Hello again, welcome to my second installment of the blog. Campaign-wise, the iconic Middle Kingdoms are a good place to start in regards to Porphyra, as they are a mostly-safe, stable land that nonetheless has a plethora of rules and regulations that the typically free-wheeling party of adventurers will have trouble obeying. They are: no gratuitous use of the “elements”; varying degrees of racism towards non-humans (except half-outsiders, who are usually treated with awe); and implied monotheism, in spite of the collective victory of the Gods as a plurality- with the “True” god being Gerana the Arbitress. Add in an observant population and the vigilant ‘police’ force that is the para-palatinate Codionic Knights, and you have a minefield of social niceties that will try role-playing skills on many levels.
The introductory adventure The Ruins of Greencastle in the Lands of Porphyra campaign setting is a great place to start a party adventuring in Porphyra, especially if the GM wants to begin a 20-level campaign to bring At’f’aal, the Rainbow Child to the Material Plane and heal the rift of faith factions- but we’ll speak more on that in later blogs!
The Middle Kingdoms
“Whereas the four principalities called by Porphyrans The Middle Kingdoms consist of Vinterre, an agricultural land steeped in lively arts; Geranland, of varied terrain and industry supported by a powerful wizard’s guild; Rotwald, a heavily forested land with wild and monster-haunted corners; and Pium, seat of Sanctus Templum, the Golden City and headquarters of the vast Church of Gerana, and its leader and potentate, the Codion. This quadripartite confederacy is bound by their world of origin, their faith, and their common cause in the NewGods War, which had an effect of solidifying what was once drifting apart in the World-that-Was.
So know that The Middle Kingdoms has an overarching law, the Code of Four, which precludes overuse or overdependence on the four classic elements, so revered by their enemies, the Elementalists. Earth alone is casually utilized, as Gerana is deity of that element, and so farming, mining and stone-work are performed with little comment. Dependence on fire is frowned upon, as is flight and swimming. The Kamaarian Navy is titled for its port, not its nation or faith for this reason, though they are as pious as most, if a little rough.
Midlanders, as they are so yclept, tend to remain in their villages and cities and wax industrious there, so there are opportunities to explore little-frequented regions of the Middle Kingdoms, perhaps to seek ruins abandoned during the turbulent years after The Calling, or old battlefields from the NewGods War, of which there are, sadly, many. The Sowmoors in the south, the central Moonwood of Rotwald, and the sad environs of Greencastle are all places ignored or abandoned by the Codionic Knights- though they have every right to do so, as I acknowledge as a historian sanctioned by the Codion’s Inner Council, long may he preside.”
-Gazetteer I, Lands of the East, Odulaki the Seer
These small metallic tickets cannot be counterfeited, as they are manufactured by the Hall of Sanctions in the Iron Basilica of Sanctus Templum. They are sold or granted in four different colors: white, brown, red and blue, and allow the bearer a dispensation to engage in ‘elemental’ activity in the eyes of the authorities and populace, temporarily bypassing the regulations of the Code of Four. Thus, a white offset holder could cast a fly spell without sanction, dig a deep trench for non-commercial use or cast an expeditious excavation spell, burn off a section of scrubland or cast a fireball spell, or dig a well or cast a control water spell. Though not magical, the bearer gains a +1 morale bonus to concentration checks when using a codionic offset. Offsets are licensed by date or duration, with a sliding scale of cost according to the task or tasks described to the attending cleric-bureaucrat.
Cost: 5 gp per spell level or day-length worth of activity (0-level = 1 gp/ day)