All of my campaigns take place within my world, which seeks to reconcile all of the best lore (read: all of it) from all of the established D&D universes (Dragonlance, Eberron, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, and Rokugan, to name a few). As its creators and writers have repeatedly expressed, D&D is a multiverse - Ker'ether embraces that and seeks to be vague enough to fit everything, but defined enough that everything has a place.

Ker'Ether copy.jpg
by Elliott Meredith


General Information

The Pantheon

There are a multitude of gods who influence Ker'ether, including global deities, national deities, and racial deities. Both pantheons and domains can be shared by multiple entities - though naturally this could cause conflict between those entities.
I am including a list of deities, with links to further information, for the religiously-inclined. This list is in no way exclusive, and rather is updated as I use specific gods within my campaigns, to give interested players an idea of what is already supported and active within Ker'ether.
Beyond the gods, there are the rulers of the elemental realms, whose power is generally beyond that of a normal god, but both much more narrowly focused and generally applied outside Ker'ether itself. These rulers are known as the Dea-gods, or simply the Dea, by the learned.
Existing above and beyond both the gods and the dea is a cyclical progression between the concepts of Good, Evil, and Neutrality - as this inscrutable cycle turns, many fundamental forces acting on Ker'ether change in minute ways to match the alignment trend. This process was dubbed the Dreoc by the ancient races who discovered it, the Broken and the Lost, long before this age of mortals - any true understanding of this strange magical phenomenon was lost along with them.

Death

The process of dying in Ker'ether is a multi-step process, with departed souls lingering at their point of death until collected by a Reaper. There are several deities who possess the mantle of "reaper," giving them the authority to retrieve and deliver souls - each reaper generally has jurisdiction over the souls in a particular territory. Once reaped, a soul must declare a god (or, sometimes, other sort of entity...) that has a claim on their soul. Anything that wishes to collect departed souls must either circumvent the reapers (a dangerous and difficult prospect), or almost always simply form a pact with the reapers, some set of conditions and payments whereby the soul of a faithful (or bound) follower is delivered to them by the reaper, instead of to whatever afterlife the reaper would default deliver them to (usually their own realm, for good or ill). There are currently 3 reapers:
  • The Black Reaper: A figured garbed in black who collects the souls bound for the torments and twisted rebirths offered by either the Abyss or the Nine Hells, according to the deals made and sins committed during the mortal's life. The mantle of the Black Reaper is said to be currently held by some inscrutable entity that is not itself a god, but whatever holds the mantle now has not done so forever, as other beings are documented as possessing it in the past.
  • The Grey Reaper: A mysterious and nearly silent figure who seems able to reap souls in most locations, but has few unique or understandable interactions with any deities or powerful entities. The mantle of the Grey Reaper is said to be held by a god, but It never says which one and no god has claimed responsibility.
  • The White Reaper: A skeletal figure coated in razor-sharp fragments of white ice beneath a black shroud, the White Reaper claims the souls of those who die within frostfells, oceans, wastelands, and great storms. The mantle of the White Reaper is currently held by the god Iborighu, who delights in spiting other deities and is most likely to demand some form of payment from a soul in exchange for safe(ish) passage to their proper destination.

The Comets

While Ker'ether represents the full expanse of the material plane - and will be the location for campaigns - scholars of the most esoteric knowledge have determined that this material plane might not be the only material plane. Whatever that means, or whatever may be the true case, rare events known as "cometfalls" herald the arrival of some massive object crashing onto Ker'ether from...elsewhere. There are two known cometfalls (with many rumors of others throughout the years), and each has heralded a new source of power that, while undeniably extraplanar, fits neatly within Ker'ether in an unusual symbiosis.

The Crysal Comet

  • Crashing into the central mountain on the continent of Marioch, this comet has never truly been seen, but its impact has echoed across Ker'ether. Whatever its true form, the crysal comet has slowly converted all of the metals and minerals within the mountain into a strange crystalline material known as crysal - while crystals are a normal occurrence on Ker'ether, the distinctive traits of this new material set it apart as truly unique and otherworldly. By nature of its strange, alien properties, crysal seems to feed on magical energy - arcane or divine - and for this reason the material and its properties are the core of the beliefs of the Crysal Archons.

