Worldgate (3.5e Campaign Setting)/Races
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Races (Worldgate Campaign Setting)
In the Worldgate Campaign Setting there are six available races you can choose for your character. Each race has a unique set of abilities and history, but they all share some common mechanics.
Selecting your character's race is perhaps the most important decision you make, as his race severely influences his history and background. Where did your character grow up? Who were his trainers and mentors? What does he think of the other races on Aeryl? On which side of the law does he stand? All these and many more questions' answers depend mainly or partly on your character's race.
Your character always knows the languages stated in his race's entry under Automatic language. This is his native language in spoken and written form. Any additional languages must be learned with the Language skill.
Small and large characters
Dependent on the chosen race, your character is either Small, Medium, or Large size.
Small characters receive a number of modifiers for their size:
- +4 size bonus to Sneak skill checks.
- -4 size penalty to Close Combat skill checks for rappling.
- Movement rate is 8m.
- Lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of edium characters.
- Must use smaller weapons than Medium characters.
- Space/Reach: 1m/1m.
Medium characters do not receive modifiers for their size:
- No adjustments to skills.
- Movement rate is 10m.
- No adjustments to carrying and lifting limits.
- No adjustments to weapon size.
- Space/Reach: 2m/2m.
Large characters receive a number of modifiers for their size:
- -4 size penalty to Sneak skill checks.
- +4 size bonus to Close Combat skill checks for rappling.
- Movement rate is 12m.
- Lifting and carrying limits are double of those of Medium haracters.
- Must use larger weapons than Medium characters.
- Space/Reach: 3m/3m.
A complete character has more to him than ability scores, skills, and feats. The following is meant as some guidelines on how to decide upon your character's age, height, and weight in relation to his race.
The starting age for your character can either be determined by you or randomly generated. If you want to choose the starting age, it must be at least the allowed minimum age for your character's race.
With increasing age, your character's body weakens while his mind improves with the knowledge and experience he has collected. The accompanying ability increases and decreases are cumulative, however none of your character's ability scores can be reduced below 1 in this way. When your character reaches middle age, all his physical ability scores are decreased by 1, while all his mental ability scores are increased by 1. When he reaches old age, all his physical ability scores are decreased by 2, while all his mental ability scores are increased by 1. When he reaches venerable age, all his physical ability scores are decreased by 3, while all his mental ability scores are increased by 1.
Also, when your character reaches venerable age the Game Moderator secretly rolls his maximum age (add the result of the roll to the venerable age). A character reaching his maximum age dies of old age somewhen during the following year.
|Race||Age category||Maximum age|
Height and weight
Similar to your character's age, you can either determine his height or generate it randomly. Your character's weight, however, is based on his physical ability scores.
To get your character's total height take the base height and add the height modifier. To get your character's total weight take the base weight and add the sum of his Strength score, one-half his Dexterity score, and his Constitution score times the weight modifier.
|Arcaeli||150 cm||+2d20||39 kg||x0.9|
|Dwarf, male||110 cm||+1d20||28 kg||x1.2|
|Dwarf, female||100 cm||+1d20||25 kg||x1|
|Elf, male||170 cm||+2d20||42 kg||x1|
|Elf, female||180 cm||+2d20||47 kg||x1|
|Human, male||160 cm||+2d20||49 kg||x1|
|Human, female||150 cm||+2d20||40 kg||x0.8|
|Jaegroj, both||170 cm||+2d20||48 kg||x2|
|Tshy, all||240 cm||+3d20||165 kg||x5|
An arcaeli's life is just accounted for by its age. Arcaeli society is much too freedom loving than to constrain one's life within certain categories or measurements. In arcaeli customs, it is always the individual and its actions that matter, and never how it is perceived by others.
Love and romance is difficult to value among arcaeli, as the race lacks the need for two genders for procreation. All arcaeli view themselves as equal to each other. Therefore love as known by other races is rare as it would require an arcaeli to respect and value one certain member of his race more than others, an almost incomprehensible act for them. However, it is possible that two arcaeli enjoy their friendship and relationship to a special degree, which could be described as "being lovers". Envy and jealousy are unknown in their culture, as they simply have no concepts for these emotions.
Because the whole arcaeli society is built around the concept of personal and general freedom, there are no fixed marriages or lifelong relationships. The concept of binding oneself to one specific significant other is unthinkable for arcaeli, as it would greatly cut into their personal freedom. It is possible - and even encouraged - for two arcaeli to form a temporal alliance when they created offsping, but only for as long as it takes for the child to grow up and be able to truly care for itself. Children are considered to be the affair of the whole community, and each arcaeli cares for all children within his environment as if they were his own.
When two arcaeli decide to procreate, it is usually a decision based on thought and planning, rather than emotions and lust. The parents are expected to be able to care for their child, and abandoning or poor treatment of a child is considered a major offense towards the whole community. Because of the unique process of creating offspring, arcaeli require little preparation for it in stark contrast to most other races. Inside the cocoon, each parent gives a little of its own personality, body, and soul, and a completely new arcaeli is created. While inside the cocoon, the new person is already self-aware and takes on a name, but once "born" it requires some years for the child to reach self-awareness again.
The death of an arcaeli is not considered a sad event. The arcaeli race are well aware of the cycle of life, and that what was born must also die sometime. First, the dead body is treated with a special alchemical substance that prevents decomposition. Then the community gathers in an open place from which the sky can be seen and remembers the dead's life, his deeds, and achievements. This praise can last for several days. After the last song is sung for the deceased, another special substance is poured over the body which then slowly turns into ectoplasm and evaporates into the Astral plane, the place from which all arcaeli stem.
The arcaeli race came to Aeryl not as a result of the Plagues' machinations, but rather as an accidental result of the Dragons' Crusade. The arcaeli never before had encountered the Plagues or any of their servants, so there were truly shocked as they arrived on the devastated world Aeryl.
Arcaeli are a race of planar nomads, travellers, explorers, and artisans. Their whole race journeys through the planes, always looking for new things to create art about or examine. They just passed by Aeryl on the astral plane when the dragons finished the ritual to erect the Great Barrier, a magical shield covering the whole world, preventing the Plagues to ever return.
