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Jarl
2006-08-15, 04:39 AM
I: Upon Creation
IN THE BEGINNING there was an orb in the sky, and the starry speakers called it NAZ. And on Naz lived many strange and unusual and fascinating creatures. Then, the LIGHT OF CREATION descended to Naz and all that stuff was nevermore.
-Opening line of "The Truthful Story", holy book of most Cherry religions

Cherry is an earth-sized world that orbits a yellow star and has a large green moon named Luna (named by the Elves, for reasons later revealed). Cherry's surface is roughly 75% water, in the form of two large oceans. The two main landmasses of Cherry are Aia the Conquered, and Selu of the West. Cherry's planetary core is a form of radioactive alchemical magical plasma. Amongst other things, this means that volcanoes and volcanic islands are magical. Cherry is inhabitted by Humans, Dwarves, Orcs, Elves, and the Giant Races.

Eras of Play

The Dream-Time
This encompasses all prehistory before the Light of Creation (the magical core of Cherry) crashed into Naz (the rocky world with a metal core that Cherry was previously). During this time, Naz was home to various tentacled monstrosities, tripedal preators, large flying reptiles, and many other fantastic creatures. Also during this time, the "Starry Speakers", a race of humanoid aliens with intersts in science and technology, placed a small research outpost on Naz.
The colonists rarely ventured outside their protective walls, electing to instead stay inside and used small automatons to explore the outside world.
Back then the atmosphere of Naz was so large that an aircraft could venture between it and it's moon. It is suggested that this is how Luna came to have so many of the strange animals once found on Naz.
This epoch was ended when the Light Of Creation fell to Naz, eradicating all life and reforming the world into what it is today.
The Dream-Time is ideal for adventures which involve time-travel. Aside from that, there really isn't much that would make it useful, due to the lack of PC races. It is, however, a good origin for many monsters to be summoned from.
The Dream-Time has no set lower-limit, and ended in cataclysm. Therefore, it has an indefinite span.
Notable Characters: Nerus, Overseer of Naz (LN Starry Speaker male, cleric)
Analogue: Pre-Orphean Earth

The Hyperbolic Barbaricks
This encompasses the time between the evolution of intelligent life and the establishment of the Imperium. The Hyperbolic Barbaricks is ideal for adventures featuring nomadic tribes, dinosaurs, or anything which would not fit in with a more civilized era of play. The era is named for a brief society of Orcs which ruled during this time, the Hyperbolic Barbaricks.
The Hyperbolic Barbaricks spans roughly 100 thousand years.
Special Note: The Tollouse Region is generally considered to be in the Hyperbolic Barbaricks until the Unholy War Era.
Notable Characters: Koman the Vegetarian (CN Human male, barbarian); Black Sophia (CN Orc female, barbarian)
Analogue: The Hyborean Age (Conan the Barbarian, Lord of the Rings, etc)

The Imperium
The Imperium was the greatest civilization that ever graced Cherry. It was ruled by the Taa-Mages, who would rule for thousands of years at a time. The Imperium was a civilization of Humans only, run from their island nations (Axl and Kredo). During this time, Elves, Orcs, and Dwarves were barbaric and nomadic, though the Dwarven society of Naazbar began near the end of the reign of the Imperium.
The Imperium valued magic above technology, and had very little contact with the outside world. Being built on volcanic islands, the nation thrived with magical influences. Humans who lived in the Imperium were usually casters.
The Imperium was destroyed by the Gods when it began to threaten the very existence of reality. It's magical power began to tear holes in space, and the Gods responded by siccing the "Secret Keeper", a cloaked demonic figure, on the populace. It stole all the knowledge from every human it encountered while the Gods deconstructed the machines and structures the humans had built. After this holocaust, humans were scattered around the globe, and no life grew on any of the Imperium's islands.
Imperium structures, such as stasis chambers (which can hold a living being in stasis essentialy forever), old broken temples (which the Gods spared so as to leave some semblance of civilization to humans), and the Giant's Steps, a series of massive stone blocks on the main island of Axl which go from the sea to the tip of a barren mountain (the foundation of the Imperial Palace, from which the Taa-Mages ruled), may still be found in remote locations.
The last Taa-Mage was Lord Berel, who challenged the Gods and failed miserably.
The Imperium is an ideal setting for sailors or mages. Other races in this period, aside from the Dwarves at the end, are barbaric.
The Imperium spans 500 thousand years. During the last 20 thousand years, the Dwarves began building their own society.
Notable Characters: Lord Berel, Last Taa-Mage of the Imperium (LN Human male, sorcerer); Ghostari Julian (NG Human female, wizard)
Analogue: Atlantis

The Naazbar
The Great Dwarven Society. The Dwarven Society of the Naazbar was ruled from under the Frozen Mountains. The Naazbar, at their peak, controlled all of Aia, giving it the name "The Conquered", a name which holds for several more eras. The Naazbar were not exclusively Dwarves, as they practiced "Cultural Imperialism", accepting humans, orcs, and elves into the mines as brothers.
The Naazbar functioned on a mix of magic and technology. During their time, they built many of the monumental achievements that would stand for millions of years, including massive temples on mountains, artificial islands, hollow mountains, etc.
The Naazbar collapsed into civil war which lated for fifty years. At the end, the Seven Great Dwarven Halls signed a peace accord.
The Naazbar is ideal for adventures which feature Dwarves heavily. Other races during this period are barbaric, though Sarese Nev, "Surface Friends", are Elves, Orcs, and Humans which are accepted as honorary dwarves. They must abide by Dwarven customs while in the mines.
The Naazbar spans 150 thousand years.
Notable Characters: King Thomas I (LG Dwarf male, paladin); King Julius VIII (LG Dwarf female, cleric); K'huch Narxiz (LE Elf male, monk)
Analogue: Sumeria, Babylon, Egypt, etc.

