Our Fist Shared universe idea loosely based on a D&D universe that my friends and I created. Below are some started facts for writes interested in exploring this place through their own work. It is ever growing and to some extent left open ended, after all it is a shared universe, therefore I don't want to come up with EVERYTHING myself!
Notes on Havenland
Havenland is a large very geologically active peninsula in the northern part of the world. The peninsula itself extends much farther south than the landmass it is attached to. As the rest of the earth plunges into cold, Havenland stays warm because of extensive underground volcanic activity. Because the area is so large and because the geologic activity isn’t completely even, almost any climate zone can be found here. Mountains dot the eastern side of the peninsula and extend from the northern coats almost completely to the southern one. Large planes stretch out from the base of the mountains to the west coast. There is a large number of temperate forest covers this flatland as well.
Over the many years since men first came to Havenland there have been many different groups of people that have wound up on the peninsula. They did not come all at once, and each time a new group came they brought with them new pieces of culture and technology. What skills and the kind of culture each new group possessed tended to direct them toward a specific niche or climate zone. For example, those groups who were skilled in fishing tended to settle on the coastlines. When more than one group wanted to poses the same niche; they either merged, or had minor skirmishes until boundaries were established. As for cultures, some groups tended to be closer knit and secretive, some were open but stubborn to change, and others yet just blended in with the surroundings. Overall there are people all over the peninsula, each with their own cultures and secrets
Some of the various peoples can be categorized into four main groups based mostly on geography. These groups are mainland, coastal, mountain, and nomadic. The mainland group consists mostly of those clusters that came to Havenland through the pass of ice and now inhabit the plains and forests in the heart of the peninsula. Those that arrived via the sea, before the passage was blocked by ice primarily inhabit the coastal areas. The Mountain and hill region is populated both by those that came directly from outside Havenland and those that came through the pass and migrated to them later. The final group, the Nomadic, obviously isn’t defined by geography and rather describes those groups that do not stay in any one area of Havenland. Although the cultures and types of societies within these groups differ from each other, they tend to have more in common with one another than those members of any other geographical group.
The exact level of technology is ill defined on the peninsula. Every new group that came to Havenland brought with them their own skills and technology, some was incorporated into the greater society some was kept secret, plus something that one group of people can do might seem like “magic” to another. Most common people have at the least a Dark Age level of technology. It also should be noted that because Havenland exists separate from any known history, it could conceivable have any level of technology.
As previously stated each group of people has its own culture and beliefs, but there are certain beliefs and ceremonies that are common to all who inhabit the peninsula. For example there is significance in the name Havenland, as it was derived from the belief that all who have come here share, a belief that the peninsula is a place of safety and life in a world of frozen death. It is believed that all that made the journey to Havenland and lived were blessed by that place to receive the gift of life. One example of this is a mythological figure often known only as the lantern man. There isn’t one set of people that doesn’t have their own story of how when they were lost and then were guided to the peninsula by a ghostly light. Depending on the storyteller this light will go by many names and look very different, but most often it is depicted by a dark clocked figure holding a light, hence the Lantern man. It is also said that those that are about to die see him once more, guiding them to their final place within the land itself. Respect is paid to these beliefs through the tradition of the Havenland Ceremonies, which takes place at the base of Haven volcano. There are many traditions that take place, but the most significant would be the tournament. Participants go through several stages of events until the final set have a one on one fight. The winner gets the honor of throwing that years tribute into the volcano. The tribute consists of several symbols of the goods made by the many peoples of the peninsula. The end of the ceremony ends by the tournament winner lighting a flame in the pool of lava, which then lights the torches of a representative from many of the major cities.
Bit of History
The Great War and the beginning of the Stone League Kingdom
The first people to come to the peninsula faced hardship in the form of vicious beasts, but in the end they were able to fight back and learned almost by accident the secret to controlling them. The leader of these first people had survived several one on one encounters with the beasts and figured out that the common thread between them was blood. As a child he had been covered in the beasts blood, and as an adult they were reluctant to attack him, and it was him that led his people into a new era of taming the beasts for there own uses. Their numbers grew, as did their bond with the beasts, a bond that warped their very society. They spread across the peninsula killing any beast that was not joined with them, driving the wild beasts into extinction. As the years went past their culture became obsessed beast blood. Traditions began to emerge involving the bathing of newborns in beast blood, and drinking it to gain strength. Also during this time both the psychology and physical nature of the Akasians changed, taking on characteristics of the beasts themselves. Leadership began to be based on dominance alone, and individual behaviors began to take on a feral nature. Also their looks began to change, slowly over many years taking on characteristics of the beasts, dark large eyes, sharp pointy teeth, and long limbs, the most common.
