Races (Lands of the Twin Gods Supplement)
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The Deva are minor Hiisi who have been slain too many times and their reincarnation cycle no longer hast he power to elevate them to godlike statuses. They seek to return to their former glory, bearing memories of their former existence as aspects of great power, and this is the general motivation behind their adventuring.
The Deva are actually fragments of a Hiisi of justice named Deva who was shattered during the battle to restrain the Tarrasque in the sun. Each of these fragments, being a part of an unkillable entity, arose with their own consciousness. Like their forebear, the most Deva pursue just and good ends as their natural temperament, although a few of the most heinous villains in history have been fallen Deva. Deva are not truly gods, and yet their divine spark is weak enough that they can be killed; the spark within them instead allows them to continually reincarnate, which is as close to immortality as most mortals get in the world.
Dopplegangers, whose forms flow and change as easily as water, have over the generations adopted the use of masks to tell one another apart. The crafting of one's own mask is a rite of passage among Dopplegangers, and is a deeply personal act, for it defines the crafter's identity and though it may be modified in the years to come, they will wear it for the rest of their life. Thus, it is only once a Doppleganger has made his mask that he is given a name, for there would be no point naming a child who can look totally different from one moment to the next. This too is the reason why human parental bonds do not form among Dopplegangers - parents simply cannot tell which children are theirs. Instead, the community as a whole raises each generation of youngsters, until they are old enough to claim their masks and make a name for themselves.
The story of the very first Doppelgangers is one the performers of the Caustic Carnival would soon like to forget. When the Carnival first began, when the Amentest Empire was in its infancy, there was group of performers, whose names are lost to the ages. They were skilled actors and satirists, making fun of the nobility in the towns they stopped at. Those who saw it said they could barely distinguish between their rulers and the actors, save for the actors were on stage and the nobles were in the audience, laughing along with the peasentry.
At one village they stopped at, just before the Calla Desert, a town they had been to many times, had just had a change in management, a man who did not enjoy merry-making at all. Had he not listened to his advisor, a lot might not have happened. He would not have seen the performers send him up so eloquently. He would not have lost his temper in a fit of rage and locked up the performers. There would not have been a riot that night, calling for their release. Angered at the rioting, the reeve called for the actors' execution. Just before the Death Hiisi of Beatings claimed them, the holy light of Ashri, God of Illusion fell upon them. Not only were they free of their bonds, but they had the power to change form as fluid as water. They escaped into the crowds, then out of the village under the guise of animals. Enraged, the reeve called for the death of the entire Carnival, but they had escaped that night.
Ever since then, the Caustic Carnival has never had actors. When they next visted the village, they found it deserted. The Doppelgangers created their own culture, never owing fealty to anyone. They made quite a lot of money thanks to the political goings on of the Amentest Empire.
The Dragonborn were created by the experiments of several older dragons, including Ilkhrok, as a test to see if draconic power could be contained in a humaniod frame. Most Dragonborn maintain close ties with at least one of their Draconic creators, who they revere as strongly as the Hiisi.
Dragonborn society tends to be merit-based. From when they are young, Dragonborn are taught that hard work and perseverance will take them far in life, and this message is reinforced as they grow up. This ethic extends towards everything that they do. Dragonborn art tends to be more vibrant and colorful, Dragonborn food is exotic and unique, and Dragonborn warriors are some of the toughest combatants around.
Courtship among the Dragonborn is supposed to begin after their initiation ritual as adults into society, although it occasionally happens earlier (more than most Dragonborn would like to admit). Dragonborn tend to choose mates whose profession matches their own: some of the best food around is prepared by a pair of married Dragonborn chefs, and Dragonborn warriors will often adventure with their spouses. The actual marriage ceremony itself is almost always overseen by an actual dragon. It goes without saying that not all Dragonborn choose a mate.
Dwarf is a racist slang term, the people below the mountains call themselves Dvergar. Dvergar are jovial and seemingly open people, often overly emotional and known to sing even during battle. In fact thats a means to frighten foes. They have white skin and black hair, which covers most of their bodies in thick dread-locks. They are lore-keepers and story tellers. They are the unseen masters of the eastern lands and have never lost a war, at least in known history.
Dvegar are locked in a cold war with the Dwingles [duergar] and their giant allies, each trying to unlock steam technology first. So far, Dwingles have invented the repeating crossbow, while the Dvegar have discovered mills.
