Races (Shard Ne'Vaal Supplement)

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Everyone is out only for themselves in this dying world. Try and prove me wrong, I dare you.
Leylos, elven headhunter

The races of Shard Ne'Vaal are varied and diverse despite the ruined landscape. Most of the traditional Dungeons and Dragons races you may know roam the landscape still, but they are joined by a host of homebrew creatures, which should be checked over by a DM with caution for balance issues. Many are native to Shard Ne'Vaal, having been here since times of Paradise. There was once porous spatial rifts that allowed for beings to seep through onto the world, and creating their own populations here. Since the Gorge, these spatial rifts have all but collapsed, trapping pretty much everyone on the shards.

Many races were driven to extinction by the battle for survival which ravages the land still. The ones who survived are the ones on this page, though there is a R.I.P. section for the ones you may have been hoping to see. Assume that they were destroyed.

Primary races are the ones who have more political power due to occupation of more territory because they have a larger population. After that are the secondary and tertiary races, with the latter being the most scattered and nearly unknown due to dwindling numbers.

Primary Races[edit]

Humans[edit]

Players Handbook p. 46, Heroes of the Fallen Lands p. 272, Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms 264
One of the largest inhabitant races of Shard Ne'Vaal is humankind. They are diverse in culture and country, occupying mainly the canopy and trunk areas. There are secluded groups that live among the root shards on the world tree, and some who have even come to live within the tree as transition towns. Ever since the Gorge catastrophe, their nations were shattered and the refugees have formed hodge-podge communities. Their extensive tapestries of old kingdoms remains a constant reminder of their good old days. Few of these kingdoms remain, and only in fragments.

Old World

In the Old World, humans were the most numerous of the bunch, with kingdoms rivaling that of elves and dwarves. Their versatility and myriad of talents created vividly colorful nations which were as prosperous as they were strong. But they were not united by any means, and warred with one another frequently over resources and land.

Gnolls[edit]

Monster Manual p. 277, Dragon Magazine #367 p. 47
The savage and vicious creatures roam the lands of ruin and easily run the place with their ruthless cunning and hunger-driven demeanor. They are one of the better-equipped races for survival after the Gorge, and they revel in the chaos which has come after the fall of many kingdoms. Like humans, they are widespread throughout Shard Ne'Vaal. While being extremely cutthroat, however, they are not to be considered constantly evil. Rather, they have adapted to the harsh new realities dealt onto them by fate and embraced it better than others. In this setting, gnolls were not made by Yeehongu, but by the goddess Espera to spite Shabast.

Old World

Gnolls prior to the Gorge were much more subdued in population. They were almost completely limited to the continent of Okut, though some albino rarities were known to have been seen in the frigid reaches of the Himmländs. There were even some peaceful tribes at this time, who could coexist and be tolerated by other races.

Goblinoids[edit]

All goblinoids are believed to be creations of Quthok or collaborations with the god.

Bugbear[edit]

Monster Manual, p.276

Goblin[edit]

Monster Manual p. 278, Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook p.34
Like the gnolls, these small but vicious creatures thrive in the current chaos of Shard Ne'Vaal. They mainly occupy the canopy and root levels, as the trunk is where many of the remaining powerful kingdoms could snuff them out. They are incredibly collective yet selfish at the same time, which has somehow attributed to their ability to survive. Most of their groups make a living hiding away from stronger monsters and stealing from caravans in transit.

Old World

Goblins were created by Quthok to be loyal but expendable soldiers for his stronger creations like orcs. Goblins are creatures very accustomed to abuse, but this helps obscure their true guile. They occupied the cave systems of Bevel mostly, with a more feral variety present in the wilds of Okut.

Hobgoblin[edit]

Monster Manual p. 278, Dragon Magazine Issue #419

Orc[edit]

Monster Manual p. 278
Orcs are perhaps the race most unchanged by the course of the events since Paradise Lost. Since the old world, they've lived in their warbands and camps throughout the unforgiving areas of the world, honing their skills of plunder and savagery. They are therefore extremely hardy and dangerous. In the Old World, they often clashed with other kingdoms, and even might dragons and giants led lives devoted to physical strength and conquest. Their land was wherever they should desire it, and they brutalized those who stood in their way. This is particularly true for tribes in Himmländ. Elsewhere, like in Okut, orcs were very tribal and isolated, though they sometimes would trade with other races. In Dasoon there were orcs among even scholars. The Gorge has splintered much of the old continents and therefore mixed the bag of orcs, but they have simply just reverted to a more primal instinct of protecting their own by seizing what others have. Most people see very little difference.

Secondary Races[edit]

These races usually became severely diminished as a result of the world's destruction. Many prospered prior to Paradise Lost. Some, however, rose in number after the Gorge.

