Moertus Races (4e Moertus Supplement)
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This section details the standard races found in Moertus. These races are found in the various Players Handbooks.
Even though Devas are not a standard PC race in Moertus, at the DM's discretion a Player may create one. These PCs should be exiles, or agents sent from an enclave of several hundred Devas that dwell in a forest far south of the Muskeg Swamp among the shattered ruins of the ancient Nerath empire. The enclave live in a giant fortress of 7 interconnected ivory and gold towers. There they dwell in prayer and contemplation of the Gods. Their existence is not spent entirely in seclusion, as they have taken it upon themselves to shepherd a race of primitive beings who appear to be the victims of demonic sorcery, a race called Shifters. By giving them simple aid and education the Devas spend more time observing the Shifters rather then overtly influencing them. Still the Shifters do revere them as semi-divine beings and worship them as such, although the Devas discourage this and promote true dieties as a focus for their worship.
After the fall of the Arkosian Empire, the ancient Dragonborn fled south as the magics protecting their once powerful lands began to fail and the harsh natural climate returned, choking the lands with ice and snow. Now the northern reaches of Norlund are home to tribes of savage Dragonborn that compete with barbaric tribes of Humans and Orcs for the sparse resources that are available. While in Riddari there resides the desendants of those Dragonborn that fled into the region as refugees thousands of years ago. Still others are now little more then slaves to powerful Dragons that have attracted tribes with the promise of power and revenge against the other "lower" races. Remnants of Dragonborn families can also be found in every Human populated region down into Rodull. Depending upon where they reside, a Dragonborn can have a personality ranging from feral to sophisticated. The savage Dragonborn tribes of Norlund live a semi-nomadic lifestyle. These tribes of up to a dozen small families are lead by the strongest member of the group, and most conflicts or disputes are settled through ritual combat. Dragonborn in Riddari live in small communes, often very close to (or even within) the towns and villages of other races. These Dragonborn tend to be highly religious groups that are lead by warrior-priests. The communes tend to be peaceful and freely interact with other peoples, they are also quick to band together and fight to protect any person or place that they feel is being unjustly attacked. In the Human lands of Lysandra and Rodull small families, or singular Dragonborn, have made a life within the towns and villages of these regions. These Dragonborn tend to mimic the lifestyles of the people they live amongst, being just as varied as most Humans. Over the centuries many powerful Dragons have lured tribes of savage Dragonborn into serving them as a slave-like army. These Dragonborn seek to conquer and dominate all non-Dragonborn races, they worship the Dragon they serve and hold dear their promises of granting them power and wealth.
The Dwarves of Moretus live in the southern end of the Rigsholm Mountains. Dwarven society is broken down into large family centered groups, that owe allegiance to the Dwarven King. Dwarven villages consist of 6 to 12 Dwarven families. The villages are always built around a mine. Each family has it’s own Longhouse, most are built into the sides of the mountain that has the village’s mine. One family rules the village (normally the founding family), and it’s eldest member holds the title of Lord or Lady. Most Dwarves spend the day working in the mine, foraging or hunting, or working the forge. During the evening Dwarves gather together in the Lord’s longhouse, and feast, drink, and tell tales into the late night. The current Dwarven King (or Queen) lives in the only Dwarven city commonly known to all races, the Citadel. The Citadel is a huge fortress-city that is built inside of Rigsmount Mountain, over 90% of the city is underground and what little is above ground appears molded out of pure stone. Dwarven clans bring their manufactured goods to the citadel to sell and trade for other goods they need. Before the "Fall", most merchants in the Citadel traded the manufactured goods with non-Dwarven species for items the Dwarves did not make. After the "Fall" trade with outsides species became a memory. Whenever the current King or Queen dies a “Council of Lords” is convened at the Citadel, all the Lords and Ladies of the Dwarves come together and choose which of them will be the new King or Queen. The elected Monarch and his/her family will move to the Citadel (after elevating another to the position of Lord/Lady of their village) with the old royal family returning to their home village to assume the role of Lord or Lady. Dead Kings and Queens are entombed within their home village’s mine. When a common Dwarf dies his/her body is beheaded. The head is entombed within the clan’s mine, while the body is burned in a huge pyre. Dwarven tombs may contain thousands of skulls, and often Dwarves will meditate among them hoping to gain wisdom from their ancestors. Although attacked by the cultists, during the "Fall" the Dwarves managed to drive off and destroy the Living Dead in their lands. Still seeing this as a problem caused by outsiders the Dwarves retreated into their mountains and stayed there for many decades. Now Dwarves are beginning to see the benifits of once more reaching out to their neighbors, but while they may trade or travel outside their lands they are quick to asssault any non-Dwarf who tresspasses into their realms.
