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In the east, European colonies expand steadily inland across the land they know as [[Columbia]], growing more and more dense as the ships bringing new colonists multiply almost as fast as the colonists themselves. [[Great Britain (Nation)|England]], [[France]], Spain, Portugal, and the Papal State all seek to establish a foothold in the new world, eager to edge their competitors out in the scramble for territory, often leaving the natives paying the price. But wherever cultures meet, there is an exchange, old and new world exchanging ideas, from technology to farming techniques to magical knowledge, and, perhaps most dangerously, philosophies. While tensions grow between the more powerful native groups and the colonists, so too do tensions grow between the colonists and their parent nations.
 
In the east, European colonies expand steadily inland across the land they know as [[Columbia]], growing more and more dense as the ships bringing new colonists multiply almost as fast as the colonists themselves. [[Great Britain (Nation)|England]], [[France]], Spain, Portugal, and the Papal State all seek to establish a foothold in the new world, eager to edge their competitors out in the scramble for territory, often leaving the natives paying the price. But wherever cultures meet, there is an exchange, old and new world exchanging ideas, from technology to farming techniques to magical knowledge, and, perhaps most dangerously, philosophies. While tensions grow between the more powerful native groups and the colonists, so too do tensions grow between the colonists and their parent nations.
   
In the south, the Mexica have only grown more powerful since Cortez's failed invasion and sacrifice, despite the internal strife that followed. With a new understanding of metalworking, steel weapons and armor, and, perhaps most importantly, firearms, the empire expanded dramatically to dominate the majority of the sweltering jungles of the [[Aztatlan]] region. Few regions remain stubbornly out of their grasp, some held by still-squabbling city-states outside their borders, some held by Spanish hands, and some the realm of the unassailable Mayan fortresses, which have stood strong despite decades of attacks by both the Mexica and the Spanish.
+
In the south, the Mexica have only grown more powerful since Cortez's failed invasion and sacrifice, despite the internal strife that followed. With a new understanding of metalworking, steel weapons and armor, and, perhaps most importantly, firearms, the empire expanded dramatically to dominate the majority of the sweltering jungles of the [[Aztatlan (Nation)|Aztatlan]] region. Few regions remain stubbornly out of their grasp, some held by still-squabbling city-states outside their borders, some held by Spanish hands, and some the realm of the unassailable Mayan fortresses, which have stood strong despite decades of attacks by both the Mexica and the Spanish.
   
 
In the heartland, the realm between the Heaven-Touching Mountains in the west and the Green Mountains in the east, there are many major players. In the northeast, the [[Ganonsyoni]], known to the Europeans as the ''Iroquois League'', control the Great Lakes and the shores of the river, all the way out to the sea, their skillful negotiators forging a confederacy, and even a limited sense of unity, all throughout their lands. In the southwest, [[Cahokia (City)|Cahokia]] sits high on the Mississippi, the capital of a merchant empire that extends all down the great river and controls the most expansive trade network on the continent. Mound Lords dwell in great lodges atop the mounds that dominate the cities of the empire, immensely wealthy in both material goods and mystical power. The Great Plains are shared between countless horse-tribes, each independent, but all their warriors are united by a common code of honor and a common enemy. The bodies of the dead do not remain dead upon the plains, their bodies rising as undead vessels for a dead god, the walking dead barely kept in check by the riding warriors.
 
In the heartland, the realm between the Heaven-Touching Mountains in the west and the Green Mountains in the east, there are many major players. In the northeast, the [[Ganonsyoni]], known to the Europeans as the ''Iroquois League'', control the Great Lakes and the shores of the river, all the way out to the sea, their skillful negotiators forging a confederacy, and even a limited sense of unity, all throughout their lands. In the southwest, [[Cahokia (City)|Cahokia]] sits high on the Mississippi, the capital of a merchant empire that extends all down the great river and controls the most expansive trade network on the continent. Mound Lords dwell in great lodges atop the mounds that dominate the cities of the empire, immensely wealthy in both material goods and mystical power. The Great Plains are shared between countless horse-tribes, each independent, but all their warriors are united by a common code of honor and a common enemy. The bodies of the dead do not remain dead upon the plains, their bodies rising as undead vessels for a dead god, the walking dead barely kept in check by the riding warriors.
   
