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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Post Walufar, a (sub)tropical low-magic setting. (3.5; Critique welcome)

    Walufar

    What is Walufar, in a nutshell?

    Walufar is a warm continent on a remote world. Even the northernmost parts of the land are about as close to temperate as Italy or Greece, with most of the continent covered by jungles, mountains and deserts, largely depending on the placement of mountain ranges and rivers. While the beasts of the world are odd to us, they tend to be mundane rather than magical, with prehistoric creatures from wildly different eras of Earth and the lifeforms of the Amazon rain forests and Australia being the norm.

    The northwestern quarter of Walufar is home to several late-medieval kingdoms, of which most are currently having serious problems adjusting to this world's version of the reneissance, with the players' starting location (and probable homeland) being one of the lands worst hit by recent social and political events. Only the very northeastern-most of these nations, the only magocracy on the planet, is not itself a nest of economic troubles, although even these wizards are affected by the chaos. Truly, only unscrupulous merchants and even more immoral mercenary bands or adventurers can expect to thrive...

    The most powerful nations on this world being dominated by enigmatic lich-kings, proud and paranoid blue dragons, hobgoblin religious fanatics and the descendants of people who were essentially very cruel vikings, but are now even more cutthroat merchants and artificers. The fey are insular, mysterious and unlikely to show kindness.

    Clear choice between obvious good and evil is a rare luxury. There are no true epic heroes in recorded history. Even the finest sword arm will not change the world, unless it happens to do the right thing in the right place at the right time and set in motion an avalanche or two.

    Of Walufar and the Cosmology of the Planes:
    In a none too remarkable corner of the Prime Material plane, there lies the world of Henariolak. That, at least, is the name of the world as given to it by the natives first encountered. What is strange about this part of the prime, is that its connection to the other planes is so very scant. Obviously, entering the transitive planes and the Far Realm is still possible, but even there, only by travelling for distances that even for the mightiest magi would take many centuries would one reach regions where one could pierce planar boundaries and enter the inner, or the outer planes. The exceptions to this are Mechanus and Achreon - both are, if anything, easier to access from Henariolak. By portals to Arcadia and Baator, respectively, existing on those planes, accessing those realms is also possible, though only gods and powerful devils have insofar shown themselves capable of such motion.

    Our interest lay in the continent of Walufar. The most populous and mythical part of the world, this continent is the result of five mountain ranges joining together. The point where they cross is given great mythological importance and, by various cultures around the continent, called the Heart of the world, the Fist of Gods, the Towers of Gods and several other names which first and foremost indicate great importance. It is a warm part of the world, with the equator running across the southern end of this conglomeration of mountains.

    Many nations of several races vie for power on the continent. Goblinoids and humans are the most widespread of the denizens of this realm by far, but others too have their interests. The hills and mountains are dominated by giants, while the valleys and caverns below are often dwarven territory, unless there happens to be a lush jungle coveted by selfish fay and their elven servants. As is often the case, dragons are likely the most powerful beings on this world and shape whatever events they deem interesting or important.

    Note:
    The spoiler tags don't hold overly spoiler-ish information. This is data parts of which one or two PCs are likely to know from the start. I would like to see comments and critique in addition to suggestions.

    The dwarven realms:
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    While dwarves might mostly be content to rule small nations, with easily defended mountain passes and rich veins of minerals, this does not mean that they are weak. Indeed, it is said by the surface-dwarves that the caverns under the Fist of Gods contain dwarven nations which can eclipse any human land, but have never seen the light of day.

    Most powerful of the nations ruled by dwarves in the region is the empire called Sarshen, a union of seafarers who rule most of the islands northeast of Walufar. They are probably the most technologically developed people on this continent. The Sarshei are also fine traders and better sailors, whose ships have explored and mapped all the coasts of the continent. Due to this love of trade, however, their scientific advantage is decreasing rather quickly.

    Historically, when the kingdoms to the west were still young and the islands themselves had several kings and lords, the Sarshei raided many coasts and made many old enemies. Their high cheekbones and pale skin lead to their foes calling them Bonesmen and the island chain they hail from the Fingerbones. The Sarshei are not all that populous, but are sometimes said to make up via a large number of slaves.


    Of lands of man and woman:
    Information dealing with nations not too different from what is posted here is available to those who know history and local politics. This is information that checks with DC5 to DC15 can be expected to reveal.
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    The northern portion of this continent is largely dominated by men.

    The landmass that forms the northwestern portion of Walufar has a mostly human population. With wealthy middle-classes gaining power, the previous feudal order is falling apart. Petty kingdoms and duchies which have made war upon each other so often now find themselves unsure as to what to do. Only the Empire of Alentia, the Archduchy of Hregmar and the Kingdom of Nekrer are still stable and strong, the former two because of their willingness to trade with the ‘Bonesmen’, as the Sarshei are called in the west, the lattermost because of the might of the Lich-king. Fellow humans are not the only source of trouble, however. The elves and their fey masters, who have pledged to protect the plentiful jungles of the land are most often encountered just north of the tallest mountains. As human numbers increase, so too does deforestation, which is hardly pleasing to the fair folk. Goblin tribes and giantkin are also seen there, typically hill giants and ettins.

    Rantings from a madman:
    Or, to put it more mildly, some rather heated opinions of mine.
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    I do have rather different preferences concerning several tropes of D&D than WoTC. They tend to stem from my insistence that it is far better when the rules are there to help the story along, as opposed to the story being there to facilitate rolling dice. Also, as I am adamant that play by post is good for character interaction and puzzle solving while combat belongs more on tabletop and computer games, expect to see more of the former and less of the latter, though obviously this is stated in comparison to the stereotypical slashing-fest. There will be combat, there will be deadly situations aplenty, but violence is not always the best answer.

    In-party conflict is not encouraged, but I see nothing wrong with it as long as the characters are not halfwits who cannot, and we find ourselves here yet again, solve anything without deadly combat.

    Alignments are always a basis for disagreement. For example, as far as I can see, trying to make it seem as if ‘good’, ‘evil’ and ‘neutral’ are all equally wide terms with equally diverse meanings is rubbish. The only way for there to be many and varied kinds of goodly behaviour is when one accepts that morality is subjective, in which case alignment systems such as the usual D&D square cannot work anyway. If objective morality is implemented, then one must accept the fact that there are far fewer ideologies, deeds and objectives which are good, compared to how many different evil acts and plans one might come up with.

    One thing which has always irked me is the idea that fighting evil is automatically good. This is bovine excrement. If a player expects to play a paladin, but the character is selfish and their only heroic deeds are based around killing creatures for people who want said creatures dead, one ought to be prepared to become a fighter without featies within an afternoon. The only cases when slaying evil is seen as a truly good deed is when the slain creature was truly deeply evil, either a creature from the lower planes, some undead creature like a vampire, or an utterly warped psychopath. That said, while slaying an evil person might not be a good deed, it is not by most means equated with automatic villainy either.

    All that said, one thing that should be mentioned is that this plane, while only aligned with outer planes that are heavily lawful and lawful with evil orientation, this does not make Henariolak an inherently lawful place, much less an inherently evil one. Good people exist. A fine example are the silver dragons, whose approach to good is very similar to what I see as the obvious way for a genuinely neutral good character to act – their emphasis is on aiding others. They fight and vanquish villains, but only when those villains themselves are too aggressive and obviously a major menace, or who are just damn stupid enough to bother the dragons where the said dragons live. Naturally, most people are neutral. Claiming humans to be equally of all alignments might be another common D&D trope, but as far as I am concerned, humanity is resolutely ‘Usually neutral, with Lawful tendencies’.

    Be that as it may, varying degrees of evil doing evil unto evil is a fairly common occurrence. Having to choose which is the lesser of the two evils and working with them will be an often seen event. Given that many of the lawful evil beings who prove successful tend to go in for enlightened self-interest far more than they act cruelly - even if they would like to play with some particularly annoying commoner and make them scream in various hilarious ways by virtue of various hilarious methods, they curb their desires to focus on actual needs, such as requiring chests which have not been perforated by a guardsman’s halberd.

    Finally, the player characters are not unique in the world. Sure, in the end they will become great heroes or villains who will forevermore belong in the legends of the world, if all goes according to plan. However, they start off as everymen. Possibly above average everymen with rarely seen powers, but even at reasonably high levels, there are plenty of others with similar powers around. PCs are hardly the only people who can gain levels. Even commoners who do nothing but farm slowly gain XP. Anyone who finds a city guard with less than three levels of warrior, if not something better, will surely have run into a green little bobby.


    Now that this blathering is over with, the links:
    The maps of Walufar.
    The human nations.
    Focus on Lewarur, the standard homeland.
    Dwarves and elves. In that order.
    Goblinoids. Who needs halflings, really?
    Birdpeople! Lizardpeople! Fair Folk!
    Some monsters are smart. Be careful!
    Some monsters are not quite that smart. Still, being careful has its merits...
    Who to worship, or fear. Probably both, just to be on the safe side.
    Who's who of the nobs, ponces and warbosses.
    Is this just me being a prick, or does this balance a few things?
    Languages expanded.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-20 at 02:16 AM.

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    tongue The maps of Walufar

    Walufar is a small continent, not much larger than Earth's Australia or South America. This still makes it far too large to travel across quickly without powerful magic, however.

    Walufar is largely tropical or sub-tropical, with the valleys of the central mountain range dominated by lush rainforests. Even the northern region of Telsarn is mostly subtropical, with only the very northernmost parts anything like a temperate zone. Even there, only the islands by the

    What follows is a geographical map of Walufar. The yellow horizontal line thereon marks the rough location of the equator. Obviously, the faint blue horizontal lines mark the swamps, while the wider, twisting ones represent rivers. The desert is yellowish, while the grassy plains and forested areas are marked in green.
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    Walufar can be divided into several subcontinents. The next map names these, as well as the surrounding seas and the mountain ranges which mark the edges of the continental plates (One did try to use the gaming advice column in the sidebar). Obviously, the names for those regions are only translations of what the Lewari (and possibly other Optikin) call them - the locals are likely to have different opinions. Calling someone from the fingerbones a bonesman is likely to be deemed an insult.

    The natural geography of Walufar: I realize that I forgot to mark Agatia on the map. The Agatian savannahs take up most of the non-marshland portion of southern Telsarn. It includes a desert.
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    Next up, the political map of Walufar:
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    1: Lewarur - The likely homeland of the PCs
    2: Nekrer - The powerful neighbour ruled by a lich-king
    2*: An island belonging Nekrer used as a halfway point by ships heading from Telsarn to Akrasarn.
    3: Kopshirar - The ancestral enemy, which still has a strong army.
    4: Suogelia - A rather young principality.
    5: Velgatia - The masters of political marriage.
    6: Laennom - a mysterious island, historically an ally against Kopshirar
    7: Ganllam - The coldest part of Telsarn
    8: Fronrul
    9: Mognluz (under the entry 'the merchants in the Rounded Mountains')
    10: Hregmar
    11: Hamregnur
    12*: The swamplands (under the entry 'The Marsh Lords'). The asterisk points both to that this refers to many of the nations in the region, not just the one covered by the number and to the Ogrori Alliance, which is the marshlander nation actually marked.
    13*: Again, refers to several nations (entry: 'the independent Agatians'). The easternmost is the Grand County of Ephostia, with Lekhosita west of it and Rohasita to the south. The nation west of Lekhosita is Anaseta.
    14: Punedia, still one of the nations from the previous entry, but worthy of specific mention regardless.
    15*: Refers to the two nations of the Kenku.
    16: Alentia
    17: Harnzuvm (entry: 'the warriors of the Rounded Mountains')
    18: Umeltania
    19: The more warlike of the nations of the lizard-people, from the entry 'the black serpents'.
    20: The rest of the habitat of the said serpentfolk. Not so much a nation as the land where their tribes dominate.
    21 Fshernoksh (Entry: 'The protectors of the Hills')
    22: Klarhtsesh (Entry: 'The Wealthy Folk')
    23: Sarshen
    24: Ormirar (Entry: the caterpillar merchants)
    25: Retegatranomolafsei (Entry: 'the Land of the Dragon-Emperors')
    26: Nrenha-Khugai
    27: Dengim-Bhail

    Note that there are many unmarked territories and lands. These are either wild regions claimed by no civilization (although the same can be said about number 20), the domain of the fae or simply nations which the people of Lewarur consider too unimportant or distant to mention. It's not like they know everything.

    Finally, a combined map, showing both national borders and geographical regions.
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    Now, let us focus on Telsarn.

    The following maps shows the land's geography a bit better. It adds the largest forests, hills and smaller rivers to the mountain ranges and major rivers already showcased. Cyan names are those of bodies of water. Red names belong to land-based features, like peninsulas, mountain ranges and islands.
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    This political map goes into detail on the many nations that make up Telsarn. The countries are now big enough to fit their names on, even the names of provinces in the case of federations and sufficiently large countries. Reddish-brown names are those of nations. Brownish-brown names are those of provinces.
    Note: The idiotic mapmaker accidentally marked Alentia as Agatia. He was fired when the mistake was discovered, but the flawed map was already in circulation.
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    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-04-06 at 08:04 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

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    Default The Goblinoids of Walufar

    The goblinoids are probably the most numerous species on Henariolak. While hobgoblins only control the easternmost part of the continent and are rarely found in the northwest, the lesser goblins are almost ubiquitous.

    Hobgoblin nations.
    Hobgoblins are the most organized of the goblin races. They are dangerous, clever and numerous, though luckily for human civlisations, not in the northwest. Hobgoblins have large ears and prominent noses with huge nostrils, as well as sharp teeth. Hobgoblins show a variety of skin colours, from grey to orange.
    Nrenha-Khugai
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    While humans are still often seen in the south, the nations which they actually dominate in the region are minor. Skirting, enveloping and slightly also containing the eastern end of the mountains is the hobgoblin-ruled theocracy, Nrenha-Khugai.

    With only the scant few local deities to compete with, the gods who hold domains on Mechanus and Acheron have largely become the most commonly worshipped gods on Henariolak. The gods of the goblins in particular have seized this opportunity. Through Nrenha-Khugai’s rise to power, Maglubiyet is said to intend to become a major power among deities and, on Walufar already is.

    Nrenha-Khugai was not always a theocracy - less than three hundred years ago, the eastern coast of continental Walufar was the domain of a mass of hobgoblin nations, kingdoms and duchies much like those still held by the men of northwestern Walufar. Of men, only the Bonesmen the islands in the north were able to hold onto their lands. The rest were either dominated or outright slaughtered by goblinoids. Only a few even managed to flee west, far from the hobgoblins' grasp. Even with wars with outsiders and the hobgoblins of neighbouring nations taking place often, the lands of the hobgoblins often saw civil wars as well, as particularly talented lords deposed weak kings and proclaimed themselves king. Thus, the commoners and slaves, who themselves were mostly goblins, had little loyalty to the current lord, but often sought refuge under the protection of the churches. Even though the slaves were not treated well there either, they were at least reasonably safe. By the mentioned time, three centuries ago, eight nations of hobgoblin had formed out of the many dozens that had been there before. With no long-lasting dynasties present, the divides were more along ethnic and linguistic borders than any traditional territories.

    When one nation was taken over by the cult of Maglubiyet, noone objected. However, instead of the genocidial radicals who would have led their nation to fall within the decade, the moderate faction was in control within the church. More nations joined the church and others were conquered - the smallfolk had far more loyalty to Maglubiyet than to any save the most fearsome and legendary lords and while putting down a slave revolt was an everyday task, never before had the slave revolt been accompanied by sizeable portions of entire armies switching sides. When the full extent of the expanding power of the new power in Khugai became clear, more lords surrendered in hopes of keeping their fiefs than fought to the death.

    While hobgoblins are the most privileged race in this land, humans, goblins and dwarves are also common, but treated as second-class citizens at best. Slavery is common, but enslaving fellow hobgoblins is illegal by Khugaian law. A need to keep up with Sarshen coupled with a drawn-out war with a southern rival has given skilled dwarven craftsmen increased rights, however. Keeping Duregar enslaved is likewise no longer permissible, but they still have reduced rights - A dwarf may have no more than three slaves, cannot bear a noble title or be a member of the clergy and also has a cap on the amount of land that one may own.

    The regime is harsh, with many cruel punishments which relish making an example of every perpetrator, but that is hardly a feature unique to Nrenha-Khugai, or even goblinoid lands.

    The people of Nrenha-Khugai are called Khugai-Nin or Khugai-Alnin, depending on if they are ethnically from the original Khugaian stock, or merely subjects of Nrenha-Khugai who belong to any one of the nations which were later conquered or freemen with roots outside the theocracy. By now, nearly every citizen speaks the official language, Khugai-Vrin, although two other hobgoblin languages which formerly used to be quite important are also in use.

    Dengim-Bhail
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    South of Nrenha-Khugai, there is another hobgoblin nation - the Empire of Dengim. Spanning much of the south-eastern mountain range, war with this land is the main reason why Nrenha-Khugai has not spread far northward as of yet. Ruled by a mysterious hobgoblin named Dengim the God-King, his demand to be worshipped as the sole deity of his realm and, indeed, the world has led to a bitter conflict between the two main hobgoblin nations.

    Dengim-Bhail is the remnant of the two southern nations which were not absorbed by Nrenha-Khugai. Due to fine farmlands in their easternmost end coupled with strong rulers who had formed an alliance, they managed to keep the theocracy from encroaching too deeply on their territory. This was before the current ruler took control of the two, however. Sadly, Dengim's rise to power is largely unknown. He was a powerful but secretive figure, included in the councils of both kings during the alliance, but that is almost it.

    One day, both mighty lords simply declared themselves subservient to this person. The kingdoms, already united against an enemy, were joined together with surprising little hassle. Dengim, someone who had previously been a little-known hobgoblin who had solved problems for the rulers before, but was mostly unknown, was suddenly surprisingly popular. His greatest supporters, who suddenly exhibited impressive power themselves, joined battle against the Khugaian forces.

    Due to the war previously going very well for Nrenha-Khugai coupled with a new conflict between the theocracy and Sarshen, the forces committed to breaking the spirit of the armies of the two southern nations were not large in number. Nrenha-Khugai was already expecting this war to be easy to finish, for even with the overlords diminishing the rights of the clergy and forcing most of the church of Maglubiyet out of their lands among other efforts to minimize the support the clerics can drum up, the commoners and slaves were still siding with the priesthood. The turn in the fortunes of war was noteworthy, but the unexpected losses, coupled with the last surviving priests, even those of Khurgorbaeyeg who were previously neutral in the war, being put to death was enough to force the rulers of Nrenha-Khugai to bring more of their power to bear and agree to an unfavourable peace treaty with the Sarshei.

    The balance of power again favouring Nrenha-Khugai, Dengim took desperate measures. The powers granted to his supporters were used more openly, the infernal energy visible to the clerics, even those who were not immediately threatened by it. All worship of the ancestral gods was outlawed in favour of calling Dengim the god-king and soon, actual summoned devils complemented the hobgoblin armies under Dengim's command. The high priests risking their lives in battle, coupled with prisoners made into fanatical killing machines, repenting for siding with this blasphemous force by slaying their own close kin, was needed and used to stop the advance of Dengim's forces. This happened twenty three years ago, the campaign to take control of the last two hobgoblin nations having begun almost a dozen decades before that.

    Due to Dengim heavily consorting with devils and his many minions who have gained infernal power from such pacts, he has insofar kept his enemies' advance at bay. However, his rise to power occurred a mere ninety years ago and his claim to godhood and open demon-summoning are rather recent. However, with rumours of Retegatranomolafsei joining forces with Nrenha-Khugai circulating even in the north, this would-be deity might end up overwhelmed yet.


    It is said that there is a hobgoblin nation, north and inland from Nrenha-Khugai, is still independent. However, while plenty of tales about the war can be heard from Sarshei merchants, talk of this insular kingdom is incredibly scarce. A nation south of Dengim-Bhail is also sometimes referred to as a goblinoid nation, but there have been conflicting reports, including some which claim it to belong to primitive humans.

    Wild hobgoblins
    While hobgoblins are flat-out not usually seen in Telsarn, a race of hobgoblin-like creatures is seen in the region. They are as barbaric as the wildest tribes of goblins and often seen as knuckle-walking barely-sapients. Called horned goblins, wild hobgoblins or vallesgar by humans, their own name for themselves is, reportedly, Hegga. Vallesgar are most common in the dense woodlands along Telsarn's eastern coasts, particularly Hregmar. However, like the free goblin tribes, Hegga can be seen in many parts of the region. While stupid, they are stronger and faster than most men. Their language is similar to the goblin tongues, but much more primitive.

    Lesser goblins lack the mental capacity and unity to form actual nations. However, they do have a tribal society. For the people of Lewarur, only the Caligeyag and Nagigmagub tribes and the Tribeless are of actual importance. Lesser goblins tend to be yellow or light orange in skin tone, with rounder faces than the more lanky hobgoblins.
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    The Nagigmagub are a nomadic tribe, with several small tendrils, which keep to the less populous regions of northwestern Telsarn and often raid our villages. They are rarely more than a nuisance, more content to steal than to slaughter, but they still pose a threat on occasion.
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    The Caligeyag tribe is, perhaps, the more deadly group. While they used to be virtually indistinguishable from the Nagigmagub less than a century ago, a raid against a Kopshirar without a noteworthy external enemy, for once, led to a swift and brutal campaign, which ended with all the leaders of the Caligeyag captured and the tribe forced to serve and the Kopshi scouting and scouting force, under pain of a lot of pain, followed by a death too grisly even for goblin stomachs.
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    Tribeless goblins belong to the tribes which were too devastated by the human forces which they fought to rebuild. Sometimes, the goblin captives and survivors were granted a great mercy, which led to them becoming servile to people. Thus, there are some goblins who act as beggars, thieves and menial workers in many human cities and even the Lewari mines of the Glimmering Hills. These goblins rarely have loyalties which extend beyond their own admittedly large families, often the only survivors of a long-gone tribe. It is said that the Caligeyag and Nagigmagub tribes despise these meeker goblin-kin as much as they hate and fear real people.

    There are tales of tribeless goblins who flee their conquerors and new homes and revert to a primal state. They claw open the throats of almost defenseless animals like Gronvei and drink the blood raw in evil rituals.

    While most tribeless goblins move and stand in a hunched over, bow-legged position, those who try and fit into human society try to stand up straight, which leaves them slightly taller but a lot thinner and lighter than dwarves.
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    Aoti Kaea used to be the most organized goblin faction, even to the point that it was a true nation in its own right. Constant wars with neighbouring human nations did eventually grind the villains down enough that Velgatia was able to conquer them, but this was fairly recent and the Kaean goblins are among the proudest on Walufar. They are less likely to ambush their foes and can be polite when the situation calls for it, although they are surely still bastards deep down.
    Minor goblins are still in the the Giants' hills, where they tend to be the giants' slaves, particularly in the barbarian alliance sandwiched between Fshernoksh and Klarhtsesh. However, they can also be found in the valleys of the Rounded Mountains, particularly the regions dubbed 'High Rock', 'Tamed Land' and naturally 'goblinwood', as well as the jungles near the continent's centre, where they are said to be even less organized and capable than the tribes that can be seen here in the north. Goblin tribes are also common throughout the deserts, where they seem to thrive more than any human could. Some speculate that goblins are more adaptible than people would believe.

    Theology.
    Khurgorbaeyeg, Bargrivyek, Nomog-Geaya by Bhu, Allowed for use.
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    I assume that these were made because the previous variants of these gods were not brought over to 3.5th ed? I will grant Nomog-Geaya one more divine rank for Walufarian purposes even though he will otherwise remain the same, due to the numerous hobgoblin theocracy. This will handily make him a low-ranking intermediate god.

    I am sure I have seen an official version of Maglubiyet somewhere, so I will prefer to use that instead of what was listed in the thread.

    Crossbreeds
    There have been isolated incidents of goblin-human offspring, typically the result of rape, surviving birth. While the babies themselves are often killed, the mother's instincts have on occasion taken over so much that the child is raised. The result is generally a horrible, disfigured and meek creature, at best one that might be mistaken for an ugly human with serious scar tissue, typically simply called a mongrel.

    Homebrewed Prestige Classes.
    The following have been taken from the 'Any Goblinoid fans' thread.
    Knight of the Crimson Sword by Bhu, Allowed for use.
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    Notes on my version: The knightly order in question is a very exclusive group. Open only to the heirs of the high nobles of Nrenha-Khugai and the sons (and daughters, for sexism is much less prevalent among goblinoids than it is among humans) of the high priests, the Crimson Sword is one of the last remnants of the previous feudal order of the hobgoblin nations. This is not a large knightly order and the members thereof tend to serve as part of the army's command staff far more than they ride into the thick of battle to act as the mailed fist of the hobgoblin army.
    Mechanics-wise, the knights must visit chapter houses and be in good standing therein for the first three levels of the class to gain the full bonuses of the three keys of victory. A knight who only learned one of the keys can still progress, but will lack the second and third key's benefits, even though they will have access to the benefits of one who has mastered the first key.

    Goblin Pentient by Bhu, Allowed for use.
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    Due to the Church of Maglubiyet being akin to the powerful state religion of a mighty nation on this world, they are more careful on Walufar when dealing with such practice. Penitents are not within standard church policy, but several hard-line sects have been turning the downtrodden and those whose faith has wavered too greatly into penitents. In recent times, the blasphemous claims of Dengim have led to an increased number of Penitents who fight and slay their fellow goblin. What will happen to these poor confused souls after the war is unknown, but probably not pretty.

    Sons of Maglubiyet by Bhu, Allowed for use.
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    Again, an obvious choice to allow, again something that's more likely to be an NPC than a player's character. I would probably give some of the high priests levels in this prestige class - turn undead is something that the hobgoblins don't really have reason to care about anyway, since their usual enemies are other forms of people.

    Lab Experiment by Bhu, Allowed for use.
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    While perhaps meant as a silly class, I see such wonderful potential in playing this totally serious.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-12 at 03:46 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Mankind on Walufar

    While goblinoids, dwarves, elves and even dragons control their share of nations on this planet, human nations are the most numerous of the lot by a huge margin. In addition to several large and mighty kingdoms and empires, there is a multitude of independent duchies, marquessates, counties and even baronies. Most human nations are located in the part of the world which the Lewari call Telsarn, located northwest of the central mountains of of Walufar.

    Nekrer- The nation of Necromancy (recommended reading)
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    Nekrer is the oldest surviving nation ruled by a human family. The Opti have lived in the harsh and storm-ridden northwestern lowlands for a very long time. Even the dragons of the region lack acceptable records detailing when humanity arrived there. Three thousand and three hundred years ago, the tribes were still in the process of changing into nations. Most were led by warlords, some by elders. Writing, invented in the southern part of Walufar almost five hundred years earlier, had just reached the region. Nekru, a wise man of one of the tribes, had learned the art and explored the magic of dragons. He learned how to make the dead walk again and with his aid, his tribe conquered several Optir tribes. His son learned this secret art before the old mage died and cemented his rule, forming a nation named in honour of his father, the first necromancer. This dynasty, Nekrulopi, is still strong, although magical arts are not a secret by any means these days. The banner of Nekrer is a simple rich purple standard.

