Open for many many ideas.
The Birth of Gods
In the beginning, there was only one God, Luonnatar.
Luonnatar held power absolute over creation, and, in his image of perfection, created entire universes. But, still, this was not enough to satisfy him. Why glory in the powers of Creation, when there was none with whom to share it?
Luonnatar created many other beings, all of them equally powerful, equally gifted in the powers of Creation. Each of them began creating, for creation was infinite, unending. What could they not make, when they could create anything from their minds?
But these worlds were hollow. Empty. Luonnatar lamented their emptiness.
Each of his children created millions of worlds in their image of perfect, and each of his children had a very different image.
Finally, they began to create life. Plants, animals, creatures, billions of them, rich with their diversity and potential.
But the creations of one child scared and confused Luonnatar. His worlds were jagged, broken, with razor-sharp rocks, and angles which unsettled the nerve. His peoples were as coarse and jagged as their land, cruel, and cold.
Luonnatar, disturbed by this, took from his child the power of creation, leaving him the only of his children who could not create.
The child, angered by this, bore his last true creation – Destruction.
These twisted children, jagged children, cruel children, swept across the other worlds, and tore them asunder. They killed the creatures they found, destroyed their beauty, recreating every world as a parody of their own – Dust, and ruin.
Destruction was something new to Luonnatar and his children. They had no concept of how to resist it; They hardly were able to grasp the concept that it existed at all. One by one, Luonnatar’s children lost their worlds, their creations dying, crushed beneath the cruel tide. In a fit of impotent rage at the devastation he was helpless to prevent, Luonnatar destroyed every realm, every world, every plane, and removed them completely from existence. Between his children, he divided his power, and, together, compelled them to make one world, perfect, with equal measures of every power, all in perfect balance.
However, Destruction was a tide not so easily stemmed. Amongst their creation came more destruction – The wayward child spawned his people once more, and war was fought. Life and Death became unbalanced. Sickened by the actions of his children, their imperfection, and Destruction, the one thing he could never more contain, Luonnatar fled, and abandoned this world.
This world became known as Erebus, and, within it, all Creation lived.
Erebus, and the Age of Dragons
The first great Age was the Age of Dragons, in which the Gods created the Dragons, each in their image, and vested each with a portion of their elemental might. The world was a primordial thing, covered in dense forests, vast mountains, endless oceans, and empty skies which stretched forever onward. This world was, for a time, perfect. All things were in balance. However, the Dragons were too much aspects of their Creators, and lacked the ability to change, to adapt, and truly become part of the world. So, next, each of Luonnatar’s children, in turn, created their children. Their children filled the world, plants, animals, and peoples, which filled the continents, and the seas, and the forests, and the mountains, growing and changing and adapting to become a living part of their world. From the brave and versatile humans, to the strange and aloof Fey, the druidic Elves, and the bestial Orcs, to other species, great and small, the world slowly became their home. Before long, even the Dragons retreated before the might of these little mortal races, and the mortals claimed the world as their own.
Erebus, and the Age of Magic
The peoples of Erebus grew in power, harvesting the energy which flowed through the land. They attuned themselves to Sun, to Fire, to Mountain, and Ocean, or more esoteric things, like Mind, Spirit, Force, and Body.
Slowly, their knowledge of the existence of Magic turned into knowledge of Magic, and knowledge of Magic became control, and, eventually, Mastery. They began to use might and magic to transform the world around them, and, for the first time, the world began to obey the mortals upon it. Great empires grew and fell overnight. The Archmage, Kylorin, the greatest Mage in history, rose to power, at the head of his Empire. The world began to change, more and more rapidly, as powerful Magicks rewrote even the face of the planet, bending it closer to their will. The Gods, still active in the world, walked amongst their people, each in turn aiding and guarding their children against the world around them, gifting them with greater and greater power.
And yet, some were not satisfied. The world was not yet in balance.
As if mortal men, the Gods began to crave power. To fight, distantly, at first. Maneuvering. Squabbling. The lines between Good and Evil grew more defined, the differences between peoples becoming more and more prominent.