The Elf Empire
The Elves formed their empire long after the Naazbar was consumed by civil war. During this period, Dwarves were scarce as they dug in and built new worlds around them. Humans were still stricken lame after their empire's utter downfall, and Orcs were content to live peacefully with nature.
The Elves raised a massive citadel at the peak of Medio, the highest mountain in north-eastern Aia. The Citadel was then surrounded by a magnificent city, from which the Elves rarely strayed.
The Elves valued the Elves, and not much else. During this time, the "Taiyev, Taina, Taidou" principle was perfected, "The Right Man, the Right Place, the Right Time." The Elves did not have a military or any armies, but would instead calculate the precise moment and place upon which a conflict's resolution would hinge, then dispatch the proper person to deal with it. This philosophy was embodied by the Elvish Inquisitors, solitary figures noted for their fighting prowess and remarkable resilience and, as many elves would point out, inherent "creepiness".
The Elves rarely had contact with Humans or Dwarves, and were constantly at odds with the Orcs. Inquisitors would enter human and orc villages at night, wait for the inhabitants to awaken, then offer civilization or doom to them. Many villages were felled to solitary inquisitors.
One day, the Starry Speakers returned to Cherry in desperation, seeking refuge and aid in their battle against the vicious "Sky Demons" which pursued them. The Elves refused the offer, but changed their mind when the Starry Speakers demonstrated their weapons by firing a beam through the Great Wall of Medio. Many elves, in response to the sudden "Realization of Fallibility", took their own lives rather than face the challenge of the Sky Demons.
The Elves elected to help the Starry Speakers, but were still caught off guard by the ferocity of their attack. The Sky Demons swept down and destroyed the Elven city, wiping out most of the population and infecting the rest. The Starry Speakers and remaining elves managed to destroy the demons, but the Speakers were then forced to quarantine the city and all its inhabitants. Medio, the Mountain-Top City, crumbled into the sea within 24 hours of the arrival of the Starry Speakers.
Some Elves escaped the utter destruction of their world, and formed the rare elf tribes that persisted for many thousands of years. The Starry Speakers helped them in this effort, and left many relics and artifacts behind in order to help spur the inception of a new civilization.
The Elvish Empire is ideal for any game which features numerous elves, as they become acutely rare in later eras. Humans and Orcs are barbaric in this era, though some are brought into Elven society, much like the Dwarves did before them. Dwarves are rare during this era, as they were busy rebuilding their world.
Special Note: The Elf Empire is the only era which features Impenatron. The Metal is a special alloy that has not and cannot be replicated by any other race, is too heavy for weapons, and cannot be destroyed.
The Elf Empire spanned a period of 100 thousand years.
Notable Characters: Solise Nile, Empress of Medio (LG Elf female, paladin); Captain Varthar, First Class (LG Starry Speaker male, paladin); Red Star (CE Human male, rogue)
Analogue: Rome, China, elements of the destruction of Atlantis.

Krystalis
AKA The Second Great Human Empire.
AKA History Repeats, Part Two.
Krystalis is the second human empire in Cherry's history. It comprised, effectively, all of Aia (with the exception of Tollouse), portions of Selu, Axl, and Kredo. The government was ruled from Azhua, a city built as an outpost by the Elves during their reign, on the shores of the Medio Sea.
What sets Krystalis apart from the previous three super civilizations before it is the interspecies nature of it. Though Elves are scarce, the government is based roughly on the Elf Empire's structure and ideals. Elvish is still a widely used language in Krystalis, especially in the government.
The Krystalis Empire is split into several regions:
The Kharan plains were named after the Dwarven Hall far under them, the Khara-Dun. The Khara-Dun sealed themselves off from the surface world shortly after the fall of the Naazbar, but re-emerged during the Civil War that claimed Krystalis. The Central City of Khara is Lucid, formerly a guard post for the entrance to the Khara-Dun Subterrain which was staffed by humans. When the Khara-Dun went "underground", they severed ties with Lucid, which then grew into a human settlement.
The Gyro-Pontific Valley is named after a peculiar rock formation in the center of a lake. It was named by the Elves, who thought it looked like a Gyropontifica, a "spinning bridge", one of the many low-tech security systems used early in civilization. The region is mostly controlled by the Orcs. The Central City is Terkis, built in a depression near the base of a mountain. Terkis is built mostly on the river that cuts through it.
The Cophi region is named after the Coph River which snakes through it. It is a relatively sparse, flat region. Vegetation grows mainly near the river, as the soil is mostly sand underneath. The Central City of Coph, built on the Coph River, is Ghorzhia. Many villages dot the course of the Coph River, giving the Cophi region the highest population of all the regions. The population is mostly humans and orcs.
The Mev region is the area which formerly comprised the Elf Empire. Its Central City is Azhua, capital of Krystalis. The Mev region is named after the Mev Mountain, a large mountain the Frozen Range famous for the "Steps of Nowhere", an ancient Dwarven structure. Most of Mev's area is water, the Medio Sea where once stood the capital city of the Elf Empire.
Skalis is on the eastern coast of Selu of the West. The Central City of Skalis is the Blazing Land, a city made in a rich diamond field. Skalis is extremely dangerous, due to the number of vicious beasts which roam freely, the thick background magic levels, and the sheer amount of money a person can make there if they decide to turn on their fellow man. The Blazing Land is constantly in turmoil due to frequent power struggles in the city. Skalis is the only civilized portion of Selu in this era, except for the Dwarven Halls in the northwest of the continent.
The Isles of Axl are extremely high in magical content, but completely barren of life until settlers from nearby Khara arrived. The Axl population is mostly humans, and even then mostly wizards. Axl has very little to do with mainland politics, and prefers its relative independence.
Kredo is a small island off the east coast of Gyro, and is completely surrounded by a magical storm. The island itself is volcanic, like Axl, but the aforementioned storm uses up all the background magic, so the population of Kredo is not spectacularly magical. The earth, however, is rich in metals and ores, and is mined heavily. The island is a major mining and production area for metal goods and weapons, a reputation it carries for a good long time after the collapse of Krystalis.
The Azhua government is a parliamentary monarchy, with the Emperor or Empress allowed veto of major changes in law. Krystalis does not have an all encompassing army, instead relying on local Minutemen to preserve martial order. Krystalis does have a navy, the Mariners, but this navy is used mostly for exploration and rarely encountered any combat situations.
The Krystalis Empire collapsed in a bloody civil war, resulting in the creation of the Krystal Union. Each region named above was recognized as a separate nation in the coming age. The Krystal Union Constitution set out rules and laws for secession to prevent another global civil war.
The Krystalis Empire is ideal for most medieval games, and allows for varied elements. The opening of the Skalis region, rich in magic and diamonds, allows for vast amount of competitive, chaotic, and evil gameplay. In addition, many areas of Krystalis are completely unexplored even after a decent chunk of a million years of civilization. For the first time, almost all races are available as fully civilized and playable, with the exception of Elves, which are particularly rare.
The Krystalis era spans 2000 years, ending with the creation of the Krystal Union.
Notable Characters: Empress Josiphina III (LN Human female, cleric); Vexxon Underscore, the Borderless Cartographer (CG Elf male, bard)
Analogue: Rome, the British Empire, the Medieval and Colonial eras.

