Player's Guide to Daern
Player’s Guide to Daern
Daern is one of six moons of a gas giant. A diagram of it is shown to the right. This diagram is not to scale.
The rotation of Daern is such that one side always faces the sun. Night and day are caused by Daern passing into the shadow of the gas giant. Night is essentially an 8-9 hour eclipse. There is about a half hour of dawn and dusk, when the sun begins to be covered by the gas giant. Seasons are cause by predictable fluctuations in the gas giant, making it either more or less reflective, which in turn gives either more or less heat to Daern. From the surface of Daern, the sun appears to be fixed in the same position in the sky, with only slight variations throughout the year. Nostiarna, the gas giant, appears to rise in the east until it blocks out the sun, then sets in the west.
The other moons of the gas giant are shown in the diagram to the left. Again it is not to scale (especially the sun, Edromyn) but the relative sizes of the moons are accurate. The moons are arrange in order of closeness to the gas giant, with Daern being the nearest and Siathar being the furthest.
From the Sun Blessed Lands, the habitable area of Daern, the other moons appear 1/2 to 3/4 full, as sunlight strikes them only from overhead. In some circumstances, the moons are lit from the red reflected light of the gas giant.
The diagram to the right shows the layout of Daern.
One side of Daern always faces towards the sun. The area that receives sunlight at the most direct angle on this side is called the Sun Blessed Lands and is considered the habitable region of Daern. The Sun Blessed Lands region is about 2000 miles across. The region that receives sunlight at an angle is called the Bittercold. It becomes colder further out from the Sun Blessed Lands. Much of the Bittercold is covered by snow and ice year round and only small portions of it have been explored. The side of Daern facing away from the sun is called the Endless Dark Ice. It is extremely inhospitable and very few people on Daern have seen it, and even then only the edge of it. Though it is termed the Endless Dark Ice, it does actually receive some light that is reflected off the gas giant and the moons. This is not nearly enough to warm it above freezing, however.
On the right is a map of the Sun Blessed Lands with overlay showing the nations of Daern. For a more detailed version of this map (and one without the nation overlay), see the map page. Below is a brief description of the nations. The races listed are explained in the next section.
- Fadafir Kingdom – nation of humans, some enieto, and some wolfos
- Brimmahg Confederacy – nation of humans and enieto
- Bulanti Nation – nation of humans
- Elven Nation – domain of the enlightened elves, a feared race that makes slaves of the other races
- Enieto Domain – underground domain of the enieto, a race of lore and history keepers that has close ties with humans
- Amhain Nation – nation of amhain
- Not on nation overlay, but the Veldt of the Sun region is largely populated by tribes of wolfos, a sentient wolf-like race
The main races of Daern are Humans, Enlightened Elves, Enieto, Wolfos, and Amhain. They are briefly described below. For a more in depth look at each race, see People.
- Humans have three nations on Daern: the Fadafir Kingdom in the Riverlands, the Brimmahg Confederacy in the Shattered Ocean, and the Bulanti Nation in the southern part of the Frostmelt Sea and in the Tirim Desert.
- Enlightened Elves are considered to be evil by the other raceas, as they often capture others to use as slaves. Their lands are in The Singing Forest and The Cold Forest.
- Enieto are primarily seekers of knowledge in Daern. Despite their frightening alien appearance, they typically cooperate peacefully with humans (have become enemy of elves because of this and they don’t typically interact much with the other races). Many live within the northern human nations, but their homeland is considered to be beneath the Eolas Mountains.
- Wolfos are a sentient wolf-like race (they walk on all four legs, but have slightly more advanced front paws, allowing limited manipulation of tools) in Daern. They operate in tribal units and most are nomadic hunter-gatherers, though a few have begun settling down on the borders of human civilization and have taken to herding and weaving. The largest concentration of Wolfos is in the Veldt of the Sun.
- Amhain are a race of humanoids with features of both moles and armadillos. They have very close knit communities. Their lands consist of the Plains of Arasan, some of the Tirim Desert, and the foothills of the Eolas Mountains.
Other races of Daern include the Death-touched, the Werekin, and the Forgotten Elves.
- Death-touched are humans or elves that have undead in their ancestry. Some serve as mercenaries. Most are outcasts of society and many end up on the eastern shore of the Frostmelt Sea, where other outcasts have made a fragile community for themselves.
- Werekin are humans with were-creatures in their ancestry. The were-creatures were long ago hunted to extinction in Daern, though their blood lives on in some human lines. Werekin cannot change shape, but have affinity with the animals that their ancestors could change into. They also have minor mental/physical quirks/abilities. For example, a werekin descended from a were-boar might be stronger than the average human and tend towards a more aggressive personality. Most werekin do not know that they are werekin, but feel slightly out of place in society. Some end up in the outcast community on the eastern shore of the Frostmelt Sea.