Among them, Mulcarn, God of Winter, coveted the world for his own. He coaxed the Angels of Bhall, Goddess of Summer, to revolt against her. In her fury, she cast them down, their divine bodies burning in incandescent radiance, atop a pyramid, now known as the Pyre of a Seraphic. The Angel, Briget, servant of Bhall, was imprisoned in the far north, trapped, where the icy winds would forever scour her. Siezing on this weakness, Mulcarn struck, and cast Bhall down into Hell. In her Fall, she struck the capital city of her followers, Braduk, and cast half the city into flames, dragging many of her faithful down with her.
In Patria, The Archmage Kylorin, sickened with the callous cruelty his children and advisors exercised to keep his Empire under control, destroyed his own empire, murdering his children and advisors, scattering them to the winds. His advisor, Perpentach, a Mind Mage of immense power, was released back into the all-consuming madness which Kylorin’s enchantments had kept at bay. The Empire collapsed around him, leaving hardly more than dust and ruins of once-noble grandeur.
In the deep forests the Alfar called their home, the Unseelie Court, the Court of Winter, took prominence, as the voice of Sucellus, their God, fell silent, casting them all into doubt…
The Godswar, and The Compact
The Gods, discontented with the balance of the world, fought, more and more violently. War broke out, sundering the lands, and gouging the face of the world with magicks far too powerful for this world. Angels and Demons fought across the world, crushing beneath their feet cities, towns, villages, and the helpless mortals within them. Mortals waged massive wars, those aligned with each God taking their places upon the battlefield, and slaying one another in the name of their Gods. The Elohim, sickened with this, split away from their Goddess, Sirona, in order to heal and shelter the people injured, crippled, orphaned, dispossessed by the war which waged like a tempest across Erebus. The Angel, Cassiel, encouraged Dagda, his Master, to force a truce – The two sides signed ‘The Compact’, banning direct interference in Erebus, and forever keeping Gods, Angels, and Demons from the surface of the world, so long as the Compact remained in place. The Gods withdrew from Erebus, leaving a world tattered and fragmented in the wake of their massive conflict…
The Fall of Man; The Age of Ice.
Without the Goddess, Bhall, to balance Mulcarn’s might, darkness covered Erebus, plunging the world into a seemingly endless winter. Grown immensely strong from his total dominance of the weather of the world, Mulcarn established his people, the Illians, as the dominant force. The bestial Doviello, men who had cast aside honor and nobility, became his chosen servants, scouring the world for remnants of the children of the other Gods.
Kylorin fled the ruins of Patria, taking refuge with a small tribe, known as the Amurites, in the mountains; A place where his name and face were unknown, and his powers could be buried, along with the empire and sons he had lain to rest, in the wake of his passing.
The Unseelie Court of the Alfar, disgusted with the continued silence of Sucellus, declared his worship to be illegal, and, ambitious and greedy with the seemingly endless Winter which empowered their Court, began to ruthlessly suppress the Seelie Court, the Court of Summer.
Even the Dragons were affected deeply by this Age of Ice. Many had great difficulty surviving in the endless blizzards and storms which wracked the world, and many fled into the mysterious darkness of other planes, abandoning this one to its’ fate.
However, Kylorin, recognizing, after many centuries, the fact that he was the only one strong enough to stand against Mulcarn, recognized it was also, with that realization, his responsibility. His careful and wise leadership had kept the Amurites alive, and, as he took new wives as each wife grew old, his children became steadily more ingrained into the fabric of Amurite culture. His children – His people – became vested with a portion of his magical prowess, and bore in them the spark which would be necessary to burn away this endless winter. By clever leadership, and potent magicks, the Amurites broke free of their sheltered mountain homes, and forced the Doviello, Mulcarn’s pet dogs, to heel, taking from them their shard of the great sword, Godslayer. Upon recovering and uniting the three fragments of the sword, Kylorin reforged the blade, and, packing his meager possessions, vanished into the cold, cold blizzards which sacked the land.