But the powerful magic of the draconic ritual had unforeseen consequences, and drew the travelling arcaeli onto the world of Aeryl, trapping them here with the other races. Confusion was great, and the peaceful arcaeli first thought of a trap. But the dragons quickly were able to clear the confusion, which brought indeed bad news for the arcaeli race. The Great Barrier could not be opened to allow them continue their journeys without compromising it and eventually giving the Plagues a chance to return.
At first despair and dread was great among the arcaeli, but then they realized the chance of bringing art and hope to a battered world. They quickly built a reputation as the most wonderful performers and artisans, creating pieces of art of incredible beauty. The arcaeli quickly joined and helped the other races rebuilding Aeryl, and are a welcome sight at any gate today.
The arcaeli language, called "Aï-e", is a soft and resounding language. Although having a rather simple grammar, its sheer amount of syllables and letters make it hard to learn. The center of Aï-e grammar is a straight verb-object-subject construct, that conjugates the verb and declines the subject only, leaving the object always in the same form.
Aï-e is still considered a "beautiful" language, yet lacks the fluency and expressive elegance of the elven language and therefore it has not reached the same level of popularity. However, it is widespread among diplomats and traders, as Aï-n allows emphasises to a miniscule and subtle degree impossible in any other language.
Arcaeli script, called "Aï-o", is composed of largely straight and simple glyphs. The alphabet contains 341 different letters and syllables, an extra 37 characters for numbers, and an additional 44 characters for prounounciation marks of varying importance. The form of the characters stays the same no matter where in a word they are used.
Aï-o had almost no influence on other scripts, as the alphabet and sheer number of characters make it rather different from all other languages. However, often diplomatic documents are put in Aï-o, as well as are documents containing very subtle tones and flavors, as the language is close to perfect for these uses.
Arcaeli are humanoid outsiders, reaching an average height of 1.7 meters and weighting around 60 kgs. Arcaeli grow clearly visible scales and extensions from their skeletal structure.
Typical skin color includes light tones only, such as light fleshy tones, sometimes with a light blue or green hue. Arcaeli grow no hair at all, but the visible scales and skeletal extensions can take on different colors, including darker green or blue tones (usually matching the skin color), or even metallic hues like gold, silver, or platinum. Eyes are usually always of dark tones, like deep blues and greens, dark bordeaux, or even black.
Arcaeli only have one gender with no special designation. However, for procreation still two arcaeli are needed. They immerge themselves in a cocoon woven from a special substance created by certain pores in the skeletal extensions. While inside the cocoon, the two arcaeli literally become one entitiy, and then split into three. After a period typically lasting for 100 days, the two arcaeli emerge again with their child from the cocoon. The process is completely harmless and without known complications. Procreation can take place at any time.
Arcaeli society is based around the principle of personal freedom, and avoids restricting an individual whenever possible. This is the reason why there are no castes or social statuses like nobility. In the arcaeli mind, these things only fragment a society and prevent it from reaching personal freedom and collective unity and peace.
As a consequence, there is little that could qualify as an official government. Decisions are usually made in a democratic process, with each arcaeli being allowed to voice its concerns and thoughts on the matter, and the whole assembly then basing their votes on what would be best for the whole community. However, for ease of relationships with other races, most arcaeli communities have come to elect a representative to deal with members of other races. This is a position of great responsibility and honor, and the arcaeli holding it is required to always approve lasting or important dealings with the whole community.
Game rule information
Arcaeli have the following game rule characteristics:
- Ability scores: Dexterity 1, Charisma +2.
- Automatic languages: Aï-e, ï-o.
- Movement: Land (10 eters).
- Size: Medium. Arcaeli gain ll modifiers for Medium size.
- Special: Arcaeli gain a +4 acial bonus to Perceive skill checks involving hearing. Arcaeli ain a +4 racial bonus to Perform skill checks.
- Type: Outsider (arcaeli, ative).
A dwarf's life is dominated by the importance of clan and tribe. From the moment a dwarf can walk, he is trained and educated in his clan's speciality field. Dwarves see little reason to wait for a certain age to start a young one's education, so they train them at the earliest possible age. Therefore, there is basically just one possible "stage" in a dwarf's life, "alive".
Love and romances are usually kept strictly within a tribe. There is little reason for a dwarf to have a romance with a member of another tribe, as these relationships are not expected or encouraged in dwarven society. However, under very rare circumstances it is possible, that one partner is adopted into the other tribe to make the relationship official. This is also the reason that there are largely no information regarding the details of dwarven courting rituals, as this is viewed as a strictly private and personal affair, and making it public would bring shame and dishonor to the whole clan or tribe.
Only members of the same tribe are allowed to marry under dwarven customs. The partners' clans are irrelevant, as long as they have the official benediction of their clan mothers or fathers. The marriage ceremony by itself is a highly informal act. All it requires is the two partners, and the clan father or mother of each partner as witnesses. Then the couple pledges loyalty and fidelity to each other, and the witnesses declare the marriage official. This is a direct result of the high desire for keeping things private among dwarves, and dwarven culture is abhorred by the large public ceremonies performed by other races for marriage.
Children are likewise an event that is strictly kept within clan and tribe, and only under extreme circumstances others become involved in these affairs. Dwarven society sees children as a test of integrity and personal strength, and resorting to outsiders would indicate that a couple was not yet ready to have children. From an early age on, the young dwarf is educated in a clan one of his parent's belong to, and trained in its trade. Typically, dwarven children have no say in what they "want to become", but their role is determined by their parents' clans and their community's needs.
The death of a dwarf is similarly a very private and family only event. The dwarf's closest relatives and clan elders come together, mourn silently for one hour, and then burn the dead's body to ashes. These ashes are then either used to create dark colors for craftsmen, or used as fertilizer for farmers. A dwarf is always willing to give everything for the continued existence of his community, and this will extends even to beyond death's door.
Dwarves were a relatively young race when the Plagues befell Aeryl. They used to live in the large forests of the world, forming loose tribes and communities. They lived very simple lives, but already possessed great talent for construction and crafting of all kind, especially with wood and stone.
