The Western Islands
The Western islands is a RPG campaign world that uses Pathfinder rules.
The setting is a group of islands on the western coast of a large desert continent. Unlike many RPG campaigns the world is based on ancient classical cultures rather than medieval stuff. There are no knights, serfs or orcs. Instead the world is loosely based on ancient Carthage, Spain and Africa.
A thousand years ago Amenzu the Voyager discovered the islands and brought settlers from the mainland to the Island chain. Each of the tribes living on the islands claims descent from Amenzu or one of his original followers.
Centuries later, a fleet of ships let by Harbo the Magnificent, sailed from Chum Cha’aka down the coast exploring and building trading posts and fortresses as they went. Harbo’s fleet introduced metalworking to the islands and Harbo himself built the town of Li Harbo on the island of Winsen.
A century ago, war broke out on Schulin. The Harbo empire won the war but was severely weakened. In the generation after the war the power of the Harbo family empire collapsed and the Chum elites of the islands formed alliances with local tribes and became independent.
Schulin has a large mixed race and cosmopolitan population but suffers from a dry climate and poor soil, so relies on food imports. Each of the three cities on the island is ruled by a different warlord. Most cities on the other islands are controlled by elites who have relations with Chum Cha’aka but who are not necessarily friendly to the Harbo family who now rule only the island of Winsen.
The Western islands are a group of twelve large islands (and many smaller ones) off the coast of a large desert continent. Most of the islands are mountainous and arid, with rocky cliffs and very little vegetation. The larger islands have river valleys where agriculture is possible and most of the population live in these areas. Native plants include scrubby trees like acacia, and palm trees. The climate ranges from cool through to tropical heat but is almost always dry apart from a two months of monsoon storms in late summer. Goat herders live up in the hills where they have to deal with large lizards and giant spiders.
Many of the smaller islands are uninhabited, with only birds and coral reefs around them. These islands often have shipwrecks and small abandoned ruins that were built by sailors and fishing folk.
The main human population both in the islands and in the desert coasts are the Mazikeen. They have lived on the islands for a thousand years and each island has its own dialect. The islanders are goat herders and farmers. They have straight black hair, long faces and brown skin. Among them only women can become sorcerers.
The Manada are the people of the tropical south mainland. They are cattle herders and farmers. They are divided into several different tribes and kingdoms each with their own languages. The Manada are tall with dark skin, round faces and curly black hair.
The Chum people live in the Northern coastal cities. They speak the Chum language and are olive skinned with brown eyes and dark hair. They have large fast galleys and trading ships. They are rumoured to sacrifice their own children to a god they call Baal Chumaat. Chum traders travel around the islands buying slaves ivory and other trade goods from the south. They sell cotton. cloth and other goods from the North. Their capital city is Chum Cha’aka.
To the North of Chum Cha’aka, there are many islands and continents inhabited by pale skinned barbarians. One island called Bosregi has a large army and is constantly at war with the Chum. The two nations are currently fighting over the island of Mezzatta, which lies between them.
To the East of Chum, on the other side of a desert, is the great city of Rakos, and many more strange nations.
There are many gods in the Western Islands but the most commonly worshiped are these.
Eesa: The queen of the heavens.
Usareh: the God of the afterlife
Haru: the son of Usarah and Eesa. God of warriors
Amani: old god of the sky worshipped everywhere across the known world. He was the creator of the world. His priests consider themselves to be superior to those of other gods.
Setesh or Sutah: the god of darkness and chaos
Amenzu the voyager: He was once mortal but has become a demigod who is widely honoured by islanders.