The reason I'm posting now is that on my way home from work, I was thinking about FR and its supposed jump many years into the future and how I am going to handle the changes made to the magic system, etc., without totally retconning the whole thing, then it hit me....
In Khardtha's past, there was a great war between the schools of magic because they had just developed and the specialists in those schools wished theirs to be the "true heir" of magic. Before that, there was no such thing as a school of magic, and the ways of casting were vastly different. Problem solved...4E takes place in the past, when the world was still a wilder place and before all the events that led the gods to reconfiguring some of reality in the aftermath of calamaties.
In this way, there's no reason to explain WHY anything is how it is as opposed to how it was. There is no was, and what there IS is how it's always been. In the future, though....man, that'll just all be different and crazy.
Other things of note:
- Goblins have horns.
- Elves and Eladrin will have varying characteristics of fey creatures. One tribe might all share the horns and goat legs traits of a satyr while the next might have woody textured skin and vines for hair like a dryad.
- Bryss Tahl (what will become Dungan), the large ruined city of the old campaign is now a vibrant place. The brightest of the "points of light" in the campaign. Arvedas Dungan isn't even heard of yet.
- Long ago, the tendrils of the Abyss locked its hooks into the world, and with that came influence from its denizens. The madness of the demons brought about grasping power among men, elves, etc. Those falling prey to the depravity and rapaciousness of the demons spawned a new race called the Tieflings, who were steeped in chaos and evil. This tip of the natural balance in the world spurred something that has never happened before....the very planet itself, or some deeply hidden being within it (possibly a titan?), known in children's stories and legends as "The Great Dragon," spawned a race meant to bring about balance once more. Thus were the Dragonborn created. This explains away the two 'new' base races.
- Warlocks gain their power from willing possession. They, with almost no exception, are covered in runic tattoos that help to bind their chosen power source within them, be it fey, demon, angel, etc.. Thinking about a type of "break" in which the Warlock might lose control once bloodied and the creature that fuels the eldritch power within takes over.
- Wizards are generally mistrusted outside of larger cities. The folk of the outlying villages see too many horrors to trust anything that they blame for having created it. Clerics, on the other hand, are always welcomed...though sometimes the villagers might not know that the Cleric could be the one leading the undead harrying their village. Anyone who can heal is a good person, right?