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Old May 18th, 2019, 05:06 PM
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The Queen of Ice
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Lore of the Realm

Game NameValtakunta
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeThe ties that bind – home, family, community.
FlavourClassic, heroic fantasy with a twist; sand-box; homebrew world; mild “Old West” feel (no guns, trains, or telegraphs)
Plot SummaryPlot summary: The heroes deal with evil plots and troubles plaguing an independent trade city in the middle of nowhere.

Campaign details
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Setting: The adventure will take place in and around the city of Argillon Falls, on the southern shores of Lake Harbladt. The lake and the city provide a much needed oasis for traders travelling between the kingdoms to the east and west. The city is independent of any other rule. The current king is fair yet firm, and maintains a small army, mostly used to patrol the roads. Law and order is kept by a marshal, the courts, and a set of well-established laws designed to keep violence to a minimum but allow trade to flourish. More than a few miles outside of the city limits is fairly lawless. Bandits, Goblins, and predators are a frequent problem.

Climate: The region is high plains – dry and cool. It snows (lightly) each winter. Rainfall is sporadic at best. Water, fresh off the glaciers of the Stonehorn Mountains north of the city cascades down the falls into the lake, providing cold water for the city. Surrounding the lake is a sparse forest of pine, spruce, and fir trees.

About the story: My aim in this campaign is to portray a group of heroes that really do get to be heroes. It’s a classic fantasy setting but with twist to make it a little different. The old races of the world (Elves, Dwarves, etc.) are no more, allowing the formerly few and isolated races to flourish – and learn to appreciate each other. Lizardmen, Firbolg, Goliaths, and more are now the norm. You’ll find Kenku traders, Tabaxi craftsmen, and Triton soldiers. Argillon Falls exists far from other civilization and is greatly on-its-own in regards to most affairs. While it maintains peaceful relations with every culture it can, there is no foreign, military presence anywhere nearby.

What to expect: the PC are going to be the heroes of this story. However, I shall not be railroading you into the plot(s) I have in mind. I plan to drop hints of quests and plots but it’s up to the PCs what they engage in. I do expect that the PCs will know each other and have a reason for working together – and that the players will figure out what that reason it. (We’ll have a “session zero” before the game really gets rolling.) Your characters will have ties to people in the city. What friends and family live here? Who do you know? Perhaps they are people that can help out the heroes with information, shelter, or goods to sell. Perhaps they'll need or demand something from you.

Player content: This world is very much in the process of being created. I have not worked out every detail to be sure. Player ideas will be considered and incorporated in the culture and fabric of this world, subject to my approval for the sake of consistency and game balance. Some things will be created as needed; if a player has an idea for some detail that has yet to be defined, then please present it to me. I’ll be happy to consider adding it to the game lore.

Character creation
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  • Attribute generation will be done by the 27-point buy system.
  • Character will start at 2nd level, with maximum hit points for each level.
  • Backgrounds may be used from any of the acceptable source materials
  • Most character classes are acceptable except for the Artificer, Warlock, Mystic, and revised Ranger. Only material from the approved sources may be used. No UA or online material.
  • Warlocks could possibly be accepted with GM approval. Send me a private message with your idea for consideration.
  • Human and Tielfing variants are okay, but no winged Tieflings please.
  • No multi-classing. It’s a gateway drug to over-min-maxing.
  • Starting money is determined per class and background as if the character was first level.
  • No evil characters. I don’t want to play in that style of game. Please make heroes.

Essential elements to your application:
  • Name.
  • Character concept. (Describe your character idea.)
  • Race, class, background, gender. (Physical description and image are nice touches.)
  • Personality, motivations, goals. (What does the character want? And how does that shape their behavior?)
  • Brief backstory. (I’m a slow reader.)
  • Contacts: Who do you know in the city? Who are your family members and friends? (They will become NPCs.)
  • Character sheet. (Because I want to get the game started as quickly as possible once players join.)

