The World of Llowellen: Play-by-forum & Roll20 Virtual Tabletop.
“For those were the days of wonders.”
-Neil Gaiman (Ramadan)
The history of the World of Llowellen stretches throughout ten distinct Ages and across tens of thousands of years. And even that isn’t the whole story, before history there was pre-history although most scholars do not count the Prehistoric Age as a part of modern history and more a time of myth and legend.
It was during the days of the First Age that it all began; here and then, the stories have yet to be told and the tales are yet to be spun. It is the Genesis of all that will come after. This is a young world, with powerful magic but limited technology.
Many of the weapons, armor or equipment that players may be used to owning will not yet be available to their First Age characters. But for all these limitations, magic has never been stronger and the Races of Man themselves will never again be as physically powerful as they are during the First Age.
No great heroes have yet arisen and no terrible villains yet stand in the way of those who might. The peoples of the Ancient World possess an immense untapped potential. Most of their world is virgin frontier, unexplored, unclaimed, uncivilized and unspoiled. The opportunity for those mighty enough to grasp it and shape it as they will shall never again be so great.
The First Age is a time of flying carpets; of trapped genies and vengeful elementals. Players might be bold thieves sneaking through a fairy Prince’s palace, or they might be slave gladiators fighting for their lives in the arena. Players might be desert nomads raiding caravans lost in the trackless sands; or they might be Unseelie Templars policing the streets of the mightiest city-states that the world has yet known.
The First Age is a time when the world’s idyllic peace has been shattered by a terrible eternal war waged by powerful beings from beyond the world. It is a time when infant nations and fledgling civilizations are taking their very first steps, little aware of the greater world around them.
It is a time for choices and for firm action. It is a time for great heroes to arise from a simple and humble people.
It is time to make a stand, for this is merely the beginning.
The First Age of Llowellen is inspired by D&D Campaign Settings: Al’ Qadim and Dark Sun; and by Arabian Nights and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.
The First Age is an Epic-Level Campaign Setting in every sense of the word. It’s themes are derived from the highest of fantasy and players can expect to explore romance and betrayal; swashbuckling action; depraved and wicked cults; philosophy and intrigue during their First Age adventures.
Wishcraft, mighty artifacts and Level 25 are all within your reach!
The First Age, or The Ancient World
“The Mother-Goddess is a fickle and uncaring bitch. The Mother cares little for good or for evil, Mother cares even less for right or wrong, and The Mother of Nature cares nothing at all for you or yours.
Mother’s pendulum swings back and forth, ceaselessly, delivering rain that brings life to the thirsty and death to the drowning; Solaris rises every day in the east to bring warmth and light and drought and famine; Father Sky breathes the wind that carries the seed to new pasture and delivers hurricanes and tornadoes that kill without mercy.
Must we love a Mother, who does not love us?"
The Sand King, 7995 P.L.
The King’s Tail
Tradition has always maintained that the Seelie Court remain a matriarchy. After-all, it was women who nurtured new life in their bellies and it was women who brought that life into the world and who provided the milk necessary for it to grow and to flourish. But the idyllic sanctuary of the Seelie Court’s age-long traditions and customs were about to be challenged, and much sooner than Anwen had hoped.
Deep within the thick jungles of Rajiin a faerie was hiding; Teocan was a noble feeorin seer, who believed that mankind would benefit from increased interaction with the Seelie Court. Against the wishes of his Queen, Teocan began to put his seditious thoughts into action by seeking out the local ket and lycanfey and taking a much more active role in their lives. It wasn’t long before other male courtiers began to follow Teocan’s example.
Male faeries began to walk among the primitive kobolds and lizard folk of the jungles too, as if they were Gods. They demanded worship and they took their favorites to their beds and gave them Fey-Kissed children. The great temples of Aja Gnora were the first buildings more advanced than simple huts of straw and mud to be built anywhere in the world; and these great temples were going up all along the Spine of the Jungle to honor these new Fey God-Kings.
Anwen was greatly displeased, and so too, was Queen Titania, the Queen of all Seelie. A bitter civil war erupted amongst the Fey within Rajiin. It was a war which saw the rebellious Unseelie faction defeated, but which cost the extinction of an entire Race of Man, once known as the ket.
And yet, despite the Seelie Court’s victory in Rajiin, the seed of revolution could not be unsown. An unstoppable momentum was gathering; male faeries everywhere began to grumble about their lot, and to whisper about how things might be different with a strong thinking King, instead of a Queen.