    Nekrer is one of the most respected and powerful kingdoms in the realm. It has over time extended down the western coast all the way to the Marsh Lords' lands, conquering several other nations in the process. The descendants of Nekru control a large navy capable of navigating the oceans surrounding Walufar, which allows for a lot of trade with both Retegalafsei and Sarshen. Because of its size and the practices of the magi, however, there are many who mistrust and hate the people of Nekrer, in truth not for negligible reasons.

    Even more important to this nation’s prestige and power, however, are the nation’s eight universities, of which six are focused on magic. The standards on which these schools teach their art are far beyond any college of magic controlled by any other nation of men. Only the people of Retegalafsei can boast schools which are on par with the Nekreran universities. In addition to necromancy, these schools also have a very high standard for transmutation magic, although abjuration and conjuration are not quite as advanced as crafts as they are in the lands of dragons.

    Nekrer also controls a mystery island in the Sea of Peril. Details on this island are hard to come by and rumours regarding it range from it being the site of some huge city, to the island housing trees which are taller than any mountain, to the island being made of gold, to the island being covered in brothels. The only thing that a sensible man could point out is that it forms a useful haven for Nekreran ships on the way to the empire of dragons.

    The current king of Nekrer, Alrites Nekru, is an ancient lich, almost a millennia old. He rules as a reasonably benevolent autocrat, with much of the daily affairs handled by heirs and appointed dignitaries.

    The people of Nekrer tend to dress like Reneissance-era, particularly turn of the 16-th century Italians. They prefer stark black and white clothes, though those who earnestly worship Wee Jas often add dark red to the ensemble. Wealthy nobles and magi also go for deep purple adornments. Flat caps, similar to 1500s style are still often worn, typically with few adornments. Less wealthy individuals wear simple single-colour flat caps, while rich merchants, magi and nobles wear pleated flat caps. Women tend to wear French Hoods. Wizards usually decorate their caps with a single gemstone showing their specialization – dark rubies for necromancy, emeralds for transmutation, sapphires for conjuration, pearls for divination ect. Overly sexualized clothing is strictly worn by whores, who are not welcome in high society – an adventurer dressed like a stripper is treated far worse than one dressed like a peasant. Even though the richest folk do add gemstones, silver and gold to their clothes, to the Opti, tasteful and subdued is better than obviously opulent. For example, a Nekrerian noblewoman might dress like queen Elizabeth of Valois (in the painting by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz), but not like queen Elizabeth I of England.

    Kopshirar - An empire in trouble (recommended reading)
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    Kopshirar is quite a large and powerful kingdom, situated just east of Nekrer. While it had been one of the most powerful nations in the region only a couple of centuries ago, they have not managed to keep up with the recent advances in technology. The Kopshi are a warlike people, who have cool relations with their neighbours at the best of times. They are perceived as getting along with the Opti, but that is generally considered as prudence borne of fear rather than kinship. While not landlocked, they have only two large ports and anyone heading to or from it needs to navigate the Laennom Straits. The current king of Kopshirar, Vecraw the Sonless is, as his moniker would show, without a male heir. The flag of Kopshirar depicts a circle of five red teardrops on a light grey field.

    The knights of Kopshirar are some of the finest on Walufar. Even today, there are few things that can stop a charge from a unit of the Order of the Bulette. Likewise, the Order of the Griffin is the largest and most well-known single cohesive group of warriors who employ flying mounts. The grandfather of the king, no less ruthless than his ancestors or indeed descendants, managed to subdue and take over two of the local goblin tribes and it is a testament to the evil of the Kopshi that the goblins now fight in their armies.

    Kopshi typically prefer to wear roundlets and Chaperons, with womens’ roundlets generally veiled and males’ not. Their clothes are otherwise fairly similar to the type worn in Lewarur, although fur trim is a bit more common in this coastal land. The Kopshi currently tend to prefer light greens, although the traditional light grey is still in use.

    The army of Kopshirar tends to use bardiches for the infantry, who tend to wear chain mail with simple round helms with nose guards. Animal trainers and serfs are quite skilled with several forms of goad to herd the many beasts the kopshi armies rely on. Elite infantry use poleaxes. Greatswords and flails of all types are exotic weapons for Kopshi. The knights wear gothic full plate with sallet-style helms and also use lances, though they always switch to weapons like axes and morning stars for melee.

    Laennom- The Beautiful Island
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    The two islands in northwestern Walufar, Laennom and Ganllam are closely linked in many ways. The languages spoken there are closely related to each other and distinct from the Optikin tongues most widespread in the mainland’s northwest. The western island, Laennom, is one of the most beautiful parts of Walufar. With rolling hills in the southeast, limestone bluffs in the north and dense oaken forests interspersed with fertile farmland in between, this land is considered a great prize and a lovely place to stay. The Laennie are long-time foes with Kopshirar and even though the nations are currently at peace, Kopshirar’s occupation of the Ollun peninsula in the southern end of the nation is still a cause of friction. The Laennie are a rather numerous people by virtue of the land being well-suited to supporting many. Laennom is a principality currently ruled by High Princess Caellue the Calm. The flag of Laennom consists of two horizontal bands, black and deep green. Providing contrast, a pale gold Aladlammu is on the flag. These creatures are often depicted in Laennie art and there are those who claim to have seen occasional such beasts, although this is generally considered merely Kopshian excuses for their inability to defeat the Laennie despite their cherished elite troops.

    Ganllam- The Stormy Island
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    While the Kingdom of Ganllam is in many ways like Laennom, the island being situated between the Resting Sea and the Sea of Dread leads to the coasts often being washed by storms. Also of note is the fact that the close proximity of Ganllam to the Fingerbones has lead to the Bonesmen attacking this nation the most. As a result, their hatred and mistrust of the Sarshen has led to this nation brusquely brushing the Sarshei merchants aside, if not robbing them outright in retaliation to ancient raids. The Ganllam flag is a tricolour, with three equal horizontal bands displaying white, pale blue and sea green, depicting an overcast sea. The current king of Ganllam, Yarrentis, is only twelve, with his uncle Blathonas acting as regent. While their ships are not on par with those of the Sarshei when it comes to long ocean voyagers, the Ganllie are superb fishermen.

    Suogelia- Of the Prince of the Lake (recommended reading)
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    The Principality of Suogelia used to be a rather unimportant nation. While a rival to Lewarur in the past, the significantly smaller size and population of Suogelia lead to them being unwilling to partake in hostile actions. However, the ascension of the mad king Uldain to the throne of Aulsoria led to a war between Uldain and Nekrer. The Suogeli offered their aid, striking from the south across the Ershtafr lake while the Nekrerese brought their navy onto this enemy from the north and undead armies from the east. The victory was absolute and rather quick. Jurisdiction of the lake and possession of several cities on its northern bank thus went almost entirely to the Suogeli. While all that happened one and a half centuries ago and is seen as securely in the past by the Lewari, the Suogeli still cling to the legends and it is likely that this war seems to have occurred only a short while ago from the Lich-king’s perspective. The language of the Suogeli is alien to those used to Lewarese.

    Suogelia is also the seat of a major cult to Nop. The priesthood in fact holds more power than the prince, though formally he is still in charge. Even the flag of Suogelia reflects this, bearing a nine-pointed (composed of three equal triangles) golden sun on a light blue field. The clerics’ power, combined with the prospect of the Suogeli gaining the alliance of Nekrer keeps the rulers of Lewarur from planning to cut their way to a better trade route through this land.

    Current Suogeli fashion is boisterous and opulent, with a focus on accentuating aspects of a person’s physique. Among nobles, womens dresses tend to contain hoop skirts like the Farthingale, while most popular forms of men’s wear come with puffed sleeves to imply bulging muscles. The doublet is loved, but often seen as a slight bit too warm. Otherwise, Suogeli fashion is rather similar to Lewari.

    The army of Suogelia uses bec de corbins like the Lewari, as well as lucerne hammers. The officers and nobles tend to wear muscle-design breastplates. Suogelian troops who use one-handed weapons often use large shields and war hammers. The men of Suogelia tend to wear berets or go bare-headed, while women wear snoods.

    Lewarur - The land called home (Required reading)
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    The kingdom of Lewarur is a proud nation, but one that has fallen on hard times. Sandwitched between the two huge rivers which act as the nation’s trade routes, the loss of control over cities on the Nilfaen has led to a bit of an economic crisis.

    Lewarur and Kopshirar have long been rivals and foes. While Lewarur is on better terms with more neighbours, it is a landlocked state, with few exports. The only prized material which is more abundant in Lewarur than anywhere else in the region is black marble. Since the Nekrerese quite like the look of the mineral, marble trade between Lewarur and Nekrer has for a long time been a main source of income for the nation. Nilfaen’s independence has turned that into a problem as well, however – the great taxes the river towns demand on trade rafts passing by turn the principal trade route into one which is no longer cost-effective. While the southern river, Culirfaen, also leads to Nekrer, the principal cities are in the northern end of the nation of necromancers and therefore, the Opti themselves have to ship much of the bought marble to where it is most desired. With Culirfaen flowing into the Suogelia-controlled Ershtafr, this leads to several tolls and middlemen also needing a substantial share of the profits. As it stands, the lords are only willing to pay for so much before they consider other building materials, such as the pure white Laennie limestone. Thus, there is an upper limit. Trade through land-based caravans, while certainly possible, is not a convenient method of shifting such bulk, especially as the marble quarries closest to Nekrer have already been emptied.

    While mostly referred to as a kingdom, Lewarur is in truth a Triarchy, an alliance of three kingdoms which in time grew into one nation. They allied against the Kopshirar five hundred years ago and in time their cultures and languages, already close enough for easy communication, blended together until the core kingdoms’ languages sound more like dialects of one another. Due to this, the symbol of Lewarur is a chimaera, with the heads of a yellow gronvei, a faerie dragon and a black Krenshar. The current three kings, or rather two kings and one queen, are Anrik the Miser, Menkor the Tall and Siegrun of the Kennel. The current flag of Lewarur shows three vertical bands alternating green, grey and green. Howefer, an older flag which depicts the three heads of this chimaera, in yellow, blue and black, on a reddish brown background, is still legal and used in several places.

    Lewari men do not usually wear hats. Although peasants often wear wide-brimmed headgear to farm work, male nobles, merchants and city-people prefer to go without any headgear. As in Nekrer, the women of Lewarur often wear headdresses similar to the French hood. While somewhat affected by the dour Nekrerese fashions, the chiefly late-15th century Southern Europe-like designs are predominant in lewari clothes. Normal Lewari garments show a compromise between the multicoloured and vibrant raiments of the south and the understated designs of Nekrer in look, with warm but not flashy colours like orange, russet, maroon and olive currently quite popular among both men and women. Silk from Agatia is not too expensive for merchants and other upper-middle class people, but is rarely the main material as it is in parts of Southern Telsarn. Long legs are considered a staple of female beauty and accentuated with high waistlines on dresses and platform shoes such as chopines worn by noblewomen. In any case, clothing tends to be light, with one or two layers worn even to formal events. In Lewarur, winters tend to be mild and summers hot.

    The army of Lewarur primarily uses splint mail (in a similar style to the japanease tatami-do) with tridents, halberds, bec de corbines and long pikes for the seasoned troops, because their primary enemy focuses on heavy cavalry. The knights use lances and wear full plate. Light troops, such as militia, typically use longspears and wear padded armour or brigandine. The ranged troops tend to use heavy crossbows, with repeating heavy crossbows in the hands of the elite arablests. The ranged troops wear brigandine. Town guards are armed similar to elite troops – bec de corbin or halberd and splint mail. Traditionally, lewari helms and shoulder guards are made from Gronvei skulls. The Bec de corbin is a martial weapon for lewari. Flails of all types are exotic weapons for Lewari. The best suits of plate mail and breastplates tend to be fluted but most are unadorned save for perhaps the wearer's device, while metal helms are most often either Hounskulls or visorless barbutes. However, those who can somehow attain Kopshi armours claim the gothic plate to be superior.


    The River Lords (recommended reading)
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    With both Kopshirar and Lewarur suffering from their economy falling behind, several towns along the Nilfaen river have declared independence and, when noting the threat of both nations’ armies preparing to retake this part of the land, united as the Nilfaen Federation. This wealthy part of the land had often been a source of contention for both nations, with the original people of this place in fact culturally distinct from both nations and independently governed. It is said that Lewarur has the better claim, for many more people who are the linguistically and culturally alike to the Nilfaen citizens are still part of the kingdom and the language spoken along the river is itself closer to Lewarese. However, the Kopshirar army is larger. Insofar, neither has gathered all that large a force on the borders, fearing that the river lords would rather join the other kingdom than surrender to an army and full aware that most of the towns were on the border of the two nations before and are built to withstand mighty sieges.

    As both kingdoms used the river as an important trade route, the river lords are wealthy and exploring new options. Their government is based on plutocracy, with the nobles and sufficiently successful merchants picking the members of the ruling council. The river lords usually fight under the separate symbols of the cities themselves, although sometimes the six towns’ flags are arrayed side-by-side, above a wavy blue line.

    Fronrul - Of the Marchioness who was married
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    East of Lewarur, in the Rounded Mountains, there is, or rather used to be a small mountain nation, Fronrul. Trade with the dwarven nation to the north of it had brought this small rocky domain considerable wealth. Peace with the dwarves in turn lead to the marquisate having only one angle from which an enemy invasion might easily come from without having to navigate treacherous mountain passes, that being in the southwest. The previous Marquis died without a male heir. The current marchioness married one of the princes of Velagtia. Fronrul’s flag was blue and grey, separated by something similar to an invected division of the field.

    Hregmar - Of the Humble Dukes
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    One of the few nations which prospers in this time, Hregmar, is the northeasternmost nation on mainland Telsarn. Led by Archduke Mordgarn the Mild, this nation is in truth an equal to several lands referred to by their people as empires, not to mention most kingdoms. However, other than Mordgarn’s father adding a prefix to the ducal title (which can roughly be translated as adding the ‘arch’ part to ‘duke’), the ruling family has been content to remain as what can merely be likened to dukes while there are those with tiny insignificant nations whose rulers fancy themselves king. Hregmar has has put their old enemity with the Sarshen aside and have opened trade. Friendly relations with the dwarves to the west and the islands in the north has led to this being one of the few kingdoms which is blossoming economically in these times. The flag of Hregmar depicts four blue diagonal bands and a golden corner, on a white field.

    Hamregnur - The peninsular people
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    The westernmost end of Telsarn includes a long peninsula called Paralnan, at the very end of the Giants’ Hills. The locals surprisingly speak a language not too distant from Lewarese, called Parevese, after Parevnan, their slightly different rendition of the peninsula’s name. The nation itself is called Hamregnur after Hamreg the Fearsome, the warrior-queen who united the land. With only the marsh-dwellers to worry about to the east and the southern neighbour’s hands generally full with war against the black serpents, Hamregnur has not needed a strong standing army or rigid rules. More worryingly, there are those who claim that any attempts to capitalize on this apparent weakness are met with failure when the Hamregni seem to know in advance of all hostile incursions.

    Paralnan is often seen as a haven of pirates, with the Hamregni either powerless or disinclined to stop them. As a result, ships heading around the peninsula tend to avoid going near secluded coves.

    The Marsh Lords
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    The swamplands southwest of Suogelia have for hundreds of years been a shattered land. Small tribes who settled by the small reaches of arable land grew into small villages. To fight off small and lightly-armoured raid-parties from rival tribes and the monsters of the region, they built small and stocky keeps. Life in the marshes is hard – deadly monstrosities are commonplace and it is said that the deadly murderfruit trees which these days are a dreaded menace throughout much of Telsarn hail from these lands.

    It is said that in the dawn of time, the marshlands were once a verdant and lovely place. However, the one event which united the region for a brief while has turned the place almost inhospitable. As written texts were rare during that ancient time and the events that followed destroyed the culture that allegedly rose in the marsh, few verifiable facts exist. As the story goes, a mighty wizard or sorcerer with immense control over transformation created impressive warbeasts in his fortress deep in the marshes. Even then, some of those beasts could go toe-to-toe with even the black dragons, who were for a time servile to that lord. However, there was eventually a great upheaval, a magical catastrophe or an uprising among the smarter beasts. Some creations changed, others simply went mad. The monsters rampaged among the smallfolk as much as they fought each other, with the people closest to the wizard-lord’s fort the first to die. In the end, the land was torn apart. Even the plantlife became twisted and evil and over a century passed before some brave folk tried resettling the lands. While these days, the marshes are split into a manageable number of nations, their amount, lack of political significance, dangerous environment and comparative instability means that few bother to learn much about individual Marsher lands.

    The marshlands’ main actually welcome export is iron – while the bog-iron is not high-quality, it is very common and therefore a cheap resource. The most important nations that are counted among the Marshlands are the Ogrori Alliance, Siahhjka and the Duchy of Talemia.

    The Ogrori Alliance is composed of the lands of the four easternmost Marsher Lords, whose grandfathers united due to Nekrer’s presence and power being cemented in the northeast. Their lands are among the most fertile and densely forested of the marshlands – there are only extensive marshes along the Alliance’s western border.

    Siahhjka meanwhile is located north of the main marshes and controls the region’s coastlands. Despite speaking a language utterly alien to nearly everyone else, they have managed to become rather competent merchants. Despite controlling a fair amount of lands, Siahhjka is mostly considered a city-state, for the only major settlement in the region is the city of Siahhjka at the mouth of the Slemnfaen river. The rest of the land is indeed so full of bogs that cartographers.

    The Duchy of Talemia is located just south of Velgatia. While the western half of this dutchy contains the largest single swamp in the region, the eastern end is free of swamps and mostly a dense forest with plenty of oaks.

    Velagtia - Of they who wage wedding (recommended reading)
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    Like the marshlands, the Agatian plains in central Telsarn are not heavily contested and populated, at least not compared to the coastal regions. However, in the past few centuries, one nation has risen amongst them

    Today, a large empire is controlled by the Velagtian royal family. With more children than several other nations’ rulers combined, the descendants of Vel the Gay often married into other royal families. The strong ties that linked the family together and left the noble descendants of these new lands, who often became rulers, interested in Velagtia. The nations often allied against seemingly stronger but lone opponents, which were large absorbed by the kingdom of Velagtia itself. By the time the nation was deemed as a serious threat, most of the independent duchies and counties which previously managed to hold onto their ancestral territories were far too weak to stand against the foe. The alliance’s bonds already tight, the multitude of nations was pressed into one federation under the rule of Galitor the Great. The flag of Galitor depicts ten red spears on light blue, behind the royal seal of Velgetia.

    The independent Agatians
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    Sandwitched between Velgatia and Alentia, there is the Grand County of Ephostia. Previously merely one of the many unremarkable little counties and duchies that are too proud to join another, Ephostia is remarkable mainly in the nation’s ability to survive between two highly expansionistic empires.

    South of Ephosita, there are several other nations about the size of the River Lords’ lands to the north of our dear homes. The ones just across the river from Ephosita are Lekhosita and Rohasita, which are culturally and linguistically identical, albeit with a ruling families who have long-standing grudges with one another. Further south, there is Punedia, a nation which is mostly known for waging war against the freakish bird-people to the east. Anaseta is the westernmost of these nations and a bit larger than Ephosita, Lekhosita or Rohasita, but is otherwise also rather unremarkable.

    Alentia - The Empire by the Grand Gulf
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    In the eastern end of Telsarn, there is the Empire of Alentia. The men of this land are brave and as well-trained as the troops of Kopshirar, but even better at seizing opportunities. They were the first to trade openly with the Bonesmen and have bought deadly weapons from the Sarshei. The state offers great support to many priesthoods and those who have visited the land recently have reported of great cathedrals dedicated even to Hextor. Due to these advantages, Alentia recently conquered the mighty kingdom of Molria with great speed and allegedly few casualties. The Alentians provide a dangerous rival to both Hregmar and Velagtia. Reaching from the coast of the Resting Sea, over the Rounded mountains and well into the Agatian plains, this nation has an abundance of natural resources and a fine defensive position. The Alentian flag features gold and red crosses on a deep blue field.

    Umeltania - Of the Monster-slayers
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    Situated southeast of Hamregnur is a nation often seen as a bastion of humanity. It is well known that much of the south is ruled by smart monsters, yet the closest ones to Lewarur are the relatively harmless and craven birdmen of south-eastern Agatia and the dark serpents who dwell along the northern coast of the Sea of Peril. Umeltania, which is situated by the same sea, is the staunchest foe of these monsters. The Umeltanians are said to be a bit backwards technologically, but their valour is considerable. Their foes, black-scaled lizard-creatures, are suspected to be related to the dreaded black dragons who dwell in the swamplands. The Umeltanian flag is a simple black diagonal cross on a light green background.

    While there are several small human nations in Telsarn which have not been mentioned and the existence of human lands in the south is not out of the question, these are the rumours and tales that people might gather in the north.

    Note: Lewarur, under 'the land called home' is the standard campaign start location.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-13 at 11:05 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default The other Human-like races

    Dwarves:

    Both the dwarves and the dragons claim that they were the first sapient species to arrive on this world. The dragons, are said to have arrived from a portal far above ground and explored the world in the air. The dwarves' myths claim that they travelled through tunnels that transcended planes and finally settled in fungus-rich caverns which when the pinker dwarves tunneled to the surface turned out to be in Walufar. Nearly all dwarves shun the use of wood when creating anything of value, seeing it as a worthless material that needs to be preserved with immense care to allow woodcrafts to survive enough centuries for them to be worthwhile. Instead, they work in iron, steel, bronze and other metals, but also carve stone. Well-aware of the dangers of corrosion, they take near-obsessive care of their possessions. Dwarves are known to always value quality over quantity.

    As with the humans, I will name the dwarven nations that the people of Telsarn might know of, counting them in rows from west to east.

    The Walufarian dwarves

    In Walufar, the dwarves live in cities carved into the mountainsides of the Rounded Mountains and the Giants' Hills. These dwarven cultures have been mostly separate from one another for so long that one familiar with both types can easily tell the difference between the two. The dwarves of the Rounded Mountains tend to be darker, with well-kept black or brown beards. Their fortresses are well defended, but their roads are hidden. Those in the Giants' Hills are more shaggy and with lighter hair and skin. They are more militaristic and proud. This can be considered to be primarily due to the Giants' Hills, as the name implies, being the principal location where one can enounter hostile giants and ogres. While goblinoids were very common in the Rounded Mountains; still are in parts thereof, they are typically less dangerous than the giants.

    The merchants in the Rounded Mountains
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    The northernmost of the dwarven nations is called Mognluz. It is located in the northern end of the Rounded Mountains, east of Khopshirar, West of Hregmar and north of Fronrul. Despite controlling this piece of land by treaty, by the dwarves' accounts any part of the mountains where they have a city is likewise a part of Mognluz, although the dwarves' idea of territory worth claiming is often different compared to that of people, thus leading to few clashes. These dwarves seem to be separated into two castes.

    The workers labour under and by the mountains, while the philosophers seem to mill around, deep in thought. While some claim that the philosophers are useless, others point to myths and legends where these dwarves exhibit great divining abilities. These dwarves are peaceful and more inclined to trade than attack, though they will defend their own. Due to the way their mines and keeps are hidden, however, most lords know that accessing the dwarves resources even if the mountainfolk are defeated is tricky at best. The Worker Caste is far more numerous and more often encountered, for their merchants and artisans have travelled to many parts of Telsarn. The philosophers, in contrast, seem to be more similar to the Dreamers, but settled as opposed to semi-nomadic.

    While Mognluzan rarely go in for war, they still do often practice fighting with the urgrosh, considering the odd weapon part of their heritage.

    The warriors of the Rounded Mountains
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    South of Alentia and east of Agatia is the dwarven nation of Harnzuvm. While similar to the Mognluz in many aspects, these dwarves are a lot more insular and see incursions into their territory as potentially hostile acts. While similar philosophers have been seen amongst them, their workers are more dour and pale. Those rare fortunates who manage to trade with them claim that Harnzuwan crafts are even higher-quality than Mognluzan, however.

    They are fierce warriors, skilled with both waraxe and urgrosh and used to displaying very frightening combat styles, for the goblins they've fought with the most are not too difficult to scare if one is wearing fine armour and grand weaponry.

    The protectors of the hills
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    The Giants' Hills are the lowest of the five mountain ranges that meet in central Walufar, but still not to be underestimated. There are two dwarf-held nations there, said to be allied but not united. The western of the two, Fshernoksh, is the more millitant of the two, albeit not perhaps by choice. With the dreadful black-scaled reptiles that the Umeltanians fight to the south and west, the monster-filled marshlands to the north and east and many giant tribes in the mountains themselves, these people must be ready for war at all times. The Fshernoksham are a highly religous people, who worship the god of toil fervently. They are said to be masters of the Dwarven Warpike and Urgrosh.

    The wealthy folk
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    While similar to the Fshernoksh, the people of Klarhtsesh are generally more open and spiritual. They have even let adventurers travel through and speak of their halls, which are said to be filled with gold. These dwarves are the most boisterous of their kind, which is said to be something that the devout Fshernoksham sometimes take issue with.


    The dwarves seem to have a separate caste of mystics. Called dreamers by their kin, the mystics are said to have great powers of divination. While many members of this caste simply stay in the countries they are born into, others travel to other dwarven nations. While they are said to be rare in some dwarf states, these dreamers are rarely unwelcome, as they are the principal link between the dwarf states. While some mystics have been noted as wielders of great magical power, others are said to be more dangerous unarmed or carrying a simple staff than many an armed militiaman.

    The Fingerbones are the other northern region. While they extend north at least as far as Telsarn does, this long and mountainous island chain is surprisingly unified. Under the control of the Bonesmen, the fingerbones are a mysterious and cold place.
    Of the Bonesmen
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    Far larger than any nation in Telsarn, in fact covering several times as much ground as Nerker itself, is the nation of Sarshen. The people of this region have always been the finest sailors in the world. The unpunishable raids across the Resting Sea are a part of many a Telsarne nation’s heritage. These people, called bonesmen, are essentially pale, beardless dwarves with angular features and high cheekbones. They are arrogant and secretive and shunned by the other dwarves, especially the Dreamers and the devout Fshernoksham. In modern times, the Sarshei have been known to trade with other nations and have supplied Alentia with powerful and strange weapons which tear through all but the heaviest armour without hindrance.

    There are those who say that the Sarshei have constructs which surpass even those of Nekrer and powerful weapons which tear apart ships, although others claim that they employ vast numbers of slaves instead.

    In recent times, the Sarshei too have drawn a flag as to suit the standards by which the Telsarni see nations. The flag of Sarshen is a simple black rectangle containing a white rectangle, allegedly meant to depict a sail in the night. Since the different lords have often enscribed their own symbols onto their ships' sails, the white rectangles likewise often contain different symbols.

    The central mass of mountains, called the Heart of the World, is said to be home to the largest dwarven communes of them all. Unlike the mountain ranges in the northern lands, where farming the valleys is totally reasonable, this region has sparse arable land and what little of it exists is dominated by jungles, monsters, giants and combinations of thereof.
    Spoiler
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    The dwarves themselves, especially the Harnzuwan, are quick to claim that the small nations in Telsarn are mere offshoots of the greater dwarven culture. There are supposedly caverns as large as some nations under the Heart of the World, populated by thousands upon thousands of dwarves who have never seen sunlight and who labour endlessly, subsisting only on fungi and fighting monsters more dreadful than any who have been in broad daylight.

    While there exists knowledge of dwarves in southern Walufar, these nations are so unknown to the Lewari that finding any records in libraries would require great effort even in the largest collections of works.

