FIRST AND FOREMOST! I'd like to thank Revi and Iskari for building this amazing world! I have modified a few minor details to make the world suit my exact liking (with permission from Revi, of course). Introduction The world of Syrasza is one of great beauty and rich history. Stretching over three vast continents are civilizations with ancient heritage, along with some relative newcomers. The oldest civilizations are those of the Brier Elves and the Igneous Dwarves. From them, other branches of elves and dwarves spread. Humans and Light Touched have stepped into civilization more recently. The world is currently one of relative peace, though peace never lasts long in most worlds. This story will start with you choosing your own life through your character's history. Your history will be a major factor in your future. Depending on how many people we have, the players may not even meet each other. The purpose is to play a character and do whatever you want, whether that's becoming closer to your God, obtaining power, living the life of an adventurer, protecting the princess as a loyal knight, or raiding villages with your gang of bandits...the possibilities are many! This is a vast world and if you want to be with another player, make sure you contact me and I will try to arrange some way of meeting, or you can always start your life already knowing another player. In that case, make sure you get their permission. There may come a time where I will bring all of the players together for a similar purpose, and if you wish for this RP to start like that, please say so. I want this to be about you, the players. I thought that it might be fun, however, to simply live the life of any character you wanted. You don't have to be a skilled combatant to participate in this world, and you don't have to have a real purpose either. Be creative, do something you want to do, and be who you want to be! An example of a character might be a dwarven miner. He spends his days endlessly mining minerals for crafting, cooking, and medicines. From there you have choices. You can continue your life as a miner,sell your minerals to get by, live a normal life, get married, have kids, and simply participate in your town's activities (think kind of like a Harvest Moon life) Or You could leave and explore the world for whatever reason you come up with. You can meet different cultures, different people, experience everything the world has to offer! Go out and find undiscovered caverns or peddle your minerals to villages...you can pretty much do anything! Just make sure you are doing something the character you designed is capable of. Don't try to go out and slay a great dragon without first having extensive combat experience...you can make fatal decisions. Just have fun with this! If you have any questions, please please ask me. As of right now, there is no major conflict in the world, so do not get disheartened by a lack of purpose...make your own! And in trying to fulfill your goal, there might be a world changing conflict! IC http://www.iwakuroleplay.com/showthread.php?t=15338&p=414305#post414305 I post individual posts for each character until multiple characters meet. I think it is easier to follow that way. Ley Lines and Magic (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Ley Lines and Magic (open) Ley Lines and Magic (close) Magic gains potency depending on how close to a Ley Line or Ley Confluence (Where two or more Ley Lines cross or converge) one is. Moving away from this Line or Confluence will cause any benefits gained to be lost. Being within ten miles of a Ley Line causes any caster to be able to utilize the Eschew Materials feat, even if they do not have it. Being directly on a Ley Line causes any spells that would otherwise be cast in one round to be cast as though affected by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat. Being directly on or within one mile of a Ley Confluence allows the caster to cast any spell as though using one metamagic feat of their choice per spell. Ley Confluences are rare occurrences and moving away from one causes the loss of this benefit as soon as one is out of range. For this very reason, the articles of war in the Human Kingdoms have decreed that no human battle during wartime shall ever occur upon a Ley Confluence. Using magic on a Confluence thus causes the magic user to become fatigued for 1d6 hours upon leaving the Confluence area. Races (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Races (open) Races (close) Igneous Dwarves ruled by the Council Draconia The Igneous Dwarves are the oldest race of dwarves and the second oldest still living race on Syrasza. Their talents for crafting and masonry have produced some of the longest lasting cities and best weapons in the known realms. Not only are they skilled with non-magical crafting, almost every one is born with a magical gift. This magic is often used to increase the longevity of masonry, make impossible underground cities, and make weapons imbued with magic. Swords of wonder with never dulling keen edges and axes that never miss their targets are rumored to be made by grand master crafters, if one has the coin and can make the master believe that the weapon truly belongs with the buyer. Many masters will not sell to anyone who does not, in their eyes, resonate with the weapon they are choosing, and expect a wielder to immediately purchase a weapon that does resonate with them, no matter the cost. To not do so is to offer great insult and probably get you kicked out of the workshop of the master. However, many master craftsmen are willing to cut deals of service to pay for the matching weapon. In addition to being crafters, Igneous dwarves may choose to become farmers beneath the great skylights in their caverns. Some also take on the job of brewmaster, creating great meads, beers, and whiskeys. There are even a small caste of dwarves who live near the mouths of the cave cities, taking care of great hives of bees for honey that flavors not only beer and mead but also breads, cakes, and meat pies. Though this race can make its home anywhere there are deep caves with skylight chambers, they prefer the Western mountain range of the continent of Tunalis, the largest and most temperate landmass of Syrasza. This mountain range is several hundred miles across and around 2500 miles long, with outside temperatures ranging from subtropic at lower elevations and latitudes to subarctic at high elevations and latitudes. The mountain range is riddled with dormant volcanoes, along with a few that are sporadically active and two that constantly seep lava and spew smoke, Greymount and Grand Plume. These sites are considered holy to the Igneous Dwarves, and though poisonous gasses keep the majority of the populace from venturing too close, each year, several dwarves of the Most Pious Order of Baulga use their blessed gifts to make a pilgrimage to one of the two mountains. The ruling council of the Igneous Dwarves is the Council Draconia, a group of the highest ranking wizards, crafters, and scholars among the dwarves. Though there are no priests on the ruling council, there is a small group of priestly advisors that offer words of wisdom to the High Elder on religious matters that impact the community. The High Elder is chosen from the council every ten years by a public vote that the other dwarves are welcome to watch and weigh in on, but not vote in. Only the council gets to vote, and their votes may be tempered by a number of circumstances including their own standing on the council (dwarves may be in Respectable, Good, or Poor standing, respectable votes counting for three times the influence of Poor votes and Good falling in the middle), their rank as a crafter, wizard, or scholar (not all on the council are grand masters, but grand masters and archwizards get an extra vote), and their health at the time. A dwarf is expected to be able to survive to promote his choice and agenda. Though age is respected, those of ailing health lose a vote. **In all the history of the council, there has only been one Journeyman to stand and vote. Four hundred years ago, Teylena Stonefury, a journeyman weaponsmith, became so well known for being able to match the soul of a weapon with the soul of a wielder that, even though she was not of master level, she was asked to sit on the council for her surefire ability to read those around her. She was such an asset that she actually gained a vote for the greater good she brought to the council and the smooth way she was able to mediate disputes between many of the older members by seeing past dwarven bluster and still allowing opponents to save face.** Hill Dwarves Hill Dwarves are slightly taller, more lightly built dwarves, not as stocky or squat as their Cavern and Igneous cousins. They are by no means thin and elegant and are still very recognizable as dwarves. Years of living above ground have given most of them healthy tans, these darker skintones useful in the high elevations where the sun beats strongly. Many hill dwarves are foresters by trade, but a high percentage still remain farmers and miners, making a living wherever their ancestors settled. Hill Dwarves tend to particularly revere Tobosh and Kanpadosh, though worship of others is not forbidden. Hill Dwarves often choose to settle wherever there are resources close to the surface that they can utilize, though more are found in the hills of Bravano than anywhere else on the planet, though a large population has made a home in the northwest central portion of Orboshon, where gemstones and veins of minerals sit so close to the surface that it is not uncommon to be walking along and find a semiprecious stone glinting in the sun. Living so near humans, halflings and even elves in some cases, Hill Dwarves have become incredibly adroit at politics and communication. Unfortunately, they are also susceptible to being drawn into the criminal element of large cities, often as enforcers or crafters of weapons of illegal nature. Though not as magical as the Igneous Dwarves, Hill Dwarves have their own special talents, one of which is an absolutely incredible gift for making food and drink. Hill Dwarves are natural crafters of not only weapon and tools but food and make some of the best chefs, aside from halflings, in the known world. In fact, it is said that to have a Hill Dwarf brew master and a Halfling chef is to know the finest feast in the world. A strange counterculture has erupted among the young of the Hill Dwarves lately, leading some to abandon their rustic ways and emulate human high society. This is generally looked down on by the greater populace of Hill Dwarves as social deviance. It is one thing, most say, to accept humans as intelligent creatures. It is entirely another to give up one’s heritage to act like the mutated spawn of beasts. Hill Dwarves typically stand no more than five feet, though their upright posture and finer features often give them the illusion of being taller. They are considered adults upon their 38th birthday and can live upwards of three and a half centuries should no ill befall them. Their hair and beards tend toward a sun-bleached appearance, and this happens readily with only the most secluded hill dwarf having the lustrous black or dark brown locks spoken of in many tales of hidden beauties. One such beauty was the dwarven princess Agalena Shinecrystal, who was cruelly imprisoned by her father who feared for her chastity and sought to use her marriage as a bargaining chip in his political maneuverings. Her hair grew so dark beneath the sun, and her skin so fair, that she was described as a light among shadows. As it happened, her prison bordered a badger sett, and one night she heard the badgers within and amazingly could understand them! The mother was weak from birthing their cubs and the father labored long to provide for them. As the days wore on, the mother weakened and the father stopped coming back. So moved by their plight, she carved away the stone of her wall, speaking soothing things to the badgers as she went. She had only reached the sett when the mother told her that she would not live. Vowing to keep her cubs, Agalena raised the badgerlings and taught them of dwarfkind. In return, the badgerlings told her of all their mother and father taught about digging and earthcraft. Together the badgers and the dwarfess wrought a cunning passage that allowed her to escape! From then on, Agalena learned the lore of the earth with her badger children Onyx and Alabaster and was a champion against bondage and political slavery. Legend says her skin and hair remained ever the same. Cavern Dwarves Resembling their igneous dwarf cousins, Cavern Dwarves are a lot sharper in appearance with features that look more like they were carved from granite than grown from flesh. Still, one should never mistake their appearance as a sign of weakness or infirmity. Cavern Dwarves are as hardy and powerful as any other dwarf (more so if you get them talking on the subject) and surprisingly spritely. Cavern Dwarves live in the Earthwarden Mountains (and eastward to the coast), a range filled with limestone caves that have been tended for many centuries. The cavern dwarves have discovered the myriad mysteries within these places. Each cavern houses new secrets, some going deep into the earth to tap at mysterious, mystical energies that make them miraculous. Gifted with a powerful sense of these caves, the Cavern Dwarves live within but do not disrupt the lives and magics of their homes as other races surely would. They tend and care for their stalactites and stalagmites as a brier elf would care for his trees and live amongst them in a very harmonious fashion. Cavern Dwarves do mine, but do not use the crude and brutish methods of their Igneous and Hill kin. Their mining techniques allow them to extract what minerals and ore are present with minimal disruption to the cave itself. Through long years of study, the Cavern Dwarf lore masters have learned exactly what substances are dissolved within their waters and how to extract them. They are also aware of what crystals will naturally replenish themselves and what materials are safe for removal. Because of this, the dwarves have resources thanks to these caves that will likely sustain them indefinitely as long as there is space for the dwarves to live. Some of the world’s greatest gourmands are Cavern Dwarves, who have left hope with the knowledge of the delicacies of the limestone caverns to try their recipes and find pairings for the unique tastes they know. Others are exquisite gem-carvers, medicine peddlers, or traveling sales folk. Still, few Cavern Dwarves travel far from home, as they typically need to replenish their trade-stock. Cavern Dwarves are a very boisterous lot, loving to dance, sing, and make music and merry. Their dances are always low to the ground, involving legwork that many without their typical posture would be hard-pressed to imitate. The more acrobatic among them have even incorporated tumbling maneuvers from somersaults while holding tankards to spinning about on their heads. Their food and drink, all taken from their caverns, is plentiful and