The Magebound Tree

Things to come...

Hello adventurers, and welcome to "The Magebound Tree"!

The Magebound Tree is a campaign setting that's been in development for the last year, in line with the rumours and impending release of D&D 4th edition.  Designed to fit the "points of light" approach discussed during 4e's playtesting/development, I've spent the last week reviewing my notes and revising some details about the world to better accomodate the races, classes, and locales mentioned in the 4e core rulebooks.

I was originally stressing about the inclusion of (and possible exclusion of, as a result) dragonborn characters within the setting; I didn't really have a place for them, in terms of storyline/necessity.  Now that they've arrived (along with everything else), they aren't all that impressive, at least in terms of unbalancing the game.  I still don't personally think they have the right flavor for D&D, but as Keith Baker pointed out, what exactly is the "flavor of D&D"?  3rd edition was a very different animal from 2nd edition, and 2nd edition was different from 1st edition.  4th edition is a new face on the old block, and it's forced me to rethink a great deal – whether I had wanted to or not.

Still, I am looking forward to using this new rules system, and after careful consideration, I am allowing all of the elements from the core rulebooks to exist within my campaign.  At this moment in time, everything fits well with the setting and story I've developed; most of the details will remain in the dark for the time being…leaving it up to the players (and their characters, with all due respect) to explore the world and discover its many secrets, solve its many mysteries, and learn it's deep and vibrant history.

Of course, everyone sitting at the table has a hint of what's to come:  The brief inkling featured on the main page, regarding The Magebound Tree – a once vital artefact featured in various origin myths, better known as The Tree of Life.  For hundreds (possibly thousands) of years, this great tree was protected by the secretive and fraternal order of Druidhs…agents of nature and her Old Gods – Gaia, the Mother Earth; Pan, the trickster and Patron of Spring; and the Horned God…the deer (sometimes goat) headed guardian of wild beasts and Patron of Autumn.  No longer significant, this druidh's circle has past into legend…and their gods with them, lost in the annals of mythology.

...but the Tree of Life lingers on, sustained now by the artificial energies of magick, whose ribbons of unnatural power bind and constrict the limbs of the great tree.

Or so the legends go, anyway.  Few mortals have dare traversed the dire landscape now known as the Broken Tablet – a harsh and savage desert of cracked and crumbling soil – where the tree is rumoured to exist.  Eight human kingdoms – formerly provinces of the great Imperium – now border that vast, decaying realm, themselves mere ghosts of their former glory, rapidly descending into poverty, despair, and, ultimately, demise.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves.  Our story begins not among the worried kings, huddling together 'neath the destitute limbs of the Magebound Tree, but rather far to the east, past the Black Mountain and its obsidian skin, to a quiet and forgotten valley nestled deep in the mountain's shadow…in a small town known as Fallcrest.

ready to adventure

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More Setting Details

I've updated the "wiki" page of this website with some brief notes regarding dragonborn and the feywild.  I'll probably update that periodically, but I think I'll leave that page focused on rulings/game mechanics, and use these threads for story, setting, and all IC (in character) commentary.

It's been 18 years since the fall of the Caraethian Empire.  This human imperium had been the greatest world power known, having been responsible for bringing elves and dwarves together in unity, dissolving centuries of feuding and hatred.  In addition, the Caraethian Empire ruled 2/3rds of the known world, sharing their knowledge with all of their citizens, establishing roads and vast trade routes, building schools and providing jobs and education for everyone.

But no empire can last forever; internal feuding distracted the central courts, while an army spread too thin sought to ward off the evils of untamed lands – from monstrous ork clans to wild, barbaric tribes.  And when the elves and dwarves broke their ties to the empire some 50 years ago, each to deal with "personal matters", it left the empire to stand alone against a rising darkness…the dread forces of the Shaduin.

These agents of the Shadowfell wielded limitless power of a dark and infernal nature.  Their ability to infiltrate and corrupt those they came in contact with made them truly deadly foes; and their command of the foul undead – the Fell Armies of the Nameless One, The King Who Crawls – made their armies practically unstoppable.

But the humans held their ground, and kept the vile Shaduin at bay.  Powerful wizards established wards to banish the fell armies and their masters…to seal off mighty rifts which existed between this dimension and the Plane of Shadow; but all of the efforts were temporary; nothing could protect the world forever.  The war dragged on, and the Empire abandoned its furthest provinces, leaving vast lands with no ruler and no standing army.

And no means to protect themselves.

What became of the great Caraethian Empire is still uncertain amongst the people of the outlying lands.  Rumours of barbarian hordes reaching as far into the Empire as the Capitol of Carthas – rumours of Carthas burning to the ground – are rather common.  What is known is this; it has been 18 years since any delegate, servant, citizen, or soldier has come into the region.  Caraethia is no doubt dead and gone.

Leaving the world to await the arrival of a new Master…

 

 

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OOC updates

I've added a new link to the "wiki" page.

 Also, I am in the process of developing two new playable races.  Expect to see one of them posted here shortly, derived from the player stat details found in the back of the MM.  The other one I have to develop from scratch.  Both of them need decent amounts of work and fleshing out, i.e. to allow for race-specific feats and the like.

I'm please with the concepts, anyway.

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