Gondwana and Xolteca (5e Campaign Setting)
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Two Sub-continent Islands separated from each other in the oceans of the prime material worlds by an Archipelago known as the Tlaxcala Isles. Gondwana to the South and Xolteca to the North.
(Some say these conjoined subcontinents mysteriously wander from prime material world to prime material world during the conjunction of planes). The Great Subcontinent to the South and west is known as Gondwana while the lesser subcontinent to the North West is Xolteca. Both are tropical with great rainforests, savannah and exotic beasts like dinosaurs. Pyramids house vast dungeons constructed by powerful Pharaoh-Magi with their one strange law of reality. Many of the races of Gondwana are very similar yet different to the classic races of Faerun just with more pigmentation. Hence Elves would be Tall, cattle herders and hunter gathers similar to the Masai or Amhara. The Dwarves are salt miners and farmers who build partially submerged homes in the highlands, where they keep the herds of swine and goats and farm their yams, they are experts of crafting bronze weapons and armor. Humans are melanated humans of various tribes and cultures, to the North of Quajjari they are nomads and merchants to the South near Walata and Njani they are farmers and currently fighting in a great civil war Between the ruthless Sorceror-king Soumaro and his outcast Nephew Sunjata. The Great Kingdom of Suqattra is ruled by a council of magi after the last Pharaoh was slain in battle. The Halflings are very similar to Xhosa and live pleasant lives in the deep forests and deserts as hunter gatherers.)
Campaign Setting Information
There are four subclasses that were crafted for the setting; the Barbarian Jaguar Warrior, The Wizard Archmagi, The Cleric Voudun, the Ranger Medjey
The Subclasses of Greater Gondwana
Jaguar Warrior (5e Subclass) The Jaguar Warrior; The Fearsome Jaguar Warrior (barbarian Subclass) mixes the ferocity of the Berserker with the resilience of the Bear Totem Warrior. They can be stealthy and defensive or fly into a deadly rage but at the right time, much like their Ancestral Totem the Jaguar.
Medjey (5e Subclass) The Medjey is an Arcane Ranger who uses Divination, Illusions and Abjuration to nullify Arcane horrors that spring across the desert and leave their pyramid prisons.
Ushtabi Guardian (5e Subclass) The Ushtabi Guardians are Arcane Paladins who defends the prison pyramids and use their potent defensive magic to resist the elements of Djinn, demiurges and so forth.
Arch-Magi (5e Subclass) The Arch-Magi are elite generalists from the Wizard's universities of Suqqatra and Qajjari. They are known to blend magic together at times for devastating effects.
Voodun Domain (5e Subclass) The "Serpents of the Light" also known as the Voodun domains, mainly practiced in Walata, Tlaxcala, Njani, Suqqatra, Axum and Gwongo. This religion falls into three houses of spirits, Loa, Rua and Ghede... also known as the "Serpents of the Light" "The Wild Host" and "The Court of the Dead". Tragically much maligned this religion and its followers can use both White Magic, Black Magic and Grey Magic but harnessing some of these powers require either a personal sacrifice or deal to be worked with these potent spirits. Zombies can be used by these practitioners but generally only from the corpses of the most vicious criminals... hence there are rules to be applied to the power of the Voodoo priests that the more powerful spirits like Baron Samedi and Damballa demand of their followers.
Rastafarian (5e Subclass) The Rastafarian Bards are somewhere between a healer and a soothing song singer, many of them are vegetarians and pescatarians who refuse to consume unclean things like pork and this lifestyle of cleanliness also comes down to marital status, place of living and only using herbs and Ganja during ceremonial processes. They can sing and perform in two diametrically opposite styles of music, one is the soothing rhythms of Roots and the other the wild festival music of Ragga.