When the world then fell into the Plagues' hands, the dwarves were used as slaves for labor and crafting. In almost all woodworkshops, smithies and stonemasonries dwarves were forced to work, having to create weapons and tools for their masters.
Then the dragons came and the dwarves cherished the opportunity to pay the Plagues back for what they've done. The vastly improved technology the dwarven smiths and craftsmen had learnt under the Plagues' thrall was now used against the former masters, providing the armies of the Dragons' Crusade with the finest weapons, armors, and mechanical siege engines ever seen on Aeryl by that time.
After the Plagues were beaten, almost all dwarves decided to not return to their woods and jungles, but instead stay with the other races with whom they had been collectively enslaved. Aided by the dwarves magnificent abilities in crafting, construction, and architecture, magnificent cities were built.
Now dwarves are part of almost any larger city, often being the most sought out craftsmen and engineers. Due to their small size, however, they often form own neighborhoods and keep to themselves to avoid the problems they typically face in a "normal sized" environment.
The dwarven language, called "Dwyn", is a quick and high-pitched language. Having a rather simple grammar and an easy word structure, the language is quite easy to learn. The center of Dwyn grammar is a straight subject-verb-object construct, with relationship describing adverbs and pre- and suffixes.
Outside dwarven culture, Dwyn is almost completely unknown. A few linguists and scribes aside, almost nobody bothers to learn Dwyn if he has no need to directly communicate with dwarves in their native tongue.
Dwarven script, called "Dwyr", consists of straight and somewhat "hard" symbols. The alphabet contains 42 different letters, with numbers and pronunciation marks being formed of the same characters and marked each with a special sign. The form of the letters always stays the same, no matter where in a word or sentence they are used.
Dwyr has, similar to Dwyn, no real importance outside of dwarven society. Although the writing is easy to learn and allows a reasonably detailed description of mechanical and mathematical facts with relatively few words, Dwyr is largely used only by dwarves. However, some architects outside dwarven culture have come to write their plans and constructions with Dwyr annotations, because of the script's ability for describing crafting and construction processes.
Dwarves are humanoid mammals, reaching an average height of 1.2 meters and weighting around 60 kgs. Females are typically a smaller and lighter than males. Most dwarves, women included, grow strong facial hair and take great pride of their beards.
Skin color ranges from dark brown, over bronze tones, to a mildly tanned fleshy color. Typical hair colors are black, dark brown, bright red, and even bright blonde tones. Dwarven beards have the same color as all other hair. Common eye colors include dark browns and greens, various blue tones, and black.
Dwarves have two genders, male and female. Procreation involves sex, with the male impregnating the female. The resulting pregnancy typically lasts for 240 days. Birth is very streneous but usually harmless for mother and child. Females are fertile once every three months.
Dwarven society is based on the principles of clans and tribes. Each tribe is a self-sufficient community, usually keeping to itself and avoiding contact with outsiders. There is no common government, and each tribe makes its own decisions. Every tribe consists of several clans. A clan is a family, or group of families, dedicated to a certain field. One clan is responsible for all woodworking, another for all stoneworking, yet another for protecting the tribe, and so on.
One clan is always responsible for administrating the tribe, as well as providing judges and settle disputes among members of the community. This clan also provides the tribe's "official" government. The clan's most experienced member, usually the clan father or mother, is the proposed head of the tribe and makes all decisions regarding the tribe as a whole. Dealings with outsiders are also usually handled by this clan, and are often delegated to less important members of the family.
A clan rarely changes their speciality, as all members are usually trained in this field and rely on the other clans to handle other necessary fields. If two clans agree that their fields are too similar, however, they may decide to form a united clan, or one clan picks another field of expertise.
Game rule information
Dwarves have the following game rule characteristics:
- Ability scores: Strength 1, Dexterity -1, Constitution +2, Charisma -1.
- Automatic languages: Dwyn, wyr.
- Darkvision: Dwarves can see perfectly well in utter darkness up to 20 meters. Darkvision is rayscale only, but otherwise fully comparable to normal ision.
- Movement: Land (8 eters).
- Size: Small. Dwarves gain ll modifiers for Small size.
- Special: Dwarves gain a +4 acial bonus on Craft skill checks.
- Type: Humanoid dwarf).
An elf's life is measured in four stages. Each stage marks a certain step in an elf's life and a degree of accomplishment. The four stages are Illiam ("the Morning"), Ansalar ("the Noon"), Meridar ("the Twilight"), and Kelymere ("the Darkness"). The stages are not related to an elf's actual age, but are completely independent from it. A stage's name is used synonymously for an elf in that stage.
- Illiam marks an elf during is childhood years, and during his education and training. He is lliam until he has completed his "Trial of Age" which usually nvolves fulfilling a certain task or creating a special item, dependent on his caste. During this stage he learns most of his asic knowledge and profession.
- Ansalar marks an elf from his "Trial of Age" until he becomes sterile, unable to create any more offspring. This usually happens well beyond his 300th birthday, but sometimes occurs earlier or later. During this stage it is expected, but not required, to find a partner and arry.
- Meridar marks an elf from becoming infertile until he starts loosing his hair. Both genders start losing their hair at around 500 years of age. During this stage the elf serves as a councilor and assistant to the community, aiding the younger members with his abilities and knowledge.
- Kelymere marks an elf from becoming bald until his death. During this last stage he is comforted and cared for by the whole community, until he finally dies. However, he is still a highly valued and respected source or information and education, and many a Kelymere enjoys his role as elder mentor before his death.
Romance and love is a delicate topic, as there is hardly an area where subtlety and discrete plays a more important role than here. Openly stating one's affection is considered highly vulgar, and is avoided at all costs. Instead, an elf in love provides clues to his beloved one, indicating his feelings by a series of special presents. These presents always must be provided anonymously but with a clue to their origin. The last present is always a special rose, sprinkled with the loving one's blood put at the door of his love clearly visible. This "blood rose" then gives off a sweet and pleasant smell, the stronger the more blood was put on its leaves. The target of an elf's affection can either accept his efforts by putting a second blood rose next to his one, or reject by letting the rose die. To reinforce his intentions, an elf may keep the blood rose alive by putting more of his own blood on it. A favorite topic for elven tragedies is an elf bleeding himself to death to keep his blood rose alive, while his affection's target only realises the loss when it is already too late. However, no such event is recorded yet.
