East (Age of Titans Supplement)
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The East is based on bronze-age Europe and north Africa. It isn't actually a bronze age; steel exists, but the feeling should be roughly the same. Before running or playing in a game in the East of Geburah, it may help to familiarize yourself with some of the history and, more importantly, the mystique of this time period. Read a bit about ancient Rome and Egypt. If the party is going to Graëtos, read about ancient Greece. If the party is going to West Töl, research the life of native Americans in the early years of European colonization. For many areas it may help to familiarize yourself with SRD supplements such as Sandstorm (for the deserts and for some parts of Töl) or Stormrack (Graëtos is largely a seafaring culture) and a copy of Deities and Demigods would be useful for the religions and other elements of Spyre, Valus, and Graëtos. These sorts of materials will help for getting a feel for what kind of game to expect, and everything here should be read in that context.
- 1 Life in The East
- 2 Characters
- 3 Geography
- 4 History
- 5 Organizations
- 6 Important NPC's
- 7 Monsters
Life in The East
During the age of the Morgul empire, gorgan was the official language in the East, and so most common languages there share its roots. In Valus and Spyre, gorgan evolved into laithan which quickly became the common language. However, when Rem-kha religion united the fiefdoms in Spyre, it brought with it its own language, coptic, which was required for use in all official matters, and so usurped laithan, especially in written form. Many in Spyre still speak laithan, and it is still the most common language among those in the lowest classes or those who live below ground, although it has since borrowed so much from coptic that it is no longer recognizable as the laithan of Valus. Still, the two share enough of a root so that anyone who speaks laithan in Spyre (or undercommon (Spyre)) can recognize key words in the laithan of Valus (or common (Valus)) with a DC 14 Intelligence check. In Valus everyone speaks laithan and their racial language (if any) keeping in mind that the racial languages are also restricted in their scope, such as elven (Valus) and dwarven (Valus) and so on; bonus languages would be coptic, graeck, babbel, and all other local racial tongues. In Spyre everyone speaks coptic and laithan (Spyre) and their racial language, with laithan (Valus), graeck, babbel, and all other local racial tongues as bonus languages.
In Graëtos, gorgan evolved into graeck, and since travel is so common in this area, graeck has achieved a degree of ubiquity not found in the common languages of most other places. Nearly all races, including giants and other non-civilized races, have adopted graeck. Even the elves and dwarves there have all but abandoned their native tongues in favor of the common language, except for ceremonial purposes. In Graëtos everyone speaks graeck, with racial tongues, including their own, as bonus languages, along with laithan, coptic, and sign as bonus languages.
In Barbaros, laithan and influences of coptic have mixed with orcish and goblin and dozens of other languages, to form a rough common tongue with as many dialects as their are tribes. The name Barbaros itself comes from the Valutians who mocked their language, saying they sounded like "Ba, ba, ba" whenever they spoke, and the name for the common language, "babbel" also comes from the same joke. The language is varied enough so that any speak of babbel must still succeed at a DC 10 Intelligence check to be able to understand another babbel speaker from any other tribe. The only core language in Barbaros is babbel, with laithan and coptic and the racial languages from Valus as bonus languages.
East Töl uses a very crude language called "ono" (which just means "sound") by its inhabitants. Ono is mostly onomatopoetic, with very few words, and words like "rawr" for any large, dangerous beast. West Töl has perhaps the most unique linguistic situation worldwide, in that each proud nation refuses to use the spoken language of any other, and so the common language there is a form of non-verbal sign language, simply called sign. In West Töl, everyone speaks their own tribe's language and sign, with ono and the tribal languages of nearby tribes as bonus languages.
As with every region in Age of Titans, gardonian may always be taken as a bonus language.
In Spyre the coinage consists of small gold bars, about three inches by one inch by a quarter inch, engraved with hieroglyphics on one side and a depiction of the Pharaoh sitting over the river Lyne on the other. There is no smaller denomination, because most trade is done in barter, and the coins themselves are used only for large transactions, such as the purchase of slaves or large stores of wheat. Even taxation in Spyre often takes the form of a donation of one's trade or mandatory labor. In Valus more typical coins are used, in gold (aureus), silver (denarius), or bronze (sestertius); bearing an image of the Caesar with his name and the denomination on the back. Graëtos also uses round coins, called drachm, but silver is the standard, with silver and copper mixes and smaller coins for lower amounts. The coins usually depict a deity or hero on one side with some representation of the city it was minted in on the other. Other realms in the East do not use currency or use an improvised currency or have adopted one of the above three.
