Solsturan Campaign Setting
Letter of Introduction
To whom it may concern,
Enclosed within are relics discovered among the ruins of some forgotten city. A tome from ages past, miraculously preserved, buried under the rubble and ashes that are all that remains.
The tome is the journal, apparently the lone surviving volume written by a naturalist or historian of the time or by someone who claims such. The author states that the journal is a study of the world that they name Solsturan, a true guide to the people, creatures that live there and the nature of their existence. But the journal describes a world and creatures so bizarre, so alien to our understanding that it can hardly be credited as anything other than a work of fancy.
The journal describes monstrous beasts that one could only imagine crawling out of a fevered nightmare, or if taken at its word that is precisely where they come from. It describes other races of people that not only live, but interact and possess not only fire and tools but politics and philosophies all their own. It speaks of objects of mysterious power that can render things invisible or move other objects from a distance. And as though reveling in the ridiculousness of it all proclaims a section to reveal further hidden truths that might afflict a lesser mind, speaking of reincarnation, of gods and unseen worlds, and prophesizing future events.
Yet, I could not succeed at shaking free the words from my mind. There is an odd sensation I have looking upon it that the words and ideas are familiar. Not in a way that I recognize the pattern of words and the language used, but that I have seen these very pages before.
And then we discovered the skull. Suddenly I am forced to confront the idea that this journal cannot be so easily be dismissed as a curio.
Please, I entreat you to divest me of having sole responsibility for this burden of knowledge. Read the journal, examine the skull for yourself, and explain to me the hoax upon which I have fallen the unwitting victim.
A 5th Edition Campaign Setting for the world’s premiere fantasy role playing game.
The world of Solsturan at first glance appears to be an old world of civilizations that have risen, fallen, and built anew atop the ruins of the old. It has settled and crystallized into a pattern of existence that is familiar to the people who live there. There are threats of course, vast tracts of wilderness populated with strange and monstrous creatures, ruins of old that fester in the heart of darkness. There are conflicts, skirmishes, and occasional wars that are the tug and pull of neighbouring civilizations.
But first glances are deceptive, and only allow you to observe the façade that the people want you to see. The people who have a vested interest in stability and the status quo.
Solsturan arose on the back of the question, what might be if souls were in limited supply and reincarnation – the transfer of the soul upon death to a newborn – was the way of the world? In Solsturan, traditional attitudes about undeath, healing magic, heredity and inheritance, and gender and sexuality have all been transformed in a wide spectrum of ways. The souls and memories of past lives play a part in influencing the course of events for all the people of the world. Understanding the meaning of these flashes of memory, or the active pursuit of harnessing the power of them provide the driving purpose behind several organizations, and in situations of extreme duress it may be possible for someone to access and use such memories for their own benefit.
In addition to major variations in cultural and philosophical approaches to these attributes, the world of Solsturan is very much like the shell of an egg. It is rigid and firm, but fragile and teeters on the edge of a precipice. One significant nudge and it will crack apart with enormous opportunities for players to take upon themselves significant roles in the chaos that ensues.
This guide is divided into two sections, the first contains information for players: information about rules, races, geography, society, religion, and organizations. The first section explains the world as it is and how their characters understand it. The second contains information for the GM: information about the true nature of the world, things hidden, secrets, plots, and all manner of things that can be used to portray the cracking shell.
This journal was started on the 8th day 3rd ascension of AC 873 by Artemia Voynarr III, Saeculari of the Order of the Inner Eye in the Free City of Nalvarde and completed on the _________________________. If found, please return to the College of the Inner Eye Library in Nalvarde for a suitable reward.
This is the fifth volume of my journal cataloguing the events, circumstances, and curiosities uncovered by myself and aided by my students in our exploration and examination of the realm in which we live, the world of Solsturan, and the unseen exigencies beyond it.
Within these pages is documented the true nature of things that can be found upon the land, sea, and air, within the minds and hearts of the creatures therein, and beyond the realms of mortal ken. The whispers of past lives can reveal much to those who possess the ability to listen.
A word to the wise reader – some sections of this journal are not meant to be read by common minds unused to the rigours and strain of arcane study. They contain the hidden truths that lie beneath that which we can observe. These sections have been clearly marked lest an unprepared soul be driven to madness by their contents. Proceed with caution.
Section 1 - The Common Catalogue (Player’s Guide to Solsturan)
1. The Civilized Races
3. Magical Curiosities
4. Natural and Political Geographies
5. Sacraments of Faith
6. River of Time
Section 2 - The Hidden World (Content for the GM)
7. The Nature of Being
8. The Hidden Realms
9. Plots and Perturbations
10. Secret Histories
Added Jan 31/2019:
Bestiary - Soul-Snatcher
Added Jan 24/2019:
Magical Curiosities - Secret Pocket
Magical Curiosities - Spirit Prism