many communities miles away will grumble either at the noise or the rice scents of their bounty upon the wind. Cavern Dwarves dress brightly in dyed fabrics that are studded with crystals. Cosmetics and hair dyes are used heavily among both genders, leading many less friendly outsiders to compare them to circus clowns or harlots. The themes, patterns, and applications of dyes and makeup vary from cavern to cavern, often with such intricacy that it is easy for a wary mind to identify which cave a dwarf is home to by their clothing alone. These dwarves have a few adaptations that allow them to not only live in happiness and harmony in these caves, but also ensure that they will not be easily ousted by jealous rulers. Chiefly, a Cavern Dwarf can breathe in even the most noxious environs present in the caves. From stale air to sulfurous volcanic fumes, a Cavern Dwarf finds no difficulty. They are aware that other races do not possess this gift and, if pressed, will not hesitate to use this to their advantage. Likewise, the dwarves are immune to the naturally occurring poisonous compounds and venoms found in their homes. A scratch from the arsenic-heavy Brimiri crystal or a sting from the tiny, but deadly Schumpter’s Scorpion might incapacitate or kill those of other races, but are barely annoyances for the thick-skinned dwarves. Even the best military strategists consider the dwarves to be unassailable, as they have resources and innate knowledge enough to resist a siege indefinitely. Still, there are adventurous Cavern Dwarves who seek the richness of a life beyond the caves. Especially those youths who seek mysteries, but are disappointed at the wealth of knowledge collected by older generations, find themselves venturing forth to view the wide world and all its splendor. Such dwarves take to their new lives with great zeal and put their considerable strengths to use however they can. Typically, however, a Cavern Dwarf will grow nostalgic with age, most returning eventually to the limestone they called home. Those who return are greeted with open arms and celebrations that can last for days. Upon their return, many will fill volumes with the details and wonders of their travels. Cavern Dwarf libraries can stretch for yards with the knowledge gained about the wide world beyond their homes. One intrepid traveler is known as Dentun Stockfinger, a wily rogue with a knack for traps and mazes. Using his innate adaptations, he scours the world hoping to find challenges, technologies, and new potential homes for his people. Ultimately, he seeks the prestige such things will bring him and hopes to assemble a vast fortune before returning that he might retire in obscene luxury. His companions find him infinitely useful in that he can act as a living canary, never gets lost, can spot traps in an instant, and is an amusing and amazing dancer. Halflings Some consider the halflings of Syrasza to be an offshoot of the dwarven race, noting that they are small and stocky with wide features. Still others contend that halflings come from the elves as they have slender limbs, pointed ears, and lack beards entirely. Whatever the argument, all can agree that they simply can’t be short humans, as they existed before the advent of humanity. Halflings insist they are their own people and that the similarities to other races are coincidence. After all, both elves and dwarves have five fingers per hand, as do humans and a variety of others, but no one in their right mind would put voice to the idea that elves and dwarves are related. The average halfling seeks a life full of happiness, comfort, and beautiful things. They pursue ideals of the mind with an equal fervor to crafts, agriculture, and even physical fitness. Though they are small, and typically weaker than most humanoids, halflings are still regarded as a fine and popular race. Halflings often build isolated communities or carve out their own districts in integrated cities. This isn’t because of true isolationist behavior; it is simply that they wish a place where everything fits them and feels like home. Still the areas around these “halfling towns” is usually occupied with splendid trade bazaars where the halflings trade their wares, services, and produce with the larger folk for materials and luxury items that they cannot make for themselves. Halfling revere the goddess Jazel with great fervor. Even laymen have heard the stories and many fervently believe in her message of peaceful commerce and crafting. To that end, halflings tend to devote great amounts of time to Jazel’s churches, which also double as workshops and schools for their youngsters. While they love crafting, halflings typically abhor hard physical labor. Thanks to their inventiveness, they have many intriguing devices and developments to aid them in such tasks. Of course, the dwarves and elves do not take well to these technological marvels, preferring (in the dwarves case) to feel effort in their labor or (in the elves case) to find a love or joy in it. Their marvels have found a home in the human communities who consider them just the sort of labor saving things they need to fuel their ambitious lives. Halflings dress richly, usually in the styles of the communities they adopt. Of course they are never without their own individualized flairs for such matters as their tailors must not only reproduce the fashions at the appropriate scale, but they must make them unique enough to keep folk from thinking them just ‘short people’. Halflings hate being looked down upon (no pun intended) for being smaller than other races and will become agitated if treated in a desultory manner. Anyone who would dare insult a halfling without mercy will soon become acutely aware of the pain in their knees, shins, and groins. The common fighting adage of the halfling is ‘bring them down to our level’, a tactic that has been found to be very effective. Another halfling battle adage is the notion that ‘should you mess with one, you mess with all’ making most canny folk very aware of themselves when thinking to insult or harm a halfling. Halflings have a very loose system of government, preferring to let trade and family honor dictate rules. They are more-or-less willing to accept the laws of any parent community they are part of, but generally do not consider themselves to be strictly beholden to such rules. Halfling children are expected to aid their parents in living comfortable lives, but never at the expense of their own happiness. Honor is won by craftsmanship, physical fitness, or skill at their chosen field with parents often bragging loudly of their children’s achievements if given half a chance. Among other halflings this is expected and accepted, and it is considered poor form and bad manners not to listen. Similarly it is bad manners for the boaster to attempt to shame the listener, speak too long or distractingly, or mention their child’s betterment over the child of the listener. Because of this, Halfling boasting typically starts with a neutral exchange of the information of the talkers’ families. Children, by contrast, should never brag about their parents. Their parents, after all, are the ones who benefit from the children, the children’s success being dependant upon the parents so that the children strive to achieve. Still, some halfling communities take their reputations and desires too far, becoming more like parasites on the communities they have adopted. Their workmanship can become shoddy, their outputs poor, or their populace lazy. In these cases halflings will take up crime to support their need for luxury, comfort, and food, spending all of their time in idle pursuits. Gambling dens become common, with the house taking great advantage of the many games of chance they offer. Brothels also become more common as many halflings, male and female alike, would rather sell their bodies than put forth an honest days work. These places, if allowed to fester and grow (and they will, rapidly) will likely spread their criminal works to the populace of their parent communities, resulting in gangs, organized crime, burglary, mugging, drug distribution, and other greed-driven travesties. Parents of these larcenous halfling children will still brag loudly of their child’s achievements, though their manners in such cases become atrocious. Still, wandering halflings are more common than most folk realize, seeking fun and adventure and treasure to aid in their happy lives. These halflings are not usually noticed as they have a habit of blending in with the local halfling populations and not making big names for themselves in the surrounding “big folk” areas. Because of these travelling individuals, the halflings have developed an extremely efficient mail system, whereby letters of a child’s achievement can be sent to the parents no matter where they may be. Using magic and mechanics, a halfling’s letter can cross a continent in less than a fortnight (two weeks), and can reach another continent in a month. Such service is free to all halflings who pay their community tax (assessed for adventurers when they enter a settlement), but is extremely expensive for non-halflings, no matter how good the terms and relationships. All letters are copied by scribes to be kept in archives should a letter fail to be delivered. The Keepers of Correspondence are wizened and dedicated halflings who considering the height of insult to be bribed for the contents of a letter. Because of this, the halflings are all extremely confident in their mail system. Even the most debased halfling would never betray another halfling’s mail. Because of their fine scale and small stature, halflings are renowned for their artistry. The level of detail achieved by a halfling can put to shame many dwarven and elven craftsmen. While the dwarves and elves can make superior quality items, none can match the intricacy of halfling decoration. Cloth is finer, embroidery tighter, lines thinner, and wiring more delicate when done by halfling hands. Indeed many elves and dwarves will hire halflings to put the finishing touches on their designs. This is never seen to wound the pride of the original craftsman as many consider halflings to be ‘just another part of the community’. ‘Mama’ Gilfdoodle is an elder halfling well past the prime of her life, yet still continues her adventuring. While she has had enough success to see her mother and father (who still live) are comfortable and that her twelve children can lead what lives they wish, she is ever in need of the thrill of exploration and the unknown. Mama is an accomplished wizard, having made many a magical item and written several new spells that have earned her prestige with all who would listen to her parents. She has embarked upon many strange and esoteric quests in her time, always seeking new ephemera and formulae for her magical workings. By contrast Bindlo Wollybog has had a rough life, growing up in a crime-ridden portion of a corrupt city. His young years were filled with larceny and the dog-eat-dog world of gangs and thugs. Still, he is quite handy with his favored weapon, an old thick sock filled with rocks and shot, and isn’t afraid of anything the city can throw at him. Against all odds, he has become a bastion of goodness in an otherwise bleak and lawless place. He uses his talents to help those that cannot help themselves and is quick to club down those who seem to spread only misery. Despite this, he doesn’t know of any way out or any chance that things will ever get better. Still he tries. Brier Elves The Earthwarden’s Mountains on Tunalis are home to the Brier Elves, the oldest known civilization on the planet. The mountains are crisscrossed by thick temperate forests, several of which are home to giant trees and treehouse dwellings. Brier Elves revere nature above all and care for their forest homes with the most sensitive of husbandry. The villages are each centered around their own Earth Temple, which is most often the only building in the entire village to touch the ground in any way. This circular building is more than just a temple, and also serves to house the ruling council and is often built around the central tree of the settlement. It has no floor, and is often carpeted with a thick layer of moss and fallen leaves. It is here the important meetings are held, prayers are conducted, elaborate rituals designed, and justice is carried out. The ruling council of a group of Brier Elves is comprised of nine elves and is known as the Earthtouched. Each year, the Earthtouched elect one speaker to act as their representative in interaction with outsiders or any journeys, as well as to be the speaker judge in matters of justice. This speaker, or Caller, must change each year and one may not serve as Caller if one has served anytime in the past three years. Villages are built far from one another, but the exact boundaries of territory are fluid, with “free lands” under the care of several villages spreading between settlements. These lands are often patrolled by rangers and druids whose duties free them from allegiance to any one settlement and instead swear them to the service of the forest. While home in their village, however, they are expected to protect it from any threat. Therefore, except in times of war, it is unlawful to call these wardens back from the free lands at any time other than that of their choice, and coercing the return of a warden is a high crime punishable with exile. The largest Brier Elven village is a massive city called Coresha Dablinara. The current Caller, and thus the representative voice when the Brier Elves as a whole must send someone to speak, is a druid by the name of Arbodi Kinsessi Moonflower. Kinsessi is in her third century of life and is known for her gentle nature and bond with even the largest of avian species in her lands. Her hair is a natural lavender color that matches her eyes, and she is slender and tall, standing nearly as tall as the largest males in her city and has pale green skin. Brier Elves stand around 6’5” for the tallest males and 6’1” for the tallest females, average being a few inches shorter. Thus, they are generally taller than most humans, but not by much, and the shorter Brier Elves are actually of smaller stature than the tallest humans. Their skin is a pale to dark green or reddish brown, or any color of greenbrown in between, and their hair and eyes are the varying colors of forest blossoms, though the most common combination is green skin with yellow hair and green eyes. They live to be around eight hundred years of age. Bright Elves Standing at around five foot tall with silvery blue skin, opalescent eyes, and long golden, silver and white hair, these elves resemble fae more than any other mortal race on all of Syrasza. It is uncertain whether this is due to actual fae blood, but many scholars think it no coincidence that this appearance coincides with an origin in the Brightsea. It is thought that these elves were once Brier Elves who took to exploring the world and somehow settled on the icebergs and minor islands of the antarctic region. Somehow, they changed over the millenia, until it is now hard to believe these creatures