Valus is by far the wealthiest of the three nations, probably due to its large slave population. As Valus expanded it took native populations as slaves and then when the revolution overthrew the magocracy, members of the old aristocracy were enslaved as well. Presently it trades in wine and fruits mostly. Spyre is the next wealthiest, producing a large crop of wheat and storing it wisely with the annual floods of the Lyne to feed its food animals and its population. Spyre does not have a large slave population, but enlists labor in its taxation, so that most of the citizens do unpaid labor during part of the year. Each city-state in Graëtos has its own economy and so the degree of wealth varies greatly. Graëtos trades mostly in olives and animal products.
In both Valus and Graëtos the official religions are the polytheism of the Olympian Pantheon (see; Deities and Demigods), which is a tight pantheon, meaning most worship the entire pantheon, although temples and cults to particular deities exist as well. In Barbaros, ancestor worship is most common, with other varieties of spiritism mixed in as well, and influences from the Olympian polytheism and the religion of Spyre. In East Töl life is too harsh to allow much time to contemplate the cosmos, and so agnosticism is the most common religion there. In the desert cultures, people have incorporated the Olympian and Pharonic pantheons into one, with some minor alterations to the natures and stories of the deities.
Most places are friendly to other religions, with Graëtos being the most hostile to outside religions. Temples dedicated to religions from the other nearby regions may be found in major cities all over the East, but they tend to be very small, sometimes in the homes of their clerics, and they mainly cater to travelers.
Races found in the East and nowhere else include Asheratis in the deserts, Neanderthals in East Töl, Bhukas in the drier parts of West Töl, and the new Rem-kha subrace of humans in Spyre. Desert variants of the normal races (see; Unearthed Arcana), especially elves and dwarves are found in the deserts north and south of Spyre as well. All races in the East tend toward tan or brown skin with brown eyes and brown, coarse hair, especially in Spyre. Races tend to be paler in Valus and Graëtos, but still darker than Gardonians.
Spyre is mostly human, only because humans prefer city life to life in the desert. The Dün Drisst and Lone Drisst both have minority human populations, with hardier races preferring the desert climes. Valus is mostly human and tends to be somewhat segregationist; the senate allows one voting representative from the elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and goblinoids, but generally society there distrusts non-humans. Barbaros is the opposite, with a mild distrust for humans, although they are not treated with outright hostility. Graëtos is the most inclusive and tolerant, and so a higher population of mixed races live there than in most other places. Töl is mostly tribal with the tribes being racially homogeneous, but in East Töl there is cooperation to survive the dinosaurs and dire animals and in West Töl resources are plentiful enough to make competition between the tribes mostly unnecessary.
People travel, and so any race is playable in the East, but only the following are truly native, and therefore by far the most numerous of races, and the ones players should consider first:
|Race||Sourcebook||Most Common Areas|
|Human||Player's Handbook||Spyre (Rem-kha), Graëtos, Valus, West Töl|
|Dwarf||Player's Handbook||Dün Drisst, Lone Drisst, Valus, Graëtos|
|Elf||Player's Handbook||Dün Drisst, Lone Drisst, Valus, Graëtos|
|Gnome||Player's Handbook||Valus, Graëtos|
|Half-elf||Player's Handbook||As elf or human parents|
|Half-orc||Player's Handbook||As orc or human parents|
|Halfling||Player's Handbook||Graëtos, West Töl|
|Sea kin||Races of Destiny||Graëtos (shore)|
|Asheratis||Sandstorm||Dün Drisst, Lone Drisst|
|Aventi||Stormwrack||Graëtos (shore), Valus (shore)|
Note that this table does not include any races with level adjustments or monstrous races. Those are at the discretion of the DM.
Barbarians are most common in the desert, in Töl, and in Barbaros, which are the most chaotic areas. Bards are respected in Graëtos and Spyre, and will travel anywhere, although they are treated suspiciously in Valus for their knowledge of magic. Clerics are mostly represented in Spyre and Graëtos, where there are frequent religious celebrations. Valus keeps religion separate from other aspects of public life and Töl and Barbaros are mostly spiritist. Druids and rangers are also found in the wilder parts of the East, and there are several druid circles in the desert who worship the spirits of nature found there, even in the absence of much life. Sorcerers and wizards are plainly not allowed in Valus, but treated well elsewhere. The other classes are mostly even in all societies. There are no new base classes specific to the East.
There are no new prestige classes specific to the East.
