The World Ship Core Lore
The World Ship sails through The Void. The Earth, its Deck. The Ocean, its Hull. The Sky, its Sails. The souls that live here are the wind: when Good flourishes The Ship lifts toward Ascension. When Evil reigns it falls toward Oblivion. But mostly we are all just adrift in an ocean of choices, just trying to survive.
The World Ship is an ocean planet dotted by a thousand islands. Each island is its own adventure. Each island moves across the seas (except the Dwarven isles, because they don’t move for anything.) Each island is its own primal spirit, neither good nor evil, though both forces will try to claim islands for their own purposes.
You are an adventurer, and each day you have a choice: Will you sail the World Ship towards Enlightenment or let it plummet towards Damnation?
Our world is vast ocean, dotted by thousands of islands. Some people never leave their island. Others are accustomed to living on the sea.
The currents and the winds are spiritual beings. Some islands are friends, and the currents are always smooth between them. Some islands are enemies, and long detours must be made to move between them. A persuasive town might even convince its island to move. Powerful adventurers can purge evils from islands, weakening the demons plaguing the currents between them by righting wrongs.
No island is what it seems. Some are made of earth and are carried by the souls of the damned on the ocean floor. Others are forests of giant trees, grown on great floating kelp beds. Still others are massive sea creatures or even the hollowed bones of long dead titans. And then, there are floating cities of ships, bound together on the waves.
- Humans war; they settle and build trade empires all across the seven seas.
- Elves live in great floating forests; their ancient tree cities acting as sails.
- Dwarves are stone growers: their cities of coral and rock scrape ocean bottom and sky.
- Halflings are master sailors, whispering secrets to currents and winds to trade with all.
- Dragonborn preserve the Bones of the Titans, drawing elemental energy from them for eons.
- Gnomes are submariners, welcomed/tolerated as repairmen wherever their mischief roams.
- Half Elves are welcome the world over as diplomats, having many benefits of both their parents.
- Half orcs are the hopeful reminders that the mortal soul can overcome all Evil and tragedy.
- Tieflings are the spawn of those who have been marked by the Hundred Shadows.
Among these humanoids live beasts, dragons, monsters, giants, oozes, plants and elementals. These are the Nine Bloods, scattered across the 1000 Stones beneath Winds, Skies and Stars. And then there are the ever-present Fey: hiding just out of sight, dancing between worlds. They are the keepers of the 100 Oaths, which hold the world together.
Far above the Earth are the 100 planets and the 1000 stars. These are the Astra. Beings who can travel the Astral Wind may interact with the gods and angels who live there. The Astra sends light to Earth, which grows all things. Good people’s souls can move Astral.
Below the Earth, on the mirror side of the Ocean floor, is the Umbra. Beings who travel the Umbral Wind may interact with the Gods and demons who live there. The Umbra sends shadows to the Earth, which destroy all things. Evil people’s souls can move Umbral.
There are always shadows or currents nearby who are willing to help you. If you know their signs and callings, you can make a deal with them. A shadow who speaks to you is a Devil. A current that speaks to you is a Demon. Their price is steep, but they get fast results.
The light of the Stars will hear your wishes, and if you toil in righteousness they will be answered. Put your wishes on your favorite wind, when your favorite planets are overhead, and The Gods may smile upon you.
The remaining winds: the North, South, East and West winds, are the Primal Winds. These are the Winds that scatter The Nine Bloods (beasts, dragons, monsters, humanoids, giants, oozes, plants and elementals) across the 1000 Stones. This is the Material Plane.
All the forces and elements of the world are held together by a single glue: The Fey. Sailing on the Fey Wind will take you to the Feywild, where The Fey Court binds all things together with the 100 Oaths. The Oaths are the Laws of Nature and Magic. All living things are bound by some Oaths, and all living things can interact with the Oaths by living, breathing, and doing.
Common Knowledge of Magic
- Wizards are master scholars of The 100 Oaths, learning them inside and out to change the world.
- Sorcerers and Bards cast by exerting their will to push the limits of The 100 Oaths.
- Warlocks swear Oaths to powerful Fey, Demigods, or sometimes aspects of The Void.
- Druids are the servants of the Nine Bloods (life itself). The primal force of the Nine Bloods infuses them with power directly, shunning the Astral and Umbral for the here and now.
- Divine Casters are servants of the Planets (Good) or the Shadows (Evil), gaining access to magic through the will of the Gods. The Planets reward faithful service and selflessness, while the Shadows reward sacrifice and obedience.
Living among the 100 Planets and the 100 Currents are beings of great power that have shaped and defined The Great Ship and fought for its existence when the Ship was young. These beings are worshiped across many cultures and islands, and each has domain over various aspects of life. There are countless Gods scattered across the 1000 Stones, some more powerful and widely acknowledged than others. Below are a few Gods that see wide worship across The Great Ship:
- Volcanis The Molten Soul, The Unifier, The Unquenched Lord. The Alizarin Imperium is unified under the God Volcanis. He brings people together through challenges of strength. His followers believe that through fearless suffering and hard work, people achieve their best selves. Domains are: Forge, Grave, Tempest, War.