Races of Gondwana Many of the races of Gondwana are very similar yet different to the classic races of Faerun just with more pigmentation. Hence Elves would be Tall, cattle herders and hunter gathers similar to the Masai or Amhara. The Dwarves are salt miners and farmers who build partially submerged homes in the highlands, where they keep the herds of swine and goats and farm their yams, they are experts of crafting bronze weapons and armor aka Bantu. Humans are melanated humans of various tribes and cultures, to the North of Quajjari they are nomads and merchants to the South near Walata and Njani they are farmers and currently fighting in a great civil war Between the ruthless Sorceror-king Soumaro and his outcast Nephew Sunjata. The Great Kingdom of Suqattra is ruled by a council of magi after the last Pharaoh was slain in battle. The Halflings are very similar to Xhosa and live pleasant lives in the deep forests and deserts as hunter gatherers aka Twa. All of these different "Races" can actually mix with each other and are all distantly related to each other. Generally from such mixtures half-elves or humans result as offspring.
Most of the standard weapons and armor can be found on Gondwana, especially in Suqqatra, Njani, Walata and Quajjari. The same applies to equipment, rations and so forth. What makes this land stand out is there are various strange mounts as of course potent artifacts and wonderous powers crafted by the great Numerator, hence these items warp reality with their mathematical laws inherent with each item.
Standard gear can be found in the market places just like the PHB.
Armor can be made from the hides of various creatures, crocodiles and pangolins can make fine scale armor. Rhino, Elephant and various dinosaurs can make for masterwork hide and leather armor. Tortoise, Triceratops and Ankylosaurus can actually be fashioned into bone plate.
Standard weapons can be forged or purchased as is found in the PHB.
Weapons can be crafted from the teeth and claws of various beasts. Daggers can be made from large Theropod Teeth and claws, while shortswords can be made from the Teeth of Gargantuan Theropods. Half of the Jaw of a Theropod that is Huge or Gargantuan can be crafted in a great Axe or great sword. The Tail end of a Huge Ankylosaurus/Shunosaurus can be crafted into a Maul or warhammer. The Jaw of a large Theropod can be crafted into a battle axe or Halberd. The Claws of Mega Raptors and Therozinosaurus can be fashioned into longswords. Large Theropod teeth can be fashioned into arrows and bolts. Spears can be crafted from the horns of Rhinos and Triceratops.
Standard gear as is in the PHB.
Ropes can be made from Hemp and various jungle vines or ivy. Nets can be made from various spiders.
Standard gear as is in the PHB.
Standard gear as is in the PHB.
Dilophosaurus and flying raptors can produce potent venom as well as hooded cobras and bush vipers.
There are a variety of mounts... various dinosaurs can serve as mounts as well as Elephants, Rhinos, Giraffes, Camels..etc.
Feats from what is known all standard feats are found in this setting.
Magic of Gondwana
Serpents of the Light spell list
House Ghede Spell list
Languages: The Elves speak Amhara, The Dwarves speak Bandu and the halflings speak Twa. The humans of Walata and Njani have their own language known as Ghantu while Suqqatra has their own language as does Qajjari.
Downtime Activites: Plenty of Ancient ruins and pyramids to explore as well as arms and armor to craft from the exotic and savage beasts of the land.
World of Gondwana
World Info The Great Subcontinent to the South and west is known as Gondwana while the lesser subcontinent to the North West is Xolteca. Both are tropical with great rainforests, savannah and exotic beasts like dinosaurs. Pyramids house vast dungeons constructed by powerful Pharaoh-Magi with their one strange law of reality.
The History of the Gondwana Archipelago is divided into three stages with an elusive fourth stage said to be a period beforehand known as the Great Extinction... it is rumored that the Great Extinction is cyclical and could happen once again at the end of the Iron Age.
The Great Extinction: This was a period where Gondwana was once a tropical paradise but suddenly obliterated with fire, ice and desertification... multiple species became extinct and various humanoid races were wiped from the face of Gondwana.
Stone Age/Age of Wonders; This was the period that humans discovered the ancient world-stones and the transmuting magic of these monoliths changed people into the various new races over time.... hence the Amhara elves were born in the east, the Bantu dwarves were born in the west and the Twa halflings were born in the central rainforests. The Great World-stones also preserved many of the Dinosaurs from the great extinction that happened previously. The Forests expand and the land swiftly recovers within a few centuries... relics and ruins from the previous age can be found throughout the land. Some Neolithic cities are built and magic is mastered in this period. Pyramids are being built in this pyramid but are somewhat crude.
