The Post-Cataclysm World

Baltia has much in common with other settings, but there are a number of features that are worthy of highlighting, as the rules of this world can be quite different from those of other settings in some cases.

This chapter provides a high-level overview of the most impactful differences between Baltia and other settings, to allow players to better jump into the world and play.

The world of Baltia has been shaped by an event known as the Cataclysm, in which a being known as the Forgotten Chorus attempted to destroy the world. A group known as the Heroes of the Cataclysm were able to stop the Chorus, trapping it forever, though its rampage had left the world forever changed.

This event marks the most important event in Baltian history. It was during this time when the gods that used to rule the world were slain, and the ecology of the world was altered as continents shifted and collided.

This would not be the last time an entity from outside the world attempted to destroy it, and many in Baltia fear that there may be another such event in their lifetime.

The world of Baltia rests on an Axis that leaves it almost tidally locked, with the sun resting over the aptly-named Solarian continent. This leaves the southern continent of Umbria almost totally dark, and the island nations of the Belt in a semi-perpetual twilight. This has, naturally, shaped the cultures and mindsets of the occupants of each region.

Though it took significant time to get used to the heat of the constant sunlight, Solaria now reaps the rewards of the abundant light in the form of a land full of flora and fauna. While the citizens have known times of famine, such deficits are more rare.

Meanwhile, resources in Umbria are far more scarce. The only plants are those that need no sunlight, which are far fewer in number, and animal populations are similarly small. As a result, most life on this continent has struggled to survive, including settlements in the early days of colonization.

Baltia has benefited from rapid technological progress over the last several centuries, and many modern luxuries exist for the occupants lucky enough to afford them. Airships and firearms exist, powered by magical devices known as Dryanni Chambers, and are used to great effect by the nations of the world.

These are generally more common the farther south one goes, with Umbria embracing new technologies in order to remain competitive with other nations despite smaller populations.

A mysterious and powerful substance known as Potensium powers many of the world's inventions, with the largest conflict the world has ever seen recently being waged over mining rights to it. While the origins of this substance are not clearly known, the world has nonetheless come to rely on it.

Potensium is a silvery substance that resembles Mercury at a glance, though it is non-toxic and has a consistency not unlike that of tree sap. It naturally builds up along the stone ceilings of the Underdark, and it's primarily mined from the uppermost levels of these underground tunnels, where the greatest threats the Underdark has to offer are less frequently found.

These uppermost regions of the Underdark are known as the Mercury Road, forming an intricate web of shimmering tunnels that spans the globe, with each nation laying claim to the territories of the road that reside below their borders.

While of little use in its normal form, Potensium can be refined into a number of powerful substances. The most common of these is used as fuel for both vehicles and spells, though Potensium can also be made into a number of exotic materials:

Mithril, also known as Warglass, is a super-light material created by infusing super-heated Potenisum into steel. The end result is a substance as transparent as glass, as strong as steel, and lighter than either.

Adamantine is forged similarly, though the Potensium used in the forging is instead cooled well below freezing temperatures. The result is an extremely dense material that is nearly impossible to damage. While it resembles steel, it is darker in color, and features a wavy pattern.

Cold Iron is forged by manipulating the magical properties of Potensium to remove its latent energy, forming a substance that soaks up energy before dissipating it harmlessly. This gives the material the ability to affect spellcasting, and a weapon of sufficiently high quality is able to dispel magic or even counter spells. Cold Iron resembles steel, but with a distinct blue tint, and is particularly effective against creatures with magical natures.

The equator of the world, a region of island nations known as the Belt, rotates twice as quickly as the rest of the world. How this occurs is still the subject of debate among world scholars, but its effects are undeniable. Enormous whirlpools liter the ocean between the Belt and the world's other regions, making sea travel treacherous. So too is the air affected, making a wall of wind that makes airship travel difficult for the inexperienced.

In the time since Umbria and the Belt have been discovered, plenty of individuals have found ways to deal with the turbulent seas and winds, and it poses little barrier to modern travel so long as an experienced captain and crew are present. However, novices can quite easily underestimate the challenge and find their vessel destroyed.

The more capable captains have also learned to use the rotation to shorten trips significantly. Those with the experience can time their journeys between regions to minimize the distance to their destinations.