Some ten thousand years later (not so long, as Fey measure the years), the seed grew shoots and flowered – this time in the arid deserts of Farid. A male faerie, Maloc Malsum Arimanes, arose and overthrew the Seelie Queen of Farid. The usurper installed himself as the Sand King of the Unseelie Court and in doing so, ensured the dominance of Men for the first time since the Fey’s creation.
The Influence of the Unseelie
The very earliest beginnings of modern-day civilization began beneath the relentless sun of the Farid deserts. The lives of the native sibeccai would change greatly with the emergence of the Unseelie Court amongst them. The Unseelie were less respectful of the Balance of Neutrality and more mindful of creating and holding power. They did so, first, by introducing the art of agriculture and the domestication of animals to mankind in a subtle ploy to undermine the order of nature.
The sibeccai listened as unseen voices whispered ideas and innovations to their tribal leaders and their shamans. Radically progressive ideas such as cultivating and cross-breeding wheat and barley with various grasses to produce hardier strains. Further innovations came after sibeccai heard the voices in their dreams and awoke knowing how to build better and more permanent villages.
The influence of the Unseelie Court was subtle and slow, even the sibeccai themselves were unaware for the most part, believing they themselves were responsible for these technological advances.
The influence quickly spread beyond the desert and similar developments began to appear elsewhere in the World of Llowellen. Rebellious male faeries walked among mankind in Southern Skenfirth, Northern Summan, Ken ’Kazuki, Northwest Anupam, and eventually, the Unseelie returned even to the jungles of Rajiin.
To the dismay of the Seelie Court, civilization was born. Farmers learned how to crossbreed their animals and plants to their own advantage while others (like the owlbear, that was once so common across Summan) would gradually be hunted into extinction.
Queen Titania and the Seelie Court were as horrified as they were powerless to prevent the momentum their own fathers, brothers, sons and husbands had created. They understood only too well, the nature of Mankind’s free will once combined with the forces of evolution could never be halted.
Confrontations, both open and covert, between the opposing Fey Courts became more and more commonplace but there was little that could be done. The sibeccai were now advancing under their own initiative, with some farmers bartering goods with their neighbors or actually traveling further and further from their homes to conduct trade. The founding of the first towns and civilizations would not be undone. The Unseelie Court had provided the catalyst for the beginning of Mankind’s history, and, in many ways, the ending of their own.
The Ever-After War
In Heaven, it was known that these evolving sibeccai were the beloved of Anwen and, by extension, of Shoshanna. Two of Shoshanna’s Heavenborn, in particular, were not pleased to see the emergence of the Unseelie Court.
The first was an Angel of Peace named Murmur. Murmur objected because she realized the sibeccai’s fallibility would lead to a murderous conflict. The second, an Angel of Truth called Amitel, quickly realized that the sibeccai’s lack of understanding would result in lies and deceit. Shoshanna was greatly displeased with their reaction and destroyed both angels.
Their free will allowed the sibeccai to choose either Anwen’s (and thus Shoshanna’s) Way or to turn away from her. To test their integrity, and unbeknownst to Anwen, Shoshanna sent Iblis, Divine-General of the Mo-Kakaan (an angelic Knighthood) to the upper slopes of Mount Anaru.
There, Iblis acted through the Unseelie Court to tempt mankind into exploring Anwen’s Womb-Grove, which was forbidden to all. Iblis took to his task relentlessly, tempting mankind; and each time he failed. With each subsequent failure he became increasingly frustrated and resentful that these lesser beings were able to thwart him.
“Why does Shoshanna love the children of Her child more than us? They are weak where we are strong. They are imperfect where we are flawless. We will live and serve eternally and they will wither and die with each passing year.” Iblis was confused.
The angel was frightened, and in his doubting mind were sown the seeds of his own destruction. He came to the conclusion that Shoshanna’s vision was clouded – he was proud of his service and his ability to continue to serve – yet, he could not fathom Her misplaced, and as he perceived it misguided, love of these flawed Men.
The angel’s logic continued that if he was indeed perfect (and how could he not be?); and, if Shoshanna was indeed misguided, then his fellow Heavenborn should listen not to Shoshanna but to Iblis. More and more angels began to hear Iblis’ troubled psalms and they began to stand behind him. Eventually, a full third of Heaven’s population were in Iblis’ favor.
Bolstered by their belief in him, Iblis challenged Shoshanna for Her rightful place on the Throne of Heaven. Shoshanna was angered terribly and ordered all of those Angels still loyal to Her to throw down the usurper.
Heaven’s sanctity was shattered as Angels killed Angels and immortal blood was spilled on the heavenly battlefields. Shoshanna stood aloof in Her anger and watched eagerly for the outcome.
