Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Introduction

Introduction.jpg

Welcome to the introduction page for The 4th Race!

  This is a setting of ancient histories, dark secrets and terrifying creatures. Most of the articles within center around Calera, the third planet in orbit around a middle aged yellow star. This seemingly average planet is the perfect home for life to evolve into countless forms and hosts a huge variety of environments, from lush forests, desolate icy wastes and deep dark oceans. It is the perfect place for countless cultures to thrive and has given rise to four distinct, sentient and intelligent races over the last 500 million years. The most recent race to arise on the surface of Calera and the primary focus of the setting are the enigmatic and ambitious Humans.  
Science Fantasy.png
The 4th Race setting is is built upon scientific principles, simultaneously drawing upon and/or combining tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy. Characters, locations and events have detailed explanations for their existence while still incorporating fantastical elements and firmly placing the setting in the fantasy genre overall. There are no creator gods or all powerful beings that shaped the universe in ancient times, the universe started with a rapid expansion of space. Mountains and rivers are not created by wayward spirits or dragons lying deep within the earth, they formed from moving tectonic plates and weather patterns. Even the creatures and species described within these pages did not pop into existence as an afterthought for a cruel demons pleasure, but evolved over millions of years.   In short, this setting is firmly based on a scientific understanding of the universe. On a more familiar level this also means that most of the storytelling and adventures in the game focus down on the characters themselves, and the conflicts and stories explore complex human relationships.  
First Adventures.png
While this setting guide as a whole can explain almost anything, the people living in the world don't have access to this same knowledge. For them the world is full of evil spirits, gods, demons and mystical forces they can never hope to understand. Much of the world is unknown, and much larger than you might expect. In terms of scale the world in which this setting takes place on is significantly bigger than our own earth. And while the gravity is similar this means there is lot more space to explore. Often things are left vague and unclear for a reason, sometimes there is no answer and no satisfying conclusion.
Ancient Land
Ancient Calera, 500 MYA
Humans have only relatively recently forged the path towards civilization and huge cities and empires are rare, most cultures are simple and primitive. Many of the distant areas of the world have never been reached by even the early nomadic humans and the unknown depths of the world are still very much a mystery. Dark and ancient secrets are still waiting to be rediscovered, left behind by the previous races that disappeared millions of years ago (MYA) when the world of Calera was a very different place.   Some of the articles in this setting describe events, creatures and characters that took place or existed long ago and have been extinct and seemingly irrelevant for many millions of years. Although huge amounts of time have passed since, the impact upon Calera was often so profound, echoes and relics of the previous races affect the setting even during the present day. For almost all humans however, any knowledge of the previous races and events that took place in the prehistory before their cultures arose is completely unknown and they view any discoveries as either magic, or the results of dark powers they cannot hope to understand.  
Otherworld.png
Soft magic is an inherent ability to do things beyond what is currently understand about the world. Within Calera, magic is an unknown force, that very few individuals or creatures understand, this wasn't always the case however and some of the previous races mastered magic and discovered its fundamental rules. While soft magic may be an adapt way to describe the system in Calera, in truth there are hard rules and laws that govern its use and effects upon the world. Those that claim to wield magic are often frauds, charlatans or shamans and elders with no real power. They might claim to cure sickness, bring the rains or bring luck but most are exploit the common people for their own ends. Mages, wizards, warlocks and witches are all just names with little real meaning, anyone with a real connection to magic is harnessing it in the same way as anyone else.   The mysterious and desolate Otherworld is the only other plane of existence connected to the universe of the 4th Race. From this strange realm, magic flows and seeps its way through into Calera. Much of the history of the Otherworld and its connection to Calera is a secret reaching back all the way back to the very first race.  
Ascendants.png
Powerful beings walk the streets, travels the roads and live among the mortal humans on Calera. Some cultures worship them as gods, but that term has little meaning in The 4th Race. Instead these Ascendants, while immortal and powerful, are sometimes just as vulnerable to death as the mortals they rule over. Almost all Ascendants claim an aspect of nature or culture that they are a part of, however they have no special connection to such aspects and it merely informs and suggests the kind of personality of and ascendant more than anything else.
Sockets
Sockets, Ascendant of Death
Ascendants are a very real part of the world, they do not reside in other realms and even such powerful beings avoid the Otherworld if they can. In this way they often either claim dominion over parts of the world openly as tyrants and rulers of mortals or they disguise themselves and remina in the shadows. Many of the Ascendants take various forms and have widely different goals and motivations, often opposing one another in long and complex games. These plots may take many centuries to play out with no clear winners or losers. Some Ascendants have no interest in the world and are rarely seen, preferring to stay out of the affairs of others but the majority play critical roles in events that unfold within the world.   As many of the cultures are still relatively primitive and early on their development they rarely make any distinctions between the Ascendants and Gods. This can become even more confusing as many cultures and peoples believe in and worship not only very real Ascendants as Gods but make up beings entirely and worship them as well. Sometimes an Ascendant will take over the role of a god in a culture in order to amass power and influence over gullible mortals.  
Featured Articles.jpg

These are some of the best places to get started in The 4th Race!