    Giants:

    The giants, at least the sorts the Telsarnian people have encountered, do not gather into true nations. The only thing that can be described as a giant nation is the many-named place between the dwarven nations of Fshernoksh and Klarhtsesh, which is more of a human nation that giants simply took over. Giants typically live in small tribes, often as small as one or two families. This is fortunate, for even the smallest of giantkin, the ogres, are far stronger than humans. Giants rarely have actually proper weaponry because of their lacklustre skills and societies, though human- and dwarven-made two-handed weapons may be used, if not always comfortably.

    Elves:

    On Walufar, the elves do not gather into nations. Rather, they live in the more secluded and wild parts of the world. The elves are a wild people, who shun civilization. However, their zealous hunt of anything seen as an abomination leads to these creatures being of benefit more than they are harmful. The elves also protect the fey creatures of the world, which can be a problem to those who try to get rid of particularly troublesome and annoying fairies. While there have been documented instances of elf-human crossbreeds, they are exceedingly rare and even the topic is a hazardous one when dealing with elves.

    Like the dwarves, the elves see little use in lumber - to them dead wood makes acceptable weapons when in a hurry and naturally would eventually become fertilizer. Unlike the dwarves, however, the elves use living wood. Thanks to their extended lifetimes, the elves are capable of constructing surprisingly versatile structures though arbotecture, which they further reinforce through magic. Carefully adding trees and shrubbery in different stages of the cycle of life allows these constructs to outlive any one component.

    The Slimefolk

    Finally, there are the Marsh Men. Also known as Bogkin, Flehri, Hagborn, Skulks, Slimefolk and Flijshsi, these creatures are rarely seen and often feared primitives who dwell in the marshlands. Some call them myths, others vow they have seen such things. Likewise, there are many opinions on their behaviour - some people maintain that they are kindly folk who live in harmony with nature, some claim that they are little more than monsters and there are plenty of variants in between.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-13 at 12:42 PM.

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    Default The inhuman folk

    While dwarves, elves and even goblins are reasonably humanlike, the same cannot be said for the rulers and denizens of several other nations. From the still humanoid craven birdmen sandwitched between Agatia and the Rolling Mountains, to the odd grub-people who try to control trade between the north and the south, to the mighty blue dragons who rule the largest empire in the world, there are several kinds of surprisingly clever monsters in this land.

    Kenku - The Birdfolk
    Located in the southern regions of Telsarn, surrounded by the giant-infested Rounded Mountains to the north and east, the human-controlled Agatian plains to the west and the arid and inhospitable Hopakar desert, there are two nations inhabited by the wingless birds who call themselves Kenku. Little is known of these beings. The eastern of the pair broke off from the western due to some differences, but their relations are not hostile and both speak the same language. These bird-creatures have been sighted throughout Telsarn, though they are indubitably rare in the western regions. They are an untrustworthy people, who consider theft a totally acceptable mode of trade. However, they do not appear to be outright evil. The few Kenku who can operate in civilised society tend to be architects due to their skills with geometry.

    The little serpents
    A race of fat little lizard or newtlike creatures lives in isolated comminities in some of the smaller swamps in the region. A tiny tribe calling itself Lusshbas lives in the swamp on the border of Lewarur and Velgatia. These little creatures are mostly shy little things who keep away from human affairs, but some have been able to exhibit slurring speech.

    The black serpents
    The northern coast of the Sea of Peril is home to a vile and barbaric race of lizards. Similar in appearance to both humans and the black dragons, these things are ferocious and hardy warriors. Some people think they are crossbreeds while others suppose that these are lesser kin of the dragons. A third of them or so has gathered into a would-be empire to combat Umeltania. The rest are too wild to be controlled and too callous to care about those who are at war. Their language is utterly alien to us, though it is known that they appear to use a barbed black and brown spiral as a symbol.

    The Fae
    The Fair Folk are similar enough to humans in appearance, yet as far as thought is concerned, we are far closer kin with the kenku than with the dryads and their kindred. The fae rule the rainforests around and between the mountains of the Heart of the World. How many different types exist is unknown, but the most common varieties, dryads and nymphs, should be mentioned.
    Spoiler
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    The Dryads are by far the most common type of fae on Walufar. While commonly human-shaped, the dryads are plant, rather than flesh. They mostly concern themselves with the welfare of the trees they associate with.

    Spoiler
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    The hauntingly beautiful Nymphs tend to live in the mountain streams and clear ponds. They love to bathe in cold ravines that flow downhill and often beckon travelers to join them, though in half the tales heard, the amourous mortal ends up dead due to deadly local fauna or unsafe terrain.

    It should be noted, that the fae have many strange plants and beasts serving them and are often said to be the elves' masters.

    Other Strangers
    Rumours of other vaguely humanoid beastfolk exist as well, from dwarven legends of thinking mushrooms, to tales of turtle-people hiding from dragons in Akrasarn. How many of these are actually true, is not known.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-03-13 at 09:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    That's a lot of stuff to read. Can you give a short pitch, what this setting is about and what it's unique aspects are?
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    I am homebrewing a setting which, while still close enough to basic D&D, fits my idea of a good fantasy world and is less oriented towards mindless hack & slash. Thus, for example, there will be plenty of moral decisions which are not clearly good vs evil (at best, there will be a clear version of lighter grey), the monster encounters would not be all that random and creatures intelligence scores will not be quite so haphazardly used - highly intelligent creatures will not act like dim thugs.

    There are many languages but no common. I have seen several settings where humans seem to be the only species which lacks one common language - not so here; dwarves who have lived in small nations on opposite ends of a continent will not typically understand each other and even dragons have several distinct lingos, albeit closely related enough that they can comprehend the foreigner's basic meaning.

    The climate and wildlife of this world are most similar to those of Australia and South America, with plenty of marsupials as well as the tapir and similar beasts replacing the traditional European wildlife of fantasy settings.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-03-14 at 08:34 AM.
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    Have you considered E6?
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    Default [I]Divinity on Walufar:[/I]

    Edited in:

    Note that this is mostly information which a reasonable knowledge (religion) check would deliver, save when suggested otherwise or in cases where knowledge (planes) might be more applicable.

    Foreign gods
    As was mentioned, only deities whose realms exist on Achreon or Mechanus have a reasonably easy time performing miracles on Henariolak. The most powerful deities of Baator and Arcadia can also receive petitioners and benefit from worship, but their connections are so faint that all such gods count as if their divine rank was 13 lower than it is on other realms. Thus, even many of the great gods of other realms have no more influence and power as Archeon’s demigods on this realm. As a result, those gods are known only to a scant few, with only a handful of very small cults. The following, however, is the list of gods who are widely worshipped.

    Wee Jas
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    Wee Jas is the nigh-undisputed patron goddess of magi. She is seen as a great mentor, especially by the wizards of Nekrer. She is also seen as the protector of the dead and the one to whom all tomb guards must answer.

    Helm
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    Helm is seen as the great Lord of Justice, the patron of law and likewise a grand deity. Due to urbanisation and ever-declining interest in the ways of nature, his cult is growing quite rapidly.

    Hextor
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    Hextor is the third most widely respected of gods who mostly humanity worships, a terrible god of warfare, a patron of tyrants and bringer of doom. While he does not have large public festivities in nations less despotic than, say, Kopshirar, most people pay a certain amount of lip service in times of great strife, if only out of fear.

    Dwarf gods
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    The dwarves do not speak of their gods often, but from what we have heard of, their chief patron is Laduger, a serious being who extols the virtue of constant hard work and little else.

    Deep Duerra, sometimes seen as Laduger's sister, wife or sometimes even daughter, is less revered, but her clergy is all the more vocal and her worshippers are less insular and dour. She serves as their goddess of war.

    Bralm
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    This goddess of insects is not often spoken of in Telsarn, but she is one of the principal deities of the Bonesmen. Said to provide examples of fine work in the form of ants and bees, this focus on constant back-breaking toil offers insight into the Sarshen ideas for the common man. The Bonesmen are rarely religous though, so this might not be as clearly indicative of their culture as believed.

    Still, given Bralm's similarity to Laduger, the conflict between the two dwarven religions is all the stranger.

    Lendys
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    The dragon god of justice is the most celebrated law god in the south. Patron to both most of the blue dragons and their followers, this god extols the virtue of order. Lendys is said to be an incredibly ancient silver dragon. Why this god's name is so short, especially by dragon standards, is unknown.

    Goblin gods
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    The goblins too have a sizeable pantheon. Their principal god, Maglubiyet is a dark horror, a dreadful bully mentioned in far more nursery rhymes than hymns. However, the notion that in the far southeast, a powerful empire is dedicated to worshipping him and his ilk is confirmed fact.

    Khurgorbaeyeg is the worst of his lieutenants, the patron of slavery.

    Bargrivyek is perhaps the god whose tenets are the most terrifying, advocating the unity of all goblinoids and associated beasts. Some say he also acts as some form of god of justice.

    Nomog-Geaya is the patron of hobgoblin superiority among goblinkind and a vicious war god.


    Any other deity on Acheron or Mechanus may well have worshippers as well - even Psilofyr, the god of fungi has its share of worshippers. Strangely, Pholtus’ presence has never been felt on this world, possibly due to the sheer power of the local sun-god.

    Indeed, local deities exist as well. They are nearly all nature deities, who are said to have a common origin and are claimed to be ancient, as old as the world.

    Worship the Sun
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    The greatest of them is Nop, the sun god. Said to be father to the other nature-gods, he has never been seen in person, unless one believes the dogma that Nop the god literally and wholly is Nop, the sun which Henariolak orbits. His domains include fire, sun, destruction, glory, sky and nobility. His are the portfolios of fire, warmth, light and the sky, but also those of hereditary rule, destruction, revenge and pride. He is neutral with some lawful tendencies.

    The Twins
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    The eldest children of Nop and the Mother Goddess, the deity who is said to have created Henariolak in the first place. Laemal is the goddess of the sea. An intermediate deity, she holds the domains of Water, Weather, Travel, Ocean, and Healing. Her portfolio includes oceans, seas, waves, travel, cleansing and fish. She is neutral. She generally appears as a giant multicoloured fish of some arharic species, combining aspects of sharks, lungfish and catfish, as well as several other, more esoteric species, but has also often taken the form of a sea serpent. The great reefs southwest of Walufar are her holy sites. Laemal does not typically concern herself with mortals, but she can be bargained with. Her demeanour tends to be fluid - she changes her mind often, but rarely instantly.

    Her equally powerful and likewise true neutral twin brother is Kral, the god of earth. His domains are Earth, Artifice, Cavern, Sand and Strength. His portfolio includes mountains, stone, earth, deserts, gems and metals. He is depicted as an immense purple worm, beyond colossal in size. Unlike a normal purple worm, the joints of his body are all of different colours. Like his sister, Kral does not typically consort with mortals, but he is said to occasionally have encountered dwarves. While a similar rumour about Laemal does circulate, there are plenty of people who insist that Kral (and, often enough, Kral alone) always lives on the prime and shapes the terrain personally.

    The Queen of Birds
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    Younger sister to Kral and Laemal, Amus is the goddess of wind. The domains which she lords over are Air, Weather, Sky, Storm and Trickery. Her portfolios grant he control over air, wind, cloud, tricks and pranks. She is chaotic neutral. She is seen as a colossal white thunderbird, with rocs as mere children to her. Amus extols the virtue of freedom and delights in seeing people outsmart and humiliate their alleged betters. As a result, she is very popular among the lower classes.

    The fate of the Mother Goddess is debated. Some myths claim that she became the world and rests at its core, others say that she died to save her children. Some scholars debate if the great god-isle the gith had settled on used to be her, but others consider that folly, for a maker goddess is not nearly as fallible and capable of death as lesser deities and suggest she moved on when her job was done. Whatever the reason, this deity has not been around since before written history and is only mentioned in some extremely rare oral legends of dragons, crucians and myconidae.

    The three children of the first two gods had offspring of their own. However, these offspring were all lesser gods, if that and were rarely up to any reasonable standards.

    The Divine Abomination
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    The three siblings' earliest issue was Gnul, the god of the swamp. The first child of Kral and Laemal. Physically horrible even by standards that one might expect of the offspring of a fish and a worm, he was still cared for at first by his parents, but distaste towards his appearance and powers, especially from his aunt, led to developing a wedge between him and the rest of his family. He became to hate everything, including himself and has withdrawn to his personal realms. Gnul most often appears as a huge deformed cross between an eel and a frog with fleshy tentacles spouting from its back. Despite godhood, he has never been able to take a shape pleasing to anything save perhaps some abomination. Gnul’s domains are Decay, Suffering, Hatred and Slime and his portfolio contains ooze, swamps, bogs and contempt. He is a chaotic evil lesser god.

    The Favoured Child
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    Leen is the goddess of the rivers, also known as the Beloved Child or Favoured Child. The only child of the three great siblings without a great defect, she most often appears as a giant creature, an orange-spotted alligator. She is the only true god who is actually indubitably good on Walufar. Her domains are Travel, Commerce, Renewal and Water. Her portfolio contains rivers, trade, protection, cleansing and purity. She is lawful good. Despite having many more worshippers than her siblings, she is still a lesser deity, on par with her brother Gnul in terms of power wherever their domains touch. Despite their diametrically opposed personalities and reason to feud over slightly overlapping domains of influence, Leen and Gnul are said to avoid direct conflict as a rule.

    The Mad Brothers
    Spoiler
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    Ribuul and Kaon are twins of the twins, the third and final result of Laemal and Kral copulating. Like their siblings, they too command regions on a border between the parents’ realms. Ribuul is the god of beaches and shallow water, while Kaon, a god known only to some few scholars, rules the deepest pits of the oceans. Both are completely insane. The pair look like gargantuan crustaceans covered in seemingly random swirls of colour. If actually assuming concrete shapes, Ribuul tends to prefer crabs, while Kaon likes looking like some colossal species of prawn. They both have access to the Madness and Chaos domains, but where Kaon also accesses Oceans and Watery Death, Ribuul has some control over the Plant and Water domains. Both are very minor lesser gods of Chaotic Neutral alignment. Their madness and gleeful play with the waters often greatly hinders travel across water near coasts and above certain very deep parts of the ocean. Often, not even pleading for their mother to help will not save the entire ship in these instances.

    The Climber
    Spoiler
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    Kral has also had one child with Amus. Their child was Puak, the god of mountaintops and windy valleys. Like his half-sibling cousins, he is a lesser god, in control of four domains, in his case Air, Earth, Passion and Strength. His usual form is that of a mountain goat, with the legs of a tarantula-like hairy spider. His portfolio consists of mountains, climbing, strength and wind. However, this god is a total simpleton and rarely partakes in anything more complex than a competition of strength. He is worshipped mostly by athletes and the more spiritual sort of giants.


    All the descendants of the Mother Goddess have access to a divine demiplane shaped like a Möbius strip orbiting Nop, or a representation thereof. Each god has a part of the world totally to oneself, though the regions controlled by the three original children touch the realms of all the other gods. Even Gnul has a realm here, far from those of his brothers and sisters. Puak is said to have a mountain as well, as high as any on Walufar itself. The realm has many names, most of which translate roughly into Wild Haven. Due to how most of the third generation of gods turned out, incest is nowadays considered the vilest taboo among the old gods and their worshippers. However, despite the deep shame the parents feel, even Gnul is allowed to live in peace in Wild Haven, even though he is otherwise not treated all that well.

    The Odd God out
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    There is only one more god who has spawned of Henariolak, or at least of Walufar. Tranovershaidyshelnmolafpagaosei, called Tranover Molafpagaosei, Tranover Gaosei or even simply the First Emperor by his non-dragon worshippers. Said to be the largest and wisest blue dragon ever to have lived, this being forged an empire for himself and his heirs out of what was a mass of squabbling petty kingdoms and tribes, one which has stood the test of time with only occasional uprisings and lost wars marring its history. Retegatranomolafsei has always survived the disasters which hit it and eventually returned to full glory under the command of a new emperor. However, the first Dragon-Emperor, a powerful creature in his own right already, became a legendary figure revered by many. Many millennia after his death, he returned in visions to people who were particularly enamoured with legends where he played the main role and a clergy was built up. Finally, the Dragon Emperor rose to power. He is only a demigod, for the dragons’ respect towards Lendys and the non-dragons love of their own deities are not things that his clergy has been working to crush.

    Tranovershaidyshelnmolafpagaosei, holds the domains of Sand, Dragon, Domination and Nobility. His portfolio focuses on the empire that he created, blue dragons, conquest, wealth and subjugation. He holds a realm in Acheron, Tranorilaf, featuring strange twisting towers and strange platforms built onto a many-sided strange shape in Tintibulus. Much like other blue dragons, Tranovershaidyshelnmolafpagaosei is Lawful Evil. Like his still mortal descendants, he too wears plenty of gold and sapphire jewellery.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-13 at 12:45 PM. Reason: To turn a one-sentence post into a proper informative wall o' text
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    It's an extremely simple and elegant variant of D&D called Epic 6
    "Characters level up only up to level 6. After that they gain 1 feat for every 5000 XP they make." That's really all.
    Hit Points, attack bonus, skill ranks, and saving throws (and also AC) all stay at the range of 6th level characters so you always stay at a level where even low level creatures have a chance to harm you in large numbers. At the same time, really big creatures just can't be killed by a single guy with a sword, even if he's the best warrior in the world. But instead of just stopping the campaign at 6th level, you can still learn new feats that improve your character and give you more options.
    But even if you play in a group that has not yet reached 6th level, it has a strong impact on the world around them, as there are no high level heroes that simply could stop an invasion before breakfast, and 4th to 9th level spells don't exist. That means no teleportation, no resurrection, no shapechange, no walls of force, and so on.
    The basic result is, that the game becomes much more similar to what you find in most fantasy literature (that is not based on D&D) like Lord of the Rings or Conan. It's one of the most popular homebrew variants of D&D and lots of people have reported that it works very well. I think that could be something interesting to consider for the world you are creating, and you should read the first parts of the linked site.
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    It is definitely something to consider. I am somewhat wary of setting level 6 as the highest one that can be attained, given as I had planned much of the world and the plot(s) I had in mind around rather epic events - the most influential nation in the north, Nekrer, is after all the seat of a dynasty of liches and the blue dragons rule most of the southern half of the continent. Given the thought I have given to giving my own spin on both dragons and liches, I would not like to create a world in which those beings would either not fit in or would be so beyond epic that the only threats they could face are their peers.

    However, using the aforementioned ruleset with level 10 as the maximum that can be attained has great appeal. Raising a recently dead and mostly intact body would be the height of what one can achieve via divine magic. 5th level spells are already very formidable, but setting them as the epic apex of what one (who is oneself not a very old dragon, at least) can do nicely makes sure that even legendary figures still feel mortal.

    My previous plan was using unstated rules such as 'everyone gains XP' and 'players aren't the only ones who don't instantly die at 0 HP' to make sure that even higher-level characters would have trouble with hobgoblin veterans, but this does seem like a better choice (although I will still probably use the abovementioned notices).

    This would in fact make the quest of seeking out and petitioning for the aid of a silver dragon fit the quest line I have planned it for better, since there is no possibility of any humanoid managing to do as well as she could in the event in question.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-02-08 at 02:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    That's the idea. People have used the system with level 8 and level 10 and it works just as well, just at a slighter higher power level.
    Also, if you put a lot of feats on a 6th level character, he becomes much more powerful than an ordnairy 6th level character. It's supposed to be up to four additional levels in power, but I don't know if this was ever well tested.
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    Default The Monstrous Sapients

    Even stranger than the still familiar beastpeople, there are these creatures. They are intelligent, but often alien in mindset. From the majestic dragons, to the horrid grublike wormfolk, they are the smartest monsters.

    Sphinxoids
    Large, typically at the very least man-sized magical creatures, the sphinxoids of Walufar are somewhat different compared to the sphinxes and like creatures of other realms. It should be noted that for the purposes of this text, the similarities between griffons and sphinxes are deemed large enough to group them together.

    A Sphinxoid is (as per the terminology of the archivists and biomancers of Nekrer and their associated scientists) a part-avian part-mammalian creature deriving from a set of root beings which either have a natural origin or have existed and bred naturally for so long that any magical creation, if any, precedes any written documentation.

    Sphinxoids share certain common traits: All known species lay hard-shelled eggs, but nurse their young with milk. Sphinxoids have three pairs of limbs, of which one is a pair of feathery wings. Sphinxes tend towards very noteworthy sexual dimorphism, to the point that the males and females are often deemed to be members of a different species by laypersons. Matters are further complicated by there being several different races of some of the more widespread races of sphinxoid.

    'True' Sphinxes
    Not only are they among the most widespread and well-known beings in Telsarn, they have often been spotted in the valleys between the mountain ranges, as well as the great desert in the southern half of Walufar. While nearly ubiquitous, they are by no means commonplace - sphinxes tend towards territoriality and rarely gather in coveys larger than ten. What follows is a recollection of the main types of true sphinx - one female and at least three documented male varieties.

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    Where the female Sphinxes, or Gynosphinxes, are nearly identical to one another throughout the land, their mates can be broadly collected into three categories. All of them have feline bodies, birdlike wings and heads that remind folks of humans. However, where the females' heads tend to display mixtures of feline and hominid traits, the males facial features are the primary point by which the three groups differ.

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    The by far most common is the Criosphinx. Far less intelligent than the females, these beings have savage faces, low foreheads and large ram-like horns. They are barely sapient and only speak their own languages, though given how they perceive humanoids as either meals or threats, they do not tend towards conversation. Criosphinxes with hardened noses covered in hornlike substance as if they had vestigial bills have been documented.

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    The Hieracosphinxes are barely more intelligent and seem almost more inhuman. While they have noticeable manes of hair and their horns are either gone or minute, their faces are even less human. Their eyes are beady and the presence of a hawk- or raptorlike beak instead of a mouth and nose means that it would be nigh-impossible for them to speak even if they could. However, there are those who believe that the hieracosphinxes do pick up regional languages well enough to understand the local sapients over the course of their lives. They are said to be cruel creatures, who toy with their prey and often feed off still living creatures, although there is the occasional tale of a merciful hieracosphinx who might trade treasures for favours. Such a thing obviously ought not be counted on, not by anyone who desires to remain healthy.

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    Finally, the Androsphinx is, as the name indicates, the most human-like of the three main races of sphinx. However, they are also apparently exceedingly rare. With human-level intelligence and at worst tiny hornlets and hardened beaklike noses like some of the criosphinxes, the average androsphinxes are quite capable of human communication. They act hostile towards crowds and dislike civilisation, but have on occasion assisted small groups of travelers lost in desert regions in exchange for exotic meats or even news.

    The Aladlammu who the Laennie cherish are also depicted similar to sphinxes and, according to some Kopshi, their war against Laennom did include devastating attacks from massive and imposing sphinxes, most likely large Androsphinxes. The conclusion that if the Aladlammu exist at all, they are androsphinxes, is obvious.
    Some people claim that more bizarre varieties of sphinx also exist, but if such do, they are far too rare or reclusive for any information to be commonplace.

    Harpies
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    Perhaps surprisingly to some, the harpy is also a relative of the sphinx; a rather close one to boot. Again, there is notable sexual dimorphism among the species. The rarely sighted males are far more birdlike, with only bare humanoid torsos and a pair of humanlike arms as indications that they are more than simply large birds of prey. The males tend towards impressive red plumes, especially on and near their heads and lack the beguiling songs. Harpy females, however, can be listed among two groups. The standard harpies are by far more common. They tend to live in coastal woodlands, particularly wet areas of marshes and deep forests. Their rather unpleasant, haglike looks and simple, direct minds ensure that complex plots are rare if at all existing.

    The other breed of female harpy dwells nearly exclusively in rocky coastal islands and on small islands. While smaller and weaker than the standard harpy females, these harpies look a lot more pleasant, with elfin features and more shapely bodies. Referred to as sirens by some, they tend to work together, singing their beguiling songs in tandem which increases the ability's effectiveness. They are said to be smarter as well, allegedly causing shipwrecks to feast on the cargo, crew and passengers.

    One thing of note about the harpies is that they, especially the males, utterly despise nagas and will typically do everything in their power to slay their old enemies. Some harpies are rumoured to extend this hatred to all snakes.

    Griffons
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    While at first seeming to be a widely different group of species, the griffons and their ilk are far closer to sphinxes than commoners would think. That a griffon is at best as intelligent as the criosphinx and lacks humanlike features is a non-issue, for the physiology and the vestigial falcon-like beaks of some sphinxes show clear relations. Griffons and Hippogriffs tend to live further north than the True Sphinxes and as a consequence have had more contact with humans over the centuries. While wild griffons are still often fought or seen, most modern hippogriffs are bred in captivity, particularly by some of the most feared Kopshi and Hregmei knightly orders. Note that hippogriffs are less horselike on Walufar than in most other regions, with the hooves of tapirs and a slightly goatlike head.


    Dragons
    Like the sphinxoids, the dragons have six limbs – a pair of wings, a pair of rear legs and, in their case, a pair of forelegs that can be used as somewhat rudimentary hands. Unlike the mix of bird- and mammal traits of sphinxes, the dragons are wholly reptilian, however. Likewise, the dragons also tend to be smarter, longer-lived and innately adept at magic. Nearly all Dragons love treasure and hoard vast piles of riches, seemingly for the mere purpose of having a pile of gold to sleep on.

    The Friendly Ones
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    The Faerie Dragons are the smallest beings of their kind that anyone in Telsarn has heard of. They are friendly, but mischievous and resentful of those who harm their homes. They love old, untouched forests where they spend most of their time. Their close relationships with dryads and druids has led to there being conflict between Faerie Dragons and some factions of people, but the laws of Lewarur prohibit killing these beings due to aid provided by these dragonkin during an ancient war and their continued courteous relations with the Three Families, particularly the one which chose this beast as it’s symbol. Despite this, they are very rare.

    The Swamp Terrors
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    While the swamplands down Telsarn’s western coast are said to be home to a great many deadly monsters, from carnivorous trees to utterly unnatural beasts, the most famous of the creatures to terrorize the land there are the black dragons. Due to their violent and irrational mindset, they have not even considered uniting, at least in recorded history, and are more likely to quarrel with one another whenever they meet. Black dragons have, however, on occasion taken over already established human nations, which they extorted for treasure. Resorting to petty banditry is also common, resulting in trade caravans staying well away from the swamps. They are said to believe in the value of fear and enjoy leaving just one survivor to spread tales of their might. Some, particularly the old ones, are said to be very clever, however.

    The Enigmatic Ones
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    In the south-western part of Telsarn, the giants are quite a fair bit less likely to control the hills than in any other known region. This is due to the copper dragons, who call this region home. They are odd beings. They are even more prone to play pranks than the faerie dragons, yet, like their small cousins, they are said not to act out of malice, but out of an enjoyment of life and to showcase their cleverness. Little else is known of them, as anyone seeing to discover more about these creatures is likely to be humiliated a dozen times over before finding out anything of much note.

    The Woodland Tyrants
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    In the central parts of Walufar, just where the mountains meet the sea, there are dense jungles. While mostly populated by elves and their faerie masters, there is another force at play there. The green dragons are said to be quite similar to their desert-dwelling relatives, but their enmity with those who wish to protect the jungles combined with their own internal strife has insofar prevented the rise of a single strong nation. Little else is known about them, for both they and their usual opponents are a secretive lot who look down unfavourably on humanity.