The Age of Rebirth
Mere weeks after Kylorin vanished into the blizzards of Erebus, the snow ceased falling. The sun began to shine. After nearly a millennia of ice and cold, finally, the world had begun to thaw. The Age of Rebirth had begun.
However, before the many and varied children could begin to re-establish themselves, nature had already begun to spread, and retaken much of the world. Dragons once more ruled the deepest wilderness, with wild tribes of barbarians wandering what lands they could claim, beyond the hunting grounds of the dragons and giants which filled the darkest parts of the world.
Despite this, however, the Compact, millennia before, had taken with it the worst of the creatures that haunted the world, finally allowing the mortal races to truly claim Erebus as their own.
In these waking days, however, the world still shudders from the aftershocks of the Age of Ice, and the rapidly-spreading civilizations shudder in sympathy. Some seek a return to the Age of Ice, while others seek the end of all Creation, and the destruction of the Compact, allowing Demons to once more roam the world. Most, however, merely wish for survival – And the chance to begin again.
Without the Gods to intervene, all of these decisions lie now, in mortal hands, here at the beginning of this new Age of Rebirth.
--Amurites: The Amurites are the people most in touch with magic. Gifted with great magical prowess, and an inborn aptitude, every single Amurite has the potential to become any form of spellcaster, with great emphasis on Sorcerors and Wizards, whom act as the aristocracy in this primarily Magocratic nation. Almost none of their people are without magical power, as it is not only present, but encouraged in every child. Those who are without are treated as oddities, and looked down upon as less capable and less valuable than those who do use magic. Predominantly Neutral, the Amurites view themselves and their pursuit of knowledge and magic as ‘above’ such petty issues as ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’. Worshipping their ancestor, the vanished Archmage Kylorin, as both their God and Patriarch, their reverence of magic supersedes all other belief.
Favored Classes: Sorceror, Wizard, Magus.
Favored Alignment: True Neutral, however, individuals may vary.
Modifiers: +4 Int, -2 Wis; +2 Spellcraft, +2 Use Magic Device
--Aos Si: The Aos Si are the People of the Mounds, the Fey Folk which have inhabited the world for millennia. Graceful, alien creatures, for whom magic is as ingrained as they air they breathe, the Fey are entirely separate from the other races, so caught up in their own immortality and intrigue that they only rarely pay more than passing attention to the changing world around them. The Fey are split between the Summer and Winter courts, with each reigning over the world for half the year. Their conflicts and struggles influence the world around them; As each Court gains power, the land itself around their cities shift to reflect the waxing and waning, with summer blooming with such great vigor and vibrance that new and wondrous flora and fauna spread in its’ wake, the Mantle of Summer heating the lands to a verdant glow. When Winter sweeps the Aos Si, the lands drop deeply into freezing, with snow and blizzards sweeping the lands with a hungry violence, turning the once-verdant lands into frozen wastes, walked only by the drifting, ethereal forms of the Fey.
Favored Classes: Fighter (Red Fey), Ranger (Blue Fey), Rogue (Clear Fey), Druid (Green Fey)
Favored Alignment: True Neutral.
Modifiers: +2 Str (Red), +2 Dex (Blue), +4 Dex, -2 Con (Clear), +2 Wis (Green)
--Aristrakh: The Aristrakh are Vampires who have utterly forsaken the masque which hid their true face from humanity. The Aristrakh Vampires live in secret, in great Necropoli, well beyond the edges of civilization. They revel in their immortality and strength, while their undead legions drag in victims to sacrifice to their insatiable thirst for souls.
Races: Undead, Vampire.
Civilization Writeup: Chaotic Evil
--Austrin: The Austrin are wanderers, for whom all the world is their home, traveling from mountain to tundra, plains to oceans, carrying with them little more than memories of wonders, dreams of the unknown, and the pack upon their back. Insatiable explorers, the Austrin crave to know the unknown, to find mysteries hidden far beyond the borders of known lands. Their obsession with exploration and discovery has spread their people thinly across the world, with very little claimed territory.
Races: Human, Half-Elf.
Favored Classes: Ranger, Rogue.
