The continent of Forsena is a land divided by both physical barriers and those of magic. 175 years ago, a continent wide war was fought between two powerful forces dividing the Continent into two countries, Leonia and Caerlon.
The strictly hierarchal Holy Orders of the Faith devoutly believed that magic was derived from the gods alone and that mortals should devote themselves to these gods in order to better themselves on the path to enlightenment. The Holy Orders pride themselves on being the moniker of the continent’s religions. Each good deity has a representative Order that devotes itself to the will of that deity and is headed by a Cardinal who maintains the Order and helps to govern the devout. The hierarchy of each order in descending order is: cardinal, archbishop, bishop, priest, and deacon. From among themselves, the Cardinals appoint a leader to be the figurehead of the Orders known as the Archdeacon. The beliefs of the Orders vary from deity to deity, but their unifying mantra is that the gods rule this world and are responsible for all things magical. Anyone believing otherwise speaks blasphemy. The country of Leonia is the home of The Holy Orders and all those devoted to it.
In contrast to the faith based Holy Orders, the Council of Guilds roots their understanding of the world in what can be observed and measured. Comprised of three major guilds: the Alchemist Guild, the Mage Guild, and the Trade Guild, the Council of Guilds seeks to acquire new knowledge and to help each other thrive.
The Alchemist Guild is devoted to studying the potential benefits and applications of Alchemy. Integrating chemistry, biology, herbalism, and pyrotechnics, the Guild has established chapters in most major cities and outposts, devoted to research of new ingredients and alchemical studies. Those who can secure membership into the guild, which can only be granted by the head Chymist of a guild chapter, gain access to the laboratories and libraries of the guild, as well as a network of likeminded Alchemists. The Alchemist Guild is led by the Head Thaumaturgist, currently Thaumaturge Sig Hotvial.
The Mage Guild is a collaboration of wizards who seek to further their knowledge of the Arcane. Highly secretive to those not of the arcane predilection, the Mage Guild spends the majority of its energy studying the magic of the world around them. Drawing as much knowledge from magical beings as they do from books of runes, no bit of magical knowledge is seen as too small to ignore. Due to their focus on subjects that many find inexplicable, the Mage Guild is often viewed with suspicion if not fear. For this reason, they center their operations almost exclusively in major cities, where people are more accepting of their work. Entrants into the Mage Guild must pass an extensive series of written and practical exams that test both the mind and mettle of those who try. The Mage Guild is currently led by High Wizard Sabine Trellia.
The Trade Guild is the most enterprising of the three guilds. Specializing in the sharing of goods, services, and, most importantly, information, the Trade Guild sustains the infrastructure of the country and is largely responsible for its wealth and employment. This guild operates as more of a loose conglomeration of business owners and enterprising individuals.
Each city or major trading post elects a Lord who runs the business of the city/trading post in concert with the League of Tradesmen who regulate the goods. This League of Tradesmen, also an elected body, is comprised of knowledgeable business owners of major trade goods in the country. Specifically: Agriculture, Infrastructure, Maritime Trade, Transportation, and Labor.
Entrance into the trade guild is a simple matter of registering your business with the local League Office and showing proof of skill and a viable business. The Trade Guild is headed by a Trademaster who helps keep the League of Tradesman honest and has control in times of crisis. The current Trademaster of the Trade Guild is Rowan Keld.
Tale of the Division of Forsena:
175 years ago, unrest between the devout and the deductive reached a boiling point. At that time, Forsena was ruled by King Farwen and Queen Harmora. Their union was symbolic of much for the devout people of Forsena. The King, a pragmatic man being of noble elven birth, chose his bride from the most unlikely of places, the Dwarf clergy. The joining of these two was largely celebrated by the peoples of Forsena, but the powers that be did not allow this to last for long. After a few years of harmonious leadership, Queen Harmora, was found to be with child. The continent rejoiced at their leaders’ joyful union. When it came time for the child to be born, disaster struck. The child was not 1 but 2! Twins were to be born, but alas they were deformed and perished shortly after birth. Unrest stirred within the religious community, calling the twins a blasphemy before the gods.
