I’ve started DM-ing a new campaign with my spouse and three new friends. We began at level 1 as I originally thought I’d try out the Essentials Kit, but I’ve since decided to run it in my own original world I call Red Banks (and have been slowly writing adventures set in it).
Here’s the initial context for the party, three of whom are native to the city of Badispor and one who is from the western continent. Players consist of two Shifters (a cleric detective and monster-hunter ranger), an Elf paladin/bard (College of Eloquence), and a Half-Elf warlock (Lurker in the Deep) .
The World of Red Banks
The adventure begins in the city-state of Badispor on the western shore of the eastern continent Valon.
On the other side of The Far Sea lies the continent of Red Banks, cradle of all civilization but long forgotten as modern magic and industry have made Valon the dominant domain of nearly all peoples of the world.
As the cities and nations of the Valon coast grow pushing up against the wickedly sheer and towering mountain range giving the continent its name, the people of these realms are fighting for space and new opportunities. Nearly everyone in Valon have turned their backs on Red Banks viewing it as a dried up, profitless, and, thus, useless land fit only for the poor in body and spirit. There is little to known communication with the west as many in Valon believing it to be all but abandoned.
The trickle of immigrants from Red Banks has grown over the last few years, but it is a surge lost due to the general massive population growth and overcrowding in the east. The city-state of Badispor has found a passage through the mountains to the unknown interior of the continent. Immigrants and emigrants have converged on the city bringing with them all sorts of old gods and strange customs as they look for new fortunes in what has been called The Manifest, the push of peoples into the heartland of Valon. The Manifest is premised on the hope of space, seemingly endless resources, and promise of treasure for all who dare to seek it out.
The established nations of Valon have each taken different stances towards the increase of transient folk and far foreigners from Red Banks. Some are welcoming, others hostile, and still others closed off to all outsiders. One thing all these nations have in common, they consider Red Banks to be a dead land, spent and worthless, and the interior of Valon the promise of new life.
However, some aren’t looking for a better life but carry a warning to those who will listen while searching for aid to oppose ancient foes…
All races are present in Valon but some nations and regions are more homogeneous than others. Badispor as a port city is very diverse. While not huge, it is very successful as the hub of traffic from many of the other nations as well as a starting point for many expeditions into the interior of the continent.
Ruled by a concern of merchants, Badispor’s dominant law is keeping trade flowing. Threats to business or, more rightly, to how business is done are dealt with swiftly and often cruelly. In wealthy areas of the city, this has led to an opulent freedom. In middle class, working, and poor areas, the ruling elites’ priorities have created an atmosphere of cutthroat capitalism and a seemingly ingrained libertarian ethos. Along the docks of the port, gangs vie for control of territory hoping to out compete rivals to raise themselves up to the level of ‘legit’ businesses. So long as the money flows and the city’s wealth is never endangered, these gangs, robber barons, growing trusts, and merchant companies that are nearly independent powers make up the rule of law as they go and see fit.
Central Western Coast of Valon
- Limage, technically an independent city-state but very much beholden to Badispor for its livelihood. Limage has become the de facto seat of political power for the Badispor elite. It is a city of the rich for the rich who rule Badispor.
Towns & Villages
- Talc, the southern most town of the central region, is an entry point for most emigrants coming up from the southern coastal nations of Hexham ans Schwabia.
- St. Barro, east of Talc and south of Limage, is known as the village of gods this relatively small community is almost entirely made up of monasteries, temples, retreats, and convents. Every relevant and major faith has representation here alongside hundreds of other smaller denominations, sects, cults, and would-be prophets.
- Redmond directly south of Badispor is logging community that while small provides most of the lumber for the region.
- Fenton in the southeast is nestled between the base of the Valon Mountain Range and the pristine Lake Zura farms fish and aquatic crops.
- Elk Mound is a mining town fit snugly in a large ancient crater before the mountains.
- Nowthen barely a proper village, is the last point of known civilization before entering the interior. The outpost sits as the gateway for all who wish to enter. Badispor controls this region only allowing entry to the interior once one has purchased and received a travel pass called an Allowance. The selling and regulating of Allowances has made Badispor profoundly wealthy and it is the cornerstone of the region’s economy. The waiting list to acquire an Allowance is years long, but it seems to not hinder peoples as a seemingly unending line of migrants leading from Badispor to Nowthen and on into the interior has only swollen over the last five years.