of magic have any relation at all to the Brier elves. Bright Elves currently inhabit many of the world’s islands, including the Trinsia Islands and the tropical nation of Vono Imeris. Dressing in gauzy clothes that leave little to the imagination, they have nearly as close a relationship to the children of the volcano as many dwarves do. They find the mix of nature and magic inherent in the forces that guide the world a potent thing, one that they try to not only observe, but live. Bright Elves live to be about 1500 years old, but have a relatively low birthrate, normally only producing a child per adult female once every 150 to 200 years. Bright Elves are capricious, believing in freedom and love over all, but understanding the necessity of government and having those with a talent for speaking be the speakers. No Bright Elf is ever given a position that they do not hold talent and passion for, and all are encouraged in their loves. It helps that most menial and disgusting tasks are easily taken care of by magic, leaving the Bright Elves to the pursuits of the hearts’ desires. Each island has its own form of government. While some are ruled by democratic councils, others are monarchies and still others resemble near anarchy. This curious system is made only stranger to outsiders by the sheer number of relatively peaceful coups and changes of government that seem to happen. Of course, no huge change is ever completely peaceful, and the Bright Elves more than any other race are known to go to war with others of their kind, very often with their own governments. Thankfully, their very resilience and magic means that fewer die than should. They are also careful about unleashing the full force of their offensive magics, knowing that their birthrate is low and that they do not wish to extinguish themselves from the world. The current government of Vono Imeris is a parliamentary meritocracy. Those who hold seats have certainly earned the right to do so, and doing so is their passion and their love. Those who have proven themselves by their ideas and plans coming to healthy fruition gain more power, being appointed to special committees. They are not easily swayed by bribes or offers of power. This does not, however, mean that they always agree and the parliament has at least ten separate political parties that sit along various spectrums. Very rarely will the same side win two votes in a row. To outsiders, this seems to result in barely controlled chaos, but the Bright Elves are generally so inherently good that, even through the mash of conflicting laws, the population is generally happy and the island an ideal vacation spot. Bright elves all have access to magic, and it is almost unheard of for a Bright Elf to be born without this talent. However, this magic may be holy, arcane, or chaotic, and can take many forms. Bright elves often display an inherent ability to polymorph themselves and adults can generally do this once a day. (Adulthood is reached relatively fast: A Bright Elf is considered adult at age 210). However, despite the magical gifts they have, Bright Elves are physically weak, though very resilient. Oddly, despite what one might think, they are also mildly clumsy, perhaps due to the vast amount of energy and need to keep moving that most possess. Dhalsiphia is one of those rare individuals born without a magical talent. Instead she has dedicated herself to strengthening her body and working toward enlightenment. Amongst her chaotic people she is mostly tolerated, but she finds them incredibly disruptive to her notions of inner peace and discipline. Battling against her in-born weakness and clumsiness, she is capable of performing feats of the body that astound her peers, each proclaiming that there must be some sort of magic within her that is simply unseen. Dhalsiphia dreams of travelling abroad to seek out others, for certainly she cannot be the only one who has sought such enlightenment in this world. Travelling Elves Found all around the world, the Travelling Elves are a nomadic sub-culture of elvenkind that technically constitutes its own race. Sometimes, at a young age, elves from all the other sub-races will find themselves stricken with an intense and unquenchable wanderlust that is all-consuming. No matter which sub-race of elves they come from, they will change in form to adapt to their calling as soon as they leave their people. Addicted to moving about, these elves develop long legs, sharp eyes, strong arms, and potent endurance. Travelling elves are pale, nearly albino in color, but with vibrant hair and eyes that retain their color from their previous lives. Travelling elves gain a sense that lets them detect each other over many distances, and if interviewed on friendly terms, a Travelling Elf can reveal the distance, direction, and speed of any elves within a span of miles equivalent to 1/10th their age. Travelling elves are a useful lot, having grown innate understandings of how to get from place to place. They lose their original racial characteristics and bonuses, trading them for advantages in climbing, swimming, jumping, and the making of vehicles. These elves are a very adventurous lot, many exploring for the sake of exploration, collecting treasures to aid them on their way. Many are full of glad humours, becoming the life of parties when they stop at inns or the homes of friends. As their road is long, so is their mind for stories and many can relate humorous anecdotes on dozens of topics. Travelling elves dress in a wild variety of fashion, essentially keeping those ideas that they have favored throughout their journeys. Thus one can find clothes and jewelry mixed from just about everywhere in some of the older members. Utilitarian travel gear is mixed with finery and decorations, though many a canny elf will take great care to dress appropriately should they find themselves in a social situation. Their vehicles are similarly bedecked in a mix of decoration and utility and have looks that range from junk-piles to gaudy mashups to beautifully arranged collages. The government, such as it is, amongst travelling elves is based upon the range that each elf has covered. Leaders are elected by contest when enough travelling elves get together, and rank is decided in much the same way. Some contests can last for days as the elves go back and forth with tales of oneupsmanship, jokes, shows of prowess, and displays of vehicles. The one with the better tales, further distance, funniest jokes, best skills, and flashiest vehicles are considered superior and given deference in all matters. This also establishes a clear pecking order, with those lowest being instructed with tasks that will build them for the future. No travelling elf would ever cheat or lie at these contests as their pride in such matters in overwhelming. Non-traveling elves may typically not participate in such things and rarely will they have enough material to compete. These governments are dissolved as soon as the elves go their separate ways, though if they should meet again in the future, contests are typically more brief. Occasionally, a Travelling Elf will completely lose their wanderlust. In these cases, they will slowly revert to their old race over the span of a few years, returning to the person they would have been before. They retain all the knowledge of their old life and their travels, but the bonuses flee them. Strangely, many elves are not depressed at this loss, having optimism for their future as their proper designation. Because of this metamorphosis, Travelling elves are considered to have ‘separate lives’ from their true selves. A typical Wanderlust can last for 200+10d% years, the maximum of which is either the end of the life of the elf or the ending of the Wanderlust. Because of the lateness of transformation (usually just after the elf’s 100th birthday), most Travelling Elves remain this way for the entirety of their lives. Travelling Elves can have children, just as normal elves do. However, the offspring will NOT be Travelling elves. They will be members of one of the parent’s original sub-races. Typically, these offspring will be left with an appropriate group of elves at the earliest convenience that the parents may continue their travels. Nearly every elven community has an orphanage specifically for these foundlings. There is no noted connection between having Travelling Elf parents and becoming one. Very rarely the Travelling Elf parents will keep their offspring, but generally this results in a disconnect between the parents and child, as the child will not share or understand the compulsion of their parents and wish for a life as appropriate for their own race. The most famous Travelling Elf these days is Commodore-Colonel Svenistisi Malurnifis of the goodship Pangaian Paradise. This intrepid adventurer holds honorary titles on all three continents and is one of the only elves to have ever visited all five seas, as well as many hundreds of islands. He maintains a fleet of vessels, each captained by a fine traveling elf that has endeared him-or-herself to the outrageous commodore. Svenistisi, or ‘Nist’ as he insists on being called by those with familiar reputations, is an avid flag, coin, and plant collector, having whole ships dedicated to house his acquisitions. The commodore loves his life of adventure so much that he personally funds research into the nature of the Travelling Elf. He is approaching his eight-hundredth birthday (total life) and knows that he has a century at best to find the answer that will grant him eternal Wanderlust. One thing is certain, his wealth rivals the hoards of dragons and his fleet is a tempting, if daunting, target for all manner of greedy pirates. Wild Elves The most short-lived of the elven subraces are the Wild Elves. Standing slightly shorter than Brier Elves, these are elves that, sometime in their distant past, decided that even the tree house cities of their ancestors were too technological and decided to eschew them in favor of living in nomadic tent cities. For most wild elves, the rule of life is “leave no trace”. They seek not only to live as part of the wild but to keep it, themselves, and whatever they touch as wild as it was at the beginning of existence. Though they shelter in tents and caves, they do not damage the world around them. However, this does not mean that they cling to a misguided sense of conservation. Instead, they see themselves as animals, hunters and gatherers. The resources of the forest belong only to those strong enough to take them and then only for as long as that one needs them. “Leave no trace” to them simply means not to add civilization and advancement to the wild. Wild Elves travel in family bands of up to twenty elves but rarely more. They are not divided in tasks by line of gender, rather the one who fights best is the leader, no matter what gender, the one who hunts best is the getter, etc. When two family bands meet, one of three things will generally happen. The first option is that the groups, having nothing to compete over, will pass by without acknowledgement, going their separate ways. If, however, there is food to be had or furs for tents and their rough clothing, two or more family bands may come into conflict, the leaders of the family battling until one asserts dominance and thus wins the rights to first pickings/hunting. Finally, in rare occasions, two or more groups will come to the same area (usually an ancestral meeting ground) on purpose so that mates may be chosen or certain rituals held. During such times, the family bands act as one, the strongest of all the temporary leader. Wild elves are cunning and will not attack creatures or enemies they judge as stronger or more populous than themselves unless they know they have an advantage. They will, however, defend themselves if attacked, employing their usage of the wilds and the shadows and their knowledge of their territory range to their advantage. Family bands do not fight alongside one another unless interrupted during meeting times by hostile forces. Of course, not all Wild Elves wish to remain wild, and some feel the lure of the treetops or even human and dwarven settlements. These elves are allowed to leave and pursue their calling, but should they stay away longer than a lunar cycle, they are not permitted to return to their family and must either stay in their new life or to be mated into a new family. Wild Elves have relatively short lifespans and less magic than other elves. Instead, they seem to have an inborn talent for surviving in the wild and hiding from outsiders. A Wild Elf typically attains adulthood at age fifty and lives to be around 200 years of age. Wild Elves fall in love rapidly, and it is this that allows for such quick transfers of mates to new families. Even though a meet may only last a few days, the elves will know by the end if their mate is meant to be. Wild elves live where other civilizations do not penetrate or rarely encroach. Though they tend to avoid open plainsland, being skittish, they can be found in any forest, rocky desert, jungle, or scrubland that provides enough cover and resources. They travel often, though unlike the Traveling Elves, this is not out of a sense of wanderlust, rather as part and parcel of being a vital part of nature. Even with their travel, family bands do tend to have extended territories, if only because this allows them to learn the lay of the land and the flow of resources and predator patterns. However, oftentimes several family bands will have territory that overlaps. They do not see these territories as belonging to them; rather they see themselves as belonging to the territories. Wild elves are similar in coloration to their Brier Elf cousins, however, they tend to have darker skin and hair and brighter eyes. This may be an evolutionary trick to allow them to hide despite their low magic. It has been said that groups of adventurers have pitched camp only to wake in the night and find themselves surrounded by the band of elves that had been hunting the same lands in silence earlier that day. However, it is rare for even the best tracker to find a trace of the wild elves that had so recently surrounded the group once the elves decide to vanish into the wilderness once more. Jehefvidaiyah is a superlative hunter among his people and is praised for his ability to stalk, hunt, and kill even the large game without once giving himself away. His skill with a spear is unmatched in his tribe, whether thrown or thrust, and has earned him a prominent position among the hunters. But such is his ability that he sees no challenge in simply catching food. His idle hours see him entertaining notions of taking a lunar jaunt to seek other spear-wielders or of fighting back against encroaching civilization. Humans Humans were beastlike creatures until only a few thousand years ago, when the gods granted them a great boon, transforming them en masse and gifting them with sentience and the capacity to touch magic, an act that some members of the older races are resentful of, and a handful have yet to forgive their gods for allowing. The beasts were numerous, and thus the humans