Before the "Great Fall" the Eladrin had portals, in every forest, from the Feywild to Moertus. The Eladrin live in large cities made of a mixture of worked stone and living trees intertwined around one another forming massive buildings and walls. While non-Eladrin are free to visit any of their cities, they are asked to leave once night falls and only Eladrin remain after dark. The exception to this is on the four holidays that the Eladrin observe, each one marking the start of a new season, where all are invited to spend the entire day and night in revelry. Eladrin take their independence very seriously and their race has no formal ruler. Instead everything is decided by mutual consensus, and while this may seem very chaotic, the good willed Eladrin have made the system work effortlessly for thousands of years. Like their Elven cousins, when an Eladrin dies, their bodies are buried beneath a newly planted tree sapling, it is said that some powerful Eladrin Spirits will move into the young tree and after several centuries the tree will become a Treant. During the "Fall" the Eladrin recoiled away from Moertus, Living Dead wandering through their portals began attacking Eladrin towns and cities. The Eladrin destroyed the invaders, but at a great cost in life, so they used their magics to close the portals from their world to ours. Thanks to Aphasius this was easier then expected, his spells that sought to tear down the walls between Moertus and the Shadowfell also worked to close the paths between the Feywild and ours. Without knowing it the Eladrin sealed many of the portals forever. After two centuries the Eladrin attempted to step through the viel into Moertus but found they could only do so at certain times of the year, and then only in the most remote and wild locations. The few semi-permanent portals that the Eladrin use are deep in the heart of the Feyois Forest.
The Elves of Moertus make their home throughout the Feyois Forest. While Elves do not have formal cities by Human standards, they do have many large villages built within the towering tree tops of their forest. Elves live very gregarious lives, and individual villages have very little political structure, relying upon each other to follow unspoken rules of conduct established by their ancestors. Elves dislike staying settled in one locale too long so every few months, or years, an Elf will pick up and move to another village with little or no seeming reason. The result is a very homogenized culture, with all Elves feeling in some way related to one another. Many Elves are skilled at the creation of wines made from berries and honey found in the Feyois Forest, some Elven wines will even have magical properties. The closest thing to a true Elven city was Sokska, a massive tree fort structure that spanned the tops of more then two hundred trees. It was the semi-permanent home to the Elven King and Queen. The Elven royal family ruled out of pure loyalty more then anything else. While normally Elves appear to disdain formal regulations, they have a near religious attitude toward their King and Queen trusting them to always put the needs of the Elves before their own. Sokska was a prime target of the cultists during the "Fall", and nearly the entire population was destroyed, including the King and Queen. Now Elves stick to their smaller settlements and since the "Fall" no new King or Queen has been appointed. Most Elves feel a great loss at what was a beautiful civilization that is now a shell of what it once was. When an Elf dies their bodies are buried beneath a newly planted tree sapling, it is said that some powerful Elves Spirits will move into the young tree and after several centuries the tree will become a Treant.
The psychic disturbances of the Great Fall acted like a signal beacon to many Githzerai drawing them from the Elemental Chaos to Moertus. Once there many established outposts where they could study the effects of the Living Death and the reactions of the populous. Many were not content to sit by and only observe and so in the name of justice they struck out to help the natives. But by the time the world was on it's way toward recovering from the Fall the Githzerai had all but again completely retreated to their hidden enclaves. Still over the years, when times turn dark, Githzerai will venture forth from thier secreted sanctuaries in an attempt to help protect their adopted world and to learn all they can about the forces that shape this universe.