Two main pantheons exist within the world, with most individuals in the world worshipping some combination of both. In most cases, an individual worships a single New God as their primary deity, worshiping the Old Gods as a whole (with potentially some exclusions) to a secondary degree.

Some of the Heroes of the Cataclysm ascended to Godhood, becoming the pantheon known as the Old Gods. These deities grant success in battle or trade, ensure souls reach the afterlife, or control the seas. Most people worship the pantheon as a whole, viewing such as necessary for the continued operation of the world, though sometimes focus on specific deities in times of need or if they resonate with one in particular.

The New Gods, however, are more philosophical and have gained significant traction in recent centuries. They represent more vague ideas, and more directly lean into the battles of Good vs Evil and Law vs Chaos.

The Gods of Baltia may each select an individual within the world of mortals to act as their champion, granting them significant power in exchange for their obedience. Such individuals are referred to as Favored Souls, and gain far more access to the powers of their god than any other cleric.

This can be a double-edged sword however, as an individual remains a Favored Soul until the time of their death, and a god may only have a single Favored Soul at a time. A god cannot simply revoke the title from a mortal, and should a Favored Soul no longer wish to serve the god that chose them, the relationship can become quite contentious.

While extremely rare, there have been times where a Favored Soul has turned against their god, using the power granted to them against the interests of their former patron. Gods with disloyal favored souls will typically do anything they can to kill the offending mortal.

Some spells and magical abilities operate differently in Baltia compared to other campaign settings, making them slightly less potent. The most notable changes are to spells that bring the dead back to life, and those which allow for long-distance teleportation.

The Spells section of this book contains more details on the spells available and unavailable to players, as well as versions of existing spells specific to the world of Baltia.


In Baltia, teleportation is far more difficult. This is primarily because teleportation isn't quite instantaneous, and the greater the distance one teleports, the longer it takes: teleporting from one end of the world to the other can take a period of several minutes. This presents a problem when accounting for the rotation of the world, as well as its orbit around the Sun. This can be further exacerbated by fluctuations in ambient magic at either the source or destination, or any warding magic present.

Teleportation magic functionally “slingshots” a person or group to a point in space. Spells like Misty Step and Dimension Door are able to operate safely, as these spells are short range enough to be functionally instantaneous and are further anchored within the line of sight of the teleporting creature.

However, longer distances are more difficult, as one then has to both calculate the teleportation perfectly as well as cast the spell at the exact correct time for those calculations. The slightest error may result in the caster finding the planet has moved on without them, or they may find that their spell has caused them to fatally attempt to occupy the same location as an object near their destination.

The risk of error is so high, in fact, that unilateral teleportation has yet to be accomplished. Instead, teleportation is successful only with willing spellcasters at both the origin and destination.

To teleport safely, an individual casts the Teleportation Circle spell and identifies a permanent teleportation circle elsewhere in the world to act as the destination. If another spellcaster capable of the spell is present at the destination, telepathic communication is established, and the two coordinate to provide a safe trip. As part of this, the spellcaster at the destination calls the teleporting creatures to his or her location directly, ensuring that even a miscalculated teleportation is adjusted.

Most cities contain teleportation hubs, allowing anyone of wealth to quickly travel there. Likewise, many larger organizations have teleportation circles reserved for their personal use. This makes it quite easy to get to major population centers through teleportation, though beyond that, one may have to travel by foot or by vehicle.


Resurrection is more within the realm of possibility, but only for a chosen few. While the Revivify spell allows a newly deceased individual to be returned to life, this is typically the most one can do for the recently departed. Once a minute has passed, and this spell becomes ineffective, that individual likely cannot be saved.

This is because the flesh and soul of a creature are interwoven together while the creature lives, like the strands of fabric of a piece of clothing, but begin to rapidly untangle and separate upon death. Once they have become sufficiently separated, the magic required to link them back together is no longer possible for most.

Once the soul of a person has become unwoven from their body, very few people can return them to life. Typically, these are the Favored Souls of specific deities, such as the Merchant or the Gambler.

It is well understood that most beings will be reincarnated sometime after their death. While the journey of a mortal soul is far from easy or straightforward, with some souls never completing this journey, most people expect to have several lifetimes within the world of mortals.

