The following is a product of many great minds working together on a /tg/ thread started by an anon. It was produced across several days of hard labour (the thread is rumoured to be still going to this very day)
The product was a harmonic and absolutely fantastic Grimbright high fantasy setting... Anon wanted to create a world where humans lack magic and were driven into the northern wastes. We now have that, AND nazi-dwarves, elves which will turn you into a flowerpot if you mess with their farms, orcs being too damn nice and Halflings who behave themselves like typical rednecks - either getting drunk and high on everything or making bunkers and filling them with guns. Also fucking scaled-feathered barbarian velociraptors are about to start fulfilling their holy destiny to murderdevour elves.
Oh, and also magic works only through the leather, flesh and bones of sentient beings. You can cannibal someone for greater magical power at the price of making yourself a drooling comatose vegetable nuke.
This is Kulmorost Divided.
Magic in Kulmorost can only be conducted through organic material, such as flesh and bone. All artifacts and magical devices are built from once living (or in some horrible cases, still living) creatures (although plants can be substituted in some cases).
While common animal bones are suitable for minor magical items - temporary light sources, directional tools, one-use "ammunition" - nobody has ever managed to make a powerful magical item with anything other than the body parts of a thinking being. This creates some demand for corpses in areas with numerous enchanters of skill.
Magic uses a caster's life force to manipulate the world around them. Casting spells causes physical and mental exhaustion, and casting too much causes potentially terminal conditions, such as heart attacks, aneurysms, and lung collapses.
It is possible to gain greater magical powers by consuming the flesh and souls of other sentient magically adept beings, the cost of one's mental stability and health. At it's peak someone who does that will become a trembling husk barely able to stand but capable of summoning city-destroying magics.
If magic is used to fortify ones physical attributes in an attempt to counter-act these negative effects (creating a magical oxymoron: use magic to prevent the drawbacks of overusing magic) it causes a condition known as Arcane Hemorrhaging, this causes a caster's magical essence to leak out, deforming the caster and weakening their magical ability. This also tends to create a magic dependency, making a person want to gain more power to make up for the leakage of essence, although this always makes things far worse for them. If the condition is allowed to advance, it can lead to the complete loss of magical ability as well as any bodily enhancements. But at least don't suffer the usual negative effects of casting magic, and never will again.
There is also a degree of "sympatheticness" to magic: you can enchant anything organic with a enchantment to prevent breakage for example, but the bones of creatures that are themselves tough are easier to enchant. Human bones and leather, oddly enough make for good magic resistant materials, which some scholars believe is one of the reasons the human genocide began: dwarves and elves were hunting humans for materials to improve their own defenses. It should be noted that while human bones and leather take anti magic enchantments well, living humans have no particular resistance to magic.
Although it is less common as it requires more skill, trees and plant can also be used and manipulated for magic as is common in the Elven principalities. These magics are generally centered around agriculture and extending ones life (although attempting to become immortal is strictly forbidden). Prolonged exposure to this kind of magic can cause someone to begin to resemble the kind of plant that gave them their long life (usually a tree). This transformation comes in the form of leaves and root sprouting from the appendages as well as the hardening of skin and the dampening of the senses (poorer hearing, sight etc.). This can reach such an extreme that they become something known as and Elder Tree (which is literally an elder who has become a tree)
Of all organic materials, teeth are the best to store charms and curses. It is common in elvish society to wear necklaces made of your own milk teeth, with the rich getting each one individually enchanted with some small boon.
Metals in turn are not seen as worthy materials, and only used for common tools among the magical races. One exception is Silver. It is notable and reviled by mages for its anti-magic qualities. The more pure the Silver, the more potent the effect. Alloy with traces of Silver irritates magical flesh, pure Silver outright burns it, and Silver reduces and deadens offensive magic. Silver weapons, armor, and jewelry are highly prized among Humans and Beastmen, and are considered contraband among the magical races.
Draconic Creation MythEdit
The Perfect Dragons and the Writhing VoidEdit
Old legends say that When the world was yet unformed and the powers of chaos lay still in the sky, the earth was a infertile plain of stone which was watched over by two supreme beings, one of stone and flame and one of gemstone and ice.
These two supreme beings sat at either side of eternity, watching the world and loving it for it was perfect. But in perfection there is balance and balance cannot be kept while chaos exists. One side: the earth, perfect and flat. The other side: the sky, imperfect, ever-changing and writhing.
The two dragons sat for an eternity, but eternity is too short a time to achieve perfection. And so out of the sky came an imperfect wyrm into the perfect plain. This wyrm was the embodiment of change, now introduced into the world. This angered one of the dragons, but not the other. For they were opposites as the land and sky.
The angered dragon of ice and gemstone was named Fandthol. Justice was swift upon the wyrm as Fandthol smote it with a talon and swallowed it. But somehow Fandthol's rage was not sated and so set upon the land. The wrath of Fandthol disrupted the plain with storms of ice, tearing it apart, creating canyons and mountains in its wake. At the other end of eternity Akriton saw Fandthol's rage upon the land and was mourned. Akriton then gathered all power that was available, and became great, dark and terrible to behold.
When Fandthol and Akriton met at the center of eternity, they collided with such a terrible force that the world was cracked from every corner, tearing the world out of eternity and making it finite. Their battle wreathed the land in flame and ice, and then in water and soot. Until finally Fandthol was defeated, which could not have happened if the Void wyrm had not weakened his will. Fandthol's body fell to the earth and shattered into countless pieces and from those pieces in aeons to come would hail the first peoples of the world. Akriton then roared up into the sky at the void in rage and sadness. Seeking to destroy the void.
But the writhing void retreated and went behind the world, as did Akriton chase it. And this pursuit has not ceased to this day. While in the day Akriton is visible, great burning and full of hatred for the void. And at night the writhing void, littered with the wounds that Akriton had inflicted upon it which burn through with terrible contempt.
Myth of the origin of the Magic and the Magical RacesEdit
One of the most ancient tales (now often speculated to be fabrication) states that a millenia after death of Acrynahl and the start of Civilisation, a Trade was made between one wife of a fisher and a Merchant of the Mists. She wanted her man to be with her more often, as she missed him on his long fishing trips.
The Merchant gave her power to do just that: She suddenly had the power to Command her husband to do whatever she wanted. Yet the now mentally-slaved husband was not what the wife had wanted and she commanded the husband to kill them both.
Usually the tale is used to warn about strange merchants and the usage of mind-controlling magic, but it some (mostly older) versions of the tale also mention that every single one of the current magic using races is direct offspring of the wife.
Tales do not agree on what was the Cost to the Trade as it depends between cultures and variations.
Dwarven Creation MythEdit
As presented in the orthodox Cult of the Maker to the believers by the priests.
At the First Beginning was and yet wasn't, the Architect. Then the Architect was. His sole Presence turned The Void That Never Was And Cannot Ever Be into the Primordial, Unformed and Chaotic Matter. The Perfect Architect saw potential in this Imperfect Cosmos. Unlike His pure Essence, the Matter was made of two muddled Substances, a higher one and a lesser one. The Architect conceived a Perfect Model of the World to Come and His First Action was to separate the two Substances from each other. His Second Action was to create the Maker from His Essence in a guise made of the higher Substance and to place him in the Higher Region of the World.
At the Second Beginning, born and yet unborn was the Maker. Then born was the Maker. His Vision revealed the Lower Region of the World. The Architect instructed him with the Plan of the World to Come, and promised he will be able to join Him as a reward once his work is done and the World is made Perfect. And the Maker began his work. He shaped the Higher then the Lower Region to the exact specifications of the Architect, yet the World was still imperfect. The Maker felt frustation and anger, but the Architect calmed him down before he wrecked the Cosmos in his rage, and explained to him why the World still wasn't perfect. Souls like the ones of the Lower Region had to be created, but made like the Maker of the Essence of the Architect itself, and had to achieve the World by fructifiate and create civilization within it, guided by the Maker. The Third Action was to create these souls made of His Own Essence and make them reincarnate in the Lower Region until their task is done. Then the World will be purged of all imperfections and these souls will ascend with the Maker to the Realm of the Architect, for all of the two Substances and the Essence will be in its right place. These souls are those of the Dwarves, and so we will be reincarnated in this World until our task is done. The Imperfection is the cause of everything bad in this World : Evil, diseases, hunger, natural disasters, weakness in both mind and body,ect.. We must endure all of these sorrows because once our work here is finished, this World will be perfect and we will get our reward in the Realm of the Architect.
The Goblin - Giant WarEdit
Barely fragmentary myths survive to tell us of a war between the Goblins and Giants north of them. The war ended when the Goblins drove the Giants with magic to the Northwestern Peninsula and then used their powers break the peninsula off from the mainland separating the giants from Kulmorost to this new island (later called Lesia).
Thus began the golden age of the Goblin Empire and meanwhile the Giants starved in their new island.
The Goblin CataclysmEdit
The Southern Wastes as they are called now where not always so, before the rise of the orcs and the great feuds between the races. The goblins, as easily forgotten and powerless as they are now called this land theirs. Some say they were punished by their gods for the misuse of magic, that they tried to give life to that which is not meant to have it and for that they were struck down Few know that they succeeded. The great mages gathered where mountain met the sea, bringing forth sacrifices of beast and men and goblin, dragon and the great beasts of the sky, they used their magics to pull behemoths from the waves. For weeks they spilled the blood onto the earth, weaving great incantations as they did pouring the very essence of their race into this spell And at last the Black Earth rose. The Goblins had made God. A god of stone and molten rock pulled itself from the earth, a mountain bent to the will of these mighty spell weavers. No one knows why it fell, and the names of all who brought it fourth have been cursed and taken from the tales.
The Black Dunes are where the beast fell and the Godless Bay between the Eleven lands and the Southern Peninsula is where the great beast was made and raised from.
The Haumic ExodusEdit
After the Goblin Cataclysm, Humanity used to be a fragmented number of Kingdoms and Republics mostly north of the current city of UR. The Watery Moor also belonged to humans.
This Land of Haumics was vast buffer territories between Elves, Dwarves and Trolls. It was like Principalities of past - many loosely tied duchies, petty kingdoms, republics and tribes with several power players and none telling everyone how live and play. In part, this lead to the Exodus as no unified human Lord or King - which lead to a fractured defense. The Land of Haumics was mostly uncontested because Elves were separated and bickered with each other and dwarves were not powerhouse that they are now - they simply did not had numbers to rush humans.
It all changed when Dwarves met most powerful Elven princes and princesses at the meeting place later named UR. It was long, long discussion, full of backstabbing and betrayal, but in the end an Alliance was formed, the fate of the Humanity sealed and future territories divided between the Alliance. The exact details why the Elves and Dwarves united and attacked have been forgotten. The fear that the warlike Humans would eventually reach and surpass the magical ability of the other Races, whether true or not, is often cited as one reason, as is that Elves, Dwarves and Humans were in competition for good lands after the Goblin Cataclysm had destroyed their old lands.
During the long, bloody war, the Elves and Dwarves fought as unified front: Elves provided troops while Dwarves provided weapons and mages. The human nobles were still relying on power of their individual kingdoms. As they were too fragmented they suffered heavy losses.
One of the worst battles of the war was the Carnage on Cain (known to Elves as "Battle at river Cain" "Cain's miracle" and "That battle when several important human idiots betrayed their kin for one whore", depends who you ask) where several human princes betrayed their kin for Elves (but in the end, they got what they deserved - genocide). After that battle the individual human realms ceased to exist. Names of Human Traitors was erased from both Human and Dwarven history.
One of the most prominent human leaders was King Leoric (latter known as King Leoric the Doomed) who decided to unify all human forces after Cain and the one who commanded army during the Last Battle at rolling hills of now Samcin Kingdom. The excess of magic used by Dwarves driven Leoric to madness. After battle was lost he ordered retreat through Troll Lands and legends say that seeing weakness in human nature King started to feast upon bodies of trolls he slew himself. After the human exodites broke through to Northern Wastes Leoric and his closest allies disappeared in snowstorm, never to be seen again.
The Exodus to the Northern Wastes trough the Troll Tribes was source of many dark deeds and even darker legends. Upon reaching the far North, the exodites build the the Valkery Cathedral to house their knowledge and separated (once more) to various tribes.
The Geopolitical WorldEdit
The continent of Kulmorost is the main stage for the setting. It is a land of magic, beasts, civilizations at the height of their economy and brutish war tribes seeking only for bloodshed. The world is not unlike earth in the majority of climate, flora, and fauna (with exceptions) and is divided into many different factions.
With a quick glance, the species of Kulmorost are rather fantasy-standard yet with refreshing differences. However if one begins to dig deeper, however, there will be interesting secrets found...
Military power of the realmsEdit
Scale: 1 = not dangerous to 10 = you are already dead
- Goblins pre-Cataclysm were definitely 13 and get meteors to fucking rain on you.
- Laffu are something between 5 and 12.
- Dwarves and Elves would be about 9 combined, 6-8 alone and 4-5 as individual realms.
- Humans alone (Tribes, Grave Lords, pirates, etc) are 2-4, as a mega-horde 7-10 depending on leader and zeal, and of course, equipment
- Lesians are 4-7 about. Potential threats for Elves.
- Gnomes are 7 if they defend their cities and 3-4 if for some reason they go on offense
- Orcs are somewhere 3-5, depending on tribe and have you angered them. They are at the lesser end of the totem pole.
- Centaurs are 0 to 3. They cause mayhem once in few generations.
- Kobolds and Gualli are roughly 1. Regular annoyances.
- Trolls and others are not militaristic so they are about 0 to 2.
The Humans (also called Haumics) are mostly non-magic using scum who were driven to the cold Northern Wastes in the War of Human Exodus long time ago in the ancient times. In modern times, they hover on the brink of extinction, living in barbaric xenophobic nomad/barbarian tribes with a messiah-figure in the form of a conqueror who will unite their tribes. They are barely eking out an existence in the frigid, unforgiving wastes.
Most form various kinds of primitive tribes. One particular interest is those tribes who herd Wooly rhinos. Wooly Rhinos reproduce slowly, and consume massive amounts of food, making them extremely valuable in Human society. Only a few Human nomad tribes and townships near the coasts and the Troll lands have access to these magnificent beasts, and due to the advantages they bring, they will not part with their monopoly anytime soon.
The rest of the Humans make do with walking, and they are infamous among other races for their ability to march nonstop for days, even without magical assistance, if need be.
The are a couple cities which occupy themselves in other "trades" like piracy and raiding. Examples of these cities are the
They still resent the more magically gifted races for what their ancestors did, and many tribes raid southern civilizations to supplement their hunting and gathering during the cold season. Despite their magical inability, Humans are still extremely good at killing things, and many of the more civilized races fear that eventually an ambitious Human chieftain will arise and unite all tribes under one banner, forming an unstoppable horde.
Some tribes of human have great affinity for working metal. They use it to create monstrous masked suits of armour, crafted to resemble the dead (usually shapen to the likeness of a relative's skull). The sight of these warriors strikes fear into the hearts of most civilized creatures. And very few live to tell of these abominable Iron Revenants.
"Clad in all that ghastly metal. Why would the living strive to become like the dead? Surely that cold iron freezes their hearts as well." -The Shades of the North, a study by Yulyn, Elvish Scholar.
It is impossible for Humans to reproduce with Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, or Goblins. Of course, this doesn't stop them from trying. The few who have laid with Humans know that the rumors of their almost supernatural endurance are not exaggerated.
Curiously, some legends state that the Magical Races are offspring of humans. While other legends say the magical races were created by an entirely different being.
