The world rent asunder.

Theia is the name of the planet for our in-house campaign setting.

In 2015, when Mimir and Deviston decided they would bring a story to the world, it was the story of Theia they wanted to share. The world was a weird one even in their minds. Much like Athas is out of the norm, they wanted Theia to be similarly odd. In the content below a reader can learn a bit more about what Theia is and what it will be fleshed out as. From the sages, “We hope you enjoy learning about it as much as we did when we were exploring it.”

Theia is a giant experiment — built by unknown hands as a crucible and testing ground. Theia is a world in which no civilization can last forever, a world in which violent change is a normal and natural cycle.

Theia is intended to be used as a campaign setting as a whole — but could also make an interesting port of call for any spacefaring campaigns, challenging for the players and characters.

Theia, after all, is not just an experiment. It is also a trap. It draws those who did not intend to come and those who arrive here find it hard to impossible to leave…

The landmass primarily detailed on Theia is the continent of Barshiin — and it is not the most pleasant of places to live. For nine months of the year, Barshiin bakes under an unforgiving sun — although not all of the continent is desert, even the forests are adapted to the heat and lack of rain. The islands of the Pulikuk are more pleasant and moderate in their climate but still, tend to be warm.

For the other three months of the year, the rains come — and the rains cleanse. Flooding is common, and the deepest parts of the desert bloom with oceans of brilliant flowers. Nobody attempts to travel during the rains unless they have no other choice. Although the water cools things off some, Barshiin is still a hot continent, close to the equator.

It does have varied terrain — the coolest places are up in the mountains, within which dwarves delve — and the hot central desert, home to the virakarasht and few others.

The druids of ​Barshiin classify Theia’s two native trees of life into spheres. The first sphere is comprised of humans, dragons, trees, wolves, birds and all descendants of that common ancestor. The second sphere is comprised of vlax, aboleths, oozes, akatas, ghorazaghs and other creature of strange and alien biology, but still evolved from a second common ancestor.

The creatures of the first sphere are currently the most populous ​in Barshiin, but ​in previous ages of Theia, second sphere biology was the only type of biology present. ​Second sphere creatures are found in and used across the cultures of​ Barshiin. Some second sphere creatures have been domesticated and are used alongside first sphere creatures as draft animals, companions, food, and guards.

Magic on Theia is fueled by Viiz – a substance which can be drawn from the air, mined from rocks and concentrated by plants. However, there is still a split between “arcane” and “divine” magic. Arcane magic makes use of viiz that is available within a person or in the area. Divine magic draws viiz from the River of Eternity. As a special note: nature magic, such as druids and rangers, is considered “arcane” rather than “divine” on Theia for the purposes of where their powers draw viiz.

Viiz that is used to fuel arcane magic flows into another plane known as the River of Eternity. Viiz drawn from the River to fuel divine magic is completely lost (Presumably, this means that eventually, that source of viiz will run down, but it would take far longer than any could imagine). Levels of viiz vary from place to place. In fact, on parts of Theia, viiz can be literally mined as a physical substance (doing so is part of what transforms humans into dwarves). It can also be pulled out of the ocean. Each nation has its own way of harvesting and using viiz – ranging from the mining activities of the Chilzangan to the Virakarasht Tribes’ refusal to collect viiz for more than personal use in their desert home.

Viiz is so important on Theia that refined viiz bound into coins is even used as currency.

The physical nature of viiz on Theia allows for the creation of viiz matrices, which can be personal (bound to a being) or dweomer (bound to an area). A dweomer matrix can be used by anyone with the knowledge of how to do so. Creating (weaving) matrices is cheap in terms of resources but expensive in terms of knowledge. Activating matrices requires a small amount of viiz and the knowledge of how to use them. Dweomer matrices may or may not require detect magic to spot and identify. Matrices essentially work as non-physical magic items which cannot be taken and used by another. A weaver can create a matrix on themselves or another – although only one matrix can exist in any given place or attached to any given creature. The only exception to this rule would be a person with a matric entering a dweomer matrix region, both would function in this instance.

The downside to the nature of viiz are viiz storms. Being caught in a viiz storm is dangerous — and dealing with storms can be an important challenge, whilst avoiding them can lead to new adventures.

It can turn a mundane person into an arcane caster. Viiz can also warp and change somebody’s body, perhaps permanently, though often killing them. Viiz storms also leave a small amount of viiz behind them, which can potentially be harvested and used. Because of this, some casters will follow viiz storms for the cheap viiz…

Viiz storms are much more common during and just after cataclysms, are extremely destructive, create entirely new species of animal, or even new sentient races.

There are many different kinds of species on Theia, but there are primary “core player species” as with most fantasy games. Below are the species that comprise the main player species of Theia and the majority population of intelligent species on the continent Barshiin.

Species of Theia

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Kashaan

One of the many descendants of the primeval dragons, the kashaan work closely with the primeval dragon’s heirs, the true dragons. The sacred charge given to the kashaan people weighs heavily on​​ their minds, causing rifts in their ancient nation. Like all other things this too will pass, and the kashaan will still be standing.

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Halflings

Evolved from humans, these “half-men” happily take charge of their own destiny and forge forward across the waves. Sea-faring by culture, agile and acrobatic by nature, the halflings tend to travel more than any other species albeit mainly at sea.

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Hilada

There is a form of transmutation that humans can undergo turning them into dwarfs. The dwarves are just as varied as their human base, further blessed with long life. Due to decades of exposure to viiz, dwarfs mastered their personal viiz store and are able to use it for protection.

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Hokhala

A tool of the extinct elves, hokhala are now sentient plant beings that seek to bring the world more stability and expand their verdant forests. Always exploring the leavings of their creators, the hokhala see themselves as the legacy of elves. Perhaps one day they will discover what truly took their creators away from the world.

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Hurcines

The arrival of humans was an apocalypse for the nascent psionic web the orcs had weaved. Gone was the peaceful orcs but a new web, one communal, was formed which included the humans. From this community, the hurcine was born. Though cataclysm ended the great hurcine empire, the hurcine will never be alone.

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Kulvix

Spontaneous sentience slowly came upon the psicrystals that are now the kulvix. Within a nearly controlled environment, they safely became a people. Deception necessitated a migration to the underdark at large. They have only recently discovered the surface world.

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Kashaan

One of the many descendants of the primeval dragons, the kashaan work closely with the primeval dragon’s heirs, the true dragons. The sacred charge given to the kashaan people weighs heavily on​​ their minds, causing rifts in their ancient nation. Like all other things this too will pass, and the kashaan will still be standing.

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Twil

Humans and dwarves researching the vlax became infected with something that harmed them. With vlax help, they were cured, but the genetic material of the vlax modified them. After ejection from Chilzangan, a cataclysm completed their transformation, bringing the twil fully into being.

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Tycho

Escaping a threat from their home Plane of Shadow transformed the tycho. Where the hilada gain immortality in their transformation, the tycho lost it but regained an ability to make children. They seek to bring their kind to Theia, somehow a place safer than their original home.

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Vahsh

A being born of a virakarasht uniting with another species, the vahsh are tied heavily to the seulaphlox that caused the virakarasht to come into being. They may not have a unified culture, but they struggle to survive like all of Barshiin’s residents.

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