The Global Age
The Krystal Union is formed of the above mentioned regions of the Krystal Empire. The reputations, values, and population densities of these regions are, for the most part, identical in the Global Age. Notable exceptions:
Khara is a single nation that is generally considered to be two, Khara-Dun and Khara Dun Saesi, the second being the surface nation. The subterrain nation is mostly Dwarven, though all species are invited. Khara-Dun Saesi is regarded as a territory of Khara-Dun by most dwarves, and is ruled equally by the Dwarven King of Khara-Dun, though most kings appoint a "Surface Governor" to administrate the surface world.
Coph is a communist nation ruled by the Legionnaire Secretary, a democratically elected position. Children in Coph are raised collectively by the village in which they are born, though they are familiar with their true parents. Coph and Khara are commonly at odds, due to their opposing socio-economic and political philosophies, though both are in constant need of one another's supplies.
Gyro, being between Khara and Coph, serves as a buffer and bridge between the two, befitting of its old name.
Azhua has no power whatsoever over the other nations, nor does it have very many natural resources. Azhua's industry is now largely tourism, being the so-called "Center of Human Civilization".
Kredo is regarded as a corporate entity rather than an actual nation by most people. The Kredan Military Supply Program supplies all sides of most conflicts with enough weapons to ensure continued conflict, and thus continued sales. The KMSP puts out an annual catalogue available to any citizen of a nation that accepts it. Major contracts for powerful weapons can be bought out, including exclusivity clauses, by anyone with enough money and a good track-record. The KMSP supplies everything from cheap swords and daggers to finely crafted shields to heavy cannons, aircraft, missiles, bows, staves, guns, and anything else they can smelt, cast, craft, or assemble and then sell at a discount ("We pass the savings on to YOU!"). Kredo is administered by, basically, a large chamber of commerce.
Axl is regarded as a holy isle, the "True Origin of Humanity". Axl is ruled by mostly human wizards, and has no military and very little civil structure. Most magic users in the world are from Axl.
Skalis is in a constant state of Anarchy, and consists mostly of City-States. Some colonists have spread out into the remainder of Selu, and by the end of this era have established large, mostly lawless nations. The Blazing Land has been renamed the City of Blazing Light, and is ruled by a vile sorcerer who enjoys the constant turmoil that engulfs the region, as it always proves interesting, and allows him to exercise his dark magicks freely and openly.
This is a time of constant civil conflict, and occasional war. The Tewenga Region of Azhua was annexed to Khara in order to calm the conflict between it's rival Vampire and Werewolf populations, which lead to the clans in question uniting against the Kharan army in the "War of Horrors", which nearly lead to the invasion of Lucid.
Shortly after this conflict, Coph entered into the long, drawn out "War of Shade" with Khara by pushing the Cophi army into the small Shade River Valley, where the border between the nations is hard to discern. This long conflict was fought mostly at sea, though land invasions occurred between the two and eventually included Gyro in a three-way struggle for the region. In the end, Khara was pushed back and Gyro took the majority of the region, with Coph losing relatively little land.
Coph and Khara eventually traded atomic blows, by-and-large destroying civilization.
The Global Age ended with the advent of Nuclear War, and the devastation of Eastern Aia. After the war, most survivors flocked to the western coast of Aia, where Coph and Khara stand. The southern regions of Aia were also heavily populated by survivors.
The Global Age is ideal for most adventures. Technologically, it rises sharply from the medieval age to the atomic age in a matter of centuries. The northwestern area of Khara is mostly plains and deserts rich in ore deposits, creating an "old west" atmosphere, while Selu becomes more and more civilized.
The Global Age spans roughly one thousand years.
Notable Characters: King Dodger II (LG Dwarf male, cleric); Charin Billwell (CG Human male, fighter); Jai Tegh (NG Human male, figher)
Analogue: Earth between the American Civil War and the Cold War.