Important Human CitiesEdit
- Tempest Edge: The Tempest Edge sits on the most west point of Northern coast overlooking Storm ocean. Here sits the Silent King, the wind talks for him and brings news when to go into open waters or when to wait, for that he gave up his human tongue....Or so the elvish survivors tell, as his ships come silently during worst weather boat can survive, with no words his men plunder villages and cities before returning back to open sea.
This human city has very poor and frozen earth, which leads most men to seak nourishment from dangerous waters of the ocean. Only best survive this test of nature which molds them into perfect sailors whom their king uses to full extend. Hidden by storm, fog or rain from the eyes of Sot watch tower he remains unpunished for his deeds. But the journey is always dangerous and deadly so beside skilled men of Tempest only madmen and martyrs join his raids. For that Silent king build great tomb for all human remains they can return from elves
- Frostfrontier: is a human city on the coast of the Val sea. It has an underground part as well as an over the ground one. It is one of the most important human ports and you can find most kinds of humans within it. It grew from an underground settlement nestled in a massive cave system and it has stood for at least 500 years. It houses the largest market of the Haumic lands and has been ruled since the beginning by a family of centaurs.
- Toren: Deep in the frozen northern coast of Talahaca lies the Toren volcano. In its shadow live a particularly stubborn tribe of humans who are generally extremely protective of their warm and fertile lands - many have tried to conquer them and no one have succeeded. This tribe has taken its name after the volcano: the Defenders of Toren. One other frequent cause of battles is the reason that the Defenders are followers of the Mother Toren. They hold many other negative stories about the other humans, usually calling them the Oathbreakers who wronged the Defender tribe somehow in the War of Human Exodus, although the original reason seems to be forgotten as the Defenders are totally illiterate and have too many versions of the Oathbreaking to know the real one.
Many other tribes in turn see the Defenders as heretics who have wealthy lands worthy of conquest. No wonder they are frequently attacked - the defenders have saying that "a summer without a siege is a great one!".
The Defenders have adapted to their role particularly well - their villages are defensible forts linked with secret tunnels. Their lava-forges, although lacking steel or silver, produce large amounts of iron spears shields and arrows. The Defenders could get a lot of money from selling these high quality weapons, yet they fear too much that their weapons would be turned against them next year to trade at all with their surrounding tribes.
The Defenders are ruled by three forgemaster-commanders who command what is produced, what is built and lead the defense of the tribes.
- Grimbridge: The Grimbridge tribe sits by both sides of the old stone bridge, build long before they arrived, the biggest one across river Stern (the large northern river flows to Val sea), is known for their strength and wealth among all other local tribes.
It's because every trader who wants to cross the river has to pay a toll and every raiding party crossing under bridge has to share small part of their spoils. With number of steelclad warriors to back their claim
- Lemon Keep: Situated on a small island west of The Neck is the Lemon Keep of the Latrosia family. They are a small but still somewhat rich family, one of the few noble houses that still exist after Exodus.
The castle is well made (built immediately after the Exodus) and easily defended from non-magical races. It is known for the trees that grow within the walls (merely a few lemon and orange trees) which is where it gains its many nicknames, The Lemon keep, yellow hill, treehold and so on.
If one is passing through the Neck you'll come close to the fort, making it a popular spot for Raiding parties looking to rest or the occasional traveler/trader. These factors all contribute to why the Latrosia family has kept its wealth and land for all this time (you wouldn't believe how much silver someone returning from an extended stay in troll territory will pay for a lemonade). The family is well connected with the pirate lords as well as the Valkyrie cathedral and lords of Frostfontier.
There are plenty of tribes and other people that would love to get rid of the family and have the land for themselves, but the Lemon keep is so well fortified, supplied and easily defensible its not really a good idea trying to lay siege to it as the family can just wait the invaders out.
Humans mostly practice ancestor worship and believe bones are sacred except for the ones who use bones for everything out of spite. Some believe in the winged goddess Valkery, mother of all humans. Upon their death she pulls out soul from the bones and leads them to paradise. Though should their bones be disturbed she won't be able to pull soul out, that's why they are so protective of the bones. It is also believed if you reclaim (or die trying) bones of the disturbed your sins will be forgiven.
This leads to many criminals and alike to atone for their sins and go south with raiding party in one or several men crusade.
Also there is many kinds of myths about the One who will unite the tribes and lead them back to south. Fortunately for the rest of races, this has not happened yet.
Somewhere between the River of Death and Stern lies most important religious site for all humans, the Valkery Cathedral. A monument built from steel and stone when humans only arrived to Northern wastes.
Warrior-monks live here guarding whole place from any intruders as not only it is sacred ground for praying, many chieftains find this place to recieve blessing of the goddess before taking leadership of their clan, it became common practice for them to bring remains of the last leader with them to put those bones in sprawling catacombs.
But unknown to most this place also holds library with tomes and books that humans brought with them after being driven north. The books that hold untainted by dwaves knowledge about times before exodus
- Of Pirate Lords: There's a pretty simple reason that you rarely see the Pirate Lords in the northern segments of the wastes. They fear not simply for their lives but also for their souls. You see a common suspicion among the Pirate Lords is that Large bodies of water (including lakes rivers and the ocean) are the eyes of the Valkery into the mortal world. If one dies reasonably close to these places you are fine, but if you die too far from water then the Valkery will never know you died and won't come to collect your soul, leaving your soul trapped inside your rotting body until it is brought close enough to a body of water for the Valkery to see it and recover the soul. Not exactly an experience that most are in favour of. As such they rarely venture inland and if they do it is mostly via the water ways.
- Heresy among pirates: It's become a somewhat custom among Human Pirate Lords to keep captured Elven women as concubines, to symbolize Mankind's supposed superiority over the Magical races. The fact that most Elves are quite attractive by Human standards and remain youthful for many decades is also a reason for this practice. Elves of noble blood and/or arcane talent are considered more valuable, because "humbling" them is much more satisfying. Those who follow the custom are a sizable minority among the Human Pirate Kings and Warlords of the Val Sea but as time goes on, it's becoming more acceptable.
Being captured by a Human pirate is the worst nightmare of many Elven noblewomen. Most Humans of the South believe that breeding with other races is permissible, (if somewhat distasteful) so long as the Human doesn't become attached or form a lasting relationship with a member of an "Inferior" race or begin to lust after other races over Humans. A few Human deviants believe that interspecies breeding should be encouraged but they are an incredibly small minority.
Many Humans view this custom as degenerate and blasphemous in the eyes of the Valkery, but they tolerate it because most of the Men who adhere to the custom are important to Human society. Though not everyone accepts this behavior of those pirates. More orthodox followers of Valkery refuse such pirates entry into ports or villages, while zealot warriors or greedy for spoils can even launch "crusade" against "hedonistic scum who left light of the Goddess and were seduced by elven sorceress"
- Heresy among pirates: It's become a somewhat custom among Human Pirate Lords to keep captured Elven women as concubines, to symbolize Mankind's supposed superiority over the Magical races. The fact that most Elves are quite attractive by Human standards and remain youthful for many decades is also a reason for this practice. Elves of noble blood and/or arcane talent are considered more valuable, because "humbling" them is much more satisfying. Those who follow the custom are a sizable minority among the Human Pirate Kings and Warlords of the Val Sea but as time goes on, it's becoming more acceptable.
- Northern Cult of City of Bones: Deep on the north, surrounded by traps and hidden from plain view, lies most sacred place for all northern tribes - City of Bones, where all souls come to rest. It's not really cities, but a very several burial mounds and bone pits placed near each other, surrounding a temple made of Winged Goddes, made entirely from bones. Around that temple rised bone pits, burial mounds, tombs and shrines of many clans and tribes. It's a sacred ground, where spilling blood and killing a humans are strictly forbidden.
Once in year, this place is full of pyres and feasting humans - they all honoring their ancestors and the Winged Goddess. It's a tradition to add a bone of Hero or prominent chieftain into a Temple, expanding it power. Their Southern brothers view this cult a little heretical and rather impractical and so won't indulge such silliness, going to the Cathedral instead.
- The Grave lords: Graves Lords were several very close to each other clans on the East coast of Wastes who were followers of City of Bones until one day they refused to follow laws of Valkery.
This rebellion against goddess they followed with plundering of the graves for the bones and donning them on over their armor. For this act they got their name but they were quickly squashed by union of angered clans and driven out of Northern Wastes to live on frozen islands in Ocean of Tahalaca.
These outcasts proclaim they worship a God of Death, unknown god by anyone outside of their clans and to this day not one captured clansmen has told anything about their god beside the fact that he gave them power no human ever had. What is known though that they practice eating in moderation Trolls or Dwarven flesh captured in their raids. Dark powers and insanity they gain from it are even scarier since everything about them after rebellion is just frightening rumors.
- Cult of Mother Toren: Completely heretical, Defenders of Toren volcano venerate her as the Mother of all Life instead of mother Valkery, who they completely ignore.
- Cult of the River of Death: Few primitive human tribes worship the north-flowing River of Death, saying that it carries the souls of the dead. Their relationship with the City of Bones is not known.
Not everyone in the human lands have read the thousands of books about the world, so many humans of different parts of the Northern Wastes hold these stories as truth:
Lemon Keep Lords actually are elves, so inbred with humans so they looks like humans! I swear, their ears are longer than other humans!
Don't drink the lemonade - it's laced with mind control drugs. To protect yourself from it, add a licorice.
They say deep in North lies a tribe who learned secret how to make a Star Steel, from real stars, stolen from the sky! It can cleave a stone in half with ease and sings when swinging.
Bone Lords are coming. They rising our ancestors against us so they can rule whole world.
Pirates are up to something. I swear, more and more ships sails into Storm Ocean. And why they buying a live rhinos? It's not like they gonna milk them...
They say there was ancient race, who created every races. Doblings, I think. So these Doblins, in fact, was Humans! I don't lie, an ancestors told me these when I drinked a mushroom potion!
There is ancient ruins on South, somewhere in the mountains. It's full of strange things
Dwarves are making a self-driving wagon cart. With no magic at all!
Elven wine can turn you into a elf if you drinks it too much. True story!
A ghost roams on eastern coast, looking for a passage into a Forsaken Isle. He claims his name is Riley.
Elks numbers are dwindling, so some tribes are really desperate for food. Look closely to jerky you trade with tribes - some are made from beast much more common than elk and woolly rhinos.
Some people say you can navigate yourself looking at the stars. If you follow a Goddess Light in a darkest night, you can find a way everywhere you want to go. And I mean everywhere.
Lesians sure friendly, but what they are up to? Are they using us against elves? Testing us? Or their intentions are far more sinister?
When a babies cries for a first time in their life, they remember lives of our ancestors, long before dwarfs driven us out. They remember this and cries for our fate.
They say some Dwarves are not dwarves at all! Someone called them Halfmins, and dwarves drives them out from their homes, just like us! We must band together with them against dwarves!
They say there is an Elven tribe lives in our lands. Vicious and cunning bastards they are.
Peaceful farmers and winemakers with rapidly changing culture and fashions. The numerous Elvish Principalities have been allies with Dwarves since the War of Human Exodus.
Elves often participate in magical rites at important points in their life that involves the manipulation of their own life causing them to live for centuries. Particular old elves deviate from the normal body shape significantly; their flesh twisted to extend their lives beyond which nature ordained. Still usually quite pleasant chaps though.
Elvish principalities all vary in military power of how rich they arm their soldiers, but still follow the rule of second son, were they conscript second oldest son of the family when he's old enough. There they are trained with sword and bow for a year, after that they are given choice out of three: to remain in military, go back to home or join "lords freeman", a band of soldiers under one commander that are free to move around Kulmorost and do mercenary jobs, most of the pay return back to lord.
As per usual soldiers are armed with bone swords and wooden bows & arrows, leather armor finished with dyed cloth of plant or animal threads principality grows or buys. Renowned archers are given runed bone bows, while the higher in hierarchy you go the more enchanted troll or human they wear yet elegantly made.
Smoking is a favorite Elvish past time, initially only becoming popular within the last 200 years. For centuries prior, the different tribes of Men had consumed psychedelic substances and herbs through the pipe. It was only through the introduction of Tobacco, brought by Lesian invaders, that the Elven people developed an insatiable appetite for the plant. It is not uncommon for all socio-economic classes to consume Tobacco, from the lowest serve smoking a cigarette to a highborn nursing a jade pipe.
Elven society also knows for several short-lived, but strange fads - from "everybody wears wigs and fake beards" to "bestiality (humans included) is A-ok!". This gets noble elves sometimes not really deserved reputations of being depraved fucks with short attention span. Current fad is troll skin clothes, including underwear. Especially underwear with troll faces on it. Some noble family spender a fortune on full set of Night Troll skin suit, dress and frilly undergarments.
The Elves might have been the members of the goblin race of old times, yet current era elves will not tolerate such insults.
Important Elvish CitiesEdit
- UR: The de-facto unofficial capital of the Principalities. It also know to elves as "Place of Negotiations" "City of Deals" and a "Good place to buy a fine cheese". It is a relatively new, but already one of the biggest city in all Principalities. It began his history as a main camp in a Human Exodus War, where Dwarves and Elves met first, then it became a fort, and lastly a city. It's not sporting a rich and ancient histories as other big Elven cities, but it's trading center of all Principalities, holding a claim being an unofficial capital of all Elves cities.
UR is famous for its magic markets, where you can buy all kinda of items, from mundane to rare.In less reputable parts of UR you can stumble to a slaves and a "cattle" markets, where mages can buy a material for an enchantments and a cheap labour. Those markets sells all kinds of "cattle" - from disgraced Dwarf to a rare Humans or even a Lesian (they are poor workforce, but their nerve and blood system are good magic conductors)
- Treyach: is located on banks of two rivers that combine into the Largest River on Elvish lands, three river banks form this city and three Princess control those banks. Each prince despises other two for way they govern and will never want to have anything in common with them, unless it's common enemy from outside that threatens all three in equal, then they forge a very short peace before threat is gone and they can return to wrestling over the city.
Long time ago ancestors of each prince build own city on their own side and each of them didn't want for another to out do him or leave this place. Each time one of the cities gained more power two other united to cut it down, so it was for all time. As of today it has turned into one big metropolis.
Treyach is booming with abundance of work, you can peacefully live your whole life here, not knowing what happens behind curtains or be unlucky enough to walk into stand off between soldiers of two principalities that ends bloody for all.
- Northen bank is controlled by Yomen clan, with banner of flower on green field, they are the most elf-centric and take biggest pride in what elves can do. They mastered art of wine making, having biggest brewery in all land, rumors say that they lerned how to mix life essence of "lesser races" into wine, which not only enhances taste but also makes you feel more alive, beside that woodcrafting, wax making, honey and biggest market of plants in city.
- On the East bank rules Kento clan, with banner of a gauntlet striking down on red font, they seek to utilise lesser races for own gain. Being most welcoming orcs flock to this clan for glory and pay, this gives Kento muscles to throw around. So they profit from managing docks and shipwright along with slave trade, disregarding how many orcs will die on work, anyway their body will be sold to Yomens. Thougher orcs are taught how to fight properly and serve as mercenaries and ship crew, they are constantly sent into open sea to search for new wonder and trade. Beside that Kento prosper on kettle, and trade of exotic beasts.
- On west bank we have Arak clan, with their banner of two crossed hands before a rising sun, being most fond of dwarves they have many dwarvish masters from UAC work on bone trinkets and book writers, with elvish tongue and dwarvish carvings they created most advanced bone and leather musical instruments, as their orchestras perform on every important event in all Elf or Dwarf cities,while those in training perform on every corner of this city. Weaving, leather working and paper are also important for this clan, while their paper light are illuminating whole city during the night. They also train deadly assassins that are masters of subtlety, stealth and precise strikes. With abundance of targets in this city and Goblinoid-dwarves just just for change they hone their skills, engraved bone-stars are their favourite weapon though very costly to make, which makes them only users of such weapon.
