Ten things you need to know about Lir
1. The world of Lir is a wasteland corrupted by Chaos
Chaos, along with the sciences of arcane and shadow magic is not native to the material plane that holds the various worlds. In the Great War between the Gods and Gar-Loa-Vox’s Draconians the veil between the planes was pierced to gain greater power from the Far Realm composed of Chaos. Once introduced to the worlds this element through choice or its own mutagenic nature quickly made its mark on the environment and organisms of countless worlds.
On Lir the planet has been ravaged by Chaos’ unchecked influence for centuries now. While the planet escaped corruption and wounds in The Great War; Chaos was introduced to its ecosystem by the destruction of Ro-Rex’s war machines. They were powered by concentrated orbs of Chaos that spilled and leaked Chaos into the soil, water, and air when they were destroyed. These wild particles mutated life and raw elements into new forms of life. Even the Fey Others were transformed by the taint into creatures of infernal designs. Chaos could not only corrupt the flesh but also the mind. And all touched with Chaos have a tendency toward great savagery.
Most of the living creatures have been tainted and bear the mark of mutation. Many have developed strange new powers such as powers of the mind or more savage mutations. The most innocent creatures can appear demonic. The mutated are referred to as the Sun-Warped.
The landscape is blighted and mostly comprised of vast deserts, badlands, and wastes where only the hardiest species can live. Some say the equator is a toxic jungle that drinks the blood of all who enter its humid embrace. The polar caps are vast glaciers that have pushed south till they border the harsh deserts.
With the death of the god Lir all the seas of the planet evaporated in a single instance. Now the continental shelves are quagmires of slowly shifting slit that is moist with drainage from the yearly great rains and strange chemicals and byproducts of black magic’s defiling. These quasi seas are acidic to ships and great monstrous things lurk in the mires. But, specially designed ships still tread here on sluggish muddy currents. The great depths of the former seas are now guarded by massive cliffs that drop off a mile or more in some places to the bottoms that once were the deepest parts of the sea. Shallow seas are great deserts populated by great sand dunes and are traveled by ships on mounted wheels.
Even the atmosphere of the planet is corrupted by particles of Chaos. The sky is many hued and a mixture of beauty and disgust to behold, simmering overhead like an oil slick. While the sun seems amplified and wavering in heavens. At night the sky remains aglow with swirls of color that make the stars seem dim and the last remaining moon pale grey above.
2. Many races are not indigenous to Lir
The inhabitants of Lir are mostly from other worlds in the Material Plane. They were brought here as an enslaved army by Ro-Rex. Even The Ancients were wayward nomads who stumbled upon this world long ago. In the time since the introduction of these races to the planet a great many have gone extinct or have been mutated or bred into new species that show little resemblance to their origins. Most are ignorant of their history and see Lir as the only home they have ever had or will have.
3. Metal is scarce
The corruption of Chaos was not limited to living organisms. Chaos seeped deep into the soil and bedrock of the planet where it created new forms of life. The Deep Earth Cult of old was comprised of living elementals of ores and minerals tainted by the scourge. The ores and raw elemental materials that were needed to fashion metal were converted into strange unworkable matter or walked away.
What remains of the untainted ore is closely guarded by forces that via for control of Lir or the incorruptible primal fire elementals that wage constant war against all that are corrupted. This scarcity is felt in every facet of life on Lir. Most items on the planet are fashioned from bone, stone, animal parts, hide, or crystal.
4. The God Lir is dead
All the worlds of the Material Plane were born with a single God. The God that looked over Lir was killed by a catastrophic ritual that sacrificed her to open a portal to the Astral Wastes that allowed the Draconian to return to The Worlds. While small sects and orders keep her memory alive there are no active churches or Divine favor to bestow.
Without a God to gift the powers of the Divine upon the worshippers there are no clerics or other such classes on Lir. Though a few artifacts still persist and allow a small handful to wield her favor with the power invested in these objects.
Many now worship what remains of the Others and elementals of the world. And others put their faith into living idols that claim godhood. These power sources are primal or infernal in nature.