The Lunar War
The Revenge of the Elves!
After the Nuclear War which destroyed most of civilization, people start rebuilding slowly. This all comes to an end with the Invasion.
The Lunara are a variant of Elves. They lack the inhibitions and longevity of Elves which robbed them of Magical talent, thus Lunara tend to be wild, savage, and magically potent. During the height of the Elven Empire, the number of Lunara in the Cities was so great that the elves constructed a vessel to banish the unwanted heathens to the moon.
Thousands of years later, they return.
The Lunara invade endlessly over the course of one hundred years. The initial push (about one hundred and fifty years after the end of the Nuclear War) consisted mostly of Tripods, large tank-like constructs with three legs capable of vaporizing most enemies. These machines move quickly, and explode violently when knocked down so as to prevent their technology from falling into the wrong hands.
The Lunara make the journey to and from Luna in Arks, large vessels equipped with magical stardrives. These vessels can hold numerous Lunara.
Most of civilization is gathered on Selu of the West. The regions there are:
Skalis, the oldest nation and still occasional civil battleground, is still ruled from the City of Blazing Light by a Vile Sorcerer (he earned the capitals after his second century of rule) named Kapricious. Skalis is still rife with magic, still riddled with diamond mines, and still fairly lawless.
The Republic of Nomiri lies in the south. Nomiri is a nation of Dwarves and Steel, which claims Khara and Azhua as its forbearers. The capital city of Dorsetti is built over and down the side of a massive abyss, and is considered the finest city in the world, aside from the City of Blazing Light.
The Collection is a union of small city-states in western Selu, widely regarded as the scum of the planet. The Capital City, if it can be called that, is Viro, built on the site of a destroyed Dwarven mine. Viro is sometimes called "The Bloody City" due to its cataclysmic crime rate.
Khara-Dun is mostly a subterranean nation now, though Lucid still stands. The population is now mostly dwarves, with Orcs being the main minority. It is relatively unchanged otherwise.
Tollouse, the arctic northeastern subcontinent, is at this time far more technomantically advanced than most other civilizations in the world, though it is still regarded to be in the Hyperbolic Barbaricks due to constant warring which assures that neither the Aoian nor Akaian clans gain much of a foothold over one another.
The beginnings of civilization in Gyro were wiped out by the invading Lunara.
The Lunara, after their Tripods proved ineffective, began placing fortified bases on Cherry, along with their deadly Battle Helixes, massive artificial tornadoes that could eliminate a city in a day and could run for months without stopping. A massive push against the Lunara was eventually organized by the Vile Sorcerer Kapricious and the Khara-Dun dwarves, resulting in a very shaky peace treaty between the Lunara and the races of Cherry.
The Lunar War spans, including the rebuilding of civilization and the aftermath of the actual war, roughly 500 years.
The Lunar War is ideal for adventures that border on sci-fi, and include the beginnings of Cyberpunk in the world of Cherry. It also represents the first time that Lunara are really available as a playable race, though the occasional genetic roulette would sometimes throw one up before. Magic is harder to come by in this era, as are swords and such. The KMSP is still active, and Axl is still filled with Magicians, so the status quo remains relatively unchanged there.
Notable Characters: High Priest Leng (CE Lunara male, sorcerer); Kapricious (LE Human male, sorcerer); Keith Nightshade (CG Human male, bard)
Analogue: War of the Worlds, 1980's North America, Road Warrior-esuqe in Tollouse.

The Unholy War
AKA The Big One.
The Unholy War is fought between the Aoi and Akai Clans of Tollouse, which have remained just as savaged and uncivilized over the course of nearly a million years, yet have increased their technology and magick levels exponentially in that time.
The Aoians spread their battle of a million years to the rest of the planet by invading the Collection in order to spread their savage ways. The Akaians responded by flooding down across the wastes into the Gyro-Coph region, bringing the ire of the Khara-Dun Dwarves.
The war is violent, pervasive, and going on everywhere, all the time. During this time, the Axl wizards and the KMSP both are destroyed, Axl by jealous Aoian priests and the KMSP by the Akaian armies. The endless battles rage across every square inch of land, laying waste to much of the world.
The Khara-Dun are wiped out early in the conflict, followed shortly by the Collection, Nomiri, and the Lunara Fortresses along the Equator. The conflict is partially diffused when the Aoian Capital of Zura is wiped out by Dwarves, but the Aoian retaliation is swift and furious, destroying the entire Dwarven Hall of Ifferdrid, the perpetrators.
The war is ended after a full five hundred years of senseless bloodshed, when the Aoians are destroyed by the Akaians, and the Akaians by the Skalis army. The Vile Sorcerer Kapricious himself destroyed the Warlord Akai with his dying breath. After the war, civilization is spread thin and wide once more, and the cycle begins a new with the next age.
The Unholy War is an ideal setting for adventures which feature full-scale barbaric war while also supporting high technology and magic levels. All races are available in this Era, and for the first time so are Aoi and Akai tribesmen, a variant of Valkyrines.
The Unholy War lasts entirely too long, weighing in at a 700 years including pre-war civilization. One can claim that the conflict has in fact been going on in relative secrecy since the beginning of time.
Notable Characters: Warlord Aoi (CN Human male, barbarian); Warlord Akai (CN Valkyrine male, barbarian); Stephen Cogsworth (NG Human male, druid)
Analogue: The Dark Ages, the Apocalypse, etc.

Wylderness
Society rebuilds itself quickly, and gets right back into the war business, this time split between the Oceanic Union and the Selu Empires. The Selu Empires consist of Skalis, the Nomiri Remnant, and Graysh, the Orc empire built on the ruins of the Collection. The Oceanic Union represents the countless nation states of Aia, namely the Axl Magocracy, the Republic of Azhua, and Ur-Gyro.
This time around, the war was sparked by the constant friction between the Axl Magocracy and the Taa-Mages of the City of Blazing Light. This period of vengeful strife ended in relative peace, however, when the Sea Witch, Queen of Axl, was killed in a small skirmish in the Midori Sea. After this, Axl surrendered to Skalis, which demanded nothing in return save an end to the conflict which has plagued Cherry seemingly forever.
There then follows an intermission.
The Wylderness introduces, amongst other things, futuristic elements such as Mobile Suit-esque "Air Knights", high-tech magical aircraft, and peaceful travel between Cherry and Luna. This era is ideal for adventures which would normally be restricted to modern games, such as Cyberpunk or d20 Modern. Magic is still valued, as is technology. Elves are at their highest population levels since the destruction of their empire. Lunara are relatively peaceful. The Dwarves have rebuilt their Subterrains that have been destroyed by wars of the past. By the end of the Era, peace has fully and totally enveloped Cherry.
The Wylderness, like the Dream Time, has an indefinite span, starting with the end of the Unholy War and ending when Cherry eventually is enveloped by its star.
Notable Characters: Ace Thompson (LG Dwarf male, fighter); Korusca, Sea Witch and Queen of All She Surveys (LN Elf female, paladin); Xeru the Konkeror!!! (CN Lunara male, barbarian)
Analogue: Utopian Earth, elements of Modern Earth, Alderaan and Coruscant from Star Wars, many Anime depictions of Earth including select Gundam series, etc.
Special Note: At this point, Cherry begins interaction with the interstellar community. Due to the wild diversity such an environment undoubtedly would produce, pretty much anything goes, hence the name of the Era. Some suggestions include, but are by no means limited to, a massive city world, worlds with small intelligent creatures, galaxy spanning civil war, pretty much anything.
The Cherry setting does not, oddly, produce much in the way of interplanar travel, however. Such events are only possible due to severe magical distortions of reality, which nevertheless can occur quite often and provide many adventure hooks.

