WORLD REGIONS

The world of Vinramar is divided into World Regions, with each operating as a self-contained setting. Of course a single adventure could take you to several locations across the world, but if you prefer to build a home base and adventure on a smaller scale, each region offers unique races, cultures, and adventure themes.

ARROCHULE

Campaigns set in Arrochule can make use of the region’s rich history. As one of the cradles of civilization, it has seen countless cultures, wars, and tragedies. The memory of such events lies heavy on the land, and gives it great character.

Arrochule’s cities are built on the ruins of previous settlements. Each one can tell a unique story as adventurers descend into hidden passageways, catacombs, and temples that have far outlived the empires that built them. Such places might contain pieces of an ancient artifact, forgotten chants, sacred sites of power, or clues to the identity of jharethil hiding in plain sight among the people.

There is a vengeance in the earth. Until 1,500 years ago this land was called Ardon, the seat of hope, a home for the hated sons of Jharus, built on the first cradle of their civilization. Then its emperor was murdered, and the twelve cities of the jharethil were taken up into the heavens. Now the land itself mourns, ruined and overgrown with a jungle that slowly swallows the remaining provinces. These inhabitants have given it a new name: Arrochule, which by interpretation is Temple of Arrochimeir, the son of Daemoth. Only time will tell if the region will permit another nation to possess it for long.
— Ashannai Josman, Letters and Lectures

Ironically, this region is the birthplace of the Eitharmos, a militant order of hunters tasked by Daemoth with tracking down the jharethil. The Eitharmos maintains a strong presence here. Any jhareth or Jharric worshiper they discover is tortured and executed.

In addition to local adventures, Arrochule is a good launching point for a broader-scale campaign. Hundreds of merchant vessels come in and out of the region’s ports each day, bound for lands as far as Trentsmund or Arwest. If you wish to introduce your players to many different cultures, puting them on a ship out of Arrochule is a great first step.

ARWEST

There’s no end to the racial conflict that can be stirred up in a campaign set in Arwest. The tension between humans, werekin, and elves is at its peak. Street violence or war between these cultures might break out anywhere at any time.

A campaign set in Arwest might take place in an urban environment, the wilderness, or utilize a combination of the two. There are plenty of both here in close proximity.

Four fathers have been dead since our land was returned to us from the vampires. We claimed Arwest when it was young. Like the wolf we walked its breadth and built our dens, warning strange peoples that only we would possess it while one werekin lived. Then blood-hunters came from the East to challenge us, and with the cunning of the spider we trapped them until our webs became full and many of our folk were lost. Like the persistent rat we survived to make war once more, but Arwest is sapped of its strength. Under the reign of the Longstriders we may see it rise or fall for the final time.
— Dictated by the jackalwere king Omkat

Faerras is a city particularly well suited as a starting point for any game. Being a human settlement within short distance of empty wilderness, werekin territory, and the vampire homeland, it can serve as a base for diverse adventures. It’s also a place where refugees and immigrants have gathered from most parts of the world, allowing you to get a taste of many cultures without going far.

Werekin characters are sometimes defined by their relationship to others of their race. How they interact with the pack says a lot about who they are as individuals. Since Arwest is the only region where werekin live in large numbers, it’s the best place to explore these themes if you want to play that race.

CHAYRSHELLECH

In Chayrshellech’s earliest memory, Daemoth scouted its mountaintops for the site of his great fortress Maromutalcoth. In his wake came evil beasts seeking a life apart from the Daemon empire in the south. They beleaguered the native maahiset and turned Chayrshellech into a land of dread. It wasn’t until the dragon-spawn formed their empire Daragoch that the region became remotely safe for settlement. Once Daragoch fell, the land remained uninhabited for several thousand years.

It was that fact that led a branch of the maahiset to hide in the remote mountains on Chayrshellech’s eastern coast. Legends tell that these were the descendants of the maahiset aristocracy, too proud to delve beneath the earth for safety. Their refuges clung to the cliffs and summits of the Waelslayg Mountains, and when they descended they became known as the heathfolk—tough as nails, but with the souls of poets. At the beginning of the Wild Age they founded a nation along the River Hissaetra, and called it Chayrshellech, the heart of the world.