Favored Alignment: Chaotic Good. Individuals may vary.
Modifiers: +2 Dex; +2 Survival, +2 Appraise.
--Balseraphs: The Balseraphs are a race founded by Perpentach, a madman in possession of immense Mind Magicks, capable of taking over and subsuming the will and body of those around him. Kylorin, the Archmage, after Perpentach’s fall into madness, locked him in the Tower of Eyes, in which he still remains, to this day. However, a circus company wandered too close to the Tower, and, from within, Perpentach forced his consciousness over their own, and traveled them onward, until he could take over the minds of a village. Slowly, his influence began to spread, hampered suddenly by the Age of Ice which nearly exterminated his people. However, once the Age of Ice had been ended by the Archmage Kylorin, the Balseraphs once more flourished, under the madman leadership of Perpentach, who turned his circus into an entire civilization, with a mad reverie consuming every waking moment. Bound by an ecstasy of happiness and insanity, his people have flourished, with great and colorful cities sprawling over vast tracts of land, given over entirely to their mad celebrations.
Favored Classes: Any
Favored Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Modifiers: +2 Cha, +2 Wis, -2 Int; +2 Perform, +2 Diplomacy.
--Bannor: A civilization of militant religious fanatics, warfare is ingrained into the Bannor psyche and soul. Devoted in mind, body, and spirit to the Angel, Sabathiel, the Bannor have sworn Holy War against the forces of Evil and Chaos. It is a very rare citizen who is not proficient with a sword. Organized around Estates, massive tracts of land topped with a fortress-city and fielding the most elite troops of the Bannor, supported by the Free-lands, the greatest portion of the Bannor lands, and fielding the bulk of their forces, including the best-trained conscript infantry in Erebus, all of society is centered around the fielding and equipping of massive, immensely well-trained armies. Many Civilizations – Even those who are predominantly Good – fear to cross the Bannor, lest their Warrior-Priesthood declare them in need of Repentance, to be administered by fire and sword. Despite their militant nature, they do not turn away foreigners, and their cities are some of the largest and most beautiful, with international trade boosting their wealth and power, and a steady stream of dedicants coming to the Halls of Sabathiel, in the Capital city of the Bannor empire, to beg for favors or repentance.
Favored Class: Paladin, Fighter, Cleric.
Favored Alignment: Lawful Good. Very little divergence.
Modifiers: +2 Str; +2 Sense Motive, +2 Knowledge (Religion.)
--Calabim: The Calabim are a Vampiric aristocracy, which, during the Age of Ice, took control of a small human tribe, promising to feed the humans, using their supernatural speed and endurance to hunt, and supply the humans with all the food they could require, all in exchange for a small offering of blood, and the tempting possibility of, one day, granting the most powerful amongst the tribe the ‘Dark Gift’. By the time the Age of Ice had ended, the thriving society was completely under the thumb of Flauros and Alexis, the two Vampires who had concocted this whole strategy. Now, Calabim society is run by massive ‘Grand Broods,’ in which mortal families breed other humans like cattle, seeking the favor of their immortal masters, in hopes of receiving their Dark Gift.
Races: Human, Vampire.
Favored Alignment: Lawful Evil.
--Clan of Embers: The Clan of Embers was born around the fires of the Goddess of Fire, Bhall, as she fell from Heaven, and into Hell. Her body passed through Braduk, her Holy city, and took with it nearly half the city, and all the people within that half. All of her people, who loved her for her goodness, and her justice, were dragged down into Hell to suffer alongside her for eternity. Around this fire, the Clan grew, their rituals and rites turning dark and savage, the Orcish hero, Orthus, taking the Scepter of Bhall, and affixing the head of an axe to it, using it as his weapon of bloody conquest. When the followers of Bhall re-emerged from Hell, following Sabathiel, and named themselves Bannor, they declared Holy War against the savage Clan, and are still mortal enemies to this day.
Races: Orc, Half-Orc, Goblin, Lizardmen.
Favored Class: Barbarian, Shaman.
Favored Alignment: Chaotic Evil.