Each life a person lives is believed to strengthen their soul significantly, with some going so far as to believe that the world of mortals exists simply to be a crucible in the forging of souls. Those that are reincarnated multiple times may find themselves chosen to enter the service of a god. The angels that serve the gods are composed of such individuals, chosen for their beliefs and for the strength of their souls.

Within Baltia, there are fewer major planes of existence than those present in other D&D settings. Other than the mortal world, where most adventures will take place, there are only the following additional planes: the Afterworld, the Void, and the Outside (analogous to the Far Realm). The Afterworld is the primary “other” plane of the setting, where all deities reside and where the souls of the dead arrive.

The Void and the Outside are, contrarily, more abstract and outright hostile to life. The world is influenced tangibly by them, but they are mysterious places where conventional rules and logic do not necessarily apply.

However, there are countless demiplanes within both the mortal world and the afterworld. These may exhibit any number of strange or unique properties depending upon the power of the group or individual responsible for creating them. Some may simply be creations of convenience, such as a magical inn that makes the most of its limited real estate. Others may be the result of arcane accidents or otherworldly intrusions.

The Void, despite its hostile and alien nature, is not unoccupied. It's known that at least twelve beings reside here, and they're of sufficient power to influence the world of mortals. Their intervention is limited, however, to the empowerment of Magnates.

Much as the gods have Favored Souls, the Void Lords have Magnates. While the rules that govern them are far less understood, they are similar in that a single individual is granted unique power by their patron for the remainder of their life. However, that is where the similarities end.

The Magnates claim that they receive no instructions or guidance from their respective Void Lords, gaining their power with no tangible strings attached. Their abilities are often far less versatile than other spellcasters, with most Magnates having abilities that can only be used in very specific ways.

The Magnates can allow others to use their abilities, typically granting them access in exchange for service. Those who serve a Magnate in exchange for access to the Magnate's abilities are known as Supplicants, and its a transaction that can be ended at any time the Magnate sees fit.

Written history is only truly reliable from the time of the Cataclysm and beyond, as many written records were destroyed as a result of that horrific event. Some scraps of lore have surfaced thanks to the work of brave archeologists and historians such as myself, but even still we find our knowledge of the old world lacking.

What is known of the world before the Cataclysm was that it was a world of cycles. Empires rose and fell, and wars were constantly waged that were equal parts bloody and pointless. It was during the last of these cyclical wars that the Forgotten Chorus emerged, and attempted to lay waste to all things.

A group now known as the Heroes of the Cataclysm rose to meet its challenge. Originally unified in their opposition to an aggressive empire, the Heroes managed to face the threat of the Chorus head-on. In a protracted battle against the creature and its forces, the heroes managed to lock the invader in a prison forged of its own power, where it remains to this day.

With the gods of the time slain by the Chorus, some of the Heroes of the Cataclysm rose to replace them, forming the pantheon known as the Old Gods. Others chose to remain behind to guide the mortals that remained as the world around them was radically changed. The most significant of those who remained was Fredrick Hermes, a former bard who would become the first Emperor of Solaria.

1AC to 200AC

Under Fredrick's benevolent and enlightened rule, the world began to recover from the Cataclysm. Society and the arts flourished as the borders of the Empire slowly expanded with explorers making the first voyages deeper into the Solarian continent. Under Fredrick, the classification of Historical Songs was developed, with each era of 200 years granted a unique name.

Most actions taken by Fredrick and his successors were simply to ensure stability for the people in a world that had radically changed. Meanwhile, the Old Gods began to establish and discuss the rules by which they would conduct themselves, such as limiting their intervention in the mortal world.

201AC to 400AC

As the Empire of Solaria became more stable and its people enjoyed comfortable lives, the rulers of the nation began to push its borders at a breakneck pace. With no other settlements on the continent than those already under the crown, the challenge was one of unprecedented logistics rather than diplomacy or warfare.

To assist in the managing of the ballooning empire, land was granted to the nobility to manage. The noble families of Solaria, all individuals related by blood to the Heroes of the Cataclysm, found their power expand dramatically during this time. It was here that many took on the nobiliary particle “ver” to distinguish themselves from commoners who may have taken on the surnames of the Heroes out of respect or admiration.

