Gala: Sun & Flames
The World of Gala (quick setting)
- Gala is a small planet, comprised of a single continent that stretches across the equator. The only other landmass that could be considered another continent is the frozen lands of the north pole, called Arcite; all other landmasses are islands, large and small. The climate is cool across the planet, with typically long winters, and only slightly warmer closer to the equator (but much, much colder closer to the poles).
- There are six races of people on Gala: humans, elves, sidhe, brutes, nauch, and elderkin. The population of any race is sparse and often scattered due to the lack of a lot of government outside of independent city-states.
- Humans tend to occupy the southern shore, and a few more settlements can be found north and on an island called Calamity Keep. Many are farmers, fishermen, and general workers of the earth. Felfyr is their largest city, a southern port on the Shell Peninsula, and has many more jobs available than anywhere else. It’s thought to have everything there is to have on Gala.
- Elves have been forced to make the mountains of the northern shore their home. The elven cities are the only real cohesive government that can be found, and even then it’s an overstatement. They have many cities and towns throughout the mountains, called Iressa’s Graves, and their capital is the obsidian stronghold of Iressil. Elves are wizards, mages, and magic-users in general; necromancy is favored, for it’s thought that giving life to the unliving, even temporarily, is the goddess’ work. Those who aren’t necromancers or magic-users can’t hope to be nobility in elven society, but the other classes are well-respected in their own ways. Many elves have an affinity for stoneworking and craftsmanship. They typically have dark hair, bronzed skin, and bright eyes.
- Sidhe are a small, fairy-like race called the true fey. They excel in spontaneous magic and entertainment, making many of them bards. Their main home is Tempo, near the Fey Cairns where their god-queen lives amongst its haunted groves; however, they wander incessantly. They tend to have wild hair and eye colors, and some even have purple, blue, or green skin. This is a matter of fashion and taste.
- Brutes are large and beastial, covered with thick black hair and having snout-like faces and small red eyes. They’re intelligent, however, and despite their intimidating size many are jovial and don’t mind the company of other races as long as they aren’t insulted. Obviously, brutes favor becoming barbarians. They live almost exclusively in the Savage Moors, a highland on the northern shore.
- Nauch are small, foul-tempered and gnome-like creatures who delight in nothing more than drinking and trickery. They have a bad reputation with the brutes for such dishonors. Many nauch become rogues. Nauch have no trouble whatsoever fitting in with human society, probably because of their shared love of alcohol.
- The elderkin are an unplayable race. They are the favored race of Azaar, the creator of all gods, and he has given them a lizard-like appearance. The elderkin are observers, passing down their knowledge through generations, and give neutral treatment to everybody. They will inform characters if knowledge is sought, but sometimes it’s best to live in ignorance.
- Magic works a little differently on Gala than in other campaign settings, but it doesn’t have much of an impact on play. All characters must follow a god if they wish to cast magic (except for sorcerers, bards, and other spontaneous casters). The reason for this is that the planet is shrouded in a font of magical power called the Veil, which is only visible in the sky as a faint glimmering in the clouds. The Veil is the only source of magic for Gala. Normally, only gods can access its power, and they then channel it through their followers as needed — gods aren’t picky about who gets the power, and most times you can cast normally just as long as you pay lip service. Spontaneous casters are born with the ability to access and channel the Veil through themselves, so they don’t necessarily need a god to be able to cast spells. They’re rare enough that it doesn’t upset the Veil too much. The only time this should cause problems is for story reasons (or if you want to prevent spellcasting during something) — when the gods battle within the Veil, which is rare but happens on extreme occasions, only spontaneous casters will be able to cast magic because the gods will be using all of the Veil for themselves and will not be paying attention to their followers. Most of the gods simply use their followers to fight for them, however, so this hasn’t happened for a very long time.
- Magic is divided into three classifications on Gala: divine, arcane, and wild. Divine magic is used by those classes who, according to standard Pathfinder rules, typically pray to a god in order to receive their spells — in core only, this means clerics. Arcane magic is used by those classes who, according to standard Pathfinder rules, typically memorize their spells — in core only, this means wizards. Wild magic is any other kind of magic that doesn’t fall under those two categories from standard Pathfinder rules — spontaneous casters, of course, and druids and rangers because the ruleset dictates that they receive their spells from nature. Paladins are an odd case, and what you call their magic depends on who you talk to on Gala. Of course, in Gala all of these spells are channeled through the Veil via a god, but one still has to either pray or study for their spells if they happen to be a divine or arcane caster.
- Paladins may be of any alignment and are no longer typically “fighters for good” or some such thing. Instead, they are the champions of their religion — whatever that religion may be. Similarly, classes with an alignment restriction no longer have one. The reason for this is…
- I don’t use alignment rules in Gala. At all. You can say that your character often acts CG or LE, but on Gala your character should be driven by their goals or desires. This doesn’t mean that you run around acting stupidly CN all the time; it means you figure out what their personality is and how they want to achieve their goals, even if it’s just to get through a mercenary mission to get paid, and you go by that. Everybody is so caught up with alignment that it tends to force them into a corner, when in truth none of us run our lives by saying at every decision, “I’m Neutral Good, so I need to proceed this way.” You say, “I need to proceed; I want to do it peacefully.” If you want to find out how somebody on Gala is going to act, find out what their future goals are and find out how they acted in the past.
A quick run-down of the gods:
- Azaar is the creator of all life, and father of Leryean and Iressa.
- Leryean is the goddess of the sun, and older sister to Iressa.
- Iressa is the goddess of the moon, and younger sister to Leryean.
The minor gods:
- Aithne the Flame
- Bergin the Mother
- Bradaich the Rogue
- Cacht the Slave Mistress
- Carrick the Rock
- Cavan the Nauch Prince
- Diol the Beggar
- Donnach the Brute
- Euan the Druid
- The Fey Queen
- Lann the Warrior
- Lavery the Craftsman
- Mealla the Tempest
- Moriath the Star Maiden
- Muiren the Fisherman
- Oilithir the Pilgrim
- Riordan the Poet
- Scully the Learned
- Sheelin the Tide
- Tarcuiran the Brewmaster