The Fires Comet

  • Crashing several miles into the jungle near the northern coast of the Southern Continent, the fires comet was found by explorers from the more "civilized" continents who observed its crash from a large settlement on the northern coast. The comet itself is a huge rock with four crystals about as large as a man coming from the top, as well as a much smaller one in front. The large ones are black, green, blue, and white, and the small one is red. When it was first discovered, four deities slumbered within it. After several years of study, a young child had the inspired idea to sneak past the guards and hold a flame up to the red spar - it immediately ignited and woke the four deities from their hibernation. For more information on the four deities and the power they grant their divine followers, the votaries, see the page on The Four Fires.

The Major Kingdoms

There are five primary nations within Ker'ether, four with their capitals on Arcterius but with substantial influence and control (colonies, protectorates, and otherwise) outside their continental holdings. Conveniently, the capital of each of these four kingdoms is also the moniker by which each is known. The fifth kingdom is concentrated mostly within Janiaca and has little active participation with the rest of Ker'ether.
Lore from the Eberron Dragonmarked Houses and the Five Nations can be found within the Arcterius kingdoms, as can lore from any other interesting nation from a D&D universe. The Empire found within Janiaca is drawn mostly from Oriental Adventures, though any lore with an Eastern or mystic aspect can fit too.

The City-state of Cachetan

  • Cachatan's origin is something of a myth, said to have been founded by a simple merchant, though a very wealthy one, who was fleeing for his life from bandits. He rode up a narrow path on a mountain, and discovered a lush valley in the basin. He hid within the trees until the bandits eventually left, and from these simple roots a magnificent city has grown. The monarchy of Cachetan claims to be descended from the original merchant who discovered the valley, and is well loved by its people. It’s military, though small, is incredibly well trained since all guards, militia, and soldiers must first attend the great academy that sits on the opposite side of the basin valley from the city itself. This academy is a sprawling complex that teaches magical and martial combat, as well as occasional trainers and professors of more esoteric disciplines. Cachetan as a nation is very small, claiming only a few hundred miles of territory around the base of the city (and the mountain it rests within), and has the least control over Arcterius - to combat this, it has the most significant non-continental investments and funds the most ambitious explorations.

The United Towers of Thera

  • The Kingdom known as Thera was initially four small cities, each built around a great tower of sorcery, that unified after centuries of magical warfare. The capital city, Thera itself, is actually the resulting metropolis of the four original cities growing into each other and combining after their political merger. Thera is based around a mage ruling class that live primarily within the four great towers of sorcery. As each of the four cities had substantial holdings before the merger, unified Thera controls a sizable area of Arcterius and their large standing army is bolstered by colossal magical support. The military is a popular occupation for all residents of Thera, as service can grant non-mages improved citizenship and raise mages through their own hierarchy. The mageocracy that rules Thera is organized as an oligarchy between the members of the four towers, and is known to be fairly efficient. To prevent disinterested politicians, gaining political authority is something that requires dedication and sincere interest (which dissuades most mages from casual involvement) and leaves only those mages truly devoted to the good of Thera to be a part of the government. Thera is roughly equivalent to Palanthas in terms of size, wealth, and control of Arcterius.
  • Lore from the Dragonlance Towers of High Sorcery or the Forgotten Realms Red Wizards of Thay are very appropriate fits for Thera. Lore from Eberron's nation of Aundair is particularly appropriate here.