When an elf has accepted another's courting, the couple is expected to marry within the next decade. Often the lovers move together to get known to each other more intimately and improve their relationship. If they both agree and decide to marry, the ceremony is a relatively simple one. Both elves' parents are required as witnesses - although friends and colleagues are always welcome - and the most powerful talashiay leads the ceremony. Each elf's life is sung about, and stories are told how their lives are now one and interwoven with each other. Then the ceremony leader cuts both elves' left palm, and binds their hands together with a white sash. As the sash turns red with both elves' blood, the ceremony is completed and a day-long celebration for all participants takes place during which the couple remains tied together.
After a couple's marriage it usually does not take too long before the first child arrives. Children are considered a blessing by the elven society, and the whole community raises its children together with each elf treating all children as if they were his own. When it becomes known that an elf is bearing a child, both the mother's and the father's family come together to celebrate the happy event and to prepare for the birth. During this time the parents to be are prepared for the process of giving birth, and the time afterwards so that they can care for their child. When the moment of birth has come, only the father, both elves' parents, and a fahlrah doctor are allowed to be with the mother. After the child is born, it is presented to the rest of the community and publicly named by the father.
When an elf dies, his whole family comes together. While the body is prepared for funeral and wrapped in black shrouds, stories about the dead's life are told, his deeds remembered, and his legacy honored. After the body has been prepared, the dead is carried to an open space and put on a funeral pyre. Then his spouse, children, or friends light the pyre and the family watches the fire until the pyre and the corpse are burnt to ashes. During the whole ceremony no one speaks. Then the ashes are collected into a sealed urn and kept in the family's home.
Before the Plagues' invasion, elves were the dominant race on Aeryl. Older and more knowledgeable than any other race, the elves controlled a vast realm across mountains, forests, and swamps. Then the most respected and insightful arcanists discovered the portents of an impending planar invasion.
It was obvious that the elves could never hope to stop the invasion. The enemy was unknown and apparently had millions of troops. Quickly a plan was devised to create vaults, reinforced by strong magical guardians and sigils to hold off the invaders.
However, construction of the first vault had barely started when the Plagues befell Aeryl. Only a few thousands could make it to the vault which was buried in the massive mountain known as Althai's Reach. Countless elven soldiers and mystics gave their lives to hold open the entrance as long as possible against the otherworldly hordes before the gates were shut and the magical seal enacted.
Aquiray, as the hideout was named, was unfinished by far. The first years were hard and took many elves' lives as a toll, mostly because there was not enough to eat for the number of survivors. But the situation improved. Additional cavers excavated and reinforced the cave, more crops were grown, more housing was built. All against the permanent rush of the Plagues against Aquiray's magical barriers.
The elves survived, and Aquiray grew. It became a splendid monument to the fallen elven realm and brought forth wonderful architecture and living. With time, almost the whole mountain was excavated and transformed into a single, colossal cavern. A bright crystalline sun under the mountain's peak provided warmth and light, and trees growing high into the subterranean sky provided air and space for living.
The elves were the first to make contact with the returned dragons, and quickly agreed to help them in their crusade against the Plagues. When the Plagues were finally driven off of Aeryl, the elves once again started to ascend to their former glory. Even if they now only have a few cities outside of Aquiray, it is undoubted that the elves are one of the most powerful races, thanks to their mastery of the arcane arts.
The elven tongue, called "Silindir", is a fluent and light language. Its grammar is extremely hard to understand for outsiders, and it takes non-elves a great amount of time to learn even the basics of the language. The primary construct in Silindir is a recursive subject-verb-subject construction that determines the relationship of the two subjects by conjugating the verb between the subjects, and by adding indicative prefixes and suffixes to the relevant subjects. The position of an "object" (indicating the relationship with the noun) is completely unknown in Silindir.
Spoken Silindir has influenced arcaeli and human artists greatly. The fluency and elegance of Silindir is unmatched by the human or arcaeli languages, and therefore performing works in Silindir receives growing popularity among these races. Especially with human nobility it has become a trademark to be at least able to pronounce a few Silindir words correctly (primarily to boast their educational level), and some nobles even insist in their heirs learning the elven tongue from child's age.
Elven script, also called "Silindir", is a very elegant and elaborate writing. Its alphabet consists of 37 different characters for letters, including several characters reserved for special prefixes and suffixes, as well as an extra 12 characters for numbers and an extra 14 characters for pronunciation marks. Each letter has three different forms, dependent on wether the character is used alone, at the beginning of a word, or in the middle respectively the end of a word.
Written Silindir also had a great influence on other writings, especially among humans. Several artists and writers tried to immitate the elegant flowing characteristics of the elven script, and add some of its elegance to their own work. Whenever a document is meant to possess a certain flavor of elegance or official importance, some or all of its letters are put in a calligraphy similar to Silindir.
Elves are humanoid mammals, reaching an average height of 2.0 meters and weighting around 70 kgs. Males are typically smaller and lighter than females. Their most prominent features are the sharply pointed, prolonged, ears, and the vertically closing, almost translucent, eyelids.
Skin color ranges from almost black, over various brown tones, to a light fleshy tone, and even ivory colors are known. Common hair colors include black, brown variations, violet tones, as well as bright gold tones and striking white. Eyes typically carry a color strikingly contrasting to the skin tone, such as golden, deep red, or pitch black.
Elves have two genders, male and female. Procreation involves sex, with the male impregnating the female. The resulting pregnancy typically lasts for 300 days. Birth is almost painfree and bears close to no risks for mother and child. Females are fertile once every 12 months.
Elven society is based on the principal of four castes. Each caste plays an important role for the whole people, and fulfills a unique role within their society. The four castes are Talashiay ("the Leader"), Fahlrah ("the Worker"), Jihjakay ("the Artist"), and Kelarandal ("the Guardian"). Membership in a certain caste is not given by birth nor determined by the parents, but rather measured by individual aptitude, ability, and need of the society. A caste's name is used synonymously for a member of that caste.
