Twin Worlds Primer
This article presents an overview of the Twin Worlds setting as of DY25, the start of the Twin Worlds Restoration campaign.
The Two Worlds
The Twin Worlds are named Parasonnea and Asteria. Each appears as a "moon" in the other world's sky. Parasonnea's skies are green, while Asteria's are blue. Travel between the worlds is uncommon, but can be accomplished via airship or secret portals.
The SouthlandsThe Southlands of Parasonnea are the primary setting for adventures within the Twin Worlds.
The lands of Parasonnea are home to humans, dragons, elves, dwarves, dragonborn, and many other races. Arcane magic is studied and a code of honorable combat has been followed at times.
The Twin Worlds have endured many wars. In recent memory, the Quan'thosk'alys Wars of 25 years ago brought widespread devastation in the form of corrupting ichor. Large portions of the Southlands were lost to the ichor. Most of the primary fighting on the world took place in the Southlands. After the war, the destroyed areas were replaced by vast primeval forests thanks to the Stars of Destiny.
A second war only 5 years ago, the War of the Shards, took place on the Southlands. Although not as cataclysmic, that war caused many casualties as well. The people of the Southlands are weary of war, but political tensions are high as the various nations extend out their borders.
One of the key features of the Southlands is the Great Caravan Way, also known as the Ancient Caravan Way. The Great Caravan Way starts in Cyan Gyantto in Gellian and spans the continent all the way to Gloecoast in the Dwarven Alliance. Pilgrims and traders rely on the road being open. (In brief, the road travels from Cyan Gyantto heading west to the cities of Pale Gyantto, Cantrylia, Nature's Gate, Runestar Crossing, Newgrowth Keep, Tenpen, Krylain, and Gloecoast.)
Nations of the Southlands
The Dwarven Alliance
Mountain Kingdoms Steeped in Tradition
- The Dwarven Alliance rules the westernmost mountains of the Southlands. The capital, Gloecoast, sits on the northern coast. It is the Southlands' largest port and the western end of the Great Caravan Way. The dwarves are also famed for the Halls of Graffnoffing, where the finest barbers and beard trimmers practice their craft.
|Official Name||The Dwarven Alliance of Thozan, Perelix, and Barseige|
|Leader||The Council of Three Rulers|
Land of The Slavemasters
- The plantations and workshops of the human nation of Kryl rely on the world's largest slave population to get their goods to market. Excess slave population is sold to other races that use humans as slaves.
|Leader||Queen Oceanι duBeau the Restorer (Human F)|
Rallying Cry of the Clans
- The militant orcs and other demihumans of Crosiarx gained clout by joining with the humans during the War of the Shards. This is due in large part to the leadership skills of the orc chieftain, Korgash the Third.
|Official Name||The Clans of Crosiarx|
|Leader||Korgash the Third (orc)|
The Welcoming Gates of the Hellbaron
- The Barony of Patheos was formed postwar from the lands held by the Red Hand Army. This is solely due to the heroics of the tiefling Hellbaron Avaryn Patheos, which did much to legitimize the worship of Karactas and his pit fiend servant, Aretas.
|Official Name||The Bloodrose Barony of Avaryn Patheos|
|Leader||Prime Minister Bertuccio (Bearded Devil M), under the authority of Hellbaron Avaryn Patheos|
The Runestar League
Where Simple and Honest Folk Make Their Stand
- The Runestar League was formed following the War of the Shards by the towns of Runestar Crossing, Nature's Gate, Winterhaven, Gerfelderpost, Living Valley, Oakhope, and Newgrowth Keep. They banded together for the purposes of mutual defense and diplomatic influence. A reluctant Byron Runestar has found himself thrust into the position of ambassador after repeatedly refusing to be named regent.
|Official Name||The Runestar Defense League|
|Government||Oligarchy (coalition of local leaders)|
Where the High Elves Seek Seclusion
- Following the wars, the elves of Ergasia have reasserted themselves and become increasingly xenophobic.
|Official Name||The Glorious Ephasyen Elvenholme of Ergasia|
|Leader||Queen Forlestia the Unwavering (Elven F)|
Land of Wicked Serpentfolk
- The two islands of Yuan-tir and home to the evil serpent-like Yuan-ti.
|Leader||Gressth-th XIV (Yuan-ti Abomination M)|
A Rising Nation Rife with Corruption
- The once small nation of Rey has grown rapidly due to unification with the former nations of Nivala and Rael, creating a political player that little is known about.
