I am currently compiling notes on what will be a sort of "Campaign Setting" guide for the Rift World universe to be used by myself and possibly others to create content in this world.

This is a work in progress, further sections will be added over time and current sections will be refined.

I. The Early Universe
II. Prehistoric Keldana
III. The Golden Age
IV. The Long Peace (coming soon)
V. The Rift Crisis and Beyond (coming soon) 
VI. The Reconstruction Campaign Setting
(coming soon)
     B. Races of Keldana
          1. Human
          2. Telain
          3. Khendi
          4. Keth
          5. Hybrids

     C. Professions of Keldana (coming soon)
     D. Power Groups of Keldana (coming soon)
          1. The Church of The Rift (coming soon)
          2. The Rift Riders (coming soon)
          3. Eyes of The Desert (coming soon)
          4. The Black Hand (coming soon)
          5. The Obsidian Blade (coming soon)
          6. The Veshan Protectorate (coming soon)
          7. The Empire of Lanoi (coming soon)
          8. The Thousands Tribes (coming soon)
          9. Anyndur and Boronia (coming soon)
     E. Beasts of Keldana (coming soon)

I. The Early Universe [top]

In the vacant blackness of the early universe the old gods trod like giants across the sky, the dust from their shoes forming galaxies, nebulas, and stars. Constant wars did they wage in this their celestial battlefield, one moment blazing in inconceivable glory and the next burnt out, dead like a snuffed flame. And so it came to pass that one of these brightly burning, magnificent gods was struck down and began to fade. Rather than fading into nothingness the god summoned what remained of his essence, his life force, and willed it to reside in a nearby celestial body; the world that would become Keldana.

Eons passed and one by one the light of the old gods faded and they grew tired of war. In their footsteps life had begun to take root on the myriad worlds of the universe and it became evident that their time was at an end. They no longer had a place here, no longer had a function and so the old gods left this universe, this budding flower that had begun to bloom in their passing, and never returned.

II. Prehistoric Keldana [top]

When the first human awakened to conscious thought the Rift was already present and that eternal essence of a long forgotten god called out to the minds of men and inspired them to do great works. In time these men who were sensitive to the emanations of the Rift became great leaders and where before there were only stray clans of humans there would be great tribes. And these tribes grew and warred with each other and the power of their leaders to channel and focus the Rift grew and they became known as the Shapers.

Crude were the powers of the early Shapers compared to their descendants but in a time where stone and muscle took weeks to plow fields and months to channel rivers, the Rift harnessed the elements and reformed the land in minutes. Being na´ve as to the true nature of the power they had tapped and lacking the foresight and discipline to acquire such knowledge, the early Shapers reached too far too fast and brought disaster upon their people.

The power of the old gods cannot be called upon lightly and when misused the Rift unleashed terrible suffering upon the people of Keldana. Terrifying events known as Rift storms, massive backlashes of Rift energy that engulfed entire towns, were most often the result of a Shaper reaching beyond his understanding of the Rift. Oft times entire towns would be destroyed and the surrounding land reformed as if they had never existed. In other instances people would be changed by the mysterious transformative powers of the Rift into beasts or in one instance something much more significant.

In a tribe who's people had succumbed to a sickness that brought early death to dozens, one talented Shaper believed he could tame the boundless energy of the Rift and extract a cure. He sought not only to cure their blight but to extend their lives indefinitely. He meditated long and hard on the Rift and finally called upon the mysterious energies in the land to grant his boon. A great storm rose up, engulfing not only the tribe's village but half a continent. As a credit to his craft or perhaps by some conscious effort on the part of the Rift itself the people caught in the storm were not killed but transformed. Where before humans had stood now were the Telain, a new race born of the Rift, gifted with long life but cursed as they were to be mistrusted by the human inhabitants of Keldana.

When humans first came in contact with the Telain there was bloodshed and for a century war raged between the tribes of men and the Telain. Some say it was jealousy that that drove the human's incessant slaughter of the long-lived but weaker Telain, others say it was fear of being replaced themselves. It wasn't until the first marching of the orcs that the war between the Humans and the Telain would come to an end.

The orcs had always been a threat but these semi-sentient beings had only ever roamed Keldana in small clans, easily kept at bay and dispatched by even the smallest Human or Telain tribe. A particularly smart and charismatic orc had learned the art of the Shapers while in captivity in a Human village and when he escaped he began to win over the nearby clans and soon he had an army with which to challenge the men of Keldana. Putting aside their differences the Human and Telain Shapers made a pact to defeat the orcs together and in only a few short years and with only nominal loses they did just that. When the war was over the orcs slunk back into the dark places of Keldana to lick their wounds and the quarrel between Humans and Telain had all but been forgotten.

The first Shaper Council was established soon after and new Shapers were sought out and trained to use their powers for the good of their tribes. Discipline of the body and the mind would be necessary for true mastery of the Rift and the first council set about creating an order that would usher in a new age of the world.