Feats & Skills
Spyre is a mostly human kingdom, with about an equal mix of the lesser races (elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, half-elves, and half-orcs). A sub-race of humans called “Rem-kha” is native to this land. The common human language in Spyre is Coptic, roughly meaning “symbols of the soul” or “signs of spirit.” Rem-kha religion is one of the most important aspects of daily life in Spyre, and Rem-kha native to Spyre naturally have weak magical abilities.
War between Spyre and Valus is an ever present threat. While no such war has ever taken place, tensions continue to mount as the differing cultures take opposing views on nearly every important issue. Valus has forbidden its merchants to trade with Spyre, and declared Spyre a "bastion of Magocracy and Theocracy which by its very existence threats our way of life." Both Spyre and Valus have far-reaching political and cultural influence and it is in distant lands and in the desert that the "quiet war" is often fought.
Spyre is ruled by its Temples, which act directly under divine influence. Elus, or High Priests, act as Avatars for the gods allowing the common people of Spyre to trust in the faith of the Priests, which are tested by the gods themselves. While the gods act directly to rule Spyre, their actions are often mysterious and do not confer special protection. The Elu of Ra-Horakhty, principle god of Spyre, acts as Pharoah or supreme ruler of Spyre, with a vast network of priests and wizards forming this Theomagocracy.
Spyre is divided into upper and lower districts with a middle land between along the Lyrne River. Each of these sections is divided into 3 Nomes (administrative districts), each of which is ruled by a Governer who acts on behalf of the Pharoah. High Priests, called Elus, also share administrative power near equal to the Pharoah, who is the Elu of Ra-Horakhty. In each region there is a capitol city, with Solaris in Lower Spyre being the dwelling place of the Pharoah and principle city within Spyre. These cities and some other important sites in Spyre are:
Solaris: "City of the Sun" and capitol city of Spyre. This is where the Grand Temple of Ra-Horakhty stands as one of the most powerful structures in the East serving as palace, fortress, temple, and magical storehouse. Located in Lower Spyre.
Memphi: This is the capitol of the middle region of Spyre. It is an excellent place of commerce and construction, linking the other two regions together.
Thobes: Home to the Library of Thobes, perhaps the greatest depository of knowledge in Geburah. The cult of Thoth has primary control here, with the Elu of Thoth acting as King of Upper Spyre second only to Pharoah.
Gizan: This great Necropolis is a city of ancient Pyramids and tombs which can be seen from the gates of Solaris across the vast desert to the north. Outside the city is a powerful garrison of Spyrian troops who keep graverobbers out, but rarely does any living soul enter this sacred city. Scholars speculate that Gizan is in fact the largest city in the East, but since it is home only to the dead and undead, it is often miscounted. Powerful undead Pharoahs, Elus, and other entities live in the Necropolis. The people of Spyre leave them to their business, whatever that may be.
There are many unique applications of magic in Spyre, and it remains one of the most magical kingdoms in all of Geburah. Adventuring in Spyre usually consists of exploring ancient tombs, delving into the vast underdark beneath Spyre, combating the Cult of Set, or (if the adventurers have gained enough trust) being initiated into the Temples of Spyre.
Lone Drisst for the most part consists of seemingly endless slopes of fine sand dunes migrating in the strong, harsh winds. Nonetheless there are stretches consisting of mares and mesas and a variety of other desert topography. Some spots will be spotted with thin trees and underbrush, and may have enough water to support a homestead of shepherds or craftsmen but nothing approaching a town. On the other hand, there are around a dozen major oases which support compact cities or elaborate Alhambra for wealthy hermits or places of magical or religious study. These spots often have expansive underground sections to provide extra protection from the elements, and some connect with deeper underdark labyrinths, ripe for profit adventuring.
Traveling traders from The North or from Barbaros inevitably trace a well-worn path to maximize stops at the rare, civilized areas both to restock on water and food, to trade, and to avoid gangs of Asherati bandits or terrible desert monsters. If a party gets lost in the desert, they will occasionally be spotted and helped by Asherati tribes, but for the most part losing ones way in the desert means an unpleasant death.
Dün Drisst is a desert of equal size and severity to Lone Drisst, and indeed if anything makes Lone Drisst seem beautiful. In place of the rolling dunes of Lone Drisst, Dün Drisst is composed mostly of flat cracked earth punctuated by all but lifeless hills or canyons. Furthermore, Dün Drisst does not connect any major economic areas, since travel to and from The South comes by the Lyne river and Graëtos travels mainly by sea. Indeed if one proceeds southwards from Spyre across the desert, one will eventually hit the highest mountain range in all of Geburah, and find further passage all but impossible. There is more water available where the desert hits the mountains, and so communities have evolved there, although they are almost entirely isolated from the rest of the world. Even the major and minor oases in Dün Drisst are mostly uncivilized and dangerous, since the lack of trade makes a full city economy impossible. Settlements in Dün Drisst exist, but they are smaller and more wary of others.