|Leader||Queen Arbelia Bant'na (Aasimar F)|
A Proud History of Noble Heroes
- Gellian has had more of an impact on world events than any other nation. It has stood its ground against the forces of evil, and the Dragonriders of Gellian are respected across both worlds.
|Leader||King Gelliar the Noble (Human M)|
A Monarchy Restored
- Mothergreen was annexed by Gellian a generation ago following political upheaval caused by Prince Vandemax. Now it is independent once again, and tensions between the nations run high.
|Leader||Queen Lolian Vandemax the Reclaimer (Human F)|
Centuries of Druidic Custom
- Whisperdawn is a druidic society where a subset of the gods dubbed the "Unwavering Five" are venerated. The druids have stayed out of the wars of the last several generations.
|Leader||Druidic Judicial Council|
Beyond the Southlands
Eastern Parasonnea is made of a five land masses surrounding the Ringed Sea. In addtion to the Southlands, the other continents are the Colonies, Corlea, Pariveda, and Makani's Islands.
25 years ago, Makani's Islands and most of what is now the Colonies were completely decimated by the ichor of the Quan'thosk'alys Wars.
- The re-founded Kingdom of Tear is ruled by one of the Stars of Destiny, Queen Marie SilverRose (Tiefling F Bard).
- The small nation of the Cinderlands is ruled from the Altar of Ashes by the Rotmaiden, High Priestess of Skull of Ashes. They are part of the Delphinium Coalition.
- Various other cultist compounds and bandit camps have sprung up in the vast new wilderness of the Colonies.
- Most of the inland mountains known as the Draconic Homelands of Corlea are controlled by the various dragonflight roosts. Also located here is Dragon Graveyard, where all dragons come to die if able.
- The small nation of Necrobane is controlled by the High Temple of Taxil the Eternal, headed up by Pontiff Katrina (Human F Sorceress/Cleric). It also houses the newly established Necrobane Academy of Chronomancy, and the citadel of the Hourglass Armsmen.
- A number of coastal cities are under the control of the Dragonborn Confederacy. It is led by King Ixil Laokazya (Dragonborn M Fighter) from the capital of Newborne.
- The island under the control of the High Temple of Aurora houses the kingdom of Aurora's Canvas. The capital, Sonata, brings together artists and musicians from cultures around the world. In the span of a single block in Sonata, a traveler might encounter an elven harp player, a human fife and drum core, and a rowdy group of dwarven drinking balladeers. The other notable city is the mountain stronghold of Klangfarbenmelodie, home to sizable group of dwarven pilgrims. It is also the location of Requiem Keep, headquarters of Aurora's anti-undead irregulars known simply as "The Eulogists."
- The three vampiric Dread Houses on the northwestern shores of Greater Pariveda are the current battleline against the massive Abyssal incursion known as the Profane Wastes. The vampire houses are affiliated with the Delphinium Coalition.
- The island of S'lashkith is home to the predatory offworlders, the S'lashka, who settled there after the Quan'thosk'alys Wars.
- Another island, Tiladrial, no longer exists on Parasonnea. The Eladrin that lived there found a way to keep the island permanently phased into the Feywild, thus avoiding being overrrun by the Profane Wastes.
Makani's Islands were abandoned after the Quan'thosk'alys Wars. The smallest of the four islands, Gerfeldersnatch, was once the homeland of the gnomes. Their new settlement in the Southlands, Gerfelderpost, is part of the Runestar League.
Beyond the Ringed Sea Region
- Western Parasonnea is a vast ocean known simply as the Great Ocean. It is said to be home to a number of aquatic races that have lived in isolation from the surface dwellers for centuries.
- Western Asteria is dominated by the super-continent known as either as Mellek or Mainland. Mellek was also the name of the kingdom that conquered most of the land before collapsing, leaving the region politically irrelevant. Humans are by far the most common race. They have simple firearms and practice psionics. Arcane magic is virtually unknown in this region.
- Eastern Asteria is an seldom-visited region rich with tales of Wuxia-style warriors and mystical creatures. The continents are Eksuland, Pendoss, and Yoale.
- See also Twin Worlds Maps Gallery, Annals of the Age of High Culture, Twin Worlds World Data, Twin Worlds After Kingdom Data.
- Humans are the most populous race on the Twin Worlds, and more humans are national leaders in the Southlands than any other race. The humans of Parasonnea are unique in that they often have bold natural hair colors, including reds, pinks, and blues. Unique to the Twin Worlds, the first humans were the product of celestials mating with fiends. To this day, a child conceived on the Twin Worlds by an angel and a devil will be born human.