Elvish religion is based around the concept that their own Society is in fact their creator spirit, and by making their cities and towns and roads are in fact "recreating" the body of their god. This is one of the reasons they treat their criminals so harshly as not only is the offender a criminal, but a heretic against their god.
Worship of this god comes in the from of civic duty, doing your job and doing it well, and doing things "for the good of everyone".
They believe that the dwarves have their own society/god, and due to their close alliance, that their society gods are close friends/lovers or siblings (or both). They do not believe the humans have a society god however, which is one of the reasons they think they have such a barbaric way of life.
- Candle Cult: Elves who gain power by burning the bones of the dead. Live in the of City of Candles and are known to be accepting of other races as long as they are nonviolent.
- Drow, the Lost Elves: The black or gray skinned Elven outcasts that have abandoned the Elvish religion to become nomads in the southern desert. Drow means "Lost" in the Elvish language. Drow aren't any more evil than normal Elves, but they prefer to keep to themselves, are quite mysterious and are known to have mastered fire magic
- Cult of Good Neighborhood: Believe that the Elven Society God is easily polluted with impure thoughts, drugs and alcohol abuse and other improper things. They believe if everything is proper and good, then whole world is gonna be a better place.
While it's not unusual, The Cult a list of polluting things are long and VERY strict list. This list includes are colors and clothes you have to wear on everyday, forbidding drinking wine, what kind of meal you must eat on special occasions, specific length of hair for females and even replacement words you have to ask ("Darn" to "Damn" "Gosh" to "Shit" "Beasts" to "Humans"). If you break a rule from this list, punishments are severe and unforgiving.
It is not a very popular Cult, but cities where it's dominated usually blessed with very good harvests, good weather and generally, much prospering lands.
Elves are on the crossroads for all races to come, trolls, lesians, humans, orcs and dwarves all come here and it's only natural for common folk to create stories about them:
Lesians actually are giant birds and capable of flying. They hide their magnificent wings pretty well.
A Good Neighborhood cult are expanding more and more aggressively. Sooner or later they will go on a bloody crusade against us.
All Gnomes are males and all Halflings are females. Once in a year they coming together into a MASSIVE orgy.
I hear some human tribes want to parley with us. We will not let these barbarians into our lands, doesn't we?
Slaves are sooo dull and common. A animated servant, on other hand...
If you make a staff from Elder Tree, it will hold his personality and magic, making him practically immortal.
Drows are up to something. More and more of their tribes coming to the North, carrying bags of seeds. It's a frozen wasteland, why they bring there seeds?!?
Lesians and Humans are uniting against us. But their true target? Laffu.
Cave Troll stomach can cure almost everything. It must be fresh, though.
For best harvests, let your fields be soiled by virgin maiden.
For a cup of fresh blood, a dwarf in Ur can make you a protective amulet against sunlight. No more tan ever!
Halflings alchemists seeks a secret of our wines. Don't let them drink it!
Gnomes are from the future. They saw something there and traveled back in time, preparing.
Wanna know why drows are lost? Because their Society God was killed. You see, you can kill it and so Drows seeks a way to reanimate it.
Did you heard about a pregnant statue? It gave a birth of healthy elf girl!
All inks are made from blood. Especially powdered ones.
Babies found in cabbages? A kid's tale. But a pumpkin, on other hand...
All Orcs looks are same. It's because they ARE one man.
Dwarves wanna invade us, that's for sure. You know what stops them? Ur. Layout of this city is a gigantic ritual which keeps dwarves in check.
Trolls are closing in. And they want trade with us.
Kobolds eggs are best for a frying. Just add lemon juice.
Dwarves are the most intellectually advanced race and are quite good at magic, especially enchantments. They highly value skilled jobs and education and the social status of a dwarf is mainly dependent on how much educated he is. Low skilled workers and farmers are the lower classes, semi-skilled are middle class and upper classes are highly skilled and scholars
The dwarf government is a Republic supervised by a religious council. There is one elected Consul, 55 Senators, a representative of the lower and middle classes with a limited veto right, and a five representatives of the official cult of the Maker with a greater veto right. The religious council also has a lot of influence and is independent of the Senate for all religious matters.
Dwarves still call themselves Kingdoms although their kings (and the ceremonial Overking) have been mostly just figureheads after the UAC Heresy, when King Ronnac of House Morfir actually sided with the heretics. Afterwards no King has been given total power.
Been allies with Elves since the War of Human Exodus.
The Dwarvish calendar is solar based and composed of 19 months, each with 19 days and 4 or 5 intercalary days (depending on the year) inserted between the 18th and 19th months. Intercalation was once a practice forbidden by the Cult, but the old calendar had to be recalibrated and changed to include it after centuries of use.
The Dwarves are also kind of history-altering, hypocritical, self important dicks. They just see themselves as the greatest civilization of all time, created from the essence of the true creator while other races are like animals and MAYBE get reincarnated forever in the lowest world, and even this is a very liberal belief. The orthodox cult thinks the poor are sinful because they are really not up to the standards of what it means to be a dwarf as they are individually almost useless to the dwarvish civilization and the Cult often refuses to inhume them, and many cities use their corpses for enchantments instead, something seen in a positive light by the general opinion as at least they are really helping to complete the Task in death, if not in life.
Important Dwarven Kingdom-RepublicsEdit
Dwarves always write their cities with CAPITAL LETTERS.
- GRON: Former seat of the ceremonial Overking (now the Kinghood changes between republics) Gron is known for its massively prestigous universities of Gon and Ron.
It is otherwise rather poorly defended and mostly famous because of being in the crossroads of the Gold Vein and few major other roads that exist among the Republics.
- The KAM peninsula: (associated enough with the Dol Kam Kingdom to simply be named after it) is known for it's vast meadows with a very unique flora.
Most of the farming of the Dwarven Unions is done here, with a heavy focus on livestock production. It is also the main source of woods, plants and other organic materials. Fishers on the coast are also a great source of food and aquatic products.
The culture of the region is insular with an unusual rural and agricultural nature for most Dwarves. The nobility is strong with more than 40% of the population being serfs but free farmers are generaly seen as an skilled and respectable class here.
The Kam peninsula has always been peaceful as involving the region during the conflicts between the Dwarven Unions is a great political taboo, as it would cause a severe famine in all the Unions.
- ZLUMBEN: A small city of average wealth but highly praised by the dwarven academicians for its university and philosophers.
Religious authorities virtually don't hold any authority here and so philosophical developements are unhindered by the Cult of the Maker and is barely impacted by politics because of its relative isolation from the political centers. This is the reason why many intellectuals and philosophers migrate here, giving to the city and physicalist school a surprisingly strong intellectual influence on the Dwarven Unions.
- QUEN: A small port city on the North of Dwarven Unions controlled by generations of QUEN family with not very profitable mines several miles from it that yield high amount of iron that they have no use for. This ore they dug is later throw out into the Tahalacas Ocean. Beside stone mined the city also started their own Troll hunting after hearing of MUN success.
- VALK: Also called Valkenburg, this dwarven town on the The Gold Vein between COL and UR, VALK is known for its universities specializing in elven studies and their large printing presses trough which majority of translated elvish material is printed.
A place of ancient history: VALK is built on old Human ruins (Valkenburg was its Haumic name which even today still sometimes pops up) and was one of the first cities razed by the Dwarf-Elf Alliance: the stones of Castle Valkenburg were later used in building the Citadel of NOS.
Nowadays, VALK is in the gripes of a particularly strict part of the orthodox Cult of the Maker. They are often using the printing presses to publish material opposing the goblinoid and UAC dwarves who neighbor the western elven principalities. Rumors about the Cult influencing the the lectures at the University are nonsense. Totally not the dwarven Ministry of Truth
- HOR : The official capital of the UAC Dwarf Cities, although the heresy did not start there. Hor is situated southwest of the Mountains, at the small bay just before the short VIK river.
Friendly port for almost everyone, even Lesian traders visit it. The city is surprisingly young for a dwarf one, having been built merely 300 years ago to give Dwarves a port city to the Lesian Channel.
The small HOR bay is known for delicious oysters and their pearls, who contain faint magical traces.
- BUM:BUM is a dwarven city among the Gold Vein, between GRON and Drunderburg.
Once a full kingdom its significance has been greatly diminished after their King chose the wrong side in UAC heresy. It is noways just a frequent stopping place for wagons of merchants and travelers and few venture inside the walled city. This barony is known among dwarves as a "good place to get some warm cheese on your bread before continuing among your travel."
Orthodox dwarves believe in a kind of platonism or benevolent gnosticisme where a creator god, the Architect, created a Demiurge called the Maker and charged him to subcreate the world under his direction. Dwarves considered themselves to have been chosen by the Maker and charged by him to multiply and create civilization as the Demiurges within this world. They believe they will be reincarnated in this world until they accomplish their task, and then will ascend to the Realm of the Architect with the Maker as a reward, while the other races will live forever in this world, but transformed into a terrestial paradise. There is no dogma about whether or not non-dwarves have an afterlife, the most traditionnalists thinks they cease to exist after while moderates thinks they reincarnate as non-dwarves for all eternity. Altough this is mostly folklore, most dwarves thinks bad dwarves will have to expiate their sins before being allowed in the Realm of the Architect.
"Before The Architect there was only void." It has been said that before The Architect the Dwarves worshipped The Void, the destroyer, whose emissaries they believed to be the proto-goblins. When proto-goblin society began to fall into anarchy the emergent cult of The Architect overtook the worship of The Void, allowing its leaders to take control of dwarvish society and eventually drove its few remaining worshippers underground, along with what little remained of goblin-kind.
- Universal Adoration of the Creators: Major heresy born from the most liberal movements within the Cult of the Maker and the ressentiment of the lower classes towards the classism of the Dwarvish Republic. Differences to orthodox branch:
- All beings are equal in the eyes of the Architect and of the Maker.
- Members can include non-dwarves (all those working as "Demiurges within this world" will ascend to the Realm of the Architect and not only dwarves)
- Dwarves and non-dwarves alike need a time of purification after a bad life before being reincarnated.
- The works of all "Demiurges within this world" are important and not only the greatest, the important is to do as much as you can and those with less opportunities and capacities shouldn't be seen as lesser.
- The Maker already ascended to the Realm of the Architect and both the Maker and the Architect should be directly worshiped. (Unlike the main branch where the work of the Maker is not finished until the one of the dwarves, and the Maker is the only one to directly supervise them)
- The Goblinoids:Small but powerful sect of wizards with both dwarvish, elvish and even halfling members.
Vaguely based on the metaphysics of the Cult of the Maker, the Goblinoids upholds magic as the supreme principe in the universe and matter as entirely caused and enslaved by it.
Both magic and matter are without consciouness or personhood and there is no gods, life and the intelligents races emerged from natural magical and matter processes.
Non-magicals beings are purely material beings and their consciouness ceases after physical death.
The consciouness of magical beings persists in magic after death but quickly dissolves within it unless they are powerful enough and initiated to the magical exercices allowing the wizards of the sect to indefinitely retain their consciouness in the magical principle.
Just as magic enslaves the matter, the natural order is for the most magically gifted to enslave the less gifted and to treat the unmagicals as the animals they are.
And the natural duty of the gifted is to explore the possibilities of magic in their fullest.
The Goblins were the noblest race to have walked on this earth, supremaly talented with an unegaled knowledge of magic and only small minds ressent them for the collateral damage infliged on lesser races, for why should giants care about ants they are on the greatest quest ?
Yet they failed, but failure is not unavoidable and that's why we should take example on them, both to emulate their greatness, and for not repeating their errors.
The sect of the Goblinoids don't care about race but only magical, the hierarchy is divided by layers of initiation but the more talented you are, the more you can go up.
They are very interrested by magical knowledge, ancient goblin artifacts and wisdom, and ways to make them more magically powerful.
- Physicalist School: The physicalist school of thought believes everything is physical phenomena. They don't believe everything is material as magic and maybe minds are immaterial but they think both material and immaterial things are physics and part of this world. They reject any notion of spiritual reality, don't believe in worlds outside this world and highly value empiricism and non-theological philosophy.
They do not believe in the Maker, the Architect and other gods and are generaly skeptical of religion even if they don't reject reincarnation within this world and some spiritual concepts non involving supposed realities outside of this world and think they could be misinterpreted actual magical phenomena.
The only "stronghold" of the Physicalist School is Zlunben near the eastern shore, a small city of average wealth but highly praised by the dwarven academicians for its university and philosophers.
- Astrology:Despite not being endorsed by the Cult of the Maker (but far to be considered an heresy), many dwarves believe in a form of astrology : Dwarves are under the influence of the constellatation associated with the month they are born in.
- Quen family: they hold small port city on the North of Dwarven Unions with not very profitable mines several miles from it that yield high amount of iron that they have no use for. This ore they dug is later throw out into the Tahalacas Ocean. Beside stone mined the city also started their own Troll hunting after hearing of MUN success. Parties of hardened sailors leave the port with abundance of food as said in guidline for "Troll hunting for dwarves" on ships and after week return with more dead trolls than same number of elves could hunt in twice the time, another victory for dwarves! This hunting also is much, much safer than those MUN teams, as almost all the time dwarves with no loses.What is not known for anyone but ruling family and sailors that go hunting is that they haven't killed single troll in years. Under cover of night they fill ships with food and iron ore and sail to place known as "Smugglers cove" an island close to shores of Trolls, there they trade their food and ore with human mercenaries for troll remains they hunted. This is such a huge secret as most of the time weapon smithed from ore turns back on other dwarves, and most of the hunting casualties are men who are deemed to be untrustworthy and sent to sleep with the wishes lest they tell someone else about this deal
- The Alchemical Botanists: These mages from the Dol Kam Kingdom are known for their flora-based magic.
Strangely enough, most of the flowers and plants they use are not magical in nature, something that puzzles most outsider mages.
The truth is that they use plants-based potons as an extremely subtle medium for spellcasting instead of movements or incantations.
Mastering this art takes decades but allow the Alchemical Botanists to cast extremely precise spells.
Many of their imitators instead believe the potions themselves are magical, and the Alchemical Botanists are glad to pretend is it indeed the case as a form of red herring.
They are somewhat considered as druids in the Kingdom and they are deeply involved with the royal family.
Religiously, altough they recognize the authority of the Cult of the Maker, they believe their tradition is a secret knowledge and perspective about the natural allowing them to have some glimpses of the plan of the Architect, justifying how they can use nature as a medium for changing the world.
Not every dwarf is highly educated, so many of them hold stories heard at the pub as truth:
They say some dwarves are trading with humans, on regular basis.
Trolls are moving closer to our land each year. Is something drives them out from their lands? Or it's invasion?
You know why we didn't killed all humans in Human Exodus war? Because we maked a deal with them.
They say necromancers found a way to make a spitits from rocks. Crazy, huh?
Gnomes are preparing for a war - but against who? Can we trust them so they don't invade our lands?
For every "for the good of the realm!" spoken from leaders, a ten dwarves dies. These words are sacrifice to something sinister, I say!
There is secret ingredient Elves keep us from making a cheese with infinite lifespan. We must kill them all steal these secret for us!
Orcs are actually evolved Goblins. Trust me.
Humans? Bah, they all dead. Nothing can live on a North, really. It's a trolls wearing a human skin
Elves are sure crazy. One day I traveled to one of their city and I saw how their buildings are MOVING, with legs and all. Why? Because they wanna find a spot "just right".
You wanna marry Elf? Didn't you know they all are male only race? Their females are animated dolls.
All Roads lead to Ur. One way on another, everyone in civilized world was in Ur.
UAC dwarves and their ideas! What next - Maker was not a God?! Architect are fake?!?
