Analogous Era: Later Antiquity (Greece-Roman Empire, Dynasty China, Vedic India, Maya, Inca, Persia)
Genre: Sword & Sorcery
Power-water wheels, aqueducts, wood/coal, refined oil
Transportation-chariots, canals, submersibles, kites, hot air sky lantern
Medicine- herbalism, poultice, surgery, splints and traction, mineral potions, tourniquets, Ayurveda, Zhongyi
Cooking- rotisserie, hearth oven baking, stir-frying, cheesemaking
Food storage– Sunlight Dehydration, Salting/Brine, Fermentation
Communication– Oral, smoke signals, writing (clay tablet and plant fiber), alphabet, numbering system
Weaponry- Clubs, Slingshots, Metal Daggers, Blowguns, Spears, War Hammer, Wooden Staves, Broadswords, Poleaxes
Siege Engines: Catapults, Ballista, Trebuchets
Djinn Kingdoms- Marid, Ifrit, Si’lat
Yokai Empire/ Obake and Henge Khanates
Djinn kingdom infighting leads to a peace accords that establishes three kingdoms in Jinnistan: Marid, Ifrit, and Sil’at. 3 cultural groups among the djinn are formed who make up the population of these lands, Marid, Ifrit, and Si’lat, respectively.
Massive explosion of various new faye species develop in Fairie including Brownies, Trolls, Ogres, Satyrs, Naiads, Kobolds, Banshee, Leprechauns, Goblins, Dullhauns, Huldras, Centaurs, Gremlins, Harpies, Naga, and Fairies and Sprites.
Worship of the concept of nature, Naturism, begins to incorporate rituals that widely vary by various species of faye and natural humanoids. Elves in particular become devout followers of a special form known as Druidism.
Kobold species discover coal can be burnt for heating and cooking. Despite other species seeing coal as inferior fuel due to all the soot and smoke, the kobold’s small size allow them to benefit from very little to keep warm as well as reduce the amount of trees they need.
Dwarves who encounter the spellcraft and arcane abilities of faye make their own attempt at magic. Most of them fail until they discover their bodies can convert magical energy into the substance, manaplasm. Primarily they use it in their daily lives to augment their labor by molding it into objects like gloves or tethers.
Some halflings build simple canoes that help them travel from their islands to the mainland. They encounter various creatures from dwarves, elves, and gnomes to dragons, and mammoths and adopt a sedentary agricultural system.
Halflings learn from the example of Dwarves that they too use magic via manaplasm. They typically use it as a light source in the dark or a soft mass to place on wounds and prevent infection.
Animal driven ploughs make agriculture much more feasible for large scale societies to develop agriculture.
Advanced Elf dwellings develop a system of aqueducts to transfer water throughout the city, run bathhouses, and act as a sewage system. They also implement a writing system to record the movement and storage of important supplies. Early Elf language is recorded on clay tablets.
A few early hominin species continue to develop in the deep tropical forests with varying degrees of tree dwelling, bipedalism, and intelligence.
Rise of the Jinn Kingdoms
The Ifrit Kingdom of djinn are the first to explore the ethereal plane version of the lands beyond Jinnistan, where they encounter other spirits for the first time. Soon after, they find faye and natural humanoids existing in the physical plane of Kaf.
In an attempt to compete with each other, the Djinn kingdoms set out to make trading deals with “civilized” spirits. They also impress them with their advanced magic and artifacts.
In order to interact with the faye and hominin beings, djinn once again make liberal use of their ability to manifest in a variety of physical forms. Many take on familiar humanoid forms, some take on those of the new beings they encountered, a few get creative and make up their own forms.
To better form relations with the corporeal beings, spirits (including djinn) may use their physical forms to do things like eat and sleep. Some do it halfheartedly, other really enjoy the experiences of the physical world.
Djinn magic and magical items becomes popular in territories near Jinnistan. Djinn political leaders take advantage of this by colonizing areas with valuable materials.
Merchant Dwarf travelers are accepted to travel to the djinn homelands, most are disappointed in the barren sands, mountains and seaside due to the djinn living in the ethereal plane and not the physical plane.
Wanting to remain trading partners with the physical races, the current generation of Marid djinn call for a radical change in maintaining the physical version of their kingdom. The clan translated ancient texts from Earth on farming, and added new knowledge to the field by introducing scientific methods of irrigation including water wheels, canals, reservoirs and pumps.
Djinn also take interest in their appearance and clothing. They create Damask, silk cloth embroidered with intricate patterns that quickly become in demand. They build architecture in the physical plane of existence, Marid style architecture becomes popular in the lands they influence.
In the oasis of the Sil’at kingdom, coffee beans are grown and made into a popular drink. Coffeehouses spring up not only as rest spots for desert traders but also as a places for djinn and physical races to meet and socialize while enjoying the strong beverage. Coffee was the “wine of Islam” and trade caused it and regional variations to become popular.
More mosques were built in the regions around the Jinnstan kingdoms. With their growing influence in the physical world, the Djinn spread Islam to these encountered races expecting many converts. Various cultures have varying levels of acceptance to a foreign religion, some like the Halflings were very accepting of Islamic influence while others like elves mostly resisted.
