Races (Moertus Supplement)
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General Description: The Dwarves of Moretus live in the southern end of the Rigsholm Mountains. Dwarven society is broken down into large family centered groups, that owe allegiance to the Dwarven King. Dwarven villages consist of 6 to 12 Dwarven families. The villages are always built around a mine. Each family has it’s own Longhouse, most are built into the sides of the mountain that has the village’s mine. One family rules the village (normally the founding family), and it’s eldest member holds the title of Lord or Lady. Most Dwarves spend the day working in the mine, foraging or hunting, or working the forge. During the evening Dwarves gather together in the Lord’s longhouse, and feast, drink, and tell tales into the late night. The current Dwarven King (or Queen) lives in the only Dwarven city commonly known to all races, the Citadel. The Citadel is a huge fortress-city that is built inside of Rigsmount Mountain, over 90% of the city is underground and what little is above ground appears molded out of pure stone. Dwarven clans bring their manufactured goods to the citadel to sell and trade for other goods they need. Most merchants in the Citadel trade the manufactured goods with non-Dwarven species for items the Dwarves do not make. Whenever the current King or Queen dies a “Council of Lords” is convened at the Citadel, all the Lords and Ladies of the Dwarves come together and choose which of them will be the new King or Queen. The elected Monarch and his/her family will move to the Citadel (after elevating another to the position of Lord/Lady of their village) with the old royal family returning to their home village to assume the role of Lord or Lady. Dead Kings and Queens are entombed within their home village’s mine. When a common Dwarf dies his/her body is beheaded. The head is entombed within the clan’s mine, while the body is burned in a huge pyre. Dwarven tombs may contain thousands of skulls, and often Dwarves will meditate among them hoping to gain wisdom from their ancestors.
- Fighter: By far the most common Dwarven Class, due to the nature of Dwarven villages every member must receive at least basic training in fighting. The threat of monster attacks requires all able body Dwarves to be able to fight for the village. As well many Dwarves will serve in the Kingdom’s army for several decades before settling down.
- Ranger: While working the forge is considered the most honorable profession a Dwarf can have, Hunter comes a close second. Dwarven villages rely upon their Hunters to provide them with food throughout the year. Hunters will bring in meat and forage berries, herbs, and wild vegetables. Dwarves will often supplement these with mushrooms and fungus they grow in their mines.
- Druid: Every village has a family of “Stone Wardens”. These are Druids devoted to Rig, they protect the villages mine and insure the Dwarves do not harm the earth they rely on. Dwarven Druids are the primary religious figures in any Dwarven village, as well as the ones who farm the fungus within the caves, and brew the beer and ale Dwarves love so much.
- Cleric: Aside from Rig, the Dwarves also revere Astrild, and many have shrines to their patron Demi-God, Moradin. Those that hear the calling will often become Priests, serving either within their own villages, or at the mighty temples in the Citadel.
- Monk: The Citadel contains an enormous monastery devoted to Rig, the Dwarven Monks are the keepers of Dwarven history and lore. They also promote a oneness with the earth, attempting to reach a physical and mental state of stone-like perfection. The Monks are also the ones who tend to any King or Queen’s funeral. Aside from preparing the tomb, they alone have the secrets of mummification that is used to preserve the dead royalty and priests.
- Bard: While many think of Dwarves as a dour people, this is untrue. Dwarves love a good song, and always are they eager to hear a tale. In fact some Dwarves become so enamored of song and story that they make it their life’s work to gather as many as they can and spread them to all who will listen.
- Rogue: Even among a Lawful people there are some that live by theft. Dwarven Thieves do so at great risk to themselves, most often Dwarven Thieves will maintain regular occupations (most often traders, or others that tend to travel), and take great pains to cover their clandestine activities.
- Sorcerer: Every so often a Dwarf is born with innate magical ability, as the Dwarf grows he finds his connection to the forces of magic grow. Without any formal training these Dwarves can attain levels of power only dreamed of by Wizards. Many Dwarven Sorcerers become proficient in Rune based magic, again without any formal training.
- Paladin: Some Dwarven Warriors will hear the call of Heironeous, and they travel to Rodull in order to join the order of Paladins that serve him. A few even return to the Dwarven Kingdoms once they become Paladins in order to protect their homeland.
Note: It’s a well known fact that the Mummies of some High-level Dwarven rulers and/or Priests will reanimate if any violate their tombs. Other stories tell of undead rulers or Priests that rise from their tombs to perform some forgotten task, or to reclaim a lost family treasure. The most common type of Dwarf is the Hill Dwarf, but clans of both both Mountain Dwarves, and Deep Dwarves can be found in the deeper reaches of the Rigsholm Mountains.
General Description: The Elves of Moertus make their home throughout the Feyois Forest. While Elves do not have formal cities by Human standards, they do have many large villages built within the towering tree tops of their forest. Elves live very gregarious lives, and individual villages have very little political structure, relying upon each other to follow unspoken rules of conduct established by their ancestors. Elves dislike staying settled in one locale too long so every few months, or years, an Elf will pick up and move to another village with little or no seeming reason. The result is a very homogenized culture, with all Elves feeling in some way related to one another. Many Elves are skilled at the creation of wines made from berries and honey found in the Feyois Forest, some Elven wines will even have magical properties. The closest thing to a true Elven city is Sokska, a massive tree fort structure that spans the tops of more then two hundred trees. It is the semi-permanent home to the Elven King and Queen. The Elven royal family rules out of pure loyalty more then anything else. While normally Elves appear to disdain formal regulations, they have a near religious attitude toward their King and Queen trusting them to always put the needs of the Elves before their own. When an Elf dies their bodies are buried beneath a newly planted tree sapling, it is said that some powerful Elven Spirits will move into the young tree and after several centuries the tree will become a Treant.
- Sorcerer: Almost all Elves are born with some amount of natural magical ability, and because of this magic permeates Elven life. Elven Sorcerers can be found in every profession and level within Elven society, the use of magic is so common as to be considered mundane by most Elves.
- Ranger: Although Elves are the most advanced culture to make their home in the Feyois Forest they must still deal with innumerable natural threats. This coupled with their tendency to travel through the forest alone or in small groups mean many learn the ways of the Ranger in order to survive.
- Wizard: The few Elves that are actually born without an affinity for magic will very often take up tutelage under a Wizard. Elven Wizards tend to stay very focused on their magical training and therefore it is often the only profession these Elves will have, forsaking common jobs for their endless studies.