Available source materials: The following sources are valid for choosing character options, with the noted exception of the Player Handbook races.
  • Player’s Handbook
  • Dungeon master’s guide
  • Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
  • Volo’s Guide to Monsters
  • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
  • Sword Coast Adventurer’s guide

What race can your character be:
  • Common races: Human, Firbolg, Goliath, Kenku, Triton, Tabaxi, Lizardman.
  • Rare races: Tiefling, Aasimar, Gith.

Lore: the world of Valtakunta

The world is unfathomably old. Kingdoms, races, and eras have come and gone. Even the gods themselves have died, been reborn, or are now known by different names than they were before. Some legends have been forgotten. Some truths have been discovered and some lies revealed. Ruins and relics of the past lie buried under new civilizations. But even the new peoples of Valtakunta have existed for thousands of years. Exactly how many eons have gone by is up for speculation. Adventurers keep finding artifacts that are older than anything previously known to exist.

Creation Myth

People used to believe that the gods won the Dawn War, even though the evidence was plain to see that the Primordials were involved in the creation of the world and its ongoing development. It seems silly to people that live in this age that anybody ever thought that the gods reigned supreme. The land people live on is made of earth and stone. The oceans are full of elemental water. Air is everywhere. Fire burns bright in forges, hearths, and nature. While the elemental lords don’t answer people’s prayers, as the gods do, they still exist and move to shape the world. The four most powerful and well-known elemental lords are: Ilma (air), Maa (earth), Antaa Potkut (fire), and Vesi (water). A few warlocks have been known to channel power directly from the elemental lords.

The gods

Eleven gods are known to exist and are worshipped widely by mortals. They are follows:

Kuolema, mother of deathCEDeathGreat sword or mothOldest of the gods
Elama, protector of lifeLGLifeBear 
Hauta, lady of the graveNGravePolar starConsort of Luonto
Luonto, lord of natureNNatureElk or Egg 
Metkut, god of mischiefCNTrickeryViperSon of Hauta
Myrsky, god of fury and prideNETempestWerewolfSon of Taika
Sota, master of warfareLEWarSpear 
Taika, lady of magicNArcanaSwanConsort of Luonto
Tuntemus, god of art and inventionCG KnowledgeMoon 
Valo, sun godNGLightSun 
Vaarentaa, mother of civilizationLNForgeOx and ploy 

Death rituals: cleansing of the house and body, meal, funeral procession, pyre
Sacrifices: silver, blood, red ribbons, coins.

The races of ValtakuntaThese are house rules regarding the races in described in the Volo's Guide to Monsters, designed to make them more feasible as dominant races of this game world. They will be much less isolationist and won't have weird traits like not being able to speak or understand empathy.

Common races: Human, Firbolg, Goliath, Kenku, Triton, Tabaxi, Lizardman.
Rare races: Tiefling, Aasimar, Gith.
Dead races: Elf, Half-Elf, Gnome, Dwarf, Halfling, Orc, Half-Orc, Yuan-ti, Dragonborn.

Goliath: Contact with outside world changed the Goliath. They welcomed traders because resources are scarce in their mountain homes. They grew to love storytellers and bard who would spread word of their deeds far and wide. They judge people on an individual basis and admire some Humans who are experts in their field, especially warriors. They like some Tabaxi because the cat-people enjoy listening to Goliath tales and retelling them on their journeys.

Tabaxi: The Tabaxi people are wandering, semi-nomadic traders who are socially adept enough to be accepted most places despite many of them being reported to use underhanded methods of getting what they want. They have enclaves in most cities and fortifications, though most Tabaxi communities reside outside the city walls.

Kenku: Cursed and (half) redeemed. When the god that cursed the Kenku died, so did the curse that deprived them of their voices and creativity. Legends says that a company of heroes killed the god on the Kenku’s behalf. The Kenku believe that one of the heroes was one of their own who they call GodKiller or Thinker, who was able to overcome the curse enough to challenge the god and lay him low. However, the slaying of the god did not transform the Kenku back to a winged race, nor did it transport them back to the Elemental Plane of Air. They now live amongst other races but build their own structures – usually as high as possible. The height of one’s dwelling is a reflection of social status amongst the Kenku – literally living above or below others.