became so, learning rapidly and spreading, becoming second in population and dominance only to the combined nations of the Elves. The humans dominate the continent of Alnos, and though their cities are large and cosmopolitan, welcoming those of other races, many smaller villages and farmsteads are nervous of other races, and the nervousness is often reciprocated. In fact, due to the resentment several more conservative elves and dwarves hold for humans, many refuse to set foot within the grand cities or human settlements at all and instead remain in their own settlements on Alnos. A few of the most zealous dwarves have sworn never to set foot on Alnos, and there is a small church of elves, mistaken followers of Diffchatos who poses as the Goddess Sylenuia, who have sworn to cleanse the world of the human infestation, but are such a small group that they normally stick to raiding small settlements and have yet to invade a major city. This could change in the future, however if the evil god of hatred gets his way. Some humans have the capacity to wield magic, however this is only about ten percent of the populous (half of which are clerics and paladins, mostly minor) and can range from bards to wizards to crafters. Most humans are mundane craftsmen, farmers, politicians, or church officials. Some have taken up more exotic careers such as trappers, traders, and dealers in exotic goods, and there is a strong criminal element to many of the larger settlements and cities. Each large collection of farmlands, settlements, or city is ruled over by a noble of suitable rank (ranging from Barons to Kings depending on the amount of land encompassed. Dukes serve under kings, Counts under Dukes, etc. The lowest land owning rank is Baron and noble ranks below baron are knight and baronet.) The largest section of land, ranging from the eastern shores to the northern middle of the continent, is ruled by King Darriv, who is known for his kindness and fairness, as well as for his ability to fight and command armies. Spanning nearly a third of the continent and cared for by a variety of lesser nobles, King Darriv’s country, known as Benevolus, is a model of human compassion and ingenuity. Of course, all things of bright nature have a dark side and there are still thieves, vagabonds, and murderers. There are even whispers that some members of Darriv’s own council may be plotting against him. Three other human countries exist. The countries of Bravano and Lumina are smaller, Bravano known for gemstone mining and Lumina for textiles. Bravano is ruled by Prince Ademor, brother to King Darriv. Lumina is ruled by Priestess Queen Glarriva, who had yet to marry and is considered to be of great beauty. Word is she might choose to marry either Ademor or Darriv, which would increase the holdings of either by a vast amount. King Shavlon of Sundinit, the last and smallest kingdom, shows open support for the other kingdoms but worries that, should this alliance occur, his kingdom could easily be conquered and the continent united under the rule of the brothers. Meanwhile, Ademor’s advisors try to remind him that, if Darriv is to die without an heir, Darriv’s Kingdom will be his, as well. Whether he listens or dismisses this advice is under speculation. Light Touched Light Touched are those rare members of all races who have been granted special insight into the way magic works. Instead of just being able to utilize it, they can reform spells, adjust ley lines (except for those in the Wastes of Hope), and some even say they become living embodiments of magic. The bodies of their ancestors, all great and noble people, were transformed by a miraculous gift into what they are now: They resemble their natural race in stature and size but their skin and hair are of golden, silver, and pearl hues. The more powerful Light Touched glow softly, shimmering and reflecting even the smallest scrap of light they come in contact with, hence the race’s name. Occasionally, the gods bless a virtuous and noble person with this transformation. Light touched often mingle with the races they were formerly a part of. They often travel and rarely settle anywhere and can be found the world over, on ships or shore or inlands. Rare is the Light touched that is not directly dedicated to one of the Good deities, often to the Daystar and/or the Goodshadow. The Light touched are not universally good, though none are known to be evil. Their ethics, however, run the gamut between law and chaos. Each individual Light Touched has a special purpose to which they dedicate themselves. Whether these purposes arise from personal reflection, wrongs done during their mortal lives, or divine inspiration, all Light Touched pursue them vigorously. Typically, Light Touched will cultivate powers and abilities that aid them in achieving their goals. Not all Light Touched travel, or even if they do, not all travel constantly. Some dedicated to gods with Community or Law in their portfolios will attempt to settle areas or bolster existing cities. In these cases, it is a rare circumstance for a community not to embrace the aid of these beings. In these instances, a Light Touched will seek to impose their views upon the populace, hoping for the betterment of all. Many Light Touched crusade against the evils of the world, rooting out corruption, cults, and depravity wherever they go. Despite this, not all (by a large percentage) are paladins or clerics. Young Light Touched, those who weren’t part of their parent’s (or even ancestor’s) transformation can be overwhelmed by the information they receive. The parents consider the raising of their children to be a greater priority than even their purposes, as they must ensure that the next generation of Light Touched should stay clean of the taint of evil. Young are put through intensive training and teaching so that they may use their gifts with wisdom and purpose. Maturity takes only ten years, with babies being born with the ability to speak and think critically about their choices. Despite the intense training they must undergo, the children take to their lives with a fervor likened to a wildfire upon a dry grassy plain. Parents still continue their purposeful works, often trading off responsibility so that their mate may pursue while they instruct. Tragically, it is unknown how long a Light Touched can live. They inevitably meet their demise in pursuit of their goals, whether through combat, accident, or assassination. The agents of the evil gods consider Light Touched very tempting targets and are known to weave elaborate plots of twisted corruption to end the good works of a prominent individual. All other evidence and speculation suggests that Light Touched can live indefinitely as the oldest on record was at least 1,600 years old when she was killed in a dragon attack on her beloved city. Thanks to her millennia of nurture, however, the city survived with minimal damage and rebuilt in a matter of years. The whole of the population of Mindiea’s Sacrifice (formerly Tralfemis) still mourns her passing, with those who lived alongside her keeping her memory shining as bright as she did. Fulgurians Fulgurians are a rare race, a golem race birthed by lightning strikes that hit ley lines. The combination of intense magic and energy gives rise to a golem of glass and fused minerals and rocks. (It should be noted that no use of magic driven or alchemical lightning has been able to purposefully create a viable fulgurian. On the rare occasion one is birthed, it has crumbled to sand in a matter of seconds.) These creatures have high innate magic and all can use their magics to hover above the ground and move. Each looks different, their bodies comprised of the kind of sand and stone the lightning struck and varying in shape and color depending on how the bolts of energy and magic twisted and formed and the mineral composition. While highly intelligent, few have anyone to teach them the ways of the world and thus most remain devoid of any learning or morals, rampaging senselessly. Often, dwarven wizards seek them out to teach them and many times gain loyal lifelong companions in the Fulgurians. The most Fulgurians are born in deserts, particularly the Wastes of Hope, a crossroads of leylines littered with mystical ruins. Fulgurians are a moral and intellectual blank slate and will be easily influenced by the first person to win them over, though eventually, they will form some of their own ideas. Though rare, they tend to live very long lives if not killed, surviving until they erode sufficiently to lose magical cohesion. This time can vary depending on temperature shifts, humidity, and contact with various magical and material forces. Fulgurians have no political or governing structure, no innate love of the gods, and are neutral when created. Their entire worldview is crafted and nurtured by those who take them under wing. Naturally magically gifted, Fulgurians can become champions of good or tyrants dedicated to evil, depending on which side had first or greatest influence. While normally raised by dwarves or elves, there is at least one known case of a gold dragon adopting a Fulgurian and raising it in the ways of good and law. This dark, glassy Fulgurian, whose name became “Also” due to its desire to constantly learn and do more, is the only Fulgurian known to have mastered Holy magic instead of arcane, though how this came about is a mystery that the dragon has not shared. Also became a noted paladin of Heshina, and later a prophet. It was only in a battle against a great evil that Also was nearly destroyed, enough of its cohesion lost that it shattered. However, it is whispered that the dragon, finding her beloved glass child shattered and dying, found a way to preserve its soul in an artificial golem body of black glass. It is unknown if Also still exists, fighting the good fight, or if this is just a story to bolster spirits in bad times. Geography (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Geography (open) Geography (close) The Wastes of Hope The Wastes of Hope is a vast, sandy desert in southern Tunalis, punctuated by slick glass plains and saltflats. The occasional oasis can be found, but most are only seasonal, cropping up when storms come and fading a month or two later into muddy, stagnant pools that eventually dry completely. The few permanent oases have small settlements and religious or magical complexes built around them. The devout and the gifted make pilgrimages to study in the Wastes for one specific reason. Through either some grand design or sheer force of luck, the Wastes of Hope are a confluence of ancient ruins and ley lines. It is said that this is the place the lines originate, and they blossom out and curve and follow whatever formations once existed before the place became desert. Thus, it is a veritable spider’s web of magical energy. Many of the ley lines are well mapped, and any place at all where an oasis rests on a ley line, a Focal Tower has been erected. Though maintained by the Elves, Focal Towers are a great magical boon and considered to rightfully belong to all races. Add to that the fact that they are often close to the only source of water for miles and it is vital that these places are kept as sanctuary, non combat zones. Anyone found attempting to harm someone within the focal point or near the oasis is sentenced to the harshest of punishments. He is sent away. Many of these points line up along what is known as the Leviathan’s Spines. It is rumored that a vast underground river feeds them and flows directly beneath the ley line, or perhaps within it, though no one has ever succeeded at breaching the vast magical artery to find out. Rumors abound that if one could reach into the pure, untainted waters, they might live forever or attain godhood. A few scholars have suggested digging down through the oases, but this idea has been met with shock and bitter refusal every time. The Caldera Jungle Travel through the Arctic Mountains is harsh and unrewarding, but those brave enough to traverse it may find their way into a lush and wondrous land of unexpected bounties. This dip in the snowscape is steep, with only a few paths accessible by foot down the harsh, melting and crumbling cliffs. The air warms rapidly as one travels down, and soon a small band of temperate forest can be found. Still further down, a rich, tropical land exists. This oasis is several miles wide, and sits over a natural, and currently stable, hotspot. This land has strange, harsh weather patterns and the snows that fall elsewhere melt to rain here. In the rainforest, many creatures and plants live, growing and eating one another. Some alchemists devote their lives to raising the resources to travel this land, for it is known (or rumored, in some cases) to have some of the greatest healing and curing plants, animal parts, fungi, insects, and minerals in the world. During the long nights of arctic winter, the Caldera Jungle is illuminated by “Sun balloons”, plants which fruit at the end of summer and persist in the cloud layer ‘ripening’ all winter in the cold condensates of the upper cloud layers. A byproduct of this ripening is a bioluminescent glow that provides light similar to full daylight and heat enough to keep out the arctic chill. At the spring equinox the weather change causes these fruits to burst in violent explosions that scatter their seeds and ripened flesh across the landscape, making them one of the most common plants in the jungle. Luckily for other life there, they are not particularly aggressive and the flesh of the fruits provides a welcome burst of resources every spring. If the Sun Balloons were to die out, life would change dramatically in the Caldera. By some quirk of development, many other plants and animals are bioluminescent, though why this trait is so common in a place constantly illuminated baffles many a researcher. The Arctic Mountains The Arctic Mountains are harsh. Cold, windy, with storms blowing in from the sea, this northernmost part of the world is also known as the Ring of Teeth. It was once a volcanic hotbed, but now, all but a few of the great mountains sleep. Those few are within the Caldera Jungle. Few species inhabit these stormy peaks. Those that live upon the shores near them are clad in thick blubber and stick to the shores and sea, foregoing the treacherous peaks. The only species that brave the mountains are Snow Apples and their parasitic Damsels, long mushrooms that resemble a human head of long hair and tend to accumulate icicles. These mushrooms are sought by the same traders who hunt for blubber and the warm, insulating fur of the animals that frequent the shore and waters. When dried, the Damsels make a naturally sweet tea that can lower fevers and calm nightmares. Snow apples are not really apples at all, and are more akin to a strong, sweet, almost chocolate flavored coffee. Snow apple brew is favored by scholars who need to study for long nights. Though they are highly sought after, these useful plants must be gathered and cannot easily be farmed. It is rumored that white dragons also make their home here. The Ice Flows The ice flows are small islands off the coast of