There could only be one outcome. Shoshanna’s Angels had superior numbers and they were victorious. Iblis and his heavenly host were cast from Heaven into a place of darkness far from Shoshanna’s gates and the World of Llowellen. Iblis himself was defeated by the Archangel Llowellus, and was tossed unceremoniously from the Gates of Heaven. Iblis and his fellow rebels fell into darkness, beaten and terribly wounded. For a long, long time they hid in the darkness nursing their wounds to health. And yet they suffered from a wound far more awful – that of a spiritual separation from Shoshanna – a wound that would never heal.
While the darkness consumed him Iblis had a realization. Standing tall among his Fallen brothers and sisters he began to sing a new song. He sang that their penance needed not be a punishment, but rather a release from the confinement of duty and service.
Iblis began to sing that it was better, by far, to rule Hell than to serve Heaven. They had approached Shoshanna for philosophical debate and had been met with armed hostility. They had been beaten in arms, but they had not been proven wrong. They could continue with their cause by tempting and corrupting the wretched mankind, and proving to misguided Heaven that their favored creations were utterly worthless.
Not all of Iblis’s Fallen Host were in agreement; many wanted to simply to heal or to hide, or to find some way to accept their terrible severance from Heaven. But Iblis had found Murmur and Amitel – lurking in the darkness and with them at his side, his voice would be heard and mostly heeded. They built a great bridge from the Pits of Hell where they were imprisoned upward to the World of Greyhawk, so that they could better reach mankind.
The army of devils quickly corrupted the World of Greyhawk, a world, not so different from that of Llowellen. Iblis’ grand plan was ambitious but would have eventually spilled the entire world into Hell securing such a multitude of souls to Iblis’ host that even Heaven could not defeat them.
Shoshanna saw this plan too late. Her divine fury was tremendous and She blasted the World of Llowellen with great cataclysms and disaster blasting the very planet apart before it could be dragged into Hell. The poor inhabitants of that world were mostly annihilated, although some few were able to escape death by magically engraving their souls as runes upon the walls of the metallic engram arcs. These vessels of life were thrown into the cosmos, the only relics of an entire world.
The Fallen Arise
Since the beginning of time, evil spirits had been banished to the same dark pit where now Iblis’ host resided. There they would exist eternally in dark loneliness, denied the protection and pleasure of Heaven. Iblis’ host of Fallen Angels quickly found these damned souls and discovered that they could derive power from them. This discovery only added further fuel to Iblis’ preaching, the more souls they could lure into Hell the more power they could gain from their sorrow.
While they had been sheltered by the pristine protection of Heaven, these Fallen followers of Iblis had no understanding of the nature of evil. Though they fully understood how to recognize and combat evil, they had no understanding at all as to its nature or its corrupting effect. The more power Iblis’ host drained from the damned souls the more corrupt they became.
Each of them learned of and experimented with this new-found power differently; in some, scales began to replace feathers and horns shattered halo’s. In others their outward beauty remained, even intensified, yet within them darkness took root. The Fallen had once more arisen – but they were angelic no longer.
The devils were not idle in defeat. They had been so close, they could taste victory. They retreated to Hell and went back to work upon their ladder, building it higher and higher until it reached the very Gates of Heaven.
The angels were caught unaware, skirmishes were fought at the Gates themselves but the devils would not be denied. They passed beneath the Gates of Heaven and unto the hallowed grounds of Heaven for the first time since The Fall.
Their profane presence alerted Shoshanna’s entire realm immediately. The first to arrive were those angels serving the Lower Heaven’s, and they were the weakest of their kind. Ibis led his Host in a massacre as countless thousands of angels were torn limb from limb, defeated and destroyed as fast as reinforcements could arrive. Iblis pushed deeper and deeper into Heaven bringing death and destruction in his wake.
But Iblis’ Host was not unstoppable. Archangels began rallying the armies of Heaven. They made their stand and halted the devil’s advance. By the time Llowellus arrived at the forefront of a great army of angels the devils were in a full retreat.
The victorious angels tore down the devil’s ladder and cast it into the darkness after the defeated army. Heaven was victorious, but the damage was great. It would take an age to repair the damage caused by the devils.
The War of Llowellen
Iblis, once more redoubled his efforts to win the souls of Mankind. His devils began to whisper in the ears of sibeccai, once more. Secret temples were built beneath the streets of Yhakkoth and a dark cult was established. The aims of this cult, manipulated from Hell, were twofold. Firstly, they would attempt to discover the fallen meteorite and use it to grant new powers upon the cultists; they would then drag the city of Yhakkoth into Hell to feed the devils and once more gain a foothold upon the world.