5. There are other worlds
The Prime Material Plane is filled with a diverse and numerous array of worlds. Lir is but one place in the cosmos that can sustain life. Some of these worlds are dead rocks while others support unknown civilizations. A few of these civilizations travel between the stars in the ether on great magically powered sailing ships. While the secret of travel is lost to Lir now it is known to some that The Ancients had the knowledge and means of stellar voyages. It remains to be seen if this knowledge is lost or still can be recovered; if it hasn’t already been rediscovered and put to use.
6. Death is not peaceful
The Prime Material Plane also known as The Worlds is where the living toil and die. Laid over this plane is a thin transparent realm known as The Gloom. The Gloom is where the departed souls pass through the fabric of creation to whatever lies beyond. The Gloom clings to The Worlds and connects point for point and covers it like a tight fitting sheet. The Gloom that clings to the surfaces of Lir is haunted by the terrible and vengeful spirit of Sa-Nah-Gig. This creature is all but a god in name and she absorbs the dead that emerge from through the planar veil that covers Lir. Those who are not absorbed are at times sent back to the living as half dead shades to serve her dark purposes.
Resurrection is almost unheard of on Lir. Those who are plucked back to the land of living arrive back in their bodies filled with madness or possessed by other spirits. Only the most powerful and forgotten magic of the past can hope to restore a soul to its body. And so death is often a permanent and mournful event.
Undead of Lir are often creatures that are little more than automations controlled by some greater power. Those that still possess their personality do so by trapping their spirit on this side of the divide between worlds. Many powers of Lir will bargain with this power to allow a being to escape the grips of Sa-Nah-Gig in the afterlife.
The brutal and harsh landscape of constantly warring factions has almost halted all education and advancement of science. Civilizations barely emerge from their cradles before they are assailed by the environment and outside forces. For the last five thousand years many areas have eroded into primitive cultures while the greater city-states and factions of Lir prevent the advancement of knowledge and science to increase their control on the world. This has left little in the way of technological advancements and a population that is often blind to history and most only knowing how to speak a few rough languages.
8. Factions of Lir
Lir is populated by an assortment of powerful factions and power structures that operate openly or in secretive cabals to further their goals. Many use their influence to undermine other factions and to increase their power within the status quo. While secretive groups strive for obscure goals known to only a few. These groups run the gambit from small trade guilds to the powerful Sorcerer-Kings who rule over the city-states. Some of these factions have influences that stretch across worlds beyond Lir.
One’s alliances with these factions can be a matter of life and death on Lir. All these factions strive to uncover knowledge from the past and about each other. Many factions are outlawed with a penalty of death in some areas of the planet. One must tread carefully in the company of strangers before entrusting them with your own affiliations.
9. Savagery is the rule of thumb
Life on Lir is often short and brutal. Slavery is practiced in most civilized areas of the planet. Blood sports are considered an entertainment. Tyrants rule with an iron hand over the cities and settlements. They use their control of resources and brute strength to weaken the populous to their whims. Even if a creature isn’t a slave they can easily spend their entire life in bondage; slaving away their years for cruel masters simply for the right to exist. Outside the pockets of civilization the world is hellish place of savage tribes and bizarre creatures. Trust and softer emotions are foreign concepts to Lir. The few creatures that possess such traits do so at their own peril.
10. The power to preserve is your own
The creatures of Lir have given into the Chaos influence and use arcane magical sources that corrupt and defile the very soil. The landscape is covered with blighted grounds that will not yield healthfully plants or support life as we know it. Other creatures rejoice in their Sun-Warp and use it’s full fiery upon other creatures and the land. There are ways to preserve the world and heal it but most have turned their back on the past and only see the short sighted future where the fast path to power is a means to the end.
Will you temper your own corruption and desire for power or will you use the gifts of Chaos to ravage all natural life? These are your choices to make as you find your way in the world of Lir.
Much of the world’s wilderness and settlements live without care if one betrays the world. But, some places will kill or exile one who wields arcane or Sun-Warped powers. In some city-states the practice is also kept in careful check to prevent dangerous competition or preserve what scant resources remain to control the population.