Marid kingdom of Jinnistan develops a official system of currency and standardization of prices and conversion to implement between traders and merchants of other lands. The other kingdoms try to make their own but end up abandoning them for the Marid one.
Rise of the Pantheon Age
Worshiped deities discover they gain power from devotion; also find out they can have subtle influence on Earth and gain worship power from that dimension as well.
More spirits seeking divine enlightenment find they can accrue power through the portals to Earth by various people in history worshiping their gods. Using the psychic power from their faith, the spirits literally become those gods worshipped on Earth which enlightens them to become true deities.
Taking a cue from the otherworlds, various divinities who become the gods worshiped on Earth or Kaf create their own spirit realms known as the Godrealms. Like the otherworlds, they are pockets within the ethereal plane but these realms are stabilized by divine magic located in physically different dimensions, and thus require special access like complex space altering magic or portals. Due to being composed of the essence of the deities themselves, they have virtually complete control of the Godrealms, even moreso than the physical world.
The deities who became the gods of Earth also brought the teachings of the religions their personas came from as well. For example, the Hindu deities had their disciples write the Rig Veda in Kaf. Many have accounts of the tales though up by the people of Earth, some Deities go out into the physical world, performing the same feats written about them.
Following the example of deities, individuals take it upon themselves to become immortalized as great heroes of legend. Many of these heroes and heroines take to defeating terrifying monsters or performing tasks for a patron deity, or obtaining artifacts of power.
Across various nations and travel ways, groups traveling into and through hostile and uncharted territories or going on quests inspired by legendary heroes to collect treasure and defeat regional monsters develop a pattern of having individuals with specific abilities and skill sets; these roles came to be known as quest occupations (and eventually class archetypes): Fighter, Mage, Rogue, and Ranger.
Worship of the various religions brought over by the deities starts to compete with djinn attempts as spreading Islam. This causes tension in boarding territories, where small battles take place among followers who believe in multiple gods versus the Djinn’s one god. Even worse was the situation for djinn who weren’t Islamic and those who followed the Kaf religions.
Creation of the Henge
Deities and immortals of the Celestial Bureaucracy were fascinated by the magical beasts known as dragons and began to tame them as mounts and companions. They soon used divine miracles to grant a few of them sapience and alter their physiology to become the first Shenlong.
With their new gifts, the Shenlong recorded the process so that others of their kind could elevate dragons without the need of divine intervention. However, copies of these scrolls were taken in secret by fox familiars who used the scrolls to become the magical beast form, Hujing.
The mountains where Ogres dwell became the birth place of the earliest known oil wells. With depths of 800 feet, Dwarves sneak into their territories to drill these wells using extensive bamboo pipelines and used the resource for lamp lighting and heating.
As more animals were domesticated, horses, oxen and donkeys came into much more widespread for Halflings and faye humanoids. Mountain races took the task of taming goats and camelids like llamas. People that raised these mammals learned ways of reducing lactose in their milk by way of cheese and butter making.
Elves developed chariots and paved roads of matted grass and turf.
The tree that accumulated the excess power during the creation of the world becomes a huge massive plant and the tallest structure. The natives of the forest call it the Axis Mundi.
Yokai Empire and the Faerie Courts
With the knowledge that hot air rises, Hujing use oil lamps underneath large cloth lanterns to float in the air.
Various tribes of Hujing of the western bamboo forests come together as an military force that shares the knowledge of elevating natural animals into intelligent magical beasts. These new creatures, Henge follow the Hujing emering culture, Yokai and their growing army.
Seige Engines are developed by Yokai forces to quickly defeat fortified city boundaries, even those of far off Jinn Kingdom colonies. Flying lanterns give their soldiers unexpected aerial coverage.
Yokai Empire introduces the various values to the cultures of controlled areas such as a merit based rank system in military and governance, complete religious freedom and religious leaders being exempt from taxation & public service, women’s right to divorce and presence in combat & generalship, and outlawing bride kidnappings during conquests. These policies appeal to the various groups in an effort to convince neighboring groups join the empire.
As a response to Yokai, common races of Kaf establish territories to defend it. The elves are first to establish Alfheim, then the Dwarves with Svartalf, followed by the Gnomes with Bhagavad and the Halflings with Quipu.
At the height of the Yokai empire, control ranges from bamboo forests, to the high mountains of the wilderness, dwarfing the Djinn Kingdoms and their wilderness territory.
In response to the Yokai military actions and the increasing influence of the Djinn, the elves of Alfheim reach out to many types of faye folk as they can and bring them together in an alliance. They set up a system were different kinds of faye would support each other and help defend each other from foreign morals and conquering attempts. By agreeing to a set code of ethics, these faye form the Seelie Courts.
Neighboring city states have their pantheon provide blessings to heroes in an attempt to prevent further advance of the Yokai Troops.
Decline of the Yokai Empire
After the death of the founder, his two sons compete for rule of the Empire. It splits into two separate Khantes which shrink in size over the years: Henge and Obake.
The civilizations built by the various races develop into large influencial city states, mirroring the reach of nations.
The Unseelie Court is later set up by faerie who like the idea of Courts but oppose the underlying values of the Seelie Court.
The Djinn Kingdoms bolster their influence in response to the Yokai and Faye territories.