the Ring of Teeth. Many of the same creatures that inhabit the shore of the Ring also live here, surviving on each other and the scant resources of cold tolerant plants that live in cracks in the ice and gain their nutrition from sea microbes. The ice flows change direction with the stronger currents, the smaller iceburgs making ship passage difficult. Occasional bergs of red ice flow from the Crimson Island, bringing with them the strange, chaotic magics that draw some less stable mages from across the world. Some chaos mages have even been known to set up small towers on the floating red bergs. The Crimson Island The Crimson Island is a large mass of Red Ice (named for its pink, glowing hue) that rests in the Northern waters. It does not move with the currents, and it sits high in the water, the buoyancy unexplained. It is also a natural source of chaotic magic. Spells do not work correctly within fifty feet of the shore or anywhere on the Crimson Island. They either become other spells entirely, fail to work, retarget, become something completely new, or gain in power. Chaos mages are drawn to the Island’s siren song, for it allows them to practice their spells without fear of the degradation the magic would usually cause them in normal areas of the world. Small red bergs that break from it keep their magic but do not rest as high in the water. The smaller the chunk of ice, the closer to normal buoyancy it has. Strangely, red ice melts into normal water and will melt as soon as it is one hundred miles from the Crimson Island, no matter the temperature. If it refreezes after melting, it becomes normal ice. Icebergs that strike the Crimson Island will usually shatter, sending waves of ice chunks cascading over its surface and filling the waters around it with debris. No one has ever noticed if these chunks simply fall off the island or if they are converted into yet more red ice. Few chaos mages have cared enough to even try to research this question and most sane researchers give the island a very wide berth. Alnos The continent of Alnos is largely populated by humans, with a few small pockets of elves in the heavily forested areas and northern jungles and some Hill Dwarves making their homes in the higher elevated mountains. The human cosmopolitan cities welcome those of all races, though chaos mages are looked at with suspicion. The southern central hills in the Kingdom of Bravano are rich in gemstones and metals, and thus there is a high population of dwarves actually living and mingling with the humans of Bravano. Bravano also produces many grains and is a large exporter of cattle and sheep. Northern Bravano is known for goats, cheese, and the Alexandrite mines that produce the finest color changing alexandrites in the known world. Bravano’s capitol is Djenworth. The Kingdom of Benevolus is largely plains and cities, crisscrossed by slow, stately waterways that allowed this kingdom to build large centers of trade. It is known for its farmland, orchards, trade, and smiths. It is also known for a higher percentage of wizards than the other human lands, for they often travel to the cities to learn their art. The Archwizard council, which directs what learnings are acceptable and which are apocryphal as well as bestowing mastery titles on wizards of humanity, meets in the major city of Rowanhearth, which is also the seat of the kingdom. In the northwest part of the continent, Lumina sits nestled in a series of mountains and valleys. Though not metal or gem rich, there are a few diamond and many many coal mines here, mostly manned by human miners. Its rich forestland is populated by travelling bands of elves and humans, and there is even a large elven settlement in the Glosin forest. Religion is considered highly important here, and the queen herself is a high priestess of the goddess Jezal, and works to unite religion and politics for the greater good. Lumina thus has an exceptionally high population of the devout, clerics, monks, and paladins. Lumina is also known for its dyes, cotton farms in the southern reaches and textiles in the northern. Silk worms also populate the northern reaches and thus Lumina creates some of the finest silk in the world. Lumina’s capitol is Lumina City. Sundinit, in the southwest, has low deserts and high cliffs, some ranging to quite cool. It is home to a temperate rainforest. Sundinit is home to numerous medicinal remedies, animals sought after for components, meat and fur, and many many magical plants and fungi. While wizards journey to the cities of Benevolus to learn, they come here for supplies. Due to this, while small and dangerous, Sundinit is a wealthy country with a strong standing army. Duty and honor are expected, and social events are conducted with a high level of decorum. Even those of lesser economic stature often produce enough to trade to be able to eat well even in the short cold season, and Sundinit is considered a gem of the world. It is no wonder the King of Sundinit worries about his lands being taken from him; any other country would be lucky to have them. The capitol city of Sundnit is Brachen and sits just off the Carovise river. Unlike the other human capitols with their beautiful cathedrals or castles, the fortress of the king is built into a steep cliffside with hazardous access routes. Northern Alnos is a jungle inhabited by elven and wild halfling tribes. It is sparsely inhabited but contains plants rumored to have great magical potency. No country has managed to claim territory very deep in the jungles. Tunalis Tunalis, also known as the Bear for its general shape, is a broad continent in the northern hemisphere. With subtropical forest on the southernmost shores and the Arctic wastes to the north, it is a continent of diverse habitats and occupants. The majority of the land mass itself is in a temperate climate. It has three mountain ranges, one on the west coast that runs from the northernmost part of the rainforest to the subarctic areas and known as the Giant’s Back, one in the eastern inland area the is newer, caused by a convergent boundary of tectonic plates in the relative past and is named The Earthwarden’s Mountains, and the final one being the Arctic mountains known as the Ring of Teeth. Tunalis is also known for a broad desert known as the Wastes of Hope on the Southeastern coast. This desert is considered a holy site and belongs to no world power. The Giant’s Back is home to the Igneous Dwarves, who live in the caves and dead lava tubes riddling the mountains. It also contains two holy volcanoes near the coastline. These are called Greymount and Grand Plume and are considered especially sacred to Kenshrin and Baulga due to their closeness to the shore. The northern reaches of the Giant’s Back is home to a population of Silver Dragons, while a small concentration of Golds make their homes near Grand Plume. The western central plains with their winding rivers are a wealth of farm and pastureland, populated by halflings and a group of Igneous Dwarves who focus on producing additional crops for their cave dwelling brethren. Most livestock for the continent comes from this region, though there is some farmland plains scattered in a few of the valleys in the Giant’s Back. To the south of these plains is a subtropical marshland where rivers crisscross and create oxbows, standing bogs become breeding grounds for detritivores, and Great Stiltlegs comb through the soft mud and pools in search of mollusks and insects to eat. A few elven and human settlements can be found here, the humans trying to live some misguided rustic life while the elves are often those that embrace all processes of nature, including decay. Forests cover the eastern half of the temperate area of the continent, including the Earthwarden’s Mountains. These forests range from evergreen to deciduous and are home to the largest concentration of Brier Elves in the world. Unlike the travelling elves that inhabit the rest of the world and the Bright Elves of the Trinsia Islands, Brier elves actually live in densely populated treehouse cities. Thus, almost all of the forests are carefully tended and cultivated to allow the best homes and the best harmony with nature. These forests are home to many insects, mammals, and a surprising variety of song and predatory birds, including giant eagles. Green dragons have been spotted and are usually repelled from inhabited areas. The eastern forests also have a large complex of caverns that stretch from east of the Earthwarden’s Mountains to the coast. This complex is home to a group of dwarves that may be a distant branch of the Igneous Dwarves called Cavern Dwarves. The caves they dwell in are known for producing minerals used in dyes, soap making, and for producing some of the rarest delicacies from fungus and cave dwelling lobsters. Very few metal bearing minerals are found in these caves. However, the waters themselves are considered cures for minor fevers (though deadly when taken in high concentrations). There are also several surface and underground hotsprings that are often bathed in for their supposed therapeutic properties. One hotspring in particular, Dumdurain, is home for a peculiar variety of cleaner shrimp that not only clean wounds but bind them closed as well. Dumdurain cleaner shrimp are not considered edible and their wound-closing secretions have never been replicated elsewhere. Many with disease sores or persistent wounds come here for treatment as the tended wounds leave little to no scarring. Orboshon Straddling the equator and in the opposite hemisphere from the other great continents is the continent of Orboshon. Orboshon is a small, almost round tropical continent that is nearly covered by one vast rainforest. Only the beaches and the northernmost eighth of the continent are not jungle, the former ranging from black and red volcanic sand to rocky cliffs. The northernmost edge is a volcanic range known as Baulga’s Wedding Train or, more officially, the Veridian Range. The reason behind the latter name is easily ascertained: the volcanoes themselves, the lava flows, volcanic sand on the northern beaches, and the volcanic glass that forms most of the region’s ground, are stunning shades of green. Green obsidian, peridot, and even malachite where earthquakes have pushed the earth upward, show a marvel of geology that none have yet been able to comprehend or explain. Scholars travel from the interior of Orboshon as well as the all other lands of Syrasza to explore and study these strange volcanoes, mudpots, geysers, and steam vents. The rainforest itself is mildly developed, paradise cities resting beside sapphire rivers and hidden waterfalls. Unlike the jungles of the rest of the world, these are highly explored, though much of their wealth is in private hands. The only sentient races native born to this continent are two types of dragons and wild rocs. Thus, members of all races, when they discovered the continent, rushed inward to claim land. (The exceptions being the Wild and Travelling Elves, for obvious reasons). Whether their reasons were altruistic, magical, scientific, or powered by sheer greed, the massive influx of peoples some thousand years back has made certain that no one world power holds a monopoly upon the continent and that most land is in private hands. Of course, many Brier Elves have a few things to say about this, but allowing a few Brier Elf wardens to help take care of the rich rainforest one owns is a good way to calm the elves in general. Orboshon provides many luxury items such as perfumes, green gemstones, opals, jasper, platinum, iridium, and mithril. The waters off the coast are also home to a vast coral reef along the southern and eastern edge, and provide plentiful fishing and pearls. Though no one has caught one, it is rumored that a great sea serpent haunts these waters. However, a much greater threat are the swarms of tiny, soft bodied sea invertebrates that fill the water like magic on the day and night of the new moon. They each hold microscopic amounts of a deadly toxin and, when swarming, can kill even a Bright Elf before they can reach the shore. For this reason, numerous apothecaries, alchemists, and poison crafters set out on small boats every new moon for a chance to capture a few of these Berryfish, as they are called, for themselves to extract the venoms. It is used to make poisons, antidotes (though it strangely does not provide its own antidote and only magic can cure the Berryfish poison), and, when treated magically or alchemically, it can be turned into a potent aphrodisiac. Orboshon is home to Emerald and Sapphire dragons, the former living in lava tubes near settlements and the latter living in deep jungle mountain caves. The presence of Emerald dragons has lead many scholars to believe that this continent was once not only inhabited by other sentient races, but might be the sight of a lost advanced civilization. The Trinsia Islands and Vono Imeris Resting between Tunalis and Alnos in the Pangaian sea are a crescent of bright, tropical islands. These islands are known as the Trinsia Islands and are widely inhabited by the whimsical Bright Elves. These vary between being sites of civil war and being tropical paradises depending on if a change of government is occurring. Formerly a series of active volcanoes, all but the two southernmost in the twenty-three islands have gone dormant. The rich soil provides for beautiful lush plant life, while the isolation has given rise to some spectacular varieties of birds, mammals, and insects. Giant golden dragonflies hover over ponds while the spritebird, a bright lavender bird the size of a thumbnail, makes nests inside the cup shaped leaves of a flowering bush. Small felines and canines brought from the mainland are a constant threat to the diversity of the islands. Thus, a small group of Brier Elf wardens has taken it upon themselves to monitor the wilds of the islands and protect them from travellers, adventurers and, in some cases, even the Bright Elves. The largest of the islands is known as Vono Imeris. This lush paradise is one of the wonders of the world, the volcanic cone having collapsed some time ago. The remaining crater filled with water from an underground breech in the island itself, some say from a lava vent, others say from more magical sources, and started spilling water down the mountain’s side in a series of stepped waterfalls. This natural gift is actually not any more innately magical than most lands in Syrasza. However, it is so breathtaking that many ascribe the feel of magic to it, even those who have no talent for touching the location of leylines. Vono Imeris is also prime cropland for growing coffee, and those who cannot afford snow apple brew will gladly make do with Imerian coffee. Some claim it is even better, for the Bright Elves who cultivate the plants to so with passion, love, and magic. The Five Seas Between these three great continents lie the Five Seas, vast oceans that each have their own unique properties but link together around the continents. These are the Sea of Frigid Brine, the Pangaian Sea, Sea of Sorrow, Brightsea, and Kenshrin’s Well. The Sea of Frigid Brine Dark and