- The Forgotten Elves are a species of elves that are believed to be either extinct or just a myth. These elves occasionally appear in legends. They are said to have been valiant warriors and to have opposed the evils of the Enlightened Elves.
The deities of Daern are described in brief below. For a more complete look at the deities, see Religion.
There are two major pantheons in Daern – The Elders and The Celestials. There is a third classification of deities in Daern called The Primals. Typically, inhabitants of Daern worship one of the major pantheons as a whole. Only sometimes do people devote themselves to a single deity to the exclusion of others, though many have a favored deity.
The deities in Daern do not interact directly with the world as much as in traditional Dungeons and Dragons campaign settings. For this reason, paladins and clerics are very rare in Daern. Some inhabitants of Daern believe that there are not actually any deities.
These deities are widely worshiped in the North and their followers consider them to be the creators of Daern. Typically, their followers see the Primals as having been granted power by the Elders. The deities of this pantheon are listed below.
The Radiant One
Depiction: Amhain with extensive armor plating that shines brightly with an inner light
Domains: Law, Metal, Courage, Craft
The Guarding Hunter
Depiction: Sometimes a male Wolfos standing strongly on two legs, sometimes a powerful she-wolf.
Domains: Family, Plant, Animal, Purification
Depiction: Young male human
Created: Forgotten Elves, assisted with Humans
Domains: Good, Liberation, War, Luck
Depiction: Stoic, unblinking Enieto
Domains: Knowledge, Time, Meditation, Truth
The Mystic Lord
Depiction: Middle-aged male human
Created: Humans with assistance
Domains: Magic, Knowledge, Trickery, Travel
The Gate Warden
Depiction: Pale, young female human
Created: The Energy Plane
Domains: Death, Fate, Trickery, Wrath
The Enlightened Master
Depiction: Perfectly sculpted elf
Created: Enlightened Elves
Domains: Law, Magic, Domination, Plant
Depiction: Pale, handsome young male human
Created: Intelligent undead, lycanthropes, other monsters
Domains: Pleasure, Shadow, Undead, Evil
The Ravenous One
Depiction: Rotting enieto with black energy flowing out from within
Created: Mindless undead
Domains: Necromancy, Madness, Destruction, Evil
This pantheon is widely worshiped in the Bulanti Nation, the southern nation of humans. This religion believes that Daern was born from chaos and that the Celestials arrived to bring order to the people of Daern. The Celestials are believed to be embodied in the sun, the gas giant, and the moons around Daern. Their followers see the Elders as demon lords and the Primals as demons. The deities of the Celestials pantheon are listed below.
The sun, the shining light.
The gas giant, the night lord.
The lantern in the sky, the guide.
The life giver, the sparkling mother.
The bridge to the afterlife, the gray guide.
The iron hammer, the judge.
The watchful eye, the protector.
These are considered to be the most active deities on Daern, but in both major pantheons are seen as weaker than the major deities. Those who follow the Elders see the Primals as messengers of the Elders. Those who follow the Celestials see the Primals as demons that spread chaos through Daern in the name of the demon lords that some call the Elders.
There are many Primals. They can be viewed in detail under Religion. Below are listed the sub-categories of Primals.
A family of four humans that are considered to have been the first humans on Daern. Commonly prayed to for good harvests, healthy families, and successful lives.
A massive father tree said to have been created by The Guarding Hunter, as well as six Children created by the tree. Exactly how the Children were created is not known, but each child seems to embody one of the following emotions: Dutifulness, Compassion, Greed, Waywardness, Formlessness (or confusion), and Hate.
Four creatures said to have been granted power by the Elders for performing great deeds. These creatures revel in the element of their nature, but do not inherently control that element.
There are essentially only 2 planes of Daern, the Material Plane and the Energy Plane. Many inhabitants of Daern call the border between these planes The River. A few mages throughout history have claimed to be able to awaken their consciousness on the Energy Plane and have seen “a great river of energy, flowing everywhere throughout Daern”. The Energy Plane cannot have physical matter on it. Many inhabitants of Daern believe that the spirits of the dead go to this plane. Beyond the Energy Planes lies the Spark of Life, which is not a plane so much as a swirling vortex of soul energy. No living inhabitants of Daern have seen the Spark of Life, though it is mentioned in a few ancient legends. The border between the Energy Plane and the Spark of Life is called The Gate by many people.
Some mages theorize that when a person dreams, their consciousness is on the Energy Plane and is floating in and out of awareness.
There are beings on the Energy Plane. It is not known where they came from. They are called many names: Outsiders, demons, angels, wisps, wraiths, specters. Many of these beings are non-sentient and merely wander the plane looking for sustenance. They typically feed on memories of the dead, though sometimes on dreams of the living. Sometimes, when one has gathered enough thought, it develops sentience. The personality of it largely depends on the nature of the thoughts it has gathered. These beings are unable to manifest physically on the Material Plane, so they work their will through mortals, by whispers or possession.
Magic in Daern is categorized into 4 types: Arcane, Divine, Druid, and Psionic.