Government actually not destroy Goblins artifacts - they a selling them to someone else for gifts. What gifts? Who knows.
When you see a sober Halfling, kick him - it's a shapeshifter!
Orcs wanna steal our jobs and secrets! We must build a wall against them! And orcs must build it for us!
Don't eat cheese with elves - your beard will fall out.
Dip your fingers into a special ink, and you will see a many,many secrets. Books are holding such power because they ARE magical. All of them, even most worthless ones.
Dogs was bred from humans. Or it's humans was made from dogs?
Most delicious soup is made from hardened cheese, a soft cheese, herbs, breadcrumbs and a single Lesian tear.
Alpha predator reptiles from the Western isles.
Their language is almost incomprehensible to other races, as it depends on hissing, beak clacking, and cawing in a rapid pace syllabyllic dialect. Lesia is a rough translation of L'hs'iy'ah. Very few Lesians have the mental capacity to learn other languages, and those that do see little reason to communicate with the other strange and fragile races.
Their society is gathered into several dozen anarchic tribes, each composed of several dozen clans, each composed of several dozen mating pairs and their offspring. Due to their predatory, competitive nature, Lesian tribes and clans often fight over resources and familial disputes. To a Lesian, his clan and tribe are sacred, mates are less revered because they change seasonally.
When the Lesians evolved sapience, they drove the Blood Orcs from their homeland in a long, and bloody war.
- The Everliving Queen:Rumour has it that on the westernmost island, a Lesian who forsook the sun has delved into necromancy. They say that she has many undead followers now, each put to work to build a mighty fortress for her. The other Lesians despise her, if the rumours are true. It has been said that she found an old artefact, a font that when touched, returns her to her youth. What does this mean for the other nations? Is this necromancer a threat? Who knows....
- The Illakara clan: They are somewhat split from the rest of the Lesians as they do not follow the same church. They worship the god Erreko instead of the demigod Kallasaak. For this they are shunned. They are believed to be the origin of the black lesians, as they have the most specialist forces that act the way they were described as doing. Besides this, they are not trusted by the other Lesians.
- The Krannick clan: providers of food to the Lesian war machine, they are known best for their hunters and foragers, and their location just next to a particularly bountiful section of the Lesian jungle. There is growing tensions between the Krannick and Illakara clans.
- The Kallanashi clan: This clan is known as the divine clan, as old stories tell that this is the resting place of the prophet Rionus. They say he built this city with the magic of Kallasaak, as proof to the unbelievers gathered of her majesty. At the center of the city's maw lies a flower that has branches of bone, leaves like shedskin, and meaty fruit that seem to almost drip from the bone-branches. They are believed by many, to truly be meat, and if eaten, grow back in a day. These fruits alone could nourish the city itself, if they were not guarded so jealously by the church. The Equa visits this city in pilgrimage every year on the longest day of summer (when Rionus supposedly died), to pay respects. Most Lesians will visit this holy city at least once in their lifetimes.
- The Lakash clan: This clan is known for being sneaky and almost desperate in their will to survive. They call a land full of goblin ruins in an island off the coast of the mainland home. There is risk of outright conflict between the Lakash and the Kallanashi clans, due to the Lakash clans alliance with a human tribe living on a nearby island. Only the intervetion of the Equa has prevented war between the clans. Besides this, the Lakash clan is known for espionage and naval warfare due to having ships on par with some human designs, due to the human tribe they are allied with being particularly naval-based, a splinter group of the human pirate faction (I forget the name). That being said, the Lakash jealously guard the designs for their ships, and so they do not exist in great numbers, and the majority of Lesian ships are simple, druidically grown vessels. (Somebody else can develop ideas for that human tribe if they like, I'm more about dem Lesians).
- The Nilass clan: They are the most militant and one of the most populous of the clans, and provide most of the fighting force for Lesia. They have the most harbours and ships, and have great support from other clans, being indispensable as an ally, and dangerous as an enemy. They have great gladiatorial arenas, and it is outright encouraged to settle disputes with violence, in order to make their people stronger. It is due to this clans efforts that elven scouts are hastily reporting home with stories of terrifying, vicious, warlike raptors preparing for an invasion.
- The Zejji clan: This clan has governance over much of the Lesian savanna, considered a holy place by many due to the natural heat in the area (good for reptiles). The clan breeds more lesians every year than all of the other clans combined. They have a strong alliance with the Nilass clan, and many families send off their children every season to Nilass city to help build an army. The families running both clans have been fast friends since time immemorial, since the families originally worked together to drive out the orcs (tell me if I got any lore wrong there, I'm sure the orcs were on Lesia at some point).
- The Iqunn clan: The Iqunn clan are only involved in the church reluctantly, and had to be forced into it. They were originally worshippers of the seas and moons, and believed that when you died your spirit sailed across the sea until it met the horizon, and then swam through the stars to the moons, where they would spend eternity in whichever moon they reached (one equivalent hell and heaven). There was a war against them, waged by the Zejji and Nilass clans, and they lost and renounced their faith, and joined the church of Kallasaak.
- The Yixxa clan:The Yixxa are fierce warriors and recently allied themselves with the Iquun clan. They are strong believers in the church, but also are the most accepting of outsiders and those who believe differently. They wear animal skins, and are seen as unusual by other lesians, for crafting obsidian weapons (instead of rip and tearing with claws and maws) for hunting and fighting. They are surprisingly good with their obsidian axes and are good at guerilla warfare.
- The Lexxa clan: Old allies of the Yixxa clan, these two clans have been allies since time immemorial, for a reason they don't share with others. Strangely, the Lexxa clan is oddly secretive and private to any other clans besides Yixxa, and after dusk, outsiders must leave, and are not allowed in until dawn. They are powerful mages, strong with light and nature magic. Their secret? Every month, they have to fight off an assault from the water itself. Intelligent foes called the Gualli come to the surface from deep sea trenches every night and attempt to lure weak-willed lesians to the waters edge and drag them to the depths for some unknown purpose. The Lexxa fight off this assault whenever possible, often with help from the Yixxa.
Lesians believe that a god with the head of a frilled lizard, the limbs of a monkey and the body of a snake regurgitated the world as an egg. They say he holds a staff that contains the sun at its tip.
They believe that he then regurgitated the moons, and then, a much smaller egg that became the first dragon, serpentine and wingless. They say this dragon was the daughter of the god Erreko, and that she was the demi-god of rebirth and reincarnation. It is believed that she spawned the rest of the dragons, who then shaped the world with their fire and claws. They believe that the Lesians themselves were the result of Erreko's first breath upon the world, that the divinity of his breath turned mere rocks into the first Lesian egg clutches.
The Lesians worship Erreko devoutly, but a lot of their practices originate from beliefs regarding Kallasaak, the demigod dragon. They eat the hearts of the dead, believing that if they are not eaten, they cannot come back in the next life, as their heart and therefore their soul and spirit, has not been given back to the world. Minor funerals are held for the dead, so long as this takes place, and it is not as much as a sad occasion as it is for other races, as they thoroughly believe it is not the end.
However, when a Lesian dies in such a way that their heart cannot be consumed, there is a great funeral, and all who ever met the individual usually show to pay respects, and it is a tremendously tragic, and sorrowful time. Even those who had not known them well tend to express a sorrow that is greater than that displayed at the funerals for other races, for they truly believe that the Lesian has gone forever, their soul permanently destroyed.
The Lesians have a female 'pope' equivelant, the proper title Equa, from the lesian ihk'oo'ah, where the 'ihk' is more of a bird-like click that often resembles an 'E' sound. The Equa is considered the reincarnation of Kallasaak (who is always female), the reincarnation dragon demi-god worshipped by the lesians. Every new Equa is chosen from a female hatched during the moment when the previous one dies. Due to this, when the Equa is dying they are often brought to the egg chambers to die. During the time where the new Equa is growing still, their world is ruled by the priesthood of Tel-lakki, the 'church' of Erreko, who will raise the young female until she is ready to rule.
The current Equa is a 6 year old lesian (just one year away from being considered an adult, as Lesians only typically live to 30, and grow to maturity fast, and have an obscenely long prime, where they tend to just die afterwards). She is currently still being raised by the Tel-lakki, but has a lot of involvement in any decisions being made at this point, and holds a lot of sway and favour with the church of the sun. She is devout to a fault, she is fierce and she is warlike. However, she refuses to ignore the strength of any individual, lesian or no, and is currently in the midst of a scandal, as she has invited the daughter of a human warlord (from a tribe that settled on the north coast of Lesia and 'have an understanding' with the lesians) to join the Tel-lakki to serve as her as her war advisor. This has understandably split the opinions of the Sharrila priests (the high court of the Tel-lakki), and this division is the reason that the planned invasion into elven lands has been temporarily put on hiatus.
Goblins (Nickname, Real name unknown)Edit
They were once once mighty race that, from over use of magic, have deformed into loathsome, hunchbacked monsters. They were once on par with the elves and dwarves in their cities and agricultural projects. (They in fact resembled elves in almost every way and are speculated to have been elves once). But they in their might they became greedy for power and were constantly casting rituals to increase their might; whether in physical strength or in willpower or in durability, and whenever they increased in strength they captured more land for none were quite as strong or clever. But this over use of ritualistic and primal magic became almost like an addiction. And the more they used it the more they hated themselves and the more power they wanted. Eventually it got to such a point that they seemed to have overloaded and could not cast even the simplest of spells that should only take a child to comprehend. Seeing their chance the mighty Dwarves beat back their oppressors who were now reaped of all their powers and were now weak in comparison to all others. The Dwarves with the aid of a few Elvish princes destroyed their cities and forced them underground. There they hid, hating all who use magic for it reminds them of their former glory. Ancient records are sketchy so no-one really knows their real name. Perhaps the records were destroyed as a mockery or even a curse towards them. But today they are known by the Dwarves as Ztunzka by the Elves Yrglin and by the rest of the world as Goblins.
At the pinnacle of their reign the Goblins created many monsters, particularly the Crude Dragons. Most creatures that appear to be mixtures of several different animals can usually be attributed to the Goblins (e.g. Chimaera, Manticore, Gruphon, Sharks with legs). They also created The Halflings.
There is little evidence of any kind of organised religion among the Goblins, to them it seemed magic and power in the material world is all one should strive for. Instead of believing they were shaped in the image of a great god, they instead attempted to shape a great god in theirs and bend it to their will.
Orcs are an oddity among the magical races as they are utterly unable to canalize magic on their own but are devoted priests and have a strong affinity for the spirits of their ancestors. Most of them live in the less populated regions of the south and have migrated in these regions well after the War of Human Exodus.
They tend to be physically stronger than humans but are generaly less resilient and very risk averse. They are already adult at 12 but are already old near 40, and die quickly after 60.
Orcs would generally be glad to be accepted into any society, usually as a hired hand or merc. Although some orcs would prefer to remain solitary and act as bandits (much like the humans do). Many of them try to integrate (and very willingly, almost disturbingly, assimilate within) elven or dwarve communauties, with varying degree of success but always with enthusiasm.
Common Orcish society is divied into three broad groups, nomadic Orcs, settled Orcs, and Orcs that have integrated into Non-Orc society. Blood Orc society is made up of scattered nomadic bands of pirates, raiders, and bandits.
Nomadic Orcs typically live in close-knit familial groups of 20-30, led by a council of elders, or the most powerful tribal priest, or the strongest chieftain. Due to their ancestor worship, the older an Orc is, the more respected they are by the younger Orcs, and in tribes that are ruled by a chieftain, or tribal priest, they almost always take, or at least listen to the advice of the oldest Orcs in the tribe.
Orc Tribes would rather avoid a threat than waste lives and time trying to eliminate it, unless they have no choice, in which case they will do everything in their power to destroy that threat. In the event that a Tribe faces a threat to dangerous for it to defeat on its own, the Tribe will gather several other Tribes to assist them, and unless the Tribe is hated by other Tribes for whatever reason, they usually have no trouble finding aid, as Orcs believe all Orcs are kin, however distant.
Tribal Orc mating customs vary from Tribe to Tribe, but these are the most common practices.
- Some Orc Tribes practice a sort of polyamorous marriage, there is no limit to the amount of husbands or wives one may have, but they must come from another Tribe, to prevent incest, which is seen as blasphemous. If an Orc decides that they don't want to be married with their spouse any longer, they tell the Tribal Priest, who tells the ancestors, discontinuing the marriage.
- Some Orc Tribes don't practice any kind of marriage and sleep with whoever they feel like, whenever it strikes their fancy. These Tribes are extremely welcoming to outsiders, and often meet with other Tribes, to keep their gene pool from getting too shallow.
A few Orc Tribes practice a kind of eugenics, where only the strongest and most cunning Orcs are allowed to breed, with the idea that the ancestors want their descendants to improve themselves, and that eugenics is the most effective way to please the ancestors. These Tribes are usually smaller than other Tribes, but are made up of hardier Orcs.
In Orc Tribes led by a male chieftain, it isn't uncommon for them to claim themselves a harem of the Tribes finest Orc females, claiming it is their right, as they lead the Tribe, are first into battle, and are the strongest in the eyes of the ancestors. Most Orcs don't resent this, as any Orc who believes himself to be the strongest can challenge the chieftain to a duel.
In a duel, the challenger chooses the weapons, and the location of the duel. The two fight in front of the entire Tribe, until one Orc is victorious. The winner of the duel becomes chieftain, and depending on the Tribe, the loser is either killed or banished from the Tribe forever.
There is no limit to amount of duels a chieftain can fight, but an Orc can only challenge the same chieftain once. Because of these duels, the chieftain is always either the strongest or the most skilled warrior, usually both.
Their religion is based on the worship of a few deities revolving around basic elements of their live (Godess of Fertility for both females and agriculture, god of war, god of tribal authority,ect..) but very predominantly the cult of their ancestors. The inclusion of a poorly understood and bastartized Maker is common among the dwarves wannabes.
Most of them are organized in groups of agricultural and exogamic clans, ruled by a tribal king elected for life by the chiefs of the clans. Some of the most advanced tribes are revolving around a small town whose need are provided by the agricultural clans.
They are matrilienal and patriarchal even if not in a very dominant or rigid way.
- Blood Orcs:The Western Orcs were a subspecies of Orcs, known as Blood Orcs for their dark red skin, bloody religious customs, and their extreme hatred of the other races. After Lesians drove them from their homelands they are mostly extinct due to their ritualistic thirst for blood. Now, they're an extremely rare minority, and are scattered across the world. They make an effort to avoid other races when possible, but constantly raid them for Blood, metal, supplies, and to avenge their ancestors. They live in nomadic tribes to avoid being wiped out by other races. Many tribes and individuals work as bandits, pirates, and mercenaries.
- The Ghash clan:The Ghash orcish clan of the southern waste are known for their heavy militaristic like doctrine keeping peace between the clans. Their main home is a mining town build into the sides of a large ravine. They hold power by trading the Dwarven clans a highly explosive power for their superior Dwarven weapons and tools. They are also infamous for their Thunder Staffs, which are seen by non-Orcs as overly complicated, insane, and suicidal to use and horrifying due to the extreme damage it causes. Almost all non-Orcs want nothing to do with it, and while Humans would probably love to get their hands on it, the Ghash Clan isn't willing to give away the secret of their explosive powder to anyone.
- The Drunder Tribe:The Drunder Tribe is one of the orcish tribe geographically closest to the Dwarves, more specifically near the region where are the few UAC citied, and are know' for being "Dwarfizer" , orcs that try to mimic as much as possible the Dwarves since they were converted by UAC missionnaries. Their religion is a odd syncretism of the UAC heresy and the orcish religion : Both the Architect and the Maker were given the functions of their old gods as attributes with a tendency for the Maker to have the practical ones and the Architect the more abstract and "civilized" ones (Maker the Midwife, Architect the Scribe, Maker the Warrior, Architect the Ruler,ect...and even a Architect the Architect). They are infamous among other orcs to put their fellow dwarvish UAC believers above pagan orcs.
