The Faewalk is Nat 1 Publishing’s shared universe that authors and artists can utilize as the setting for their fantasy stories without the fear of repercussion or lawyers from the Fantasy genre bigwigs. Almost everything in Faewalk is open game, with the one restriction being the characters—both protagonists and antagonists—which require permission from the authors who first created them.
Faewalk has soft-launched with updated updated Macy Blush books, a role-playing game in the works, and a new anthology of previously-published Faewalk stories! We also have a wiki in the works—you can see it now with the links below, but it is still very much a work in progress.
Simplified Setting Guide for Authors
Like most worlds in the multiverse, Faewalk consists of several continents and an archipelago separated by oceans and seas. The most interesting continent is the Unfounded because it’s where you can find all the different sentient species of the planet—not because they are from there, but because they aren’t (well, with a few exceptions). The Northeast region of the Unfounded—called the Dagger Shores—is the most populated and cliched (making it the ideal location for stories to occur), which has been rather troublesome in recent years as the Discombobulation plagues the world. Because of this, this Setting Guide is going to focus on the Dagger Shores, but more information on the rest of the Unfounded—and the world in general—can be found in the official Faewalk Wiki, which is always growing.
Map of the Dagger Shores and NE Unfounded
Dagger Shores Environment
The northeast coast of the Unfounded is called the Dagger Shores, which got its name from the jagged coastlines and numerous peninsulas, and absolutely not by referencing the setting of some other roleplaying game that tends to be plagued by bad decisions and stuffing their feet into their big ol’ mouth. Staying true to its name, the Dagger Shores region hugs the Grey/Gray Ocean(s) coastline and extends—at its widest—one hundred treads until its swallowed by the northern reaches of the Unfounded’s primeval forest or meets the Windscream mountains and steppes, blocking it from the frigid winds of the Friginfrigid Tundra. Overall, this region’s environment and climate can be best compared to medieval England, as all the best cliched fantasies are.
The bulk of the Faewalk stories take place in the Eighth-and-a-Half Age, which can be summed up with this simple paragraph:
This age started with the Discombobulation and isn’t considered a ninth age because people are stubborn and refuse to see it as a problem, putting their full effort into maintaining the status quo. With the Discombobulation came a horrible infestation of Dark Lords, an influx of reckless heroes and adventurers (no, they are certainly not the same thing), and the expansion of the Adventurers Guild (No Heroes Need Apply).
Regarding the recording of time: One Faewalkian day consists of twenty-four hours. Unlike Earth, one week is made up of ten days (in order: Genusday, Primeday, Highday, Marrowday, Peakday, Witherday, Shrineday, Duskday, Ashday, Veneration); there are three weeks in a month. The months are: Natalmonth, Desolati, Sowmonth, Aestus, Cindermonth, Middlemonth, Arbor, Harvestmonth, Pruinae, and Evemonth. Just to make things a bit more complicated, there is a five-day week between the last week of one year and the first week of the next called the Carousal, which is generally all celebration and feasting (for those that can afford it anyway); each day of the Carousal is dedicated to a different group, and to make it simpler, those dedications are the names of the days: Day of the Gods, Prophets, Kings, Dead, and Living.
For whatever reason, Faewalk isn’t the most stable of realms and it is influenced by narratives more than any other existence (that Faewalkians know of). Stories, particularly from a realm called Earth, heavily influence the world with every media portraying Faewalk (and, for some reason, any other realm that was not named in the story) manipulating the world or spitting people into it (whether those people existed on their “home planet” or are themselves a form of story is still unknown). Even stories on Faewalk tend to change reality a bit and on at least one occasion authors have met their own book characters. This phenomenon is called the Discombobulation.
Discombobulation Events can be subtle or jarring, and are very rarely good for the people and places caught up in them. As the world attempts to accommodate stories, people’s body are temporarily possessed (known as Avatar Syndrome) until some unknown narrative is completed or they die, and the landscape and history changes (usually temporarily, sometimes permanently) for the same mysterious purposes.
