You are never going to see sunlight again. You will never breathe fresh air, or be warm, or feel safe.
That is your punishment. For your crimes, you are to be thrown into a magical portal and banished to Avernum, never to return. What was your crime? Not what you might think.
Not murder, or arson, or crimes against other people. No, your crime was against the Empire, ruled by the cruel Emperor Hawthorne. You spoke out against an unjust law, or you angered some politician, or you may just have been a misfit.
Not being able to fit in is a crime in the Empire. Thus, you are being sent to Avernum. It is not a different land. After all, the Empire controls the entire surface of the world. All four continents have completely submitted to its rule.
No, Avernum is a series of caverns far below the surface of the world. It is a dark, subterranean prison, a place where exiles like yourself spend the rest of their lives, far from the light.
What is it like there? Nobody on the surface knows. All they know is that it is dark, and unpleasant and that it is a place to be regarded only with fear.
Some people believe that there is no air, warmth, or food, and death comes with merciful speed. Others believe that there is enough food to enable Avernites to endure a miserable, wormlike existence. Until, of course, the monsters get you.
And a few believe that Avernum is a paradise. A subterranean land of pleasure and relief, and of freedom from the Empires iron rule. People mad enough to believe Avernum is a paradise soon end up there themselves.
They don't really know what it is like. Nobody on the surface does. But soon, you will. There is no appeal to the judge's decision.
Early one morning, in a low stone building far from any city, you are taken to the teleporter. You breathe clean, fresh air one last time.
Then they throw you inů
Map Of Avernum
So, this map shows all of known Exile, the caves that Avernum calls home. The Kingdom of Avernum rules from Fort Draco in the far north, east to formello, down to the whole of the Eastern Gallery, down the caves to Mertis and the Tower of Magi, west from there to the whole of the Great Cave, north to Fort Emerald, and finally northwest to Fort Spire, the gateway to the Abyss.
The Abyss, is an Avernum within Avernum. It is where the truely dangerous are sent if they cannot fit into Mainstream Avernum life. It is a land ruled by criminals, fiercely independent. Spire in the South, and Bargha in the North. The two City-States have an intense rivalry, constantly fighting over the little viable farmland within the Abyss.
Past Fort Remote, in the southwest, are the Western Reaches. A wild, untamed mess of tunnels that go on for miles. There resides the Dragon, Sulfras the Mighty, a hidden route to the surface, the Pit Drake, and untold adventures and monsters.
In the Center of the Map, we see the Slith lands. These lakes and islands, controlled by the Amphibious and Savage Slithzerikai, led by Sss Thsss, son of Sss-Thoss. The lizard people of Central Avernum HATE the Avernites, and constantly fight them in an unceasing war. That is not to say that all Slith are evil. No, some of them are peaceful, they reside in three places. One group resides in Gnass, a Slith village in the Northern Great Cave. One group, resides in Lost Bahssikava, a small settlement to the north of Central Avernum. The third group, is a small village of Sliths that reside on the western edge of slith-controlled territory.
To the North, lie the Giant Lands and the Northern Waters. These lands are relatively untouched by Human hands, and controlled by the Giant Tribes, Araneas, and other dangerous and magical creatures. The Area is notorious for housing Two of the Five Dragons of Exile. Pyrog the Cruel, the malevolent tyrant of the eastern Giant Lands; and Khoth the Wise, the most scholarly of the five, and one of the most reclusive, in the west, in secret tunnels north of Barga.
To the southeast, lies the Honeycomb. This twisted labyrinth of tunnels is the home to Athron the Reclusive, Youngest of the Five Dragons of Exile. They are prone to Cavequakes and the natural magic of Avernum, making mapping them almost useless. The honeycomb shifts, it's caves and tunnels changing almost constantly. A map of the honeycomb is rarely useful for more than a few weeks before it becomes an unrecognizable mess again.
In the Northeast, in a cavern just off the road to Fort Draco, lies the cave of Motrax the Kind, oldest and friendliest of the Five Dragons of Exile. Motrax allows humans in his presence, and has even let them build a small outpost at the entrance to his lair.
To the Northwest, we see the Burning Reaches. Here is the prison of Grah-Hoth, the Demon-King who claims Avernum as his own. Imprisoned within Skraagath, he is powerless on his own. But he has many servants, being a Lord of the Infernal Realms has its advantages. Grah-Hoth is perhaps the most dangerous being in the underworld. Sss-Thsss, Chieftain of the Slith Hordes, worships him as a God. Indeed, there must be millions of Demons and other fiends at his command. Even the Mighty Haakai, the dukes of hell, fear and respect him. But not all is evil and terrible here. In the southern parts of the Burning Reaches, lies the Tower of Erika Redmark, one of the most powerful archmages in all of the Empire, cast down and cursed to never see the light of day, lest she burn.
Players do not own such map and have next to no knowledge of the land at start of game.
As metal is rare in Avernum it also comes expensive, though stone may be common and easy to come by it is also much more bulky and heavy than say an Iron sword making it less usable, because of such here is the ruling behind such:
Crude -1 Atk -1 dmg, Normal cost.
Bronze -1 Atk, 1.5x Normal cost.
Iron Standard, 2.5x Normal cost.
Steel +1 Atk, 4x Normal cost.
Poor +1 AC check Penalty, Normal cost.
Average Standard, 1.5x Normal cost.
Superior +1 Max Dex, -1 ACP, 2x Normal cost.
Bows and Cross Bows
Cavewood -25% Range Increment, Atk -1, Normal cost.
Ash Standard, 2x Normal cost.
Yew +25% Range Increment Atk, 3x Normal Cost.