The world is in ruins after the Darkest War.

Nations vie for power and evils lurk in the dark.

Now more than ever…

Vathis needs heroes.

We didn't win the Darkest War. We survived:

The ruins of the past rise up around us like monoliths to a golden age whose name escapes us.

The otherworldly forces of the Shattered Hand tore through the strongest civilizations of our day like a farmer through fields of wheat.

Cities which stood for centuries were undone in mere months. In the end, we cowered behind our parapets while the actions of a brave few finally dissolved their vicious cabal.

The darkness has been dissipated, but a grey shroud still lingers:

Our greatest threats are not found outside of our borders, but on our very streets as insidious shadows find their way into the hearts of men.

The line between what is righteous and what is vile remains unclear. .

The rules of alignment hold no sway over the nature of men and beasts, it’s possible to find good and evil in all manner of creatures.

The Starcalled defy the shackles of fate, forging their own destiny:

As the Zodiacs created the multiverse, they wove the threads of fate which all living creatures must follow.

The Starcalled – humanoids who bear the marks reminiscent of constellations upon their skin – are not subject to the constraints of destiny.

These sigils, gifted by the Zodiacs themselves, grant their bearers the power to choose their own path and the possibility to alter the future of Vathis.

As these Starcalled dynasties carved out their own piece of history, the Zodiac Empires were born.

An industrial revolution fueled by eldria, tying the world together:

A radiant blue light weaves its way through all facets of life on Vathis, created by the world’s magical crystal resource, Eldria.

Eldricsteel frames have raised cities to heights unimaginable, while eldria fluid based ether drive systems grant us the ability to soar above the clouds.

The crystals themselves birthed an entirely new race capable of exploring the world, and countless feral creatures capable of wild destruction.

From lamps to airships, eldria casts back the darkness and allows us to chart the unknown.

The History of Vathis

The Nation States of Vathis

Explore the regions of Vathis

The most powerful nations sit back and lick their wounds, searching for weakness in the hearts of their old enemies. The void of power will undoubtedly be filled over time by the dauntless nationalists who rise to seize the opportunity. Which sovereign nations will rise to become the world’s next leading powers?

The ZodiacEmpires Campaign Setting will consist of:

  • 5 Unique Races, each with their own history, culture, and rules.
  • 14 heavily detailed Nations, complete with history stretching back hundreds of years and relevant area information.
  • A highly detailed political landscape (and all the blood that goes along with it)
  • A pantheon of 17 deities, as well as 34 detailed vandiels.
  • Eldria, the magical resource that fueled our industrial revolution, and all of its relevant technology.
  • 10 Major Organizations, as well as 30+ minor ones.
  • Rules for playing Starcalled, and all of the background that goes with it.
  • Rules for creating custom airships, as well as rules for inter-airship combat.
  • Leyline Chronicles: A new web application for use with campaign tracking and making a GMs life significantly easier.

Zodiac Empires is a truly dynamic and interactive fantasy setting created for tabletop role-playing game systems such as Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. Designed from the ground up by long-term tabletop veterans Brad Diamond, Frank Albanese, and Rachael Withrow, our goal is to bring a new and expansive world to players around the world.

The realm of Vathis is a world in an age of early industrialization where the line between magic and technology is obscure at best, and oftentimes indistinguishable. Rich in history and lore, adventurers roam lands dotted with sprawling empires, devious hidden cults, and ruins shrouded in darkness. While revered heroes march headlong into battle, recently reawakened dragons take flight, transforming both land and sky into battlegrounds. Gritty realism and high fantasy come together in Zodiac Empires, a world built on the memory of great wars, political intrigue, and imperialism.

Notable moments in real-world history, such as the Age of Sail, Prohibition Era Organized Crime, and both World Wars, as well as media sources such as the novels in the ASoIaF series and video games such as Dishonored, have all left their mark on the setting. Expect to experience fierce nationalism, streets filled with pulp action, scenes of noir intrigue, evils lurking in the dark, and corruption both political and physical as you travel between nations.

5

Unique Races

The Amari are a race of humanoids blessed with mental acuity widely believed to be gifted with life by the goddess of knowledge. Their longevity is augmented by magical bonding with Laris trees. With gifts such as sudden boosts of intelligence and the ability to mentally store possessions, they also excel in matters of diplomacy as well as espionage. Amari have a tendency for haughty and elitist behavior as a result of their cultural pride, pushing other races away. Though gifted great wit and intelligence, they are not known for possessing natural physical strength.
Ildera are sentient constructs composed of a synthesis of steel and magical crystal known as eldria. Ildera do not tire, breathe, nor sleep. They may seem emotionally distant to some, but this is simply a manner of perspective. Their view on the world is wholly unique, as they do not age. Ildera are a naturally inquisitive race. They are quick to learn and hungry to explore the world and uncover its truths. Ildera possess a natural affinity to the eldria in their veins, granting them immunity to its harmful effects. Once a tool used in the building of empires, the ildera gained their freedom long ago. There are some people on Vathis, however, who would seek to place the ildera in the shackles of bondage once more.
Lurking in the deepest reaches of the world are the shape-shifting Inuzen, naturalistic worshipers of the Zodiacs themselves. The Inuzen are blessed with a deeper connection to the natural world and they instinctually seek to protect the untamed woodlands and sprawling wilds of Vathis. Isolationists alternating between human and wolf forms, they can be seen as oddities to outsiders, but they are credited as being incredibly wise and long-lived.
Accursed for eternity to remain forever pretenders, noir know neither family nor death. Captured worshippers of the Old Gods during the Darkest War, the noir were purposely infused with vile vandiel blood to become faceshifting spies linked with their fiendish masters. Once this link was broken the noir became aware of their amnesia regarding their origins, as well as their ability to skirt death in an endless cycle of rebirth. Noir tend to be universally hatred due to their actions during the Darkest War, but some gentle souls show them kindness. Seeing the true face of a noir is a rare privilege indeed.
Hailing from floating motes in the sky are the vasar, noble descendants of dragons who reigned long ago. Possessing scaly exteriors, leathery wings, and other draconic features, vasar are imposing figures with a regal gait. Their natural strength and charisma lend to their mystique, but they are known to be arrogant and stubborn, which rubs others the wrong way when coupled with their zealous nature.
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