The Kingdom of Roin

  • The largest of the four Kingdoms, Roin is essentially undisputed in its control of the northern plateau of Arcterius. The ruler of Roin is the emperor, who holds the powerful Dragon Scepter—apropos as the plateau of Roin is inhabited by the largest number of drakes and dragons found on Ker'Ether. Roin is the largest of the Kingdoms. Between its massive land holdings, draconic allies, and large army (composed primarily of undead soldiers), Roin has a tremendous presence on Arcterius. It has the fewest non-continental holdings, but is rumored to have ties to the Molven Shadowlands (though many in the population and government protest these allegations and act to prove otherwise). Roin is not an evil empire (or an Evil one, despite what many anti-undead clerics preach), and it has maintained many long-term alliances and trade agreements with the other nations throughout its history. Its strength tends to keep the other three Arcterius nations wary, however, and Roin constantly seeks to prevent a union between its neighbors. The current king of Roin, also known as the Dragon Templar, is Exerius.
  • Lore from Eberron's nation of Karrnath is particularly appropriate here, as is lore about dragon-aligned nations from Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms.

The Palanthasan Consortium

  • The kingdom of Palanthas is ruled by a monarchy, however no matter the power and influence of the current King or Queen, it is tempered by the will of a council of merchant lords. Beyond splitting the government, the national symbol of Palanthas is also split between the King and the Council - the King holds half of the great Phoenix Staff, with the Council controlling the other half. When in agreement, the pieces are joined to make an artifact to rival the Dragon Scepter of Roin. The struggles between these political forces leads to a constantly expanding and seething bureaucracy that somehow manages to operate the city, and nation, at the center of Ker'ether's international trade. The military power of Palanthas is mostly highly trained mercenary corps and the personal armies of various merchant lords, however in all national conflicts the army is lead by the extremely efficient (if not very numerous) Royal Guards of the monarchy. The current king of Palanthas, also known as the Phoenix Monarch, is Azumangus. Palanthas is smaller than Roin, but still much larger than Cachatan.
  • Lore from Eberron's nation of Breland, along with lore from the merchant empires and cities of Eberron and the Forgotten realms fit well here.

The Empire of Jade

  • The Empire of Jade controls the entirety of the central body of Janiaca, struggling to survive and grow despite constant threats. Its capital is Otosan Uchi. It must always guard against the danger of the Shadowlands to the North, while badgered by several powerful religions that have claimed the bulk of the Southern body of Janiaca (though they are not united, and so cannot mount an effective assault on the military of the Empire). To further complicate matters, the Empire is formed from the union of several Clans which each have their own ideas about how their nation should act and operate. Infighting is rampant, and only the powerful magic and martial prowess of the Empire's soldiers and mages keep it afloat amidst such turmoil.
  • The Empire draws heavily on the lore of the Oriental Adventures empire and its many clans.

The Savage Powers

The Serpentholds

  • Predating humans and many other mortal races, the serpentine races of the Yuan-ti and Naga had an established empire long before these younger nations. Though it has declined over the centuries, this empire still exists in the form of six large cities, shrouded from most mortals by difficult and inhospitable terrain. These cities are known as the serpentholds, and each is built around an elemental font of tremendous power - power the serpentine races have long mastered. A constant threat to the young nations and races, the power of the serpentholds often slithers unseen into vulnerable areas or important political positions.
  • Lore about the Yuan-ti and their ambitions/empire can fit here, as can any evil elemental lore and the seductive temptation of the Elder Evil known as Sertrous.

The Shadowlands of Molven

  • When infernal powers arrive in Ker'ether, they tend to do so through the territory in northern Janiaca known as Molven, or more provocatively as the Shadowlands. The accumulated evil, filth, and taint of countless fell powers has left an undeniable mark on this area - a mark that constantly seeks to spread South beyond Lake Serian and across the oceans to Arcterius. There are several cities and great fortresses within the Shadowland, but they fluctuate in size, ownership, and population radically - little is known about them outside experts in the area.
  • Lore from Heroes of Horror fits best into areas touched by Molven's influence, as does lore about the Eberron Mournland and the Oriental Adventures Shadowland.