When there’s fantasy, there’s magic. Often, different kinds of magic. Such is the case on Faewalk, and as expected, it’s pretty significant (where wouldn’t the ability to alter reality on a whim not be?). We don’t really know how it works; it just does. The ability comes from the radioactive nature of the world, that’s mostly clear, but why can only some people do it, and how do deities and eldritch horrors grant mortals the ability? It’s just a headache. All you really need to know right now is that it’s possible, it’s common, and many fail-safes are created to defend against it—everybody from shopkeepers to politicians know about magic and have defenses in place.
As they are on Earth, different parts of Faewalk have experienced different stages of development. For example, the nations of the Nest have undergone the Steamcog Revolution, essentially moving that continent into the steampunk genre. At the same time, Rodinia is perpetually stuck in the Victorian age with gothic and Japanese undertones. As for the Unfounded, it’s a good combination of everything but leans toward cliché fantasy feudalism. There is steam and clockwork technology as well as firearms (though those are mostly utilized by artificers); most people live and exist in what could be best described as the dark ages with their toes dipped in the Enlightenment.
There are gods and goddesses and eldritch horrors on Faewalk, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are religions also. There are two primary faiths in the world, Odredba and the Covenant of the Silver Blood. Right now, Odredba (also known as the “New Church”) is the smaller of the two, while the Covenant (the “Old Church”) is most widely worshipped. This isn’t always the case; they tend to flip back and forth depending on how the last religious war went. While nowhere near a perfect fit, you can generally think of Odredba as the Catholic Church and the Covenant of the Silver Blood as Hinduism that absorbs most deities from other religions—it’s very possible to find practitioners of the Old Church putting out offerings for Odredban gods.
Commoners of both religions are generally friendly toward one another, much to the chagrin of the officials, but because they are commoners, they often end up as fodder for the various wars and skirmishes. This is not the case with the largest of the minor denominations—Meta—who believe that because of how much stories influence the world, there is no such thing as free will and whatever they do is predetermined, expunging all personal responsibility. Meta are essentially Faewalk’s versions of anarchists.
Cities and Governments
Unlike the rest of the Unfounded or the continents of the Nest and Rodinia, the Dagger Shores are not segregated into countries but rather are scattered with independent city-states, teeny-tiny kingdoms, and a general uncertainty of who is serf to whom. The most notable of these are Boulders Fence, Shallowpool, Torchtower, Baum Phawk, and Port Pourt. There are many other cities and villages in this 65-tread ribbon, but they have a bad habit of popping up and collapsing all the time—this tendency has left the Dagger Shores filled with ancient ruins, dungeons, and treasures existing right next to modern humble dwellings. So, between them and their vicinity to the threats (natural and supernatural) of the Unfounded, there’s always an adventure to be had by the many different people that call it home—human, elf, dwarf, or otherwise.
The biggest city in the Dagger Shores (and second largest in the Unfounded, behind only Snaggletooth on the opposite side of the continent), Baum Phawk has a history rich in being sacked, repaired, looted, grown, and toppled—often with districts enacting that list on their neighbors, no out-side influences necessary. Depending on where a person is, the city may look like a ruin, high-class gentrified estates, mercantile, or militaristic; often those descriptions can change in a day or two—especially if there are adventurers around, and there are always adventurers around. This history has led it to also being the most diverse metropolis in the region, with districts (or at least streets) dedicated to almost every species who call Faewalk home—including the typically evil varieties. This attribute is also why it is home to the head quarters of every significant guild on the Dagger Shores (who call the Neutral District home because it’s the only location in the city considered off-bounds to the political shenanigans of the district).
Started as a fortress in the northern reaches of the Unfounded at the inland intersection of the Dagger Shores, Friggenfrigid Tundra, and the Middlemost Coast, Boulders Fence got its name from the materials it was originally constructed of: boulders from the Black Curtains mountains. Today it is the most formidable military power in the Dagger Shores and the only thing keeping them from conquering the other cities to unify the region is the constant state of political turmoil that the city undergoes. Since it’s establishment, there’s been a near constant string of warlords, dictators, self-proclaimed emperors, Dark Ones, and generals who are continually dispatched by their successors. If it wasn’t for the fact that Boulders Fence is the only city of note for a hundred reaches, making it a necessary evil for residents of the region to rely on, there’s a good chance it would have completely imploded and abandoned generations ago.