- Queen Mab Keeper of Dreams, The Halcyon Lady. A powerful Fey, who is said to watch the Dreams of Mortals and carry them into the Feywild. Usually, Mab is content to return the dreams to mortals, both for her fancy and theirs while sleeping. But sometimes, her barristers will advocate before the Fey for a dream to be made real. Domains are: Knowledge, Nature, Trickery.
- Nus'tael Light Sender, Bringer of Dawn, The Guiding Beacon. The Goddess of the Sun, Nus’tael is widely recognized across the World Ship as the God that sends Light to the Earth from the Planets and Stars. She is a Goddess of Hope, Renewal, and is also the Light that burns away the Shadow. Domains are: Life, Light, Tempest.
- Bolnheim The Lucky Wind, Storm Warden, He who Shelters. The God of sailors and traders everywhere, Bolnheim sends the Primal winds to Mortals, aiding them in their journeys. He keeps storms at bay, spreads life across the world, and pushes their vessels toward their destination (assuming they have his favor). Domains: Grave, Life, Nature, Tempest. - Deceased
- Urthu/Uhtru Father of the Deep, The Twinned. The God of the Ocean is a two-faced God: either giving his ire or favor to mortals on a whim. Worshipped primarily by Halflings and Gnomes, each claiming to be the original offspring of the Sea. It is said that Urthu/Uhtru (Halfling/Gnome names, respectively) favor the small folk over other sailing races, gifting Halflings with Luck and Gnomes with Magic. Domains: Death, Knowledge, Trickery
- Danayu Purity’s Light, Our Lady of Stars, The Fecund. Danayu is the goddess of purification. She is tied to the hundred oaths through her connection to the fey. It is common for dryads and other nature spirits to rely on Danayu’s teachings. Her sign is used for purification rituals which are commonly used throughout marriage and during childbirth. Domains: Grave, Life, Light, Nature
- Forellin Heart of the Forest, Lord of the Elves, Tree Spirit. Of all living things counted by the Nine Bloods, Forellin loves plants the most. Seeing that the Elves shared this love, he gifted them with their Forest Island homes. A part of Forelling is in every Tree Home’s Spirit, and Elves attribute their immortality to him, sometimes referring to it as “Forellin’s Grace.” Domains: Knowledge, Life, Nature
- The Shadow Queen Sister Death, The Back Face of the Coin. Not all Shadows are inherently Evil. Some are the natural byproduct of Light. The Shadow Queen is widely worshipped as the duality that is necessary for Good things to exist: Death to complete the circle of Life, Sorrow to highlight times of Joy, and misfortune to balance luck. She is often blamed for mishaps and commonly appealed to shield people from bad times. During funerals, she is acknowledged as the caretaker of the Dead. Domains: Death, Grave, Light
- Nisthrul The Hiding God, The Masked One, The Veiled Jester. This is the voice of temptation, who calls out to mortals to barter with them, taking parts of their souls to give them power. This is the Boogeyman of The Great Ship, who is said to appear before children, weak-willed adults, and desperate people, snatching up their souls by taking advantage of them. He hides in the Current and Shadows, eagerly waiting. Domains: Death, Trickery, War
- Lionosus Beach Keeper, Welcomer, Revel Maker, The Laughing Lord. Light a bonfire and prepare to make merry: Lionosus is the King of Beaches, where he welcomes home travelers from the Seas and then taunts the Dark Currents by celebrating their return in sight of the water. Dwarves acknowledge him by crafting beaches of their own, Halflings often keep a patch of dirt on their ships as a shrine to him, and brewers and winemakers swear by him. Domains: Forge, Life, Tempest, Trickery, War.
- Teshezim Binder of Creation, The Granite Fist. Highlord of the Dwarves, Teshezim is worshipped as the father of the dwarven people. In the Dwarven mythos, Dwarves were created from living stone. Originally created as keepers of the world, they were to help shape it and protect from the negative influence of the umbral. Teshezim is connected to nature, his closest followers are the dwarven druids who practice the art of stone shaping. Temples dedicated to Teshezim have large flourishing gardens, decorated with ornate stone shapings. Teshezim has been known to appear in times of deep corruption when the Umbra has permeated the natural flow in parts of the world. Domains: Forge, Knowledge, Nature, War
- Illion The One Who Mends, The Balance, She who Shelters. Goddess of Luck, Death, Wind, Soul, and Renewal. The Goddess who came from Humanity, Illion strives for a new kind balance upon the World Ship. Unbound by the hundred oaths, Illion uses the Primal winds for her own purposes and for those who worship her. Adapting from her predecessor's power she plays with storms for the benefit of the world, at times unable to control them. Domains: Light, Grave, Life, Nature, Tempest, Death.
Secrets of the Knowledgeable
Links to hidden knowledge for those trained in each respective skill.