- Elves are a common race on Parasonnea.
- Wood elf settlements can be found whereever there are forests, with the largest settlement in Whisperdawn.
- The largest high elf settlement is the isolationist nation of Ergasia. Less xenophobic high elves can be found in the town of Oakhope in the Runestar League.
- Eladrin (DMG p286) are almost unheard of on the Twin Worlds, and the permanent departure of the mysetrious eladrin nation of Tiladrial in DY22 has simply made them even more scarce.
- A number of drow societies exist in the Undersouth, each venerating their own particular gods. All drow venerate the Blood Queen, their cruel sun goddess who torments them with her accursed daystar. A drow moving among the surface dwellers would cause alarm in every town they visited.
- The dwarves are a largely unified people. They live in the three mountainous states of the Dwarven Alliance. Mountain dwarf and hill dwarf is a distinction of subregion, not birth. A mountain dwarf might be the product of a life of song and smithing in the Halls of Graffnoffing deep in the Firebeard Mountains. A hill dwarf might be a hard-drinking merchant sailor raised in the coastal hills of Gloecoast.
Dragons* and Dragonborn
- The dragons of Parasonnea live each among their own dragonflight within the Draconic Homelands of Corlea. While typically not concerned with the plight of smaller creatures, the dragonflights were stirred to action due to the scale of the Quan'thosk'alys Wars. Dragons of the Twin Worlds can innately polymorph and will often assume human form when among mortals. They have no compunctions about mating with humans and the offspring are the dragonborn. The participation of the dragons in the war led to a dramatic increase in dragonborn births. These "true breeding" dragonborn, most now it their 20s, have created their own society called the Dragonborn Confederacy on the southern coast of Corlea.
- The slashka are a bipedal, lizard-like race covered with fur similar to that of polar bears. If the fur is stripped off, what is revealed is a layer of grey, pebbly scales. Ridges of long hairs accentuate the natural ridges of their reptilian bodies and their eyes are solid white with elliptical blue pupils. Non-slashka generally cannot tell the difference between males and females. S'lashka wear the hides of "weaker" creatures, though they generally have little need for clothing. The slashka prefer the cold yet are comfortable in warmer climates. While the slashka have strong jaws, they are completely lacking in hand-claws. They attribute this lack to religious reasons -- they have been denied "normal" claws as to encourage them to develop "claws" of steel. S'lashka society is based around the clan. The current chieftain of the clan is not necessarily the greatest warrior, but the one supported by most of the other clan members. The lesser family unit is irrelevant to the slashka, as children are raised by the clan in general, and often are not told who their birth-parents are. Mateship among the slashka is based as often on whim as it is on practicality. The slashka are a warlike, aggressive race. It is slashka tradition to eat both fallen enemies and fallen comrades. Some Slashka tribes use gnolls as slaves.
|S'lashka Racial Traits|
- The tinkering gnomes of Parasonnea are primarily gathered in one small settlement: Gerfelderpost in the Runestar League.
- The gnomes of Gelferderpost are rock gnomes, and can trace their origin to the destroyed civilization of Gerfeldersnatch.
- Forest gnomes are not native to the Southlands, and would have to have origins in a faraway land.
- Halflings are common in the Southlands, with halfling houses scattered among the other civilizations. From the perspective of the other races, lightfoot halfings are more common than stouts, since lightfoots are more prone to wander. For over 600 years, the lightfoot halfling merchants of the Jahoel of House Tealgoblet have been a constant presence on the Great Caravan Way.
Half-elves, Aasimar, and Tieflings
- Half-elves are the product of humans and elves, but also "breed true." They are well recieved in human society, often regarded as bringers of luck or other similar superstition. A half-elf might grow weary of the extra attention. Aasimar (DMG p286) are the rare offspring of celestials and humans and are similarly fawned over. Tielfings are the product of sex between a human and fiend, often a succubus or incubus. They are not similarly adored, but the heroics of both Queen Marie SilverRose and her nephew Hellbaron Avaryn Patheos have done much to soften public reaction to tieflings.
Orcs* and Half-orcs
- The orcs are united under the banner of Clans of Crosiarx. They welcome other demihumans such as goblins, gnolls, and razorclaw shifters. Even half-orcs are welcomed under Korgash the Third, provided they can fight.
- The Yuan-ti of the Southlands are inherently evil creatures. They live exclusively in their island society of Yuan-tir.