- Talashiay provide the ocial and political leadership of the elven people. Village lders and city councilors fill the ranks of Talashiay, as well as all administrative positions within the society. Talashiay are always respected, as the whole burden of leading the elven race and making important and far reaching decisions lays heavy on their shoulders.
- Fahlrah are the elves' working people. From common farmers to master craftsmen, all workers and laborers but also doctors and teachers are Fahlrah. They are the very basis on which the elven society depends for nourishment and goods, and are thus held in high regard by their castes.
- Jihjakay bring art and entertainment to the elven people. This caste consists of musicians, dancers, poets, painters, sculptors, and all other kinds of artists and artisans. Art has always been an important aspect of elven society, and therefore those who devote their live to these principals are greatly valued and respected.
- Kelarandal are the elven race's soldiers and warriors. They are the primary line of defense or the elves, training hard for years to be able to defend their brethren. As they are those who are willing to give their lives or their fellow elves, Kelarandal are always met with great honor.
The elven government consists of a circle of 25 elected members of all castes called "the Elder Council". Four members are drawn from Talashiay, Jihjakay, and Kelarandal each, while Fahlrah sends 13 members into the council. This partitioning assures that the majority of the elven people has the main influence, with leaders, artists, and soldiers providing guidance and assistance. The council members are elected every 10 years, with a single member being allowed to serve in the council for three terms at most.
Game rule information
Elves have the following game rule characteristics:
- Ability scores: Dexterity 1, Constitution -2, Intelligence +2.
- Automatic languages: Silindir (spoken and written).
- Movement: Land (10 eters).
- Nightvision: Elves can see twice as far as humans under conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish colors and details in such situations.
- Size: Medium. Elves gain all modifiers for Medium size.
- Special: Elves gain a +4 racial bonus to Knowledge skill checks.
- Type: Humanoid elf.
A human's live is usually put into three parts. Each part marks a certain stage of physical development which often has consequences for a human's social stand or profession. The three parts are childhood, adulthood, and old age. A human in his childhood is usually called a child, a human in his adulthood is called an adult, and a human in his old age is often called an elderly.
- Childhood marks a human until he reaches puberty and becomes able to make children. Usually, it is during childhood that a human receives the necessary training for his profession. After childhood, it is highly unlikely for a human to find someone to educate him, leaving him with only the most simple jobs.
- Adulthood marks a physically mature human. It is during adulthood that humans are strongest and healthiest, and therefore working the most in this part. It is not uncommon for human males to be required to serve in their homeland's military for a certain amount of time once they reach adulthood.
- Old age marks a human once he becomes too weak and old to continue his work. This often, but not necessarily, coincides with age-based sterility. Elderly often serve as mentors and teachers to children, or as supervisors and assistants to other adults in their profession.
How love and romance is handled among humans strongly depends on the individual society and the social standing of the involved. Generally speaking, love between different social stands - such as between a commoner and a noble - is strongly discouraged, and sometimes even put under threat of punishment towards the one of lower stand. Affairs between members of the same stand are often a mixture of secrecy and open expressions of one's feelings towards the other. Usually the one in love gives his "love" small presents and woos for attention. This is not necessary, however, and often two humans fall in love quite spontaneously with each other, or develop a deep emotional tie from a lasting friendship.
Similarly, marriages are a highly different affair dependent on status. Influential merchants or nobles often use marriages to seal contracts or alliances, and cater huge ceremonies and festivals. Lower stands usually keep it a local event at most, often even only including the involved families and close friends. Marriages are generally an arrangement for life, although this also may differ with local traditions. Always, a marriage is meant for the couple to create offspring, and to provide a safe environment for the children.
With most humans, children are seen as a boon. However, the individual point of view again depends highly on the couple's social status. Peasants and other lower castes need children to care for them in their old age, or continue their businesses, while those from higher ranks often see children as a matter of privilege and duty, especially with the nobility. However, almost always parents still love their children, and mistreatment is sometimes even considered a crime.
The death of a human shares many similarities with a marriage regarding the extend of the ceremony. Poorer families and people of low rank only have small funeral services, sharing the moment only with close friends and members of the family, while merchants and nobles often provide large ceremonies, their size directly connected with the deceased's influence and importance. Nonetheless, the loss is always a tragic event for the relatives and friends, and taken seriously no matter the "official" ceremony.
The exact origin of the human race is unknown. They are not native to Aeryl, but were instead already enslaved when the Plagues started their conquest. It is to be assumed that the original human homeworld fell before the Plagues' hordes a long time ago.
During the Plagues' dominion over Aeryl, humans were their common slaves and livestock. The human ability to reproduce relatively quick made them a perfect match for the Plagues' needs. Although the Plagues ruled with an iron first and had no qualms to slaughter thousands for the disobedience of one man, the human slaves again and again revolted, their desire for freedom leading them into their deaths before staying under the Plagues' thrall.
It was several years before the liberation of Aeryl when a huge slave community revolted as a whole, even able to overthrow their overseer and escape from their master's realm. However, they were quickly hunted down and mercilessly massacred.
When the dragons returned from their exile and began their crusade against the Plagues, the humans were extremely eager to join them. Each freed human slave became an enthusiastic fighter for the dragons and their goal of driving the Plagues from Aeryl.
Those who survived the battles came together and founded communities and cities. With time, three mighty kingdoms arose from the battered human society, and they now are one of the most prosperous and advancing races on Aeryl.
There is no single "human language" in general, but instead several regional dialects and language families. Each dialect is a unique language, but they all share certain similarities. Each language family has a basic subject-verb-object construct as its basis, with supporting adverbs and prepositions indicating relationships.
The various human languages have almost no influence on other races, with the exception that they are relatively easy to learn and thus have quickly spread out quite well. Therefore it is somewhat common that in every community there is at least one member that can speak one certain human dialect.
Just as the languages differ, there are also different alphabets for the various dialects. However, they also share certain similarities. All dialects use a very simple alphabet, consisting of something between 22 and 29 letters, with around 10 characters for numbers and half a dozen pronunciation marks.