Those who had resented the union and plotted to end it, found a soapbox on which to stand. Harmora, stricken with grief, went into seclusion for a number of months. When next she saw her husband, it was on the field of battle. The clerics of the land declared that all things come from the gods and those who do not worship must leave or be killed. A war ensued between those of natural magic and those of studied magic. Armies were raised from the elven cities in the west and the largely dwarf temples in the east. The battles raged through the continent, dividing towns and families. Those who did not fall to the sword were either driven out or swept up into the vast army. The war found it’s pinnacle in the capital city of Almekia, located in the heart of Forsena. The two armies converged and fought tenaciously for what they believed in. What happened next goes beyond understanding. The king, queen, and their armies, in the heat of battle, were blasted out of existence. Throughout the continent a blast of wind was felt. Those remaining survivors found themselves on the edge of a vast desert, dividing the continent in half.
From the ashes of this great war rose the two countries as we know them today. Caerlon in the west and Leonia in the east. Neither country daring to cross the vast desert for fear of reigniting the war of long ago, preferring to keep the unspoken pact of peace.
Division by Race and Class:
Forsena has largely been divided by race and class, based upon those who followed the King and Queen and their arcane and divine predilections respectively. There is an equal distribution of Human, halfling, and half-orc, between the two nations.
HUMANS: Humans flourish in Caerlon due to their versatility and industrious nature. They took equal part in the war on both sides, but do not hold any racial stigma because of it.
ELVES: Are viewed with respect or deference by most, often distrusted by dwarves. One of the less populous of the non-human races, elves do not have the same glory they did before the war, as their cities were largely destroyed by enemy forces or abandoned to join the call to war. The Mage Guild is largely headed by elves.
DWARVES: A minority in Caerlon bordering on non-existent. Many are often viewed with distrust, due largely to their race’s role in the war. Still those who are pragmatic and prove themselves to others have found their niche in this practical minded society.
HALFLINGS: Often mistaken for children by taller folk, halflings play any role that suits them. Their inquisitiveness and attention to small detail help them fit in with this society. They are not seen in any negative light from the effects of the war as they took small part in it. Pun intended.
GNOMES: Gnomes are among the more populous non-human races in Caerlon, largely because most of the gnomes fled Leonia from the highly structured and, what they view as, oppressive religious doctrine. Their precociousness and tendency toward novel experiences has helped them flourish in this society, especially amongst the Alchemist Guild where they can mix discovery with mischief.
HALF-ELF: Seen with some small amount of disdain by full blooded elves, because of their reminder of mixed unions with other races, half-elves find themselves fitting in amongst human kind very nicely. Their versatility and derived respect from their appearance gives them the upper hand more often than not.
HALF-ORC: Viewed with some level of fear due to nothing other than their bestial appearance, half-orcs usually need to prove their intent with others before they are trusted. Despite the social drawbacks they often face, half-orc’s are a versatile race that, when given the opportunity, surprise those around them.
Division of Classes:
The nature of magic has been a dividing factor for the two nations such that classes are limited in each nation.
Alchemist-major player in the guilds. Studies arcana experimentally
Wizard-major player in the guilds. Studies arcana academically
Cavalier-often devoted to a lord, but sometimes other guilds
Ranger-study of nature in a practical way
Witch-a mystery that’s largely been ignored by the Mage Guild due to their reclusive nature
Monk-studies anatomy and focuses on improving physical prowess
Bard-acts like a bard always did. Music is awesome!
Fighter, Barbarian, and Rogue all act like normal combat classes
Cleric-major religious class. Most respected in society
Sorcerer-belief that arcane magic comes from a divine source. Pray’s for spells
Paladin-defender of religion and all that is good. Devoutly carries out will of deity
Druid-belief that deities are responsible and in harmony with nature. Pet is deity’s messenger
Oracle-channels the will of the gods in premonitions and magic
Monk-monastic orders that submit themselves as tools of the gods and carry out their will
Bard-acts like a bard always did, except with more gospel tunes!
Fighter, Barbarian, and Rogue all act like normal combat classes, except pray more before battle