A World Reborn
Q&A, Part 1
(Thanks to Brian for supplying a plethora of questions)
What races inhabit the land: A wide variety of races inhabit Hitara and the Island of New Beginnings. All the core races (Humans, Elfs, Dwarfs, etc.) exist in decent numbers, humans most of all. One may, and most likely will, encounter Surface Drow, Orcs, Goblins, Ratfolk, Kobolds, Aasimars, Catfolk, Tengu, and a few Samsarans while wandering around the island. Some of the other uncommon races exist as well, although they are rarely seen.
Are there any dragons? How did they react to events 41 years ago?: There are dragons. The legendary adventurers even fought an adult black dragon at the beginning of their quest. In Hitara alone, all of the chromatic dragons exist, usually in the mountains. As to their reactions, no one knows. There have been no dragon sightings since the events, although it is still believed that the dragons live, hidden in the caves and mountains throughout Hitara.
What happened to the adventurers at the center of said events?: Following the defeat of Koryuu, the adventurers went their separate ways. Akmenos and his bodyguard Rocky spent the next 30-35 years rebuilding Heimdohl and Akmenos’s trading empire, including attempts to expand it outside of Hitara. A few years ago, the two left for an unknown destination. They haven’t been spotted since. On occasion, a floating island may be seen in the skies above the Island, bearing the tower of the group’s wizard. The sorcerer of the group has since ascended to the stars. And finally, the Samsaran cleric, racked by the memories of his past lives, continues his drinking spree in the bar that he owns in Vale.
Why did Koryuu’s four servants suddenly turn on him in the end?: I will refer you to The Servants of Koryuu.
How has the region copes with the loss of military strength after the tragedy?: It has been difficult for Vale and Heimdohl after losing the strength and mercenaries of Mjolnir. The roving orc bands that already existed in Hitara became more emboldened, making more frequent attacks on the cities. With the rest of the Island now able to travel to Hitara, other bands of orcs, goblins, and kobolds have attacked the cities from time to time. The cities have had a couple of opportunities to hire mercenaries from Atheneos and the Drow cities, which held off the orcs for a time.
Is there a draft/militia? Is paranoia running rampant after such a short time, or are people moving on?: Heimdohl still relies on mercenaries, thus there is a very small local guard force. Vale has started to rely on the rising militant forces in the cathedrals for protection. Before the events, the cathedrals had only a few paladins, as most priests preferred the cleric path of training. Since then, though, there has been a rise in the number of paladins and warpriests that have been trained. As for paranoia, the people are slow to forget, especially the people of Vale, who have to look at the Crater every day. Many people have begun to move on, however some underground apocalypse cults have been reported, but none have gained much traction so far.
Were there any religious ramifications of the devout cut off from their gods? Did some fail to return?: The severe weakening of the connection to their gods shook many of the priests. The most connected of them appeared lost for quite some time. The younger, newer members of the cathedrals left in drove following the loss of their connection, while the elders held out faith that the gods would return.
How many moons are in the sky?: There are two, one that rises in the night, while the other rises during the day.
Are there any constellations of import or portent?: There are, but I do not have them fleshed out at the moment.
What is the population density of the remaining cities? The outlying regions?: Vale is estimated to hold around 8,000 citizens of various races, while Heimdohl, even after nearly being wiped out, holds around 15,000. The Aasimar city of Atheneos holds in excess of 30,000 inhabitants. It is estimated that the Drow cities of the north hold fewer than 6,000 citizens, the Elven cities of the east hold less than 4,000, and the Dwarven cities hold around 5,000. The various roving clans of the western plains have gone uncounted.
What technological levels exist? Are they universal, or are some areas/races more developed than others? Technology-wise, the races of the Island have achieved the ability to make steel, but not in mass quantities (think steel technology from the late medieval ages, not from the industrial revolution). The dwarves in the south have created a crude form of gunpowder, but it is kept heavily guarded. So far, it has not been used for guns or cannons (no gunslingers). Otherwise, the Island is pretty even in terms of technology, even with Hitara being isolated for a significant amount of time.
What is used for currency? Is it unified throughout or are there exchanges?: Gold is the main currency. However, each region uses a different style of coin. A person can easily find an exchange in each city, although they do charge a slight premium.
How is magic viewed in the land? Has this view changed after the tragedy?: Magic is widely accepted, although “dark” magic (necromancy, certain forms of witchcraft) is highly frowned upon. However, since the tragedy, the people of Hitara shy away from elemental magic, wondering if the mage secretly serves/served Koryuu.
Do people distinguish between arcane/divine magic?: Not in general, although there are exceptions, as listed above.
Is the volcano still active?: Yes. Smoke rises from the caldera ever day, but there has not been another eruption since Suzaku’s rise.
Were there rumors that Koryuu had disciples? Accomplices? Servants waiting to be revealed?: There have been many rumors in regards to servants and disciples ever since the tragedy. However, many have been attributed to paranoia and were quickly debunked. Some rumors do persist, though…
What are the people’s views on undeath?: It is seen as an affront to the natural order of the world. Necromancers are usually hunted down, especially by the followers of Pharasma.
What lies beyond the boundaries of Hitara?: I will direct you to this: The Island of New Beginnings
What languages do people speak? Does it vary by race/location/social class?: Common is the main language of the land, although every region of the Island have a slightly different form/accent. The nomadic tribes tend to eschew common for their native language.
What became of the merchant castle after the explosion?: I’m guessing you’re referring to the King’s Castle in Vale. If so, it was obliterated in the explosion, any remains hidden within Koryuu’s Crater.
Is interplanar travel common? Is it even possible?: It is possible to the other planes, some easier than others. While interplanar travel is not very common, some mages are powerful enough to do it, albeit with a high monetary cost. The elemental planes are the easiest to get to. However, if someone tries to travel to another plane within 75 miles of Koryuu’s crater (ie, almost all of Hitara), there is a magical force that actively tries to resist interplanar travel.
What about the other prominent figures of the disaster? The wife and so on? What became of them?: In regards to Akmenos’s wife, her story is still in the works. As for other key figures, once I remember who they were, I’ll add them here.
What makes peple so sure ( or sure at all ) that Koryuu is dead? He was a being with unheard of power, a detailed plan, and years and years of patience. Even on the ludicrous notion that he didn’t have an excape plan at the start, he surely had one by the time the adventurers had begun to regularly confront his opponents. And the massive explosion that destroys all traces or hope of discovery is the perfect and obvious excuse to slip back into hiding and begin reclaiming his powers: Now this is an interesting question. Is he alive, or is he dead? Does anyone truly know? From the legend that was obtained from the Samsaran lore-keeper following the tragedy, even the combined powers of the gods could only strip away most of his power, and even then they only managed to seal him away. No one so far knows what truly happened to Koryuu, and that scares many of the citizens of Hitara.
That is it for now. I’ll get to answering more questions soon.