Modifiers: +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Cha; +2 Handle Animal, +2 Intimidate.
Doviello: The Age of Ice was difficult for many, and the downfall of many a great Civilization. The Doviello, however, under the the leadership of Charadon, adopted the tactics of the tundra wolves which ruthlessly hunted his people. Taking the strongest for his own people, conquering others, and keeping their best, discarding all who could not carry themselves, the Doviello surrendered their own humanity and nobility in favor of bestial survival. Treated like pet wolves to Mulcarn’s Illians, the Doviello were given free reign over the lands, hunting out those peoples which the Age of Ice’s harsh blizzards could not kill, sniffing them out like a wolf does prey, and growing strong off the corpses of their foes. The Archmage, Kylorin, and his Amurites forced the Doviello to heel, and took from them the fragment of the Godslayer which they had held. When the Age of Ice finally began to thaw into the Age of Rebirth, the Doviello found themselves the target of loathing and disgust, their bestial nature marking them out as savage and barbarous even among the winter-hardened survivors of the previous Age. In recent days, they’ve become even closer to their bestial ties, under the leadership of the Baron, Duin Halfmorn, who is rumoured to be a mighty Werewolf.
Races: Human, Lizardman, any beastfolk.
Favored Classes: Druid, Barbarian, Ranger.
Favored Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Modifiers: +2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Wis; +2 Survival, +2 Handle Animal.
--Dural: The Dural are a people centered around their achievements. A civilization of scholars and specialists, they are built around a highly motivated core of artisans and professors. Lacking any formal Caste system, they instead gather into cliques based on their interests and professions, with each working as a minor piece of the whole. Revering no Gods, they build no temples, instead creating schools devoted to the study and understanding of the various Gods. For many, however, little exists outside of their city, as their focus hardly extends beyond their own profession. Their total dedication to their professions means their cities thrive on healthy trade in artisan-quality objects, from the quality of their sculptures, to the quality of their arms and armor. Their soldiers fight with great fervor, and a firm belief that they fight for a cause worth fighting for.
Races: Human, Elf, Half-Elf.
Favored Classes: Wizard, Summoner.
Favored Alignment: Lawful Good. Accepting of any non-evil, and non-chaotic.
Modifiers: +2 Int, +2 Wis, -2 Con; +2 Knowledge of choice, +2 Craft.
--Elohim: A Civilization based around their founder’s hatred of warfare, and willingness to sacrifice all, to pick up the pieces left behind by conflict and warfare. Their core is their faith in Sirona, the Goddess of Wisdom, and their loyal and dedicated Monks, who utilize their great skill and precision to subdue enemies with nonlethal force. Dedicated to the reclamation and protection of sites of both great symbolism and great power, the Elohim consider themselves protector of Man from the great evil Man can do, holding ancient and forbidden knowledge out of the hands of the world.
Favored Classes: Monk, Cleric.
Favored Alignment: Lawful Good. No divergence.
Modifiers: +2 Dex, +2 Wis; +2 Knowledge (Religion), +2 Knowledge (History)
Note: All Elohim have the feat, ‘Pacifism.’ If you willfully kill another, you lose access to all class abilities for 24 hours. If you accidentally kill another, instead you take a -2 to all rolls for 24 hours.
--Grigori: No Gods, no Masters. These are the words by which the Angel, Cassiel, founded this nation. After encouraging the signing of the Compact, which forbade Gods, Angels, and Demons from interfering in the world of Erebus, he fell away from service to his own God; a gesture which won him little support from the very religious world, for whom Gods, Angels, and Demons had strode the world like colossi, and mortals were drawn up in their worship, and in their service. A few brave mortals, however, followed his philosophy, believing that the intervention of the Gods would be the destruction of the world, and, so believing, cut themselves off from worship, instead choosing to glory in the acts of mortal Man. Embodying the human versatility and defiance, the Grigori are a people wide open to the world, looking to the Gods for neither reward nor punishment, and, instead, forging their own path in a world scarred by the Godswar.
Favored Classes: Any.
Favored Alignment: Any.
Modifiers: +2 to Ability of choice; +2 to any skills.