Major Locations

The Continent of Arcterius

Considered the most "civilized" of the five continents, the capitals of the four major nations can be found here, as well as several of many other cities of note. While the exact definition and measure of civilized can be debated, there is no question that the presence of both Thera and Palanthas has ensured this continent is the most magically advanced in terms of arcane research and arcano-engineering. This continent also has the largest cities and most extensive network of established roads and trade routes. Several areas of Wastes can be found on this continent, as well as several Frostfell areas within Roin.
Lore about advanced cultures, cities, and technology (especially from Eberron) is appropriate here.
  • The Broken City: Whatever the ancient residents of this city once were, their race has now disappeared and left its final traces here. All four kingdoms seek to control this city, both for the powerful secrets it hides and for its centralized location on the continent. The ancient residents, known to most as "the broken," seem to still exist in some way or another, but appear to be bound to their ancient city and either unable or unwilling to leave or appear before the multitude of explorers to seek to plumb the broken city's depths. Innumerable dangers and monstrous creatures reside within the ruins, in addition to whatever threat the ephemeral broken themselves present.
    • Lore from the Eberron Mourneland can be found here.
  • The Octalian Forest: Located to the East of the Palanthan desert, this forest is an ancestral elven homeland. The trade routes from this forest into Palanthas are important and vulnerable to disruption by bandits and desert dangers. The Hinterwald Protectorate guards the Palanthan-Octalian trade routes, and employs mercenaries and citizens from both Palanthas and the Octalian elves. These trade routes are the site of the Wild West Water Shortage campaign.

The Continent of Baravesh

Though Baravesh has been explored more extensively than the Southern Continent, it still is a wild and strange place. The continent itself is one of the smallest on Ker'ether, located at the center of an imposing mountain range that extends far into the ocean and also onto the nearby Southern Continent. It is also shaped into an irregular crescent around the site of what has been theorized to have been a colossal explosion, far beyond anything possible by current mages - the race considered most likely to have been responsible is known as "the lost," and is though to have no surviving members on Ker'ether. Though goblinoid races can be found on every continent, the largest and most powerful tribes reside here - in contrast to many of their far-spread brethren, the orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, and giants of Baravesh seem influenced more by religion (especially some unusual druidic sects) than bloodlust. There hostility towards many other races, however, has kept relations tense between the goblinoids and their frequent visitors. Any large permanent settlements would be controlled by some form of goblinoids (even the few coastal towns that permit non-goblinoids), and only two large cities are known to exist within the jungle, one on each side of the continent.
Unusual druid sects, especially the Eberron Gatekeepers, can trace their origins to the goblinoids of Baravesh. Other unusual goblinoid lore, such as the Eberron hobgoblin empire and the Tome of Battle hobgoblin blademasters, fits here.

The Continent of Janiaca

The dominating features of Janiaca are the powerful Clans of the Jade Empire, the warring Temples and Monasteries to the South, and the Shadowlands of Molven beyond Lake Serian to the North. Arcterius is dominated by political conflicts and the demands of armies and merchants, while Marioch, Baravesh, and the Southern Continent are dominated by everpresent threats from the environment and the unknown - Janiaca is something of mix, with constant danger from the many small groups that control the lands (the wars between clans and churches) accompanied by the constant threat of the Shadowlands and their insidious influence. There are Frostfell areas along the Eastern portion of this continent.
Lore from Oriental Adventures or other Eastern-influenced sources fits well within Janiaca, as does powerful organized or fanatical religious institutions such as Eberron's nation of Thrane.
  • Lake Serian: The Southern border of the Shadowlands of Molven, the lake serves as both a source of horrors and hope for the uncorrupted residents of Janiaca - it seems to keep the taint of Molven at bay, but also is the avenue through which almost all corruption reaches the mortals and their wars. There are numerous Jade Empire strongholds along its length, as well as some built and defended by the churches of Good and War gods.
  • Harrenport: This city, the site of the Forsaken City campaign, can be found at the Southern tip of the continent.

