Docstoc

Talislanta Archetypes

Document Sample
Talislanta Archetypes Powered By Docstoc
					                                Talislanta Archetypes
THE SEVEN KINGDOMS                                           identify more closely with their avian ancestors. To
                                                             these folk, their species‟ gradual transmutation is a
                                                             form of “devolution,” indicative of the decline of a
THE AERIAD                                                   once-great people. Blue Aeriad yearn to recapture the
There are two sub-species of Aeriad: Green Aeriad, who       glory of the past, when their ancestors flew free upon
seldom exceed five feet in height, and the taller and        the winds. To this end Blues sometimes seek the
somewhat more aggressive Blue Aeriad. Both species           companionship of Gryphs, an avian species to whom
are slender and frail in stature, and have skin that         Aeriad are closely related. Some Blues have even been
glistens with a metallic sheen. A crested coxcomb of         known to mate with Gryphs in an attempt to
feathers adds to the distinctive appearance of these         reinvigorate their line, or at least retard its further
folk. By contrast, their manner of dress is simple and       devolution.
austere, typically featuring a short tunic, loincloth, and
a cape of plain viridian linen.                              Green Aeriad regard the transition of their species as
                                                             “evolutionary,” rather than “devolutionary.” While they
                                                             also have great respect for their ancestors, Greens tend
Ancestry
                                                             not to dwell upon the past. They believe that the future
The Aeriad claim descent from a race of avians who fled
                                                             of the Aeriad is among other ground-dwelling peoples,
from a far-distant land following The Great Disaster,
                                                             such as the Cymrilians and Sindarans. Like Blues, they
eventually landing in Talislanta. Formerly a race of
                                                             are protective of the natural riches of their forest home,
sky-roving hunters and gatherers, the Aeriad were
                                                             though most Green Aeriad express this through their
forced to abandon their traditional way of life when
                                                             interest in horticulture and botanomancy. By enriching
their ancestral homeland was annexed by the forces of
                                                             their environment and increasing Vardune‟s natural
the old Phaedran regime. They settled in the forests of
                                                             resources they hope to ensure the future survival of
Vardune and built a number of small settlements along
                                                             their species.
the eastern banks of the Axis River.

Society                                                      Government
                                                             Green and Blue Aeriad are each governed by their own
Aeriad society is divided along color lines. Green Aeriad
                                                             Councils, both of which are comprised of a group of
live in Southwood, and Blues live in Northwood. There
                                                             nine elders, called Ministers. The Green Council governs
does not seem to be any prejudice or animosity
                                                             Southwood, and the Blue Council governs Northwood.
between the two peoples; that is just the way Aeriad
                                                             Each Minister is responsible for a specific aspect of
society functions. All Aeriad live in tree-dwellings of
                                                             Aeriad society, such as Defense, Trade, Wildlife,
elaborately woven vines and branches, and subsist on a
                                                             Agriculture, and so forth. The Green and Blue Councils
diet of seeds and vinesap. Extended families of several
                                                             meet together once each month to discuss matters
generations often live together in the same
tree-dwelling, called a “family tree”. Bridges of woven      pertaining to the country as a whole. The Chief
vines connect different tree-dwellings together, forming     Ministers of their respective Councils take turns
small settlements.                                           representing Vardune in the Council of Seven Kings.

Aeriad couples mate for life, and are very devoted to        Magic & Religion
each other and to their young. Elders run the household      Blue and Green Aeriad revere the deity called Creator,
and help raise the young. Green Aeriad tend to be            whom they depict as a great winged humanoid with
agriculturalists, botanomancers, scribes, historians, or     rainbow-colored plumage. Blues and Greens gather
scholars. Blues tend to be hunters, gatherers, scouts,       together to roost in the branches of great span-oak
and rangers.                                                 “temples” and raise their voices in the ancient songs of
                                                             their ancestors. Many of these songs are about the
The Aeriad race is in the process of devolving from an       “Tree of Life,” which Aeriad believe is the ancestral
avian to a ground-dwelling species. Their vestigial          home of the first avian race, from whom the Aeriad and
wings, once used for flying, have atrophied from disuse.     Gryphs are descended. When an Aeriad dies, his body is
For the majority of Aeriad, these appendages are now         covered with a shroud of woven vines and laid to rest
more decorative than functional, though they can still       amidst the uppermost branches of a great viridia tree;
be used for gliding short distances. The Aeriad attribute    a ritual signifying the Aeriad‟s connection to the Tree of
the process of devolution to the after-effects of The        Life.
Great Disaster, and believe that the problem is
irreversible.                                                Green Aeriad botanomancers are members of a
                                                             respected fraternity that takes as its inspiration the
Customs                                                      great Viridian; a fabled sorcerer of ancient times, who
Though they are of the same species, Blue and Green          is credited with the creation of the viridia plant and
Aeriad have different outlooks on life. Blue Aeriad          many other useful hybrids. The Green Aeriad‟s efforts
to replant forestlands and create new and useful plant       avian hunter-gatherers to a ground-based, primarily
species reflects the environmental policies espoused by      agrarian society. Needing large tracts of arable land to
their mentor.                                                grow food, the Aeriad were forced to establish
                                                             permanent settlements, instead of the small seasonal
The Arts                                                     nests that their species used in their original habitat. To
Aeriad music is primarily a function of religion, and        obtain adequate sources of water for their crops, the
sounds not unlike the warblings of songbirds such as         Aeriad constructed these settlements along the banks
the avir. Crafts and artforms include weaving,               of the Axis River. Knowledge of irrigation, boat building,
decorative and practical horticulture, and a form of         and waterborne navigation skills soon followed.
runic calligraphy inscribed into bark tablets.
                                                             With large settlements came the need for a more
Language                                                     structured form of government, and more efficient
                                                             forms of trade, transport, and communication. To adapt
Aeriad speech is characterized by a slight stutter,
                                                             to these needs the Aeriad built roadways, canals, and
evident only on words that begin with a hard “C” or “K”
                                                             networks of elevated causeways allowing easy access to
sound. This occurs because the Aeriad‟s vestigial beak
                                                             and from their tree-dwellings. They learned to speak
has not yet evolved (or devolved) sufficiently to allow
                                                             Talislan and became proficient in the use of a written
for all nuances of the Talislan tongue. Common names
                                                             language, which enabled them to write laws and keep
tend to sound like bird-calls, as in Kree-Kya, Cha-Chik,
                                                             detailed records. Once they acquired the ability to read,
Kee-Ree, etc.
                                                             the Aeriad were able to use books, and eventually, to
                                                             learn Magic. So it is that adaptation to change has
Defenses                                                     resulted in the intellectual and cultural evolution of the
Blues Aeriad scouts and rangers are protectors of the        Aeriad.
forests of Vardune and its borders. A fleet of heavily
armed barge-forts, manned primarily by Blues, guards
the Axis River along the western border of Vardune.          Blue Aeriad Ranger

Commerce                                                     Homeland: Vardune
Green Aeriad produce most of Vardune‟s marketable
                                                             “I am no less a hunter than my ancestors. That is the
wares, including its most important crop, the massive
                                                             sort of insult that c-can get a land dweller k-killed.”
viridia plant. Its vines are woven into rope; its ten-foot
long pads are filled with a fibrous down that can be
                                                             You still think of yourself as a bird of prey, sibling to the
spun into a fine cloth called viridian linen. The empty
                                                             nighthawk and Gryph, true children of the Aeriad. It
pods are cured, cut, lacquered, and used as building
                                                             irritates you that you must wear enchanted bracers to
and roofing materials. The Aeriad trade with the other
                                                             keep you aloft, angers you to have the Cymrilians to
members of the Seven Kingdom, Mog, Jhangara, and to
                                                             thank. Still, it‟s your own skill that makes you a
a lesser extent, Arim.
                                                             graceful flyer, and your own deft aim that puts your
                                                             tri-bow bolts and crescent knives into the flesh of your
Worldview                                                    quarry. You love the hunt, because it‟s in your blood
Located far to the west, Vardune feels less threatened       and it fills your mind with a hunger. You love the
by the presence of the Za and other Wilderlands tribes       forests of Vardune, and you watched over them as a
than most of the other states in the Seven Kingdoms          ranger. The greens understand, even if they have their
confederation. Even so, Blue Aeriad often volunteer to       own path now. The Thrall understands it, too, but most
serve as aerial reconnaissance in the Borderlands            of the others you meet think you‟re high-strung and
Legion and throughout the Seven Kingdoms.                    aggressive. And they don‟t appreciate a juicy waterbug
                                                             or a glass of fine ripe vinesap neither. That‟s the
A Change of Lifestyle                                        problem outside of Vardune - nothing‟s really made for
Whether it is referred to as devolution or evolution,        you. If the other races could fly, they‟d never build
there is no disputing the fact that the Aeriad are losing    houses on the ground, like rows of cages. You try to
their avian abilities. Both Blue and Green Aeriad believe    explain this to them, but to no avail. They‟re your
that this condition was caused by The Great Disaster.        friends and your allies, even if they see things
Some say that the Aeriad were affected when their            differently. They‟re just lucky to have you covering their
ancestors, fleeing their doomed homeland at the onset        backs.
of the Disaster, passed through a cloud of magical
mists or vapors and were contaminated in some                Physical Characteristics: 5‟5”-6‟, 80-120 lbs. Blue
unknown way. Others believe that contamination may           skin and plumage with metallic sheen, slender stature,
have occurred after the Aeriad migrated to the               sharp bird-like features, crested coxcomb of feathers,
continent of Talislanta.                                     vestigial wings.

Whatever its genesis, the change has had a profound          Attributes:
effect on the Aeriad. By robbing them of the ability of      INT 0            STR -1           CR +4
true flight, it has forced their people to change from       PER +2           DEX +4           MR 0
WIL 0           CON -1           HP 20                        WIL 0            CON 0               HP 21
CHA 0           SPD +2                                        CHA 0            SPD +2

Special Abilities: Gliding up to twenty-five yards, wind      Special Abilities: Gliding up to twenty-five yards, wind
permitting; with Bracers of Levitation, can fly at            permitting.
constant SPD +2 and at SPD +8 for short periods of
time.                                                         Skills:
                                                              Tri-bow +4                           Pilot (viridia barge) +4
Skills:                                                       Dart-thrower +4                      Guard +2
Tri-bow +4                       Tactics +4                   Crescent Knife +4                    Command +2
Dart-thrower +4                  Guard +4                     Artillerist (ballista) +3            Weaponer +1
Crescent Knife +4                Weaponer +1                  Pilot (barge fort) +5                Low Talislan, native
Aerial Combat +4                 Low Talislan, native
Scout +5                                                      Equipment: Short tunic, loincloth, and cloak of plain
                                                              viridia linen, sandals, two crescent knives, dart-thrower
Equipment: Short tunic, loincloth, and cloak of plain         with pouch of ten darts, tri-bow with five clips, belt
viridian linen, Bracers of Levitation, sandals, two           pouch, stoppered gourd flask of vinesap; boatmen
crescent knives, dart-thrower with pouch of ten darts,        based in Vardune may have access to a barge fort or
tri-bow with five clips, belt pouch, stoppered gourd          viridia barge.
flask of vinesap.
                                                              Wealth: 50 gold lumens in gold pentacles.
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in gold pentacles and assorted
currencies.                                                   Green Aeriad Botanomancer
Blue Aeriad Boatman                                           Homeland: Vardune

Homeland: Vardune                                             “Yes, an interesting specimen indeed. I suppose I c-can
                                                              study it later, after I prevent it from choking you to
“The Axis River is like the trunk of the Tree of Life, and    death.”
just as vital.”
                                                              Botanomancy is not a skill to be mastered, it is a path
Something about the sparkle of the winding waters             of life to be explored. Your teachers encouraged you to
drew you to the river, and your heart filled with             immerse yourself in the reflections of the Green World
excitement when you first saw a majestic barge fort. A        all around you. You spent your childhood gliding among
great living vessel, vines intertwined and vivid with life;   the viridia trees and pondering lotus blossoms. Gliding
a tribute to the brave new world your race was forging.       still fills you with joy, yet you see the Great Change as
Your clutch-siblings often complained bitterly about          a gift that has brought your race closer to its purpose.
their loss of flight, and you were no different, reveling     Once you flew above the plant world, using the trees
in those times you would glide happily among the              for rest and shelter. Now you dwell on the ground with
boughs of the great viridia trees, but the sinuous            the trees and plants, and you understand more fully
waterway called to you as much as the sky. While the          their needs and desires. It is to that end that you study
Change fills your soul with sadness, you take comfort         the bark runes of your sages and the texts of the great
on the calm waters, and are proud of your calling;            Viridian. Your studies have led you time and again away
enabling swifter trade and defense of your nation. If the     from your home. Your companions often seem
viridia trees are the heart of Vardune, then the river is     concerned that you spend so many hours consulting
its many veins, carrying those much needed resources,         books and speaking with plants. You enjoy their
and defending against interlopers.You are brother to          company: scholarly discussions with Sindarans,
the forests, river and skies, enabling you to appreciate      contemplation of the natural world with Gnomekin and
the Creator better than most, and calming your                Muses. You are happy to explain your latest attempt at
high-strung and aggressive nature slightly. Still, you        hybridization or the healing drought you are concocting.
like nothing better than perching in the avir‟s nest,         Yet you need that quiet space away from words where
surveying the world around you like an eager bird of          you can become immersed in floral scents and dig your
prey.                                                         fingers into moist soil. Cultivation of the self, your
                                                              teachers named it. You are yet the young sapling.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟5”-6‟, 80-120lbs. Blue
skin and plumage with a metallic sheen, slender               Physical Characteristics: 4‟10”-5‟2”, 70-90 lbs.
stature, sharp bird-like features, crested coxcomb of         Green skin and plumage with metallic sheen, slender
feathers, vestigial wings.                                    stature, sharp bird-like features, crested coxcomb of
                                                              feathers, vestigial wings.
Attributes:
INT 0           STR 0            CR +3                        Attributes:
PER +1          DEX +4           MR 0                         INT +3                      STR -3           CR 0
PER 0           DEX +2            MR +4                      Skills:
WIL +1          CON -3            HP 17                      Natural Magic                  Agriculture +4
CHA 0           SPD 0                                             Four Modes of choice +3 Herb Lore +4
                                                             Doctrines - Creator and the Three of Life +4
Special Abilities: Gliding up to fifty yards, wind           Oratory +3                     Song +5
permitting.                                                  Low Talislan, native

Skills:                                                      Equipment: Rainbow-hued cloak and robe of          viridia
Botanomancy +5                Herb Lore +5                   linen, sandals, living staff (always bears fresh   leaves
Alchemy (plant-based only) +4 Artificer +3                   and blossoms), necklace of seeds, belt              pouch
Agriculture +5                Low Talislan, native           (containing herbs and natural dyes), stoppered      gourd
Brewer/Vintner (Vinesap) +4                                  flask of vinesap.

Equipment: Short tunic, loincloth, and cloak of plain        Wealth: 25 gold lumens in gold pentacles and
viridian linen, sandals, wooden staff, scroll case for       donations.
writings, pouches (seeds, reed pen, inkwell, five vials of
plant-based concoctions), several small plant samples,       THE CYMRILIANS
assorted tomes, stoppered gourd flask of vinesap.            Tall and slender in stature, Cymrilians have pale green
                                                             skin and hair, with golden eyes and handsome features.
Wealth: 100 gold lumens in gold pentacles and                All types of exotic apparel are in vogue, with magical
assorted currencies.                                         enhancements used to alter appearance as desired.

Green Aeriad Creatavist                                      Ancestry
                                                             The Cymrilians are descended from the Phandre, a
Homeland: Vardune                                            people related to the ancient Archaens. Exiled from the
                                                             old Phaedran Empire, the Phandre fled eastwards and
“Our lives are like the Tree of Life, its many branches      settled in the woodlands of Cymril. In time they
reflecting the paths we take, and its many seeds, the        established an independent city-state, which came to
things we create”.                                           be known as Cymril.

Ever since your fledgling days you rejoiced in the life
and creativity that surrounded you, and would could
                                                             Society
                                                             Cymril is a fabulous city of crystal towers, domes, and
liken everything to the Tree of Life with its many
                                                             elevated causeways. Here, the Cymrilian magicians
branches and seeds. You devoted yourself to study
                                                             practice their arts, creating wondrous windships,
under a Creatavist, learning how the Tree of Life is the
                                                             potions, powders and other magical adjuncts. Most
source of everything natural and harmonious, and that
                                                             Cymrilians live in the city, in fanciful homes made of
excessive damage to nature was detrimental to the
                                                             translucent crystal. A small percentage of the
Tree. You learned to respect the Creator, the
                                                             population lives in the countryside, dwelling in rustic
rainbow-hued entity who roosts in the Tree, soaring
                                                             stone cottages or tower keeps. Cymrilians tend to have
forth through the universe on mighty wings, planting
                                                             small families. Couples usually wait until they are in
the seeds of Creation. Your life is one of devotion to
                                                             their late twenties or thirties before they wed. The
nature, creation, and your people, and you lead them
                                                             young enjoy romantic affairs, typically of short
through the joyous skyways of life, voice lifted high to
                                                             duration, until such time as they are prepared to settle
the Creator as he bears the seeds of creation, weaving
                                                             down. Children are raised by both parents; by Cymrilian
subtle green magics that nurture the natural world.
                                                             law, both bear equal responsibility for raising and
                                                             caring for offspring.
Physical Characteristics: 4‟10”-5‟2”, 70-90lbs. Green
skin and plumage with a metallic sheen, slender
stature, sharp bird-like features, crested coxcomb of        Customs
feathers, vestigial wings, all feathers and plumage dyed     The Cymrilian people are divided into three political
in rainbow hues.                                             groups, each of which had their origins among the
                                                             ancient Phandre. The most numerous are the
Attributes:                                                  moderates, or Koresians, who comprise about 95% of
INT +2                   STR -3           CR -1              the population. These folk are flexible in their views,
PER 0           DEX +2            MR +4                      and have no great attachment to the old ways of their
WIL +2          CON -3            HP 17                      ancestors. The conservatives, or Tanasians, make-up
CHA +1          SPD 0                                        less than two percent of the population. Once the ruling
                                                             class of Cymril, they are known for their strict
Special Abilities: Gliding up to fifty yards, wind           adherence to tradition and stern views regarding
permitting.                                                  magical lore, which they believe should not be shared
                                                             with other peoples. Following an unsuccessful attempt
                                                             to usurp control of the monarchy, most Tanasians were
                                                             exiled or fled to distant lands. The few who remain in
the city-state are regarded with some suspicion by
other Cymrilians. The third group, comprising about          Cymrilians inter their dead in crystal sarcophagi, a
three percent of the population, is known as the             practice that goes back hundreds of years to the
radicals, or Pharesians. Most Pharesians left the            founding of the nation-state. The color of the crystal
city-state   long   ago,    protesting against   the         used in the making of these funerary devices has varied
discriminatory practices of the conservatives. Many          from one age to the next, though until recent times
became peddlers of magical paraphernalia, traversing         variations of green and yellow were the most popular
the Cymrilian countryside and beyond.                        hues.

Government                                                   The Arts
The ruler of Cymril is known as the Wizard King, or          Cymrilians enjoy a wide variety of artistic pursuits,
Wizard Queen, if a female. The King represents Cymril        including painting, sculpture, decorative crafts, and the
in the Council of Seven Kings. He is assisted by the         creation of illusory panoramas. Cymrilian music
members of the Cymrilian Cabal, a pentad of five             employs exotic magical instruments of many types, and
advisors chosen from the faculty of the Lyceum               ranges from traditional windship sailors‟ songs of the
Arcanum, Cymril‟s institute of magic. Usually the most       bygone Archaen Age to more modern and abstract
capable of Cymril‟s spell casters, the Wizard King is        compositions.
elected by popular vote, and serves a term of seven
years. If he is a reasonable sort of person, the populace    Language
will allow the Wizard King to remain in power for the full   Cymrilians converse in either High or Low Talislan,
term, and may even allow him to run for an additional        depending upon their profession, level of education,
term. If not, he can be ousted by a majority vote from       and purported degree of sophistication. Common names
the Cymrilian Cabal. Cymril has a court system which         are derived from old Archaen nomenclature, as in
guarantees individuals accused of criminal offenses          Celene, Cirelle, Califax, Merdigan, and Pandaran.
access to legal representation. Crimes involving magic
are regarded as serious offenses, and may result in the      Defenses
offender being placed in stasis or banished to another
                                                             Cymril is protected by powerful armada of windships
dimension.
                                                             and airborne troop carriers, which are commanded by
                                                             skilled swordsmages. The confederation‟s forces are
The Seven Kingdoms‟ Council of Kings meets once a
                                                             augmented by several divisions of Thrall infantry and
month at the Royal Palace in Cymril. Though relations
                                                             mangonel lizard cavalry, Blue Aeriad scouts, Gnomekin
between the member nations are usually good, the
                                                             infantry, Kasmir engineers, and Sindaran alchemists.
Seven Kings seem to be constantly squabbling over
petty laws, tariffs, boundary lines, prices for trade
goods, and so forth. A majority vote decides all issues,     Commerce
except in the case of a four-to-three decision, known as     Cymril is the continent‟s leading supplier of magical
an “impasse.” Whenever a Council ends in an impasse,         wares, and of such commodities as amberglass and
there is no official ruling on the subject, and each         aquavit. Caravans from many lands come here to trade
kingdom is free to establish its own laws and guidelines     for Cymrilian products and goods from across the
on the issue in question until the following Council. As     Seven Kingdoms. A brisk trade in minor charms, elixirs
might be expected, this often leads to incredible            and potions is done throughout the city, and across the
confusion. Laws can change abruptly, curfews or new          countryside. The Lyceum Arcanum, Cymril‟s school of
tariffs may be instituted, and prices for goods or tolls     magic, produces the skilled enchanters, alchemists, and
may fluctuate wildly.                                        magicians that are such a vital part of the Cymrilian
                                                             economy. Once each year, the city of Cymril hosts the
                                                             Magical Fair, a colorful spectacle lasting two weeks and
Magic & Religion                                             attended by folk from all across Talislanta.
Cymrilians are not an especially devout people. Most
are more interested in magic than religion, which is not
surprising given the peculiarities of Cymrilian culture.     Worldview
Though practicing magicians make up less than                Cymril plays an important role in the Seven Kingdoms,
one-tenth of the populace, Cymrilians of all ages            both as a supplier of magical wares and as an integral
possess an insatiable curiosity as pertains to magic (see    part of the confederation‟s defenses and diplomatic
Magic in Cymrilian Society).                                 efforts. Cymrilian ambassadors represent the Seven
                                                             Kingdoms‟ interests in many foreign countries, including
In the year 603, the Wizard King ordered the magicians       Carantheum, the Independent City-states, the Western
of the Lyceum Arcanum to open the institute‟s secret         Lands, and even the Kang Empire.
archives, which had been sealed for centuries. Inside
were found numerous artifacts from the Forgotten Age,        Magic in Cymrilian Society
including the Archaen Codex; a repository of magical         Cymrilians are enamored of Magic in all its myriad
secrets that may predate the Forgotten Age. Cymrilian        forms, many of which have become integral to the
scholars estimate that it could take decades to decipher     culture of these people. Almost every Cymrilian owns at
and analyze the complete contents of the archives.           least one magical adjunct, and often more. The
majority of these items are typically of limited power,     you. One day, perhaps, you will be elected to the
and are either practical or frivolous in nature. Young      throne of the Wizard King, at the center of that city and
children favor magical toys, such as dolls that “speak” a   at the center of the world. You have every reason to
few simple phrases, or miniature animal-constructs that     believe.
move of their own volition. Among adolescents,
enchanted boots or slippers that levitate the wearer a      Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟4”, 120-160 lbs. Pale
foot or two above the ground are very popular, as are       green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build,
magical enhancements used to alter the color of the         handsome features; may alter appearance with magical
skin or hair, enchanted garments that sparkle or glow       enhancements.
in the dark, and so forth.
                                                            Attributes:
Adult Cymrilians also use enhancements, though              INT +3                   STR -1           CR -1
generally of a more elaborate and expensive sort;           PER +1          DEX 0             MR +6
substances or items that enhance the user‟s                 WIL 0           CON -1            HP 19
intelligence, memory, resistance to disease, sexual         CHA 0           SPD 0
performance, or desirability are most popular. So are
enchanted garments that confer protection from the          Skills:
elements, always appear freshly pressed and                 Magic Order <choice>              Fashion +4
laundered, exhibit a variety of changing hues and                Six Modes of choice +3       Ride +3
patterns, and so forth.                                     Magic Order <choice>              High Talislan, native
                                                                 Five Modes of choice +1      Low Talislan, basic
Many popular forms of entertainment are also                Arcane Lore +5                    Archaen, fluent
influenced by the Cymrilian love of magic. Among those      Etiquette +5
held in the highest esteem are exhibitions of enchanted
art, such as animate sculpture, paintings done with         Equipment: High-collared cloak and robes of spinifax
magical pigments that change colors or move about the       in various colors, dyed leather boots, assorted jewelry,
canvas,     prismatic    arrangements    that   emanate     leather and silver-bound spell book, pouch, three
holographic images or whorls of color, and so on.           potions in amberglass vials, three magical trinkets.
Illusionist-artists are also held in high regard for the
fantastic panoplies of color, sound, and imagery that       Wealth: 80 gold lumens in gold pentacles.
they create. One of the most accomplished artists of
this sort was the great Faluche, whose works                Cymrilian Rogue Magician
incorporate three-dimensional illusory images with the
music of the renowned Bodorian composer, Sola.              Homeland: Cymril

Cymrilian Magician                                          “Some call me the greatest thief in Cymril. I would not
                                                            think to challenge their honesty.”
Homeland: Cymril
                                                            Some Cymrilians study magic to attain knowledge and
“I have studied at the Lyceum Arcanum. Can you truly        power, to teach young adepts, or perhaps to learn the
imagine that you rival my skills?”                          swordsmage‟s art. But you are different. You see magic
                                                            as the swiftest means of acquiring wealth, status, and
You are riding the crest of ancient Archaen knowledge       the finer things in life. Let others spend their lives
into a glorious new era for your people. You are a          struggling just to earn a few gold lumens. You prefer to
Cymrilian, and you are a member of the most                 use magic and guile, to move unseen and unheard, to
enlightened and advanced civilization on the continent,     seduce and cajole, and to take what you want from life.
the rising star of Talislanta. You would never think to     Certainly, their are risks to consider, but you are no
leave the other six Kingdoms behind, of course. They        common thief. You are a rogue magician, and with your
are your valued allies, and you wish for them to share      magics all that you desire is within your grasp. Perhaps
in the coming prosperity. They will contribute to it        you will become an adventurer, and join a band of
substantially, you realize, with their own skills of        companions with aspirations similar to your own. Maybe
combat and alchemy, horticulture and finance. Yet it is     you will travel to distant lands, where people know little
your magic that will lead the way. It will be the means     of magic and are even more susceptible to your
for your personal success, as well, and you strive ever     particular combination of talents. With spells to alter
to improve your skill and enhance your knowledge.           your appearance, you can pass as a noble, a vagabond,
Whenever you quest abroad, for whatever purpose, you        or any semblance that you can imagine. No one need
never ignore an opportunity to acquire ancient texts or     know anything about you that you do not care to
artifacts. Whenever you meet a mage of talents              reveal. Riches and wealth can be yours, and someday,
different from your own, you barter your lore and lose      a life of ease. After all, is that not what magic is for?
hours in abstract conversation. You have made a
solemn promise to visit in your lifetime the other cities   Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟4”, 120-160 lbs. Pale
of magic: Carantheum, Altan, Rhin, Jacinth, Cabal           green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build,
Magicus. Yet it is always the Crystal City that calls to
handsome features; may alter appearance with magical         build, handsome features; may alter appearance with
enhancements.                                                magical enhancements.

Attributes:                                                  Attributes:
INT +2                   STR -1           CR +2              INT +1                   STR +1           CR +3
PER +2          DEX +1            MR +3                      PER 0           DEX +1            MR +3
WIL 0           CON 0             HP 20                      WIL +1          CON 0             HP 22
CHA 0           SPD 0                                        CHA 0           SPD +1

Note: Rogue Magicians may be of pure Cymrilian blood         Skills:
or may have one or more ancestors from other                 Wizardry or Elemental Magic       Etiquette +4
Talislantan races, such as Batrean, Dracartan, Gao,                Three Modes of choice +2            Fashion +4
Phantasian, Rahastran, Sarista, Zandir.                      Longsword +3                      Ride +4
                                                             Dagger +2                         High Talislan, fluent
Skills:                                                      Brawling +2                       Low Talislan, native
Magic Order <choice>              Arcane Lore +2             Pilot (Windship) +5               Archaen, fluent
     Four Modes of choice +4      Etiquette +3               Arcane Lore +4
Weapon <choice> +2                Fashion +4
Brawling +2                       Ride +4                    Equipment: High-collared cloak and garments of
Deception +5                      High Talislan, fluent      spangalor (metallic cloth), dyed leather boots, assorted
Stealth +4                        Low Talislan, native       jewelry, leather and silver-bound spell book, pouch, +1
Thieving Skill of choice +3       Archaen, fluent            longsword, dagger, two magical trinkets; swordsmages
                                                             based in Cymril may have access to a windship.
Equipment: High-collared cloak, breeches, and tunic of
various colors, dyed leather boots, leather-bound spell      Wealth: 50 gold lumens in gold pentacles.
book, choice of weapon, pouch, shoulder bag, two
magical trinkets, equs steed.                                Cymrilian Sky Sailor
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in gold pentacles and other           Homeland: Cymril
currencies.
                                                             “To leave the problems of life far below, and sail above
Cymrilian Swordsmage                                         seas of clouds is to gladden both soul and senses.”

Homeland: Cymril                                             Your heart belongs to the boundless vault of the
                                                             heavens, and you feel truly at home on the deck of a
“The wind is a force today. It would toss a windrigger       windship as it glides through the eddies of the sky, far
around like a leaf. I‟m up for it.”                          above the land, sails billowing in the wind. Few
                                                             landlubbers could understand the feeling of freedom
It‟s difficult not to love magic. You are not so enamored    that air sailing grants you, and fewer still would
of the theories behind it or the beauty of its form, as so   willingly face the dangerous storms or aerial predators
many Cymrilians are. You love it for its effects, for the    that can bring peril to a journey. You work hard and
way in which you can use it in your chosen profession -      play hard, proud to serve in Cymril‟s majestic navy,
as a swordsmage. You train intensely to improve your         using your unsurpassed skills as pilot, navigator, and
skill with the sword, and you have great respect for         crewman to see your vessel through any trials it may
warriors such as the Thralls. Yet your arcane blade          face. Foreign and exotic lands hold a great deal of
provides you with a keen advantage over others, and          appeal, though you seldom visit them for more than
your own Order is a more potent weapon yet. The              short periods before taking to the air again, bound for
windship is your passion. Since you were a youth, fresh      other locations. Spell and sword stand ready to defend
to the armada, you learned to climb riggings, care for       you, and although you do not possess the military
levitationals, consult navigational charts, pilot riggers    might of the airborne swordsmages, you know that
and skiffs. Someday you may take the time to visit           your role is just as vital, both in peace and war.
other lands. Perhaps you and the companions you find
will buy your own vessel to cross the skies for              Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟5”, 130-200 lbs. Pale
commerce or adventure. Such a life would hold many           green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build,
glories. Or perhaps you will become a captain of your        handsome features, may alter appearance with magical
own windship of war, leading the Seven Kingdoms into         enhancements.
battle against its enemies. In the skies over fields of
battle, you will show the world why you love magic.          Attributes:
                                                             INT +1                   STR 0            CR +2
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟5”, 130-200 lbs. Pale         PER +1          DEX +1            MR +2
green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender but muscular       WIL 0           CON 0             HP 21
                                                             CHA 0           SPD 0
Skills:                                                    boots, green crystal seven-pointed star amulet,
Elemental Magic – Aeromancy      Arcane Lore +2            rune-covered staff topped with a lightly glowing green
      Two Modes of choice +2     Etiquette +4              crystal seven-pointed star, leather and silver-bound
Longsword +2                     Fashion +4                spellbook, two magical trinkets.
Pilot - Windship +8              Cultures +2
Astromancy +3                    High Talislan, fluent     Wealth: 50     gold   lumens     in   gold    pentacles   and
Artillerist - Ballistae +2       Low Talislan, native      donations.
Climbing +3                      Archaen, fluent
                                                           Cymrilian Stage Magician
Equipment: High-collared leather tunic, breeches,
boots, cap and gloves, all dyed in various colors,         Homeland: Cymril
amberglass     goggles,   leather-bound     spellbook,
longsword, pouch, two magical trinkets; sky sailors        "Prepare to be dazzled, ladies and gentlemen, as I, the
based in Cymril may have access to a windship.             Magnificent Mandrakus, perform the mystical arts of
                                                           chicanery, and display powers envied even by the most
Wealth: 40 gold lumens in gold pentacles and other         potent of sorcerers!"
currencies.
                                                           It never ceases to amaze you how many people assume
Cymrilian Acolyte of the Magister                          that simply because you are a Cymrilian, you must be a
                                                           wizard, casting bolts of energy hither and yon, or
Homeland: Cymril                                           spending countless days scrabbling through musty old
                                                           tomes. Do these fools never stop to think that less than
“As magic is the source of creation, magical knowledge     ten percent of your people possess any arcane skills
brings with it a greater understanding of creation, and    whatsoever, and of these, even fewer are capable
therefore enlightenment.”                                  spellcasters? You would have given much to be part of
                                                           that elite, but you possessed neither the talent nor the
Magic is the greatest of gifts and creations, conjured     wealth, so it was not meant to be. However, the idea of
forth by the Magister, the cosmic magician whose           learning magic would not let you rest, and you watched
arcane energies created all things. The fascination with   with awe as a magician entertained the crowd with
all things magical that typifies your people has always    seemingly impossible acts, without the use of the arts
held you in its thrall, but you always sought something    arcane. This you decided, was a more subtle form of
more, believing that magic was not just a creative         magic, a form you could master, and so you became an
force, but a creation in and of itself. You entered the    apprentice, and finally a master, of the art of producing
service of the Magister, the Cymrilian concept of the      magic without magic.
Creator, learning the gift of wizardry at the Lyceum
Arcanum, and studying scripture at the cathedral. Now,     Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6'4”, 120-160 lbs. Pale
as a member of Cymril‟s small clergy, you teach others     green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build,
about magic, encouraging its acceptance and use as a       handsome features, may alter appearance with magical
tool and means of enlightenment, actively standing         enhancements.
against the dark magical practices that ruin the
reputation of the arcane arts.                             Attributes:
                                                           INT +2                   STR 0               CR 0
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟4”, 120-160 lbs. Pale       PER +1          DEX +2           MR +1
green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build,           WIL 0           CON 0            HP 19
handsome features, may alter appearance with magical       CHA +1          SPD 0
enhancements.
                                                           Skills:
Attributes:                                                Legerdemain +6
INT +2                  STR -1           CR -1             Locks +3
PER +1         DEX 0             MR +5                     Sideshow Talent - Contortion +4
WIL +1         CON -1            HP 19                     Sideshow Talent of choice +3
CHA +1         SPD 0                                       Oratory +3
                                                           Arcane Lore +1
Skills:                                                    Etiquette +4
Wizardry                         Fashion +4                Fashion +4
     Five Modes of choice +3     Ride +3                   High Talislan, fluent
Doctrine - The Magister +4       High Talislan, native     Low Talislan, native
Arcane Lore +5                   Low Talislan, fluent      Archaen, basic
Oratory +4                       Archaen, fluent
Etiquette +5                                               Equipment: High-collared cloak and robes of spinifax
                                                           in various colors with concealed pockets, dyed leather
Equipment: High-collared cloak and robes of spangalor      boots, assorted jewelry, leather- and silver-bound book
(both enchanted to swirl with color), dyed leather         with hidden compartment, pouch, carved wand,
quatrillion deck, embroidered sack, several lengths of
chain, padlocks and keys, several small phials of smoke     For centuries, your kin, the Tanasians, were the rightful
and sparkle powder, lockpicks, two magical trinkets.        rulers of Cymril, bringing the ungrateful populace to
                                                            prominence on the continent. Many strict laws were
Wealth: 30 gold lumens in gold pentacles.                   created, bringing much needed order to the city, and
                                                            firmly ensuring that each individual knew where they
Cymrilian Illusionist-Artist                                stood in life, according to social status and magical
                                                            prowess. Magic was well regulated, and a national unity
Homeland: Cymril                                            encouraged by the blanket use of greens and yellows,
                                                            for all dress and construction work. The peasants knew
"Do not be so quick to dismiss the arts of illusion, for    who their betters were, and flourished because of this.
with them I can produce anything, from a glorious           All was right. Then, the upstarts decided they wanted
cascade of light, sound, and color in the sky, to the       more than they were entitled to, and when your
glimmer of rage in the eye of a beast."                     parents ignored their incessant whining, they rebelled
                                                            and elected that liberal fool Azradamus as the new
Creating breathtaking and inspiring displays through        Wizard King. When your kin attempted to regain power
the ephemera of illusion is an artform like any other,      by coup, they were scandalized and made into exiles -
requiring remarkable imagination, creativity, and skill.    hunted like common vermin, fleeing for safety across
Like most Cymrilians, magic always fascinated you, but      the continent. You were but a child during those
primarily as a tool for dazzling and pleasing the senses,   tumultuous times, but your parents have raised you to
and a tool that can produce effects beyond the scope        acknowledge your natural superiority, and noble
and ability of any mundane artform. No other art can so     lineage, despite living in foreign lands. Like them, and
totally immerse the viewer in sound, imagery, scent,        many other Tanasians, you plan for the day when once
and sensation, and like much of beauty in the world,        again Cymril‟s only true nobility will restore themselves
illusion can be just as fleeting. You are a magician, but   to their rightful place of privilege and authority.
first and foremost you are an artist, and an entertainer,
and your works are well-regarded. From illusory             Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟5”, 120-160 lbs. Pale
panoramas of the mind, to recreations of things             green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build,
mundane and majestic, from the abstract and subtle, to      handsome features.
the garish and staggering, illusion is an artform without
peer, and you wield your magics like a brush, with          Attributes:
limitless imagination as your palette.                      INT +3                   STR -1           CR -1
                                                            PER +1          DEX 0             MR +5
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6'4”, 120-160 lbs. Pale        WIL +1          CON -1            HP 19
green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build,            CHA 0           SPD 0
handsome features, may alter appearance with magical
enhancements.                                               Skills:
                                                            Magic Order of choice           Ride +3
Attributes:                                                      Six Modes of choice +3     Cultures +2
INT +2                   STR -1           CR -1             Arcane Lore +4                  High Talislan, native
PER +1          DEX 0             MR +4                     Etiquette +5                    Low Talislan, basic
WIL 0           CON -1            HP 19                     Archaen, fluent
CHA +1          SPD 0                                       Local Native Language (if applicable), fluent

Skills:                                                     Equipment: High-collared cloak and robes of green
Wizardry - Illusion +5            High Talislan, native     fustian, dyed green leather boots, leather-bound
Art - Illusions +5                Low Talislan, fluent      spellbook, pouch, lacquered green black iron gauntlets.
Etiquette +5                      Archaen, fluent
Fashion +4                                                  Wealth: 200 gold lumens in local currency.

Equipment: High-collared cloak and robes of spinifax        Tanasian Terrorist
in various colors, dyed leather boots, assorted jewelry,
leather- and silver-bound book of Illusion spells, pouch,   Homeland: Cymril
two magical trinkets.
                                                            “Moderation is weak! Only the Right is right!”
Wealth: 150 gold lumens in gold pentacles.
                                                            Those Koresians believe they are safe and secure; that
Tanasian Magician                                           the Tanasians like yourself no longer pose a threat to
                                                            their sickeningly open ways and ignorance of the great
Homeland: Various                                           traditions. They are misguided, for you and your
                                                            colleagues fight to bring back the conservatism and
“How dare you presume to be my equal, mongrel filth!        rightfully stern laws the arrogant Moderates so readily
My magical powers and intellect far exceed your own!”       abandoned. Initiated at a young age into your secret
society, you were trained to wage a subtle war of terror
against the so-called Moderates who had exiled the           Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟4”, 130-160 lbs. Lime
Tanasians following the failed coup. All of your life you    green skin and hair dyed with bright iridescent colors,
have been raised to know that the Tanasians are the          slender build.
rightful rulers, and arch-conservatism is the only true
path. From the sabotage of facilities vital to Cymril, to    Attributes:
the intimidation and assassination of Moderation‟s           INT +2                  STR 0           CR 0
greatest exponents, you strike a blow at the liberals        PER +2         DEX +1           MR +3
where you can, often meeting secretly, planning and          WIL 0          CON 0            HP 20
plotting for months before each mission. Yes, let the        CHA 0          SPD 0
Koresians wallow unawares in their deviancy, but you
intend to show them the error of their ways, all the         Skills:
while living as openly among them as any other citizen.      Wizardry                               Merchant +4
                                                                  Four Modes of Choice +3           Oratory +3
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟4”, 120-160 lbs. Pale         Alchemy (Elixirs, Powders) +3          Streetwise +3
green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build,             Alchemy (Medicinal Mixtures) +4      Low Talislan,
handsome features; may alter appearance with magical         native
pigments.                                                    Appraiser (Curios) +4

Attributes:                                                  Equipment: Patchwork cloak and robes of bright
INT +1                   STR 0           CR +2               colors, staff, satchel (filled with salves, concoctions,
PER +1          DEX +1           MR +2                       charms, curiosities), spell book, alchemical equipment.
WIL +1          CON 0            HP 20
CHA 0           SPD 0                                        Wealth: 50 gold lumens in coins and wares.

Skills:                                                      THE GNOMEKIN
Magic Order of choice - Three Modes of choice +2             The Gnomekin are a diminutive folk who average just
Assassinate +2                 Etiquette +4                  over three feet in height. They have nut-brown
Weapon of choice +2            Fashion +3                    complexions, muscular bodies, and wide-eyed, almost
Sabotage +5                    Ride +3                       childlike features. Both the males and females have a
Arcane Lore +2                 High Talislan, fluent         crest of soft, black fur running from the center of the
Choice of Two Thieving Skills +3   Low Talislan, native      forehead to the small of the back.
Choice of One Trade Skill +3   Archaen, fluent
                                                             Ancestry
Equipment: High collared cloak and garments of               Gnomekin claim to be descended from an ancient
various colors, dyed leather boots, leather-bound            subterranean race related to the Gnorls of Werewood.
spellbook, choice of weapon, pouch, two magical              However, some Talislantan scholars believe that the
trinkets, thieves‟ tools if appropriate, concealed society   forebears of the Gnomekin may have been a people
symbol or secret tattoo.                                     who originally lived on the surface, but fled
                                                             underground in order to escape the effects of The Great
Wealth: 30 gold lumens in gold pentacles.                    Disaster.

Pharesian Peddler                                            Society
                                                             Gnomekin live in underground colonies, each comprised
Homeland: Cymril
                                                             of a number of single-family dwellings known as nooks.
                                                             Gnomekin nooks are like small caves, lined with carpets
Cymril? It is a nest of chasm vipers. Conservatives,
                                                             of soft and sweet-smelling moss; furnishings are spare
moderates - both are equally haughty, and equally
                                                             and made from polished stone covered with moss for
absurd. You are a Pharesian, and so they marked you
                                                             comfort. Underground streams and brooks provide
as different. Your people were looked down upon as
                                                             fresh water. Phosphorescent fungi provide a faint
radicals, and forbidden to study at the Lyceum
                                                             illumination - enough for a Gnomekin to see clearly,
Arcanum. They said you were fit only to serve as
                                                             though outsiders sometimes have a hard time getting
merchants, shop owners, and magician‟s assistants.
                                                             acclimated to the gloom.
And so you packed-up your amulets and talismans,
your powders and potions, your lockets and periapts.
                                                             Gnomekin are a warm and friendly folk, possessed of
You left Cymril as so many of your people did before
                                                             an almost childlike innocence. Their families are
you, to seek your fortune on the open road. Now you
                                                             close-knit, and often quite large. It is not uncommon
travel across the Seven Kingdoms to the Western Lands
                                                             for a Gnomekin couple to have a dozen or more
and back again, selling your wares to those you chance
                                                             offspring (see All in the Family). Gnomekin subsist on
to meet along the way. There, just up ahead - a band
                                                             mushrooms, tubers, roots, and lichen; many tasty
of adventurers, far from their homes. Lucky for them
                                                             dishes are made from these simple ingredients. A sweet
that you are here, and not still in Cymril.
                                                             and nutritious syrup, made from the sap of certain
roots that extend far below the earth, is a favorite drink   Language
of the young. Adult Gnomekin prefer mushroom ale.            Gnomekin are so modest and unassuming by nature
                                                             that they almost never refer to themselves in
Customs                                                      conversation. For example, among these folk “Am
Of all the Talislantan races it is likely that none knows    pleased to see you” means “I am pleased to see you”.
more about the Underground Highway the Gnomekin.             Gnomekin speech sounds much like purring. Common
The Gnomekin began a concerted effort to map the full        names have a lilting sound, such as Abo Ebo, Eno
extent of the Underground Highway in the year 607. To        Erobia, Aba Edaba, and Obo Orabio.
date, they have charted most of the tunnels that extend
beneath the Seven Kingdoms, and have surveyed parts          Defenses
of the system extending as far east as the Volcanic          The Gnomekin Army is a small but highly competent
Hills, as far north as the borders of Narandu, and as far    force comprised of light infantry and durge cavalry.
south as the borders of the Dark Coast. Maps and             They excel at all aspects of subterranean combat, and
geomantic studies of the Underground Highway may be          move swiftly and silently underground.
purchased in the city of Durne.
                                                             Commerce
Government                                                   Crystals of many sorts are Durne‟s primary export and
Durne is ruled by a pair of hereditary monarchs known        source of income. Shipments of these goods are
simply as the King and Queen of Durne. The Gnomekin          conveyed     by   durge-drawn   wagons    along    the
Queen is the matriarch of all Gnomekin families. She is      Underground Highway to Cymril, and from there to the
responsible for determining fair prices for the goods        rest of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. Other exports
produced in Durne‟s subterranean gardens, which are          include gems, minerals, mushrooms, fungi, edible roots
delivered to Cymril via the Underground Highway. The         and tubers, root syrup, and mushroom ale.
King of Durne serves as commander-in-chief of the
country‟s small but fierce army.
                                                             Worldview
                                                             Gnomekin mark the Ur and their allies as enemies, and
Crime is unknown among the Gnomekin, who would
                                                             have good reason to be wary of the Satada and
never dream of doing anything to harm their friends,
                                                             Subterranoids. They enjoy excellent relations with the
family, or neighbors. Foreigners who cause problems in
                                                             other member states of the Seven Kingdoms, but
Durne are arrested and detained in cave-cells until one
                                                             otherwise have few contacts with other countries.
or both of the monarchs has time to review the case.
The most common punishment is expulsion for life from
Durne.                                                       All in the Family
                                                             “The Gnomekin are well known for their devotion to
Magic & Religion                                             family and love of children. In combination, these two
                                                             qualities result in family groups of incredibly large size.
Gnomekin have a deep reverence for the earth and for
                                                             It is not uncommon for a Gnomekin child to have as
the earth goddess Terra, who is revered as their
                                                             many as two dozen siblings, forty aunts and uncles
people‟s benefactor. They are not much for dogma or
                                                             (their parents‟ siblings), and over five hundred first
formal ceremonies, but prefer simple prayer services
                                                             cousins (their parents‟ siblings‟ siblings). Throw in
conducted in sacred caverns by the female priestesses
                                                             parents, grandparents, great-grandparents,
of the Great Mother. Gnomekin inter their dead deep in
                                                             great-great-grandparents, and a veritable army of
the earth, or as they say, “close to the Goddess.”
                                                             second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh cousins,
Crystalomancy is a field of magic practiced extensively
                                                             and a Gnomekin‟s extended family may easily number
by the Gnomekin. They consider crystals to be a gift
                                                             into the thousands.
from Terra.
                                                             Marriage is yet another aspect of Gnomekin culture that
The Arts                                                     contributes to the growth of the family. For when
Gnomekin are experts at growing, polishing, cutting          Gnomekin of different families marry, each of the
and appraising all types of crystals and gemstones.          groups adopts the entire other clan as part of its family.
Decorative crystal gardens can be found throughout           In fact, it is said that a Gnomekin who chances to meet
any Gnomekin settlement, and the art of growing              another of his or her people anywhere in Talislanta can
colored crystals into beautiful shapes, called crystal       usually be assured the two of them are related in one
sculpture, is practiced by many Gnomekin. The                manner or another, whether through blood ties or
underground panoramas created by the best of these           marriage. So it is not necessarily an exaggeration when
artists are said to be quite breathtaking. Gnomekin          Gnomekin say that they are all part of one big family.”
music is soft and pleasant to the ear, and is something
of a family affair. The lilting melodies, sung by children
and adults together, are based on a five-tone scale and
                                                             Gnomekin Crystalomancer
have no words. Wind instruments made from tubular
                                                             Homeland: Durne
fungi and “drums” made from the caps of large
mushrooms are used for accompaniment.                        “Terra‟s seed is within this crystal. It will nurture you to
                                                             health again.”
                                                             Highway, and much of it is as familiar as your parents
You feel the presence of your goddess within the             and fifteen siblings. Other sections are foreign to your
crystals of your homeland. Under the phospho-rescence        people, and it has been your task to explore and map
of the cavern fungi, emeralite is the green of your          them. Two generations ago, even, your people had no
mother‟s eyes, and amberite is the gold of the lesser        need for these maps, as you rarely traveled beyond
sun setting. Crystal is to be nurtured, honored, shaped,     Durne. But the Subterranoids have emerged from your
and put to use. Perhaps more than mollusk, mushroom          dark legends, and the Satada have migrated westward.
or tuber, it is crystal that sustains your people.           Beyond those threats, the Highway is crucial to the
Certainly, your craft has helped the Gnomekin emerge         Seven Kingdoms, and the Queen sends caravans
as a true partner in the Seven Kingdoms. Your crystals       weekly these years. You have emerged from a long
now aid in powering the Cymrilian windships and their        slumber back into the light of history, and that light, as
other magics. The Sindarans covet your wares for their       the glare of the two suns, blinds you. Yet, just as you
alchemy, the Kasmirans for their traps, and the Thrall       wear cusps to shade your eyes from the suns, you wear
respect the keen edge of the crystal-blade. You are          your faith in Terra and in yourself to shield against fear
happy to share with these, your friends and neighbors,       of your people‟s rising status. To meet this fear, you
although you are uncertain how to acknowledge their          travel in the world above to find your place among the
gratitude and praise. The suns have not shone upon           other humanoid peoples. Their beds are never as
you so brightly for long generations. It is a curious        comfortable as the moss of your nook, they know
experience, to be noticed so, and you take care to bring     nothing of cooking fungi, and they have little sense of
no shame upon your family and monarchs. You are              modesty. There is good in almost all of them, though,
generous in trade, courteous in greeting, respectful of      and you probe gently to locate this hand of Terra upon
customs, and amiable with everyone you meet. Above           their souls. You are a part of their world, now, and you
all, you are excited by everything new you encounter,        are, quietly, proud to be Gnomekin.
as surprising as the ever-shifting glow of prismatite, as
familiar as the presence of Terra.                           Physical Characteristics: 2‟10”-3‟6”, 60-100 lbs.
                                                             Nut-brown complexion, wide green eyes, childlike
Physical Characteristics: 2‟10”-3‟6”, 60-100 lbs.            features, muscular physique, crest of soft black fur
Nut-brown complexion, wide green eyes, childlike             from center of forehead to small of back.
features, muscular physique, crest of soft black fur
from center of forehead to small of back.                    Attributes:
                                                             INT 0           STR +1          CR +4
Attributes:                                                  PER +1          DEX +4          MR 0
INT +2                 STR 0            CR 0                 WIL 0           CON +6          HP 28
PER 0           DEX +4          MR +4                        CHA +2          SPD 0
WIL 0           CON +6          HP 26
CHA +2          SPD 0                                        Special Abilities: Night vision; natural climbing ability
                                                             (+5); poor vision in sunlight (PER -3) without amber
Special Abilities: Night vision; natural climbing ability    cusps.
(+5); poor vision in sunlight (PER -3) without amber
cusps.                                                       Skills:
                                                             Crystalblade +4                 Geography +5
Skills:                                                      Sling +4                        Guide +5
Elemental Magic (Crystalomancy) Merchant +4                  Weapon <choice> +3              Weaponer +4
      Six Modes of choice +4     Geography +6                Evade +4                        Armorer +4
Agriculture (Crystal) +4         Climbing +1                 Tactics +3                      Climbing +3
Artificer +4                     Durnese, native             Scout +5                        Durnese, native
Appraiser (Crystal) +5           Low Talislan, fluent        Cartography +5                  Low Talislan, fluent

Equipment: Cloak, knee-length smock, pouch with              Equipment: Scale armor over rough linen tunic, cloak,
assorted crystals for spell-casting and for sale, amber      crystalblade, sling, pouch of twenty stones, four pottery
cusps, flask of mushroom ale.                                vials of stenchroot sap and orange fungus, choice of
                                                             weapon, amber cusps, flask of mushroom ale.
Wealth: 100     gold   lumens   in   crystals   and   gold
pentacles.                                                   Wealth: 50 gold lumens in crystals and gold pentacles.

Gnomekin Protector                                           Gnomekin Tunnel Runner
Homeland: Durne                                              Homeland: Durne

“Pardon for this disturbance, but must ask you to            "Will get message through, or die trying."
identify yourself and drop the war axe.”

You have spent your life traveling the Underground
You were always among the most agile and                      evil would shrivel and die. She has given much to Her
adventurous of your playmates, exploring new tunnels          children, and expects nothing in return, but only the
with excitement, and continually winning games of             most selfish or ignorant child can turn his back on Her
"Hide-Hole". The labyrinthine tunnels became as               nurturing hand. Sadly, many are oblivious to Terra‟s
familiar to you as Terra's all-encompassing love, and         affection, or worse, openly abuse her, poisoning Her
you undertook your training with eagerness tempered           with their wastes and depredations. While she still loves
with responsibility. As a tunnel runner, your role is vital   even these, her cruelest children, it is up to you as a
to the security of your homeland, racing along the maze       dutiful child to try and teach these wayward ones of the
of tunnels, relaying messages of great importance             pain they cause Her, and ultimately, the pain they
between Sentinel Posts, and evading obstacles, sentient       cause themselves. They must learn that if part of her
or otherwise, that could halt or slow you in your             dies beneath them, and Her gifts have been savagely
mission.    Unfortunately,    even    your    exceptional     squandered, they will face a land devoid of Her: a land
knowledge of the tunnel network, talent for remaining         that offers no sustenance or beauty. Now you have left
unseen, and astounding agility, do not always enable          the warmth and security of her womb in the earth to
you to avoid trouble, and you are glad the crystalblade       travel on Her surface, spreading the word of Her
at your side is for more than mere decoration. Even so,       ultimate compassion, and trying to heal the wounds
you fight only long enough to safely bypass your foe,         with which She has been afflicted. The sunlit world is
before running off again, leaving the bewildered              strange to you, but you know you can face any danger
opponent far behind. As your people rise in                   with Terra holding your hand, because she is always
prominence, you have traveled to the surface world            with you, as sure as the earth beneath your feet.
where you now act as a messenger of your people,
running through a world both alien and exciting.              Physical Characteristics: 2‟10”-3‟6”, 60-100 lbs.
                                                              Nut-brown complexion, wide green eyes, childlike
Physical Characteristics: 2'10"-3'6", 60-100 lbs.             features, muscular physique, crest of soft black fur
Nut-brown complexion, wide green eyes, childlike              from center of forehead to small of back.
features, muscular physique, crest of soft black fur
from center of forehead to small of back.                     Attributes:
                                                              INT +1                 STR 0            CR 0
Attributes:                                                   PER 0           DEX +4          MR +2
INT 0           STR 0            CR +3                        WIL +2          CON +6          HP 26
PER +1          DEX +5           MR 0                         CHA +3          SPD 0
WIL 0           CON +6           HP 27
CHA +2          SPD +1                                        Special Abilities: Night vision; natural climbing ability
                                                              (+5); poor vision in sunlight (PER -3) without amber
Special Abilities: Night vision; natural climbing ability     cusps.
(+5); poor vision in sunlight (PER -3) without amber
cusps.                                                        Skills:
                                                              Elemental Magic (Crystalomancy) Climbing +1
Skills:                                                            Four Modes of choice +3     Geography +5
Crystalblade +3         Geography +6                          Healer +5                        Song +3
Evade +5                Cartography +5                        Oratory +3                       Durnese, native
Stealth +4              Weaponer +2                           Doctrines - Terra +4             Low Talislan, fluent
Guide +6                Durnese, native                       Agriculture - Crystal +3
Scout +6                Low Talislan, fluent
Climbing +5                                                   Equipment: Hooded cloak, knee-length smock,
                                                              emeralite pendant, belt of plaited vegetation, pouch
Equipment: knee-length linen tunic, mossweave vest            with assorted crystals for spellcasting and for sale,
(PR 1), crystalblade, amber cusps, pouch, flask of            amber cusps, flask of mushroom ale.
mushroom ale.
                                                              Wealth: 25 gold lumens in crystals.
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in crystals and gold pentacles.
                                                              THE KASMIRANS
Gnomekin Daughter of Terra                                    The Kasmirans are short and lean with odd-looking,
                                                              shriveled features. They dress in hooded cloaks, loose
Homeland: Durne                                               robes, and curl-toed boots or slippers, apparel
                                                              well-suited to the extremes of their environment.
“Am only showing Terra‟s limitless love. No need to
thank.”
                                                              Ancestry
Faith in Terra fills you with warmth, hope, and security,     Originally a nomadic folk displaced by The Great
and you feel happy to be a child of the Mother. You feel      Disaster, the Kasmirans are a wealthy people, though
the tender embrace of Her love all around you, and            how they acquired their fortune is unknown; some say
know that if only all beings opened their hearts to Her,      they were once partners of the Djaffir. They established
settlements in the Kasmir desert around the beginning        or Queen is allowed to remain in office only so long as
of the second century.                                       the wealthy Kasmiran moneylenders feel he or she is
                                                             effectively representing their best interests. Any ruler
Society                                                      who fails to live up to their expectations is quickly
Kasmirans live in windowless stone towers, their doors       replaced. In Kasmir, individuals accused of a criminal
barred and locked to protect against thieves. Spy-tubes      act have the right to obtain legal counsel, at their
are used to scan the surroundings before allowing any        expense. Reneging on a contract is a very serious
visitor to enter. They subsist on a simple diet of coarse    offense, punishable by fines, reparations, and/or
black bread, desert palm fruit, a type of hard erd‟s         imprisonment. Kasmirans employ mercenaries to collect
cheese called kasmara, and cups of steaming-hot              on bad debts, and in extreme cases, may even hire
mochan. Kasmiran families are insular by nature and          Arimite Revenants to find those who flee in order to
suspicious of outsiders. Only members of the same            escape their responsibilities.
family and ancestral clan truly are trusted; a
Kasmiran‟s lineage is evident in his or her name, which      Magic & Religion
among Kasmirans serves as an individual‟s references         Kasmirans are atheists; they have no religion, and
(see Language). Cooperative endeavors with other             revere no deities. Some say that the ancestors of the
families can be achieved, though usually only through        Kasmirans abandoned their god after The Great
protracted negotiations. Kasmirans marry late in life,       Disaster, believing that he had forsaken them. A small
and never divorce. No marriage is allowed to take place      percentage of the Kasmiran population practices magic,
without the permission of both families. The husband is      mainly for its financial benefits. Kasmirians bury the
the nominal head of the household, though a wife who         dead along with a portion of their wealth in locked
earns more than her husband may surpass him in               stone vaults warded with traps of many sorts. The
influence. Children are raised by the parents until age      buried wealth is considered an investment, and a hedge
three, when they are sent to a guildschool to learn a        against inflation or other financial calamities. The traps
profession.                                                  are a necessary safeguard against tomb-robbers.