- Fighter: Combat is often a way of life for most beings on Moertus, so for Elves it can be no different. Some Elves feel driven to perfect the use of sword or axe in the defense of Elven lands, while they form an informal military, these Elves are very disciplined and coordinated when it comes to large scale defense or attacks. And any of them would go to their deaths if asked to by the King or Queen.
- Druid: There are those Elves that so strongly hear the calling of Kun that they devote their lives to the care and protection of the forest itself and the animals that live within it. Elven Druids tend to live near Elven villages, but they interact with others only when they have a need or another Elf comes to them looking to become a Druid themselves. Otherwise Elven Druids live a solitary existence hidden in their groves.
- Bard: All Elves have a great love of song and dance, those that provide these kinds of entertainment are genuinely loved by the populace. Elven Bards travel constantly from one village to another rarely staying anywhere more then a day or so. Many Elven Bards have great reputations that precede them, so newer Bards are often the subject of very strong critique from others and only the best can really hope to make a formal living as a Bard.
- Cleric: The Elven rituals and ceremonies to Kun, Astrild, Rig, or even the Elven patron Corellon Larethian are conducted by the Clerics of the Elves. Although religion plays a minor role in most Elves lives they still pay respects to these various Gods knowing they could seek retribution if ignored. Most villages have shrines to one or more of these deities, and a few (such as Sokska) have formal temples.
- Rogue: Some Elves have a natural inclination toward stealth and subterfuge. These Elves will very often be called upon by the Elven Royalty to serve as spies in other nations, or even throughout the Elven Kingdom. Elven Rogues are trained for years in secrecy until they are ready to ply their skills. Once trained they never speak of their affiliation as agents of the crown, and many may spend years living normal lives until called upon to perform some task for the Kingdom.
- Paladin: In extremely rare cases an Elf will feel the call of Heironeous and travel to Rodull to serve as a Paladin. These Elves spend nearly all of their lives among Humans and only return to the Feyois Forest near the time of their death. Although some return in order to start or rear a family among their own people.
Note: The Favored Class for Moertus Elves is Sorcerer instead of Wizard. As such it is very common to see multi-class Elves with one of their Classes being Sorcerer. All Elves within the Feyois are Sylvan Elves.
General Description: The Gnomes of Moertus hail from a small hidden valley deep within the western reaches of the Feyois Forest, at the base of the Rigsholm Mountains. The Gnomvale is densely forested and covered in a massive canopy, Gnomes make their homes in, around, and under the massive toadstools and mushrooms that grow in the gloom here. Despite what may appear dismal the Gnomes live a perpetually happy, and celebratory existence. Small Gnomish family units are spread out all over the valley, Gnomes spend most days meeting in small groups to go out, gather food, and/or play. Their daytime playful escapades most often involve playing tricks or pranks on others (be they other Gnomes or Elves from one of the many nearby villages), Gnomes pride themselves on a good prank, and the more elaborate the better. During the evening various groups of Gnomish families meet to have a large supper, and party. At these parties Gnomes will often trade gem worked goods for alchemical products, as these are the Gnomes two main industries. As well Gnomish parties consist of song, dance, and an extreme level of intoxication (thanks to those “alchemical products”). The Gnomish life is a fairly carefree existence. Gnomes near the base of the Rigsholm may often spends hours every day fashioning gem encrusted items from the precious gems and metals they pan from the springs there. While those that live on the eastern side of the valley spend many hours working with various alchemical mixtures. These mixtures are not only for entertainment, but many have mundane purposes as well (healing, poison, invisibility, etc.). Gnomes seem to have an understood code of behaviors and punishments that all follow, because of this they have no formal government. When a Gnome passes away they are buried unadorned in the mossy earth near the base of a nearby giant mushroom.
- Sorcerer: Most every Gnome has some innate magical talent. Similar to Elves this causes magic to be an everyday occurrence among Gnomes. Gnomish Sorcerers have an extreme fondness for Illusionary magic and most tend to focus on those spells over all others. Mostly because these work great in pranks. Sorcerers can be found in all walks of Gnomish life.
- Rogue: The Gnomish love of pranks and mischief often lead them to practice skills many races find a bit devious, but in Gnomish society being good at these same skills is looked on in admiration. Outside their homeland these Gnome pranksters are more often then not looked on as Thieves and treated as such. But regardless of this a Gnome is unlikely to pass an opportunity to pull a good prank, particularly if it fattens his own purse.
- Bard: Aside from a good prank Gnomes love a good song and a vigorous dance. As such many Gnomes devote all their free time to singing and dancing, be it performing it, writing it, or teaching it to others, Gnome Bards do little that isn’t centered around their art.
- Druid: Some Gnomish families become caretakers of the mushrooms and other fungi that grow around their homestead. These Gnomes venerate Rig, and use their abilities to help defend the local flora and fungi. These families tend to live a more solitary life then other Gnomes, but they will still often join the others at suppers and parties. On the occasions Gnomes require religious services (marriages, burials, births, etc.), it is most often the Druids they turn to. Often members of the Druid’s family become Rangers as well.
- Ranger: The skills of the forest always come in handy to those that make their homes there. While traveling about foraging for food, and looking for places to pull pranks, a Gnome may become skilled at the arts of a Ranger. These Gnomes find they have an affinity for their natural surroundings that surpasses that of standard Gnomes. Gnome Rangers are looked upon with a sense of awe among the rest of Gnomish society, as they are also the primary physical defenders of the valley should the need arise. Many Rangers are members of families that contain Druids.
- Wizard: The few Gnomes who do not have any natural magical ability will often study magic in a more formal pattern. Gnome Wizards tend to spend their entire day studying and experimenting in their labs, only to come out at night for supper and to impress the others with some magical discovery. As with Sorcerers, Gnomish Wizards tend to focus on Illusions with most Specializing in them and becoming Illusionists.
- Cleric: Aside from Rig, the Gnomes will often pay their respects to Astrild, Kun, and their patron deity Garl Glittergold. Some feel drawn to their worship and erect small temples to these Gods. These Gnome Clerics will often perform many of the same religious services that the Druids perform, but amongst those that feel a similar connection to one of these deities. There is no hatred or animosity among these different faiths.