401AC to 600AC

As the continent of Solaria was fully mapped and settled, many of those who had previously explored its unknown regions found themselves drawn to the sea to its south. By this point, it was common knowledge that a sea of whirlpools lurked far from the coast, but many explorers attempted to navigate the waters to claim fame and fortune. The first of these to be successful was an expedition led by Valvet Honione, which made landfall and finally allowed individuals to teleport into the Belt.

Shortly thereafter, with a significant amount of land now open for claiming, a number of political entities that chafed under Solarian rule saw their opportunity for flight. In particular, the nations of Thraven and Entrine were formed early on by those seeking greater independence from the Imperial Crown. With few options for transporting and supplying large numbers of soldiers for protracted campaigns, the Empire of Solaria had little choice but to allow these nations to be born.

6011AC to 800AC

As nations were formed by settlers in the Belt, emboldened by the successes of other independent factions, a discovery was made. Ancient texts detailing a deity known as Idakor were found, and they found widespread appeal within Solaria. A being of ultimate good and kindness, Idakor resonated with a population that had hereto known only the petty natures of the formerly mortal Old Gods. As if summoned by the will of the people, Idakor then appeared.

It was then that the First Prophet began to spread Idakor's word, and it was not long until the Emperor of Solaria himself converted. It was then that the Empire of Solaria added “Holy” to its name to represent its commitment to the God of Good. However, Idakor was not the only God to appear.

A god of pure evil emerged shortly after, and much like the Chorus before it, this God threatened all life. A war was waged in the domains of the gods between the two deities, with each creating three lesser gods to lead their forces. The situation seemed bleak for the forces of good until the Old Gods began to intervene: the Old God known as the Capitalist began to aid the Nameless One, prompting the remaining Old Gods to side with Idakor.

The Nameless One was defeated as the Old Gods convinced its subordinates to turn on him, and the dark being was split into thirds. Each portion of the malevolent god was granted to his creations, his power sealed away and guarded by his traitorous minions.

8011AC to 1000AC

As little land remained unclaimed in the Belt by this time, many nations focused their exploration inward. Searching their lands with a fine-toothed comb for any missed opportunity or un-plundered ruin, these efforts would lead to a discovery that would usher in the modern world: the Dryanni Chamber. Originally invented by a Hero of the Cataclysm named Arthur Dryanni, the magical device saw some use during the events of the Cataclysm itself.

While the devices were of limited use at the time, and none were known to survive the turmoil, the schematics for the devices were rediscovered and sold. As knowledge of how to create the Dryanni Chamber spread, the idea to use the device with a processed form of Potensium was born, and the capabilities of the device with this fuel were immense.

Many new inventions were created, most of them of admittedly little consequence. However, during this time, both airships and guns were born, revolutionizing travel and war for the entire world. The former invention allowed further exploration to the south as well, as explorers had found the combination of ice and whirlpools to the south impossible to overcome. While the air currents above the ice were treacherous as well, they were more able to be safely crossed.

1001AC to 1200AC

Solaria found itself most able to exploit the rise of the airship with its vast resources, and it was determined not to repeat the mistake it made with the Belt. It quickly claimed the land south of the Belt, and its military might left few of the nations of the Belt interested in opposing this claim. The Holy Solarian Empire quickly sent colonists to the newly-discovered continent, now known as Umbria, who found the environment quite harsh and unforgiving.

With fewer and fewer settlers interested in traveling to this new and hostile land, the decision was made to convert Umbria into a penal colony. This territory would be formed into the Dark Kingdom, which would gradually grow in population over the next century until eventually declaring itself independent from Solaria. After an unsuccessful attempt to reign in their rebellious colony, Solaria would find the benefits of maintaining control over Umbria not to be worth the cost.

With Solarian power over the continent no longer a factor, settlers from other nations were more able to emigrate to Umbria, and new nations began to be founded once again.

1201AC to 1400AC

Finally, those who made their livings traveling the world found themselves at the end, the Umbrian continent forming the south pole of the world. They set their sights once again on exploring lands already mapped to uncover old secrets, while others sought instead to create their own advances. It is during this time that magic began to become far more commonplace, as spellcasters across the world sought to make their marks.

Simple enchantments exploded in simplicity and popularity: devices that could modify the temperatures of rooms, carts powered by arcane energy, and devices that contained artificial souls began to spread. All of these devices were powered with Potensium, and national efforts to control the substance increased dramatically.

