Introduction to Valtena in Valtena | World Anvil

Introduction to Valtena

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Nobledark Age of Sail high fantasy

Valtena is a high fantasy Age of Sail setting inspired by my love of Tolkien, the Napoleonic Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, history, and linguistics. The world is built on the premise that gods are real and present beings in the world, and there is a cosmic struggle between good and evil. Many sapient species exist and have developed civilizations. Wooden sailing ships rule the waves, and gunpowder and firearms are standard in the worlds' militaries. Magic is common and pervasive throughout the world. There are flying islands high above the clouds, and to the people down below, they might as well be a different world entirely.  

Core Assumptions

  • There is no universal language. Even the trade language is only spoken by those who engage in international trade.
  • Mortal can become gods for their heroic deeds.
  • Every soul is touched by evil. The greatest personal struggle is to live and do good.
  • Religion is deeply important to the inhabitants, and the gods are real and active in the world.
  • Magic is common. While magic users are uncommon, everyone knows aout magic, and most people have acces to small and simple magic items.
  • The main place for adventuring is on Kos, specifically within the empire.

Core Themes

Right for the wrong reasons

Evil doesn't always look bad. There can be choices to admire and approve of from even the worst people. Meanwhile, those who set out to do good may end up hurting more than they help.  

Fate or free will

Destiny is a powerful force in the world. But not everyone is satisfied with the answer that everything is due to fate. Some seek the shape their own futures and the future of the world.  

United we stand, divided we fall

A group with a common goal can get more done than a multitude of individual agents. Likewise, a united front can fail without support.  

Are we all equal

Nations treat those of different races and social classes differently. What seems just and fair in one place might be unthinkable in another.  

State and religion

The gods and religion play an active role in the lives of ordinary people. But the power of the state and the governments control just as much. It's a steady push and pull between the two forces for power with both wanting to win.  

Magic and technology

The two seem at odds with each other as magic stagnates technological advances in some areas, and some technologies exist as a counter to magic. They don't have to be opposed, and their union can advance both in untold ways.

Major Conflicts

The empire has been at war for twelve long years, and its citizens are starting to tire. The troubles of the colonies have little impact on their lives, and each year, it seems like the war is claiming more and more lives. With each passing year, the calls for peace grow louder.
The volcano at the heart of the world has started to erupt. Some believe that it's an omen of impending doom. Rumors spread that the world is going to end with the return of Chaos. Others try to find more rational explanations for the volcano's activity.
Imperial archaeologists have returned with grim news that they desperately want to keep secret. They think they've found the cause for the Great Empire's fall. If they're right, then it means that the guardians can be killed, and there are hunters who see it as the ultimate prize.
Great chains fell from the sky as the sky islands dip low enough to make contact with the surface world for the first time in centuries. They're seen with distrust, but they bring incredible pieces of technology and goods that can't be obtained anywhere else.
There's been no news from inland Akea for some time, and the native birdfolk are now hostile towards anyone who comes near the mountains. No one knows why, and the last expedition to the interior vanished years ago.

About the Project

I started this project in 2019 with the idea of having a fantasy world with floating islands and magic crystals to make the islands float. Since then, it's expanded to developing a magic system and adding in everything I love and want to explore in a classic fantasy. This project is meant to last for many years to come, and the scope of a large world with dozens of countries facilitates that. I'm approaching Valtena as though I'm writing a campaign setting for a ttrpg. The goal is for each character, location, and faction to have plot hooks built in. It's system agnostic, and I have no plans to monetize it. Worldbuilding is a passion project for me.  

In World Content

One of the challenges I set for myself in creating this world was to create each article as though it exists in world. Articles can be clippings and excerpts from other texts or articles written entirely by someone in the world. Information between articles may be contradtictory or inconsistent as a representation of the different cultures and beliefs held within the world.  


  • Aubrey-Maturin series
  • Horatio Hornblower series
  • Richard Sharpe series
  • Temeraire series
  • Moby Dick
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Silmarillion
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • His Dark Materials
  • Powder Mage series
  • Drifting Dragons
  • Spice and Wolf
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm
  • Game of Thrones
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Greedfall
  • Divinity: Original Sin II
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Pathfinder
  • Black Desert Online

Cover image: by DigitalCurio


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Jun 4, 2023 18:44 by Menatith

I cannot adequately express in words how much I vibe with this. Just know that I now have a need to read the few books in that inspiration list that I was not already familiar with. Ever tried the Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb btw?

Experience history a little differently in the world of the Immortals
Jun 11, 2023 22:34 by Elizabread

I'm glad you've got some new reading material! And I have not read those books. Excited to add new stuff to my list, too!

Check out my world Valtena!
Jun 10, 2023 23:01 by Rin Garnett

Very well laid-out intro! I love the In World Content, that's such a fun way to approach writing articles. It can let each article say so much more just by how it's said and who's saying it.   Also I totally misread your first paragraph at first and thought it mentioned sentient ships.

Jun 11, 2023 22:35 by Elizabread

Thank you! And it's definitely a fun challenge. I'm enjoying trying out different styles and character voices and exploring what kind of literature is available to people.   And lol! Maybe there should be sentient ships ;)

Check out my world Valtena!