The Continent of Marioch

One of the smaller continents, Marioch has extensive woodlands and little development, making it a wild and dangerous place for visitors. Though elves can be found on every continent, many of the largest families reside deep in the woods of Marioch. The intrinsic magic of elven culture puts them continually at odds with the archons who also inhabit the continent, especially as the archons seek to convert expanses of wildland into roads and towns to grow their numbers.
Elves are a powerful force on every continent in one form or another, but deep lore about their race from any source can fit on Marioch.
  • Citadel of the Archons: Built both in and around Marioch's central mountain, the citadel is a military stronghold that trains and arms the crysal archon order. It is built around the site of the crysal comet's landing, and the archons believe that weaponizing this strange ore and training in its use is a sacred duty. The archons believe that the arrival of the crysal comet is a herald of change and disaster, and see the ore's hunger for magical energy as an indication that its purpose is to devour the overuse of both arcane and divine magic. Philosophies vary between archons, but most generally believe that the crysal in the mountain will continue to grow and reform when harvested until such time as all unnecessary magical practices are ended - whether that means merely culling the population of mages and priests, or the destruction of all magic up to and including the gods themselves, is a matter for each archon to decide.

The Southern Continent (Zeroctul)

The final frontier, representatives from the northern continent come to seek riches and secrets from the landmass they know as the Southern Continent - however, the continent is not empty or barren, and its jungles hide many races and cultures who know their home as the continent of Zeroctul. An easy way to tell someone's origin is what name they use to refer to this massive swath of jungle and mystery. Unless you believe you originate from or have extensive knowledge of Zeroctul, your character probably has very little knowledge of the Southern Continent.
Lore about distant, exotic, and unexplored lands, found in Forgotten Realms, Oriental Adventures, and repeatedly within Eberron, can be found here.
  • Citadel of the Fires: Located some distance South from the main exploratory settlement of the Southern Continent, which is still heavily populated, the Citadel is an extensive and connected defensive complex built around the great temple housing the fires comet and the deities who reside within it. Anyone wishing to become a Votary must come here and be initiated into the fire. The Fires themselves are four deities whose physical forms reside within crystals in the comet. Votaries of green and white fire are most common, representing war and healing respectively. The occasional black fire votary is usually either feared or respected for their soul-based power and control of the undead - a blue fire votary is almost unheard of, and their strange mysticism puts everyone (even other votaries) on edge. From the moment their deities awoke, the votaries have been threatened by the crysal archons, who see their religion as a new and isolated infection that should be stamped out before it becomes pervasive (like all the other abuses of arcane and divine magic).
    • The theocratic elements of the Citadel and its surrounding community can include lore from Eberron's nation of Thrane.
  • Seerhein Delta: Located within the Gloamwood, and the site of the Gloamwood Job campaign, this town can be found to the West of the original settlement, but well South of the northern coast and still within the heavy forest that extends for hundreds of miles into the continent before true jungle is encountered.

The Isles of I'Octumbo


  1. Cachatan is a city founded by a wealthy merchant fleeing for his life from bandits. He rode up a narrow path on a mountain, and discovered a lush valley in the basin. From these simple roots, a magnificent city has grown. Amazingly, its monarchy is mostly free from corruption, and its immigration policy is strict, but fair. It’s military, though small, is amazing in that all of the city’s guards, militia, and army are trained the same: at the great academy on the opposite side of the valley from the city itself. They either learn magic and martial combat, or specialize in one of the two. Also, near said academy there is the only university for the Stalker classes, with great mages of all three disciplines gathering to teach new students the ways of the Stalkers. Other than the city, Cachatan controls a small amount of Arcterius including several large farming towns.

The isles seem to be influenced heavily by the priests of Janiaca and the druids of Baravesh, and are known to be a dangerous place beyond the walls of the temples and druidic enclaves on the coasts. There are anathematic forces within the Isles, forces that are not very understand but contained...for now.
Lore from the Eberron Mourneland and the same divine/druidic resources used in Janiaca and Baravesh can be found here.
  • The Ten Pillars: Whatever they stand against, the ten pillars can be found spread across the Isles and are fiercely guarded by the organizations seeking to protect Ker'ether from great evil. They can be found in wild places and within ruined cities, and always seem to radiate strange and unnatural power.