For the greater part of Havenland history they weren’t much more that a dangerous nuisance, something to avoid. Although they were the first to come to the peninsula they were not by far the last, many groups of people had come to Havenland since them. For the most part these other groups went unnoticed by the Akasians, so obsessed by their rituals of power. But as these other groups took hold in the peninsula they began to have dreams of cleansing the land, the started by attacking small settlements on the outskirts of larger communities. Finally they got brave, or greedy, and ruthlessly attacked a northwestern coastal city. They not only killed all they could find, but they destroyed everything those people had built, burnt ground and wreckage was all that was left, unlivable. The conflict escalated, the Akasians attacking on several different fronts, and with every one of their victories they destroyed their victims utterly. There had been other clashes in the peninsula, but always for control of land or some resource, or even to enslave, but never had there been this kind of situation, where one side wants nothing more than to destroy everyone and everything not their own.
There attacks went relatively unchallenged; no one could match the Akasians’s organization or brute power, until of course they dared to attack the stone league of the south. The league originated, like the Akasians, within the frozen wastes to the east. They came after the Akasians had already had and influence on the native life of the peninsula. The league’s survival during the original harsh times, and their success after, was their ability to build the very strong and defendable architecture that they pioneered. At this point and time they had built large stone walled communities, and any of those that had survived the beast attacks alive had flocked to such places. Also the league, so named because of this, had made many alliances by building stone fortresses for many of its neighboring communities. So when the Akasians came upon their doorsteps, they were able to resist. Several times the Akasians came upon the walls of the stone league’s capitol, but could do nothing to breach them. The Akasians were powerful but knew little of technology, so, undaunted they made camp and laid in wait. For several months things stayed at a standstill, the Akasians unwavering. What they did not realize was that the stone league’s strength was not only in its architecture, but also in the alliances it had made. Two and a half months through the siege, during a bright afternoon, two armies came from opposite directions and attacked the surprised Akasians, and in the commotion, the stone fortress itself opened its doors and unleashed its troops. Though surprised, they still fought very fiercely, but in the end were utterly destroyed.
On this day the leaders of all three armies meet to discuss their next move. One argued the threat was gone, and they should all return home, but in the end they all had decided, that the Akasians were ruthless killers that had to be stopped before they could destroy everyone. So, by the end of that day the League of Stone marched as one army, and gathered and people that would join them on their way to the beast territory in the north. Tales of the battle at the southern fortress spread, and add that to the league’s reputation of strength and many groups were persuaded to join the cause. The army marched further and further into the Akasians’s land holding close together so not to be broken into groups and slaughtered. There were many battles but in the end the League had superior tactics and technology and the Akasians were driven to their remaining stronghold in the north, an island named Dracor. The Final battle of the war took place there and it was the bloodiest of all. The crossing of the water could only be made in a few spots and whenever the league attempted to send any kind of force over the water they were swarmed and destroyed. Left with no other options, the leagues armies rushed all their forces across at once. One by one the boats were unloaded and the Akasians destroyed them, but eventually the league gained at foothold on the island, and it was only a mater of time before the Akasians were once and for all destroyed.
From the ashes of war the league divided up the spoils to the key players, and in magnificent example political maneuvering formed the League of Stone into an empire. The league offered its members protection from future dangers as well as its knowledge of building stalwart stone structures, in exchange for their allegiance. Many had died during the war and in addition whole communities had been destroyed, so most everyone agreed to the leagues terms, and that is how the Stone League became Havenland’s first kingdom.
Few today know why the city is so named, or why it is also sometimes called “The city that lives” mostly because of the resourcefulness of its inhabitants. It is named Trissis because the city has suffered three major crises in its history and completely rebuilt each time. The first disaster took place in its earliest formation; the community was completely destroyed and washed away by a flood of the river it stood next to. It was rebuilt stronger and larger than before and thrived for many years until ruin befell it once again. The second occurrence took place during a very long drought, and not knowing the danger, the city was destroyed by an out of control brush fire. Again the city was rebuilt better than before. The most recent crisis that came upon the Trissis was of no natural cause as the first two. The city was one of the first to fall in the Akasians’s campaign to destroy everything not their own. Having no protection or organized resistance Trissis (though not called that until much later) stood no chance. But when the Stone league drove the Akasians to the north and formed it’s kingdom, the city was built once more, its inhabitants ever learning and practical made sure that the past would not repeat itself, and grew and prospered during the height of the kingdom and after, standing as a beacon to humanities’ stubborn will to survive.