The Dragonlance Nexus

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http://www.dlnexus.com/adlatum/13131.aspx

Adlatum FAQ

by Kranar Drogin & Carteeg Struve


Here is a collection of frequently asked questions about the setting of Adlatum.





General Questions


Is Adlatum an official continent of the Dragonlance world or just a fan project?

Well, both. Adlatum has been mentioned in two of Tasslehoff's Map Pouches as a place located northwest of Ansalon. There is also a very brief mention in the Dragons of Krynn sourcebook by Margaret Weis Productions. As far as Adlatum being officially recognized as a continent, that has never been directly stated in official Dragonlance continuity. However its status as a continent can be easily inferred from the Dragons of Krynn reference since it is mentioned along with Taladas and Ansalon.

Regardless of what Adlatum is, the content of the Adlatum setting–with the exception of its location and the information given in the Dragons of Krynn reference–is entirely unofficial and has been put together as an "unofficial" fan-made project.

Of course, there is nothing from WotC that says that what we put down in the PDF sourcebook and the Nexus isn't official. *evil grin*



When is the "default" time period of the setting?

The Sourcebook covers the events of Adlatum up to 421 AD. This equates to shortly after the return of the gods. On Ansalon, the War of Souls had just reached its conclusion. On Adlatum, the Midland Civil War and thus the War of the Prophet have just began. There are hints and comments about events that occur within months following the gods return, but there is not an exact date the Sourcebook represents a snap shot of. The DM will need to fill in any areas she feels require more detail–which is something she will have to do anyway.

There are plans to move the time period of the setting forward in the future, but for now the future is the DM and Players' playground.



What edition of D&D is the game in? Will there be support for other gaming systems?

The initial Adlatum Sourcebook has been released for play in D&D 3.5 Edition. There are plans to release a second version of the sourcebook for D&D 4th Edition. Although there are no immediate plans for projects using any other system, the Nexus is willing to accept fan-submitted material for Adlatum using any system.




Content Questions


How large is the continent of Adlatum?

Although the map in the Sourcebook has no scale, the size of Adlatum is roughly between the size of Europe and North America (likely closer to Europe's size). The lack of fixed distances on the map is to allow DMs some leeway on how long they wish their players to travel. The most important details to consider is that northern Terragrym is above Krynn's Arctic Circle and the Vacant Lands cut across the equator. In short, Adlatum is much larger than Ansalon and roughly on-order with Taladas.



Are the Elder Dragons similar to the Dragon Overlords of Fifth Age?

Although there may be a few 'boiler plate' similarities between the two groups (a few powerful dragons of varying color who rule over set kingdoms), the Elder Dragons have no similarities in nature and history. The Elder Dragons were all 100% natural-born Krynnish dragons. They have been augmented, cursed, and blessed by the Graygem. Their powers have nothing to do with dragon skull totems or where they originally came from. The Elder Dragons are bound to their lairs and the nearby surrounding areas. The chaos from the Graygem has also allowed them to bestow magic through their prisons ("Holy Lands") and simulate to some extent the magical relationship between god and cleric. This has been exploited to the point where they are now worshiped as gods by many within the Tashrama.

The Elder Dragons, with the exception of one, are also still alive.



Why are the Elder Dragons the opposite gender of their Dragon Overlord counterparts (i.e., White Elder is Female, White Overlord was Male; Red Elder is Male, Red Overlord was Female; etc.)?

With the exception of one, complete coincidence.



What is The War of the Prophet, and why is it referred to separately from the Midland Civil War?

This is one of the major hints in regards to Adlatum's future. The Midland Civil War is the fight between the Midland Sovereignties–led by Montegron–and the Tashrama–led by the Elder Dragons and the Tashramadic Council. Although this conflict begins small in FyxZharar, the battle will spread very quickly throughout the Midlands... and nothing can stop that now.

Regardless of this war's outcome, this event will directly cause other conflicts and even begin to interfere and merge with other events going on throughout Adlatum, not just the Midlands. Even battles and wars currently going on will become part of the larger war, but they will not be seen in a historical perspective as important of a catalyst as the conflict in the Midlands. Why that is the case, however, is currently up to the DM to decide.



How long will The War of the Prophet last?

This is currently up to the DM, but it is heavily suggested that the overall War of the Prophet be designed to last near to–if not longer than–one hundred years. Ansalon recently has suffered through many destructive, but short, wars. Adlatum unfortunately is entering a very dark time.



Why is it called The War of the Prophet? She might have influenced a couple of the initial events, but she doesn't seem that important. What gives?

Excellent question. About a year or three after the civil war begins, a BROWSER ERROR: DATA SEVERELY CORRUPTED.



You did that on purpose? Didn't you?