Customs                                                      The Arts
The Kasmirans are renowned throughout the continent          Kasmirans practice few crafts that do not have some
as misers, and as crafty negotiators. The Djaffir            immediate practical value. Most feel that their time is
merchant tribes, who still do business with the              best spent at work. The Kasmirans have no known
Kasmirans from time to time, commonly refer to them          musical tradition.
as tu-beshal, which means “blood-suckers,” though the
term carries certain lewd connotations as well. In truth,    Language
the Kasmirans are not cheap or stingy; they are just         Kasmirans are fluent in Low Talislan and the old Nomad
extremely frugal (see Kasmiran Etiquette). This is an        tongue. Kasmiran names are a combination of personal
old habit acquired from the days when the ancestors of       (first) name, family name, and ancestral clan name. For
the Kasmirans were poor desert nomads, homeless and          example, Azi al Din means “Azi of the al family, of the
destitute. In order to ensure that such an occurrence        Din tribe.” Other common names include Abn na Fal,
could ever happen again, Kasmirans made it a practice        Abas el Adin, Kafa da Nir, and so on.
to save and safeguard their money, which they keep in
personal vaults warded with multiple locks and               Defenses
trap-mechanisms.
                                                             Kasmir has no army of its own, but is protected by a
                                                             mercenary force comprised mainly of Thrall mangonel
In many ways, Kasmirans are different from the other
                                                             lizard cavalry and Blue Aeriad scouts. Most of these
mercantile peoples of Talislanta. Unlike the Ispasians,
                                                             troops are stationed in fortified barracks facilities
Kasmirans are hard-working folk who are not afraid to
                                                             located with a few miles of the eastern border of
get their hands dirty. They tend to be fiscally
                                                             Kasmir. Though the country as a whole has no
conservative, and don‟t like to invest in large-scale
                                                             organized system of fortifications, even the lowliest
commodities or risky ventures. Unlike the Farad,
                                                             Kasmiran tower-dwelling is like a fortress, capable of
Kasmirans never deal in drugs, stolen goods, or
                                                             withstanding a small siege force for several days.
dangerous contraband. Though they can be shrewd and
crafty, most Kasmirans are scrupulously honest, and
are sticklers for detail; their contracts are interpreted    Commerce
exactly, to the letter. Still, it is wise to read the fine   Money-lending is the business of the kingdom, and
print before signing a contract with a Kasmiran, in order    Kasmir‟s money-lenders, appraisers, and auditors are
to avoid the possibility of unpleasant surprises.            unexcelled in their respective crafts. They finance
                                                             caravans, buy and sell quantities of trade goods, and
                                                             lend money to fund small-to-medium-sized ventures of
Government                                                   many different sorts -- but only after careful scrutiny
The ruler of these people, known simply as the King or
                                                             and negotiation of contracts. Moneychangers are
Queen of Kasmir, is elected by a form of popular vote.
                                                             available in any Kasmiran settlement, and will gladly
However, only the heads of the one hundred most
                                                             convert foreign currencies at current rates of exchange
influential families are allowed to cast ballots. The King
                                                             in return for a fee of just one percent. Kasmir is also
known for its artificers, who create intricate              fear of thieves, and complaints associated with this
mechanisms such as puzzle locks, security devices, and      subject may reflect poorly upon your own intentions.
clockwork devices of superior quality. Their services are
in demand throughout the continent of Talislanta.           Kasmiran Trapmage
Worldview                                                   Homeland: Kasmir
Kasmirans are concerned about the wild tribes that
inhabit the territories on Kasmir‟s eastern border and      “Certainly, I can disarm the spring-needle in that lock.
beyond. Some believe that the Borderlands Legion            For a price.”
could not repulse a large-scale assault, and that the
three border outposts provide insufficient protection for   Your family, one of the eleven clans of the Barred
their country. Accordingly, the King of Kasmir has          Tower of Kasir, has constructed mechanisms for the
recommended that funds be raised for the construction       protection of valuables since the nomadic years. It has
of a so-called Wilderlands Wall, which would extend         improved its proficiency in every generation through
from Sindar to the southern border of Astar. The            your own. Across the continent, the engraved emblem
project would cost millions of gold lumens, however,        of your clan has turned away thieves - the devices you
and some Kasmirans have already begun to grumble            leave unmarked have had more direct results. Even the
about having to bear such an expense.                       Yassan respect your craft sufficiently to accuse you of
                                                            stealing their secrets. Outsiders refer to you as a
Kasmiran Etiquette                                          “trapmage.” They do not understand the subtleties of
The Kasmirans observe a great number of ancient             your profession nor the extent of your expertise. You
traditions, some of which may seem strange and even         are a wizard, yes, and an artificer of mechanical
bizarre to outsiders. When in the company of these          surprises. You are also a locksmith and an engineer, a
folk, outsiders would do well to familiarize themselves     person of business and of politics. Litigation, as well, is
with certain important rules of etiquette, which may be     a mechanism you master, and you enjoy the artful
expressed as follows:                                       sparring of words with its layered deceptions. On
                                                            occasion, when your observations have detected
If you are invited into a Kasmiran‟s home, knock once       defects in security, you are as much the collector as
on the door and wait patiently for a response. This may     any Sindaran. Your own subject of acquisition is money,
take several minutes, as it is likely that your host will   and you protect it not only from theft but from waste.
first scrutinize you thoroughly through a combination of    Away from Kasmir, when business calls, you are
peepholes and spy-tubes. Do not take offense; this is       sickened by the indulgence of other peoples and
the usual custom among all Kasmirans. When all locks        disturbed by the rampant invitations to theft. Windows,
have been undone, you may enter your host‟s home.           indeed. On the back of the lumen, you have found that
Again, be patient, as this may take a few moments.          you get the best of any deal with a foreigner. Yes, you
Visitors to a Kasmiran abode are expected to sit on the     will travel - for a price.
floor, as the Kasmir do themselves. A rug or mat will
always be provided for this purpose; take care not to       Physical Characteristics: 4‟6”-5‟, 70-110 lbs.
wipe your feet on it when you enter, as this is regarded    Mahogany brown skin, shriveled features, hunched
as a great insult. Your host will offer one or more         posture.
cushions for you to lean upon. Take it with your thanks;
such perquisites come free of charge. If a Kasmiran         Attributes:
host offers you more than one cushion it is a sign that     INT +3                   STR -1           CR 0
he or she regards you as a “valued customer” -- in          PER 0           DEX +3            MR +3
Kasmiran terms, one with whom the host hopes to do          WIL +1          CON 0             HP 19
business.                                                   CHA -1                   SPD -1

While visiting with your host never request food or         Skills:
drink unless it is offered to you. To make such a           Cryptomancy (Five Modes of choice) +3
request is considered poor manners; what if the             Spring-knife +3         Artificer (Security devices) +6
Kasmiran has only enough food and drink for himself?        Blade-staff +3          Litigator +3
Should refreshments be offered, the polite response is      Locks +6                Stealth +1
to offer monetary compensation to your host. The host       Traps +10               Low Talislan, native
should take only enough to pay the cost of purchasing,      Merchant +6             Nomadic, native
transporting, storing, cooking, and serving the food -      Engineer (Security structures) +6
any more than this would be impolite. Do not complain
about the lack of light inside a Kasmiran abode. For        Equipment: Hooded cloak, loose robe, curl-toed boots
economic reasons, Kasmirans rarely use more than a          slippers, concealed coin purses, heavy brass key-ring
single candle or small lantern to illuminate a room. This   affixed to belt via chain, spring-knife with pouch of six
may do little to dispel the gloom, for the typical          blades, blade-staff, assorted trap- and locksmith tools,
Kasmiran abode has no windows. However, keep in             locking iron-bound spell book and ledger.
mind that the lack of windows is due to the Kasmiran
Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens (hidden in vaults).                 Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens (hidden in vaults).

Kasmiran Engineer                                             Kasmiran Weaponsmith

Homeland: Kasmir                                              Homeland: Kasmir

“Hmm, the structural integrity of this wall has been          “Yes, I can easily install a retractable blade in the front
severely compromised, but I am certain I can reinforce        of your boot soles, for a generous fee of course.”
it adequately enough to resist anything short of a
rampaging land dragon. You speak of cost? What is cost        Outsiders fail to understand your thrifty nature, and
compared to peace of mind?”                                   accuse you of being miserly. You see them regard you
                                                              with derision, but you always note the glint of envy in
Given your culture‟s almost paranoid obsession with           their gaze, for they recognize the financial power you
security, it is little surprise that Kasmir boasts some of    wield, and covet that power themselves. Your people
the foremost experts on fortification. You are once such      have, of necessity, learned to defend themselves and
expert. While your kin may strive to increase their           their wealth, from burglars, thugs, and pickpockets. As
capital by laboring as moneylenders, trapsmages, and          a weaponsmith, an artificer-magician specializing in the
weaponsmiths, you have found it lucrative to use your         construction of elaborate and sophisticated personal
skills in service to the confederation and outsiders.         defense artifacts, you ensure some measure of safety
Never one to turn your nose at hard work, or to blanch        for your people when they must venture forth from
at the thought of dirtying your hands with physical           their windowless towers. You craft your cunning devices
labor, you advise individuals and military bodies on the      so that they resemble items more inoffensive in nature,
creation and repair of fortifications, both temporary and     for to carry obvious armament is to invite trouble.
permanent, as well as overseeing the construction of          Blade-staffs, blade-bracers, and spring-knives are your
said structures. In times of peace you design and build       mainstay, but you will readily construct any weapon for
the fortress-like towers of your kin, and other               the right price. Even the trapmages enlist your aid
security-conscious individuals. In times of conflict you      when they need blades or pins for their constructs. Like
work in the field, setting up temporary bases, bridges,       the spring-knife, your people may appear to be
and siege engines. Marketeering and moneylending              defenseless, but that is but a useful illusion.
may create wealth, it is true, but you have found your
skills and hard work are as magnets to the lumen, and         Physical Characteristics: 4‟6”-5‟, 70-110 lbs.
a source of pride as well, for your work is a physical        Mahogany brown skin, shriveled features, hunched
and enduring testament to your capability.                    posture.

Physical Characteristics: 4‟6”-5‟, 70-110 lbs.                Attributes:
Mahogany brown skin, shriveled features, hunched              INT +2                   STR -1           CR +2
posture.                                                      PER 0           DEX +3            MR +2
                                                              WIL +1          CON 0             HP 19
Attributes:                                                   CHA -1                   SPD -1
INT +2                   STR 0            CR +2
PER 0           DEX +2            MR +1                       Skills:
WIL +1          CON 0             HP 19                       Cryptomancy                       Weaponer +6
CHA -1                   SPD -1                                     Enchantment +3              Locks +4
                                                                    Two Modes of choice +3      Traps +4
Skills:                                                       Spring-Knife +4                   Litigator +3
Telescopic Staff +4             Merchant +6                   Blade-Staff +4                    Merchant +6
Spring-Knife +4                 Traps +4                      Blade-Bracer +4                   Low Talislan, native
Engineer - security structures +6 Locks +4                    Artificer - concealing items +6   Nomadic, native
Engineer - fortifications +6    Litigator +3
Engineer - bridges +4           Low Talislan, native          Equipment: Hooded cloak, loose robe, curl-toed boots,
Engineer - siege engines +3     Nomadic, native               slippers, concealed coin purses, heavy brass key-ring
Conveyance - cart +2                                          affixed to belt via chain, spring-knife with pouch of six
                                                              blades, blade-staff, pair of blade-bracers with pouch of
Equipment: Heavy hood, heavy boots, breeches,                 six blades, weaponer tools, assorted trap tools,
leather tunic and apron, concealed coin purses, heavy         assorted locksmith‟s tools, locking iron-bound spell
brass key-ring affixed to belt via chain, telescopic staff,   book and ledger.
spring-knife with pouch of six blades, engineering tools,
assorted trap tools, assorted locksmith‟s tools, locking      Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens (hidden in vaults).
iron-bound ledger, land lizard-drawn cart, assorted
shovels, picks, and sledgehammers, four-strong Monad          Kasmiran Moneylender
labor team.
                                                              The Djaffir call you tu-beshal, “blood-suckers.” They
never understood you, even in the old days. They enjoy
a life of risk; you are a people of caution. They play       Muses erect no permanent dwellings, shunning physical
loose with the laws of other peoples; you are                labor as tedious and uninspiring. They have a
meticulous about following a contract to the letter. That    near-symbiotic   relationship with    the   race   of
is the way things are done in Kasmir. It doesn‟t bother      woodwhisps, who serve them as “translators” (see
you that you are regarded as a miser. It is the highest      Customs) and by gathering food and erecting
compliment that a business acquaintance could give. It       impromptu tent-pavilions of gossamer and flowering
means you are good at what you do. You protect your          vines, which in Muse society pass for domiciles. In
family‟s fortune. You tend to it, as one tends to the sick   return, whisps are rewarded with stimulating
or to a cherished desert palm. You help it to grow, and      telempathic visions and the pleasure of the Muses‟
you are both stronger for it.                                company. Every Muse has at least one whisp
                                                             companion.
Physical Characteristics: 4‟6”-5‟, 70-110 lbs.
Mahogany brown skin, shriveled features, hunched             Customs
posture.                                                     To other Talislantans, Muses often seem distracted,
                                                             disinterested, and aloof. In fact, they are contemplative
Attributes:                                                  by nature, and are highly perceptive as regards their
INT +2                   STR -1           CR +1              surroundings. Muses rarely speak, preferring to
PER 0           DEX +2            MR +1                      communicate via telempathy, or thought-images, which
WIL +2          CON 0             HP 19                      are used to convey information and emotions. When
CHA -1                   SPD 0                               Muses wish to conserve telempathic energy, they have
                                                             their whisp companions speak for them. Given the
Skills:                                                      animated and occasionally sarcastic nature of whisps,
Spring-knife +4                   Locks +4                   communications of this sort can yield unusual results.
Blade-staff +4                    Traps +4
Moneylender +8                    Administrator +3           Muses are promiscuous, and may take numerous sexual
Merchant +7                       Low Talislan, native       partners - including non-Muses, though such unions
Litigator +4                      Nomadic, native            rarely bear offspring. These trysts may be of long or
                                                             short duration, but are always intensely passionate (at
Equipment: Hooded cloak, loose robe, curl-toed boots         least from the Muse‟s point of view). Sometimes the
slippers, concealed coin purses, heavy brass key-ring        attraction is such that a Muse will telempathically
affixed to belt via chain, spring-knife with pouch of six    “bond” with the object of his or her affection. While the
blades,    blade-staff,    locksmith‟s   tools,   locking    obsession lasts a Muse will follow the beloved one
iron-bound ledger.                                           anywhere he or she goes, sharing all that they
                                                             experience together. The infatuation may pass as
Wealth: 2,000 gold lumens (hidden in vaults).                quickly as it began, though Muses always remain
                                                             sentimental as regards their former lovers.
THE MUSES
Muses are among the most beautiful of the humanoid           Government
races. Their bodies are slender and lithe, their features    The Muses have no full-time King or Queen. Instead,
delicate and exquisitely fashioned. They dress in            they draw straws once each month to determine who is
translucent robes shaded in hues complementing the           to represent their people at the Council of Kings in
colors of their skin, hair, and butterfly wings - pastel     Cymril. The holder of the short straw is then
blue, aquamarine, turquoise, violet, and rose, to name       temporarily crowned King or Queen. Muses observe no
just a few.                                                  formal laws or customs, and generally do as they
                                                             please. Petty jealousies are not unknown, and may
Ancestry                                                     result in squabbles. Most are handled by those
Muses are descended from an archaic race of forest           involved, occasionally through intercession by whisps.
nymphs, possibly of magical origin; the ancient              Muses who commit a serious offense, such as the
Archaens often summoned such creatures for their             improper use of telempathic abilities, may be banished
pleasure, and their couplings occasionally yielded           from the group.
unexpected results.
                                                             Magic & Religion
Society                                                      Muses are natural telempaths, able to communicate by
The Muses have no actual settlements, but tend to            means of thoughts and images. All possess this unusual
congregate in groups of varying size and composition;        ability, the range and scope of which increase with
individuals come and go as they please. Muse children        practice. Muses can sense the strong emotions of
are raised by the group‟s whisps, who teach them how         others, broadcast and receive thoughts, project mental
to fly and to find food. Young Muses must develop            images, sense the presence of living beings, and even
telempathic powers for themselves, as these talents are      influence other‟s emotions. Muses have no formal
never taught.                                                religion, but revere nature spirits of all sorts and have a
                                                             great love of life. The death of a Muse or a
whisp-companion is regarded as a great tragedy,
requiring an elaborate funeral that may go on for days      At the first sign of danger, Muses will often project a
after the deceased has been laid to rest.                   form of imagery intended to warn or frighten potential
                                                            aggressors; usually, at less than full strength, as Muses
The Arts                                                    are averse to causing pain if it can be avoided. The
Muses possess a natural talent for all artistic pursuits.   effects of this type of telempathic projection may be
They create enchanting musical instruments, tapestries      instantaneous, like a sudden premonition of doom, or
of colored gossamer, and other fine goods, but only         may escalate over the course of several moments.
when stricken by inspiration. The making of telempathic     Warning imagery can cause the subject to experience
“paintings” and vistas, among the most ephemeral of         feelings ranging from a disturbing sense of insecurity or
arts, is also a specialty of these people. The music of     inadequacy to a nameless, deep-rooted dread. If the
the Muses tends to be soft, sweet, lyrical; stringed        intended target has a great deal of willpower, these
instruments are preferred. Muses do not sing songs,         feelings can be overcome or ignored. Should this occur
though they may project telempathic images as a form        the Muse may project the warning again and again,
of accompaniment to their music.                            each time increasing the amount of mental power used.

Language                                                    Should repeated warning imagery fail to achieve the
                                                            desired result, the Muse may have no choice but to use
Muses are fluent in High Talislan and Sylvan, but regard
                                                            the most dangerous form of projection: telempathic
common speech as coarse and unaesthetic. They much
                                                            hallucination, a concerted assault upon that part of the
prefer to communicate telempathically, and will often
                                                            attacker‟s brain that controls the senses. Using
use whisp “translators” to put their thoughts into
                                                            telempathy, the Muse can alter the subject‟s perception
words. Muse names are based on flower-names, such
                                                            of reality in any way desired, creating terrifying
as Lilyandre and Aramantus.
                                                            illusions, crippling phobias, or impairing one or more of
                                                            the subject‟s senses. A sustained attack of this nature
Defenses                                                    can render the subject utterly insane, bereft of his or
Muses have no weapons or armies, and in fact are            her senses, or trapped in a hallucinatory reality from
averse to physical violence. However, they are by no        which there is no escape.
means defenseless, as many an intruder into Astar has
discovered, to his or her regret (see Telempathic
Defense below).
                                                            Muse Telempath

                                                            Homeland: Astar
Commerce
Muses care nothing for riches, though they are              “He wants me to ask you where you plan to drag us
attracted to things of beauty, music, and sweets. Such      both next, „dear thing‟.” [as “translated” by a Whisp
things as they require are readily available from the       companion]
surrounding environs: pollen, blossom nectar, and
honey for food; gossamer for clothes, rare woods for        Are you truly as aloof and frivolous as you appear to
musical instruments. The gossamer tapestries and            others? That is not a matter that you would ever deign
other artistic wares that thy sometimes create are          to discuss. There is little that you find interesting
treasured throughout the Seven Kingdoms and beyond.         enough to drive you to speech. Your voice and the
                                                            languages of the other humanoids are such limited
Worldview                                                   tools. You find yourself frustrated when forced to rely
The Muses of Astar remain as they always have been -        upon them. Such moments are rare, for your whisp
aloof, and seemingly preoccupied with their own             companion accompanies you always, translating from
concerns. Attitudes towards these folk have begun to        your telempathic projections for those confused by
change, as the full extent of their extraordinary           them. The being with whom you have bonded has long
telempathic powers begins to be understood by the           since grown accustomed to the images and emotions
other members of the Seven Kingdoms.                        you send and responds with thoughts for you to
                                                            perceive. This confidante, your friend and lover, has led
Telempathic Defense                                         you upon experiences that other Muses will never
Because the Muses of Astar are delicate and sensitive       know, unless you choose to show them through the
creatures, they are regarded by many other Talislantan      telempathic images that you compose to complement
races as weak and defenseless. Nothing could be             your music. There is a vicarious thrill, it is true, in
further from the truth, as anyone who has ever made         experiencing this other being‟s life through your bond.
the mistake of threatening or angering a Muse can           There is a sense of aesthetic value in the ripples of
attest. While Muses stringently avoid the use of            historical tide that you witness. There are the vivid
weapons or physical violence, they are by no means as       impressions from which you derive your art. Yet this
defenseless as they may appear. The ability to project      obsession may be as ephemeral as your creations. Your
mental images via telempathy can be a powerful, and         bond-mate, you are certain, fears as much. If it is to
even deadly, weapon.                                        be, it will make a grand lament indeed.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 80-140 lbs. Skin,          curiosity and your trusty bow and spear. Adventure,
hair, and butterfly-like wings in pastel hues (blue,          excitement and sweets await!
aquamarine, turquoise, violet, rose), delicate features,
lithe body.                                                   Physical Characteristics: 6”, 3 oz, diminutive
                                                              humanoid, with skin of green or brown hue, and
Attributes:                                                   verdant butterfly wings.
INT +3                 STR -3       CR -5
PER +3          DEX +3        MR +4                           Attributes:
WIL -2          CON -3        HP 17                           INT +1                 STR -10      CR +3
CHA +2          SPD -1*                                       PER +4          DEX +8        MR +3
                                                              WIL -2          CON -1        HP 2
Special Abilities: Natural Telempathy; Limited Flight -       CHA +1          SPD +8*
may remain airborne for two minutes per level of
ability, then must rest for at least twice as long before     Special Abilities: Flight, whisp-sized weapons only do
flying again; Infatuated with one specific being (choose      1pt of damage, *SPD -3 on the ground, whisps count as
during character creation).                                   „Smaller than man-sized‟ targets for ranged attacks
                                                              (attackers using ranged weapons suffer a -10 penalty
Skills:                                                       to hit them).
Telempathy +2                 Music +4
Limited Flight +4             Herb Lore +1                    Skills:
Natural Magic (Three Modes of choice) +1                      Natural Magic                 Herb Lore +3
Artificer +4                  High Talislan, native                Three Modes of choice +3         Stealth +3
Art +4                        Sylvan, native                  Aerial Combat +4              Weaponer +1
                                                              Spear +3                      Survival +3
Equipment: Translucent gossamer robe of pastel                Bow +3                        Low Talislan, native
colors, one or more musical instruments, pouch                Evade +2                      Sylvan, native
(pigments, blossoms, nectar), whisp companion.                Guide +3

Wealth: None; whisp companion may have 25 gold                Equipment: Tiny spear tipped with a thorn or stone
lumens.                                                       chip, tiny bow and quiver of 15 wooden arrows, small
                                                              woven grass pouch.
Wood Whisp
                                                              Wealth: None.
Homeland: Astar and other woodlands
                                                              THE SINDARIANS
“Hee hee! Can‟t catch me! Wheeeeee!”                          Sindarans bear little resemblance to any other
                                                              humanoid species native to the continent. They stand
The world is so big, and it‟s full of interesting things.     over seven feet in height, emaciated in build, with
You dart among the boughs of mighty trees, living in          wrinkled, sandy-colored skin. All Sindarans have a row
their branches, supping blossom nectar and nibbling on        of horn-like nodules running from the crown of the head
fruit. Tricksy and mischievous, you delight in teasing        to the back of the neck, and a curved spur of cartilage
and pranking the silly „giants‟ that inhabit this overlarge   protruding from beneath the chin. They dress in cloaks,
world. They‟re funny and strange, and easy to anger,          loincloths, and sandals, with earrings, wrist bracers,
but they are fascinating, and often carry many weird          and ankle bracers for decoration for both genders.
and wonderful things which curiosity demands you              Sindarans are dual-encephalons; they have two brains,
investigate. Of course, that only irritates them further.     each capable of independent function.
You‟ll never understand the big sillies, but that doesn‟t
mean you can‟t have fun trying. Even the Muses, who
                                                              Ancestry
you dearly love, are silly in their own little way, so it‟s
                                                              The Sindarans are descended from the Neurians, a race
down to you and your kin to protect them from
                                                              that is alien to Talislanta and originated from another
themselves in this vast strange world. Exuberant and
                                                              world or dimension. Long ago a Neurian vessel
high-spirited, boredom is one of your greatest fears,
                                                              accidentally arrived in Talislanta, possibly through a
and you‟ll go to insane lengths to alleviate it.
                                                              gate or rift created by the sorcerers of ancient
Quick-witted and imaginative, you can be surprisingly
                                                              Archaeus. Stranded in a strange world, the Neurians
acerbic and sarcastic when even slightly annoyed. Still,
                                                              settled on a distant continent, where they lived until the
you recognize your own limitations, and will flee from a
                                                              coming of The Great Disaster. They attempted to
superior force. Better to use trickery and cunning, with
                                                              escape the destruction of their adopted homeland in a
a healthy number of reinforcements, to fight your
                                                              great sky-spanning ark, but met with disaster and
battles. Of course, only a foolish giant would
                                                              crash-landed on the continent of Talislanta. After a
underestimate you, because you fight fiercely when
                                                              period of wandering the survivors settled in their
need dictates it. The lure of the wider world has proven
                                                              current home, where they became known as the
too much to resist, so you‟ve set out armed with wit,
                                                              Sindarans.
                                                              great significance to the contestants. Trivarian
Society                                                       tournaments are held throughout Sindar, and are
Sindarans live in mesa-top communes composed of               considered events of great importance by the
elegant tiered structures, each built around a structure      Sindarans. Wagering is popular, the odds often wildly
of carved stone blocks and hardwoods imported from            fluctuating with each turn.
Vardune and Taz. Gossamer curtains, dyed various
shades of orange and burnt umber, serve as the walls          Second only to trivarian is collecting (see The
of the Sindarans‟ pavilions, and provide a measure of         Collectors). Sindaran collectors are completists who find
privacy while retaining a feeling of wide-open spaces.        it difficult to resist indulging in their obsession. One
Communication between Sindaran communes is made               should never touch a collector‟s cherished wares unless
possible by means of large reflective crystals, which are     specifically invited to do so, as this may be construed
mounted on tripods and used to flash coded messages           by a Sindaran as attempted theft.
from one outpost to the next.
                                                              Government
Sindarans choose their mates on the basis of intellect;       Every third year, a five-day trivarian tournament is held
intelligence is a measure of “beauty” to these folk. They     to determine the best player in the land. The victor
wed in a simple ceremony, the two vowing to remain            assumes the rulership of the kingdom, and the title of
both together and separate; the essence of                    Nadir Absolute. Sindarans of successively lower
dual-encephaly. Both the male and female share all            trivarian rank serve as governors of the settlements,
responsibilities of the household and family. Sindarans       advisors, or magistrates. Sindaran law guarantees the
young measure over three feet tall at birth, and are so       right to a fair trial. Sindaran litigators are the most
thin as to nearly be translucent. With the exception of       skilled in Talislanta. Trials are presided over by a pair of
newborn Kasmirans (who are as shriveled and wrinkled          Sindaran Magistrates, and are exceedingly long affairs -
as adult Kasmirans), Sindaran young are arguably              the opposing counsels are likely to present the “pro‟s”
among the least attractive babies of any humanoid             and “cons” not only of their own side, but also of the
species. Fortunately, this is not a factor as regards the     opposing side.
parents, who lavish considerable attention and affection
upon their children.                                          Magic & Religion
                                                              Sindarans revere a deity similar in some respects to the
Sindarans subsist on a diet of vegetables and tubers,         Talislantan Creator, but known to Sindarans as “The
supplemented by certain powdered minerals and                 Duality,” signifying the joining of mind and spirit.
crystals. These substances are required to meet               Sindarans relate the “heavens” to the stars, where they
Sindaran nutritional needs, which are different than          believe their lost home world can be found. Sindarans
those of native Talislantans. Skoryx, a potent liquor of      do not bury their dead. Instead, following a short
rare qualities and multiple taste sensations, is a favorite   ceremony the body of the deceased is disposed of by
drink.                                                        dissolution in alchahest, leaving not so much as a trace.

Customs                                                       The Arts
Sindaran culture is influenced by the concept of Duality,     Sindarans possess some talent for metallurgy, creating
or the attraction of opposites. The ability of Sindarans      decorative jewelry and other items of silver, a metal
to follow two lines of thought simultaneously is both         found in quantity in Sindar. Sindaran metalwork is
alien and somewhat disconcerting to most Talislantans.        exceptionally well-crafted, and of strange, though by no
Further complicating matters is the propensity of             means unattractive, design. Sindarans have no musical
Sindarans to argue both points of any issue before            tradition of their own, but have a great appreciation for
arriving at a single decision. Sindarans may lose their       music of all sorts, particularly the complex music of the
dual-encephalic abilities through accident, injury, or        Bodor.
attempting to practice magic. Individuals who have
suffered such a fate often become irrational and              Language
unpredictable, and are called “Sindra”, a respectful yet      Sindarans are fluent in both High and Low Talislan, and
condescending term meaning “demented one”.                    frequently combine elements of both dialects in order to
                                                              express contrasting concepts. They tend to be verbose,
Sindarans have two passions: trivarian and collecting.        and are partial to the use of multi-syllabic words. If
Trivarian is a test of skill that requires an exceptional     given the opportunity, a Sindaran can go on for hours
degree of intellect and abstract reasoning, and is            about almost any subject. Sindaran nomenclature is
virtually impossible for anyone but dual-encephalons to       arranged by gender, “personal” name, and family
comprehend. Sindarans say that it is inaccurate to refer      name. Common “personal” names for males include
to trivarian as a “game,” as it is much more that. The        Taj, Nas, Dar, Naj; female personal names are similar,
physical    components       of   trivarian   include  a      but end in an “i” as in Taji, Nasi, Dari, Neji. Family
pyramid-shaped crystal, which is suspended above a            names are used as last names, and are the same for
table. Orbs of colored crystal, engraved with complex         both sexes. Common ones include Modan, Nadar,
symbology, are inserted into various slots in the             Motas, Najar, and Narune.
pyramid, producing patterns of colored light which have
Defenses                                                     intellectual acquisition. In fact, completing a collection
A folk enamored of subtlety and intrigue, Sindarans          is a rare thing indeed. Many collections are works in
prefer to disguise the defensive capabilities of their       progress, handed down from one generation to another.
mesa-top settlements. Popular tactics and devices            Happy is the day when a Sindaran completes such a
include concealed weapons that can be employed vs.           collection, fulfilling his or her personal goals and the
airborne attack, and the use of secret tunnels, through      aspirations of his or her ancestors as well.
which Sindaran defenders can launch surprise
counter-attacks upon would-be invaders. Sindaran             Another rationale for the Sindarans‟ interest in
militias patrol the territories around their settlements     collecting may also exist. No less a personage than the
on foot and in light windskiffs, which they obtain from      naturalist Thystram speculated that the Sindarans
Cymril.                                                      collect things because they are searching for fragments,
                                                             traces, or clues to the location of the Neurian ark that
Commerce                                                     crashed somewhere in Talislanta during The Great
Sindarans produce silver, which is sold in ten-pound         Disaster. Thystram believed that this ship might well
ingots or worked into various decorative and useful          contain lost secrets that would allow the Sindarans to
goods. They also make and sell many different types of       return to their home world.
alchemical mixtures, medicines, and remedies. Most
Sindaran wares are shipped to Cymril for sale                Sindaran Collector
throughout the Seven Kingdoms and elsewhere, though
considerable savings can be had by purchasing direct         Homeland: Sindar
from the Sindarans themselves.
                                                             “It is relevant to our situation that my predilection
Worldview                                                    towards acquiring obsidian sculptures has imparted
The Sindarans play an important role in formulating          knowledge of fracture patterns among... „Get to the
policy for the Seven Kingdoms, but prefer to keep a low      point,‟ you request? Certainly. I believe that the
profile as pertains to relations with foreign lands.         columns directly above you will soon collapse under the
Sindarans have interests apart from those of the             weight of the ceiling.”
confederation, but in diplomatic matters they generally
abide by the decisions of the Council of Seven Kings -       There are two aspects to your identity that account for
after first presenting their own views in detail, of         an expansive percentage of your temperament: you are
course.                                                      a dual-encephalon, and you are a collector. The former
                                                             quality provides intellectual capacities that demarcate
The Collectors                                               you from other sentient beings; you have found that
                                                             you     pity   mono-encephalons       for    their mental
Of great importance to every Sindaran is his or her
                                                             impediment and for their compulsion to sleep, although
collection. Indeed, to the Sindarans collecting is not
                                                             you have admiration for what they accomplish with
simply a hobby, or even an obsession. It is a means of
                                                             such sparse resources. The latter quality defines your
personal expression, and of developing those virtues
                                                             objectives in this existence, more so than any supposed
held in the highest regard by the Sindaran people:
                                                             profession. Alchemy, artisanship, administration - these
pandidactism, persistence, and patience.
                                                             are menial talents practiced to meet physical and
                                                             biological necessities. Political maneuvering, military
Before obtaining a single collectible the neophyte
                                                             strategy, and scholarship may offer significant
collector may spend months or even years researching
                                                             challenges, but the veracity of the matter is that such
numerous fields of study, ranging from naturalism to
                                                             professions are vehicles for the process of acquisition.
numismatics, cosmology, metaphysics, linguistics,
                                                             Your     own    preoccupation     has     consumed  your
antiquities, and so forth. After much study the aspiring
                                                             meditations from your earliest memories of childhood
collector will eventually settle upon a single field of
                                                             within the umber pavilion of your parents. You have
study, and choose a specialty within his or her chosen
                                                             other passions: drinking skoryx stimulates the senses,
field. Once the specialty has been chosen the collector
                                                             and mastering Trivarian is a process that reflects your
will begin a second period of research, intended to
                                                             lifelong cerebral development. Yet your collection is
uncover all available information on the subject. During
                                                             what propels you repeatedly towards obscure locations
this phase a Sindaran may spend many months
                                                             with companions who will never entirely comprehend
scouring libraries and archives throughout Sindar,
                                                             your musings and fixations. Conversely, you have
sometimes even traveling to foreign lands.
                                                             discovered no valid justification not to edify them
                                                             further, despite their protestations.
Once a collection is begun, the collector will never be
completely satisfied until it is complete in every detail.
                                                             Physical Characteristics: 7‟-7‟4”, 180-220 lbs.
This does not mean that a collector must personally
                                                             Rough, sandy-hued skin, emaciated build, row of
acquire every single object or artifact that falls within
                                                             horn-like nodules running from crown of head to back
his or her specialty. Rather, completion can be achieved
                                                             of neck, curved spur of cartilage protruding beneath
as long as the collector has located and at least studied
                                                             chin.
every item relevant to his or her collection. To
Sindarans, material acquisition is not as important as
                                                             Attributes:
INT +8                  STR -1           CR +2              of neck, curved spur of cartilage protruding beneath
PER 0           DEX 0            MR -5                      chin.
WIL +4          CON 0            HP 18
CHA 0           SPD 0                                       Attributes:
                                                            INT +8                 STR -1           CR +2
Special Abilities: Dual-Encephalon.                         PER +2         DEX 0            MR -5
                                                            WIL +4         CON 0            HP 18
Skills:                                                     CHA 0          SPD 0
Rod of Alchemy +4                Collector +4
Five Scholar Skills of choice +3 Alchemy +3                 Special Abilities: Dual-Encephalon.
Two Trade Skills of choice +3 High Talislan, native
Brewer/Vintner (Skoryx) +2       Low Talislan, native       Skills:
Trivarian +1                                                Rod of Alchemy +5      Litigator +3
                                                            Weapon <choice> +3     Underworld +3
Equipment: Cloak, loincloth (males) or caftan               Tracking +3            Stealth +4
(females), sandals, silver earrings and necklace, wrist     Pilot (Windskiff) +4   Scholar Skill of choice +3
and ankle bracers, bandoleer pouches with ten               Collector +2           Trivarian +1
amberglass vials of various powders, rod of alchemy         Cryptography +4        High Talislan, native
(projects vials of powder), Trivarian game, collection,     Analysis +4            Low Talislan, native
flask of skoryx, alchemical apparatus, assorted tomes.      Interrogate +4

Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens in assorted currencies and        Equipment: Cloak, loincloth (males) or caftan
collectibles.                                               (females), sandals, silver earrings and necklace, wrist
                                                            and ankle bracers, bandoleer pouches with ten
Sindaran Effectuator                                        amberglass vials of various powders, rod of alchemy
                                                            (projects vials of powder), choice of weapon, Trivarian
Homeland: Sindar                                            game, collection, flask of skoryx, assorted tomes.

“A being of your nature may conceive that one has the       Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens in assorted currencies and
capacity to commit such a crime without detection and       collectibles.
retribution. Yet, only one who exhibits the thought
capacity of a durge would believe so.”                      Sindaran Mesa Sentinel

You are of the most intelligent species living on           Homeland: Sindar
Talislanta, and your profession is to penetrate
mysteries; no being could be more suited to one‟s task      “Based on the calculations I have reached due to the
in life. Since your skin was still translucent, you have    dust-settlement and erosion level within the tracks of
been drawn to puzzles, and your toys as a small child       the twelve-strong Za party we are currently pursuing, I
would confound most other beings. Before you had            would estimate that they are precisely two hours, six
attained the age of ten years, you had come to the          minutes in advance of us.”
conclusion that you would train with the Order of Mesa
Security at its primary facilities at Nankar. Under the     Given the blatantly apparent security provided by
tutelage of four successive Effectuator Nadirs, you have    dwelling atop such a towering edifice as a mesa
developed proficiency sufficient to predict before they     provides, the intellectually-impaired mono-encephalon
occur infractions of public ordinances. More difficult,     might be forgiven for reaching the erroneous conclusion
typically, is resisting the desire to advance your          that your people, the dual encephalon Sindarans, have
collection at the expense of your investigations;           no further requirements in terms of defensive
primary among the lessons taught to students of the         capabilities. Such a miscalculated judgement is to be
Order is the ability to resist the inevitable attempts at   considered naive, for logic dictates that a substantive
bribery along this tangent. You presently pursue            force of invaders could lay siege to a single mesa, and
enigmas to which you are unaccustomed - the veracity        however slim the chances are of such an event
of pseudo-historical mythologies among the other            occurring, the prudent and intelligent make allowances
humanoid populations, and the current locales of            for such an eventuality.
artifacts from Ages prior to the Great Disaster. You are
confident that you will discover mysteries that will        As a volunteer in Sindar‟s Mesa Sentinel militia
astound even one such as yourself, and equally certain      organization, you bolster the natural defenses provided
that few things you encounter will exceed your powers       by the geological formations atop which your people
of comprehension.                                           dwell. You reconnoiter the surrounding landscape,
                                                            reporting substantial threats, observing and tracking
Physical Characteristics: 7‟-7‟4”, 180-220 lbs.             potential hazards, and dissuading minor inconveniences
Rough, sandy-hued skin, emaciated build, row of             by means physical and persuasive. While your skills at
horn-like nodules running from crown of head to back        piloting the aerial vessels known as windskiffs, does
                                                            permit you to perform your designated duties in a
reasonable secure manner, your work does on occasion       of neck, curved spur of cartilage protruding beneath
necessitate more direct investigation and intervention,    chin.
and although you abhor physical violence as base, you
possess the requisite skills and trappings to indulge in   Attributes:
such, should circumstance require it.                      INT +4                  STR -1           CR +2
                                                           PER 0           DEX 0            MR 0
Physical Characteristics: 7‟-7‟4”, 180-220 lbs. Rough      WIL -2          CON 0            HP 18
sandy-hued skin, emaciated build, row of horn-like         CHA -1                  SPD 0
nodules running from crown of head to back of neck,
curved spur of cartilage protruding beneath chin.          Special Abilities: No longer Dual-Encephalon; requires
                                                           sleep; prone to violent mood swings and bouts of
Attributes:                                                dementia.
INT +8                 STR -1           CR +2
PER +1         DEX 0            MR -5                      Skills:
WIL +4         CON 0            HP 18                      Rod of Alchemy +4               Trade Skill of choice +2
CHA 0          SPD 0                                       Collector +3                    High Talislan, native
                                                           Alchemy +2                      Low Talislan, native
Special Abilities: Dual-Encephalon.                        Two Scholar Skills of choice +2

Skills:                                                    Equipment: Cloak, loincloth (males) or caftan
Rod of Alchemy +5      Pilot - windskiff +3                (females), sandals, silver earrings and necklace, wrist
Weapon of choice +3    Collector +2                        and ankle bracers, bandoleer pouches with ten
Tracking +4            Trivarian +1                        amberglass vials of various powders, rod of alchemy
Scout +4               Scholar Skill of choice +3          (projects vials of powder), collection, flask of skoryx,
Tactics +3             Trade Skill of choice +3            alchemical apparatus, assorted tomes.
Guide +3               High Talislan, native
Survival +3            Low Talislan, native                Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens in assorted currencies and
                                                           collectibles.
Equipment: Cloak, loincloth (males) or caftan
(females), sandals, silver earrings and necklace, wrist
and ankle bracers, bandoleer pouches with ten              THE THRALLS
amberglass vials of various powders, rod of alchemy        Thralls are uniformly tall and muscular of build. Hairless
(projects vials of powder), weapon of choice, Trivarian    and devoid of pigmentation, they are distinguishable
game, collection, flask of skoryx, assorted tomes.         only by sex; otherwise, all Thralls look exactly alike. In
                                                           defiance of this inbred genetic trait, Thralls decorate
Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens in assorted currencies and       their bodies from head to toe with elaborate tattoos,
collectibles.                                              thereby attaining some degree of individuality. Males
                                                           dress in sandals and loincloths; females in vest,
                                                           loincloth, and sandals.
(NPC archetype)
                                                           Ancestry
Sindra “Demented One”                                      A hybrid race created long ago by the sorcerers of some
                                                           ancient and forgotten kingdom, Thralls were bred to
Homeland: Sindar                                           serve as an army of slave warriors. After The Great
                                                           Disaster they were freed from servitude, and spent
You sleep now, and you know what it is to dream. It is
                                                           many years wandering in the Wilderlands of Zaran.
a struggle between your two minds; since the accident
                                                           They eventually settled in the jungles of Taz, and later
that injured your sensorium, they function erratically.
                                                           joined the Seven Kingdoms confederation.
Now your own kind regards you as one of the “Sindra” -
the Demented Ones. They treat you with pity and fear;
the former because you have “fallen” to the level of
                                                           Society
other humanoids; the latter because it reminds them        The Thralls of Taz live in settlements ringed by high
that the same fate may yet befall them. They do not        palisade walls constructed of cut stone blocks. Each
understand the freedom, the rapidity with which you        village is a fortified camp, with sheds for supplies and
can now make decisions, the emotions that sway you,        provisions, stables for mangonel lizard mounts, a
released from the double-binding logic of your people.     foundry for making weapons and armor, and communal
Your inability to play Trivarian - that is something to    barracks. Thrall society is based upon the military chain
pity. But they cannot imagine what it is to dream.         of command. The family is like a platoon; a settlement
                                                           comprised of many families operates like a division,
Physical Characteristics: 7‟-7‟4”, 180-220 lbs.            while the race of Thralls functions like an army. Males
Rough, sandy-hued skin, emaciated build, row of            and females form “alliances” rather than marrying,
horn-like nodules running from crown of head to back       remaining steadfastly loyal to each other until death.
                                                           Their young are raised in separate training facilities,
                                                           and learn to fend for themselves quickly (by eight years
of age Thralls are fully-grown). Thrall children remain        race, and by doing so, learn much about them without
loyal to their parents throughout their lives, but also        the need for verbal communication (see Thrall Tattoo
forge a strong sense of duty from their common link to         Symbology). When off duty, Thralls enjoy physical
the division to which they belong.                             sports such as Tazian wrestling and melee.

Customs                                                        Language
Bred for combat, Thralls know no other way of life.            All Thralls converse in Low Talislan. Despite the
While their talents are limited to martial abilities, they     stereotype, Thralls do not speak poorly; rather, they
have developed a unique culture that sets them apart           speak simply, and often movingly. Common names
from the other warrior peoples of Talislanta. Unlike the       tend to have a militaristic slant, such as Ramm, Axa,
Kang, Thralls excel both at offense and defense, and           Axus, Striker, Barax, Kadre, Fortus, Blade, Trebuchet,
are never ruled by their passions. Unlike the Danuvians        Arbelest, and Cestus.
they have no elite units, and never discriminate on the
basis of gender.                                               Defenses
                                                               The Thralls maintain one of the best-trained and most
Thralls are skilled strategists and careful planners. The      efficient military forces in Talislanta. In essence, the
chain of command is rigidly adhered to, and their              entire adult Thrall population is part of the military.
troops are always disciplined and highly motivated.            Each unit has its own logistical operations and
Thrall units are never demoralized or routed; if required      responsibilities:    supply,   recon,     artillery, the
to retreat units always do so in an orderly fashion.           construction and maintenance of fortifications, heavy
Thralls are skilled tacticians who possess an instinctive      cavalry, infantry, and so forth. Thrall forces play an
ability to grasp even the most complex military                integral role in the defense of the Seven Kingdoms,
strategies. Conversely, Thralls have little interest in        particularly in the Borderlands Legion, which guards the
other skills and professions, which they generally do not      western border with the Wilderlands of Zaran.
comprehend. The highly specialized nature of Thralls
has led some folks to assume that they are dull-witted         Commerce
or ignorant. However, it is a grave mistake to                 Taz is mainly self-sufficient, producing most of the
underestimate a Thrall.                                        equipment and provisions necessary to maintain its
                                                               populace. When there is a surplus of goods available,
Government                                                     Thrall supply units export these wares to Cymril for sale
The Thralls are ruled by an individual known as the            or trade. When provisions run short, they import
Warrior King or Warrior Queen of Taz; essentially,             materials from outside sources. Several of the Seven
Commander in Chief of the Thralls. The position is open        Kingdom countries hire Thralls units as mercenary
to challenge by duel once every year, with the winner          defenders, providing an additional source of revenue.
awarded ruling status. The government is organized like
a military chain of command, with commanders,                  Worldview
sub-commanders, platoon leaders, and soldiers. Military        Taz is an active and integral part of the Seven
Tribunals handle all legal matters, which are adjudged         Kingdoms confederation, planning strategies for
in the manner of a military court martial. Offenders           national defense and helping keep the Seven Roads
may be demoted in rank, or in extreme cases, thrown            safe for merchants and travelers. Thralls rarely get
in the brig. Due to the Thralls innate devotion to duty        involved with foreign relations or diplomatic matters,
and respect for rank serious offenses are extremely            preferring to leave such concerns to the Cymrilians or
rare.                                                          other members of the confederation.

Magic & Religion                                               Thrall Tattoo Symbology
Thralls possess no talent whatever for magic. They             Thrall tattoos, while colorful in appearance, are not just
revere the warrior-spirits of their early ancestors,           a form of decoration. Nor are the designs simply a
whose names live on in tales passed from one                   means of instilling a sense of individuality into a race
generation to the next. Thralls have no illusions as to        whose members otherwise look exactly alike. Instead,
their origins. They know that their race was created by        the intricate symbology utilized in Thrall tattoos
sorcery, rather than some deific being. Thralls cremate        provides a virtual record of the wearer‟s life and
their dead in a simple but moving ceremony. To die in          history. In order to obtain some idea of how to read
battle, defending one‟s beliefs is considered the highest      Thrall tattoos one must understand the importance of
honor.                                                         the tattoo‟s location, color, and symbolism.

The Arts                                                       The location of a tattoo determines the general type of
Thralls practice no arts or crafts that are not related to     information it conveys. For example, the tattoos on a
the military, though long ago they adopted the practice        Thrall‟s head depict an individual‟s name, rank, and
of decorating their bodies with tattoos. These markings        such personal embellishments as he or she prefers.
represent the individual‟s place of birth, clan affiliation,   Name and rank are indited on the forehead, for easy
rank, and achievements, and constitute a great source          recognition. Promotions and commendations appear
of pride. Thralls can “read” the tattoos of others of their    along the sides and back of the head. Personal
embellishments are primarily decorative in nature, and        PER 0           DEX +2          MR -5
are located in the areas around the eyes, nose, cheeks,       WIL +2          CON +4          HP 30
mouth, ears, and neck. Place of birth and clan alliance       CHA 0           SPD +1
are recorded on the shoulders. The torso is used to
delineate the wearer‟s lineage: his or her ancestors,         Special Abilities: Immune to fear (magical and
their place of origin, and their accomplishments. The         natural); INT +3 for tactical and combat matters and
individual‟s own achievements and skills are indited          situations; unable to comprehend magic.
upon the arms, legs, hands, and feet.
                                                              Skills:
Colors are used to indicate clan alliance, and to provide     Tazian Combat +4            Guard +4
more specific information about the wearer. Each clan         Greatsword +4                       Weaponer +2
uses its own color combination, which is incorporated         Four weapons of choice +2   Ride +5
into the traditional shoulder-designs. The use of bright      Mounted Combat +3           Low Talislan, native
colors makes such designations easier to read at a            Tactics +4                Understand Tattoos, native
distance. The vertical forehead-designs used to show          Command +2
rank are also based on color: gold is the highest rank,
followed by green, violet, blue, orange red, and white.       Equipment: Loincloth, vest (females), sandals, garde
Color is also used to indicate specific types of battle       (parrying armor/weapon), greatsword with shoulder
commendations: green for valorous conduct, blue for           sheath, choice of additional weapons, flask of Tazian
tactical expertise, gold for command excellence, etc.         fire-ale, mangonel lizard or graymane steed.
More specific information is contained within the actual
symbols used in each tattoo, each of which is an              Wealth: 50 gold lumens in gold pentacles and assorted
ideogram expressing a word, phrase, or concept.               currencies.
Arranged in a variety of different combinations, the
lines, patterns, and geometric shapes used in Thrall          Thrall Hunter
symbology convey the entire story of a Thrall‟s life.
                                                              Homeland: Taz
Thrall Warrior
                                                              “An arrow can be as deadly as the sharpest blade.”
Homeland: Taz
                                                              The hunt is a test of skill and determination; an
“Enough talk. I will crush the enemy myself.”                 admirable test for a born warrior such as yourself. Taz
                                                              is a harsh land of jungle and swamp, infested with
You are a Thrall, and your life is warfare. It is true that   vicious and merciless beasts, requiring that you remain
you ache for the sensations of war. That is why your          ever alert for danger, honing your reflexes and combat
people have chosen Taz for their home. The jungles and        readiness. You brave the greatest of dangers to bring
swamplands are teeming with such sport as bog devils          food to your people, often emerging from the steaming
and aramatus to keep your senses and skills keen. Yet         jungle, bloodied but victorious, your latest conquest in
you left the stone barracks of home, a fully-grown            tow. Tactical cunning and caution - natural parts of
warrior of eight years, to join the legions of the Seven      your psyche - enable you to outflank your prey, and
Kingdoms. For the core desire of a Thrall is to protect       bring them down with a swift, precise and effective
your nation and your allies. You‟ve fought in battles and     assault. In times of war and battle you trade in the
performed with honor. You earned your tattoos for             guerilla warfare of the hunt, becoming an effective
courage and service. You wield the greatsword and the         advance scout for your regiment, gathering intelligence
garde with skill and strength. If you consumed a few          on enemy movements and numbers, serving with
too many mugs of fire-ale during times of quiet, what         distinction in a cohort of archers, or engaging in bloody
of it? New challenges await you now, as a soldier or a        melee with your greatsword raised high. Others think
mercenary, as the continent grows tense with the              that Thralls lack subtlety, that they charge into combat
drums of war. Others may believe that you lack the wit        thoughtlessly, but you stand as testament to your races
to feel fear or to mark a true threat, But you                appreciation of all aspects of conflict, direct or
understand war better than any of them. You are               otherwise, and your reconnaissance skills have helped
confident of victory for your people. To you personally,      secure many victories. Warfare has many complex
it may bring honor, glory, injury, death. Regardless, the     facets, and victory comes from understanding all of
Thralls and the Seven Kingdoms will triumph.                  them, as the Thralls do.

Physical Characteristics: 6‟8”, 300 lbs. (males); 6‟4”,       Physical Characteristics: 6‟8”, 300 lbs. (males); 6‟4”,
200 lbs. (females); Hairless, devoid of pigmentation,         200 lbs. (females); Hairless, devoid of pigmentation,
muscular build, all members of each gender are                muscular build; all members of each gender are
identical in appearance, body covered with elaborate          identical in appearance, body covered with elaborate
tattoos.                                                      tattoos.

Attributes:                                                   Attributes:
INT -3*         STR +4           CR +6                        INT -3*         STR +4          CR +6
PER 0           DEX +2          MR -5                       natural); INT +3 for tactical and combat matters and
WIL +2          CON +4          HP 30                       situations; unable to comprehend magic.
CHA 0           SPD +1
                                                            Skills:
Special Abilities: Immune to fear (magical and              Tazian Combat +3         Healer +4
natural); INT +3 for tactical and combat matters and        Greatsword +3                    Tactics +4
situations; unable to comprehend magic.                     Broadsword +3            Ride +5
                                                            Shield +3                Low Talislan, native
Skills:                                                     Evade +3                 Understand Tattoos, native
Tazian Combat +4        Stealth +3                          Mounted Combat +3
Greatsword +4                   Survival +3
Shortbow +4             Tracking +4                         Equipment: Loincloth, vest (females), sandals, garde
Dagger +2               Weaponer +2                         (parrying armor/weapon), greatsword with shoulder
Tactics +4              Low Talislan, native                sheath, iron shield, broadsword, leather pouch
Scout +4                Understand Tattoos, native          (containing bandages, splints, needles, thread, a small
                                                            sharp knife, and herbal painkillers), flask of Tazian
Equipment: Loincloth, vest (females), sandals, garde        fire-ale, graymane steed.
(parrying armor/weapon), greatsword with shoulder
sheath, shortbow with quiver of 20 arrows, dagger,          Wealth: 50 gold lumens in gold pentacles and assorted
flask of Tazian fire-ale.                                   currencies.

Wealth: 50 gold lumens in gold pentacles and assorted       --NPC Archetype--
currencies.
                                                            Thrall Rite Master
Thrall War Medic
                                                            Homeland: Taz
Homeland: Taz
                                                            “Listen, and hear of this Thrall‟s great valor, for his
“Shut up, be still, and let me do my work, or you won‟t     deed is to be recorded upon the skin of this tribe.”
be fit to fight again.”
                                                            You have lived a full life, and taken part in many
As a Thrall you are no stranger to conflict, and do not     conflicts during which you distinguished yourself, but
fear the inevitable injury that waits on the field of       now you are old. Your many scars and wounds ache,
battle. However, it is practical that the wounded be        and much of the vigor of your youth has since
tended: made fit to fight again, and prevented from         departed, but even so, you serve a purpose, and still
capture: a fate synonymous with slavery, and                carry yourself with pride. Few Thralls manage to live to
anathema to your race. You move swiftly amid clashing       old age and retirement as you have done, and your
opponents, seeking wounded allies to tend or retrieve,      people cherish your hard-won wisdom and experience.
taking care to avoid conflict or personal injury that       As your tribe‟s appointed rite master, you hold great
would inhibit you or your progress: it is not only your     responsibility and authority, helping to train the young
life on the line. Working quickly, you patch up those       thralls who have yet to reach maturity, telling the tales
you can, often defending them from aggressors, and          of the tribe‟s greatest ancestors that are proudly
administer a quick death if there is no hope of recovery.   displayed in every tribal member‟s tattoos. Overseeing
You have saved many lives, enabling comrades to fight       the official recognition of rites and accomplishments is
again as they were bred to do, bringing them, and you,      part of your station, ensuring that the correct tattoos
further honor and glory. You have also played your part     are always applied, and that the entire tribe‟s tattoos
in the victories of your people and understand that war     reflect the exploits of their greatest members, and at
is not just about death, but life as well.                  times you help advise the war leader of the tribe. Yes,
                                                            you are old, but you are proud, for you serve a
Physical Characteristics: 6‟8”, 300 lbs. (males); 6‟4”,     purpose, and although time may have dulled your
200 lbs. (females); Hairless, devoid of pigmentation,       reflexes, your trusty greatsword is still keen.
muscular build, all members of each gender are
identical in appearance, body covered with elaborate        Physical Characteristics: 6‟8”, 300 lbs. (males); 6‟4”,
tattoos.                                                    200 lbs. (females); Hairless, devoid of pigmentation,
                                                            muscular build, all members of each gender are
Attributes:                                                 identical in appearance, body covered with elaborate
INT -3*         STR +4          CR +6                       tattoos, many scars.
PER 0           DEX +2          MR -5
WIL +2          CON +4          HP 30                       Attributes:
CHA 0           SPD +1                                      INT -2*          STR +2           CR +6
                                                            PER -1           DEX 0            MR -5
Special   Abilities: Immune to      fear (magical    and    WIL +2           CON +2           HP 30
                                                            CHA 0            SPD -1
                                                            architecture are all identical in appearance, and their
Special Abilities: Immune to fear (magical and              cities are laid out in monotonous, square grids.
natural); INT +3 for tactical and combat matters and        Furnishings tend to be sparse and simple, and devoid of
situations; unable to comprehend magic.                     decoration save for approved cult symbols and icons.
                                                            Every Aamanian home has a small shrine with an
Skills:                                                     All-Seeing Eye at its center. These icons can be found
Tazian Combat +14               Weaponer +7                 throughout Aaman: in the cities, villages, along
Greatsword +14                  Ride +10                    roadways, and so forth. The symbols serve as a
Four Weapons of choice +7       Oratory +3                  constant    reminder    that    the  Monitors,  mortal
Mounted Combat +10              History - Tribal +5         representatives of Aa the All-Seeing, are always
Tactics +14                     Art - Tattoo +5             watching.
Command +12                             Low Talislan,
native                                                      Customs
Guard +9                       Understand Tattoos,
                                                            Devout fundamentalists, Aamanians shun any form of
native
                                                            merry-making or improper behavior, and are taught
                                                            never to question the dictates of their superiors.
Equipment: Loincloth, vest (females), sandals, garde
                                                            Disagreement with Orthodoxist doctrine is considered
(parrying armor/weapon), greatsword with shoulder
                                                            tantamount to heresy, and may result in unpleasant
sheath, choice of two additional weapons, leather pouch
                                                            consequences; a trip to the House of Penance is the
(containing needles and crystal pots of colorful inks),
                                                            usual remedy. Visitors from other lands are required to
flask of Tazian fire-ale.
                                                            show respect for the local customs (see below).
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in gold pentacles and assorted       Outsiders are constantly watched by Monitors in the
currencies.                                                 service of the Knights of the All-Seeing Eye, from the
                                                            moment they enter Aaman to the moment they leave.
                                                            In this regard they are treated no differently from any
THE WESTERN LANDS                                           other citizen of Aaman.