There exists a race of Elves that lean towards the magical instead of the natural. These elves are now a seperate race reffered to as Eladrin. In recent years, the have drifted away even further from the natural world, developing alchemy, steam-technology (powered by the Elemental Chaos), and odd, bronze machines and weapons.
The oasis at the end of the Amenuk River is inhabited by a tribe of desert Elves called the Selpnivir. these Elves charge themselves with guarding the hole in the middle of the oasis where the river falls into the underdark. they inhabit permanent tents made of fabric woven from the fibers of desert plants, and interwoven with hairs from the heads of their deceased ancestors. These Elves are master glass blowers, using the sands of the oasis and inborn magic to craft glass to serve many purposes: the obvious, such as bottles and jewlery, as well as the unique, such as swords made of very resilient glass and even bows made of magically pliable glass.
These same Elves are also famous for a curious coming of age custom they have, called the Dance of Knives. In it, the youth that is of age must dance blindfolded in an arena of sorts that has fifty knives shoved blade-up into it's sands. To pass, they must complete the dance without stepping on the knives. needless to say, much practice time is put in before hand.
There's a tribe of unified githyanki and githzerai that live on the natural world that don't follow the traditional racial profiles you would expect. They believe in the re-unification of their species, and their "homecoming" back to the natural world.
Gnolls have a bad reputation of being demon-worshipping cannibals. This is a complete fabrication made by the Dvergar and those that live around the Creator's Chalice. Because of this stigma, they stay away from the Chalice, the hundreds of tribes wandering the Rainshadow Desert.
Yes they are cannibals, but only because their harsh enviroment demands it. All gnolls see it as a great honour to be eaten by their fellow gnolls. An elderly gnoll will often give himself to be eaten, so not to slow them down and to give their tribe so nourishment.
Gnolls heavily resemble hyenas, and see them as their kin. It is unknown whether they actually came from hyenas, and if they did, whether they were transformed by a benign or malign force.
There are two Gnomish Civilizations, one on the mortal plane and one in the Feywild. The Gnomes of the mortal world are well known city-builders and traders. They control a vast network of towns and trading posts across August Plains. The Feywild Gnomes rely on Gnomish cunning to avoid their natural predator, the Drakes, as well as larger creatures. Both practice a form of ancestor worship. Gnomish Warlocks typically draw their power from their family tree.
Goblins are all loud, crass, maligned and crabby, but outwardly they are all different. Their skin can be any colour, it often matches that of their mother. Some may have shells, some an extra arm, others still are born with bat-like wings or two mouths. Male goblins are easily fooled, only the females have any sense, even then, they can be easily bought or made to anger, which makes them easy pickings for seasoned adventurers.
The leaders of goblins are Hags, the females, a Hag may give birth to a litter of goblins at a time. The only reason goblins haven't out-bred all the other races is whenever a Hag is born, the mother Hag will try to devour it. Only the fastest and most cunning Hags live long enough to start their own brood.
The Kliandri Mountains are home to the goliaths. These are fey creatures, connected to their mountains just as dryads are connected to their trees. Goliaths worship no gods, instead identifying themselves with the hiisi.
Goliaths and Orcs are famous (and infamous) for the bullfrog-like pouches on their necks, which they use to create calls that can be heard for miles. These calls are used to communicate between settlements, and as war-cries. They are so loud that during the Battle of the Red Crag, Dwarven warriors allied with the Goliaths plugged their ears with cave-mite wax to avoid going deaf.
Halflings have no terrestrial country, but are members of a vast maritime nation. Years ago, the empire of Tycora annexed the Halflings lands and imposed a reign of terror upon the populace. The halfling warlock Terrik Bloodleaf employed magic and treachery in order to gain control of the imperial fleet. As a result, the surviving halflings were able to escape to the seas. Over time the fleet evolved into a sort of pirates republic, and is currently the most powerful navel force in the world.
The halflings have many temporary settlements scattered across the world, and they act as trading posts and drydocks. It is even rumored that the halflings maintain several trading posts in the forgotten lands. They also have a few settlements on the worlds great lakes, but these are not viewed as members of the halfling nation. The republic's capitol, Terrik, moves every 11 years, and is usually located near the hub of world trade. It is often referred to as the center of the world by experienced merchants.
The halflings do not consider themselves pirates, but view the sea as their domain. Any ship that does not cleave to their rule is fair game. As a result, the halflings play a central role in world trade, as most merchant companys find it more profitable to deal directly with them, rather than pay their heavy taxes or risk capture.
