Feb 21, 2020

Campaign Setting WIP: Verra

I'm starting up a Pathfinder 2nd Edition campaign, and have nine people potentially interested in playing (probably ending up with a core group of 4-5 regular players and another 4-5 occasional players). So I needed a P2 campaign setting. I decided to go with something early modern, and "Verra" (an allusion to the Latin words "veritas", "vir", and "terra") is the result. I'm going to show a few pictures from my work-in-progress.

Verra is a combination of ideas from several settings I've created over the years, some of which I ran campaigns in, and some which never get off the ground. Elements of Moragne, Emern, the Wolf Sea, and Feuerberg / the Old Lands all recur, with Feuerberg, as the most recent, having the greatest influence.

Verra is an early modern setting paralleling our own early-to-mid-17th century, one of my favourite time periods for games. You have full plate, guns, the birth of modern science, the emergence of the second wave of colonial empires, megacorporations, the emergence of the novel and mercantile capitalism, etc. It's when we first start calling people "adventurers" historically, IIRC.

The isle of Ursino. 10km hexes.
The campaign is going to be set on the isle of Ursino, which is loosely inspired by early modern Corsica. The entire island was created a million years ago when a dragon of titanic proportions died in the ocean and its bones and back sticking up above the sea became a mountainous island. The island was settled in successive waves of peoples, including the ancient Pturian serpent men, the Xarxean elves, and the Krovian Empire. They mined the dragon's bones and body for magically potent substances and raided the ruins of preceding empires.

About 150 years before the campaign begins, the last king of Ursino attempted to gain immortality through lichdom. The ritual worked, but led to the death / undeath of everyone in his capital (the grey dead forest in the southwest), the excommunication of the king himself, the depopulation of most of the island, and the cessation of diplomatic relations with the major powers of Urovia.

The Kingdom of Ursino's end left an opening for the devil-run Banca di Asmodeo, the most powerful institution of the nearby Magnificent Republic of Gorga. They spent astonishing sums of money buying land rights, bribing monarchs for recognition, and outfitting a fleet that relieved the struggling remnants of the kingdom that had held on in the north-east of the island. The Yomishtan Pope refuses to recognise their claim to sovereignty over the island since the Banca di Asmodeo is ultimately run by heretics but everyone else does. The BdA now controls the lucrative trade in draconic remnants.

The local nobility are still not completely happy about the bank's rulership. There are lots of nationalists who want one of their own to ascend to the throne. Some are desperate enough to conspire against the bank, especially with the Serene Republic of Nerral or the Verenigde Vroost, other major maritime powers who are interested in mining the dragon's remains. This has been intensifed in recent years as gnollish pirates have begun occupying the the western swamps and raiding across the mountains to attack the mining communities. It's felt that the bank only cares if their financial or political interests are at stake.

Tombalberi is the town in the northeast. 10km hexes.
Tombalberi ("Tombtrees") is the main port and settlement on Ursino. It's a large walled town of approximately 15,000 people. It's the centre of the Banca di Asmodeo's power on the island.

I created this map using: https://watabou.itch.io/medieval-fantasy-city-generator
I'm planning a session zero to bring as many of the potential PCs together to create characters, so we'll see what people come up with. I'm expecting a fair number of pirate-types.