On the west coast, the nation of [[Fusang]] (扶桑) dominates, first colonized by Ming explorers, then flooded with a tide of refugees when the Qing rose to power and slew those loyal to the Ming, among the refugees the infant daughter of the last Ming emperor. With the help of the diseases they unknowingly brought with them and the [https://crossroads-tnw.fandom.com/wiki/Sasquatch_(Race) Yehren, the sasquatches] of the northwest rain-forest, the new empire survived and grew to a powerful presence, extending from the northernmost sections of the rainforest to the lands of Aztatlan in the south, and ruled by Her Radiant Majesty with an iron hand in a silken glove. Inland, the realm between the Snowy Mountains and the Heaven-Touching Mountains is shared. In the south, the [[Hisatsinom]] (sometimes incorrectly called the [[wikipedia:Ancestral_Puebloans|Anasazi]]) dwell in isolated cliff-cities threaded by bridges of spider silk, all but impenetrable both to attacks and to outsiders, fed by farms in the verdant delta and connected by extensive roads. Between the cities ride bandits and refugees once living in the north. To the north, the [https://crossroads-tnw.fandom.com/wiki/Little_Folk_(Race) Little Folk] laid claim to a swath of lands once held by nearly-exterminated humans, creating a sanctuary for the tiny fey from around the world to come and live free from fear of humans, out in the open for the first time in millennia.
+
On the west coast, the nation of [[Fusang (Nation)|Fusang]] (扶桑) dominates, first colonized by Ming explorers, then flooded with a tide of refugees when the Qing rose to power and slew those loyal to the Ming, among the refugees the infant daughter of the last Ming emperor. With the help of the diseases they unknowingly brought with them and the [https://crossroads-tnw.fandom.com/wiki/Sasquatch_(Race) Yehren, the sasquatches] of the northwest rain-forest, the new empire survived and grew to a powerful presence, extending from the northernmost sections of the rainforest to the lands of Aztatlan in the south, and ruled by Her Radiant Majesty with an iron hand in a silken glove. Inland, the realm between the Snowy Mountains and the Heaven-Touching Mountains is shared. In the south, the [[Hisatsinom]] (sometimes incorrectly called the [[wikipedia:Ancestral_Puebloans|Anasazi]]) dwell in isolated cliff-cities threaded by bridges of spider silk, all but impenetrable both to attacks and to outsiders, fed by farms in the verdant delta and connected by extensive roads. Between the cities ride bandits and refugees once living in the north. To the north, the [https://crossroads-tnw.fandom.com/wiki/Little_Folk_(Race) Little Folk] laid claim to a swath of lands once held by nearly-exterminated humans, creating a sanctuary for the tiny fey from around the world to come and live free from fear of humans, out in the open for the first time in millennia.
   
