Samparidia, The Fallen Empire
This is my homebrew campaign which I’ve been working on for more than 15 years. It started as a dark fantasy setting based on twisted versions of historical civilizations around Mediterranean. Over the years the campaign expanded with more bizarre and exotic locations and cultures.
LORE (Wiki Link)
Setting Background and Recurring Themes:
-We came from somewhere else: In times forgotten, the ancestors of the people who formed the current human nations arrived to the lands of Kimeron from the West, a great Exodus, crossing Black Curtain in titanic ships, each as big as a city, called Arks. They called themselves Ardaccs. The reason of the exodus or what was beyond the Black Curtain is forgotten. The lands they disembarked were far from empty, however they survived and in a few centuries built a glorious empire, Samparidia, and ruled the known world for millennia.
The golden age of Samparidia is long gone, now the empire is shattered, and her old glory is a dreamy melancholia.
-The land is old: The world of Kimeron is immemorially old, it was ancient when the Ardaccs crossed the Black Curtain. Countless empires rose over the ruins of dead civilizations, their names forgotten. History seems more like a cycle than a line; advanced artifacts can be found on one archeological level, below them tools of a savage age, and below them some unconcievable magical relic, all from different epochs. It can be estimated that at least in one point in the past, more advanced and civilized people roamed these lands. The remnants of their culture and technology can be found in most unexpected places. And most of the time the purpose of these artifacts are mysterious or outright incomprehensible. It is quite possible they were not created by/for the entities of this world.
Nonhuman races may know more about their past than humans, however even they have conflicting mythology and unclear chronicles. The stories, folktales and the ruins themselves tell that the world belonged to giants before humans, elves and men. Before giants reptiles ruled the earth. Reptiles were slaves to colossal dragons before they were gone. And even before that, before their imprisonment by the dragons, the first age of the world belonged to demon-gods; deathless, incorrect horrors that are Primordials. Elven Courts believe the Primordials were born from nightmares of their deities; chimerical and capricious Lords of the Fae, but dwarves argue that the Primordials followed them during their long exodus from The Hollow, and the dwarves lost their immortality helping Dragons to imprison them. Even if these creation myths carry traces of truth to some extent, where did the Fae and the Dwarves came from?
-It is a weird place: Kimeron is filled with all kinds of phenomena which appears strange and incomprehensible to current folk. Some of them are due to mysteries of lost ages, but most are from the nature of the world itself. It has been discovered that during the time of Ra’al (One of the relatively better known and recognized lost empires), Kimeron was an interdimensional hub, a nexus for beings from other worlds and realms of existance. What concieved as weird now may be left from those times.
-Evil is just under the surface: Ardaccs brought their faith with them, however the Kimeron had gods of her own. These Old Gods are Lovecraftian beings of evil incarnate, and old texts called them The Primordials. Some are even believed to exist in the world physically, assumed to be sleeping and dreaming. They still affect the world in their dreams. Their wake will be Kimeron’s doom. On top of that, since the days of Ra’al, creatures from other realms of existence started to show interest in Kimeron. Beings percieved as demons or devils, fae and other myriad interplanars try to access and affect the world directly or indirectly through proxies, agents and cults.