THE AAMANIANS                                               Government
                                                            Aaman is a church state governed by a theocracy, at
Stern of bearing, Aamanians have copper-colored skin,
                                                            the head of which is the Hierophant, ruler and high
sculpted features, and deep green eyes. In order to
                                                            priest of the Orthodoxist Cult. The Hierophant wields
promote the Orthodoxist ideal of “oneness in body and
                                                            supreme power in Aaman, for he is entrusted with sole
spirit,” Aamanians use an extract of the bald nettle
                                                            curatorship of the Omnival: the Orthodoxist Cult‟s Book
plant to remove all facial and body hair, thus achieving
                                                            of the Law. Serving the Hierophant are his
a sameness of appearance. Astringents and powders
                                                            representatives, called the Monitors. Each holds the
that whiten the skin are also used by many, as an
                                                            position of ruling prelate in his assigned district, and is
expression of “purity.” Only the most modest attire is
                                                            responsible for awarding aalms (see Magic & Religion)
permissible in Aaman (i.e. colorless smocks, robes
                                                            to those worthy of advancement in status, or deducting
designed to conceal the figure, and caps of starched
                                                            mana from individuals whom they deem unworthy.
linen).
                                                            Next in line come the Aspirants, members of Aaman‟s
                                                            Monastic Orders, which include such factions as
Ancestry                                                    Archimages, Warrior-Priests, Inquisitors, and Witch
The Aamanians are descended from the ancient                Hunters.
Phaedrans, rulers of an empire that once encompassed
the greater part of the Western Lands. Aaman became         In Aaman, religion and law are one and the same.
an independent nation following the long and bloody         Thus, the only “correct” view on any issue is that which
Cult Wars, which pitted the Orthodoxists against the        is put forth by the Orthodoxist Cult. The doctrines of
Paradoxists of neighboring Zandu.                           Orthodoxy center on the Aamanians‟ patron deity, Aa
                                                            (also known as “Aa the Omnipotent,” Aa the
Aamanian Society                                            Omnificent,” and so on). The tenets of the cult are
Aamanian society is rigidly structured, and is based on     recorded in a series of ironbound volumes known
a religious caste system. Higher caste Aamanians work       cumulatively as “The Omnival,” which purports to
in mercantile guilds, elite ranks of the military, or the   reveal the answers to all questions and mysteries. It is
clergy and its various branches. The lower classes work     said in Aaman that “what the Omnival does not teach,
as farmers, laborers, vendors, or as conscripts in the      the true Orthodoxist need not know.” Those who fail to
infantry. Slaves are used for the most odious types of      heed Cult doctrines are taken to the Halls of Penance,
manual labor. They have no rights and are regarded as       where the Inquisitors subject offenders to “ritual
property, to be bought and sold as desired by their         cleansing” - an Orthodoxist euphemism for the forcible
Aamanian masters.                                           conversion of infidels to the cult‟s doctrines by
                                                            interrogation, torture, and coercion.
Aamanians live in drab, whitewashed brick dwellings.
The cubiform structures that pass for Aamanian
Magic & Religion                                            of these is the Order of the Knights of the All-Seeing
High Orthodoxy is the official state religion; all other    Eye, who serve as the Hierophant‟s personal
beliefs are regarded as heresy. Aaman‟s religious caste     bodyguards and wield considerable influence in the
system is based on the acquisition and accumulation of      Cult. The Order of the Defenders of the Faith is
mana, or “spiritual purity,” which is measured in units     comprised of warrior-priests; the Knights of the Hooded
known as “aalms.” One can attain aalms by entering          Veil, of Inquisitors. The Knights of Retribution serve as
the priesthood or a Monastic Order, making donations        witch hunters, who roam the Western Lands and
to a temple, or by undertaking a pilgrimage to one of       beyond, hunting down enemies of the church-state;
the cult‟s officially sanctioned holy places. In order of   witches, warlocks, and all others who oppose the
esteem, these are: the Well of Saints, which lies           Hierophant‟s dictates.
beyond the Volcanic Hills; the Watchstone, situated
amidst the Plains of Golarin; the Red Desert in             Commerce
Carantheum; and several places of lesser significance.      The Aamanians import iron ore, metals, minerals from
                                                            Arim; herbs, plants, and scintilla from Jhanagara;
It is the custom of Aamanians to bury their dead in         burden beasts and equs from Djaffir traders. Exports
plain iron coffins painted white and stamped with the       include flax, holy symbols and talismans, iron tools,
All-Seeing Eye icon; even in death, the faithful cannot     weapons, and implements. Goods are conveyed from
escape the all-knowing gaze of Aa. The pious are buried     Aamahd by canal to the Sea of Sorrow, then to Arat,
in white funerary shrouds, while those who died “in a       Aabal, Alm, and Jhangara; also by road to Andurin and
state of sin” are buried in black. A stone tablet           Arim; also by barge on the Axis River. The only
enumerating the deceased‟s final aalms total and cult       organized trade guilds found in Aaman are operated,
status serves as a grave marker.                            owned, and monitored by the church-state. The gold
                                                            lumen is the standard throughout Aaman, though all
The Arts                                                    but the wealthiest inhabitants generally use Aamanian
The only forms of art permitted in Aaman are those          coppers.
that glorify the Cult. All-Seeing-Eye icons and the
Hierophant are common themes. Artisans are                  Worldview
prohibited from producing works which in any way            The traditional enemy of Aaman is the nation of Zandu;
deviate from accepted standards: no color save white        their enmity dates back over five hundred years. The
can be used in construction, the manufacture of             Great Barrier Wall, built after the Cult Wars of the early
garments, etc.; black is used only for writings and cult    New Age, is all that separates the two rival states.
symbology.                                                  Aaman continues to pursue a policy of persecution
                                                            against all practitioners of witchcraft and pagan cults,
Aamanian temple music reflects the idea of “oneness in      particularly the Dhuna of neighboring Werewood. Arim
mind and spirit,” and consists of many voices chanting      is officially neutral as regards Aaman and Zandu; so are
repetitious motifs in unison or in octaves, over a          the Djaffir and Farad, whose interests in Aaman are
droning pedal tone. The high priest or Hierophant leads     strictly mercantile. The Seven Kingdoms has censured
the assemblage in song; the congregation and the rest       Aaman as a slave-state, and diplomatic relations and
of the clergy follow without variation. No musical          communications between the two nation-states are
instruments are used in Aamanian music, as such             infrequent at best.
implements are regarded as “tools of the devil.”
                                                            Bald Nettle
Language                                                    Bald nettle is a spiny, ground-hugging creeper that
Aamanians speak a simplified version of High Talislan.      grows wild throughout the hills of Aaman. It is a
Stripped of the flowery turns of phrase and flourishes      tenacious plant that matures quickly and is difficult to
that are a part of High Talislan, the language sounds       eradicate after its root system has been established.
rigid, overly formal, and restrained. Aamanians             Once this has happened, the nettle‟s shoots spread
converse mainly in cliched cult dogma and quotations        quickly, choking other forms of plant life around it. An
from Orthodoxist scripture. Gesticulation is practically    extract of the bald-nettle is used as a depilatory by
unknown; Aamanians are taught to speak with the             Aamanian cultists, to remove hair from the head, face,
hands clasped together in the traditional gesture of        and body - hence the plant‟s name.
piety. Male and female cult members always have the
“Aa” prefix affixed to their names, as in Aamar, Aabas,     Aamanian Archimage
Aalm, Aama. Converts to the faith are given an
Aamanian name to distinguish them from “infidels.”          Homeland: Aaman

Defenses                                                    “The Omniscient Aa is ever watchful for the deviant
The Aamanian military is another branch of the              ways of the infidel, and his wrath shall be merciless
church-state, and is under the direct control of the        when he condemns the unbelievers to eternal torment,
Hierophant. The military arm of the Cult is divided into    so I say unto you, be pure, be vigilant, behave!”
several Monastic Orders, each operating out of its own
fortified monastery. The most powerful and influential
Aa‟s gaze is unblinking, unwavering, as must your            also travel the Seven Roads to begin these journeys,
convictions be, for you lead his faithful in prayer,         and at other times you are bidden to find converts
demanding of them the same unswerving faith you              among the heretics. They laugh when you quote from
demonstrate yourself. You must be harsh, it is true, but     the sacred texts, and taunt you with innuendoes and
you do so out of ultimate kindness, for you must inspire     insults. You must stray in your sermons from the
the flame of faith within Aa‟s chosen, and steel them        Omnival and partake of food and activities you would
against the temptations of the shaitan-led infidels. Only    prefer to shun. But you see the fear in their eyes, that
if you can counsel them to resist the weakness of their      you will convert them through the power of Aa, that the
flesh, will they be spared Aa‟s terrible judgement, so       Hierophant will call for holy war. You await that
the weight of their souls is your burden, but a burden       Judgment Day when you are tallied your thousandth
you bear out of duty and faith. Tending Aa‟s followers in    aalm of mana and take your rightful place among the
your diocese is a demanding task, for you must be as         Monitors. That will be your reward for these battles of
constant and true as the Omnival, performing the             flesh and piety. If death comes before that time, your
necessary rites and blessings for the parishioners;          place beside the Omnificent will be just as worthy.
leading them in prayer; and demonstrating the divine
power that Aa has seen fit, in his infinite wisdom, to       Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
bestow upon you. Sadly, your words do not always             Cinnabar skin, sculpted features, deep green eyes, all
reach the ears of those already blighted with sin, and it    facial and bodily hair removed.
is with a dutiful heart that you must place the weak into
the ministrations of the Knights of the Hooded Veil,         Attributes:
where their taint will be purged from their vile heart.      INT 0          STR +2          CR +3
                                                             PER 0          DEX +1          MR +3
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.              WIL +3         CON 0           HP 22
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark green eyes, all         CHA 0          SPD 0
facial and bodily hair removed.
                                                             Skills:
Attributes:                                                  Mace +3                       Guide +3
INT +1                  STR 0           CR 0                 Heavy Crossbow +2             Oratory +3
PER +1          DEX 0           MR +4                        Shield +2                     Ride +3
WIL +3          CON 0           HP 20                        Doctrines (Orthodoxy) +5      Mounted Combat +1
CHA +1          SPD 0                                        Invocation                   High Talislan, native
                                                             dialect
Skills:                                                           Three Modes of choice +3
Invocation                    Oratory +5
     Five Modes of choice +4 Administrator +3                Equipment: Black iron helm, shield, and partial plate
Doctrines - Orthodoxy +4    High Talislan, native            armor worn over coarse woolen garments, boots, cloak
dialect                                                      (all dyed or lacquered white), iron-bound spell book,
                                                             iron holy symbol of Aa, mace, heavy crossbow,
Equipment: Cult robe, cape, headdress, and boots (all        graymane steed (fully caparisoned).
dyed white), iron-bound spell book, iron holy symbol of
Aa (lacquered white), pouch, quills, crystal vial of sepia   Wealth: 200 gold lumens in offerings and salary.
ink.
                                                             Aamanian Witch Hunter
Wealth: 200 gold lumens in salary and offerings.
                                                             Homeland: Aaman
Aamanian Warrior-Priest
                                                             “In the name of Aa the Omnificent, you shall
Homeland: Aaman
                                                             submit to His law and His word.”
“Aa the Omnipotent judges you ever, and you will suffer
                                                             You obey the will of Aa and of his agent, the
in the next realm for your transgressions. Shall I send
                                                             Hierophant, and they command you to hunt the
you to Him?”
                                                             enemies of Orthodoxy. When you were first trained by
                                                             the Knights of Retribution, you sought out the impious
The Eye of Aa watches all, and there are times when
                                                             among the citizens of Aaman. When you were granted
this burden is great. Matters are simpler when you
                                                             the Staff of the Eye that marks your station, you were
reside in Aaman. The squared buildings and streets, the
                                                             sent to Werewood; there are no innocents in that forest
modest attire of the aspirants, the familiar axioms of
                                                             of witchcraft. Now, the Monitor to whom you report
conversation - all are comforting to your soul. When
                                                             trusts you with more specific targets, and sometimes
you accompany the witch hunters in Werewood, you
                                                             you must travel far from home. Many of those you
have few misgivings; the Dhuna practice evil rites
                                                             capture will go to the House of Penance to be cleansed
indeed. In leading the pilgrimages, you are preoccupied
                                                             by the Inquisitors. For others, there is no hope for
with protecting your charges as you pass through the
                                                             redemption, and you slay them without malice. The
backwater haunts of primitive infidels. Yet you must
Omnipotent will deliver justice. The rulers of the           Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
infidel nations take umbrage with your labors.               Cinnabar skin, sculpted features, deep green eyes, all
They claim that their authority is greater than that         facial and bodily hair removed.
of Aa. Yet they dare not prevent you from
                                                             Attributes:
pursuing your prey, fearing that the Hierophant
                                                             INT +1                  STR 0            CR +2
will name them enemies and call for holy war.                PER +2         DEX +2            MR +3
They may join your List of Injunction, their names           WIL +2         CON 0             HP 20
beside those of apostates and diabolists. Such offerings     CHA -1                  SPD 0
to Aa would earn you many aalms, and you strive,
when your orders allow, to provoke them. Someday,            Skills:
you will earn mana sufficient for your whispers to reach     Weapon (choice) +2            Interrogate +6
the ear of the Hierophant himself. You will remember         Weapon (choice) +1            Torture +5
the conceit of the heretics on that day.                     Invocation                    Coerce +4
                                                                  Four Modes of choice +4 Espionage +1
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.              Doctrines (Orthodoxy) +4    High Talislan, native
Cinnabar skin, sculpted features, deep green eyes, all       dialect
facial and bodily hair removed.
                                                             Equipment: Cult mask and headdress, cloak, robes,
Attributes:                                                  gloves, boots (all dyed white), iron-bound spell book,
INT +1                  STR 0           CR +1                iron holy symbol of Aa, choice of two concealed
PER +1          DEX 0           MR +4                        weapons, manacles, pouch with instruments of torture.
WIL +4          CON 0           HP 20
CHA –1          SPD 0                                        Wealth: 20 gold lumens; the Order of the Knights of
                                                             the Hooded Veil clothes and feeds its servants.
Skills:
Invocation                     Tracking +3                   Aamanian Monitor
     (Five Modes of choice) +4         Ride +2
Longsword +1                   Astrology +2                  Homeland: Aaman
Staff +2                       Stealth +2
Oratory +4                    High Talislan, native          You know all that occurs within your district. For the
dialect                                                      All-Seeing Eye of Aa the Omniscient has many physical
Doctrines (Orthodoxy) +4                                     manifestations, and you, in a sense, are one of them. It
                                                             is a worthy challenge to observe and record all the
Equipment: Wide-brimmed hat, cloak, leather armor            aalms that your charges earn over their lifetimes. It is
worn over coarse woolen garments, boots (all dyed            also necessary to watch for sinners and heretics, and to
white), iron-bound spell book, iron Staff of the Eye,        report them to the Inquisitors. The All-Seeing Eye icons
longsword, pack, bedroll, manacles.                          are your sacred tools; they are everywhere in the cities
                                                             of Aaman, and in other places as well. You have many
Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens in bounties and salary.            Aspirants to aid you in your sacred work, and Aa has
                                                             graced you with a small portion of His power. Yet the
Aamanian Inquisitor                                          Hierophant did not idly select you as Monitor; you
                                                             earned this office through long years of dedication to
Homeland: Aaman                                              your church state. Your eyes are His eyes, and you will
                                                             not fail in your duties.
“Confess, it will go easier on you if you confess your
sins to Aa the Omnificent. Confess!”                         Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
                                                             Cinnabar skin, sculpted features, deep green eyes, all
Some say you wear a mask to disguise your identity, as       facial and bodily hair removed.
if true servants of the Omnificent must fear retribution
for their actions. No, the Hooded Veil serves to             Attributes:
suppress your individuality as you practice the rituals of   INT +1                  STR +1           CR +3
cleansing. Your voice becomes His voice; your hand           PER +2         DEX +2            MR +4
becomes His hand. Within the Halls of Penance, there         WIL +4         CON 0             HP 22
are only infidels, heretics, and Aa Himself. Away from       CHA 0          SPD 0
those Halls, you lift the veil from your face, and you are
once again a pious Aspirant: faithful, watchful,             Skills:
anonymous. Away from those Halls, you are not an             Invocation                    Oratory +10
Inquisitor, and not even your family can identify you as          Six Modes of choice +12 Espionage +12
such. For in those times, the Omnipotent does not fill       Weapon (choice) +10           Administrator +10
your soul.                                                   Weapon (choice) +9           High Talislan, native
                                                             dialect
Doctrines (Orthodoxy) +12
                                                           Wealth: 10 gold lumens; Aaman clothes and feeds its
Note: Monitors have additional skills according to the     soldiers.
Monastic Order to which they originally belonged.
                                                           Aamanian Sailor
Equipment: Cloak, robes, gloves, boots (all dyed
white), choice of two weapons, iron-bound spell book,      Homeland: Aaman
iron holy symbol of Aa, additional items according to
original Monastic Order.                                   “Keep the land within sight! Watch it with the vigilance
                                                           of Aa!”
Wealth: 10,000 gold lumens of government funds.
                                                           Although you serve the interests of the Omniscient One
Aamanian Soldier                                           by taking to the waves, you are not truly at ease away
                                                           from the coast, for you know that great terrors lie
Homeland: Aaman                                            beyond the sight of land, and that the waters are
                                                           Aa-forsaken, the domain of heathen barbarians such as
“In Aa‟s name, cleanse and purify!” (the traditional       the cursed Gao, and Mangar, who seek to interfere in
battle cry of Aaman‟s military)                            your appointed tasks, and steal what belongs to Aa‟s
                                                           chosen. Even the hated Zandir seem more at ease
The dark realms of the accursed heathens surround the      plying the foul waterways; proof enough of their corrupt
blessed lands of Aa‟s chosen, all potential enemies to     state. Whether working aboard a slave galley, merchant
be warded against. As one of Aaman‟s glorious military,    vessel, or warship, your life is harsh and disciplined,
you and your comrades stand prepared to defend Aa‟s        punctuated by regular prayers and devotions to Aa, and
people against your savage and jealous neighbors,          pleas for his aid atop the shaitanic deeps. You dread
most vile of which are the licentious Zandir, who would    the tragedy of being lost at sea, and dying in the
drag all around them into the depths of their depravity.   Aa-cursed waters, for then you would not receive a
Regimented and pious, you are proud to serve as Aa‟s       fitting and blessed burial. Still, you labor atop the
shield, protecting His people, and Aa‟s mace, smiting      fearsome waves, for such is your duty, and such is the
the enemies of the Orthodoxy. Under the command of         Will of Aa.
the holy Warrior-Priests, you practice the traditional
forms and maneuvers of war with great precision,           Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
forms handed down rigid and unchanged since the Cult       Copper skin, sculpted features, dark green eyes, all
Wars. You may be assigned to guard the nation‟s            facial and bodily hair removed.
borders, or serve in the Towers of Aa‟s Watchfulness
along the Great Barrier Wall. You may patrol Aaman‟s       Attributes:
nighttime streets, enforcing curfew, or guard cult         INT 0           STR +1          CR +2
members or structures of import. The duty Aa has           PER +1          DEX 0           MR 0
given you is vital, and you will not fail.                 WIL +1          CON +1          HP 20
                                                           CHA 0           SPD 0
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark green eyes, all       Skills:
facial and bodily hair removed.                            Longsword +2            Artillerist +2
                                                           Light Crossbow +1       Doctrines - Orthodoxy +1
Attributes:                                                Pilot +4                High Talislan, native dialect
INT 0           STR +1          CR +3
PER 0           DEX +1          MR 0                       Equipment: Coarse woolen cap, tunic, pants, and
WIL +1          CON +1          HP 20                      leather boots (all dyed white), longsword, light
CHA 0           SPD 0                                      crossbow with case of 20 bolts, iron holy symbol of Aa
                                                           (lacquered white).
Skills:
Mace +3                 Ride +3                            Wealth: 10 gold lumens.
Longsword +3            Doctrines - Orthodoxy +1
Heavy Crossbow +2       Weaponer +1                        Aamanian Slaver
Shield +2               Armorer +1
Mounted Combat +1       High Talislan, native dialect      Homeland: Aaman

Equipment: Black iron chainmail, iron shield embossed      “Work harder, you Aa-less heathen scum, or feel the
with the Eye of Aa, white tabard embroidered with          sting of Aa‟s displeasure!”
simple Eye of Aa, coarse woolen garments, leather
boots (all dyed white), iron holy symbol of Aa, mace,      The Hierophant has often preached of the many sins of
longsword, heavy crossbow, case of 20 bolts, graymane      the infidel, and you know that foreigners are worthless,
steed.                                                     shaitan-begotten animals. Your conviction is powerful,
deepened by dealings with the infidels, and you never       above suspicion. When finally you madly assaulted one
hesitate to discipline the slaves under your care,          of the weak fools, members of the clergy arrived, and
keeping their worthless, lazy hides in line with your       dragged you screaming and ranting to the Flagellant
constant vigil. At times you work them in the mines, at     Monastery of Aalm. There you met others of fervor and
others aboard the slave galleys, or in labor crews          conviction such as yours; a place where anything less
constructing walls and roads throughout Aa‟s glorious       than utter zeal would not be tolerated. Constant
land, but you never relax your guard, nor fail to show      repetitions of Orthodoxist slogans keep your mind
Aa‟s displeasure at their shortcomings and tainted          focused, and constant flagellation and discomfort purify
ways. Sometimes you travel to lands that have not felt      the body. As a member of the Order of Flagellants, you
the intensity of Aa‟s magnificent gaze, trading with        have found a home.
heathens such as the savage Imrians, exchanging iron
or goods for more slaves. Dealing with the infidels fills   Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 80-160 lbs. Copper
you with loathing, but such is your Aa-blessed task, for    skin, gaunt features, manic gaze, dark green eyes, all
few of your countrymen have the iron will and steadfast     facial and bodily hair removed, self-inflicted scars.
faith to do so.
                                                            Attributes:
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.             INT 0           STR 0       CR +1
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark green eyes, all        PER 0           DEX 0       MR +1
facial and bodily hair removed.                             WIL +4          CON +1      HP 20
                                                            CHA -2                SPD 0
Attributes:
INT 0           STR +1           CR +2                      Skills:
PER +1          DEX 0            MR 0                       Ritual Flail +2               Oratory +1
WIL +2          CON 0            HP 20                      Invocation                    Coerce +2
CHA -1          SPD 0                                            One Mode of choice +2    Torture (self) +3
                                                            Doctrines - Orthodoxy +5   High Talislan, native dialect
Skills:
Whip +3                  Healer +1
Club +2                  Haggle +3
Brawling +2              Barter +3                          Equipment: Ritual flail (a 3‟ braided leather whip with
Wrestling +3             Doctrines - Orthodoxy +1           a small iron ball on the tip. DR 1 if used with force on
Guard +2                 High Talislan, native dialect      bare flesh), scratchy rough linen robe, iron holy symbol
Torture +1               Low Talislan, fluent               of Aa (lacquered white), self-infliction devices (such as
                                                            a belt with barbs on the inside, sandals with
Equipment: Coarse woolen tunic, pants, and leather          uncomfortable scrupulum sewn onto the sole, etc.).
boots (all dyed white), braided leather whip, 3 pairs of
iron manacles, iron-shod club, length of iron chain, iron   Wealth: None; the Order of Flagellants clothes and
holy symbol of Aa (lacquered white), pouch.                 feeds its servants.

Wealth: 10 gold lumens; Slavers purchasing new              Aamanian Iconographer
slaves on behalf of the Orthodoxy may have
cult-supplied trade goods worth d20 x 100 g.l.              Homeland: Aaman

Aamanian Flagellant                                         “I consecrate this iron in Aa‟s name, for no metal is
                                                            stronger than The Omniscient‟s will.”
Homeland: Aaman
                                                            You are an artisan-priest, an iconographer. As a
“Aa‟s gaze is unblinking!” <crack!> “Aa is Omniscient!”     member of the Order of Icons, you work with devotion,
<crack!> “Aa‟s gaze is unblinking!”                         crafting the Orthodoxist cult‟s blessed holy symbols at
                                                            the Ironworks of Aabaal, never once deviating from the
Aa is a stern master with no time for the weak, the         traditional designs and forms. It is your Aa-given
deviants, and the sinners. You have devoted yourself to     strength that pounds iron into submission, allowing it to
Him with righteous and fervent zeal, His lessons taught     be crafted into the righteous weapons and armor worn
unto you since you were a mewling babe. As you grew         by Aa‟s holy knights, the symbols born by all
up you embraced Aa‟s doctrine ever more tightly, and        Aamanians; your strength that carves stone or wood,
became appalled at the weakness of your fellow              creating cult-approved objects of devotion. As Aa forges
Aamanians, for surely they must be sinful and vile if       His devoted followers, you forge in His name for the
their fervor does not equal your own! You fasted            benefit of His people. Every icon crafted, every blade
constantly, offering everything you had to Aa,              sharpened, is an offering to Aa. The greatest of
preaching His doctrine with furor, leaving your throat      moments are those when you are instructed to invoke
raw, embracing the pain you inflicted on yourself as a      the very power of Aa into the objects you craft, creating
symbol of utter devotion. You saw weakness                  artifacts woven with the divinity of Aa‟s boundless
everywhere; even your parents and siblings were not         power. You toil over these most holy of items
ceaselessly with your brethren until the artifacts are        CHA 0          SPD 0
completed, blessed, and cleansed, ready to be used in
Aa‟s name.                                                    Skills:
                                                              Invocation             Doctrines - Orthodoxy +3
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.                    Heal +3           Healer +4
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark green eyes, all               Ward +3           High Talislan, native dialect
facial and bodily hair removed.
                                                              Equipment: White, form-concealing habit and hood,
Attributes:                                                   white gloves and boots, iron holy symbol of Aa
INT +1                   STR +1           CR 0                (lacquered white), iron-bound spell book, pouch
PER 0           DEX 0             MR +1                       containing linen bandages, healing salves, needles and
WIL +2          CON 0             HP 20                       thread.
CHA 0           SPD 0
                                                              Wealth: 10 gold lumens; the Order of Hospitallers
Skills:                                                       clothes and feeds its servants.
Invocation - Two Modes of choice +4
Enchantment +4                                                Aamanian Reliquarian
Doctrines - Orthodoxy +3
Armorer, Artificer, or Weaponer (one of choice) +5            Homeland: Aaman
High Talislan, native dialect
                                                              “As the Omnipotent Aa is my witness, this blessed icon
Equipment: Heavy white robe, thick white leather              could save your very soul, and what price can you place
apron, heavy white leather gloves and boots,                  on a soul?”
iron-bound spell book, iron holy symbol of Aa
(lacquered white), appropriate tools.                         The Abbey of Andurin is your home, and as a member
                                                              of the Order of Reliquaries it is your blessed task to
Wealth: 10 gold lumens; the Order of Icons clothes            oversee trade with all the infidels and pilgrims who
and feeds its servants.                                       come here, buying and selling cult-approved icons, as
                                                              well as artifacts created by the Order of Icons. You
Aamanian Hospitaller Nun                                      keep a constant vigil for relics or artifacts that would
                                                              serve the cult well, and there are times you must travel
Homeland: Aaman                                               abroad under the escort of Defenders of the Faith,
                                                              tracking down rumors of powerful or important artifacts
“Embrace Aa and be healed, body and soul.”                    from the Cult Wars and early days of Orthodoxy. From
                                                              the most minor of holy symbols, to the very bones of
The service of Aa has always been your deepest calling,       Orthodoxist saints, from the simplest robe, to the most
and your devotion and love of Him was such that you           obscure of cult paraphernalia, you procure in Aa‟s
knew you could never give yourself to another. Aa is          name, the profits you make and relics you acquire
harsh, that is true, but you accept that women are            serving to strengthen the cult. It is true you must deal
inferior, as is His will. Even so, your most fervent desire   with unclean and sinful outsiders, but Aa knows your
was to aid Aa‟s chosen people, and work in His name.          cause is righteous, and regular ritual cleansing keeps
Swearing a vow of chastity, you joined the Order of           you free of their blight.
Hospitallers when you came of age, the only
Orthodoxist Order open to women, and women alone.             Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
Under strict tuition you have learned the arts of             Copper skin, sculpted features, dark green eyes, all
healing, and the humbling ability to heal and cleanse in      facial and bodily hair removed.
Aa‟s name. The weak, sick, and injured among Aa‟s
people come to you for aid, and they are not turned           Attributes:
away. However, all must pay a small donation, or              INT +2                 STR 0           CR 0
perform useful duties for the Order and Orthodoxist           PER +1         DEX 0           MR +2
cult. Sometimes you must travel beyond the sanctity of        WIL +2         CON 0           HP 19
your monastery‟s walls, for you are often requested as        CHA 0          SPD 0
midwives, but you know that no matter where you go,
Aa will always be with you.                                   Skills:
                                                              Invocation - Reveal +4                  Barter +5
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 90-170 lbs. Copper         Doctrines - Orthodoxy +3        Haggle +5
skin, sculpted features, dark green eyes, all facial and      Antiquarian +4                          Appraiser +4
bodily hair removed.                                          Arcane Lore +3                  Low Talislan, fluent
                                                              Merchant +5                     Phaedran, fluent
Attributes:                                                   Ride +3                        High Talislan, native
INT +1                   STR -1           CR -1               dialect
PER 0           DEX 0             MR +1
WIL +2          CON -1            HP 18
Equipment: White robe, hood, cape, boots, and
gloves, iron holy symbol of Aa (lacquered white),
                                                                THE ARIMITES
iron-bound spell book, ledger, quills and inks, iron
                                                                A dour and moody lot, the Arimites are swarthy of
safe-box with key.
                                                                complexion, with long black hair and dark, deep-set
                                                                eyes. The customary mode of dress in this region
Wealth: 100 gold lumens in saleable icons and various
                                                                consists of sackcloth garments, animal-hide boots, and
currencies.
                                                                bulky fur vests, accented with wristbands, earrings and
                                                                knives made of black iron.
Heterodoxist Revolutionary
Homeland: Aaman/Zandu
                                                                Ancestry
                                                                The origins of the Arimites are uncertain; some say
“For justice! For the future!”                                  they are descended from Farad traders, who sometimes
                                                                sail to Arim via the Axis River, and the wild tribes
Patriotism always repelled you as the passion of fools,         known as the Drukhs. The Arimites hotly deny such
for you were keenly aware of the injustices and flaws of        claims, and state that they are a distinct and unique
your native nation, whether it was the suffocating and          ethnic group whose ancestors have occupied the hills of
harsh rigidity of Aaman, or the irresponsible decadence         Arim since the Time Before Time.
of Zandu. Both nations were extreme, and both equally
repugnant. There was no balance, no middle ground,              Society
and no sense of true justice. The only hope for a better        The population of Arim is divided between the country‟s
future is if these feuding remnants of the once mighty          rural and urban areas. Rural Arimites dwell in stone
Phaedran Empire, can be torn down and rebuilt anew,             huts with thatched roofs and dirt floors. The live under
as a single true nation of freedom, justice, and                a feudal-type system, with wealthy land owners
responsibility. The petty extremists that hold power in         providing arable land and protection to families in
Aaman and Zandu will never listen to reason, nor will           return for half of what they grow or raise. Their urban
they tolerate protest of debate; action is the only             counterparts dwell in houses made of stone with black
avenue left to you. You and your fellow Heterodoxists           iron sheeted or plated roofs, typically streaked red with
will work to undermine and eliminate the Paradoxists            rust. All Arimite dwellings have heavy wood and
and Orthodoxists, with every means at your disposal.            reenforced iron doors and shutters, which are always
That people must die in your crusade pains you, but             locked to keep out assassins and thieves.
you have steeled your soul, for this is a righteous and
just cause.                                                     Arimites subsist on grains, wild game, erd‟s milk, erd
                                                                cheese, tubers, and domesticated livestock. Roast avir
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.                 is a particular favorite. In the outlying hill regions,
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green           Arimite hunters and trappers still subsist primarily on
eyes. If operative in Aaman, all facial and bodily hair         wild game, as did their ancestors.
removed. If operative if Zandu, skin enhanced with
vividly colored pigments.                                       The clan is the foremost unit of Arimite society, a
                                                                holdover from tribal days. Blood ties are strong, and
Attributes:                                                     often take precedence over local law. Marriages are
INT +1                   STR 0            CR +2                 arranged by clan elders; children, like adult Arimites,
PER +1          DEX +1            MR +1                         are expected to work full-time and earn their keep,
WIL +1          CON 0             HP 18                         starting as soon as they are old enough to walk.
CHA +1          SPD +1                                          Arimites excel at knife-throwing, which serves both as
                                                                sport and as a form of self-defense. Most carry a
Skills:                                                         throwing knife or two with them at all times, thereby
Weapon of choice +3 Oratory +3                                  helping promote the generally unsavory image that
Deception +5            Doctrines (Orthodoxy) +2                these folk bear among other Talislantans.
Stealth +3              Trade Skill of choice +1
Cryptography +3         High Talislan, native                   Customs
Espionage +3            Low Talislan, native                    The Arimites are a humorless people, most of whom
Two Thieving Skills of choice +3                                live hard lives as miners of the country‟s considerable
                                                                mineral wealth. They favor chakos, a fiery liquor
Equipment: Weapon of choice (most likely concealed,             brewed in black-iron kegs. Abuse of this potent
especially if operative in Aaman), thieves‟ tools (if           intoxicant is widespread in Arim, especially among the
appropriate), pouch. If operative in Zandu: stylish and         overworked miners, who seek escape from the tedium
fashionable apparel, hair confined in silver bands. If          of their existence. Even discounting the influence of
operative in Aaman: form-concealing white garments              chakos, various forms of pathologically deviant
and cap, orthodoxist holy symbol.                               behavior seem to be ingrained traits among these folk.
                                                                Accordingly, the Arimites bear a reputation in other
Wealth: 30 gold       lumens     in   Zandir   crescents   or   lands as cutthroats, an assessment which experts say is
Aamanian coppers.                                               not without merit.
                                                             work. For diversion they like to sit around drinking
The theme of revenge runs through Arimite culture.           chakos, and telling tales of past battles, mining
Arimites have long memories, and never forget an             accidents, notable acts of vengeance, and age-old
affront or insult. This is most evident in the history of    vendettas. Arimite crafts are more functional than
the Revenant Cult, a secret society that specializes in      decorative in nature, reflecting the hard-working nature
revenge-for-hire. Anyone who can afford their fees -         of these people. These include metalworking, the
which range from as little as ten silver pieces to over      making of superior bows and throwing knives, the
100,000 gold lumens - can obtain the services of the         weaving of coarse but durable fabrics, tanning, and
cult. This is done by the simple method of posting a         blade-smithing.
notice in some public place. The prevalence of the cult
is such that a Revenant, attired in customary night-grey     Language
cloak and veil, will perform the desired service by the      Arimites speak a version of Low Talislan, liberally
following day.                                               flavored with an impressive variety of curse words and
                                                             epithets. Their dialect is considered crude and uncouth,
Government officials, common laborers, merchants, and        even by others who speak Low Talislan. Common
even jealous lovers and irate housewives have all been       names for males typically consist of two syllables, such
known to employ the services of the Revenants to settle      as Hakmir, Yaku, and Abdul. Female names usually
disputes or avenge affronts. The popularity of this          have three syllables, like Hakmira, Yakuo, and Abduli.
impersonal means of seeking redress is such that, in
most parts of Arim, the mere shaking or brandishing of       Defenses
a change purse is considered suggestive of a threat to
                                                             Arim has a small but highly regarded army; Arimite
hire the Revenants. The only way for an intended victim
                                                             knife-fighters bear an especially grim reputation, and
to cancel a Revenant contract is to buy it back - at
                                                             are valued as mercenaries. As Commander-in-Chief, the
twice the original price.
                                                             Exarch controls the military; however, while the army is
                                                             loyal to the Exarch, it will not act against the
Government                                                   Revenants. The largest military contingent can be found
Arim is ostensibly ruled by an hereditary monarch            at the citadel of Akbar, which prevents the Ur clans
known as the Exarch, a recluse who dwells in the             from passing through the Gorge at Akbar into Arim.
Forbidden City of Ahrazahd, surrounded by a retinue of
bodyguards, concubines and royal wizards. The Exarch         Commerce
governs through subordinates in Shattra and Akbar,
                                                             Though the gold lumen is the standard here, Arim also
who bear the title of Chief Subaltern, Second Subaltern,
                                                             mints its own silver lumens, which are in wide use
and so forth. In reality, the true power in Arim lies in
                                                             among the populace. These coins are called Exarchs, a
the hands of the Revenants, whose influence is
                                                             term in which Arimites have always found a grim
everywhere in Arim, and may even extend across the
                                                             humor, regarding both the currency and Monarch as
continent. Such is the extent of their power that the
                                                             being “second in influence to gold.” Arim trades with
Exarch does not dare to set foot outside of Ahrazahd for
                                                             Zandu and Aaman, the Seven Kingdoms, Faradun, and
fear of being assassinated.
                                                             the Djaffir. Overland trade follows the old Phaedran
                                                             Causeway; waterborne trade passes through Shattra
Under Arimite law individuals accused of criminal acts
                                                             down the Axis River. Arimite merchant ships and barges
have the right to tell their side of the case before being
                                                             never travel from sight of land.
judged, though vigilantism sometimes renders such
legalisms a moot point. Thievery is punishable by a
period of incarceration in a public place; the thief is      World Relations
usually chained to a post, so that he or she may be          The Ur clans of neighboring Urag and their allies pose a
flogged by the person who was robbed. “Unjustified           constant threat to the Arimites, and are greatly
murder”, rape, and similarly violent crimes are              despised. The Darklings of Urag are regarded as
punishable by drowning, the criminal being chained,          thieves, baby-stealers, and bogeymen, and are usually
weighted, and dropped into a deep well or lake.              killed on sight. The Arimites have waged war against
                                                             the Drukh tribes for over a thousand years, and there is
                                                             much bad blood between the two (see Drukh Lands in
Magic & Religion                                             the Traveler‟s Guide). Arim is officially neutral as
Arimites are agnostics who place little faith in a
                                                             pertains to Aaman and Zandu.
supreme being. They rarely practice magic, which most
regard as a pastime that only the wealthy or highborn
can afford. Still, some dabble in the arcane arts or         The Hillman & the Chakos Merchant
practice witchcraft, and a few Arimites become               An example of how the custom of hiring Revenants to
accomplished wizards. Arimites bury their dead without       resolve disputes is provided in the story of the hillman
ceremony.                                                    and the chakos merchant, a popular Arimite folk tale.
                                                             As the story goes, the hillman returned from hunting to
                                                             find that his wife, in his absence, had come into
The Arts                                                     possession of a full cask of chakos. Having left his mate
Arimites have no love of song, dance, music, or art,
                                                             with funds insufficient to purchase such a quantity of
which are considered a waste of time better devoted to
                                                             liquor, the hillman became suspicious of the local
chakos merchant, whom he believed might be seeking           Physical Characteristics: 5‟2”-6‟2”, 90-170             lbs.
to gain the affections of his wife by plying her with        Swarthy complexion, long black hair, dark eyes.
valuable gifts. Accordingly, the hillman paid the
Revenants ten silver pieces to perform a mischief upon       Attributes:
the merchant.                                                INT 0           STR +1        CR +5
                                                             PER 0           DEX +3        MR 0
The merchant awoke on the following day to find his          WIL 0           CON +2        HP 24
wagon bereft of its wheels, with a note from the hillman     CHA -1                 SPD +1
warning against further indiscretions. Outraged, the
merchant paid the Revenants twenty silver pieces to          Skills:
poison the hillman‟s favorite steed. This so upset the       Arimite Knife-fighting +4        Climbing +2
hillman that he at once gave over fifty gold lumens to       Brawling +3                      Scout +2
the Revenants with instructions to have the merchant         Weapon (choice) +2               Stealth +1
thrashed. On the next day, the chakos merchant made          Guard +4                         Ride +3
similar arrangements for the benefit of his hated rival.     Mounted Combat +1                Low Talislan, native
                                                             dialect
This was the final straw for the hillman, who decided
that only the death of his enemy would now suffice to        Equipment: Fur vest, hide boots, sackcloth breeches,
settle their score. While in town posting a notice for the   armbands and earrings of black iron, four throwing
Revenants, the hillman chanced to meet the merchant,         knives, choice of two weapons, pouch, iron flask of
who was there for the same purpose. The two                  chakos.
antagonists, too bruised and weary to fight and nearly
bankrupt of funds, decided to strike a compromise:           Wealth: 25 gold lumens in silver Exarchs.
each contributed half the fee necessary to have the
hillman‟s wife assassinated, thus removing the source        Arimite Revenant
of their differences. Relieved to have put an end to their
feud, the two men parted friends.                            Homeland: Arim

Unfortunately, neither ever saw the other alive again.       “My client has paid me fifty gold lumens to do you an
Unbeknownst to either man, the hillman‟s wife was a          injury. Offer me a hundred to buy back the contract,
member of the Revenant cult, whose followers are             and you may go in peace.”
strictly forbidden to do harm to one of their own kind.
                                                             Most people are fools. If they had brains, they‟d settle
Arimite Knife-Fighter                                        their problems on their own, and settle them for good.
                                                             But they‟re amateurs. They don‟t want to get their
Homeland: Arim                                               hands dirty, so they hire someone like you. It usually
                                                             starts as just a little thing: maybe they want to hire a
“Watch what you say to me. This is not for cleaning my       Revenant to deliver an insult to someone they don‟t
nails.”                                                      like, or to rough up a local merchant who sold them
                                                             inferior goods. It almost never ends there. Someone
Other people annoy you. They all assume you‟re just          usually ends up dead, and you‟re the one who must do
another cutthroat because you‟re from Arim. Yes, you         the killing. It is, after all, your job. You‟re a
are dangerous. You flash your knives when you need to        professional, and they pay you well. Yes, the chief
make a point; you picked-up that habit up from your          assassins always take a cut of your fees. They assign
father. But you‟re better than that. You‟re a mercenary,     the contracts, and make all the arrangements. Your job
and a damn good one. You don‟t run from a fight, and         is to fulfill the contract. If a disguise is needed, you‟ll
you don‟t betray your employer - as long as he pays on       play the part of mercenary, trader, traveler, or priest -
time, anyway. They all worry that you‟re a Revenant          whatever it takes to get the job done. Whenever you go
out to slit their throats. It doesn‟t get you any respect,   someplace new, you leave a coded message in a public
but they do pay you well, just in case. You‟ve guarded       place, next to the clients‟ notes. You meet with the local
caravans, manned border forts, hunted criminals,             chiefs so they don‟t end up crossing each other.
guided travelers, and fought in border skirmishes with       Whenever you visit Shattra, you pay the chiefs their
the Ur. It doesn‟t matter to you. You are pleased - well,    tithe and make your reports. It‟s just good business.
as pleased as you ever get - because you don‟t have to       And maybe, if you do your job well, you‟ll rise up
spend your whole life in Arim, with the endless              through the ranks like they did. That‟s where the real
mountains, the feuding, and the hedonism of your             money is at, being a chief assassin. That‟s the life you
cowardly ruler. Not that you don‟t take your share of        want. But the one you have isn‟t so bad, either. It beats
pleasures. Especially chakos; it‟s bitter, and it reminds    working in the iron mines.
you of life. Some day you‟ll return home for good, settle
down for a peaceful life. But that won‟t happen until        Physical Characteristics: 5‟2”-6‟2”, 90-170             lbs.
you‟ve become rich; you don‟t want for much, but you‟ll      Swarthy complexion, long black hair, dark eyes.
always need to pay off the accursed Revenants.
Attributes:                                                   Arimite Knife-fighting +1       Mining +3
INT +1                  STR 0            CR +3                Brawling +3             Low Talislan, native dialect
PER +2          DEX +3        MR 0                            Climbing +2
WIL 0           CON +1        HP 21
CHA -1                 SPD +1                                 Equipment: Fur vest, hide boots, sackcloth breeches,
                                                              armbands and earrings of black iron, pickaxe, two
Skills:                                                       throwing knives, torch, shovel, pouch, iron flask of
Arimite Knife-fighting +3        Alchemy (Poisons) +2         chakos.
Weapon (choice) +2               Locks +3
Weapon (choice) +1               Tracking +2                  Wealth: 10 gold lumens in silver Exarchs.
Assassinate +5                   Ride +1
Stealth +5                       Low Talislan, native         Arimite Highborn
dialect
                                                              Homeland: Arim
Equipment: Cloak, veil, gloves, and garments (all dyed
night-gray), fur vest, hide boots, sackcloth breeches,        “On your knees, stinking peasant!”
armbands and earrings of black iron, four throwing
knives, choice of two weapons, pouch, iron flask of           You were born into a life of privilege, for your great
chakos, three vials of poison (various types).                family has kept its ancestral lands under a firm hand for
                                                              generations. The peasants and farmers rent the land
Wealth: 100 gold lumens in mixed coins and other              from your family, paying a tithe of half of all they farm,
valuables.                                                    that has made your family wealthy and comfortable,
                                                              while still affording you the ability to hire mercenary
Arimite Miner                                                 knife-fighters to protect the peasants paltry livelihoods
                                                              from Druhk raiders, and your own from the knives of
Homeland: Arim                                                Revenants. As one of the highborn, you consider most
                                                              of your fellow countrymen as little more than squalid
"You think I should take pride in being the backbone of       riff-raff, although by the standards of other cultures,
my nation? Pah, let's see you work in the mines and           you are still little more than an uncouth ruffian yourself,
speak of 'pride'."                                            despite basic tuition in cultured living. You have been
                                                              taught the sport of knife-fighting, and noble art of
Life in Arim is like the mines you labor in; hard, dark,      swordplay, and thrilled in the chase of the hunt from
and dangerous. Day in, day out, you slave away in the         equs-back. Leisure time has even permitted you to
suffocating confines of the mines, braving cave-ins,          dabble in the arcane arts, and enjoy the company of a
falls, gas pockets, and other hazards, tearing black iron     concubine or two, but for all your arrogance and
ore or silver from the earth. You, like many other            wealth, you do not rest easy, for you still fear the
Arimites, have little to look forward to in life, little to   assassin‟s blade, and trepidation always touches you
enjoy, and the bitterness of this makes the chakos you        when you must leave the security of your family‟s
consume at the end of the day seem sweet by                   fortress-like mansion.
comparison. The life of a miner is a hard and relentless
one, and you barely earn enough to live in mediocre           Physical Characteristics: 5‟2”-6‟2”, 90-170            lbs.
fashion, but even so, you are thankful to be a miner,         Swarthy complexion, long black hair, dark eyes.
and not a worker in the smelters or refineries, where
the scorching air slowly roasts the flesh, the ash clogs      Attributes:
the lungs, and even a single minor accident horribly          INT +1                 STR 0             CR +2
burns and mutilates. Perhaps one day you will claw            PER 0           DEX +2           MR +1
your way up to the position of Overseer, but that is a        WIL 0           CON +1           HP 21
climb as perilous as any in the mines, for there will         CHA 0           SPD +1
always be rivals, and the accursed Revenants do not
come cheaply.                                                 Skills:
                                                              Wizardry or Witchcraft           Etiquette +1
Physical Characteristics: 5'2"-6'2", 100-180           lbs.        Two Modes of choice +1      Ride +4
Swarthy complexion, long black hair, dark eyes.               Arimite Knife-fighting +2        Administrator +3
                                                              Low Talislan, native dialect     Longsword +2
Attributes:                                                   High Talislan, basic             Shortbow +2
INT 0           STR +2       CR +3                            Archaen or Elder Tongue, basic
PER 0           DEX +2       MR 0
WIL 0           CON +3       HP 24                            Equipment: Leather boots, leather gloves, leather
CHA -1                 SPD 0                                  breeches, linen shirt, and embroidered leather vest, all
                                                              of fine quality, well-made longsword, with tooled
Skills:                                                       scabbard, two throwing knives with detailed handles,
Pickaxe +2                       Laborer +4                   gold rings, earrings and armbands, shortbow with
quiver of 20 arrows, pouch, leather flask of fine wine,        how I slew the beast with a single arrow and skinned its
leather-bound spellbook, fine graymane steed.                  still twitching carcass.”

Wealth: 250 gold lumens in silver Exarchs.                     Many generations of your family have roamed the
                                                               rugged hills and steppes of Arim, pursuing the age-old
Arimite Magician                                               profession of hunter and trapper. Unlike those of your
                                                               people who dwell in the filth and squalor of the towns,
Homeland: Arim                                                 or that paltry Exarch who believes he has some claim
                                                               over you, you have remained true to the roots of your
“Magic is a powerful tool, it is true, but so is fear, and     culture. The wilderness is as comfortable and familiar
are not fear and respect the same thing?”                      as your favorite bow and knife, and you face prey far
                                                               more honest and easier to deal with than your urban
You were never as strong as your siblings and peers,           cousins. You can move and act freely without causing
despite the harsh realities of life in Arim. Scorned for       offense and hoping that the Revenants will not be called
being weaker, you were subject to ridicule and abuse,          upon you. The town-dwellers often look down at you,
but deep down you knew you were destined for things            regarding you as nothing more than a quaint throwback
beyond the ken of the common miners, hunters,                  and even the rural farmers think of you as an isolated
farmers, and knife-fighters. Necessity forced you to rely      and lonely individual. They are all fools, for you possess
on your cunning, so they called you sly and conniving.         a freedom they will never experience: the liberty to
They were right. They believed you would die at the            control your own life, free of Exarch and Revenant
point of a stronger man‟s blade. They were wrong.              influence, and the petty bickering that marks the
Instead, you used the persuasive power of coin to              existence of many others. You are content, for you
apprentice yourself to the local magician. For this you        know your skills will always be of value, and that the
were also mocked. That was the past. Now, you are a            life of a hunter is the most honest in Arim.
magician, and they mock you no longer. Now, they
come to you for aid, and even the hated Revenants              Physical Characteristics: 5‟2”-6‟2”, 90-170            lbs.
have employed your services. But, most importantly,            Swarthy complexion, long black hair, dark eyes.
and satisfyingly, they now fear you.
                                                               Attributes:
Physical Characteristics: 5‟2”-6‟2”, 90-170             lbs.   INT 0           STR +1        CR +3
Swarthy complexion, long black hair, dark eyes.                PER +1          DEX +3        MR 0
                                                               WIL 0           CON +2        HP 23
Attributes:                                                    CHA -1                 SPD +1
INT +2                    STR 0           CR +1
PER 0            DEX +2           MR +3                        Skills:
WIL +1           CON 0            HP 20                        Shortbow +4                     Survival +3
CHA -1                    SPD 0                                Arimite Knife-fighting +1       Climbing +2
                                                               Dagger +1                       Guide +3
Skills:                                                        Tracking +4                     Ride +1
Wizardry, Geomancy or Witchcraft                               Traps +4                        Artificer +3
     Four Modes of choice +3                                   Stealth +3                      Low Talislan, native
Arimite Knife-fighting +1                                      dialect
Arcane Lore +2
Stealth +1                                                     Equipment: Fur vest, hide boots, leather breeches,
Ride +1                                                        armbands and earrings of animal teeth and claws,
Low Talislan, native                                           shortbow with quiver of 20 arrows, two throwing
Archaen or Elder Tongue, fluent                                knives, dagger, pouch, ball of twine, iron flask of
                                                               chakos, graymane steed.
Equipment: Leather boots, sackcloth breeches,
fur-trimmed leather vest, fur cloak, three throwing            Wealth: 50 gold lumens in hides and silver Exarchs.
knives, black iron earrings and armbands, pouch,
iron-bound spellbook, graymane steed.                          THE AZIR
                                                               Azir are dark-skinned and dark-haired. They dress in
Wealth: 150 gold lumens in silver Exarchs.                     loincloths, anklets, and bracelets of woven plant fibers,
                                                               and wear elaborate masks of carved wood, which are
Arimite Hunter                                                 said to reflect their moods.

