A Unique Setting
Kaldori: The Second Age is overflowing with content. Not only in regards to quests, items and systems; but lore and fantastic storytelling too. It’s within this lore and storytelling that makes the setting unique.
We were asked this a lot when we started advertising. “What makes the setting unique", “what makes it different”, “how does it stand out”. They’re important questions, and we hadn’t put much thought into how to answer them until now; instead, thinking more about the content itself, and the structure of the sandbox that we were bringing to the table.
‘Gemlock’ and flintlock weaponry are common in this world. Although the setting is still very much a high fantasy setting, themes from gaslamp (also known as “gaslight”) fantasy are heavily spread throughout, ranging from weaponry and machinery, all the way to clothing and architecture. Gemlock weaponry is a term that we’ve coined for flintlock-esque weapons that use magic infused gems to light the gunpowder (or other magical powder) within the firearm.
Flintlock weapons are much more common than gemlock weapons, but they certainly aren’t rare to find, especially in the Bay of Pirates. High elves in the Realm of Kiathera are even known to have them attached to swords and daggers, bringing an all new meaning to the gunslinger rogue.
We have a subclass tailored to this style of weaponry too, so that you can customize your character to be a gunslinger that fits in this world.
Gems are magical stones. All gems have a magical essence to them, which can be used to enhance magic, create new magic, and even stop magic. Although still used as currency, gems have a higher value in this world than they do in others, and tend to be more rare. In some places, they are also outlawed due to bans on magic.
Magic is toxic. Like chemicals and nuclear waste in the modern day, magic pollutes the environment and leaves a taint on the lands and its people. Wars of magic can completely decimate environments, creating both wondrous and terrifying mutants. Magic also affects its user. Great mages often have ebony hands, or veins in their hands that are large and purple, due to the taint of magic.
The Old Gods and Goddesses aren’t immortal, mystical beings that do what they want. Although they came into existence on unknown terms and are spiritual beings, they are forced to take on a material form every ten years to stay alive, and are very mortal (with the right tools and knowledge). They can turn the tides of fate and intervene when necessary, but they abide by rules of nature that they didn’t set; rules that if they break, will expunge them from existence.
Death, her sister Fate, and their brothers, the six Seers, keep balance in the world. These beings are the children of Kranon, the King of the Gods; and like many siblings they work together in despise of each other. Each is waiting for the right moment to strike out, and each of them are dangerously mortal.
Continuously trying to confuse, injure, and fool them, are the five Greater Demons. Not necessarily evil creatures, the Greater Demons are much like the Old Gods. They came into existence at the same time and are powerful beyond comprehension, though they are still inferior to the Gods.
The Old Gods are Kranon and Lazereth. They are the only two living Gods of the original eight, and like every creature in this world, they can be killed. Kranon is known to take a material form at all times, more often than not wandering Kaldori and exploring the wonders that developed from his creation. Lazereth, however, only ever joins him in a material form when he must.
(To keep the setting flexible and fulfilling for the player’s character creation, all other gods in any other pantheon can exist if they so choose. They are known as the “lesser” gods, and are all the creations of Kranon, or at the very least, thought to be).
The Realm of Sco’iel and the Thrulian Wasteland are our most unique land masses. Sco’iel (left image) has crimson grass, tinted by the blood of the six gods that were massacred at the beginning of the First Age of existence. Its people are usually more violent, and creatures from there are known for their bloodlust. The wood elves are a good example of this; as are vampires, who also originate from this realm.
The Thrulian Wasteland in the Realm of Kiathera (right image) is the northern island known for the Vam’niar Canyon, a large ravine found at the center of the wasteland that is said to have the gates to the Under Realm in its depths. The wasteland was tainted with both common and dark magic, where millions perished in a battle of false gods titled “The Battle of the Old Ones”. In this realm, common creatures are mutants of their original selves. The common elk might have glass antlers, or the gigantic spider might have twelve legs and spit boiling gold. Traveling here is beyond dangerous. Unless you’re an orc of course, in which case this place is likely to be home.
(Someone pointed out to me recently that the world is seemingly split into four biomes with some special qualities that help separate themselves from normal biomes. This is true, but has less to do with the lore and history of the world, and more to do with how people like to play. Some D&D players enjoy going from one place to the next, exploring all the different cultures and environments, but some players just like to explore one. This can also make it easier for one-shot games. However, due to the nature of the lore, the GM can freely re-arrange the map).