Bronze Age/Wind Age; Humans, Bantu, Amhara begin building great kingdoms throughout the land. The Twa begin to learn how to domesticate the dinosaurs in the great regions of Gwongo, Txalacala and Xolteca. The Gods of Suqqatra can occasionally be found on earth in their avatars, battling amongst themselves or forming alliances. The Great Wizard colleges are constructed in the lands of Quajjari and Suqqatra. Zoros the prophet becomes the leader of Quajjari pantheon and converts the gods and spirits to pay respect and fealty to the greater God Ashyuran. This is also a great period of massive hurricanes and typhoons which spill across from the Tlaxcala seas. Zolecta rises as a massive military empire but faces several internal struggles and infighting.
Iron Age/Age of Corruption; Tragically this is the final age, the Empire of Xolteca collapses into civil war and the lands of Suqqatra sees the death of their last pharaoh and the last of the line of Osiris is wiped from the earth. The Emperor Soumaro rises from Njani and conquers the kingdoms of Walata while enslaving captives and refugees to make himself incredibly rich. The King of Walata, Sunjata flees to the great deserts of El-Nagi. Ruthless pirate fleets rise on the islands of Tlaxcala and raid both Gondwana and Xolteca while also secretly purchasing slaves from Soumaro's vast empire in the West. It is prophesized that the Heroes of this time period can rise up and overthrow the great evils that plague this land and bring about an age of peace. Our Heroes begin their lives in the beginning of the Iron Age.
King Ruganzu of Gwawanda has lost his legendary spear in the Mountain of Gitama near the northern lake of Kivu, the mountainous lands of Gambela with several volcanic tunnels. It is said that trade has ceased in the north between Axum and Gwawanda has ceased because a small kingdom of Bouda (Hyena men) has established itself in this region, If King Ruganzu ever finds his legendary spear he will flood the hyena men in their tunnels with the lake water of Kivu. When reunited with his mighty spear it is said the Giant King can split boulders in half as well as punch holes through the bottom of lakes to flood the tunnels below the earth.
Queen Sheeba of Axum of Axum is known to protect a vast labyrinth of the divine; Magi and paladins alike seek this deadly place to acquire great magical potency and deadly artifacts stored in this facility. Queen Sheeba is said the be both incredibly lovely as well as have an insatiable lust.
Societies across Gondwana and Xolteca Cats are sacred in Suqqatra and if slain will have a reward placed on the party. Killing innocents will eventually get Ushtabi guardians and Medjey to hunt down players. Disrespecting nobility can get the party arrested. Disrespecting religious icons can get the party arrested.
The Greater Gondwana Archipelago wanders from across dimensions; when the planets or planes have a conjunction. Xolteca is part of this Archipelago and hence travels across dimensions to other prime material worlds... thankfully this happens very slowly like over thousands of years... it is rumored to be somewhere in Faerun.
The Religions of Gondwana and Xolteca
The Voodun Religion: All the deities come originally from a sleeping greater god called Bondeye but they are currently split into three known houses with a forbidden fourth house.
House Rada: The oldest spirits that focus on life, harmony, blessings and balance... their followers can be called the Serpents of the light. Three great serpentine dragons are the gods of this house, Damballa the Sky serpent and the grandfather, Ayida the rainbow serpent and life giver and Yewa the Jade Serpent
House Ghede: The house of the dead spirits who are ruled over by their King Baron Samedi, the Vulgar, hedonistic trickster god of the dead, his wife Maman Brigette and foreign aristocratic spirits like Xolotl and Comazotz from Tlaxcala.
House Kongo: the wild spirits, they are not directly ruled by any god but three major spirits compete for domination of this house... Papa Legba the messenger and trickster, Shango the Storm King and Marinette the Crimson witch of revolution.