- (*not a playable race)
Faith is a major part of life on the Twin Worlds. While most people will say a small prayer to whichever deity is appropriate to a situation, the common practice is for a individual or household to adopt a primary deity that they venerate above all others.
|Valos, Goddess of Valor||LG||Life, War||Valkyrie|
|Lightshroud, God of Noble Sacrifice||LG||Light, War||The Kingsbrand (a holy sword)|
|Aurora, Goddess of the Arts and of Charm||NG||Knowledge, Trickery||Laurel and Crystal Lyre|
|Taxil the Eternal, God of Time||NG||Arcana, Life||The Atma Weapon (a sword with a blade of light)|
|Sospitas, Goddess of Health and Fertility||CG||Life, Nature||Healing Hand|
|Diostarma, God of Freedom and the Moon||CG||Light||Scimitar|
|Arcanus, God of Arcane Magic||N||Arcana, Knowledge||Wizard's Staff|
|The Phoenix Empress, Goddess of the Elements||N||Tempest||Black Stone Inscribed with the Symbol for Wisdom|
|Karactas, God of Tyranny||LE||War||Throne|
|The Golden Lioness, Goddess of the Hunt||LE||War, Nature||Lioness|
|Skull of Ashes, God of Undeath||NE||Death||Burning Skull|
|Sadie, Goddess of Sadism||NE||Trickery||Spiked Flail|
|Vina, Goddess of Terror and Dischord||CE||Death, War||Hand with Clawed Nails|
|Pax Deos, LG God of Peace Bahamut, LG God of Metallic Dragons Ai-Sama, NG God of Romantic Love The Mistress of Lips, NG Demigoddess of Lust Rael, NG Goddess of the Harvest Aestar, CG God of Travels Oshejra, CG Demigoddess of Sacred Flame Pariveda, LN Deity of Truth Uminati, LN God of Order Daivatas Vestigen, LN God of Destiny Seracia, N Goddess of Mortals' Passage Rose & Thorn, CN Deities of Deception Qorzaq, CN God of Anarchy Dyce, CN Goddess of Luck The Blood Queen, LE Goddess of Purge and the Sun Trevail, NE God of Misery Xerces, CE God of Destruction Rodesa, CE Goddess of Unending War|
|Elementitans (Fallen Gods)|
|Wailele, Titan of the Waters Makani, Titan of the Winds Mal-Tieros, Titan of the Soil Pyros Tou, Titan of the Flames|
On Parasonnea, many of the gods of the Twin Worlds choose from among their followers two individuals to serve as pillars of their faith. A High Priest or Priestess is the spiritual leader of their faith, while the Champion of a faith strives to bring glory through their deeds. Some faiths have orders within the faith that carry out specific tasks.
- The Hands of Sospitas are an order of battle healers that specialize in ranged healing.
- Both the Holy Knights of Valos and Knightly Order of Lightshroud are known for their paladins, which tend to organize in an ordered fashion.
- The Knights of the Reborn World are a concept for an order of knights organized under Mister Zindar.
- The Hourglass Armsmen are the home guard for Pontiff Katrina and the tiny nation of Necrobane.
- The Eulogists are anti-undead irregulars serving Aurora.
- The dragonborn of the Platinum Stronghold were organized by Lord Thrae as warrior-monks of Bahamut.
- SOLDIER is a mercenary force made of of eccentric fighters. They have a penchant for carrying oversized swords and a reptutation for getting the job done while causing colateral damage.
- The unscrupulous mercenaries called the Musketeers of Mellek are the rivals of SOLDIER. They rely on firearms and psionics, and will take even the most evil job if the money is right.
- The Lords of Leiden are the king of Gellian's inner circle. Their lands adjoin the king's lands at Ilianvox.
- The Dragonriders of Gellian represent an ancient pact between the kings of Gellian and the Silver Dragonflight. Knights are paired off with young adult dragons under the tutelage of head dragonrider Sir Frederick of Klenn.
- Not commonly known about, the Runestar Foundation operates in secret under the direction of Byron Runestar to gather dangerous artifacts and spells that have gone missing following the wars. The recovered items are stored in a secret vault beneath Gerfelderpost.
- The Fists of Vengeance are a chaotic order of monks that eschew discipline in order to pursue a personal code of vigilante justice.
- The Nightmare Lord Society is run in the utmost secrecy by The Nightmare Lord to give dhampirs, awakened creatures, and other misfits a network of support on the fringes of civilization.
