Templore Campaign Setting
Population: 70% human, 10% elf, 10% dwarf, 5% halfling, 5% gnome
Laws and Customs:
Major Holidays and Events:
Common Languages: Cathartan
The Cathartan people trace their lineage back to the Kotorans, who were the first human empire. The Kotorans are credited with inventing such staples of civilization as the written word, mathematics, and agriculture. Trades such as bronzeworking and masonry were developed by other human peoples, but the Kotorans became the undisputed masters of these technologies. Slowly, the empire grew from a mere city-state to a nation, absorbing many of its neighbors through conquest or diplomacy. Over the course of about 800 years, the Kotoran borders encompassed most of the southern continent, as well as the southern reaches of the northern continent. When the empire began its decline, the city of Catharta remained the only center of Kotoran culture in Templore.
The Cathartan people retained the technological knowledge of the Kotorans, as well as the significance of art in society, and found ways to more seamlessly integrate the two. As the Cathartan empire grew and absorbed its neighbors, its culture rapidly changed. The gods and magic of the Kotorans, who were already being forgotten and undergoing extinction, were left behind as the Cathartan pantheon rose to dominance. Magic was forbidden due to their religion and technology favored, allowing them to advance even further beyond their ancestors. The language and mathematics of the Kotorans, which had been kept sacred and closely-guarded, were now being spread with each new tribe or city absorbed into the empire.
This was considered a golden age of humanity, where their numbers and armies were unmatched by any other race or region. Eventually the empire grew to such lengths that it could no longer support itself governmentally, and so it collapsed under it’s own weight, forcing them to withdraw completely to other areas of the world, namely Templore, and leaving many of the cultures they occupied behind to fend for themselves. What remains of it today still holds much of the landmass of Templore, though their population and power is still waning. The capital city of the imperial provinces is Ashram, the white-walled city bearing the herald of the Castius family, a silver dragon. The city itself is named after Ashramel, and it is somewhat of a mockery that this “holy city” was built upon the razed forest of what was once the largest kingdom of elves in Templore as a way to demonstrate their power.
While Catharta could be considered the power center of civilization in Templore, the empire is a mere shadow of its former self. Even now, countries like Sargosa have treasuries that will soon match those of Catharta in wealth, and countries such as Brudnholde have increasingly denser populations which may rise above the empire’s own. But even so, Catharta shows no signs of dying without a fight, and the Emperor himself still holds the reigns of his state close to his chest. The capital city Ashram in particular is by far the largest city in Templore, in population as well as land covered, and is by proxy the richest and best defended.
Features and Important Locations
The Ruins of Valhiil
This enormous ring of forest is all that remains of the Valhiil kingdom, once the most prosperous kingdom of elves. The Valhiil elves fought valiantly against the human intruders, but the onslaught of bloodshed was too large for them to defend against for long, and soon their numbers dwindled. What remains today are the haunted woods where the wild descendants of the elves still dwell, inbred and corrupted, both physically and mentally, beyond recognition. The forest itself cannot be completely destroyed; if one tree is cut down, it grows anew the next day somewhere else, but never completely leaving the old boundaries. It is not known if this is due to protection from the gods, or if the spirits of the fallen elves still hold fast to this place, but nonetheless it is now nothing more than a bleak and hollow shell full of dark shadows and tainted entities.
The shining silver capital of Templore, construction on Ashram began in 375 P.R. It is surrounded by the silver-white walls of dendrek marble, quarried by the dwarves in the deadly mountains surrounding the Hellmouth in the north, the only place such marble is found. Ashram is the seat of the Empire and is where the royal palace of the current emperor, Telvan Castius, is located. In addition to the hundreds of shops, markets, inns, taverns and the like, Ashram also sports a large arena where fighters from all over Templore come to earn glory and honor through bloodshed.