- Fighter: Unfortunately the world is a dangerous place, and there have been times when even a Gnome had to pick up weapons and armor and fight to protect his world or that of those around him. So while this is not a profession any self-respecting Gnome would choose for himself, if the need is there Gnomes can made decent Fighters.
Note: The Favored Class for Moertus Gnomes is Sorcerer instead of Bard. As such it is very common to see multi-class Gnomes with one of their Classes being Sorcerer. Gnomes that live on the western side of the valley are primarily Rock Gnomes, while those that live in the denser forest of the eastern side of the valley are primarily Forest Gnomes.
General Description: The Halflings of Moertus live in a region called the Hillshires. This area lies on the eastern side of the southern Rigsholm Mountains, with the Feyois Forest to the north and the Holy Kingdom of Rodull to east. Halflings are creatures of comfort, preferring luxuries and relaxation to any other pursuit. Halfling families live in small burrows built into the hillsides of this region. Groups of a half dozen or more families live clustered together to form communities. Each Halfling family either tends a small garden or raises small animals. The families share their resources, and any manufactured goods one family might be skilled at. The communities themselves trade constantly with one another and therefore Halflings have little want. Being nearly as carefree as Gnomes, Halflings do not have a formal government either. Instead relying upon the wisdom of their elders to guide them when the need arises. Many Halflings will act as middlemen for the various races that surround them, allowing trade with these distant people to be more convenient, and allowing Halflings to find new baubles to make their homelife more comfortable. Halflings also have a love of pipeweed and wide varieties of it are grown all through the Hillshires, it has a mild euphoric effect that varies in strength from strain to strain. Most Halflings will smoke pipeweed all day long if they can. When a Halfling passes away a funeral is held wherein their belongings are divided up among his/her family and friends, followed by the unclothed body being consumed in a pyre.
- Bard: By far the most common class for all Halflings, their natural love of good times has most Halflings spending at least part of their day composing, music, poems, or stories. Halflings have also found that many non-Halflings will pay to hear their compositions when traveling through the Hillshires or, their favorite, traveling to Human taverns to perform gets them free food and drinks.
- Rogue: Unfortunately when it comes to luxuries of any sort Halflings have little willpower, and many succumb to this weakness with equally little regret. While almost no Halfling would willingly cause another person to suffer from their thefts, they have no problem with causing hardworking individuals a little inconvenience now and again. Halflings in Human cities often form the backbone of Thieve’s Guilds, helping to keep them from degenerating into self-destructive crime dens.
- Ranger: Even the Hillshires are not free of their share of monsters and strife. Halfling families that take it upon themselves to protect the Hillshires often learn the skills of the Ranger. Halfling Rangers will spend weeks traveling about the Hillshires looking for signs of monsters or some other natural threat. If they find something they cannot handle Halfling Rangers will seek out others to help solve the problem.
- Fighter: Halflings have several natural predators in the Hillshires, and sometimes their own actions can bring the wraith of someone down on them. Because of this Halflings will often need to learn how to fight and defend themselves, most Halflings hate the idea of combat but they seldom shy away from it. It’s not too unusual to see Fighter as part of a Halfling’s multi-class.
- Cleric: All Halflings venerate Ormet, but they also honor their patron God Yondalla as well as Astrild, and Rig. Some Halflings are so devoted they become Clerics of one of these Gods and turn their burrows into a temple. These Clerics also perform any religious ceremonies the Halflings may need.
- Sorcerer: Some Halflings are born with natural magical talent. These Halfling Sorcerers are quick to exploit what their magical abilities can do for them. Many focus on Illusions, or other spells that misdirect beings. But every Halfling Sorcerer makes sure to develop spells that help them perform mundane tasks easier.
- Wizard: A few curious Halflings will seek out other mages to study magic with them. Once they finish their apprenticeship, many return to the Hillshires and use their magic to lead lives of immense comfort.
Note: The Favored Class for Moertus Halflings is Bard instead of Rogue. As such it is very common to see multi-class Halflings with one of their Classes being Bard. Lightfoot Halflings are found all throughout the Shires, as well near the Feyois Forest clans of Tallfellow Halflings can be found, also in the rocky foothills bordering the Rigsholm clans of Deep Halflings make their homes.
General Description: Half-Elves are not a true race unto themselves. The offspring of Human and Elven parents can be found any place you would normally find Humans or Elves. Of all the sentient races on Moertus Humans and Elves are the only species that can naturally crossbreed. Half-Elves tend to adopt the behaviors and social norms of whichever species they are raised in, although many that live with one race for years may decide to learn more about their other heritage and live with them for several decades. They are genuinely accepted by any race that accepts Humans and/or Elves, and only a few have any real prejudice against them. Offspring from Half-Elves depend upon the races of their mates more then anything else. A Human and a Half-Elf are 75% likely to have a Human child, and a 25% chance of having a Half-Elf child. While Elves and Half-Elves have a 75% chance of having an Elven child, and 25% of the time have a Half-Elf child. Two Half-Elves are equally likely to give birth to an Elven or Human child, but they never spawn another Half-Elf. Half-Elves adopt the burial customs of whatever society they are living in. Half-Elves are not very common on Moertus, many people go through their entire lives never meeting or even seeing one. Although it should be noted at over 90% of Half-Elves have a Class of one type or another.
- Ranger: Few Half-Elves can resist the call of the wild, that coupled with feeling they are different then most others, causes them to seek the solitary life of the Ranger. In Human lands they tend to act as scouts, and border patrol agents. In the Feyois Forest they often live as hermit-like hunters that trade periodically with smaller Elven villages. Although it has been said that the Elven King/Queen has employed several as spies over the years.
- Sorcerer: Many Half-Elves are born with natural magical talent. While not known as the most powerful of Sorcerers, the Elven blood that gives them these powers can still allow Half-Elves to become quite formidable with magic.
- Fighter: Half-Elves that live amongst Humans often find themselves drawn into various situations because of their unique birthright. Because of this Half-Elves will many times enter the military or undertake some other form of combat training, developing the skills of a Fighter.
- Wizard: Given their Elven heritage Half-Elves are always intrigued by magic. Some who have no natural magical abilities will seek out Mages and train with them. These Half-Elves are some of the most devoted students of magic on all of Moertus, because of this they can become very powerful Wizards.
