New RPG Blog

I figured I’d share a link here for my new blog dedicated to modern/future RPG ideas including some science fantasy, scifi, and superhero creations. While Arcanum of the Stars does fall into the concept of science fantasy, I’ve firmly attached it to Spelljammer Gone Wild so it won’t move to the new blog. (The same goes for my alternate Gamma World setting on my Otherworlds blog.) There will be lots of other scifi settings to develop on the new blog.

Knightfall’s Modern | Future RPG Campaigns

Thundermount Desert

This deadly desert sits near the center of the continent of Malecade along its southern shoreline. It is another lasting legacy of the conflict between the peoples of Rielun and the Kings’ Monarchy. It was created when the Imperial Throneship, Thundermount, crashed into Malecade during the Thousands Ships War (known on Rielun as the Third War). The resulting explosion created the desert and the regions around it that would become known as the Wildlands of Malecade. While much of the land healed due to the collective will of the Ethma’rieluna (Children of the World), the desert itself has never been completely reclaimed. Much of it remains cursed and unnatural and many on the continent avoid passing through or even near it. However, the Ethma’rieluna believe it will eventually become just another part of the Balance of the Four. They believe that Jaua Ae-rielun has purposefully brought peoples and even entire buildings and other structures from other worlds and placed them in the desert. Others, who are less devout, believe that the crashed superjammer broke the bonds of the world to time and space and that Jaua Ae-rielun has no control over what appears in the burning desert. Regardless, Thundermount Desert has become junkyard of castoffs from other worlds, including mechanical devices that go beyond clockworks and steamcraft magic. These futuristic devices never work for for more than a few days to a week before ceasing to function, unless retrofitted with a regular or magical steam engine. The desert has a great diversity of life and undeath, so those seeking technology to reclaim should be wary of the desert’s many dangers.

Image by JannikR64 from Pixabay

Spider of Death

There are many legacies of the Thousand Ships War that engulfed Rielunspace and all of the Aether Void beyond Rielun’s sphere. The worst legacies were the deadly clockwork creations the last Emperor-King of the Kings’ Monarchy, Lorac Silidast, released into the universe to conquer and destroy his foes. The Mad Drider created walking steam mechs that looked like giant spiders and set them upon world after world that had little hope of repealing the clockwork monsters. These Spiders of Death had a touch of intelligence (and evil) in them and were nearly as deadly to the Kings’ Monarchy’s own soldiers as to the enemy. Many of the creations, which were half magical golems and half advanced steamcraft constructs, began to be able to repair and improve on themselves, although they never were able to replicate themselves. They soon became independent enough to exist on their own, as long as they could find a way to power their internal steam engines. Spiders of Death began to hunt humanoids for fuel and some of the deadliest were able to incorporate lifejammer helms into their bodies. In the aftermath of the war, these Spiders of Death sought isolation to perfect their bodies and find a way to ‘breed’ the next generation. Rumor has it that there are hundreds of these deadly clockwork creatures remaining in what is left of Krynnspace. Only one or two of them have ever been seen in Rielunspace and when news of one of these monstrosities comes to light in the sphere, there is a concerted effort into hunting them down (although some seek them for darker purposes).

Image by Ray Shrewsberry from Pixabay

Heart of the World

One of the most important aspects of the Time of Ages campaign setting is the sentient magical artifact known as “The Bridge” or Jaua Ae-rielun, which means Heart of the World in the ancient language spoken only by the Elder Peoples of Rielun. This bridge was constructed by a tigé sorcerer named Igu Amuth-hal. The history of The Bridge can be read under the Prehistory of Rielun.

Once the Heart of the World became part of time, it became connected to every place in the known multiverse. This means it can appear anywhere, on any world, during history. It is connected to our Earth (or, at least, a fictional version of our Earth), as well as all the official D&D worlds that have a corresponding equivalent in the Spelljammer Gone Wild cosmology, which includes but isn’t limited to Eberron, Krynn, Oerth, Toril, etc.

Jaua Ae-rielun has the ability to appear on any of my Otherworlds or even the World of Kulan, although there isn’t a strong connection to the Mirrored Cosmology. As a metaplot idea, “The Bridge” allows me to bring anything I want into Time of Ages and my Steampunk Spelljammer universe, but I’m not inclined to bring in high technology or anything that would go against the Steampunk milieu.

However, since the bridge merged with time, it can take any form including that of any type of being both living and undead. Jaua Ae-rielun isn’t inclined to announce its presence, but when it does appear, it is usually to save a group or species facing peril, especially if they are the last of their kind. There are many peoples on Rielun who owe their existence to the Heart of the World and worship it as a god. The Bridge does not expect this praise but does not ignore it either.

Image by Dante DOria from Pixabay

Whatever form it takes is appropriate for the world or plane it appears on, so for a world where technology is more relevant, such as our own (or my alternate homebrewed version of Earth called AlterEarth), the bridge would appear much like the picture above. The Bridge can appear on land, at sea, under the sea, in space. There is usually a swirl of magic or energy around The Bridge but not always. Those that encounter it often have a sense of curiosity or wonderment come over them. There is an urge to cross and see where Fate takes them.