 
The north is a complicated land. In the far west, explorers from [[Russia]] have turned the lands known as [[Alasqa]] into a chaotic frontier of outlawed magical practices, exiles, criminals, and the occasional earnest hopeful looking to strike it rich with a fortune in furs, or even be the one to find the rumored gold. To the east, the [https://crossroads-tnw.fandom.com/wiki/Subarctic_Culture Dené people] form dozens of independent tribes, struggling to deal with the newcomers even as they keep an eye on the squabbled to the east. Three massive powers rule the east, each seeking to gain advantage over the others, but never quite confident enough to wage open warfare. The [[Mammutcha|mammoth-riders]] in the west bring a powerful mounted force to bear, unified by their common religion as they expand slowly and surely south. Around the bay, the giant-blooded [[Giantkin (Race)|Tuniit]] (known in our timeline as the extinct [[wikipedia:Dorset_culture|Dorset Culture]]) rule, an [[Tuniitaq|empire]] of massive warriors who do not fear the cold. The Tuniit see their human neighbors and relatives as lesser creatures, made to serve and be protected by the Tuniit, until their giant blood can be spread to their offspring as well. Upon the eastern shore and the great isle of Grœnland reside the [[Vinlandr|Vinlandrs]], a fusion of the bloodlines and cultures of the Norse settlers that once resided there and the Inuit they shared the land with. The Vinlandrs are a violent culture, producing extremely skillful warriors that until very recently were the only source of iron tools and weapons in the New World. Now, with the Europeans arriving, the balances of power shift and the long stalemate may break, but none can tell who will come out on top.
 
The north is a complicated land. In the far west, explorers from [[Russia]] have turned the lands known as [[Alasqa]] into a chaotic frontier of outlawed magical practices, exiles, criminals, and the occasional earnest hopeful looking to strike it rich with a fortune in furs, or even be the one to find the rumored gold. To the east, the [https://crossroads-tnw.fandom.com/wiki/Subarctic_Culture Dené people] form dozens of independent tribes, struggling to deal with the newcomers even as they keep an eye on the squabbled to the east. Three massive powers rule the east, each seeking to gain advantage over the others, but never quite confident enough to wage open warfare. The [[Mammutcha|mammoth-riders]] in the west bring a powerful mounted force to bear, unified by their common religion as they expand slowly and surely south. Around the bay, the giant-blooded [[Giantkin (Race)|Tuniit]] (known in our timeline as the extinct [[wikipedia:Dorset_culture|Dorset Culture]]) rule, an [[Tuniitaq|empire]] of massive warriors who do not fear the cold. The Tuniit see their human neighbors and relatives as lesser creatures, made to serve and be protected by the Tuniit, until their giant blood can be spread to their offspring as well. Upon the eastern shore and the great isle of Grœnland reside the [[Vinlandr|Vinlandrs]], a fusion of the bloodlines and cultures of the Norse settlers that once resided there and the Inuit they shared the land with. The Vinlandrs are a violent culture, producing extremely skillful warriors that until very recently were the only source of iron tools and weapons in the New World. Now, with the Europeans arriving, the balances of power shift and the long stalemate may break, but none can tell who will come out on top.

Revision as of 01:32, December 23, 2019

Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 1897 by Charles M Russell
"One day I undertook a tour through the country, and the diversity and beauties of nature I met with in this charming season, expelled every gloomy and vexatious thought. Just at the close of day the gentle gales retired, and left the place to the disposal of a profound calm. Not a breeze shook the most tremulous leaf. I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below."
~Col. Daniel Boone, The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucke (1784)
"My mother told me, Every part of this earth is sacred to our people.
Every pine needle. Every sandy shore.
Every mist in the dark woods.
Every meadow and humming insect.
All are holy in the memory of our people.
The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers,
The voice of my ancestors said to me,
The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not simply water, but the blood of your grandfather’s grandfather.
Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of memories in the life of our people."
~ Chief Seattle, Suquamish and Duwamish leader, as quoted in Brother Eagle, Sister Sky

Welcome to the Crossroads: The New World Wikia

Crossroads: The New World is a community-built campaign setting for the Pathfinder d20 system, set in an alternate version of the year 1750 A.D., in the midst of a very different version of the colonization of the Americas. After years of development, the setting has grown too expansive to navigate easily as a thread, so we're reorganizing everything into something more easily digested.