- Bard: Just as some Half-Elves are shy because of their differences from others, some revel in their unique nature. Taking advantage of most peoples curiosity about them, and their Elven heritage’s proclivity toward the arts, many of them become Bards. Half-Elven Bards will travel between Human and Elven lands trading songs and stories from each culture with the other. Visits from a Half-Elven Bard can be events for entire small towns.
- Druid: Some Half-Elves feel such a strong draw to the natural world around them that they choose to protect a section of the wild, and keep it from being despoiled. Half-Elven Druids may venerate Ormet or Rig, they are very passionate about their charge and will quickly resort to violence in order to protect it. It is not wise to anger a Half-Elven Druid.
- Rogue: Half-Elves raised within Elven lands are always ripe subjects for the Elven Royalty to train as spies. Those that are so trained often pose as Bards and travel about gathering information, or performing missions, returning to the Elven capitol every few years. Encoded messages can be sent out to these various spies in the form of musical compositions, or poems. Half-Elves raised in Human lands may find themselves in a similar situation, as Human rulers use them as spies themselves. As well orphaned Half-Elves, in Human lands, will often learn to live as Thieves. Their natural abilities allow them to become very successful in this field.
- Cleric: Every so often a Half-Elf is drawn to the worship of a Deity, it may be Astrild, Kun, Ormet, Rig, or one of the minor patron Gods. Half-Elven Clerics will either found or happily serve in any size temple or shrine to their God.
- Paladin: A few Half-Elves raised in Rodull hear the call of Heironeous and join his order of Paladins. Like Half-Elven Druids, Half-Elven Paladins are very passionate about their duties and are known to be the most valorous of Paladins in the world.
While Humans are all statistically the same, they are broken down by the various nations they come from to show the variety of cultures and Class choices they have each formed. As well each nation may have different physical attributes common to it’s people and this is included in each cultural breakdown. The other common trait among all Humans is the practice of interring their dead in graveyards, and crypts. Every Human settlement has such a location near their borders.
* Holy Rodull Empire
General Description: The Holy Rodull Empire is an Absolute Theocracy. The ruler of Rodull is known as the “Eminence of Rodull”, he or she is the supreme Cleric of the Church of Astrild. The borders of Rodull run from the eastern edge of the Hillshires all the way to the Great Eastern Sea, and as far south as the Muskeg Swamp north to the North Feyweir River. Rodull is divided up into 15 Provinces, each ruled by a local Temple that is headed by the Province’s Cardinal. All positions within the Church of Astrild are held for life (unless a member is Excommunicated). And while the positions of Deacon, Priest, and Bishop, are earned through acts of pious service and study. Archbishops and the Eminence of Rodull are chosen by the Cardinals. Each Province has a small standing army maintained by the church, their primary purpose is to uphold the local peace, and protect church property. The primary military force in Rodull is the “Valorous Order of the Invincible”; the Invincibles, as they are called, are an order of Paladins devoted to Heironeous. The Order and the Church of Astrild are completely intertwined, outposts of the Order exist in every Province, and in all matters concerning law and military they have complete jurisdiction. The nation of Rodull, and the Order, are under a doctrine that drives them to spread their beliefs, it often brings them into conflict with other Human nations and occasionally the non-Humans as well. Under the auspices of the Alliance Rodull maintains a passive stance, and instead uses politics to try and further their beliefs. And the Order has even established small outposts in both the Kingdom of Lysandra and the Riddari Union. Rodull is a very wealthy nation and many of it’s citizens work in the manufacturing of luxury goods such as clothes, furniture, jewelry, etc. Although many southern Provinces are devoted to farming and herding, as well as the manufacturing of items derived from these cultivated sources. There are three cities of note in Rodull: the first is the Free City of Nidaros, the second is the capitol city of Hervor, and the third is the port city of Konur. The people of Rodull tend to have dark olive skin tones, with black hair and dark brown eyes.
- Fighter: Many citizens of Rodull seek to serve the Church, and although many of them cannot find a place amongst the clergy, many are able to join the standing provincial armies. As well those seeking to petition the Order for membership may first serve as members of the army. Formal training is sometimes given to potential bodyguards and guard forces belonging to non-state religions at private facilities owned by ex-soldiers.
- Cleric: Aside from the popular worship of Astrild and Heironeous, there exist temples to Rig, Kun, and Ormet in Rodull. With the extreme pious nature of Rodull many of it’s people seek to serve their God, and quite a few become Clerics devoted to them. Not all Clerics are bound for greatness, but this matters little to most of them, and they still happily spend their lives serving their church.
- Paladin: The Valorous Order of the Invincible is one of the most prestigious organizations in all of Moertus. Most able-bodied men and women dream of becoming members of the Order and being named an Invincible. This devoted and chivalric order will hear from, and test, any who are willing to petition them for membership but only the most worthy will be allowed to join. Race and/or sex mean nothing to the Order, only ability and devotion to Heironeous, and as such many heroes from all across Moertus are Invincibles.
- Rogue: Rodull may be an extremely lawful nation, but it has a criminal element that thrives in all corners of the Empire. Some of the most organized and efficient Thieve’s Guilds in Moertus can be found in Rodull. Everything from city based guilds to bands of traveling brigands make their homes in Rodull, many of these groups are ran by Halflings or Half-Elves. These natural experts at stealth help keep the guild’s activities hidden and subtle enough to prevent their own destruction. Thieves are not the only Rogues in Rodull, the Church of Astrild will often train certain members of their clergy or those of the Brotherhood of the Sun as spies. Spies for the church work both within Rodull and in other nations in Moertus.
- Wizard: While most of the population in Rodull center their lives around the worship of one or more deities, still others would rather spend their time studying magic. Private guilds and magical schools exist all across Rodull, most schools require a hefty sum of gold to accept new students and guild’s only accept those with some talent already as well as being able to pay an entrance fee.
- Bard: As with most things in the Empire the arts are a vary organized and structured thing. Taverns and other venues are licensed to hold certain types of performances, as well all performers must pay a 10% tax on monies earned from performances. Schools designed to teach Bardic skills exist in several large cities in Rodull, these schools are always looking for gifted individuals to train. After being trained students pay a yearly stipend to their school, and they are always welcome to return and use the schools facilities if they need to. Entertainment is highly prized in Rodull, and performers can make a very good living in Rodull, so quite a few people seek out the Bard’s life hoping to become rich and famous.