    The White Giants
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    Probably the most merciful dragons, some dreamers would say most benevolent beings of all, are the silver dragons. Mostly inhabiting the snow-capped mountains of the Fist of Gods, these creatures have been known to offer aid to lost and wounded travelers. Little is known about them, however - their homeland is virtually unreachable to humanity and they rarely venture down from mysterious high homes. White dragons are said to prize tomes of magic and lore over treasure, even magical items and are willing to trade.

    The land of the Dragon-Emperors
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    While Telsarn and the Fingerbones make up the northern parts of Walufar and the Heart of the World forms the centre, the southern portion largely consists of the Vast Desert, referred to as Kaneisartal in the texts of the Opti explorers. Said to be larger than the northern parts of the continent combined, this land is mostly devoid of life. Just about all those who do live there, however, are subjects of the Dragon-Emperor. It is he who rules the largest empire on Walufar, Retegatranomolafsei.

    This land is far too vast for any man to walk through and survive, but the blue dragons are said to have ruled there for twelve millennia, although the state as it currently exists, as one continuous nation, is four and a half thousand years old. The principal cities tend to be situated near the coasts, particularly in the deltas of what few rivers flow through the land, or by the more pleasant foothills of the Heart of the World. A mighty and proud empire, the foreigners tend to call it the Empire of Dragons, or the Kindgom of the Blue Dragon, although it bears the name Retegalafsei among the non-draconic locals.

    Retegatranomolafsei is, oddly enough, a highly cosmopolitan place. On a world where nations with several races is rare, the dragons’ subjects include many different sapient species. Men and goblins are the most common, certainly, but they are not alone. The capitol itself is situated deep in the desert though, between three large oases. Even with the available water, the human and hobgoblin population is not high in that city, but it does house the imperial palace. It is a testament to the might of the blue dragons that the original ruling family, which traces its lineage back to the first true dragon-king who some say attained godhood as he died, still reign.

    Until recently, we knew virtually nothing of this strange and foreign land, but with Nekrer building up the Lich-King’s merchant navy, trade between the two nations, both ruled by masters of both intrigue and magic who count their age in centuries, a rapport does exist. From what notions do reach Telsarn, however, it is apparent that the nobility is made up of entirely of the dragons themselves, with no human, goblinoid or other rulers even present, much less in positions of power within the nation’s hierarchy. Rumours that land has been issued to non-blue dragons has reached us, however.

    The Desert Dwellers
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    Despite their vast power and their fine adaption to the deserts, the blue dragons are not the lone draconics of that region. A less ambitious and less clever species exists as well. Known as the brown dragon in the north, these creatures have often been said to be the greatest modern nuisance to the blue dragons, for they are even better adapted to the sands.


    Lesser Dragonilk
    Related to both the true dragons and the basilisk is the six-limbed 'Swamprunner'. While far less intelligent than the true dragons, they do have a primitive tribal society. While mostly seen in the swamplands, there are some small tribes that raid even Suogelia. Recent reports indicate that one coalition of tribes took over a destitute Marshlander dutchy, though given how most tales from that region tend to be both exaggerated and well over a year late, the current state of affairs in there would be mostly guesswork.

    The caterpillar merchants
    The strangest beasts known to us are the people of Ormirar - strange and hideous giant blue grublike beasts. They travel on slime and have a mass of short and feeble hands, more adept at sleight of hand than warfare, although they have insofar held onto their territory. Surprisingly, they are said to be reasonably civilised for such horrors and interested in maintaining their total control of the Henefaenbras, the meagre strip of land between the Heart of the World and the Sea of Peril. This has resulted in any landbound caravans from Telsarn to Akrasarn, the southern half of the continent, having to pay excessive taxes. It is said that even dwarves would rather sail than pay these misers, it is said, though they do also control one of the main locations where those dwarves who are said to dwell inside the Heart of the world come up to the ground to trade.

    What else alien is there?
    These are only the most prominent of the thinking beasts of Henariolak. Others also exist, but either their existence is no more than a rumour in some far-off tavern, or their influence and spread are too small for us to write of them, yet.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-03-28 at 10:07 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Notes

    Miscellaneous homebrew made by other forumers that I would allow will be listed in this post.

    Things I need stats for:
    • One thing that I forgot to mention: The Sarshei have broken the 'Medieval stasis' trope. Sarshen not only has late-medieval-quality ships, but also gunpowder and other chemicals of similar complexity of make, which are slowly spreading throughout the land. Insofar, only terribly inaccurate but potentially devastating hand cannons, most like the 'hand bombard' pictured, have seen widespread use. If there were people who could make rules for these, I would appreciate it. These weapons should somehow keep high BAB from affecting accuracy much, perhaps by only letting 1/3 of a character's attack bonus affect the actual attack roll. A critical failure ought to lead to the weapon exploding, but a hit should be devastating. I am not quite skilled enough with the numeric part of D&D to balance this all that properly yet.
    • I was struck by inspiration upon noticing the somewhat griffonlike appearance of the Garuda, which suggested a chance to tie the griffins and harpies together, which in turn lead to sphinxes being included in that lot. However, male harpies would need stats; their appearance ought to be linked to the Thai version of the Garuda, although they obviously ought to be merely medium-sized. This linked group of species would give a more cohesive world which would still allow for reasonably diverse encounters without throwing in magical experiments gone wrong every other time.


    The following have been taken from the 'Any Goblinoid fans' thread. These will not be implemented unless their creators give approval as well.

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    Goblinoid-Blooded by Rappy, maker's opinion not given.
    With no orcs and half-orcs, this is probably a must-have feat.

    Goblin Pigsticker by DonThelonious maker's opinion not given.
    It is nicely balanced and the wild, non-religous fanatic goblins need love too. And food. The slight magical abilities are not much greater than those of regular rangers or paladins and the plane of shadow is a transitive plane, so it can be accessed from anywhere, even if one can only travel to a corner far, far away from any other gate.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-03-09 at 08:42 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    May 2010

    Default The wildlife of Walufar; Telsarn

    Please note, that this is by no means a complete list of creatures. These are the beasts described by explorers, commoners, soldiers and travellers. While an archivist or some other form of loremaster might have tried to make sense of the various tales and compose a more or less truthful list, taking information on rare creatures at face value might not always be the best course of action. Propaganda and myths do after all play large roles in people's perception.

    On walufar, wildlife somewhat different from that of modern-day earth is predominant. While there certainly are mammals, birds, reptiles and such, the different conditions have led to the survival of different families of animal, if not totally unique creatures altogether. Because of their sheer number, the mindless creatures are grouped by environment rather than type.

    The domesticated animals of Northwestern Telsarn
    As people become civilised, the creatures need to adapt. Some withdraw into the less hospitable areas, or the parts of the land which are still forested. Others, however, are trained and corralled into doing the bidding of people. Note, however, that this list also includes creatures which are simply kept at hand for any form of use and possess no actual loyalty to people. Even those beasts which can form a bond with a person tend to be tame examples of wild animals rather than members of a tamed species.

    The herds
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    Probably the most common creature herded in the region is the Gronvei. While in the wild, they are only seen in the southern savannahs, the domesticated version has spread throughout Telsarn, if not the entire Walufar. Gronvei are large hoofed herbivores with short wiry hair. Their most distinctive feature is a very dense skull plate. This is mostly used in self-defence, although wild gronvei might butt heads to establish dominance. Gronvei pelts provide good fur, if of a sort which does not feel comfortable against naked skin. The milk of the gronvei is drinkable and their flesh, especially that of calves, is quite tasty. The tough skulls plates can also be used, often as part of a set of armour. The hooves of the Gronvei are three-toed, like the rear legs of tapirs. Wild Gronvei still roam the wide open plains in central Telsarn, but are rare elsewhere.

    The meat lizards
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    These creatures, called listroi are probably the most widespread domesticated creatures on Henariolak. They are said to be one of the very first beings to be tamed, as evidenced by the lack of wild listroi anywhere in the known world. To hear them tell it, dwarves have even managed to cultivate breeds of listroi who can manage to subsist on subterranean fungi. Listroi are robust lizards who can survive anywhere there is warmth and a small amount of vegetation. They are too timid and dull to be trained much, but with rigorous work, one can be forced to help dig. Listroi meat is tough and leathery, but tastes fine and becomes lovely if braised.

    Beasts of Burden
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    The moropus is the only herbivore common in the north which could be trained to bear a rider. Even though a gronvei can pull a cart or carry a load, those beings are too stubborn and sluggish for riders to control them properly in combat and other situations requiring fast actions. The moropus on the other hand is fast-thinking enough to accept orders and possesses a pair of strong claws, which a trained beast can use to support a rider. A wild moropus can use these claws to pull down the branches of tall trees. While the front limbs are thus not optimal for quick movement, designed for combat, grasping and motion as they are, these beasts are still a fair bit faster than an armoured man would be on foot and can carry troops wearing heavier armour than the runner-birds of the southern folk.

    The hunter’s friend
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    The vakashar is a very useful animal, if domesticated. At its core, a vakasar is a fairly standard beast of prey – large sharp teeth, agile body and good camouflage. While these beasts are loners at their core, they can be trained to act in tandem with a human hunter and are willing to share their prey. A typical vakashar is over a metre long, with the shoulders slightly lower than a man’s pelvis. Like many other mammals on Walufar, the female vakashar carries her offspring in a pouch on her stomach, during which period she is even more vicious and combat-ready. Another creature, called the prishar, is virtually identical save for being less than half as long. Likewise, the krenshar is visually virtually identical in most situations. Because they have powerful jaws and can subsist on far less food than the great sphinxes and other large predators, the vakashar are probably the most common predators in the north.

    One should note that these beasts are territorial and will nearly always fight a fellow vakashar or related creature of the same sex if placed together. While most of these beasts live in the wild, attacks on humans are rare. In Lewarur, the high house Agnraev is known as the principal tamer of such beasts. Despite the efforts of many folk who have worked for centuries to tame them, the vakashar is still very difficult to keep. Not only do they they quarrel with one another and tend to refuse to acknowledge man-made boundaries and thus need to be chained up when not used in the wild, but they are also likely to lash out at people. As a result, tame vakashars are still only kept in small rural areas, where a huntsman has constant use for a beast that can reliably chase down prey.

    The skull-hounds
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    Believed to a subtype of vakashar, the krenshar is indistinguishable at first glance. However, these creatures are infamous for their ability to pull back the skin on their heads if frightened. This sudden scare, combined with their dreadful voices, is often capable of scaring away even those who have encountered similar beasts before. They are also faster and more social than the vakashar, with an entire pack capable of coexisting. As a result, they are the preferred beast for guarding a noble’s manse and controlling a herd on Gronvei. The krenshar are less deadly in actual combat, however – with their facial musculature designed to aid in scaring off a potential threat, they lack the bone-crunching bite of the vakashar. The vakashar are, as a result, a more successful predator despite the skullhounds’ admirable qualities. These creatures are the symbols and favoured pets of house Agnraev.

    The climber
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    The prishar, essentially a smaller version of the vakashar, is also highly skilled at scaling most surfaces. The prishar have a nasty habit of climbing everything and perching at the highest positions they can find, waiting for some tiny creatures to scurry into sight. Like the vakashar, the prishar are highly territorial and do not tolerate other prishar or similar-sized carnivores in the places they have marked with their musk. While the domesticated version is often kept in a barn or grain silo to keep the vermin from getting to the goods, their stink means that only people with grave problems or bad colds would keep one in a house.

    Bug Crunchers
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    The echalis a virtually unique large beast, a unique and probably magical mixture of mammals, birds and reptiles. Likely the creations of a long-forgotten benevolent wizard, they are instrumental in combating the scores of deadly insects that one can find on Walufar. Echals are not much longer than vakashars, but they are considerably larger and heavier. Covered by spiky plates, they seem like a dreadful beast, but the spines are not sharp enough to injure, only to hinder a foe’s attacks. They are known to use their long sticky tongues to capture insects, which they crush with the strong muscles in their strange tubular mouths. These creatures lay eggs. While not truly domesticated per se, the echal can be kept as a pet simply because it is not hostile or even very capable of injuring anything as big as a grown human. Since they are not actually tame, care must be taken to keep them under control. As these beasts are both excellent climbers and diggers, this can prove difficult.

    Ditch snakes
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    A unique species of snake lives in ditches and sewers of the cities of Lewarur and several other nations, perhaps all the nations in Telsarn. Called ditch snakes, sewer snakes or Sucklings, what makes these snakes unique is the fact that they feed on the blood of large animals, such as cattle and, unfortunately, people. A ditch snake is valued chiefly for the venom, which removes pain. While kept in jars by apothecaries and alchemists, only wizards who choose to turn them into companions can actually win a snake’s trust.

    Giant Slugs
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    A species of giant slug, mostly little more than an enormous pest, is occasionally spoken of as something corralled by the Opti and the Laennie. This is said to be the source of the excellent glues they sell and while this idea is mostly scoffed at, the fact that it comes from several sources might suggest that these creatures are real.

    Giant rats
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    A species of tailless giant rat called Caeri is said to live near the lake of Ershtafr and further southwest. These creatures are sometimes herded by the suogeli for their surprisingly delicious meat.

    The Digger Lizards
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    The digger lizard, or bulette, is a voracious beast. Larger than most creatures who roam in the north, the vast majority of them are deadly monsters. Many an old legend speaks of a hero who seeks out and slays one, or even a nest of these brutes. Horrifyingly, the people of Kopshirar have managed to domesticate some of these, constructing saddles just behind the beast’s head for their most vicious and bloodthirsty knights. Even so, it takes the constant work of a team of servants to keep these beasts under control and above ground during downtime.

    Six-legged trackers
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    Bariks are curious creatures. While seemingly little more than landbound relatives of the wild Sungrik, the fact that their bills contain teeth and their extra pair of legs is quite odd, not to say that the platypus itself is not an abomination. Bariks are used by hunters, but unlike the vakashar, which is collared and only sent to bring down the kill with the great maw, the bariks are the expert trackers, who can be relied on to actually wait for the master to follow. Still, even they are hardly quaint pets – picking up a barik the wrong way is likely to lead to injury.

    The Wild beasts of the Northwest
    Given how even the abovementioned vakashar, echal and bulette are not nearly as completely domesticated as many creatures on Earth, it should not be a surprise that there are plenty of beasts on walufar regarding whom, taming is not something that can even be seriously considered.

    The little hoppers
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    Wallabies are probably the most common animals in northern Telsarn. While small compared to most herded animals, wallabies are still a staple source of food and often form the main portion of what a hunter might expect to bring home after a successful outing. There are many different breeds of wallaby in Telsarn, with the larger Irma and tiny Lunata in the northern plains and the Nornata in and around the Rounded Hills being the most common. However, even tiny tree-climbing species such as the Penetexist.

    Wallaby meat is prized as the finest red meat in Telsarn, if not all of walufar. It is typically best eaten rare.

    Little Pests
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    The rat or retus, as it is sometimes known, is a small critter that acts as a near-omnipresent pest. Rats feed on just about anything, from grain to tiny insects, to the nectar of flowers.

    The idiotic hoppers
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    The Jackalope is likely the dumbest mammal in the world. A little creature similar to the lunata, the jackalope’s distinguishing features include a pair of sharp horns similar to the mountain goats, a short fuzzy tail and a greatly underdeveloped survival instinct. Jackalopes are likely to attack or hide from anything they perceive as a threat, which is quite literally anything bigger than they are that moves. On stormy days, this has often enough included falling branches and willowy trees. The jackalopes survive only due to the fact that they breed so very often and tend to have large numbers of offspring, the largest in Walufar in fact. Jackalopes are often baited with a dummy or stuffed prishar on a pendulum – their horns are fine ornaments and coat hangers, while the meat is not bad stewed.

    Mud dwellers
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    The Sungrik is a strange creature. Mixing the traits of lizards, birds and mammals, these hairy creatures dwell in shallow ponds and slow-flowing rivers, where they use their wide beaks to dig for bugs. While not aggressive, the sungrik does have a nasty pair of venomous talons on its rear legs which are primarily used against anything chasing one underwater, but are often used against travellers who accidentally step on their long tails or foolish hunters who pick a live one up. Despite the many similarities to the barik, this creature has only four limbs and shows no signs of having a vestigial pair.

    The bonecrunchers
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    The Opshar is the northernmost species closely related to the Wakasarn. Found mostly in Nekrer and regions bordering that land, these beasts at first glance seem to be a more dark-haired version of the prishar. Closer examination, however, reveals that they have rounder ears, a long hairless tail and protruding, bony elbows. Opshar are typically content to tear apart carrion, but when they fight a live foe, their bloodlust is something to dread.

    The dread stalker
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    A dark-furred and scruffy crossbreed of vakashar and krenshar, the nekrishar is a deadly monster. While a vakashar itself is not easy to slay, this beast has been improved by mad necromancers and can be a challenge even to seasoned combatants. This was likely their insane attempt to use magic to create a version of vakashar that would be easier to tame and harder to harm, but they failed miserably in the first part. The magics that surround these beings can cause even the finest archers to fire at random scenery, while the creatures themselves ignore the favoured powers of the very necromancers who created them. This naturally rather irked the wizards, who offer sizeable bounties for nekrishar heads. Furthermore, a skilled tanner can fashion excellent armour from the hides of these beasts, which possess some lingering remnant of the magic that protects the monsters. One more word of warning, however: warriors who barely escaped a foolhardy attempt to hunt one down, often at the cost of the slowest member of the group, tell that they saw the monster’s wounds heal even as they fought it.

    Birds of Prey
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    Deadly creatures called Ralhaim are one of the most feared species of hawk in the land. Not actually dependent on magic or a specific foodsource, they are also the most common bird of prey in the northlands. These blood-ripping hawks are otherwise no different from other birds of prey, but what makes them frightening is their reaction to any injury. Simply put, if a ralhaim is in any way hurt, but not dead, it will seek combat with just about anything made of flesh. While this generally means death to the individual ralhaim, it also means that there are few beings who would risk combat with one, knowing that any actual contact is likely to send the bird into a hellish bloodlust.

    Several species of fish-eating eagle also live by the coasts, most notably the great black erne in Nekrer and Kopshirar, which is almost as tall as a man.

    The venombirds
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    The oyassu are, at first glance, little more than some decorative birds. They have colourful feathers, small plumed heads and a wide pair of wings. What makes them special, however, is the fact that many nobles consider them a delicacy. Part of this stems from the birds being partially poisonous – a chef must take great care to separate the edible portions from the ones which could lead to a slow and agonising death. Oyassu are most common in Ganllam, but are also found in Laennom.

    The Hairy Titans
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    A truly large beast, the Terum is strong and deadly. Standing on four legs, the hairy titans is taller than a man. On the rear legs, on which it typically stands, one of these is a fair bit taller than a moropus. Their front claws and teeth are capable of tearing people apart in one bite or slash. To further complicate matters, these beasts are not nearly as dumb as the Kothi beasts and not easily chased into a trap. Of wild animals, only sphinxes and bulettes would dare hunt these – even a griffon knows that it is no match. Luckily enough, the vast majority of tales refer to the Terum as strict herbivores who are not aggressive if not provoked. Due to their sheer size and power, they roam in all regions where there is plenty of plantlife.

    The creatures of the underground
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    The Bulette has few natural competitors. Few massive beasts are capable of navigating underground nearly so well. However, one unique creature, the Vorgag, has filled some of the niche that the ferocious hunting of bulettes that our ancestors partook in left. The vorgag is most similar perhaps to the Terum, but even there, the differences are minor at best. The vorgag is most common in the south, but the dwarves of Mognluz repeatedly claim that these terrible beasts harry even their lands. Half as big as a bulette, it is already a massive monster, but still quite able to squeeze through mine tunnels, this monster seems dangerous enough, but the fact that all tales speak of the thing picking people up and throwing them around, as if it had phantom limbs, is unsettling indeed.

    The small armourbeasts
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    There are several speces of armadillo in Walufar. The most common varieties, Aekar and Vuhknar, eat both insects and weeds and dwell throughout most of Northern Walufar, perhaps the south as well. The pink Huknel is found almost exclusively in Alentia, Hregmar and Ganllam, however.

    The great armourbeasts
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    The Glypnar is another highly successful animal. They are as big as the gronvei, but again luckily enough subsist on plants, not meat. Covered in bony plates finer than many suits of armour and in possession of long spiked tails alongside sharp claws, they are not to be taken lightly. The glypnar are most common in northeastern Telsarn, especially Ganllam and Hregmar, but can be found in many other parts of Walufar as well. Note that while there are no tales of Glypnar eating flesh, they are still quite aggressive when they perceive someone or something that might deem itself a threat and have been provoked to attack simply by making too much noise. Luckily enough, the Glypnar are quite happy with simply driving the challenger off and will not typically pursue a foe.

    The One-horned Titan
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    The largest species of lizard found in the north is probably the Nrakoth. This beast is a huge and heavy plant-eater almost as big as the Terum. Despite having an impressively thick skull and a massive horn, their dull wit, slow movement and poor care for their eggs, the Nrakoth are a rare species these days, as the Terum and Glypnar simply outperform them. The other Kothi, down south, are more successful, if only because there are fewer large mammals which prefer the arid savannahs and empty deserts to the more fertile grasslands in the north.

    The bloodsuckers
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    Hailing from the swamplands, but currently found throughout Telsarn, if not all of northern Walufar is the stirge. Strange, not quite insectoid things, the stirges are the bane of any cattle farm. Large enough to suck the blood from a gronvei until the beast grows weak, yet agile enough to evade the headbutts, it is these creatures more than any other insect which warrant the keeping of echals.

    Nasty crawlers
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    Centipedes are annoyingly common in Telsarn. To boot, most species are poisonous. The most common species of large centipedes, the tanper is about as long as a man’s upper arm. However, creatures twice as long are not hard to find. Smaller centipedes are no less a threat at times, for the optar often gathers in great hordes in damp places. These hordes, if numerous enough, are even a threat to people.

    While there are many species of spider in Walufar, the palm-sized Ertamk and larger Horstak are the most common in northern Telsarn. However, in the southern parts thereof, more wild and agressive spiders are also found. While most are no larger than horstaks, specimens up to the size of the domesticated utuk have been spotted, while the smaller ones too tend to be more venomous. Even a species of giant ticks with blood-covered webs lives in the densest forests and jungles.

    Swarms of locusts and bees also exist, the former banes to farmers, the latter a boon.

    More Snakes
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    Two more species of snake are common in northern walufar, in addition to the suckling. The closer relative and likely ancestor of the suckling is the Midden strangler. The midden strangler is a non-venomous snake, which enjoys dwelling in piles of compost and privies. As a result, it is covered by a gross slime at nearly all times. Midden stranglers hunt little prey-beasts, which they prefer to strangle.

    The weed viper is the third well-known snake. While the smallest and the least likely one that a person would run into a settlement, they are in fact the most common, but only live in the wilds. They are very small, but quite poisonous.

    Both varieties of snake have been seen as the familiars of particularly nasty wizards.


    The domesticated animals of Southern Telsarn
    There is no true consensus on where the south begins. As far as many of the common people of Lewarur are concerned, anything south of their homeland is southern Telsarn. Most scholars do agree, however, that the line should be drawn either over or through Velagtia, where the southernmost of the forest end and the savannah begins. Naturally, the lifeforms in the southern savannahs and southeastern jungles are not identical to creatures who dwell in the forests of the north, although there are plenty who exist in both. Naturally, listrois, vakashars and even moropuses can be seen in parts of the south, but the moropus is very rare indeed and vakashars are not readily seen in the wild.

    Riding Birds
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    The Moa is a rare creature in the north, but the most common type of mount in southern lands and common enough in the armies of Suogelia and Velagtia. Their speed advantage over moropuses makes war-trained moa excellent choices for fast cavalry. Moa are tall creatures with hardly undetectable vestigial wings, brown feathers and long legs.

    The Stomping Titans
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    One of the largest beasts in Telsarn, certainly the largest common creatures, are the Parakrets. A parakret is easily larger than any Nrakoth or Terum. A human’s head would at most reach above the ankle of one of these monsters. Due to their sheer size, however, the typical parakret is not aggressive towards people, though one roused to defend itself can easily slaughter just about anything. These large animals have often been tamed and southerners often speak proudly of the village parakret, which supposedly can do the work of a dozen moropuses, though that a village parakret is mentioned as opposed to a personal one draws attention to their price and rarity. The terrifying thing about parakrets is that several southern nations, including Velagtia, have trained them as warbeasts, monsters large enough to carry half a dozen archers in a tall howdah. The largest specimens are as tall as castles and used primarily as living siege platforms. The only problem with using these creatures for something seems to be the immense amount of vegetation that one needs to eat.

    Hairy desertbeasts
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    Smaller, though still rather large critters similar to the terum, a Punyip is a hardy denizen of the savannah. Skilled at digging up hidden roots and other subterranean food, the Punyips are well-suited to the south. This has resulted in some people trying to herd them as we herd gronvei. While this is not nearly as easy, there are far too few beasts who can survive in the deserts for the locals to be picky.

    Horned titans
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    Related to the nrakoth in the north is the uskoth. Slightly larger and with two more horns, these beasts are a more deadly creature, though no more a match for the parakrets than the nrakoth are to rerums. As a result, they are rare anywhere but Telsarn’s southern strip, where Umeltania is the principal user of these monsters.

    Spider guardians
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    A rare species of giant spider has been domesticated in some of the southern nations. While extremely rare in velgatia, they are said to be common among the wealthier kenku. These spiders are mostly used as guard beasts, a role they suit better than any creature in Telsarn except perhaps the krenshar. The kenku name for these things is, apparently, utuk. These animals are often enough also used as companions by, admittedly rare, southern wizards or druids.

    The wildlife of Southern Telsarn
    While the massive plant-eaters described above might seem deadly, there are predators in the south who do their best to hunt even them. Also, as it is in the north, not all herbivores can be domesticated. Note that, again there is some overlap with the creatures mentioned – glypnar can be found in several southern regions as well, for instance. Jackalopes are also a common pest in the south. Finally, this entry does not catalogue the many freakish creatures native to the swamplands, as of those there are so many conflicting tales that a truthful report would be a great accomplishment by itself.

    More little hoppers
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    While nowhere near as common as they are in northern Telsarn, wallabies do live in the south as well. The Agaili in particular is very widespread in Agatia.

    The big hoppers
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    The Roo is the larger cousin of the wallabies. The male can weigh as much as a person and has been known to be aggressive towards individual interlopers, although the creatures’ jumping ability and speed mean that they often flee at the first sign of there being a deadly threat. Roos tend to live in the Agatian plains.

    The hairy snoutbeast
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    [/url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tapirus_terrestris.jpg"]Tapirs[/url] are among the most common sizeable animals in the jungles. Larger than wallabies but smaller than vakashars, tapirs are typically shy creatures, who prefer to hide from predators and are not hostile. Only females whose offspring are in danger are likely to lash out, even they only when cornered. They are often hunted by the people who dwell by the jungles, but much like the wallaby, a tapir is too fearful and unwilling to be in the open to make a good herd animal.

    The big snoutbeast
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    Larger versions of the tapir, the sronpir have far less hair on their bodies. Sronpirs prefer to live in and near the southern lakes and rivers. Some southerners have attempted to train these creatures to act as draft animals or even mounts, but they are far more stubborn and lazy than moropuses. Their hard skin resists whips, but people who can tame Parakrets can likely eventually tame anything. For the now though, these creatures are mostly what people who live by rivers hunt rather than ride.