Human script also enjoys a wide spread, often as a result of the far reaching expansion and trading affairs of humans. It is quite possible that, with the exception of very reclusive and isolated communities, you can find at least one individual that can read a given human writing.
Humans are humanoid mammals, reaching an average height of 1.8 meters and weighting around 75 kgs. Females are typically smaller and lighter than males. Males can grow strong facial hair. Both males and females can grow a mild body hair.
Skin colors range from pitch black, over dark brown and fleshy tones, to light fleshy colors and almost white. Common hair colors are black, dark brown, variouos red tones, and dark or light blonde colors. Typical eye colors include black, dark brown and green tones, and blue.
Humans have two genders, male and female. Procreation involves sex, with the male impregnating the female. The resulting pregnancy typically lasts for 270 days. Birth is always stressful and painful for the mother, and rarely lethal complications can arise. Females are fertile once every month.
Humans share no common culture, but instead have fragmented into three large realms and several smaller city states after the Dragons' Crusade. The most important are the Empire of Arcaeny, the Free City of Jagel, the Ghalor Kingdom, the Kingdom of Uh'rar, and the Minmyr Free State.
- Empire of Arcaeny: Arcaeny is a magocracy, ruled by a council of 23 selfproclaimed archmages". Basically, the empire suffers little from poverty, war, hunger, or other disasters thanks to its leaders magical abilities and could even be described as a magical utopia. However, personal freedom is a rare good in Arcaeny, as the council rules with an iron fist. Although free trade is encouraged and supported, the empire's legions stand ready to punish all those that threaten the archmages' dominion - and punishment is harsh and swift in Arcaeny.
- Free City of Jagel: Jagel is an independent city state, having its own military and naval fleet. The government consists of a group of 117 elected governors, handling the daily business of the city. Trade is what made Jagel prosper, and free trade is as valuable as the right for free speech in the Free City. This personal freedom, however, also attracts many individuals and organizations with darker goals, and even with the governors doing their best to keep Jagel a clean place, organized crime seems to grow at every corner.
- Ghalor Kingdom: Ghalor is a monarchic kingdom, with two royal families alternating possession of the crown and ruling power. In the kingdom, most people are peasants or farmers, working hard for their landlords who in return treat them quite fairly and well. Trade only plays a minor role in Ghalor, as the realm is quite poor on natural resources ut fertile soil. Nonetheless, Ghalor has more inhabitants than any other human culture.
- Kingdom of Uh'rar: Uh'rar is a kingdom consisting of several tribes, ruled by an elected monarch. Because most tribes are nomadic in culture, representatives meet at a proposed place every two years. Every six years, the monarch's election takes place. Almost all tribes are self-sufficient, only commencing trade for things they can't produce themselves.
- Minmyr Free State: Minmyr is also an independent city. However, contrary to Jagel, Minmyr controls a much larger territory, thus being closer to a free ation(sp?) than a free city. Government in Minmyr consists of three chancellors who are elected by every adult inhabitant for three years. Despite its dedication to democracy and trade, the Free state has a quite large army to defend its important position in trade.
Game rule information
Humans have the following game rule characteristics:
- Ability scores: Any one bility score +1.
- Automatic languages: Regional dialect.
- Bonus improvement point: Humans gain one bonus improvement point at 1st level.
- Bonus skill ranking: Humans gain one additional skill at Expert ranking.
- Movement: Land (10 meters).
- Size: Medium. Humans gain all modifiers for Medium size.
- Special: Humans gain a +4 racial bonus to Profession skill checks.
- Type: Humanoid human.
A jaegroj's life knows only two stages, pre-puberty and post-puberty. These stages only decide on what positions a jaegroj can attain within his community (such as becoming a member of the Gaeroj). It is also during the pre-maturity stage that most jaegroj receive their formal training and education - if any. However, even older jaegroj are known to be accepted into training for most professions.
- Pre-puberty marks a jaegroj rom his birth until he becomes able to create offspring. It is ften - but not exclusively - during this stage that a jaegroj eceives most of his training and education. Also, this stage ontains most of a jaegroj's adaption into his community. It is ighly uncommon to meet a pre-puberty jaegroj far away from his ome or travelling on the road.
- Post-puberty marks an aegroj from the moment he can procreate until his death. During his stage he usually works in his learned profession. It is not ncommon for jaegroj that have not had any formal training when hey reach post-puberty to abandon their community and take on an ife on the road.
In jaegroj society, love and romance are no subtle things. When a jaegroj desires another, he just plainly states the fact and things develope from there. Very often, the acceptance or rejection of a jaegroj's desire is determined by a fight between the two. If the male succeeds in subjugating the female she usually yields to his wishes, but if she wins she rejects him and drives him away. Although this may seem "primitive" to other races, jaegroj instincts this is perfectly acceptable, as a woman can only accept a partner strong enough to protect her - if need be even from herself. However, this does not give the male the right to abuse and treat his partner badly, and is considered a very low behavior.
When a woman has accepted a partner, they usually move into one housing. There is no such thing as formal marriage among jaegroj. The relationship, however, is no peaceful coexistence, as contests of strength occur on an almost weekly basis as the female continously tests her partner's strength. The short fertility cycles and pregnancy durations with jaegroj women often lead to a jaegroj having multiple partners. However, only jaegroj of above average strength and ability can keep all their women under control.
Usually, once a woman has accepted a partner she becomes pregnant within the first month. During her pregnancy she experiences wild mood swings and the contests become more intense and occur more often. However, as her pregnancy runs into the last quarter she falls into a passive mood that lasts until half a year after the birth. Birth is quite painful for the mother, and the screams of a jaegroj giving birth can usually be heard through all the community. Having children is considered a private affair between the involved partners, and rarely others get involved.
The death of a jaegroj is a moving event in jaegroj society. All who knew the dead in life come together to honor his legacy. After an hour of utter silence and contemplation, one individual after another moves up to the dead body, places his hands on the deceased one's chest and forehead and lets out a primal, resounding scream. After the last scream faded into silence, the dead's body is burnt and the ash buried in the ground.