*innocent whistle*



Why does Adlatum have its own reason for the Chaos War? Didn't it start when the Irda opened the Graygem, not with the Adlar opening a door?

The being known as Chaos was released by the Irda when the Graygem was broken. Many minions of Chaos were released when the Adlar dwarves opened the sealed door on the Path. Whether or not these events coincided with each other around the same time due to coincidence, fate, or design (be it the High God's or Chaos'), it is difficult to say.

What can be said is that the people of Adlatum have extremely little to absolutely no knowledge of what happened with the Irda, just as no one on Ansalon has any knowledge of what happened with the Path. Because of that, the people of both isolated continents will come up with their own reasons to explain what they don't know. Regardless, no one in Adlatum has yet to put forward a widely accepted theory as to why the armies vanished and why the Tao-Shin gods disappeared. Only one man was gifted the truth after it occurred, and he keeps that secret to himself.



Ansalon had the Kingpriest. Taladas had Aurim. What did Adlatum do to deserve the Drowning?

Not a dang thing.

When the situation in Istar deteriorated to the point where the Cataclysm had to happen, Adlatum was preparing for the largest battle of the entire 100 years of the Canon War. However that was a purely mortal event and did not threaten the balance of the world in any shape or fashion. If anything, after a hundred years of death, this single battle would like determine the eventual end of the war and actually end the prolonged suffering that had been plaguing them. The Drowning also killed tens of thousand-fold more than any one battle ever could. This battle was not the reason for the Drowning.

The Great Wave was a result of the Fiery Mountain impacting the globe. Whether its existence or size could be reasonably foreseen by the gods is unknown, but it didn't matter. The situation in Istar had to be dealt with, and that was that. Adlatum became collateral damage. Pure and simple.

After the Drowning, the people of Adlatum lost faith in the Tao-Shin gods. They had done nothing to affront them, and they had been regrettably punished. Mortal-kind on Adlatum turned away from the gods because of this. There is no issue of blame in this circumstance. The gods did what they had to do, and Adlatum was price paid.




Gaming Questions


What is the easiest way to import characters from Ansalon or Taladas into an Adlatum campaign?

Although a part of me would like to say "it's best to construct an Adlati character from scratch", the methods of using a fish out of water campaign to introduce characters who can defend themselves yet have no idea what is going on has some very nice perks.

There are many methods to get characters moved over: teleport mishap, shipwreck, annoyed deity, crashed flying citadel, hit over the head with a crowbar, etc. However getting dragons to give you a lift is pretty much out of the question. Dragons believe Adlatum is cursed, and even the bravest of the metallics would want to avoid "getting trapped".

Now, there are other issues to deal with when some people are transplanted over. If a character has a PrC that is not available in Adlatum, leveling that PrC up while in Adlatum may not be practical or beneficial. For example, a Wizard of High Sorcery is not going to have access to any mage towers. She will be cut off from her organization, perhaps permanently. Plus, it muddles the flavor of the setting. When in Karsuhon, do as the Karsuha do. Have them learn the local stuff and build on that.



Where is the best place to start an Adlatum campaign from scratch?

In short, anywhere. All regions and nations in Adlatum are designed to be mini-settings of their own. They do not operate independently of each other, but local events tend to dominate many peoples concerns before larger events swarm over the land.

Some areas should be more challenging to start off in than others. Any place where children grow up to be adults means that they are training up from lower levels to higher ones, but some places often have a heavy mortal toll on those trying to adventure. Terragrym, Sakkaras, and Hudiechia are extremely rough for those who are unlucky or foolish. Other regions of conflict like Ogun, Etlarn, and the Vacant Lands are also a little difficult for some beginners.



Where is the local spelljamming port?

Right next to the imported Sigil whiskey.



Are there many dragons on Adlatum? And if not, how many are there? Which colors are available?

There are less dragons in Adlatum than would be normally expected for a land this size, but that is not to say they are truly rare. Once the binding effects became apparent for those dragons who later became the Elder Dragons, many dragons fled. Others remained behind, and whether bound or not, most eventually fell into a deep sleep after the Dragon War.

Later on, when the sleeping dragons were woken, they discovered that most humanoids had come to think of the chaos-tainted partial-dragonish creatures that roamed various locations were truly dragons. The chromatic Elder Dragons decided to let them continue on with this misconception, and their underlings obeyed. Metallic dragons also realized that the people had no knowledge of a difference between metallic and chromatic. Instead of risking their lives by exposing themselves, they elected to work behind the scenes, often disguised in mortal form (a choice also made by the rare few who did not fall into the slumber).

All dragon types are present in Adlatum, but with the exception of those bound in the Tashramadic Holy Lands, a PC will be hard pressed to find a true dragon (especially since most won't know what a real dragon is). This set-up hopefully make the presence of any true dragon to a campaign a major event and something extremely memorable for the party members.