Homeland: Arim                                                 Ancestry
                                                               The Azir appear to be direct descendents of the first
“I have faced down a charging exomorph with nothing            Archaen tribes. In fact, it is believed that the tribe has
but a bow. Leave me in peace before I demonstrate              always lived on Talislandre, unaffected by the processes
                                                               of civilization, wars, and even The Great Disaster. If
true, then the Azir are something akin to “living fossils”   rituals, “Sorrowful Dreamer” is worn to express sadness
- relics of a bygone age.                                    and regret; “Fearsome Protector” is worn to repel
                                                             interlopers. Other types certainly exist, but have not
Society                                                      yet been documented.
Because Azir do not welcome outsiders into their realm,
very little is known of these people. The most detailed      Language
accounts of Azir life come from a Green Aeriad               Azir speak a version of the Elder Tongue. The type of
botanomancer named K‟ya-Chak; who, after being               mask worn is said to add a layer of meaning and
driven away time and again, finally won the trust of an      emotion to their speech that is not always evident to
Azir shaman, who agreed to tell him something of her         non-Azir. Azir names combine proper names, beginning
people. According to K‟ya-Chak, Azir live in large           with the prefix “Az,” with a natural element. For
dome-shaped huts of woven grass. Each dwelling               example: Azia of the Blue Blossoms, Azis of the Shoals,
provides shelter for an extended family. As many as          and Azla of the Feather-Dendrons.
four generations may live together; the Azir are robust
and long-lived, and do not suffer from the diseases that     Defenses
commonly afflict other Talislantans. Azir eat no meat,       The Azir have no warriors. In the event of intrusion by
but subsist on wild edible plants, Mfruits, roots, tubers,   hostile beings or entities, the people don “Fearsome
nuts. They mate for life, and have no taboos regarding       Defender” masks and confront the intruders, shouting
sex or nudity. Children are raised by their parents, with    and making aggressive gestures in an attempt to
help from the family elders.                                 frighten them into leaving. If this tactic fails, they will
                                                             throw sticks and stones; again, with intent to frighten,
Customs                                                      not harm If this approach also fails, the Azir run away
The Azir are a peaceful people who live in harmony with      and hide in the forests. Swift and cunning, Azir are
their surroundings. Young Azir play contentedly with         almost impossible to catch or even find when they do
animals from the surrounding forest; wild beasts seem        not wish to be seen.
not to threaten their villages and gatherings. As regards
strangers, Azir exhibit overt xenophobic tendencies.         Commerce
Visitors from the outside world are usually greeted with     Azir share freely among themselves, and apparently
fusillades of stones, and told in no uncertain terms to      care little for the concept of personal possessions
depart the Azir‟s island refuge. This attitude can be        except as pertains to their masks, each of which is
traced to the Azir belief that association with other        made by its owner, and can only be worn by its owner.
peoples will cause their own people to grow sick and         They apparently own nothing of value to outsiders, and
die. They believe that the only reason their culture has     have never had a desire to trade with the outside
survived intact is because the Azir have remained apart      world.
from the rest of the world. In this, they are no doubt
correct.                                                     Worldview
                                                             Outsiders have long regarded the Azir as a strange,
Government                                                   backward, even savage people. While it is true that the
Azir are ruled by a council of shaman elders, both male      Azir know nothing of the civilized world, this is a
and female. They are charged with the protection of the      condition that they have adopted by choice. Scholars
Azir culture and people. K‟ya-Chak observed no laws or       from the mainland have wanted to study the Azir for
punishments; indeed, he felt that there appeared to be       centuries, hoping to learn something of their culture,
no crime among the Azir.                                     the reason for their long lifespans, and how they and
                                                             their island survived The Great Disaster.
Magic & Religion
Azir possess no affinity for or knowledge of magic. They     Azir Islander
are practitioners of an ancient pagan religion based on
the worship of elemental spirits. Azir have a rich ritual    Homeland: Talislandre
tradition, celebrating the changing of the seasons, days
when certain flowers burst into bloom, and other             Strangers are the bringers of death and ruination. So
natural occurrences. K‟ya-Chak found it most unusual         the elders teach, so the histories state. They are tainted
that the Azir had no rituals for the seven moons, and        by the land they inhabit, ruled over by illusions. They
only recognized one of the twin suns. When he                have been punished for the transgressions of their
questioned several Azir on the subject, they merely said     ancestors, and only the Azir have been spared. The
that “these things are but illusions, and so we pay them     Disaster was theirs, not yours. For you have followed
no heed.” Azir bury their dead amongst the wildflowers,      the ancient traditions without change. You speak the
which they refer to as “returning to nature”.                First Tongue, you wear the True Faces. You live in
                                                             friendship with the creatures of the forests, of the skies,
The Arts                                                     and of the seas. Like them, you were spawned from the
Azir wear colorful wooden masks as an indicator of           pure elemental world, and you have guarded your part
mood and emotion. Several different types of masks           of the world well. You are not tainted. You will die
are known: “Festive Celebrant” is worn during joyous         before you accept such corruption.
                                                               drives a Bane, for beyond merely providing sustenance,
Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-‟6-2”, 100-170 lbs.             it also hones the Bane‟s skills, and provides
Dark skin, hair, and eyes. Robust build. Wear wooden           entertainment of a sort. Banes will hunt sentient prey,
masks reflecting their moods.                                  regarding them as a fitting challenge, especially when
                                                               one considers the fact that most trespassers into Bane
Attributes:                                                    territory are slavers intent on capturing female Banes,
INT 0           STR 0        CR +1                             the employees of alchemists hoping to kill a Bane for its
PER +1          DEX +1       MR +1                             alchemical value, and heavily-armed adventurers. In
WIL +2          CON +2       HP 20                             the experience of nearly every Bane, outsiders are just
CHA -1                 SPD 0                                   as predatory as they are. However, there is a single
                                                               exception to this belief that all outsiders are predators:
Skills:                                                        the Dhuna. Banes hold the Dhuna somewhat in awe for
Doctrines (Azir religion) +3              Stealth +3           their ability to live within the treacherous bounds of
Dance +2                                  Swim +3              Werewood, especially when they are so obviously
Artificer (Wood) +5                       Herb Lore +5         ill-equipped to fight. Bane folklore also speaks of
Elder Tongue, native dialect                                   numerous occasions when the mysterious witches have
                                                               aided injured Banes, or freed captive ones. Other Bane
Equipment: Loincloth, anklets, and bracelets of woven          tales speak of dark powers wielded by the Dhuna. As a
plant fibers, elaborate masks of carved wood                   result, no Bane will attack the Dhuna, or those under
(representing various moods).                                  their care. Banes rely primarily on cunning while
                                                               hunting, and make intelligent use of their uncanny
Wealth: None; the Azir have no concept of money.               mimicry skills to lure, unnerve, and misdirect their
                                                               prey. They seldom stand and fight, preferring to use
THE BANES                                                      any advantage they can. When a female Bane is in
Sleek and muscular, the Banes of Werewood have coal            season, she fills the night air with a low hissing cry,
black skin, wild black hair, and eyes that glow like           repeating it until any males from nearby arrive. Should
burning embers, a disconcerting sight when viewed at           more than one male Bane approach, the males will
night. Vampiric predators armed with a pair of long            initiate a staredown contest, with only the winner being
sharp canine fangs, and sharp claws, they are a                allowed to approach the female, who may or may not
strangely attractive race, the females sometimes               accept them. After mating has occurred, if indeed any
caught and sold as slaves, after having their natural          male met the female‟s approval, the male invariably
weapons removed. Both genders wear loincloths, and             returns to his own territory soon after, leaving the
armbands that serve both decorative and symbolic               female to rear the children on her own. Bane children
functions.                                                     are born with fangs, but are provided for by the mother
                                                               until they are mature enough to hunt small rodents.
Ancestry
Thought to be a bizarre and sinister Archaen-created           Customs
hybrid of Darkling, Night Demon, the now extinct               Banes are only permitted to wear armbands after
Babbling Howler, and perhaps even Ariane, Banes are            undertaking their trial of adulthood. Before approaching
feared and little understood. Although speculation still       full physical maturity, many Banes will have hunted
continues as to the exact components of their biological       small prey, but until they single-handedly hunt and slay
ancestry, many scholars have agreed with the                   a significantly dangerous animal, such as a Werebeast
postulation that Banes were neomorphs created to               or slaver, they are not classed as adults, and are not
serve as assassins, a task to which they are extremely         permitted to challenge others for territory, or approach
well-suited, both in terms of prowess and psychology.          females as prospective mates. Many Banes do not
                                                               survive this harsh rite of adulthood, but those that do
                                                               are stronger for it. Those that do succeed carve
Society                                                        themselves decorative armbands from the bones of the
Typically solitary in nature, Banes lair in caves and old
                                                               kill, indicating their prowess, and maturity.
ruins during the daylight hours. However, contrary to
the questionable theory put forward by several dubious
naturalists, Banes are not solitary because they can‟t         Government
stand each others feeding habits, or because they have         Banes have no government or laws. When conflicts
any inclination to prey upon each other. Rather, Banes         between Banes do occur, such as territorial disputes,
are solitary for the same reasons as most solitary             both parties initiate a staredown, with the first to flinch
predators: they need larger territories to support them,       or break contact being considered the loser.
and more Banes means competition for food. Despite
this, Banes have been known to operate in small groups         Magic & Religion
in the handful of areas in Werewood where prey is              Although Banes have no religion, and worship no gods,
plentiful, much to the consternation of those                  they actually have some respect for the prey they hunt,
unfortunate enough to encounter such “packs”. They             especially if said prey provides them with a challenge.
are fully prepared to cooperate with others when it is         They will often spend several moments standing in
beneficial to do so. The thrill of the hunt and kill is what   silent reflection over the corpse of a particularly difficult
prey. Despite possessing no magical lore, Banes have,        interests. As a result, Banes regard outsiders as
on rare occasions, displayed the somewhat unnerving          predators and potential threats, which is another
proficiency of mimicking a magician‟s spellcasting           reason they have little compunction about hunting
perfectly, casting the exact same spell themselves.          them. Those Banes taken as slaves or gladiators have
Considered     theoretically   impossible,     Talislantan   demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt to their new
magicians are at a loss to explain this peculiar ability.    situations, as one would expect from such intelligent
                                                             beings. Despite this, they still resent being captive, and
The Arts                                                     will strive to escape at every opportunity.
Despite their reputation as baleful monsters, Banes are
actually keenly intelligent and aware, possessed of their    Bane Pit Fighter
own culture, as alien as it might seem to outsiders.
Although they are largely nocturnal in habit, they do        “The earth thirsts for your blood, as do I.”
not spend all of the daylight hours asleep. One craft
they do practice is weaving, and they pad their lairs out    Homeland: Werewood
with woven mats for warmth and comfort. Such
weaving skills also serve to create the loincloths they      Running free under the dark, shadowy boughs of
wear, and they use thin tendrils of vine, strips of hide,    Werewood, you would thrill in the hunt, pitting your
fur, and grasses, to produce their rough fabric. They        considerable skills and cunning against your prey,
even possess some basic artistic appreciation, as can        making you feel alive, making you savor every delicious
be seen in the carved armbands that adult Banes wear,        drop of blood you drained. Not long after you had killed
although these are more symbolic than decorative.            a Werebeast, proving your prowess and maturity, the
                                                             outsiders came with their weapons and nets. What
Language                                                     followed was an intoxicating challenge where you were
All Banes speak their own language, which consists of a      both predator and prey, but ultimately they were
combination of low sibilant hisses, and intricate hand       victorious, and you were bound and removed to alien
and facial gestures that resemble Sign. Scholars have        lands. You found yourself a slave gladiator, forced to
pointed to this variant of Sign as further proof that        fight in the arenas of the outsiders, drawing blood with
Banes were created as assassins, for a silent language       claws both natural and false. What little you have seen
would certainly be beneficial when conducting such           of the outsiders‟ lives has both puzzled and intrigued
stealthy enterprises. Captive Banes have also                you, but you are a slave, and are chains prevent you
demonstrated a remarkable aptitude for learning other        sating your curiosity. Eager crowds gather to watch you
languages, although this is hardly surprising given their    fight Ahazu, Saurans, and many others, crowing with
intellect, and powers of mimicry. Bane names are             delight when you slake your thirst on the blood of the
expressed as short but complicated series of                 vanquished. You may be a vampire, but the outsiders
interlocking hand gestures, which have no translatable       are just as thirsty for blood; nearly as thirsty as you are
equivalent in any existing Talislantan tongue.               for freedom.

                                                             Physical Characteristics: 5‟10”-6‟6”, 130-220 lbs.
Defenses
                                                             Sleek and muscular with coal black skin, wild black hair,
Although Banes are efficient hunters, Werewood is a
                                                             eyes that glow like burning embers, fangs, and claws.
dangerous place, requiring them to remain constantly
vigilant. The fact that they do thrive is testament to
                                                             Attributes:
their intellect, cunning, and superior natural skills and
                                                             INT +3                 STR +2       CR +5
weapons.
                                                             PER +5          DEX +2        MR +1
                                                             WIL -3          CON +1        HP 20
Commerce                                                     CHA -1                 SPD +2
Banes do not trade goods among themselves, nor do
they have a desire for goods or currency. However,           Special Abilities: Supernatural Mimicry; See clearly in
Banes are themselves something of a commodity, with          even magical darkness; Immunity to visual illusions;
heavily armed slavers frequently entering Werewood to        Fangs (DR4 per round from blood drain); Claws (DR4 +
capture female Banes for sale as slaves. Several Bane        STR).
bodyparts are also coveted by alchemists, so other
individuals hunt Banes to supply that demand.                Skills:
Additionally, there has been an increasing demand for        Supernatural Mimicry +1          Stealth +5
exotic gladiators within the arenas of such nations as       War Claw +4                      Guide +2
Hadj, and several Banes have been enslaved for this          Melee Weapon of choice +3        Survival +4
reason as well.                                              Brawling +4                      Bane, native
                                                             Low Talislan, fluent             Evade +4
Worldview
The only sentient individuals the Banes come across          Equipment: Loincloth, carved bone armbands, two war
with any great regularity are the Dhuna, whom they           claws, melee weapon of choice.
respect. Beyond this, those few others they encounter
do not generally have the welfare of the Banes in their      Wealth: none.
                                                            Wild Bane
Escaped Bane Concubine
                                                            Homeland: Werewood
“You call me „sinister‟? You call me „savage‟? What
about the cruelty of your own so-called „civilized‟         Stalking through shadows without a sound. Watching
people?”                                                    your prey as it continues unaware of your presence.
                                                            Unnerving or lulling it with the mimicked sounds of its
Homeland: Werewood                                          own kind. These things fill you with pleasure. When at
                                                            last you attack - your prey stunned with shock and
Being enslaved filled you with rage and humiliation, but    horror, or blissfully unknowing - you are filled with
worse was to come. Not only did the outsiders take          fierce exultation. You test your skill and cunning again
your freedom, but also they tore away your claws, and       and again, and nourishing blood is your reward. You
filed down your fangs, taking the very tools of your        bear the armbands of adulthood with pride, and know
survival. Your anger and loathing for those that made       you have earned them. You are a hunter, a shadow in
you less than whole, made you constantly struggle, to       the darkness. You are a Bane.
no avail. Still, your people are nothing if cunning, and
you knew that should any chance at escape present           Physical Characteristics: 5‟10”-6‟6”, 130-220 lbs.
itself, you would have the skills to make that chance       Sleek and muscular with coal black skin, wild black hair,
reality. The slavers sold you to a leering man bearing      eyes that glow like burning embers, fangs, and claws.
gold, who took you as an exotic slave for his
amusement and pleasure. It sickened you that he             Attributes:
enjoyed it the more you fought, that he relished the        INT +3                 STR +2       CR +5
pain you inflicted nearly as much as he relished the        PER +5          DEX +2        MR +1
pain and shame he inflicted on you. Even so, you bided      WIL -3          CON +1        HP 20
you time, plotting for your eventual escape, learning       CHA -1                 SPD +2
the tongues of your tormentors. Then, when at last the
chance came, you seized a false claw of metal and           Special Abilities: Supernatural Mimicry; See clearly in
made your escape. Now you are alone in a strange and        even magical darkness; Immunity to visual illusions;
hostile land, relying once again on your cunning.           Fangs (DR4 per round from blood drain); Claws (DR4 +
Though you loathe the outsiders, you know you must          STR).
seek allies for their knowledge of this strange world,
and protection from being slain or enslaved again. You      Skills:
know you can never return to Werewood, but in many          Supernatural Mimicry +1          Guide +2
ways, this hostile world is little different.               Brawling +3                      Survival +4
                                                            Evade +2                         Bane, native
Physical Characteristics: 5‟10”-6‟6”, 130-220 lbs.          Stealth +5
Sleek and muscular with coal black skin, wild black hair,
eyes that glow like burning embers, fangs, and claws.       Equipment: Loincloth, carved bone armbands.

Attributes:                                                 Wealth: none.
INT +3                  STR +2          CR +5
PER +5          DEX +2        MR +1                         New Special Ability
WIL -3          CON +1        HP 20
CHA -1                 SPD +2                               Supernatural Mimicry
                                                            Only Banes possess this uncanny ability to perfectly
Special Abilities: Supernatural Mimicry; See clearly in     reproduce any sound they hear. In order to mimic any
even magical darkness; Immunity to visual illusions;        given sound, the Bane must make a successful roll
Claws and fangs have been removed.                          using this skill, with a Partial Success indicating a slight
                                                            imperfection. Banes may attempt to mimic a
Skills:                                                     spellcasting, but suffer a -10 penalty to do so. Needless
Supernatural Mimicry +1          Guide +2                   to say, they must be able to hear the spellcaster
Melee Weapon of choice +2        Survival +4                perfectly and clearly, and must listen to them intently,
Brawling +3                      Bane, native               to the exclusion of all other actions. Should a spell be
Evade +4                         Stealth +5                 mimicked perfectly (a Partial Success can have
High or Low Talislan, fluent                                reduced, or unforeseen effects), the Bane cast the
                                                            mimicked spell immediately, although they may choose
Equipment: Loincloth, rough concealing hood and             the target or targets. The spell is mimicked at the same
cloak, carved bone armbands, melee weapon of choice,        level and effect as the original casting. Banes cannot
pouch.                                                      memorize mimicked spells, although they can
                                                            memorize simple mimicked sounds of a more mundane
Wealth: 20 g.l. in stolen coin and goods.                   nature.
                                                            Attribute Modifier: PER
                                                            Pact or perform acts of thievery or aggression are
                                                            banished from the island, never to return.
THE CASTABULANESE
The Castabulanese are tall, slender of build, with skin a
deep brown in color. They dress in loose-fitting robes      Magic & Religion
and sandals. The females braid their hair in a variety of   The Castabulanese have no single religion, but are
intricate styles, and wear necklaces of sea stones worn     allowed to worship or not, as they choose. Nature
smooth by the tides.                                        deities are currently popular with some, as are
                                                            traditional Talislantan holidays and festivals centered
                                                            around nature or fertility themes, such as the Harvest
Ancestry
                                                            of the Silver Moon and the Conjunction of the Twin
The Castabulanese claim to be the descendants of a
                                                            Suns. The Castabulanese study numerous fields of
group of Phantasians whose windship crash-landed on
                                                            magic, but are especially adept in astromancy and
the isle in the year 447. Originally two dozen in
                                                            aeromancy. Castabulanese place their dead along with
number, the survivors have applied themselves
                                                            their personal effects in wooden coffins and cast them
vigorously to the act of procreation, so that nearly four
                                                            adrift, to be carried away on the tides.
hundred men, women, and children now populate the
isle.
                                                            The Arts
                                                            Castabulanese have a great appreciation of the arts.
Society
                                                            Many dabble in a form of naturalistic sculpture
The Castabulanese reside in an eccentric “observatory”
                                                            employing such materials as driftwood, seashells, and
constructed of rough-hewn timbers and stone.
                                                            various flotsam washed-up on the shore by the tides.
Originally built to house two dozen, the structure has
                                                            Others paint or compose epic paeans in their spare
since undergone no less than eighteen major
                                                            time.
expansions and additions. The lower floors serve as
living chambers and storage. The top two floors house
observation lenses, skycharts, and an alchemical            Language
laboratory. Here the Castabulanese monitor changes in       The Castabulanese speak a casual or rustic form of High
the weather, compiling data that they use to predict        Talislan, reflecting the somewhat low regard that these
storms,     droughts,    and   other    meteorological      people     have    for   classical Phantasian   culture.
phenomena.                                                  Castabulanese names have an easy, lilting sound, as in
                                                            Saleas, Millias, Castabulos, and Celesian.
The population functions as a commune, with all
members sharing equally in the work of growing food         Defenses
(tubers, grains, and fruits), hunting for shellfish,        The Castabulanese have no army, weapons, or
tending the commune‟s erd population, maintaining the       fortifications. They are believed to possess magical
observatory, and monitoring research and experiments        capabilities adequate to defend themselves from any
in progress. The Castabulanese have no strict rules         small-medium sized force of invaders.
regarding marriage; relationships of all kinds are
tolerated. Children are raised by the entire group, with    Commerce
individuals taking turns as with other responsibilities.    The folk of Castabulan produce no marketable wares
                                                            per se, but trade information about tides, weather, and
Customs                                                     wind currents to sea captains, scholars, institutions and
The Castabulanese are liberal and permissive by             other interested parties. In return they receive
nature, accepting of all beliefs and ways of life that do   alchemical supplies, gifts of food or wine, and
not inhibit personal freedom. They have developed a         occasionally   a    few  gold    lumens.     These    the
close affinity to the forces of nature, which they have     Castabulanese use to purchase astrological apparatus,
had occasion to experience first-hand since being           tools, and other implements from the Seven Kingdoms
shipwrecked long ago. Unlike their Phantasian forbears      and elsewhere.
they have come to believe that those who use magic
have a responsibility to protect and preserve the           It is customary for Zandir captains sailing to or out of
environment.                                                the port of Zantium to send a messenger to Castabulan,
                                                            in order to obtain advice on prevailing winds, tides, and
Government                                                  so on. The usual procedure is for the messenger to
The folk of Castabulan abide by a Communal Pact,            leave a gift of food, wine, or supplies at the foot of the
which states that all must share equally in                 stairs leading up to the observatory, ring a gong placed
responsibilities. Aside from this, they enjoy a unique      conveniently nearby, and wait. A harbinger imp
form of self-rule that empowers individuals to make         responds within a moment or two, carrying with it a
important life-decisions for themselves. A group of         scroll bearing the astromantic predictions for the day.
three elders, elected by popular vote, are called upon to
make any decisions that affect the majority of the          World Relations
population, as needed. Any who break the Communal           Castabulan is neutral as regards all other nations; any
                                                            visitors who come in peace are welcome. The
Castabulanese enjoy good relations with many Zandir          utensils).
sea traders, and have been visited by waterborne and
windborne craft from many different nations.                 Wealth: None; the Castabulanese do not use money.
Castabulan‟s most recent report on Talislantan
environment was highly commended by the members
                                                             THE DHUNA
of Cymril‟s Lyceum Arcanum, and joint research
                                                             An olive-skinned folk, the Dhuna have jet-black hair
projects are planned for the near future.
                                                             and expressive features. The females dress in linen
                                                             robes, cloaks, and tunics, with sandals or boots. Male
Relations with Phantas remain one of Castabulan‟s few
                                                             Dhuna wear shirts, breeches, and cloaks, with
sources of dismay. The Castabulanese have attempted
                                                             knee-high boots of soft leather.
for decades to convince the Phantasians to restrict their
thaumaturgical      experimentation,     which        the
Castabulanese claim is deleterious to the surrounding        Ancestry
environs. The Phantasians disagree; some have gone so        The Dhuna are believed to be related to the Sarista
far as to recommend that the Castabulan facility be          gypsy folk and the Zandir. Persecuted for practicing
dismantled, and the descendants of the former                witchcraft, their ancestors were forced to seek refuge in
castaways forcibly returned to Phantas.                      the forests of Werewood following the Phaedran Cult
                                                             Wars. Hidden deep in these woods the Dhuna
                                                             discovered a number of sacred groves, each
Castabulanese Aeromancer
                                                             demarcated by a circular ring of ten-foot tall
Homeland: Castabulan                                         runestones. Here they settled, and remain to the
                                                             present day.
You know well the power of the elements, and of
tempests. It was a storm that once caused a great            Society
windship to fall from the sky and brought your people        The Dhuna live in communal groups, called covens,
to Castabulon so long ago. Now your people watch the         ranging in size from small family groups of less than a
skies, charting the winds and clouds as they course          dozen to large fraternal orders that may number into
through the heavens. You read the signs and                  the hundreds. Each coven has its own settlement.
conjunctions, and from them divine the secrets of the        Dhuna live in simple huts made of stone and earth, and
elements. You predict the storms and tides, the wind         roofed with woven thatch. The huts are well-hidden by
currents and rains, the clouds of black lightning. From      the surrounding woods, and occasionally by certain
many lands, sailors of the seas and skies come to            spells and charms, as well.
Castabulon to buy your sky-charts, and your people are
held in high regard. You are pleased to know that,           Dhuna are liberal in their views towards matrimony;
thanks to your advice, others may be spared the fate         both males and females may have more than one
that once befell your ancestors.                             spouse. Covens live together in their communal
                                                             dwellings, but are free to come and go as they please.
Physical Characteristics: 7‟-7‟4”, 130-200 lbs. Deep         The Dhuna are vegetarians, subsisting on a diet of wild
brown skin (from exposure to the suns), amber-colored        berries, mushrooms, roots, tubers, and other edible
hair, females braid their hair in a variety of intricate     plants, all of which are readily available in Witchwood --
styles.                                                      provided one knows where to look.

Attributes:                                                  Customs
INT +2                  STR 0            CR 0                The Dhuna are practitioners of witchcraft, and are
PER +3          DEX 0            MR +5                       thought to have strange powers, such as the ability to
WIL 0           CON +1           HP 20                       cast curses by means of „the evil eye”. The womenfolk
CHA 0           SPD 0                                        are said to possess extraordinary talents, not the least
                                                             of which is the reputed ability of Dhuna witchwomen to
Special Abilities: Detect magic by sight at range of         capture a man‟s heart with but a single kiss. Long
five feet; requires full concentration, roll at PER versus   persecuted for their pagan beliefs, the Dhuna are highly
level of magic.                                              suspicious of outsiders. Such suspicions are warranted,
                                                             as the covens are still persecuted by Aamanian
Skills:                                                      witch-hunters to the present day.
Elemental Magic (Aeromancy)              Artificer +2
     (Five Modes of choice) +2                    Cook +1    Government
Astromancy +6                            Agriculture +2      Dhuna have no formal government or laws. To the
Animal Handler +2                        Swim +3             contrary, Dhuna believe that all people should be
Engineer (Observatory) +1                Art +2              allowed to do as they will. The most influential member
High Talislan, native dialect                                of any coven is its high priest or priestess, who leads
                                                             the rest of the group in ritual observances and may
Equipment: Loose-fitting robe, sandals, necklace of          serve as the Coven‟s advisor. Even so, he or she may
sea stones (females), scroll case (for spell scrolls and     has no power to command the others. When important
meteorological charts), pouch (for ink and writing
decisions need to be made, Coven members generally          Circles of Stone
do so by popular vote.                                      “While traveling through Werewood with the Jaka
                                                            hunter, Tane, I chanced to come upon a circle of seven
Magic & Religion                                            stone dolmens, each over twenty feet in height. The
All Dhuna covens claim alliance to one of three general     obelisk-like structures appeared to be of ancient origin,
Orders: White, Black, or Grey. Covens of the White          the strange symbols and glyphs carved into their faces
Order focus on the creative and fertile aspects of          long since worn by wind, rain, and the passage of time.
nature, and are diametrically opposed to the Black          I dismounted my equs, intending to examine the stones
covens, who employ the destructive forces of nature.        at a closer distance. I was immediately restrained by
Grey covens seek a balance between the two, while           my Jaka companion, who explained in no uncertain
favoring neither.                                           terms that such an act could bring about dire
                                                            consequences for us both.
The covens gather together during certain cycles of the
suns and moons, meeting in secret among the ancient         Regarding myself as an enlightened seeker of truth, I
runestones. Here the Dhuna hold their rituals, certain of   was inclined to dismiss Tane‟s concern as the product of
which may date back to the Age of Mystery. Witchgates       a superstitious upbringing. The Jaka, on the other hand,
(see Circles of Stone) play an important role in certain    considered me to be both ignorant and misguided, and
of these rituals, and may be used to summon entities        let me know that should I proceed in the direction of
from other planes of existence.                             the dolmens he would have no choice but to bring
                                                            about the immediate cessation of our relationship, and
Dhuna inter the dead along with their clothes and           perhaps my life as well. I found his argument
possessions in hidden caves warded with runes and           compelling; so much so that I moved away from the
symbols. Believing that it is unwise to disturb the sleep   dolmens without delay.
of the dead, Dhuna do their best to avoid such places.
                                                            Reassured by my retreat, Tane explained the reason for
The Arts                                                    his concern. According to the Jaka, the runestones
The Dhuna practice many decorative crafts, including        found in this region were erected thousands of years
weaving, pottery-making, and wood-carving. Music is         ago by a people who once revered the ancient deities
rarely performed for recreational purposes, though it is    now known only as the Forgotten Gods. Tane said that
an integral part of many rituals. This is evident in the    the Dhuna tribes still gathered at these sites to observe
age-old chants performed in unison by members of the        the ancient rituals, sacrifices, and holy days. He added
coven during their secret ceremonies.                       that many of the stone circles were witchgates -
                                                            openings to other dimensions, through which the Dhuna
Language                                                    summoned entities of terrifying aspect. As some of the
Though some Dhuna speak Low Talislan, the language          witchgates were protected by potent curses, Tane said
most used by these people is the arcane Elder Tongue.       that we should leave them alone and depart the area at
Dhuna names are said to date back to the Forgotten          once. By this time I had already re-mounted and was
Age, and indeed have a somewhat archaic sound, as in        headed back to Zandu.”
Alasta, Abramelus, Perdurabo, Nagina, and Mecasefir.
                                                            Dhuna Witch
Defenses
The Covens have no armies or militias, but are              Homeland: Werewood
well-hidden from possible attacks. The stone circles and
witchgates are thought to be protected by potent wards      “You are right to fear my powers, if your heart is as
and symbols (see Circles of Stone).                         black as you accuse mine to be.”

                                                            The outsiders accuse you of dark magics, of dealings
Commerce                                                    with demons and devils. They know nothing of your
The Dhuna are skilled herbalists and healers. Plants
                                                            customs. It is true that you summon servants of the
used in the making of their remedies, such as prophet
                                                            forgotten gods to appear within the ancient witchgates,
tree, shrinking violet, tantalus, contrary vine, and
                                                            but the Old Ones are not demons, and the Black Covens
cleric‟s cowl, are highly valued by these folk. However,
                                                            are few in number. Most of your people worship more
the Dhuna generally trade only among Covens of the
                                                            benign entities and embrace peaceful tenets. You affirm
same Order and with a few trusted outsiders, such as
                                                            nature with the rituals you practice in secret among the
Gnorls, Sarista gypsies, and Jaka hunters.
                                                            sacred groves and rings of ancient runestones. Your
                                                            craft shields you and your loved ones from werebeasts,
Worldview                                                   banes, and hostile intruders. When you leave
Aside from their trade contacts, the Dhuna have no          Werewood to learn more of the world, it protects you
formal relations with other countries or peoples. No        against those who would slay you as a witch and an
other folk are allowed to pass through Dhuna territory      infidel. Often times when you are abroad you pose as a
without their permission.                                   Sarista, joining your distant cousins in their wanderings
                                                            and reading “fortunes” for the credulous. The Sarista
know you; they understand your ways better than most           they also prey on Arimite livestock as the opportunity
others. It is true that Ardan favors you. You are of a         warrants, and are known to rob caravans along those
chosen people, and it matters not what the outsiders           parts of the Phaedran Causeway that lay adjacent to
believe.                                                       their territories, and to launch raids against small
                                                               villages and outposts.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟-5‟10”, 90-150 lbs. Olive
skin, black hair, expressive features, romantic or             Among the Drukhs, there is no marriage per se; males
melodramatic appearance.                                       and females alternate partners as they choose. Children
                                                               are raised by the tribal elders, who teach them about
Attributes:                                                    hunting and warfare. Those who are too old or weak to
INT +2                   STR *            CR 0                 fend for themselves are slain out of hand, thereby
PER +1          DEX 0            MR +5                         reducing the number of mouths needing to be fed.
WIL 0           CON 0            HP 18
CHA *           SPD 0                                          Customs
                                                               Drukhs are taught never to show fear or pain, which
Special Abilities: STR -1 (females), +1 (males); CHA           they regard as signs of weakness. To show their ability
+6 (females), +1 (males); females can capture a man‟s          to resist pain various forms of ritual scarring and bodily
heart with a single kiss; victims must make Willpower          mutilation are common practices; scars earned in battle
roll to resist, with the Dhuna‟s Witchcraft skill level as a   are considered signs of courage and are greatly
negative modifier; harmful actions by the Dhuna allow          admired. To test the strength and worthiness of their
victims further opportunities to resist.                       enemies Drukhs often subject captured opponents to
                                                               slow and excruciating forms of torture - invariably
Skills:                                                        resulting in death, though in rare cases individuals who
Witchcraft (Five Modes of choice) +3                           exhibit uncommon courage and ability to withstand pain
Doctrines +4                    Seduce +4                      are allowed to live. Drukhs do not regard such behavior
Staff +2                        Artificer +5                   as cruel. Among these folk, compassion is considered a
Alchemy (Elixers) +5            Ride +4                        sign of weakness, and is virtually unknown.
Healer +5                       Elder Tongue, native
Herb Lore +5                    Low Talislan, fluent           Government
                                                               Drukh tribes are led by shamanic war-chieftains;
Equipment: Linen robe and tunic, sandals or boots
                                                               typically, the most accomplished warrior of the tribe.
(females); shirt, breeches, knee-high boots of soft
                                                               The position is open to challenge once each year on the
leather (males); long cloak, pouch with three elixir
                                                               day after the Ghost Moon, from sun-up to sundown.
vials, pouch with herbs, wooden staff, graymane steed.
                                                               During this time fierce duels to the death for dominance
                                                               can occur at any time.
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in rare herbs and precious
stones.
                                                               Laws
                                                               Drukhs accused of offenses are bound with leather
THE DRUKHS                                                     thongs and brought before the tribe‟s shamans. The
Drukhs are a rugged people who dye their long hair,            shamans act as judge and jury; individuals found guilty
beards and skin with the juice of the purple barb-berry.       of weakness or disobedience are executed by means of
They have dark eyes and savage features, and dress in          ritual torture, a slow and horrible process. If they die a
rude hides, furs, and necklaces made from the fangs            “good death” and do not cry out in pain, it is believed
and claws of wild beasts.                                      that their crimes will be forgiven by the ancestors, and
                                                               they will enjoy a place of honor in the afterlife. Drukhs
Ancestry                                                       apply their laws and customs to outsiders as well. In
The Drukhs are primitive tribesmen believed to be              this way they regard themselves as honorable and fair.
descended from the Wild Folk of ancient Talislanta. As
they are similar in stature to the Arimites, some              Magic & Religion
scholars have suggested that the Drukh tribes are may          The Drukhs revere Noman, dark ruler of the Nightmare
also be related to these people. This theory has not           Dimension. They believe that the spirits of their
been well received by either the Arimites or the Drukhs,       ancestors watch them at all times, and will cause them
who despise each other.                                        misfortune if they act in a cowardly fashion. All Drukhs
                                                               are extremely superstitious. They believe in the power
Society                                                        of spirits, curses, and black magic. Any occurrence that
Nomadic hunter-gatherers who build no permanent                can be construed as out of the ordinary may be
dwellings of any kind, Drukhs range throughout the             regarded as an omen, either favorable or unfavorable.
central hills and mountains of Arim in loose-knit bands        Drukhs rely upon their shamans to read these omens
numbering from a few dozen individuals to several              and explain the portents to the tribe. Their readings can
hundred. Their warriors ride wild graymanes dyed               impel a tribe to attack, to avoid an area or person
purple with berry juice - a most unusual sight, or so it       designated as “cursed”, or to postpone their plans until
is said. Drukhs subsist on roots, tubers, and wild game;       the appearance of more favorable omens. Drukhs
observe no burial rituals. The dead are left to be eaten    Drukh Hillman/Shaman
by animals while the rest of the tribe moves on.
                                                            Homeland: Arim
The Arts
The music of the Drukhs is wild and primitive, reflecting   Pity is a word that has no meaning for you and your
the nature of these people. In battle, Drukh shamans        people. It is something that others beg for when you
wield bone flutes, and play the ancient “Song of            test them with your arts of pain. They are weak, less
Madness,” which is intended to strike fear into the         than the lowliest among your tribe. When they hear the
hearts of their enemies. Other traditional instruments      ancient songs that drive you towards battle, they cry in
include Drukh ceremonial drums, made from flayed skin       fear. They show themselves unworthy of honor in the
stretched over dried gourds, and the uka, or “howling       next world, and you drive them there to receive the
drum”; an instrument made from skin stretched over a        ministrations of your ancestors. Someday you will
framework of rib bones, which is played by dipping the      reclaim from them the lands that they stole from your
fingers in blood and rubbing them across the head of        people. If you show yourselves to be worthy, if you
the drum. Drukh crafts are limited to weapon and            pass the rites of pain and terror, this will come to pass.
tool-making, the curing of hides, and a style of
scrimshaw involving the carving of intricate patterns on    Physical Characteristics: 5‟2”-6‟, 80-160 lbs. Skin
humanoid leg bones and skulls.                              and hair dyed purple, bestial features, wild gray eyes.

Language                                                    Attributes:
Drukhs converse in an unusual combination of sign and       INT 0           STR +1       CR +4
Low Talislan, punctuated by expressive hand gestures.       PER +1          DEX +3       MR +2
While they do not employ a written language, the tribes     WIL 0           CON +3       HP 23
communicate by means of smoke signals, using various        CHA -2                 SPD 0
types of herbs and plants to create as many as seven
different colors of smoke. This system is as complex as     Special Abilities: Warriors entranced by the flutes and
any form of written language, and is unique to these        drums of their shamans will continue to fight even if
people.                                                     afflicted with normally incapacitating wounds (until
                                                            reaching -10 hit points).
Drukh names consist of both somatic and verbal
components; one must know both in order to accurately       Skills:
state the name of an individual Drukh. To omit the          War Club +2                     Torture +2
hand sign is considered a sign of ignorance at best, and    Dagger +1                       Traps +3
at worst, an insult that may require the offended Drukh     Mounted Combat +2               Scout +2
to seek redress. Examples of full Drukh names include       Mountain Climbing +2            Survival +2
Bone-Flute Brother (three fingers of right hand moving      Tracking +2                     Stealth +1
back and forth over left wrist), and Howling Mother         Low Talislan/Sign, native dialect
(right index finger pointing into palm of left hand).
                                                            For Shamans, add:
                                                            Shamanism (Four Modes of choice) +3
Defenses                                                    Music +3
Both males and females serve as warriors and hunters.
                                                            Healer +3
In battle, Drukhs warriors use enchanted flutes and
drums to achieve a type of trance-state. Drukhs who
                                                            Equipment: Fur and bone headdress, vest, breeches,
have been so affected will continue to attack even if
                                                            and boots of yaksha hide, stone war club, bone dagger,
badly afflicted with normally incapacitating wounds.
                                                            pouch, graymane steed (dyed purple); for shamans,
                                                            add bone flute, three wooden vials (magical pigments
Commerce                                                    and/or medicinal mixtures).
When not at war with each other, the various Drukh
tribes sometimes barter with each other for hides, horn,    Wealth: 20 gold lumens in ivory, hide, or gold dust.
and iron weapons. Most Drukhs know nothing about
currency and trade gold, silver, and copper coins
primarily as baubles, or as raw materials that can be
                                                            THE GNORLS
                                                            Gnorls are short and squat, with wrinkled skin and
melted down and used to make more useful items.
                                                            deep-set, glowing eyes. They dress in voluminous robes
                                                            and veiled headdresses, which serve to conceal most of
Worldview                                                   their features. Rings, bracelets, and necklaces of many
Drukhs are decidedly unfriendly as regards outsiders,       sorts are also favored.
finding great enjoyment in skinning alive individuals
who trespass into their lands. The Drukh tribes
                                                            Ancestry
particularly despise the Arimites, their ancestral
                                                            Gnorls are secretive creatures about whom very little is
enemies. Many tribes are still fighting to gain back
                                                            known for sure. Some believe them to be related to the
territories lost to the Arimites hundreds of years ago.
                                                            Gnomekin of Durne. More likely, they are akin to the
race of Weirdlings (see Places of Note, The Dread           The Arts
Forest in the Traveler‟s Guide).                            It is the eccentric habit of Gnorls to decorate their
                                                            nooks with all sorts of trinkets and geegaws, from
Society                                                     witch-balls of colored crystal to richly patterned
Reclusive by nature, Gnorls prefer to live alone. There     carpets, curious wall hangings, odd sculptures, and so
are no known Gnorl settlements, nor has there ever          forth. In this way they seem to be like Weirdlings,
been any reported sighting of a Gnorl family or couple.     though Gnorl nooks are said to be much tidier and are
No less an authority than the noted naturalist,             never cluttered with piles of junk.
Thystram, believed that this was due to the fact that
there is no race of Gnorls, per se. Rather, Gnorls and      Language
Weirdlings together constitute a single ancient race, the   When dealing with outsiders, Gnorls converse in a
name of which has either been forgotten, or is a great      heavily-accented dialect of Common Talislan. Gnorls are
secret. Gnorls are the females of this species, and         also believed to possess their own secret language,
Weirdlings are the males. The courtship and mating          which they reserve for communicating among others of
rituals of their race are unknown, though Thystram          their kind. As might be suspected, Gnorls prefer to keep
believed that members of the two sexes meet once            their names secret. The Gnorl known to Thystram
every fifty years or so in order to propagate the           allowed him to refer to her as Shibaal, though this may
species. It is not known how or by whom their offspring     or may not have been her actual name.
are raised.
                                                            Defenses
Gnorls live in hidden underground nooks or burrows of
                                                            Gnorls rely upon secrecy for their protection. Their
elaborate and mysterious design. Thystram described
                                                            homes are well-hidden, and by their nature quite
one such place as “decorated with rustic furnishings of
                                                            inaccessible to most other races. Traps and magical
appropriately small stature, with carpets of many hues
                                                            wards may be used to augment their security.
covering the dirt floors and long roots dangling from the
ceilings. From a main living area tunnels led this way
and that: up stairs and down, to root cellars, secret       Commerce
passageways, hidey-holes, a well, and places too eerie      Gnorls value secrets, which they employ as a form of
to warrant exploration. Illumination was provided by        currency (see Secrets for Sale). Otherwise, they are
dozens and dozens of candles, set into alcoves dug into     largely self-sufficient. Certain Sarista gypsies claim to
the earthen walls.”                                         have traded with Gnorls, though the veracity of their
                                                            claims remains unproven.
Customs
Gnorls shun contact with the outside world, and with        Worldview
outsiders in general. They are suspicious of strangers,     As a people, Gnorls have no relations with other races
and go to great pains to conceal their homes and            or nations. It is said that they regard Gnomekin with
activities from other peoples. Thystram believed that       something akin to tolerance, and perhaps Dhuna as
the creatures keep a watchful eye upon the surrounding      well. On the whole, Gnorls seem content to continue
environs at all times, possibly through the use of          living as they always have, in isolation.
scrying devices or spy-tubes. No individual is ever
allowed into their burrows unless a Gnorl determines        Secrets for Sale
beforehand that the person is trustworthy. Just as          “On one of my numerous forays into Werewood, I
important, the person must be in possession of              chanced to stumble upon the home of a Gnorl Ð literally
something the Gnorl wishes to have, such as an              so, for I accidentally stepped into a hidden trap-hole,
important secret, a rare book, or other esoterica.          rolled headlong down a winding tunnel, and ended up in
Gnorls sometimes leave their homes in search of rare        the underground nook of a Gnorl. After an awkward
herbs and other materials, or to trade secrets with         introduction (not surprising considering the
trusted confidants.                                         circumstances), I was able to assure her that I meant
                                                            no harm, and had not come to rob her. At this point she
Government                                                  called off her pet drac (a most ill-mannered creature)
Gnorls appear to have no leaders or authority figures.      and the animate root-things that had confined me to
Such concepts as “government” and “laws” offer              the wall. Once freed I was invited to join her in a cup of
nothing of interest to these folk.                          tang-ting tea.

Magic & Religion                                            We chatted for a time, and I learned that like many
                                                            Gnorls she was both a herbalist and a secret-seller. I
Gnorls are known to be practitioners of magic, and are
                                                            was familiar with the former occupation, being
said to covet rare magical tomes, particularly those that
                                                            something of an amateur apothecary myself, but not
describe secret rituals or long-lost arcana. Their
                                                            the latter. I asked her to explain, to which she
religious beliefs, if any, are unknown.
                                                            complied. Gnorls value secrets above all else. This, so
                                                            said my host, is because of the rarity of secrets in
                                                            general, and useful secrets in particular. Gnorls collect
secrets of all sorts, which they divide into categories.     vials of incense, herbs, quill pens, vials of ink), scroll
These include, but are by no means limited to: rumors,       case for writings, collection of art, trinkets, and
innuendo, gossip, myths, legends, secret recipes, dark       antiques.
secrets, deep secrets, lost secrets, forgotten secrets,
riddles, mysteries, conundrums, and enigmas.                 Wealth: 80 gold lumens in herbs and miscellaneous
                                                             artifacts; Gnorls value only secrets, however, and
A Gnorl will sell a secret for gold, for something she       amass fortunes by this measure.
needs (such as a rare herb or ingredient), or for
another secret that she determines to be of equal or
                                                             THE SARISTA
greater value. If my hostess‟s talents are indicative of
                                                             The Sarista are built along slender proportions, and
all her kind, Gnorls are shrewd negotiators. For
                                                             have skin the color of topaz, dark eyes and jet black
example, it cost me a juicy bit of gossip (regarding the
                                                             hair. They are partial to such forms of ornamentation as
forty-third wife of the Sultan of Zandir and a certain
                                                             ear bangles, facial tattooing, and all types of gaudy
itinerant wizard), three rumors, and a ribald limerick
                                                             raiment. The men sport colorful capes, berets,
just to find out if Gnorls, like Weirdlings, also have the
                                                             tight-fitting hose, sashes and high boots; the women:
power to grant wishes (if you want to know the answer
                                                             all manner of sultry and provocative attire, also of a
yourself, go ask a Gnorl).”
                                                             colorful nature.

Gnorl Rhabdomancer                                           Ancestry
                                                             The history of the Sarista consists of a baffling
Homeland: Werewood
                                                             collection of anecdotes, fables and bawdy ballads. From
                                                             these, scholars have theorized that the Sarista are
Knowledge is not to be seeded like flowers, allowed to
                                                             descended from the Phaedrans, and related to the
spread like vines of rampant. It is to be kept and
                                                             Aamanians and Zandir. Others believe they are kin to
guarded well, as a Kasmiran hoards gold. Gold is
                                                             the Dhuna witch-covens of Werewood.
scarce, and therein lies its value. So it is with secrets,
though they are worth much more than gold to those
who keep them well. Gossip and chatter is for fools;         Society
you know better. In your forest nook, communing with         The Sarista are a people of diverse qualities. Some are
your spirit advisors, you gather secrets of all sorts.       loners who make their living as peddlers, mercenaries
Visitors may find you irritable. If they have rumors and     or vagabonds. Others, notable for their skill at
enigmas to trade, they may find you a more gracious          witchcraft, live in secluded wilderness regions. The
hostess. Manners are a small price to pay for                majority of these folk are more gregarious in nature,
knowledge.                                                   preferring to travel in loose-knit tribal groups, carrying
                                                             all that they own in brightly painted wagons.
Physical Characteristics: 3‟-4‟, 60-80 lbs. Wrinkled,
dark brown skin, deep-set, glowing eyes, wizened             Sarista families are close-knit –”as thick as thieves,”
features, squat physique, always female.                     according to some Talislantans - and often quite large.
                                                             Young males attract wives by acts of courage and
Attributes:                                                  daring; an offering of gold coins to the wife‟s parents
INT +2                   STR -2           CR 0               seals the deal. Their children are raised in liberal
PER +1          DEX +1            MR +4                      fashion, and travel with the tribe.
WIL +2          CON 0             HP 18
CHA -1                   SPD 0                               Sarista caravans roam the western lands from Silvanus
                                                             to the Seven Kingdoms, stopping in cities and villages
Special Abilities: Night vision; Rhabdomancy.                along the way. In such places, the Sarista are
                                                             renowned for their talents as folk healers, fortunetellers
Skills:                                                      and performers - or as mountebanks, charlatans and
Witchcraft                    History +12                    tricksters, depending upon one‟s point of view.
     Six Modes of choice +8   Antiquarian +12
Cryptomancy                   Healer +10                     Customs
     Four Modes of choice +6 Herb Lore +10                   The discrepancy of opinion regarding the Sarista may
Staff +6                      Linguistics +8                 be attributed to their mysterious customs and
Arcane Lore +14              Low Talislan, native            traditions. The tribes do not keep written records of any
dialect                                                      sort, but rely upon their elders to teach their offspring
Cryptography +14             Gnorl secret tongue,            the secret lore of their people. These studies consist
native                                                       primarily of minor magics, herb lore, local geography
                                                             and “Sarista culture; a euphemism held to be roughly
Equipment: Voluminous robes, veiled headdress,               equivalent to the less flattering term, “thievery.” By age
colorful scarves and sashes, assorted rings, bracelets,      seven, a Sarista child will know every woodland trail in
and necklaces, wooden staff, leather-bound spell book        Silvanus by heart, and will have an alarmingly
with lock, satchel (for assorted medicinal mixtures,         comprehensive understanding of Sarista culture.
Magic & Religion                                             Sarista Culture
The Sarista religion revolves around two obscure             “The rogue magician Crystabal and I once spent an
demigods: Fortuna, lovely but fickle goddess of luck,        evening with a Sarista band, who entertained us with
and the grim entity known as Death. The Sarista revere       their traditional songs and dances. The local cuisine,
Fortuna, but mock Death, whom they strive to cheat at        served with generous flagons of herb-spiced wine, was
every opportunity. Many Sarista dabble in magic, and         most excellent. Afterward, playful Sarista children
some become quite accomplished in the arcane arts.           gathered around, sitting on my lap and giving me gifts
The womenfolk all seem to be adept at making folk            of little bouquets of meadow flowers. At last it came
remedies, potions, and minor magic charms, and at            time to put the little ones to bed, though none would go
telling fortunes. Sarista dress the dead in bright           without first giving „old Uncle Tamerlin (as they insisted
raiment, adorn their bodies with baubles, and bury           upon calling me) a hug. With wide grins, the elder
them standing-up; a final act of defiance in the face of     Sarista then brought forth more wine. I listened to a
Death.                                                       few tall tales told around the campfire before myself
                                                             retiring. Crystabal, flirting with a charming Sarista girl,
The Arts                                                     attempted to arrange a romantic interlude.
The Sarista love music, one of the few things about
which they are deeply sentimental. They enjoy dance,         I awoke at daybreak feeling refreshed and well-rested.
and many are skilled musicians. Sarista crafts include       A slightly bleary-eyed Crystabal joined me after a time,
metal working, weaving, and pottery.                         and the two of us saddled up our graymanes and bid
                                                             farewell to the Sarista. Not five miles down the road I
Language                                                     discovered, much to my chagrin, that the contents of
The Sarista have their own language, a version of the        my pockets had been picked clean. Muttering under my
common Low Talislan tongue which allows the speaker          breath, I cursed the little urchins who had sat upon my
to convey hidden meanings by the use of subtle               lap and showered me with hugs and kisses. Crystabal
gestures and inflections. Sarista names are colorful and     laughed long and loudly, until he discovered that his
varied, such as Romaro, Salvagio, Garinda, Eviaro            purse of gold coins was missing, among other items.
(males), and Romi, Esmeralle, Havia, and Kataea              With an ill-concealed grin I consoled him, and we
(females).                                                   continued on our way; poorer in the monetary sense,
                                                             but far richer in our knowledge of “Sarista Culture.”
Government
The Sarista have no central government. Each family is       Sarista Gypsy
a separate entity unto itself, led in most cases by the
                                                             Homeland: Silvanus
eldest male or female member. A tribe made up of
several families will usually be governed by an informal
                                                             “Thief? You call me thief? You tarnish my reputation as
group made-up of the elder members of each family.
                                                             a thespian and a merchant.”
Among the Sarista, it is considered a grievous crime to
steal from a member of one‟s own family or tribe.
                                                             Fortuna has blessed you with the good sense to enjoy
Offenses of this sort result in temporary or permanent
                                                             life. Silvanus is a beautiful home, and living there is
expulsion from the group.
                                                             beyond restful. Fishing, hunting, exploring wooded
                                                             trails - all are treasured pastimes. The dangers are few
Defenses                                                     along the western coast, and you rarely want for
Tribes sometimes band together for protection, but the       anything. Yet even the good life can grow boring after a
usual response to potential hostilities is to simply flee.   time, and so you roam far across the continent: by
Sarista are not cowards, but they believe it is better to    yourself, with your friends, or with the wagons of your
live to fight another day than to die.                       clan. The splendor of fortune is that it changes, and you
                                                             know that you‟ll have your share of good and ill luck in
Commerce                                                     your lifetime. You expect to live a long and full life, for
The Sarista tribes roam the Western Lands and beyond,        you intend to cheat Death often. After all, life is a
earning a living by performing, telling fortunes, and        game, and cheating, part of the challenge. A pity that
selling magical wares of reputed and occasionally actual     foreigners seldom see it that way. When it comes to
cogency. They sometimes carry trade goods of various         their money, few appreciate the fickle goddess of luck.
sorts in their wagons, such as erd‟s cheese, copper          They welcome your performances and diversions, and
lanterns, tallow, silver bracelets, luck charms, bolts of    rarely begrudge the few coins they must pay for your
colored cloth, trinkets and bangles.                         services. But should you misrepresent a trinket or two,
                                                             or should the children get caught relieving the audience
Worldview                                                    members of their purses, they fail to see the
The Sarista are an insular folk who generally have little    merriment. But that is the nature of Fortuna;
interest in the affairs of other people. They remain         sometimes she smiles down upon you, and sometimes
apart from other cultures by choice, following the same      she doesn‟t. And when she frowns, that is when you
traditions as their ancestors.                               know it is best to once again be moving on.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 80-180 lbs. Topaz           Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 90-200 lbs. Olive
skin, dark eyes, black hair, slender build, neatly           skin, green eyes, black hair, slender build, neatly
trimmed mustaches and beards (males), possible facial        trimmed mustaches and beards (males), possible facial
tattoos.                                                     tattoos.

Attributes:                                                  Attributes:
INT +1                   STR 0           CR +3               INT 0           STR +1           CR +4
PER 0           DEX +4           MR +2                       PER +1          DEX +4           MR 0
WIL 0           CON 0            HP 20                       WIL 0           CON +1           HP 22
CHA +2          SPD 0                                        CHA 0           SPD 0

Skills:                                                      Skills:
Dagger +2                             Streetwise +7          Guard +5                        Evade +4
Weapon (choice) +2                    Deception +5           Dueling Sword +4                Guide - Silvanus +7
Witchcraft                            Herb Lore +4           Brawling +3                     Streetwise +5
     (Two Modes of choice) +1                 Ride +2        Weapon of choice +3             Ride +2
Legerdemain +6                        Stealth +3             Mounted Combat +3               Low Talislan, native
Guide (Silvanus) +7                   Sarisa, native         Three Thieving Skills of choice +5      Sarisa, native
Two Thieving Skills of choice +5   Low Talislan, native      One Performing Skill of choice +3
Two Performing Skills of choice +5
                                                             Equipment: Animal hide cloak, sash, headband,
Equipment: Colorful garments, including cape, beret,         colorful garments, boots of soft hide, pouch with
sash, tight-fitting hose, high boots of soft hide, ear       thieves‟ tools (if applicable), dueling sword, graymane
bangles; dagger, one weapon of choice, pouch with            mount, choice of one other weapon, leather armor,
thieves‟ tools, performing equipment, graymane mount.        performing equipment (if applicable).

Wealth: 40 gold lumens in assorted currencies.               Wealth: 40 gold lumens in assorted currencies.

Sarista Guard                                                Sarista Hunter
Homeland: Silvanus                                           Homeland: Silvanus

“Be warned, that should you wish my brethren ill, even       “...and as Fortuna is my witness, the exomorph had not
the luck of Fortuna will not save you from my blade.”        one head but two! So, carefully drawing two arrows...”

The Sarista may trust to the caprice of Fortuna, but         The nomadic lifestyle of your people makes it
they are no fools, for luck can be both good and ill. As a   impossible to partake in the dedicated farming of other
guard, you serve your people by defending them               peoples, so it falls to you and your colleagues to ensure
against possible dangers, maintaining vigil against          that provisions can always be found, hunting under the
intrusions from the depths of Werewood, the Witch            great boughs of Silvanus‟ verdant forests. There you
Hunters of Aaman, and keeping an active interest in the      seek avir, wild durge, and edible herbs and fungi,
activities of any visitors to your camp. It can be a harsh   enjoying the adventure, but always cautious in the face
life, and your awareness of the dangers beyond the           of possible predators. If Fortuna is willing, the hunt will
caravan makes you seem dour and isolated to your             prove a bountiful one, free of peril, though you are
more frivolous, carefree brethren, who avoid trying to       certainly not one to balk at a challenge. You enjoy the
think about the realities of life. When they gather with     companionship of your fellow hunters, for although you
joy at the campfires, you must often patrol the camp‟s       are not as flamboyant and lighthearted as your fellow
perimeter. Despite this, you are proud of your position      gypsies, you enjoy the thrill and adventure of a hunt,
as a protector of Fortuna‟s people, and your knowledge       and often join in song, tale-telling, and witty banter
of life‟s perils makes you all the more appreciative of      both before and after the hunt itself.
the times when Fortuna smiles.
                                                             Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 80-180 lbs. Olive
Notes: The guards compose of no more than 1 in 20 of         skin, green eyes, black hair, slender build, neatly
the Sarista, and although considered somewhat apart          trimmed mustaches and beards (males), possible facial
from the other Sarista, are quite amiable by the             tattoos.
standards of other folk. Due to their slightly isolated
position, many come from the ranks of the Fortuned;          Attributes:
those children of other cultures rescued by the caravan,     INT 0           STR 0            CR +3
but who are forbidden to breed in Sarista culture. In the    PER +2          DEX +4           MR 0
case of a Fortuned Guard, simply change their Physical       WIL 0           CON +1           HP 21
Characteristics to those of their native culture.            CHA +1          SPD 0

                                                             Skills:
Shortbow +4                                 Streetwise +3      many wives as they can afford, and females may keep
Dagger +3                                   Ride +3            as many male consorts as they can afford. Children are
Longsword +2                                Herb Lore +3       allowed considerable freedom, particularly as regards
Guide - Silvanus +8                         Stealth +3         the expression of emotions.
Survival +3                                 Scout +3
Two Thieving Skills of choice +5            Traps +2           Customs
One Performing Skill of choice +4           Tracking +4        The Zandir are a people diametrically opposed to the
Low Talislan, native                                           folk of neighboring Aaman. Where the Aamanians are
Sarisa, native                                                 conservative, Zandir are liberal, or even radical, in their
                                                               views. Aamanians dress in colorless smocks; Zandir
Equipment: Bright forest colored tunic and breeches,           favor the most colorful attire. Aamanians believe in one
dark cloth or hide cloak, cloth headband, high boots of        god, while the Zandir believe in numerous luminaries,
soft hide, shortbow and quiver of twenty arrows,               pagan gods, woodland spirits, and saints. It is little
longsword, dagger, graymane or silvermane steed,               wonder then that the two are enemies, for they can
thieves‟ tools (if applicable), performing equipment (if       agree on almost nothing.
applicable).
                                                               The womenfolk of Zandu practice the quaint custom of
Wealth: 40      gold   lumens   in   furs     and   assorted   hiding their faces behind decorative fans, giving the
currencies.                                                    impression that they are shy and demure. This is hardly
                                                               the case, as male visitors to Zandu often discover.
                                                               Zandir men are even less subtle, and in other lands are
THE ZANDIR                                                     widely regarded as lechers and philanderers.
The Zandir are a handsome folk with copper-colored
skin, dark hair, and dark eyes. They enhance their
                                                               Government
features with vividly colored pigments, adorn their hair
                                                               Zandu is ruled by a Sultan, who wields absolute and
with silver bands, and dress in flamboyant apparel --
                                                               unquestioned power over all his subjects. All citizens
velvet blouses and trousers, capes of silken brocade,
                                                               are theoretically equal, and therefore equally subject to
curl-toed boots or slippers, and so forth.
                                                               the whims and moods of the Sultan of Zandu, which
                                                               sometimes run to the extreme. Unlike the Hierophant of
Ancestry                                                       Aaman, the Sultan is far from celibate. Zandir custom
Like the Aamanians, the Zandir are descended from the          allows men to take as many wives as they can afford,
Phaedrans, a people who ruled the Western Lands                and the ruler of Zandu is a very wealthy man.
during the early part of the New Age. A dispute over
religious views caused the Phaedrans to split into             Zandir laws are generally lax. A popular local saying
opposing factions, who proceeded to wage war on each           notes that “what no one sees, no one knows.” So long
other for nearly four hundred years. One of the factions       as thieves exercise a certain amount of discretion, the
that participated in these Cult Wars became known as           authorities usually look the other way. Accordingly,
the Aamanians; the other became know as the Zandir.            petty theft is rampant, particularly in the larger cities,
                                                               such as the capital of Zanth. Criminals who make the
Society                                                        mistake of attracting too much attention can expect to
In the capital of Zanth, the Zandir live in copper towers      be dealt with severely. Convicted thieves may be
and minarets. In smaller settlements they live in stone        tortured, or chained to a pillory and placed on public
cottages, and in the coastal fishing villages they live in     display. Public executions are also popular, as the
thatch huts. The Zandir diet is diverse, and consists of       executioners of Zandu are widely renowned for their
roasted meats and poultry, cheeses, fruits and                 creative and melodramatic talents.
vegetables, ales and wines.
                                                               The Sultan personally judges all cases during the
The population of Zandu includes numerous minority             morning hours, and determines the appropriate verdict
groups and factions. The Causidians serve as legal             for each as the mood suits him. On a good day, he may
advisors, diplomats, and scribes. The Certaments are a         allow offenders to go free after a brief lecture on
class of professional duelists, many of whom are skilled       morality; on a bad day, the Zandir executioners can
both in magic and swordplay. The Serparians are                have their hands full. Individuals accused of committing
professional beggars who wander the streets in rags,           a crime are allowed to hire a Causidian to represent
asking for alms. The Zann are fishermen who bear a             their interests. Arrangements must be made through
wide reputation as the most steadfastly contrary folk in       the jailors, who customarily charge a healthy “finder‟s
all of Talislanta. They rarely agree with other peoples,       fee” for their services.
and are extremely opinionated.
                                                               Magic & Religion
Zandir are amorous and hot-blooded, and find it                The Zandir are Paradoxists who profess to be mystified
difficult to control their passions (see Romantic Love).       by the nature of their own existence. The tenets of the
They marry young, and often foolishly; both males and          Zandir “religion” are perhaps best explained in the
females have numerous affairs and trysts, and are quite        Paradoxist text, The Book of Mysteries, a lengthy tome
flirtatious. Zandir are polygamous; males may have as          filled with over 100,000 questions, and no answers.
Paradoxist seers, widely regarded as charlatans by          antagonists, while overtly peaceful, are still far from
other folk, are well-liked in Zandu. Some possess actual    cordial. The differences between their cultures remain
magical abilities.                                          extreme, and there is no love lost between the two
                                                            peoples. Zandu has good relations with the Seven
Zandir clothe the dead in their best raiment, then          Kingdoms, whose rulers consider the Zandir much
convey the deceased on a funeral bier decked with           easier to deal with and less threatening than the
flowers to its final resting place: a simple grave or a     Orthodoxists of Aaman.
splendid tomb, depending upon the deceased‟s social
status and financial situation. The occasion is marked      Romantic Love
by song, dance, and feasting, with the “mourners”           The Zandir have a passion for romance, which they
drowning their sorrows in drunken revelry.                  refer to as “the spice of life”. Young lovers flit about
                                                            from partner to partner like butterflies to sweet
The Arts                                                    blossoms; a taste or two, and then they take wing
The Zandir are fond of art, music, dance and all manner     again, to alight elsewhere. Even couples who have been
of stimulating pastimes. Artists, performers, and           happily married for many years continue to engage in
wizards are all esteemed, and the best are rewarded         clandestine affairs, flirtations, and amours. Such
with appointments to the Sultan‟s retinue. The music        practices are in no way restricted by age, sex, or social
enjoyed by the Zandir nobility is bold, passionate,         status, but are pursued in equal measure by young and
sweeping, and rich in ornamentation. Both Zandir and        old, male and female, noble and commoner.
Bodorian composers are held in high regard, and skilled
orchestras are always available to play their latest        The concept of romantic love fascinates the Zandir
compositions. The music of the peasantry is simple,         people, and has influenced many aspects of their
rustic, and unpretentious, but no less favored.             culture. Zandir painting and sculpture is dominated by
Traditional Zandir instrumentation includes the ojo (a      depictions of lovers: wooing, courting, embracing, and
type of single-reed instrument), zilo (silver chimes),      consummating their love. Zandir poetry is obsessed
wood-horn, four-stringed mandallo, and box-drum.            with forbidden love, unrequited love, first love, lost
                                                            love. The most popular plays and panoramas are those
Language                                                    that portray affairs of the heart, rather than comedies,
Zandir speak High or Low Talislan, depending upon           tragedies, or epic sagas.
their level of education and chosen occupation. Zandir
names tend to be colorful, as were those of the             Though the proliferation of amorous activity would
Phaedrans. For example: Palitane, Celestea, Crystabal,      seem to suggest that the Zandir are slaves to their wild
Balalamos, and Schezalle. The only exception is the         and unbridled passions, this is not entirely true. For
Zann, who go for short, blunt-sounding names such as        there exists among these people a social contract that
Neb, Sej, Menk, and Zaj.                                    is not readily apparent to outsiders, but which
                                                            nonetheless serves to prevent their society from
Defenses                                                    disintegrating into complete and utter chaos. In
Zandu keeps a sizeable army of well-trained                 essence, while Zandir have almost unlimited freedom to
swordsmen and swordswomen, archers, cavalry, and            act out their romantic fantasies, they are able to do so
artillerists. Zandu‟s navy is well-regarded, though like    only because such activities are considered secondary
most Talislantans the Zandir fear to sail the open sea      to the unity of the family. Though each partner may
and navigate primarily by hugging the coastline. Zandir     have numerous affairs over the course of his or her life,
free traders visit the island of Castabulon several times   the marriage pact is rarely threatened. Extra-marital
a year in order to obtain advice on weather patterns        activities tend to be brief, impetuous, and transient;
and currents, which they consider essential to a safe       marriage and the family are permanent. While romantic
voyage. Most of Zandu‟s land forces are strategically       love may be regarded as the spice of life, it is seldom
deployed along the Great Barrier Wall, prepared to          mistaken for the main course.
attack Aaman at a moment‟s notice.
                                                            Zandir Charlatan
Commerce
                                                            Homeland: Zandu
Zandu has strong trade ties with Arim, a major supplier
of black iron, copper and precious stones. Exports
                                                            “Allow me to tell you of the mysteries of the Ten
include utensils of copper and brass, exotic fragrances,
                                                            Thousand. Perhaps over a bottle of wine, if you‟ll be
spices, narcotic herbs, fine wines, and opals. Blades
                                                            kind enough to pay.”
made by Zandir craftsmen are held in high regard
throughout the continent, and are also popular trade        It is a sad fact that many foreigners believe you to be
items.                                                      nothing less than a fraud. Fortunately, in Zandu, you
                                                            are regarded as a seer. You can recite questions from
Worldview                                                   The Book of Mysteries that bring wisdom to any
For many centuries Zandu and Aaman waged ceaseless          dilemma. You lecture the devout on street corners, and
war against each other, until the building of the Great     enlighten high officials in the Sultan‟s palace. You make
Barrier Wall. Modern relations between the former           your living selling magical elixirs and icons of the Ten
Thousand. You never want for a warm body beside you          chores. The knowledge was eclectic and often
at night. In other lands, it is more difficult for you to    unorthodox, but it worked... most of the time. After
earn respect and lumens. There, few pay heed to the          spending many years locked away in the tower you feel
tenets of Paradoxy, and your carvings are considered         there is little more your master can teach you, so you
novelties at best. Buyers prefer Sindaran concoctions to     think it is time to set out into the world and acquire
your own, and you are forced to sell yours at cut-rate       more of the knowledge you seek, blissfully unaware of
prices. Your people are thought of as hot-blooded            the eccentricities you have picked up during your
lechers, indiscriminate and capricious. It is sad, indeed,   isolation.
yet you are not disheartened. You preach, cajole, and
connive in order to sway the skeptics, and perhaps also      Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
to convince yourself. For the lessons of Paradoxy are        Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
universal, and life is truly a series of questions without   eyes.
answers. Foreigners may believe that they understand
their existence. You mean to prove that they do not.         Attributes:
                                                             INT +3                   STR 0            CR -1
Physical Characteristics: Copper or cinnabar skin,           PER 0           DEX +1            MR +5
dark hair, dark green eyes, skin enhanced with vividly       WIL 0           CON 0             HP 19
colored pigments.                                            CHA -1                   SPD +1

Attributes:                                                  Skills:
INT +2                   STR +1           CR 0               Magic Order of choice (Five Modes of choice) +3
PER 0           DEX +2            MR +3                      or
WIL -2          CON 0             HP 18                      Magic Order of choice (Three Modes of choice) +2
CHA +2          SPD +1                                       and
                                                             Magic Order of choice (Two Modes of choice) +1
Skills:                                                      Arcane Lore +4                 High Talislan, native
Wizardry                          Stealth +3                 One Scholarly Skill +4         Low Talislan, native
     Four Modes of choice +3      Oratory +6                 One Scholarly Skill +2         Archaen, fluent
Doctrines (Paradoxy) +2           Artificer (Icons) +4
Alchemy +3                        Streetwise +5              Equipment: Dated and worn robes, cape, and boots,
Weapon (choice) +3                Forgery +2                 belt pouch, leather bound spellbook.
Deception +5                      Low Talislan, native
Legerdemain +5                    High Talislan, fluent      Wealth: 25 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.