The southernmost city of the Daggers Shores, Port Pourt acts as the mercantile hub between the Dagger Shores and the rest of the Unfounded and the world of Faewalk as a whole. Unless they want a treacherous months-long journey across the the Unfounded, merchants have to pass the city, making it a prime point to drop anchor. Because of this constant exchange of goods as well as immigrants from other locations on the Unfounded and the Nest, a walk through the city reveals vendors peddling their wares in a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets, lined with vibrant stalls that overflow with exotic spices, fine fabrics, precious gemstones, and rare artifacts. Traders haggle and bargain, creating a symphony of languages and cultures that weave together in this vibrant tapestry of commerce.
Shallowpool is a calm mid-sized city built around a large, shallow lake. Spanning out around the body of water, small villages have been established and families make their place along the banks of the lake. Using its brackish water to their advantage for aquatic cultivation, Shallowpool’s main exports are fish based products. Between the villages and in the wilder surrounding areas are covered in thick and hardy brush creating a natural barrier, warding off larger animals and most travelers. Although the peoples of Shallowpool are generally wary of strangers, they are cordial and, on occasion, even welcoming to weary travelers… So long as they don’t attempt to break curfew and definitely do not go out onto the lake at night.
Despite being the smallest metropolis in the the Dagger Shores, Torchtower has become in recent years the center of information and innovation, where they embrace the pursuit of knowledge with theaters, art galleries, and music halls enriching the cultural fabric of the city. Performances and exhibitions celebrating creativity and expression are held regularly, fostering a harmonious blend of intellectual and artistic pursuits. The city was built around the ruins of a stout castle that had been discovered on the coast by the first explorers of the Unfounded (it’s still unknown who built it) and rebuilt with fashion over fortification. Still, the inhabitants aren’t dumb: they constructed massive walls around the city to protect themselves and their books from the usually-hostile outside world and stock them with a seemingly endless supply of mercenaries.
With an influx of adventurers roaming Faewalk, doing what they want to do, the Adventurers Guild was established as a way to keep them in line. All adventurers must be registered with the Guild or else the hero in question may face considerable fines or even capital punishment. The Adventurers Guild has in recent years made contracts and alliances with most other organizations that tend to attract adventurers. The most significant of these alliances are the Wizards Guild—where the two societies are considered equal partners—and the Thieves Guild, which the Adventurers Guild has completely absorbed, making it a subfaction. Only the NPC guild remains wholly independent.
The New Peasant Coalition was established for much the same reason as the Adventurers Guild, except instead of reining in heroes, the NPC’s method was to organize the commoners that interact with them the most into a unified front.
The most mysterious of the guilds, the Guild of the Magi is most concerned with keeping the secrets of magic secret. One of the most used techniques to achieve this goal is the excessive use of copyright and trademark laws.
Also known as the Union or the Independent Rapscallion Society (IRS), The Thieves Guild consists of rogues, mercenaries, and assassins. Generally, you can figure out what they do and what they stand for by their name alone. If you need something done on Faewalk—no matter what it is—they’ll do it for a price.
Just about any type of “fantasy” species can be found on Faewalk—either as a natural inhabitant, or a misplaced protagonist of some story. Most abundant are the prime humans, but the rest of the peoples are just as influential. On the Dagger Shores, they more or less get along and living side by side—especially in Baum Phawk—but occasionally Lineageal tensions can rear its ugly head.
“Cultured Lineages” include: avrils (an avian people), battleborns (a manufactured people), dwarves, elves, felidae (cat-people better known as meows), gnomes, goliaths, halflings, humans (prime, Silwick, barbarians, and Rodinians), merpeople, phin (lizard people), and tieflings.
“Peripheral Species” —referred to by many “cultured lineages” as monstrous races— include: goblins, harpies, kobolds, novanoids (an ape-like people who can shoot lasers out of their mouths), squidithids (parasitic squids who eat peoples’ heads then control the bodies), vampires, and werewolves.