Elysium Meta Gazeteer

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Elysium META Gazetteer
( 3/17/2016)
Elysium, is 1 ½ miles wide and about 3 miles long. With a residential population of 170,000 and another 15,000 as visitors at any given time.
The world is the post apocalyptic remains of The Forgotten Realms( bounded mainly South from Elysium to the River Chionthar, East to the Anauroch desert, and North to The Spine of The World mountain range as per the Waterdeep map) built on the" remains" of a god who ascended to Over-god status. Elysium and a large surrounding area is fairly stabilized ,but due to the apocalypse some centuries past the majority of the Realms is populated by an immeasurable amount of undead found in the wilderness around the civilized region and within the City of the Dead( see below) . When not referring to Elysium itself, I will thus often refer simply to the Realms though this Realms is more than Forgotten…it is devastated and almost completely unrecognizable to the original.
Elysium is a unique living world that is based upon a model of our own. By that I mean weather, celestial phenomena, time, and calendar are the same as our own. For example, if on the day you game the weather is 45 degrees and raining outside, the same is true in Elysium. Time passes day for day. The only difference being, in Elysium the year is 100 wherein for world it is 2016. Likewise there is cultural duplication as well. Holidays are held at the same time, have the same degree of significance but different names and meanings for them.

There are no temples to the gods. There are several buildings that use to be temples that are used for other things. The reason for this, the gods themselves don’t know how the Realms gods were cast down and fear being overly involved with Elysium. They are extremely curious even worried about how this was accomplished so they do send their clerics to investigate and all clerics have full access to their powers. There isn’t a law that bans temples but the gods don’t inspire their followers to build them, and in fact actively discourage them if they get the idea on their own.

As the dead don’t stay that way for long, funeral rites have been founded. Every body is to be burned on a pyre until incinerated. These ceremonies range from group paper burnings to elite state functions for the nobility. They are facilitated by a group of priests of Pharasma, for a small fee. The acolytes will build the pyre, the body will be placed upon it and the priest will summon flame elementals to complete the job. (Though to a casual observer it just appears as a large intense fire.) There are rumors of sacred burial grounds that are kept free of undead incursions and are far removed from the city itself. But so far, these remain just that, unsubstantiated rumors.

The City of the Dead( marked, on the Waterdeep map) is in the center of the city was once an impressive graveyard and is now overrun with undead who seem to come up from the “Underdark” ( the world below Elysium) or more likely, rise from their graves to kill whom they will . Fortunately for the citizenry, their is a two-fold protective shield keeping the dead in the city. Firstly, there are ancient wards placed on the walls of the massive graveyard called Spectral Wards which have held for hundreds of years only until recently . Luckily, they were replaced before the city was overrun . Secondly, the glaives are always at the ready to defend the city which they did to their deaths in the recent Banshee situation. Many young Bretheren gave their lives during this situation along with other glaives from all the Stables. No small amount of evidence points to a powerful undead spell caster calling himself the Lich King leading the undead against Elysium. Some say he was once a wizard who was cheated by the Red Keep to his death. others claim it was one or more of the Thanes in concert who stripped this mage of his wealth and holdings in Elysium killing him in the process and leaving an undead enemy greater than any single person in Elysium can face alone. The recent Banshee situation screams even louder to the increased efforts on this enigmatic foe of the city. Elysium is ran by nobility as outlined below:

Through deed, not blood, is an often heard refrain within the city. Noble ranks are earned not passed down or born into. Elysium is ruled by the Senate which in turn is over seen by the Chancellor. There are a total of nine members of the senate, one each from the six ward Thanes( see further down) of the city and a representative of the bank, the gaming commission, and of course the Chancellor himself.
The Noble ranks are from least to greatest:

-Gentleman (Glaives, wealthy merchants and other powerful folk)
-Esquire
-Knight (Allowed to be called “sir” and the lowest level of true nobility.)
-Baron
-Count
-Duke
-Thane ( heads of each ward)
- Chancellor

The 6 Wards and associated Thane:
The Castle Ward: Priamus Fnor (known as the Red Thane)
The Dock Ward: Samuel Clemens
The Sea Ward: Lord Bereghost the Wise
The Trade Ward: The Faceless Thane
South Ward: Beauregard Highgarden
North Ward: Grandma ( A Most Benevolent Thane)

Stables and Glaives

The arenas themselves are filled by Glaives, in many ways, the heart and soul of commerce, trade, and most economics in Elysium. These able-bodied warriors and adventurers of which we take the roles of, are divided into ‘guilds’ or more accurately labeled STABLES. Each are led by a Stablemaster who is always a former Glaive who has gained the respect, admiration , fear, or some combination of all three from all the glaives int he guild. Each Stable has its own methods of gaining members ,but nearly all are supported by the city at large . As the arena goes, so goes Elysium. Consequently, the Glaives are nothing short of similar to sport and rock stars all rolled up into one to many of the citizenry.
The current stables are as follows( currently known Stablemasters are in parentheses):