Within their cities and towers in the hills, the heathfolk keep a high standard of living. They are joined by halflings and the occasional dwarf, who are assimilated with open arms by their distant kin. In the city, education is the prime focus. Universities exert their power beyond instruction and wield political authority as well. The governments of Chayrshellech and Yarcarrach are made up of professorial administrators that counsel and provide for the people.

In the hands of the heathfolk, Chayrshellech has become the world’s epicenter of culture and learning. Less than 3,000 years ago it was an assembly of inhospitable deserts, mountains, and canyons. Now it is an area of great trade and travel where the wise seek out the wise. What was wild is now wealthy, and what was feared is now famed. The transformation did not come by effacing the land, but by embracing it. Its seclusion imbues reflection, and its relentlessness breeds tenacity.
— Abouchman Thairn, Foreward to Throne of a New World

GOLTARAIM

The region of Goltaraim is a melting pot, stirred up in local conflict. Little wilderness is left here. The land is fertile, and has been claimed and reclaimed many times throughout the history of the region. Its rich mercantile tradition is upheld by the Goltar Remyra, the Goltarin League. This loose confederacy between all the nations of Goltaraim maintains relative stability amid the petty conflicts of the oligarchies.

Goltaraim lies on a critical juncture between East and West. Thousands of vessels travel through the Strait of Imokh and the Sea of Jassaid on the southern coast. In addition, the region has become famous for its vibrant markets and abundance of products, drawing even more traders and travelers to it ports. Trade and Industry are the backbone of life in the Goltarin nations.

Goltaraim lies on a critical juncture between East and West. Thousands of vessels travel through the Strait of Imokh and the Sea of Jassaid on the southern coast. In addition, the region has become famous for its vibrant markets and abundance of products, drawing even more traders and travelers to it ports. Trade and Industry are the backbone of life in the Goltarin nations.

ILJUDHEIM

Life in Iljudheim is cautious. The small human kingdoms are in a constant state of battle, unsatisfied with peace or plenty. These warlike states have caused even the fey kindreds to retreat into obscurity, threatened by superstitious minds that wield eager blades. The human fear of monsters and tricksters is largely due to this incredible concentration of Feywild races that lies hidden in the central forests and caverns of the region.

Whatever separation may exist between the fey and human inhabitants of Iljudheim, there is a wealth of influence that the races have had on one another over the centuries since humans first arrived. The common attitude is one of reserved distrust. Most humans have labored hard to keep their land and families safe from war parties and raiders, not all of whom are of a foreign race.

The Ansë have their own pantheon of unique gods called the Vjornil. These deities, like the Ansë themselves, keep close and ask little, but offer less. Worship of the Vjornil is less spiritual and more pragmatic.

MOTTA

Motta is the oldest surviving nation in Vinramar. Its founding began in the earliest days of the first age, when Daemoth retreated from his assault on the other gods to create servants and warriors in the then-unkown shadows of the West. It is a land of dense history and thick settlement, where the hidden daemons are not without influence.

THE NORLYTHE

Situated in the frigid northern mountains of the western continent, the Norlythe is a vast forested wilderness populated by a wide variety of tribes and clans. Their city-state chiefdoms bring a hint of civilization and culture to the otherwise untamed forestland. Here is also found, in the farthest northern mountains, the last remaining dwarf stronghold.

PERRITH GORR

No land holds a legacy of fear to rival the lands that housed the once great empire of Perrith Gorr. A power that has occupied the history of the East for millennia, the vampire dominion has fallen into decay and despair. A furtive evil now rests on all the near-deserted fiefdoms of the estranged vampire kindreds. They live in ruins, keeping up the hollow appearance of an empire. The land is poisoned by their curse, and all living things become vampiric, even the grass and animals (of which there isn't much). This sickly infection has spread far into neighboring kingdoms.