The jaegroj are the result of the Plagues' wicked experiments and magics. Intended as the perfect slave race, the jaegroj were created as a truebreeding race of obedient, submissive servants to meet their masters' wishes.
The results were promising, but the Plagues made some mistakes. Indeed they created a strong race, suitable for working, fighting, or feeding upon. However, it turned out that something had gone wrong and jaegroj absolutely refused to fight against other slaves. The Plagues could not find out what caused this "misbehaviour", but it doomed many jaegroj to be devoured by their masters instead of serving them as guards.
During the Dragons' Crusade, many encountered jaegroj were reluctant to join the dragons, afraid of their masters' wrath for betrayal. But those who did join became the most passionate in freeing other slaves and helping them to recover.
However, although many jaegroj gave their live to fight the Plagues they bear the stigmata of their origin. Even when there was a strong friendship between jaegroj and the other races, this relationship began to crumble with time. The former heroic actions of the jaegroj faded from memory and mistrust and hatred grew in the other races' hearts for the "Plaguebreed".
This is the reason why most Jaegroj live in secluded or isolated communities, afraid of violent encounters with the other races. Although some of them even live in larger cities, they tend to keep to themselves and their own kin, often avoiding contact with outsiders whenever possible.
The jaegroj tongue, called "Jilgraj", is a dark and brooding language with strong guttural sounds. It is the easiest non-human language for other races to learn, as the grammar and alphabet are quite simple. The basic element of Jilgraj grammar is a plain subject-object-verb construct, with relationship indicating adverbs and prepositions. Jilgraj is straight forward, and contains little what could qualify as "subtle", as the race as a whole prefers direct action to long talk.
Jilgraj has virtually no importance outside of jaegroj communities. The other races are reluctant in their dealings with this race, and only the elves and some tshy have continuous contact with some jaegroj. Therefore only very few individuals bother with learning Jilgraj at all.
Jaegroj script, called "Jilgraej", is a plain and simple writing. Its alphabet contains only 23 letters, an additional 11 characters for numbers, and 11 characters for pronunciation marks. Letters usually have the same form independent from their position, but characters forming unique names have other forms.
Similar to Jilgraj, Jilgraej has almost zero importance outside jaegroj society. Although the script is simple and easy to learn, most people do not bother with the jaegroj script because in their opinion the race has just too little importance in general. The only exception are those who study the Plagues and their artifacts, as Jilgraj and Jilgraej have a strong resemblance to the script and glyphs found on Plague items.
Jaegroj are humanoid aberrations, reaching an average height of 1.9 meters and weighting around 100 kgs. Males and females are equally tall and heavy. The prominent features of jaegroj are their mass of tentacle like extensions they grow on their heads instead of hair, and their eyes lacking pupils and eyelids.
Jaegroj skin is almost never of a single color, but almost always speckled or striped. Typical colors for skin and speckles are gray and brown, green and violet, ebony and red, or flesh-colored and black. The head tentacles are of the same color as the skin. Common eye color includes bright yellow and red, dark blue, and even a clear white.
Jeagroj have two genders, male and female. Procreation involves sex, with the male impregnating the female. The resulting pregnancy typically lasts for 230 days. Birth is painful for the mother, but usually without complications. Females are fertile twice per month.
Jaegroj society is very loosely organized and based on no specific structure. Somewhat similar to humans, local communities and cities prefer to organize themselves. However, in contrast to other races, jaegroj know no greater structures like kingdoms, and each community remains mostly autonomously. There are no castes or social levels in jaegroj society, and all members not part of the leadership are equal.
Each jaegroj community has a small leading circle, called "Gaeroj" usually consisting of the ten oldest members. This circle has the final say on all matters involving the whole community, while other affairs are usually left for individual jaegroj to decide. When dealing with outsiders, a representative for the foreigner is elected who then speaks for him before the Gaeroj.
Game rule information
Jaegroj have the following game rule characteristics:
- Ability scores: Strength 1, Dexterity +1, Wisdom -2, Charisma +1.
- Automatic languages: ilgraj, Jilgraej.
- Movement: Land (10 eters).
- Size: Medium. Jaegroj gain ll modifiers for Medium size.
- Special: Jaegroj gain a +4 acial bonus to Deceive skill checks. Jaegroj gain a +4 racial onus to Perceive skill checks involving sight.
- Type: Aberration jaegroj).
A tshy's life is grouped into three different phases. Each phase marks a certain degree of physical development of a tshy. The three phases are Tishk ("Spawn"), Akshk ("Adult"), and Krish ("Elder"). The phases are only related to his physical age and have no influence on his social standing. A phase's name is used synonymously for a tshy in that phase.
- Tishk marks a tshy from his atching until he has reached pubescence and is capable of reating offspring. During this phase a tshy usually rarely leaves he hive city or town as he is still relatively weak and nexperienced. It is during this phase that a tshy's primary unction for his community is determined and he is trained for his uty.
- Akshk marks a tshy from his aturity until he has reached age-based sterility. During this hase a tshy actively works for society and fulfills his assigned uties. Almost all travelling tshy are akshk when they leave their ive for the first time.
- Krish marks a tshy from his terility until he finally dies. During this phase a tshy reduces is workload but still actively engages in his communial duties. ost krish serve as mentors, trainers, and teachers to tishk and kshk, but some want to enjoy their last years on the road, seeing s much of Aeryl as possible.
The tshy race lacks any concept for the things "love" and "romance". Their society is based on pragmatism and calculation, and thus these things have no place in their world. When a hive or colony requires more members, the tshy with most appropriate attributes are expected to mate and produce offspring capable of handling their tasks. Although it is possible for some tshy to develop a certain acclimatization to others, this can hardly be called love.
As a consequence of this, there is no such thing as marriage among tshy. In general, tshy view it as foolish to restrict themselves to only a certain combination of possible offspring, and think that such a restriction would only jeopardize their city's abiltiy to adapt and survive. While some tshy may prefer to work with or fight along only certain other tshy, no tshy would ever allow such personal things to influence his ability to contribute or the community's efforts.
