We’ve recently started a stream of our one-on-one game running an adaptation of Descent into Avernus called Tales of Eldura. In this post, you can learn about the world of Eldura where the adventure takes place!
We’ve also included the PDF of the relevant history as an example of the type of handout you can pass on to your player to help make sure they know what their character would know when starting a game.
The History of Eldura
The world of Eldura has known little beyond war. For three hundred years, the dark goddess Alessandra and her legions have laid siege to cities of Eldura, most recently claiming Ardor for her own. As dark towers rose from the ruins of Ardor in the new city of Reckoning, Alessandra turned her sights to the island city of Beacon. Ships with black sails raid Beacon’s shores, and their supply routes remain under constant threat. Hope inside the city hangs by a thread. All too soon, it seems, Beacon will fall to the goddess’s schemes.
In Eldura’s storied past, legends tell of earlier cities that disappeared without a trace. A flash of light consumed the city of Orison, pulling it and the millions of souls within beeath the waters of the Central Sea. A few millennia later, the land of Steymhorod disappeared entirely, its fate unknown.
An unlucky few were there to witness the first wave of a simliar path of destruction for Beacon: dark clouds gathered and swept across the horizon, rolling and twisting into the shape of eyeless skulls. The Titan’s light, ever-burning over the city, extinguished, leaving a vacuum of darkness and shadow in its place. Bolts of lightning rained down, striking the earth around the city so that the ground quaked. A few survivors escaped in boats, braving an unruly sea, crashing on the shores of the continent. The maw of the Negative Planes yawns open beneath the city, ready to devour the tributes to light and life and drag them into the hellscape below.
But let us turn the wheel of time back further.
Six thousand years ago, a champion of Ilona grew displeased with her lot following the brilliant being. Alessandra wanted more, and she set about a path to find it. As she crept across the planes of the multiverse, she found one theme repeated, over and over again: the fastest way to absorb power is to siphon off the powers of others.
At the time, Alessandra was one of six champions, one for each Elemental Titan. The champion of light killed her five compatriots and took their power for her own, ascending into godhood. The newly born deity slipped free of the betrayed Titans and found shelter in the Realm of Shadow.
A quiet millennia passed as Alessandra bided her time.
Just as the Titans’ hearts had nearly mended following the betrayal, Alessandra struck once more, winning over the ambitious champion of water, Reka. Alessandra showed him how he might follow in her footsteps, but it would take a great price. Reka forfeited the souls of Orison, his patron city, and condemned them to a watery, eternal grave so that he too could arise to godhood.
As is often the case, Alessandra’s victory only satisfied her for so long. Whatever the allegiance of the other deities, Alessandra implored them to see reason—they would gain greater power and influence if they did away with the Titans and their champions once and for all. The celestial beings turned her away, but the fiends assented. If she would share her expanded authority with them, they would assist her in overthrowing the tyranny of the Elemental Titans, those who controlled access to magic across the planes of the multiverse.
The periods of bloodshed ran one into the next. Great cities arose alongside ever-strengthening instruments of war. Some of the peoples of Eldura sided with the dark goddess, while many others opposed her schemes. Dwarves and elves, humans and orcs, fought among one another, their battles mirroring those taking place across the planes between the fae and fiends, celestials and negata.
The PDF for the history of Eldura is below, and it also contains relevant information about the starting city for the adventure, Respite.
A note on homebrew worlds
It can be tempting, especially as a new DM, to delay starting your game because you don’t have all the details of your world ironed out as neatly as you would like, or you’re not yet sure of the city structure where the adventure begins.
You can develop those aspects over time and make them up as you need them as you go along. You don’t need a fully developed world to get started—you just need enough of a structure around the PC to help them invest in the story world, and the other details will grow in depth and complexity as you go along.
One of the things we love about homebrew worlds in one-on-one D&D especially is that you can build the world together.
DMs, let the player help you as you develop the world. Players, don’t be afraid to add cultural and location details on your own. The world will be richer for both of you working on it together!
I hope that you enjoyed learning a bit more about the world of Eldura! We’ll add pieces to this post and/or link to others as we continue fleshing out the world of Eldura. Since we’re running Avernus—not to mention that the PC is a cleric—the deities in our world are really important, so I’m continuing to develop them and their roles in the world.
If you like what you’re reading, please consider supporting the blog by purchasing our adventures and supplements in our shop or on DMsGuild or sponsoring us on Patreon. We’d also love for you to follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We appreciate you so much! Thank you for reading. – Beth and Jonathan