The Gnomes of Moertus hail from a small hidden valley deep within the western reaches of the Feyois Forest, at the base of the Rigsholm Mountains. The Gnomvale is densely forested and covered in a massive canopy, Gnomes make their homes in, around, and under the massive toadstools and mushrooms that grow in the gloom here. Despite what may appear dismal the Gnomes live a perpetually happy, and celebratory existence. Small Gnomish family units are spread out all over the valley, Gnomes spend most days meeting in small groups to go out, gather food, and/or play. Their daytime playful escapades most often involve playing tricks or pranks on others (be they other Gnomes or Elves from one of the many nearby villages), Gnomes pride themselves on a good prank, and the more elaborate the better. During the evening various groups of Gnomish families meet to have a large supper, and party. At these parties Gnomes will often trade gem worked goods for alchemical products, as these are the Gnomes two main industries. As well Gnomish parties consist of song, dance, and an extreme level of intoxication (thanks to those “alchemical products”). The Gnomish life is a fairly carefree existence. Gnomes near the base of the Rigsholm may often spends hours every day fashioning gem encrusted items from the precious gems and metals they pan from the springs there. While those that live on the eastern side of the valley spend many hours working with various alchemical mixtures. These mixtures are not only for entertainment, but many have mundane purposes as well (healing, poison, invisibility, etc.). Gnomes seem to have an understood code of behaviors and punishments that all follow, because of this they have no formal government. When a Gnome passes away they are buried unadorned in the mossy earth near the base of a nearby giant mushroom. The Gnomes were left fairly uneffected by the "Great Fall". While they had a few deaths their remote location allowed them to remain in seclusion until the worst had passed.
The Goliaths of Moertus live in the central region of the Rigsholm Mountains, their "lands" lie to the west of Gnomvale. These semi-nomadic creatures travel from cave to cave, driven by the violent seasons in the area, throughout the year. Goliath clans are comprised of up to six or seven large family units, with each family assigned a different task to help support the clan as a whole. They eldest spiritual Goliath in the clan acts as their defacto ruler, and guide. While they live in an extremely harsh enviroment, they have adapted well to it and actually find themselves with large amounts of liesure time. During the winter many Goliath clans will secure themselves within large deep caves and remain there until spring. It is during these bouts of leisure time, and seclusion, that Goliaths will enage in all manner of games and physical competitions. During the summer months clans gather in a one of the few valleys in this region for several weeks, and hold grand competitions between each other called "Ulympiads". During these "Ulympiads" clans will also trade, share news, and find new mates from outside their clans. When a Goliath knows death is near they will wander away from their clan, and climb into the highest peaks of the Rigsholm Mountains. Goliaths will push themselves as far as they can before finally just sitting down against a boulder, or rock face, and passing away. Many Goliath believe that the altitude a passing Goliath can reach tells the world just how truly "good" a person was in their life. Stories tell of high frozen mountain peaks that are strewn with the frozen corpses of Goliaths. Similar to the Gnomes the Goliaths had almost no impact from the "Great Fall" and many speak only of the dark creatures that sprang from the Shadowfell during that time, rather then speaking of the Living Dead.
The Halflings of Moertus live in a region called the Hillshires. This area lies on the eastern side of the southern Rigsholm Mountains, with the Feyois Forest to the north and Rodull to east. Halflings are creatures of comfort, preferring luxuries and relaxation to any other pursuit. Halfling families live in small burrows built into the hillsides of this region. Groups of a half dozen or more families live clustered together to form communities. Each Halfling family either tends a small garden or raises small animals. The families share their resources, and any manufactured goods one family might be skilled at. The communities themselves trade constantly with one another and therefore Halflings have little want. Being nearly as carefree as Gnomes, Halflings do not have a formal government either. Instead relying upon the wisdom of their elders to guide them when the need arises. Many Halflings will act as middlemen for the various races that surround them, allowing trade with these distant people to be more convenient, and allowing Halflings to find new baubles to make their homelife more comfortable. Halflings also have a love of pipeweed and wide varieties of it are grown all through the Hillshires, it has a mild euphoric effect that varies in strength from strain to strain. Most Halflings will smoke pipeweed all day long if they can. When a Halfling passes away a funeral is held wherein their belongings are divided up among his/her family and friends, followed by the unclothed body being consumed in a pyre. Sadly during the "Great Fall" the Halfling population was decimated and thousands died over the years. Many fled to the east for protection, and today their desendants still live among the Human population in those regions. Although many left the Hillshires, those that remained have slowly began to rebuild their former lives and slowly the number of Halflings has begun to rise.
The few Half-Elves in Moertus are the child, or grandchild, of a Human and Elf pairing. Having few cultural boundries they can be found anywhere, living any lifestyle, in Moertus. At the DMs discretion players may create "Half-Drow" or "Half-Eladrin" (although these are even rarer then Half-Elves). If this is allowed these other half breeds use the same statistics as all other Half-Elves, except for their appearance and their Dual Heritage trait. Instead of Elven feats, Half-Drow take Drow feats, and Half-Eladrin take Eladrin feats.