Lizardfolk: Their long history of exposure to other races eventually taught the Lizard Folk to see the world from other points of view. While many of them enjoy the traditional ways of their ancestors and can still be pretty odd to outsiders, they have learned empathy and to view other people as having some worth – a least a little. Many of them still view their tradition ways as superior to those of other races but are more open to cooperation between races.

Firbolgs: Once the Forest Gnomes were no more and the few surviving Elves left the world for a realm of their own, Firbolgs found themselves fighting the evils lurking in the woodlands to be harder and harder as time went on. They had sworn to protect the natural world but were losing to the forces of destruction. Wise enough to realize their situation, the ancient Firbolgs allied themselves with Human to stand together against the encroaching darkness. It was a lesson that the Firbolgs would never forget and so they opened their borders up to outsiders. However, they still watch outsiders closely to make sure they treat the natural world with the reverence it is due.

Triton: When people used to talk about the haughty, arrogant, self-righteous Tritons, they were talking about the ruling class. Seeing themselves as guardians of the entire ocean strained the resources of the people tremendously who began to wonder why their leadership kept seeking out conflict with the Sahuagin, Marrow, Sea Hags, pirates, or even Krakens. An entire society that was built around their never-ending patrol against and war with evils of the deep ocean was not sustainable. The low-level soldiers and their families finally had enough. They rebelled and seized power from their leaders and installed an inclusive government where every citizen had rights. They no longer seek out dangers of the sea but defend themselves admirably. Their new attitude of inclusion extends to non-Tritons as well, and they share their surface cities with other races.

Posting and pacing:
  • Let’s keep the game lively! When a game slows down, players lose interest. If players lose interest, then they leave the game or they don’t post as often. It’s an insidious downward spiral. So, if you’re going to sign up, stick with it!
  • am available to post 6 days per week in most cases. I won’t be posting on Friday in an attempt to have a social life. On week days, I post in the evening at Pacific time (+8 GMT), which may be later than many players
  • Players must be able to post 3 times per week. Daily is preferred.
  • If you are waiting on something, speak up. If nobody knows you’re waiting then we can’t help.
  • LOAs should be announced ahead of time if you know. If it’s unexpected, please take a couple of minutes to notify me.
  • If a player does not post for 3 straight weeks, then they are out of the game. In such a situation, I have to assume that you don’t have time for the game. Legitimate reasons are no excuse. If you can’t play for 3 weeks for any reason, then you don’t have time for the game and I’ll offer the player position to somebody who can participate. I’m sorry to have to take this hardline with players but nothing ruins a game faster than players who cannot adequately participate.
  • If something is discouraging or bothering you about the game, then please let me know so that I have a chance at doing something about it.

Application Deadline:

Let’s give it 2 weeks to make sure that players have time to consider and write up their ideas. So, that makes it May 18th. I’ll offer positions to prospective players on May 19th.

My process for evaluating players:

I shall not be taking into account party balance but weighing characters (and their players) on their individual merits. If we end up with a high percentage of certain types of characters, then that just informs the kind of game that we’ll be playing. A missing character type adds a challenge to the group but shouldn’t be a game breaker. (That’s my responsibility.) I would advise applicants to put their effort into the character concept, personality, goals, and fitting them into the campaign setting. I shall use the characters’ traits and such to create sub-plots and game content. Characters that get along with others are preferable to loners, grouches, and people who are naturally distrustful or secretive or annoying. Creativity is appealing, as you probably can guess. Tired, over-used concepts won’t be as well received. Try to make your characters multi-facetted. If you can sum up your character in a few words (such as “veteran soldier” or “arrogant wizard”), then that’s not a strong concept. People (even fictitious ones) are more complicated than that.

