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The World of Brivilos
The Great Bay

Brivilos is a world of fluidity, mutability… unrest. Magic flows strongly in the world. It permeates everything – every living being, every rock, every tree, every river. The world is predictable in its unpredictability. The inhabitants know these changes and tend to have either be eager for – or have a stoic outlook toward – change. An example: apples are a common fruit in Brivilos. But apples are sweet and juicy in the east, burn the tongue with spice in the south, and are so hard in the north that they are inedible unless stewed for half a day (northern apples are commonly used as makeshift sling ammunition).

The people of Brivilos remember little of their history, but there are murky tales told: Some thousands of years ago all the races of the world were oppressed by some untold, shadowy enemy. Somehow they banded together across the globe to overthrow their masters, driving them from the face of Brivilos and founding a thriving society. No one truly knows this ancient enemy, but because of the changeable magic running through Brivilos this ancient enemy has taken on many forms in as many stories. Eventually, they too have become nothing but shifting wielders of powerful magic.

Whatever the truth, ancient ruins remain in many places. Beautiful cities now eroded with time dot the landscape. The current races (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings, and one other…) have appropriated many of these as their own and built upon them, adding their crude (by comparison) works over the top of the timeworn stone. Barrows and crypts exist also, concealed beneath hills or hidden in trapped dungeons. Curiously, the bones found in these coffins are almost invariably either Dwarven or those of another large, burly, tusked race. Armor and weapons match these sizes, but are easily modified at most blacksmith; even the worked metal of Brivilos is changeable by a skilled craftsman.

Shiftlings are living manifestations of Brivilos’ changeable nature. Universally distrusted, and thus careful to hide their true nature even from good friends, these beings nonetheless survive well on the edges of society. Or perhaps they thrive in the inner workings of society. Or perhaps they make up most of the population. No one knows, but everyone fears. Shiftlings that are discovered are reviled, cast out, shunned, and often attacked. Rumors persist of an order of Shiftling Paladins that refuse to hide their true faces and are dedicated to reversing the reputation of their race as devious schemers, but these are commonly regarded as nothing but campfire tales.

Current Events
The three major Cities (Akintoft, Bryngar, and Aelholdt) have always waged war with goods, taxes, and tariffs. Trade is the lifeblood of Brivilos but things have… changed.

The trade routes are threatened on the seas by the emergence of a powerful and well organized group of pirates. They ask no ransoms and by all accounts take no prisoners. The few ships that have escaped report overwhelming strength of numbers and ferocious boarding parties.

In the past, the reclusive barbarian tribes have provided a guide and guarantee of safe passage through their respective territories – for sufficient payment. Now they claim that their loyalties are engaged elsewhere, and refuse all further contact and explanation. Caravans are left to their own devices, open to attack from beasts, raiders, and other dangers. The roads are wild again, for the first time in decades.

Access to the great southern continent has always been blocked by an unwavering wall of massive storms. But sailors hugging the southern coast to avoid pirates have reported breaks in the maelstrom, and gigantic forms moving in the dark waters to the south – far too large to be ships.

And in the north, the villages surrounding the Ellirath mountains report earthquakes that destroy only single houses, and sibilant whispers on the wind…

Bite-sized Information

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Brivilos Unsettled Danthar