Welcome to the Caryador wiki!
This is the Main Page. It serves as a starting point. From here you can begin getting familiar with the world. Wander around, click links, read and make notes, ask questions, and generally make yourself at home. And don't worry, you won't break anything.
Caryador: An Overview
The most important thing to understand about this world is that science exists as magic. For example, combustion and electricity, from non-naturally occurring sources, are not possible without the assistance of magic. Even through magical means, a continuous current of electrons or the ignition of salt-peter is impossible. This means no gun powder, no cannon, no fireworks, and few steampunk elements (such as no airships). Some magically assisted hydraulics allow for simple elevators and clockwork contraptions, though most of this meta-science is hoarded by Gnomes.
However, science didn't stop because gunpowder wasn't developed. There are hospitals, herb-based medicines, surgery, postal services, illicit drug trades, organized crime, psychology, crop rotation, advanced siege weapons, oil lamps, hot air balloons, reflective telescopes, city sewage and water aqueducts, semi-paved roads, concrete, etc. Where combustion and electricity do not exist, Magic is used; for example, a sleep spell is used instead of anesthesia, mended sheep skin is used instead of latex or plastics, magic’d pieces of paper that return to a certain spot are used instead of emails, Tenser’s floating disk and levitate are used instead of forklifts, etc. This world is full of enough magic to be at roughly the same technological level as modern Earth in almost all areas, and certainly all of those that were capable of developing without electricity and combustion.
This world is defined by magic, and everyone has the potential for magic even if they never express it. However, a clear divide separates those who can use it from those who can’t. With practice and training anyone can learn and use magic, though most will never become proficient or powerful with it. Imagine, for example, wizards or sorcerers that are never able to learn spells higher than 3rd Circle, no matter how much experience they gain, or levels in a class they develop. (PC’s have no restrictions.)
Game Mechanics: With this in mind, ability scores are tied to magic. A score of a 10 represents an “average” (or non-magical) score. Every two points above or below that represents a standard deviation, so anything above a 16 represents magical intervention. For example, a character with a 20 strength might not have their muscles grow or become bulky, but instead have their strength empowered through magic-enhanced-muscles (if you so wish), which allows for interesting physical characterizations. In this magical world, high ability scores indicate magical enhancement, even if the PC does not use magic; this represents their capacity to use magic (though traits or a second class) regardless of their initial training.
The World in a Nutshell
According to Elvish lore, the Gods could not wage war amongst themselves in the Non-Corporeal Planes, so they each created a race in the material plane as an extension of themselves. As their races did battle, their power waxed and waned. The Gods were active within the world, clerics and paladins channeling divine power through direct communion with their deity were commonplace. The Gods began to look down on their creations and envy their concepts of ‘love’ and ‘family’. The Gods found that they could not breed amongst themselves or with their created races. The Ayleids were the only “natural” race, though their Fey origins are somewhat of a mystery. The Ayleids had a special Fey magic trait that allowed them to attune to a Source of powerful magic, at the time it was the Feywild itself. This trait allowed the Gods to mate with the Ayleids after becoming their Source, and produce offspring with them. These offspring, called Seldikar, were powerful demi-gods that further attuned to a specific magical aspect, now known as divine domains.
The Ayleids began to slowly die out, as if they were struck by strange plague that swept through their whole civilization. The Gods had left the child rearing to the Ayleid parent, and their children grew fearful as their families withered and died. This fear turned to hate, and the Seldikar attacked the Gods to drive them back to the Non-Corporeal Plane in the hopes that this would abate the plague. It did not. The Gods wanted their mates back, and the Seldikar, fearing that they were the cause of the plague and that they would not be able to withstand a counterattack, fled to another realm. Either through cause or coincidence, the plague ended, but in its wake, the Ayleids were no more, and the First Elves were left in their place. However, the First Elves could only attune to a natural Source, not an ethereal or astral one, and the Gods grew angry.
The Elves speak of the next event as the Wanyra-manu, or the Great Dispersion, when the Gods disappeared a decade after the First Elves were born. In their absence, the various races had to learn to fend for themselves without the guidance of their creators. Some races, such as the Gnomes, chose to devote themselves to the peaceful understanding of meta-science, hoping that through knowledge they can learn where the Gods went. Now this ideal is but a distant memory, and knowledge is a goal in and of themselves. Other races decided to revere the teachings of their God, such as the Dragonkin, whose endless ideological struggles are tied directly to their Gods'. Yet other races, such as the Orcs adopted a more diverse view, where some worship their chaotic war-mongering God, and others denounce it as archaic. Each person must decide for themselves what role their God, or other’s Gods, play in their lives, if any. But for most, the Gods are absent.
Clerics and Paladins can swear fealty to their God, and work their divine magic by tapping into the magics of the Astral Plane. Many choose a path they think will bring the return of their God, though just as many simply follow their God’s philosophical belief system, and, as always with people, some just want to tap into that unregulated astral power.
A few years after the Wanyra-manu, the Humans suddenly appeared on the lowlands of the Great Coast. This region was used as the Ayleid/Elves’ bread basket, and an immediate war commenced. The Humans were losing, until they stole magical knowledge from the Elves and drove them out. The Humans warred amongst themselves for almost ten millennia now. Curiously, dotted along the land were temple-like constructions, each named to the Seldikar. They are mostly inaccessible, except for a few whose grand entry chamber may be accessible, but filled with monstrous beings unlike anything in the world, too powerful for any adventurers in history to fell. The possible treasures the temples contain, and the almost certain answers to the mystery of the Wanyra-manu, have teased adventurers for nearly ten millennia. Every great scholar expects it will be tease them for ten millennia more. Though many theories exist, the most popular are that the temples are for entombed Seldikar. Another is that they are the Seldikar’s prisons for the Gods themselves. Elven scholars have noted that many more Seldikar were born than those whose temples are currently present in the world. Like the Gods, their fate is entirely unknown.
The other races only tolerate the presence of the Humans, but this has not stopped Humans from impressive technological and cultural developments. Many lesser wars existed between the various old Kingdoms and the Elves and the Dwarves, but there has been around 200 years of tranquility between the major races of the world. With such economic prosperity, the last 30 years of that period also saw an end to hostility among Human nations for the first time in history. This 200-or-so-year period is known as the Long Peace. Although the peace is technically still in effect, the proposed purge of the “bad elements” 81 years ago led the Human politicians to declare that this was the last war left to fight (think the ‘war’ on drugs), thus “ending” the period of Long Peace. All is not perfect; should the privateer mercenaries in the Borderlands find Old Magic that will tip the scales in one nation’s favor, this technical Long Peace will be irrevocably shattered.
To style things how you want, we use a simple formatting language called Textile. Textile is easy to learn and simultaneously allows for lots of customization.