1) The Bretheren( currently the leading Stable ,but without a Stablemaster- killed recently and a large loss of glaives have put their status as a Stable, let alone a highly ranked one, in dire jeopardy)
2) Atlas Rising
3) Huntsman ( Thorn)
4) Gemini
5) Starfall ( Rogan the Red )
6) Silvanesti
7) Moon Walkers ( Michael the Jackboot)
8) Mind-scream
9) Soul-forged
10) Time Lords
11) Wilson Irregulars
12) Spears of Light
13) Dark Side ( Vadran Darth )
14) House of Gygax ( Arneson of Blackmoor )
15) The Dead Gods ( The Cook )

  • Matrix At The Torchwood “M.A.T.H.” : this small organization hails from a place called Earth( sages in Elysium claim there are at least 6-10 planes of existence that claim such a place) and use a variety of strange devices( 1970’s level tech can be found in their chapter house). Their leader is not exactly known which is one of the reasons they are currently not allowed to be considered a Stable. They are working hard to qualify as a Stable and ideally will be in this year’s Founder’s day Grand Melee. Only time will tell if they’ll join the ranks of the current stables.
  • The Brothers of the Axe : Once a great stable , this organization now flies under the banner of The Gear Wardens . They claim no affiliation with the Stables nor any of the powers of Elysium. In fact, they remain neutral on all topics related to Elysium ,but do operate in the environs around/near/not far from the city itself. They have been spotted in the Fields of Elysium and most recently a small contingent led by mounted knight of some sort was operating in the city of Hook. They reportedly claim to be seeking the destruction/defeat of a group of supposedly dangerous shapeshifters working in the realms. Information is light on this organization ,but they have been given a small amount of free reign for two reasons:
    1) They were once a highly regarded stable and 2) Their goals currently align with the prosperity of Elysium and the realms.

Other Significant Locations:

1) The Red Keep houses the City’s bank and is often considered the real power behind the throne so to speak. It mints a variety of unique coins which have yet to be duplicated in all the multi-verse:

Deities: 10,000 gp
Dragons: 1,000 gp
Kings: 100 gp
Glaives: 10 gp
Platinum is especially values in Elysium and worth 50 gp each (no character can start with platinum) . Trade and business is brisk and shows no signs of letting up.

2) Tanelorn: the trade city in the Underdark that controls access to and from Elysium ( or at least that’s what they like to portray themselves as). This city is ruled by a supposed exiled/deposed FAE royal called King Oberon. He is served by a variety of fae- creatures and his rule in that city is law and the main ( some say only ) law is :
" A Deal is a Deal"
Needless to say, value of the port city is vital to the continued existence of Elysium due to the difficulty of accessing true planar travel in the realm.

3) The Majere Collegium: In year 20, signs went up all over Elysium that Majere Collegium was now open and accepting students. Not the least shocking was that it was located hundreds of miles into the Fields. Located on several small islands linked with bridges it has a small land hold as well of some 25 square miles, all of which is surrounded by a 40 foot wall guarded by stone golems every 30 feet or so, facing out. It is built upon the remains of Candlekeep, which is now the college library and is the single largest concentration of knowledge in the multiverse. The college host visitors and welcomes them to study in the library for a small fee. All of the professors are known to carry magical staffs of their own creation. More than a few students have also found out that not only powerful magical tools, they are useful at garnering a daydreaming students attention.

The College is divided into several towers, they are Tower of Daltigoth, Tower of Losarcum, Tower of Istar, Tower of Palanthas, Tower of Wayreth, Most recently a sixth has been added, The Targaryen Tower of Draconology. All dedicated to different disciplines of magic be it arcane or divine.The Headmagus is Raistlin Majere. The flag of the college is a Golden hourglass created by pins of light on a solid black field.
In Elysium it at times is called the arcane college, or just the college. Travel to and from can be accomplished by several ways. The most common is by ship, it is roughly a eight day round trip from Elysium itself. Those of greater wealth can hire airborne passage. There is also, for those with a taste for adventure, travel by means of The Ways.