Drow[edit]

Monster Manual p. 276, Forgotten Realms Player Guide p. 8, Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms p. 246
These dark elves came into larger numbers after the Gorge, making some believe the influence of the void warped some elves and turned them into creatures of darkness. This is largely erroneous however since drow precede the Gorge and have lived mainly just out of view in subterranean networks. However, once the Old World was destroyed, the terra was changed so drastically that it forced most of them to the surface. Due to their dislike of the sun, they usually dwell now among the roots of the World Tree. There they conduct themselves like normal elves, as they are not devoted worshippers of Lolth in this setting. However, there is a great stigma against them still due to the suspicion that they might be cultists of Graghk.

Dwarf[edit]

Players Handbook p. 36, Heroes of the Fallen Lands p. 248
Dwarves were supposedly one of the first races in the Old World. They aided humans in the cultivation of their lands and were favored by Vatar the Sky Striker. It is even said they were made in his image. However, when the world was shattered, their original resources were lost en masse. Their stricter codes of life, devoted to forges and their clans, were inefficient at adapting to the harsh new reality that was Shard Ne'Vaal. Thus, their numbers have dwindled a lot since then, and many feel deracinated from their ancestors. What they have left are stories of their greatness from the days of Hocheim and Preius, but there is little hope of return to those days. Most dwarves remain around the trunk section of the World Tree, living among the most robust of human civilizations left.

Shield[edit]

Neverwinter Campaign Setting p. 52
What used to be one of the most numerous of dwarves has now dwindled to one of their more endangered groups. Shield dwarves were known for their hardy nature, having toughed out lives in the cold mountains of the north. They populated the Arctic as well as monopolized the mines of the Igdrys Scepter back in the Old World. Their original stronghold of Durenheim was one of the shining jewels of civilization, and they waged epic battles against orcs and giants. However, this lifestyle had not prepared them entirely for what the Gorge brings. Most of their original home is lost, along with much of their greatest trophies and weapons, leaving them with scraps and broken memories.

Elf[edit]

Players Handbook p. 36, Heroes of the Fallen Islands p. 260
The elves were a proud race that supposedly migrated to the Old World eons ago when the world was young. The gates of the fey world were open long enough for a large diaspora of the elven people to populate a good deal of the continent of Bevel. Seldom did they stray from there, but they built a great empire which rivaled Preius for the longest time. They fared better than dwarves after the Gorge, but the effect of the void is believed to shortened their lifespan due to the halt of fey and primal energies circulating the world. Nowadays, they die around 200 years of age. This significantly reduced their numbers, as their culture normally banked on their longevity to tide their population for generations to come.
The legacy they left in the Old World can still be seen in many places, from their old academies to forest fortresses. However, they rarely have the strength to hold these forts down, and have mainly joined human civilizations for safety. Most elves dwell either in the canopy or trunk layer of the World Tree.

Gnome[edit]

Monster Manual p. 277, Player's Handbook 2 p. 10
The gnomish race is fairly tenacious. Prior to the Gorge, a majority of them were confined as second class citizens within much of the Bevellian continent. While there existed an independent gnomish territory in the country of Labare, it was a relatively modest duchy. The empire of Preius seemed always looming on the horizon, just over the Fhalatian Range. The gnomes were a tributary in the Old World for Preius, and they were expected to contribute to industrial efforts of the larger nation. Many gnomes ended up recruited by Preius engineers and forced to crank out blueprints and inventions for their daily bread.

After the Gorge, much of the gnome populations became split among the canopy and trunk, specifically the shards of Alei and Ytel. Their natural cunning and ingenuity has allowed them to make a living by utilizing old technology and scraps to make makeshift weapons and other household goods. A good deal of them travel about the World Tree as traders and scrap collectors.

Tinker[edit]

Dragon Magazine #422 p. 9
Dazreor, the gnome-father, created one tinker gnome among every fifty of his children. The tinker gnomes were notably gifted for their legendary need to innovate and invent. To them, it is as simple as breathing. Their genius was renowned, and after the rise of Preius and the conversion of much of east Labare into tributary states, tinker gnomes were among the chief resource Preius sought. They commonly vetted gnomes for the specialist tinkers among them, taking their genius for the empire. Many tinker gnomes were all too eager and easily enticed by the posh life afforded inventors, as well as the vast resources the empire could offer. As such, many tinker gnomes are seen as traitors to their own kind.

In the post-Gorge years, tinker gnomes continue to do what they do best. They usually are the brains of operations of salvaging materials in the gnomish scrap-trades. As their ingenuity is beyond that of even normal gnomes, they are all the more valuable. However, now, they work for themselves.

Half-Elf[edit]

Players Handbook p. 42, Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms p. 252
Elvish kingdoms originally constituted a fair number of independent duchies and regions within Camus. However, after consolidation and the cataclysm that shattered the continental mass, elves never quite recovered their level of prestige as a civilization. While they fared better than the eladrin, the elves became fearful of what temperaments drove the gods and were ultimately suspicious of powers that lay above mortal hands. Thus, many elven tribes seemed to withdraw into their own territories littering the wilderness.