Hobgoblins are the descendants of an unusually smart goblin named Zots. Zots led a group of males in rebellion against the powerful females, and made a pact with some supernatural power to make his followers larger, stronger, and more intelligent. Hobgoblins have no females of their own, but can impregnate women of other humanoid species with full-blooded hobgoblins. Hobgoblins frequently launch raids against humans and goblins, both for supplies and to capture women for breeding; although they are as technologically sophisticated as humans, they prefer raiding and nomadism. Hobgoblins revere Zots as a saint.
The kobolds are child-like phantoms with large, wet eyes, black teeth, tiny hands and most revolting of all, with stumps for feet, that inhabit caves; they are said to give blessings to towns that give them regular gifts. They are capable of walking through walls and turning invisable. Little is known of them, as they love to lie, indeed, its considered a sport by the kobold to spread misinformation.
The corrupting power of the meteor has warped some of the goliaths, creating the race of orcs. These creatures are beyond reason, beyond diplomacy, living only to destroy and to worship Ynnoch. The goliaths have been fighting a losing war against their corrupted brethren for over a century.
See the goliath entry for details on the neck pouches shared by both races.
The shifters are a race that has just recently become known to the others. They have no one home or king. They are a people that settle in an area,usually one that is very natural, and will not leave it unless the safety of their tribe is at stake. Each tribe of shifters have a Thureet or cheiftan and a Ureege or preist that jointly rule the tribe, the cheiftan in military matterrs and the priest in matters of religion. The shifters have a highly religious culture that usually has them worshipping the hissi that is of their respective area. Altough somethimes they worship a particuarlly fearsome creature that lives in their domain instead.
They were passed off as superstition untill a great Thureet named Melove ventured with his tribe into more civilised lands after being driven away from their previous location by a drought that threatened to destroy them. The shifters are still regared as suspicious but they have been accepted into societies as more and more tribes are forced to leave their domains. No one knows why there have been these natural disaters striking the area lately but there are those who say that one of the ancient beings is preparing for a new world in his image.
The Tieflings are the descendants of a united tribe of barbarians that killed a Demon Prince that tried to lay claim to the material world. Due to their traditions, the barbarians ate pieces of the fallen demon to gain some of its power...which they did.
For the next hundred years the barbarian heroes became a savage horde that conquered much of the southern world. Their empire was but a footnote in history however, as they never grasped how to control the people they over ran and it all fell apart. In time many returned to the wilds, taking up a strict druidic lifestyle to combat their demonic sides, others still tried to gain some of their distant ancestors glory by living by their wits as "heroes for hire". Seven families, now faux-nobles, rule the citidel of Ave Meria, choosing to enter pacts with demons as equals, or so they say.
Barbarian Tieflings end their tribe name in Mon. For example Nikutayl Mon or Kekallia Mon.
Nikutayl Mon are a tribe of tieflings that rampage across an abaddoned district in Sigil, they are one of the few groups in Sigil that hate civilisation and their leader, Kan, is said to hold a Key from that plane to the Tiranog...but beware, they have succomed to their demonic nature. Kan is currently un-aligned to any Faction, but he is in talks with both the Ciphers and the Phobiaticians. Who he allies with will change the course of Sigil history. (Phobiaticians I've just made up on the spot)
The Shadow Catchers are a group of Tiefling mercenaries from Mythshine that are willing to hunt down damn near anything, in fact the greater the foe the happier they are. The group displays talents that no other can match, in fact many have begun to wonder if the Catchers have some magical patron aiding them...
Warforged were created by a burgeoning Eladrin empire as foot troops and workers. The Eladrin stole gnomish magical machines, and mixed there own technology to create these constructs. They were lazy though, allowing there newly created servants to build more of them selves without much supervision and little guidelines. The first of the Warforged could not go against there given orders and tasks, but were told that they could make "improvements" as they went. They simply made the next generation able to chose there own way. That group helped there predecessors build more of the "improved" of there kind for some years, while gathering information, skills, and materials. When the time was deemed right, just before a large invasion of a neighbor, all of the Warforged that could, left. The older Warforged had to be left behind, many of whom were nearly worn out due to there poor design. The Eladrin empire nearly collapsed, and never became a power again.
The Warforged moved out into the world in groups, searching for places to gather the resources to make more of themselves. Some moved to cities, some created enclaves in mountain ranges. They are still a minority through out the world, and are seen as clannish by most. It is said that every so often the many groups sent representatives to a secret congress to exchange knowledge and improvements that have come about in the years proceeding. It is thought that Warforged adventures are sent out with orders to keep the lines of communication open between the enclaves.