    The venom biters
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    A strange creature that, much like the echal, possesses several traits which make it look like a cross between mammals and reptiles, [/url="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Euchambersia09.jpg"]Bersas[/url] are the principal jungle predators. While a vakashar relies on powerful jaws that can break even the bones of Gronvei and the agalin rely on simply being big enough that they can catch and kill most creatures in their region, the small bersa rely most on their venom, which can turn even large creatures like sronpir weak over time when several bersas deliver their bites at once. Those who have been afflicted by bites report great internal damage, which often starts with loss of control over one’s bowels and can in worst cases lead to one’s spleen and liver ceasing to work altogether. They are said to be vicious little bastards, who never let go of their prey.

    Thieving little buggers
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    Tiny lizards that run on their rear legs, Nithols appear to be a cross between lizards and great running birds like the moa and agalin. These preators are common in the savannah, where they mostly subsist on sandrats and the eggs of various birds. While they could make useful creatures that remove pests, they themselves act like vermin often enough. A nithol is an incredibly curious yet dim-witted little creature, which tries to eat just about any new thing small enough to fit in its mouth. Thus, they often act as unwitting thieves.

    The ripper mass
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    While even smaller than the similar nithols, the Hesprol is a more dangerous creature. Individually weak and feeble, these miniature meat eaters work in large groups and can bring down even man-sized prey. They are found throughout the jungles, where they compete with the significantly larger bersas with frightening efficiency and aptitude. Locals claim that situations where a group of bersas which have almost brought a large beast down with their venom is forced to flee from a ravening horde of hesprols.

    The Fleshgorger bird
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    Similar to the Moa which they hunt, the fleshgorgers or agalin are rare in northern Telsarn, but are very common in the southern savannah, where their speed allows them to catch even a roo. The fleshgorgers are clumsy in forests, however, where their height and lack of camouflage leads to all potential prey hiding before the birds spot them.

    The dreadtailed bird
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    A curious species of bird lives in the jungles of the south. While no larger than a wallaby, this thing is still able to survive amidst the deadly monsters of the region largely due to the odd tails they have, which can create a corona of horrible visions to scare off any would-be attackers. This works best against agalins, which rely on their sight a lot, but has also been known to startle or even chase off hunters.

    The spitting snakes
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    Probably the most common vipers in the south, the mlaru are unique in that instead of delivering their venom by biting a foe, they instead spit slightly corrosive slime said to turn an afflicted person’s eyes dark green. Despite old wives tales, it is known that these serpents die the same as any other.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-17 at 04:38 PM.
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    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: The wildlife of Walufar; Telsarn

    Impressive list don't had the time to read it all, but seems quite well australia oriented
    cool though
    Quote Originally Posted by Icedaemon View Post
    <snip>The dreadtailed bird
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    A curious species of bird lives in the jungles of the south. While no larger than a wallaby, this thing is still able to survive amidst the deadly monsters of the region largely due to the odd tails they have, which can create a corona of horrible visions to scare off any would-be attackers. This works best against agalins, which rely on their sight a lot, but has also been known to startle or even chase off hunters.

    <snip>
    Do you have this one worked out? I would like to use it. With your permission.
    Last edited by Smokin Red; 2011-03-14 at 08:09 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    I started work on it, but It'll probably need a bit of tinkering. How about we both use the concept, if you finish statting out the critter? There's little enough to be done, I think - mostly making sure things fit the rules. I'll PM you the crunch.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Dramatis Personae

    Herein is a list of the local people of note. This list, more than perhaps anything else, shall grow and expand as the players explore the land. Currently, only a handful of people are noted - the most poweful nobles of Lewarur as well as the kings and famed heirs of neighbouring empires.

    The nobles of Lewarur
    Lewarur is still a fairly feudal nation. Even though the merchants’ influence has grown greatly, the Noble Council headed by the Table of Three is still the principal decision maker.

    Siegrun of the Kennel
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    The current head of House Agnraev, one of the three royal houses of Lewarur. The house of the Kennel is renowned for their skill at training animals, particularly vakashar and krenshar. Indeed, even their symbol is a sable Krenshar on a vert field. According to legends and history, house Agnraev was the first group in the north to tame krenshar and was also at the time the nation with the largest number of war-trained moropuses. The Agnraev kingdom was indeed a powerful nation even when Kopshirar was little more than a mass of warring clans and did once upon a time negotiate and trade with the kingdom of Nekrer as equals. The Agnraevs control the northernmost and largest third, almost a half of the triple kingdom.

    Siegrun herself is a woman in her early fourties. She has led the noble house for only two years, after her father passed away. As a result, few people can properly claim to know what effect her rule will have on her territories or Lewarur as a whole. It is unlikely her current nickname shall be the one which finally ends up in the history books.

    Menkor the Tall
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    The leader of House Caenbrar, Menkor is the eldest of the three high lords of Lewarur. House Caenbrar is controls the eastern reaches of Lewarur, which also includes the Glimmering Hills and the many mines in the said region. House Caenbrar used to be extremely wealthy while there was still silver in the Glimmering Hills, but now that silver has run out, House Caenbrar must rely on copper and marble as their natural resources, both of which are still rather easy to find. Due to all known silver deposits in Telsarn getting mined out, with the last one in the Giants Hills getting emptied out twenty years ago, silver has become the trade good compared to which all other prices are calculated. While the mines were still wealthy, plenty of dwarves moved to the Glimmering Hills and many still live here today. As a result, most of the best craftsmen in Lewarur still live in the southeast, with smiths and artisans who boast being mentored by a dwarf common in the land. The symbol of House Caenbrar is a yellow Gronvei on grey.

    Menkor the Tall is the oldest of the three high lords. Despite being well over sixty, he is still an imposing figure with commanding presence. Menkor tends to support laws which improve the status and rights of merchants and commoner landowners, which has led to his widespread popularity among the lower classes, and the support of the wealthy artisans and mine owners in his own holdings. While this has turned many of his fellow nobles against him, others realize that his ability to adapt to the new age has diminished the effects of the recent crisis on Lewarur.

    Anrik the Miser
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    Anrik is the head of house Velgakur. In ancient times, the noble house was known for being a stalwart friend of the faerie dragons and other friendly fair folk. They even wielded druidic magic at that time. However, as the influence of fae declined throughout the northwest, so did this magical power. In the end, house Velgakur was only saved by the citizenry banding together behind Anrik Silvertongue, the current ruler’s ancestor and namesake, who managed to persuade Caenbrar and Agnraev leaders to form the three Lewari kingdoms into one nation. House Velgakur managed to remain afloat by virtue of its hunters and lumberjacks for a time. The people who followed the Velgakuri lords tend to be hardy people, who manage to thrive even in their home region which is still teeming with wild vakashar. However, after Old Silvertongue’s death, house Velgakur has never produced a grand enough figure that they could regain some of their past glory and prove that the voice of their head should be equal to the voices of the Caenbrari and Agnraevers. House Velgakur is currently nearly impoverished.

    Anrik is a bitter old man. While fifty-nine years old, four less than Menkor the Tall, Anrik looks to be the oldest of the three high lords. Anrik has tried to retain his position by being frugal and deeply conservative, but this has only resulted in his title becoming ‘miser’. The most prominent noble house among Velgakur’s vassals did once pay Anrik a large sum, but as that said family did not provide a gift, but permanently bought out their estate, there now is a clear candidate to take over ruleship of the southwest if house Velgakur should be dishonored.

    Keron the Rich
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    The current head of noble house Advikar, Keron is one of the very few nobles who seems to be thriving in the current era. With a city and a keep on the southern border of Lewarur, he controls one of the major trade routes to and from Velgatia, as well as a often-used road from southern Suogelia. House Advikar is a relatively new player, but it has thrived during the last thirty years, largely thanks to Keron and his father, who was the wealthy and clever baron that managed to replace a decrepit and incompetent duke. While he has many detractors among his fellow nobles who accuse him of trickery and underhanded actions, his forward-thinking attitude and support of the merchant classes means that many cityfolk are fond of him. House Advikar recently purchased freedom from fealty to house Velgakur, at an enormous price, effectively placing the duchy outside of the triple kingdom’s chain of command. Due to all this, if his heirs are anything like their forebears, house Velgakur might indeed end up ceding its position to its former vassal.

    Nobles of Kopshirar
    Kopshirar is a monarchy that depends on noblesse oblige even more than Lewarur. Kopshi knightly orders and high positions of state are all in the hands of the nobility while the king is the sole voice of true authority.

    Vecraw the Sonless
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    The King of Kopshirar, Vecraw is a ruthless and cunning tyrant, like most of his predecessors. He lords over men and goblins both and still commands a mighty army with terrifying knights which ride not only moropuses, but deadly monsters such as griffons and bulettes. Vecraw’s sole weakness is that, according to ancient Kopshi traditions too sacrosanct for even the king to overrule, only a man may rule the nation, yet he has only daughters. While a sonless king has ruled Kopshirar before, Vecraw is the first one without a brother, nephew or cousin in the royal court who could inherit the nation.

    Celuswa
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    Hailed as a warrior princess among her own people and feared as a reaver and butcher elsewhere, Celuswa is Vecraw’s eldest daughter. Said to be tall and mannish in appearance, some whisper that her father hopes to circumvent the laws by having her assume all the traditionally manly roles.

    Nobles of Nekrer
    Nekrer is a constitutional monarchy, with the Senate, composed of prominent wizards and warlords alongside the elected representatives of the cities proposing legislation to the ancient lich-king, who chooses which to pass.

    Alrites Nekru
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    The eldest of the Nekrulopi, Alarites is a direct descendant of Nekru the first necromancer himself. Said to be the first lich, Alarites is himself almost a thousand years old. While he is quite content to simply stay on his throne and veto laws, no one should ever forget that he is likely the most powerful necromancer alive today.

    Gonfana Nekru
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    Granddaughter to Alarites Nekru, Gonfana is first in line for the throne, though she has been that for over nine centuries. Unlike her virtually immobile grandfather, Gonfana Nekru is still an active character in Nekrer who has often had a hand in the politics of neighbouring countries as well. Gonfana is said to be one of the strongest-willed people to have ever lived, as evidenced by the fact that only one other necromancer who has learned magic from both a wizard’s and a priest’s perspective has managed to reach lichdom. She is also the current rector of the largest Nekrerese (or, for that matter, known) college of magic.

    Lords of Velgatia
    The southern empire has enjoyed a rapid growth under the clever leadership of the last few kings. Only a century ago, a map of the south would show many borders for tiny nations much like those in the swamplands. However, a mix of political marriages and short wars led to one of the largest of these tiny kingdoms rapidly taking over most of its neighbours while most nobles were only coming to grips with the idea that the feudal orders of the past might not last much longer. Velgatia is now one of the largest nations in Telsarn, albeit with a population no higher than that of Lewarur.

    Galitor the Great
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    The current emperor of Velgatia, Galitor finished pushing his borders all the way to the Ogori Alliance only three years ago. Only five Agatian nations are still independent of his empire. If he absorbs them via war or his family’s usual trickery remains to be seen, but his relative youth and string of successes suggest that he will yet unite the south within his lifetime. While he and his heirs seem to be as skilled as his father was, there are plenty who doubt that this newly knit nation would remain as one for long.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-03-17 at 08:11 AM. Reason: Time's up, no votes casted.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Changes to mechanics

    Changes to mechanics:

    Levelled playing fields.
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    I am taking the advice of Yora and using Epic 10. This changes some of the flavour from epic high fantasy to a more grounded one. The lack of common high-level casters also means that mighty magical items and advanced scrolls are not easily found in village cornerstores - all magical items of value tend to have stories behind them and finding a fifth-level spell for your wizard will likely require getting on the good side of a wealthy academy. Raising the recently dead is a feat that only high priests can achieve.

    That said, while player characters will likely start off at ECL 1 or 2, one should not expect to run into continuous masses of level 1 NPCs - town guards tend to gain some levels over the course of their careers and even farmers should receive XP for, say, 'defeating' droughts. Still, NPCs who are anywhere near the level cap will be very rare.


    For Massive Damage
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    The gritty fantasy feel will also modify the massive damage threshold. A character's massive damage threshold equals double that said character's constitution score - 20 for the average 10 Con human and so on. The save required to survive massive damage is at least fortitude 15, but with every 5 points by which the damage dealt exceeds the threshold increasing the save DC by 2 points. Note that if a character fails the modified save, but does cross the 15 point mark, that said character is only near-death, with -6 Hp.


    Complicating languages:
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    I strongly dislike how easy learning languages is in D&D and also how few languages actually exist. Thus, I am placing many, many language barriers on Henariolak. Be prepared to hire native guides to translate for you. Well, that or keep someone who can cast 'tongues' repeatedly around, but native guides will be a lot more fun and allow you sorcerers to pick or wizards to prepare different spells.

    Common does not exist on this planet. The only reasonable explanation for the existence of a common language which I have seen was on Pathfinder, where the language of an empire which fell some time ago but had conquered all of the Inner Sea is still considered Lingua Franca. However, since no nation has held such power on Walufar, tough luck. There are many dozens of nations and over half of them have their own language, although admittedly, as on Earth, there are many closely related languages.
    Speak language is a bit of an odd one out among skills on this realm. It ought not be a class skill for any class, save perhaps some prestige classes, but ranks in it shall dictate how well any one language is understood.

    At rank one, one knows a scant handful of basic phrases and can parrot them, if often incorrectly. Rank two grants the ability to understand the language, if the phrases one hears are simple words spoken slowly, loudly and without accent, as well as use rudimentary phrases to try and converse. One can try to have a conversation, but the grammar will be deeply flawed and one will make many mistakes. Rank three will allow one to speak the language at roughly the same level as a peasant or uneducated commoner. Conversation is easy and grammar mistakes tend not to be too glaring, but one will be stumped if one hears strange terminology or a very unfamiliar dialect. Rank four allows one to speak like a citizen and merchant, someone who has an education and a good grasp of the language. The most esoteric terminology outside one’s area of expertise might still be confusing, but is it not to nearly everyone? Rank five is rarely seen, spoken by people who have such fluent control of language that sesquipedalian loquaciousness does not even surprise them and they can answer in kind with ease. This is currently only witnessed among diplomats, since lawyers and professors of linguistics have not been invented yet. Such people can often even read scientific texts outside their field of expertise without any discomfort.

    Most people speak their native language at rank three or four, depending on class and background. When learning languages which are closely related to your own, you pay half cost (as if it were a class skill) and start with one free rank. People who actually have ‘speak language’ as class skill are assumed to already have rank two in these languages. Each positive intelligence modifier further gives characters one free rank of any language from their region. One who learns a third rank of a foreign language in turn has an easier time with its relatives, treating them as if one had that language as a class skill. Additionally, people who live in border regions or multi-lingual lands, such as the River Lords region, will typically have one extra rank of whatever additional languages are spoken there (thus, someone from a Lewari family in the River Lords lands will speak Kopshi, already a related language, at rank 2 or 3.)

    Human languages of note include:
    Optirian, spoken by several nations in the far northwest. It is closely related to most of the northwestern languages, including Hregmarian, spoken a slight bit east of the lands where Optirian is widespread.
    Somewhat south of that, Santian is spoken, along with its relatives, including Alentian.
    Heinerek, spoken in the region around the central mountain range. There are many different dialects of the language, of which several are different enough to classify as a separate language, including Rakak and Ninuk, the latter of which is also spoken in northern Retegalafsei.
    The most widely spoken human-borne languages in Retegalafsei, however, are Neraai and Jaijaua, neither of which is very similar to the other or Ninuk. Since both are even more different from dwarven and goblin languages, a simplified form of Draconic has become the de jure trade language within Retegalafsei.

    Dwarven languages have a lot more in common. All five deep dwarf languages are closely related. The northern dwarf tribes languages are also very similar, though by now the surface dwarves' and deep dwarves' languages probably differ quite a bit. Sarshen has also developed rather separately from other surface dwarves and has several widely differing dialects that can occasionally stump those who speak it in a different dialect at ranks less than five.
    Goblinoid languages are an odd sort. The goblin languages of the northwest are all related, with several of them being close enough to be seen as dialects of each other, but there is an immense mass of them, with almost every tribe having its own dialect.

    Hobgoblins, who have gathered into two great nations, used to have many different languages as well, but only five have remained, three of which are spoken in Nrenha-Khugai and the other pair in Dengim-Bhail. In both states, however, one language is rapidly being implemented. Nrenha-Khugai, the older nation of the two by far, has already almost achieved this and all but the most mentally stunted of those who have another native language all speak Khugai-Vrin. They are, however, very different from the northern goblinoid languages.

    If the draconic languages were simpler, it is possible that they would already act as a bit of a Lingua Franca. There are only five draconic languages on Walufar. However, until one understands the basics of Draconic, there are immense difficulties in mastering it. The dragons do not accept the concept of loan words – while a phrase which is common in another language used by dragons might be implemented, copying the words of lesser beings is deemed beneath any form of Draconic.

    Retegapaukrak, spoken by the blue dragons is currently the most important by virtue of their mighty empire. A greatly simplified form of the language, called Retegapauklannirak, or Lanni-Retegarak is used to facilitate communications between the varied nationalities and species who bow to the Dragon-Emperor. The dragons who live in the central mountains and surrounding jungles tend to speak Vuneipagorkahauknak, while a third language, Serpbahettehaiklag, is used by the dragons who live in the northern regions.
    However, learning any one of these except Retegapauklannirak constitutes a problem, as it is notoriously difficult for a non-dragon attempts to learn his or her first draconic language. Thus, rank 1 is phrasebook level, 2-3 are ‘(barely) understands, cannot speak more than some phrases’, 4-5 is rudimentary and crude, 6 is peasant, 7 is merchant and rank 8 is diplomat-level.

    Retegapauklannirak has offered an interesting solution, however. It is as simple as most other foreign languages to learn and one who has mastered it can learn Retegapaukrak with ease (as it is closely related). In turn, the other draconic languages are easy to learn for one who is skilled with Retegapaukrak.

    The fifth draconic language, is called variations of Old Draconic by mortals. The language is even more complex and byzantine in requirements than the normal varieties, but it is never used to actually converse, for this is the language that is spoken to cast arcane spells. It is almost instinctively known to dragons, but even learning to correctly pronounce the syllables in any given circumstance takes a long time for prospective wizards. Most wizards understand Old Draconic at rank 1 - they know a handful of basic phrases they use when casting.

    Like goblins, elves and giants also have many different languages with similar roots. However, they control no great lands.

    Magical and outsider languages, such as Sylvan, Druidic, Infernal and such are still kept as one tongue. However, like Draconic, they are very alien and complex and likewise have ten ranks of mastery.


    Can you even read?
    Spoiler
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    Literacy is not nearly as widespread on Walufar as it is in the Forgotten Realms. Certainly, all wizards, archivists, factotums and others whose skills and powers depend directly on the knowledge they can gather and understand can read - to them this is an essential skill. However, with the other classes, one's country of origin plays a very big role in if they can read. Nearly everyone from Nekrer is literate, since the influence of the wizard-kings leads to knowledge and writing being considered very important. On the other hand, in the backwater swamplands even nobles tend to be illiterate.

    One should also note that literacy with languages that use different alphabets must be purchased separately and that the first time one purchases literacy, one will pay four, not two skill points. The different alphabets part also applies to wizards - they only start with literacy with the alphabets of their native language and possibly some secret language which is used to scribe scrolls.

    The Opti alphabet is used in Nekrer, Suogelia, Lewarur, Kopshirar, Hregmar, Ganllam, the three westernmost territories of Velgatia and certain parts of the marshlands.

    Laennom has its own written form, which can be referred to as an abugida.

    Velgatia, Alentia and several other Agatian nations, the Kenku, as well as some in the marshlands use a syllabary, originally created during an ancient Agatian empire. In some regions, it is being phased out in favour of the simpler Opti alphabet.

    Dwarven languages all use a complex set of logograms which few non-dwarves can understand. It is said that this was one of the reasons why the dwarves managed to hold onto their metallurgical secrets for so long.

    Draconic pictograms are even more complex. Each word and name is a separate symbol, with longer, more complex ideas or terms often marked by what to illiterate onlookers seems to be an insane mess. The closest things to draconic pictograms that exist on Earth would be the tughras of sultans.


    Skills and feats modified:
    Spoiler
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    Knowledge (local) shall be assumed to only touch on a character’s region of origin, unless specified otherwise. Depending on the number of ranks that one has, this explains only information regarding one’s city or shire of birth, hereditary nation, that and group of nearby nations or even the half of Walufar that one hails from. However, checks for minor information about places far from the core of one’s area of expertise have somewhat higher difficulty classes. Balancing that out is the fact that everyone who is not a complete recluse gains a +5 to checks of knowledge (local) in regard to the last location where they last spent at least two years in by virtue of hearing some gossip and being affected by the actually important events.

    Classes other than primary spellcasters gain +2 skill points per level.

    This space shall probably expand in the future...

    A class society:
    Spoiler
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    All the standard base classes can be encountered on Walufar. However, monks are incredibly rare, only seen among dwarves; dreamers in particular. Dwarven monks tend to go in for grappling as much as unarmed attacks. In mechanical terms, all monks are dwarfs or, if the player writes an interesting enough bio, mentored by dwarves.

    Charisma-based spontaneous arcane casters are far rarer than wizards, who are hardly seen every day themselves. Charisma-based casters tend to hail from Retegalafsei and Dengim-Bhail, where they tend to have draconic or fiendish blood respectively. However, family lines which have included several wizards, such as the royal house of Nekrulopi, might also have the occasional sorcerer. Obviously, playing members of royal families and people very closely related to dragons is not allowed, by virtue of the connections alone making it unfair on the fellow playing a peasant's son.

    Because of their rarity and (usually) high-profile heritage, anyone who wishes to play a sorcerer will need to make a compelling case for it. As pointed out earlier, a sorcerer relies on instinctive understanding of Old Draconic, just like her distant ancestor.

    Of course, spontaneous arcane casters who have dragon blood from an ancestor within the last four or five generations often become Dragon Disciples, dragon shamans or something else similar to this. Once again, they are rare outside of the regions where dragons themselves rule, of which currently only one (officially, at least) exists. Charisma-based draconic arcanists who have been raised and educated in Retegalafsei gain +2 skill points per level and count ‘Sense Motive’ among their class skills – they make up the bulk of the diplomatic corps of Retegalafsei. Again, at least when the game starts, playing a diplomat from a distant country will at best come with a dozen or so strings attached - a diplomat does often know sensitive information about one's country of origin and dragons do tend to be paranoid and vindictive when it comes to traitors.

    Bards are among the few spontaneous casters who don't have to have a strong magical heritage, but even they are typically from somewhat magical bloodlines. A bard relies not on instinctive knowledge of spells, but on manipulating the world's inherent magical aspects with music.

    Intelligence-based spontaneous casters like the duskblade are not met every day either, but they are trained in Nekrer. In their case, spontaneous casting is, flavour-wise, not so much due to great inherent power, but focusing so greatly on the few spells they know that they do not need the amount of revision that wizards require. Despite their magic being charisma-based, dread necromancers are also affected by a similarly short enough list of spells that their existence can be described thus, because necromancers are already one of the major staples of this world.

    Among prepared casters, wizards are far more common than Wu Jen, but those exist as well. Wu Jen hail only from the southern lands, where their brand of magic is based so much not on private research, flavour-wise, as it is on an older and slightly more demanding form of arcana discovered and explored by the blue dragons before normal wizardry spread across the world. Thus, Wu jen see wizards as people who take the easy and popular path and thus lack their mental integrity, while wizards see the Wu Jen as mages who insist on archaric and convulted practice. While there were plenty of Wu Jen in the world when civilization was young, the only high-profile surviving colleges are in the lands of the blue dragons. It is not impossible though that some Wu Jen mentored their children or nieces/nephews and passed the knowledge down through generations, in some small southern land.

    Wizard and Wu Jen starting spells are modified, in that in addition to the 0-th level spells, their spellbooks contain six+intelligence modifier spells to start with. Those said spells are of no more than third level, though a wizard may and likely must clearly choose those spells a good while before he or she can cast them. Wizards do not, however, learn new spells.

    In recent years, some folk identifying themselves as shadowcasters have also appeared in the open. With one school in Nekrer said to openly teach this sort of magic, these magi are stranger than even the secretive Wu Jen. Shadowcasters are opposed by many clergies, especially the church of Nop, which considers the notion that shadow and darkness can be used as sources of power as a great heresy.

    Knights, Marshals and Scouts are seen in all parts of Walufar, though the former two are most common in the northwest. While they used to have plenty of barbarians amongst them in the past, modern-day Bonesmen are often Swashbucklers or Artificers. The former is a combat style that is popular in many regions these days due to the distrust and mild hostility armoured folk who do not wear a guard's uniform (and often, even those who do) can expect inside large cities. Swashbuckler can also be seen as a kind of a base class by the merits of this world. The era of chivalry has passed in the minds of many city-folk and knights who ride into town in barded stallions are often seen as old oppressors who still cling to their glory days.

    Given the spread of civilization, it should be no surprise that the barbarian is a class on its way out. The closest and practically only place where human barbarians might come from is the Marshlands, where life is still hard and centralised governments impossible. Dwarven barbarians do not even exist in the known lands, unless some truly extraordinary circumstances come to pass. In Lewarur, practically the only barbarians one is still able to see in one's lifetime are the goblin tribes' elite warriors, though even they are often more likely to be ranger-types.

    Divine casters are not everyday encounters either. The vast majority of worshippers are laymen, adepts at best. One thing common in fluff but not often explored is the fact that a Cleric is someone who have been granted great magical power by their god, to be used by the cleric to fulfill the god's agenda, not for personal amusement or to gather wealth. A cleric will need to follow the orders of archpriests and divine doctrines, usually to the letter. Those who stray from the path will at the very least end up losing their powers, with the more vengeful gods responding to impudence with often-deadly force. Only in regions where a holy war is ongoing can one expect to see several powerful clerics on the battlefield at the same time.

    Druids might have it even worse. Given how rare they are, druids often have nowhere to turn to for guidance, yet the spirits they serve are if anything more demanding of strictly-followed doctrines than several gods. Only the fae can offer accurate interpretations of what a druid should do, yet they are alien in thought, dangerous and always have their own agendas.

    Paladins are also uncommon, though there are some orders in nations where the cult of Leen is strong. Paladins of Helm are also found in some regions. As pointed out in another post, since fighting evil is not an inherently good act, a paladin who does not wish to start looking for the nearest arch priest will need to show genuine goodwill. Still, a paladin is not quite as likely to fall from grace as a cleric, since the powers the gods grant them are less intensive.

    Archivists are not common arcane casters either, given how only Nekrer has locations which actually teach the trade. While they might not need to atone so often for doing what they personally wish to do, archivists need scrolls like wizards do, yet have a hard time finding any. In addition to that, most gods and clergies consider archivists abominable. Still, on the whole, a paladin or archivist is probably a more reliable healer for a party, unless the PCs decide to become agents of a specific church.

    Like wizards and Wu Jen, archivists too do not automatically gain new spells when they level up. The rarity of divine scrolls affects them even before they start their travels, however - archivists start with 3+int modifier spells of up to third level and must fill the rest of their spellbook by transcribing books and scrolls they manage to find.

    Rangers' magic is treated like shamanism and is not penalized, because it is typically weak enough to not break anything, especially with E10.