- Monk: The Brotherhood of the Sun are the keepers of the histories of the Valorous Order of the Invincible , the Church of Astrild, and indeed all of the Holy Rodull Empire. Their monasteries are spread throughout Rodull, but all are a fair distance from large settlements and most are completely self-sufficient. The Brotherhood is an all male order that venerates the solar aspect of Astrild. Aside from being historical scribes, the Brotherhood also maintains a strict physical discipline designed to help them reach a state of perfection.
- Ranger: Although peace exists between the Elves and the Humans of Rodull, monsters of all types make their homes in the Feyois Forest, and the Muskeg Swamp, so the borders and the surrounding areas must be patrolled. Most of these Rangers are Half-Elves born in Rodull, but some are Humans and even pure Elves that choose to serve the church by watching the borders. Some Rangers are also trappers or hunters that use these skills to live off the land and provide for their families.
- Sorcerer: Very few Humans are born with innate magical abilities, but those in Rodull who are Sorcerers often live very solitary lives. As they grow in power these Sorcerers tend to become more quiet and distant. Many times they will sit, or stand, for hours lost in thought and then suddenly snap to alertness joining those around him/her in conversation.
Note: The Favored Class for Humans from Rodull is Cleric. And therefore the Cleric class does not count when determining whether he/she takes an experience point penalty.
* Kingdom of Lysandra
General Description: The Kingdom of Lysandra is an Absolute Monarchy. Lysandra is ruled by the King and Queen, as well as the royal family. The borders of Lysandra run from the eastern edge of the Feyois Forest all the way to the Great Eastern Sea, and as far south as the North Feyweir River, all the way north to the far edge of the Timberland Lake. Lysandra consists of 15 Duchies, ruled by a Duke and/or Duchess. Each Duchy also has up to 50 landowners, called Earls, that collect taxes and rents from the populace that lives in Lysandra. A majority of the population works in agriculture, various types of farming, as well as the production of Wine, Beer, and Spirits. As well many in Lysandra live off the sea, with both fishing and sea trading being very big business in Lysandra. Most of the surplus that is created is exported to Rodull, or the Elves of the Feyois Forest, as there has always been tension between the Kingdom of Lysandra and the Riddari Union to the north. Still Lysandra maintains several vital trade routes with Riddari. Each Duchy maintains a mandatory army made up from it’s citizenry, but the King maintains the largest force and has full authority over all armies in Lysandra. Each Duchy is also required to send a number of conscripts to serve in the King’s army every four years. Most Earls have personal guard forces, but these are not considered part of any army. The largest cities in Lysandra are the Capitol city of Boden, and the western city of Roskva. Humans in Lysandra have lighter skin tones then those from Rodull, although many will tan to a dark shade from exposure to the sun. Humans here also have lighter hair colors as well, tending toward various shades of brown with darker shades in the south and lighter shades in the north. Most of them have various shades of brown eyes.
- Fighter: All able-bodied males in Lysandra must serve for at least 4 years in military service (Females over the age of 18 can elect to serve a 4 year term). After this a person can decide to remain in the military or return to civilian life. Even those who chose to leave the military may find work as a guard for an Earl or wealthy merchant. Because of this the Fighter class is by far the most common occupation in Lysandra.
- Rogue: The skills of a Rogue come in handy living in Lysandra. The military often identifies those that can serve the crown with these abilities, and those are removed from the army and trained to act as spies both within Lysandra and within the surrounding nations. Lysandra itself has a fair population of those who chose a life of crime over serving the crown as a soldier. Various Thieve’s Guilds, bandits, and petty criminals, make their home in Lysandra. Enough so that Rogue is the second most common class found in this country.
- Bard: Although most Bards perform in only in local taverns, with a few lucky enough to get royal appointments, many still pick the life of a wandering performer. Those who seek more wealth often travel into Rodull to perform at theaters, but most are content to live their lives performing in Lysandra. Only a few Bard schools exist in Lysandra, most of these skills are taught by a master Bard to his/her apprentice over the course of several years.
- Cleric: The primary religion in Lysandra is that of Ormet, but shrines and temples to other Gods such as Astrild, Kun and Rig do exist. And each has a fairly well developed hierarchy. The crown recognizes pious service as a service to it’s people, so religions are protected by the kingdom and are considered a branch of the ruling class. Many chose to join a faith as a Cleric in order to keep from serving in the military.
- Ranger: The huge border Lysandra has with the Feyois Forest requires a decent sized skilled force to patrol it. The solitary existence of the Ranger actually appeals to quite a few, and Humans make up an equal proportion of these Rangers along with Half-Elves and Elves.
- Wizard: Amongst the wealthy and noble the study of magic can become a career unto itself. Those that can afford it can train with a master mage in Lysandra, or travel to Rodull to enter a magical school. Once trained Wizards often serve as advisors to their families, or for greater nobility. A few chose to live alone deep in the rural stretches of Lysandra.
- Paladin: The Valorous Order of the Invincible has established several outposts in Lysandra. Many of the Paladins serving in these outposts are natives from Lysandra. Those that seek to join the Order travel to Rodull and once trained they return to serve the cause of Law within Lysandra.
- Druid: In a few of the rural towns near the Feyois Forest there are those that bond so closely with the land that they become protectors of the regions they call home. Aside from protecting the land Druids help farmers, and herders, to better make use of their resources so they can get higher yields and reclaim the areas they use up.
- Sorcerer: The extremely few Humans in Lysandra that are born with natural magical abilities are looked on as an oddity. Most believe Sorcerers are caused by the emergence of demonic or draconian blood from the person’s past (and some are born with deformities or birthmarks to prove it). As such they are called Witch or Warlock and normally driven away from most villages and towns. Those that are discovered early on by royal Wizards may find themselves the subject of experiments and cruel research at their hands. Smart Sorcerers shy away from population centers as much as possible.
Note: The Favored Class for Humans from Lysandra is Fighter. And therefore the Fighter class does not count when determining whether he/she takes an experience point penalty.