- The Laffu Clan: A particularly untrustful nobadic orc clan of jokers and thieves known for their demonic masks. In the past they were actual threat and were defeated by common orcs led by warlord Stukc the Boring. Now extinct, see The Laffu below.
Originally believed to be a weird clan of trickster orcs known for demonic masks nowdays it has been speculated by dwarven scholars that the Laffu are in fact something far sinister.
The Laffu have few holds on the Western shores of the Southern Peninsula, just south of the Hive of Dragons. It was here where they were driven by the warlord Stukc the Boring after he "did not get their joke with their wedding-present".
It was long believed that the Laffu were almost extinct nomads, but roughly thirty years ago these masked orcs started to build holds on the shores. The more common clans still hated them and a Ghash-led army with a large Blood Orc contingent attacked them - intending to wipe them from the maps. Surprisingly the Laffu repulsed the assault and drove the attackers from their lands. Their fire-capabilities overpowered the orcs, while survivors often joked that "the Laffu were unorcly easy to kill once you got close to them, but darn they were cunning and vicious!" The rumors about dying Laffu burning themselves was another amazing fact but believed to be true.
During the war another insult of the Blood Orcs incurred: The Laffu began (or some say that restarted an old tradition) of making suits of their dead enemies, particularly the Blood Orcs.
After this second Laffu - Orc war, the Laffu were left alone, nor they much cared about the outside lands. The Laffu Holds are known to be particularly bad trade locations and the Drow tend stay far away from their lands. Yet slavers often find easy market there, as the Laffu buy almost everything.
Curiously, in recent years Laffu immigrants have been spotted in many other cities of Kulmorost. They speak of being outcasts, having been forced from their homelands due unknown reasons (different individuals state different reasons). There has been some worrying observations: The Laffu have far thinner body structure compared to orcs (or even elves to that matter) almost skeletal body. Their voices, gruttular as any orc has unnatural echoes and an underlying vile tone that frightens anyone who is alone with a Laffu. There is also the terrifying rumor about a Laffu that had died in a bar brawl in Treyarch: the local elves made frightening discovery: Under the red-leather devil mask of the dead Laffu was no orc face, but a hideous black face with real horns.
In fact, the Laffu are not orcs any more. They are are the Children of the Black Dunes. They killed the old Laffu Orcs and have been masquerading as them ever since. The Children come from the Black Dunes of the Southern Wastes. Literally: they crawl from the dark sands, fully formed ebony thin half-horned humanoids. The Black Earth rises again.
In combat, Laffu are fierce and fast. Highly resistant to magic They are especially deadly when equipped with long spears using their incredible speed and power to quickly overcome their foes. However, they are not very resistant physically, and so are easily dispatched with quality steel weaponry. When they die they burst into flames, returning to ash they originate from.
As they come from the leftover magic from the catalyst the Laffu are an abomination of earth and flesh and magic. In some way a living rock-being, but more than that, the Black Earth is turned into flesh, their skin feels like the other races skin, their blood is still blood but hot like molten rock, their bodies can be destroyed like the other races but they're different. They burst into flames when they die and their bodies turn back to black earth, they're strong and fast but yet still quite fragile. They have strange magic, confined to earth and rock, they can compact sand and earth pulling spears out of seemingly nowhere, but lack magic ability in any other substances including runes and language
The Laffu are a smart race: masquerading as another race to not draw suspicion, perhaps knowing they'll be hunted, they've had their men traveling all over the continent gaining knowledge and power, they work together, they fight together, they're ancient, pragmatic, they have the blood of the things that the goblins poured into their failed god, humans, Orcs, Dwarves, every beast from the land and The blood and magic power of the Goblins themselves.
They are an entirely new kind of life, they sort of ARE the Goblin God or the Goblins in new form. Yet they are still few and are new to the world. What they want is unknown but they all belong to one ideology and the goals of the entire race are aligned.
The Laffu have many vocal cords and speak a guttural deep language made up of many vile and strange sounds. Some of their physiology comes into effect when they speak other languages, giving them an unnatural echo and an almost bull-like tone.
The Laffu do not really give a shit about what the goals of the other races goals are. The Laffu are just gaining information and forming their own plans and ideas for the world, getting ready for the future, like they know something the others do not.
There one exception to their uncaring stance: whether knowingly or unknowingly, the Laffu absolutely fucking HATE the remaining goblins on a subconscious level. Even if they do not know the reason why - they just want to torture the life out slowly out of every singly goblin they meet.
Apart from a great hatred of the Goblins, they're just indifferent towards the other races, the other races aren't really important in the big picture of things. they're expendable. As such, they are hold the Goblinoids in the same uncaring ignorance like the rest, although they (being perhaps the only ones to do so) realize that the Goblinoid cultists are mere cheap knockoffs of the Real Goblins.
It has been said that the Laffu worship gods of life, and have the belief that death is not the end, and are instead obsessed with the idea of the continuation of life, just on the other side. They worshiped a great pantheon of gods, and as a civilization they were innovative and inventive when it came to technology, and focused on that a little more than magic.
However, like all the Laffu speak, could be just complete lies. It is not known well what the Children of the Black Earth want from this world or why.
The Traders of the MistEdit
Mysterious heavily clothed merchants that from across the southern ocean to sell strange magical items. No-one ever sees their faces and the stink of fish hangs about their clothes, they speak no known languages and only communicate with hand gestures and body language. Some think theymight have given the first humans the gift of Magic a long, long, long time a go. Very few are trust them and most tend to steer away when they come near. But those that do trust them enough to trade are very grateful indeed, for the items they sell are extremely valuable (in usefulness and wealth) to travelers and common folk alike.
Trolls inhabit the mountainous stretch of land connecting the Northern Waste to the rest of Kulmorost and have very large noses. Trolls have more magical ability than humans, but it varies between subspecies. There are four varieties of troll:
- Hill Trolls: Are the largest, loudest, most brutally unforgiving bastards... If you get on their bad side, they are generally quite peaceful, but are extremely territorial. They are the strongest and largest of all intelligent races, and love to show off their strength by building huge stone houses on the highest point they can find that still has relative easy access. A Hill Troll's territory size is determined by how far they can see from their tower, which results in stronger Hill Trolls attempting to shorten the towers of weaker ones. Hill Trolls imbue magic into the ground around their homes (into the plants actually) to make brambles grow and climb up their towers to ward off intruders.
- Cave Trolls: The Cave Troll is the creature that most sympathizes with fa/tg/uys; They never go outside (they hate the sunlight) they're overweight and malnourished at the same time (from overabundance of carb-loaded mushrooms). They are considered the least intelligent and are the most likely to attack someone on sight, even when they aren't hungry. They do this out of fear more than anything. They have around the same level of magical ability as Humans but are too stupid to figure out how to use any form of magic.
- River Trolls: The most intelligent sub-race of trolls, they live (where else) in and around rivers, lakes and creeks. Th gain their superior intelligence from consumption of seafood. River Trolls love to play tricks on other creatures, although the creatures on the receiving end of these pranks never enjoy this as it usually ends up with a Troll chewing on their leg. River trolls live in dam-like houses (muck like a beaver) built upon a river. This gives them a constant supply of fresh water and fish through their homes. Some River Troll huts strikingly resemble bridges across the water, travelers often attempt to cross this way and fall victim to the River Troll within. River Trolls have small magical ability but are clever enough to use it effectively. They love to toy with travelers, creating floating, glowing wisps made of bone, and invisible pit-traps.
- Night Trolls: Most races consider Night Trolls to be undoubtedly evil across the board. They eat flesh (all kinds of flesh.) and live most of their lives in solitude away from other species, in caves and abandoned forts and in some cases old wells. And of course, they only hunt at night, making travel through the mountains after night fall a near death sentence. Their dark skin and affinity for black bear hides makes them nearly invisible at night, and since they are thinner and leaner than other trolls, they can pass over stones unheard until they are too close for it to matter. Night Trolls don't hate light, and they are not nocturnal, but they are weaker than other, more territorial Trolls (Hill Trolls in particular) so they hide. They hunt at night, but only around once every three days, other days they sleep in the night.
The magical ability of Night Trolls is surprisingly high compared to the other sub-species (probably because of their flesh fetish). Some believe that there are some Night Trolls who wear the fresh carcasses of slain beasts as camouflage, its effectiveness may be due to some enchantments of the flesh.
The Halflings were originally humans, kidnapped by the goblins as children and bred to be pets (and occasionally snacks) for their goblins overlords, made to be short and dumpy as this was cute to the Goblins. However when the war against the Goblins started they made a horrible discovery :their halfing's inherent magical abilities had grown. some believe this was due to constant exposure to the Goblin's twisted magics, others believe that all souls have a certain amount of magic in them and that in making the Halflings small they concentrated their magical abilities.
Inevitably the truth matters not. The Halflings, led by Grobal the Butcher (so named as he murdered his Goblin master and constructed staves from its remains) rebelled against their masters and aided the dwarfs in defeating them. In return the dwarfs offered them some few lands to call their own. Some rejected this offer, traveling the world in small caravans or becoming citizens of other nations as opposed to their own sovereign land whilst other accepted the offer graciously.
Those Halflings who accepted the offer are known as Gnomes whilst those who rejected it are known as Kotarfs, kot being the dwarvish word for wanderer or traveler, and arf meaning person (Dwarves use simplistic terms and are not very imaginative). To other races the dwarvish word "arf" means "little person" and so is still used appropriately, but they pronounce the plural "Kotarves".
The reasons behind the Halfling spilt are unknown to most non-halfings. Most assume it had something to do with the quality of the land they were offered (for while it was costal and bordered dwarf lands it also bordered the southern wastes and Halflings relationships with Orcs have always been a little strained), but the reality has less to do with other races and more to do with Halflings themselves. You see, Halflings believe that, at some point or another, a war will be fought - a war that if lost will doom all life but if won will bring freedom to all creatures of the world.
Kotarves believe this "End-war" was fought and won against the Goblins, so they might as well spend their lives seeking, finding and living in contentment, rather than waste it worrying. Gnomes on the other hand believe either that the war against the Goblins is not over till their are no Goblins left, or that the End-war was not the war that was fought against the Goblins. Either way they spend their time preparing their lands and people for this inevitable war, stockpiling weapons and fortifying their cities, so that they may have a chance of winning
Centaurs are a subrace of humans. Legends say that during the War of Human Exodus Elven and dwarven great scholars cast an experimental curse based on goblin magic on some fleeing that was supposed to erase their legs, instead what ended up happening was that the fleeing humans combined with their beasts. Most centaurs are half horse, while a very rare subset of them are half-donkey. Centaurs are very sought after by other humans due to their great strength. Centaurs do not reproduce with other kinds of humans as the offspring born of those unions results in monstrosities with random human and horse characteristics.
Centaurs have no lands of their own, and are an extremely rare minority, both feared and reviled by other races for their unnatural physiology and Human ancestry.
They are nomadic sheep and goat herders and they herd along a series of routes seasonally. They are known for their skill with the bow and lance, and their reckless, volatile, and rambunctious personalities. Some Centaur Tribes have abandoned herding entirely, instead, looting caravans and raiding settlements for supplies. Centaurs have magical talent comparable to that of Humans, and they are known for their disdain towards mates.
Perhaps it is a quirk of their unnatural biology, or an inherent racial ability, but Centaurs are known and feared for their resistance towards magic. Mages who've battled Centaurs claim that their magical attacks had barely half their usual effect, as if the Centaurs wore a layer of pure silver.
Every few centuries, a powerful figure will unite the disparate Centaur tribes into an unstoppable horde and attempt to conquer the Kulmorost. As the Centaurs are few in number, extremely primitive, anarchic in nature and hard to organize, and unable to use magic in any meaningful capacity, the Centaurs haven't yet succeeded. They have, however, killed many Elves and Dwarves over the ages.
Centaurs usually aren't allowed in towns, and many more conservative Elf and Dwarf businesses won't serve them, viewing them as savage abominations, barely above the likes of Humans and Goblins.
It has sleek black skin, a body like an eels, with spindelled legs and arms, wearing robes crafted from flesh. Its mouth had sharp, thin teeth jutting out at angles, and was discovered to be capable of stretching wider than its entire body. It's body too, was discovered to be able to expand many times its own size. The creatures tail emitted bioluminescence prior to its death. come to the surface from deep sea trenches every night and attempt to lure weak-willed lesians to the waters edge and drag them to the depths for some unknown purpose.
Inhabitants of the Forsaken Isle are varied and deadly tribal folks. Not much is known about them, but it is theorized that they were created long ago by the Ancient Goblins. But this cannot be proven as all traces of the Goblins' personal history and rites was erased.
Prolific Beastmen race that have managed to spread across the Eastern Coasts, (especially the swamps) in large numbers.
Despite their primitiveness and low intelligence, kobolds have a huge innate magical potential they can instinctively use in very crude yet relatively powerful way. They mainly hunt and fight among themselves using primitive spells. Social hierarchy is established with ritual magical combats. They tend to stand at one-third the height of the average human and breed explosively. as such, they use swarming tactics to overwhelm their enemies.
Kobolds are carnivorous, and are able and more than willing to consume and subsist off of anything even vaguely meat-like. They can consume bones as well, and many Kobolds find enchanted bones to be extremely delectable. It is for this reason, their extremely low intelligence, prodigious birthrate, and their vandalizing, kleptomaniacal tendencies, that Kobolds are regarded as pests by most civilized peoples.
Elitists and quite xenophobic bird people with floating islands. Even they admit that they are a dying race and have fled to avoid being killed.
The Eld'wani don't have wings and their bodies are not aerodynamic enough to do so even if they did, but they are capable of flight. Their species has very little magical aptitude, but they are able to control the winds as if it were second nature. With enough focus, Eld'wani are able to channel their life force into the air around them, and use the resulting push to fling themselves through the air, allowing them to "Fly", at the speed of a sprinting Human with a similar level of exhaustion.
Their floating islands only able to fly because the monastic Eld'wani Shamans devote their lives to mastering the art of air manipulation, and are able to levitate the island short distances every few weeks, (short meaning the length of a week long voyage with a top of the line enchanted ship with a Sky Whale bone keel,) but render themselves comatose in the process, and need to spend much time meditating to regather their power.
The Eld'wani live in the Forsaken Isles, and are extremely few in number, having only a few tens of thousands scattered throughout their floating islands. Each of the islands functions as its own Theocratic city-state, with a council of the Shamans leading the city-state. The Eld'wani worship the Sky and view the Sky Whales as holy and sacred, they believe that the Shamans have a spiritual connection to the Sky, and should be revered.
The Eld'wani sustain themselves through piracy, raiding other Beastmen, and fishing. They're widely regarded as mythical in Kulmorost as a whole, but rarely individual or small groups are seen as part of a Human/Beastman Pirate crew, where they are a great boon to their mundane comrades, possessing the ability to generate sorely-needed gusts of wind when none are present.
Ancient species driven to extinction by Goblins. Some say that their survivors (de)evolved into Orcs in Lesia.
The giants of old were an odd bunch. Rather than use the bones of their dead for magic they used to remove the flesh and dump the bones in certain holy places, along with the bones of many other giants. These "Giant Graveyards" are fiercely sought after by the magical races, as they are more magical than human bones and far stronger.
Due to the rarity of Giant bone magic objects utilizing it are rare and expensive. Elves have historically the largest supply of giant bones and found the most graveyards in their lands. Some theorize that the reason for this is that their lands are the original homelands of the giants - of course you are going to find a lot of giant bone there. This is merely hearsay and unsubstantiated rumor.