    I am very unlikely to allow homebrewed classes and spells, unless I see them as something which has a very interesting flavour which fits Walufar and as something which fills a gap among pre-exisiting spells or prestige classes. If I can be convinced that one of the underpowered base classes (such as the less-potent-than-bards marshals) should get an upgrade, that’s fine and good, but remember that what players get, NPCs can be entitled to as well.

    There are plenty of prestige classes available. However, only classes with a flavour which makes sense in Walufarian context befit the world and only characters who fit the class’s flavour, in turn, may take them. Thus, some modified form of ‘Scion of Tem-Et-Nu’ recalibrated to fit Leen would be much more acceptable than, say, Knights of the Iron Glacier, since switching one river deity for another in mechanics is far better than suddenly adding a chapter of knights and an environment for them to hail from – only the tallest mountains can be considered frostfell on Walufar and those are too steep and tall for all but the best climbers, never mind mounted units. As always, consult with your DM before proceeding.


    To do with 'Easy Fix' spells.
    Spoiler
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    While lowering the maximal level and noting that casters are rare might decrease the problem somewhat, one thing that should still be noted is that there are far too many low-level spells which are absurdly good in mundane situations. While this is fine, even beneficial in a hack & slash campaign, I am not fond of allowing this situation to remain so herein.

    Create water, Purify Food & Drink, Endure elements, Message, Mount, Comprehend Languages, Disguise Self, Create Food and Water, the clerical version of Enthrall, Remove Disease, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Tongues, are one level higher - the orisions and cantrips on level 1 and so on.
    Mending and Make Whole are two levels higher. This also goes for the cleric version of Comprehend Languages, making it a level 3 spell as opposed to a level 1 spell.
    Remove curse only affects one curse per casting.

    The spell ‘Tiny Hut’ does not protect from sand- or hailstorms strong enough to cause damage to people.

    Floating Disk
    has a large (at least 40 cm diameter) silver bowl as it's material component, to make sure that it is not too commonplace.

    While not much more complex, the Rope trick spell as understood by me leads to an extradimensional space in the Far Realm. Thus, characters who use it as a hideaway will have to make a will save (DC 12) when entering the space, as well as every fifteen minutes from there on, or go insane, as per the 'insanity' spell. Note that people who have been forced into the extradimensional space and driven insane will be enraged (as per Barbarian ability) when they become aggressive.

    Remove disease does not insta-cure all diseases, but gives the target the ability to re-roll the fortitude saves required to resist the diseases, with a circumstance bonus equal to the cleric's level.

    Note if you will that this will mean that a hostile cleric can magically induce problems (say, via contagion) earlier than a friendly one can cure them. This should be normal - after all, it is easier to harm than to heal in real life. Note also, that most non-SRD utility spells will likewise be at a higher spell level.

    Not all pouches are Bags of Holding
    Spoiler
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    To further balance spellcasters and non-spellcasters, the assumption that a tiny pouch can contain hundreds of different substances is overruled. A wizard who does not want his bat guano mixing with his horse hairs will need dozens of pouches or pockets, as well as a pocket for vials where to keep the holy water, mercury and other liquids. Because these substances are often not easy to pull out, producing the materials needed to cast a spell with more than one material components requires a separate standard action, while spells which require only one component take a move action. The 'Quick draw' feat allows for drawing one component as a free action, or several as a move action.

    Finally, given how even mundane spell components are not infinite in any pouch, wizards who partake in long adventures in regions where magic-users are rare can on occasion run out of non-mundane substances they need to cast spells they use a lot (such as, for example, fireflies for the Light spell).

    Of course, coins are not exempt from this either. A party that finds a chest full of gold is lucky indeed, buy cannot expect to stuff all it contains into six small leather bags. If they later have to run away, carrying the chest might prove an impediment itself. Of course, this is what henchmen are for...

    Other things of note:
    Due to Henariolak's distance from most outer planes, summoning celestial creatures is next to impossible and fiendish creatures are rarely easy to call. However, outsiders from Mechanus and Acheron are easily summoned and beings from the transitive planes can be found.

    The incantation rules from Unearthed Arcana can be used to replicate sixth- and higher-level spells, though instructions are needed and rituals are quite a fair bit more difficult.

    Dwarves are not the only people with racial weapons lists - indeed, not even all dwarves have the same list. Most human nations, as well as the goblins, have differences in their weapons lists - while most humans treat flails as exotic weapons, they are martial for goblinoids, for example.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-20 at 02:21 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
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  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    Two new maps added. Tribeless goblins elaborated on.

    Yes, the political map of Telsarn has many names and provinces. This might seem like excessive detail, but the simple chance of focusing on the bits that make up Velgatia and Alentia helps plan and flesh the land out a fair bit.

    Note: The river lords are not marked on the poltical map partially because they haven't decided on an official name yet.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-03-30 at 04:00 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    The Known Languages.

    The colours which mark the languages show the language's family - the same colour indicates a close relation between two languages. An underlined language shows that this is currently the primary language of a nation.

    Opti - spoken throughout Nekrer and often used by the people of neighbouring countries.

    Havti - spoken near the northern end of the Opti-Kopshi border. The last shred of Havtirer was conquered by Kopshirar six hundred years ago, but the serfs of the region still mostly speak Havti.

    Caligeblar - Spoken by the goblins of the Caligeyag tribe and close enough to the lingo of many tribeless goblins.

    Kopshi - spoken throughout Kopshirar. Only the far southernmost part of the region contains people who have little familiarity with the language. However, Frana is itself not too different from Kopshi.

    Punusei - spoken in Punuser and the northern portion of the River Lords domain, as well as southwestern Kopshirar. Because Punuser tends to be fought over by its neighbours, most Punusians are bi- or trilingual, but they always learn their native tongue first.

    Laennie - Spoken in Laennom

    Ganllai - Spoken in Ganllam

    Omma - Spoken in Ommalar and parts of Northeastern Kopshirar. This is the third surviving Laennie-like language. The Ommalaen have been part of the surrounding empires for long enough that most of them also speak Hregmi or Kopshi.

    Hregmi - Spoken in Hregmar.

    Hegbla is spoken by the Vallesgar. it is a primitive goblinoid language, simple enough that any known goblinoid can learn it with relative ease, even as the Hegga are stumped by the faster, more ordered languages of other goblinoids. It is not really a suitable trade language though, for only primitive concepts which the Hegga comprehend and deal with daily have actual terms for them. Naturally, there exist several dialects of this language, but their simplicity means that most Hegga understand one another.

    Mognluz Ark Spoken by the dwarves of Mognluz. Dwarves with Mognluzi heritage always learn the language even if they were born far away.

    Alusian - Spoken in the former Aulsoria. Aluser is the only part of Nekrer where only speaking Opti might not suffice.

    Suogeli - Spoken in Suogelia and some Lewari border towns.

    Lewari - Spoken in Lewarur and the southernmost parts of the River Lords' region, as well as the County of Taniur. Ulkari accent is a bit distinctive, but the people of different parts of Lewarur rarely have trouble communicating.

    Nagigmabljan - Spoken by the goblins of the Nagigmagub tribe and close enough to the lingo of many tribeless goblins.

    Frana - spoken in Fronrul and the southern tip of Kopshirar.

    Marsher Languages - there are many virtually isolated towns in the Marshlands region, which results in a mass of differing dialects with gradual changes and blurry barriers. The languages spoken in the closest parts thereof are, from north to south, Inekari, Tomokeri, Hatari and Ulrei.

    Algnari - Algnaria. Algnar was the first proper Optikin nation conquered by Velgatia and something of a wake-up call to Lewarur, which previously considered Velgatia a totally harmless neighbour stuck behind a large swamp. Algnar was a recent aquisition and most of the cities in the region are still partially in ruins.

    Kaean - Spoken in Aoti Kaea. The language is an oddity in Walufar, a goblin language more closely related to the languages of the hobgoblins of the far east than the goblins in the northwest. Aoti Kaea was the only proper goblin nation in Telsarn, until Velgatia invaded it when it was still recovering from a war with Algnar.

    Caulari - Caulia. Caular was a tiny Optikin duchy at war with Suogelia, when Velgatia invaded it from the east.

    Kormelan - Spoken in Kormelia and Malatia. Kormelia was split in two when some of the local nobles rebelled when Velgatia claimed the nation due to blood relations to the Kormelian Scepter.

    Velgatian - The first language spoken in Velgatia (mostly Central Velgatia, at least). Velgatian has become the principal Agatian lingo.

    Santian - Santian used to be the principal Agatian language a long time ago, but as the Santekaia empire crumbled, the language's power base collapsed. While there are still more than a few people who speak Santian in Velgatia and other Agatain nations, even the empire's core regions are not unique enough to warrant being seen as a separate province.

    Wild Tribe - The wild goblin tribes in the region stretching from Sigia to Tall Rock speak several very similar languages. While the goblins in Goblinwood and those in Sigia do usually understand one another, there is enough drift from one part of a region to another that two goblins from opposite ends of the region dubbed, perhaps prematurely, Tamed Land, will have trouble understanding each other.

    Alentian - The principal language throughout Alentia.

    Henarkastelak - The language of a secretive marsher nation said to be ruled by small dragons.

    Anastan - Mostly spoken in Anaseta, a largely nomadic matriarchy in the south.

    Olastan - Mostly spoken in Lekhosita and Ephosita, two mostly similar nations of quarrelsome nomads separated by the Sarkfaen river.

    Anulstan - Mostly spoken in Anulsita and parts of the region known as 'Tamed Land'.

    Kestun - Mostly spoken in Paesito, Ropesito, parts and parts of the region known as 'Tamed Land'.

    Rohastin - Mostly spoken in Rohasita.

    Kenk Vus - The language of the Kenku, who rule Lajik Ken and Hik Ken.

    Harnzu-Vak Spoken by the dwarves of Harnzuvm, an insular dwarven nation not afraid of war.

    The 'Speak Language' skill:
    Rank:
    I: - One knows a scant handful of basic phrases and can parrot them, if often incorrectly.
    II: - One can understand the language, if the phrases one hears are simple words spoken slowly, loudly and without accent. May use rudimentary phrases to try and converse.
    III: -Allows one to speak the language at roughly the same level as a peasant or uneducated commoner. Conversation is easy and grammar mistakes tend not to be too glaring, but one will be stumped if one hears strange terminology or a very unfamiliar dialect.
    IV: - Allows one to speak like a citizen and merchant, someone who has an education and a good grasp of the language. The most esoteric terminology outside one’s area of expertise might still be confusing.
    V: - Spoken by people who have such fluent control of language that sesquipedalian loquaciousness does not even surprise them and they can answer in kind with ease. This is currently only witnessed among diplomats, since lawyers and professors of linguistics have not been invented yet. Such people can often even read scientific texts outside their field of expertise without any discomfort.

    Most people speak their native language at rank three or four, depending on class and background.

    When learning languages which are closely related to your own, you pay half cost (as if it were a class skill) and start with one free rank. People who actually have ‘speak language’ as class skill are assumed to already have rank two in these languages. Note that each language is still paid for separately.

    Each positive intelligence modifier further gives characters one free rank of any one language from their region. One who learns a third rank of a foreign language in turn has an easier time with its relatives, treating them as if one had that language as a class skill.

    People who live in border regions or multi-lingual lands, such as the River Lords region, will typically have one extra rank of whatever additional languages are spoken there (thus, someone from a Lewari family in the River Lords lands will speak Kopshi or Punusei, already related languages, at rank 2 or 3; rank 2 if one or more bonus languages are picked, rank 3 if only one.) Characters who live in a foreign culture will start with both their native language and the regional language at rank 3.

    One who is fluent at rank 4 in three related languages can piece things together enough to understand all other languages in that family at one rank higher. (at rank 2 if Speak Language is not a class skill; at rank 3 if it is)
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-16 at 07:48 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Money makes the world go around

    Every nation has its own monetary system, though most Telsarnian nations operate and trade based on a unified value of silver, as all still functional silver mines are too small to really flood the market. Due to frequent trade between these nations, the coins have slowly reached easily calculable values.

    Lewarur
    Spoiler
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    The Lewari Dancing Hound is a large silver coin worth ½ a standard gold piece in terms of value. It is shaped like a rounded rectangle with a 3/5 width to height ratio and generally the standard monetary unit that wealthy people tend to calculate by. Dancing Hounds are marked with a Rampant Krenshar on one side and the engraving and name of a local lord on the other side. Nobles occasionally collect Dancing Hounds

    One Dancing Hound is worth 25 Bulls, round brass coins blazoned with the head of a Gronvei bull on one side and 1/25 engraved into the other. These are the coins of commoners in the public eye. A Bull is further worth ten ‘weights’ – unadorned lead squares which in some places are seen as worth less than the lead itself. These are generally unpopular, largely due to their weight.

    On the other end of the scale, the Lewari Dukat is a large decagonal coin, composed of gold with trace amounts of silver and marked with three crowns (all pointing outside) on one end and portraits of the current triarchs on the opposite side. A Dukat is worth 30 Dancing Hounds.

    Nekrer
    Spoiler
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    The principal coin in use in Nekrer is the Head, a small sterling coin equivalent to 2/5 of a Dancing Hound and often stated to be the basis on which the other northern nations have set the value of their silver coinage. The Head is blazoned with a skull on one side and the coat of arms of Nekrer on the other.

    The tiny bronze Marat is the smallest coin in circulation in Nekrer, with one Head worth 30 Marats. One side of a Marat is marked with the number 30 in old nekrerian numbers. The other end features an eye.

    The Electrum coin, officially called the Tuprat but generally called a Princess, is the coin of choice for large transactions, such as purchasing a purebred horse or a good suit of armour. 55 heads equal one Tuprat. These coins are blazoned with the nation’s seal on one side, surrounded by script informing one that this coin is worth 55 heads. The other side has an engraving of the mask of Gonfana Nekru.

    The Alariterat is the most recent addition and by far the most pricey of these coins. The Alariterat is a huge platinium coin, with obsidian inlaid symbols and picture of the Lich-King. Due to the incredible rarity of platinium, the Alariterat are themselves very pricey. One Alariterat is equal to sixty Tuprats and thus only used by the very richest of folk. These coins are very elaborately decorated.

    Suogelia
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    In Suogelia, all coins are nonograms. The silver coins called Shines, half as large and valuable as a Dancing Hound, and the bronze coins equal in value to the marat are nonagons. The bronze coins are known as Little Stars, though due to equivalent value, calling them Marat is common enough, especially in the northern regions.

    The gold coin, the Yellow Sun is a nine-pointed star, in fact gold poured and left into an iron mold in the shape of Nop’s holy symbol. The gold coins are quite large and worth 105 Shines.

    What exactly is marked on these coins varies. Often ,they are blazoned with the local ruler’s portrait, but the Nopvir mint issues coins which are marked with religious symbolism. These Yellow Suns are jokingly called holy symbols by some commoners, but given how one of those can in fact be ordained as a proper holy symbol with only a simple ritual, the joke is hardly one to write home about.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-30 at 08:27 AM.
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    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Focus on Lewarur



    Introduction and History

    The kingdom of Lewarur is a proud nation, but one that has fallen on hard times. The loss of control over cities on the great river Nilfaen has led to an even worse of an economic crisis than the one affecting other feudal nations such as Kopshirar. With almost five hundred years of history as a single state, Lewarur is neither a newcomer to the world nor an ancient force that outsiders see as an indomitable fact.

    While mostly referred to as a kingdom, Lewarur is technically a Triarchy, an alliance of three kingdoms, Caenbrur, Ulkarur and Kakur, which in time grew into one nation. According to different historians, they either allied against Kopshirar or because Anrik Silvertongue, the king of Kakur, was afraid that the other two kingdoms would consume his otherwise and merely used Kopshi aggression as a fine excuse to strengthen the bonds of fellowship and turn the alliance into a union. In either case, the at the time temporary union has endured for hundreds of Uears. In time, the three nations cultures and languages, already close enough for easy communication, blended together until the core kingdoms’ languages sound more like dialects of one another. The symbol of Lewarur is a chimera, ironically a nearly unknown monster on Walufar, with the heads of a yellow gronvei, a faerie dragon and a black krenshar. The current three kings, or rather two kings and one queen, are Anrik the Miser, Menkor the Tall and Siegrun of the Kennel.

    While there have been occasions when the union was threatened, it has endured these troubles. The most recent event which threatened Lewarur’s stability was the Caenbrar sucession crisis when Menkor the Tall’s great-uncle Tarsmor tried to seize his brother’s seat via assassinations. However, the seceding cities on the Nilfaen River, particularly Nilvir, are currently the principal problem for the Triple Kingdom – without the shipping routes from the Glimmering Hills downriver to Fenar, trade caravans must drag vast weights overland, which slows transit, makes it more expensive by virtue of the maintenance the gronvei and moropuses in the caravan need and presents far more opportunities for brigands and goblins to assail the caravan, which requires more guards, which yet again increases costs.

    The current flag of Lewarur shows three vertical bands alternating green, grey and green. Howefer, an older flag which depicts the three heads of this chimaera, in yellow, blue and black, on a reddish brown background, is still legal and used in several places.

    Relationships and public opinions.
    With each other:
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    Despite the long period of unity, the Lewari still have certain dispositions towards one another that stretch back to before the Triple Kingdom was born. The Ulkari are seen as people who cheerfully spend time in stables and are most interested in rare creatures, the odder the better. A stereotype associated with Ulkari women is cooing over a youngling of even the most horrible creatures in the known world. A more positive stereotype associated with Ulkakur is the chivalrous knight, who takes good care of the people in his fief as well as his mount.

    Kakur is seen as a backwater piece of land, where ignorant folk who talk about the good old days live. The people of Kakur are seen as ignorant, stubborn, and poor. However, the Kakri are also considered fine hunters and incredibly loyal.

    Caenbrur is a region dominated by the Glimmering Hills. Caebri, especially Caebri hillfolk, are seen as fat merchants and on occasion folk who would stab anyone in the back for a good profit. However, Caebri are also seen as clever, adaptable people with vision. Caebri soldiers are considered some of the best infantry in the world.

    With Nekrer
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    While Lewarur is on amiable terms with most of its neighbours, it is a landlocked state, with few exports. The only prized material which is more abundant in Lewarur than anywhere else in the region is black marble. Since the Nekrerese quite like the look of the mineral, marble trade between Lewarur and Nekrer has for a long time been a main source of income for the nation. Nilfaen’s independence has turned that into a problem as well, however – the great taxes the river towns demand on trade rafts passing by turn the principal trade route into one which is no longer cost-effective. Still, Lewarur has not had a serious conflict with Nekrer for several hundred years and often emulates Opti culture. The stereotypical Opti is, to Lewari eyes, an educated know-it-all who dabbles in strange and dangerous arts, but is rarely very malicious. The absentminded wizard is also usually associated with Nekrer, not without cause as most magi in Telsarn learn their craft in that land.

    With Kopshirar
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    Lewarur and Kopshirar have long been rivals and foes. Kopshirar has for all of its written history been a warlike nation, with a strong tyrant ruling over the entire land. While both Kopshirar and Lewarur are feudal nations with respected knights, the simple fact that the Kopshi knights are among the finest warriors in the land has led to Lewarur pioneering anti-cavalry tactics. For the most part, Lewari and Kopshi hate one another. Given how one of the major reasons for the river lords’ unified front was a momentary lapse in this ancestral hatred, the prejudice and hate are now as strong as ever despite there not being a war between the two nations for a long while. The Kopshi are at best seen as easily controlled fools and usually considered cruel bastards who delight in toying with the deadliest monsters in the known realms.

    With the River Lords
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    Obviously, Lewarur does not get along well with the rebels in the cities along the Nilfaen. Those who are not confused by the independence which Kelasvir and Nilvir claim consider these people horrible traitors and villains. Their tolls on the river are seen as nothing more than banditry.

    With the Suogeli
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    Suogelia is also reasonably friendly with Lewarur. Downriver along Culirfaen, this small nation was at a time a rival for Kakur, until a recent war against Alusoria led to a large land gain. Insofar, Suogelia is not anything that can be called a threat, but Lewarur has rarely been free from war with Kopshirar or some southern state to do battle against the Suogeli. The Lewari consider Suogeli to be jumped-up but harmless, though the increases in the power of the Church of Nop has led to the stereotype of the self-righteous religious fanatic to appear as well.

    With Velgatia
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    Velgatia is also a trade partner moreso than a foe. Lewari and other Optikin rarely see Agatians as a force to be bothered about – the plains are always warm and life is easy in Agatia. The plains might well be sparsely populated, whereas the watery regions near the great rivers which ensure that Telsarn is not a dry and unhospitable desert like Akrasarn are quite teeming with life, but since foodstuffs are easily gathered throughout the seasons, there is a sense that the Agatians tend to lack ambition. Even Velgatia’s expansion was not a true cause for concern for a long time, for the swampy Maltruk region is impassable for heavy caravans, let alone armies and the navy which Velgatia has in Maltafr is even smaller than Lewarur’s. The recent war between Velgatia and Algnar was a bit of a wake-up call – Algnar was a small Optikin nation which was almost as closely allied with the Church of Nop as Suogelia. The Algnari were not as powerful as their mighty kin in the north, but the fact that the entire nation was conquered in less than twenty years was still a shock. Thus, there is more dislike towards Velgatians in Lewarur than there was previously. The commoners are still seen as lazy layabouts, but the nobility is considered back-stabbing, agressive and ruthless. Since Kakur shares the largest navigable border region, the Kakri are prone to disliking the Velgatians the most. That said, the Kakri used to trade and get along reasonably well with the Cauli, when they still ruled their own small nation of Caural.

    Of the Velgatians from regions which the Heirs of Vel seized reasonably recently, Lewari get along best with Algnari. Algnari used to be considered cheerful and decent people, if somewhat annoying when a religious or magic-related debate entered conversation. However, the recent conquest of their land has led to the stereotype of confused and somewhat melodramatic refugees, of whom many speak slogans of impending doom for any nation which does not immediately build up strong armies on a border shared with Velgatia.
    Taniuria is itself an oddity. Taniur used to be a small county of Lewari which had changed hands very often during Lewari-Kopshi wars. A war 64 years ago ended with a peace treaty between Lewarur and Kopshirar which stipulated that the contested county be made into a neutral state for at least ten years. The count renewed the neutrality several times, which coincided with Kopshi aims and did not bother Lewarur enough to waste resources on war during the current era of meagre treasuries. Twenty years ago, the new count, whose mother had been a minor daughter of the Velgatian royal family, elected to join Velgatia instead. This caused a stir, which has led to Lewari seeing the man as a traitor.
    Cauli are also seen as a separate people, mostly timid and quiet who up until a disagreement with Suogelia led to a rapid escalation and war had done few things worthy of mention. Since official Velgatian propaganda states that the last Duke of Caural ceded his lands to the Heirs of Vel in exchange for protection from the Suogeli, the Cauli are also seen as submissive and cowardly.
    Kormelians are looked down upon as Bogboys. They tend to be shorter and less technologically advanced than most of their neighbours, which has earned them the reputation of backward midgets. While all Agatians share their emotions more freely than the Optikin, Kormelians in particular are open, which has resulted in naivete becoming a common trait associated with them as well.

    With dwarves
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    Lewari rarely have contact with dwarves whose roots are not in Mognluz. All the immigrant dwarven families which settled in the Glimmering Hills to profit from their superior metal-crafting skills were from Mognluz, which has resulted in the Lewari considering dwarves above all else fine artisans and metalcrafters who also make for wilful merchants. Dwarves are reasonably well-liked in Caenbrur, but Kakri mistrust and somewhat dislike dwarves.

    With goblins
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    Lewari hate and mistrust goblins. There is still a large and well-spread-out goblin tribe in the woodlands and another one in the service of Kopshirar. Thus, the enmities which some nations have relegated to legend and childrens’ tale are still prominent. The standard Lewari course to take is not a kill on sight response, however - plenty of tribeless goblins at work in Caenbrur, particularly the mines. Goblins are seen as beastmen – cruel and aggressive, but cowardly and sneaky.

    With other non-humans
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    The small boglizards who are found in Maltruk and some other swamps are seen at best as barely sentient cowards, though people who have contact with them in the first place are very rare.

    Kenku are rarely seen in Lewarur. They are mostly passing through, but some rare few families have settled. Their naturally instinctive understanding of geometry and manual dexterity has led to Kenku craftspeople being employed in some cities. For the most part though, they are seen as alien and off-putting, but the small amount of contact between Kenku and Lewari means that most of the time, those who overlook the odd birdlike shapes have no positive or negative assumptions about the birdfolk. Some people are familiar with the Agatians stereotype for the kenku, however, and see them as nothing more than thieves.


    The appearance of the Lewari
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    Lewari tend to be dark-haired, with light brown considered a rather light tone and jet black very common. Hair is wavy or curled, straight hair is incredibly rare. Pale skin is extremely unusual, but so are very dark tones. Lewari tend to have average build. They are not particularly short, but the Kopshi and Hregmi generally stand a slight bit taller than the Lewari. Muscles tend to be wiry rather than extremely bulging. Fat is seen as more of a hindrance than anything – while nobles and merchants are often somewhat rotund, obesity is very rare. Lewari facial features such as noses and chins tend to be narrow and not particularly prominent – lantern jaws are rare, but chinless people are likewise not often seen and generally taunted. Green and blue eyes are not rare, but brown is much more common. In Ulkarur, lighter browns are not uncommon, but the golden eyes of the stereotypical Opti are not usually seen.

    When it comes to fashion, lewari men do not usually like to wear hats. Although peasants often wear wide-brimmed headgear to farm work, male nobles, merchants and city-people prefer to go without any headgear. As in Nekrer, the women of Lewarur often wear headdresses similar to the French hood. While greatly affected by the dour Nekrerese fashions, the predominant designs in lewari clothes are somewhat different (as they are chiefly based late-15th century Southern Europe-like designs). Normal Lewari garments show a compromise between the multicoloured and vibrant raiments of the south and the understated designs of Nekrer in look, with warm but not flashy colours like orange, russet, maroon and olive currently quite popular among both men and women. Necklines tend to be kept low, unlike the often wholly covered necks that are dominant in Nekrer. Silk from Agatia is not too expensive for merchants and other upper-middle class people, but is rarely the main material as it is in parts of Southern Telsarn. Long legs are considered a staple of female beauty and accentuated with high waistlines on dresses and platform shoes such as chopines worn by noblewomen. In any case, clothing tends to be light, with one or two layers worn even to formal events. In Lewarur, winters tend to be mild and summers hot. Snowfall, even in the hills, is virtually unknown. Lewari men tend towards medium-length hair and trimmed or shaven facial hair. Very long hair is seen as the mark of a barbarian and shunned, unless it is very carefully groomed in which the person is question is probably a wealthy dwarf. However, moustaches and goatees have become more usual among merchants and artisans, particularly Caebri. This is likely due to the association between quality craftsmanship and short bearded people. Women rarely wear their hair loose, but instead prefer intricate methods and knots to put their hair up. Even peasants tend to braid theirs.

    Lewari architecture
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    In Lewarur, city buildings tend to be made of clay bricks. Marble might not be rare in Lewarur, but all but the wealthiest individuals use marble only as decorations. In such cases, use of black marble is rare, for the people of Nekrer to the north generally pay much more for the stone than locals. While white marble is the most plentiful and thus more often used, green is the one people prefer the most, for it strikes a nice contrast with the typically red brickwork.