Equipment: Cape of silken brocade, velvet blousey            Zandir Duelist
shirt and trousers, curl-toed boots, hair confined in
silver bands, leather-bound spell book, pouch with           Homeland: Zandu
three elixirs of choice, pouch with various religious
icons, choice of weapon.                                     “You cannot hope to match me with sword or spell.
                                                             Surrender now, and the only harm will be to your
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.                  pride.”

Zandir Wizard                                                You are a duelist, a Certament, and an artiste who
                                                             paints with the sword. If insulted you will defend your
Homeland: Zandu                                              honor, or that of your friend, your family, your wife, or
                                                             your lover. If hired by a Zandir noble to fight a duel to
“Oh yes, we masters of the arcane are not to be trifled      the death, you will do so, but only if you are accorded
with, so begone lest I turn you into the urthrax you so      payment commensurate with your talents. Certaments
vividly resemble!”                                           are masters of display, with flashing swords, deft
                                                             movements, and spells of sound and fury. Often you
Magic had always fascinated you, for it was a means to       duel others of your kind, to make a point or perhaps to
power and creativity, but you did not possess the            impress a prospective lover. You rarely cause each
money necessary to study at the Paradoxist Seminary          other permanent harm over such trivial matters.
in Zanth, nor could you guarantee that you would have        Dueling is as much a game as gambling or romance,
learnt anything useful there anyway. Instead, you            and you pursue them all with equal fervor. Other
petitioned those few independent magicians you could,        matters are of more serious consequence. When you
pleading them to take you on as an apprentice in             enlist for a term with the city sentinels or elite
exchange for your devoted service as a live-in servant.      guardsmen, you are responsible for the safety of
You were eventually accepted by an eccentric (some           others. You may banter and flirt, but you are always
used the word “insane”) magician who took you to their       attentive to the assignment at hand. When you
isolated tower-fortress dwelling on Zandu‟s moorland.        adventure abroad, you do so with panache, but you
There you studied for many years, learning what little       have no desire to become a flamboyant corpse. Your
he deigned to teach you between seemingly endless            antics distract your foes, and when you must, you are
cold and direct. When you relate the tale later in a       Skills:
tavern over wine, you can always embellish. The telling    Swordsmanship +3                Fashion +5
is an art as well.                                         Lance +3                        Oratory +4
                                                           Dagger +1                       Ride +5
Physical Characteristics: Copper or cinnabar skin,         Mounted Combat +3               High Talislan, native
dark hair, dark green eyes, skin enhanced with vividly     Etiquette +6                    Low Talislan, native
colored pigments.
                                                           Equipment: Fine black iron chainmail over fine leather
Attributes:                                                undergarments, knee high dyed suede boots,
INT +1                  STR +1           CR +4             flamboyant and colorful embroidered cloak of silk, satin,
PER 0          DEX +2            MR +3                     and velvet, silk-lined velvet gloves, hair confined in
WIL -2         CON 0             HP 20                     etched silver bands, fine dueling sword, lance affixed
CHA +1         SPD +2                                      with colorful pennons, dagger, silvermane steed.

Skills:                                                    Wealth: 150 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.
Wizardry                      Acrobatics +4
     Three Modes of choice +2         Etiquette +5         Zandir Bowman
plus Swordsmanship +1         Fashion +4
OR Swordsmanship +5                   Ride +4              Homeland: Zandu
Weapon (choice) +1            Low Talislan, native
Brawling +1                   High Talislan, native        “You want me to shoot an arrow into that target, while
Oratory +4                                                 seated on my steed as he leaps over that fence at a
                                                           gallop? For a moment there, I thought you were going
Equipment: Fine black iron chain mail over fine leather    to ask me to do something difficult.”
undergarments, velveteen cloak, knee-high boots, hair
confined in silver bands, dueling sword, choice of         You are the bane of Zandu‟s enemies, galloping around
weapon, leather-bound spell book, graymane steed.          the flanks of their forces, unleashing volleys of arrows
                                                           as you do so, before wheeling back out of range of their
Wealth: 100 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.               retaliatory attacks. Against the regimented formations
                                                           of your hateful neighbors in Aaman, you are a force to
Zandir Cavalryman                                          be feared, beyond their ability to pin down and
                                                           overwhelm. Skilled equestrians, you and your comrades
Homeland: Zandu                                            are famed for your mounted archery prowess, and like
                                                           nothing better than to boast of your unerring accuracy
“Prepare for the afterlife, o‟ unwashed and loutish        over a few glasses of spiced wine. The bond you share
ruffian, for death comes for you with the speed and        with your sturdy graymane steed is one forged by
color of quicksilver!”                                     countless hours of training and care, and together you
                                                           are like the amber wasp of the Southern Rim, swift and
You are fiercely proud to be part of Zandu‟s elite light   light, but capable of delivering an incapacitating sting.
cavalry, serving as a mounted skirmisher and advance       Wild at work, and raucous at play, you thunder through
scout. Dashing and swashbuckling, you and your unit        life, the wind in your hair and your desires in your
mates are famed for your lightning-swift silvermane        sights.
steeds, the dazzling colors of your lance pennons and
flamboyant embroidered cape, and the skill and             Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
eagerness with which you wield sword and lance.            Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
Recruited from the ranks of Zandu‟s noble and wealthy      eyes, skin enhanced with vividly colored pigments.
families, membership in the cavalry is satisfyingly
exclusive. Used to extravagance, even your field           Attributes:
messes are well-appointed with fine wines, exotic          INT 0           STR +1          CR +3
foodstuffs, and comfortable furnishings. Some call you     PER +1          DEX +2          MR 0
decadent, others arrogant, but you know you are elite,     WIL -2          CON 0           HP 20
in more ways than one.                                     CHA +1          SPD +2

Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.            Skills:
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green      Short Bow +4                    Fashion +3
eyes, skin enhanced with vividly colored pigments.         Mounted Combat +4               Ride +5
                                                           Dueling Sword +1                Weaponer +1
Attributes:                                                Brawling +1                     High Talislan, native
INT +1                  STR +1           CR +4             Oratory +3                      Low Talislan, native
PER 0          DEX +2            MR +1
WIL -2         CON 0             HP 20                     Equipment: Short Bow, with quiver of 15 normal
CHA +1         SPD +2                                      arrows, 1 whistler arrow, and 4 incendiary arrows,
                                                           dueling sword, fine studded leather armor, knee high
boots, silk shirt, leather breeches, felt gloves, hair       The challenge and danger draw you like a crystal moth
confined in silver bands, graymane steed.                    to a flame, for although the financial rewards of your
                                                             criminal endeavors can be satisfying indeed, you thrive
Wealth: 75 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.                  on the ability to foil whatever measures your target has
                                                             employed to protect their priceless artifacts, however
Zandir Seaman                                                cunning or convoluted. To enter unseen and unheard,
                                                             and snatch their treasured possessions from beneath
Homeland: Zandu                                              their unsuspecting noses, leaving no trace of your
                                                             presence but your calling card, is the ultimate aim of
“Pour me some of that fine wine, lad, and I‟ll tell you of   every burglary you commit. Not for you are the
the two-headed sea dragon that lairs off the coast of        unsophisticated smash and grab techniques favored by
Mog”.                                                        criminals of vulgar disposition, and you would never
                                                             dream of leaving a mess in your wake, or indulging in
The azure waters of the Rim have always called to you,       wanton violence. You live a life of comfortable
and you spent much of your early life down by the            anonymity, though your masterful criminal alter ego
docks, basking in the sights and sounds that                 has gained notoriety. In fact, it has become fashionable
surrounded you, listening with wonder to the tall tales      for victims of your daring thefts to boast that they were
of Zandu‟s brave seamen. When you were able, you             burgled by none other than you, and display the calling
became a sailor yourself, one of the rough and rugged        cards you leave behind as tokens of pride. The fame is
men that ply the southern waters, visiting exotic lands,     flattering, and the wealth certainly makes your life
seeing strange sights, and experiencing excitement and       easier, but that life would be dull and lusterless without
danger. No longer wet behind the ears, you are               the thrill of the challenge.
accustomed to the hard realities of seafaring, and the
threats that face you on the waves. Although you don‟t       Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
want to think what would happen were you to ever lose        Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
sight of land, you feel alive when aboard ship; the          eyes, skin enhanced with vividly colored pigments.
spray of salt water in the air, the comradeship, the
perils you face, and the lure of distant shores.             Attributes:
                                                             INT +1                   STR 0           CR +1
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.              PER +2          DEX +2           MR 0
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green        WIL -2          CON 0            HP 18
eyes.                                                        CHA +1          SPD +2

Attributes:                                                  Skills:
INT 0           STR +1           CR +3                       Knife +1                         Etiquette +5
PER +1          DEX +2           MR +1                       Acrobatics +4                    Locks +5
WIL -2          CON +1           HP 22                       Evade +3                         Fashion +4
CHA 0           SPD +1                                       Climbing +5                      Appraiser +4
                                                             Traps +5                         High Talislan, native
Skills:                                                      Stealth +5                       Low Talislan, native
Dagger +3                        Swim +3
Weapon of choice +2              Gambling +2                 Equipment: Fine black clothing, mask, soft boots, and
Brawling +3                      Dance or Song +1            gloves, hair confined in silver bands, knife, pouch,
Pilot +4                         High Talislan, native       backpack, calling cards, thieves‟ tools, grappling hook,
Artillerist +2                   Low Talislan, native        50‟ cord, stylish nom de plume.
Oratory +4                       Sea Nomad, basic
                                                             Wealth: 200 gold lumens in Zandir crescents and
Equipment: Weather-worn but colorful pants, shirt or         stolen valuables.
vest, belt or sash, dagger, weapon of choice, pouch,
dice, flask of alcohol.                                      Zandir Causidian
Wealth: 25 gold lumens in Zandir crescents and exotic        Homeland: Zandu
goods.
                                                             “Bear witness to the wretched sorrow of my defendant!
Zandir Burglar                                               The outrageous accusations thrust upon him are surely
                                                             absurd, and it moves me to tears that we should
Homeland: Zandu                                              besmirch his good name in this way!”

„ “Thank you for the challenge your security presented       To live the life of a Causidian is a boon indeed, for you
me, and please rest assured I will make very good use        revel in the way you can sway the judges with
of this most exquisite object. Yours sincerely, the          theatrical emotions, and stirring, heart-felt speeches.
Phantom Shadow.”‟                                            Yes, it is true that justice is often over-looked in favor
                                                             of the most dramatic and convincing performance, but
no one ever said life was fair, did they? Your purse and       defeats, ready to tempt the capriciousness of chance
fame grow richer with every case you win, and you              yet again.
know that you will never number among Zandu‟s many
poor. It was not all that long ago that you completed          Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
your apprenticeship, and after that long, monotonous,          Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
and difficult period, you are only too glad to glad to         eyes, skin enhanced with vividly colored pigments.
take, what you feel, are your just rewards. You are
delighted to be part of the Causidian guild and                Attributes:
fellowship, exchanging stories with your comrades, and         INT +1                  STR 0           CR +1
selling your services as a litigator, diplomat,                PER +1         DEX +2           MR +1
investigator, and scribe. It is true that outsiders are        WIL 0          CON 0            HP 18
often taken aback by your melodramatic manner, but a           CHA +1         SPD +1
life without drama, whatever the situation, is a dull life
indeed. Your star has only just begun its ascent.              Skills:
                                                               Gambling +5                     Streetwise +3
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.                Deception +5                    Weapon of choice +1
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green          Legerdemain +5                  Evade +2
eyes, skin enhanced with vividly colored pigments.             Etiquette +5                    High Talislan, native
                                                               Fashion +4                      Low Talislan, native
Attributes:
INT +3                   STR 0            CR 0                 Equipment: Stylish and fashionable apparel, hair
PER +1           DEX 0            MR 0                         confined in silver bands, weapon of choice (preferably
WIL -1           CON 0            HP 18                        concealable), pouch, several bone dice (normal and
CHA +2           SPD 0                                         loaded), quatrillion deck with marked cards, zodar deck
                                                               with marked cards.
Skills:
Litigator +5             Analysis +3                           Wealth: 150 gold lumens in Zandir crescents and other
Diplomacy +5             Cultures +3                           currency.
Etiquette +5             High Talislan, native
Oratory +5               Low Talislan, native                  Zandir Highwayman
Acting +4                One other language, fluent
Interrogate +3                                                 Homeland: Zandu

Equipment: Fine robes, cape, and shoes of silk or              “Ah, my most beautiful lady, were that I could take you
velvet (all dyed a shade or combination of blues), hair        with me, but I fear I must take your jewelry instead,
confined in silver bands, leather-bound note book,             and content myself by stealing the merest of kisses
pouch, quills, crystal vial of sepia ink.                      from your graceful lips.”

Wealth: 150 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.                   You always were a scoundrel and rogue; your life a
                                                               constant series of dangerous trysts, flamboyant
Zandir Gambler                                                 entrances, passionate nights, and swift exits. Even
                                                               when you enlisted at the Palaestra of the Blade, you
Homeland: Zandu                                                spent more time sneaking away from classes and
                                                               narrowly avoiding trouble than practicing your fencing.
“To risk it all and lose, yes, that is a tragedy, but to       You might have failed the course, were it not for your
have never played at all is the greatest loss of all.”         popularity and irresistible charm. Excitement, danger,
                                                               and passion are your meat and drink, and you knew
Life is a constant series of gambles, and the fickle hand      you could not endure more than a single year‟s
of fortune throws its dice for us every day, yielding          enlistment in the military, however lax, or, Ten
results mundane and profound, terrible or joyous. As a         Thousand forbid, enter any common profession.
gambler, you deeply believe that you revel in the              Instead, you pursue the romantic ideal of the
unpredictability that is life itself, trusting to chance and   highwayman with style, breathing in the heady mix of
no little skill to make your name and fortune at               risk, drama, fame, and the potential for easy gains. In
gambling dens and casinos across the continent. For            other nations you would be considered nothing but a
you, it is not a matter of winning, though that is             common criminal, but in Zandu, you are a figure of
certainly beneficial, but cheating random chance               romance and adventure, at least to those you haven‟t
through your ability to evaluate the odds, read the            robbed yet. Your pseudonym and exploits are becoming
subtle signs in your opponents, and use a deft hand to         the subject of tavern tales, and you live each moment,
shift luck in your favor. That is the challenge and thrill     never worrying what tomorrow might bring. You intend
of the game, and only a complete fool trusts entirely to       to live the life that others only dream of.
fortune, after all. Win or lose, you conduct yourself with
class and style, putting a smile on even the soundest of       Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
                                                               Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
                                                               eyes, skin enhanced with vividly colored pigments.
                                                             CHA +1         SPD +1
Attributes:
INT +1                   STR 0           CR +4               Skills:
PER +1          DEX +2           MR 0                        Brawling +1                     Underworld +5
WIL -2          CON 0            HP 19                       Choice of Club or Knife +1      Stealth +3
CHA +2          SPD +2                                       Evade +3                        Streetwise +5
                                                             Deception +5                    High Talislan, native
Skills:                                                      Legerdemain +5                  Low Talislan, native
Swordsmanship +3                 Fashion +4                  Three Thieving Skills +3
Acrobatics +4                    Mounted Combat +3
Evade +3                         Appraiser +2                Equipment: Tattered and dirty, but colorful, rags,
Seduce +3                        High Talislan, native       concealed coin purse, begging bowl, small knife or
Etiquette +5                     Low Talislan, native        walking stick „club‟.
Ride +6
                                                             Wealth: 10 gold lumens in mixed coin (primarily
Equipment: Flamboyant velveteen cape, stylish hood           copper and silver pieces, with maybe one or two Zandir
and mask, knee high boots, silk shirt, leather breeches,     crescents).
felt gloves, hair confined in silver bands, dueling sword,
pouch, graymane steed, evocative nom de plume.               Zandir Troubadour
Wealth: 100 gold lumens in Zandir crescents and              Homeland: Zandu
stolen jewelry.
                                                             “My music may not rival that of the Bodorians, but they
Zandir Serparian                                             do not give voice to passion with song, nor can they
                                                             weave such tales as to rend or elate the heart, and
Homeland: Zandu                                              transport the mind to vistas of wonder!”

“Hail to you, esteemed and magnificent one! Spare a          Music, song, and the spin of a tale all have their place
few coppers for this lowly wretch you see before you,        in the heart when performed with passion, and your
and may the Ten Thousand bless you for your                  people are famed for such emotion. To move an
generosity!”                                                 audience to joy or tears, laughter or anger, is a divine
                                                             feeling, and you seldom have trouble exchanging your
The streets of Zandu‟s cities are dangerous places, full
                                                             talents for room, board, and food. Audience members
of vermin of all varieties, where the unwary are viewed
                                                             often show their appreciation with a shower of coins, or
as potential targets for begging, scams, theft, and even
                                                             press their charms upon you in a most pleasing
violence. You have lived your entire life on the mean
                                                             manner, so you never want for a warm body to share
streets, and became one of the vermin in order to
                                                             your bed with. True, you live day to day, and your
survive. Being a beggar, pickpocket, cheap prostitute,
                                                             purse is seldom weighty, but you do truly live life,
thug, or information gatherer may not be glamorous or
                                                             unlike so many others, and if a performance fails, you
esteemed work, but, at least in Zandu, you have some
                                                             can expect no more than a few stains and bruises.
respect, and the loose protection of the Serparian guild.
                                                             Others would also do well not to underestimate your
You might well be riff-raff and ne‟er-do-wells, but you
                                                             standing, for your songs and tales can make the coward
look out for each other; after all, no one else is going
                                                             a hero, and the hero an immortal. It is through
to. The Sultan of Beggars runs your guild, and you
                                                             individuals such as you that fame and legend thrive or
respect the great individual for helping maintain the
                                                             die.
loose alliance: without it you would have to compete
with each other, making life more difficult than it is
                                                             Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
already. Those individuals in the know often trade for
                                                             Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
the information you find, and many people would be
                                                             eyes, skin enhanced with vividly colored pigments.
amazed at what you can find out after rummaging
through someone‟s litter, or merely begging across the
                                                             Attributes:
street from a building you are watching. If anything is
                                                             INT +1                  STR 0           CR 0
going down on the streets, you are sure to know about
                                                             PER 0          DEX +2           MR +1
it. Yes, Zandu‟s streets are tough, but you can survive.
                                                             WIL -2         CON 0            HP 18
                                                             CHA +2         SPD +1
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
                                                             Skills:
eyes.
                                                             Weapon of choice +1             Etiquette +4
Attributes:                                                  Brawling +1                     Fashion +4
INT +1                 STR 0             CR +1               Music +4                        Barter +2
PER +2          DEX +2           MR 0                        Oratory +4                      High Talislan, native
WIL -1          CON +1           HP 19                       Song +4                         Low Talislan, native
                                                             Seduce +2                       Thaecian, basic
Streetwise +2                                                 Oratory +6                     Low Talislan, native
                                                              Artisan - Execution Devices +4
Equipment: Colorful cape, shirt, vest, and trousers,
leather boots, hair confined in silver bands, musical         Equipment:       Velveteen    hood,    elaborate    and
instrument of choice, choice of weapon, pouch.                intimidating mask, knee high boots, silk shirt, leather
                                                              breeches, heavy felt gloves, hair confined in silver
Wealth: 25 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.                   bands, executioner‟s sword (treat as Greatsword),
                                                              pouch, artisan tools, dramatic nom de plume.
Zandir Executioner
                                                              Wealth: 100 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.
Homeland: Zandu
                                                              Zann Guide
“Gentle watchers! On this fateful day, I, the Black Enim,
will bring about the final doom and judgement of the          Homeland: Zandu
lowly criminal you see before you! An arsonist, a killer,
a ravisher of women, and more besides, he must now            Paradoxy: ten thousand questions and no answers. Is it
answer to the justice of the Black Enim! Yes, I hear you      any wonder that other folk find the Zandir so foolish?
cry, the sword would be too swift for one such as he,         But you are Zann; you are different. You have answers.
but fear not, for I have devised a death such as he           They say you are stubborn, or just being contrary.
richly deserves! As you can see, he is tied down atop a       When the city-dwellers come to your village to hire a
block of stone surrounded by a trough, a frame holding        Zann guide, you scoff. You look at their fancy clothes,
a bucket of flammable oil above him! Above that, a            at hands that have never known hard work, at boots
simple candle, its tiny flame a light to his darkness! Yet,   unfit for woodland trails, and ask: “Are Zann stubborn
the candle balances precariously, does it not? Yes, a         because we know how to read the river currents, where
single thread, akin to the last thread of this man‟s evil     to camp at night, or how to build a fire in the pouring
life, prevents its fall into the bucket of oil! But, with a   rain? Are Zann contrary because we knew more of
sweep of my blade of justice, that thread will be             woods and rivers as a babe than you will ever know?” If
severed, the oil will ignite, the bucket will topple, and     so, then I am Zann. Better that than you.
he will die by the fire he lived by! Avert your eyes if you
be weak of constitution, for now the Black Enim is to         Physical Characteristics: Copper or cinnabar skin,
raise his sword!”                                             dark hair, dark green eyes.

Execution is far more than the simple slaying of a            Attributes:
convicted felon; it is an artform, a performance, the         INT 0           STR +1        CR +3
last display of elaborate flamboyance the criminal will       PER +1          DEX +2        MR +1
ever witness before they breathe their last. As one of        WIL +3          CON +1        HP 20
Zandu‟s executioners, you attract adoring and                 CHA -2                 SPD +1
bloodthirsty crowds with your melodramatic speeches,
                                                              Skills:
fearful persona, and creative executions. You vie with
                                                              Spear +4                         Survival +5
other executioners for the right to execute the most
                                                              Weapon (choice) +2               Swim +4
high profile and notorious criminals, attracting greater
                                                              Brawling +3                      Ride +4
crowds, and increasing your fame and wealth. Indeed,
                                                              Pilot (Rowboat) +4               Low Talislan, native
such criminals often request execution at the hands of
                                                              Guide +7                         High Talislan, native
Zandu‟s most famed executioners, hoping to make their
                                                              Tracking +3
death a memorable one. You try to impart a sense of
poetic justice, striving to make the execution fit the
                                                              Equipment: Rough linen shirt, tunic, and short
perpetrator‟s crime, and only the most lowly and
                                                              breaches, leather boots, spear, choice of weapon,
common criminals receive a swift death by hanging or
                                                              satchel, rowboat with paddles.
beheading.
                                                              Wealth: 25 gold lumens in Zandir crescents.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
eyes, skin enhanced with vividly colored pigments.
                                                              Heterodoxist Revolutionary
                                                              Homeland: Aaman/Zandu
Attributes:
INT +1                   STR +2           CR +3
                                                              “For justice! For the future!”
PER 0           DEX +1            MR 0
WIL -2          CON 0             HP 20                       Patriotism always repelled you as the passion of fools,
CHA +1          SPD +1                                        for you were keenly aware of the injustices and flaws of
                                                              your native nation, whether it was the suffocating and
Skills:
                                                              harsh rigidity of Aaman, or the irresponsible decadence
Executioner‟s Sword +3            Weaponer +1
                                                              of Zandu. Both nations were extreme, and both equally
Brawling +3                       High Talislan, native
                                                              repugnant. There was no balance, no middle ground,
and no sense of true justice. The only hope for a better       Ancestry
future is if these feuding remnants of the once mighty         The Witchtribes are descended from certain wild tribes
Phaedran Empire, can be torn down and rebuilt anew,            of ancient times, who are said to have been conquered
as a single true nation of freedom, justice, and               by the Mazdaks. Driven from their lands, they fled
responsibility. The petty extremists that hold power in        south and settled in the Jungles of Chana, after which
Aaman and Zandu will never listen to reason, nor will          the tribes were became known as the Witchmen, or
they tolerate protest of debate; action is the only            Chana.
avenue left to you. You and your fellow Heterodoxists
will work to undermine and eliminate the Paradoxists           Society
and Orthodoxists, with every means at your disposal.
                                                               The Witchfolk live in villages of thatched huts, which
That people must die in your crusade pains you, but
                                                               may be found scattered throughout the jungles of their
you have steeled your soul, for this is a righteous and
                                                               homeland. Cannibalism is practiced by all the Chana
just cause.
                                                               tribes, though this is done more for ritual purposes than
                                                               as a means of obtaining sustenance. Their usual diet
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 100-180 lbs.
                                                               consists of wild fowl, game, and a porridge made of
Copper skin, sculpted features, dark hair, dark green
                                                               mashed tubers and rock snails.
eyes. If operative in Aaman, all facial and bodily hair
removed. If operative if Zandu, skin enhanced with
                                                               Chana have no set family units. Instead, all females are
vividly colored pigments.
                                                               considered the “property” of the tribe; specifically, the
Attributes:                                                    tribe‟s dominant males. Children are raised by young
INT +1                  STR 0            CR +2                 girls and old women, who treat them with casual
PER +1         DEX +1            MR +1                         indifference until puberty. At this time the males are
WIL +1         CON 0             HP 18                         initiated as warriors or shamans, and the females are
CHA +1         SPD +1                                          designated as “breeders” or “healers.” Only shamans
                                                               can mate with healers, who are instructed in the basics
Skills:                                                        of gathering herbs, mixing potions and healing salves,
Weapon of choice +3 Oratory +3                                 and preparing heads for shrinking and enchantment.
Deception +5            Doctrines (Orthodoxy) +2               Any male may lay claim to a breeding female, though
Stealth +3              Trade Skill of choice +1               he may have to aggressively fend off the attentions of
Cryptography +3         High Talislan, native                  other would-be “suitors”.
Espionage +3            Low Talislan, native
Two Thieving Skills of choice +3                               Customs
                                                               The Chana are a people ruled by superstition. They
Equipment: Weapon of choice (most likely concealed,            have an unreasoning fear of water, which they believe
especially if operative in Aaman), thieves‟ tools (if          is the domain of hostile elemental spirits. Most
appropriate), pouch. If operative in Zandu: stylish and        Witchmen and Witchwomen are users of the drug kesh,
fashionable apparel, hair confined in silver bands. If         which enables them to commune with spiritforms. It is
operative in Aaman: form-concealing white garments             common for these folk to cook and eat enemies who
and cap, orthodoxist holy symbol.                              have been captured in battle. The Chana believe that by
                                                               doing so, they acquire their enemy‟s strength and
Wealth: 30 gold      lumens     in   Zandir   crescents   or   powers.
Aamanian coppers.
                                                               Government
THE EASTERN LANDS                                              Chana shamans, called Witchdoctors, are the
                                                               unquestioned rulers of their tribes. The most powerful
                                                               is referred to as the Chief Witchdoctor; the position is
CHANA WITCHMEN                                                 earned by defeating the reigning Chief in spirit combat.
The Chana are tall and cadaverous in stature, with             The rest of the tribe‟s shamans are free to attempt to
bilious green skin. They do their utmost to appear             usurp the Chief Witchdoctor‟s authority by magic, but
fearsome, filing their teeth to sharpened points,              are well aware of the risks: the loser of such a
decorating their visages with occult symbols, and              challenge knows that his head will end up as a grisly
carrying the shrunken heads of their adversaries on            trophy and fetish of the victor (see Headhunting).
cords slung about the neck. It is customary for                Individuals accused of breaking tribal taboos are
members of the Witchtribes to wear their hair in a             brought to the tribe‟s Chief Witchdoctor for judgement,
single topknot, lacquered and braided with leather             which is swift and merciless. Punishment, on the other
thongs or sinew. Ritual scarring is also practiced by          hand, is slow and excruciating, and may result in the
these people, whose reliance upon the narcotic herb,           offender being boiled alive or staked over a mound of
kesh,    contributes heavily   to   their   unhealthy          furious biting insects.
appearance.
                                                               Magic & Religion
                                                               The Witchfolk are practitioners of a primitive form of
                                                               black magic that is believed to date back to ancient
times. They revere the forces of darkness, and despise      Commerce
those who worship the gods of light and order. Chana        Chana have no currency, and so barter for all goods.
Witchdoctors are skilled in the concocting of certain       Trade between rival tribes is rare, but sometimes
dangerous substances, such as devilroot and kesh. The       occurs during intervals when a truce or treaty is in
former is an herbal poison that can be prepared in          effect. Chana‟s jungles are known to harbor an
powdered or resinous form. Kesh is a pungent liquid         abundance of riches, including costly herbs, precious
derived from the root of the jabutu, a plant found only     stones and exotic animals. The narcotic, kesh, is
in the Jade Mountains. This drug is notable for its         sometimes traded to unscrupulous merchants such as
profound narcotic and magical properties, and is used       the Farad.
extensively in the black magic rituals of the Witchmen.
                                                            Worldview
Chana Witchdoctors have also learned how to charm
                                                            The Chana bear a long-standing hatred of the Manra
the poisonous serpents known as Death‟s Head Vipers.
                                                            tribes, whose lands they covet, and the Nagra, whom
The natives call these foot-long snakes wrist vipers and
                                                            they fear. In addition to their usual depredations, bands
wear them like deadly, living bracelets. The serpents
                                                            of Witchmen occasionally cross the border into the
are trained to attack on command.
                                                            Kang Empire, wreaking havoc on the plantations there.
                                                            Kang troops from the nearby outpost of Vishana
Chana burn their dead as soon as possible, scattering
                                                            periodically launch raids into the jungles in retaliation
the ashes far and wide so that no part of the deceased
                                                            for these assaults. Imrians sometimes raid the coasts of
can be used in the black magic rituals of their enemies.
                                                            Chana hoping to take Chana witchdoctors, who bring a
                                                            high price in Faradun, where they are employed in the
The Arts                                                    narcotics trade. Not surprisingly, more than a few
Chanan crafts are limited to weaving, pottery, the          Witchmen bear the shrunken and scaly-skinned heads
making of wood and stone implements, and the treating       of such souvenir hunters on their belts.
of hides and skins. Breeding females do much of this
work, while warriors make their own weapons and             Headhunting
shamans make ritual drums, masks, and other fetishes.
                                                            Among the many strange rituals and customs observed
Chanan music is a component of most necromantic and
                                                            by the witchtribes, perhaps none is regarded with such
cannibalistic rituals. Drums made of hide and wood are
                                                            loathing as the Chana practice of taking the heads of
the only instruments used; the music itself consists of a
                                                            their enemies and turning them into necromantic
half-dozen traditional rhythms played in various
                                                            fetishes. The procedure is quite grisly, and is not
combinations. The Ritual of Spirit Calling is a dance
                                                            recommended for the faint of heart. Braver souls may
used to summon spirits from the lower planes. The
                                                            read on.
participants don ceremonial masks of frightful aspect,
and dose themselves with kesh in order to achieve an
                                                            The first step in the creation of a shrunken head fetish
exalted state.
                                                            is, quite naturally, to obtain a head. For such purposes
                                                            only a head removed from a living victim will suffice.
Language                                                    Prior to decapitation the victim, bound hand and foot, is
The Witchfolk converse in Chanan, an ancient tongue         fed a mixture of kesh, black lotus, and other magical
that linguists believe dates back to the time before The    herbs; in combination, the drugs render the victim
Great Disaster. The Chanan tongue has no known              insensible to pain, and according to the Chana prevent
written equivalent, though the strange symbols that the     the soul from fleeing the body upon death. A
Witchfolk inscribe upon their faces may be relics of a      ceremonial axe inscribed with occult runes is used to
dead script, now forgotten by people of the New Age.        sever the head, after which the skull is removed and
The tribes also communicate by signal drums wooden          the eyes and lips sealed to keep the soul imprisoned
instruments covered with the flayed skins of their          within. Finally, the head is filled with hot sand and
enemies. Common Chanan names include Cha-Kyo,               buried in the ground.
Cho-Nyan, Che-Kya, and Chu-Kyan.
                                                            After nine days have passed the witchdoctor returns to
Defenses                                                    the place where the head was buried and listens to the
The Witchtribes are warlike in the extreme. They fight      ground. If the witchdoctor hears the voice of the victim
among each other constantly, each vying for control of      crying out to be released, then the operation has been
the other‟s jabutu-growing territories. Truces and          successful. The head, now “cured” and shrunk to less
treaties are sometimes arranged between tribes, but         than a third of its original size, is unearthed and is
rarely last for long. Their warriors employ throwing        ready for use as a necromantic fetish.
sticks, blow-guns, and spears in battle, but generally
disdain frontal assaults in favor of ambushes and sneak     Chana Witchdoctor
attacks. Most Chana villages are surrounded by rings of
sharpened, poisoned wooden stakes.                          Homeland: Jungles of Chana
“When your severed head watches me consume your              suited to it. But battle and land are not important ends.
flesh, your spirit will become my guide. It is a better      They are aspects of the False World, without true
existence than the illusion you now live.”                   meaning. The spirits of the next world wish for you to
                                                             make war. Your witchdoctors tell this to you, as they
Outsiders fear you for your rituals, for the magic you       have been told by the spirits. You follow their
wield and the bodies you devour. The False World             instructions, for that is the path towards freedom from
molds them to know this fear so that they will hunt          this world. If you have obeyed well, your death will end
you. The swords and cages of the Kang have sent              the eternal cycle. You will welcome this death, when the
countless Chana to await their next incarnation. But the     witchdoctors say it is your time.
Kang, and the Nagra and Manra as well, have received
your own gift of freedom from ignorant lives. You have       Physical Characteristics: 5‟10”-6‟4”, 110-170 lbs.
made of them fetch spirits, and you use kesh to speak        Bilious green skin, cadaverous features, teeth filed to
with them of how your people should act. They can            points, lacquered topknot braided with leather thongs
never be trusted, so you require many fetches. When          or sinew, ritual scarring.
they advise you to travel afar, you may work for the
Farad in the brewing of drugs; unlike kesh, their drugs      Attributes:
serve only to deaden their minds and hasten their            INT 0           STR +1           CR +3
demise. You may serve as an assassin for those who           PER 0           DEX +2           MR 0
wish to create terror as well as death. Your true task,      WIL 0           CON 0            HP 20
though, is to follow the instructions of the spirits that    CHA -3                   SPD 0
guide you. Eventually, their directions will entail your
death, and it is then that you will be freed. This shadow    Skills:
will enter into the Real World of eternal darkness and       Blowgun +3                       Tracking +4
you will be united with your true self. Then, the hunt       Spear +3                         Survival +5
will be over, the pain will be finished, and you will wait   Throwing Stick +3                Weaponer +1
for your brethren to join you.                               Dagger +2                        Chanan, native
                                                             Stealth +4
Physical Characteristics: 5‟10”-6‟4”, 110-170 lbs.
Bilious green skin, cadaverous features, teeth filed to      Equipment: Loincloth, stone-tipped spear, blow-gun,
points, lacquered topknot braided with leather thongs        pouch of ten poison darts, three throwing sticks, bone
or sinew, ritual scarring; weakened constitution from        dagger, shoulder pouch, trained wrist viper.
use of kesh.
                                                             Wealth: 25 gold lumens in narcotics, herbs, and
Attributes:                                                  precious stones.
INT +2                   STR 0           CR +1
PER 0           DEX 0            MR +3
                                                             THE HARAKIN
WIL +2          CON -3           HP 18
                                                             The Harakin are a gray-skinned race, lean and rugged
CHA -2                   SPD 0
                                                             of build and averaging over six feet in height. They
                                                             dress in loincloths, cowls, high boots, and heavy gloves,
Skills:
                                                             usually made of reptile hide. Both the males and
Shamanism                     Tracking +2
                                                             females paint the areas around their eyes with black
     Four Modes of choice +3 Animal Handler +4
                                                             pigments, giving them a fearsome aspect.
Alchemy (Poison, Narcotics) +5 Artificer +4
Blowgun +2                    Chanan, native
Spear +2                      Low Talislan, basic            Ancestry
Stealth +4                                                   The Harakin are believed to be descended from one of
                                                             the original Sub-Men tribes that fled the central regions
Equipment: Loincloth, stone-tipped spear, blow-gun,          of Talislanta following The Great Disaster. The Harakin
pouch of ten venomwood darts, pouch for herbs, five          themselves have no interest in the past; only the
wooden vials of kesh, three stone vials of poison, ritual    present matters to them.
drum, shrunken head fetishes (worn on cords around
neck), trained wrist viper.                                  Society
                                                             To the Harakin, life is a constant struggle to eke out a
Wealth: 40 gold lumens in narcotics, herbs, and              living in a harsh and unforgiving land. Harakin clans are
precious stones.                                             nomadic, traveling from place to place in search of food
                                                             and water, both precious commodities in this region.
Chana Witchman                                               Their preferred food is wild muskront or tundra beast,
                                                             from which they also obtain hides, bone, and horn. If
Homeland: The Jungles of Chana                               game cannot be found they may raid other clans in
                                                             order to steal their food. When even such raids have
This world is a test of your soul and your obedience.        proved fruitless, Harakin subsist on scorpions, serpents,
There are always enemies to fight, territories to capture    spiders, and bits of lichen and mosses.
and protect. That is the way of life, and you are well
Raised in the hostile environment of Harak, these folk         Defenses
are able to endure great hardships. Both the males and         The Harakin have no armies, fortifications, or defenses.
females are warriors, and of necessity, survivalists.          All members of the clan are expected to fight whenever
Mating is viewed as an act required to propagate the           the need arises.
species and as one of the few sources of pleasure
available. Couples may or may not remain together,             Commerce
depending on the availability of food and the outcome
                                                               A simple form of barter is sometimes used between
of battles with various clans; the life expectancy of the
                                                               members of the same clan or band. Otherwise, Harakin
average Harakin is not great. Harakin females raise
                                                               simply take what they want.
their young. The child-raising period is limited to five
years; during this time the mother will do anything to
help insure the survival of her child, including sacrificing   Worldview
herself if necessary. However, after this time the young       The warrior clans of Harak are known to range as far as
Harakin is considered an “adult” and must fend for             the Kang Empire and the Volcanic Hills in their
itself.                                                        depredations. They attack nearby L‟Haan with lesser
                                                               frequency, generally considering passage through the
                                                               towering peaks of Xanadas to be a profitless endeavor.
Customs                                                        Able to survive the rigors of their own land, the Harakin
The Harakin care nothing for the ways of civilized
                                                               have little difficulty tolerating the climates and terrains
people, which they consider useless (see Sociology of
                                                               of other regions, most of which seem pleasant by
the Harakin). Ultimate survivalists, they view all other
                                                               comparison.
living creatures as prey. Some Harakin clans have
domesticated the dractyl, a species of winged reptile
native to the sheer cliffs of Harak‟s coastal regions. The
                                                               Sociology of the Harakin
                                                               An unusual tale regarding the Harakin is told in Quan.
Harakin use these creatures for transport and in battle.
                                                               There, it is said, a group of Mandalan scholars once
Though ugly, mean, and ungainly, dractyl require little
                                                               ventured forth on a mission to Harak. By theorizing,
food and are themselves somewhat edible, factors
                                                               they had deduced that the Harakin were not evil
which hold a certain appeal for their masters.
                                                               beings, but were simply products of the harsh and cruel
                                                               environment of their homeland. It was their intention to
Government                                                     convince a few of the Harakin to accompany them on
Harakin clans are led by a single chieftain, who may be        the return trip to Quan, where their scholarly theories
either male or female. Clans may sometimes form                might be put to the test.
larger tribal units, though this is rare due to the scarcity
of food. The law of survival is the only real law in           Upon sighting a small band of the nomads, the wise
Harak.                                                         men threw up their hands and raised their voices in
                                                               greeting. When the Harakin approached, the scholars
Magic & Religion                                               gave them gifts of gold, fragrant oils, and precious
Forced by the circumstances of their existence to              stones. These the Harakin examined, and then
endure great hardships, the folk of Harak have no              discarded. Without apparent enmity they slew the
concept of morality or religion, and are by nature             scholars, divested them of their fur cloaks and boots,
fatalistic and grim. They know nothing of magic except         cut their mounts into sections, loaded everything on
that it can be used to harm them. In a fight, Harakin          their dractyls, and continued on their way.
will always attack spell casters first.
                                                               Harakin Warrior
The Arts
The Harakin have no interest in art or music. Skills and       Homeland: Harak
crafts not related to warfare or survival are regarded as
useless. Each clan member learns to make his or her            “You complain of this weather, this wind? The winds of
own weapons, which are hammered and honed from                 Harak would strip the flesh off your feeble body and
the numerous fragments of black iron found almost              freeze the marrow in your bones.”
everywhere throughout the region. All other skills
needed to survive such as hunting, dressing game, and          Around the night fires, your clansmen tell tales of other
finding water, etc. are considered warriors‟ skills. The       lands: formations of human-built spires, hollow, vast
Harakin word for “survival” and “fight” (hakta) are one        enough for all the Harakin to dwell within; great plains
and the same.                                                  where humans force plants to grow, so abundant that
                                                               they give this food for small pieces of soft, useless
Language                                                       metal; clans upon clans killing each other, not for
Harakin converse in both sign and an ancient dialect of        sustenance but for unseen creatures from whom they
Low Talislan. Harakin names are usually comprised of           plea for strength. As if strength was not something that
three syllables, with the accent over the third syllable.      came from oneself and one‟s clan, from weapons of
For example, Katadao, Hakatao, and Arakao.                     iron, from the very fact of survival. You knew that these
                                                               lands existed; you had seen them in the distance from
                                                               the back of your dractyl as you killed the warriors with
red skin and iron clothing. Now you feel these lands       columns, and a flight of white stone stairs leading to
beneath your feet, and your tongue holds no words to       the entranceway. Their homes are decorated in rich,
identify or describe what you find. You can take what      yet elegantly understated, style. Typical amenities
food you require, but you have much to learn in order      include a large sitting room, parquet floors carpeted
to survive. There are some among the people you            with rugs imported from the Desert Kingdoms, and
encounter who understand your strength and value it        furnishings upholstered in the finest Mandalan silkcloth.
for their own obscure purposes. Of these, you will form
a new clan, and they will teach you as your mother         Ispasian marriages are treated as a merger of two
once did, and together you will survive. You have no       families and their fortunes, and are negotiated with the
doubt of this fact; however strange, there is              usual Ispasian discretion and attention to detail.
nothing here as harsh as the land of your youth.           Children are raised by servants of foreign extraction
                                                           (typically Mandalans), and begin schooling in financial
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟6”, 140-220 lbs. Gray       matters at age three. Ispasians drink rare wines from
skin, hard features, lean and rugged; black pigments       fluted crystal glasses and eat the finest foods, but
painted around the eyes.                                   never to excess. Their one weakness is the desire to
                                                           acquire things of value and beauty.
Attributes:
INT 0           STR +3       CR +6                         Customs
PER 0           DEX +2       MR -2                         The Ispasians bear a reputation as cool, calculating
WIL +3          CON +5       HP 30                         businessmen. Unlike the Farad they do not deal in
CHA -2                 SPD 0                               contraband goods, or in small quantities of goods of
                                                           any type. Instead, Ispasians prefer to deal in
Skills:                                                    large-scale    investments     and    commodities.    The
Jang +4                Survival +6                         Ispasians serve the Kang, helping them manage the
Tarak +4               Tracking +5                         Empire‟s finances; discretion is the watchword in all
Krin +3                Weaponer +4                         their transactions. Ispasian agents are known to travel
Khu +3                 Animal Handler +2                   across the extent of Talislanta, and are believed to have
Brawling +2            Climbing +4                         clients in such far-distant lands as Faradun, Rajanistan,
Mounted Combat +2      Sign, native                        and Kasmir of the Seven Kingdoms, among others.
Ride +4                Low Talislan, native dialect
                                                           The Ispasians have an insular society. Cooperation is
Equipment: Loincloth (males), rough fur or leather         more important than individual achievement; the
tunic (females), cowl, high boots and heavy gloves of      welfare and prosperity of the Ispasian people come
reptile hide, fur cloak, jang (iron boomerang), khu        first. Ispasians claim to have no personal feelings
(two-bladed knife), tarak (four-bladed axe), krin (iron    towards clients, and prefer to maintain a “cool”
crossbow), quiver with ten black iron bolts, shoulder      exterior, seldom showing outward emotion except when
pouch, dractyl steed with saddlebags and harness.          under great stress. It is the custom of these folk to
                                                           regard all relationships as business transactions.
Wealth: None.
                                                           Government
THE ISPASIANS                                              Ispasia is ruled by a mercantile autocracy, at the head
The Ispasians are a folk of slender physique,              of which is a figure called the Najdak, who is served by
lemon-yellow skin and expressionless features. They        a Board of Advisors. Together, they devise strategies
dress in robes of fine silkcloth, upon which are indited   for investment and acquisition that are faithfully
elaborate sigils representing their respective family      followed by all Ispasians. The Board of Advisors handles
crests.                                                    all matters pertaining to “violations of Ispasian ethics”
                                                           (a term considered an oxymoron by some). Offenders
Ancestry                                                   may be punished by demotion in status, or may be
Some believe the Ispasians are descended from a race       fined. Violent crime is virtually unknown among these
of neomorphs created by the ancient Archaens. The          folk, who keep their emotions in check at all times.
Ispasians themselves deny the validity of these
theories, citing certain documents which they claim        Magic & Religion
establish the separate and distinct ancestry of their      Ispasians have no religion; the concept does not
people.                                                    interest them. Few of their people are known to
                                                           practice magic. Instead, they prefer to hire magicians
Society                                                    when in need of such services. The dead are placed in
The Ispasians are a people who have prospered through      jade and gold sarcophagi, rich yet tasteful in design,
their mastery of financial matters and transactions.       and laid to rest in their family‟s mausoleum.
They live in manor houses set within the walls of their
well-manicured and tastefully landscaped estates. The      The Arts
typical Ispasian manse has circular windows of rose        Though they have a great appreciation for fine art,
colored glass, a pagoda-style roof, slender white          music, and fine crafted goods, the Ispasians themselves
have no interest in the creation of such works. The          is extinguished, and all that remains are a few wisps of
Ispasian attitude is, why waste time creating art when       smoke.
one can acquire it, and also earn a profit from the
investment? Priceless antique vases, examples of fine        “My people are different from the others who dwell
sculpture, paintings from past eras, and other works of      among us. The wind fills our sails, and the rain waters
art and collectibles are much sought after by Ispasians.     our fields; we use earth and stone to shelter us, and to
                                                             build things of lasting beauty. We drink from the river,
Language                                                     and leave the beast to roam in the forest as it will. And
Ispasians are well educated, and are fluent in both          we feed the fire, for it warms our hearths, and lights
Quan and High Talislan. Common names start with the          our way.”
prefix, “Isp” (meaning, “respected one of Ispasian
lineage”), as in Ispal, Ispmar, Ispan, Ispmir, etc.          Ispasian Mercantilist

Defenses                                                     Homeland: The Kang Empire
The Ispasians have no military of any sort. They rely
upon the Kang for their protection, assured that their       “It‟s not personal. It‟s business.”
value to the Empire is sufficient to guarantee their
safety.                                                      On the top floor of the highest tower in Ispasia, a group
                                                             of individuals who regard themselves as the true rulers
                                                             of the Kang Empire meet daily to decide the fate of a
Commerce                                                     world. Around a table of costly blue jade and fine
Ispasian agents regularly travel to foreign lands in
                                                             whitewood, they look out upon a city of elegance and
order to acquire commodities and make investments.
                                                             grace and over the dark waters of the Gulf of Quan and
The Najdak and his Board of Advisors play an important
                                                             the Sea of Madness. Ispasia thrives, more than any
role in determining the value of currencies,
                                                             other city in the Empire, but it does so quietly. Your
commodities, and assets; by manipulating vast sums of
                                                             people suffered the Quan, despite their pomposity.
money around they are able to exert great control over
                                                             They cultivated decadence, and you profited by catering
the Empire‟s economy, and the economies of foreign
                                                             to their excesses. Now you suffer the Kang, despite
nations as well.
                                                             their contempt. They cultivate war, and you will profit
                                                             from their excesses as well. And when the Kang‟s
Worldview                                                    aggression has brought destruction down upon them,
Since the fall of the Quan, the Ispasians have taken on      you will simply find a new path of prosperity. For you
a more important role in the Empire. The Najdak sits at      understand that commerce is the true realm of power.
the left hand of the Kang Warlord, acting as his chief       It provides for all the needs and desires of life, and it
advisor on all issues related to trade, commerce, food       brings the only ally whose loyalty can never be
distribution, the requisition of supplies to troops and      questioned: profit. Among Ispasians, kinship and
fortifications, tariffs, tolls, and a hundred other          friendship are matters of business. You do not let
non-military concerns. The Ispasians handle all of the       feelings cloud your judgement. You endure no
Kang‟s financial concerns, and do so in an efficient         conflicting obligations, judging opportunities only on
fashion.                                                     their risks and rewards. You have learned to calculate
                                                             probability with a clear precision. You were bred to
An Ispasian Viewpoint                                        succeed, and know enough to avoid the pitfalls of
The Ispasian agent Ispal, speaks on his people‟s view of     excess and ostentation. You plan your fortunes towards
the Kang Empire:                                             a chair around that table of white and amber, and you
                                                             will do what must be done to achieve your goal.
“The Empire is not a monolithic entity, as it may appear
to those who look upon it from the outside. Rather, it is    Physical Characteristics: 5‟10”-6‟4”, 100-180 lbs.
a mosaic of different cultures, each with its own beliefs    Lemon-yellow skin, slender physique, expression-less
and aspirations. The Mandalans are like the wind and         features.
rain, gradually wearing down the walls that imprison
them, until one day they will crumble. The Vajra are         Attributes:
earth and stone; dark and deep, with memories as old         INT +3                   STR -2           CR -1
as the world. They lurk below the surface until the time     PER +1           DEX 0            MR 0
when they will erupt, like a sleeping volcano. The Sunra     WIL +2           CON 0            HP 19
are like a river, whose many tributaries want nothing        CHA 0            SPD 0
more than to run free to the sea.
                                                             Skills:
“The Mondre Khan are the beast that sleeps by day,           Merchant +9                       Cultures +3
and comes forth by night from the depths of the forest,      Litigator +6                      Bribe +6
to strike fear into the hearts of men. The Kang are fire;    Diplomacy +8                      Interrogate +4
always burning, consuming all in their path. Like flame      Linguistics +4                    Quan, native
they must always feed, for if they cease to do so, they      Appraiser +6                      High Talislan, native
will die. The Quan were once like this, but now their fire
Antiquarian +4                                             Customs
                                                           Kang culture reflects the harsh military training that has
Equipment: Numerous fine yet understated silkcloth         formed the basis of their upbringing since ancient
robes, jewelry (costly but tasteful, like all your         times. Males and females are both aggressive,
possessions), ledgers, collection of antiques, a           competing for dominant status among those of equal
well-kept manor house and estate in Ispasia, various       rank by blustering and physical intimidation. Kang
slaves (typically accompanied abroad by a Monad            seethe with wild passions; if insulted or provoked, they
servitor, a Mandalan scribe, and several bodyguards).      find it difficult to restrain themselves. Counteracting
                                                           this is the intense military training which all Kang
Wealth: 15,000 gold lumens in various currencies,          undergo from birth, instilling in them a deep-seated
investments, and property.                                 respect for authority.