This time Shoshanna was invited into the world, through the intervention of the Scorpion Prophet and the Light-Child. Shoshanna was pleased that mankind had seen through the devil’s deceptions this time, and, unlike the World of Greyhawk she spared them. Although it took the sacrifice of Rhea, Anwen’s Witch to convince her.
One amongst Heaven’s angels was tired of the war with Hell and his name was Succarus. Succarus had no passion for it and could not understand the purpose of waging war over forgiveness and redemption. He would often air his views to others in song and verse.
The angels looked upon Succarus with sadness. They feared that if their brother would not cease his troublesome ways he would fall just as far as those who had chosen to side with Iblis.
Many were those who tried to warn Succarus, and their attempts did not fall entirely on deaf ears. Fearing his own ostracism and unwilling to fall from grace, Succarus began to spend more and more time on Llowellen. Mankind intrigued Succarus, and he spent much of his time walking amongst them.
Timeline of the First Age
150’000 PL: Arrival of the Seelie Court in the Feyen Isles.
140’000 PL: Mankind is born.
40’000 PL: Mankind discovers fire. Begins to build semi-permanent homes.
39’000 PL: The first pictures and images are painted on cliff walls in Skenfirth and the first music is created and played in the Feyen Isles.
18’005 PL: Teocan begins to meddle in the affairs of mankind.
18’000 PL: The temples of Aja Gnora are built along the Spine of the Jungle in Rajiin.
17’998 PL: The Fairy War. The armies of Queen Titania defeat Teocan’s men and drive them out of the jungles of Rajiin.
8’000 PL: The Sand King’s coup and the emergence of the Unseelie Court in Farid.
7’900 PL: Early sibeccai homes evolve into more complex farming villages and early trading posts in the deserts of central and western Farid.
7’800 PL: The halflings of Cilgarren still live primitive existences with no civilization to speak of, whereas elsewhere in the world, mankind is beginning to evolve. Agriculture, domestication of animals and the Rise of the City-State with a powerful male fairy as it’s living God-King.
7’000 PL: In the jungles of southern Rajiin, lizardmen farming and fishing villages begin to evolve into towns.
6’000 PL: Farming communities appear in southern Skenfirth and in the Feyen Isles.
5’500 PL: Farming communities appear in northern Summan.
5’400 PL: The first mounds and stone circles are built in the Feyen Isles and western Summan.
3’400 PL: The earliest surviving towns are built in Faluj in Farid, as well as in Ptamose in Skenfirth and the river basins of Ken’ Kazuki. The earliest surviving civilizations of Man are forming. Organized farming is established in Rajiin.
3’000 PL: Tuyen seafarers begin to explore the Kalani Ocean.
2’900 PL: Even more elaborate stone circles are constructed within the Feyen Isles.
2’600 PL: Tremendous pyramids are built across Ken’ Kazuki.
2’550 PL: The first stone temples since the construction of Aja Gnora are built in Rajiin, signalling the beginning of a new culture.
2’525 PL: Elven culture begins to emerge in Anupam.
2’500 PL: Litorians in the Kingdom of Dubaku begin to work metal for the first time.
2’400 PL: Verrik in Ken’ Kazuki observe and record a total eclipse of the sun for the first time.
2’000 PL: Farming villages in northern Rajiin evolving into larger towns and cities.
1’500 PL: Tuyen seafarers dominate the Kalani Ocean.
1’313 PL: In Heaven, the angels Murmur and Amitel question the wisdom of allowing the Unseelie Court’s influence to defy Anwen’s Way so openly. They are destroyed by Shoshanna.
1’300 PL: Iblis, Divine-General of the Mo-Kakaan is sent by Shoshanna to tempt mankind into breaking Anwen’s laws and exploring the Womb-Grove at the top of Mount Anwen. The Divine-General fails.
1’299 PL: Iblis rebels against Shoshanna and the Ever-After War breaks out in Heaven.
1’298 PL: Archangel Llowellus defeats Iblis’ Host and they are cast out of Heaven and into Hell becoming devils. The most depraved of them becoming demons.
1’285 PL: Iblis unites with Murmur and Amitel, long thought to be dead, in the deepest pits of Hell. Together they build a ladder and climb back into the World of Greyhawk.
1’113 PL: The World of Greyhawk is destroyed.
1000 PL: The Invasion of Heaven. Iblis’ Host is once more thrown from Heaven. On the World of Llowellen, the ‘Night the Sky Fell’ occurs as the first remains of Greyhawk land in the desert in the form of massive meteors.
800 PL: Genesis. Season One. The Birth of the Light Child of Yhakkoth.
799 PL: Genesis. Season Two. The angel Succarus begins to walk the World of Llowellen.
798 PL: Genesis. Season Three (Voyages of the Princess Parizade)