The Fate of Astralis

During the drive home today, I was brainstorming about ideas of future epic level things that could happen in a long term Astralis campaign.

What could be a huge event in an Astralis: Empire of Stars game? What could completely change the court of the Star-Pharaoh?

We Have Met the Enemy, and They Are Us

Astralis finds worlds in the Prime Material plane. Such worlds might be nearly anything. Including, a mirror of themselves. What if Astralis encountered another astral ship empire? What if that empire took notice, and waged a war of economic attrition and conquest over the colonies of Astralis?

A powerful empire, deriving from a world with a similar history, would be a potent enemy of the Star-Pharaoh’s far flung nation. The opportunities for battles on a thousand worlds would be near endless.

A Secret Grave

Astralis stumbles across the hidden world where Vecna’s Eye and Hand currently rest. Perhaps the lich has already consumed the soul of a new host, and is in control. Perhaps a wizard of Astralis becomes his new host. The arch-lich sees the throne of the Star-Pharaoh as an easy opportunity to become an Emperor again.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the material worlds, Kas senses that Vecna is on the move again. His demonic and undead spies bring him word of astral ships bearing the sign of the eye.

War With Gith

There are others who already sail ships through the astral plane. The githyanki and their lich queen launch raids into other worlds from their city resting upon the bones of a dead god. It is but a matter of time before the vessels of the Star-Pharaoh clash with those of the githyanki queen. And where the githyanki roam, the githzerai are sure to interfere.

A Plague of Tarrasques

There might be but one tarrasque. But many worlds have legends of one. Some take this to mean that there are more than one. What if the gods merely raise the singular beast whenever it falls? What if when it disappears to go into its long sleep, it is really being sent to another world instead? What if the Star-Pharaoh’s empire yet again angered the gods, and they set the tarrasque upon all of the worlds of the empire, one after another?

Could your adventurers defeat the tarrasque? If they proved that they could, might they be sent by astral vessel to every world where the beast appeared?

One Gate Too Many

The world of the Star-Pharaoh keeps building gates to other realms, extending teleporter pads to other places, sending astral ships to other places.

Someday, they push things too far. The pigeons come home to roost. Enemies burst through the myriad of planar gates, transforming regions of the homeworld into new landscapes. Teleporter pads flood the imperial lands with powerful strike teams who take up residence. Fleets of astral ships descend upon the failing center, intent upon seizing the treasures gathered from a thousand worlds.

The sages of Astralis do their best to shut it down. They crash the gates that they can close. The disrupt the teleporters they can stop. They destroy the astral vessels in their docks. War rages across the homeworld.

The flames consume the great libraries. The battles unleash terrible weapons upon the world. The warring factions  retreat when they can, but many are stranded. They divide the world between them. For the first time in thousands of years, the homeworld is a shattered realm with a thousand petty kings and queens. The civilization of the Star-Pharaohs descends into darkness.

Centuries go by. The worst disasters have stabilized. The world has come to grips with its new reality. Occasionally another planar gate or teleporter bursts through, or an astral vessel makes landfall, but there are ancient defenses in place that blunt such events. The inhabitants of a fallen world pick the bones of their ancestral lands, and live amongst its ruins.

Astralis – The Pitch


Long ago, on a world with one single great continent, an empire finally united the world. Not the “known world” as savants sometimes later recall of other civilizations. The whole world.

Sailing the seas of the world, the restless empire found but a scattering of islands, here and there, which were easily devoured. The pharaoh feared that with no foreign enemies remaining, he might not keep his internal foes at bay.

He called together his viziers, demanding a plan for the future. One by one they proposed plans that disappointed his ambitions. Until, one evening, a brilliant vizier pointed him to the stars. “There, pharaoh, lie your new conquests.”

Though the vizier gained the pharaoh’s favor, years passed before his vision was made real. A ship which would sail into the astral plane, piercing the dimensions to land upon the worlds encircling other stars.

That was more than a thousand years ago. Now the empire sends ships to thousands of worlds, to explore, to conquer, to return with tribute. But even as they settle the universe, the universe sets its eye upon them. More than once an offworld warlord has seized the astral fleet and taken the homeworld for their own.

Astralis is enduring, though. The barbarian at the gate is easily absorbed into a world of imperial luxury. What will you do? Rise to power or cast down the palaces of the corrupt?

Space Opera D&D without spaceships

Astralis is meant to be a setting for Dungeons and Dragons that creates a space opera type feel, without spaceships. By using astral ships, that sail through the astral plane and appear on other worlds by way of astral color pools, you get a multiworld setting without the automatic air-superiority that spaceships typically assume.

Astralis – The Home World

The Home World

Long ago, on a world with one single great continent, an empire finally united the world. Not the “known world” as savants sometimes later recall of other civilizations. The whole world.

(Think Pangaea, if humans had dominated it and it had not split apart.)

Thousands of years of history here… (but really a current interesting state should probably be introduced first)

Nine bows

At one point the ruler of Y offworld nation seized the astral fleet, and set off into the astral realm to reach Geba. He conquered the homeworld and installed his own capital near the heavily damaged previous capital.

Various events

In the year XX, the pharaoh died and insisted that things be brought to him in the afterlife. Astral vessels entered the outer planes to bring him his earthly desires. Heaven was offended, and great devastation was wrought upon the world. Perhaps the tarrasque appeared and rampaged.

The Modern Pharaoh

Nowadays, the pharaoh is largely symbolic. The pharaonic family continues ever onward, generation after generation, dynasty after dynasty, but the real power lies in a bicameral “senate” (hopefully some other name?). Now and then a charismatic pharaoh may wield greater influence, but the senate is quick to push back.

The Senate

Laws and administration of the government are really the province of the senate. This body consists of two “houses” – the House of Governors and the House of Viziers.

The House of Governors varies in membership numbers, and is comprised of the governors, or their duly appointed representatives, of those offworld nations powerful enough to warrant representation. Such a governor may be the native ruler of an offworld nation, or a military or political figure deployed by Seba.

The House of Viziers numbers 42, which is based on the religious numerology of the divine judge Duat. Officially, they are appointed by the pharaoh, but in reality the pharaoh rubber-stamps the powerful politicians who dominate homeworld governance. A senate-vizier must be a citizen of the homeworld, though in rare cases such citizens have originated from elsewhere.


The capital of Astralis. This city was built by the conqueror XX near the ruins of the original capital XX.