- The Delphinium Coalition was created in DY23 by factions involved in the slave trade to stand unified against anti-slavery sentiment in Mothergreen and other nations. Its known members are Kryl, Crosiarx, Yuan-tir, the Cinderlands, the Dread Houses, and the Slavers of Sadie. Patheos did not join the coalition to avoid jeopardizing their neutral trade status, but slave owners are permitted to travel in Patheos with their slaves, and fugitive slaves are returned home to their masters.
- The most powerful merchant houses are referred to as Jahoels. Two of the most prominent Jahoels currently are House Kalira and House Tealgoblet.
- The Six Legendary Heroes are famed for their defeat of Lucas Nightshade in CY530. One of the Six is now the deity Lightshroud. Another, Eric Noah, currently exists as a flameskull.
- The Stars of Destiny are a band of heroes from the Twin Worlds and other worlds who defeated Quan'thosk'alys in DY0. Most now live off-world due to a non-interference pact known as the Quan'thosk'alys Accords.
- Queen Marie SilverRose is the ruler of Tear and the only Star of Destiny living on the Twin Worlds following the Quan'thosk'alys Accords.
- Magus and Taishou Runestar were also among the Stars of Destiny, and are the parents of a number of famous children. They live off-world.
- Before his ascension to godhood, Saint Taxil Necrobane was the Champion of the Ageless One and a Star of Destiny.
- The Heroes of the Shards won the War of the Shards in DY20. Avaryn Patheos, Salathas Xerrenian, Erica "Stryfe" Runestar, Maggie Runestar, Nezurann Truescale, and Sparrow Darkmoon are all off-world assisting the Phoenix Empress in the War of the Elementitans.
- Lord Action is the leader of SOLDIER and a hero of the War of the Shards.
- Mister Zindar was the Champion of Karactas and fought in the War of the Shards with his fiery greathammer, known simply as "Big Hammer."
- Armiger Larouch is part of the landed gentry of Mothergreen. During the Quan'thosk'alys Wars, Armiger Larouch participated in the Battle of Artania in 568CY as part of the Dragonriders of Gellian.
- Pontiff Katrina was the High Priestess of the Ageless One, and is now the High Priestess of Taxil the Eternal as well as the ruler of Necrobane.
- Byron Runestar is the only one of the four Runestar children living on the Twin Worlds. He is the ambassador for the Runestar League, and secretly runs the Runestar Foundation.
- Renaissance Firearms and Explosives (DMG p268) are widely available in Mellek where they originated. Their use has spread to the Ringed Sea region and guns can be purchased in specialty shops in the major cities. SOLDIER makes use of gunblades and Lord Action is famed for wielding a Buster Musket.
- While they are not as common as they once were, Evolving Weapons can be acquired which grow in power alongside their bonded wielder.
- The Kingsbrand is the famed magical blade commissioned by Benjamin Lightshroud and wielded by his first Champion, Salathas Xerrenian.
- The famed artifact blade of light, the Atma Weapon, exists in every generation to be acquired by Taxil Necrobane. Now that he has ascended to godhood, it is unclear what the future holds for the Atma Weapon.
- The Towers of Benden can serve as a means of magical travel from the Southlands to Mellek, but their counterparts on Asteria have been damaged.
The Twin Worlds Calendar contains 13 months with 28 days each, for a total of 364 days in a year. The climate zones and seasons are the result of divine creation, not planetary rotation, and winters are long on the Twin Worlds. Each deity has a High Holy Day on which there is a worldwide effect. Some of the effects are quite dramatic and have a major impact on the lives of mortals.
|Season||Months||Selected High Holy Days|
|Spring||1-3: Tenpen, Nesis, Senegral|| 1/10 Sospitas - Higher Fertility Rates occur. A Fertility Festival is held in Nature's Gate in the Southlands.|
3/3 Xerces - At midnight, the Torrasque appears and rampages for 24 hours or until defeated.
|Summer||4-6: Cullis, Aolinfyt, Tel||4/22 Qorzaq - A single random but notable effect covers the entire world.|
|Autumn||7-9: Elventide, Tealgoblet, Rosewater|| 7/1 Rael - Giant metal golems descend from the heavens to help tend the fields of the faithful.|
8/2 Aestar - On this day, angels in the guise of travelers are known to stay at inns. If treated well, they bless the innkeeper with good fortune for the next year. Traditionally, inns worldwide are free on this day.
|Winter||10-13: Marakeel, Nokcotta, Aertier, Franfaust||13/28 Taxil the Eternal - On this day, Taxil shows up and personally makes a difference in a random person's life.|