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EarthDawn: A Brave New World - Setting and Character Creation


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This is going to be 1st edition, the one that was made/printed by FASA.

General Setting: It's circa 100-150 years after the Scourge has ended (TE 1187). You are all from the same Kaer (Kaer Nilak), and the leaders have decided that they can safely send out a small group (4-5) to see what the outside world is like, and make contact with the reigning government. Beyond that, there will be horror hunting, questing for magical items and knowledge, political intrigue, and dragons.

Kaer Nilak is a primarily human kaer (approx pop 2500). It is semi-racist, almost caste-like. Humans are on top, Elves and Dwarves are on the '2nd tier', Windlings are 3rd, Obsidimen and T'skrang are 4th, and Orks and Trolls are a vast minority and are the very bottom socially (not slaves, but there are actually certain places in the Kaer that they can't go without special permission or a human, elf or dwarf escort). As you go down on the 'social totem pole', you get further and further from the town square, get less and less room per family/house (T'skrang, Orks and Trolls actually have to live with 2 or more families per apartment/hut).

The layout of the Kaer is basically oval, with the town square in the center. From an overhead view, the E/W direction are the far ends of the oval, and the door is in the center of the S side. The merchant/agricultural district is to the S of town square, with the Adept Training Facilities (ATF) directly between the door and the agricultural district. The animal stables (and tanneries, as well as other foul smelling businesses) are to the E and W of the ATF, against the wall of the Kaer. The Human houses (1 family per house, just a few apartments up against the wall) span in a pie wedge to the north of the town square, all the way to the wall. On the West side of the town square, and along the western edge of the human and part of the merchant sections are the dwarves (1 family apartments), mirrored by the elves on the East side. The Windlings have a small community (they don't take up much room) integrated in the Elven section, and the couple of Obsidimen (total population 5) live among the Dwarves. To the west of the Dwarves, all the way to the western wall (where the solid waste reclamation and compost center are) live the Trolls (2+ family apartments). To the east of the elves are the T'skrangs (1-2 family apartments), and from the T'skrangs to the eastern wall (where the liquid waste reclamation and recycling center are) live the Orks (2+ family apartments).

Population mixture is roughly: 35% Human, 20% Dwarf, 15% Elf, 10% Troll, 10% Ork, 5% T'skrang, 5% Windling, 0.2% (5 total) Obsidiman.

Ok, the History of Kaer Nilak that is known to all the starting characters.

Originally Posted By: The Histories
The construction of Kaer Nilak was finished in an unheard of amount of time, and was paid for by the profits that our trading town had saved up. Theran protections were also used, paid for from our deep coffers, showing that we were better businessmen than any T'skrang.

Our kaer was placed deep beneath the ground, and the surrounding rock was strengthened with elemental earth to prevent entry attempts by digging, as well as to support our dome. A great deal of time and energy went into its creation, both so that we would be certain we would survive the Scourge, and also because of our Questors of Upandal; Questors that were so devout that that Upandal himself came and helped during the construction, just one of the reasons it was finished so quickly.

Our kaer has one of the most defensive layouts in all of Barsaive, which has allowed us to survive without penetration.

Our first line of defense is called the Gate, which is an extremely well-camouflaged door that opens to the surface. This door perfectly mimics the surrounding landscape, right down to having real grass growing from its surface.

Within the Gate, the Entry Hall is the main deterrent for any Horrors who would dare attempt to enter our kaer. This room is outfitted with many elaborate and deadly traps. At the inner end of the Entry Hall, further than any but the most deadly of Horrors would ever get, stood the Entry Door, a heavily protected gateway through which everything is required to pass. The door is lined on both sides with orichalcum, and covered from top to bottom with magical wards and other runes, completely blocking off Horror's access.

Through the Entry Door lies the Stair, which consists of a series of circular stairways connected by rooms. Both the stairs and the rooms were filled with traps, more over-design than anything else, because there is no possible way a Horror could make it this far. There are a total of two rooms and three flights of stairs.

At the bottom of the Stair stands the Guard Door, which leads inside. The Guard Door is a small door, barely eight feet in height. Like the Entry Door, it is heavily guarded with both orichalcum and runes, making the inside of Kaer Nalik the safest place in all of the world from the Scourge.

The kaer itself was completed in TE 570, at which time most of our permanent inhabitants at the time moved in. Because of our bravery and skill, our kaer was able to remain open for many years after, showing our deep care and compassion for the refugees from the surrounding countryside. During this time, the number of Horrors that were encountered increased, but our brave warriors were able to protect not only our citizens but our guests as well.

Late in the year 582, a party of outside adventurers arrived at the Gate, claiming to be followed by a great Horror, intent on their destruction. Our administrators had already been planning on closing the doors, so these outsiders were the last to make it into Kaer Nilak.