1401AC to Present Day

This desire to control the supply of Potensium would lead to tensions in the Mercury Road, which would eventually result in conflict. In an event known as the The Mercury Road War, a coalition of the Umbrian nations fought the nations of the Belt in the underground tunnels of the Mercury Road in an attempt to expand their mining territories.

Though they were initially successful in their underground march, the Empire of Solaria would join the war against the Umbrian nations, and the dark continent would eventually be defeated. However, the death toll in the war left massive psychological scars on both the people and governments of the world.

This tension has exploded once again in recent years, as another Umbrian coalition has declared war on the Kingdom of Maelstrom, and the nations of the Belt have unified again against what they perceive as another round of Umbrian aggression. However, both the Kingdom of Gebalam in Umbria and the Holy Empire of Solaria face civil wars, which could decide the outcome of the larger war.

Days of the Week

Day Name
1 Odmera
2 Dvamera
3 Trimera
4 Chetmera
5 Pyatmera
6 Shaymera

Months of the Year

Shorthand Name Duration
1 Enamin 30 Days
2 Dyomin 30 Days
3 Trimin 30 Days
H Height of Life 1 Day
4 Tessmin 30 Days
5 Pentmin 30 Days
6 Eximin 30 Days
B Bleak Watching 1 Day
7 Eptamin 30 Days
8 Oktomin 30 Days
9 Neamin 30 Days
S Day of the Soul 1 Day
10 Dekamin 30 Days
11 Entemin 30 Days
12 Dodkmin 30 Days
R The Reawakening 2 Days

Most cultures of Baltia can be traced back to the Solarian Empire in some way, and have some similarities resulting from this common heritage. Differences remain however, either as purposeful attempts to strike a new and distinct path or from some other influence.

As all nations of the world ultimately stem from Solaria, the Solarian Imperial Calendar is used throughout the world. While some nations have attempted to introduce new calendars, the economic and logistical impacts of the change have proven to not be worth the advantages. This calendar tracks the years since the foundation of the Empire of Solaria and the end of the Cataclysm.

An Imperial Year is 365 days long, broken up into 12 months of 5 weeks each. All months contain exactly 30 days, with each week being composed of six days. The five remaining days are Great Holidays, which occur every three months and are not considered to be “outside” of any month. The tables to the right provide the months of the year, the Great Holidays, and the day of the week.


The Great Holidays are celebrated across the world, though most countries have additional holidays that fall on days within the normal calendar.

Height of Life is a celebration of plenitude, as this is typically when yearly harvests are reaped and hunts are most fruitful. Feats are common both in the cities and the countryside, and overindulgence is typically more acceptable.

Bleak Watching is a holiday to celebrate those who have passed to the afterlife within the past year, but who live on in the memories of those who are left behind. Shrines to the recently deceased are established both in homes and in the street, and participants hold small gatherings to remember those they've lost.

Day of the Soul is a day set aside to prepare for personal growth. On this day, individuals set goals for themselves for the year ahead, and review the goals of previous years to see their growth.

The Reawakening celebrates the return of Idakor to the world, typically through song and the exchanging of gifts. Within the nations that don't worship Idakor, celebrations are still plentiful, but the significance is instead on one's family rather than the gods. The second day of The Reawakening is typically seen as the last day of the year.

There are five major currencies used throughout the world, with their typically being confined to certain countries that accept them. The most prominent currency is the Solar, which is accepted in most nations due to the intrinsic value of each coin.

Solars (*P)

The currency of Solaria utilizes coins minted of precious metal of different rarities, ranging from Copper to Platinum. These circular coins come in different diameters, but all feature the same general design. On one side is a profile of the Emperor or Empress of Solaria at the time the coin is minted, with the other featuring the family crest of the Noble Family that manages the mint that created it.

Denominations of the currency are typically referred to by the metal used to produce it, such as “One Platinum” or “Ten Silver” rather than by referring to the currency itself.

Federal Dollar (Ð)

Created by the nation of Metropolis, the Dollar is a currency created with the intention to one day be used by all nations of the Belt. The larger denominations of this currency are Dollars, a currency made of paper that has been enchanted to increase its durability, while the smaller denominations are known as Scales and are minted from nonprecious metals. The nations that mint each coin or bill must meet certain standards of design, but they are able to adapt certain features to reflect their local culture.

