Content of the article: "Keepsake: A campaign designed to introduce DMs and players to the new world of Neria"
Introducing Keepsake, a campaign designed to introduce DMs and players to the new world of Neria:
How is Neria the same as other D&D settings?
Neria is, for all intents and purposes, still a fantasy setting, if flavored with more modern elements than classic Dungeons and Dragons settings. Many elements of the setting are easily recognizable from other settings, and players and DMs alike will find familiarity in things such as classic 5th edition mechanics, races, classes, spells, and equipment.
Like other classic Dungeons and Dragons settings, Neria is a world full of various different regions, all with their own rich cultures and ways of approaching life. Neria is a world full of possibilities, where everyone is sure to find something that appeals to who they are as a player or as a DM. Content is provided so that one is able to create their own stories and adventures, but campaign modules will also be released, giving DMs and players both a quick and easy way to engage with the setting.
How is Neria different from other D&D settings?
Perhaps one of the most obvious differences between Neria and other settings is the lack of gods. Thousands of years have passed since the people of Neria rose up to slay the gods, and any who still follow the ancient beliefs of these dead gods are looked at as eccentric outcasts and relics of a time before. Instead, crystalline shards discovered throughout Neria contain within themselves the very essence of magic. Different classes have discovered different ways of channeling these energies using the crystals created when the gods were destroyed.
The second important difference between Neria and other settings is that Neria is plagued by aether storms. These storms have all of the force and wrath of a thunderstorm, but instead of soaking the world with rain, the aether storms interfere with magic. When someone with the ability to cast spells spends longer than a week exposed to the storms, their ability to cast is hindered greatly, if not permanently affected.
Where does this campaign take place?
Keepsake takes place on the continent of Usora, a large island-continent occupied by several city-states. Together, these territories make up the Usorian Thaumocracy, a union focused on advancing society through the study, understanding, and implementation of magic. Vyseers from each territory are appointed based on their experience with and knowledge of the magical energies in Neria. These Vyseers then gather as a council, making decisions for the Thaumocracy as a whole by implementing a majority-rule vote.
The first act of Keepsake starts players off in the territory of Everward, one of the oldest and most advanced city-states in the union. One of the largest features of Everward is the Usorian Forge, a place of both study and creation for those who wish to follow the path of the artificer, or deepen their understanding of the magic held within the crystals. The Forge draws people from different parts of the Union, to be sure, but also from different parts of Neria.
How would Everward be described to someone who had never been there?
Collectively, the Usorian Thaumocracy has been called Sumneria (little Neria) by the elves for as long as anyone cares to remember; the influx of people from all over the world has created small pockets of culture in different places in Usora.
Everward is an experience unto itself; it is, after all, considered to be the place where breakthroughs in thaumatism are most likely to happen, thanks to the presence of the Usorian Forge. Thaumalogical advancements are always implemented in Everward first, creating a captivating contrast between the scattered ruins of the Time Before, the aetherically charged crystal shards that litter the landscape, and the amazing feats of architecture and infrastructure that seem to be constantly changing.
Depending on where in Everward one looks, the way these things interact with each other might change. In the slums of the city, known as the Scrapyard, the unfortunate and desperate live within the ruins themselves, unable to find shelter elsewhere. The grizzled black marketeer that works out of the greasy tavern around the corner might have a shaped crystal where his eye should be, but there aren’t many people in the Scrapyard that could afford crystalline replacements or upgrades.
Those with money to spare, such as the residents of the gated community of Courtmeadow, might have more augmentations than they need. Some women find it fashionable to shave one side of their head, and have inert crystal shards implanted into their skin to create ornate patterns. Rather than rings or bracelets, some might have jewel-shaped crystals grafted directly to their body. Collecting crystal shards is as much a hobby to these people as it is a way of life; even those with no spellcasting ability want to get their hands on as many crystals as possible, just to say they have them.
What is currently happening in Everward?
Both the City Guard and citizens of Everward are tense, on edge, and not as friendly to visitors as their experience with tourism might suggest. Everyone that had been studying at the Forge has disappeared without a trace, and frustrations are growing as the City Guard continues coming up with no clues as to where they might be. Not only is this a problem in and of itself, but it also means that a large number of artificers have gone missing, just when they are, arguably, needed most.
The aetheric shield that protects Everward from the effects of the aetheric storms has stopped working consistently and reliably. At the time that the story begins, the shield has already been lowered for nearly an entire day, and it doesn’t seem as if it’s going to restore itself any time soon. No one knows why, exactly, the shields have suddenly stopped working, but they do know that they have a little less than a week to get them operational again before everyone in Everward loses the ability to cast spells permanently.
As if these two problems weren’t enough on their own, Everward is now faced with the threat of piracy. Unfortunately for the Thaumocracy, the advancements that they’ve made with magic as a technology has allowed for the rise of airship piracy. The same shields that protect Everward from the effects of the aether storms protects them from an unwanted airship landing in the middle of the city-state. With the shield down, many suspect that it’s only a matter of time before the piracy and looting begins.
Learn more about Neria, Usora, and Keepsake here!
- Introducing Keepsake, a campaign designed to introduce DMs and players to the new world of Neria
- Introducing Keepsake, a campaign designed to introduce DMs and players to the new world of Neria.
- Introducing Keepsake, a campaign designed to introduce DMs and players to the new world of Nera.
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