Over the years the discovery rate of new Graveyards has slowed to a crawl, with the last new grave on the mainland being uncovered 60 years ago and not a single new one has been found since. However, survivors from a small scouting expedition to Lesia have reported finding multiple Graveyards over their very brief stay there. That could be good for business
The Brumecaster (Humanic), also known as the Brumgonor (Dwarvish) and the Valmeirar (Elvish), is a rumoured creature said to live in the sky amongst the clouds. Appearing similar to a enlarged water strider, this creature is believed to have the ability to camouflage itself and to command clouds and the weather they relate to. Some even believe that the Brumecaster exists to control all of the clouds and the winds, potentially all over the world. There have been many sightings of the Brumecaster, often in windy places, which has resulted in many people believing there to be more than one Brumecaster above Kulmorost. Regardless of its existence, many villages have adopted it into their culture, creating many folk legends and children's stories about the Brumecaster, each with differing views regarding the creature.
Immensely difficult to hunt due to their habit of 'swimming' in the highest reaches of the sky, as well as innate spellcasting abilities. Incredibly magical, body parts are equally prized and reviled. Prized due to their suitability to the construction of magical items and reviled due to their place in many religions as sacred.
Sky Whales are intelligent, that's why their bones are so useful. But no other race has figured out their language and their nomadic wanderings makes them look like nothing more than migrating animals. Their minds are somewhat alien and they make no attempt to communicate with the other races, partly for this reason, and partly because this usually ends with someone recieving new Sky Whales bone weapons. With no mode of communication with non-whales, no visible markers of civilisation, no crafted items, most people assume that the sky whales have no intelligence. But in reality their songs are them singing the history and culture of their people.
Although they are called "sky whales" by some they more closely resemble a manta ray. With a vast wingspan to keep them in the sky for weeks or even months, only landing on the highest points of mountains where they feed on nutritious minerals which replenish their magic.
Many legends and myths have a hero either riding atop a whale or being granted a bone weapon willingly by the great beasts. Some say there exists a people who live in the sky alongside them or even atop their backs. They are usually ridiculed by anyone with a telescope, but the legend persists in stories and plays.
These mammals of the Northern Wastes are fuzzy an produce milk. The rhinos are also used for their fur coats, their milk makes good cheese (and is occasionally brewed into a potent alcohol) they make excellent beasts of burden and their meat is of high quality. They 're just as belligerent, hostile and stubborn as humans are, and twice as hardy to boot. The larger populations of humans would not survive without captive Wooly Rhinos.
For more details, see Humans.
Wooly rhinos are not only animals humans keep. Dogs they have in their disposal are one of their greatest companions. They grow in up to half human size, their fur keeps them warm in almost any temperature and loyal to the bone. But their greatest strength in ability to eat almost anything, meat, bones, roots, grass and probably are capable of eating trees bark. Their noses capable of smelling magical enchantments and blood of magical races against which they are extremely aggressive. It is rumored that they are product of a failed (or successful goblin) experiment
All Wyrms are descendants of the ancient Dragons from before the rise of the Goblins. They can be found throughput the world in almost any climate or terrain, in the deeps of the ocean like the Varhillius or gliding over the desert like the Wyvern. Most Wyrms are falsely referred to as "Dragons", the reason for this is that most Wyrms known today are so far removed from the original Dragons that they can almost be called another species entirely. That being said there are still select few that still hold striking resemblance to their forbears, these are referred to as "true Dragons".
But there are still a few defining features that all Wyrms have that tie them to the Dragon species:
First Their scales. The unenchanted scales of a Wyrm have innate magical properties that repel attacks and harsh weather. Although quite peculiarly when they are peeled of a slain Wyrm they seem to lose this ability. But it still remains an excellent medium for enchanting.
Second Warm Blood. All Wyrms no matter what subspecies or climate they live in, will have warm or even hot blood.
Third Eyes. The eyes of a Wyrm, if peered into, will appear to have a depth greater than the width of the creatures skull. The reason for this is unknown and is difficult to study as it can only be seen in a living Wyrm.
- Drake: four legs no wings.
- The most common Wyrm in Kulmorost. They dwell in shallow caves or abandoned homes, or even burrow into the ground sleep.
- Wyvern: two wings two legs.
- Solitary hunting beasts who scour the Southern Wastes for caravans and camps to feed on.
- Gorudrim (lesser dragon): two wings four legs.
- The closest thing most can see to one of the original Dragons before their whole species was fucked over by the Goblins.
- Darukrul (true dragon): four wings four legs.
- There has only been one known sighting in the last century, and most people don't believe they ever existed (lizard with eight limbs).
- Varhillius: four wings no legs (aquatic)
- This peculiar Wyrm makes its home under the waves. In the Tahalaca Ocean they swim and hunt in groups of up to a dozen. They are often hunted for scales and hides.
The Eye Of Storm OceanEdit
All of what is understood by this creature is exclusively from encounters with it. As it has only ever been seen above water, it is described as a colossal mess of barnacle-covered tentacles with a giant tentacle in the centre, pointing upwards. At the end of this specific tentacle lies its enormous eye, which apparently can see in a complete 5km radius. There is no generally-agreed-upon number of tentacles it has, due to a different amount emerging from the water at each recorded encounter with The Eye Of Storm Ocean. Only the large tentacle hosting its eye has never been seen submerged underwater, though its is not always open. It is a very slow creature, but moves faster in water the more of it is submerged.
The reason as to why it is greatly feared by those who understand magic is because of its magic-generating capabilities. The Eye Of Storm Ocean can sacrifice many of the barnacles on its tentacles to generate powerful forms of magic almost instantly, making it a powerful foe. It can also use its tentacles for brutal physical attacks, making it the bane of all seamen for sure. The Eye Of Storm Ocean, when left undisturbed, is general peaceful by nature, as it attacks no flora nor fauna that belong to the sea. It mostly spends its free time growing barnacles on its tentacles, in order to sustain itself and for future use. If its eye notices anything that does not naturally belong to the sea, it will attempt to destroy it until it is dead or not in its radius of sight. It has been seen to emit magical spells only from the tip of its eye-hosting and central tentacle. The variety of its spells are not fully understood, but it has been seen to force its victims to levitate and be pushed underwater by the means of spell-casting.
Due to how little is known about The Eye Of Storm Ocean, as the most reliable sources are eyewitness accounts, folklore, and occasionally love poems, the people of Kulmorost (both the scholars and the everyman) are heavily divided on the qualities of The Eye Of Storm Ocean, including topics such as:
- Its intelligence, sentience, and its ability to retain memory (some argue that it is simply very territorial rather than simply violent)
- How aware it is of its actions and the world around it (a position held by many elves is that it is intentionally-malicious)
- The extent of its magical powers and physical strength (some records detail it being able to drown three Sky Whales with telekinesis, which very difficult to perform due to the magical resistance of the everyday Sky Whale)
- How it obtained its magical and physical qualities (some believe that it may have been created by the Goblins as a part of this arsenal, but this belief is mostly baseless)
- What parts of it are not recorded due to not surfacing above water (the quantity of its tentacles are debated because of this)
- It being a newly-born monarch (a belief mostly held by the Worshippers of the Monarch)
There are currently efforts among scholars to figure out how to converse with The Eye Of Storm Ocean, but this collaboration is still in its infancy, though it is promised to show great results. Perhaps speaking with the beast itself would filter all the topic of discussion and potentially end the widespread curiosity about the beast for good.
It is best-advised to not go too deep into Storm Ocean, as an encounter with The Eye Of Storm Ocean may be the last encounter the victims may endure. However, some persist that there is a great need to understand it for the greater good of biology and magical studies, meaning some sacrifices must be dutifully made. The Eye of Storm Ocean has been cited as one of the reasons the Pirate Lords rarely venture out of the Val Sea, as well as the reason many trade routes performed across Storm Ocean have such curvy sail layouts, as if to make sure the cargo ships never have to be stared down by The Eye Of Storm Ocean.
Various texts from Kulmorost.
Of Human CorsairsEdit
Excerpt from “On Corsairs – A Study of Piracy in the Modern Age” written by Zul-Far-Kun, 717 MA.
The book is widely considered alarmist, overly reactionary, and a satirical piece due to an absence of academic language. Nevertheless, it has formed a shared cultural image amongst the Dwarves of the blood thirsty human pirate.
“It is of no question that Men thrive on raiding and piracy. Left without sufficient agriculture and rich neighbors to their south, the race of Men is famous for their exploits of violence and hatred. Nowhere else is this more personified then by the many piratical clans roaming either the western Val Ocean, or the Eastern Straits of Tahalaca.
“Festooned in iron, steel and whalebone, they reave through settlements great and minor in search of bodies, wealth, and blood sport. These activities are always carried out with the primary, almost myopic intent, of causing fear.
“Some pirates conduct themselves in complete silence, leaving only the sounds of their swords and spears cutting through sinew to carry their message. Others, often from further north, ingest psychedelic substances and chant in garbled tongues while enraptured in combat and slaughter. Different ships, different clans, different methodologies, but almost always with the same result – death and carrion.
“Woe to those who hire such creatures to do their bidding. Many a foolish Elven prince, or princess, have found themselves cornered within their own palaces, cowering in fear, as the Men they hired turn on their former masters for the smallest slight, or perceived breach of contract, or betrayal. Seemingly fickle, but in truth constant, these pirates value one form of currency above all others: blood.”
A Scholarly Dwarven Treatise on the KoboldEdit
"The Kobolds are a particularly prolific Beastmen race that have managed to spread across the Eastern Coats, (especially the swamps) in large numbers.
They speak an incomprehensible garbled babbling language and don't have the vocal cords or intelligence necessary to pronounce any more than the most basic words of or more advanced languages. Kobolds are extremely energetic, and are very good at expressing themselves through pointing, exagerated body language, and mostly harmless spontaneous magic.
Kobolds stand at one third the average height of a Human, and weigh anywhere from 30-50 pounds. To get an idea of what a Kobold looks like, imagine if someone took a small puppy, a tomcat, a salamander, and a rabbit, combined them all into an unnatural abomination, made the abomination anthropomorphic, made it look endearingly adorable, and gave it all the intelligence of the sun sum of its parts, along with a difficult to control but extremely powerful magical potential, and a burning lust for valuable obejects.
That is a Kobold, and many wise scholars theorize that in ancient times a particularly twisted Goblin did just that. Kobolds live for only a decade, a decade and a half at most, and reproduce absurdly quickly, by both laying eggs, and giving birth to live young annually. Many scholars have puzzled over this biological impossibility, the humble author theorizes that egg layers and birth givers are simply two nearly identical subspecies that live with one another, but the truth may never be known. A breeding pair of Kobolds can produce well over 200 within five decades, it is for this reason Kobold nests are destroyed whenever found.
Alone, Kobolds are cowardly and flee from danger, but in large numbers, they become fearless, and use swarm tactics in battle. Kobold hordes are a minor danger, but are a pressing one nontheless.
Kobolds are reknown for their impressive arcane abilities. Fortunately, only 1 in 50 Kobolds is capable of using magic, these gifted Kobolds lead their society. Kobold mages are incapable of subtlety and precision, instead, they recklessly, (and often self-destructively) wield extremely powerful lightning, wind, water, and fire magic, capable of destroying entire small armies on their own.
Fortunately, Kobold mages are very predictable, and a skilled practitioner of the arcane arts can easily counter even the strongest Kobold mages, though large groups may prove to be overwhelming, and they often distract mages from the hordes of nonmagical Kobolds.
Kobolds are carnivorous, and are able and more than willing to consume and subsist off of anything even vaguely meat-like. They can consume bones as well, and many Kobolds find enchanted bones to be extremely delectable. It is for this reason, their extremely low intelligence, prodigious birthrate, and their vandalising, kleptomaniacal tendencies, that Kobolds are regarded as pests by most civilized peoples, and are to be destroyed if this world is to reach perfection in the eyes of Our Maker."
- Urist Woodgut, Year 453 Of Our Maker.
THE BASIS OF THE CULT OF THE MAKER'S THEOLOGYEdit
The universe is made up of three substances :
- The Essence of the Architect, his Realm, the "soul" of the Maker and the souls of the dwarves.
- The Higher Substance, the substance of the higher region of the world and of the "body" of the Maker.
- The Lower Substance, the substance of the lower region of the world and the souls of the non-dwarves.
These substances are perfectly separated with the exception of the Maker (Essence in the Higher Region of the World) and the souls of the Dwarves.(Essence in the Lower Region in the World) But the Maker and the Dwarves will ascend to the Realm of the Architect when their task will be done, establishing a true total separation.
Beings have an essence and a hypostasis (personhood) The Architect, Maker and Dwarves share the same essence, but are different persons even if they will be in perfect communion in the Realm of the Architect. Non-dwarves have the same essence (the lower substance), and are all different persons. There is an hypothetical category of beings who exist in the upper region of the world and have its essence.
The existence of Evil and the flaws in the world are caused by its imperfection as the world is not wholly finished until the dwarves have completed their task. The Dwarves thus believe they are progressing towards the completion of the world by developing their civilization, quite litteraly thinking they are the final touch in the creation process. They believe they are always going in the right direction in the long term because they are guided by the Maker but they don't reject responsability and the possibility of decadence in the short and mid time. The elimination of the imperfection of the world is seen as a spiritual process completly unrelated to magic whose effects on the world are not gradual : the world will become perfect and the dwarves will ascend in a single and sudden event caused by the dwarves's efforts.
Of Different Human TribesEdit
Excerpt from, “On the different tribes of Men.” (Dra-Bul-Naz, 818 ME) Published by the University of Valkenburg Print Press.
"Of all of the erroneous assumptions made in anthropology in the last 300 years, none has been more pervasive than the conceptualization of humanity as a single ethnic race. This could not be farther than the truth. In human tribes, there exist four distinct elements: economic, political, ethnic, and religious. Different tribes subscribe to different mixes of these elements, sometimes tolerating multiply ideologies at once.
"It is a theory of the author that Humanity as it exists now did not prior to the expulsion of men from the south. If anything, what little archaeological progress has been made in recent decades has revealed that different Mannish civilizations expressed wildly different architectures, scripts, art, and cultures. Indeed, a convergence only appears towards the beginning their exodus north.
"It is with the above in mind that one must understand that a common Mannish tongue, an amalgamation of seemingly incongruent linguistic features, has not (and will not truly exist). Linguistic differences, although seemingly split amongst ethnic lines, are the primary divider of tribes. Although some level of mutual intelligibility does exist, more often there would be difficulty in communications between two humans born on different coasts of the Northern Wastes.
"Consider the Valkgarians: a centralized tribe eking out an existence on what little green coast of the Northern Wastes there is remaining. Medium to tall of stature, with a wide variety of hair color, and with a gambit of eye colors; this tribe speaks a dialect of Mannish that does not posses grammatical cases. Nor does it have tonality. Intonal, with little inflection, their tongue relies heavily on auxiliary verbs and word order to convey meaning.
"Contrast the Vends people, possessing the same stature and similar hair to the Valkgarians, but with primarily darker eye colors and hair. Their tongue has six-to-seven cases and features complex consonant clusters.
"Theoretically, if you sat down a Vend and a Valkgarian, the two would be able to understand a word or there, but would otherwise have trouble maintaining a conversation.
"Linguistic drift is not a uniquely human phenomenon. Mankind, however, exhibits this tendency alarmingly often – more so than any other peoples."
He had seen them, no doubt of it. They were still on his tracks.