Two of the four adventurers refused the ministrations of our healers and succumb to their injuries. Ri'Shayd, an Obsidiman, is the only one still alive, as his retched Ork companion finally died of old age.

In TE 710 the leaders decided that there was one further thing that could be done to strengthen our defenses. Everybody in the kaer participated in a Naming Ritual, centered on the Great Hall itself. This ritual gave the kaer itself a True Pattern, and a thread was woven from each person living in the kaer to the Great Hall strengthened the pattern to the point of impenetrability.

In TE 1177, four outsider adepts disappeared. The four contained Tor'al, an elf who had been a youth during the construction, Ri'Shayd, and two other Adepts. It was later discovered that our leaders believed something was living in the Stair and had caused the Heroes' disappearances. It was unanimous that this terror needed to be destroyed. Dartin, a troll Warrior, and Jal'al, an elven Archer, were sent up the Stair, with great fanfare, to destroy whatever it was. To this day they haven't returned.

The current date is TE 1187.

Here's the game map. I'll try and keep it updated as new places of interest are discovered.



Kaer Nilak - Red dot just west of Kratas

Manto Township - Blue dot just north of Tylon Mts.


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Character Creation/Various OOC stuff: I plan on advancing characters fairly rapidly. I have some bones of the large, overarching story (i.e. metaplot) laid out. Needless to say, after the overarching story is completed, I expect the characters to be at least legendary status 4, and from there we could take any number of routes (war with Thera, exploration of previously unknown areas, more horror hunting (Verjigorm even, if you'd like), etc.)

Needless to say, my personal style has a bent for more action and less intrigue. Regardless, intrigue will not be absent and will actually be very important at several junctures. Basically, you need to be combat ready, but not completely combat focused.

Stats will be generated in 1 of 2 ways, I'll leave it up to the player.

1: Purchase method, as stated in the book.

2: Modified random method. Roll 4d6, dropping the lowest, and re-rolling if the result is less than 12. Do this until you get 6 values, then assign them as you deem appropriate. I don't require proof, unless you get a character that has 18's for all of their stats, then I'll require an IC or Beta Chat log.

Every character will start with full karma.

Also, as promised, almost circle 2 characters, you get 10 instead of 8 talent points to spend, and I'm also giving you 4 knowledge skill points and 2 artisan skill points (as well as R/W & speak Dwarf, Human (it's a primarily human kaer) and racial language (if any)).

Don't worry about arms/armor, you'll get all you need before you leave, and I have a special something up my sleeve to add for you all as well. Go ahead and get things like lockpicks, clothes, and mundane stuff you'd have in the kaer. Armor, shields, weapons (though you could have your own dagger/knife), travel money, provisions, etc. will be provided for your trip/adventure.

With a group of 5, I would like a maximum of 2 of any single species (SM and AW have already called Windling). No trolls or Orks.

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House Rules and other Rulings


1) Can only be used on discipline talents and other rolls as granted by your class, per the rulebook.

1a) Talents that require the use of a karma, you get to roll that one karma die and no more. If it is a discipline talent, you get to choose whether you want to spend the karma or not, per the rulebook.

1b) If the character has no karma and wants to use a talent that requires karma, the character may sacrifice a recovery test to power that talent as per the rulebook.

2) On any eligible roll you may spend a maximum of 1 karma, and it has to be rolled at the same time as the rest of your dice. (please post it separately though)

3)Players may, after having successfully completing a karma ritual, purchase at the lp cost listed in the book a number of karma points not to exceed their rank in karma ritual.

4) Players will still start out will full karma pools. It will be assumed that between when the character became an adept and the start of the game that they have preformed successful karma rituals but have had little or no excuse to use karma while in the kaer.

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  • 1 month later...


Kaer Nilak was founded by Theran sympathizers; the Book of Tomorrow is buried deep inside the library. In the schools growing up in the kaer you're taught Theran history, not Throlliac.

That's where the strata/class like system in the kaer came from; it evolved from Theran thoughts/practices over the generations.

That said, feel free to think what you want about Thera, just know that most of the kaer (especially the older humans) think that 'Great Thera' is the passions gift to the world.


As the kaer has had no outside contact since the Scourge started, the PC's knowledge of the passions is somewhat different. The PC's (save Nayobee) don't know that 3 of the passions have gone mad. So, for your characters knowledge please replace:

-Dis (Confusion, Unnecessary Work, Bureaucracy & Slavery)

-Raggok (Vengeance, Bitterness & Jealousy)

-Vestrial (Manipulation, Deceit, Treason & Trickery)


-Erendis (Order, Bureaucracy & Work)

-Rashomon (Endurance, Tolerance, Leadership, Diplomacy & Perseverance)

-Vestrial (Humor and Cunning)

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