THE KANG                                                   The length and adornment of a Kang‟s queue is a mark
Tall and fierce, Kang have fiery red skin, white           of pride. For festive occasions, the queue may be bound
pupil-less eyes, and brutal features. Both the males and   with silver bands or jeweled rings. In battle, iron rings
females wear their long black hair pulled straight back    of leather thongs usually suffice. Kang never wear their
in a single queue. Iron collars and armbands are the       hair down or unbound except to bathe. Losing one‟s
fashion among these folk, who customarily attire           queue in battle is considered a terrible disgrace; the
themselves in armor even when off-duty. So is Kanjiko,     victim will know no rest until he or she gains revenge
a form of scarring used to decorate the body.              for this evil act by killing the perpetrator and recovering
                                                           the lost queue.
Ancestry
The ancestors of the Kang were wild tribesmen of the       Government
steppes who reveled in battle, hunted wild tarkus for      The Kang are governed by a military dictatorship, at the
sport, and loved as fiercely as they fought. In the        head of which is the Warlord: supreme commander of
second century, the Kang tribes united and threatened      the Kang people, and ruler of the Kang Empire. He is
to take over territories then known as the Quan Empire.    served by the various clan leaders, who are called
They were bought off by the Quan, whom they served         Dragonlords. The military controls all aspects of Kang
until the Silent Insurrection of 611, when the Kang        life, even the Temples of Zoriah. Disciplinary problems
finally took over control of the Empire for themselves.    are handled by officers, or in more serious cases,
                                                           military tribunals. Punishments range from demotion in
                                                           rank and loss of khir to solitary confinement in a deep
Society
                                                           pit or hole. In severe cases offenders may be stripped
No longer the wild hillmen who once roamed the
                                                           of their queues prior to execution, bringing disgrace
steppes and slept under the stars, the Kang now live in
                                                           upon them and their clan.
walled citadels and fortified outposts. Their dwellings
are made of rough-hewn stone, with rugged furnishings
of carved hardwood and hides arranged about a central      Magic & Religion
fire-pit. Crossed swords and other battle regalia are      All Kang revere Zoriah, the Red God of War, who is
hung from the walls, proudly displayed as trophies from    most often pictured as a giant male warrior attired in
past engagements.                                          ceremonial battle armor, and a long queue adorned
                                                           with spiked silver rings. Kang pray to Zoriah for
As in the old days the primary unit of Kang society        courage, strength, and victory. In return, they donate
remains the war clan; an extended family of male and       one-tenth of their pay to the War God‟s Temple as an
female warriors, forged together in a blood alliance       offering. The worship of Zoriah entails few formal
against all that oppose them. This, in essence, is the     rituals. It is rare for Kang to visit the War God‟s temple
Kang philosophy. Kang normally mate for life, though       except to have their newborn children subjected to the
their “marriages” are often tempestuous affairs marked     ritual “Baptism by Fire,” and to attend funeral services
by outbreaks of physical violence. They prize              for great war heroes. Kang dead are cremated in a
aggressiveness in their mates above all other              solemn ceremony, the size of the funeral pyre reflecting
considerations. Children are raised by Kanjira; a          the deceased‟s khir.
professional class of tutors comprised of Kang who are
too old or infirm to serve as warriors.                    The Arts
                                                           Such arts as the Kang practice all have their basis in
Kang society is modeled after the military chain           warfare. This is evidenced by the art of kanjiko; an
modeled and Kang are subservient to all individuals of     intricate form of ritual body scarring practiced by Kang
higher rank than themselves, and tend to be verbally       warriors since the time of their early ancestors. Kanjiko
abusive and condescending when dealing with those of       are made by taking a knife and carving a design into
lower rank. Foreigners, having no rank per se, typically   the wearer‟s biceps, forehead, or shoulder, then
fall into this category unless they have earned khir a     rubbing a special black pigment into the wound. The
term meaning “honor in battle” (see A Matter of            procedure leaves a dark, raised scar, which the Kang
Honor).                                                    consider a mark of distinction. Popular designs include
                                                           crested dragons, military insignia, and family sigils.
                                                             The Kang take great pride in such achievements, and
The music of the Kang is militaristic and generally          deeds that earn khir are often cause for celebration
unsophisticated in nature. The pounding rhythms              among the honored participants and their admirers.
typical of their battle marches are produced by              These victory celebrations often go on well into the
dragon-hide drums beaten with war hammers, braying           night, and are typically accompanied by much feasting,
battle-horns, and the sharp clang of swords beaten           loud boasting, drinking, and revelry.
against shields. A popular feature of all Kang feasts is
the traditional Sword Dance, which may be performed          Khir entitles one to a degree of respect, though not
by a group of as many as a hundred warriors at a time.       necessarily obedience. A Kang who loses khir will be
                                                             demoted in rank, and must prove his or her courage in
Language                                                     order to regain lost status. It is possible to earn khir in
Kang converse in a modified version of Quan, a               a losing cause, but only if the individual is able to retain
language common to most of the indigenous peoples of         his or her honor. Conversely, it is possible to lose khir
this region. The Kang‟s dialect is heavy on action verbs,    in a winning cause if the opponent is so weak or craven
and is harsh and unmusical to the ear. Common names          that there is no glory to be won by their defeat.
all begin with “K,” as in Kuata, Kiyen, Kudan, Kran,
Komo, etc.                                                   The most notable example of the latter circumstance
                                                             occurred when the Kang seized control of the Quan
Defenses                                                     Empire in the year 611. The coup was so successful
                                                             that it was accomplished in less than a day, the ruling
Kang settlements resemble walled citadels, a feature
                                                             class Quan failing to offer even token resistance.
common to all Kang architecture. The Kang maintain
                                                             Though the Kang gained an empire in a single stroke,
what many believe is the largest army in Talislanta.
                                                             there was no khir to be earned for defeating such a
Known as the Crimson Horde, this force includes units
                                                             weak and cowardly adversary, and no celebration of the
of the Dragon Elite, heavy cavalry, heavy infantry,
                                                             victory afterwards. So it was that the event became
tarkus scout units, and heavily armored siege engines
                                                             known in history as the Silent Insurrection - a victory
such as iron dragons and mobile catapults. Elements of
                                                             without honor.
the Crimson Horde are deployed in the west vs. the
Saurans, to the south vs. the Chana, and to the north
as protection against incursions by the Harakin.             Kang Tracker
                                                             Homeland: The Kang Empire
Commerce
A considerable amount of trade passes through the            “Come, my pet. I may let you feed on the slave‟s steed
Kang settlements, heading to and from other parts of         when we have found him.”
the Empire. Except as pertains to the requisitioning of
military supplies, the Kang have little or nothing to do     As a scrug you were smaller than the rest. Hunger
with such commercial activities, leaving these details to    taught you to be quick, else you would have been
the Ispasians.                                               consumed by others of your brood. As a youth, the
                                                             right to a sword was stripped from you when you
Worldview                                                    proved too weak to wield it in the practice duels. Your
Since the Silent Insurrection, the Kang have ruled the       commander gave you a backhanded slap, too ashamed
Empire. The Kang Warlord now wields total control over       of you to use his fist. You were sent to the tarkus pens
the populace. Relations with the subject races range         with others of your size to learn the handling of that
from peaceful coexistence to open warfare. Once              beast. You have never been allowed to forget your
masters of the Empire, the Quan have been reduced to         place. There are no dragons nor clan markings on your
the status of pariahs, shunned and despised by all. The      dagger‟s pommel, and your queue is only as long as
Ispasians manage the Empire‟s trade and economic             your hand is wide. Upon your forearm is the kanjiko
concerns with exceptional skill; still, the Kang do not      scar of your tracker unit. It marks you as subservient to
trust them. The Sunra and Vajra serve as instructed,         others of the Crimson Horde, and only foreigners bow
though not willingly. The Mandalans continue to exhibit      their heads to you. You have served as scout and
an outwardly placid demeanor, while the Mondre Khan          border guard, scurrying back to base to report to your
remain hostile and aggressive. During the last decade,       commander. You prefer the role of tracker, hunting for
the Kang have taken steps to extend their sphere of          criminals, dissidents, and escaped slaves. Away from
influence, taking steps to expand their territories to the   other Kang, with only your tarkus as companion, you
west and south. Evidence of the growing power of the         can forget your dishonor. When you are sent outside
Kang is viewed with concern by the leaders of                the Empire, you can vent your anger on the outlanders
Carantheum and the Seven Kingdoms.                           who try to keep you from your prey. There is little
                                                             honor in fighting slaves, but some foreigners may earn
A Matter of Honor                                            you khir.
Of great importance to all Kang is the concept of khir,
or “honor in battle.” Khir may be earned for any act of      Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟8”, 120-220 lbs. Fiery
valor, from defeating an opponent in combat to               red, leathery skin, white pupil-less eyes, brutal
exhibiting courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
features, long black hair pulled back into queue, kanjiko     CHA -2                  SPD 0
forearm scar.
                                                              Skills:
Attributes:                                                   Kanquan +4                      Tactics +4
INT 0           STR +2        CR +4                           Dagger +4                       Survival +3
PER +1          DEX +3        MR 0                            Falchion +3                     Ride +4
WIL 0           CON +2        HP 28                           Mounted Combat +3               Quan, native dialect
CHA -1                 SPD +1                                 Doctrines (Zoriah) +5           Low Talislan, basic

Skills:                                                       Equipment: Red iron battle armor over quilted
Kanquan +3                       Tracking +3                  Mandalan silkcloth tunic, red iron gauntlets and helm,
Dagger +4                        Stealth +1                   spiked silver rings around queue, falchion sword, twin
Light Crossbow +4                Tactics +4                   dragon-pommel daggers, strider steed.
Mounted Combat +3                Survival +4
Animal Handler +6                Quan, native dialect         Wealth: 200 gold lumens
Ride +4                          Low Talislan, basic
                                                              Kang Warrior
Equipment: Strider hide armor (treat as leather) over
quilted Mandalan silkcloth tunic, gauntlets, high boots,      Homeland: The Kang Empire
cloak, two daggers, light crossbow, quiver with twelve
quarrels, pouch, tarkus tracking beast with black iron        It is a proud time to be Kang. No longer do your people
chain and muzzle, feedbag, strider steed.                     bow their heads to the indolent, bloated Quan,
                                                              swallowing your khir for the sake of gold. You have
Wealth: 75 gold lumens.                                       taken what rightfully belongs to the Crimson Horde, to
                                                              your Warlord, and to the Red God, Zoriah. Now, the
Kang Warrior-Priest                                           slaves of the Empire know their true masters. Now, the
                                                              cities are fit for warriors. Now, you will seize the lands
Homeland: The Kang Empire                                     long denied you, and you will rid this world of the
                                                              Saurans, the Harakin, the Chana. You will live as you
“Every strike is an offering to the Red God.”                 should: charging towards victory on the back of your
                                                              strider, falchion held high, shouting the name of your
When you were still a mindless scrug lapping in the           clan. The other nations will tremble at the sound. You
blood of your sire, the priests saw the Red God‟s mark        are the Kang, and you are strong.
upon you. They took you from the spawning pool of
your kindred and raised you in the vaulted blackness of       Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟8”, 120-220 lbs. Fiery
Zoriah‟s temple. It was there that you learned the Nine       red, leathery skin, white pupil-less eyes, brutal
Ways and crafted your body into a weapon. The priests         features, long black hair pulled back into queue, kanjiko
were as cruel to you as the smith to molten iron, but         scars.
they were your siblings, never your masters. A
Warrior-Priest has no master or clan and bows to no           Attributes:
one, not even to the Red God. Zoriah cares nothing for        INT 0           STR +4       CR +6
praise and supplication but values one thing only: glory      PER 0           DEX +2       MR 0
in combat. To this you dedicated your body and your           WIL 0           CON +2       HP 28
soul. In your seventh year, you reached maturity and          CHA -2                 SPD 0
received your birthright as a Kang and as a Priest: a set
of twin dragon-pommel daggers, the clan markings              Skills:
burned away. After twelve years at the temple, the            Kanquan +4              Tactics +6
priests flung open the doors and set you on the road.         Falchion +4             Survival +4
You were given the kanjiko tattoo that distinguishes a        Dagger +3               Ride +5
Zorian disciple as an outward symbol of the Red God‟s         Weapon (choice) +3      Quan, native dialect
Mark. On that day you began the Paths of Blood. You           Mounted Combat +4
walk the Paths still. All battles are Zoriah‟s holy places,
and you long to worship at them.                              Equipment: Black iron battle armor over quilted
                                                              Mandalan silkcloth tunic, black iron gauntlets and helm,
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟8”, 120-220 lbs. Fiery         iron and silver queue rings, iron collar and armbands,
red, leathery skin, white pupil-less eyes, brutal             falchion sword, twin dragon-pommel daggers, choice of
features, long black hair pulled back into queue, kanjiko     weapon, strider steed.
facial scars.
                                                              Wealth: 100 gold lumens.
Attributes:
INT 0           STR +4           CR +6                        Kang Kanjira
PER 0           DEX +2           MR 0
WIL +1          CON +2           HP 28
Homeland: Kang Empire                                        reveled in, and excelled at, the practice of kanquan.
                                                             While your siblings began to take up the mantle of
“Pathetic weakling! Pick up the falchion and try the         warrior, you threw yourself ever more passionately into
maneuver again, before you receive the back of my fist!      the study of kanquan, for it channeled your aggression,
Don‟t you dare disgrace the name of this family!”            and felt more natural to you than any artificial weapon.
                                                             The feel of flesh and bone giving way beneath your own
You are old, and the days of glorious battle are now far     power still makes you grin with pleasure. You soon
behind you, but you have earned much khir in your            mastered everything your clan could teach you, and
lifetime, and know that the funeral pyre of a hero           went to the Temple of Zoriah, to further your skill under
awaits you, elevating you to the heavens where you           the harsh tuition of the kanquan masters there. You
can fight alongside Zoriah in the war among the gods.        learned to focus your rage with strength of will, and
Though age has gnawed away at your strength, and             channel your anger more effectively. Full-force blows
your sight is now failing, you are still honored, and now    served to harden your body, and your fists and feet
serve to train the ferocious scrugs of your household,       were inured to pain by constant strikes against stone
instilling in them the proper aggression and training.       and wood. You have even studied the esoteric crimson
You see the young warriors gaze at you with a mixture        moon, and learned to fight effectively with your clan
of admiration and pity, and remember the swagger and         daggers, but you know the truth, that the ultimate
arrogance of youth. Pah! You have wisdom and                 weapon is a warrior's own body.
experience they would be wise to heed, and you are not
so far-gone that you can‟t teach them a very harsh and       Physical Characteristics: 6'-6'8", 120-220 lbs. Fiery
physical lesson. Though you can feel the heat of the         red, leathery skin, white pupil-less eyes, brutal
pyre that awaits you, you perhaps still yearn for one        features, long black hair pulled back into a queue,
more great battle, one more adventure, before you go         kanjiko scars.
to war at Zoriah‟s side.
                                                             Attributes:
Physical Characteristics: 5‟10”-6‟6”, 90-190 lbs.            INT 0           STR +4          CR +6
Fiery red, leathery skin, many scars, white pupil-less       PER 0           DEX +2          MR 0
eyes, brutal features, long gray hair pulled back into a     WIL +1          CON +3          HP 30
queue, kanjiko scars.                                        CHA -2          SPD 0

Attributes:                                                  Skills:
INT +1                  STR +2          CR +3                Kanquan +7                      Tactics +3
PER -1          DEX 0        MR 0                            Crimson Moon +4                 Survival +3
WIL +1          CON +1       HP 24                           Dagger +3                       Ride +3
CHA -2                SPD -2                                 Mounted Combat +3               Quan, native dialect

Skills:                                                      Equipment: Strider hide tunic, breeches, and knee
Falchion +8             Tactics +10                          high boots, iron bracers, two crimson moons, twin
Weapon of choice +7     Survival +6                          dragon-pommel daggers, pouch, iron queue rings.
Kanquan +6              Ride +8
Dagger +6               Quan, native dialect                 Wealth: 50 gold lumens.
Mounted Combat +8       Low Talislan, basic
                                                             Kang Chirurgeon
Equipment: Dated black iron battle armor, quilted
Mandalan silkcloth tunic, black iron gauntlets and helm,
                                                             Homeland: Kang Empire
iron and silver queue rings, iron collar and armbands,
falchion, twin dragon-pommel daggers, choice of
                                                             “Stop screaming, weakling! I‟m almost through the
weapon, strider steed.
                                                             bone!”
Wealth: 100 gold lumens.
                                                             The crimson blood of your people boils with a passion
                                                             for conflict, and often that blood is spilled in the chaos
Kang Kanquan Exponent                                        of combat, leaving mighty warriors weak, unable to
                                                             raise their weapons in Zoriah‟s name. When you were
Homeland: Kang Empire                                        but a scrug you quickly learned that there is no place
                                                             for weakness in the Crimson Horde. To your shame you
"KYAAIII!!"                                                  were never quite as strong as your siblings, but at least
                                                             you were not so weak as to be consigned to the
Even as a scrug, you relished the red-hot surge of           Trackers. Instead, you were trained as a chirurgeon,
physical conflict, fighting ferociously with your siblings   learning to tend the wounded in a ruthless, practical
for every scrap of food. As awareness dawned, that           manner, sending them back out to battle as swiftly as
passion for pure, physical conflict, remained with you,      possible. Broken bones are set with iron straps screwed
and your clan parents watched with pride as you              into flesh and bone, lacerations crudely cleansed with
arrack and stitched up with strider gut, damaged limbs        Homeland: The Kang Empire
sawn off and amputated, replaced with crude iron
prosthetics. If a patient dies, it was due to their           “The Red God has another face. Come closer, I will
weakness, not any incompetence on your part; there is         show it to you.”
no place for weakness in the Crimson Horde. Restoring
injured warriors earns you khir, and sometimes you            You were born... different. Weaker, slower, less
battle across the fields of conflict to retrieve or aid the   capable. Most scrugs like you are killed at birth for the
fallen.                                                       good of the race, but you bore the mark of the Fury, a
                                                              stain on your flesh and soul that marked you as a
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟8”, 120-220 lbs. Fiery         Spawn of the Elements. As is the custom, you were left
red, leathery skin, white pupil-less eyes, brutal             out on a cliffside in a storm, to live or die as the
features, long black hair pulled back into a queue,           elements decreed. You were never seen by your kin
kanjiko scars.                                                again. Now you walk among them, a master of the Red
                                                              God‟s fury, and none know your name. They shun you,
Attributes:                                                   spit upon your feet, and call you names to your back...
INT 0           STR +3       CR +5                            but you know that they also fear you.
PER 0           DEX +2       MR 0
WIL 0           CON +2       HP 28                            Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟5”, 100-170 lbs. Fiery
CHA -2                 SPD 0                                  red, leathery skin, white pupil-less eyes, brutal
                                                              features, long black hair running loose in the wind.
Skills:
Kanquan +3              Tactics +4                            Attributes:
Dagger +4               Survival +3                           INT +2                 STR +1       CR +1
Falchion +3             Ride +4                               PER 0           DEX +1        MR +3
Mounted Combat +3       Quan, native dialect                  WIL +1          CON +1        HP 26
Healer +2                                                     CHA -3                 SPD 0

Equipment: Black iron and strider hide partial plate          Skills:
armor (PR 4), over quilted mandalan silkcloth tunic, red      Magic Order <One elemental order of choice, besides
cloak, iron queue rings, knee high boots, iron bracers,       Aquamancy> (Three Modes of choice) +3
falchion sword, twin dragon-pommel daggers, strider           Magic Order <One elemental order of choice, besides
hide medical pack (containing flask of arrack, roll of        Aquamancy> (Two Modes of choice) +1
strider gut, iron needles, a dozen iron straps, box of        Magic Order <One elemental order of choice, besides
iron screws, iron hammer, iron saw, and rough                 Aquamancy> (Two Modes of choice) +1
bandages), strider steed.                                     Dagger +3
                                                              Survival +6
Wealth: 100 gold lumens.                                      Ride +4
                                                              Quan, native dialect
Treatment by a Kang Chirurgeon                                Low Talislan, basic
Chirurgeon treatment is brutal and crude to say the
least, and scarring is extremely common. In fact, many        Equipment: Mandalan silkcloth tunic, dyed crimson,
Kang proudly bear such scars as indicators of courage.        silver and red iron-bound spellbook, dagger, strider
Their treatment techniques also heal fewer HP than            steed.
other healing techniques.
                                                              Wealth: 40 gold lumens
Roll vs. Healer (d20 + Healer Skill)
Modifiers: -1 per negative HP of the patient
                                                              THE MANDALANS
                                                              A golden-skinned folk, the Mandalans are slender of
Mishap           Patient dies*
                                                              build, with almond-shaped eyes and pleasant features.
                 Patient suffers an additional d10
Failure                                                       It is the custom of the males to shave their skulls, while
                 damage
                                                              the females do the same, leaving only a topknot of
                 20% of lost HP restored with
Partial Success                                               long, black hair. Both sexes wear lose fitting robes or
                 permanent disfiguring scars
                                                              pajama-style garments, typically of silkcloth, a material
                 40% of lost HP restored with slightly
Full Success                                                  which is common in the regions in which the Mandalans
                 disfiguring scars
                                                              live.
                 60% of lost HP restored with minor
Critical Success
                 scarring
                                                              Ancestry
* Always regarded as a sign that the patient was weak.        The origins of the Mandalan race date back to the
                                                              Forgotten Age, when their nomadic ancestors migrated
                                                              from the Opal Mountains and established permanent
Kang Wu-Jen                                                   communal settlements along the eastern coasts of what
                                                              is now the Kang Empire. Here, the Mandalans
established a peaceful society devoted to the cultivation   walks of Mandalan life: artisans, musicians, artists,
of the mystic arts and sciences. The arrival of a           poets, and scribes. All matters are decided by popular
succession of hostile nomads ensued soon afterwards,        vote. Rural villages are also governed according to the
from the Zhan to the Mazdaks, and the Quan. Each in         same principles, though on a smaller scale.
turn subjugated the Mandalans, who offered no
resistance. Each, in their turn, eventually grew            Magic & Religion
complacent and were overthrown by other peoples.            Mandalans worship the deity known as Creator, but
Only the peaceful Mandalans remain as they were             observe no formal rituals. Worship is centered around
before.                                                     meditation, and is considered a matter between one‟s
                                                            god and one‟s self. Mandalans bury their dead in a
Society                                                     simple ceremony, erecting a small shrine of river stones
The Mandalans have an advanced and enlightened              and flowers on the grave of the deceased.
culture centered amidst the pastel spires, arches, and
promenades of the coastal city of Jacinth and outlying      The Arts
regions. Those who live in Jacinth serve as artisans,       Mandalans have a deep respect for the arts, which they
scholars, and historians. They live in simple but elegant   believe enhance the appreciation of beauty inherent in
dwellings made of parchment stretched over wood             the natural world. They practice painting, sculpture,
frames, with rock gardens, meditation areas, and            calligraphy, and decorative crafts such as weaving
shaded arbors adding a sense of serenity and beauty to      silkcloth. Many Mandalan families keep silkwyrrms as
their surroundings. The remainder of the population is      pets, and produce their own silk. Reading and writing
scattered throughout the countryside, making their          poetry is also a favorite pastime. Mandalan music
home in small villages. They live in rustic dwellings of    consists of simple but pleasing melodies, with a strong
artfully woven reeds and thatch, and work as farmers,       but understated rhythmic pulse underneath. This
herders, and weavers.                                       reflects the Mandalan virtues of outward passivity and
                                                            inner strength. Common instrumentation include the
Mandalans place great emphasis on the family.               madao (a two-chambered flute), silk harp (the seven
Marriage is considered a bonding of bodies and souls; a     strings of which are made of silkwyrrm thread), and
sacred trust and covenant between the participants.         mandola (a long tube filled with smooth river pebbles).
Ancestors and elders are respected; several generations
often live together in the same home. Children receive      Language
care and instruction from their parents, grandparents,
                                                            The native tongue of the Mandalans is Quan, though
and often their great-grandparents. All Mandalans are
                                                            many also speak either High or Low Talislan. Common
vegetarians. They subsist on a diet of grains and fruits.
                                                            Mandalan names are hyphenated, as in Shan-Yan,
Mandalan green wine is a favored drink.
                                                            Xhan-Han, Zen-Shen, etc.

Customs                                                     Defenses
To many Talislantans, the Mandalans appear weak and
                                                            Mandalans have never had an army, and have no
submissive, unwilling to offer even the slightest
                                                            interest in military matters.
resistance to those who have invaded their lands in the
past as well as the present. While there is considerable
evidence to support such a view, this perception of the     Commerce
Mandalans is in many ways inaccurate. Practitioners of      Mandalans are the most productive of the Empire‟s
an ancient mystical discipline, Mandalans abhor             citizens. They create many useful wares, including
violence, considering militarism to be the domain of        silkcloth,    pottery,    glassware,   jewelry,   tools,
unsophisticated and primitive peoples. Yet despite a        implements, furnishings, and many different types of
great aversion to physical violence, the Mandalans are      art and decorative crafts. In the rural areas they grow
neither weak nor entirely submissive. It is no accident     and harvest crops of many sorts, make wine, weave
that they have survived centuries of oppression, or that    baskets, and herd domesticated animals. Mandalans
their culture has endured long after the demise of the      transport their wares across the Empire, traveling by
warlike races who have conquered their lands and            river craft, carts, and wagons.
subjugated their people. Rather, over the course of
many centuries, the Mandalans have developed a              Worldview
unique methodology for dealing with repressive              Under the Kang, the Mandalans continue to be virtual
regimes; a philosophy based upon the principles of          slaves of the Empire. They obey the commands of their
passive resistance, and the concept of the Mystic           Kang masters without question, never showing signs of
Warrior (see The Legend of the Mystic Warrior).             overt emotion. Yet in the countryside strange events
                                                            continue to transpire for which there is no explanation:
Government                                                  a barge carrying a shipment of weapons sinks below
The Kang allow the Mandalans a degree of self-rule,         the waters of the Shan river; a group of Kang trackers
mainly because they consider the Mandalans to be no         disappears without a trace; Kang troops are repeatedly
threat to their interests. Jacinth is run by a democratic   inconvenienced by washed-out roads, collapsing
People‟s Council comprised of representatives from all      bridges, and other logistical nightmares. Meanwhile, the
barbaric Harakin clans gather along the northern              Physical     Characteristics:     Golden      skin,
borders of Quan, waiting and watching, while the              almond-shaped eyes, placid features, slender build,
Mandalans remain, passive and aloof...                        shaven head; females wear a topknot of long, black
                                                              hair.
The Legend of the Mystic Warrior
In Mandalan lore, the Mystic Warrior is an ideal,             Attributes:
symbolizing the indomitability of the spirit. It is the       INT +1                   STR 0           CR 0
unshakable belief of the Mandalans that, though their         PER +2          DEX +2           MR +3
people may be enslaved and oppressed, their hearts            WIL +3          CON 0            HP 20
and minds shall always remain free. Thus, in the              CHA +1          SPD +1
Mandalan perspective, no enemy can ever truly conquer
their race.                                                   Skills:
                                                              Mysticism (Five Modes of choice) +4
For the vast majority of Mandalans, the practice of this      Mandaquan +7                    Sabotage +7
philosophy is limited to various subtle forms of passive      Stealth +5             Artificer +5
resistance. The Mandalans are most ingenious in this          Acrobatics +3          Trade Skill of choice +5
regard, and seem to possess a limitless ability to            Traps +3               Quan, native
influence, misinform, and misdirect their oppressors          Locks +5               High Talislan, fluent
without arousing suspicion in themselves.
                                                              Equipment: Silkcloth robe, sandals, amysram (the
In rare instances, a Mandalan may actually adopt the          traditional Mystic Warrior costume of loose pants,
physical persona of the Mystic Warrior. Operating in          blouse, boots, jupon, gauntlets, headdress of black
total secrecy, these individuals often engage in more         silkcloth, reinforced with mesh of blue iron), blue iron
overt forms of resistance, including acts of sabotage         parrying bracers, pouch to conceal folded costume,
and other secret activities. According to legend, those       length of silk cord worn around waist, pouch with
who heed the call of the Mystic Warrior become as the         thieves‟ tools.
wind; their presence felt, but never seen. Such is the
aura of mystery that surrounds these individuals that         Wealth: None, if enslaved; escaped Mandalans may
the Mandalans do not even admit that they exist.              have fled with up to 40 gold lumens.

                                                              [Equipment note: the mystic warrior costume acts as
Mandalan Mystic Warrior                                       two points of armor; the parry bracers allow use of
                                                              Mandaquan for parrying melee weapons]
Homeland: Kang Empire

“They may enslave and oppress us; they may put us in          Mandalan Savant
shackles, and silence us so none can hear our words.
                                                              Homeland: The Kang Empire
But in our minds and hearts we will always remain
free.”
                                                              Your path in life is attuned to the forces of nature. Your
                                                              calling is one of wisdom and temperance, knowledge
You follow the path of the Mystic Warrior, a legend
                                                              and beauty, patience and subtlety. The Kang do not
unacknowledged by your people to outsiders. Once you
                                                              recognize the subtle, nor any of these civilized virtues.
were simply a slave of the Kang, humbly searching to
                                                              They denigrate your scholars, your artists, even your
find contentment in your life. One fateful day, as you
                                                              farmers. They do not perceive the lessons of your
witnessed yet another in a long chain of cruelties, a
                                                              people‟s long history. They believe you are chained. But
portal opened in your mind. You maintained your old
                                                              one cannot chain a peoples‟ spirit, or their hearts.
identity but secretly trained yourself in skills of stealth
                                                              Although your people now bend to the will of the Kang,
and sabotage. Family and friends honored your calling
                                                              it is as the branches of the willowood bend beneath the
and crafted for you the amysram that you wear to
                                                              weight of the snow. One day, spring will return, and
disguise your identity. Always you refrain from the
                                                              you will again reach for the sun.
ways of war and violence, relying upon mysticism and
Mandaquan to avoid direct conflict. You are as the
                                                              Physical     Characteristics:     Golden      skin,
wind; quietly carrying words of resistance to others who
                                                              almond-shaped eyes, placid features, slender build,
also hope one day to regain their freedom. Like your
                                                              shaven head; females wear a topknot of long, black
ancestors, you are patient; as the wind and water wear
                                                              hair.
away even the hardest stone, you know that time is
your ally. So it has always been, and so it will always
                                                              Attributes:
be. The other enslaved peoples of the Empire have
                                                              INT +2                   STR 0           CR 0
heard the legend of the Mystic Warrior. They may not
                                                              PER +3          DEX 0            MR +3
believe it in their minds, but they can feel it in their
                                                              WIL +3          CON 0            HP 18
hearts. And someday, they will awaken and see that
                                                              CHA +1          SPD 0
the legend is true.
                                                              Skills:
Mysticism (Four Modes of choice) +3
Mandaquan +3                    Three Scholar or Trade       Magic & Religion
Skills +5                                                    The Manra are nature worshipers, whose primary
Agriculture +5        History +5                             concern is the protection of the mountain rain forests
Herb Lore +5          Quan, native                           that they call home. It is the shamans who initiate the
Art or Music +4       High Talislan, fluent                  other members of the tribe in the secrets of
                                                             shape-changing. To the Manra, shape-changing is a
Equipment: Silkcloth robe, sandals, shoulder pouch,          means of attaining a deeper under-standing of the
assorted tomes, tools, and instruments.                      natural world. Each bodily form is said to represents a
                                                             different symbolic attribute: avir-form symbolizes
Wealth: None, if enslaved; escaped Mandalans may             freedom, flight from responsibility and care; tree-form
have fled with 40 gold lumens.                               represents tranquility, patience, strength, stability;
                                                             shathane-form represents power, fury, aggression
THE MANRA                                                    under provocation; and so on. In adopting the outer
Manra resemble the Witchmen in physical stature, but         appearance of an animal or plant the Manra believe that
exhibit none of the frightful or unhealthy characteristics   they also adopt the inner, or spiritual semblance. For
associated with those hostile people. They wear              this reason no Manra would ever want to learn how to
necklaces of dried flowers, woven vines, beads and           adopt the form of any creature that is “evil” or “false” in
feathers; also abbreviated garments of woven plant           nature.
fibers and three-stranded whipsash, a type of light
bolas worn around the waist.                                 Manra carry their dead high into the mountains, burying
                                                             them in secret places to protect the bodies from Chana
Ancestry                                                     witchdoctors. These burial grounds are considered
The Manra are believed to share a common ancestry            sacred by the Manra, and are protected from
with the Chana, both of whom are thought to be               interlopers.
descended from the ancient Mazdaks. Both tribes
employ the jabutu plant in their magical rituals, though     The Arts
the Manra are not headhunters, but shape-changers.           Manra have little interest in material possessions, and
                                                             practice only such crafts as are essential to their
Society                                                      existence. They value the natural world above all
The Manra tribes live in small communal settlements,         things.
and tend to keep to themselves. Manra villages are
collectives, where all pitch-in to help share the work:      Language
gathering fruits and berries, making huts of living vines,   Manra converse in a dialect of the Chanan tongue, a
and keeping a watchful eye out for predatory beasts          derivation of the language spoken by the Chana. As
and Chana war parties. Manra have close family ties.         they gain experience as shape-changers Manra also
Males and females mate for life, and raise their children    learn the languages of plants and animals, so that they
together. Parents pass along their secret customs and        can communicate with such life forms when in altered
lore to their young, as their parents did before them.       form. Manra are named after favored animal or
                                                             plant-forms. For example: Avir, Shathane, Drac,
Customs                                                      Willowood, Sunblossom, and Tantalus.
Manra possess the unique ability to assume the forms
of other living things, such as wild beasts and even         Defenses
plants. Their shape-changing talents are made possible       If threatened, Manra usually attempt to avoid violent
through ritual ingestion of a derivative of the jabutu       confrontations by adopting forms that allow them to
plant, the making of which is a tribal secret. This talent   blend into the environs or escape harm. If faced with no
is vital to the existence of the Manra, as it enables        other recourse, Manra will adopt forms that enable
them to adapt quickly to the hostile environment of          them to aggressively defend their territories.
their homeland. Conversely, the Manra‟s short lifespan
is believed to be directly attributable to the physical      Commerce
stress inherent in the practice of shape-changing. When      Manra have no currency, and place no great value on
in humanoid form they are vegetarians, eating only           material possessions. The various Manra clans
fruits, nuts, and berries. In animal form they feed as       sometimes get together to trade news, or to share
such creatures normally do.                                  rituals, but the exchange of material goods is a practice
                                                             almost unknown to these people.
Government
Manra tribes are led by their shamans, who are               Worldview
respected for their wisdom and are consulted on all          The Manra mark the Kang, and especially the Chana
matters of importance to the group. Manra observe the        Witchmen, as enemies, and actively defend their lands
laws of nature, and do not steal from or fight with each     against invasion by these warlike races. The
other. As such, tribal judges are deemed unnecessary.        shape-changers bear considerable resentment for the
Witchtribes, their rivals for the region‟s limited supply   your leaves. Such has been your life since your
of the jabutu plant. They regard the Nagra tribes with      thirteenth year, when you were taught the secret of
considerably less ill will, primarily due to their mutual   changing your form. Four months of chewing the leaves
hatred of the Chana. Manra generally prefer to avoid        of jabutu, depriving your stomach and senses, and
civilized folk, whose ways they regard as destructive to    joining in the rituals with the other Manra have opened
the natural environment.                                    your mind to new thoughts and your body to new
                                                            shapes. Your people have spent their existence
The Metamorphosis                                           studying the beauty of nature through the senses of
“I write these notes in a state of exhaustion tempered      many entities. You live fluidly, changing your culture as
by considerable excitement. For last night I was            readily as your forms. Only the dangers of the jungle
allowed to witness a traditional shape-changing ritual      are constant, and the malice of the Chana and Kang. So
called the Metamorphosis.                                   you may leave the jungle to travel the continent
                                                            towards new experiences. You embrace this change, for
The ritual began at dusk; a group of seven Manra elders     it will allow you to grow and provides purpose to your
sat in a circle, while the rest of the tribe arranged       days.
themselves on a nearby hillside and watched. For what
seemed like a long time the elders sat motionless, as if    Physical Characteristics: 5‟10”-6‟4”, 110-170 lbs.
deep in thought or meditation. Then, so slowly as to        Gray-green skin, gray-brown topknot, slender build.
almost escape my notice at first, the entire group
began to undergo a strange transformation: dwindling        Attributes:
in size, they seemed to melt, until nothing remained of     INT 0           STR 0           CR 0
the elders but seven pools of shimmering liquid. From       PER +2          DEX +2          MR +3
the center of each pool emerged a creature of webbed        WIL 0           CON +6          HP 20
fins and fan-shaped gills, its sleek form covered in        CHA 0           SPD 0
silvery scales. Now the aquatic forms raised themselves
up on their fins; their gills dwindled, the fins became     Special Abilities: Shapechange.
clawed appendages, the fine scales grew tougher,
thicker.                                                    Skills:
                                                            Shapechange +3 (Three forms of choice)
The seven reptilian quadrupeds walked around the            Club +3                               Healer +5
circle, then raised up on two legs. They grew in size,      Whipsash +5                           Artificer +2
acquired sail-like head-crests. Then another                Linguistics +3 (of Shapechange forms) Herb Lore +5
transformation: the scaled hide turned into a coat of       Chanan, native dialect                Stealth +4
sleek black fur as the creatures diminished in size, took
another turn around the circle. The coat of fur gradually   Equipment: Abbreviated garments of woven plant
grew sparser, the creatures became more humanoid in         fibers, necklaces (of dried flowers, woven vines, beads,
semblance. Once again they were Manra elders.               and feathers), whipsash (three-stranded bolas) worn
                                                            around waist, stone club, pouch for herbs.
As if awakening from a trance I realized that the ritual
was over. It was dawn; we had been there all night,         Wealth: 40 gold lumens in rare herbs and precious
though it had seemed that the whole procedure had           stones and metals.
lasted no longer than an hour or two. Only now do I
realize how tired I am, and so I shall put aside my         THE MONDRE KHAN
notebook to sleep, and to ponder the symbology of The       The Mondre Khan are squat and powerfully built, with
Metamorphosis.”                                             leathery skin, a mane of coarse black hair, and a long
                                                            fringe of fur running down the back of the legs and
Manra Shapechanger                                          arms. They dress in hide loincloths and bits of leather
                                                            and plate armor stolen from the Kang.
Homeland: The Jungles of Chana
                                                            Ancestry
“You find it confusing and alarming that I alter my         The Mondre Khan are believed to be related to the
form, but that is only because you cannot see the world     Beastmen of Golarin, or perhaps the Wildmen of
through my eyes. I have seen it through yours, and so I     Yrmania. The Mondre Khan scoff at such claims, and
understand.”                                                have their own theories on the subject of their ancestry
                                                            (see Legend of the Forest King).
Yesterday, you swam the murky waters of the River
Chana, hunting for mudrays. Spotting a sizable
                                                            Society
specimen, you dove deep beneath the surface and
                                                            Nomadic hunter-gatherers, the Mondre Khan travel in
caught it within your jaws. The day before, you leapt as
                                                            tribes of up to forty individuals, subsisting on wild
a chig to grasp an avir in your pincers. You spent the
                                                            mountain berries and fresh game. They are hardy
three months prior as an elderly willowood tree,
                                                            creatures who require little in the way of nourishment
drinking water through your roots and light through
                                                            and can travel long distances on just a few scraps of
food. Tribes camp in the mountains, finding shelter          Language
amongst copses of trees, in caves, or beneath rock           Mondre Khan communicate in a snarling version of the
overhangs. Their camps are always well concealed, and        Chanan tongue, and in sign. Claw markings made on
are temporary at best; bands move on after a day or          the trunks of trees may indicate the beginning of a
two in order to avoid being detected by the Kang.            written language; if true, this would be regarded as an
                                                             important development by certain Talislantan scholars.
Mondre Khan tribes are basically extended family units,      Common names are comprised of two syllables, the
though survivors from tribes decimated by warfare with       second ending in “iz,” as in Kaziz, Hakiz, Kadiz, Nagiz,
the Kang or illness are usually welcome. Unlike              etc.
Beastmen packs, bands of Mondre Khan rarely engage
in hostilities with each other, for the reason that they     Defenses
regard the Kang as their mutual foe. Mondre Khan mate
                                                             The Kang consider the Mondre Khan to be akin to wild
for life, and are very devoted to each other. Females
                                                             beasts, and hunt them down like animals. Holed up in
usually give birth to twins. Both the male and female
                                                             their mountain retreats, the Mondre Khan have waged a
protect their young with their lives.
                                                             successful campaign against numerically superior Kang
                                                             forces for over four centuries launching surprise attacks
Customs                                                      against merchant caravans, stealing military supply
Savage and feral by nature, Mondre Khan exhibit the          wagons, and repeatedly raiding the mining settlement
ferocity and cunning of wild beasts when on the hunt or      of Ku-Chang. Though outnumbered and poorly
in battle. They find it difficult to repress their bestial   equipped, the Mondre Khan are experts in the art of
side, and may react in the manner of wild animals when       covert warfare and have generally fared well against
cornered or subjected to extreme stress. Conversely,         the Kang.
Mondre Khan show great kindness and compassion for
their young, and appear to harbor deep feelings for          Commerce
their mates and loved ones. This dichotomy seems to
                                                             Mondre Khan clans occasionally barter with each other,
be ingrained in the Mondre Khan persona, and their
                                                             trading provisions, tools, and weapons. Mondre Khan do
people‟s struggle with the duality that is inherent in
                                                             not use coins, which to them have no value.
their physical and emotional make-up: on one side, the
man-like creature striving to achieve a higher state of
consciousness, and on the other, the wild animal driven      Worldview
by primal urges.                                             The Mondre Khan are the avowed enemies of the
                                                             Empire, whose forces the Mondre Khan have
                                                             successfully resisted for centuries. The last indigenous
Government
                                                             people to avoid subjugation by the forces of the Empire,
Each Mondre Khan clan has a single leader; typically, a
                                                             the Mondre Khan have proved to be a resourceful and
strong male or female whom the others have come to
                                                             dangerous enemy. They have no known ties with other
trust and respect. The leader‟s main responsibilities are
                                                             nations or peoples, though covert relations with the
to keep the tribe safe from discovery by the Kang, to
                                                             Mandalans and Vajra may exist.
plot guerilla-type attacks against the Kang, and to
settle disputes. The leader also resolves all disputes
within the clan. Individuals guilty of an offense against
                                                             Legend of the Forest King
                                                             Among the Mondre Khan there is a legend of such great
another member of the tribe may be attacked by their
                                                             antiquity that some say it is little more than a racial
peers and banished from the tribe.
                                                             memory, borne in the blood of those whose ancestors
                                                             survived The Great Disaster. According to some, this
Magic & Religion                                             legend states that the first Mondre Khan - a creature
The Mondre Khan show no signs that they practice, or         called Khadiz - once lived far to the west, in a great
have any concept of, any sort of organized religion.         forest that formerly covered much of the territories now
Neither do they seem to know anything of magic,              known as the Western Lands. Known as Forest King, he
though some believe that they have the intellectual          was the master of all other creatures, great and small.
capacity to learn such talents if given the opportunity.
The dead are eulogized, then cast into the communal          One day, while Khadiz was out hunting in the forest, he
fire.                                                        was set upon by a group of hairless beasts. These
                                                             creatures were not of the natural world; they had
The Arts                                                     neither claw nor fang, but carried terrible weapons of
Mondre Khan possess the ability to make crude                cold iron and fire. With black magic they captured
weapons, tools, and armor, and know how to cure hides        Khadiz and took him to a strange place, where he was
and work them into useful articles. Some of their works      forced to lay with one of the hairless beasts‟ females.
exhibit a rustic or primitive sense of aesthetics. They      The King of the Forest died soon afterward, his vital
make no music save for the mournful howls of those           energies stolen and his spirit broken. But before he died
who have lost a mate in battle.                              Khadiz cursed the hairless ones, which the seeds they
                                                             had sown would one day bring a bitter harvest. So it
                                                             was that from this unnatural union the Mondre Khan
were born into the world, to reap vengeance upon             Scout +5                Sign, native
those who murdered their King.                               Stealth +4

Though most Talislantan scholars tend to dismiss the         Equipment: Leather and plate armor, hide loincloth,
legend of the Forest King, some believe that like most       rasp (saw-toothed blade), six blade stars, caltrops,
myths the story has its basis in fact. If so, then the       pouch, rope and small grapnel, tinderbox.
creature called Khadiz may well have been a Jaka; one
of the Beastmasters of the Northern Forests, from            Wealth: 20 gold lumens in precious stones, gold dust,
whom the title “Forest King” could easily have been          ivory, or captured items.
derived. This being the case, it would follow that the
Mondre Khan were sorcerous hybrids created by the            THE NAGRA
ancient Archaens; the “hairless beasts” mentioned in         Nagra have mottled grey-green skin, black fangs,
the legend. Said the noted naturalist Thystram,              peaked skulls, and their eyes, which are like tiny ebony
regarding the legend and its possible ramifications: “It     specks. They dress in rude garments made from the
is at least an intriguing theory.”                           furry hides of winged apes, ankle and wrist bands of
                                                             woven fibers, and earrings made from the fangs of
Mondre Khan Raider                                           exomorphs or tarkus.

Homeland: The Kang Empire                                    Ancestry
                                                             The Nagra are believed to be related to the Chana and
“Leave quickly, before the beast within drives me to
                                                             Manra, though their appearance would seem to suggest
tear away your limbs.”
                                                             that they also have some Za blood in their veins. The
                                                             Nagra tribes once lived far to the Northeast, but were
Your have fought your entire life against two enemies:
                                                             driven into the southern junglelands by the Kang, who
the Kang, and the beast within. Skin the hue of blood,
                                                             hunted them like animals. Most of the survivors settled
eyes as white as stars, wrapped in iron, the Kang hunt
                                                             in the jungles of the Topaz Mountains, though a handful
you with their chained, baying beasts. That foe can be
                                                             of others may have traveled to the Jade Mountains of
taken unaware, torn by rasp and claw, stung by your
                                                             Rajanistan.
blade stars. That foe can be taught to respect and fear
the Mondre Khan. That foe can be defeated. The beast
that lives within your soul, inhuman, unleashed by           Society
instinct, ignorant of strategy and sacrifice - it consumes   The    Nagra     are   semi-nomadic     hunters    whose
your waking thoughts and tosses you in violent dreams.       movements mirror the migratory patterns of the wild
That foe drives you to betray your band, to pause in         beasts upon whom they subsist. When their prey has
battle to feed upon the slain. That foe is the howl upon     settled into a region for purposes of grazing or feeding,
your lips when your purpose urges stealth. That foe          the Nagra erect temporary shelters of skins and
taunts your Mansoul for its high thoughts, its poetry, its   wooden poles that serves as hunting camps. When the
compassion, its courage. That foe has driven you at          wild beasts move on, so do the Nagra. Nagra bands
times from your band in shame, fighting to reclaim your      tend to be comprised of several small families, and
control and self-respect. That foe grows in your heart       rarely total more than twenty in number. Mated males
an anger against those who do not need to battle it.         and females are the only stable family units; extended
That foe is eternal. You will never know peace.              families are unknown. Females carry their young
                                                             strapped to their backs until they are old enough to
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟6”, 160-250+ lbs.             walk and learn how to hunt for themselves. Nagra
Mane of coarse black hair, long fringe of fur running        offspring usually remain with their parents until
down back of legs and arms, bestial features, claws,         puberty, then go off to seek mates of their own.
squat and powerfully built, leathery brown skin.
                                                             Customs
Attributes:                                                  The Nagra generally have a low regard for the ways of
INT -1           STR +3        CR +4                         civilized peoples. They shun mounts and conveyances,
PER +1           DEX +3        MR -2                         and are tireless runners, able to cover distances of up
WIL -1           CON +2        HP 24                         to thirty miles a day with ease. Other peoples tend to
CHA -2                  SPD +1                               find the Nagra somewhat strange, and even eerie. This
                                                             is particularly true as regards the Nagra‟s taste for
Special Abilities: Claws can inflict DR 2 + STR and can      serpents, which they swallow whole, uncooked, and
be used to climb at +3 ability.                              alive.

Skills:                                                      All Nagra wear stone spirit jars about their necks, in
Rasp +4                 Sabotage +4                          order to protect their souls from evil spiritforms. A
Blade Star +4           Survival +2                          Nagra who has lost his spirit jar would feel exposed,
Brawling +3             Weaponer +2                          and completely defenseless. These folk are skilled at
Assassinate +4          Oratory +5                           spirit tracking, an uncanny ability that enables them to
Climbing +2             Chanan, native dialect
follow any track or trail, regardless of its age or origin   valued as scouts and guides, and will sometimes accept
(see Spirit Tracking).                                       such work from foreigners.

Government                                                   Worldview
Nagra tribes are loose-knit bands whose make-up              The Nagra bear an undying hatred of the Kang, whose
changes constantly as members come and go. Nagra             ancestors drove their people out of the Kang Empire
shamans provide guidance as needed; however,                 long ago. They despise the Witchtribes of Chana, whom
individuals who do not agree with the shamans are free       they regard as despicable, and little better than
to leave the band. Nagra have a flexible view of             animals. Otherwise, they have no formal relations with
morality that recognizes that people will act as they        other Talislantan nations or peoples.
will. In instances where one Nagra performs a
transgression against another, the victimized party is       Spirit Tracking
entitled to seek recompense or revenge, as he or she         Of all Talislantans, only the Nagra possess the uncanny
sees fit. Other Nagra will almost never get involved in      ability known as Spirit Tracking. This talent allows the
these altercations, which may take the form of               Nagra to track any creature by following the minute
arguments, challenges, or outright murder.                   traces left by the passing of its spirit through the astral
                                                             or material planes. The ability applies also to spiritforms
Magic & Religion                                             of all types, but apparently not demons, which have no
Nagra revere a vast and confusing pantheon of spirits.       soul.
Their shamans act as intermediaries, employing their
ancient magics to commune with spiritforms of various        To utilize this talent, the spirit tracker must first locate
sorts, from whom they derive wisdom. From this               the trail of the intended subject and isolate it from the
information, Nagra shamans are able to predict the           traces left by other entities. In desolate areas where
future and divine the secrets of past ages. They also        few creatures are found, it may take no more than a
make the spirit jars that are worn by all Nagra.             few seconds to locate the desired trail. In populous
                                                             regions such as large towns or cities, the process of
Nagra burn their dead and scatter the ashes in a             locating and isolating a single trail among hundreds or
stream or lake to prevent them from being used for           even thousands of others may take anywhere from
black magic. The deceased‟s spirit jar is carried to the     several minutes to several hours.
top of a mountain and opened at dawn‟s first light,
allowing the spirit within to fly free.                      Once the trail has been found, the spirit tracker will be
                                                             able to follow it anywhere: over land, across water, or
The Arts                                                     through the air. From such evidence a spirit tracker can
Nagra have no interest in song or dance. They make           determine the age of the tracks, the type of entity that
primitive jewelry from the claws and fangs of beasts,        made the traces, and whether or not the tracks belong
but shun most other forms of decorative art. Instead,        to a specific individual; according to the Nagra, each
Nagra favor essential crafts such as curing hides, and       entity‟s track is completely unique, and exactly like no
the making of stone tools and weapons.                       other.

Language                                                     Though spirit traces fade with time, under normal
Nagra are bilingual, communicating both in a crude           conditions they may remain visible for hundreds, or
version of the Chanan tongue, and in sign. Female            even thousands, of years. Certain forms of magic may
Nagra names begin with a vowel followed by                   be used to obliterate or conceal a spirit trail, either
apostrophe and hard sound, as in A‟Ko, O‟Ta, U‟Da,           intentionally or by accident. However, there is no
E‟Ko. Male names begin with a consonant followed by          known way to alter or disguise the nature or
apostrophe and hard sound, as in K‟Ta, D‟Ko, N‟Ka.           appearance of spirit traces.


Defenses                                                     Nagra Spirit Tracker
Nagra have no organized means of defense. Bands will
fight together if attacked en masse, and may act in          Homeland: The Jungles of Chana
concert to retaliate against enemies like the Chana.
Otherwise, bands and individuals act according to their      “If you could see what I must see, you would know the
own best interests.                                          true meaning of fear.”

Commerce                                                     Your people have thousands of names for the spirits
                                                             that swirl about you like a swarm of insects. The Blind
Nagra barter among themselves for hides, bone, rare
                                                             do not understand these words, and to them you speak
herbs, and the marbled black and gray stone used to
                                                             of moving lights and fluid shapes, if you mention what
make soul jars. Those who live in the wild never use
                                                             you sense at all. They cannot understand the danger
currency. Nagra sometimes travel great distances
                                                             and malice of these spirits, hungering for your soul,
across the Wilderlands, and occasionally end up in
                                                             warded only by the spirit jar you wear around you neck.
places like Carantheum and the Seven Kingdoms.
                                                             They are blessed, these ignorant fools who laugh at
Though fierce and aggressive by nature, they are
you. You tolerate their company and you welcome their         drawing wisdom from them, and strength from the
gold, the only reward for your cursed eyes. But you           totem that chose you. Out of duty to your people, you
have no patience for their prattle. You listen only to        help them craft the spirit jars that all wear from birth,
those with wisdom, like the tribal elders who taught you      and council the young on how best to manage the
as a child to make order of the confusion that exists         constant maelstrom of spirits and gnawing terror.
around you. Grown now, you have little use for your           Dealing with the restless spirits always leaves you
family and tribe. You rarely return to the Jade               feeling numb and hollow, and though you may act
Mountains, and the futile battles with the Chana and          dutifully as an intermediary between your people and
Kang that have destroyed your ancient culture. You            the spirits, it is not a task you relish or enjoy, for many
support yourself as a tracker for hire, following the trail   of the spirits can be cold, wicked, and deceitful. You
of your quarry‟s spirit. You have walked far across the       know the spirits, and can use them, but it is a
continent, never trusting a steed whose soul was not          dangerous game, and you fear that you might one day
like your own. The swarming spirits are everywhere,           fail.
and you cannot escape them. You desire only to suffer
your fate without succumbing to terror, without               Physical Characteristics: 5‟2”-6‟, 80-160 lbs. Mottled
screaming silently, your throat too raw to carry sound.       gray-green skin, black fangs, peaked skull, tiny ebony
                                                              eyes.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟2”-6‟, 80-160 lbs. Mottled
gray-green skin, black fangs, peaked skull, tiny ebony        Attributes:
eyes.                                                         INT +1                 STR +1       CR +2
                                                              PER +4          DEX +2        MR +4
Attributes:                                                   WIL 0           CON +5        HP 24
INT 0           STR +2        CR +4                           CHA -2                 SPD +1
PER +4          DEX +2        MR +2
WIL 0           CON +5        HP 24                           Special Abilities: Can run up to thirty miles per day
CHA -2                 SPD +1                                 with ease; Spirit Tracking.

Special Abilities: Can run up to thirty miles per day         Skills:
with ease; Spirit Tracking.                                   Shamanism -                      Spirit Tracking +4
                                                                   Enchantment +4              Stealth +2
Skills:                                                            Reveal +4                            Herb Lore +4
Spirit Tracking +5      Climbing +3                                Ward +4                     Healer +3
Blowgun +2              Scout +3                                   Two Modes of choice +2      Climbing +3
Spear +2                Herb Lore +3                          Blowgun +1                       Sign, native
Dagger +1               Sign, native                          Dagger +1                        Chanan, native dialect
Brawling +1             Chanan, native dialect
Stealth +4              Low Talislan, basic                   Equipment: Loincloth (males), tunic (females), cape
Traps +3                                                      (all of the furry hides of winged apes), ankle and wrist
                                                              bands of woven vines, exomorph or tarkus-fang
Equipment: Loincloth (males), tunic (females), cape           earrings, spirit jar, blowgun with pouch of twenty
(all of the furry hides of winged apes), ankle and wrist      venomwood darts, bone dagger, pouch, carved bone or
bands of woven fibers, exomorph or tarkus-fang                ivory nagus, several totemic fetishes.
earrings, spirit jar, blowgun with pouch of twenty
venomwood darts, spear, bone dagger.                          Wealth: 20 gold lumens in precious stones.

Wealth: 50 gold lumens in assorted currencies and             THE QUAN
precious stones.                                              The Quan are a sallow-skinned folk who, at the height
                                                              of their reign, were known for their haughty demeanor
Nagra Shaman                                                  and gluttonous appetites. They dressed in the richest
                                                              apparel, adorned themselves with jewelry, and
Homeland: The Jungles of Chana                                exhibited the lofty airs and delicate sensibilities
                                                              normally associated with royalty. Now reduced to
“You may not see the spirits, blind one, but they are all     poverty, the Quan dress in tattered finery or makeshift
around us, and they hunger.”                                  garments.

The spirits fill your every moment; streaming around          Ancestry
you like a veil, full of ancient hunger for the living, and   The Quan are the descendents of a barbaric people
kept at bay only by the spirit jars you have crafted. To      related to the ancient Mazdaks. Using military skill and
be a Nagra is to know the horror and curse of                 guile they conquered an empire, but as time passed
awareness, and to battle against the constant fear you        they descended into complacency. Their reign ended in
feel in every waking moment. As a shaman, you have            611, when the Kang seized control of the Empire in a
learned to speak with the spirits that plague you,            single day.
                                                             The Arts
Society                                                      During the Empire period the Quan developed a taste
After the Kang insurrection the Quan were removed            for fine art and for superbly crafted goods. However,
from power and relegated to the lower rungs of society.      the Quan of the present age cannot afford such
Their riches were confiscated by the Kang, and their         luxuries. Having gained some appreciation for the arts,
possessions sold at auction. Thousands of Quan were          some Quan have taken to painting, sculpting, and even
executed for “crimes against the Empire.” Hundreds           composing music.
more chose to commit suicide, ordering their servants
to kill them rather than face the wrath of the Kang. The     Language
remaining Quan are no longer allowed to own property         The Quan speak both the Quan tongue and High
or have servants, and are forbidden to live anywhere         Talislan, but prefer the latter, as it is more refined.
but the old capital of Tian.                                 Despite their fall from power, the Quan retain
                                                             something of their former attitude of superiority. Most
Once marvelous beyond description, Tian has since            still use the elaborate titles that they bestowed upon
fallen into a sad state of disrepair. The inhabitants live   themselves during the time when they were rulers of
in squalor, struggling to grow or scavenge enough food       the Empire. Thus, even the lowliest Quan are referred
to survive. Kang soldiers sometimes come to Tian to          to by such flowery acronyms as “Splendid Jade
mock them, watching them as they would some                  Potentate,”    “Munificent    Lotus   Personage,”   and
endangered species that now exists only in a zoo.            “Wondrous Sapphire Excellence.”
Costly marriage festivals, once a tradition among the
Quan, are now a thing of the past. A simple ceremony,        Defenses
attended by the families of the bride and groom,
                                                             By Kang decree, the Quan are prohibited from raising
suffices. Children who were once raised by slaves and
                                                             any kind of military force. A small volunteer militia
servants are now raised by their parents, as they were
                                                             exists for the purpose of repulsing wild animals that
in the old, pre-Empire days.
                                                             find their way into the city.

