Before we do anything else, we should know what kind of world this is going to be, in the broadest sense, right? Where does it come from? To get a sense of history and form some idea about what the future might look like, it seems logical to go the beginning of relevant developments. For Felmoor, we go all the way back to the literal beginning of the world, which depending on how you look at it, is also the end of the world.
I came up with the basic idea for Felmoor back in highschool. It was called Telmor back then. I was super into Beowulf, and I’d been reading Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda so there was some Norse myth bouncing around in my head. The big influence, though, was “The Silmarillion” and what emerged was in some ways an intentional imitation of Tolkien’s account of the creation of the Midgard. Felmoor is a little bit different, a little more modern, but it’s got a similar profile.
The creation narrative below the jump is eventually going to be part of a “Player’s Overview.” The overview won’t be exactly analogous to the “Player Handbook” for vanilla D&D. It’s intended to be the bare minimum of lore, geography, etc. that players new to the setting need to know before playing. This is just a draft. The final product should probably be a lot shorter, and go into less detail.
I saw the world as it was. And the world was called “Ull” because it had been spoken from the mouth of the creator. It’s form was as one unbroken firmament, for men had not yet known want. As far as Rel is from Ker, and as far as Tel is from Ary, there was nothing that was not Good in the shadow of the spire.
~ from Armod’s Edda ~
The beginning of Felmoorish history dates from a universal cataclysmic event called the Fracture. Prior to the Fracture, The planes were part of a whole that modern scholars have named the Planescape – a world that unified and contained all of time and space.
Some surviving knowledge about the planescape has been passed on to Felmoorish human races living at the time the PCs begin their campaign. The most detailed account comes from “The Elder Edda” recorded by Armod the seer. He describes a vast, eternal paradise. At the center of the planescape was the Ull-spire; a mountainous structure of unimaginable size and splendor.
The first inhabitants of the planescape were the spirits, who made their homes in the spire. They were joined by the races of men, who were created with physical bodies, but also were given immortal spirits. For eons human spirits conversed with the pure spirits of the Ull-spire. There was no division between spirits and men, and both took council from the other and delighted in the other’s wisdom.
It is a fact which bedevils Felmoorish scholarship that accounts of events leading up to the fracture do not establish a consistent narrative chronology. Armod’s account – which is the most widely cited – tells of a leader named Omad. In other revelatory sources, he is not named, or appears under a different name. However, there is a tentative consensus among scholars that Armod’s Omad was in fact the first man. By all accounts, Omad had fallen under the influence of a powerful unnamed spirit that is simply designated “the nameless one” or in some accounts “The spirit that hides its name.”
Having been promised power beyond imagining by the spirit, Omad began a program of blood sacrifice at an obsidian altar. Additionally, he exploited his authority to coerce or persuade others to join him in ritual violence. The extent of the corruption is unclear. Armod suggests that all men were touched by the evil of Omad’s rebellion against the creator. Mishne’s Edda (widely considered apocryphal) describes a remnant of the first people who remained pure in the sight of the creator.
The Fracture and its effects
Angered and affronted by the corruption of his children, the creator caused the planescape to tear itself apart.
The fracture was, by all accounts, a violent upheaval unlike anything else the universe has ever experienced. Innumerable beings perished during the chaos, and those who survived faced permanent and drastic changes in the basic conditions of their existence. The universe in which Felmoor exists is now a broken place in which the planes of existence are no longer in contact with each other. Felmoor is only one of the 4 major planes
Felmoor: the material plane
Ull: the spiritual plane
Dyne: the eternal plane
Rama: the celestial plane
Post-fracture, travel between the planes in a conventional sense is impossible or difficult. The race of Highland men have mounted several notable attempts to sail to the Ullish continent that was once believed to exist in the far east. From the uniform failure of such attempts, the lithtanic philosophers have nevertheless learned much of planar metaphysics.
When the Planes were shattered, men were trapped in Felmoore, the material plane, and their bodies became a prison. Only in death could their spirit leave their body, drawn through the planar void to Garagnok, the great jaws of oblivion where the dead await judgement.