The Warlords of Lingusia I: The World Overview
Starting now and until I ever get around to finishing it I’m going to reframe my Warlords Era Lingusia campaign in the context of a "multi-system" setting. My current plan is to run WoL via either DDN or Magic World going forward. I think Magic World does a great job of powering classic fantasy with maybe a tinge of the “dark” and my WoL setting is the textbook definition of such. So…if you like perusing someone else’s campaign creation, read on and enjoy!
This campaign came to life in 1980 thanks to my discovery of Dungeons & Dragons, and over the years I have set various versions in different eras of time in the world through multiple editions of D&D and (most recently) in Pathfinder. My first Runequest 2nd edition campaign was set in Lingusia, and was the foundation of the Avilin region (known in the Warlords era as Il’Madhar).
This setting matieral will be mostly system neutral, but when necessary I will provide suitable stats for Magic World, B/X D&D, and maybe even Pathfinder.
The introductory content is similar to what has come before in my “Empire Era” series from a year or so ago, but is re-presented here for sake of completion:
The World of Lingusia is an immense realm, a legendary planet forged at the moment of creation by great, primal beings. Its history is one of perpetual discovery, magic, danger, and conflict. It is, in short, ideally suited for tales of high adventure, intrigue, and exploration.
Physically, Lingusia is believed by most to be a flatland, a disk-like world which may be somewhere on the order of 28,000 leagues in diameter. The center of this great disk is the Southern pole which attracts the magnetic compasses used for navigation, and it was established long ago by travelers that the closer you get to the pole, the more varied the direction of the compass gets. Likewise, the mysterious magnetic flux of the North Pole seems to radiate from the edge of the world, where the great oceans circulate in a writhing mass, which plunges over, and sweeps back up, the edges of the world. No traveler alive has truthfully traveled to the edge of the world, however, so only the suspect tales of ancients speak of such things.
As a flat world with a very slight curvature, A Lingusian's view of the horizon from any given point is noticeably immense. Most horizons can carry on for a much greater distance than in the mundane world of our own reality, but the density of atmosphere, as well as great mountain ranges, variation in geography, and other features prevent an utterly clear view at any given moment. Still, it is said that in certain great mountain ranges, ancient scholars and mages have been known to set up optical observatories with which they can study the entire world, given a high enough vantage point and strong enough telescopic lensing.
In the heavens, Lingusia is circled by a number of celestial objects, serving as navigational aids. The sun travels the sky in a traditional day’s length, but its orbit is in a permanent flux, as it rolls seasonally along latitudinal lines in the sky over time to create the seasons. At night, there are two moons, the great orb of Selene, the goddess of the night, and the lesser orb of Poltrietie, the demigod of life, a moon which was born in to the sky but a few centuries ago as a herald of the time of the Reckoning, when the war between Chaos and Order came to an end.
Other navigational points in the sky include a medley of odd worlds such as Astrophikus, Hyskortius the Winking Eye, the shimmering Haze, and the constellations of the stars. The stars are believed by men to be portals in to the celestial realms, and for all anyone knows, they might be right.
Lingusia is the name of both the world and the central continent that dominates this great land. Besides the continental Lingusia, there are at least four other great continents across the world, being Takkai, Karaktu, Mataclan, and mythic Paneurika. Of these realms, Lingusia and Takkai are rife with old and new kingdoms that harbor a venerable history, and Mataclan is a relatively unknown land, discovered during the height of the Hyrkanian Empire, and now only recently have its people appeared on the scene once more.
There is a fifth region that is now a great diaspora of islands, the once grant continent of Karaktu. As the centuries passed and the time of the Deluge was brought about by the great warming, Karaktu’s great land mass sank beneath the waters, and left in its wake thousands of islands. The ancient god-kings of Argosea were accused of bringing this disaster about by their people, who blamed them for angering the gods. The last God King of old Argosea was forced in to exile during a great rebellion, and he eventually forged a new empire in the region now called Golmadras.
Beyond the Endless Ocean, there exists Mataclan, once a land of colonial pursuit and ripe for the taking by the ancient Octzellans. The difficulty in crossing the vastness of the ocean to reach this land thwarted many efforts, but it was only after the Cataclysm that all efforts at conquest ceased. A lengthy period passed, during which no men of the Middle Kingdoms had time or knowledge enough to once again pursue this distant land, and it was only within the last several decades that the Mataclani people appeared on the western shores of the Middle Kingdoms, instead. Called the Zatacani, it was revealed that the people of distant Mataclan had learned much from their former conquerors, and a new, distant empire had arisen, and much stronger, more impressive armies had now sailed across the formidable Endless Ocean to invade the shores of Lingusia. The men of the Middle Kingdoms now fight a unique war of invasion from foreigners who worship bloody gods and believe in slaves and sacrifice.
In the utter north and east, Il’Madhar is a vague rumor, though some say Zymhar and the Autrengardians in the north engage in brisk trade with this little known land of mystery. Last, but certainly not least, the grand continent dubbed Paneurika is said to exist in the farthest southern realms, beyond reach of all save the most daring travelers, and only one true account of this continent is even believed to be true. Il’Madhar is very much like the Hy Brasil of Lingusia, and Paneurika its Ultima Thule.