An Overview of Gessa - Part 3
Hello Adventurers, Arewys here with another installment of details on the Original 5e Content we are working on. The World of Gessa. We hope you enjoy the sneak peek.
This is Part 3 and the final installment of the Overview of Gessa. Picking up where we left of with the continent of Selacia.
- The Hobbits were native to this island before the Cataclysm, or so it is thought. They grew smaller as the wildlife around them grew larger. Giant bugs, vermin, and other animals grew to staggering proportions, and Hobbits domesticated many of them. From the Giant Hamsters they herd from the backs of Giant Badgers and normal sized dogs, the Dragonfly Riders of the Southern peaks, the Rabbits in their burrows, and the stewards of Firehoney producing insects from the Ataraxi Hive all form loose tribes, though the Firehoney tribe has spread further and wider due to their extensive trade of Firehoney products. Other pocket communities exist from diasporas following famines and war on Kerana, Jotunlund, and Xerac.
- An insectoid race, a hive mind. Bootstrapped into sentience by the magic infused pollen they eat from the forests and fields surrounding them and as a response to their exploitation over the centuries as the result of the demand the trade of Firehoney. Now they are awakened, they send emissaries and warrior drones that are independently intelligent and can exist separately from the hive, as well as a few that have escaped the hive’s will.
- Jotunlund lies north of Selacia. While Selacia is home to a number of enlarged Vermin and small humanoids, Jotunlund is the land of giants. The Jotun and Goliath serve as two races of Giants, with the standard giants (Hill, Stone, Frost, Fire, Cloud) being magic infused corruptions of giants, rarer creatures that are born from these two races. Giant creatures dominate this land along with the giant humanoids, similarly affected by the magic of Jotunlund.
- Goliath live more primitively on the icy wastes of North Jotunlund, divided in many tribes named for the giant creatures that abound, worshiping the creatures and the spirits that live there
- The Jotun
- In contrast, live on the southern part of the stark continent, with much more contact with other races. They, like the duergar, are famed smiths and traders. They roam the skies in boats made of cloudwood, hunting dragons and other creatures from the air. They worship their own pantheon of gods, modeled similarly to polythesistic pagan religions in Europe.
- The Summer Isles
- A small volcanic island chain near Jotunlund and Selacia dominated by a community of mixed human and elf populations, a true breeding ‘half elf’ population, along with many fey and similar creatures. Magic is higher here, seeping from the earth beneath them, sustaining an island chain that should be rimed in ice rather than a perpetual paradise.
- Rare Races
- Elves as a Rare Race
- Elves in this setting are very rare. Almost mythic even. Living in carefully guarded and hidden conclaves, they have mostly cut themselves off from the world, seeking their own perfection. The race is divided into 7 subraces, covering several types of conclaves that exist in the world. All are marked by a cultural focus on self perfection and transformation, spending centuries on their own creations. Body modification with magic is common, and nearly every elf is born with the ability to use magic, if they so chose to use it. They tend to find extreme environments to live in, choosing to do so that they may be undisturbed, using magic to hide their conclaves and to adapt themselves to their environment, living within it rather than shaping the environment to them. To leave these conclaves is a matter of exile. They send no envoys or spies, any elf that leaves their conclave is an exile, unable to return to their homelands, with a few exceptions.
- Wood Elves are the most interacted with in the world. They chose to hide themselves by living primitively, using their magic to hide their semi nomadic villages deep in forests. Their contact with humans is limited to trade and sometimes entertainment. They are also willing to accept exile elves back and from other conclaves. To many other elves, they are the Lost Elves, ones that have forgotten what it means to be elves, their history.
- Sun and Moon Elves are two conclaves in the Astaran Empire, using the High and Dark elf subraces from the PHB. Sun Elves live high on a mountain or in the forests of the Southern part so the Empire, out of reach of most other races, living ascetically in what amounts to a monastery, still trying to keep the old, pre Cataclysm memory of the Sun Elves. Moon elves, on the other hand, live in the northern kingdom, deep in a swamp that dominates parts of the Moon kingdom, under deep canopy of trees. They form the second faction of the pre Cataclysm elves. Sun and Moon elf subraces may also be used for enclaves found elsewhere in the world, any that abide by these old practices.
- Dune, Sea, Artic elves form conclaves in various places according to their environments. Dune elves live in the Karagan deserts, the Sea elves live in a few conclaves throughout the world, and the Artic elves live in the extreme reaches of Xerac and Jotunlund.
- Forest Gnomes charge themselves as the protectors of the Ar-Woan, deep in the groves where they live. They are often associated with Fey spirits.
- Rock Gnomes live among Duergar, Jotun, and a few other races, engrained in those cultures rather than separate communities.
- A rare tree like race. When they are young saplings, they are driven to go out into the world, learn as much as possible, then return home (or plant themselves elsewhere) to their telepathic forests, to remain there rooted as mature, intelligent trees. They take many forms, always the local trees, giving them many forms. Oaks, Orchards, Redwoods, (renamed) Joshua Trees, Magnolias.
- Planetouched (Aasimar, Tiefling, Genasi, miscellaneous)
- Any of these races can be any base race, though most often human by virtue of Humans being the most common race in the world. They are touched by magic, transformed by it in the womb, or by those that have chosen to be lovers of certain spirits. They are not distinct races or cultures by themselves, but often have special places among them. In the Astaran Empire, for example, Tieflings are products of evil spirits or the Wanderer and are treated poorly, while Aasimar are treated as being descended from the Stars, Sun, or Moon themselves. Superstition follows members of either. However, in Xerac, any being touched by these spirits is treated well, that it is a gift, regardless of the source of it.
Until next time, Arewys...