--Hippus: Free-spirited Horselords, the Hippus are Mercenaries of the Plains and Steppes, with a widely divergent populus, centered around small fortress-towns which dot the vast, open lands their people claim. Mercenary by nature, their soldiers acquire most of their training on the near-constant battlefields they wage across their lands, as various Warlords seek to gain power over their neighbors. Well-armed and –armored, and mounted on the finest horses ever bred, the Hippus are professional soldiers of fortune, and most at home on horseback.
Favored Classes: Cavalier, Fighter.
Favored Alignment: Neutral. Widely divergent.
Modifiers: +2 Str; +2 Ride, +2 Handle Animal.
--Illians: Servants of the now-dead god, Mulcarn, the Illians seek nothing less than a total return to the Age of Ice from which the world has only recently emerged. Assisted by the Frostlings and Giants of the frozen wastes, the humans once bound to his service still worship him, and lament his passing at the hands of the Archmage, Kylorin. Cruel and cold, and absolutely fanatical, the Illians are a force to be reckoned with, striking with all the violence and destruction of a mighty blizzard.
Races: Human, Frostling, Giant; Some others.
Favored Alignment: Lawful Evil.
Jotnar: A slow and thoughtful people, very conservative and traditional in nature, the Jotnar are assembled around Staeddings, or Homestaeds, small, independent villages, each with a small, tightly-knit community. These Staeddings often act as refuges for people fleeing other places, and their hospitality is without match. Due to the slow rate of breeding, and the tightly-knit nature of Jotnar community, growth and expansion is a slow thing, with more of an emphasis put on defense of ancestral homes and dwellings. Kindly, and patient, the Jotnar are willing hosts with a strong sense of social responsibility.
Races: Giants, Lizardmen, Orcs, any.
Favored Classes: Samurai, Cleric, Bard.
Favored Alignment: Neutral Good. Loose alignment.
Modifiers: +2 Str, +2 Cha, -2 Dex; +2 Knowledge (History), +2 Diplomacy.
--Khazad: Amiable and welcoming in ages past, the Khazad were taken advantage of, their wondrous crafts and creations taken away from them, or traded in exchange for worthless baubles. After the Age of Ice, the Khazad were the only race nearly unaffected by the cold and storms, and, when they made their emergence once more to the surface, it was with much greater cunning and business sense. Their artisans and craftsmen do exceptional work, and, with their new focus on mercantilism, they are well suited to gathering great wealth.
Races: Dwarves, Gnomes.
Favored Classes: Fighter, Gunslinger.
Favored Alignment: Lawful Neutral. Loose alignment.
Modifiers: +2 Str; +2 Craft, +2 Appraise.
Kuriorates: Very loosely organized, a hard core of mighty settlements and enlightened civilization, within a huge nest of weak, sparse settlements, the Kuriorates are a very open and accepting culture, who make no distinctions between ‘pure’ Kuriorates, and newcomers, whether they come seeking peace or seeking asylum. United under the Boy-King Cardith, the Kuriorates have a primarily patriarchal system of government, with the outlying settlements run almost democratically, nearer the fringes of the King’s will and influence.
Races: Centaur, Giants, Orcs, Goblins, Lizardmen, any.
Favored Classes: Cavaliers, Rangers.
Favored Alignment: Lawful Neutral. Loose alignment.
Modifiers: +2 Dex; +2 Ride, +2 Knowledge (Geography)
Lanun: The Lanun are a seafaring folk whose sprawling coastal cities see most of the trade that crosses Erebus’ volatile oceans. A civilization founded before the Age of Ice, their explorations and daring opened up the seas to huge amounts of trade and transport, in the wake of the Compact’s banning of some of the most powerful of the sea creatures which hunted the deeper seas. During the Age of Ice, the Lanun remained remarkable tradesmen, sweeping through glacial floes and open seas with equal ease, avoiding the menacing blizzards which swept all the world under Mulcarn’s reign. When the world began to thaw, the communities of Lanun which had been isolated by glaciers reconnected, and they found they hardly recognized their own people. However, every Captain is the King of his own ship, and holds greater influence and prestige than even the governors of the coastal cities. This freedom and versatility has served them well in the tumultuous Age of Rebirth, and their re-establishment of trade routes across the seas has swiftly lifted them up above many of the still-recovering nations.
