An Introduction to Isekai

Written by RiverFang

The sun rises on scarred earth, scorched and battered by the events that are centuries behind those that now walk the hallowed grounds. Shrines scattered across the land tell the story of the cataclysm, the war that brought Eldritch horrors to the lands of Isekai.   Humans, elves, and dwarves alike, as well as the races that call the farthest reaches and most deadly terrain of Isekai their home, continue on from the days of the Eldritch War. A war that set the gods against one another, the war that wiped entire species from the continents of Vóreios and Nótios, is now two centuries past, but the scars remain. What fallout of the war awaits you in your travels? What dark corners of your past are touched by the Eldritch War? No one is free from the touch of the Eldritch War.
  Finding yourself in the harsh environments of Isekai is far from a dream. Here, the land surrounds you with cragged mountain ranges, fiery islands, lush forests, and harsh deserts and tundras. The air is full with the sounds of creatures, birds, small game, even larger creatures that would call even a humanoid of your stature their prey.   Maybe instead you stumbled upon the quiet Deadzones, the locations of the greatest fallout of the Eldritch War. These places are eerie in their silence, something that not even the farthest reaches of the snow-blanketed tundra could match. Perhaps you fell down a rabbit hole or through the veil into the upside-down world of the Feywild or the Shadowfell, or perhaps it was just the depths of the Underdark that you stumbled in to.   Regardless of what harsh reality lies around you, you have found your way to the expansive world known as Isekai. Welcome to a world full of monsters, magic, and tragedy.  

What is Isekai?

Isekai is a high fantasy world with mythical beings and high magic, inspired by a great number of myths and legends from our own world.   The world and its peoples came to be through the work of the gods and their creations, races that span the millennia since they first walked the lands of Isekai. Each race found their homelands and their specialties, finding their path through the infant world through the help of the gods.   Here, magic is everywhere, found in all parts of the world. Some dedicate their lives to the study of high magic, others are divinely gifted magic far beyond even the strongest casters. Even those considered monsters can wield magical abilities. There are few limits to the magic in a world where the power of gods can be found in mere mortals.   This limitless power brings with it great tragedy. That is what brought the Eldritch horrors to a once mostly serene land. Since the end of the Eldritch War, the landscape and its people have changed in the course of survival.  

Inspiration

The inspiration for the world of Isekai comes from a variety of places, including the lore of D&D5e, Greek and Roman mythology, and other legends and lore from around the world. A variety of people and places are represented in the world so our inspiration is large and ever-growing.

Tone & Theme

Isekai combines high and dark fantasy, leaning either way depending on what part of the lore you may be looking at. There is a theme of tragedy, but the greatest theme is overcoming tragedies and moving forward. The world continued through the Eldritch War and will continue long past any other tragedy as well.

Technology

Technology does not exist in Isekai in the way that it exists in the real world. With the extreme levels of magic that permeate all things, magic takes the place of technology, allowing people to teleport across great distances, to send messages instantaneously, or do a variety of other things that may normally be done through technology.
 

The World of Isekai


Continents


Nótios

Nótios is the southern continent of Isekai and is home to creatures such as Genasi, Lizardfolk, Tabaxi, Gnolls, and more. The Chromatic Dragons also call the continent of Nótios their home.
Nótios
Geographic Location | Jan 14, 2020

This land is considered the home of exotic races and the one that has seen little advancement in social structure and magical ability due to the warlike nature of many of its cultures.

 

Origins


Origin Myths

The world began with the Divine Races, races placed upon the world by the gods to fulfill a certain purpose. These four races would serve as the ancestors of the races that now roam Isekai.
Divine Races
Myth | Jun 29, 2020

The Divine Races are the four oldest races of creatures to emerge onto the world of Isekai several eons ago when Isekai was a new world.

Pantheons

The gods of Isekai are many, each existing in domains that may only be a single part of them. Their mark on the world is far reaching and distinct in the people that choose to follow the various gods of Isekai.
Pantheons of Isekai
Organization | Jul 3, 2020

Centuries before even the Divine Races of Isekai would set foot upon the land, the gods found themselves divided by their tenets, choosing to fall in line with those others that shared their thoughts.

 

History & Lore


 
 

Outside of the World

The Game

We had an idea to play a game of D&D that included many of the rules of 5e that people leave out as it makes the game much more difficult. With that in mind, the campaign known as "hard mode" was started, with Isekai at its center. Since that "difficult" beginning, we've played countless campaigns in the world using 5e as our system. While that will most likely not change any time soon, Isekai and our campaigns do function using a variety of house rules that can be found in the At Our Table category.

The Authors

The authors are a dynamic husband and wife duo that have been world-building for years, but Isekai is our grandest project done together to date. Both of us have backgrounds in creative writing and have used D&D and world-building as an outlet for those creative talents. We joined World Anvil as a way to organize our thoughts and ideas for our "hard mode" campaign, but since then, we have expanded our usage of it to be much more. If we're not writing for Isekai, we can be found writing for our other world, Seireitei.
 

Special Thanks

We would like to thank a variety of people for helping make Isekai what it is!   Our players, Ginny, Leah, Sage, and Sarah, for making the story that this world is built upon and bringing shenanigans to the table that expand our storytelling.   The Good Cookie Lodge and the Happy Sun Lodge for support and feedback, especially Qurilion, R. Dylon Elder, and Angela Biscup for the constant help, feedback, and support.   Damion Otter for his fantastic work on our CSS.   The WorldAnvil team for creating and maintaining such a wonderful website and community!   And many others that have helped us along the way!



Cover image: Crystal World by JK Roots

Comments

Author's Notes

This article is a work in progress! As the world expands, we'll add more overview articles of certain parts of the world so please bear with us!


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