4) The Eyrie: House of Arryn- flying mounts not friendly with the “elves”…little is known of these haughty elves…ie, needs development(?)
Possible to purchase the following:
Pegasus
Regular: 2,000 gp Combat Trained: 2,500 gp

Hippogriff
Regular: 3,000 gp Combat Trained: 3,500 gp

Giant Eagle:
Regular: 1,500 gp Combat Trained: 2,000gp

Giant Owl
Regular: 1,500 gp Combat Trained: 2,000 gp

Griffon
7,000 gp (Only Combat Trained)

Prices may fluctuate( wildly as we decide on the utility of these mounts compared to their prices)

5) The Ways: these are pathways connecting all places in the realms including Elysium. Not much is understood about them and they have all manner of strange and unpredictable magical qualities ,but if an entrance to the Ways can be found then you can expect a fairly swift and likely Eventful trip.

6) The Fields of Elysium: a term used to describe land uncontrolled by any particular group of the living…ie, any place where the undead still seem to abound or the dead rule.

7) Hook: An ancient ruined city larger than even Elysium itself exists not a few days ride from the city. it is said to be over run with monsters of many sorts and undead. It is used as a training ground for the stables. They “keep it up” together so that they can test their glaives. Spending a few nights in Hook with a particular goal in mind is often the final rite of passage for would be glaives in many of the stables. Rumors have it that a powerful and dangerous force lies within Hook and it is not beholden to any of the current moves-n-shakers of this realm. Of course, rumors also say that all the “danger” in the city is fabricated by the mages of the different stables and is nothing more than a ghost town with little in the way of real danger.

8) Mordor: The Erlking settled this kingdom some miles east of and pre-dating Elysium. He went to many worlds and gathered the before races of humanoids: goblin and orc-kin as well no small amount of hill giants. He preached a siren song;
-Meaning through violence
-Prosperity through violence
-Power through violence
-Truth through Violence
During their initial push to settle their claimed region, it has been said they lost as much as 90% of their number. The battle against the undead has created some previously unknown “peace” among the goblinkin. While they aren’t overly friendly with other races, they haven’t made war. Every spring they even return in their war wagons. Establishing a traveling carnival in which they travel to Elysium and participate in the arena. They also travel to many Steadholts to trade and provide entertainment. It is called Carnivale’ Greth Marvoke; which in goblin translates to carnival of death.
However, they insist that the name is actually ancient Hill Giant however many rumors abound as to its true origins which up to this point only interested scholars with a bent toward humanoid culture and language, which is to say, a scant few .

9) Armory Aelinthaldaar : is a massive building within Elysium itself that was once dedicated to the fallen gods. The armory is ran by an ancient Elven smith by the name of,Gathaniel, so old it is said that he can remember the founding of Waterdeep. Not even elves live that long the scribes tell us so the idea he is that old is ridiculous. Other scholars point out that Eladrin( of which planar travellers say he looks an awful lot like…more elf-y than any other elf) are said to be immortal so anything is possible. Gathaniel is mute on the subject. There is a large practice floor where many masters teach, overseen by statutes of the fallen gods.

What he isn’t mute about is the creating and distributing of some of the finest arms and armor in the multiverse. One of his specialty is creating weaponry from baatorian green steel( steel forged from special ore found only in the pits of the 9 Hells) . These weapons have a hardness of 20 per inch, do damage one die higher, and are all considered masterwork. They cost 650 gp plus the cost of the weapon. They can be enhanced with magic but this is notoriously hard to do and cost an additional 3,000 gp. No armor has yet been made of this material.

In addition he offers some unique items:

Archers efficiency quiver : It two portions one that can hold up to two bows of any design and the other that holds 160 arrows. Cost: 1,800 gp.

Handy pouch: While it appears to be a normal belt pouch of any design it can it in fact can hold 2 square feet and up to 20 pounds in weight. Items that are wished for are always on top and take a move action to remove but do not provoke an AOO. Cost: 400 gp. Weight: 1 lb

Handy Satchel: While it appears to be a normal belt pouch of any design it can it in fact can hold 8 square feet and up to 80 pounds in weight. Items that are wished for are always on top and take a move action to remove but do not provoke an AOO. Cost: 1,400 gp. Weight: 3 lb

The signature weapon for the armory is the Claymore Sword. While similar to the great sword it is usually about six inches shorter and weighted more toward the tip. It is said to combine the damage profile of a greataxe with the ease of use of a sword. Cost: 65 gp Damage (sm) 1d10/(m) 1d12 Crit 19-20(x2 ) Weight 8 lb

He is also the exclusive dealer of Pandora Bracelets and Necklaces from the Moonshae Isles. These allow for magical crystals like ion stones to be placed and to work, without orbiting character. In addition elemental summoning gems can also be placed onto them. Placing or removing gems is a move action that doesn’t provoke an AoO. There are many designs and can be worn on wrist, ankle, or neck. They do not occupy a magical slot in that location. Cost: 100 gp.