salty waters fill this area of the world which surrounds the upper arctic reaches, including the Arctic Mountains. For unknown reasons the further away from land one goes, the saltier the water becomes, often to the point that any allowed to dry on ships will crust into pointy, rough patches of bitter salt. Due to the placement of these waters on the world, the weather is often very cold. In summer time the cold is tolerable as the sun hangs in the sky day and night, but the winters are enough to freeze even the most hardy of creatures to the bone. The sea creatures that make this sea their home often sport huge layers of blubber and often other biological secrets to fight against the chill. Still, many of these creatures only live in this area during the non-winter months, migrating down to warmer waters as the sea freezes. Because of the highly salty nature of the water, icebergs are only common near landmasses, as the salt forces the water to melt despite the sub-zero temperatures. Travelling into the middle of this sea, the waters become gradually darker and saltier. Many theories abound as to the cause of this salt, but many stories tell of an area of ‘brine geysers’. These geysers, the stories say, erupt from the water in turbulent bubbles of pure liquid salt. Many necromancers and evil clerics have also noted that the waters bear more and more ‘negative energy saturation’ the further one gets from a landmass. Such water is easily converted into unholy water or various other preservatives and unguents for the undead. Elementalists comment that such things can only mean that there is a portal to the Quasielemental Plane of Salt somewhere deep beneath the dark and frigid waves. Many undead fish and predators are known to be found wild in these areas. The Pangaian Sea. This is the only great waterway known to completely encircle the world. The Pangaian sea supports a wide array of wildlife, all of which gather in its even climes and abundant reef-space. The Pangaian Sea touches all three continents and has numerous islands that all support tropical environments. It also boasts ample currents that serve as trade-lanes between continents. Because of its historic use for travel, many sunken ships line this ocean, victims of storms, pirates, naval battles, or simple bad luck. Many explorers and adventurers ply their trades on this sea, making it one of the most popular places for swashbuckling intrigue in all the world. The Sea of Sorrow Cried forth when Lady Baulga’s pain overwhelmed her, the Sea of Sorrow is the basin that caught her tears. Full of glistening blue water, the Sea of Sorrow is noted for its picturesque beauty and the way the sunset causes it to sparkle like the strikes of a million forge hammers upon glowing metal. Hundreds of active volcano islands dot these waters, making it a very holy place to the worshippers of Lord and Lady Volcano. Here one will find the many metropolis/shrines that tempt fate by eking out a living upon the fertile volcanic soil. Trade is high here as all the churches desire support, materials, and quite possibly the means to rebuild their entire city. In return, some of the best agricultural products and finest obsidian are produced and traded, as well as gemstones mined from older volcanoes at extreme risk to the miners. Forge-markets abound, helping to fill the world’s demand for craft. The Brightsea This sea shines from the bottom of the world, an area of endless expanses of water. The waters of the Brightsea are known to be brackish (low salinity) and nearly drinkable in some areas. The Brightsea is a cold place, as it is situated in the antarctic regions of the world, but is none-the-less filled with burgeoning wildlife of all descriptions. Massive jellyfish up to fifty feet long swim beside schools of shining silver fish while massive baleen whales and filter sharks scoop up the abundant plankton all around. Iceburgs, shining with whites, blues, and silvers, are a constant hazard to ships plying these frigid waters. Still, many brave this sea for the beauty, the abundant fishing, and the rich treasures. Many iceburgs mysteriously bear veins of metal frozen in their matrix. Some that have eroded or metled enough have visible spars of material jutting from their surfaces. Silver, Mithral, Platinum, Tin, and lustrous iron are common, though attaining such metal is a dangerous and foolhardy quest. To compound matters, the Brightsea is a favorite cavorting spot for numerous fey who love to tempt, lure, and trick would-be treasureseekers. Few areas of solid ground exist in the Brightsea, but those that do exist tend to be rich in beautiful, though mostly worthless, crystal structures, making them difficult to distinguish from particularly large iceburgs. Aquatic sentients describe these landmasses as jutting as columns from the sea-floor, twisted like thick seaweed or braided hair. Many clerics have noted that these waters are unusually positive in energy and the waters make excellent Holy Water. Kenshrin’s Well The smallest ocean of the world by far, Kenshrin’s Well is only about 1,800 nautical miles at its widest point. It is nestled around Orboshon and borders the Pangaian Sea and the Sea of Sorrow. The outer perimeter is ringed with large obsidian islands and volcanoes. In the middle of this sea, Three hundred miles wide and visible from hundreds more, is a raging tempest called Kenshrin’s Heart. This storm has been known throughout all of recorded history and is a very visible landmark on an otherwise trackless ocean. Few brave these waters as all currents pull toward the Heart, making sailing a tricky prospect. Occasionally, downbursts erupt from the Heart, blowing away from it for days. On these days, sailing is not only possible, it is enhanced. Unfortunately, some downbursts are of such magnitudes that they can rip the sails off even the sturdiest of masts and capsize galleons. Still, life persists here as does abundant colonization along the bordering shores. Many claim that Kenshrin’s Heart is the place where all storms are born and all where all waters flow to and indeed the Heart throws off smaller storm cells at regular intervals during its downbursts. Many varieties of kelp that grow along the shores that border the Well are known to have medicinal properties and are often used in remedies of all description. One particular kelp, Baulga’s Bandage, is used in a culinary delight that wraps a bite-sized, sticky lump of boiled, vinegar-treated grain with a sliver of fish. Saulbifish or Khata are very popular fish used in this dish and it often comes with salty or spicy sauces and pastes to enhance the flavors. While many variants are sold as bunk remedies, most everyone who eats these bite-sized fingerfoods comments that they feel their spirits lifted afterward. Dieties (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Dieties (open) Dieties (close) Unlike many worlds across the mulitverse, the gods of Syrasza do not form into pantheons across racial lines. Rather, these deities send visions of their divinity to the worthy, who are then able to become true clerics. Those who have not yet received their visions can still worship, as most all do, and serve the churches, but only those gifted with the vision ever learn to wield divine power. As the gods are common among all races, each race will have their own interpretation, but generally the depictions are recognizable no matter the parent race (with one major exception). Generally, however, the lay-person who rarely contacts the outside world may find it difficult to reconcile their gods and goddesses presented as members of another race. Kenshrin and Baulga - Lord and Lady Volcano Recognized as the creators of the world and the source of its continuous change, Lord and Lady Volcano are worshipped and feared by all. Kenshrin God of Air and Water, Lord Volcano, Master of Soothing. Greater Deity Symbol: A disk containing a spray of water and a cloud, usually set with a cone to represent the volcano. Home: Material Plane (Syrasza) Alignment: True Neutral Portfolio: Air, Water, Oceans, Compassion, flying and swimming animals Worshippers: Sailors, Aerial Cavalry, Doctors, those in the path of lava. Cleric Alignments: LN, N, CN, NG, NE Domains: Air, Water, Ocean, Creation, Healing Kenshrin appears as a tall, broad figure, ashen of skin with runnels of water leaving trails of shining white flesh beneath. He is shown completely hairless with an expression of caring and patience common upon his face. He is depicted as a firm and powerful man with the body of a great swimmer, He is clothed in mists and dried seaweed and stands ever upon a cloud or a shoal of seaspray. A halo of birds crowns his head while a similar halo of fish swims at his feet. He holds a staff of solidified water, called Tsunami, and a flute, called Galeforce. Dogma Kenshrin works all days to soothe the pain and anger of his wife, blowing fresh winds to keep her from choking and cools the burning of her wounds. Kenshrin devotes himself to his wife as a caring husband should so. Sometimes her rage grows too much and he lashes out, either physically, laying about himself with Tsunami, which causes the great waves, or playing expressive melodies upon Galeforce which can whip up hurricanes. Kenshrin teaches of compassion for the wounds of others and to build from the ruins of destruction. Followers should also learn the teaching of his wife and seek to live in the tumultuous world the pair have built for them. Blessings for bounty in fishing and hunting are given from Kenshrin, and many seagoers or fowl-takers keep a holy symbol around them and a small altar at home. Many a boat and bow is dedicated to Kenshrin. Kenshrin also blesses hospitals, as they reflect the basic compassion he gives to his ailing wife. Clerics of Kenshrin are called upon to alleviate suffering where they can. Though these are typically the hallmarks of a good-aligned religion, the teachings of Kenshrin insist that this should be of a basic nature and not wrought out of unreachably high ideals. Clergy and Temples Temples to Kenshrin are built on seashores or high cliffs, usually close to a volcano if possible. Some small volcanic islands are known to have been completely overtaken and built up as remote holy metropolises dedicated to the Lord and Lady Volcano. Of course, sometimes these cities are wholly or partly destroyed by the occasional eruption. Still, the faithful persist in these areas. Many wondrous crops are grown in such areas. Clerics to Kenshrin are typically male and dress in light, airy clothing and fabrics that dry quickly after exposure to water. Typically, clerics pray for spells at sunrise, before the sun leaves the water. Baulga Goddess of Fire and Earth, Lady Volcano, She of Suffering. Greater Deity Symbol: A disk containing a volcano erupting, often with a plume of smoke or a seaspray. Home: Material Plane (Syrasza) Alignment: True Neutral Portfolio: Fire, Magma, Stone, Suffering, burrowing animals Worshippers: doom-prophets, farmers, miners, pyromaniacs, dwarves, those in the path of lava. Cleric Alignments: LN, N, CN, NG, NE Domains: Fire, Earth, Destruction, Suffering, Endurance Baulga appears as a powerful woman whose skin is blotchy and mottled with patches of red, brown, black, and grey. She is shown completely hairless with a near constant expression of repressed pain. Her build is strong and stocky, with the thews of a miner or stonemason. She is clothed in a great leather apron and a dress made of drawn obsidian threads. The ground beneath her feet is ever molten, melted by her constant pain, and a shower of sparks falls around her shoulders like a mane of hair. She holds a scepter of solid, yet molten stone topped with a great diamond called Pyroclasm, and sits with a drum called Earthquake. Dogma Baulga suffers each and every day with burning pains and grating joints. Though she pushes through the pain to create her godly works, there are times when her suffering becomes so great that she lashes out, either with Pyroclasm, which causes eruptions wherever she strikes, or by beating out primal melodies upon Earthquake that cause the very ground to shake. Her tears are scattered in the ground, these are the gems beneath the earth, and her wounds leave veins of her precious blood, which are the minerals and metals. She is ever thankful for the care shown by her husband and regrets the sorrow she causes him. Together, Kenshrin and Baulga work to forge the world and every step a ground-dweller takes upon dirt or stone should be seen as a blessing. If it were not for Baulga’s labors, then no mines, farms, forests, or mountains would exist. Without Kenshrin, all of Baulga’s labors would remain hot, cracked and lifeless. Blessings for forges and mines are commonly in Baulga’s name and many miners carry Baulga’s holy symbol. Similarly, many farm implements and metalworking tools, as well as most pickaxes, are stamped with Lady Volcano’s symbol almost with psalms and platitudes. Of course, being that her domain is deconstruction, many prophets of doom and gloom flock to the misguided worship of Baulga as the one who will cleanse the world of its sin. Clergy and Temples Temples to Baulga are built upon mountains, especially upon volcanos, and usually near temples to Kenshrin. Often, it seems, that the more dangerous and risky the placement, the more holy. Usually temples support their operations with metalworks, smelteries (rarely near civilization), or great bakeries. Clerics to Baulga are typically female, and usually display some sort of suffering or impairment. They dress in protective clothing, usually resembling the clothes worn by smelters, miners, or smiths. Many display affectations of burns or soot and blessings are usually done with smears of holy ash. The children of the Volcano. Kenshrin and Baulga had a number of children, each springing fully grown from their union and representing many of the derivatives of the volcano. The children never allow evil folk into their worship. Heshina Goddess of Obsidian, Lady Obsidian, The black governess. Lesser Deity Symbol: Two blades of obsidian, one up, one down. Home: Material Plane (Syrasza) Alignment: Lawful Neutral Portfolio: Laws, Punishment, Bureaucracy, Rulership, Civility Worshippers: Solicitors, leaders, judges, Cleric Alignments: LG, LN Domains: Fire, Law, Truth Heshina appears as a beautiful woman with shining black skin. Traditionally she is depicted nude, though many artists creatively drape shawls or place objects in the way of her breasts and groin out of some notion of modesty. Officially, the church of Heshina believes that the nudity of their goddess is a testament to complete truth and balk at the ideas that someone should attempt to hide it. Heshina carries two daggers of shining obsidian. One, known as Heshina’s Razor, represents the punishment of the lawlessness, is always held downward. The other, Heshina’s Skewer, is held, point up, balanced on her open hand, represents fairness and honesty in lawmaking. Dogma Laws create society. Any law that benefits society is the divine inspiration of Heshina. According to the church, all laws must either provide safeties for the