 

Geography

  • Atercia is the largest continuous supercontinent that lies to the north-west of Jurin, north of Sulen and west of Alor across the vast Mesarian Ocean. Most of Humanity, its cultures and peoples reside upon Atercia.
  • Sulen is an island based archipelago thousands of miles to the south of Atercia. Sulen was once a solid continent but all that remains of Sulen today is a series of tiny islands, narrow, twisting channels and shallow seas.
  • Jurin is a massive unexplored continent that lies south-east of Atercia, across the Mesarian Ocean. Lying along the planet's equator most of the continent is home to a sweltering rainforest of gigantic trees and titanic wildlife that dwarves the creatures found elsewhere in the world.
  • Alor is one of the smaller and least-known continents on Golarion. Known locally as The Bonelands, this realm is mostly comprised of a continent spanning wasteland.
 

Characters

  • Laeona: The Wanderer, worshipped as the Goddess of History, she has few followers among mortals and often finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Laeona is one of the major writers and contributors to the articles of this setting guide.
  • Soots: Ascendant & worshipped as the Goddess of of ash and dust, she is a relatively recent addition to the House of the Forge and has few mortal followers, she is greatly interested in creating power for herself but comes across as shy and timid.
  • Sockets: Ascendant & worshipped as the God of the dead almost universally by all human cultures. He is not aligned with any other houses of the gods and rules over the continent of Alor as an Ascendant King.
 

Locations

  • Leyfen: A tiny village on the coast of eastern Aterica, Leyfen is a perfect place to begin exploring the world of Calera at a small scale.
  • Contera: One of the largest cities in the world, Contera is a trading hub and melting pot for many of the different human cultures from across Atercia.
 

It goes without saying that this entire setting is a work in progress. Many articles are not final, dates are ever changing and names might not stay the same! If you have any suggestions or if this gives you ideas for your own worlds I would love to hear/chat about it!

Author

My name is Caeora and I have been working on The 4th Race for nearly 15 years, some of it has even been written down! A huge amount has changed since those early days. In the beginning The 4th Race was full of elves and dwarves, dragons and goblins but since then my ideas have evolved and changed. This is very much a work in progress and only a few articles have been put on World Anvil. While progress on this setting will be slow, if you want to follow some of my other work like mapmaking & writing then follow me on twitter and check out my patreon!  
 

Genre

While this setting guide starts out with some ideas that may seem rooted in science fiction, the world of Calera is currently a very low technology place. Ancient sciences and wonders lost to time, lie in hidden areas of the world but the humans that inhabit the planet are barely making their way into the early medieval era. Most cultures are simple living in a technology state equal to the greeks, romans and ancient mesopotamian civilizations.  
 

Natural Historae

Apart from this very section, the entire setting is actually written and described by a character within the setting called Laeona. Everything written here is part of a series of tomes and books she calls the Natural Historae. While most of the pages are from her perspective and what she has learnt, she is not omniscient and has large gaps in her knowledge or missing information that she ignores or even leaves blank on purpose.   Laeona will be covered much more extensively in the future and this section might make its way over to the introduction page at some point.

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


 12 readers likes this article!
     

Metadata

Article template
Generic article
World
The 4th Race
Chapter
Introduction
Author
Caeora
Creation Date
11 Feb, 2018
Last Update
16 Jun, 2018
Visibility
Public
Views
1064
Favourites
12
Comments
4
Work in Progress

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
11 Feb, 2018 20:34

I love the feeling of this world. I'm a sucker for the long game and it feels like this one will have plots spanning generations.

11 Feb, 2018 20:41

Thank you so much! One of the reasons I came up with this many years ago, was because I had an idea/plot that spanned a few million years, with a few gaps of course. ;)

11 Feb, 2018 20:34

Fantastic intro! Looking forward to seeing more of your world :D

11 Feb, 2018 20:41

Thank you! :)

12 Feb, 2018 04:05

ready for more!

11 Jun, 2018 04:49

This is great, I love the idea of a more developed introduction giving the setting and explaining all the need to knows. It seems our worlds are similar in the sense that we try to give some scientific realism and reason to the world; however, mine is more on the fanatsy side than yours, but I believe that going the more scientific route is harder and you're doing a great job of it.