Customs                                                      Commerce
The old traditions from the days of the Empire are
                                                             The Quan have no trade ties with the other inhabitants
gone, little more than memories. Left to fend for
                                                             of the Empire, most of whom still despise the former
themselves, the Quan have had no choice but to work
                                                             tyrants. As a result, they must grow their own food and
or starve. More than a few chose the latter course, but
                                                             make such items as they require.
those who did not wish to die have gradually begun to
re-learn    the   skills  once     practiced   by    their
hunter-gatherer ancestors, though only to a limited          Worldview
extent; there is precious little to hunt or gather in old    Since their fall from power the Quan have been cut off
Tian.                                                        from the outside world. Never well liked during the days
                                                             of Empire, the Quan have received little in the way of
                                                             sympathy from other nations, and nothing but scorn
Government
                                                             from their former subjects. They are a race of pariahs -
Prior to the insurrection, Quan society was governed by
                                                             isolated, powerless, and viewed as outcasts in their own
a rigidly enforced caste system headed by the Emperor
                                                             land.
and his family, who were known as the Grand Elite. No
longer do the Quan have an Emperor or ruling family.
Instead, the Quan are now governed by a Council of           Quan Pariah
Advisors, who help maintain order in the old city and
                                                             Homeland: Tian, the old imperial capital of the Quan
serve as a makeshift judiciary. Their actual power and
                                                             Empire
influence are limited, due primarily to a lack of
resources and the severe restrictions placed upon them
                                                             You have thought of ending your life. Your father did
by the Kang.
                                                             so, asking the servants to kill him until he found one
                                                             who was willing to comply. It took six stabs for the
Magic & Religion                                             Vajra to find the heart amidst the folds of flesh. You do
The Quan were never religious, the concept of worship        not wish to die in such pain. You struggle on within the
being without interest to these folk, who considered         decay of Tian. The bodies have long since been
themselves akin to gods. Since their fall from power         removed, but the city still reeks of death. The only
some Quan have begun to turn to religion for comfort         visitors are the Kang, come to watch you live as beasts.
and guidance. A cult based on ancestor worship is said       The Golden City is now a vast cage. At rare moments,
to be slowly gaining adherents. Though the Quan once         you are driven to plan elaborate plots to reclaim what
interred their dead in lavish tombs and mausoleums,          once was yours. All of your people are stricken with
the dead are now buried with little ceremony in              such bouts of mania. Mostly, however, you feel only
unmarked graves.                                             despair.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 120-220 lbs. Sallow
skin, physique lean from hunger.                           Wealth: None.

Attributes:                                                Quan Rebel Leader
INT +2                   STR -1           CR -2
PER 0           DEX -1                    MR -2            Homeland: Tian, the old imperial capital of the Quan
WIL -2          CON -2            HP 16                    Empire
CHA -2                   SPD -1
                                                           “Our ancestors built this empire. Our grandfathers lost
Skills:                                                    it. We can take it back.”
Dagger +3                         Laborer +3
Administrator +4                  Quan, native             You know how mighty and powerful the Quan Empire
Survival +4                       High Talislan, native    once was. Your people conquered entire races and
                                                           formed a mighty empire that was the envy of the entire
Equipment: Tattered finery or makeshift garments,          continent of Talislanta. And yet, your people grew
dagger.                                                    obese and lazy, having no challenge worthy of their
                                                           skill. Now, the traitorous Kang have usurped that power
Wealth: None.                                              and taken the Empire as their own. You will show them
                                                           what made this empire what it is. You will show them
Quan Militiaman                                            what it means to be Quan.

Homeland: Tian, the old imperial capital of the Quan       Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 120-180 lbs, Light
Empire                                                     bronze skin, long dark hair, lean muscled physique.

“We were once a warrior race, and we can be so once        Attributes:
again!”                                                    INT +1                  STR +1           CR +2
                                                           PER 0           DEX 0            MR +1
Your people have fallen far, and you are ashamed of        WIL -2          CON 0            HP 20
this ignoble failure, although looking back, you can see   CHA +1          SPD 0
it was inevitable. Bloated, indolent, and arrogant, your
people, the once mighty Quan, had become weak and          Skills:
ineffectual, a far cry from the proud, golden-skinned      Etiquette +1                     Mounted Combat +3
warriors they had once been. Perhaps the Silent            Ride +2                          Administrator +2
Insurrection is instead a blessing, for once again your    Command +4                       Aristocrat +2
people must learn to fend for themselves, and stand on     Tactics +2                       Quan, native
their own two feet. You feel that given time you can       Short Bow +4                     High Talislan, fluent
reclaim the fierce heritage of your ancestors, and         Short Sword +3                   Low Talislan, basic
become warriors to be feared, and several of you have      Stealth +1
embraced that ethic, now serving to drive away the
beasts that enter Tian, and even learning to hunt once     Equipment: Regal clothing, antique short sword, short
more. The path ahead will be harsh, and it will take       bow and quiver of 12 arrows, maps of countryside.
time to mend the crushed spirit of your people, but who
ever said the path of a warrior was an easy one?           Wealth: None, all of your possessions are what you
                                                           now own.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 120-220 lbs. Sallow
skin, physique lean from hunger.                           Quan Rebel

Attributes:                                                Homeland: Tian, the old imperial capital of the Quan
INT +1                   STR 0            CR 0             Empire
PER +1          DEX 0             MR -2
WIL -1          CON -1            HP 18                    “We are seizing our destiny. We shall reign victorious
CHA -2                   SPD 0                             once more!”

Skills:                                                    Your older friends tell you that the Kang are traitors to
Spear +3                          Laborer +4               the empire, that you all as Quan are the true inheritors.
Dagger +3                         Quan, native             The wu-jen monks tell you that the only way you can
Sling +2                          High Talislan, native    regain your empire is to take the reins of rebellion into
Survival +4                                                your own hands, to actually lower yourself to doing
                                                           things on your own. If it is the only way that you can
Equipment: Makeshift spear (dagger lashed to a pole),      live the way your grandfathers and fathers did, then
rag sling and pouch of 10 stones, tattered finery and      you will do what you have to do.
rags.
Physical Characteristics: 5 - 5‟8‟‟, 120-180 lbs, Light     Elemental Order (choice): (1 mode of choice) +1
bronze skin, top knot of long dark hair, lean muscled       Elemental Order (choice): (1 mode of choice) +1
physique.                                                   Antiquarian Lore (Quan Empire) +5
                                                            Administrator +5
Attributes:                                                 Short Bow +1
INT +1                STR +1            CR +2               MonQuan +5 (for general health and exercise benefits)
PER 0           DEX 0        MR -1                          Aristocrat +4
WIL -2          CON +1       HP 20                          Scholar Skill (choice) +5
CHA 0           SPD 0                                       Trade Skill (choice) +2
                                                            Quan, native
Skills:                                                     High Talislan, fluent
Ride +2                         Short Bow +2
Stealth +1                      Aristocrat +1               Note: For “wu-jen” wizards, remove all Elemental
Administrator +1                Quan, native                Modes and add Wizardry, 3 modes of choice +3, 2
Short Sword +2                  High Talislan, fluent       modes of choice +1. For “wu-jen” shamans, remove all
                                                            Elemental Modes and add Shamanism, 3 modes of
Equipment: Rich clothes, antique short sword, short         choice +2, 3 modes of choice +1.
bow and quiver of 12 arrows.
                                                            Equipment: Tattered, thread-bare robes, walking stick,
Wealth: None.                                               books, spell book, antique weapons in poor condition.

Quan Wu-Jen Monk                                            Wealth: None.

Homeland: Tian, the old imperial capital of the Quan
                                                            THE SAURANS
Empire
                                                            Standing up to seven feet in height, Saurans have
                                                            clawed hands and feet, scaly hide, and powerful jaws
“Each Quan must seize his own destiny. Within each of
                                                            lined with rows of sharp teeth. They wear abbreviated
us is the power of a conqueror. Find that within your
                                                            garments of furs and hides, red iron bracers, and
own self, and prosper.”
                                                            dragon icons.
You and your brethren once had to retreat to
countryside estates when you fell out of favor with         Ancestry
various of the old Quan emperors. In the new regime,        Saurans are believed to be descended from the
you are confined to the imperial city of Tian, shunned      Drakken, a race of giant reptilian-humanoids who ruled
by most of the Quan still. But now you have time to         the continent long ago. Following the defeat of the
ponder the lost glory of your ancestors and seek the        Drakken by the early Archaens, many of the survivors
conqueror spirit within your own self. You may craft        are fled Talislanta to some distant land far to the south,
poems, practice strategic games with the other              crossing over a landbridge that later collapsed during
outcasts, or if the mood strikes you, draw new              The Great Disaster. The few Drakken who remained in
inventions. You know that nothing you do really             Talislanta eventually evolved into a smaller and more
matters, but it emboldens the spirit within. Your           mobile species: the Saurans.
practice of elementism is a natural extension of your
ability to command. It is no surprise that you have         Society
mastered the four elements. After all, your ancestors       The Sauran tribes live in walled stone enclosures
conquered the fiery Kang, the aquatic Sun-Ra, the           scattered among the Volcanic Hills, where they subsist
earth-bound Vajra, and the airy Mandalans. The              primarily on wild durge, land lizard, and megalodont.
Ispasians were masters of the temporal. You are a           Saurans have a predominantly matriarchal society.
master of them all.                                         Females choose their mates based on strength, courage
                                                            in battle, and intelligence, and if desired, may have
Physical Characteristics: 5‟-5‟6‟‟, 130-180 lbs, pale       more than one mate. Sauran young hatch from eggs,
bronze skin, graying stringy hair, sparse beard, slightly   developing from quadrupedal “hatchlings” to bipedal
obese.                                                      adults within five years. Females raise the young and
                                                            lead the clan, while the adult males serve as workers,
Attributes:                                                 hunters, and warriors.
INT +1                 STR -2       CR +1
PER 0           DEX +2        MR +3                         Customs
WIL +1          CON +1        HP 18                         Though perceived by many other peoples as primitive
CHA 0           SPD 0                                       savages, the Saurans nonetheless have adapted well to
                                                            their surroundings. Utilizing volcanic mounds as natural
Skills:                                                     forges, they make crude armor and weapons, mostly of
Elemental Order (choice): (3 modes of choice) +3            low-grade red-iron alloys. The clans have domesticated
Elemental Order (choice): (1 mode of choice) +1             certain other reptilian species, such as land lizards and
                                                            land dragons.
Government                                                   Worldview
The clan‟s dominant female serves as the clan‟s High         Saurans occasionally fight amongst themselves, but
Priestess, and for all intents and purposes, its ruler.      most prefer instead to kill Raknids or Kang. Kang
She is served by lesser priestesses and by a male battle     soldiers rely on fortifications and heavy catapults when
chieftain, who commands the settlement‟s troops. The         defending against Sauran war-parties, believing frontal
High Priestess hears all complaints and rules on all legal   assaults against these foes to be tantamount to mass
matters. Individuals accused of a criminal offense are       suicide. In recent years the Kang have made a
usually allowed a chance to prove their innocence. If        concerted attempt to drive the Saurans out of the
they cannot, they are executed.                              Volcanic Hills, or to exterminate the race altogether.
                                                             The former goal has met with some success, and some
Magic & Religion                                             of the smaller Sauran tribes have been forced west into
Saurans revere Satha, the giant dragon-goddess whom          the Wilderlands. The latter goal has yet to achieve
her followers say is the mother of all reptilian species.    notable results.
The cult has numerous followers among the Saurans
and Sauruds of the Volcanic Hills, but is practically        The Dragons of War
unknown elsewhere. Priestesses of the Dragon Cult            Since the time of The Great Disaster, the Sauran tribes
possess no magical abilities except with regard to the       have used land dragons in warfare. Hatched from eggs
fashioning of dragon icons, fetishes that confer strength    and raised from the larval stage, these huge creatures
to faithful followers of Satha. Saurans inter their dead     are trained to obey commands in the Sauran tongue.
in the mouths of active volcanoes as an offering to their
goddess.                                                     Land dragons are naturally well-suited to such tasks,
                                                             and are able to carry even the heaviest burdens with
The Arts                                                     ease. Their natural aggressiveness is such that teaching
Saurans have no traditional songs or dances. Sauran          them to attack is a simple matter. In fact, it is harder
metalworking is a primitive art form that has gained         by far to keep the creatures from attacking each other,
recognition among other Talislantan peoples in recent        particularly during the mating season, when male
years.                                                       dragons normally battle to compete for females.
                                                             Protected by layers of dense hide and exoskeletal bone
Language                                                     plates, land dragons are practically immune to small or
Saurans have their own language, called Sauran, which        medium-sized weaponry. When their head, undersides,
may have been derived from the ancient Drakken               frontal areas, and limbs have been augmented with
tongue. However, unlike the Drakken language, there is       plate armor of hammered iron, the creatures are nearly
no written form of Sauran. Sauran speech is typified by      indestructible, and can be employed as living battering
a sibilant “S,” or hissing sound. Common names for           rams; a tactic that in the past has proven to be very
females are mainly derivatives of the goddess Satha‟s        effective against the enemies of the Saurans, the Kang.
name, such as Satta, Sathya, and Sathas. Male names
never begin with “Sa,” which is a female prefix.             Sauran Dragon Rider
Instead, males have names such as Sosar, Sar, Sotha,
Sethar, and Sirras.                                          Homeland: The Volcanic Hills

                                                             The Goddess Satha forges you, as you forge your
Defenses
                                                             weapons in the mounds of fire. You must be as hard as
Sauran armies are slow moving but heavily armed and
                                                             the red iron, for the Kang are of this metal as well.
armored. Their forces often include the massive
                                                             Once, you marched far into their lands to the east,
creatures known as land dragons, which Sauran
                                                             driven back only by an early winter. Now, they harass
warriors outfit with plates of hammered metal and ride
                                                             your people, driving you into the lands of the Araq, the
into battle (see The Dragons of War). Saurans employ
                                                             beasts who hunt your dragon steeds. But Satha‟s fire is
these creatures as living siege engines, using them to
                                                             within your heart, and it warms your blood and
batter down fortifications and to provide cover against
                                                             banishes the cold. The priestesses give you icons to
opposing missile fire. Saurans mark the Kang, Raknids,
                                                             help stoke the fires within. They read the omens and
and Araq as their most hated foes.
                                                             guide you with the wisdom of Satha. You will not be
                                                             broken.
Commerce
Though noted for their aggressiveness, certain of the        Physical Characteristics: 6‟6”-7‟, 350-450 lbs. Scaly
Sauran tribes are friendly toward other Talislantan          rust-brown hide, reptilian features, clawed hands and
peoples. Some have dealings with certain bands of            feet, powerful jaws lined with rows of sharp teeth,
Orgovian traders, bartering firegems in return for           heavy tail.
high-quality metal tools, fabrics, and other goods. On
occasion, adventuresome Saurans leave their homeland         Attributes:
to travel throughout Talislanta, offering their services     INT -2         STR +5          CR +5
as mercenaries.                                              PER +1         DEX -2                  MR -2
WIL +1          CON +4       HP 30                          Attributes:
CHA -2                SPD –2                                INT 0           STR +3        CR +2
                                                            PER +1          DEX -2              MR 0
Special Abilities: Hide provides one point of armor;        WIL +2          CON +4        HP 30
immunity to poison; can use tail as weapon (DR 6 +          CHA -1                 SPD –2
STR); rendered sluggish by cold (-2 to Action Table
rolls); unaffected by heat (half damage from fire); ten     Special Abilities: Hide provides one point of armor;
percent chance of having chameleon-like ability to          immunity to poison; can use tail as weapon (DR6 +
change coloring at will (roll during character creation).   STR); rendered sluggish by cold (-2 to Action Table
                                                            rolls); unaffected by heat (half damage from fire); ten
Skills:                                                     percent chance of having chameleon-like ability to
War Whip +4             Ride +6                             change coloring at will (roll during character creation).
War Axe +4              Sauran, native
Dagger +3               plus one of:                        Skills:
Brawling +4                     Weaponer +6                 Invocation -                     Dagger +1
Mounted Combat +4               Armorer +6                           Alter or Influence +4   Brawling +1
Survival +5                     Artificer +6                         Enchantment +4          Healer +3
Animal Handler +4               Artisan +6                  Doctrines - Dragon Cult +4       Survival +3
                                                            Artificer - Dragon Icons +6      Sauran, native
Equipment: Abbreviated garments of furs and hides,
red iron bracers and dragon icon, Sauran war axe,           Equipment: Ritual vestments made from strips of
Sauran war whip, dagger, pouch.                             dragon hide, bone, and red iron, all stamped with the
                                                            Dragon Cult icon, red iron bracers, red iron dragon icon
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in uncut firegems.                   (affixed to red iron staff), ceremonial red iron dagger,
                                                            pouch.
Sauran Dragon Priestess
                                                            Wealth: 50 gold lumens in uncut firegems.
Homeland: The Volcanic Hills
                                                            Sauran Gladiator
“The Dragon has strength, cunning, and a rage that can
                                                            Homeland: The Volcanic Hills
melt stone. Do you wish to feel Her fangs at your
throat, and claws in your belly?”
                                                            “Thought I was dead in the pit once. One-eyed Za with
                                                            two of those jagged swords. Forgot about the tail,
Satha is powerful, brimming with ancient wisdom, and
                                                            though. They all do.”
she watches over the scaled ones such as you, Her
children, who were birthed from the womb of fire and
                                                            The wage-fighter circuit in the Wilderlands was the best
forged in the heat of adversity. She gave to Her
                                                            thing that ever happened to you. While your
children the power to form the red metal into weapons
                                                            hatch-mates in the Volcanic Hills threw themselves
of war, and She gave Her chosen daughters the arcane
                                                            against the Crimson Horde‟s of the Kang Empire; you
power of Her molten heart, allowing you to instill Her
                                                            made a killing in the arenas of Hadj. You‟ve faced them
powers of fiery wrath, strength, and dominance over
                                                            all: Thralls in spiked garde, Chana witchmen with
Her children, into the symbols of Her majesty. These
                                                            needle-sharp teeth, crazed Ahazu war slaves. As your
icons you gift to those of your males who go forth to
                                                            reputation grew, so did your purse, but you care
battle the cursed Araq and Kang in Satha‟s name,
                                                            nothing for riches. Even the combat itself has grown
honing their skills in the heat of battle. You raise the
                                                            stale for you - in the ring, you are the strongest, the
young on Satha‟s creed of courage, strength, and
                                                            most feared. You seek greater challenges, something to
aggression tempered by the mind, and it is these
                                                            test the full extent of your strength and courage.
virtues which you seek in your mate; virtues they must
                                                            Perhaps one day you will stand atop the Great Barrier
demonstrate during their many conflicts. Outsiders are
                                                            Wall in the west, as Surath did before you, deciding the
often surprised when they approach your clan to trade,
                                                            fate of an entire nation with your might. Or, if you
for few recognize the superiority of the female in their
                                                            become truly great, you may yet return to cast the
culture; a superiority which Satha‟s chosen recognize
                                                            Kang from Satha‟s lands forever. One thing is certain:
instinctively. As one of Satha‟s priestesses, you are
                                                            the Death Pit gave you your life, but it will not take it.
among the leaders of your clan; the males are merely
the dragon‟s fangs and claws, but you are its mind.
                                                            Physical Characteristics: 6‟6”-7‟, 350-450 lbs. Scaly
                                                            rust-brown hide, reptilian features, clawed hands and
Physical Characteristics: 6‟6”-7‟, 300-400 lbs. Scaly
                                                            feet, powerful jaws lined with rows of sharp teeth,
rust-brown hide, reptilian features, clawed hands and
                                                            heavy tail.
feet, powerful jaws lined with rows of sharp teeth,
heavy tail.
                                                            Attributes:
                                                            INT -2          STR +5           CR +5
                                                            PER +1          DEX –2           MR -2
WIL +1          CON +4          HP 30                       given basic training in the various crafts and
CHA -2          SPD -2                                      professions practiced by the Sunra people: sea-farming,
                                                            astromancy, shipbuilding, piloting se craft, etc. Once
Special Abilities: Hide provides one point of armor;        this general education has been completed, Sunra
immunity to poison; can use tail as weapon (DR 6 +          schools allow students to concentrate on a preferred
STR); rendered sluggish by cold (-2 to Action Table         subject or subjects, as they wish. Sunra have long
rolls); unaffected by heat (half damage from fire); ten     wished to regain their freedom, but for the present they
percent chance of having chameleon-like ability to          remain subjects of the Empire.
change coloring at will (roll during character creation).
                                                            Sunra believe that the souls of their ancestors reside
Skills:                                                     within Moonfish, and so will never harm these
Brawling +5                     Survival +4                 creatures. They believe that anyone who captures or
War Whip +4                     Weaponer +6                 kills a Moonfish will suffer a terrible curse; in fact, the
War Axe +4                      Ride +6                     Sunra say that this is what happened to the Quan, who
Dagger +3                       Sauran, native              once kept Moonfish as pets. While many scoff at these
Underworld +6                           Low    Talislan,    claims it should be noted that, not long after the Silent
fluent                                                      Insurrection, the Kang forced the Quan to release all
Coerce +1                                                   their Moonfish into the River Shan, and thereafter made
                                                            it illegal to own or eat Moonfish.
Equipment: Abbreviated garments of furs and hides,
red iron bracers and dragon icon, Sauran war axe,           Government
Sauran war whip, dagger, pouch.                             The Kang have allowed the Sunra a semblance of
                                                            self-rule, within certain limitations. Sunra are permitted
Wealth: 100 gold lumens in assorted currencies.             to run their city as they choose, provided they remain
                                                            in compliance with Kang law. The Sunra have an
THE SUNRA                                                   egalitarian democracy, a tradition that goes back to
Sunra are graceful in stature, with silver-scaled skin      their ancient sea-faring days. Their leaders are elected
and deep-blue eyes. The customary mode of dress for         by popular vote. The individual designated as ruler is
both males and females consists of a simple robe of         accorded the title, “Eminence”; his or her panel of
Mandalan silkcloth, sandals, and a silk headband.           eleven elected advisors is called the Sunra Council. The
                                                            Kang allow them to adjudicate all matters that occur
Ancestry                                                    within the walls of the city of Isalis. Offenses that occur
The Sunra are a semi-aquatic race whose origins             outside Isalis are handled by the Kang.
predate The Great Disaster. Their ancestors, the
Sun-Ra-San, once ranged the Far Seas in glittering          Magic & Religion
dragon barques, hunting sea dragons and trading with        The Sunra worship an elemental ocean deity named
far-distant lands. Now the majority of the Sunra            Aqus. They have a great love of the sea, and revere the
population is housed in the Coral City of Isalis, as        Moonfish as an avatar of their elemental deity. Priests
subjects of the Kang.                                       and priestesses of the sect are aquamancers. Sunra
                                                            take their dead aboard a dragon barque for burial at
Society                                                     sea. In this way they believe that the spirits of the dead
The Sunra of Isalis live in graceful dwellings carved       may be reborn as moonfish.
from great mounds of coral and decorated with shells.
They subsist primarily on kelp and algae, which the         The Arts
Sunra serve in soups, broths, and stews; Sunra food is      Sunra artisans are skilled in the creation of various
always high in liquid content and, by the standards of      practical wares and works of art, using coral, shells,
most other folk, very salty. The combination of fluids      and other products of the sea. The music of the Sunra,
and salts enables Sunra to function out of water for        like that of their ancestors the Sun-Ra-San (q.v.), is
extended periods of time without experiencing               haunting and often filled with sorrow.
discomfort.
                                                            Language
Sunra society is centered around their extended family      Though the Sunra have an ancestral tongue, Quan is
groups. Sunra couples mate for life and beyond,             the language most commonly spoken by those who live
swearing eternal faithfulness even in the afterlife; the    in the Kang Empire. Common names are hyphenated,
marriage ceremony is called a “merging of souls.”           begin with “Su” (males) or “Sa” (females). For
Children are raised by both their parents and               example: Sur-Rin, Sun-Ran, Sut-Ra (males); Sar-Rin,
grandparents. Training in Sunra culture, astromancy,        San-Ran, Sat-Ra (female).
and other skills begins at age two.
                                                            Defenses
Customs                                                     The Sunra maintain a large fleet of dragon barques, but
The Sunra have a great love of learning. Their children     are restricted by from sailing such craft anywhere but
are taught to read and write at an early age, and are       the Inland Sea and the River Shan except under the
direct supervision of the Kang military. Since the Kang     a dragon barque, directing it towards the open sea.
know nothing about marine navigation, Sunra pilots and      Until then, you will ever be a slave.
crews are used to transport their troops when
waterborne operations are deemed necessary. The             Physical Characteristics: 5-10‟-6‟4”, 120-180 lbs.
Sunra are the finest sailors in the known world, using      Skin covered with fine silvery scales, deep blue eyes.
astrolabes to navigate according to the position of
Talislanta‟s twin suns and seven moons, and are able to     Attributes:
read the currents and tides.                                INT +3                   STR 0            CR 0
                                                            PER +2          DEX 0             MR +5
Commerce                                                    WIL +1          CON 0             HP 19
Sunra sea farmers and fishermen supply much of the          CHA +1          SPD 0*
Empire‟s foodstuffs. Their mariners pilot the great
barges that ply the River Shan from Tian to the Inland      Special    Abilities:     Semi-aquatic;    can   breath
Sea, conveying shipments of goods across the Empire         underwater for up to twenty-four hours; can survive out
and beyond, to distant ports such as Tarun, in Faradun.     of water for indefinite periods without discomfort; SPD
However, no Sunra ship is ever allowed to sail beyond       +4 underwater.
the Inland Sea unless escorted by a sizeable contingent
of Kang guards.                                             Skills:
                                                            Elemental Magic (Aquamancy)
Worldview                                                            (Six Modes of choice) +4
                                                            Pilot (Dragon barque) +5        Artisan +2
The Sunra serve the Kang not out of loyalty, but
                                                            Cartography +4                  Artificer +2
because they fear that if they did not, their oppressors
                                                            Astromancy +4                   Song +3
would dam the River Shan, causing the Inland Sea to
                                                            Doctrines +4                    Swim +9
go dry. It is no secret that the Sunra yearn to swim
                                                            Healer +4                       Quan, native
free, as they did in ancient times. Given the
                                                            Agriculture +1                  High Talislan, fluent
opportunity, some believe that the Sunra might rebel
against the Kang. The Kang know this, and have
                                                            Equipment: Robes and headband of Mandalan
attempted to placate the Sunra to some extent by
                                                            silkcloth, sandals, boots of rainbow kra hide, astrolabe,
allowing them a greater degree of autonomy than they
                                                            spell book, kra scrimshaw case for sea charts and
had under the Quan. So far, these measures have
                                                            scrolls, quill pens, crystal vial of sepia ink, pouch for
served to maintain order, but some wonder for how
                                                            herbs.
long.
                                                            Wealth: None, if enslaved; escaped Aquamancers may
Sunra Aquamancer
                                                            have fled with 50 gold lumens in precious stones.
Homeland: The Kang Empire
                                                            Sunra Mariner
“I understand that you may be wary of traveling so far
                                                            Homeland: The Kang Empire
from the sight of land. Yet you have nothing about
which to worry, as you are in my learned hands.”            Your dreams are of the ocean. Aboard a dragon barque,
                                                            free of soldiers and swords, headed towards the rising
For three days during the Septenarial Concordance,          suns. For now, it is just a fantasy. The Kang are easily
Isalis is entirely under water. The high tides submerge     provoked, and they would not hesitate to damn the
the Coral City regularly throughout the year, driving the   River Shan, choking your Mother Sea. You owe to Her
Kang toward their shoreline settlements for precious        your lives and your culture, and you will not abandon
hours. Yet these three days in Zar are a time of            Her to a slow and cruel death. Some small freedoms
celebration and contemplation for your people, a            are left to you. At home within the walls of Isalis, you
symbolic reminder of your hope for freedom and of the       live by the laws and manners of your ancestors. On
reality of occupation. Among the Sunra, the                 board your ship, the Kang show their ignorance and
Aquamancers are accorded grave respect. To your             defer to you. Yet this empire degrades you by its very
people you are seers, as well as healers and navigators.    existence. Someday, it will crumble into the waters. You
In the eyes of the Kang, you are potential leaders of       wait for that tide to rise.
rebellion, and they subject you to small humiliations. In
the lands of foreigners, you are curiosities and            Physical Characteristics: 5-10‟-6‟4”, 120-180 lbs.
refugees, objects of pity as much as potent scholars        Skin covered with fine silvery scales, deep blue eyes.
and mages. They find you somber and withdrawn,
pained by your separation from your people and from
                                                            Attributes:
your home. You value the soothing eddies of the Inland
                                                            INT +1                   STR +1           CR +3
Sea, the Mother of Life; the delicate songs of the
                                                            PER +2          DEX +1            MR +1
Moonfish, your ancestors‟ spirits; the pastel coral
                                                            WIL 0           CON 0             HP 20
buildings and twisting canals where you swam as an
                                                            CHA 0           SPD 0*
eft. Above all else, you wish to stand upon the prow of
Special    Abilities:     Semi-aquatic;    can   breath      They are paid a nominal wage, but are often treated
underwater for up to twenty-four hours; can survive out      like slaves.
of water for indefinite periods without discomfort; SPD
+4 underwater.                                               Vajra regard their entire race as a single family; the
                                                             propagation and protection of the species are vital
Skills:                                                      concerns to these folk. Vajra males court the females,
Spear +2                        Agriculture +2               who may mate with as many males as they please. In
Dagger +2                       Artisan +2                   Vajra society the ability to have many offspring is
Pilot (Dragon barque) +5        Artificer +2                 highly valued. Females give birth to a clutch of up to
Cartography +4                  Song +3                      four fetal young, each resembling a scaled impling
Astromancy +1                   Swim +9                      enclosed in a translucent but durable egg-sac filled with
Healer +1                       Quan, native                 nutrient fluids. The young remain enclosed within their
                                                             egg-sacs for a full year, slowly growing and developing
Equipment: Robes, tunic, and headband of Mandalan            into young adults. During this period of so-called
silkcloth, sandals, boots of rainbow kra hide, astrolabe,    “hibernation” the Vajra young are extremely vulnerable.
spear, dagger, kra scrimshaw case for sea charts and         At the end of the year the hatchlings claw their way out
scrolls, quill pens, crystal vial of sepia ink.              of the sac, emerging as fully developed, “young adults.”

Wealth: None, if enslaved; escaped Sunra may have            Customs
fled with 40 gold lumens.                                    Vajra are normally quiet and introspective by nature;
                                                             “as solid and enduring as stone,” as they say. Stoic and
                                                             exceedingly durable creatures, they can tolerate
THE VAJRA
                                                             considerable physical and emotional stress without
The Vajra are short and squat, with barrel-like torsos
                                                             complaint or apparent ill effect. However, there is
and heavy limbs. Their bodies are covered with
                                                             another side to the Vajra psyche that is rarely seen by
overlapping orange-brown plates, which form an
                                                             outsiders, called the Dark Fire (see The Dark Fire).
effective natural armor. They dress in loinclouts and
wide belts, donning cloaks for ceremonial occasions.
Their tough, scaled hide renders them impervious to
                                                             Government
cuts and abrasions, and serves as a natural form of          Prior to their subjugation the Vajra were ruled by a
armor.                                                       matriarchy, with each hive-settlement governed by a
                                                             Queen. The Quan prohibited the appointment of
                                                             Queens, a policy that the Kang continue to the present
Ancestry
                                                             day. Even so, females continue to hold great influence
The ancestors of the Vajra once dwelled beneath the
                                                             among their people, and their advice is sought
Opal Mountains and Vajran Hills, in the northern part of
                                                             whenever important decisions must be made.
what is now the Kang Empire. They were originally
subjugated by the Quan, who captured a large clutch of
hibernating Vajra young and threatened to kill them
                                                             Magic & Religion
unless the adults surrendered. Fearing that their            Vajra revere the earth goddess, Terra, whom they
species might be driven to extinction should such a          regard as the Great Elemental that dwells within the
catastrophe occur, the Vajra acceded to the Quan‟s           world of Archaeus. Prior to the subjugation of their
demands. Following the Silent Insurrection of 611, the       people, Vajra would gather together in great numbers
Vajra became subjects of the Kang.                           and offer prayers to their goddess. Now, such practices
                                                             are forbidden by the Kang. Even so, Vajra priestesses
                                                             are said to still hold services in secret underground
Society                                                      shrines. Vajra bury their dead deep in the earth, their
The Vajra once lived in subterranean settlements that        ancestral home.
resembled intricate tunnel-mazes, designed, excavated,
and polished with meticulous attention to detail. The
                                                             The Arts
passageways and caves were illuminated by globular
                                                             Vajra excel at all manner of earthen and stonework
masses of phosphorescent fungi, suspended from the
                                                             construction, engineering, and excavation. While most
ceilings. These settlements resembled underground
                                                             of their work is intended to be functional in nature,
hives, with separate chambers for the hibernating Vajra
                                                             many Vajra stone-carvings have a definite aesthetic
young, the Queen, the workers, and the soldiers. The
                                                             appeal as well. Vajra appear to have no musical
population subsisted on a simple diet of mosses, lichen,
                                                             tradition.
and mineral-rich water from underground streams,
springs, and lakes.
                                                             Language
Since their subjugation, the Vajra have been forced to       The Vajra speak a dialect of the Quan tongue, and have
live in tunnel-complexes built into large mounds and         deep, resonant voices. Common names usually have
hillocks. In order to ensure the loyalty of their workers,   three syllables and begin with the prefix, “Vaj”
the Kang hold hibernating Vajra young captive in locked      (meaning “of the Vajra”), as in Vaj-Do-Rahn,
iron vaults until they have hatched. The Kang employ         Vaj-Nan-Sa, and Vaj-Kron-Do.
Vajra engineers as miners, road workers, and builders.
Defenses                                                    “Our labor is the hand of Terra. May it break the chains
Vajra once built impressive underground fortifications      that bind our children.”
that were manned by well-armed contingents of male
soldiers. Such defenses are no longer permitted under       You awoke from forty years of hibernation to a life of
Kang rule. Instead, Vajra camps are guarded by              slavery. The caretaker hummed to you, too low for the
contingents of Kang.                                        Kang guards to hear, and held you gently to ease your
                                                            shaking. In the language that her voice had taught to
Commerce                                                    your sleeping mind, you thanked her for her love and
                                                            her labor. Then you asked her what all Vajra ask:
Vajra once used precious and semi-precious stones as
                                                            “What will become of us?” She answered as she always
currency. The Quan robbed them of their wealth, and
                                                            had: “As Terra wills.” And as they had always done, the
ever since Vajra have been forced to use the Empire‟s
                                                            Kang knocked her to the ground for invoking the
currency.
                                                            forbidden name of your Goddess. She rose to her feet,
                                                            slowly, the Dark Fire controlled within, and brought you
Worldview                                                   forth through the caverns of Karang to be introduced to
The Vajra have no relations with other nations. They
                                                            your people. Wherever you have toiled in the years
are on good terms with the Mandalans and Sunra,
                                                            since, your thoughts have returned to the burrows
though formal relations with other subjects of the
                                                            where the Kang hold your future hostage. The precious
Empire are forbidden. Vajra still bear much resentment
                                                            minerals you have mined for them, the roads and cities
for the Quan, though they now regard their former
                                                            you have designed and constructed for them, the wars
masters with something approaching pity.
                                                            you have helped to fight for them - all were completed
                                                            with efficient skill and without complaint, for they were
The Dark Fire                                               necessary to keep your children alive. One day, through
Vajra culture is rooted deep in the elemental earth of      your efforts, by Terra‟s will, you will return to the
Talislanta. Like stone, Vajra strive to be placid,          Vajran Hills. There, emergent Vajra and caretakers will
enduring, strong, resolute. Like earth and soil they        share that same conversation, but they will do so
strive to be fruitful and nurturing, providing a medium     standing strong and standing free.
for growth and new life. But there is another side to the
Vajra, about which little is known. For deep in the         Physical Characteristics: 4‟8”-5‟4”, 140-200 lbs.
subterranean realms of their homeland, where the light      Bodies covered with overlapping orange-brown plates,
of the twin suns never penetrates, is a place of            squat, barrel-like torso, heavy limbs.
perpetual night and burning, smoldering magma. This is
the Dark Fire, a molten heart of darkness that exists       Attributes:
not only at the center of the world, but also in the soul   INT +1                 STR +3           CR +3
of every Vajra.                                             PER -1*         DEX +1        MR 0
                                                            WIL +2          CON +4        HP 28
In Vajra culture, the Dark Fire is neither good nor evil.   CHA -1                 SPD -2
It simply exists, as do all things in nature. Vajra keep
the Dark Fire deep within in them; they say that it         Special Abilities: Plated skin equals three points of
warms their hearts, illuminates their souls, and            armor; burrow in ground (one foot per round);
prevents them from losing their way in the darkness.        nearsighted, but keen hearing at PER +4.
Under normal conditions the Dark Fire is always hidden
and kept under control. However, if subjected to            Skills:
prolonged periods of severe stress or torment a Vajra       Iron Spear +3           Artisan +6
may lose the ability to control what lies within. Like a    Engineer +8             Miner +8
volcano, he or she may erupt in a frightening display of    Geography +7            Quan, native dialect
violence and destructive force: clawing through stone,      Artificer +6
breaking free of the strongest restraints, exhibiting an
almost elemental power. During such times a Vajra may       Equipment: Loincloth, wide belt for tools, cloak (for
kill or destroy without remorse, perform feats of           ceremonial occasions), iron spear, shoulder pack.
incredible strength, or suffer grievous wounds and
injuries without apparent effect. The Dark Fire lasts but   Wealth: None, if enslaved; escaped Vajra may have
a few moments, and often less than this. Once it is over    fled with 40 gold lumens in precious stones and metals.
the Vajra‟s energy is spent and he or she will lapse into
unconsciousness. Death usually follows soon afterward,      Vajra Priestess of Terra
for once the Fire is extinguished, so too is the Vajra‟s
life force.                                                 Homeland: The Kang Empire

                                                            “Terra is a patient mother, but her rage knows no limits
Vajra Engineer                                              at the abuse of Her children.”
Homeland: The Kang Empire
                                                            Terra is as deep and nurturing as the earth which
                                                            surrounds her as she sits at the heart of the world, but
                                                            magma runs like fire in her veins, just as the Dark Fire
runs deep within your soul. You are Her representative      escaped into the Wilderlands,       where    they   have
among the family of Her children, but the Kang              remained ever since.
Overlords have outlawed your faith. Even so, you defy
their restrictions, for although you appear to acquiesce    Society
and serve the red-skinned fools, you owe allegiance to      Araq roam the wilderlands in small war-bands, preying
none save Terra Herself. In the darkest depths of the       upon all creatures that cross their path. They have
underearth; deep in the bowels of earth and stone, you      hunted the land dragon almost to the point of
gather near the fiery light and scorching heat of Terra‟s   extinction, utilizing the horn, bones, and hide of these
blood, leading your people in the ancient services. Your    massive creatures to make their weapons and
skills can heal the physical wounds of your family, and     equipment. Araq mate in order to procreate, but have
soothe the emotional ones, but you know that the Dark       no concept of “love”, “family”, or “affection”. Araq
Fire cannot be denied forever. You plan for the day         females lay a clutch of eggs, bury them in the soil, and
when the Dark Fire will be unleashed, and the Kang          depart the area without a second thought. Upon
crushed; reduced to ashes that will nourish nothing, but    hatching, the creatures must fend for themselves. Araq
for now you work under the watchful eye of the Kang         young grow quickly, and within a month are sufficiently
and bide your time, for the earth itself has endless        developed to pass for young adults. At this time they
patience.                                                   will either latch onto an established Araq band or gather
                                                            together with other young adults to form their own
Physical Characteristics: 4‟8”-5‟4”, 140-200 lbs.           band.
Bodies covered with overlapping orange-brown plates,
squat, barrel-like torso, heavy limbs.                      Araq require little food or water to sustain themselves,
                                                            and can survive for up to six weeks without food or
Attributes:
                                                            water. Their scaly brown hide renders them immune to
INT +2                 STR +2       CR +2
                                                            the effects of Talislanta‟s twin suns, and their dorsal
PER -1*         DEX +1        MR +1
                                                            membranes act as effective regulators of body
WIL +3          CON +4        HP 28
                                                            temperature.
CHA 0           SPD -2

Special Abilities: Plated skin equals three points of       Customs
armor; burrow in ground (one foot per round);               A sorcerous hybrid of sauran and humanoid, Araq
near-sighted, but keen hearing at PER +4.                   display the worst traits of both these races. They are
                                                            extremely aggressive, and have a taste for humanoid
Skills:                                                     flesh. From the races of men, the Araq have inherited
Elemental Magic – Geomancy      Artisan +6                  greed, lust, dishonesty, and a propensity towards fits of
     Three Modes of choice +3            Miner +6           unconscionable and murderous behavior. Araq are
Doctrines - Terra +4            Engineer +6                 aware that they are not natural lifeforms, and despise
Iron Spear +1                   Artificer +4                themselves as much as they do other creatures. This
Geography +7                    Quan, native dialect        self-hatred may be at the root of the highly aggressive
Healer +4                                                   and violent behavior exhibited by the species. Only
                                                            through conscious effort are Araq able to restrain their
Equipment: Loincloth, wide belt for tools, necklace of      murderous impulses.
polished stones plus robe of soft brown moss-felt under
vestments made from disks of hammered iron and              Government
copper (PR: 4) for ceremonial occasions, iron spear,        Araq recognize no authority and have no leaders. Bands
shoulder pack.                                              tend to be loosely organized at best; individuals come
                                                            and go as they please. Arguments and violent
Wealth: None, if enslaved; escaped Vajra may have           exchanges among members of the same band are
fled with 40 gold lumens in precious stones and metals.     common, and murder is not given a second thought.

THE WILDERLANDS OF ZARAN                                    Magic & Religion
                                                            Araq are atheists. They despise magic, which they
THE ARAQ                                                    blame for their creation, and bear a special hatred for
Araq are reptilian humanoids whose features resemble        spell casters of all sorts. Araq eat their dead, just as
those of a serpent. They have a dorsal crest that runs      they will eat most anything else.
from the peak of the forehead back to the base of the
neck. Araq have scaly brown hide, and dress in arm          The Arts
wrappings, boots, and loincloths of land dragon hide.       Araq have no interest in art, and in fact seem oblivious
                                                            to the concept of beauty. They shun all goods and
Ancestry                                                    weapons produced by other peoples, considering such
Araq are a hybrid of humanoid and Sauran created long       devices to be tainted. Young Araq appear to learn how
ago by an Archaen sorcerer, whose name has since            to create weapons, dragon traps, and implements by
been forgotten. Turning upon their creator, the Araq        observing other Araq, though these activities may also
                                                            be rooted in instinctive behaviors bred into the species.
                                                            that they have taken to hunting and killing entire bands
Language                                                    of Araq.
Araq converse in a mixture of Talislan and Sauran. They
are not named by their parents, whom they never             Araq Warrior
know. They rarely assign proper names among
themselves, usually differentiate only between “me”         Homeland: The Wastelands
and “you,” “us and them,” or “mine” and “yours.” If
more specific information is required they may point        Your people are not natural. This you know. The
(“You!”) or use descriptions such as “Man with hair like    thought is always in your head. Like the need to kill, it
rotten wood,” “Jaka who smells vile,” and so on.            never goes away. You despise other creatures, more
                                                            even than you despise yourself. They must die so you
Defenses                                                    can eat. That is why the old ones with magic made you,
The Araq prey upon anything that lives, including crag      to kill other creatures, and to eat. Maybe that is why
spiders, vermin, and travelers who venture too near         your people killed them. You cannot know. That thought
their domains. Their wars with certain of the Sauran        is not in your head. It does not matter. You hate them
tribes of the neighboring Volcanic Hills region have at     all, especially the ones with magic. They are like the old
least served the useful purpose of keeping the              ones who made you. Who made you not natural.
population of both races in check Araq are instinctively
territorial; bands seem to arbitrarily designate a region   Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟6”, 130-230 lbs. Scaly,
as “theirs”, and attack all other creatures that trespass   light brown hide, dorsal membrane from forehead to
into these places. When a band can no longer find           base of neck, serpent-like features.
sufficient food in one region it simply moves to another.
                                                            Attributes:
                                                            INT -2          STR +2       CR +5
Commerce                                                    PER 0           DEX +2       MR -3
Araq take what they want by force, and make much as
                                                            WIL 0           CON +7       HP 24
they require for themselves. They do not trade with
                                                            CHA -3                 SPD 0
other bands or peoples; they raid them.
                                                            Special Abilities: Hide provides PR 1; survive for up to
Worldview                                                   six weeks without food or water.
Araq mark all other creatures as hated foes. They have
no relations with other peoples, and are widely despised    Skills:
by most Talislantans.                                       Spear +3                Tracking +4
                                                            Mace +3                 Stealth +2
Trapping Land Dragons                                       Dagger +2               Weaponer +1
The decrease in the land dragon population can be           Shield +2               Ride +2
attributed to a single cause: the Araq. Ranging             Mounted Combat +2       Talislan/Sauran, native dialect
throughout the northern regions of the Volcanic Hills,
bands of Araq scour the lava flows for land dragon          Equipment: Arm wrappings, boots, loincloth, and
eggs, which they destroy and devour. They hunt              shield of land dragon hide, saw-edged dagger, spear,
immature newts, and set immense traps in areas where        and mace of dragon bone, shoulder pouch, duadir steed
the mature adults come to graze on wireweed and             with baggage.
sedge. These devices are equipped with scything blades
and poisoned spikes, and are designed to maim their         Wealth: None.
victims. Once a land dragon has been injured, Araq
hunting parties will pursue and harass the giant            THE ARBORIN
creature until it is exhausted and can no longer defend     Tall and narrow of build, Arborin have wiry frames
itself. Then they set upon the victim in numbers,           covered in rough, bark-like skin, and faces that
stripping their prey of its horn, claws, bone, and hide.    resemble strange elongated masks from which small
The dragon‟s soft inner parts are consumed; the rest is     green eyes peer. Their limbs are like the gnarled
often left to rot.                                          branches of trees, and those veins that are visible look
                                                            like thin green tendrils. Arborin wear no garments or
The wanton hunting of eggs, newts, and adults has           ornamentation.
reduced the land dragon population to such an extent
that it has impacted on the local environment. The
most evident effect has been an increase in the number
                                                            Ancestry
                                                            Naturalists have postulated that the Arborin are related
of Raknid colonies throughout the region (land dragons
                                                            to the Verdir, or possibly even the Mandragore.
normally help keep the Raknid population in check by
digging up the insectoids‟ nests and feeding upon their
larvae). The Sauran tribes, who use trained land            Society
dragons as beasts of burden and in combat, are so           Arborin tribes make no dwellings of any kind, sleeping
concerned that the land dragon may become extinct           and resting amid the trees, where they are well
                                                            camouflaged. Respecting little save individual strength,
Arborin males constantly vie with each other for the         from the treetops of their borders in nets of woven
rights to choose the best females with which to mate,        vines. These unfortunate individuals are left to hang
the best branches on which to sleep, and the best share      until they die and rot, as a warning to others who would
of the stumpwater and humus on which they live.              trespass. Arborin are master ambushers, following
Tool-making within Arborin society is primitive at best,     targets by moving stealthily through the forest canopy,
focusing around the weaving of vines to create nets and      using their natural camouflage, and ability to remain
ropes, as well as the creation of crude blowpipes and        motionless for hours, to allay any suspicions. The
containers for soporific plant toxins and foodstuffs.        Arborin then drop nets on the victims before firing a
These plant-folk reproduce in a manner that combines         volley of toxin-laden darts, and dropping down to club
humanoid and plant activity. The female is penetrated        the drugged interlopers. If faced with powerful
by the male‟s pollen-bearing stamen, permitting              opposition, the Arborin will flee, only to continually
fertilization. A single young Arborin then gradually         plague the intruders by sniping at them, and disturbing
grows like a shoot from the mother‟s back, reaching          them at every possible opportunity. Given their
two foot in length after two weeks, and sprouting its        proficiency at dwelling amid the forest canopy, the
arms and head at this juncture. At this point it is ripped   Arborin themselves are beyond the reach of most
off the female‟s back and placed on a tree limb into         predators, with the exception of other Arborin, although
which it grows roots and feeds, growing and developing       they still fear the horrific Ravant, and consider fire a
for a further three weeks, at the end of which it uproots    terrible bane.
itself, a fully formed Arborin sapling.
                                                             Commerce
Customs                                                      The Arborin make no use of currency or barter, relying
Aggressive gatherers and raiders, Arborin tribes war         on strength to take what they want.
with each other incessantly to increase the size of their
territories. Raids on their peaceful Verdir neighbors are    Worldview
also frequent, female Verdir being born away for sport,      Disdainful of all outsiders, and rival tribes, the Arborin
along with the potent hallucinogen sashesh, for which        have no dealings with the outside world, and prefer it
many Arborin have developed a taste. Beyond                  that way. Outsiders and rival Arborin are vigilantly
gathering food, fighting other Arborin tribes, and           guarded against, and the tribe‟s territorial boundaries
raiding the Verdir, Arborin tribesmen spend the rest of      are vigorously watched. The only non-Arborin these
their waking hours patrolling their territory and fighting   plant-folk have any regular contact with are the Verdir,
among themselves.                                            who are the victims of many Arborin raids.

Magic & Religion                                             Arborin Tribesman
Arborin have no belief in a higher divinity, nor do they
practice any form of spiritualism. Indeed, they find such    Homeland: The Aberrant Forest
notions irritating, and consider themselves superior to
all other lifeforms, and consider the Kagan to be            The forest is your territory and only fools do not
nothing more than a myth. Their dead are merely left         recognize you as one of its masters. You have fought
where they fall, and the Arborin evince no sorrow over       for everything, making you strong and giving you the
the loss of fellow tribe members.                            right to claim the woodland. You have quarreled with
                                                             your brothers and beat them to win the best shares of
The Arts                                                     stumpwater and humus, besting others in combat for
The Arborin have no time for, or appreciation of, the        the right to take your pleasure with any females.
arts, and what crafts they do practice are crudely           Others have not done this, so they are weak and have
utilitarian and practical. Language Arborin speak the        no rights, allowing you to raid and attack them freely
secret language of plants, and have no use for names.        when they enter your realm, hanging them in nets as a
                                                             sign to others that you are the master and this is your
Government                                                   land. The Verdir are among the weakest of the
Such leadership as exists within Arborin tribes is based     non-Arborin, so you raid them regularly, stealing the
purely on strength, with the Arborin most able to bully      drug that awakens the spirit, and bearing away their
and physically beat the other tribe members, acting as       females for sport. These rights you have earned.
the leader. Fights for dominance are common, although
these seldom result in death or permanent injury. All        Physical Characteristics: 6‟6”-7‟, 160-180 lbs.
Arborin disputes are settled through intimidation,           Gnarled bark-like skin with green tendril-like veins,
conflict, and bickering.                                     slender build, elongated mask-like face and head, green
                                                             eyes.
Defenses
                                                             Attributes:
Extremely territorial, all Arborin are able to use crude
                                                             INT -1          STR +1            CR +4
clubs, blowguns, and nets with some proficiency.
                                                             PER +1          DEX +2            MR 0
Despite their hatred of intruders into their domain, they
                                                             WIL 0           CON 0             HP 22
rarely kill opponents outright, preferring instead to
                                                             CHA -4                   SPD -1
surprise and overpower them, before hanging them
                                                                themselves, but quickly abandon them after mating. In
Special Abilities: Speak with plants, blend into                a single year an adult female commonly gives birth to
treetops (+10 to Stealth when immobile in woodlands),           two litters of two-to-eight “pups”, as many as half of
fibrous bark-like skin PR 3.                                    which may be deformed or still-born. The young receive
                                                                little in the way of affection or training, and quickly
Skills:                                                         learn that if they are to survive they must fend for
Club +4                  Herb Lore +3                           themselves. The old, sick, or infirm must do likewise, or
Blowgun +4               Survival +4                            be abandoned by the tribe.
Net +2                           Weaponer +2
Climbing +8              Language of Plants, native             Customs
Stealth +4                                                      Though fierce when encountered in numbers, Beastmen
                                                                have seldom been known for individual displays of
Equipment: Crude wooden club, wooden blowgun,                   courage. On the hunt, a pack of Beastmen may stalk
woven vine pouch of 20 thorn darts, small wooden jar            prey for hours, singling out the slowest or weakest
of soporific vegetable toxin resin, net of woven vines,         individuals in a group, herd, or pack. Once a target has
woven vine wrist bindings.                                      been chosen Beastmen pursue the victim relentlessly,
                                                                harrying the victim until he or she becomes too weak
Wealth: None; Arborin have no concept of barter or              from exhaustion to continue. Skilled trackers, Beastmen
currency.                                                       will never quit a blood trail. They sometimes set cruel
                                                                snares in the hope of trapping unwary creatures, and
THE BEASTMEN                                                    have been known to hunt men for sport when food is
Though they are essentially humanoid in form,                   plentiful (see Hunting Men).
Beastmen have many features that are more
reminiscent of creatures of the wild: coarse fur, fangs,        Government
pointed ears, and claws. They dress in crudely made             The leader of any Beastman pack will always be its
boots and loincloths of animal hide, augmented with             most dominant male member. Among the Beast-folk,
whatever items they can steal or scavenge from other            the strongest rule -- until they are deposed by younger,
peoples.                                                        stronger individuals. Packs sometimes band together
                                                                for raids, but such alliances are usually of short
Ancestry                                                        duration. The only law among these people is the law of
Beastmen are believed to be descended from the Wild             survival.
Races that once ranged throughout Talislanta before
the coming of the Archaens. More specifically, some             Magic & Religion
naturalists have theorized that Beastmen may be a               In ancient times the wild races were said to worship an
degenerate sub-species of Jaka. It is perhaps best not          entity known as the Beast-God. Some think that the
to say this to a Jaka, as the two races are not on              ancient Cult of the Beast may once again be on the
friendly terms.                                                 rise. The Beastmen know nothing of magic, which they
                                                                regard with awe.
Society
The Beastmen range the length and breadth of Golarin            Though Beastemen sometimes grieve over the loss of a
in heavily armed packs of from a half-dozen to several          mate or companion, they have no burial customs.
hundred individuals, preying upon caravans from the             Instead, the dead are left where they fall, to be eaten
Seven Kingdoms, Carantheum, and the Western Lands.              by wild animals.
The packs are nomadic, stopping only to rest or make
camp in the ruined cities that lie scattered across the         The Arts
plains. Some use the ruins as bases, from which they            Beastmen have no noticeable talent as craftsmen,
launch raids into the surrounding territories. Those who        artists, or musicians. Most regard such pursuits as a
live in the ruins never build or maintain these facilities,     waste of time better spent on the hunt.
but simply use whatever is at hand. Their lairs are
usually littered with shards of bone, scraps of rotten          Language
food, and other debris.                                         Beastmen converse in sign, and in a primitive version of
                                                                Low Talislan punctuated with growls, yelps, and howls.
Beastmen are quite unparticular with regard to their            Members of the Beastclans typically use fierce-sounding
eating habits, having an equal fondness for herd                battle names, such as Red Claw, Long Tusk, Running
beasts, carrion or luckless travelers. They find it difficult   Beast, Plains Stalker, Knife Hunter, etc. Beastman clans
to restrain their baser urges, and may break off                will either be named after their chieftains or the
whatever they are doing in order to feast on fallen             territories that they claim as their own.
opponents, carrion, or other types of food.

Beastmen mate as the urge strikes them, but do not
                                                                Defenses
                                                                Packs band together for defense, but have no
form lasting partnerships. Dominant males commonly
                                                                knowledge of military tactics. Their talent lies in
fight to obtain the most desirable females for
tracking, scouting, and laying ambushes against weaker
opponents.                                                     Beastman Plains Hunter

Commerce                                                       Homeland: The Plains of Golarin
Beastmen packs will sometimes barter for goods with
others of their kind, or with peoples of similar interests,    You hunt your prey, chasing them across the plains
such as the Za. Coins are used when available, but may         until they grow weak with exhaustion. Or maybe like
be treated as barter goods unless those involved in the        your brothers, you set snares to hobble their mounts,
transaction know the difference between various                or lay in wait to ambush them. No matter the method,
denominations.                                                 the hunt is good. It is the scent of blood that drives you
                                                               on, with the suns burning overhead. Sometimes you eat
Worldview                                                      your prey quickly, gorging yourself before other
                                                               predators come along to try to steal what you have
Beastmen usually have little loyalty even to their own
                                                               caught. Sometimes you toy with your victims first,
packs, but occasionally have dealings with other wild
                                                               making them scream and twitch. Often you take useful
races, such as the Za. Beastmen hate and fear the
                                                               things from the dead, trading them with hunters from
winged Gryphs of Tamaranth, who attack packs that
                                                               your pack or others. When the prey is plentiful all have
venture too close to their territories.
                                                               enough to eat, and the packs all prosper. The hunt
                                                               gives you pleasure. The hunt is good.
Hunting Men
Of all the sentient creatures who inhabitant the               Physical Characteristics: 5‟10-6‟2” Coarse brown fur,
Talislantan continent, only the race of Beastmen are           fangs, pointed ears, claws, bestial features.
known to hunt other humanoids for sport. The
techniques vary from one tribe to another. The favorite        Attributes:
method of the Plains Riders is to chase prey and bring it      INT -2          STR +2        CR +4
to ground. Mounted on darkmane steeds, the hunters             PER +2          DEX -1              MR -3
will follow their prey for miles: driving them onwards,        WIL -2          CON +1        HP 27
wounding and harassing them, but not killing or                CHA -2                 SPD +1
maiming them outright, as this would ruin the “sport”.
Finally, when the victims are too exhausted to continue,       Special Abilities: Thick hide provides PR 1; claws and
the hunters close in and finish them off with bows or          bite inflict DR 3 +STR, used on wounded opponents.
spears.
                                                               Skills:
The Long Manes prefer to attack from ambush. They              Spear +2                Tracking +3
are known to set up elaborate blinds, either in the tall       Bow +2                  Traps +2
grasses or in the low branches of densely foliated trees.      Dagger +1               Torture +4
Lures, such as a handful of gold or silver coins, are          Brawling +1             Ride +5
sometimes left to attract prey. Blinds may also be set in      Mounted Combat +1       Sign, native
the vicinity of a watering hole or ruined structure. Once      Stealth +6              Low Talislan, native dialect
the blind has been set, the hunters remain completely
still until their prey approaches within bow range. As         Equipment:     Animal-hide  boots  and   loincloth,
soon as the intended victims are within range, the             stone-tipped spear, short bow, twelve stone-tipped
hunters fire from hiding, then run forth to claim the          arrows, bone dagger, pouch for trap materials,
kills.                                                         darkmane steed.