Months ago the group left home with all the honors the Kingdom could give. A ceremony was held to receive the Overking's blessings, even. The last thing they saw was a cheering crowd of their family, friends and fellow countrymen, waving them goodbye into uncertainty. They knew it was going to be dangerous, and fear slowly turned to excitement at the prospect of going so far beyond any civilized lands. Without heavy support from a certain Senator the ordeal would have been inconceivable, fame and greatness wouldn't be theirs, and many lives would have been spared.
Still in the planning phase, through the many connections he'd built over the years, word came to Rut of GRON about the plans to explore the Northern Wastelands. After so many years of idleness and yearning for his days of adventuring, the sudden call to action seemed like a well-deserved rest from crowded urban life. He was gladly taken in. It was set: 40 brave dwarves would challenge the Northern Wastelands, land of the Haumics, to find their fortunes and glory for their land.
He kept running. They weren't far. He could practically smell the stench and see the horrid crude animal skins, taste the bitter metal with awful vividness. The only thing he couldn't perceive was their sound. The land was on their favor. The snow muffled their steps and the chilly wind whipped the little vigor out of the dwarf's body.
There was a higher aim for the expedition, as the Senator eagerly told them. If the information in the map was accurate and the soil in that frozen hell really hid that many mineral riches, then the Kingdom would have to put a foothold in the Wastelands. The land could be healed, he said, purged from the oblivious devils that had so far been its only inhabitants. By taming one more bit of wilderness, the world would creep towards perfection, and Dwarfkind a bit closer to fulfilling their holy task.
That was the thought of the naive Senator, who was deeply religious and idealistic to a fault. He went as far as trusting the Traders of the Mist and their strange treasures with the lives of 40 good dwarves, sent into a suicide mission for the slim chance of success in the name of a distant greater good. So deep were his faith and anxiety to see the world shaped by dwarven hands.
Rut took a moment to remember how very far away he was from home. His body screamed for rest, and his mind was already giving up. It had been stupid to go.
This had been a 3-day chase. His arm was wounded. It was frozen and lifeless, but at least no longer bled. Equally, he missed seeing blood. He yearned for color.
Their silent march continued; snowflakes fluttered and danced all around him, cold as iron, white as death, as they pricked his face and sucked the warmth off his body. The indistinguishable landscape after him went on and on - could it be endless?
Deep down, he knew it was a pointless struggle, one last attempt to preserve his pride, feigned bravery before his legs inevitably lost their strength and the snow swallowed him alive. Realistically, he could not flee. He didn't even know if there was any place to flee to. If nothing else, it could be worthwhile to keep it up to spite the bloodthirsty bastards. Or so he told himself, as his muscles threatened to snap and his face twisted into a grimace of pain.
If he was not so tired, he would weep for his companions. Nobody deserves that end. These particular humans had a terrifying hunger for magical flesh, and Rut guessed at least 39 of the 40 brave dwarves would be used to sate it. Not long ago they had caught the only other survivor who'd kept up with him nearly this far. Rut heard him screaming and bawling like a baby, until it suddenly stopped.
Sooner or later, the tall wights of the North, the dreadful iron revenants, they would find him. Then the ugly iron masks would come off, and he would have no rest.
Note from Goblinoid TraderEdit
Not even the proud Lesian race dares set foot on their neighboring island, the "Everliving Isle", while trading with the Lesians as an envoy the Goblinoid city VRON l was sent to acquire items from the Lesians homeland, items others may see as.... distasteful. After giving the Lesians the goods we had agreed on (mostly small amounts of silver and a small collection of outdated Dwarven texts on the races of Kulmorost) and loading my goods in kind, l inquired about the so called "Isle of the Everliving". The Lesians eyed each other and reverted back to their lower tongue speaking among themselves for a time. then l got my answer. "do not land on isle, long-ear. nothing of worth, queen takes men minds, brings the dead. better left be"
Perhaps the Lesians are simply superstitious, l will put forward that we should mount an expedition once l return to the VRON mages, there we may find some help to our ongoing experiments.
Excerpt from Dwarven "Val-Embor Brumgaurd's fun with magic volume 3"
"Although some may tell you the act of reanimating the dead is an impossible task, in my own studies l have proved otherwise, although l'll tell you necromancy, while possible is somewhat impractical as the amount of magical energy one must use to keep a deceased body animated much outweighs the usefulness of the dead body. Such foolish proposals of an "army of the dead" is utter nonsense.
all of my experiments are conducted on (mostly) healthy human males captured during a raid on Dwarvish settlements in the northern mountains as well as a few recently dead human corpses
One of my first experiments was whether one could force the soul of recently deceased man back into his body, though the humans resisted interrogation of other Dwarven mages while alive l thought l might be able to gain some insight after bringing them back. l resolved that the sooner l could bring back the spirit to the body the better my chances of success would be, after suffocating one of the human males in a contraption of my own design, l complete the rituals making a number of animal sacrifices and life essence transferals l was successful in my endeavor, the humans eyes started moving about once more as life returned to the body, though the eyes still looked like that of a dead man l was assured he could see as l waved my hand in front of his face. After the humans initial response of great confusion and discomfort l decided to start the questioning. l was unsuccessful in my efforts of exacting information, l told the human if he answered my questions l would return him to the dead, instead of acting reasonable he instead decided to scream in what could be described perhaps as "spiritual agony" cursing my race and my family before fading back into death after a number of hours. this is not much more than l should have expected from these barbarians "
"in my second series of tests l found that returning the body of the recently dead to life was the easy part, getting the dead to perform intricate tasks was the tricky part. One way l found was by carving instructive runes into the sternum of the dead, either descriptive of a specific task like "protect this one from danger" or a much broader one like "follow instruction"
using these runes on two different bodies l had one with "protect this one from danger" and the name of my then assistant Bal-goran Runemar and then gave instruction to the other once dead man to kill him. the instruction given to the second was successful, perhaps too successful, although the dead seem to increase in strength they lack all skill in their fighting, preferring to randomly tear at the flesh and disembowel the target as opposed to ending their life quickly and mercifully, as Bal-goran found out first hand when the second dead broke through the defenses of the first, completing its given task. My assistants untimely death, though saddening had provided me with another body to experiment on (perfectly legal as he had signed his bodily rights to me for experiment purposes long before his death). using the method described in the previous log l brought back my assistant and asked him of the events that had transpired, he described it as being "quite unfortunate" and "less than ideal" before mirroring that which l described in my first experiment, a kind of "spiritual agony" before fading back to the other side while sobbing and crying out for his mother
"continuing with my task l invited my other less experienced second assistant (whom l thought wouldn't be needed for these experiments) into the workshop to help with my work. As one could expect he looked somewhat concerned with the current state of my workshop, a number of animal carcasses now littered the workshop floor along with the still twitching bodies of dead and then for a short time not quite as dead human specimens, oh and one cannot forget the disembowel corpse of my deceased first assistant, but l digress. My now first assistant saying nothing of the horrors (or his very recent promotion to my first assistant), was happy enough to help out with further experiments.
The third and final trial may have been the most successful albeit the most mentally and physically taxing of the three. This time combining parts of previous experiments, l sacrificed the lives and essence of a few beasts, carved runes into the deceased l wished to bring back and then most importantly l gave some of my own life energy to the body, in short binding my own will to that of the dead. l used only small amount as not to dramatically reduce my own lifespan, l calculated l could give the body around 5 hours of animation with all of these processes combined. SUCCESS!! lthe body rose this time, without screaming nor showing any signs of incredible stress. After questioning how the body about recent human activities he was quite cooperative, telling me all that l wanted to know and speaking only when told to. After a time l decided to perform a few simple tasks, l had him collect some of the entrails and generally rearrange a few things in the workshop. After this l decided to take him and my now first assistant for a celebratory drink at the local tavern and let me tell you people at first were quite alarmed to see an undead human wobbling around the streets, but they became calm after l showed them he was entirely bent to my will by having him..."
"Dance to my assistants wonderful flute musings, garnering a few stares and many, many laughs from onlooking Dwarfs. After arriving at the pub my assistant and l partook in some of the finest wines and spoke to some fine Dwarven maidens, though l must admit we lost track of the time and soon enough the spell had worn off. we were alerted to this when the undead man started screaming and clawing at his eyes in a most uncivilized manner before slumping to the floor. We had the owner of the fine establishment keep the body in one of the backrooms ensuring him we would be back for the body the next day when sober and rewarded him a gold coin for his troubles.
In all regards l wholeheartedly enjoyed my time with necromancy and will return to the subject every once in a while when l think of more experiments. As l stated in the beginning of this chapter necromancy is entirely possible, but somewhat impractical, one would need an almost unlimited about of life essence to keep even a single undead bound to his will for an extended amount of time, making notions of an "undead army" quite impracticable.
The incarnations, spells, runes and other misc items l used for these experiments as well as diagrams can be found on the next page. Always be careful around humans, alive or dead. Have fun and stay safe!!" - (Val-Embor Brumgaurd's fun with magic volume 3)
Grante Raley & The Forsaken IsleEdit
The Forsaken Isle gained it's name largely from the well-known explorer Grante Raley, an ancient human from the times in which they had true holdings. In the year of the Swallow of the fifteenth Cycle, he set off to plunder the Tomb of the Forsaken Isle -now commonly known as Tomb Island- but was caught in a storm and found himself on the Eastern Continent. Believing himself to be on the Forsaken Isle he searched his surrounds for the Tomb but merely came up with previously undiscovered plants and animals as well as a near-death experience with one of the native tribes. Electing to return to charted waters and make a second attempt at a later date, he set of West again and made landfall on the original Forsaken Isle, where he was loudly ridiculed by the native Dwarves upon retelling of his travels.
The story continues as a joke against the humans but also their tenacity and stubborness as Grante and his crew was the first to make the journey to the eastern continent and without even the aid of an arcane sailing vessel. These days only the rare vessel with a whalebone keel dare to make the journey. Thus he endures as both the butt of a joke and a folk hero.
Whispered from father to sonEdit
Legend says that there is a small settlement even beyond these wastes where the storms are strongest. In this settlement no magic at all exists, it is said that they are some of our ancestors who were alive when we were prominent in the south. My grandfather told me that one day they will come and gather us all, all of us humans, we who are hunted, used as slaves, sport, or cattle. they will come, and when they do we will rise.
For they have a gift, they are the ones who can destroy magic, they are the old ones. My grand father told me, that they were searching for a way to have us all gain their gift. So wait my child, soon one day, we will strip the knife ears of their pride in magic, demolish the ancient cites of the dwarves and annihilate the other beasts that have forced us to live this way. so wait my child, wait and grow strong. For soon the bloodied shall come. I only hope I can live to see that day!
Tale of ValnarEdit
Who could be the One to Unify the Humans? You must be talking about Valnar Iceborn of the Long Walkers. Unknown to all but the tribes in the north, he was born during the night of the coldest winter. He grew up to be a stronger man and lateral became leader of his tribe. Inspired by the stories of old, told by the tribes tellers he started uniting the other tribes. However after having a few tribes join him, he got injured in a duel with another chieftain. The injury got infected and he died shortly after
Tale of InïpatEdit
Valnar ?! No, no, no, no....you must be talking about Inïpat Amanur, born from the union of an artic woman and a polar bear spirit. Some people say he is over nine foots tall, his skin looks like silver and is as hard as steel. He can swim in the air as in water, he is so strong he killed a bear unarmed. He could jump from the arctics to the lands of the monsters, his feet are invisible and he is not only half spirit but also two third god. If he is killed, then he can force himself to be alive again through sheer force of anger. His punches are so strong that his enemies die even when he miss them. He also has two heads : one explains to his soldiers how to be strong, and the other how to defeat the monsters of the south. Animals serve him and all women fall in love him when they see him.
Enchanted Arms and Armour of the human SpeciesEdit
Its said that the one thing all the races of Kulmorost would agree upon is that nothing quite fits in the hand of a human quite like a well forged sword. Its not surprising then that even with the humans limited abilities in the magical disciplines that they would attempt to imbue their primitive killing tools with what magic they could.
One thing common of both early and later stage Human weapons is the use of human bone in place of wood for the handle, which was then wrapped in some kind of leather or rope. the carvings on the handle itself seems to act as some kind of a magic bonding rune, binding the weapon to either those of a specific bloodline (in early examples) or to the human race itself. In essence prohibiting ones enemy from gaining any benefit (however slight) from using the weapon.
In most cases the magic was relatively small changes to how the weapon handled in a humans hands, early examples are said to simply make the sword lighter in those who are able to use it. Later examples became increasingly intricate, including inscriptions in silver embedded on the length of the blade, giving one much more substantial protection against magic attacks and magical attempts at disarming. Its said that after extended battles the silver inscriptions on these weapons glow a faint, dull red.
Even at the height of human metal-working these swords were rare, making the value of these weapons among skilled human warriors priceless
Of The Eye Of Storm OceanEdit
"Few dare to enter the depths of the Storm Ocean, as the creature called by many The Eye Of Storm Ocean resides there, usually undisturbed. Hell awaits the victims of its disturbed nature, however, as the beast will not rest until its victims are either dead or not within its attacking radius. The beast is described as enormous, having many barnacles on its many tentacles, with a colossal one-eyed tentacle at the centre of its body. This is merely what can be seen above the cold waters - for undiscovered biology remains below. The creature's greatest strength (and form of attacking) appears to not be physical, despite its size, rather it is its ability to sacrifice the many barnacles on its body to generate magic of great power almost immediately. I do not believe I have ever heard of a creature with such control over sorcery, and I'm not sure I'll live to ever see it myself. These waters are hard on our mere wooden boat, but we will think of a way. Hopefully we don't learn more about 'The Eye Of Storm Ocean' through physical examples."
- Diary entry from a diary on a shipwrecked Human-controlled ship, unknown author (presumably dead)
Of Lemons and WingsEdit
Uncle had spoken to father first when he arrived back and then to us both, he spoke about bloodlines, the time before the Exodus, our ancestors, how Lucius Latrosia became the lord of our house while his father held the hills in the south. How the had built the walls we live behind while the other Great lords fled further and further north, things l'd known since birth.
Then he spoke of where he had been, about how he had brokered a trade between himself and a hill troll he was on good terms with months ago. "The deal was simple enough. l would receive the sword he had found on his land and in return he wanted a cloak like mine, a red one to impress a female troll, oh and one of those woolly rhinos to munch on" he laughs and goes on to explained how he had traveled to frostfrontier, spending a great deal of silver to have a huge cloak woven from rhino wool. And then onto the pirate lords
The pirates wouldn't be so easily bartered with, They'd demand a high price for the expensive dye and the lemon trees that grow behind our walls are an important commodity to our great neighbors. "They wanted half of our lemon harvest for a year, l got them to a quarter. A good a deal as we'd get from those bastards most likely"
He spoke of the arrangement's he'd made in the north and that l am to go with him in two weeks time to the Cathedral. "it was time l learned to be Valkyrie" he told me "our blood is as important now as ever"
So l leave my home on the neck soon enough, the comfort of my family and our fort.
But l am blood of Latrosia, and l would be a winged knight of Valkyrie soon enough
Journal entry - Magnus A. Latrosia IV, age 15
It has been some time since my last entry, the journey was long and arduous and its only now l feel l should write once more
We passed through the winding gates up to the Cathedral. Seven gates l counted, though it may have been more. Steel and stone is what greeted us and l miss the sweet smelling trees of my family home now more than ever. We were welcomed inside the great hall by one of the elder members. We spoke for a time of the journey, the current state of the land and the elder asked if my Uncles mission was successful, this is when l was ushered to my sleeping quarters.