10) The Temple of Resurgence:
The milk baths that revive the fallen glaives in Elysium are tended by a group of fanatic monks who revere them as holy. Rumors abound about the abilities of these strange aesthetics everything from their being nothing but common folks, retired glaives, powerful servants of a dark god, or physical manifestations of the force of magic that revives the glaives…that is magical constructs. In any case, they are alternatively feared or revered by the citizenry depending on who you talk to…curiously , few are those who purposefully cross them. They decide the uses of the milk baths and even the power brokers of the city are loathe to challenge them…or at least that is the rumor.
In some arenas, a new potion supposedly from the milk baths has surfaced with their users and purveyors calling them , not surprisingly, Milk Potions. Their use and mis-use is becoming a hot topic among aficionados of the Arenas. These potions raise the dead in most cases ,but never as smoothly as the ministrations of the monks and their milk baths.
No one knows if these potions are sanctioned by the Temple ,but so far no one using them has had any issues with the monks. However , the mis-use of these potions has lead to some scary stories some even worse than death for the mis-users.
There are a variety of access points throughout the city that will allow one within the temple ,but all of them are located right next to an arena. This temple has never been mapped and rumor has it that it must access the Ways itself for the monks to have such wide spread " local shrines" throughout the city and near all arenas. Some even say access to the Temple closes when an arena is not in use.

Special Player/GMNote:
Our Realms is vast! There is all kinds of room for you to add your own bit of flavor and locations to it. Many places need to be created and fleshed out and even more awesome stories need to be told here. Please feel free to take an idea and expand it or to create your own unique locations and adventures. This is a shared world and all are welcome to join in on the creation fun!

Travelling the Land

Horse: 60 miles road 30 miles cross country
Cart: 40 miles 10 miles
Walk: 30 miles road 15 miles cross country
Ship: 135 miles per 24 hours
Ship under magical means 495 miles per 24 hour
Fly: Movement rate X 10 in miles

Most travel to and from The Realms is done via the black ships that are stationed in Tanelorn. This seaport is both mundane and magical as it is the main access to and from Elysium( and the rest of the Realms) through the use of spelljammer-eque ships( black ships). The ruler of this free city is called King Oberon . It has always been thought that planar access to these Realms is blocked short of travel to and from Tanelorn via the “black” ships.
However, recently reports of free standing , one way, and inter-mitten portals are now popping up in a variety of places. This is quite a new thing for those learned in the ways of planar magic. Perhaps their is some interesting mystery surrounding this recent phenomenon?

Outside of these more civilized areas, undead seem to rule the land along with a variety of powerful creatures. While not completely uninhabited and uncivilized, generally speaking the further from Elysium one gets the more dangerous it becomes. The population outside of Elysium usually live in Steadholts, named after the person in charge. For example, a Steadholt whose leader is named Hindel would likely be called Hindelholt. They are small to medium size walled and defendable communities. The population is usually in doors from sun down to sun up. Whoever is the named head, has total control in his community much like a captain on a ship. The main production is agriculture which they trade and sell to Elysium as well as each other. Outside of the city , the Night’s Watch has the duty of keeping the beasties and undead under a modicum of control.. They mostly are assigned watch over the Fields of Elysium. It is not a duty most would want to take on as the Fields are extremely deadly. Of course, the members of the Watch are not usually given a choice in this assignments as their members are made up of criminals , disgraced glaives, and other unsavory sorts. It is a common punishment for fairly serious crimes within Elysium.

Law within Elysium
Law and order are kept by a variety of forces. In fact, the lower level glaives some time work as police in the city and Thane Highgarden has his own force that works within South Ward, the Guardians , who are well known for their efficiency and skill. Murder and other high level crimes are met with swift punishment ,but often get one thrown in an arena or out the Night’s Watch for a season. Other minor crimes, are taken care of by a variety of nobles who are appointed judges by the Senate. There are more than a few places ’courthouses" if you will, where these trials occur ,but their is no official city court other than the Senate and they can not be bothered with such mundane things such as crime.

Note 1: it is often that Glaives due to their status are often shown much leniency by these courts and judges ,but for the most part the citizenry doesn’t mind as long as their favorite superstar gladiator is in the next big arena event. Note 2: The school of Necromancy,while looked down upon would is generally accepted. (Though no one sane spell caster would EVER call themselves a necromancer.) However such spells as summoning undead, or using undead for any means would be punishable by death. Some spells such as speak with dead are gray areas. Generally speaking, within the city walls, a PC should be careful with necromancy spells ,but don’t panic over casting something like vampiric touch or spectral hand….summoning and controlling undead for deadly purpose however, would likely lead to dire consequences.

Elysium Meta Gazeteer

Elysium ElminstertheSage