed closer to the bottom of Flagelli so they need to spend more time in order to escape. Unfortunately, this also works the other way -- Enforcers sent to the bottom of Flagelli have been known to starve on their way up, only sometimes getting out of the furnace's heat with their lives.
The Onyx UniversityA generally forsaken place, known for keeping deadly tomes and teaching forbidden magics. The Onyx University was once an offshoot of Birial, meant to spread propaganda and essentially gentrify Paldorans. However, this plan backfired when Fintessa banned all books from outside of Paldoran. Half of the archives were burned, and everything that was left taught the glory of smog and passage into the afterlife, as well as the tools to create either. Unfortunately, while the propaganda from Birial was burned away, the subliminal messaging of crime and was just as dangerous and sad. Fintessa has since lifted her ban on all non-Paldoran books, but still the other teachings haven't reached the Ring of Burdens.
The Goblin FurnaceVenalites haven't retaliated agains Paldoran for a good reason -- the Goblin Furnace. This massive factory in the southern edge of the Smeltery is lined with cages. These cages are made of a superheated metal that put spellcasting goblins under enough stress to make them sweat out their ley. This ley is then refined and sent into Flagelli, where it is burned along with other humanoid prisoners.
LeadershipPaldoran's leadership is split into three essential pieces, all with their own purpose and roughly equal levels of import -- Leaders of the church, leaders of the military, and leaders of the prison. The leaders of each faction all have their place within one of these tiers, and often struggle against eachother in order to hold more power for their circle.
Fintessa, Goddess of SmogA god among men and spirits alike, Fintessa is the undisputed leader of Paldoran from an outsider's perspective. She leads the church after all, and who better to lead the people than their deified figurehead? However, while the several factions throughout Paldoran continue to shower her with praise and adoration, not everyone is a follower of her teachings. Fintessa acts as a god of passage, bringing the worthy to an afterlife in the smog while the scorned masses choke underneath her red skies.
Ideal. Acceptance. Some will live, some will die, some still will be reborn. The worthy accept their place, wherever it is.
Bond. Paldoran worships me despite my status. I must do my best to be worthy of their praise, lest it be ripped out from under me.
Flaw I live in constant fear that the world will pull my title away.
Ivi, Sum of Twelve Thousand LivesA coalescence of everybody that was burned before Fintessa was reborn in the smog, Ivi is the head archivist in the Onyx University. Their sole goal is to record all of history, using his constantly bifurcating limbs to write several tomes at once while his many brains focus on recording all of their memories. Ivi is more than willing to share their findings, their memories, and their hypotheses to all who ask, but during the whole conversation they'll continue writing at their ring of desks with scattered notes and lists of topics. Ivi acts as a leader of the church, but is often at odds with Fintessa due to their conflicting philosophies.
Ideal Knowledge. Knowledge is power. Knowledge should be shared. Knowledge should be preserved. The world falls apart without it.
Bond I must record all of Idyllis' history, as much as I'm physically capable of anyway. If every district has a version of me, which according to my studies may be the case, we can know all of human history and learn perfectly from it.
Flaw I am only human, or humans. I can make mistakes, misinterpret things. This is why my vast array of minds are necessary, to account for and destroy misinterpretations. However, this also means a massive amount of proof reading.
Aurythiad, the MenaceAurythiad is a gold dragonborn who was forced out of his home in Birial after dabbling in rune magic. Naturally, he was forced into Paldoran, and this could easily count as one of Birial's biggest mistakes. Aurythiad quickly rose among the ranks of the Enforcers, eventually overtaking the former leader Verreaux. The biggest reason for this quick rise is Aurythiad's vast knowledge -- having trained at both the Combat School of Birial and the Onyx University, this dragonborn was able to imbue his golden plate and gilded sword with runes. This boost in power made him both nearly unkillable and an absolute menace to all who opposed him. Aurythiad now aims to overtake Venal, seeing the goblinoids as weak savages, and exploit their fertile land to expand Paldoran's borders.
Ideal. Power. In any form, power is what moves the world and turns it into what it is.
Bond. I am a GOD! I will arise to the ranks of Fintessa and Sublimity, and all will worship their god of war.
Flaw. What flaw? I am perfect in every way! None shall ever fell or best me in combat, none can outwit my tactical prowess! I will rise above all mortals!