    The structures rarely have only one floor, though more than five is almost unheard of as well. Courtyards are rare, but rooftop terraces are relatively common. Most wealthy folk have those and consider looking down from their roof a nice symbol of wealth and prestige. Since the opinion that the poor need to trouble themselves with effective placement, while the wealthy have room aplenty, symmetry and other aesthetically pleasing attributes are also common and well-liked. Non-flat roofs are typically composed of black tiles and possess traits similar to Earth's Chinese architecture.

    The Lewari are skilled with mosaics and often use those to decorate important or prominent walls and rooftop terraces if they can.

    The following structure is what one would expect a wealthy merchant to live in.




    Lewari warfare
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    The army of Lewarur primarily uses splint mail (in a similar style to the japanease tatami-do) with tridents, halberds, bec de corbines and awl pikes for the seasoned troops, because their primary enemy focuses on heavy cavalry. The knights use lances and wear full plate. Light troops, such as militia, typically use longspears and wear padded armour or brigandine. The ranged troops tend to use heavy crossbows, with repeating heavy crossbows in the hands of the elite arablests (who are typically level 6-8 warriors or rangers) The ranged troops wear brigandine (use studded leather stats). Town guards are armed similar to elite troops – bec de corbin and splint mail. Traditionally, lewari helms and shoulder guards are made from Gronvei skulls. The Bec de corbin is a martial weapon for lewari. Flails of all types are exotic weapons for Lewari. Metal helms are most often either Hounskulls or visorless barbutes.


    Lewari settlements
    Lewarsaer
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    Lewarur has a relatively new capitol, a small town built on a border to act specifically as the three kings meeting place. Lewarsaer, the Heart of the Lewari, is a town of less than two thousand permanent residents, but with enough space in the main palace to house the entourages of all the major nobles of the land who do not have private estates in the town. The palace is built in Nekrerese style – tall marble pillars, large arched windows and some similarities to step pyramids to top everything off. To differ from Nekrerese structures, green and red marble were used moreso than black. The capitol has a population of about 3500 people, most of them merchants, entertainers and servants who take care of the various high merchants and nobles estates.

    Herivah
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    The largest city in Lewarur is the capitol of Caenbur, Herivah. Located on the western shore of the Great lake Maltafr, Herivah used to be one of the great trade cities in the land, where silver, marble and other valuables mined in the nearby Glimmering Hills could be loaded onto ships that could trade with Velgatia on the southern shores, the free Agatians (or, nowadays, Alentia) on the southeastern shore or even Nekrer, by virtue of the wide river of Nilfaen flowing north, out of the river and straight into one of the great urban centres of the Necromancers’ nation. Now that Nilfaen is blockaded by the rebellious River Lords, however, the trade route north is cut off. Despite this tragic problem, Herivah does, insofar, manage to stave off an economic collapse by virtue of focusing its trade more on Velgatia and Alentia, sometimes even sending ships upriver to Hregmar. Caenbrur has a population of 92 000. About 94 % of them are human, but there are also goblins, dwarves and even mongrels in the mix.

    Vir Shar
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    Almost as large as Herivah is the capitol of House Agnraev, Vir Shar. Where Herivah is more of a fortified mercantile centre, Vir Shar is a traditionally a large citadel, a fortress that has in its long history survived attacks from Kopshirar, Caenbrur and even Nekrer. While Vir Shar is primarily a military centre, it also sits upon the Nilfaen river trade route with Nekrer and is the home of Lewarur’s finest animal trainers. One of the most recent additions to the city is a new large menagerie, where examples of many rare and mighty monsters reside. Vir Shar is reasonably well-off for now, mostly by virtue of sitting on the land-route to Nekrer and training exotic pets. It is said that while the Kopshi might be the best at training monsters for war, the Ulkari are better at taming the wider variety of creatures. Vir Shar has a population of 74 500, which is nearly wholly human. Because of the River Lords extreme tolls, the traders now have to carry the valuable cargo across land to Vir Shar before they can send the merchandise downriver to Hundvir and Fenar by ship. Because of this, Vir Shar is rapidly gaining the status of one of the principal trade cities of Lewarur. The old harbour, which only twenty years ago had been little more than a place where one riverboat from the south might restock, is currently being expanded vigorously.

    Homgarvir
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    The fourth capitol of the Triple Kingdom, the ancestral city of house Velgakur, is called Homgarvir. Homgarvir is a very ancient town, but its remote location from major trade routes has ensured that the town never truly grew large. It was once a centre of nature worship and communion with friendly fey, but fair folk who would visit any human settlement with friendly intent are far too rare these days for any settlement to prosper purely by their grace. Thus, this little town in the middle of the forest has started shrinking. The ancestral castle of house Velkakur is still strong and in good shape, but the surrounding town has dozens of deserted and ruined buildings. One who did not know of this town’s history could easily assume it to be the estate of some minor baron whose ancestors once managed to build a grand keep in the middle of nowhere. Homgarvir has a population of merely about 9400, though there might be more goblin and mongrelfolk squatting in the abandoned structures.

    Caebavir and Inderal
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    There are two more large cities in Lewarur. Both of them are in Caenbrur. Caebavir is the eastern of the two. The city grew around one of the most prosperous silver mines in the known world, which attracted even dwarven artisans. While the silver is long since depleted, a nearby marble deposit and a not-too-distant rich vein of copper kept the city growing. It still houses the largest dwarven community in Lewarur, if not in any human-ruled nation. These dwarves still consider themselves Mognluzi, but plenty of them have lived in Lewarur long enough that their dialect contains many Lewari loan words. Caebavir is typically the place where people go to purchase masterwork tools and armour. Even Nekrerese lords have been seen shopping in the Silvered Valley. The other large city, Inderal, is likewise situated by a marble quarry. Indral is located on Culirfaen, close to the river’s spring, which marks it as the starting location of the principal trade route eastward. Caebavir has 53 000 people, while Inderal has 32 500.

    The vast majority of Lewarur’s population lives in farms and villages. Due to fertile ground and numerous rivers, Lewarur has a relatively high population density. While Caenbrur has far fewer villages than Ulkar, the southeastern quarter of Lewari land makes up for it with the many mining towns it has – the Glimmering hills are one of the most accessible quarrying and mining regions in the known world.

    Lewari religion and culture:

    Holidays
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    Lewarur does not have a particularly strong cult of any one god. Worship of Nop and Wee Jas is quite common due to close proximity to Suogelia and Nekrer, where the temple towns Nopvir and Murnvir (respectively) are located. Kral, Hextor and Ribuul have virtually no followers while Kaon is unknown to many priests. Likewise, Gnul is generally only given homage, typically mere lip service, near Maltruk. Helm is a popular god, while those who live on the side of a major river generally worship Leen the most. This all said, Lewarur on the whole has little religious persecution, for no god is outlawed outright or . Like the Suogeli, the Lewari tend to consider the summer solstice the New Year ’s Day. The winter solstice and the equinoxes are only celebrated by the most fervent members of the church of Nop, however – Telsarn’s close proximity to the equator renders seasonal differences rather small. Those who worship the native gods also see Ring Days as occasions for celebration (A ring day being an event where a circle, believed to be the Wild Haven, is seen around the sun. They are more or less regular, with three-four per year). Individual gods have their own holy days.

    Secular holidays include the Day of Three Rods, which marks the pact between the three Lewari kingdoms, the Day of Shining Spears which marks Lewarur’s greatest victory against Kopshirar 211 years ago and the birthdays of each of the current three kings.

    Myths and legends:
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    The three principal creation myths that are commonly spread by humans in Telsarn all have their own supporters in Lewarur. Given how Telsarn rarely sees great religious persecutions, most nations have people who prefer different myths. Adding to that the fact that Lewarur has never thrown all or even most of its weight behind one god has led to no one myth gaining much more prominence than the others.

    Many followers of the Old Gods, particularly the church of Nop prefer the Tale of the Fourth Child. According to them, Nop and the Mother Goddess had a fourth child, the god of life. He did not have children with his fellow gods, but instead mixed his own blood and seed to create life from substance. According to this legend, he did so six times, creating insects, molluscs, fishes, birds, reptiles and mammals. He was then winded and tried to sit down, but stumbled and fell onto the Fist of the Gods, cracking open his skull. From the god’s blood and brains there rose the thinking creatures – men, goblins, dwarves and dragons. This seventh offering has led to the Church of Nop seeing number seven as a symbol of change. Seven can mean great disaster or great success, sometimes both at the same time. According to this dogma, the Immigrant gods came much later, when one of them (typically Helm, though there are different versions of this) made the Whirling Bridge that connected the Realms of Metal (as Mechanus and Acheron are known on Walufar) with the Realm of Life to teach the mortals how to create nations and laws.

    Others, particularly the Three – the Twins and Amus, prefer the Tale of Raining Stars. Accordng to this legend, the Three created animals for their own realms and no fourth god in their generation was ever born. They had nearly completed their work, when the stars began to rain down on the world. Some versions state that the gods protected their creations, others maintain that the stars hit the ground gently and a few even claim that the gods captured the fallen stars and changed them. In either case, the stars hatched like eggs shortly after landing and all of them contained many sleeping people. Different locations and tellers mention different peoples arriving in the stars, although humans as well as dragons are among those listed most of the time. The immigrant gods also fell in such stars, as the very last wave. Most tales claim that at first they were merely mortal themselves, but that they were the greatest of the lot. Helm and Hextor were the rulers of the first kingdoms, who often warred with one another. Wee Jas was the seer. Other gods had different roles in the legends, depending again on who is telling the story. Because of this legend, those who follow the Three revere meteor showers.

    Finally, most of the worshippers of the so-called Immigrant Gods claim that the Tale of Travel is the truthful version. As per this myth, their gods created the living creatures separately on a disk floating in the void, whereas those who are called the Old Gods made a world where only plants lived. Upon finding Henariolak, the Immigrant gods created the Shimmering Path, which guided their creations to the world. The gods came along, warding and protecting their children from the perils of the void. The two sets of gods were surprised to meet, but hostilities were minor. Those who follow these gods see the rainbow as a remnant of the Shimmering Path.

    Some theologists have tried to find a common link between the myths. Other than affirming that the two sets of gods have separate origins, there are few similarities. That the immigrant gods have a link to a certain bridge to the skies in both the Tale of Travel and the Tale of the Fourth Child is a link most consider significant, but even the actual meanings of the Whirling Bridge are debated. Complicating matters further is that dwarves and goblins have their own creation myths. According to Nekrerian sailors, the stories commonly told in Retegatranomolafsei also differ from the myths prevalent in Telsarn.

    Assorted lewari sayings:
    • Makeshift solutions last forever;
    • I’ll burn my shirt (generally used when reassuring someone that something to be true)
    • Skull like a Gronvei (indicates stubbornness and/or stupidity or slow reaction)

    Lewari Cuisine
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    For the most part, the Lewari are not particularly inventive when it comes to cooking. Stews based on Listroi or less desirable parts of Gronvei are common dishes for peasants, typically with haskal (a tuberous root somewhat similar in taste to the swedish turnip, though smaller and darker-coloured) as the main ingredient. Braised meat is also common and widely accepted as the best method to prepare Listroi. Merchants, travellers and adventurers prefer smoked and dried Gronvei where they can get it. Side dishes are most often based on the Haskal, but vermicelli, specifically bean thread noodles, is also very common. Some other types of noodles are prepared as well, but not particularly often. Cold dishes tend to be based on berries, of which there are dozens of different species in Telsarn. Something that can be likened to Salsify is also grown, but since these roots are small and the outermost layers are inedible, they are likely to be food for wealthy merchants and nobles, not the common people. Lizard eggs are also sometimes eaten, though typically not those of the Listroi – cooking them properly is very difficult.

    Since Lewarur has many neighbours with different cuisines of their own, they have also begun eating Agatian millet-based foodstuffs and tumbleweed seeds, the furry critters from Suogelia and the fish and aquatic reptiles the Nekrerians trade.


    Lewari names
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    Lewari first names are typically two to four syllables long. They often sound a bit like Norse or German names. Hrothgar, for instance, would be an Earth name that would not seem very out of place in northern Telsarn.

    The first name is typically followed by both a patronymic and a matronymic. In the case where the father is unknown, this is mentioned in the full form of the name, which tends to result in officials derisively looking down on these folk.

    For serfs, this is typically enough. However, land-owning peasants and city-dwellers often have the name of their home also added to the very end of the name. Nobles always add the name of their estate (or an estate they are in line to inherit) as well as the name of the noble house they were born into to the end of their name.

    Finally, noteworthy people and rulers usually have epithets. All great leaders have their own eipthets, as rulers are typically mentioned by first name and epithet only in many historic tomes. The epithet is placed between the first name and the patronym.

    Using Siegrun of the Kennel as an example, the queen's full name would be: Siegrun of the Kennel, Daughter to Harnel the Lanky and Haellge the Joyous, Queen of Vir Shar and all of Ulkarur and a triumvir of Lewarur, of the Royal House Agnraev.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-05-28 at 08:38 AM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Changes to mechanics


    The Kingdom of Nekrer is not only one of the most powerful, but also the oldest human-ruled nations in Walufar. It was formed by the followers of a group of magi led by Nekru, the first necromancer, who united many of the Optikin tribes under his banner by exerting his magical powers, slaying those who would fight against him with a word or two and turning their bodies into fodder. His name is the reason Necromancy is still called Necromancy in Optirian. Situated in the northwestern end of the continent, this kingdom’s territory has extended a fair bit south along the western coast over the years, taking over smaller counties, duchies, principalities and even a small rival kingdom. Despite this, it is not usually seen as an overly belligerent nation, for Nekrer conquers territory slowly. Due to its origins ties to magic, Nekrer boasts many of the finest colleges of wizardry, but the most focus has always been on necromancy. The people of Nekrer are still called Opti, after the name of the largest tribe which followed the great necromancer.

    The Lich-king, Alrites Nekru, is considered to be the oldest lich in the known world and is over a thousand years old. His granddaughter, also a lich, has been next in line for the throne for over nine hundred years, since her father died with no male son. She tends to keep busy with various tasks and is often seen as the public face of the dynasty. Of her own decendants, several have also become different forms of undead, most of whom are content with their elevated positions, guaranteed income and plenty of opportunity for advanced research or decadence. With a dozen undead beings eligible for the throne. That said, three decendants of the Lich king, the current Archmage of the college of Enchantment and his two sons, are the only members of the royal family to retain the title of ‘Living Prince’, which usually entails several duties to the state in excess of those of the undead heirs (barring those first in line for succession, such as Gonfana herself).

    Major settlements and other important sites in Nekrer:

    Hatrak
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    The capitol of Nekrer is Hatrak, a mighty city started by the great-grandson of Nekru the Invincible and named after the first necromancer's son, Hatras the Unyielding. It is primarily famous as a city of learning and the centre of a strong government, but also acts as a fine port. Hatrak is situated. Hatrak has a staggering population of 230 000. Hatrak is located in the Hatrak gulf, where the eastern coast of the Murn peninsula meets the mainland. While first built in the river delta, the city has expanded a fair bit out of it.

    The Royal Academy is headed by Gonfana Nekru, the granddaughter of the king and perhaps an even more powerful (or rather, more focused in her skills and studies) necromancer than the Lich-King. The royal academy is the premier school of necromancy and situated in Hatrak, the capitol. In addition to simply learning magic with a necromantic slant, this institute provides opportunities for necromancers to specialize entirely on this brand of magic. Even people who come from walks of life other than wizardry but have come to respect and be intrigued by death may take some courses which lead to better understanding of life and death, as well as some limited magical skill. Due to the importance of divine power in regard to necromancy, the Royal Academy also boasts comprehensive classes pertaining to theology and divine magic – it is the only large institution which also grants education to archivists. A special curriculum for those who desire to pursue nothing but necromancy also exists.

    The Prince Hortles Conservatory – While Nekrer is traditionally seen as a place where magic is the art which sees the most government support, it is without doubt that some of the finest symphonic music on the planet also comes from this nation. This tradition reaches back six hundred years, to Prince Hortles, an early pioneer who blended bardic music with necromancy and enjoyed great support from his undying ancestors. The conservatory provides fine education for bards, if with a noticeable lean towards learning morose music even more blended with magic, typically of the necromantic sort. In recent times, they also offer a more generalized form education, for people intent on being a true jack of all trades.

    The Nekruhare Institute is Nekrer's principal university for science and theory. While the schools of applied magic do teach magical theory and some scientific principles to their students, those are all spoken of from a wizard's perspective. The Nekruhare Institute in contrast deals with natural sciences, engineering and architecture. Despite what one might think, this school is not at all the least prestigious place for one to learn at in Nekrer and fairly advanced. For instance, the great dome which covers much of the royal palace is something that no architect in any other part of Telsarn could properly design even now, yet it is nearly two centuries old.

    Murnvir
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    While the town does not have a grand population, Murnvir is still an important site as it is deemed the holy city of Wee Jas. Murnvir does house a grand temple complex for the worshippers of the goddess, but as it is said, most of its inhabitants are the undead guardians of the temple. Still, murnvir has a (living) population no larger than 6000. Murnvir is situated close to the centre of the northern coast of the Murn Peninsula. Close by is the site of a very prestigious cemetery. Those entombed there are carefully consecrated and cannot be affected by necromancers, though there are legends which suggest that the priesthood of the goddess of magic may raise all these dead at once in the case of a dire emergency.

    Fenar
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    Fenar is the principal port of Nekrer. It has the largest harbour in Telsarn on its southern end, as well as a small harbour at the northern tip, of the city which reaches the other shore of Land’s Hand, an island or peninsula (depending how you look at it) at the Nilfaen delta. While Hatrak might be the nation's centre of government and learning, Fenar eclipses the capitol when it comes to commerce. Fenar has a population of 190 000.

    The Fenar Mariners Institute is probably the best place for naval officers’ training, at least outside Sarshen. While chiefly concerned with teaching prospective captains navigation and leadership skills, it is also Nekrer's principal institute for training prospective officers, who are said to be able to discipline both human and formerly human troops.

    It is reasonably well known that a very new school for practioners of Shadow Magic exists in Fenar as well. It is strongly opposed by the church of Nop and does not see much support from the government or the public, but their methodology is no more outlawed by Nekrer than any other way of learning magic. Unlike the other magic schools, this one does not have a purpose-built structure, but makes do with several bought-out houses which are not all that easy to find.

    Hundvir
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    Hundvir is a large city that these days is close enough to Fenar that people from one can walk to the other whenever the mood strikes them. Where Fenar is situated at a point where the peninsula called Land's Hand is particularly thin, Hundvir is located where Nilfaen first splits in its delta. Hundvir is a centre of trade, but also contains the rather well-respected University of Hundvir, where wizards who choose pursuits other than necromancy tend to get their educations and do their research. Hundvir is home to 134 000 people.

    The University of Hundvir is the traditional house of the colleges of transmutation and abjuration. It is the current home of Mograw Tunimpar the Roamer, a competent wizard and retired adventurer with odd metallic skin. He joined the university two hundred years ago, first as merely a visiting professor, but has become the dean by virtue of seniority. This school has also experimented with runes and has a comprehensive program for those who wish to study there.

    Saerpan
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    Saerpan is located close to Hatrak, only a few dozen miles upriver. A large city on the same trade routes, close to the centre of government but with a substantially smaller undead contingent, Saerpan has a very low number of magi. Fearful of the liches, Kopshi and Hregmi merchants prefer to do their business in Saerpan. Saerpan is home to roughly 48 000, nearly all of whom are normal humans of Opti origin.

    Straikal
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    Straikal is Nekrer’s eastern port. The city is probably the only large Old Nekrerese township which is far enough from Hatrak and Fenar to be different enough to have a somewhat different culture. Straikal is also one of the centres of a group of magi which calls itself the Guild of Joint Thought. While the wizards are mostly Nekrerese, they claim neutrality regarding politics. The Guild supports the spread of education, civilisation and free trade, possibly not in that order. Straikal has a population of about 82 000.

    Har Punus
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    Har Punus is a city close to the Nekrer-Kopshirar border. Formerly a part of Kopshirar, the city and several surrounding municipalities were lost in the last war between Kopshirar and Nekrer, which took place slightly less than two hundred years ago. Punuser is a region that Lewarur, Nekrer and Kopshirar had often fought over in the past, with the indigenous people caught in the middle. The city is still mostly trilingual – most speak the native tongue which is Optikin, but not quite Opti, as well as Opti and Kopshi. Har Punus has about 21 500 people living in it. Punuser is culturally similar to the River Lords and as a consequence, there is talk that the most brazen River Lords want it to secede and join them as well. Picking a fight with three large nations is probably not a wise choice, however, so this will probably remain nothing but talk.

    Nekruvir
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    Nekruvir is a very old citadel, said to be the site of the ancient fort Hatrak the Unyielding built on the Bloodied Hills, the eastern point of Nekrer when Nekru himself died. As per the legends of that era, Hatrak and his most trusted men held this keep against several attacks from Havti, Punusei, and Kopshi, as well as several other tribes which have long since passed into the annals of history or forgotten entirely. Times have moved on and this town has little to offer people these days, but its denizens are still proud about their heritage.

    Aneirkal
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    This citadel was built in the delta of the wide and lazy river which flows into the ocean from Ershtafr. It was to protect Nekrer's lands from potential Suogeli and Alusei agression, a job it did admirably. One of the armies which conquered Alusoria also emerged from this citadel.

    Aneirkal was a small trade post of some note even before that war, 142 years ago. It has since blossomed into a true centre of trade, but it is still nowhere near Hundvir, much less Hatrak or Fenar.

    Tulumelat
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    This city, once the capitol of Alusoria, is now only a provincial centre and has less people living in it than Aneirkal, a town which was nothing more than a fort on an island when this city was at its greatest. The people here are bitter and the most likely to despise the Lich King and all he stands for.

    The Island in the Sea of Peril
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    Among its territories, Nekrer controls a mysterious island in the Sea of Peril. Details on this island are hard to come by and rumours regarding it range from it being the site of some huge city, to the island housing trees which are taller than any mountain, to the island being made of gold, to the island being covered in brothels. It is reasonably common knowledge that the island has a small harbour, which ships heading from the southern parts of the continent to Telsarn and vice-versa often dock at.


    The cities and towns host about half of Nekrer's population. However, as very many villages are along the coast as well, more than seventy percent of the nation's population lives no more than fifty kilometers from the sea.

    Relationships and public opinions
    Among themselves
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    In Nekrer, the cities are large and prominent enough that they all have stereotypes associated with them. Hatrak is home to the most ardent necromancers, the most proud and patriotic people and the worst scheming bastards, all of them trying to convince the Lich King of their Jackalope-brained schemes, which the autocrat generally ignores with a grin or at best builds a better idea out of.

    Murnvir is spoken of respectfully, at least by the wealthy and powerful. Being buried near this holy city guarantees that one's corpse shall not become someone else's experiment or expendable fodder.

    Fenar and Hundvir are seen as pretty much the same by anyone not from one of those cities. To other Kopshi, they are the homes of the greediest, most cunning merchants who hog and overprice all goods that come from or through Lewarur. To foreign traders, they are among the candidates for the capitol of the world, for even Retegatranomohellacvui and Sarshen bring goods to this place, turning them into what is essentially the greatest bazaars in the known world.

    To outsiders who tell the difference, Fenar has more honest men and better sailors, while Hundvir is the safer place when it comes to one's own life (if not always one's coinpurse) and the one with more interesting nightlife.

    To the denizens of one another, Fenar is the city of creepy wierdos and bastards who would cut prices and sell at a loss if it meant forcing a competitor into bankruptcy, while the people of Hundvir are considered flamboyant and boisterous liars, who peddle poor copies and low quality rubbish while claiming it to be the best merchandise of the sort and who would bed even the most disgusting creatures.

    Saerpan is a boring town full of hangers-on, cowards and leeches. The people here are too dim to understand magic and too inept and craven to make good soldiers. A fat merchant whose ego outmasses his actual wit is stereotypically from Saerpan (and, especially if the tale is told in Fenar/Hundvir, the most likely candidate for the poor rube who gets utterly lost and impoverished in Hundvir/Fenar).

    The Punusei, there is little differentiation between the region's villagers and the citizens of Vir Punus, are said to be quiet, insular and sarcastic people, who would reply to anything with a barbed tongue, but are unlikely to actually take anything far enough to get into a fight.

    The people of Aneirkal are seen as overly optimistic, not capable of matching wits with the people of the real mercantile cities and incredibly proud of their heritage, despite it being (in the words of most others) doing a halfway decent job scaring the peasants of two weak nations.

    The Alusei are commonly seen as whiners, boisterous idiots who would threaten a man only to back down and huddle in a corner the moment the fellow they bothered turned out to not be a similarly cowardly sort. Their more nasal native language is also often ridiculed.

    With the Kopshi
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    Kopshi are seen as brave but not very clever warriors. Their skills with the lance are respected and sometimes envied by Nekrer's small knighthood, but they are seen as uninventive and backwards. Kopshirar's strong patriarchal slant is irritating to the often female-dominated priesthood of Wee Jas.

    With the Lewari
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    Lewari are most often seen as simple peasants. They mean well and can procure fine raw materials, but other than the dwarven immigrants, lack actual skilled workers. Lewari are also considered indecisive and always fearful of having made a mistake somewhere down the line.

    With the Laennie and Ganllie
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    The islanders are seen as cheerful lumberjacks and miners with some odd beliefs and a funny but lovely-sounding language. That the Ganllie are more often brusque than cheery tends to come as a bit of a shock to most Opti.

    With the Suogeli
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    An Opti understanding of Suogelia claims that the Suogeli tend to be lazy, boisterous and overly devout and all too likely to start preaching about Nop, a god not very popular in Nekrer.

    With the Marsher Lords
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    The marshlands are seen as a horrible region, where only the most insane and foolhardy would live. The Ogori Alliance which has formed as a defense league against Nekrer is deemed ludicrous and paranoid - why would the Lich-King want a large patch of monster-filled swamp?

    With Velgatia
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    For the most part, the coastal empire is not concerned with the inland empire. The two do not share a border (unless one counts the Ershtafr lake.

    Those who speak of Velgatia deem them chaotic, strange, overly varied and suspicious. To the liches, Velgatia is a small nation which somehow managed to grow almost as large as their ancient homeland, though it is barely half as populous.

    With Retegatranomolafsei
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    The Dragon-Emperors are seen as mighty allies, equal to the Lich King in power and one of the few possible rivals the Liches might have. The laypeople of their land are considered odd, fearful and a bit thick.

    With Sarshen
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    This empire is seen as a dangerous rival, with far more secrets than it lets on and an amount of amoral conduct that noone should tolerate.

    With other dwarves
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    Dwarves are seen as useful allies. While their magical abilities are below par, even the most skilled engineer in Nekrer would admit that the dwarves' understanding of mechanics and metallurgy far surpasses those of actual humans.

    With the undead
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    Nekrer, as one might guess, is one of the few places where the undead are not considered too unnatural. While peasantry in the countryside or less magical cities such as Saerpan will eye someone who looks a bit decayed oddly and would mutter under their breath, even they know that these beings tend to be their own people and probably more wealthy than they. While non-sapient undead such as zombies are loved by very few, most agree that those things make a pretty good source of manual labour. A dead drifter in a gutter might become a more useful member of society than it was when it still lived. While older forms of person-turned undead were typically mummified and prone to insanity or simple hateful behaviour, the recently perfected practice of circumigration is seen as a rather safe method of creating undead and something which many exorbitantly wealthy individuals undergo.