What I do not consider in reviewing players is their familiarity with the D&D rules or the length of time they’ve been on this site. We were all new once. And personally, I’d like to encourage people to get involved in roleplaying because, well, I personally think it’s pretty wonderful.
Old May 18th, 2019, 05:07 PM
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The Queen of Ice
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Lore on the city of Argillon FallsThe City of Argillon Falls

Size: 7,500 to 10,000 people; roughly 8 square miles
Purpose: Trade hub and oasis.
  • 60% Human
  • 10% Goliath
  • 6% Firbolg
  • 6% Kenku
  • 5% Lizardfolk
  • 8% Tabaxi
  • 4% Triton
  • 1% Other

General architecture and layout: Buildings are mostly constructed of clay brick, though most businesses are fronted with a wooden façade that has more curb appeal. The east-west Trade Way splits into 2 wide, cobblestoned avenues as it enters town. Most visitors only see the main roads, so many shops and businesses are located there. However, the town measures a further distance north to south than it does east to west – all the way from the falls themselves to the grazing land to the south.

Each ward of the city, though often not terribly distinct from its neighboring district, has a few things in common: a marshall’s office, a public bath house, a food market, a school house, and a well. No walls or gates separate or surround the various wards, as they interfere with the flow of goods and people. Streets off of the main avenues are designed to help traffic move into the heart of the city. It can often be easier to go into town to one of the main roads, and then back out by a different road than to try to find a way across town via side streets.

Public buildings and most shops are designed to accommodate the height and girth of all possible patrons. Doors and archways are often 9 feet tall while ceilings are 11 to 12 feet. Inns and taverns will have beds, chairs, and tables in a range of sizes. Stairs and steps often split the difference, being 9 or 10 inches high and over 12 inches long (a little more than a Human-sized person is comfortable with but somewhat short for Firbolgs and Goliaths). Independent structures can vary widely. Many mid-level or better homes have basements where wood or coal-burning stoves provide heat for the entire building. As a result, kitchens are often in the basement as well. Windows are shuttered and curtained at night, as glass is seldom used for this purpose.


East end trade ward: At the very eastern edge of the city is a large ward dedicated to accommodating the needs of visitors from the east. The district is replete with services such as liveries, inns, wheelwrights, bunkhouses, blacksmiths, brothels, tailors, cobblers, and a large market area for buying and selling goods. The east end ward focuses on providing the comforts of home to people from the eastern city-states. Most guild halls are also located here.

West end trade ward: Very much like the East end ward, except services here are more in line with what people from the western kingdoms prefer.

The market strip: Through the center of town runs the 2 major, cobblestone roads of the city where businesses cluster to sell to travelers and locals alike. Prices are often better here than in the trade wards.

Central (or King’s) ward: In the exact center of the city lies the manor of his majesty and his family – a large, 3-story estate. Other government buildings, including the mint, courthouse, jails, are also located here. Public executions are carried out in front of the jailhouse.

The military ward: Dominated by Braford Keep, this ward is owned by the royal family and consists of the barracks, armory, storehouses, and training grounds for the king’s army. Access to this district is more closely controlled than any other. Those without business there are asked to leave or face arrest on suspicion of spying. The city’s underground prison is also located here.

Eastlake: A Triton community makes their homes on the shores of Lake Harbladt. Tritons do not live in the lake, for the waters are far too cold, even for them. However, they do fish from the lake and maintain the water system of the city that runs from the lake underground to the various districts. The water is then accessed via wells and pumps. Despite the name, the Triton live on the eastern side of the southern shore.

The art district: Northeast of the central wards lies the temple of Tuntemus and is a gathering place for the learned and creative. Here also you’ll find a library, museums, and a school of arcane magic.

The craftman’s ward: The close-in southside area is home to the temple of Vaarentaa and many of the city’s finest craftsmen. They do not typically sell directly to the public. Go to the market strip for that.

The northern fields: The nobles of the city are land owners. No more is that obvious than in the fields between the lake and the northern market strip. Here, large plantations have been constructed to provide food for the city. Peasants can come here looking for work as farmers and caretakers. Utilizing the nearby waters of the lake, farms grow mostly rye, wheat, fruit and nut trees, and hearty vegetables.

The slum district: While not the really name of the district, the poorest district of the city sprawls across the southern reaches – giving rise to its official name: South Reach. This largest single district is the home to the peasants and simple laborers of the city, and is widely considered to be the lost lawless place. While the marshal service has not abandoned South Reach, it is certainly strained to keep up with the criminal element present here.