The few Half-Orcs in Moertus are the child, or grandchild, of a Human and Orc pairing (willing or not). These beings are rarely ever completly accepted among any race aside from Orcs. Still a few try to better themselves and live with beings that are more prone to build then destroy, like their monstrous cousins. As such Half-Orcs may be found anywhere in Moertus.
While Humans are all statistically the same, they are broken down by the various regions they come from to show the variety of cultures they have each formed. As well each region has different physical attributes common to it’s people and this is included in each cultural breakdown. The other common trait among all Humans is the practice of interring their dead in graveyards, and crypts. Every Human settlement has such a location near their borders. Although the practice of cremation became popular after the "Great Fall", Humans are once again returning to the old custom of burial.
- Lysandra: Before the "Fall", this region was known as the "Kingdom of Lysandra". The kingdom was an Absolute Monarchy, ruled by the King and Queen, as well as the royal family. The borders of Lysandra run from the eastern edge of the Feyois Forest all the way to the Great Eastern Sea, and as far south as the North Feyweir River, all the way north to the far reaches of the Timberland Woods. Lysandra was divided into 15 Duchies, ruled by a Duke and/or Duchess. Each Duchy also had up to 50 landowners, called Earls, that collected taxes and rents from the populace that lived in Lysandra. A majority of the population worked in agriculture, various types of farming, as well as the production of Wine, Beer, and Spirits. As well many in Lysandra lived (and still live) off the sea, with both fishing and sea trading being very big business in Lysandra. There was always tension between the "Kingdom of Lysandra" and the "Riddari Union" to the north. Although the two nations had many years of peace between them prior to the "Great Fall". The largest cities in Lysandra were the Capitol city of Boden, and the western city of Roskva, both of which were destroyed during the "Great Fall". Humans in Lysandra have lighter skin tones then those from Rodull, although many will tan to a dark shade from exposure to the sun. Humans here also have lighter hair colors as well, tending toward various shades of brown with darker shades in the south and lighter shades in the north. Most of them have various shades of brown eyes. Currently there are a variety of small "kingdoms" and city-states all over Lysandra, with many of the rulers claiming to be of royal blood and therefore the rightful King of the entire region. This results in many battles as each attempts to gain more land and resources to bring under their control.
- Norlund: The rugged and dangerous region of the Norlunds is home to tribes of Human Barbarians, that live a semi-nomadic way of life. The tribes themselves consist of around a dozen families, most of which live west of the Blak Aufeis River. The tribes migrate several times a year between locations in the plains and mountains of this area. Tribes may favor one region over another and exclusively migrate within that area. This can greatly effect the attitudes and culture of the tribes that live this way. Those that prefer the lowlands tend to use beasts of burden and horses. They also favor spears and bows over melee weapons. The tribes that live in the hills use beasts of burden, but seldom ride horses. Although they do tend to have tiny herds of small animals like chickens, sheep, and/or goats. Hill tribes favor blunt weapons, with maces, morning stars, and clubs being the most common. The mountain tribes are a very brutal people, they hunt and forage for all their needs and seldom if ever keep animals. Mountain tribes often travel between locations that contain metallic ores, and these tribes have learned to work the metals into weapons. They favor bladed weapons like swords and axes. Although the regions can make tribes different there are some things they all share. All tribes are lead by the strongest member of the tribe, leading until defeated in combat or death. Tribes always treat outsiders with distrust at first and most never completely trust non-Humans, as well they all share similar racial characteristics. Humans from Norlund have fair to pale skin, with blonde to red hair. Most have eyes that are various shades of blue or green, with a few having dark grey or brown eyes. Norlund did not suffer any direct attacks during the "Great Fall", but many throngs of Living Dead did cross the borders and attack the tribes there. With their vast knowledge of the region and violent natures to aid them, the barbaric tribes of Norlund easily fought back and survived this dark period.