Imagine a world where magic is real, where human beliefs shape the face of the spirit world, where spirits and monsters roam the earth. Imagine a world in the midst of a revolutionary shift, where peoples and nations all across the globe stand on the razor's edge between unprecedented growth and unfathomable disaster. Imagine a world which is at once intimately familiar and shocking in its strangeness, a world you may have lived in your entire life, yet never truly grasped how beautiful, how bizarre, how fascinating it really is. Imagine a world where Aztec jaguar-knights test skill and steel against Chinese martial artists. Where European priests match divine power against the arcane might of the Iroquois medicine men. Where the merchant-lords of Cahokia buy and sell furs, steel, gunpowder, slaves, mammoth ivory, spider silk, ironwood, and a thousand other exotic goods every day, with fortunes, reputations, and even lives on the line with every deal. Where mammoth-riders from the north join forces with the horse-tribes of the plains to battle the undead vessels of a dead god.

Imagine... a New World.

The Setting

The year is 1750 A.D. The discovery of the New World by both China and Europe began a mad rush to claim as much of the unspoiled landscape as possible. In the years since, much has changed, both for those already inhabiting the landscape and those colonizing it.

In the east, European colonies expand steadily inland across the land they know as Columbia, growing more and more dense as the ships bringing new colonists multiply almost as fast as the colonists themselves. England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Papal State all seek to establish a foothold in the new world, eager to edge their competitors out in the scramble for territory, often leaving the natives paying the price. But wherever cultures meet, there is an exchange, old and new world exchanging ideas, from technology to farming techniques to magical knowledge, and, perhaps most dangerously, philosophies. While tensions grow between the more powerful native groups and the colonists, so too do tensions grow between the colonists and their parent nations.

In the south, the Mexica have only grown more powerful since Cortez's failed invasion and sacrifice, despite the internal strife that followed. With a new understanding of metalworking, steel weapons and armor, and, perhaps most importantly, firearms, the empire expanded dramatically to dominate the majority of the sweltering jungles of the Aztatlan region. Few regions remain stubbornly out of their grasp, some held by still-squabbling city-states outside their borders, some held by Spanish hands, and some the realm of the unassailable Mayan fortresses, which have stood strong despite decades of attacks by both the Mexica and the Spanish.

In the heartland, the realm between the Heaven-Touching Mountains in the west and the Green Mountains in the east, there are many major players. In the northeast, the Ganonsyoni, known to the Europeans as the Iroquois League, control the Great Lakes and the shores of the river, all the way out to the sea, their skillful negotiators forging a confederacy, and even a limited sense of unity, all throughout their lands. In the southwest, Cahokia sits high on the Mississippi, the capital of a merchant empire that extends all down the great river and controls the most expansive trade network on the continent. Mound Lords dwell in great lodges atop the mounds that dominate the cities of the empire, immensely wealthy in both material goods and mystical power. The Great Plains are shared between countless horse-tribes, each independent, but all their warriors are united by a common code of honor and a common enemy. The bodies of the dead do not remain dead upon the plains, their bodies rising as undead vessels for a dead god, the walking dead barely kept in check by the riding warriors.

On the west coast, the nation of Fusang (扶桑) dominates, first colonized by Ming explorers, then flooded with a tide of refugees when the Qing rose to power and slew those loyal to the Ming, among the refugees the infant daughter of the last Ming emperor. With the help of the diseases they unknowingly brought with them and the Yehren, the sasquatches of the northwest rain-forest, the new empire survived and grew to a powerful presence, extending from the northernmost sections of the rainforest to the lands of Aztatlan in the south, and ruled by Her Radiant Majesty with an iron hand in a silken glove. Inland, the realm between the Snowy Mountains and the Heaven-Touching Mountains is shared. In the south, the Hisatsinom (sometimes incorrectly called the Anasazi) dwell in isolated cliff-cities threaded by bridges of spider silk, all but impenetrable both to attacks and to outsiders, fed by farms in the verdant delta and connected by extensive roads. Between the cities ride bandits and refugees once living in the north. To the north, the Little Folk laid claim to a swath of lands once held by nearly-exterminated humans, creating a sanctuary for the tiny fey from around the world to come and live free from fear of humans, out in the open for the first time in millennia.