Krim OmicciA true monster, in nearly every sense. Krim has essentially clawed his way out of Hell itself, climbing from the burning pit of Flagelli all the way now to his small shack of horrors in the Smeltery. He felt every moment of his torment at the bottom of the world, every lick of flames, every shot of pain as his charred bones cracked and splintered on impact, every torturous moment of the chains that bound him fusing to his body. Now he roams free, ready to repay the world in kind for the agony he endured.
Ideal. Purity. Vermin of all sorts must be exterminated, human or otherwise.
Bond. My mother gave me life, gave me the world I desired. I belong to her and her whims first, she need only call on me.
Flaw. I am a coward, a true coward. My... exterminations, they've all been calculated, and only luck has made them go to plan. Above all I fear death -- After what I endured, I can't possibly imagine what Hell will have in store for me.
FactionsPaldoran is home to a host of factions, many associated with only one ring of the district. For example, the Ring of Burdens is the sole home of the Onyx University, while the Destitute find their place in the Smeltery. Most of these factions are tenuously friendly, but they are all more positively related to a certain two than to the others.
The Church of Fintessa
The Church of Fintessa is the closest thing to an ultimate leading faction in Paldoran. They're friendly with the Enforcers and the Destitute for roughly the same reason -- they both act in service to the church. Destitute spirits and people often turn to the church for guidance, while the Enforcers act as an extension of the Church itself. The Church, like most religions in Idyllis, worships their goddess Fintessa in two aspects -- smog and death. Fintessa acts as a god of passage, gating rebirth from the unworthy while allowing those she favours a glorious ressurrection in the smog. However, the church is somewhat prone to collapse for one simple reason -- All gods in Idyllis are fabricated. If this somehow got out, the church would turn on Fintessa and likely be disbanded as a whole.
The EnforcersThe Enforcers work hand in hand with the Church of Fintessa, acting as her executive branch when compared to the governments of other regions. However, these are a somewhat independent faction with ties to a conquest that spreads south. The leader, Aurythiad, plans to use his might and tactical prowess to ascend among the small pantheon of Idyllis. The Enforcers are also tenuously allied with the Onyx University -- Runes have become a sign of status among the Enforcers due to how Aurythiad employed them, and all runic arts are taught at Onyx.
The DestituteAll humanoids and spirits can find a home in Paldoran, but in such a dangerous place it's impossible to do alone. The Destitute are a loose alliance of sentient beings, with the main goal of surviving. They're very strongly allied with the church for the hope it provides. After all, hope is a commodity that few can refuse, and a church is a happy dispenser. The Destitute also have a currently positive relationship with the Guild of Collectors, mostly because their goals align. However, the nature of gangs makes this a rather volatile positivity. The moment that the Destitute have something Krim or his subordinates want, they'll take it without remorse.
The Onyx UniversityThe Onyx University is arguably Birial's biggest mistake within Idyllis. This school was originally an attempt to gentrify and indoctrinate the masses of Paldoran, forcing them into accepting Birial's twisted, judgemental 'truth'. However, the massive amount of forbidden knowledge already kept within Paldoran's walls slowly bled into this school's teachings. Runic arts, necromancy, the gift of smog, as well as all of Ivi's collective knowledge eventually corrupted these halls and their teachings until all that was left was a university-shaped mass of dark teachings. The Onyx University is allied with The Guild of Collectors and the Enforcers for a very similar reason -- they both aim to learn something within its walls. Krim seeks the answer to his immortality and hopes to end his suffering once and for all, while Aurythiad aims to do the opposite, ascending to godhood with a combination of runes and tactical prowess.
Krim's Guild of CollectorsThis 'guild' is essentially Krim's biggest and most elaborate plaything. Being one of the Omiccis, he has access to their profits and high connections in Tamel and used this to create a thieves' guild. These thieves and brigands are unified under Krim and aim to find the secret to his immortality, either by collecting trinkets and knowledge or by destroying anything that seems important. Nobody knows the full truth that Krim is a lich with a phylactery in Tamel, but they do know that he spent three years burning in prison before emerging from Flagelli as a charred skeleton. Krim is allied with the Destitute and the Onyx University, as both serve his search directly. Krim hopes that the secret to his immortality is within Paldoran, and there's no better place to search than an archive of Paldoran history.
Current ProblemsIn places like this, where production is high and wealth is hard to come by, crime is bound to become a way of life for many people. However, Paldoran has more problems than just crime sprees. While Krim has escaped Flagelli and unleashed a reign of terror along with it, several people have turned to other religions as Fintessa's promise of a glorious rebirth falls flat for many. There is no shortage of problems which plague this district, and it's up to the players to choose which ones to bother with.