-Up next, Player Races.

Jarl
2006-08-15, 04:41 AM
Player Character Races

Humans
"On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time."
-George Orwell

What to say about the ubiquitous humans? Fast breeders with short life spans, regarded as the second least intellectually acute of the sapient races, humans are actually quite well-balanced in respect to their abilities.
Players choosing to play as humans should know what they are considered to be the "lesser" race by some. The Imperium is regarded as a silly myth by most people, and the first two major civilizations of the world were controlled by Elves and Dwarves, both of which considered humans to be, at best, friendly yet backwards savages in need of better hygiene and social skills. As time goes by, this image is softened considerably, and many of the notable personalities of the latter half of Cherry's million year history are humans.
Human lifespan is roughly 50-100 years, depending on the era of play (ascending). Humans in the time of the Imperium and earlier have a lifespan of 150-300 years. Humans stand between 4 and 7 feet, concentraded mostly between 5'3 and 6'1. Human skin tone ranges mostly between brown, pink, and orange, with tones and hues that incorporate these colors. Some facial structures and hair growth patterns are determined by ethnicity. Hair color mostly ranges from blonde to brown, with red and blue being rare exceptions.
Humans receive no bonuses or penalties to their scores. Humans are not restricted to any alignments, and are not restricted in their choice of class.
Hybrids: Seleni, Tamlin, Halfling, Vaettir, Giant


Elves
"Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no."
-J. R. R. Tolkien

Elves are, for the most part, the rarest of Cherry's sapient races. Elves live long, breed very rarely, and are highly intelligent. It is suggested that this is the reason for the race's apparent lack of magical ability. While Elves are not completely cut off from magic, the abilities and talents necessary to handle it are extremely rare to find in Elves.
Players choosing Elves should know that Elves are considered by most races to be incredibly intelligent yet somewhat na´ve and absent-minded. Elves, due to their long lifespan and low birth-rate, do not fully sexually mature until later in life than most other races (Elf males commonly begin puberty at age 16, females at 14), and even then are not educated in such matters until they chose a mate. Most tribes (and the Elf Empire) consider it customary to "keep them in the dark" until it is determined that more births are required and the couple must breed, at which point the "Book of Love", a short manuscript containing necessary dialogues and instructions for the act and its repercussions, is given to the couple.
For this reason, elves are usually the butts of sex-related jokes made by their friends. Elves do not understand the differences between their culture and most others in this respect, contributing to their alienation from society.
Elves tend to have thin faces, stubby noses, and, their defining feature, long ears. Elf ears are long, sensitive, pointy, and can be moved independently of one another. Elves also tend to have sharp canine teeth, and large eyes capable of seeing better in gloom and twilight. Their nails are also very sturdy and are clearly vestigial claws.
Elves physically age much slower than other races (a 150 year old elf is, age-wise, indistinguishable from a 30 year old human), and do not suffer from the effects of aging until well into their second century. Elvish lifespan is roughly 200-350 years. Elfin skin tone ranges mostly between dark gray, light gray, and pink, with tones and hues that incorporate these colors. Some facial structures and hair growth patterns are determined by ethnicity. Hair color ranges mostly from black to white, with yellow and green being extremely rare exceptions. Some elves have hair which is highly reflective, or in some cases translucent. There have been cases of elves with phosphorescent hair, though this is usually a sign of Lunara blood or perhaps they're just on fire. Elves have very little body hair.
Elves usually stand between 5 and 8 feet in height, mainly between 5'8 and 6'6. Elves are usually of slender build. Due to hormonal makeup, it is generally claimed that Elf males and Elf females are difficult to distinguish between, as most Elf women are flat-chested and most elf men not very broad across the shoulders.
Elves receive +1 to their strength, dexterity, and intelligence scores, and receive a 1d2 penalty to their wisdom and charisma scores. Elves are usually not chaotic, though they make exceptions. Elves are rarely casters, and usually fighters or tinkerers.
Variant Elves:
Lunara are Elves born with enhanced sex drive and a corresponding increase in magical ability. Lunara are considered outcasts due to these conditions. In addition to the abuse and mocking they suffer at the hands of their peers, they also commonly suffer from mental imbalances.
Roughly one in every 1000 Elves born to two elf parents is a Lunara, and the reverse is true of two Lunara parents. Common Elvish legend suggests that Lunara eat these aberrant young, though this is almost certainly not true.
Lunara are so named because they are supposedly "Born under a bad moon". This origin of the term may be apocryphal, considering most of Medio's Lunara population was exiled to the moon of Cherry, Luna. It's entirely possible that this act gave the Lunara their name, influencing Elvish culture for millennia as the ultimate guilt trip.
Lunara are visually indistinguishable from elves save their commonly sharp noses, longer ears, and crazed hair, which is frequently striped and multicolored. Due to their protein unbalances, their hair's colors tend to shift with their mood, as do their eye color. Lunara commonly suffer from heterochromia. Their fangs tend to be sharper than a regular elf's fangs.
Lunara receive +2 to their dexterity and charisma scores, and take a 1d3 penalty to their wisdom and intelligence scores. Lunara are usually chaotic, and are excellent casters and fighters, yet usually lack the patience and thought patterns to deal with machines.
Hybrids: Tamlin, Seleni, Valkyrine, Kobold, Gnome, Titan, Nephelim


Dwarves
"A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself."
-Robert Burton