Favored Class: Fighter, Rogue (Swashbuckler), Gunslinger.
Favored Alignment: Any.
Modifiers: +2 Dex; +2 Profession (Sailor), +2 Swim.
--Ljosalfar: The vibrant and energetic followers of the God of Nature, with the former God of Nature’s death, they had fallen into ruin, their people scattered across the wilds, sick with grief. However, when Cernunnos became the new God of Nature, the Ljosalfar came forth from their hidden groves, and rejoiced, once more sweeping out to take their place amongst the trees and forests, with a new dedication never to let that collapse happen again. Gone from the world for many centuries, the other races know little of them, besides their beauty and grace, and skill with a bow.
Races: Elf, Half-Elf.
Favored Classes: Druid, Ranger.
Favored Alignment: Neutral Good
Modifiers: +2 Wis; +2 Handle Animal, +2 Knowledge (Nature)
--Luchiurp: The last surviving clan of Open-Sky Dwarves, following the harsh Age of Ice, the Luchuirp is the last remnant of a massive empire built upon the backs of wondrous golems and automatons. During the Age of Ice, their existence, exposed, on the surface, tore down their great civilization, glaciers crushing their cities like ants beneath their icy feet. However, Kilmorph, the God of Earth, taught them how to return to the mountains, and how to carve their refuges out of the depths of the stone. With their emergence in the Age of Rebirth, the Luchuirp were determined not to leave themselves exposed, as they had before. Their society combines the grand mechanical aspects of their Pre-Ice cities, with the hardy and improvised methods they had been forced to learn early in the Age of Ice, that had seen them through to its’ conclusion. Combining resilience and function, the aesthetics of their former creations had fallen out of favor, and only slowly had begun to return to use, as resources became more and more accessible.
Races: Dwarf, Gnome.
Favored Classes: Artificer, Alchemist.
Modifiers: +2 Int; +2 Craft, +2 Knowledge (Engineering).
--Malakim: Desert wanderers, the Malakim focus greatly on hospitality, for, even though they had only ever encountered the wicked Svartalfar, when they saw an Elf in need, they gave him what help they could. When he made his recovery, the elf, Varn Gosam, showed the Malakim worship of the God, Lugus, and his Empyrean. The people grew around this worship, bearing his Light in their hearts and minds, as they swept out amongst the deserts, swift as shadows, quiet as a mirage.
Races: Human, any.
Favored Classes: Cavalier, Rogue, Gunslinger.
Favored Alignment: Neutral Good.
Modifiers: +2 Dex; +2 Survival, +2 Stealth.
--Mazatl: The Lizardmen have been around since the Age of Dragons, before even the Age of Magic. During the Age of Magic, they took refuge deep in inhospitable swamps and jungles, far beyond the reach of even the most daring of men. The Age of Ice which followed, however, took them completely by surprise. Much of their civilization was wiped out during the Age of Ice, with the few survivors taking refuge in an inactive volcano, whose sturdy walls and floes of molten rock kept them alive through the long winter’s deadly chill. Mount Kalshekk, which was named for their God of Earth, sheltered them through the worst of the Age of Ice. In the Age of Rebirth, however, worship of Omorr, their god of Knowledge and Foresight, spread rapidly following their exodus from Mount Kalshekk, as Priests of Omorr warned them that though the Age of Ice had passed, an age of Fire and Shadow was to come, and the Mazatl resolved themselves to prevent Armageddon however need be. They still maintain close blood ties to their Dragon ancestors, and, it’s rumoured, have an order of Monks devoted to each of their Gods, and to the Golden Dragon, Eurabates.
Races: Lizardmen, beastfolk.
Favored Classes: Ranger, Monk, Cleric.
Favored Alignment: Lawful Good. Somewhat loose.