The Kenku spires: While officially part of South Reach and not a district onto itself, this feature of town is hard to miss. Several tall towers have been built on the tallest hill in the city, southwest of the central district. The spires are the exclusive home to the Kenku population and are the center of their community. The towers are colorful in the daytime and glitter on moonlit nights because of the artwork hung outside.

Ranch lands: South of the city is a wide-open area used for grazing many different kinds of farm and herd animals. The ranch houses are built close to the city with the pens for animals nearby and fields for grazing further out. The lands here are sometimes raided by Kobolds and Gnolls. Ranchers often hire mercenaries to help defend their lands.

The Forest district: While the forests and hills around Lake Harbladt appear to be relatively wild, hundreds of people live there – including an enclave of Firbolgs. The area has been left relatively uncivilized to allow natural flora and fauna to live in peace – except for the sanctioned hunters, trappers, and herbalists who harvest from the area. A shrine to Luonto is located here, though ‘unimpressive’ in the eyes of most civilized people. Some consider the entire forest to be his temple.

The Graveyard: Located just out of town to the west is the temple and graveyard kept by the priests of Hauta. Funeral processions bring the dead out of town and their bodies are burned away in pyres soon after arrival. The ash, bones, teeth, and offerings are buried here in the graveyard and watched over by Hauta’s servants. Mourners come here to offer sacrifices on behalf of the departed. Grave robbery is considered a crime against the dead and the family that they left behind. This law does not extend to ruins or ancient tombs, or graves outside of the city and temple grounds.

The cesspits: The builders of the city failed to plan for one important thing: a sewer system. Filth, waste, and debris must be collected and physically carted out of town where it ends up here. Downwind of town on most days, the cesspits are located southeast of town. Working here is considered the lowest of the low jobs but, in truth, the city wouldn’t function long without the garbage haulers. Collection bins for waste are kept behind shops and homes out of the public eye as much as possible. Back allies are avoided for this fact, as well as being dark and dangerous places to be at night.

Old May 22nd, 2019, 10:21 PM
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The Queen of Ice
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The Royal Family

The ruling family of Argillon Falls includes the following members:

1) King Olavi Remes - age: 50. In his youth, he was a great warrior. But as time and age started to catch up with him, he's more willing to let his generals and children fight his battles - in whatever form they come. He's been a firm but fair ruler, yet sometimes has grand ideas that don't seem completely feasible.

2) Queen Silja Remes - age: 46. Graceful and beautiful, Silja seems to have an eternal beauty that has not faded with age. Even her gray hair looks elegant and lustrous, like fine silver. A quiet woman, she plays the role of queen with soft-spoken dignity. However, she often claims that her number one role, as she sees it is being a mother.

3) Marcus Remes - age: 18. Marcus has shown himself to be a brilliant and well-spoken young man, even before he came of age. When he enters a negotiation or speaks to others, he always seems to come out on top - either politically, socially, or in whatever deal he has arranged. A bit of a bard, he plays well on the harp and dances and sings better than most nobles. He hasn't taken a love interest yet but he definitely has plenty of suitors. He counts many people as his fried but keeps few of them close.

4) Ebele Remes - age 23. The only daughter of the royal couple has never really taken to court. She prefers to take action instead of talk and does not possess the most skillful tongue. She is pretty, with medium-length auburn hair and a hearty physique, but pays little attention to fashion. She serves in the King's Army but insisted that she not be given special treatment or position as princess of the realm. Instead, she worked her way up from the lowest officer rank and can now boast herself captain. She spends as much time on the roads and hunting down dangers as in the city.

5) Mikko Remes - deceased. The king's eldest song was a rising star when he was killed in the foothills to the northeast of town by a Chimera. Many of the citizens still remember him fondly and speak of their wish that he had lived. He was both powerful like his sister and well-spoken like his brother. His death was a terrible loss to both the royal family and the city. He was entombed in a special mausoleum west of town.

Last edited by girlplay; May 22nd, 2019 at 10:26 PM.
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