Dwarves are the most varied and diverse race on Cherry. They are short, somewhat long lived, level-headed, and may be found underground.
Pure Dwarves are rare and difficult to distinguish from Duori, which are hybrids of Dwarves and other races. Dwarves very readily accept Duori into their societies, for the most part.
Furthermore, the Seven Great Dwarven halls represent different ethnicities of Dwarves that make for an even wider selection.
Players playing as Dwarves should know that Dwarves are generally considered the masters of Magic and Lords of the Subterrains. Don't let it go to your head. A Subterrain is a large space built underground in which there may be cities, fields, lakes and seas, and other such extravagances. The largest Subterrains are the Khara-Dun, the Hall of Ifferdrid, and the Oggle Sub-Dome.
Dwarf skin tones are usually orange, brown, and violet. Dwarves tend to have very little variance in their facial structure, and hair grown is wildly effected by ethnicity. The variances are described below. Dwarf hair varies between blonde and brown, with red and green as common variations.
Dwarves usually stand between 2 and 5 feet, depending on ethnicity, usually constrained between 3'6 and 4'8. Dwarves have a lifespan between 100 and 250 years, and mature and age slower than most races. A Dwarf reaches full physical maturity at 30.
Dwarfish Ethnicity:
After the civil war that engulfed the Naazbar, dwarves split up into the Seven Great Dwarven Halls, seven independent societies of Dwarves, united through common history and careful communication.
Khara-Dun: Khara-Dun dwarves are usually fair skinned, medium height (around 4 feet), with thick shaggy beards. Khara-Dun women have beards just as thick as the men. Kharankh, the language of the Khara-Dun, is very restrictive with concern to gender specific nouns, and the Monarch of the Khara-Dun is always referred to as "King" regardless of their gender. Khara-Dun dwarves wear at all times a pendant which lists their name, date of birth, gender, and other relevant information, both as a handy guide and as identification in case of an accident. Khara-Dun Dwarves are also extremely capable magic-users.
Ifferdrid: Ifferdrid dwarves dwell in the land that was formerly the Naazbar. They prefer the Underworld to the Surface, and are usually dark skinned with thick light hair. Ifferdrid women have beards, but keep them well trimmed and decorated, a custom they also share with their male counterparts. Ifferdrid dwarves recognize gender more readily then their cousins to the south. Ifferdrid dwarves tend to be taller than most other dwarves (between 4'6 and 5'2), and are often mistaken for short humans. Ifferdrid are very handy with Magic.
Terrafus: Terrafus dwarves are not adept miners, and live exclusively on the surface. They tend to have light skin, light hair, and less facial hair than most dwarves. Terraffus women do not have beards. Terrafus dwarves are extremely cheerful and rosy cheeked, and commonly wear light clothing and bright colors. They tend towards the shorter end of the spectrum, with the average Terrafus dwarf being somewhere between 2'1 and 2'8. Terrafus dwarves are extremely heavy drinkers, very welcoming of other races, and somewhat poor at the handling of Magic. They are, however, extremely technically brilliant.
Ghall: Ghall dwarves are light skinned, with very dark, coarse hair. They tend to wear very little, and live in cliff-side communities. They believe that the proper path to enlightenment is to seek balance, in this case between the Underworld and the Surface. Ghall women do not have beards, and neither to Ghall men. Ghall dwarves to not drink, but are prolific herb growers and smokers. Ghall dwarves tend to be taller than most, between 4'1 and 4'6, and are very serene. They are average magic users.
Togkal: Togkal dwarves are dark skinned with dark hair, and are very reclusive. They dwell exclusively in the Underworld, and do not usually accept visitors. Togkal dwarves are the epitome of the cautious dwarf, and they fervently worship their gods in temples buried deep in the planet. Togkal women grow beards, but shave them religiously, as do Togkal men. Togkal dwarves do not partake of herbs, nor do they drink, but they are very accepting of the "Holy Spirit", a drink made from fermented roots and condensed deep-crust gasses. They do not consider it an alcoholic beverage due to its solemn religious connotations. Togkal dwarves are medium in height, between 2'9 and 3'5, and are spectacular magic users.
Oggle: Oggle dwarves are dark skinned, with short, light hair, and are very noble, dedicated warriors. Oggle dwarves prefer neither the Underworld nor the Surface, though their Subterrain (the Oggle Sub-Dome) is one of the largest in the world. Oggle women are, aside from the big difference, indistinguishable from Oggle men, and they do not easily perceive differences in gender in other species. Oggle dwarves keep their beards short and well trimmed. Everything Oggle dwarves do is kept to an almost military precision. Oggle dwarves do not drink, smoke, or partake of any such sins, claiming them to be weaknesses of the spirit and body. Oggle dwarves are average in height, around 3'6 to 4'0, and are very accepting of other cultures, so long as those cultures do not attempt superiority over the Oggle way of life. Oggle dwarves are poor magic users.
Yozura: Yozura dwarves are fair skinned, with short, often red hair. Yozura women are very dainty and do not grow beards. Yozura men usually do not grow beards either, but are fond of mustaches, which are commonly long and decorated. Yozura dwarves are mischievous, extremely fond of the company of other races, and live exclusively on the Surface. Yozura tend to be extremely short, rarely breaking three feet in height. Yozura are famed for their musical talents, penchant for dancing, and colorful sense of fashion. Yozura prefer living in cities that are closely integrated with the natural surrounding, such as Ghozhia in Coph, Dorsetti in Nomiri, and the City of Blazing Light in Skalis. Yozura dwarves are average magic users.
Dwarves receive +2 to constitution, dexterity, and intelligence, and take a 1d3 penalty to wisdom and charisma. Dwarves lean towards lawful alignments, though this is dependent on the variant. Dwarves are not restricted in their choice of class, though some variants are more likely to chose a class than others.
Hybrids: Halfling, Kobold, Gnome, Goblin, Troll


Orcs
"The wolf that one hears is worse than the orc that one fears."
-J.R.R. Tolkien

Orcs are a passionate and caring race, dedicated to nature and the study of magic. Orcs are closely related to elves, though an unobservant observer would not at first notice. They tend to have heavy and athletic builds and much more developed claws than elves.. They share some of the major facial features of elves, namely stubby noses, long sensitive prehensile ears, and sharp canines. What sets them apart from their brethren is their thick, shaggy fur and powerful magical abilities.
Players choosing Orcs should know that Orcs tend to be hot-headed and impetuous. Orcs are sometimes considered the least intelligent of the sapient races, though this is untrue. Orcs value family structure greatly, and are inclusive to most races. Elves and Orcs have, however, had some friction between them over the course of history.
Orcs usually stand between 5 and 8 feet in height, usually between 6'6 and 7'1. Orc lifespan is about 50-100 years. Orcs mature at the same rate as humans.
Orcs tend to have blue, orange, or brown skin, as well as hues between, and Orc fur is usually brown or orange, with green and black being common variances. Orcs do have hair on their head, independent of their fur, which us usually the same color and texture, and they do grow facial hair. Hair and skin color, as well as fur patterns and textures, varies with ethnicity.
Orcs receive +3 bonus points shared between their strength and charisma, which may be split up anyway the player sees fit. They receive a -2 penalty to their wisdom. Orcs tend to be chaotic, and rarely chose classes which focus on machines or mechanisms.
Hybrids: Vaettir, Valkyrine, Goblin, Ogre