- Riddari: Before the "Fall", this region was known as the "Riddari Union". The union was an Elective Monarchy, ruled by a Viscount or Viscountess, this position was held for 10 years and was elected from among the Counts (or Countesses) of Riddari by the Parliament. Riddari was comprised of 12 Counties. Each County was ruled by a Count/Countess, the Counties themselves were broken down into 3 or 4 Baronies. One of which was controlled directly by the Count or Countess, with the others being overseen by a Baron (or Baroness). The Riddari Parliament was comprised of the 11 Counts/Countesses, making up the “League of Counts”, as well each Barony was allowed 1 representative (this may or may not be the Baron/Baroness themselves) to attend, forming the “League of Barons”. These bodies were in turn ruled over by the Viscount/Viscountess. It should be noted that while they were a minority, Tieflings (see below) made up over 80% of the nobility. As with Lysandra, the borders of Riddari run from the edge of the Feyois Forest east out to the Great Eastern Ocean. And as far south as the mid-point of the Timberland Woods, up to the northern edge of Lake Aufeis. Much of Riddari is covered in large forests, most citizens work in some industry related to timber (milling wood for construction use or fuel consumption, making paper, etc.). The dense woodlands also provide well for hunters and trappers that ply the area. The Riddari also work the sea, fishing and trading make up a majority of occupations along the coast. While several large areas to the south have been cleared for farming. The Riddari are known for a highly potent ale made from a tree sap, the ale has an intensely bitter taste but is stronger then many distilled beverages. Each Riddari that brews this ale has their own name for it, and while foul tasting, it sells for a decent price. The largest cities in Riddari were both large Port cities one was the northern port of Fenia, and the other was the southern port city of Menia. While both cities were destroyed during the "Great Fall", small towns have reappeared among their ruins. Humans from Riddari have fair skin, and light brown to blonde hair. Riddari tend to have dark blue eyes, although brown eyes are not uncommon. In the northern Counties many Riddari have red hair, and very pale complexions, these Riddari are also known for their green eyes. Currently a conglomeration of "Mayors", "Govenors", "Counts", "Barons", and "Viscounts" rule small areas of the region (many of these positions are held by Tieflings). A few have banded together to form coalitions, but none have really moved to form larger nations or empires yet.
- Rodull: Before the "Fall", this region was known as the "Holy Rodull Empire". The empire was an Absolute Theocracy. The ruler of Rodull was known as the “Eminence of Rodull”, he or she was the supreme Cleric of the Church of Erathis. The borders of Rodull run from the eastern edge of the Hillshires all the way to the Great Eastern Sea, and as far south as the Muskeg Swamp north to the North Feyweir River. Rodull was divided up into 15 Provinces, each ruled by a local Temple that was headed by the Province’s Cardinal. All positions within the Church of Erathis were held for life (unless a member was Excommunicated). And while the positions of Deacon, Priest, and Bishop, were earned through acts of pious service and study. Archbishops and the Eminence of Rodull were chosen by the Cardinals. The primary military force in Rodull was the "Order of Bahamut". The Order and the Church of Erathis were completely intertwined, outposts of the Order existed in every Province, and in all matters concerning law and military they had complete jurisdiction. Rodull was a very wealthy nation and many of it’s citizens worked in the manufacturing of luxury goods such as clothes, furniture, jewelry, etc. Although many southern Provinces were devoted to farming and herding as well as the manufacturing of items derived from these cultivated sources. There were three cities of note in Rodull: the first was the Free City of Nidaros, the second was the capitol city of Hervor, and the third was the port city of Konur. All three were destroyed during the "Fall", and most peoples believe the ruins of them are cursed and home to all manner of foul creatures. The Humans of Rodull tend to have dark olive skin tones, with black hair and dark brown eyes. The "Fall" utterly destroyed the empire, the Church and Order were both prime targets of Aphasius and the cultists. Also the priests and paladins reacted without much thought, believing they could easily destroy simple zombies, and ended up losing large numbers of both. With the apparent failure of both the Church and Order, the Humans of Rodull turned away from religion and in some cases even attacked clerics, paladins, or even churches in anger at their lack of ability to save everyone. In short order chaos erupted across the northern half of Rodull as the attacks increased and the lack of food, the north recieved over 90% of its food from the south through trade routes that disappeared during the early days of the "Fall", caused people to riot and prey on each other. The huge amount of death during this time caused Rodull to become the largest source of swarms of Living Dead that raged across the continent. Currently the most civilized areas of Rodull are in the southern half of the region. Various city-states and small kingdoms dot this area, many have begun trading with one another and most have returned to the veneration of the gods. In the north the area has various keeps, and walled towns spread sparesly about the region. Many of these are ruled by bandit-kings, or other mercenary minded beings. These lands can be extremely dangerous for travellers, both from monsters and from these "civilized" groups.