It was 3 weeks later when l saw my uncle next, he had been on "important business" he said. He asked how it had been for me this past month, l told him the truth "Its cold here, the men even colder, l'm sick of carrying wood through those damn gates.... But l am well fed and my training in the sword is going well" he seemed glad to hear it. After a small meal and a pint of mead my uncle told me to follow close and to keep quiet. He lead me to a part of the cathedral l had never stepped foot in, the room was small and dark, books and scrolls littered the shelves, a whetstone and two bowls sat on the floor and next to them two prisoners lay on the floor, hands in chains, mouths filled with rope. l could tell what they were, one an Elf, the other a Dwarf. By the look of there close l concluded they had been traders, captured by pirates no doubt, l would learn soon enough why they had been bought to our most sacred of temples
The Elder that had welcomed me here entered soon after l had and l recognized the sword he was carrying was the same my uncle had bartered for with the troll. "Prepare the ritual" the Elder said to Uncle, gesturing towards the prisoners. Uncle drew his knife, making a slit on both the prisoners arms and collecting the blood in one of the bowls. "Hold out your sword hand boy" uncle commanded. he sliced my palm before
Collecting my blood in the same bowl.
The Elder drew the blade, inspecting it for a moment before sitting down by the whetstone. l could barely see the blade in the dark room, it was covered in dirt and what must have been centuries old blood.
The Elder wet the blade with the collected blood and honed it on the stone. It was only minutes later that the blade was as new. The inscriptions etched to the blade gleamed in the lamps dull glow. The Elder cleaned the sword and beckoned to me, handing me the blade. The blade felt strange to me, it was warm in my hand, familiar, almost comforting, like holding mothers hand as a boy. The Elder and my Uncle shared a look and then pointed me toward to the prisoners.
l took the Dwarfs head first, then the elves as the runes on the sword began to glow a dull orange, my heartbeat grew heavy in my ears and the world slowed to a crawl. After some time the Elder took the blade from me and sheathed it, l have not seen it since.
The sword calls to me now and l long to have it back.
l am blood of Latrosia and l shall be a knight of Valkyrie soon enough
Journal Entry - Magnus A. Latrosia IV, age 16
Trading in the Northern WastesEdit
Journal of Korneus of Grimbridge, trader sentenced to death for weapon smuggling in Toren
" ...Trading in the Northen parts of the Haumic Lands truly is horrific, no inns like in Frostfrontier, none of that sweet lemonade from the famous keep and no security like back home. Can someone explain to me why are their people in such cold and dangerous lands? Going from Frostfrontier to Tempest Edge by land route is so incredibly hard! I did it to avoid the pirates, but the polar bear, feral rhinos, crazed centaurs bands and the old school bandits are far from being better! I even saw dire wolves and some snow lions! Snow lions and dire wolves! Those things were supposed to be mythical! Like the Frost maidens of the city of bones.
I have got a cart filled with things: Rhino wool as well as sheep wool, several flasks of lemon liquor, Elder tree branches and some ingots of the finest steel Captain Lucio could steal from the Frostfrontier Trading company. Tomorrow. I will sneak in Toren and see if I can find someone willing to sell to a stranger, if everything goes well I will be able to marry Celestina in the Spring and I will have enough silver to not have to travel until she is with child."
Of A Treatise on the Fairer Sexes of each of the Civilized Races of KulmorostEdit
written by yours truly, Terk Syrnal, humble elfen bard and womaniser extraordinaire.
"Elven women are generally thin, lithe, small chested, and their faces have a sort of strange, exotic beauty about them. Their pointed ears are long, almost like a short knife, flexible, sensitive, and soft like velvet. The author is somewhat biased, but he believes that Elf women are among Kulmorost's most skilled in sensuous matters.
The whiter ones are delightful, sultry farmer's daughters types, and are typically naive and curious about the world beyond their family homestead. They're quite modest and shy, but once intoxicated can become quite brazen and playful.
The browner ones have a much more fiery, tempermental, and energetic personality, somewhat fittingly, given their desert home. They're less inhibited than their northern cousins, and are generally more susceptible to the advances of foriegners.
The author had the utmost difficulty in locating, let alone seducing a Drow, but the author is quite persistent and experienced in his craft, and after much trial and effort, was able to succeed.
The drow tend to be extremely quiet around foriegners, are overly rational and calm, showing very little outward emotion. Almost invariably, drow women have a sort of nervous shyness around men they find attractive, and will loudly voice their disdain if one attempts to call them out on it.
Despite what common sense dictates, it is folly to attempt to outright seduce a drow woman, as they become very defensive and close themselves off, causing their would-be lover to lose their opportunity."
"Rather, if one is attempting to seduce a drow woman, the would-be seducer must ingratiate himself into a drow tribe. which is a challenge in and of itself. He must then openly demonstrate some sort of skill uncommon among the drow, such as lightning magic or in the author's case, skillfully playing a lute. Demonstrating a skill is of the utmost importance, as drow women prize capability in their mates above all else. The would-be seducer must then politely ignore the drow women, whilst continuing to demonstrate their skill.
If he stays the course, the seducer will incite lust among a few of the Tribe's younger, unmarried drow. He musn't speak to them, or show even the slightest sign of interest, or they will lose interest, as the seducer must seem to be unattainable to retain interest.
When a few months have passed, one of the drow women will ask the would-be seducer to demonstrate their skill to them personally. It is then that the would-be must seduce their quarry. He must do so subtly, and somewhat patronizingly, as if she isn't worth his time, and if done correctly, the drow will slowly but surely become enflamed with lust. The would-be seducer must not make the first move, but he must then begin to show slight interest.
If the would-be seducer has done everything correctly, the drow will begin to flirt herself, and it is then that the Drow and would-be seducer enter in a battle of words, and the would-be seducer must begin slowly and, above all, subtly escalate the innuendo in his attempts at seduction, until the drow is practically dripping with barely disguised lust.
It is then, that the would-be seducer makes the first move, something innocuous, like putting a hand on her shoulder, or on her knee. If the would-be seducer has done everything correctly, the drow will initiate intercourse, and it will have been by far worth the wait."
"When the deed is done, the successful seducer must remain in the Tribe for some time, to leave suddenly would incite suspicion, and possibly scalping. He must wait, spending each night with his lover, until at least one month has passed. He must then wait until nightfall comes, spend a final night with his lover, and when she has fallen asleep, leave in the dead of night as stealthily as possible.
With luck, the Tribe won't realise what happened and hunt the seducer down, and the seducer will get off scot-free. Usually, when three months have passed, the stomach of the seducer's former lover will begin to dwell and the Tribe will catch on, but by then it's much too late to do anything about it. Dwarven women are short, thick, soft, and curvaceous. Regardless of what popular rumor may claim, they do not have excessive body hair, and are not, for the most part, racist prudes or drunken harlots. When one is attempting to seduce a Dwarven woman, he must be careful to ensure that she is unmarried, and impious, else one's efforts are doomed to failure.
Good food and plenty of it, is the key to a Dwarf woman's heart and bosom. One must be blunt with their intentions and clear that they don't intend to settle down in a lasting relationship, (unless one is a Dwarf himself, in which case the opposite is true,) and odds are, she'll be receptive to one's advances.
Orcish women are large, and possess a strange sort of rugged beauty, with a form both muscular and feminine, and supple, glistening green skin. They are extremely blunt about their intentions and feelings, and if one is blunt and attractive themselves, they'll most certainly succeed in their endeavor."
"Human women are stubborn, hateful, and nigh impossible to bring to heel if one is not a Human themselves. As for appearances, they vary tremendously, and run the gamut of thick and thin, but almost all have an enticing sort of inner fire. Regretfully, the author was unable to seduce a Human woman, and as the author is an elf of honor and scruples, he was unwilling to force a Human woman to copulate, as much as both parties might've enjoyed it.
The author hopes this Treatise was informative to the reader, and will aid him in his own efforts."
Historians note: Terk Syrnal disappeared shortly after publishing this Treatise and a dagger of unknown make, possibly drowish or orcish, was found on his pillow.
About the LesiansEdit
The crude semi-intelligent lizards from the island over the canal? Hah! Do not dare to label them as one of the Mighty Magical Races! They chirp to each other like birds, a brutish language lacking the sophistication of our elven language or the systematic focus of the dwarvish script. I am not even sure can they write at all. I have understood that they have recently began to imitate human speech and the humans have been sufficiently bluffed that they actually believe to be talking with them! Rest assured, imitating human speech is simple feat that even elven children could do if we would be so cruel to allow one to experience that horrible babbling. Their religion is a travesty, a pale copy of the dwarven mythos without deeper understanding of the world around them. As such, the Lesians are fully without a Society, merely interest to us because of their predatory nature and great numbers, which were sadly left unchecked for too long. Alas if the other Princes had listened to my grandfather, who campaigned for their culling in his youth!
Even the Lesians only militaristic achievement, the defeat of the Blood Orcs, can be easily explained by the numbers of the Lesians, their characteristic disregard of their own casualties and the utter ignorance of military tactics of the Blood Orcs, who cared much more about gory kills than winning.
In conclusion, the annoying Lesian raids are no match for the combined might of the Elven Principalities and our staunch dwarven allies!
-Cinnar, Prince of the coastal realm of Kinost, 2 years before the Invasion.
Notes of Amanur, the Troll HeadhunterEdit
(The notes are popular among mercenaries)
We gather in city of MUN that sits on the edge of troll land, in group of fifteen mercenaries, enough to kill a troll without problem yet small enough to go unnoticed. After preparing everything: food, weapons, traps and rope strong enough to pull the body.
We leave at the sunrise and venture into land of those beasts, this land is completely uncivilized, almost no agriculture, no roads or bridges. What is there are those towers stupid beasts build, they are seen from far away for us before troll inside will see us. That's when we stop and put up our camp and prepare to night when we strike.
When sun falls we leave two guys at camp while everyone else moves toward the tower. We break at enough groups to enclose them from all sides and overwhelm beasts from range, magic, bows, everything works as long as you don't get in close. That not always so smooth as trolls are stubborn and refuse to die quickly, running wildly into us....The death of one or two are no problem, we still can carry their bodies, but if more than half dies we bury bodies in our camps.
We don't stay for night to sleep at camp, we tie our price and go back to city as fast as we can, staying more than one day in this land rises danger tremendously, most groups return on second day, those who go deeper into enemy land return on third day, rarely any groups who left after three days ever returns.
The pay is very hefty, better than working on fields, that's for sure. Bounties on Night trolls started to pop up recently and every body has price five times higher than Hill one!
The Tragedy of LilithEdit
Lilith Armeni Liliac, the Seductress, Traitormaker and Witch-Whore of south (all these titles only know to a humans), a woman who caused Carnage of Cain. Lilith was a quite unimportant princess of very small duchy near northern borders on South, she and her cousin seeker a glory and fame for their duchy in Human Exodus war. They both devised a very Machiavellian plan: they in secret maked several human kingdoms unite against invasions, while several of them was traitors. In plan, they will betray their kin, cousin will win battle against separated forces and capture traitors to keep them as gelded pets in gilded cage. But every plans goes awry: Lilith cousin was accidentally killed by a single stray arrow right at beginning of battle. In the end, all credit was taken by his second-in-command, a petty noble with no lands, Bre Guile (to this day, House Guile one of most powerful families of South, they name revered for tactical genius and bravery), human traitors was killed and role of Lilith was mostly unknown for Elves, but not for Humans. Her name is still reviled by humans and to this day, Elves is still heavily associated with her.
As for Elven history? Well, she was nothing but mere footnote - she was only known only as princess of duchy who was quietly assimilated after her death, she attended several very decadent patries and, in the end, was permanently was enchanted as statue in colonnade for "having too deviant tastes" by very powerful wizard for his own brothel. These brothel is still there and very famous these days, indulging almost every sin and fetish possible. Such life in Elven Principalitites!
An Encounter Between The Eye Of Storm Ocean and Three Sky WhalesEdit
The following was written by a Elven fisherman, who wishes to remain anonymous:
I am not one to recount events of my life onto paper, but I am willing to make an exemption. Merely 30 minutes ago, we were in Storm Ocean on a trip to deliver cargo and for a little bit of fishing on the side. They always say, Storm Ocean's fish taste better than any other, and I cannot disagree. Nevertheless, we were fishing in Storm Ocean, and we saw the Eye in the distance. It was looking away from us, but we were all still on edge. As we started at the beast, something uncanny occurred: three Sky Whales came down from the clouds and struck the Eye directly into its... well, eye. The Eye regained its focus after the attack, and suddenly, almost like a divine intervention, its eye glowed yellow and all of the Sky Whales stopped moving mid-air. They slowly began sinking through the air, unable to move in any other direction but down. They must have realised what was going to happen, as all three seemed to be panicking to a frightening degree. And, sure enough, they were slowly lowered into the water, and held underwater, all three thrashing wildly and bubbles surfacing from their helpless bodies. This went on for minutes, with the Eye never breaking its gaze on its three victims. Eventually, the movements stopped and the bubbles no longer emerged from underwater. Three tentacles, however, did emerge from the water, only to be wrapped around the three carcasses and lowered deep underwater. This event alone was enough for the captain to command the ship to leave Storm Ocean.
Now, I am aware how ludicrous the following may sound, but I swear on my mother's soul that this really did happen. As we were leaving, the Eye looked at our boat. And then it leered at us, and one of its tentacles moved side-to-side, as if it was waving! I'm hoping to all that is pure that the waving was just a reflex and the leering was because we were leaving its line of sight, but I certainly felt an aura of unpleasantness by just looking at the thing. If what I saw was anything different from reflexes and sight problems, it would explain why it bothered to drown three Sky Whales instead of twisting their spines, which is the most common form of death recorded in relation to the Eye. If it was sending a message, message received. I'll fish in Val Sea from now on, I'm sure the fish taste just as nice.
Of Human SettlementsEdit
Excerpt from “Anthropology - Know your Enemy Vol.2: Settlements” written by Valko Tiamare, circa 300 MA.
A very old series of books written by an orc explorer that used to roam the human lands before orcs were seen as enemies of humanity like elves and dwarves are. The books are a well respected source on human behaviour and culture.
“Humans live in all kinds settlements in the Northen wastes. Settlements of all sizes above the ground some permanent and others seasonal some humans live in small underground settlements. That said, ironically, their biggest city lies within a massive cave system with sea access on one of the coasts near their southern border. From what I have heard, there is only two official ways to enter and one of them being a cave that gives access the city's harbour. I didn't gain access to it but the city seems to have within it's limits a great market and a great forge.”
“...once your men start falling to traps, you will know that you are near a underground human settlement, locals seem to know the placement of all the traps, while travellers usually will blow their goat horns when they feel they are near a settlement to ask to be escorted inside. No one enters an underground settlement without being invited in.”
“Palisade walls protect even the smallest permanent settlements above the ground, all permanent settlements have guards on standby ready to rain arrows on all approaching threats. Always approach with extreme caution.”
The Beginning to the extinction of LaffuEdit
The Laffu were used to surprised attacks from the other local Orc tribes, but this was not a local Orc tribe
The Children moved silently in the night, their footsteps made no sound on the sand. They came naked, armed with spears pulled from the earth, their dark skin making them all but invisible in the black of the wastes. They approached the walls of the Laffu unseen and unheard, moving the earth under the walls to gain entry to the fort. By the time the night watch had figured out what was happening, most of the Orcs lay dead with a spear through the heart, or their throat slit in their bed. Only one of the black Children died in the fight, his throat pierced by a thrown Orcish spear. His blood gushed from his wound, bursting into deep red flame, he fell to his knees before crumpling into ash. The orcs that saw this lost all want to fight, they were finished off cleanly.
In less than an hour the hold by the sea had been emptied. More than 60 orcish men, woman and children lay dead to a force of only 15
They would not sleep nor eat tonight, they would not morn their dead. They moved back into the dark as silently as they had come, vanishing into the black