III. The Golden Age [top]

With the gathered knowledge of Shapers from all over Keldana the true capacity of Rift manipulation was revealed and where before there were but small tribes, great nations began to rise; chief among these was Rhyvian and it's capitol the fabled City of Wonders.

The golden age of Keldana lasted for over 1000 years, during which people's understanding of the Rift was greatly enhanced. The Shapers became able to harness the Rift in new ways leading to great innovation especially in the new field of Rift Science. People began to see the applicability of Rift energy in everyday life and it was the Rift Scientists, specially trained Shapers with a mind towards technical innovation, who led the way in the invention of new devices that took advantage of the almost limitless potential of this mysterious force. Flying machines, great ships of the sea, rapid rail systems, and new gadgets of all shapes and sizes became common place as the inventors of Keldana sought to improve the quality of life for their people. Rift Science had devised a way to drill for deposits of pure Rift energy in the ground and harness the resultant geysers to power an energy grid that spanned entire continents. It was an age of unrivaled progress and in no place was this ethic more present than in the nation of Rhyvian. Rhyvian as a whole was not only the largest nation in the world, but also the most advanced. Visitors to the land were often hard pressed not to find some new invention in use there that they had never even heard of before. This was doubly true of Rhyvian's capitol, the City of Wonders.

The City of Wonders was a place of unparalleled beauty and distinction. Built into the side of a mountain and overlooking a lush valley, Rhyvian tapped directly into one of the largest known sources of surface Rift energy. Six massive towers rose hundreds of feet above the tallest buildings in the city and housed the machinery that churned out the gargantuan amount of energy used to power the homes and businesses of the city's tens of thousands of inhabitants. Ruled by a government consisting of two opposed dynastic house and an assembly of elected non-house representatives, Rhyvian and it's capitol were the envy of the world during it's time. Rhyvian's ruling houses were headed by some of the most powerful Shapers in the world, mages capable of wielding the power of the Rift in ways most would never have imagined possible. If the lifestyle of those living in Rhyvian and the City of Wonders was extravagant then the lifestyle of the Archshapers of Rhyvian was doubly so. Their palaces were so large that they occupied not only normal space but also included entire wings that existed inside of Rift Pockets; bubbles of normal space compressed and encapsulated in magical crystals. The Archshapers were also heavily involved in the practices of Rift Science, as evidenced by the state of Rhyvian itself. Rumors held that the Shapers spent long lights toiling away on secret experiments but not just with new inventions, experiments on people and animals. It was only known to a select few who had access to the inner palaces and who were sworn to secrecy that the Shapers had created a race of servants, the Khendi, from pure Rift energy in order to aid them in their duties while they further pondered their bizarre machinations. Much of this was kept secret from the people of Rhyvian and the world at large, and as long as there was peace and prosperity it would not seem to have been a concern anyway.

For centuries Rhyvian coexisted in peace with it's neighboring nations but when it became obvious that the supply of Rift energy within their realm would no longer be sufficient to maintain their excesses, they began to seek alternatives. The process of finding more energy for Rhyvian was diplomatic at first and there were treaties struck to import energy from other countries. This wasn't enough for the Archshapers of Rhyvian, over the years they had become increasingly obsessed with their secret experiments and the desire to complete whatever their bizarre project truly was took precedent. When more energy was needed to to continue they began to take it by force, taking over energy stations of nearby towns belonging to neighboring countries and withholding necessary trade goods unless greater amounts of energy were allowed for import. It was far from all out war but soon all the great nations of the world felt the weight of Rhyvian's hunger for power and they knew that something must be done.

The leaders of the most powerful nations in the world held a secret conference with the Shaper council, excluding the representatives from Rhyvian and concluded that unless stopped Rhyvian's abuse of Rift energy threatened the well being of all life on Keldana. The council drafted a proposal to the government of Rhyvian that was instantly shot down. Rhyvian responded by mobilizing troops along it's borders. War with Rhyvian was a grim option indeed for with their advanced technology the armies of the rest of the world stood little chance even though their numbers were far greater. Still, the council knew that only a preemptive strike would keep Rhyvian at bay and with any luck save civilian lives. The council and the allied nations combined their military might and launched an all out assault on the borders of Rhyvian.

