Introduction to the Setting
Ravare, as a setting, is a massive and complex Dark Fantasy universe that heavily explores the themes and concepts centered around harrowing survival on conflict-ridden worlds. Each of the 45 Realms found in The Cosmos is bound to two primary elements that dictate the realm's natural metaphysical laws.
Life in its many countless forms blooms across every Realm in existence. Some life may require intense heat to survive, while others only need to bathe in resplendent light or latch onto a suitable host. Yet across every Realm, the presence of Sophonts is a near constant. Every species has several innate qualities: the capacity to reason, the will to enact change in the universe, and an inherent source of a powerful energy known as a Sophontic Soul.
Though there are stories to tell on every Realm following all manner of people, many find themselves on the verdant shores of a world once severed from the Cosmos. A place meant to be the tomb and prison of Humanity's greatest Pantheon. Yet a Realm so rich in its history and material wealth is now a coveted jewel and the Cosmos' most ravenous forces turn their attention to Ravarus…the Realm of Abundance.
What separates man from beasts?
Many creatures throughout the Cosmos can devise traps, communicate in groups, and even construct grand homes or durable tools. But what makes a Sophont's mind different from the rest is their ability to imagine, for better or worse. Every Sophont has a spark within them, giving them the ability to create wonders, invent the impossible, and conceive of countless possibilities for the future. However, this ability comes at a cost. This drive pushes them to understand why they exist and why all things exist alongside them, propelling them towards scientific and magical progress at the cost of the natural splendor found in their prior ignorance.
Where there are Sophonts, there is change. Beasts may build homes or destroy the land, Elementals may battle each other in large Cabals, but Sophonts can change the very fabric of reality as we know it. Change is inevitable with Sophonts. Like the transformation of seasons or the shifting of tides, change comes to all things in the Cosmos; the meddling of Sophonts only hastens its transition. Unfortunately for the Cosmos, they rarely see the truth of their actions and their ramifications often leave the Cosmos to suffer the full brunt of their consequences.
Within every Sophont in the Cosmos resides a source of infinite power known as the Sophontic Soul. Each of these eternal sparks of pure creation can fuel the Cosmos' divine spellcraft, known as Miracles or Chants. Yet, when brought together in harmony the power of their unified beliefs and shared connections can in fact twist and tear the very laws of a world. Reality can be molded like clay beneath the touch of a dutiful artist, these Divine creatures are formed from mortality to walk as living godly embodiment of an ideal or concept.
Magic forged the Cosmos from the eternal emptiness, made the Divine, and constructed the Realms. I have witnessed he who creates, the god of all gods, and basked in the wonders of his creation. All magic, be it Faith, Primal, or even the Glow, is but a paltry imitation of the true powers of creation. Yet we as mortals cannot help but play god and mold the Cosmos to our whims and wills.
The Glow is the collective term used to refer to all magics derived from the manipulation of the Cosmos' most fundamental forces. It is the magic practiced by Spellweavers, Magi, and Wizards alike; it is known colloquially to the common folk as Arcane magic. Like a muscle, the Arcane grows and strengthens with time and use; likewise, it will degrade and wither like the legs of a cripple when left unutilized.
Primal Magic is the term used to refer to all naturalistic sorcery that draws from the basic binding elements that make up the Realms. It is the magic of Shamans, Druids, and Sorcerers across the Cosmos; known as Elemental Magic, Primal Conduits rely entirely on their Realms to fuel their spellcraft. Its reliance on the Realms has it lacking other magics' limitless potential but makes up for it in reliability and potency.
Faith is the collective term for the power found within the Sophontic Soul wielded by both gods and mortals alike. While immensely powerful on its own, each Soul contains only a modest amount of spiritual energy that, when harvested through steadfast worship or shared beliefs, allows Faith Magic Chanters to perform impossible feats known as Miracles. It is the magic of Priests, Holy Warriors, and Skalds.
What is a Divine, and what fuels their deific power?
An individual, creature, or even concept will ascend to Divinity when imbued with enough Faith and entwined with a divine source of power known as a Domain. A can directly tap into these fonts of magic fueled by their worshipers' Sophontic Souls and their collective beliefs used to embody that deity with simplified concepts. Yet as the Sophontic Soul gives them power, so too does it enslave them to their faithful. Forevermore are the at the mercy of their followers and the theologies they establish to represent their honored gods. Fickle things that change and twist, like the Realms, to the ever-shifting whims and wills of mortal Sophonts.
A power is only as strong as their Domain, and with every Miracle produced, it grows weaker. Only through time and the prayers of Sophonts can these celestial fonts recharge their powers. Thus, it is crucial for all to maintain large groups of dedicated followers to stay powerful. When share Domains, they are particularly vulnerable. They must ensure that their associates do not draw too heavily upon their shared font nor leech off the power provided by one's own religious followers. There are other methods of gaining a Domain other than great institutions of worship, such as slaying a or even being gifted one by an established deity. There is no limit on how many Domains a singular can wield; generally, when one attains too many, they become chaotic, unstable, and prone to deadly mistakes.
In the beginning, there was naught but twelve lights in the sky . . . And each of these lights represented the core powers of the universe. . . Together, they were able to create the Realms of the Cosmos, each in the image of its parents . . . Ravare and her twin moons are but one of these Realms.
As stated above, two Primary Elements make up all Realms within the Ravare Setting. With ten of these in play and each world always consisting of two Elements different from each other, we end up with a total of 45 unique Realms in the Cosmos. Scholars have devised a way to codify each Realm by its cultural and natural pillars, to organize these Realms better as they are discovered.
These defining pillars include a Realm's general level of technological achievement and its people's adherence to the quest for scientific progress; its denizen's grasp of one or more of the magical arts and their acceptance of such power into their daily lives; the Realm's overall level of safety and survivability for traditional forms of life in the Cosmos; the Realm's diversity in life both native and exotoric in nature; and finally the Realm's connection to the rest of the Cosmos.
However, these pillars are rarely stable constants or particularly truthful due to their basis on first-impressions and second-hand accounts of exotoric Realms. But as exploration trudges forward and scholars record their knowledge, each Realm's classification becomes more accurate.
Interested to learn more? Take a look at Introduction to Ravare to learn more Ravare as a Realm or look into Introduction to Haven to learn more about our narrative story and various campaigns! Better yet, read both! And please join our Discord!