SYRIKHAL

Syrikhal is a region of treacherous jungle with a string of coastal city-states founded by Senfaerist humans. Following the destruction of Wellusk, the inhabitants of Syrikhal have been beseiged by both refugees and corrupted vrylokas seeking blood. The spread of the vampiric taint has still not crossed the wilds that stand between Wellusk and Syrikhal, but it’s only a matter of time.

TRENTSMUND

One of the most technologically advanced nations in the world, the kingdom Trentsmund is the centerpiece of this region, a colonial superpower that operates from a relatively small motherland. The nations surrounding it are in a constant state of political and social intrigue, struggling to gain the favor of powerful Trentsmunder aristocrats that have the ability to make or break them.

WELLUSK

The horrors that have cascaded on Wellusk in the last ten years are barely conceivable. Volgothyde, as a first strike of vengeance against the people who defeated him 2,000 years ago, led a vast army of demons and vampires into the region, and razed its nations to the ground. Now all that remain are rubble, corpses, and wild survivors infected with a vampiric plague.

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THE FOUR WORLDS

The inner worlds of the Darkplane universe are four planets. Iltallach, Vinramar, and Morvugol orbit Salvendum, the central world. Each is home to a different echelon of lifeforms, relative to its distance from the central world. Vinramar, the mortal world, is a place of enormous conflict, but its mysteries and horrors are only a hinted vestige of the terrifying cosmic reality that lies beyond it.

THE DARKPLANE

There are many other locations existing outside the scope of the four worlds. Although extremely varied, these places are known collectively as the Darkplane, because of their extreme distance from Salvendum. The descent of Darkplane threats on the four worlds is a central conflict in the Darkplane universe. The most familiar of these outer worlds are described briefly below.

The Abyssal Throne

Daemoth’s abode is a banished world called the Abyssal Throne. It exists between the universe and the Outer Realms, sheltering elemental demons, aberrant monstrosities, and countless slaves. It is a place of unimaginable misery and grueling dark.

Dolodiri

The chaos-god Silphenor dwells in this outer nebula. Little is known about Dolodiri, but it is believed to be the final resting place of the souls not claimed by other gods.

Gallothade

This wandering star is the home of Senfaer, the god of order. His followers represent Gallothade as a great silver horse, on which Senfaer wanders the universe in search of truth and hidden mysteries.

THE OUTER REALMS

When Daemoth was first cast out of Salvendum, he explored many places unknown to creation. These Outer Realms exist in different dimensions beyond the five realms. They are known to house aberrant creatures, whose principles of existence defy the conception of the mortal mind.

Daemoth has slowly conquered vast stretches of the Outer Realms, and thus introduced many aberrant lifeforms to the four worlds. Gods, slaves, and refugees from the Outer Realms have poured into some areas of Vinramar, invoking horror and madness wherever they appear.

RELIGION

Religious and cultural conflict are central to the Darkplane setting. The sheer number of gods is noteworthy on its own, but they're also richly developed characters in the world and mythology of the setting. Their histories are interwoven with each other and the mortal races.

People tend to get different ideas when they hear the word god. In the Darkplane universe, gods are beings that have achieved a higher level of awareness. Some resemble those found in Classical or Norse mythology, with physical bodies that can take various forms. Others are powerful spirits, visible (when they wish to be) in visions or as elemental forces.

Mortals find themselves in the service of various gods through religious organizations, personal spirituality, or occasionally by force. The gods rarely manifest themselves openly, even to those who serve them, but their hands are always at work through their followers. Powerful and venerable religions dominate the cultures of the earth, but in a manner closer to the Ancient World than the Medieval one. Not all gods are benevolent, and not all of their priests are pious.

I'm a writer and professional actor from Boston, Masachusetts. I live in Denver, writing comics, games, short stories, and dabbling in filmmaking in my spare time. You can contact me at darkplanecampaign@gmail.com or find me on Twitter @DarkplaneDM. Sign up for the newsletter above to stay in the loop.

Darkplane is created by Graham Ward, with concepts and writing by Kristy Eager, Michael Eager, Adam Rodger, and Derrik Young.