Modifiers: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Con; +2 Swim, +2 Climb.
--Scion of Patria: The resurgent princes of an ancient and massive empire, the Scions of Patria revel in their immortality, their bodies kept perfect, unblighted and unworn by the ravages of time. Their Risen Emperor, their God-King, led them forth from the Second Vault of Erebus, known as the ‘Bottomless Tomb,’ to reclaim their place upon the surface. Ageless, timeless, the Scions worship their Risen Emperor through their devotion to him, and to eternal pleasure and happiness. Decadent, cities filled with the wealth and history of a thousand civilizations, the Scions thrive in the new Age of Rebirth, their immortality and perfect beauty a seductive lure which many amongst the living find hard to resist. Their soldiers, however, bear quite a different aspect – Without the need for their bodies to remain ‘alive’, they have turned their bodies into grotesque instruments of horror. Headless soldiers, skull visages, bones laid bare, and etched with images of demons and devils, their professional and disciplined soldiers strike terror into their foes, ignoring wounds which would fell greater enemies.
Favored Class: Fighter, Barbarian.
Favored Alignment: Chaotic Neutral. Some divergence.
Modifiers: +4 Con, -2 Wis; +2 Appraise, +2 Knowledge (Nobility).
Note: Scions of Patria are considered to be Undead. Regardless of Alignment, can only be magically healed by use of Negative Energy. Positive Energy will, instead, harm them. Immunity to diseases and poisons.
--Sheaim: Demon-worshippers, the Sheaim seek the destruction of all creation, and the end of Erebus. Their motives are many – Some believe there will be power and immortality waiting for them, while others merely wish to see all the world burn for its’ perceived crimes. They seek Armageddon, and will go to any length necessary to destroy the world.
Races: Human, any.
Favored Classes: Cleric, Wizard, Sorceror.
Favored Alignment: Chaotic Evil. Tight alignment.
Modifiers: +2 Int, +2 Wis/+2 Cha, -2 Str; +2 Spellcraft, +2 Knowledge (Planes)
--Sidar: Having traded part of their soul for immortality, the Sidar are shades of the people they once were, having pale, milky grey skin. They are very isolationist, preferring to remain within the enshrouded depths of their empire, a land so deeply covered in mist that the sun barely casts any of its’ glow into its’ depths. The Sidar flit like ghosts through their land, rarely coming forth, except to intervene in their own defense, or to destroy Undead, whom, despite their own means of immortality, they view as an abomination.
Races: Human, Half-Elf.
Favored Classes: Rogue, Ninja.
Favored Alignment: True Neutral
Modifiers: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Con; +2 Stealth, +2 Survival.
--Svartalfar: During the Age of Magic, the Svartalfar were ruled by twin courts, Seelie and Unseelie, which would reign during Summer and Winter, respectively. However, during the Winter, the God of Life, Sucellus, was slain, and prayers to him went unanswered. The Unseelie Court, which was currently in power, declared that Sucellus was not a God, and was not to be worshipped. As the winter continued, unceasing, under Mulcarn’s icy rule, the Unseelie Court viewed this as a declaration of their supremacy, and began to crush the followers of the Seelie court under their heel. The Svartalfar rapidly became a cruel and malevolent people, taking the continued Age of Ice as confirmation of their methods. The wicked Svartalfar had not vanished to their Groves, following the death of the former God of Nature, but instead spread themselves over the land, seizing the formerly taken territories, and turning the depths of forest into a wicked place where few dare tread, lest they draw the ire of those cruel, ethereal creatures, who haunted its’ darkness like ghosts.
Races: Elf, Half-Elf.
Favored Classes: Ranger, Rogue, Ninja.
Favored Alignment: Chaotic Evil. Fairly tight alignment.
Modifiers: +2 Str; +2 Survival, +2 Knowledge (Nature).
--Non-aligned: Some choose not to dwell within a civilization, or lived their lives outside of its’ influence. These people live unique and independent lives, and do not fall easily into any given mold.
Favored Classes: Any.
Modifiers: +2 to chosen attribute, +2 to any Skill.