    With other non-humans
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    Goblinoids are rather rare in Nekrer and more often seen as someone employed to do an unpleasant job too complex for a zombie. The stereotypical goblin in Nekrer is the dirty, disheveled chimney sweep. While the same tribes which Lewarur encounters can occasionally be spotted in Nekrer, the tribal goblins are generally more scared of the undead than the Opti are of them.

    The appearance of the Opti
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    Opti tend to be dark-haired, with blond hair an extreme rarity. However, pitch black hair is not as omnipresent as it is in Lewarur. Hair is most often wavy, but straight hair is highly rare. Pale skin is only seen on some rare magi and considered one of the indicators that a person has undergone a process to turn oneself undead, such as the currently somewhat popular Crucimigration. Opti are physically very similar to the Lewari - slightly shorter than the Kopshi and Hregmi, but taller than most Agatians. Again, Muscles tend to be wiry - large bulging musculature is seen as the symbol of an uneducated barbarian. Fat is likewise looked down upon, but not uncommon among the many mercantile families. Opti noses and chins tend to be narrow and pointed, but often larger than those of equally old Lewari. Chinless people are incredibly rare. Eyes are most often light shades of brown. Golden eyes, which are considered to be the most beautiful by the Opti, are not uncommon. If one has light pigmentation, their eyes tend to be green. Grey is rare, blue rarer still.

    The people of Nekrer tend to dress like Reneissance-era, particularly turn of the 16-th century Italians. They prefer stark black and white clothes, though those who earnestly worship Wee Jas often add dark red to the ensemble. Wealthy nobles and magi also go for deep purple adornments. Flat caps, similar to 1500s style are still often worn, typically with few adornments. Less wealthy individuals wear simple single-colour flat caps, while rich merchants, magi and nobles wear pleated flat caps. Women tend to wear French Hoods. Wizards usually decorate their caps with a single gemstone showing their specialization – dark rubies for necromancy, emeralds for transmutation, sapphires for conjuration, pearls for divination ect. Overly sexualized clothing is strictly worn by whores, who are not welcome in high society – an adventurer dressed like a stripper is treated far worse than one dressed like a peasant. Even though the richest folk do add gemstones, silver and gold to their clothes, to the Opti, tasteful and subdued is better than obviously opulent. For example, a Nekrerian noblewoman might dress like queen Elizabeth of Valois (in the painting by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz), but not like queen Elizabeth I of England.


    Nekrer's culture:
    Holidays:
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    While the native gods are worshipped far less in Nekrer than Lewarur, they (particularly Laemal and Amus) are still paid quite a lot of respect - maritime trade is important for the people of Nekrer. As a result, Ring Days are of some significance religiously. The Sisters' Dance, typically a very stormy night a month or two before the winter solstice, is the two godesses holy day and a time for sacrifice. Wee Jas is by far the most popular deity in Nekrer, but Helm has a fair share of worshippers as well. Dwarves still worship their own gods, but there is a concious effort to diminish the effects of the goblinoids' religion on the goblins who live in Nekrer.

    Wee Jas' most exalted holy day, the Night of Thought, 24 days after the winter solstice, is used as the new year's starting point. This is to be a day spent in quiet contemplation of life, death and those who went before.

    The days of Red Fog are likewise celebrated. Occurring in mid-spring, this is the time a flower almost omnipresent in the ponds, swamps and slower rivers of Nekrer launches its seeds to the wind along with most of their bright red petals, which if the plants are in large quantities gives the impression of a red cloud. This is seen as the time of life.

    In mid-late summer, there is the Day of Rot. This is the day of death, when people visit the graves or monuments of ancestors (or possibly the ancestors themselves, if those happen to be undead at the time).

    Right at the beginning of fall, there is the Day of Stars, and a celebration of magic and wonder, often accompanied by fireworks and flashy spells.

    Of Secular holidays, the most important are the Day of the Wizard-King, which is allegedly set on the day the leader of the largest tribe Nekru the Invincible fought kneeled before him, the Rise of the Lich-King, which is set on the day Alarites Nekru became a lich and the Day of Unbroken Stone, which marks the day Hatrak the Unyielding emerged form Nekruvir after throwing back the sieges and assaults of three separate armies.

    Opti Warfare
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    Opti have not fought in a war for a very long time, but their standing army rarely changes much, so a description of the force that defeated Alusoria is fairly accurate.

    Nekrer's armies tend to be composed of a mass of cheap but hardy undead such as zombies backed by human specialists. Of those, pavise-equipped crossbowmen are the most common by far. In the last war, those were simply winch-operated heavy crossbows, but as repeating crossbows have spread throughout most parts of the nation, those are now likely standard ouarmament. Fully human infantry units are rare, but officers often fight alongside the undead, directing and protecting the necromancers and priests controlling the horde. Knights riding Moropuses are not uncommon. They too tend to carry tower shields. Armour is less uniform than it is in Lewarur or Kopshirar - Variants more archaric than those manufactured in Lewarur are used alongside highest quality dwarven craftsmanship. Many suits of armour are centuries old and magical.

    The successful use of Awl Spears by the Lewari has spread that weapon to Nekrer as well, where it is used by some of the people. However, polearms still tend to be rare. Mostly, troops rely on good shields too much to use a two-handed weapon. Even auxillaries specifically trained to combat cavalry tend to prefer tower shields and tridents to long spears. Town guards also tend to carry tower shields, hand crossbows and non-flanged but often magical maces. Mariners tend to wear light or no armour and carry scimitars or tridents, often alongside small shields or bucklers.

    Anyone trained in Nekrer with shield proficiency has the proficiency extended to tower shields, even if it would not be the case normally. Two-handed swords, whips and all forms of flail, as well as the rapier are exotic weapons, but awl pikes, hand crossbows and repeating crossbows are martial weapons.

    Sayings
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    Lich-faced - used to describe a person with sunken cheeks and eyes.
    I am yours, alive and beyond - often part of an oath of loyalty, including marriage.
    Bone and Steel - a military salute

    Cuisine
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    Mostly, Nekrerian cuisine is based on fish and other sea creatures. Octopus, in the correct season, is considered a beloved form of food. There is a fair number of aquatic amphibians and reptiles which are eaten in Nekrer as well. These tend not to spoil in a long time and thus are often stored, dried or sold to neighbouring nations.

    Listroi and Gronvei are eaten as well, prepared much the same way they are in Lewarur. Vermicelli is widely considered to be of Nekrerian origin.

    Names
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    As with Lewarur, junior-type names are frowned upon - everyone ought to be their own person. While matronymics and patronymics are used in Nekrer as well, they are not as prominent - adding the name of a grandsire as well is seen as boastful and glory-seeking. It is not uncommon for only one parent's name to be included in the child's full name. Unlike Lewarur and many other nations, even most (though not all) peasants have surnames. Most people are proud of their home towns as well, to the point that someone who does not add to theirs the name of the city or village they hail from is looked down on oddly, as a potential drifter and thief.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-06-17 at 03:03 PM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mayhem's Avatar

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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    Where is your wizard write-up? I've been looking for ages and haven't been able to find it.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default A class society

    Hmm... Perhapas better compartmentalization is in order.

    Sixth-seventh paragraph.

    It's not a big change, but I feel it has potential in that it lowers the versatility a player can have without actually doing anything interesting for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Icedaemon View Post
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    All the standard base classes can be encountered on Walufar. However, monks are incredibly rare, only seen among dwarves; dreamers in particular. Dwarven monks tend to go in for grappling as much as unarmed attacks. In mechanical terms, all monks are dwarfs or, if the player writes an interesting enough bio, mentored by dwarves.

    Charisma-based spontaneous arcane casters are far rarer than wizards, who are hardly seen every day themselves. Charisma-based casters tend to hail from Retegalafsei and Dengim-Bhail, where they tend to have draconic or fiendish blood respectively. However, family lines which have included several wizards, such as the royal house of Nekrulopi, might also have the occasional sorcerer. Obviously, playing members of royal families and people very closely related to dragons is not allowed, by virtue of the connections alone making it unfair on the fellow playing a peasant's son.

    Because of their rarity and (usually) high-profile heritage, anyone who wishes to play a sorcerer will need to make a compelling case for it. As pointed out earlier, a sorcerer relies on instinctive understanding of Old Draconic, just like her distant ancestor.

    Of course, spontaneous arcane casters who have dragon blood from an ancestor within the last four or five generations often become Dragon Disciples, dragon shamans or something else similar to this. Once again, they are rare outside of the regions where dragons themselves rule, of which currently only one (officially, at least) exists. Charisma-based draconic arcanists who have been raised and educated in Retegalafsei gain +2 skill points per level and count ‘Sense Motive’ among their class skills – they make up the bulk of the diplomatic corps of Retegalafsei. Again, at least when the game starts, playing a diplomat from a distant country will at best come with a dozen or so strings attached - a diplomat does often know sensitive information about one's country of origin and dragons do tend to be paranoid and vindictive when it comes to traitors.

    Bards are among the few spontaneous casters who don't have to have a strong magical heritage, but even they are typically from somewhat magical bloodlines. A bard relies not on instinctive knowledge of spells, but on manipulating the world's inherent magical aspects with music.

    Intelligence-based spontaneous casters like the duskblade are not met every day either, but they are trained in Nekrer. In their case, spontaneous casting is, flavour-wise, not so much due to great inherent power, but focusing so greatly on the few spells they know that they do not need the amount of revision that wizards require. Despite their magic being charisma-based, dread necromancers are also affected by a similarly short enough list of spells that their existence can be described thus, because necromancers are already one of the major staples of this world.

    Among prepared casters, wizards are far more common than Wu Jen, but those exist as well. Wu Jen hail only from the southern lands, where their brand of magic is based so much not on private research, flavour-wise, as it is on an older and slightly more demanding form of arcana discovered and explored by the blue dragons before normal wizardry spread across the world. Thus, Wu jen see wizards as people who take the easy and popular path and thus lack their mental integrity, while wizards see the Wu Jen as mages who insist on archaric and convulted practice. While there were plenty of Wu Jen in the world when civilization was young, the only high-profile surviving colleges are in the lands of the blue dragons. It is not impossible though that some Wu Jen mentored their children or nieces/nephews and passed the knowledge down through generations, in some small southern land.

    Wizard and Wu Jen starting spells are modified, in that in addition to the 0-th level spells, their spellbooks contain six+intelligence modifier spells to start with. Those said spells are of no more than third level, though a wizard may and likely must clearly choose those spells a good while before he or she can cast them. Wizards do not, however, learn new spells.

    In recent years, some folk identifying themselves as shadowcasters have also appeared in the open. With one school in Nekrer said to openly teach this sort of magic, these magi are stranger than even the secretive Wu Jen. Shadowcasters are opposed by many clergies, especially the church of Nop, which considers the notion that shadow and darkness can be used as sources of power as a great heresy.

    Knights, Marshals and Scouts are seen in all parts of Walufar, though the former two are most common in the northwest. While they used to have plenty of barbarians amongst them in the past, modern-day Bonesmen are often Swashbucklers or Artificers. The former is a combat style that is popular in many regions these days due to the distrust and mild hostility armoured folk who do not wear a guard's uniform (and often, even those who do) can expect inside large cities. Swashbuckler can also be seen as a kind of a base class by the merits of this world. The era of chivalry has passed in the minds of many city-folk and knights who ride into town in barded stallions are often seen as old oppressors who still cling to their glory days.

    Given the spread of civilization, it should be no surprise that the barbarian is a class on its way out. The closest and practically only place where human barbarians might come from is the Marshlands, where life is still hard and centralised governments impossible. Dwarven barbarians do not even exist in the known lands, unless some truly extraordinary circumstances come to pass. In Lewarur, practically the only barbarians one is still able to see in one's lifetime are the goblin tribes' elite warriors, though even they are often more likely to be ranger-types.

    Divine casters are not everyday encounters either. The vast majority of worshippers are laymen, adepts at best. One thing common in fluff but not often explored is the fact that a Cleric is someone who have been granted great magical power by their god, to be used by the cleric to fulfill the god's agenda, not for personal amusement or to gather wealth. A cleric will need to follow the orders of archpriests and divine doctrines, usually to the letter. Those who stray from the path will at the very least end up losing their powers, with the more vengeful gods responding to impudence with often-deadly force. Only in regions where a holy war is ongoing can one expect to see several powerful clerics on the battlefield at the same time.

    Druids might have it even worse. Given how rare they are, druids often have nowhere to turn to for guidance, yet the spirits they serve are if anything more demanding of strictly-followed doctrines than several gods. Only the fae can offer accurate interpretations of what a druid should do, yet they are alien in thought, dangerous and always have their own agendas.

    Paladins are also uncommon, though there are some orders in nations where the cult of Leen is strong. Paladins of Helm are also found in some regions. As pointed out in another post, since fighting evil is not an inherently good act, a paladin who does not wish to start looking for the nearest arch priest will need to show genuine goodwill. Still, a paladin is not quite as likely to fall from grace as a cleric, since the powers the gods grant them are less intensive.

    Archivists are not common arcane casters either, given how only Nekrer has locations which actually teach the trade. While they might not need to atone so often for doing what they personally wish to do, archivists need scrolls like wizards do, yet have a hard time finding any. In addition to that, most gods and clergies consider archivists abominable. Still, on the whole, a paladin or archivist is probably a more reliable healer for a party, unless the PCs decide to become agents of a specific church.

    Like wizards and Wu Jen, archivists too do not automatically gain new spells when they level up. The rarity of divine scrolls affects them even before they start their travels, however - archivists start with 3+int modifier spells of up to third level and must fill the rest of their spellbook by transcribing books and scrolls they manage to find.

    Rangers' magic is treated like shamanism and is not penalized, because it is typically weak enough to not break anything, especially with E10.

    I am very unlikely to allow homebrewed classes and spells, unless I see them as something which has a very interesting flavour which fits Walufar and as something which fills a gap among pre-exisiting spells or prestige classes. If I can be convinced that one of the underpowered base classes (such as the less-potent-than-bards marshals) should get an upgrade, that’s fine and good, but remember that what players get, NPCs can be entitled to as well.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-05-28 at 08:39 AM.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Focus on Velgatia

    Old post:
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    Update: added an example of current trends in Lewari architecture:
    Lewari architecture


    Introduction

    The Agatian plains in central Telsarn have never been densely populated, at least not compared to the coastal regions of Telsarn or even the more forested and fertile land as enjoyed by the Lewari. Much of the landscape is savannah and shrubland with only a thin layer of soil unfit for crops, so any settlements tend to be near the rivers. Even there, the population density has not often been high. Thus, they have for most of Walufar's history remained unimportant to the rest of the world. Some of these nations might have gone to war with one another for one reason or another, but such wars have rarely had any effect on northern Telsarn.

    The rise of Velgatia changed the region. For centuries, Velgatia was a minor nation. Named after the Vel the Gay, best known for placating his rivals for the throne by inviting them to the most lavish party the southlands had ever seen.

    Today, a large empire is controlled by the Velgatian royal family. With more children than several other nations’ rulers combined, the descendants of Vel often married into other royal families. The strong ties that linked the family together were unbroken by marrying some distant prince or princess. Indeed, even their children were led to have interest in Velgatia. The nations often allied against seemingly stronger but lone opponents, which were largely absorbed by the kingdom of Velgatia itself after the blood alliance won. By the time the nation was deemed as a serious threat, most of the independent duchies and counties which previously managed to hold onto their ancestral territories were far too weak to stand against the foe. The alliance’s bonds already tight, the multitude of nations was pressed into one federation under the rule of the king of Velgatia. The flag of Galitor depicts ten red spears on light blue, behind the royal seal of Velgatia.

    The member states of the nation

    Central Velgatia
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    Central Velgatia itself is in effect the combination of five nations, containing Old Velgatia, Tusinutia, Santia and Kaimotia. Three of those were forged into an alliance by the marriage pacts created by Galitor the Great's great-grand-uncles and their cousins. The alliance then crushed and took over the crumbling Santekaia empire, making a new ally in Anulsita, the third and least willing member of that empire back then and in Kormelia, Santekaia’s old rival.

    Since Tusinutia already spoke practically a dialect of the same language as Velgatia and the other nations had fairly similar ones, those languages have been mostly consumed by Velgatian, though Santian is still spoken by some. Despite the proud histories of some of those nations, they have been pressed into being one province under the direct control of the king.

    Central Velgatia houses the centre of the nation's bureaucracy and houses most of the land's biggest cities, chiefly along Upper-Nilfaen and the coast of Maltafr.

    Kormelia
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    Kormelia was one of the larger nations in Agatia back in the day, though still one dismissed by the Optikin as a backwater land for uneducated midgets. For a long time, Kormelia was the main real opponent that the Santekaia empire even had during its heyday. After the final shreds of the Santekaia empire were absorbed by the house of Vel, their relations with Kormelia warmed and resorted in more than one political marriage.

    While the Royal Scepter of Kormelia was still held by a prince who had no blood ties to Velgatia, his eldest child was a doddering simpleton and the other too young to make any definitive statements about. This led to his sister and brother-in-law, Galitor the Great’s uncle, contesting the throne. At first, the nobility favoured their claim and pressured the king to declare her his heir. When he passed away and the plan to unite Kormelia and Velgatia was discovered, many of the nobles, particularly among the northern provinces, tried to rebel around their dead king’s younger child, who was if not a genius at least relatively well in mind and body. The rebellion was rather short, however. While the rebels did manage to hold onto the Malatian region for over five years, their troops were plagued by poor morale and could not navigate the Maltruk swamps as well as they had hoped.

    Kormelia is fairly mineral rich and has decent population density for Agatia. However, the minerals have proven to be finite – most of the easiest to access mines have been depleted by now.

    Because of how Kormelia’s marriage pact ended up, the province allegedly has more autonomy than several others, though this can be questioned these days.

    Malatia
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    Malatia had never truly been a noteworthy nation. The thin band of arable land between the shrublands and the Maltruk swamp is not wide and the northern border often enough too hard to spot – many people have thought they had started to build a home on an unclaimed piece of choice farmland only for their buildings sinking into a bog, often dragging themselves down as well.

    Malatia’s sole source of honour in history was the part which hardy and brave Malatian soldiers played in Kormelia’s wars against Santekaia. When the king of Kormelia declared his sister his heir, who from her husband’s suggestions proceeded to start to Kormelia and Velgatia into a unified commonwealth, many of the knights and lords of Malatia in particular felt betrayed and rebelled. They had little hope in standing against the unified forces of their previous countrymen and all of Velgatia, however, and were conquered soon thereafter. Facing rebellion themselves – the common farmers and troops felt they had naught to gain and everything to lose from the war, the nobility surrendered.

    Surprisingly to many Kormelians, the Velgatian high command, claiming that they had done the lions share of the fighting, turned Malatia into a separate province and made Hondrai, a prominent general who had led their armies in that war, the new duke of Malatia. Hondrai is still alive, though very old and virtually blind – no matter what curative spell is cast on him, a new eye disease arrives soon thereafter.

    Sigia
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    Sigia was a weak nation even by the standards of the Agatian plains. Situated in the northwestern corner of the wild jungle known as Goblinwood, it has never had a large human population. There are many violent and wild goblin tribes in that forest who often raid human settlements and caravans, sometimes cutting entire cities off from nonmagical communication for months. One of Velgatia’s more recent conquests, they had to do little more than place a few armies on the border and suggest that the Duke of Sigia could continue ruling the land as a vassal if he surrendered quickly enough.

    Anulsita
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    Another core province of the nation, Anulsita was actually united by marriage peacefully. The young queen was wed to Galitor the Great’s father, at that time the heir to the throne of Velgatia. The two nations uniting thus made complete sense.

    Previously, Anulsita had been one of the provinces of Santekaia, the last subjugated land that former empire had a hold on. Their rebellion helped Velgatia in its war against Santekaia a lot. Anulsitans tend to mostly be cheerful and optimistic types, but relatively passive, expecting things to work out well enough in time without needing that much effort.

    Anulsita is best known for the silk it produces. The part of Goblinwood west of Upper Nilfaen is particularly well-suited to silk production.

    Caulia
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    Formerly known as Caural, it was one of the southernmost Optikin nations in the world. Situated on the banks the Culirfaen river, it was a minor independent dutchy which had little power and little significance beyond having its own language. Caural, had fought some small wars with Suogelia, Aoti Kaea, Kormelia and even Lewarur in the past, but had not been dominated by a foe for any truly long period of time. The Kakri in particular saw them as trade partners.

    Caulia was Galitor the Great’s latest conquest, taken by surprise when the Velgatian army crossed the border during their war with Suogelia one they already looked to be losing. Attacked from both sides, the nation swiftly fell and surrendered.

    The Cauli are timid and quiet people who have never had all that much, but are as a consequence only more proud of what little they have or had. There are some rumours of there being discontent, especially as the Duke of Caural was given leave to continue to rule the province, though with his power drastically reduced.

    Aoti Kaea
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    Aoti Kaea used to be the most powerful goblin faction in Telsarn, indeed the only one which can be called a true nation. They claimed to be civilized and traded with people almost as often as they were at war. In combat, they employed and designed various clever tactics - they were the first to use Parakrets in combat, for one. Aoti Kaea was finally conquered by Galitor the Great’s father’s men, who attacked the goblins when they had just finished a costly and indecisive war with Algnar. The war was not too easily fought, but the Velgatian empire nevertheless rather clearly crushed the goblin armies.

    The goblins of Aoti Kaea are still proud and look down on the wild barbarians and slum-folk which constitute most of the goblin species. However, they have been somewhat humbled by their defeat and fearful that they themselves might be forced into slums.

    Algnaria
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    Algnar was at one time a relatively potent kingdom. While south of Suogelia, they were considered a proper and strong Optikin nation instead of being part of the rabble of the plains. Most of the major population centres of Algnar were on the shores of Ershtafr and they had very good relations with the church of Nop, at that time a neutral power aligned with both Suogelia and Algnar. They fought both the goblin-run nation of Aoti Kaea and the monsters who might wander out from the western marshlands, breaking the aggression of the former and slaying the latter.

    It was the conquest of Algnar more than anything which gave Galitor, then only a relatively young and untested prince, the moniker ‘The Great’. As his ancestors made clever marriage pacts, he made clever gambits on the battlefield, learning quickly from the general sent out to mentor him. The fighting was still bloody and very costly for Velgatia – their foe had no reason to focus elsewhere, no other enemy on its back. Galitor resorted to a slash and burn tactic in the end, burning crops they could not immediately seize and use and sacking cities, then redirecting his forces when the Algnari mustered a counteroffensive. Any land the locals retook was devoid of crops and offered poor shelter, often littered with the bodies of any friends and family who had lived in the plot of land lost. When they finally surrendered, the Algnari had but a thin strip of land with a couple of intact cities along the coast of the lake they had seen as their northwestern border.

    The Algnari tend to be highly religious, moreso even than the Suogeli. However, where the Suogeli are highly enthusiastic about it, the Algnari are more laid back and self-assured. They tended to be cheerful, especially during the day, but the recent harrowing troubles have likely broken their spirits. Algnar used to be .

    Taniuria
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    Taniur used to be a small county of Lewarur, one which had changed hands rather often during Lewari-Kopshi wars. A war 64 years ago ended with a peace treaty between Lewarur and Kopshirar which stipulated that the contested county be made into a neutral state for at least ten years. The count renewed the neutrality several times, which coincided with Kopshi aims and did not bother Lewarur enough to waste resources on war during the current era of meagre treasuries. Twenty years ago, the new count, whose mother had been a minor daughter of the Velgatian royal family, elected to join Velgatia instead. This caused a stir, which has led to Lewari seeing the man as a traitor.

    The Taniuri commoners are in effect mostly Lewari, though there are plenty of Punusei and Kopshi among them.

    Fronrul
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    Fronrul used to be an old Optikin nation itself. While it was a duchy huddled against the mountains for a long time, it has for ages been known as an independent march. The story behind that is rather well known in Lewarur.

    In ages past, during the apex of Kopshirar’s power, Fronrul had been one of the many nations threatened by the Kopshi. While the northern enemy has generally had martial tyrants rather than magical ones, one of the mightiest kings the nation has had was Khardal Doombringer, a powerful mage. His mother, Ebrun Thunderwalker herself was such a caster, a witch of such talent that the crown prince considered it acceptable to marry her despite her being in essence of common birth. Khardal was a genius both in terms of magical potency and tactical understanding, who obtained Kopshirar’s current southeastern corner and conquered Fronrul, in the process allegedly cursing the entire nation, making it so that forevermore, anyone who would be duke of Fronrul would be struck blind and choke on his own tongue. For a long time even after Khardal’s eventual spiral into madness and death, the nation was merely the easternmost march of Kopshirar. Even when the nation regained its independence, the new ruler was fearful enough of the tyrant mage’s curse that she chose to keep the land an independent march.

    Fronrul had been a mostly stable nation even as an independent march for over a hundred years, spreading out deeper into the mountains even than it reached under Kopshirar. Fronrul is the most recent patch of land that Velgatia has absorbed. Both remote and new to the empire, the March is very different from the rest of the nation. The old marquis, who died only eight years ago, lacked children and thus passed the coronet to his cousin, who had only been groomed for rule once it became apparent that there would be no heir born directly to the king. She had married a royal prince of Velgatia, who suggested they unite their nations despite him not being first in line for the throne of Velgatia. While it had taken some time to convince her, she consented to his requests less than two years ago.

    Sirea
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    A breakaway province of Anaseta, this rebel state was absorbed by Velgatia half by war, half by persuasion. Currently a matriarchal county, it is sparsely populated.

    The army of the house of Vel

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    Because of the size and diversity of Velgatia, it has perhaps the most varied and inconsistent army doctrine.

    The core of the Velgatian army tends to use light cavalry mounted on Moas. This is the common trait of most Agatian nations. People from Velgatia itself and Anulsitans generally carry and fire light crossbows or repeating crossbows, but are not too afraid of close combat, where they prefer to use scimitars. The Kormelians though prefer light spears suitable both for thrusts and throwing, though they have in recent years also incorporated light crossbows. The goblins likewise use moas, relying solely on marksmanship and preferring hit and run tactics.

    Moropus-based heavy cavalry as it is used in the north is not rare in Velgatia, where it is the most honoured unit of both the Cauli and Algnari but also attempted by the people of Central Velgatia. Even Parakrets are used for warfare, generally with mounted howdahs where a dozen soldiers with long spears and longbows fight from. This tactic was pioneered by the army of Aoti Kaea, but has spread to several neighboring states, most of which are now under the Velgatian banner.

    Line infantry might use use Ranseurs, Lucerne hammers, short sword and shield, javelin and shield and even Lochaber axes, the lattermost of which were the signature weapons of Algnar due to their utility against both large monsters and cavalry. Plate mail is rare, at most half plate, but splint mail and chain mail are common throughout the land.


    To be continued...
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2012-06-30 at 01:12 PM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    It's nice man, good work. So is that a house for a single family or what? I'd love to see more buildings. By the way, what program did you use to make that? Wings3d?

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Icedaemon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Walufar, a homebrew setting. (Critique welcome)

    It's a wealthy merchant's house. The windowed upper floors are where the (rather extended) family lives, while the bottom floor is likely a shop or storage space, depending on the merchant in question.

    I used Solidworks.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

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