Setting Information for The Return

General information


The following gods are worshipped in Haven and now Rebirth. There are names of other gods known from histories and from the neighboring orc and goblin cultures, but little is known about them. There may be even more gods completely unknown.

Since the Return, some have begun worshipping Nature and gained druidic powers. As yet, Nature is not personified as a god in this worship.


New Haven and Rebirth

New Haven is the capital of Rebirth, population roughly 50,000. A large river (Lifestream) runs by New Haven from the west, widening to the large Lake Palateth adjacent to the city, then flowing south. Surrounding New Haven, out to a distance of about 20 miles, are a number of small farming towns, total population around 10,000. There is also a quarry and two mines (iron and a mix of copper and some other metals) on the far side of the river from New Haven, and a third small mine (gemstones) in the west. Some of the outer villages are devoted mostly to grazing animals or support for the mines or quarry. Surrounding the nation is the Fence, a 10' tall wooden wall completely surrounding Rebirth and protecting it from outside incursions.

To the west of Rebirth are the West Plains, home of orc tribes forever at war with each other and with Rebirth. The North Forest lies to the north and north-west and is not usually a source of much trouble inside Rebirth, although the authorities believe a particularly notorious gang of bandits has its home camp there. To the east lie the East Hills, inhabited by goblin tribes which sometimes raid inside Rebirth. To the south-east the East Hills give way to the Dreaming Hills. Those who sleep in the Dreaming Hills suffer from terrible nightmares, and not even the goblins will enter them. South of Rebirth is the South Forest, home to various fey creatures that hate the people of Rebirth but at least stay on their own side of the Fence. To the south-west of Rebirth are the desolate South Hills.

The lands beyond that are largely a mystery. Some exploration missions set out in the early days of Rebirth, but most disappeared completely, and those that made it back inevitably had taken severe casualties. Beyond the East Hills and the Dreaming Hills, a mountain range is visible, the Eastern Range, but no one in Rebirth has reached them, or at least no one who lived to return. Somewhere far to the west lies another nation, known as Salzatorra purported to be full of wonders but very hostile to outsiders.


Life in the demiplane of Haven was very regimented. Laws were strict, non-conformity was strongly discouraged, and everyone had their place and job to do. Rebirth has inherited much of this culture, although with some slight loosening of the restrictions. The older people, especially, those who remember living in Haven, disapprove of those who do not fit in, while the younger generation is more flexible and interested in exploring.

Rebirth has a sense of itself as an island of civilization in a hostile world. There is a strong sense of solidarity, that the people of Rebirth must stick together and put aside their personal aspirations in order to keep the nation safe. The idea that anyone would want to explore the dangerous lands out of simple curiosity strikes most residents of Rebirth as simply suicidal. Not all are comfortable subsuming their desires to the needs of the nation, however. A few decades of relative safety since the borders of Rebirth were formed have made some complacent about dangers outside, and others are unhappy with their place at home. After many early exploration expeditions came to grief, the borders were closed and exploration was forbidden.

Rebirth has no formal class system, but there is little social mobility in practice. Those from the wealthy and powerful families usually tend to themselves become wealthy and powerful, whereas those from poor families usually follow their parents' professions. Those who refuse to follow this path generally end up homeless, outlaws, or dead (and often more than one of those), although a few do manage to make a better life for themselves.

Crime is rare and harshly punished, but not unheard of. There is some petty crime in New Haven, including smuggling of contraband into the city, but those who commit major crimes are usually found out and punished. Outside the city, the inner regions of Rebirth are quite safe, but the outer part of Rebirth is more wild and occasional bandits, wild animals, monsters, or raiding parties of orcs or goblins attack travellers or even the outlying villages. The army patrols the borders diligently and quickly deals with major threats, but the smaller dangers are low priority and often are let slide due to limited manpower.

Notable buildings and locations in New Haven

Notable locations in Rebirth outside New Haven

Notable organizations



Rebirth measures dates PE (Pre-Exile), YE (Year of Exile), YR (Year of the Return).

The Return

Haven's spellcasters conducted extensive divinations to determine the best area to open a portal. They picked a spot by a river with nearby sources of iron and stone for building, as well as fertile farmland. There were still some fearsome monsters in the area, and the armies of Haven faced horrible trials in claiming the land of Rebirth. Orc tribes ruled the western parts of Rebirth and goblins the east. The southern part of what is now Rebirth was covered by forests infested with fey creatures. The defeat of the green dragon Kathalzar by Haven's most powerful heroes was the turning point, and by 3 years after the opening of the portal from Haven, the area was secure enough to migrate the population through from Haven and close the portal forever. Early exploratory expeditions mostly disappeared, so in year 6 YR, the borders of Rebirth (by now ringed with a sturdy wooden wall) were closed, and no further exploration allowed. The heroes of the Return mostly retired and many are now in leadership positions in the government of Rebirth.

Haven had strict population controls, but this was not felt necessary in Rebirth. Consequently population growth is beginning to strain the resources of Rebirth. Matters are not serious yet, but the leaders forsee the need for additional space and more resources, particularly those that cannot be found in the current lands of Rebirth. The younger generation, which did not fight in the Return and does not clearly remember the cramped confines of Haven, is more restless and eager to see the world outside Rebirth. Consequently, the High Council has decided to create the Adventurer's Bureau and license explorers to go beyond the borders.