True Giants
"Fling but a stone, the giant dies."
-Matthew Green

Giants are not usually allowed as a player race. They are nomadic and subsapient, though their sense of honor is strong. Giants usually stand between 9 and 15 feet tall, and have pale or gray skin, with light or brown hair. They have been extinct since early in the Hyperbolic Barbaricks era, but their seed lives on.
Players who chose to play a giant should be shot out of a cannon. If they still want to be a giant, they should know that the low intelligence of these creatures limits their playability. The primary reason that Giants are available as a player race is how common half-giants are in the world.
Giants have smaller fangs and eyes than elves, proportionally, but have longer claws. Their ears are the same as a human's, proportionally.
The lifespan of a giant is between 20 and 50 years. Giants are extremely strong, yet oddly gentle and prone to accepting people of other races as "tiny friends".
Giants receive a +3 to their strength and a +1 to their constitution, and receive a penalty of -3 to their intelligence and -1 to their wisdom. Giants may not be casters or work with complicated machines.
Hybrids: Giant, Ogre, Troll, Titan, Nephelim


Hybrids
Hybrids are the offspring of two people of different races, or two people of the same hybrid race. Two people of the same hybrid race will always have a child of that hybrid race, with some exceptions.


Tamlin
"O I forbid you, maidens a',
That wear gowd on your hair,
To come or gae by Carterhaugh,
For young Tam Lin is there."
-Scottish folk ballad

Half human, half elf.
Tamlin are distrusted in Elvish society, and welcomed wholeheartedly in the Human world. Tamlin tend to have reduced ears and smaller eyes than their elf brethren, and also tend to have the same color skin as their human parent.
Players choosing to play Tamlin should know that many times the union that produced the character is strained, as most elves do not bond with their mates in the same way humans do, and are commonly the victims of rape at the hands of unscrupulous and vile humans.
Tamlin stand between 4 and 7 feet, usually around 5'9 to 6'1. They live between 100 and 200 years. Tamlin physically mature at the same rate as humans. They are also rarely gifted with magical talents, but a magic using Tamlin is far more common than a magic using elf.
Tamlin receive +1 to their strength and -1 to their charisma. Tamlin are not restricted in alignment or class, though they are rarely casters and commonly either fighters or anything that involves machines.


Seleni
"Oh, yeah. Elvish ancestry. Elves and humans breed all right, as if that's anything to be proud of. But you just get a race o' skinny types with pointy ears and a tendency to giggle and burn easily in sunshine. I ain't talking about them. There's no harm in them."
-Granny Weatherwax

Half human, half Lunara.
Seleni are considered by Elves to be demons. Humans often have a difficult time distinguishing between Seleni and Tamlin, as Seleni tend to have hair more reminiscent of a human than a Lunara.
Seleni are extremely rare. Two Tamlin parents have a 1 in 1000 chance of bearing a Seleni child, and vice-versa. A human and elf parent will never bear a Seleni child, and a human and Lunara parent will never bear a Tamlin child.
Players choosing to play as Seleni should know that, like Tamlin, they are commonly born of strained unions, and also commonly the products of rape, though it's likely that the Lunara parent is the aggressor if this is the case. Seleni tend to be uncomfortable around Lunara, and are outcast completely by Elves, being twice as alien as a Tamlin.
Seleni stand between 4 and 7 feet, usually around 5'9 to 6'1. They live between 100 and 200 years. Seleni physically mature at the same rate as humans.
Seleni receive a +1 bonus to their dexterity and charisma, and -1 to their wisdom and intelligence. They are not restricted in alignment or class, though they are excellent casters and fighters, and rarely involve themselves with machines.


Halfling
"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."
-J.R.R. Tolkien

Half human, half dwarf.
Halflings tend to be about the same height as their dwarf parent and have the same skin color as their human parent. Halflings are incredibly dexterous and have a very acute sense of taste and smell, akin to an elf's sense of sight and hearing. Halflings are the second most common of the Duori races, and are lovingly accepted by dwarves and humans alike. A halfling's face most closely matches that of the dwarf parent.
Halflings stand between 2 and 5 feet, depending primarily on the Dwarven parent. Their skin color is dependent primarily on that of their human parent. They live between 100 and 200 years. They physically mature at the same rate as humans. They are usually not very gifted with magic.
Halflings receive a +1 to their dexterity and a -1 to their wisdom. Halflings are not restricted in any alignment or class, though they are rarely casters.


Valkyrine
"Valkyr was supposed to be a maiden that would lift you to a warrior's heaven. Instead, it had turned out to be a one-way demon ride to hell."
-Max Payne

Half elf, half orc.
Valkyrines are notable because, for a good thousand odd years, they were more common than elves. Valkyrines are noble warriors who live in matriarchal tribes, commonly distancing themselves from Orcs. They are fond of tattoos and piercing, monuments that display their maturity and achievements as a member of the tribe. Valkyrines that live in thick city environments tend to follow similar patterns.
Valkyrines have extremely large and sensitive ears and eyes, and often wear hoods, thin blindfolds, or sunglasses to protect their organs when in intense environments. A Valkyrine's skin color is usually determined by their Elf parent, their hair patterns by their Orc parent. Valkyrines are covered in a very thin, fine layer of fur, and are very muscular. Valkyrine claws are longer than an orc's.
Valkyrines stand between 5 and 8 feet, usually around 6'6 and 7'1. Their lifespan is between 100 and 200 years. They physically mature at the same rate as elves. Valkyrines are commonly excellent magicians.
Special Note: Oddly, both orc/elf unions and orc/lunara unions result in Valkyrines, and there is no clear difference between the two. There are complicated, uninteresting genetic reasons for this, but basically, lunara are a sort of proto-orc mutation, a vestige of the common past that orcs and elves share.
Valkyrines receive a +2 bonus to their strength and intelligence, and a penalty of -1 to their wisdom, constitution, and charisma.