Half-elves, both of elven and eladrin descent, are a remnant of when these two races were more prominent. They remain within most societies mixed with humans than other humanoids. Half-elves are regarded in some areas as better by face value, and sometimes not. Following the Gorge, it was strange, but the numbers of half-elves actually stayed steady, percentage-wise. Though it is largely by the dilution of their blood and the cultural collision following the catastrophe, half-elves cling to the slim normalcy of the world that remains.

Halfling[edit]

Players Handbook p. 44, Heroes of the Fallen Lands p. 266

Half-Orc[edit]

Player's Handbook 2 p. 14, Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms p. 258

Tertiary Races[edit]

These are races occupying small areas and are very specific to certain regions. Some may be on the verge of extinction.

Dragonborn[edit]

Player's Handboook, p.34

  • Note: The Dragonfear variant is not included in this setting.

Dragonborn in

Duergar[edit]

Monster Manual 2, p.220

Eladrin[edit]

Player's Handbook, p.38

Goliath[edit]

Player's Handbook 2, p.12

Hengeyokai[edit]

Dragon Magazine Issue 404, p.51

Kalashtar[edit]

Eberron Player Guide p.30

Kenku[edit]

Monster Manual 2, p.220 and Dragon Magazine Issue 411, p.7

Kobold[edit]

Monster Manual, p.278 and Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook, p.40

Minotaur[edit]

Player's Handbook 3, p.10 and Monster Manual, p.278

Mul[edit]

Dark Sun Campaign Setting, p.20

Pixie[edit]

Heroes of the Feywild, p.28

Shifter[edit]

Monster Manual, p.279 and Player's Handbook 2, p.16

Thri-Keen[edit]

Dark Sun Campaign Setting, p.22

Tiefling[edit]

Player's Handbook, p.48

Warforged[edit]

Eberron Player's Guide, p. 32

Wilden[edit]

Player's Handbook 3, p.14

The wilden of Shard Ne'Vaal came about as a result of Orelia when she sacrificed herself to become the world tree. Bits of the tree formed the wilden, who are the trees designated and devoted keepers and guardians. They actively monitor the tree, living inside and alongside it to better seek threats. Often times, they will travel up and down the entire length of the trunk and even the roots to seek out threats.

Niche Races[edit]

The following races are playable, but severely lack any real substantial numbers to constitute a society in the setting.

Bladeling[edit]

Manual of the Planes, p.117

Note: Also, see bladeling trait variant for a more souped up version.

Bullywug[edit]

Monster Manual 2, p.220

Changeling[edit]

Eberron Player Guide, p.28

Githzerai[edit]

Player's Handbook 3, p.8

Githyanki[edit]

Monster Manual, p.277

Revenant[edit]

Dragon Magazine Issue 376, p.34 and Heroes of Shadow, p.116

Satyr[edit]

Heroes of the Feywild, p.34

Shade[edit]

Heroes of Shadow, p.121

Homebrew Races[edit]

The following is open-source, unofficial content made by fellow wikians. Be sure to consult your DM about the eligibility of these races as their powers may vary wildly from that of an official race.

Naga[edit]

Firbolg[edit]

Froblin[edit]

Derro[edit]

Trulkor[edit]

Graveborn[edit]

R.I.P.[edit]

The following races were either rendered extinct or cut out by the creator for the following canon reasons:

Vryloka

They follow a very specific ritual and family lineage that didn't fit well with the narrative. Also, shadow power source seems to be their main thing, and while the shade is workable into the concept of shadow instead being the void, this one doesn't go as well. If you wish, you can still include them as an anomaly in the setting.

Shardmind

They are formed of the living gate primarily, which is either not a thing or too far across the Astral Sea for them to have wandered here. In canon, their numbers here were few, as they were hunting the Far Plane influences of the gith and mindflayers who found their way here amid the Astral Period. However, these small numbers were snuffed out in the Gorge.

Deva

Thematically their closeness to the divine doesn't sit well with the theme of the world. In the story however, they were once there, having settled in the Old World. But when the Gorge occurred, they were among the first casualties, and eventually they were rendered extinct.

Shadar-Kai

The Plane of Shadow is not very prevalent here, as the power source is virtually replaced by the Void.

Genasi

As the power of the void grew, the elemental arcane and primal energies dwindled and so the genasi were no longer sustained as a race. If you wish, you may have corrupted versions of genasi in your campaign, using the options from Dragon Magazine, issue 380. Instead of being corrupted by the Abyss, they are called Voidtouched.

Hamadryad

Being more tied to the powers of the Feywild than other counterparts like satyrs or elves, the hamadryad fared poorly when the fey energies were cut off and primal energies waned. They used to populate some of the forests, which are now all but silent. Instead, supposedly their vengeful spirits remained mired there, making much of nature a haunted nightmare.


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I hath sawen herewith with my oen eyes, an almightye force that swallowede alle the light and even magick coulden not escapeth the tendrils of dark nothingness...
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