For ten years war raged and the border shifted several times although Rhyvian always regained what it lost. The Archshapers of Rhyvian quickly grew tired of the war their secret experiments had been put on hold and the flow of power to Rhyvian had been diverted for use by the war effort. They needed a quick and decisive victory over their adversaries and began to develop a weapon for such a purpose. In the eleventh year of the war the Archshapers were prepared to roll out their latest invention. Mounted to the top of the mountain base of the City of Wonders was a massive Rift Cannon, a weapon capable of projecting a solid beam of weaponized Rift energy half way across the continent. The council and the allied nations were horrified to discover this weapon being assembled but were helpless to do anything about it. Their only hope was to cut a swath through Rhyvian's defenses and take the capitol if only to destroy the Rift Cannon. Their assault failed and on the fateful day that the cannon was powered up many would perish, but not on the side of the allies. The Rift is a volatile force and does not take lightly to abuse. Like their ancestors who had reached too far too fast and produced deadly Rift storms, the Archshapers of Rhyvian underestimated their understanding of the Rift and of what their new device would do.

Accounts of the final days of Rhyvian vary but it is safe to say that their Rift Cannon backfired. Rather than project a beam of pure Rift energy at their enemies the cannon caused a vacuum to build in the mountain cavity where the Rift energy came to the surface of the planet. The mountain imploded and waves of pure Rift energy cascaded down it's cliffs, washing over the City of Wonders and the countryside before finally erupting into the most violent Rift storm ever recorded to date. It was months before the Rift storm subsided and the environmental effects were felt all across Keldana. Miraculously there were survivors from Rhyvian who eerily stumbled out of the Rift storm with little or no memory of what had happened. Many of these survivors were Khendi, a shock to the rest of the world who had never seen the young race before. When the storm subsided Rhyvian was no more and the land surrounding appeared as if it had never even existed. As a result the efficiency of Rift energy began to wane, forcing rationing of power and throwing many areas into chaos. Keldana had entered a dark age but there was hope on the way. The war with Rhyvian had vulcanized the bond between the allied nations and the Shaper council began to realize the need for stricter training and discipline regarding manipulation of the Rift. A new council was formed with Shapers representing each member nation and the order set about training new Shapers so that such a disaster would never have to happen again.

IV. The Long Peace (coming soon)
V. The Rift Crisis and Beyond (coming soon) 
VI. The Reconstruction Campaign Setting
(coming soon)  

B. Races of Keldana [top]

There are many non and semi-sentient races on Keldana but only a handful of sentients and among these only one evolved naturally:

1. Human [top]

Humans were the first sentient beings on Keldana and also the most prominent. While humans tend to excel at most skills they have difficulty focussing their strengths and therefore find it difficult to master certain disciplines. Overall the world of Keldana primarily belongs to the humans and it is their will which has, more than any other race, shaped the world through both its good and bad times. Humans are found performing all types of jobs across Keldana and the majority of the settlements on the planet are at least 80% human.

2. Telain [top]

The Telain were created when one of the early Shapers attempted to cheat death. Telain live much longer than humans and as such have learned to concern themselves more with long term projects and goals than immediate gratification. The reproduction rate of the Telain is very low and there much fewer of them than humans in the world. While the Telain and humans once fought a great war with each other they have since united and many Telain perform important functions in the largely human governments as diplomats, historians, and strategists.

3. Khendi [top]

One of the races created by the Shapers of Rhyvian and the only civilized creation to survive that nation's fabled demise. Khendi are dexterous in both body and mind and excel at simple crafts, certain types of magic, and the roguish arts. Khendi love about as long as humans, reproduce at a slower rate, but tend to have a large number of offspring when they do. Khendi are usually excepted where they go if not always trusted. Khendi have been known to be employed by various governments and organizations as spies, thieves, and assassins and this has created a negative stereotype across much of the land. Many Khendi make decent livings as craftsmen and merchants and some of the wealthiest corporations can be found with a Khendi at the top of the ladder otherwise very close to it.

4. Keth [top]

The Keth were created by Kaedan Wren at the beginning of the Shaper War. Meant to be manual slave labor and then trained as warriors, the Keth have great strength both of the body and will and have cultivated a society of fierce loyalty and devotion to principles of honor and duty. The Keth live for only a short time and do not reproduce at a significant rate. Keth do not fit in well outside their own kind despite their work ethic and overall usefulness. They are often treated as second class citizens or worse due to their role in the Shaper War and the resulting Rift Crisis.

5. Hybrids [top]

There are also a number of Half-Telain and more recently Half-Keth individuals on Keldana, these being a mixing of Humans and the respective races. Technically there are also Half-Khendi in the world but do to some quirk of their biology, Half-Khendi always take on 90% or more of the traits of a Khendi making them virtually indistinguishable.

C. Professions of Keldana (coming soon)

D. Power Groups of Keldana (coming soon)

1. The Church of The Rift (coming soon)
2. The Rift Riders (coming soon)
3. Eyes of The Desert (coming soon)
4. The Black Hand (coming soon)
5. The Obsidian Blade (coming soon)
6. The Veshan Protectorate (coming soon)
7. The Empire of Lanoi (coming soon)
8. The Thousands Tribes (coming soon)
9. Anyndur and Boronia (coming soon)

E. Beasts of Keldana (coming soon)



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