Due to the fact that the economies of the belt nations differ, and certain bills may be more useful than others for the common people in each nation, the Federal Dollar is known for the highest variety of currency denominations.

Confederate Ducat (D or d)

Ducats are the currency minted by the nation of Entrine, which have found the most use among nations that frequently trade. These thin and lightweight coins have a hole in the center that allows string or thin chain to be fed through them, making safekeeping of the coinage easier. This also allows for quicker transactions, as one can simply measure the length the coins on their chain rather than counting each individual item.

The coins are mostly simple in appearance, with the denomination on one side and “Republic of Entrine” on the other, though small emblems of skulls and bones adorn them. The more valuable the coin, the greater its diameter and the darker its color.

Thravenite Dagger (†)

The most terrifying of the currencies, Dagger is minted in Thraven using the bones of fiends who have been permanently slain within its borders. The coins of this currency are all simple, with the value of the coin written in Abyssal on one side and Infernal on the other, and their shapes tend to be extremely irregular. However, each has been infused with a modicum of dark magic, which makes them notoriously difficulty to damage or counterfeit.

Umbrian Moon (•)

Originally minted under the Dark Kingdom, the Umbrian Moon is still the main currency of the continent to this day. Warglass resides in the middle of an obsidian coin, with a band of precious metal covering the outer edge of the black rock. The metal used in this band, as well as the coloration of the translucent center, vary by denomination.

The Warglass in the center is dyed blue for the lowest denomination and red for the highest, with the denominations in between being partially died black to resemble the phases of the moon. Similarly, the band of precious metal ranges from Copper to Platinum with the value of the coin.

Currency Values and Denominations

Value Solar Dollar Ducat Dagger Moon
100.00 One Hundred Dollars Hundred Ducat
50.00 Fifty Dollars
10.00 Platinum Ten Dollars Ten Ducat
5.00 Five Dollars Five Hundred Dagger Five Hundred Moon (Red Moon)
1.00 Gold Dollar Ducat Hundred Dagger Hundred Moon (Full Moon)
0.50 Electrum Fifty Scale Fifty Dagger Fifty Moon (Half Moon)
0.10 Silver Ten Scale Tenth Ducat Ten Daggers Ten Moon (New Moon)
0.05 Five Scale Five Dagger Five Moon (Blue Moon)
0.01 Copper Scale Hundredth Ducat Dagger
Abb. *P Ð D or d

While technology has expanded significantly beyond what our ancestors may have once imagined, the world is far from homogeneous. Some nations have taken more readily to the innovations of the present day than others.

Solaria's Feudalism

The Holy Empire of Solaria has been the slowest to change, primarily attributed due to the logistics of controlling such a massive amount of territory. While the initial expansion of the nation was greatly helped by empowering the nobility, these esteemed families may now be holding it back.

With limited ability to directly govern the nation, the Imperial Crown has always struggled to standardize. It has typically been left to the nobility to address the needs of their population, and while these rulers have been happy to personally enjoy the benefits of the modern world, most see little reason to bring it to their populace.

As a result, only the cities have seen much direct change, as the flow of traders through them has made it easy for the more wealthy occupants to import luxuries. However, for the citizens in the countryside far removed from civilization, their village's way of life may be almost entirely unchanged from what it was centuries ago.

Variance in the Belt

The Belt, meanwhile, has adopted the technology to varying degrees between nations. All have seen the benefits new technologies can bring, and their smaller and more agile governments have allowed them to embrace these innovations easily. However, with smaller pools of natural resources to pull from, these nations must prioritize certain benefits over others, as they lack the ability to invest in all technologies at once.

Umbrian Revolution

The nations in Umbria, however, have spearheaded the most recent technological developments. The harsh environment of the Southern continent has required the nations and their people to adopt new means of doing things constantly to survive. Coupled with the large swaths of resources the continent holds, and the nations of Umbria have become the image of progress.

However, this has been a double-edged sword, and ultimately led to the Mercury Road War. These nations began to grow concerned when their supplies of Potensium began to be outpaced by its consumption, and this drove the nations to take aggressive action to increase their supply. With their technological advantage, they were overconfident in their ability to defeat the nations of the Belt, and many lives were lost as a result.

  • the_post-cataclysm_world.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/01/15 19:53
  • by shto