people at large or punishments to those who would defile society. Those who harm the public, especially those trusted with positions of authority, should be punished with a loss of power. Clergy and Temples Temples to Heshina are usually built in the center of cities, near legal libraries, courts, and the homes of leaders. Clerics spend many hours each day reviewing legal documents and writing official opinions on the management of communities. Clerics typically dress in black satin robes and carry a pair of obsidian daggers. Tobosh God of Smoke and Ash, Lord Ash, The free spirit. Lesser Deity Symbol: A dark whisp upon a blue sky Home: Material Plane (Syrasza) Alignment: Chaotic Good Portfolio: Freedom, smoke, death, Worshippers: Morticians, artists, free-spirits, drug users Cleric Alignments: CG, CN, NG Domains: Air, Repose, Creation Tobosh appears as a young, bright man as grey as fine ash. He is traditionally depicted nearly nude and rarely does any artist attempt to hide it. Tobosh carries no weapons, though he does wear a long cloak, called Smothering Pyre. He is ever bright-eyed, smiling, and quick with a joke or a soothing word. Dogma After the fire dies down, the ash is what remains. Rejoice in this life but hasten not your time for the end. Tobosh teaches that cremation sets the soul free after death, but art sets it soaring in life. He also warns against the excesses, teaching that things may be enjoyed but, as his aspect is smoke, too much can be dangerous. Burnt offerings are traditional in the worship of Tobosh and crematoria are common and usually placed behind his altars. Clergy and Temples Temples to Tobosh are usually located in areas with graveyards. Though the traditional form of body disposal is cremation in the worship of Tobosh, his clerics also recognize their role in many forms of funerary service. The devout do not trouble themselves with any sort of formalized uniform as many others do, though their dress does tend towards the wild and the popular. Temples are generally large and open, covering much more ground than the initial mass of materials would imply. This is so all manner of artistic pursuit can take place upon the grounds. Ever present is the smell of incense and burnt offerings to appease their god and bring about inspiration. Song fills the air day and night, stopping only in pauses to take drinks or make conversation. Zones of magical silence are clearly marked and allow those who wish the quiet to go about their pursuits uninterrupted. Clerics offer funerary arrangements to all of non-evil faiths. Kanpadosh God of Rain and Growth, Lord Rain, Mortalfriend. Lesser Deity Symbol: A tender sprout Home: Material Plane (Syrasza) Alignment: Neutral Portfolio: planting, growing, nature, life Worshippers: Farmers, herbalists, druids, Cleric Alignments: N, CN, LN, NG Domains: Water, Plant, Animal Kanpadosh appears as a middle aged figure, strong with hard work, whose skin is the color of moist, fertile dirt. He is depicted with green grass and long vines growing from his head, twisting around his body to clothe him. Kanpadosh always has his animal companions alongside him and wears a seed pouch from which he sows all the world with life. His companions are Calling, Ruminant, Voracity, and Saprophage. Calling is a shining, metallic insect (usually a cricket) with a cacophonous call that gives voice to all animals. Ruminant is a great beast (usually a cow) that feeds from those plants that Kanpadosh sows. Voracity is a viscious predator (usually a wolf) who kills and eats the companions every evening (they spring to life every morning). Saprophage is a great beetle that feeds on the leavings of the others and brings them and all the plants to life each morning. Dogma Nature provides. Those that cultivate are blessed. Hunt the beasts of the land, take of the plants of the ground, and use their leavings all to your benefit. Kanpadosh encourages wise and efficient use of land, but never to take too much from it. Dwarf, elf and man have their places and may do with them what they wish, but the natural world should ever be left wild. Kanpadosh is often called “mortalfriend” since he is attributed with teaching the elves and dwarves of antiquity how to use nature to their benefit. Clergy and Temples Nearly every farmhouse has a small shrine to Kanpadosh and there are many shrines more in the forests, but no formal temple has ever been erected. The clerics of Kanpadosh usually take long pilgrimages into the wild to attempt a connection with their deity. Many farming almanacs and new practices are formalized by these clergymen. They are easily recognized in urban settings for their style of dress, which is useful camoflage in the wilderness but useless in cities. Many city-bound clergy will befriend the vermin and pests, but always seek to keep them from harming the citizens if they can. Jazel Goddess of wealth and value, Lady Worth, Shining Jewel. Lesser Deity Symbol: A gemstone surrounded by gold and silver beams Home: Material Plane (Syrasza) Alignment: Lawful Good Portfolio: buying, selling, value, minerals, gems, creators Worshippers: Merchants, buyers, logisticians Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, NG Domains: Earth, Commerce, Craft Jazel appears as a stunningly beautiful woman with pearlescent skin and shining gems for eyes, nails and teeth. She is always depicted dressed in regal, elegant clothing of high value. She carries a gold-and-silver set of merchant scales, called Value, with which she measures the worth of all things. Also she had a coinpurse, called Exchange, which is said to contain the wealth of all the world. Dogma Everything has a value and trade is the foundation of peace and community. Seeing one’s hard work come to fruition, seeing the worth of your work quantified, and giving the material worth you have gained to get those things you need or want. Jazel’s church insists upon fairness in trade and wealth acquisition and frowns upon exploitation, greed, theft, or misrepresentation. Of course, it does encourage good-natured haggling. Philanthropy also plays heavily in church dogma. Clergy and Temples Jazel-worshipping clerics are, without doubt, the wealthiest of worshippers and thus are dressed accordingly. Their temples are surprisingly small, and usually stand at the head of places of buying and selling. The churches see many new supplicants every year, all hoping to gain wealth and status for themselves or their offspring, but as wealth promotes choice, very few will ever gain access to even the most basic acolyte levels. The clerics at the top of their hierarchy are financial geniuses and usually great philanthropists as well. Uwetchrie God of Fortune, Lord Fortune, lucklord. Lesser Deity Symbol: Dice, one showing minimum, the other maximum Home: Material Plane (Syrasza) Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Portfolio: luck, chance, fortune, fate Worshippers: Gamblers, rogues, daredevils Cleric Alignments: CN, CG Domains: Luck, Chaos, Fate Uwetchrie appears as a short, clever man, dressed in subtle clothes but with flashy accessories. He is always depicted winning at games of chance, be it cards, dice, dares, or bets. His opponents are ever shown as sorrowful losers while others around them express their wins or losses. Uwetchrie wears a mask of clear glass, called Bluff, and holds an overflowing jeweled cup, called Fortune. Dogma The thrill of life comes with chance. No risk is worth the risk without great reward. The bet is sacred, never cheat. Never become Uwetchrie’s Opponent (take a bet you can’t win). All these and more aphorisms, superstitions, and platitudes make up the great body of ‘holy texts’ to Uwetchrie, which all sell incredibly well to those who wish to find an edge at gambling. Ultimately, everything is up to luck. Clergy and Temples Uwetchrie has no formal temples and is said to be wherever a bet will be made. His clergy come and go and only very few devote themselves to his worship for long. Most begin their service to the ‘church’ with a streak of good luck and are quick to abandon it when their luck eventually sours. True devotees are rare, but powerful. These know all the tricks, all the sacred words and actions, and accept losses as inevitable quirks of their god’s will. Many are either wretched addicts who have wasted their every coin on a bet or highly successful addicts who have gained much and know when to walk away. Still, among the dedicated clergy there is a distinct sense of camraderie, if not outright brotherhood. A wretched worshipper (a true one) is always welcome to share the bounty of a winner. Who knows when their roles might reverse. Vaui Goddess of Community, Lady Joy, She of Bright and Beauty. Lesser Deity Symbol: Two hands joined in friendship Home: Material Plane (Syrasza) Alignment: Neutral Good Portfolio: goodness, community, happiness, enjoyment, entertainment Worshippers: Bards, leaders, performers, caregivers Cleric Alignments: LG, NG, CG Domains: Good, Community, Joy Vaui appears as a bright and joyous figure with vivid pink skin and shining platinum hair of great length. She is depicted as always joyous and jolly, usually laughing, singing, dancing, or otherwise entertaining herself and others. She is always dressed in lively and vivid clothes, some risque and some simply luxurious. She is also almost never depicted alone, in fact her church will not allow it in their official depictions. She is never without her harp, Rhythm, and is always accompanied by two songbirds, Melody and Harmony. Her voice is said to be of a choir and orchestra all at once. Dogma Surround yourself with friends, entertain and be entertained. This is the core tennant of Vaui. In her perfect world, all the peoples of the world would live together and be happy in it. Song and dance, she says, are some of the essential binding force of community. A song can lift the callous heart and grace can bring the wartorn eye to tears. Dearly does she love her siblings and even dreams of winning over the evil powers to her side one day. A community of friends is one that will never fall, for the worst tragedies are soothed by the support of others. Benevolence, mutuality, optimism, and the bardic tradition are the highest tennets of Vaui’s church. Clergy and Temples Vaui’s temples are all shaped as amphitheaters, large open affairs that project sound out to an audience from a central stage upon which sits the altar. The most cunning of temples are worked so that priests and performers can enter and leave stage through trapdoors or from overhead ropes. Designers are ever seeking ways to improve the theatrical nature of such places. Sermons tend to be lively affairs accompanied by performance art and new works of sculpture, paint, and devotional music. When not in service the temples are open to any who wish to perform. Clerics of Vaui dress in fine silk robes, dyed yellow which is the goddess’ favorite color. Indeed yellow is a theme in all aspects of Vaui and many devotional instruments, tools, and dressings are dyed or painted to reflect this. Many faithful also carry Vaui’s Bells, flowers that resemble tiny yellow bells all growing in a row, which they will throw upon the stage after a moving performance as a devotional act. The evils of the world. These are the beings of deific power that represent all that is irredeemably evil and disruptive to the societies of elves, dwarves, halflings, and humans. Kantekros God of Evil, Lord Torment Greater Deity Symbol: a black heptagon, point down. Home: Realm of Torment Alignment: Neutral Evil Portfolio: evil, torture, hatred, greed, suffering, pain Worshippers: Psychopaths, murderers, defilers, rapists Cleric Alignments: LE, NE, CE Domains: Evil, Hatred, Trickery, Tyrant, War Favored Weapon: Cestus Kantekros appears as a handsome, confident man. What depictions exist show him as being completely bald and deathly pale, his veins and arteries visible beneath his skin. Jet black eyes seem more as empty caverns than proper orbs and many have been said to go mad by looking into their tumbling voids. Though he is a tyrant and a conquerer, he is never depicted as wearing armor or regalia, instead only a tunic and breeches of white cloth adorn him. His hands are clad in cestus gauntlets that are festooned with all manner of spikes, hooks, blades, demonicly fanged mouths, and other wicked things. His right cestus is called Peace, his left is called Freedom. Dogma Take what you want, harm others, hate your rivals, and get to the top by any means necessary. This is the creed of Kantekros. His hateful cults fester in hidden places, seeking to bring ruin to the works of Lord and Lady Volcano and their wretched children. Abductions, murders, molestation, these and every other vile act imaginable is routinely planned and executed for no other reason than to bring glory and might to the Lord of Torment. Evil for evil’s sake is a common theme in the literature, teachings, and actions of this church. No matter what form of evil is served, all must at least acknowledge Kantekros, for he is the spring from which vileness flows. Clergy and Temples Shrines to Kantekros are secret, hidden things, though there are whispered rumors of great underground cathedrals hidden from all but the greatest of his clerics. As many of these cults would be rooted out and destroyed quickly, the church makes certain not to make their places of worship obvious. Clerics of Kantekros are disturbing indeed, posing as normal members of society most of the time. When they gather, they are distinct in their white clothing, seeking to emulate their god as much as possible. Blood sacrifice is done upon altars of calcite, pumice, or other abrasive materials and are conducted with ritual cestus gauntlets that are used to violate and ultimately dismember the victim. Bahalphetos God of Greed, Fiend Greed Lesser Deity Symbol: Golden coin marked with sharpened tooth impressions around edge. Home: Realm of Torment Alignment: Lawful Evil Portfolio: greed, gluttony, monopolies, theft, famine Worshippers: Gluttons, misers, cheats, greedy Cleric Alignments: LE, NE Domains: Evil, Greed, Hunger Favored Weapon: Bite Bahalphetos appears as a great bloated form, beyond the identity of gender. His skin is deep green and set with scales and scutes of gold that don’t come close to overlapping. What depictions of him exist show a great, fat, naked form too large for the frame of the picture to contain (it is heresy to depict him otherwise), usually sitting on a large pile of wealth or at a huge banquet table stuffing his enormous mouth with fat, pudgy hands. Bahalphetos has three hands, seven pointy teeth, and a pig-like countenance. When not shoveling food into his face, Bahalphetos holds a sack, called Hoard, and a platter, called Famine. One of these is always shown with him, held by his third hand (usually Hoard, Famine is often depicted upon the feast table). Dogma Why not take what is yours? Certainly if you can take it, you deserve it. Bahalphetos preaches only of self-fulfilling greed. He insists that each worshipper is entitled to all he can take, especially if this is at the expense of others. Others do not matter, only your own personal gratification is important. Of course, sacrifice is necessary to feed Bahalphetos and devotees offer him great bribes knowing that if they don’t then Bahalphetos will find a way to take what he is due. A heirarchy is strict in the worship of this vile deity, amounting to ‘he who has the most is on top.’ Of course ritualized assassinations, usually featuring cannibalism, are commonplace among the unwary Gold-Popes (heads of the orders). It is the job of each Gold-Pope to recruit five subordinates, who in turn recruits five others to aide them, ad infinatum. Clergy and Temples Shrines are usually set up in feasting halls, often hidden until they are needed. Shrines also feature prominently in the hoards of miserly worshippers who feel they owe their treasure to their horrid god. No large temples to Bahalphetos exist, though many networks dedicated to him spread their corruption throughout many cities. Clerics are typically overweight and desensitized from years of ritualistic depravity and desecration. Still, they work hard at covering their image, dressing as common jolly folk when about town. Not every large person is a worshipper of Bahalphetos, and not every worshipper is fat. When conviened for worship, most clerics either go completely skyclad or wear loose and high-quality clothing. Altars to Bahalphetos resemble nothing so much as huge platters upon which whole people can be bound, cooked, and served. Diffchatos God of Hate, Fiend Hatred Lesser Deity Symbol: The skull of a dwarf, human, elf, etc etched with black runes Home: Realm of Torment Alignment: Chaotic Evil Portfolio: genocide, strife, hatred, racism Worshippers: Racists Cleric Alignments: CE, NE Domains: Evil, Hatred, War Favored Weapon: Axe (dwarven aspect), Longsword (elven aspect), Morningstar (human aspect) Diffchatos appears as a charismatic and handsome example of whatever race he is instigating. What depictions of him exist always show him dressed grandly, usually as a general, with the dead of opposed races laying at his feet while he stands victorious while the favored race cheers about him. Diffchatos is typically not called by name except by secret cultists who understand the connection between these disparate entities. Diffchatos carries his weapon, called Discord, and wears a great helm in the countenance of a shouting, hateful face called Riot. Dogma (Insert Race) cannot be trusted! They are plotting against you and wish to take what you have! We must strike out against them, we are superior and they are inferior. The only safe (Race) is a dead (Race). This story is told in angry cults the world over, swayed by charismatic demagogues who work to incite the races to fight and bring about the fall of civilization. No greater glory can come to Diffchatos than a war between races and isolationist laws instituted. Clergy and Temples Temples to Diffchatos are small affairs that consist of secret worshippers, usually made up of the architecture of only one race. Even those worshippers who know the truth of Diffchatos tend to still hate each other. Still, the true worshippers infiltrate society and attempt to incite hatred and cause conflict. Most insidious of all, many of these worshippers infiltrate academic places, attempting to teach the children of each race to distrust all others. Horphatos God of Depravity, Fiend Perverse, the Arch-heretical Lesser Deity Symbol: any offensive, heretical image Home: Realm of Torment Alignment: Neutral Evil Portfolio: callous disdain, selfishness, envy, vanity Worshippers: Hedonists, the vain, heretics, antiestablishmentarianists, sadists Cleric Alignments: LE, NE, CE Domains: Evil, Pride, Perversion Favored Weapon: Club (perversely shaped) Horphatos appears as a wicked and sinister figure, that does not appear to be specifically masculine or feminine. What depictions of it exist show it dressed in scanty, expositive clothing that exaggerates and offends many religious and close-minded folk. Even those deities that are typically depicted nude have clergy that have found offence in these depictions. Horphatos holds a carved wooden cudgel shaped as two figures taking advantage of each other, called Perversion and wears a coronet called Superiority. Dogma Hurting others for your benefit is the greatest glory to Horphatos. Whatever feels good, do it. You are the most important person in the world. Upsetting the faithful is the height of amusement. Spread the words of Horphatos when you can and take for yourself what pleasures you wish. Sacrifices to Horphatos are typically violated upon an altar made of precious substances. Hooks on chains hold victims securely so that they may be tortured, molested, or simply dismembered. Of course one should always look their finest no matter what. Clergy and Temples Like the other gods of evil, Horphatos has temples and shrines that are hidden away. Such places usually have legitimate fronts as restaurants, taverns, inns, brothels, or burlesque houses. Of course, not all such places (not by a great percentage) house one of these cults, but such discoveries have lead to crackdowns of such business by overzealous lawmakers and enforcers. The worshippers of Horphatos follow fashion trends and tend to grossly overuse cosmetics in an effort to be living idols. The truly devout are disgusting pervert that keep their depraved tastes well hidden until it is far too late to stop them. The ones that get caught are generally stupid, inferior worshippers who can’t keep to themselves and behave intelligently. Sotakatos God of the dark, Fiend Below, The crawling darkness, the beast of vilest secrets Intermediate Deity Symbol: twined black tentacles Home: Realm of Torment Alignment: Neutral Evil Portfolio: hidden knowledge, darkness, deep, horror Worshippers: Madmen, Serial killers Cleric Alignments: NE Domains: Evil, Knowledge, Darkness, Watery Death, Cavern Favored Weapon: Tentacle Sotakatos is beyond the mortal capacity to be seen. Those few who have encountered Sotakatos and survived with sanity intact describe ‘living darkness’ writing with tentacles and pocked with gaping maws and eyes made of horrid void (blackness beyond black). No artist or mind is capable of capturing or seeing the entirety of Sotakatos. Sotakatos has no holy artifacts, though many tomes of twisted words are claimed to be the inspired words of Sotakatos. Dogma Sotakatos speaks to his faithful in dark dreams and visions. Seek out the hidden knowledge, find Sotakatos in the deep and the dark, and keep his secrets forever. Sacrifice those who love the light in the places where light is not. Hide them wisely lest you blaspheme against Sotakatos. Sotakatos will drag all the world into the deep endless darkness at the end of time. Clergy and Temples There are no temples to Sotakatos. Cults meet in areas of magical darkness to worship their horrid deity. Usually cults meet in deep caves or at night upon the oceans. Sacrifices are either killed in magical darkness or tied with rocks and dropped into the dark ocean. Clerics are first gifted with the knowledge of the dark books. Tomes bound in black leather with black pages written by Sotakatos prophets are said to be readable in complete darkness. Vhereghatos God of Oppression, Fiend Abuse, The violator and trespasser Intermediate Deity Symbol: Shattered Scales Home: Realm of Torment Alignment: Lawful Evil Portfolio: evil laws, oppression, trespass, legal exception Worshippers: Bureaucrats, rent-seekers, corrupt officials Cleric Alignments: LE Domains: Evil, Law, Malice, Tyranny Favored Weapon: Heavy Mace Vhereghatos appears as a stern and fiendish judge with features that are too terrible to be ascribed to masculinity or femininity. What depictions of it exist show Vhereghatos dressed in black robes with silver trim to match his glittering skin. Dark flames wreath its head as it looks down from a pulpit of superiority. In its left hand is a bastardized scholar’s cudgel, called Oppression, and in its right is a flowing scroll always depicted as rolling beyond the frame of image, called Punishment. Dogma Laws favor the lawmakers. Those who are your betters will sit in judgement of you. When your word is law, nothing is legal for others. All are guilty who cannot make the laws. Take advantage of those you can. Vhereghatos teaches mortals of the ways of exploitation, both of the law and of others. Others speak of balance in all things and fairness, but worshippers of Vhereghatos know the truth. Opportunity is there for those bold enough to take it. Temples and Clergy Vhereghatos’ influence is painfully obvious. As the god of tyrants, its worshippers are typically the rulers of Lawful Evil communities where the masses are forced to worship their oppressive master. In these cities, there is a clear lineage of hierarchy and strict rules by which a leader may be deposed and replaced with an underling. Such places are abhored by outsiders and many attempts are made to ruin and destroy these unholy place. Unfortunately, clerics to Vhereghatos are compelled at some point in their service to go out into the world to disrupt other properly lawful societies. Most city-temples to Vhereghatos are constructed in remote areas, posing as peaceful communities, only showing their true colors when they have become properly established. Many continue to thrive thanks to intricate and far-reaching webs of intrigue, corruption, and blackmail that keeps their opponents busy. Gaulfatos God of Failure, Fiend Loss, Ending Intermediate Deity Symbol: No Known Sign Home: Realm of Torment Alignment: Neutral Evil Portfolio: depression, failure, abandonment, bad luck Worshippers: the bitter, losers, gamblers, madmen, the destitute Cleric Alignments: LE, NE, CE Domains: Evil, Luck, Madness Favored Weapon: Unarmed Gaulfatos appears as a grey and wasted man, clad only in a tattered loincloth, with a look of sour and bitter envy upon his face. No completed depictions of him exist as invariably the artists find they cannot finish no matter how they try, but one thing all artists agree upon are his hollow, empty eyes. His back is bent by the unseen weight of Loss, his hands ever carry an invisible burden called Nothing, and he is cloaked in the unseen robe called Failure. Dogma Everything you try will fail. All things are doomed to failure. If you wish to succeed, follow my lead and cause the failure of others. But remember always, success is a fleeting thing. Gaulfatos does not preach learning from one’s mistakes, and in fact glosses over the fact that you can and chastises those who do. Temples and Clergy No temples to Gaulfatos exist. Those insane enough to worship him will invariably meet near sites of death, in ruins, or in back of gambling houses. The clerics of Gaulfatos dress in air-thin clothes that appear to be barely there. They walk stooped with unseen burdens and practice mortification of their bodies. Despite their gloomy god, they are very active people, always looking to get ahead (so they have something to lose), behaving irresponsibly, and tempting or causing others to fail. The good of the world The Daystar and the Goodshadow represent all goodness. Twin deities who watch over the world from the heavens and pour forth their love and gifts upon those who would receive them. The evil of the world pains them as it was from their absence while they slept that the evil deities arose. Still, they do not advocate a violent or uninformed end to those evil beings. They see the glimmer of redemption in all the worshippers of evil and encourage their worshippers to convert the wicked and show them of the good in the world. Slaying should be done only when other attempts are exhausted or impossible and only with the knowledge that distinguishes murder from vanquishing. Clerics are more often encouraged to provide for the needy rather than vanquishing evil as when compassion, generosity, and wisdom are present within the soul, one can not turn to the corrupt path. Thelinuphis Daystar God of All Goodness by Day Greater Deity Symbol: Shining Sun of disc of white Home: Glorious Heaven Alignment: Neutral Good Portfolio: goodness, cooperation, generosity, wisdom, compassion, fulfillment Worshippers: Paladins, chefs, holymen, farmers, laborers Cleric Alignments: LG, NG, CG Domains: Good, Joy, Celestial, Feast, Light, Sun Palaliphis Goodshadow God of All Goodness by Night Greater Deity Symbol: Shining Star on disc of black Home: Sparkling Heaven Alignment: Neutral Good Portfolio: goodness, cooperation, generosity, wisdom, compassion, enjoyment Worshippers: Paladins, almners, sacred prostitutes, holymen, mushroom farmers, revelers Cleric Alignments: LG, NG, CG Domains: Good, Joy, Celestial, Pleasure, Starshine*, Shadow Both the twin deities appear as handsome and well-formed folk. They are depicted as dressed in flowing robes, bearing the aspects of youth in their faces and postures. Light, yellow for Thelinuphis and silvery white for Palaliphis, beams from all about them and their gestures are open and peaceful. Above Thelinuphis’ right hand floats a ball of light called Sun, and in his left is a ball of light called Moon. Haloing Palaliphus and set in his clothing are clustered points of light called Constellation, his black shawl around his shoulders is called Shadow. Dogma Celebrate life, be ever generous, wise, and compassionate in all things and the blessings of the twins shall be upon you. By day or by night the gods watch from above and empower those who would lessen anger, greed, and ignorance. To end misery is a sacrament, to love is holy communion. Teach those who would be taught and sow the desire to learn among the ignorant. Show others of the goodness of your works and help them all to celebrate at your side. Temples and Clergy The goodly twins insist that no temples be built to them. Rather shrines should be kept, small and personal, by those who follow the path of goodness. Take with you the blessings and teachings of the Daystar and the Goodshadow and you shall be a temple wherever you go. Clerics dedicated to one or both of the twins often dress in manners similar to those depictions of their god(s) as a reminder to seek to emulate their goodness in every action. Many clerics make vows to show their devotion and their abhorance of temptation, though the clergy overall does not insist upon these things. The hierarchy of the clergy is fluid, with any grouping being led by the one deemed most worthy of the title of leader at the time. Character sheet (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Character sheet (open) Character sheet (close) Make your own or use this! Just make sure to include everything here. Name: Race: Appearance: Personality: Background/History: Aspirations/Goals: Skills: There should be a reason for you to be skilled in whatever areas you are skilled in. ie. you can't just be a brewmaster and claim to be skilled in swordsmanship when bandits raid your brewery, there must be some reason for your skills such as your father was a member of the town militia and he trained you while you were a child, ect...You can post these reasons in your skills section or you can work these reasons into your history (I prefer this method but im not picky).