History: the big picture
Tarrastra is an old world. Long ago, the Celtic deities claimed this world and shaped it to their liking. Tarrastra's rolling hills, vast expanses of forests, placid meadows, and bubbling brooks made a placid and idyllic landscape for the fey, who have been lived on this world for eons. Gnomes settled on the surface and dwarves under the ground. Many millenia ago, elves suddenly appeared in the woods. Much later, humans and halflings also arrived and settled, forming small villages and clearing sections of forest for agriculture.
As the short-lived but robust humans multiplied, civilization developed and they began recording their history only a couple of millenia ago. Villages grew into towns and towns into cities. Nations formed, trade developed, and the old ways of worshiping the gods changed to meet the needs of urban life. In rural areas, the druids continued their dominant role, but each deity also started to grant powers to clerics, who built churches in the cities and also started to spread out through the countryside.
As the Tarrastra's population grew, the world drew the attention of several non-Celtic deities. Most of them were rebuffed by the Celtic gods, but a few, notably from the Finnish pantheon, gained worshipers and have a permanent presence on Tarrastra. Lesser planar beings, celestials and fiends, have also left their mark on Tarrastra: aasimars and tieflings can be found among the human population.
All of the civilized regions of Tarrastra have roads within them and connecting to neighboring destinations. How well those roads are maintained and how safe they are to travel upon depends on the nation which controls them.
There are also vast tracts of wilderness: forest, desert, mountains, and plains. Cross-country journeys are always possible, if necessarily slower and often dangerous.
Among the magical arts that have been developed to a high level on Tarrastra is one to address the needs of travel: that of the portal. All across the world one can find magical portals which link one spot to another for instantaneous transportation. Most people have heard of such magic, although many have never knowingly seen such a device. Any spellcaster will be familiar with portals and may choose to learn appropriate spells to deal with them: analyze portal, gate seal, greater portal alarm, portal alarm, portal beacon, and scramble portal. Characters with an inkling to create portals of their own can do so if they take the Create Portal feat.
The fey of Tarrastra have their own method of rapid transportation. Linking many a pair of (mostly wilderness) locations, a system of "fey crossroads and backroads" has been created. Similar in many respects to regular portals, these are guarded by Crossroad Guardians, large fey, who grant access to non-fey only after negotiation. In general, only the fey, druids, rangers, and others with at least 5 ranks in Knowledge (Nature) know of this travel system. Several spells dealing with crossroads are known to spellcasters: create crossroads and backroad, and detect crossroads.
Tarrastra's year consists of 372 days. The climate cycles through four seasons, with the sun rising and setting 93 times for each one. Conventionally, each season is split into three thirty-day months and a three day festival to celebrate the solstice or equinox, which occurs on the middle day of the festival. Each month is split into three ten-days.
Tarrastra has two moons.
The Bright Moon has a regular cycle of phases over a 29 days period. The Bright Moon is considered to be the Traveler's Friend and is ruled by Arianrhod.
The Bane Moon is irregular. It, too, has phases, and looms large and recedes over a period of approximately 79 days, but sometimes looms much sooner than expected - or much later. It is a baleful mottled red and its surface almost seems to roil with activity. The Bane Moon is feared by all and is ruled by Cerridwen.
People on Tarrastra do not pay close attention to measuring time. Aside from Noon (when the sun is highest in the sky) and Midnight (halfway to the next Noon), no "fixed" times are observed. Dawn and Sunset are also points of reference, but, of course, those vary from day to day, relative to Midnight and Noon. People tend to divide the day up like this:
Conventionally, the day is divided into twenty-four "candlemarks", and one might agree to meet someone "about two candlemarks after noon", although one is more likely to simply expect a visitor sometime in the "early afternoon".
|Copyright © 2007 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com>||
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.