* Riddari Union
General Description: The Riddari Union is an Elective Monarchy. Riddari is ruled by a Viscount or Viscountess, this position is held for 10 years and is elected from among the Counts (or Countesses) of Riddari by the Parliament. Riddari is comprised of 12 Counties. Each County is ruled by a Count/Countess, the Counties themselves are broken down into 3 or 4 Baronies. One of which is controlled directly by the Count or Countess, with the others being overseen by a Baron (or Baroness). The Riddari Parliament is comprised of the 11 Counts/Countesses, making up the “League of Counts”, as well each Barony is allowed 1 representative (this may or may not be the Baron/Baroness themselves) to attend, forming the “League of Barons”. These bodies are ruled over by the Viscount/Viscountess. The Riddari Parliament meets once every 3 months to discuss matters of state. The Parliament always convenes in the County controlled by the current Viscount or Viscountess. As with Lysandra, the borders of Riddari run from the edge of the Feyois Forest east out to the Great Eastern Ocean. And as far south as the northern tip of Timberland Lake, up to the northern edge of Lake Aufeis. Much of Riddari is covered in large forests, most citizens work in some industry related to timber (milling wood for construction use or fuel consumption, making paper, etc.). The dense woodlands also provide well for hunters and trappers that ply the area. The Riddari also work the sea, fishing and trading make up a majority of occupations along the coast. While several Counties to the south have cleared large areas for farms. The Riddari are known for a highly potent ale made from a tree sap, the ale has an intensely bitter taste but is stronger then many distilled beverages. Each Riddari that brews this ale has their own name for it, and while foul tasting, it sells for a decent price. Every Viscount, Count, and Baron is expected to maintain their own military force. It is expected that Counts can call upon any Baron’s force that he rules over, and the Viscount can call upon any and all forces within Riddari. The sizes of military forces in various Counties varies greatly depending upon the wealth of the County itself. The largest cities in Riddari are both large Port cities one is the northern port of Fenia. And the other is the southern port city of Menia. Most trade from Riddari passes through these cities, bound for Rodull. Humans from Riddari have fair skin, and light brown to blonde hair. Riddari tend to have dark blue eyes, although brown eyes are not uncommon. In the northern Counties many Riddari have red hair, and very pale complexions, these Riddari are also known for their green eyes.
- Fighter: While Riddari is a civilized nation it’s geography makes it home to many natural enemies. The need to defend ones self leads to many Riddari learning at least a basic skill with a weapon. As well the military can be a very rewarding career, so many will attempt to join if the opportunity presents itself. Serving a Baron or a Count can lead to benefits a soldier’s entire family can reap.
- Rogue: Riddari is a country full of political intrigues. Because of this virtually every Count and Baron maintains a “secret police”. These spy networks operate in almost any given situation, without a doubt spies act within the ruler’s territory, but they may just as easily be found in another County or nation. Recruited from all walks of life, spies are an important asset in all areas of Riddari politics. The same Rogue skills that Riddari spies use are also used by the criminal element within Riddari. Nearly every County with a decent metropolitan center has a Thieve’s Guild, as well Bandits and Raiders use the large forested regions as bases to strike from. It is even said that several Counties are home to Assassin Guilds.
- Ranger: The western regions of Riddari are considered both a goldmine of natural wealth, and one of the most dangerous regions in the whole continent. The northern portion of the Feyois Forest that borders with Riddari is also home to the Great Green Wyrm, Sepsez. Anyone running afoul of it’s minions, or if Sepsez awakes, could well meet with a painful death. Still the entire region is full of fur bearing animals and many hunt and trap in this area. As such the skills of a Ranger come in handy when living not only here but anywhere in this forested nation.
- Bard: As settlements tend to be isolated there are those Riddari who travel from Barony to Barony providing entertainment, and news, from the surrounding world. Bards will often stay in one town for 2 or 3 weeks before moving on, then possibly returning within 4 or 5 months. Those inclined to this life must have a natural talent and find a mentor to train them. Sometimes accomplished Bards will gather groups of aspiring Bards and travel with them as they train.
- Cleric: The worship of Ormet and Rig is very common in Riddari, still shrines to Astrild and Kun can be found in some Counties. Aside from those, many Riddari worship the Patron Gods Ehlonna or Obad-Hai with the two sects often working against each other. As well there are cults that worship the evil half-brother of Heironeous, Hextor. Those who feel the call of one of these divine powers often becomes a Cleric in their service.
- Wizard: Both the aristocracy and the very wealthy in Riddari will often turn to the study of magic to further their power. Because magic is a powerful tool it’s secrets are well guarded amongst the Riddari. Unless trained by an elder member of the family, the student must travel to Lysandra or Rodull to study magic.
- Druid: There is no denying the strong presence of nature in Riddari. Many Baronies have a family of Druids who live to protect the land, and keep balance between man and nature. It is also not uncommon to see people in those areas turn to the Druids for spiritual support as much as they turn to the Clerics.
- Paladin: Under the direction of the Alliance the Valorous Order of the Invincible has established a few outposts in Riddari. Although their overall presence here is nearly non-existent. Every so often a Riddari is drawn to serve Heironeous and they travel to Rodull to train in the Order. When trained they return to the Riddari Union to serve the cause of justice.
- Sorcerer: The very few Humans born with natural magical ability in Riddari are not as feared as they are in Lysandra. Although most Riddari do view Sorcerers with a bit of suspicion, and in the southern Counties many will use the title “Witch” or “Warlock” when referring to them. While not normally born with deformities, like Sorcerers in Lysandra, most Sorcerers from Riddari have oddly exaggerated fairy-like facial features such as, Long pointed ears, long hooked noses, sharp pointed chins, etc., often this is accompanied by unnatural shades of eye color (purple, gold, orange, etc.). Riddari Sorcerers resemble, more then anything else, overgrown Gnomes with bizarre eyes. Although they can find acceptance amongst the population Sorcerers tend to spend enormous amounts of time alone, still when they are out they like to drink hard and play even harder.
Note: The Favored Class for Humans from Riddari is Rogue. And therefore the Rogue class does not count when determining whether he/she takes an experience point penalty.
General Description: The rugged and dangerous region of the Norlunds is home to tribes of Human Barbarians, that live a semi-nomadic way of life. The tribes themselves consist of around a dozen families, most of which live west of the Blak Aufeis River. The tribes migrate several times a year between locations in the plains and mountains of this area. Tribes may favor one region over another and exclusively migrate within that area. This can greatly effect the attitudes and culture of the tribes that live this way. Those that prefer the lowlands tend to use beasts of burden and horses. They also favor spears and bows over melee weapons. The tribes that live in the hills use beasts of burden, but seldom ride horses. Although they do tend to have tiny herds of small animals like chickens, sheep, and/or goats. Hill tribes favor blunt weapons, with maces, morning stars, and clubs being the most common. The mountain tribes are a very brutal people, they hunt and forage for all their needs and seldom if ever keep animals. Mountain tribes often travel between locations that contain metallic ores, and these tribes have learned to work the metals into weapons. They favor bladed weapons like swords and axes. Although the regions can make tribes different there are some things they all share. All tribes are lead by the strongest member of the tribe, leading until defeated in combat or death. Tribes always treat outsiders with distrust at first and most never completely trust non-Humans, as well they all share similar racial characteristics. Humans from Norlund have fair to pale skin, with blonde to red hair. Most have eyes that are various shades of blue or green, with a few having dark grey or brown eyes.