The north is a complicated land. In the far west, explorers from Russia have turned the lands known as Alasqa into a chaotic frontier of outlawed magical practices, exiles, criminals, and the occasional earnest hopeful looking to strike it rich with a fortune in furs, or even be the one to find the rumored gold. To the east, the Dené people form dozens of independent tribes, struggling to deal with the newcomers even as they keep an eye on the squabbled to the east. Three massive powers rule the east, each seeking to gain advantage over the others, but never quite confident enough to wage open warfare. The mammoth-riders in the west bring a powerful mounted force to bear, unified by their common religion as they expand slowly and surely south. Around the bay, the giant-blooded Tuniit (known in our timeline as the extinct Dorset Culture) rule, an empire of massive warriors who do not fear the cold. The Tuniit see their human neighbors and relatives as lesser creatures, made to serve and be protected by the Tuniit, until their giant blood can be spread to their offspring as well. Upon the eastern shore and the great isle of Grœnland reside the Vinlandrs, a fusion of the bloodlines and cultures of the Norse settlers that once resided there and the Inuit they shared the land with. The Vinlandrs are a violent culture, producing extremely skillful warriors that until very recently were the only source of iron tools and weapons in the New World. Now, with the Europeans arriving, the balances of power shift and the long stalemate may break, but none can tell who will come out on top.

