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Setting Notes

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 1 month ago

Setting Notes

The lands that comprise the world of Final Fantasy Four consist of vast, unexplored wilderness broken apart by smaller regions of civilization. This section will include several important features of the world that should be kept in mind by any potential GM wishing to set a campaign in this rich, unique world.

 

Magic

 

For much of the Earth's history, magic was virtually unknown to its inhabitants. Although the forerunners of both Mysidia and Eblana developed basic arcane abilities relatively early in their respective histories, the isolation of both these peoples limited magical knowledge to legend and myth. All that changed with the arrival of the Lunarians. Those who came into contact with this advanced race marveled at their magical prowess and knowledge. Like so much else, the Lunarians were only too willing to share their knowledge of all things arcane, and thus the evolution of magic took an amazing step forward in a short period of time, particularly in the kingdom of Baron and the city of Mysidia, where the Lunarian influence was the strongest.

 

At the onset of the War of the Crystals, magic is far from commonplace. Of all the kingdoms of the Earth, only Mysidia, Eblana, and Baron have any real magicians to speak of. In the latter two, magic-use is strictly controlled by the monarchy, and most arcane ability is limited to noble families. Thus in these two kingdoms magic still lies far outside the experience of the commoner, many of whom view magic with no little fear and suspicion. Only in Mysidia are magicians truly given free reign to study and enhance their magical talents. Finally, in the relatively unknown village of Mist, those elite men and women known as Callers also practice magic, but do so in relative isolation from the rest of the world. Although they excel in the unique magic of Summoning, very few of these Callers possess any other significant magical power.

 

Technology

 

For the most part, the technological level of Earth is similar to a standard medieval culture. Few mechanical devices exist, and most of those are fairly simplistic. Travel is most-often by foot or chocobo-driven wagons, although those with coin to spend may also book passage by ship. Most towns are surrounded by high walls to repel raiders, whether human or monster, and are dependent upon well water for survival. Although gunpowder has recently been discovered, it is still not in widespread use, and most people who know about it tend to view it as unreliable. Mechanical time-keeping devices have only recently been perfected, but their novelty and convenience have made them quite popular throughout the world. But, what is much less commonly known is that the dramatic influence of the Lunarians led to several remarkable breakthroughs, which include the steam engine, the telescope, the cannon, the hovercraft, and the airship. Most of these advanced technologies, however, are carefully guarded secrets, and no doubt based upon knowledge that exceeds the understanding of most of the inhabitants of the Earth.

 

Travel and Commerce

 

For the majority of the inhabitants of the Earth, travel is limited to the distance one can walk in a day. It is not unusual for most commoners to never travel more than a day's journey or so from their place of birth. Roads are a rarity across most the known world, existing only to connect outlying farmland and smaller villages to the larger city within that region. The fact that most of the known world is composed of untamed wilderness also contributes to the general rarity of travel. Thus, the vast majority of trade and commerce that takes place between the various kingdoms and regions of Earth occurs by ship. Merchant ships have long ago established favorable routes across the known world, moving from port to port and exchanging goods with the local merchants, who then in turn make these available in the city markets. Nonetheless, most of the kingdoms of the Earth are fairly self-reliant, and only depend upon foreign trade for the few commodities they are otherwise unable to obtain.

 

Religion

 

Religion in this region tends to be fairly informal and private. No organized priesthoods exist, nor do temples or shrines dot the landscape. It is commonly believed that the universe consists in a complex duality of light and darkness. This duality, however, is not simply just an impersonal force, but instead represents an order established at the creation of the universe by two higher powers simply known as the Light and the Darkness. The Light consists of life, healing, stability, and pleasure, while the Darkness consists of death, destruction, change, pain. Prayers of healing, of divination, of supernatural aid are offered up across the world to these two entities. Further, it is widely believed that upon death the individual becomes part of this dualistic nature, rejoining the world from which all life has its source

 

Whether this balance between light and darkness is necessary is a subject of some debate. Many people view the destructive powers loose in the world as an evil to be eliminated. Others, instead, claim that this balance is necessary to keep the universe in harmony. However, the private nature of religion within the Earth discourages debate on such matters, and most people are content to simply let others belief as they wish.

 

In addition, it is not unknown, especially in more rustic settings, to find prayers and entreaties lifted up in the name of some powerful creature of legend and lore. These legendary beings include Leviathan, Master of the Oceans; Titan, Giant of Earth; and Ifrit, the Demon of Fire. Few, if any, have ever seen proof that these legendary powers even exist, yet these names and others are often called upon in oaths, curses, and blessings. Fewer still have ever had the chance to meet them face to face...

 

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