Tshy have a similar opinion regarding offspring. They do not view children as a personal affair like other races, especially dwarves and humans, but instead see them as a requirement for their survival. Only when following generations are able to adapt quickly enough to environmental influences their race will survive. Therefore, whenever a new breed of tshy is required, the tshy having the most matching attributes and abilities are expected to mate and create a new generation. Neither of the three involved genders has a deep emotional bond to the offspring, but rather the children are raised by the whole hive.
Because of the pragmatism ruling tshy culture, death is accepted as something natural and even necessary. A colony that grows too large too quickly will collapse under its own weight, and therefore it is necessary for the elder to make place for the youth. As a consequence of the Plague's invasion and the horrible situation the tshy suffered, a grim custom has evolved amongst their people. The body of a dead tshy is broken into pieces and then ground into a bloody pulp, afterwards being used as fertilizer for the colony's mushroom fields and gardens.
The tshy are the second oldest race on Aeryl, after the elves. They evolved at a much slower speed, and hadn't yet developed a high culture when the Plagues came to Aeryl. Tshy used to live in cities and communities under the ground, caves and caverns connected to each other with large tunnels.
During the Plagues' invasion the tshy were kept as slaves for hard labor. They were forced to work in mines and for construction. Their powerful frame and large size made them perfectly fit for these tasks. Because of their tribal like structure and strong sense of loyalty the tshy rarely rebelled or disobeyed, because they knew that their misbehavior would bring misery to others who were not involved.
When the dragons freed Aeryl from the Plagues' grasp, the tshy were happy to have the burden of slavery lifted from them and out of gratitude joined the Dragons' Crusade. The joy was great when the Great Barrier was finally erected. However, the subterranean hive-cities the tshy occupied before the Plagues came were destroyed, and poisoned by the crystalline web the Plagues drove into the surface of Aeryl.
While most tshy decided to rebuild their own way of living, some decided to join the other races and live among them. Tshy can be found all over Aeryl now, renowned for their great physical power and sense of loyalty to their friends and community. But still, tshy tend to keep to themselves and stay in their own communities, not out of fear or mistrust but rather due to the substantional size differences and different habbits.
The tshy tongue, called "Ysht-ka", is a sharp and hard language, lacking much of what other races call "elegance". The language consists mostly of clicks and hisses, using and requiring the typical tshy physiology. The cental part of Ysht-ka grammar is a simple subject-verb construction. The verb usually always refers to the speaking tshy, and indicating different positions is done by adding appropriate prefixes and suffixes to the verb.
Ysht-ka is almost impossible for other races to learn, as non-tshy lack the organs and physical abilities to pronounce many of the Ysht-ka syllables. However, other races can learn the simple form of the language, "Ysht-kar", which is also used to teach tishk their language. Therefore, all attempts of other races speaking Ysht-ka sound like "child-speak" to tshy, which somewhat amuses them.
Tshy script, called "Ysht-ke" is a very simple, cuneiform writing, usually written with the tshy's claws. It contains only 54 different signs that always look the same, including five characters for numbers and three characters for pronunciation marks. The letters themselves are always straight combinations of strikes in different lengths and angles.
Ysht-ke is almost unknown outside tshy society, as the script lacks any appeal for other races. Although relatively simple and easy to learn, almost nobody bothers with learning it. However, those who deal with tshy on a regular basis always take it to learn Ysht-ke, as it is the only way of communicating with tshy on an equal basis, without resorting to the "child-speak" language Ysht-kar.
Tshy are humanoid monstrous humanoids, reaching an average height of 2.7 meters and weighting around 320 kgs. Tshy have some insectoid properties, a strong carapace that protects all of their bodies, facetted eyes, and an additional set of arms with sharp claws for a total of three pairs of limbs.
Tshy have no body or facial hair at all, but their carapaces are known to show various colorations, reaching from black and dark brown tones, over yellow and red hues, to silver metallic and even white tones. Eyes are typically universally black, although white or red colors can occur rarely.
Tshy have three genders, kings, queens, and breeders. Procreation involves all three genders, with kings providing the semen, queens providing the eggs, and breeders carrying the inseminated eggs inside their bodies. It typically takes 130 days until the young hatch from the breeder's body. Birth is absolutely pain- and stressfree for the breeder and harmless for the very quickly growing young. Procreation can take place any time, but all involved tshy become infertile for six months afterwards.
Tshy society is based on strong concept of personal honor. All tshy are expected to work for the greater benefit for their hive, and to put personal issues out of the way if they would be detrimental to their home. All tshy take great pride in their assigned duties and fulfill them with utmost devotion, making sure they bring the most possible gain to their community. Although a tshy will ignore insults and slights for the moment if he is in a critical situation, he will never forget them unless they are dealt with.
Personal affairs are always resolved with some form of formal duell. Although the exact form of the duell is up to decide between the involved and can take even forms such as contests of willpower or cunning, they are always taken very seriously. There is no possibly worse insult to a tshy as to not appear to a duell. Won duells are recorded in a tshy's carapace with ritual scarring, indicating the reason for the duell as well as its type and how it was won.
Tshy leadership is taken by the oldest living tshy in the hive. The leader's gender is unimportant, as generally speaking all genders are of equal rights inside a hive. The leader has the final say on decisions regarding the community's future and fate, and he has a small circle of advisors proficient in their trade to aid him with his decisions. Lesser tasks are almost always delegated to other tshy who are more imminently involved with the matters at hand.
Game rule information
Tshy have the following game rule characteristics:
- Ability scores: Strength 4, Dexterity -2, Constitution +3, Intelligence -2, Charisma 2.
- Automatic languages: sht-ka, Ysht-ke.
- Darkvision: Tshy can see erfectly well in utter darkness up to 20 meters. Darkvision is rayscale only, but otherwise fully comparable to normal ision.
- Movement: Land (12 meters), unneling (2 meters).
- Natural armor: Carapace armor rating 4).
- Natural weapons: 2 Claws base damage 4).
- Size: Large (tall). Tshy ain all modifiers for Large size.
- Special: Tshy gain a +4 acial bonus to Athletics skill checks.
- Type: Monstrous humanoid tshy).