New and Altered Systems

Lore Information

Bestiary

Animals of the Americas

Native Monsters

  • Acheri (CR 3)- A spectral child, the remnants of a child who died of a disease, who seeks to spread their illness.
  • Agloolik (CR 5)- A tall, furry water monster, who protects seals and seal cubs, and will help respectful hunters catch food.
  • Akhlut (CR 4)- An enormous amphibious beast, part Orca and part Wolf, which hunts with advanced tactics.
  • Alebrijes (CR +1)- Chaotic animal-like creatures from the spirit world, with glaringly bright and contrasting colors.
  • A-Mi-Kuk (CR 7)- A huge, slimy-skinned monster, with four arms ending in human hands. The beast lives in the ocean, but it can burrow to inland lakes and walk on land.
  • Auvvik (CR 1/2)- An enormous caterpillar that feeds on blood to grow. Actually very friendly, and can make a good pet.
  • Az-I-Wu-Gum-Ki-Mukh-'Ti (CR 4)- A giant, black, scale-covered creature, with canine front legs and a smashing fish-tail.
  • Chenoo (CR 7)- Humans that committed a terrible crime and froze their heart, becoming undead monsters that grow as they eat people.
  • Cihuateotl (CR 12)- The spirits of women who died in childbirth, with skeletal faces and eagle claws.
  • Cipactli- Horrid mixtures of frog, fish, and crocodile, covered in dozens of hungry mouths. They dwell deep in swamps and eat anything they can fit in their mouths.
  • Disemboweler (CR 6)- A female monster that kills people who are alone at night, by whispering terrible jokes that make them laugh until their stomachs explode.
  • Fsti Capcaki (CR 7)- Tall, hairy, extremely strong forest-dwelling humanoid, wields heavy branches and tree trunks as weapons.
  • Flying Head (CR 2)- After a particularly violent demise, the head of the victim detaches and grows, becoming huge and winged.
  • Gaasyendietha- A huge, aquatic dragon that flies through the air on a trail of fire. Also known as a 'Meteor Dragon'.
  • Geldegwsets (CR 5)- giants that live in rivers and streams, known to be friendly to humans that are respectful.
  • Haakapaizizi (CR 15)- A massive giant that can take the form of a grasshopper.
  • Harvestmen- Monstrous long-legged arachnids.
  • Hokhoku- Enormous, terrifying ravens that feed on eyes and brains.
  • Horned Alligator (CR 4)- A mystic crocodile with single horn, which can be removed and made into various items.
  • Hvcko Capko (CR 9)- A foul beast with the head of a wolf, the tail of a horse, and large eyes. It smells awful, and carries diseases.
  • Indacinga (CR 20)- A enormous, terribly strong giant, which can tear houses or trees out of the ground
  • Ishigaq (CR 1/2)- Tiny humanoids so light they leave no footprints on the snow.
  • Kiwahkw- the undead form of a dark spellcaster, that can change size at will, release a terrible, killing scream, regrow from injuries. The stronger the spellcaster, the stronger the Kiwahkw.
  • Matlose (CR 5)- A black-furred humanoid that paralyzes its victims with a fearsome scream.
  • Obsidian Butterfly Swarm (CR 4)- A swarm of obsidian butterflies that leave bleeding wounds and shred fragile objects.
  • Paija (CR 5)- A grotesque, cannibalistic female, covered in hair, with a single legs that emerges from her lady parts. Her gaze can petrify her victims.
  • Siat (male) / Bapet (female) (CR 5)- The males capture children, and the females suckle them on poisonous milk. Only vulnerable to obsidian weapons.
  • Sisuitl (CR 14)- A massive, two-headed sea serpent with a false face in the middle of the body.
  • Skatene (CR 4)- An ogrelike woman who can turn into an owl and decapitates victims.
  • Spirit Beasts- Immensely powerful elemental creatures, blending of animal and element, bridges between the mortal and the spirit world.
  • Tah-Tah-Kle‘-Ah (CR 10)- An evil ogress who kidnaps children in a pitch-lined basket, and may capture hunters to marry them.
  • Tammatuyuq (CR 4)- A cannibal monster, who turns human to gain the trust of a mother with a young child, then stabs a straw through the soft spot and sucks out their brain.
  • Tizheruk (CR 10)- A huge, whale-like aquatic creature, that rams opponents with its enormous head.
  • Tsiatko (CR 3)- Very tall, thin humanoids that live high in the mountains and speak with whistles. They make corpses into paralytic powder.
  • Uncegila (CR 21)- A huge, all but unkillable monster, with almost-impenetrable adamantine scales. Swallows victims whole, but is vulnerable from within.
  • White Buffalo (CR 15)- Sacred animals and messengers of powerful spirits, with great magical powers that can speak the languages of men.
  • Xiuhcoatl- An enormous turquoise dragon serpent, wreathed in sapphire flames, commanded by the gods against those who displease them.
  • Yumilekax (CR 3)- A mystical deer with wooden horns, some even bearing a beehive among their antlers. A protector of the forests that's immune to arrows.

Imported Monsters

  • Bì Xié (CR 9)- A winged, lion-like creature, a force of good whose presence alone wards off evil.
  • Black Shuck (CR 15)- A huge, black, undead hound, a portent of death, but it will occasionally escort travelers along dangerous roads or watch over children.
  • Clurichaun (CR 2)- A leprechaun who has been exposed to alcohol and transformed over years of abuse. Constantly drunk and surly, and raids cellars.
  • Feng Huang (CR 12)- A mystical pair of birds, male and female, whose presence is a portent of wealth and good fortune.
  • Lutin (CR 2)- A shape-shifting house-spirit, which can take the form of animals, move through air and earth, or turn invisible.
  • Nián Shòu (CR 16)- A large creature with a bull's body and a lion's head. It emerges from the sea on the Chinese new year to consume the Han people, but it can be repelled by the color red and loud noises.
  • Pixie, Garden- Tiny plant-like fey, imported to decorate European gardens, and became highly invasive.
  • Rhinemaiden (CR 6)- Seductive water spirits which hoard gold at the bottom of their rivers and pools.
  • Sin-you (CR 6)- A large creature, resembling a mix of lion and bull, with a singe stright horn. Attacks liars and the guilty.
  • Zhènniǎo (CR 5)- 'Poison-feather birds', green and purple birds with highly venomous talons and beaks, and a toxic contact poison on their feathers.

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