- Barbarian: While all people in Norlund are called Barbarians, not all of them gain those class skills. Still Barbarian is the most common class in all of Norlund, particularly amongst the Mountain tribes. Living in this region of Moertus makes people into tough hardened souls. Forced to fight against nature, monsters, and other men, nearly every day makes many truly earn the title Barbarian.
- Fighter: Those that do not actually become Barbarians still have to be able to fight to survive in this world. Therefore many of them learn the skills of a Fighter and add their muscle to the tribe’s defense.
- Ranger: Some of the wiser warriors find themselves more attuned to their surroundings, and they become the hunters and trackers of their tribe. The skills of a Ranger are needed for any tribe to be able to survive in this wild, and untamed, region.
- Bard: Among the tribes of the Norlund there are men and women called Skalds. These individuals carry on the stories and songs of their tribes, and often entertain everyone when night falls. Most Skalds also know the stories of the land and other tribes around their own. And while this information has been passed on orally, it contains some of the most accurate ancient history in all of Moertus.
- Rogue: Some tribes survive solely by raiding other tribes, or down into Riddari and the Feyois Forest. These tribes value the skills of a Rogue, and often the tribe’s leader is a Rogue. Even within these close tribes some will fall victim to weak morales and become a Thief. These people will steal from others of their own tribe. Those that are caught, are ritually scarred, to mark them as thieves, and then exiled from their tribe. Often these pariahs will head south and live in the lands of Riddari, Lysandra, or even Rodull.
- Druid: Some families have a strong natural tie to the earth, and often these families settle permanently in one location they feel connected to. Becoming Druids they act as guardians, and caretakers of those regions. They must by necessity leave their tribes, and most Druid families live in absolute solitude, but sometimes old tribal members will seek them out for aid or advice.
- Cleric: Although true Clerics among the populous in Norlund are rare, that does not mean the people are not pious. Most worship Ormet and Rig, with many hardened warriors also worshiping their patron God Kord. A few are called to serve one of these Gods and become Clerics. These Clerics often build large stone circles and/or mounds at which to hold religious ceremonies, and holiday festivals. They also sanctify ground to used as a burial site for any tribe. Clerics are shown great respect in Norlund.
- Sorcerer: The very few Humans who are born with natural magical ability in Norlund are often feared. If not feared openly, then at least feared behind closed doors. This innate fear eventually leads to the Sorcerer being blamed for some disaster that befalls the tribe. Those that don’t meet a violent end often end up living as hermits deep in the surrounding mountains. Sorcerers from Norlund are known for their bright red hair and freckles. It is said that as they grow in power the more freckles appear on the skin.
Note: The Favored Class for Humans from Norlund is Barbarian. And therefore the Barbarian class does not count when determining whether he/she takes an experience point penalty.
Half-Orcs do not exist on Moertus.
While it is not recommended that Players be allowed to create Characters from any of these races (or any other Evil race), they are presented here for use as NPCs and to give a contextual reference for Players and DMs.
As the Dwarves who had fled during the Exodus reached the deep levels of the northern Rigsholm Mountains, they engaged in a ritual that transformed them into the gray emaciated looking beings they are today. As cold as stone they now serve evil as a joyless race. The Elves of the Exodus made their home in the cold spider infested Athar Forest. Here they too underwent a ritual to transform themselves into servants of Nicor. The Elves skin turned as black as their hearts, while their hair became as white as the snows in their new home. Over the centuries these races have developed into unique societies who fearfully serve their God, sometimes together, and plot the destruction of their former homelands.
Drow (Dark Elves)
General Description: The Drow of Moertus live throughout the Athar Forest. They make their homes within the ancient ruins that dot the woods, and/or in large burrow-like homes beneath the roots of spider infested trees. Drow tend to live in family groups, with several generations sharing a home. The Drow are a matriarchal society, with the eldest female member of the family ruling over the entire household and it’s members. Females tend to be extremely pious and all female Drow revere their patron Goddess Lolth, and by proxy through her they appease Nicor and control his wrath. Most Drow families live in small groups of a dozen or more households called conclaves, these conclaves follow the leadership of the oldest female Cleric living among them. The women of these conclaves maintain a temple to Lolth for all families in the conclave to use. While males are not slaves, they have no political or religious standing within their society. Men may opt to serve a temple, and these males are little more then slaves, trained to serve a specific function for the temple for the rest of their lives. The Drow have no Queen, although in times of need often one woman will rise up and rule over several (sometimes all) conclaves for a time. Drow mostly forage and hunt for their food, although they do supplement this diet with small subterranean crops of mushrooms and fungi. Drow families tend to specialize in one profession or another and they freely trade with one another for the things they need to survive. In the evenings many households gather together to feast and share ales and wines they have cultivated from both berries and fungi. Drow have an open dislike for any non-Drow, although they will tolerate Duergar, for short periods of time. And few Drow can suppress their seething hatred of other Elves. When a Drow dies their corpse is stripped and they are laid to rest in the boughs of a spider infested tree. The spiders that make their homes there will enshroud the body in webs, using it for food or as a nest. There are many hideous stories of undead spawned from these grave trees. Drow also have another unique distinction in the area of undead, they are the source of the world’s Vampires. The first recorded Vampire was said to have been a Drow male who sought eternal life, and Nicor granted it by making him a Vampire. As such Drow have an enormous amount of lore centered around Vampires, and they are one of the only races that needs always be wary of the rise of one amongst them.
- Cleric: Every female Drow aspires to join the clergy of Lolth, and while some do not measure up to the standards of a Cleric. Most will serve for at least a time with a temple. Clerics are given extreme reverence among Drow, and they are the ruling class of the entire race.