Krim's EscapeKrim Omicci, infamous toymaker and mass murderer, has escaped from the pits of Flagelli against all logic. This charred mass of bone and chains was seen clawing his way out of hell mere months ago, corresponding very nicely with a spike in crime. Few are sure if this is truly Krim, but with the new presence of the Omiccis' trademark poxed dolls in the streets, it seems likely that this escapee has more than a small relation with that family. What's more, whispers and rumours speak of a newly founded thieves' guild known as Krim's Guild of Collectors, seeking an answer to their leader's immortality. Everyone hopes that he finds it soon, lest more blood be spilled for the sake of this unfortunately immortal toymaker.
HeresyThe Church of Fintessa is close to the true ruler of Paldoran, so an act against the Church can reasonably be argued is an attack against Paldoran. This is the stance of the Enforcers, a brutal militaristic faction led by a gold dragonborn. Their main goal is to stamp out heresy wherever it crops up, even outside Paldoran's borders. This conquest has led to difficult relations with Venal to the south, as well as Frulotti to the northeast, both of which have less conventional ways of viewing the world and how it functions. While some see this as a justified inquisition, many innocent people are caught in its wake -- even a child who doesn't believe in Fintessa's grace could well be slaughtered where they stand if they let the thought slip to the wrong people. Still, Paldoran continues to produce, it continues to export, and it continues to keep loose alliances despite its militarism.
The Burning SkiesSmog and ley choke the skies of Paldoran, and people in the outer rings are starting to experience visions of the sky being lit ablaze. This is very often followed by an extremely painful lung condition that essentially burns the victim from the inside, likely a result of the smog-ridden skies throughout the district. This is openly understood by most, but because Paldoran thrives on its exports, it's nearly impossible to find a mutually inclusive end to these burning skies.
MycolidsStrange growths have been infecting several people and buildings in the southern edges of The Smeltery. These growths seem fungal in nature, and within weeks a host will lose their ability to think properly, supposedly tapping into the fungal hive mind. Few consider this a real issue -- after all, only stray Destitute or factionless citizens are affected. However, this fungal plague is slowly spreading to the more industrialized northern edges of the Smeltery as well as the southern tip of the Ring of Burdens. People believe that these growths are a result of the Enforcers' conquest into Venal, but few are willing to speak this suspicion due to fear of being branded a heretic. The most worrying part of all this is that it will soon affect the air in Paldoran, assuming the spores get burned and released into the air. If this happens, the rain itself will be infected by mycolid growths, and none will be safe from their collective self.
RelationsWhile few are fond of Paldoran's church, none can argue against its high number of exports. It's earned a rather high reputation simply through exporting goods throughout the world, even to the rather isolationist Tamel. However, Paldoran tends to view the rest of the districts as parasites unworthy of consideration, with few exceptions.
YezevYezev is no more worthy of praise than we are. Rather than accepting people and their differences, they just shove the imperfect into a suspiciously Paldoran-shaped corner. I guess it's only justified that we hate them back.
TamelWe must commend the Gracious Family's genius. Not only have they forced an entire population into poverty, sedated them so they don't question you, and worked them so hard that their souls leave their body -- they're also the only district who doesn't import our stone! Bastards.
VenalFor as uncivilized as they seem, Venal seems to put up a really good fight. No matter. They're backed into a corner with no good place to escape once Aurythiad says the word.
The Old RoadsWe respect their efforts to defend the natural balance. However, it's far from reassuring to know that they won't fight back when put in a dangerous situation. They just do the church's job worse, and it's a damn shame.
The BastilleOpulent pricks. All they do is sit around drinking 'wine' while people suffer and die beneath them. At least they buy our gold.
FrulottiHardly a district worth considering. It's just a small carnival to our northwest that children try and run away to.
KjanaWe've taken a page or two out of the Demon Ring itself. Martial knowledge, spellcasting, runes, what have you. Our enforcers are more than thankful, even if your only purpose is to keep the Elites in power.
BirialThe Enlightened District's mistakes still scar our streets. At least their Onyx University has been, let's say, repurposed.
QeanThe biggest parasite of them all. Thanks to this Dstrict of Abominations we've near run out of copper veins to mine. At least this undercity hasn't bled under our prison. Yet.
Outcast, eyesore, menace, or otherwise -- All thrive under our choked skies
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