The Minotaurs that live within Lysandra, and the surrounding regions, normally make their homes within the vast number of labyrinthian subterranean ruins of Ruul that exist in these areas. Clans of peaceful Minotaurs tend to stay within their communities their entire lives, only wishing to live a normal life and to be left undisturbed. Unfortunatly vicious evil tribes of Minotaurs are more common and they often reach out to torture and kill those that come too near to their lands. Like the Gnolls the Minotaurs did not suffer from any direct attacks from cultists during the "Great Fall", but they did take advantage of the destruction and chaos. During that time many Minotaur tribes raided weakened Human settlements making off with victims, and goods, destroying the towns and villages that they lived in.
Even though Shifters are not a standard PC race in Moertus, at the DMs discretion a Player may create one. These PCs should be an exile, wanderer, or agent sent from one of the primitive tribes that serve the Devas, and live the the forests far to the south of the Muskeg Swamp. Shifters were little more then animals when the Devas discovered them. The Devas have brought them the knowledge they needed to slowly evolve into a primitive tribal society. Currently the Devas observe more then influence the Shifters, but they do often use tribes to act as shock troops against a hidden cult of demon worshippers (possibly Rakshasa) that use remote sections of the forest as a base. Shifter tribes are comprised of up to a dozen fairly large famlies (of both "Razorclaw" and "Longtooth" Shifters) that live in small thatch and hide huts, in the forest near Deva's "Ivory Towers". The tribes are ruled by the most spiritual member of the clan. Upon death a Shifter may be left where they fell (if far from home), or the clan may ritualistically devour the corpse as part of a funerary rite.
Shardminds are extremely rare in Moertus, members of this race may encounter hostile reactions from some communities as such beings are normally only seen as monsters. Very few people of Moertus ever see a Shardmind and most are unaware they even exist. Every few decades Moertus passes through, what many locals call, a "Season of Fiery Rain". During those times the night skies can be filled with streaks of multi-hued flaming bodies that seem to rain down from the stars. Most of these "falling stars" vanish into nothing before striking the ground, but a few survive the journey and land mostly intact. Almost all of those that survive are nothing more then worthless rock and/or metal, but a very few are sometimes more. Every so often materials from the Astral Sea, the Elemental Chaos, or even other worlds will arrive on Moertus from the heavens. In the even rarer instance one may be the nascent form of a Shardmind. If it is found by a humanoid, the Shardmind will begin to grow and after several years or decades they will shape themselves into a form very similar to the humanoids around it. During that time the Shardmind will "awake", forming thier personalities and discovering that they are "alive". Once mature a Shardmind suddenly knows that it must aid in the rebuilding of the "Living Gate" and becomes driven to complete that task.
The Tieflings of Moertus can be found in every Human populated region of Moertus, although the largest number of them live in Riddari. Thousands of years ago, as the empire of Bael Turath began to crumble, the remaining Tieflings population fled to the last remnant of their world in the region that became the "Riddari Union". The Tieflings that survived the collapse of Bael Turath founded small villages and towns where they forsook their aggressive ways and attempted to survive by embracing the primitive Humans of the area and their former enemies the Dragonborn. Slowly the Tieflings began to spread out and set up individual estates and cities under their rule, within time this became the "Riddari Union" (see "Riddari" entry under Human above for more information on the history and fate of the "Riddari Union"). As the Human population grew the Tiefling population shrank, by the time "modern" Riddari came to be Tieflings made up less then 30% of the population, although they still represent around 80% of the "ruling" class". As noted in the Riddari entry above the Tieflings suffered as much as any other race during the "Fall", but many have begun to rebuild small "kingdoms" for themselves. In the Human lands of Lysandra and Rodull small families, or singular Tieflings, have made a life within the towns and villages of these regions. While some still look for positions of power in these regions, many have come seeking ancient secrets, or even to live a life of crime among those they see as easy targets. When a Tiefling dies his, or her, family will cremate the corpse in a ceremony centered around their infernal nature.
As the Eladrin unleased monumental amounts of arcane energy to tear open the walls they had erected between the Feywild and Moertus, they unwittingly awoke an innate force in the universe and the Wilden were "born" from the surrounding plant life. At first the Eladrin viewed the Wilden as oddities, but over the years they have grown into a full-fledged race. Many Wilden actually came into being near portals that were successfully reopened, and as they became more aware, the Wilden began to form a curiosity about the world beyond those portals. The Wilden are still trying to find their place in the universe, and to understand it, but all are driven by a need to seek out and destroy abberant forces from the Far Realms. They do not understand this compulsion, but it motivates all they do and every Wilden "feels" that some impending danger from that universe is coming.
This section details the races in Moertus that have complete PC write-ups either in Dragon Magazine or a specific campaign supplement.