Nevertheless, Dün Drisst is used possibly more often than Lone Drisst for profit adventuring. The sand and rock here hides a number of former cities and strongholds of the Morgul Empire, and having been less settled, these ruins are more ripe for raiding. Unfortunately they are also much more dangerous.
GraëtosGraëtos consists of independent, but affiliated city-states. Religion, government, and some other cultural elements are common amongst all of them. The official religion of Graëtos is the polytheism of the Olympian pantheon (see; Deities and Demigods). There are frequent celebrations in honor of one of the deities or commemorating some event relevant to the pantheon's history approximately once every two weeks. Members of other religions are allowed to live here and even have temples here, but proselytizing for anything other than the Olympian pantheon is illegal, and other religions are expected to keep to themselves. Each of the city-states is run by direct democracy. Land-owning men are considered citizens, and all citizens must participate in major decision making by law, with a sort of steering committee of about one hundred citizens chosen by lottery deciding proposals to be voted on and making decisions in the case of legal disputes, acting as judge and jury. Adventuring in Graëtos usually takes the form of seafaring to one of the small, exotic islands or the peninsula of Appanëa populated by strange creatures, or taking an expedition to the mountains and volcanoes to the northwest. The major cities and their respective cultural features are as follows:
Sparthe: A city-state which prizes military service and simple living above all. The city is not ornately decorated and wealthy traders are considered suspect. Native Spartheans go through mandatory military training and service at a young age.
Athenai: A city-state which prizes education. Sophists are considered most highly here and people come from all over Graëtos to hear their debates. Athenai is the dominant city-state in Graëtos, with the greatest navy and the most developed center of commerce.
Korinthos: A city-state which prizes beauty and art. It is second to Athenai in commerce, with its exports of ornate pottery. It also attracts visitors to its temple to Aphrodite, which houses over a thousand prostitutes of both sexes.
Other cities: City-states are formed and fall apart more regularly than in most other places, so the exact number of city-states varies from anywhere between ten and thirty. Some names to use for other city-states are Thevai, Edessa, Dalmatia, and really any name taken from the [list of Greek place names].
Valus includes Valus proper, the centralized empire, as well as the cursed lands of Morgolus and Barbaros, even though those are outside the governance of the Valutian empire. Valus was once a centralized magocracy that included Barbaros and Morgolus, but this was overthrown (see; Overthrow of Valus, below) and replaced by the modern empire. The empire believes humanity to be superior to other races, and that strength and power by physical means is the highest achievement, with the use of magic being the opposite of proper strength and power. During the revolution, Barbaros fell to the tribal natives there, who have since recruited non-humans of Valus to join them in attempting to overthrow the empire. Morgolus was the last stand for the magocracy, and the most powerful wizards and sorcerers gathered there and, realizing their eminent defeat, committed a mass ritual suicide. Since then, anyone venturing over the mountains to Morgolus has disappeared or gone insane. Sailors report ships manned by the dead protecting its harbors, and most naive travelers who attempt to cross the mountains find themselves back where they started, uncertain when they turned around.
Valus has the pretenses of a republic. Rule is technically in the hands of the senate, which is populated by voting members selected by caucuses with votes proportional to the size of the caucus. One vote each is also given to elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and goblinoids (all usually evil races, including mixed races which include goblinoid blood). However, the emperor, called the Caesar, is uniformly given ultimate authority by the senate, usually under the guise of protecting the empire from a return of the magocracy or an invasion by Barbaros. As far as the citizens are concerned, this imperial power is held only in wartime, and Valus is always at war. The official religion of the Valutian empire is the Olympian pantheon, though the gods have different names than they do in Graëtos, and occasionally the Caesar and members of the senate show public signs of devoutness, but religious authorities really have no say over public matters, and the title of "priestly" is considered insulting and equivalent to "weak." In Barbaros, spiritism is the dominant religion, especially the worship of ancestors and nature, but all religions are welcome.
Adventuring in Valus consists of state sponsored expeditions to Barbaros to infiltrate or destroy hostile tribes or bodyguard duty while transporting a notable trader or diplomat through the desert to Spyre or across the sea to Graëtos. Alternatively it may consist of defensive or offensive action against the empire on the behalf of a tribe of Barbaros, or even an attempted expedition into Morgolus.
Age of Antioch and Morgul
Overthrow of Valus
The Red Lions of Valus
The Cult of Set
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