However, sometime the bridges appearance is more subtle or even a permanent fixture on a world where one of Rielun’s peoples originate from (if that would still exists). The crossing is almost always one way to Rielun, and it isn’t always active. Sometimes a portal key or alignment of stars is required for the crossing to become active. This is usually how it works on fantasy worlds in the SJGW cosmology such as the traditional D&D worlds that exist as Steampunk versions. Usually, such a bridge is subtle or even well used during daily life and isn’t seen as anything other than a wooden bridge crossing a stream or a stone edifice crossing a raging river.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Jaua Ae-rielun is a mysterious being and its intent is nearly impossible to fathom even for those that have studied its existence all their lives. The various peoples of Rielun respect the Heart of the World, at the very least, while those from other worlds that learn of its existence tend to think of it as a myth told by Rieluns. Those that have seen its powerful abilities often fear it and there are many sphere where its appearance portends doom for the sphere. Followers of the gods of the Steampunk Spelljammer cosmology consider The Bridge to be either a thief that steals from other worlds or a powerful overdeity of Rielunspace to be respected (or feared).

Steampunk Sentinel

Beyond Rielunspace, the wider Aether is home to hundreds of thousands of worlds in the Spelljammer Gone Wild universe. There are steam-powered societies so old that their power approaches near godlike potential. Luckily, most of these worlds are beyond the reach of the fractured Kings’ Monarchy or the Elven Navy. However, once in a while a spelljamming ship will come into contact with a Steampunk Sentinel ship from one of these Distant Spheres (or The Beyond) and are either left in awe of the visitors powerful ship or left in ruins from that same power.

The reiger and the mercane seem to have knowledge of these ancient spelljamming people but refuse to talk about it with the other peoples of the space lanes. The only advice reiger give to captains and their crews that might encounter Steampunk Sentinel is to flee as fast a possible. It is better not to tempt the Fates, or death. The mercane do not talk about the Sentinels at all and the topic of these ancient vessels and their makers makes the stellar traders very uncomfortable. Talk of The Beyond makes them shudder.

Image by Willgard Krause from Pixabay

Mushroom Houses of the Fey

The Wildlands of Malecade are a strange and varied place and there is a strong magical force that protects the expansive forests and plains of the continent. While clockworks and steamcraft items often fail, spectacularly, while within the Wildlands, nature magic is greatly enhanced. Thus, these lands can be considered enchanted and very feylike, so it isn’t surprising that the continent of Malecade is home to a wide number of fey creatures. Rielun doesn’t have numerous numbers of large or larger land-based fey creatures such as ragewalkers, treants, and unicorns, but it does have every type of small or smaller faerie creature you can think of such as fremlins, grigs, jermlaines, nixies, petals, pixies, quicklings, redcaps, sprites, thorns, etc. (Note that some [but not all] Medium-sized fey tend to be ‘Steampunk’ in style on Rielun including glaistigs, nymphs, satyrs, and sirines.)

Thus, medium, small, and tiny mushroom houses like the one depicted below are commonplace in the Wildlands of Malecade. such dwellings aren’t likely to be seen on the world’s other continents, but there are flights of pixies that live on the islands that surround Malecade, especially on Champlaign Island. The fey of Malecade have a strong connection to the First People of Rielun known as the Tigé, so they are often found living alongside them. Some forest-dwelling tigé live in mushroom houses that they cultivate to be slightly bigger than the typical fey mushroom house. This type of house also wouldn’t be out of place on the magical and mysterious island known as Yarmouche. All but the worst of the fey avoid the Isles of the South, which means the jungles and swamps of those islands are filled with quicklings, redcaps, and much, much worse. Their mushroom houses are dank and rotting.

DM’s Note: Any fey creature with a connection to the Spelljammer campaign setting automatically has a place on Rielun, but most of those fey creatures have been changed from living in a Steampunk Spelljammer universe.

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Mountains of Jarad

While the mountains of Jarad aren’t massive, the moon’s peaks are still dangerous to those that aren’t prepared. All sorts of deadly creatures exist throughout the bleak and misty mountains of the Magiclight sub-setting and not all of them have four legs or are even alive. Undead haunt the highest peaks. These lost souls are leftover spirits from the Third War that raged throughout the Aether of Rielunspace and above and on the world of Rielun in particular. Many crippled ships crashed landed on Jarad and very few of those ships lived to tell the tale. Those that did survive usually came down on the moon’s lowlands or crash landed in the seas. Those unfortunate enough to crash in the mountains either didn’t survive the impact or were eaten by the ‘moon monsters’ that have become infamous across Rielunspace.

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Gothic Wizard

Here is another image I found on Pixabay that shows a good representation of what the typical attire is for those living in the Magiclight sub-setting for Time of Ages. Jaradian attire is very Gothic and tattoos are common, even among the poorer people of the moon. The streets of Jaradian cities tend to be dark and surreal and clockwork creations are everywhere. The air has an ethereal quality, as Jarad’s atmosphere is more Aether than air. This gives the moon an eerie and magical feel to it, and, indeed, magic is always enhanced on the moon, as per the Empower Spell feat. Magical combat can be quite deadly on the moon, so Jaradian’s don’t start a magical battle unless they know they can win.

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Pirate Spelljammer

While piracy isn’t a huge concern in the sky above Rielun, out in the wildspace of Rielun’s sphere is another matter altogether. Pirates often take to the Aether to prey on ships coming into the sphere for the first time or to harass traders moving from planet to planet. (I really need to create the crystal sphere for Rielunspace. Hmm, I have a feeling it’s going to be huge.) While most of Rielunspace’s pirates are dastardly and greedy, there are some out in the space lanes just trying to survive. The ship below would belong to one of these small time survivors who would spend most of their time avoiding the patrols of the Elven Navy, which have a strong presence in Rielunspace and privateers for various Aether Kingdoms spread throughout the sphere.

Image by p2722754 from Pixabay