This assumes the use of the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (only concerning this race). The Drow of Moertus live throughout the Arkhosian Forest. They make their homes within the ancient ruins that dot the woods, and/or in large burrow-like homes beneath the roots of spider infested trees. Drow tend to live in family groups, with several generations sharing a home. The Drow are a matriarchal society, with the eldest female member of the family ruling over the entire household and it’s members. Females tend to be extremely pious and all female Drow revere their patron Goddess Lolth. Most Drow families live in small groups of a dozen or more households called conclaves, these conclaves follow the leadership of the oldest female Cleric living among them. The women of these conclaves maintain a temple to Lolth for all families in the conclave to use. While males are not slaves, they have no political or religious standing within their society. Men may opt to serve a temple, and these males are little more then slaves, trained to serve a specific function for the temple for the rest of their lives. The Drow have no Queen, although in times of need often one woman will rise up and rule over several (sometimes all) conclaves for a time. Drow mostly forage and hunt for their food, although they do supplement this diet with small subterranean crops of mushrooms and fungi. Drow families tend to specialize in one profession or another and they freely trade with one another for the things they need to survive. In the evenings many households gather together to feast and share ales and wines they have cultivated from both berries and fungi. Drow have an open dislike for any non-Drow, although they will tolerate some individuals of other races for short periods of time. A few Drow can even suppress their seething hatred of other Elves. When a Drow dies their corpse is stripped and they are laid to rest in the boughs of a spider infested tree. The spiders that make their homes there will enshroud the body in webs, using it for food or as a nest. There are many hideous stories of undead spawned from these grave trees. Drow also have another unique distinction in the area of undead, they are the source of the world’s Vampires. The first recorded Vampire was said to have been a Drow male who sought eternal life, and Orcus granted it by making him a Vampire. As such Drow have an enormous amount of lore centered around Vampires, and they are one of the only races that needs always be wary of the rise of one amongst them. The Drow hardly noticed the "Great Fall" at all, except that during that period several large forays into Riddari and the northern Feyois Forest allowed them to kill and destroy many of their most hated enemies. They also found a rich suppliy of slaves, and food, in these plundering raids and so a type of "golden age" came to be. But as the world recovered the Drow found it too costly to contnue these far reaching raids. Groups of enemies were launching small strikes against their homeland while many were on these raids, and more and more Drow lost their lives participating in these attacks on ever more dangerously growing forces. The Drow retreated into their forest, and have remained relativly quiet since.
This assumes the use of Dragon Magazine #367. The majority of wild packs of Gnolls that roam the Feyois Forest, Norlund, Riddari, and even parts of northern Rodull are members of "The Butcher's Brood". While those that serve Dragons, and a few wild packs, embrace the "Soul of the Hyena". During the "Great Fall" the Gnolls didn't suffer any direct attacks from the cultists, but they did take advantage of the chaos to spread out from their isolated locations in the northern Feyois Forest, and Riddari, into other regions. Now Gnolls can be found in lands that had not seen these creatures in centuries.
This assumes the use of Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild. Pixies share the forested areas around the Gnomvale with the Gnomes. They too lived in total peace as the horrors of the "Great Fall" claimed the rest of the world, and as a race Pixies have never wanted much for adventure or risking the world of "giant" beings beyond the Gnomvale. But in recent years, with the Eladrin reopening portals to the Feywild, their interest in the wider world beyond has grown. Now a few brave souls have decided to face this mysterious new frontier outside of the Feyois Forest.
This assumes the use of Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow. Ever since the "Great Fall" the instances of souls returning to Moertus as Revenants has increased. Many are agents sent by the Raven Queen (or another diety) but over the years, as the walls between Moertus and the Shadowfell weakened, an increasing number of them are spontaniously returning on their own. These souls are still driven by some unfinished task, or need for revenge, but their return is driven entirely by their own force of will. Over the past few centuries Revenants have become common enough that every civilization on Moertus has tales about them, tales full of both awe and fear.
This assumes the use of Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild. While Satyrs are notorious for being solitary and enjoying hedonistic behavior, over the years there have been some exceptions. Making their homes deep within the Feyois Forest, some Satyrs are filled with a wanderlust and almost primal need to see the world. While others may find themselves driven by forest spirits to seek out some goal they have yet to understand. No matter the reason, these self-centered "wild men" who find the path of adventure can make for fast companions and if they can't be trusted they can at least be seen to help their friends when the time calls. Having lived so deep in the forest, away from civilization, the Satyrs barely noticed the "Great Fall" and few even know (or care) about the event.