Giant
"Surrounding yourself with dwarfs does not make you a giant"
-Yiddish Proverb

Half human, half true giant.
Giants are not, in fact, true giants. They are the offspring of humans and giants, though the lack of true giants after the Hyperbolic Barbaricks leads to the simplification of the term. Giants are rare in human societies, but they are welcome, as giants have a tendency to be gentle. Giant's skin color is usually that of the human parent, though most giants are the product of two giant parents.
Giants stand between 5 and 10 feet tall, usually around 7'8 and 8'6. Giants live between 50 and 100 years. They physically mature at the same rate as humans. They are usually not very gifted with magic.
A giant receives a +2 to their strength and a -1 to their intelligence and wisdom. Giants are not restricted by alignment, and are usually fighters.


Gnome
"The trolls are stupid, the dwarfs are devious, the pixies are evil and the gnomes stick in your teeth."
-Vlad de Magpyr

Half elf, half dwarf.
Gnomes are another of the Duori, and are always welcomed by Dwarves. Elves also accept gnomes as readily as pure elves. Gnomes are commonly either excellent casters or excellent tinkerers, it seems to be as random as any other person's aptitude for a certain skill, though rarely are they excellent at both.
A gnome stands between 2 and 5 feet, depending on their dwarf parent. Their skin color tends to be that of the Elf parent. They live between 150 and 300 years, and physically mature at the same rate as elves.
A gnome receives +1 to strength and wisdom, -2 to charisma. A gnome is usually non-chaotic, and is usually a tinkerer or caster.


Kobold
"Grr. Roy Smash puny Kobolds. I have an MBA, you know."
-Roy Greenhilt

Half dwarf, half Lunara.
Kobolds are sly and short and mischievous, usually. Kobolds are fiercely loyal and passionate, though not to the obsessive or destructive lengths that Lunara tend to be. Kobolds often have quite frizzy hair like a Lunara's.
A Kobold stands between 2 and 5 feet, depending on the height of the dwarf parent, and usually shares the Lunara parent's skin color. They physically mature at the same rate as Lunara. They are extremely gifted with magic, and commonly are very physically frail.
A Kobold receives +2 to intelligence and charisma, -3 to strength and -1 to constitution. A kobold is usually chaotic, and is rarely a fighter.


Titan
"According to Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well that football field out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans!"
-Coach Herman Boone

Half elf, half giant.
Titans are very rare. Elves consider them to be terrifying. Titans tend to be very thoughtful and philosophical, and, of course, very tall and strong. Titans are rare because of their exceptionally low birthrate and long life.
Titans have sharper fangs and claws than elves, and their ears are the same in proportion to the size of their heads, and their eyes are the same size as a giant's in the same way.
A Titan stands between 8 and 12 feet tall, usually around 9'4 and 10'6. A Titan's skin and hair colors are usually determined by the Elf parent. A Titan matures at the same rate an elf does, and has a lifespan of 200-350 years. Titans are extremely rare, and very much loners. They are completely incapable of performing magic.
A Titan receives +4 to strength and intelligence, -2 to charisma, dexterity, and wisdom. Titans are usually lawful, and cannot be casters, avoid tinkering classes, and are very nonviolent, though they may be a paladin, cleric, monk, or other similar class.


Nephelim
"There were Nephelim in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same became mighty men of old, men of renown."
-The Old Testament, Genesis 6:4

Half lunara, half giant.
As rare as Titans are, Nephelim are even rarer. Visually, they are indistinguishable from Titans, save the hair, which is close to that of a Lunara. Nephelim are brooding, angsty, and commonly violent, though they are also fiercely loyal and can often be quite caring.
Nephelim are exactly the same, physically, as Titans, though slightly less physically well built. They are very capable swordsmen and fantastic magic users.
A Nephelim receives +3 to strength, -2 to wisdom and charisma. Nephelim are usually chaotic, and are rarely tinkerers.


Daiest
"The idea of demons is as old as religion itself, and the word demon seems to have ancient origins. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the etymology of the word as Greek daimon, probably from the verb daiesthai meaning 'to divide, distribute.'"
-Wikipedia, "Demon - Etymology"

Half human, half orc.
Daiests are very much embraced by both orc and human society. Daiests are usually well built and slightly taller than humans. Daiests are usually without fur, and have the same color skin as their orc parent, with human hair. Daiests have much smaller ears than orcs, not much larger than a humans, and not prehensile. A Daiest's fangs are about as long as an elf's.
Daiests are commonly excellent casters and fighters. They are usually fiercely loyal and dedicated to whatever cause they may pledge to. Daiests are very commonly paladins.
A daiest stands between 5 and 8 feet, usually around 6'1 and 6'6. They have a lifespan of 50-100 years, and mature at the same rate as humans. They are talented magic users.
A daiest receives +1 to strength and intelligence, and -1 to wisdom and constitution. They are usually lawful, and prefer to be fighters or casters.


Ogre
"Monsieur Puss came at last to a stately castle, the master of which was an Ogre, the richest ever known; for all the lands which the King had then passed through belonged to this castle."
-Charles Perrault

Half giant, half orc.
Ogres are the tallest of the Giant races (aside from True giants), hovering around 12 to 15 feet, mostly between 12'9 and 13'6. Ogres are also the least intelligent of the Giant races, again with the exception of true giants. Ogres are accepted in Orc society, though Orcs tend to hold them in the same light Elves hold all others.
Ogres do not have fur, but do have orc skin. Their ears are, proportionally, the same length as a Daiest's, and their eyes match those of Valkyrines. Ogre fangs are much longer than Orc fangs, and they do not have claws. Their lifespan is around 30-80 years. They mature at the same rate as True giants.
An Ogre receives +2 to their strength, +1 to their constitution, -1 to their charisma, and -2 to their intelligence. They are usually chaotic, and are hardly ever tinkerers.

-That's it for now. Sometime later I'm gonna work up some stuff like new classes, a clarification on how Magic works, and some maps.