- Ranger: Virtually all men must learn to hunt and forage for their families, and so the skills of a Ranger are most common with Drow males. Even men who take up other lifetime professions may have learned at least the basic skills of a Ranger. While all Drow owe allegiance to Lolth, many Drow Rangers will still give homage to Rig and often pray to him at shrines placed throughout the Athar Forest.
- Sorcerer: Many Drow (both men and women) develop natural magical abilities. Like their Elven cousins, magic permeates their daily life, and most Drow will have Sorcerer skills that develop throughout their life.
- Wizard: Drow who are not born with natural magical abilities will many times study magic as a Wizard. Any such Drow first needs to find another Drow Wizard, and convince him to train them. After receiving training most Wizards must then serve their masters as slaves for several years as part of their payment. Once they are free of their debt Drow Wizards find a solitary place to study their craft undisturbed.
- Fighter: Many of the men, and some of the women, who serve in temples do so as a military-like guard force that can also be called upon to defend the surrounding land if needed.
- Bard: Although not as great lovers of song and dance as their Elven cousins, Drow are not entirely humorless. Some men and women turn to a life of a Bard traveling from conclave to conclave within the Athar Forest telling tales and singing songs from around the region.
- Rogue: Some Drow who claim to be Bards are actually Thieves who use the excuse of being a traveling performer to hit a conclave for a short time and then move on before being uncovered. Thieves captured by the Drow are normally put to death. Sometimes a Drow will learn the skills of a Rogue so they can carry out assassinations and other clandestine acts to further their own households power or size. These Rogues are prized by their families and openly hunted by other families.
Note: The Favored Class for Moertus Drow is Sorcerer instead of Cleric (Female) or Wizard (Male). As such it is very common to see multi-class Drow with one of their Classes being Sorcerer. As well Moertus Drow do not suffer from Light Blindness.
General Description: Half-Drow are rare enough to be considered unique. Probably less then half a dozen have been born in the past century. Half-Drow are accepted openly by their Drow cousins, but are distrusted or openly hated by other races in Moertus. Half-Drow share the same racial traits and class preferences as standard Half-Elves.
Duergar (Gray Dwarf)
General Description: The Duergar of Moertus live deep beneath the North Rigsholm Mountains, just east of the Great Glacial Plain. The Duergar have several large subterranean cities that both house their population and serve as their center of government and trade. Duergar live as mated pairs for most of their lives, children are raised by their parents until they reach the age of apprenticeship and are selected for their future profession. Once trained, and assumed an adult, the Duergar are given a home and will live there until mated, at that point the couple is granted a new permanent dwelling. The Duergar could be considered a Military Dictatorship, with strong socialist values. The ruler of the Duergar is the commander of the military and has the title Tyrant, all Duergar serve the state and their Tyrant. Duergar professions are very selective and the young are constantly tested to see what profession they are adept at, and serves the state best. Once assigned to their profession (military, craftsman, farmer, etc.), Duergar spend their days toiling at it with a fervor, and spend most of their nights in drunken solitude. Duergar make a unique ale from fermented fungi with several powdery minerals mixed in. This ale causes the imbiber to feel numb and sedated, without the extreme loss of self control caused by most alcohol. Duergar trade with many of the surrounding subterranean races, as well as with the Drow. All trading is done within one of the Duergar cities, the largest being the capitol of Voluspa. The state keeps a close eye on all trade conducted within, or near, one of these cities. Duergar consider all other races as their inferiors, anything that is non-Duergar has far less value or meaning to them, still they realize the need to co-exist with some lesser beings until the situation can be corrected, and can even be a stabilizing force in the area. Duergar have a universal hatred of Dwarves and will attack one without any provocation. When a Duergar dies his/her possessions are given to his closest living relative (or mate), except for their armor and weapon, these they will be interred with. All Duergar are mummified by their Clerics and then placed within their family tomb. Tyrants are granted a tomb exclusively for themselves.
- Fighter: The military is the backbone of Duergar society, and nearly every Duergar spends time serving in it. Many times a Duergar will develop an aptitude for another profession and be reassigned to it, or the needs of the state may call for a sudden change in work force needs causing a Duergar to be reassigned. As well if a Duergar serves 50 years in the military they are given the option to be reassigned to a civilian profession or to stay on in the military. This has helped form a very rigid and obedient population.
- Rogue: Even in a highly obedient society such as this there is a desire for items that the state may not find acceptable. As such a rather complex black market exists within Duergar society, those who work it must be very careful for the only penalty for such crimes is death. Other Duergar are just naturally greedy and the restrictions of their socialist culture forces them to steal to feed their desires, they to must fear death if caught by the state police. Still other Duergar use the skills of the Rogue for the state, being assigned to the secret police force they are trained to covertly keep an eye on the population and carry out clandestine missions if needed.
- Cleric: Fearing the wrath of Nicor, Duergar worship their patron God Laduguer hoping to earn favor and the blessings of evil. While a few show an aptitude toward priesthood at a young age, most Clerics find there calling later in life. These Clerics perform all religious ceremonies for the Duergar as well as all burial rites, including mummification.
- Wizard: Some Duergar pass the rigorous tests of the Magical Academy, and are brought into it. These Duergar train and become part of the Academy as a member. Members of the Academy perform many magical tasks for the military and the state, as well they function as advisors and judges in local trials. Most Wizards are selected when they are young, but a few Duergar show skills later in life that get them reassigned to the Academy.
- Bard: A select few Duergar are picked to train at the Artist’s Union. These Duergar are trained to perform various state approved plays and songs designed to promote unity among the masses. The Artist’s Union is also a common recruiting site for the secret police.
- Sorcerer: Sorcerers among the Duergar have all the physical and racial characteristics of the Derro. The birth of Sorcerers is rare, but those that are born are taken from birth and raised by the state to serve as Savants, an elite military unit comprised of only Sorcerers and multi-class Sorcerer/Fighters. The Savants are treated as shock troops during times of war, or as slaves during times of peace. Because Duergar consider them potentially dangerous mutants that must be controlled Sorcerers are not allowed to breed, and have no rights as a citizen. Some Sorcerers have escaped Duergar society and established small Derro communities in the Underdark. The Duergar destroy these communities when they find them.
Note: Duergar Mummies are more likely to rise and defend their tombs then those of their standard Dwarven cousins. Also stories abound of Mummy Tyrants who returned from the dead to lead troops of Duergar into battle.