Court of Xibalba: This "House" is considered forbidden and specializes in necromancy just like House Ghede but these spirits impose no laws or rules for the practitioner to follow and wish to spread death and agony across the land. They enjoy watching civilizations collapse... hence to the outsider it is sometimes very hard to tell the difference between a Xibalba follower and a Ghede Follower. Followers of Xibalba pretend to be other houses to sacrifice their unsuspecting victims to these psychopomps that rule the underworld.
Suqqatra still follows the Suqqatran pantheon but they are in a period of morning, it was said Set destroyed the last Pharaonic line of Osiris and currently there is only the council of magi who know rule the fractured kingdom. It is Prophesized that Horus would awaken in this age to drive out the hidden forces of Set.
Qajjari worship the Prophet Zoros, speaker of Ashruyan. The Various native deities have been converted to the faith of Ashyuran. Zoros is also named Zarathustra the Wanderer.
Dungeon Master's Guide
This is an optional page which gives quests, artifacts and details about the campaign setting.
The Monsters of Gondwana are a mixture of African Mythology, Egyptain Entities, capricious Djinn, Arcane Dinosaurs and Mesoamerican Monsters.
The Bestiary of Gondwana:
Burrowing Spider (5e Creature)
Efreeti Mameluke (5e Creature)
Ancient Grootslang (5e Creature)
Soumaro the Mountain God: Soumaro is the Tyrant of Njani and Walata, he persecutes the people of his kingdom with draconian laws and sells them to slavery to the pirates of the Tlaxcala seas. He is the uncle and usurper of Sunjiata.
Sunjiata the White Lion: Sunjiata is the leader of the resistance, currently hiding deep in the oases of the Al-Fahkim and El-Nagi deserts.
Queen Sheeba: the Lore Keeper: A incredibly lovely queen with a great magical maze that houses various powerful Djinni and Artifacts imprisoned within to keep safe from the warlords of the world.
King Ruganzu: The Giant King of Gwawanda and Kush, who lost his powerful spear that is said to split mountain tops asunder and split holes through the earth and drain whole lakes.
Vizier Raffajj: a powerful Arch-Magi from Quajjari organized with others to find a powerful heirloom.
Al-Zayd: the observer and servant of Raffajj.
The Servant: the lesser djinn who is bound to the Sultan.
The Sultan: an incredibly powerful Djinn noble who angered a higher diety and was imprisoned.
Standard magical Items can be found
There are also a variety of strange mathematical artifacts known as the legacy of Numerology. It is said a great god known simply as the "Enumerator" crafted these powerful artifacts during the Stone Age and the Bronze Age and left them as a humorous riddle throughout the land.
Rune of V (5e Equipment)
Dm's should feel free to use exponential stones and their powers but only occasionally and the artifacts are so powerful that they should crumble to dust or gold coins after one usage. DMs should also feel free to tone down the power of the Arch-Magi near the end of the end game if their powers are too much.
Many of the Dungeons and quests are actually inspired by African, Arabic and Mayan stories and mythology.
Cleanse the Savannah Ant Colonies (5e Quest) A basic quest for low level players to exterminate a supercolony of savannah ants.
Cavern of Bandits (5e Quest) The Cavern of Bandits begins in a caravanserai somewhere in the deserts between Suqqatra and the Al-Fakhim Desert. Players receive strange visions while they sleep that begins the adventure.
Tomb of Qa'a (5e Quest) After the Cavern of Bandits the players are sent on a quest to find a powerful artifact known as the "censer of the Sultan" in this vast pyramid deep in the Al-Fakhim Desert.
Defile the Defiler, Honor the Honorable (5e Quest) After the Tomb of Qa'a the players are sent on a mysterious adventure to find Sunjiata the White Lion and the leader of the resistance in the distant El-Nagi Deserts.
The Gates of Xibulba (5e Quest) Some time after the Battle of Soumaro the players are granted with the noble task of imprisoning high powered artifacts in the underworld of Xibalba.
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