This assumes the use of Dragon Magazine #372. Thousands of years ago tribes of Humans fled into the Shadowfall seeking eternal life. These tribes found the Raven Queen and vowed to serve her for eternity, as the centuries passed they evolved into the Shadar-Kai. The first Shadar-Kai returned to Moertus at the height of the "Great Fall". Raven Knights leading crusades into Moertus to fight the Living Dead appeared all over the contient. For decades Shadar-Kai aided those they could, and fought many costly battles against the undead, it is even said that a Shadar-Kai fought alongside the last group of the old "Order of Bahamut" in their final battle against Aphasius. As the numbers of Living Dead began to drop off, so did the presence of Shadar-Kai. Still some have remained, bringing their famlies, to make a life here and keep an eye out for additional threats from Orcus. Most of these transplanted Shadar-Kai work in the mortuary professions of the towns, villages, or cities, they live in. Providing a service that many of the natives fear due to the mental scars of the "Fall", but others are more active in their pursuit of evil and will adopt professions more suited to performing that task.
This assumes the use of Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook. The Svirfneblin (or Deep Gnomes) of Moertus live near the Gnomvale, in the Rigsholm Mountains, deep beneath the source of the Glittering Gold River. Always somber and reclusive, few among them even knew of the "Great Fall" or the disaster it brought to the surface world. But over time periodic encounters with surface dwellers have brought them news of what occurred, and has caused some Svirfneblin to venture above to see how their surface cousins fare, and perhaps even to investigate the world beyond.
This assumes the use of the Eberron Player's Guide (only concerning this race). When the Devas first built their "Ivory Towers" they did so atop the ancient ruins of a Nerath creation forge. Tapping into its forgotten power the Devas began constructing Warforged to act as guards, soldiers, and special agents. Before long the Devas had built several hundred Warforged and they quickly realized that these creatures were more then mere constructs. Worried they might be creating a race of slaves the Deva ceased creating Warforged and set about helping them understand their new lives. Given their singular purpose the Warforged still enjoy serving in their roles for the Devas and given the respect they recieve from their creators, they serve them with pleasure. While some Warforged wonder what life beyond the towers is like, most simply await the command of the Devas to send them out into the world.
At the DMs discretion a Player may create a character from the NPC Racial Stat Blocks in the back of the Monster Manuals. DMs should be very cautious about what races from this source they allow. Many may need to be balanced for PC use before allowing, and all will require the addition of "Fluff".
The Duergar of Moertus live deep beneath the North Rigsholm Mountains, just east of the Great Glacial Plain. The Duergar have several large subterranean cities that both house their population and serve as their center of government and trade. Duergar live as mated pairs for most of their lives, children are raised by their parents until they reach the age of apprenticeship and are selected for their future profession. Once trained, and assumed an adult, the Duergar are given a home and will live there until mated, at that point the couple is granted a new permanent dwelling. The Duergar could be considered a Military Dictatorship, with strong socialist values. The ruler of the Duergar is the commander of the military and has the title Tyrant, all Duergar serve the state and their Tyrant. Duergar professions are very selective and the young are constantly tested to see what profession they are adept at, and serves the state best. Once assigned to their profession (military, craftsman, farmer, etc.), Duergar spend their days toiling at it with a fervor, and spend most of their nights in drunken solitude. Duergar make a unique ale from fermented fungi with several powdery minerals mixed in. This ale causes the imbiber to feel numb and sedated, without the extreme loss of self control caused by most alcohol. Duergar trade with many of the surrounding subterranean races, as well as with the Drow. All trading is done within one of the Duergar cities, the largest being the capitol of Voluspa. The state keeps a close eye on all trade conducted within, or near, one of these cities. Duergar consider all other races as their inferiors, anything that is non-Duergar has far less value or meaning to them, still they realize the need to co-exist with some lesser beings until the situation can be corrected, and can even be a stabilizing force in the area. Duergar have a universal hatred of Dwarves and will attack one without any provocation. When a Duergar dies his/her possessions are given to his closest living relative (or mate), except for their armor and weapon, these they will be interred with. All Duergar are mummified by their Clerics and then placed within their family tomb. Tyrants are granted a tomb exclusively for themselves. Being a very isolated race the Duergar felt little impact from the great fall, and many believe they may have aided Aphasius in his transformation from life to unlife.