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The Cataclysm Machine

Hey all,

I've been asked to do a long distance game for some friends and their friends, so I built a little questionnaire in SurveyMonkey and used it to ask what people wanted to see. This evening I have created the following setting brief:

The Cataclysm Machine

This is Tovir, a world of sharp contrasts, geological and political unrest and ancient secrets lost to time.

It is said by scholars of the ancient past that the first people of Tovir were a diminutive folk, no larger than the halflings of modern times. Greatly skilled in the magic arts, they perfected magic as a science and built great cities. The Gnomish folk of Firepeak Bay are said to be the descendants of the servitor race of these ancient Halflings, who we now know as ‘Founders’. The Founders were skilled and creative and discovered many wonders, the greatest of which is the mineral we know as Mannacite. Properly refined and treated, Mannacite formed the main part of their great works in the form of Quoinar, processed stones imbued with magical power. It is said that Mannacite mines allowed the Founders to build Adoldur, their great city, which is now lost to time.

The Gnomes report that the Founders began to war among themselves for control of the Mannacite reserves, developing weapons of great power and turning them against rival cities. War and devastation reduced many of the once great Founder cities to ruin, but it was the Founders of Adoldur who devised a machine so terrible it would end war for all time. The Cataclysm Machine was never supposed to be used and yet somehow it was.

In one terrible day, the world was unmade and made again. Twisting and rolling in the firmament, Tovir was beset by earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanoes and worse. The largest of Tovirs moons was split in two and the Founders were destroyed. The Gnomes report that during the Cataclysm, great rifts were opened through unknown realms, delivering strange beings to Torvir. Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Orcs now feuded with the native Gnomes and the debased remnants of the Founders – the race we now call Halflings.

Following the Cataclysm there was a great Diaspora throughout the world as the new races and creatures fought to find their own places. Each warred against the others, against themselves and against the world, but gradually groups began banding together, creating communities, kingdoms and empires. Nearly fifteen hundred years have passed and an uneasy status quo exists across Tovir.

To the East lie the lands of the Tizhaz Dhuqyut, Orcish nomads who ride the great Steppe and the grasslands, following their herds and feuding with one another. In the South, the Nizar Kharam Dwarves make their homes in the desert as traders and scavengers, picking over the ruins of Founder cities hidden in the sands. Further South still lie the great jungles of the Yajuma, the Wild Elves who draw power from nature and tolerate no outsiders. To the West, a great ocean and rumours of unexplored lands. It is humans who have spread the furthest, but their heartland is in the temperate climes of the northern continent, from the deserts of the south to the great ice of the North.

Today we live is a world made anew. Using what has been recovered from Founder sites, the great city of Ensio boasts miraculous levels of magical technology and sits at the heart of a great Empire, but the further from the city you go, the more rugged and rural the world becomes. While most have seen Quoinar, or know someone who has, the sad fact is that magic seems to be on the wane and the once great reserves of Mannacite seem to have dried up.

This does not stop adventurers from delving into the depths of Founder mines and the ruins of their cities in search of treasures and riches. It is adventurers such as these – such as you – who can change the fortunes of Empires and shape the future history of Torvir  for better or worse…


More to follow as it develops!