Arcane magic in Daern is seen similarly by many people to physics/chemistry: as a natural phenomena to be studied, understood, and used as need arises. Wizards are the most common arcane magic class in Daern. The University of Sehhrosh has a college of magic that primarily studies the forces behind it. Arcane magic (especially from wizards) is fairly common among humans, as well as enlightened elves (to the terror of the other races).
Arcane magic works by drawing energy directly from the Energy Plane using knowledge of how the universe is structured. Some casters do this through intense study of the mechanics of the world, while others seem to have an intuitive grasp of the mechanics.
Divine magic is very rare in Daern. This is because the deities of Daern typically take a less direct involvement in the lives of mortals.
Divine magic draws energy from the Energy Plane through the caster’s spirit. Deities grant knowledge of how to perform spells to the caster, and the caster’s faith allows them to draw the energy.
To play a divine caster, a player must receive DM approval.
Druidic magic is fairly common among Wolfos, less so among the other races.
Druidic magic draws forth or alters the energy that is already in the Material Plane; the energy stored in the earth, sea, and sky.
Psionics are very common among enieto, not uncommon among humans, and fairly uncommon among wolfos.
Psionics draws energy from the Energy Plane through the manifester’s mind. Manifesters have learned to partially control their awareness of the Energy Plane, allowing them to use their mind to affect Daern’s energy flow.
Necromancy is strictly forbidden throughout Daern and is punishable by death, as many believe the soul energy of people is recycled into new life and that disrupting the flow of soul energy could have dire consequences.
Some magic works differently on Daern:
- Teleportation: with no transient plane (See Planes), this type of magic works by disintegrating the target’s body, moving its spirit and soul energy through the energy plane, assembling a body at the target location, and reintegrating the spirit and soul energy with the body. Teleportation magic is dangerous… the reassembly process doesn’t always work right. The chances of something going wrong increase as the distance to be teleported increases. The effects of teleportation mishaps range from Constitution Damage to simply not being reassembled (treat as though target was reduced to 0 HP with a Disintegrate spell).
- Planar Travel: it is not possible to get physical material onto the Energy Plane, so traditional planar travel does not work. It is possible to awaken your consciousness on the Energy Plane and move around as a being of spirit and soul energy. While doing this, your body would appear to be in a deep sleep back on the Material Plane (some wizards theorize that when you dream, you are fading in and out of awareness on the Energy Plane).
The enieto have a story about the Spark of Life. In their story, they describe it as a place from which the energy of souls comes. They say it is attached to Daern, nearby all places, but just out of reach. The story says that when someone dies, their soul energy is returned to the Spark of Life to be used again later in the birth of a new being and that their spirits, their memories, are preserved in what they call the Hall of Memories. The story warns that the Spark of Life, though vast, is not infinite and it is possible that it could be depleted. This is why the enieto abhor necromancy, magic that disrupts this flow of soul energy. Most of the other races have likewise adopted this view against necromancy, both because they are scared of it and that the enieto refuse to aid (and in some cases have attacked) any nation or faction that allows necromancy.
Resurrection in Daern is extremely rare, though it is not seen as a form of necromancy. After someone dies, their spirit lingers for a week. A powerful enough being can reattach the spirit to the body within this time.
(In Game terms, this means if a party member dies, you only have 7 days to find a way to bring them back.)
The elegant yet precise language of the Enlightened Elves is rarely heard outside their home in the Singing Forest, and those who do learn it never leave. Among some truly ancient enieto texts another alternative form of Elven has been discovered it’s exact origins are unknown but most believe it is simply a primitive version of the elven spoken today. This alternative language is casually referred to as Forgotten Elven as a joke among scholars in reference to the popular fairy tale race; and is considered a dead language.
Language of the wolfos. Consists of barks, howls, growls, and body language.
Language of the amhain.
Language of fey and nature.
Marwaith is the language of the abominations (undead) that live in The Deep. Some Deepguard members have learned it in order to fight better against the abominations.
Lafaraith is the language of enieto. It is best understood through telepathic communication, though it can also be spoken. A trained ear might note that it shares roots with Common. Many spoken Lafaraith words sound like Common words that have been adapted for an enieto’s mouth, though some sound completely alien.
Written Lafaraith consists of logograms. Among enieto, Lafaraith is often made into calligraphy and is the most popular of the few enieto art forms.
Enieto write in dawelaith by making complex marks, which are charged with psionic energy that represents thought. Dawelaith is extremely difficult for races other than the enieto to understand, for the thoughts bound to the markings with psionic energy are from an alien mind.
Most dragons in Daern do not possess the ability to speak in a manner understandable to mortals. Dragons of different types also have trouble communicating with each other. To overcome this, the dragons have invented a language that uses a combination of tongue flicks, limb movements, and body position. Mortals can learn this language too, though it is a bit awkward to master.
There is no known Draconic writing system.