The Red Fangs prefer trapping to hunting. A variety of         Wealth: 50 gold lumens in stolen valuables.
traps is used, ranging from the small but deadly
sickle-trap, which can maim a man or mount, to
covered death pits, deadfalls, snares, and so on. The          THE BODOR
pack will usually set a line of traps through regions          An amber-skinned people, the Bodor are short, round
commonly traveled by traders or travelers, spacing the         faced, and somewhat portly of build. Their choice of
devices at intervals of up to a hundred yards or so. A         costume is eccentric, and consists of a loose-fitting
few members of the clan will ride out to check the traps       smock, blousey pantaloons, chain-loop earrings and
once or twice a day, in order to collect whatever has          bracelets of lacquered metal.
been caught.
                                                               Ancestry
Beastmen who engage in hunting or trapping of this             The Bodor are descended from a race of neomorphs
sort seldom do so for food. Instead, it is the thrill of the   created by the ancient Archaens, but abandoned after
hunt, and the kill, which motivates them. The best and         The Great Disaster. Since that time their people have
most successful are known to exhibit their ghastly             had no permanent home, but have traveled throughout
trophies like big game hunters, mounting the heads of          Talislanta.
their victims on poles or hanging them from the saddles
of their darkmanes.
Society                                                     prospective employers, while the latter is employed
Bodor are musicians of consummate skill. Their people       when speaking to common folk. Among their own
travel in musical troupes of up to a dozen individuals,     people, Bodor converse by means of a musical
seldom staying in one place for any great length of         language called Bodorian, which requires no words to
time. A troupe will always have one or more wagons, in      convey meaning. Common Bodorian names includes
which they carry their young and all their possessions.     Boda, Salo, Dore, Mifa, Sola, and Tido.
Bodor are promiscuous during their early adulthood,
though couples usually settle down after marriage.          Defenses
Bodor parents are loving and attentive, singing their       Bodor possess little aptitude for combat. When they
children to sleep with beautiful lullabies. Children are    must travel through dangerous territories Bodor often
raised on the road; they study music under one or both      hire an armed escort of mercenaries to protect them.
of their parents, and practice their instruments for        These arrangements are often negotiated as part of the
hours each day. All Bodor possess the uncanny ability       troupe‟s performance contract, along with expenses for
known as sound-sight, which enables them to see             travel, food, and/or lodging.
sounds as a series of colors (see Soundsight & the Color
of Language).                                               Commerce
                                                            Bodor generally prefer to work for gold and silver
Customs                                                     lumens, though they may also accept such things as
Bodor tend to be quiet and soft spoken off stage, but       accommodations, meals, and travel arrangements in
are more animated when performing. They tend to be          exchange for their services. The troupe‟s Maestro takes
clannish, but can be outgoing when performing for           an additional percentage from each of the other
appreciative audiences. As Bodor have few other talents     performers to cover travel, lodging, and other
and are averse to manual labor, they are sometimes          expenses.
considered lazy by other Talislantans.
                                                            Worldview
Government                                                  Bodor are strict neutrals who have ties with no other
All Bodor troupes have a leader, or Maestro, who books      races or nations. Their traveling troupes can be
all   engagements,      makes      travel   arrangements,   encountered throughout the Wilderlands, and in such
purchases supplies, and contracts mercenary guards or       lands as Zandu, Faradun, the Seven Kingdoms,
guides as needed. The Maestro also conducts the             Carantheum, and the Kang Empire.
troupe in performance, a position requiring the most
refined sense of sound-sight of all the troupe. In          Soundsight & the Color of Language
musical terms, Bodorian Virtuosos, or master                “During the course of my travels through the
musicians, may command as much or even more                 Wilderlands it was my good fortune to spend some time
respect than a Maestro. Still, it is the Maestro who        in the company of a troupe of Bodor musicians. I found
resolves all disputes, most of which arise over differing   them to be a pleasant and easy-going folk who are
interpretations of the various musical pieces in the        partial to good food and drink, playing far into the
troupe‟s repertoire, or a clash of creative egos.           night, and sleeping late into the day. In short, we had
                                                            much in common, and so got along famously. While
Magic & Religion                                            with the troupe I learned much about the uncanny
Bodor believe in the entity called Creator, whom they       talent possessed by all Bodor, called soundsight. This
regard as an aural, rather than tangible, presence. They    ability allows Bodor to see sound as shapes and colors,
envision their patron deity as the first and greatest of    and is an integral part of their music and everyday
all magicians, who composed the music of the spheres.       lives.
When a Bodor dies, he or she is buried in a wordless
ceremony, while the remainder of the troupe plays a         According to the Bodor, all sound is comprised of color,
traditional funeral ode over the gravesite.                 intensity, shape, and texture. In musical terms, the use
                                                            of soundsight enables Bodor musicians to play with
The Arts                                                    perfect pitch, and in perfect time. Their visual
The Bodor are the most accomplished musicians in            connection with the music allows Bodor instrumentalists
Talislanta. Their favorite instruments include the          to develop superior tone, and to match or blend tonal
tambour, glass flute, glass bells, the intricate            colors with great accuracy and subtlety.
spiralhorn, and the four-man bellows-pipes. Bodorian
music is intricate and complex, and requires exceptional    From my traveling companions I also learned that
virtuosity. Bodor practice no other arts, though some       soundsight also has certain non-musical applications.
have a talent for making or repairing musical               Because language is primarily sound, it too can be seen
instruments.                                                by the Bodor, who claim that every language or dialect
                                                            has its own color and texture. All voices are likewise
Language                                                    unique, no two looking exactly alike. Simply by
                                                            watching an individual speak, Bodor can often
Most Bodor speak High and Low Talislan. The former is
                                                            determine what part of Talislanta the speaker is from,
used when negotiating contracts and engagements with
                                                            the speaker‟s emotional state, and even whether or not
the speaker is telling the truth. Bodor say that the most
colorful Talislantan languages are those spoken by the       Equipment: Loose-fitting smock, blousey pantaloons,
Thaecians, Sarista, the Zandir. The language of plants,      chain-loop earrings and bracelets of lacquered metal,
which is spoken by the Green Men, is said resemble a         three musical instruments of choice, traveler‟s satchel,
garden in bloom. Bodor especially favor the spell-songs      ledger, instrument repair kit, choice of weapon
of the Sawila, which they say are intricate, complex,        (typically staff or sling), aht-ra steed.
and beautiful beyond compare. Conversely, the least
colorful speech is that of the Aamanians, which the          Wealth: 40 gold lumens in assorted currencies.
Bodor say is bland and utterly devoid of interest.”
                                                             Bodor Enchanter
Bodor Musician
                                                             Homeland: None
Homeland: None
                                                             “As my people are fond of saying, „All sound is music
“All sound is music and light. See there, the subtle         and light‟, and for me all magic is music and light also”.
colors - it is the sound of the wind blowing across the
plains.”                                                     The similarities between the arts musical, and arts
                                                             arcane, are many, both requiring dedication and skill,
The Maestros taught you that the music comes first. It       both capable of producing great beauty. As your
is this that matters most to your people, and the only       troupe‟s enchanter, you have diligently studied both
thing that matters to your employers and your                arts, although you freely admit that what little lore you
audience. When you speak with outsiders, you converse        possess is narrowly focused, used to create entertaining
quietly, and watch carefully the sound of their voices.      panoplies of light, color and sound to accompany your
In the color and shape of their words, you read their        troupe‟s performances. With your subtle or vibrant
emotions and their honesty, useful for negotiating           illusions you can even produce music unlike anything an
contracts and other agreements. You enjoy the simple         instrument can produce, and you can even grant
life of the traveling troupe, and are most comfortable       ephemeral music permanency, creating the enchanted
around other Bodor; among them you can use your              musical charms beloved of your people and outsiders.
own beautiful language. Besides, without others of your      That your skill in illusion-craft can be used in defense is
clan,    you   can‟t    perform  on      the   four-player   gratifying, but it is not your forte, for above all other
bellows-pipes. Yet a part of you craves adventure, and       things, you are an artist.
you occasionally bring your tambour and glass flute to
join the company of outsiders. From the events in their      Physical Characteristics: 5‟-5‟6”, 180-240+ lbs.
lives, you compose music that will be their legacy and       Amber skin, round-faced, portly build, large pointed
yours. They train you in martial skills, but you find that   ears.
it‟s usually wise to remain unobtrusive. It‟s in calmer
moments that your skills are of value, and the outsiders     Attributes:
forgive you your limitations. When your bones begin to       INT +2                   STR -1           CR -1
ache, you will retire to start a family. Your clan will      PER +3          DEX +2            MR +3
carry your compositions across Talislanta. Only then will    WIL 0           CON 0             HP 20
you be noticed.                                              CHA +2          SPD -1

Physical Characteristics: 5‟-5‟6”, 180-240+ lbs.             Skills:
Amber skin, round-faced, portly build, large pointed         Wizardry                          Diplomacy +4
ears.                                                                 Illusion +4              Merchant +3
                                                                      Enchant +4               Bribe +2
Attributes:                                                  Arcane Lore +2                    Survival +2
INT +1                   STR –1                   CR 0       History +2                        Ride +2
PER +3          DEX +3            MR +1                      Cultures +2                       Bodorian, native
WIL 0           CON 0             HP 20                      Artificer - instruments +2        Low Talislan, fluent
CHA +2          SPD -1                                       Artificer - musical charms +2     High Talislan, fluent
                                                             Music +5                          Archaen, basic
Special Abilities: Bodorian Sound-Sight.
                                                             Equipment: Loose-fitting smock, blousey pantaloons,
Skills:                                                      chain-loop earrings and bracelets of lacquered metal,
Weapon <choice> +2                Cultures +2                leather-bound spellbook, two musical instruments of
Music +7                          History +2                 choice, three musical charms, traveler‟s satchel, ledger,
Diplomacy +6                      Survival +2                instrument repair kit, ahtra steed.
Merchant +5                       Ride +2
Bribe +3                          Bodorian, native           Wealth: 40 gold lumens in assorted currencies.
Evade +2                          Low Talislan, fluent
Artificer (Instruments) +4        High Talislan, fluent
                                                               of religion. They are skilled in Cryptomancy, a field of
THE CALLIDIANS                                                 magic that has numerous practical applications to these
Tall and frail in stature, the Callidians have skin a deep     folk. The passing of a Callidian is a most solemn event,
orange in hue. They dress in starched headdress and            and the funeral is attended by all members of the cabal.
robes of yellow linen, and walk with a slow and stately        The deceased is laid to rest along with his or her
gait.                                                          ancestors in an underground crypt located far beneath
                                                               the Library of Jalaad.
Ancestry
Callidians are direct descendents of a sect of                 The Arts
magician-scholars who once lived in the city of Jaalad.        The artforms, music, and crafts associated with ancient
They can trace their ancestry back over a thousand             cultures are specialties of many Callidians. However
years, to the time before The Great Disaster.                  their sect has no artistic or musical tradition of their
                                                               own, and probably never did.
Society
The Callidians are members of a cabal that has helped          Language
preserve and maintain the Library of Jalaad since the          Callidians possess the ability to comprehend and
time of the Great Disaster. They are the keepers of a          converse in almost all languages. They are experts at
purportedly vast archive of ancient lore, recorded on          analyzing and deciphering all types of written works,
stone and metal tablets, faded scrolls, texts, and             including ancient texts and charts. Common names
enchanted orbs. It is believed that perhaps as many as         have an archaic sound, such as Callidius, Cronus,
two hundred Callidians live in Jalaad, forming an insular      Galius, Hiberius, and Malius.
and largely self-sustaining community. Their people live
inside the Library, in quarters set aside expressly for        Defenses
their purposes. They are assisted by Monads, who tend          The Library at Jalaad is fortified with strong outer walls
the gardens where tubers and provender plant are               and massive iron gates, both of which are protected by
grown under ancient orbs of illumination.                      ancient wards and symbols of great power. The
                                                               Callidians deal sternly with looters and vandals, and
Callidians choose mates on the basis of wisdom and             possess magics and artifacts capable of repelling even
knowledge; in this society, the most studious and              the most hostile invaders. So effective are these
knowledgeable individuals are accorded the greatest            defenses that Jalaad has withstood the assaults of
respect. Children begin extensive education in                 bandits, vandals, and even hostile armies for many
linguistics and other fields of study by age three. After      centuries.
centuries upon centuries of inbreeding, the Callidian
people have grown wan. Alchemical infusions have long          Commerce
been required to prevent sterility, and also to extend         Shut within the Library, the Callidians have little contact
their lifespans.                                               with the outside world. They sometimes deal with
                                                               Orgovian traders, from whom they purchase certain
Customs                                                        rare herbs and mixtures. In return, the Callidians
Callidians are serious and studious by nature. They            translate writings or identify artifacts that the
prefer to spend their time reading, and are normally           Orgovians find unfamiliar. On rare occasions scholars
averse to frivolous behavior. Every Callidian specializes      from other lands come here to do research. Callidians
in least one field of knowledge, and may have                  require no payment for such services, which they view
familiarity with a number of minor fields, as well.            as an obligation to the people of Talislanta. However,
Though rich in wisdom and lore, Callidian society is           donations are gratefully accepted.
essentially stagnant, and has remained unchanged for
over a thousand years.                                         Worldview
                                                               The Callidians are neutral as regards all other peoples
Government                                                     and governments. Their archivists are available for
Callidian government is organized like a lyceum or             consultation, but only by permission, and only during
institute. At the head of their scholarly hierarchy is the     certain hours of the week. As visitors are not allowed to
Scholar Emeritus, followed by Sages and Sophistes of           stay overnight, this limits the opportunities for
varying degree. Disputes are adjudicated by debate;            extended study.
problems are examined intellectually, researched
thoroughly, and solutions devised based on precedence          Callidian Cryptomancer
and Callidian traditions. The Scholar Emeritus has the
final say in all such issues, though he or she will almost     Homeland: Jalaad of Zaran
never rule against precedence and tradition.
                                                               You can spend your entire life reading - a very long life,
Magic & Religion                                               extended by alchemical elixirs - and you will have only
Except as pertains to its role in history, foreign cultures,   absorbed a small portion of the ancient knowledge
and mythology, Callidians have little interest in matters      contained within the Library that you call home.
Nevertheless, that is your objective: to learn your
specialty in its entirety. Others may consider such a life   Danelek are monogamous, though marriage between
to be tedious or mundane. Some ask whether you               members of different castes is taboo. Unblooded
desire to “do things,” to be, you presume, physically        warriors cannot hope to marry, as no self-respecting
active. That has never been important to your sect.          Danelek female would wed one without caste status.
Some ask whether you desire to increase the body of          Danelek children are expected to work in the salt mines
knowledge in the world. That is a more relevant              or as gatherers as soon as they are old enough to walk.
question, yet the answer must be in the negative. You
will be satisfied to complete before you pass a proper       Customs
index for your specialty. The Library is vast enough as      The Danelek are a primitive people of harsh and
is.                                                          occasionally cruel habits. Travelers passing through the
                                                             Barrens may be amused by the fact that the Danelek
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟7”, 140-180 lbs. Deep         perspire through their tongues as well as their pores.
orange skin, large cranium, frail build.                     Showing such amusement is ill-advised, as the Danelek
                                                             do not take lightly to being ridiculed. Danelek warriors
Attributes:                                                  are protective of their tribe‟s territories, and will attack
INT +4                   STR 0           CR -2               small caravans or groups of travelers who stop to drink
PER +2          DEX -1                   MR +5               from their oases without permission. Stealth, ambush
WIL +3          CON -1           HP 20                       or a stab in the back is permissible under their code of
CHA 0           SPD -1                                       conduct.

Special Abilities: Can speak and understand any              Government
language.
                                                             Although of a single culture, the Danelek are sharply
                                                             divided into tribal units centered around hereditary
Skills:
                                                             family leaders known as the Naz. Each Naz is the
Cryptomancy                      Cartography +5
                                                             undisputed leader of his or her tribe; all others are
     Five Modes of choice +2     Arcane Lore +5
                                                             subservient. The Naz is guided by several traditional
Cryptography +6                  Linguistics (Reading) +6
                                                             beliefs held as indisputable by the Danelek: that their
Choice of Scholar Skill +6
                                                             people own the local salt flats and oases, and that the
                                                             Danelek are permitted to kill those who trespass into
Equipment: Starched headdress and robes of yellow
                                                             their territories or steal water.
linen, leather-bound spell book, magnifying crystal,
assorted reference works, satchel, pouch with quill pens
and inks, scroll case for writings.                          Magic & Religion
                                                             Danelek worship the Creator, who is said to have given
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in assorted currencies.               their people salt, spring rains, and the oases: the
                                                             necessities of survival in this harsh land. Danelek
                                                             shamans are skilled in the healing arts, and are said to
THE DANELEK                                                  have some small talent for divining the location of
The Danelek have glossy black skin, and stark white          water and salt crystals. However, few have actual
hair, which is worn in long dreadlocks. They dress in        spell-casting abilities. Danelek preserve the bodies of
loincloths and sandals, their warriors wearing               their dead with salt and bury them deep in underground
ornaments such as feathers, ear and neck rings, bones,       ossuariums.
stripes of paint, animal claws, and the fingers of slain
victims.
                                                             The Arts
                                                             Danelek warriors carve notches into the handles of their
Ancestry                                                     war-axes to represent the number of victims they have
Some say the Danelek are a lost tribe of Dracartans          killed; this is basically the extent of “art” among the
who passed through the Plaguelands en route to the           Danelek, most of whom are too hard-pressed by the
western Wilderlands, and were changed in mind and            demands of their environment to devote their energy to
body. Other says they are a mongrel race burned black        purely aesthetic pastimes. However, some tribes are
by the twin suns.                                            said to practice a form of ritual dance, eerie to
                                                             outsiders as the dancers perform in complete silence.
Society
The Danelek tribes roam the Barrens region of the            Language
Borderlands, hunting for land lizards and wild game.         Most Danelek are able to converse both in Low Talislan
They also mine the salt flats for rock-hard salt crystals,   and Sign. The nomenclature of the Danelek uses
which the tribes trade to other peoples. A Danelek tribe     three-syllable, hyphenated names that always end in
may consist of twenty-to-forty families; all living          the suffix, “Lek.” For example: Na-ta-Lek, Ka-na-Lek,
together in huts fashioned from blocks of salt. Danelek      Ma-na-Lek, and Ja-ma-Lek. The oral history of each
society is governed by a caste system, at the top of         Danelek tribe is kept by its Naz, who passes the stories
which are the Warriors. Shamans are next, followed by        down from one generation to the next.
Hunters and Traders.
Defenses                                                     and your people have learned well how to survive; the
Danelek villages have no fortifications. In the event of     rules by which you live have practical purpose.
an attack, gongs are sounded, alerting the tribe‟s           Outsiders may mock you, but you endure their
warriors of danger. Danelek are skilled at guerilla-type     ignorance, for there is much else to gain from them. In
tactics, and can survive in desert regions for extended      your years abroad, you have acted as scout and guide
periods without difficulty. They make excellent              through the Wilderlands. You have hunted beasts and
Wilderlands scouts and guides.                               men; your employers, like your tribe, do not care how
                                                             you achieve the kill. You have guarded towers and
Commerce                                                     caravans; each night, you lay in wait to ambush
                                                             intruders. The Naz has instructed you to return each
Because they live in such a barren land, Danelek are
                                                             year with honest merchants who wish to trade for salt
largely dependent on trade for food, goods, and modern
                                                             crystals. You bring sustenance to your tribe, and you
implements and weaponry. For these they trade land
                                                             gain as much status as if you had killed countless
and mangonel lizards herded from the salt flats, salt
                                                             trespassers, come unbidden to steal your tribe‟s water.
crystals, gemstones, and rock urchins gathered from
                                                             Some foreigners have attempted to learn your
caverns in the hills. Food, goods and weapons are also
                                                             etiquette, and among them are those you call friends.
acquired by theft or as spoils of combat. Among the
                                                             None are as practical as a Danelek, and they live by
Danelek tribes, salt crystals are also used as currency
                                                             ideals that your people cannot afford. When you kill
(see Salt of the Earth).
                                                             from the shadows to protect them, they will
                                                             understand.
Worldview
Danelek tend to prefer the company of their own kind,        Physical Characteristics: 5‟8”-6‟2”, 100-200 lbs.
and are generally distrustful of strangers. Their tribes     Glossy black skin, stark white hair worn in long
have trade relations with some of the Orgovians,             dreadlocks.
Djaffir, and even the Za, but rarely associate with other
folk. The Danelek practice of ambushing travelers who        Attributes:
stop at their oases has not endeared them to many            INT -1           STR +2       CR +4
other Talislantans.                                          PER +2           DEX +1       MR 0
                                                             WIL +1           CON +4       HP 24
Salt of the Earth                                            CHA -1                  SPD 0
Among the Danelek tribes of the Wilderness of Zaran,
salt is an important commodity. Blocks of salt are used      Skills:
in the construction of Danelek abodes. In powdered           War Flail +2             Miner (salt crystals) +4
form, salt is used to preserve durge and land lizard         War Axe +2               Artificer +4
meat. This protects the meat from spoiling, allowing the     Short Bow +2             Guard +4
tribes to store food for extended periods of time.           Dagger +3                Guide +5
                                                             Mounted Combat +2        Ride +4
Salt crystals, which the Danelek say are created when        Stealth +4               Low Talislan, native
black lightning strikes the salt flats, are used both as a   Tracking +3              Sign, native
form currency and as barter. Brilliant and durable as        Survival +4
gemstones, salt crystals are valued according to their
hardness and clarity. Danelek sometimes cut and polish       Equipment: Loincloth, brief halter (females), sandals,
their crystals in order to enhance their worth and           leg and arm wrappings of land lizard hide, various
beauty.                                                      ornaments from hunted quarry, war flail, war axe,
                                                             dagger, short bow, quiver with 20 arrows, shoulder
The importance of this substance is such that the            pouch, land lizard steed with supply bags.
Danelek zealously guard their salt mines from rival
tribes and outsiders. Clans have been known to go to         Wealth: 30 gold lumens in salt crystals, land lizard
war over disputes regarding the rights to a particularly     hides, and assorted currencies.
rich salt mine, and many an unsuspecting traveler has
been killed for daring to trespass through salt flats        Danelek Shaman
claimed by one or more of the local Danelek tribes.
                                                             Homeland: The Barrens
Danelek Hunter
                                                             “Lek provided us with the means to survive, but
Homeland: The Barrens                                        survival is still the task we must strive for, and like the
                                                             land kra that strikes from below, we must be just as
“You speak of honor. You can sustain such ideas, for         merciless in pursuit of this task.”
you are rich with water and food. In the Barrens,
survival is more important than ideas.”                      Lek, Giver-of-Life, provided you with the gifts of salt,
                                                             spring rains, and oases, but your land is till harsh, and
Among your tribe, everything has a structure to be           though    you    are   supplicant   to   Lek,     Za-Lek,
obeyed without question. Life in the Barrens is harsh,
Destroyer-of-Life, is ever-present. As a wiseman of the
Danelek, you are aware of the many great spirits, the       Society
totemic forms they often take, and you can see their        The Danuvians live in a walled city of brick, stone, and
workings in everything. You support and aid the Naz of      mortar. Their dwellings are spacious, with high ceilings
your tribe, healing the sick and divining the location of   and hides draped across their furnishings and floors.
water; a vital commodity provided by Lek, but provided      Danuvian society is divided along lines of gender.
sparingly. Irrespective of the totem you follow, it has     Females hold all positions of authority, while males
gifted you with the sense of survival possessed by all      serve a subservient role and are treated as inferiors.
creatures of the Barrens, and it is this sense that         Females may take as many husbands as they can
permits you to serve the tribe as a diviner. While you      support, and may divorce an unwanted mate at any
are no warrior, you are still a survivor, and you are       time. Female children are greatly favored; they inherit
proud that your talents are valued; your status             their mother‟s name and, by association, her status.
increasing with every tribe member you heal, or source      Women raise their daughters, and men raise their sons.
of water you find. You are ever respectful of Lek, your     The majority of Danuvian females are employed in
totem, and the other great spirits, and you know that       positions of influence in the military and government.
they understand the over-riding drive to survive, nor       Danuvian      males    are    house-cleaners,     artists,
will they ever judge you as lofty outsiders are wont to     horticulturists, weavers, and tailors. Though Danuvian
do.                                                         females can only procreate with males of their own
                                                            race, many actively seek males of other races, whom
Physical Characteristics: 5‟8”-6‟2”, 100-200 lbs.           they prefer as consorts. Thus many females will have at
Glossy black skin, stark white hair worn in long            least one Danuvian male to father her offspring, but
dreadlocks.                                                 also have several consorts of other races.

Attributes:                                                 Customs
INT 0           STR +1       CR +2
                                                            Lacking in any form of ambition, Danuvian males are
PER +2          DEX +1       MR +2
                                                            generally weak, docile, and subservient to the female
WIL +2          CON +3       HP 23
                                                            population. This is a tradition among Danuvian males,
CHA -1                 SPD 0
                                                            and there is no stigma associated with such behavior.
                                                            In fact, a male who exhibits aggressive behavior is
Skills:
                                                            considered “pushy” or disrespectful, and may be
Shamanism -
                                                            disciplined in order to keep him in his place. The
        Reveal +2
                                                            Conjugal Feast is a colorful pageant that is held in
        One Mode of choice (appropriate to totem) +2
                                                            Danuvia each year, on the 42nd of Drome. This event
Healer +4             Artificer +4
                                                            features a procession of males, each competing for the
Dagger +2             Ride +4
                                                            affection of the Danuvian queen. The top three
Stealth +2            Low Talislan, native
                                                            contestants are rewarded by being appointed to the
Tracking +2           Sign, native
                                                            queen‟s “harem” of male consorts. The Queen‟s
Survival +4
                                                            Ministers bid on the remaining eligible males (see The
                                                            Conjugal Feast).
Equipment: Loincloth, sandals, leg and arm wrappings
of land lizard hide, body paints, brass dagger, shoulder
pouch with herbs, land lizard steed with supply bags.
                                                            Government
                                                            Danuvia is ruled by a military gynecocracy, at the head
                                                            of which is the Queen. Her Highness is served by the
Wealth: 30 gold lumens in salt crystals and assorted
                                                            Danuvian Council, a group of twelve female advisors, or
currencies.
                                                            Ministers. Each is a general in the Danuvian military,
                                                            with her own area of expertise, such as Defense,
THE DANUVIANS                                               Requisitions, Engineering, and so on. The Minister of
Danuvian females are tall and bronze-skinned, with          Justice sits at the right hand of the Queen, and
strong features. They decorate their faces with bold        adjudicates all disputes. Individuals accused of criminal
pigments, dress in martial attire replete with iron torc    offenses are tried, and if found guilty are imprisoned in
and corslet, and wear their hair in a stiffly-lacquered     the city dungeons.
crest. Danuvian males tend to be smaller, physically
weaker, and somewhat paler of complexion. They dress        Magic & Religion
in robes and sandals, and arrange their hair in
                                                            The Danuvians have no formal religion, though they
elaborate coiffures.
                                                            express reverence for a war god similar in some ways
                                                            to Zoriah, the Kang‟s God of War. However, in the
Ancestry                                                    Danuvian interpretation, the god is called Danu, and is
Descendants of the ancient Phaedrans, the Danuvians         a female. Danuvian females are given a warrior‟s
were exiled from the Western Lands during the latter        funeral and buried with honor, along with their best
part of the Cult Wars. They settled in the eastern          weapons and ceremonial armor. Danuvian males are
Wilderlands and established the independent city-state      buried in wooden coffins, without great fanfare.
of Danuvia in the year 480.
The Arts                                                       table manners and overall conduct. When the last
In Danuvia, artistic pursuits are essentially the province     course has been consumed another fanfare is sounded,
of males, who practice such arts and crafts as poetry,         and the servants hurry to clear away the empty plates
painting, music, sculpture, dance, beading, and                and goblets. The Gynocrats confer briefly with their
weaving. Their works are seldom held in great regard           Queen; notations are tallied and compared. Then, at a
outside of Danuvia.                                            sign from the Queen, a herald blows a fanfare and
                                                               announces the names of the finalists. The Queen
Language                                                       presents the honorees with gold ribbons and certificates
                                                               of commendation, and the crowd showers them with
Females Danuvians converse primarily in Low Talislan.
                                                               handfuls of petals. Then, with much pomp and
Males speak High Talislan exclusively, in order to avoid
                                                               ceremony, a contingent of female guards whisks the
being accused of being too “aggressive.”
                                                               finalists from the hall and escorts them to private
                                                               suites, where each receives his reward - a personal
Defenses                                                       audience with the Queen or one of her Royal retinue.
Danuvia maintains a sizeable army of female archers,
lancers, and swordswomen. Their troops decorate their
faces with colored pigments, and ride greymanes into
                                                               Danuvian Virago
battle. The city-state is well-fortified against attack, and
                                                               Homeland: Danuvia
has sufficient supplies of food and water to resist a
determined force of invaders or a long siege.
                                                               “Come and get it, foolish male.”

Commerce                                                       Combat is grace and power. Your halberd is an
Danuvia‟s most saleable commodity is its mercenary             extension of your body as you weave your pattern in
army. They are considered among the most skilled               the air. A parry with your bracers flows into a slash of
fighters on the continent. Many mercenaries serve with         your blade. Your bristling mane makes you seem even
the Seven Kingdoms‟ Borderlands Legion; others work            taller than you are, and the symbols painted on your
in Hadj.                                                       face add to the fear you strike in his heart. Combat is
                                                               passion, directed and released. Your mother and drill
Worldview                                                      leader taught you this, as they taught you the need for
Danuvia is officially a neutral, independent state.            discipline and for tactics. Your seven years of Queen‟s
However, it clearly sides with the Seven Kingdoms on           service complete, you hold these lessons dear. A skilled
the issue of the Za tribes, and is sympathetic to              soldier never wants for employment. The Legion of the
Carantheum, an important trading partner. Danuvia is           Borderlands, the Hadjin, the merchant houses of
considered vital to the defense of the other independent       Kasmir and Ispasia, and the royal army of Zandu all vie
citystates, and to the Wilderlands territories in general.     for your services. Yet you covet adventure and victories
                                                               worthy of story and song, and you may resign a
The Conjugal Feast                                             mercenary post to seize such a chance. You are
The site of this annual festival is a great amphitheater       happiest along this road, with trusted comrades at your
decked out in colorful pennants and banners, with a            back. With them, you share all of the passions of life.
raised gallery situated at the far end. The lower levels       Strong warrior men are a welcome change from the
are allocated to the sallow-faced Danuvian males, who          feeble creatures with whom you must mate. Some
gather together in small groups to gossip or chat              year, perhaps, you will bid for them as consorts during
among themselves. The upper tiers are occupied by the          the Conjugal Feast, and they will sustain you through
Danuvian females; women of imposing size and mien.             motherhood and the burden of command. For now, you
Overlooking the assemblage are the Queen of Danuvia            enjoy the freedom of your youth, this freedom of
and her retinue, attired in ceremonial armor. When all         combat.
have settled into their proper places the Queen signals
the start of the festivities. A procession of male             Physical Characteristics: 6‟2”-6‟6”, 160-200 lbs.
contestants comes forth, each exhibiting some special          Bronze skin, black mane in lacquered crest or long and
talent: for Danuvian males, a song, expressive dance,          braided, strong features, face decorated with pigments.
or a recitation of poetry. Among foreign contestants,
displays of martial prowess and feats of strength are          Attributes:
popular. The members of the Gynecocracy grade each             INT 0          STR +3          CR +6
contestant on his virtues, appearance, and personal            PER 0          DEX +3          MR 0
qualities, making their notations in secret.                   WIL 0          CON +1          HP 26
                                                               CHA +1         SPD +2
After the presentations are finished, a banquet
commences. A host of male attendants come forth,               Skills:
attired only in scanty loincloths and sandals, to serve        Halberd +4                     Brawling +3
the male contestants. Throughout the course of the             Longsword +3                   Tactics +6
meal the contestants are closely watched by the Queen          Long Bow +3                    Command +3
and her retinue, who appraise each according to his            Parry Bracers +4               Guard +5
                                                               Dagger +3                      Ride +4
Mounted Combat +3               Low Talislan, native        shoulder pouch, long bow, two quivers with twenty
                                                            arrows each, longsword, dagger, earrings.
Equipment: Black iron corslet, torc, and parrying
bracers, padded uniform, hip-high leather boots,            Wealth: 100 gold lumens.
shoulder pouch, halberd, longsword, dagger, long bow,
quiver with twenty arrows, earrings, equs steed.            Danuvian Lancer
Wealth: 100 gold lumens.                                    Homeland: The City-State of Danuvia

Danuvian Archer                                             “To hear our jubilant cries of war as we charge like an
                                                            unstoppable wall of death, scattering our foes like dust
Homeland: The City-State of Danuvia                         in the hands of the wind, and to witness how lancer and
                                                            mount act as one inseparable whole, is to observe
“I can shoot the legs off a chig at 100 paces; I can just   grace and beauty beyond compare.”
as easily plant an arrow in that foolish mouth of yours
the next time you cross me.”                                Discipline and dedication are the keys to victory, for
                                                            only the truly disciplined and dedicated can hope to
The bow is a weapon of distinction, but the truest          achieve the almost supernatural rapport you have with
weapons are your calm hand, steady eye, and                 your mount; a rapport built with arduous training and
unwavering courage. You were proud to stand on the          tempered in the heat of war. You wield your lance with
field of battle with your sisters, unleashing the           the same natural grace, skill, and controlled passion
withering volleys of death that slew your enemies in        that mark all lancers, both on the field of battle, and off
droves. Other Danuvians, especially the pretentious         it - only when you charge into the fray, or indulge in
lancers, argue that the bow is a weak weapon; used to       the throws of passion, do you let your blood run free.
strike down opponents safely from a distance. They          At all other times you maintain a professional cool and
were never more incorrect. The archers are Danuvia‟s        sense of decorum, taking care to maintain your combat
first line of defense, and were it not for you and your     readiness, unlike the uncouth archers who eagerly
sister archers, they would be quickly overrun by            over-indulge in alcohol, and behave like crude louts.
superior numbers - they should thank you for ensuring       You feel most comfortable when with your faithful equs
that the opponents who survive to reach them are            steed, painting her with unique sigils, and braiding her
always reduced in number. Many foolish opponents            mane. Your sisterhood, a close-knit and companionable
assume that archers fall shy of brutal melee. They are      one, addresses each other in the elaborate High Talislan
laughably incorrect in this assumption - you are no         tongue, reflecting the poetry and superiority you feel in
mewling male who quails at the sight of blood, and          your hearts. Your service now complete, you feel it is
enemies have found to their cost that you are no            time for you to ride into the greater world.
stranger to the blade. Now, your seven years of service
are complete, but you still hold fast to the archers‟       Physical Characteristics: 6‟2”-6‟6”, 160-220lbs.
unofficial motto: „work hard, play hard‟, and you intend    Bronze skin, black mane in lacquered crest or long and
to do both in copious quantities. Foreign lands offer       braided, strong features, face decorated with crimson
excitement, adventure, and the possibility of men           pigments.
strong enough to be nearly your equal. You intend to
live your life like an arrow in flight: fast and direct.    Attributes:
                                                            INT 0           STR +3           CR +6
Physical Characteristics: 6‟2”-6‟6”, 160-220lbs.            PER 0           DEX +3           MR 0
Bronze skin, black mane in lacquered crest or long and      WIL 0           CON +1           HP 26
braided, strong features, face decorated with crimson       CHA +1          SPD +2
pigments.
                                                            Skills:
Attributes:                                                 Lance +4                Tactics +6
INT 0           STR +3          CR +6                       Longsword +3            Command +3
PER +1          DEX +3          MR 0                        Shield +3               Ride +6
WIL 0           CON +1          HP 26                       Parry Bracers +3        Animal Handler +3
CHA +1          SPD +2                                      Mounted Combat +4       Low Talislan, native
                                                            Brawling +2             High Talislan, fluent
Skills:
Long Bow +5             Tactics +6                          Equipment: Black iron corselet, torc and parrying
Longsword +2            Command +2                          bracers, padded uniform, hip-high leather boots,
Dagger +2               Guard +3                            shoulder pouch, lance, iron shield, longsword, earrings,
Parry Bracers +3        Low Talislan, native                equs steed.
Brawling +3
                                                            Wealth: 100 gold lumens.
Equipment: Black iron corselet, torc and parrying
bracers, padded uniform, hip-high leather boots,
Danuvian Nurse                                              dependent upon them for protection, to supply your
                                                            very thoughts and opinions. So your father taught you,
Homeland: The City-State of Danuvia                         the middling of five husbands. Your mother cast him
                                                            out of her house when you were twelve, and he
“Kindly return to your bed immediately Lieutenant           suffered until another soldier took him into her harem.
Danumae! You are much too sick to be wandering              He never did follow his own advice, and did not know
around, and I suggest you remove your hands this            when to hold his tongue. You have learned from his
instance, for I am under a vow of chastity!”                mistakes as well as his wisdom, and you live a
                                                            comfortable life. You take care of your wife‟s home,
In a city-state ruled by warriors, conflicts are common,    cook her meals, and entertain her with poetry and
and victory often relies on the recovery of the wounded.    music. And when she is so inclined, you share her bed.
Since you were a youngster in your mother‟s                 If she prefers the company of another consort you will
household, you knew you wanted to be more than a            not complain - that is simply the way of things. It is,
simple househusband like your father, and you realized      after all, a woman‟s world.
that the sight of blood did not make you quail as it did
most men. The urge to heal called strongly to you,          Physical Characteristics: 4‟8”-5‟6”, 90-150 lbs. Pale
balancing the warrior spirit of your sisters. When you      bronze skin, black mane, delicate features, hair worn in
were old enough you asked your mother for permission        elaborate coiffure.
to join the city-state‟s nursing school, and recognizing
the great service that the nurses performed for the         Attributes:
warriors of the nation, she gladly granted you              INT +1                   STR -2           CR -3
permission. You joined the brotherhood of nurses,           PER +1          DEX +2            MR 0
gladly taking the vow of chastity and living quietly        WIL -2          CON -1            HP 18
within the walls of the hospital itself, working hard to    CHA +2          SPD +1
learn the medical skills that would earn you the right to
wear the red robe of a qualified nurse. When at last you    Skill:
cast aside the white robes of the novitiate, and could      Artificer +4                      Music +2
walk the halls clad in scarlet, tending the sick, you       Agriculture +4                    Oratory +2
knew your dream had been realized and that you were         Laborer (Cleaning) +2             Fashion +4
something better than those who live their lives in         Art +2                            Etiquette +4
service to their wife. You serve the nation as do the       Dance +2                          High Talislan, native
women, and they respect you for it.
                                                            Equipment: Decorated robes, sandals, jewelry,
Physical Characteristics: 4‟8”-5‟6”, 90-150lbs. Pale        assorted tools and materials for house cleaning,
bronze skin, tightly bound black mane, delicate             agriculture, weaving, tailoring, and art.
features.
                                                            Wealth: 50 gold lumens, primarily given by wife or
Attributes:                                                 mother.
INT +1                   STR -2           CR -3
PER +1          DEX +2            MR 0                      THE FERRAN
WIL -1          CON -1            HP 18                     Ferrans are rodent-faced humanoids of short stature.
CHA +2          SPD +1                                      Their bodies are covered with a coat of dirty brown fur,
                                                            and they dress in scavenged bits of clothing and gear.
Skills:
Healer +6                                                   Ancestry
Etiquette +4                                                Ferrans are believed to be descended from the Jaka or
Choice of Two Skills from Art, Artificer, Music, or Song    Beastmen. During The Great Disaster, their ancestors
at +2                                                       hid in underground tunnels and burrows in order to
High Talislan, native                                       avoid the destruction. Eventually, they adapted to their
                                                            subterranean surroundings, smaller and more agile
Equipment: Red robes, sandals, belt pouch with clean        forms being best suited to movement underground.
bandages, needles, thread, scissors, small bottle of
astringent, etc. Appropriate craft tools, art tools, or     Society
musical instrument for use during off-duty hours.
                                                            Ferrans live in underground warrens comprised of a
                                                            maze of narrow tunnels, pits, shafts, and peepholes.
Wealth: stipend of 25 gold lumens.
                                                            Compact of size, with excellent night vision and keen
                                                            senses, Ferrans navigate such places with ease. Ferrans
Danuvian Consort                                            congregate in groups called packs, which may range in
                                                            size from well over a hundred individuals to as few as a
Homeland: Danuvia                                           dozen or so. The packs come forth at night to scrounge
                                                            for food or to rob unwary travelers of their possessions,
Your women prefer you to be docile and helpless,            taking stolen goods back to their lairs and hiding them
in deep holes. Ferrans will eat practically anything         upon their territories. To the Ferrans, the wider the
except carrion; what others regard as garbage may well       territory, the greater the opportunities for “finding”
be considered a feast by Ferran standards.                   loot.

Ferrans are incredibly prolific; the average adult female    Commerce
will give birth to a litter of a dozen or more babies        Ferrans packs sometimes trade among each other,
every three months. Males and females change                 though such activities are rare due to territorial rivalries
partners often, females being attracted to males who         and the biological imperative to scavenge.
have acquired the most goods and loot. The young are
raised in underground nurseries until they are old           Worldview
enough to scavenge with the rest of the pack.
                                                             Ferrans have no allies, and no formal relations with
                                                             other nations or peoples. Their packs are found
Customs                                                      throughout the Wilderlands region, and to a lesser
Ferrans are virtual pack-rats who hoard items of all         extent, in the Western Lands. Ferrans sometimes travel
sorts. Every male has his own hide-hole, in which he         to other countries, where they may operate as thieves,
keeps his most prized possessions -- much of it useless      spies, and adventurers. They are seldom welcome in
junk by the standards of other folk, but every piece a       civilized lands, for the Ferran scent is considered
precious treasure to a Ferran. Scavengers by trade and       offensive by most other races.
preference, a Ferran will not acquire by honest means
anything that he or she can steal -- however, the            Ferran Scavenger
preferred term for such activities is “finding”. Ferrans
avoid direct conflict whenever possible, preferring
                                                             Homeland: The Wilderlands of Zaran
instead to utilize stealth, speed, and the element of
surprise. If attacked, they are capable of releasing a
                                                             “This belongs to you? You can have it back, if you can
noxious scent that most creatures find repulsive.
                                                             catch me.”

Magic & Religion                                             As a suckling in the tunnels of Sharna, you learned the
Ferrans have no talent for magic, and lack all interest in   important lessons of life. Take anything you can when
the concept of religion. “Finding,” and acquiring a mass     nobody‟s looking. Hide everything you have when
of loot, is all that matters to these folk. Ferrans bury     you‟re not using it. Save everything you can, because
their dead above ground, covering the body with stones       you may need it later. But never fight over things you
and    debris     after  dividing-up    the    deceased‟s    can replace. Never fight at all, if you can avoid it,
possessions.                                                 unless you can win quickly or get away. Life‟s too short
                                                             to make it any shorter. It‟s true at home with the pack,
The Arts                                                     and it‟s true when you go to the cities. There, they call
Ferrans do not practice art, music, or craftsmanship.        you a thief, and they say you smell bad. You say they
They make nothing of their own, but scavenge                 should watch their things better. You say your nose is
everything that they need. Ferrans cannot stand loud         better than theirs, and you don‟t smell a thing. The
music, which hurts their sensitive ears.                     ones that don‟t complain as much, they‟re the ones who
                                                             hire you. They pay you to steal things, or to spy on
Language                                                     people, or to guide them through the wild. It‟s easy
Ferrans speak a crude version of Low Talislan. Common        money, and you never pass up easy money. And
names end with a double “X,” “K” or “Z,” as in Pixx,         sometimes you make friends with them. It‟s good to
Firzz, Shizz, Fezz, and Dworkk.                              have buddies, especially big ones, „cause sometimes
                                                             there‟s no place to run. Those times, when you‟re
Government                                                   cornered, you remember another lesson you learned in
                                                             the tunnels: if you have to fight, fight nasty and fight
Ferran packs are led by a pack leader; typically a male
                                                             for keeps. But if you sniff a way out, take it. The big
who has shown that he has a real nose for scavenging
                                                             ones can fend for themselves.
and pilfering, and has amassed a rich horde of
“treasure”. Pack leaders plan thieving raids, allocate
                                                             Physical Characteristics: 3‟6”-4‟4”, 50-75 lbs. Coarse
loot, and also attract the most coveted females. If a
                                                             brown fur, rodent-like features, hairless tail, invariably
Ferran is not pulling his or her weight, the pack leader
                                                             dirty.
may expel the culprit from the pack. Such as loss of
face can only be remedied by performing some heroic
                                                             Attributes:
act of theft or scavenging.
                                                             INT +2                 STR -3             CR +2
                                                             PER +3*         DEX +8        MR -2
Defenses                                                     WIL -2          CON +2        HP 10
Ferran lairs have hidden entrances, pits, mazes of           CHA -2                 SPD +4
tunnels, and secret passageways in order to increase
their defensibility. A pack may sometimes have to fight      Special Abilities: Smell with PER +8; bite at DR 2;
off rival packs from neighboring areas that encroach         emit foul odor three times per day (victims must make
Constitution roll at -5 to resist or are nauseated for       THE HADJIN
three rounds; -3 to all Action Table rolls).                 The Hadjin are a tall and slender folk similar in stature
                                                             to the Cymrilians. They daub their pale green
Skills:                                                      complexions with colored powders, and dress in layered
Dagger +3               Deception +6                         robes, upward-sweeping caps and long, velveteen
Brawling +2             Appraiser (Treasure) +2              gloves.
Evade +3                Survival +2
Stealth +3              Guide +2
Legerdemain +1          Low Talislan, native dialect
                                                             Ancestry
                                                             The Hadjin are descended from the Phandre, a sect of
                                                             magicians who fled from the Western Lands during the
Equipment: Tattered loincloth (males) or tunic
                                                             Cult Wars, taking with them a vast store of wealth that
(females), pouch, dagger, scavenged bits of clothing
                                                             had been accumulated by their ancestors. Among their
and gear.
                                                             assets were three parcels of land, two of which were
                                                             leased at a considerable profit; these became the
Wealth: 15 gold lumens in assorted currencies and
                                                             city-states of Danuvia and Maruk. The third was the site
miscellaneous baubles.
                                                             upon which the city-state of Hadj was built.
Ferran Bounty Hunter
                                                             Society
                                                             The city-state of Hadj is a monument to materialism
“Sure, we can get `im back, but it‟s gonna cost ya.”
                                                             and a haven for the idle rich. There is no such thing as
                                                             public property in Hadj, where every square foot of land
The big ones always overlook you. They don‟t think
                                                             is allocated for rent or lease. The Hadjin aristocracy
they have anything to worry about just because a
                                                             possesses no useful skills to speak of, but are the
couple of Ferrans are hanging around. That‟s good,
                                                             inheritors of an incredibly vast store of wealth left to
because when the trap gets sprung it makes the look
                                                             them by their early ancestors. They live in luxury, their
on their faces that much more satisfying. You and your
                                                             every need attended to by loyal Hajan, a class of highly
pack were always good at finding things. The big ones
                                                             “refined” servitors.
in these cities always lose each other and need your
help, and they will even pay for it! Your team has taken
                                                             Hajan regard themselves as “Penultimates” - second
contracts in many of the cities now, and going back to
                                                             only to their Hadjin masters, and as such, exalted in
life in Sharna seems like a distant dream.
                                                             comparison with other peoples. They serve as personal
                                                             valets,   chauffeurs,   gourmet      chefs,   factotums,
Physical Characteristics: 3‟6”-4‟4”, 50-75 lbs. Coarse
                                                             magistrates, and ambassadors; the city-state‟s Monad
brown fur, rodent-like features, hairless tail, invariably
                                                             population and foreign immigrants handle all manual
dirty.
                                                             labor, and comprise the “working class” of Hadj. Hadjin
                                                             eat only the most costly delicacies, and dress in finery.
Attributes:
                                                             Marriages are elaborate affairs arranged by the parents
INT +1                 STR -2           CR +2
                                                             of the betrothed in order to enhance status and
PER +3*         DEX +8        MR -2
                                                             pedigree. Their children are raised by Hajan servants
WIL -2          CON +2        HP 10
                                                             and instructed in the intricacies of Hadjin etiquette by
CHA -2                 SPD +4
                                                             Hajan tutors; they are not allowed to associate with
                                                             “commoners” of any sort, and are sheltered from all
Special Abilities: Smell with PER +8; bite at DR 2;
                                                             aspects of the world outside of Hadj.
emit foul odor three times per day (victims must make
CON roll at -5 to resist or are nauseated for three
rounds; -3 to all Action Table rolls).                       Customs
                                                             Born into great wealth, the Hadjin consider themselves
Skills:                                                      superior to common folk. They are in the habit of
Appraiser Treasure +2 Survival +2                            waving themselves with scented fans when in the
Brawling +4           Tracking +2                            presence of outsiders, whom they deem odious, coarse,
Dagger +3             Traps +4                               and offensive in terms of appearance and odor. A
Evade +3              Underworld +2                          people of highly refined tastes, the Hadjin shun hard
Sabotage +2           Low Talislan, native dialect           work of any sort. They maintain their lofty standard of
Stealth +3                                                   living through their investments and by allowing
                                                             adventurers to explore the monolithic tombs of their
Equipment: Loincloth (males) or tunic (females),             wealthy ancestors, a privilege that does not come
pouch, dagger, scavenged objects and bits of gear.           cheaply.

Wealth: 30 gold lumens in assorted currencies and            Government
baubles.                                                     The hereditary ruler of Hadj is known as the Hadjin
                                                             Grandeloquence. His family name bears the highest
                                                             possible pedigree, a factor of unparalleled import to the
Hadjin and Hajan alike. Lesser Hadjin will do almost        tourist attraction, also brings in a substantial amount of
anything to foster close ties to the Grandeloquence, for    revenue. Hadj produces few commodities of its own,
mere association with him and his family bestows            and must import most of the foods and goods
benefits in social and economic status. To be snubbed       consumed by the Hadjin from the Seven Kingdoms,
or shunned by the Grandeloquence is to suffer a great       Faradun, and Carantheum.
loss of personal and family prestige - the ultimate
punishment for a Hadjin.                                    Worldview
                                                            Officially, the independent city-state of Hadj is neutral
Magic & Religion                                            as regards all other nations. However, the Hadjin are
Though their ancestors were skilled in magic, the           known to have financial connections to the Ispasians of
Hadjin lost all interest in the arcane arts soon after      Quan. In the year 609, Faradun acquired an interest in
building their city-state. Few Hadjin possess the           the city-state, and constructed a fabulous resort for
dedication required to attain such abilities anymore.       wealthy Farad and other Talislantans (see In the Lap of
The closest thing to “religion” practiced by these people   Luxury). The Hadjin were paid an extravagant sum for
is their reverence for gold and status. Like their          the development rights, and continue to receive
ancestors, Hadjin lay their dead to rest in richly made     lucrative dividends on the deal. The exclusive Hadjin
sarcophgi and bury them in mausoleum-towers along           Sector is still off-limits to outsiders, however.
with certain of their most prized possessions.
Mercenaries are hired to guard these places from            In the Lap of Luxury
tomb-robbers and bandits.                                   The following is a list of amenities offered by the
                                                            Farad-owned resort called the Hadjan Palace:
The Arts                                                        Luxury accommodations, including sunken bath,
The Hadjin are collectors of fine art, ownership of which       and personal valet: 300 gold lumens per day
brings one status in Hadj. However, they practice no            One session at the Hajan Palace Spa, including
arts of their own. As in most things, Hajan servitors           mineral bath, massage, alchemical skin toning, full
emulate their masters in this regard. Hadjin enjoy              tonsorial, and refreshments: 200 gold lumens
pageants and spectacles of all sorts. Troupes of Bodor          The Hajan Emporium, a gaming establishment
musicians and Thiasian performers are often hired to            which offers a wide selection of entertainments or
come to Hadj and entertain the aristocracy. Sauran              wagers, including quatrillion, pentadrille, and in the
gladiators take on all challengers in the Hadj Arena            Colosseum Room, gladiatorial combats
each week, their bloody matches providing a source of           The Hajan Palace Club, offering a wide range of
entertainment for the both the Hadjin and Hajan.                delectable food and drink, with entertainment
                                                                provided nightly by Bodorian troupes and Thiasian
Language                                                        performers.
Hadjin and Hajan both speak High Talislan, and regard           The Hajan Pleasure Palace, featuring plush
less sophisticated tongues as vulgar, uncouth, and              accommodations, private rooms and suites, and the
uncivilized. Common names for Hadjin always include a           most alluring male and female consorts in
grandiose title followed by a first name and and family         Talislanta. Open to members only. Annual
name. For example: His Exemplary Eloquence,                     membership fee: 1000 gold lumens
Hast-Boncour,      or   Her   Sophisticated   Elegance,       Guided tours of the Hadjin Tombs; prices range
Helse-Boncour. Other family names of high pedigree              from 1000 gold lumens per day for the Economy
include Damour, Jalour, and Qualour. Hajan have no              Tour to 10,000 gold lumens for the Luxury Tour.
titles, but use similar-sounding personal and family
names.                                                      Hadjin Aristocrat
Defenses                                                    Homeland: Hadj
Neither Hadjin nor Hajan would lower themselves to
serve in the military. Instead, mercenary troops have       Status is all that matters. You inherited more wealth
always been hired to protect Hadj. A Hajan functionary      than you will ever require in your lifetime, and your
is responsible for hiring these forces, but distances       fortune continues to grow with no effort on your part.
himself from the odious task of associating with            You have no primitive desire to toil for toil‟s sake, as
common soldiers as much as possible by acting through       ignorant foreigners may insist is “natural.” You have no
lower ranking intermediaries.                               need to be known across the continent, as you value
                                                            only the opinion of your peers. And thus it is so that
Commerce                                                    your exertions are directed towards improving their
The Hadjin‟s wealth continues to be derived largely         opinions. The careful arrangement of marriages is one
from the accomplishments of their ancestors. Both           instrument towards this objective; the proper regard for
Danuvia and Maruk continue to pay regular installments      etiquette, and the refinement of speech, dress, and
to the Hadjin Consortium, though it is believed that the    comportment, are others. Most critical is the nurturing
Marukans are several decades in arrears on their            of your position in association with the Grandeloquence.
payments. The Hadjin Tombs (see the Traveler‟s              The pedigree of your family will ever be judged
Guide), a source of valuable artifacts and a popular
according to the temper of this relationship. You intend       Administrator +6               Diplomacy +7
for it to be intimate indeed.                                  Etiquette +8                   Litigator +6
                                                               Fashion +9                     Cook +7
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟6”, 140-180 lbs. Pale           Arcane Lore +2                 Ride +4
green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build, skin          Antiquarian +6                          High Talislan,
daubed with colored powders.                                   native
                                                               Appraiser +8
Attributes:
INT +1                   STR -1           CR -3                Equipment: Layered robes, upward-sweeping cap,
PER 0           DEX 0             MR +1                        long velveteen gloves, scented fan, money purse,
WIL 0           CON -1            HP 18                        implements for roles as chef and valet, ledgers.
CHA 0           SPD 0
                                                               Wealth: 150 gold lumens in property and other
Skills:                                                        valuables.
Administrator +2                  Antiquarian +2
Etiquette +8                      Appraiser +2
                                                               THE KHARAKHAN
Fashion +6                        High Talislan, native
                                                               Kharakhan are massive folk, averaging over twelve feet
Arcane Lore +2
                                                               in height and weighing upwards of a thousand pounds.
                                                               They have dusky grey-black skin and savage features,
Equipment: Layered robes, upward-sweeping cap,
                                                               and wear their hair long and tied-back in a queue.
long velveteen gloves, scented fan, money purse,
                                                               Kharakhan dress in loincloths, sandals, and crude
silvermane-drawn carriage, small estate, various slaves
                                                               armored made from boiled land lizard hide.
and servants.

Wealth: 30,000 gold lumens in property and other               Ancestry
valuables.                                                     The Kharakhan are descended from a nameless tribe of
                                                               Wild Folk who were extent during the latter part of the
                                                               Archaen Age. It is believed that when The Great
Hajan Servitor
                                                               Disaster struck, the tribe was exposed to magical
Homeland: Hadj                                                 emanations, and suffered a form of mutation called
                                                               giantism. Persecuted thereafter as freaks and misfits,
Your role, alas, is to be a Penultimate. It is certainly not   they fled into the northern Wilderlands. They settled
the station in life to which you should have been born.        among the ruins of old Kharakhan, a place suited to
You are of the same ancestry as the Hadjin, yet the            their great size, and eventually came to be known as
status of your family declined; their relationship to the      the Kharakhan giants, or simply the Kharakhan.
Grandeloquence grew distant, and they fell from the
first rank of Hadjin society. So your family became            Society
Penultimates: still of exceedingly high pedigree, and          The Kharakhan are hunter-gatherers who range
superior of course to any foreigner, yet paling in             throughout the northern Wilderlands territories in
comparison to the Hadjin. You are of Hadj lineage, and         massive armored conveyances known as war wagons.
excellence is your birthright. You are educated in the         Though the giants call the ruins their home, they are
most civilized of skills of diplomacy, scholarship,            often on the move, hunting for food and useful salvage.
etiquette, cultivated predilections. You do not “serve”        There are several tribes, all of which regard themselves
the Hadjin; you hire others to handle the distasteful          as part of the same people. The Kharakhans‟ great size
work of cleaning, and lifting, and such unpleasant             is both an advantage and a disadvantage: though it
labors as are meant for the lower classes. No, indeed -        affords them protection from lesser predators it also
you occupy an essential role in Hadj society, relieving        means that they cannot use tools and implements
the Hadjin of the burden of mundane concerns, so that          employed by humanoids of smaller stature and so are
no Hadjin need sully himself or herself by association         forced to make what they require from raw materials.
with those of lesser pedigree. It is an honor to be a          Kharakhan also require substantial amounts of food and
Penultimate, and you remain proud.                             water in order to survive, both of which are often in
                                                               short supply in the regions that they have been forced
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟6”, 140-180 lbs. Pale           to inhabit.
green skin and hair, golden eyes, slender build, skin
daubed with colored powders.                                   Kharakhan are polygamous; males may take several
                                                               wives, or females several husbands, depending on the
Attributes:                                                    make-up of a clan and availability of mates. Because
INT +2                   STR -1           CR -3                their race is dwindling in number, Kharakhan are very
PER +1          DEX 0             MR +1                        protective of their children, keeping them in the wagons
WIL 0           CON -1            HP 18                        until they are old enough to stand a reasonable chance
CHA 0           SPD 0                                          of survival. Once numerous, only a few hundred of
                                                               these savage folk still remain extant on the continent.
Skills:
Customs                                                    they generally ask for food, barrels of grog, and goods
Kharakhan giants are gruff and crude by nature, having     such as rope, lamp oil, and remedies.
little knowledge of civilized customs and manners. Their
outward demeanor and imposing size have led other          Worldview
peoples to regard them with trepidation. Yet while         The Kharakhan are a race on the verge of extinction.
Kharakhan will aggressively defend their clans and         Though they have no traditional enemies, neither do
possessions they are not a warlike folk by preference.     they have many friends. Swifter, more numerous
When they are tending their young or with friends these    creatures have taken over the territories that they once
massive folk can be surprisingly gentle.                   called home. The expansion of tribes such as the Za
                                                           and Araq has forced them into ever more barren and
Magic & Religion                                           inhospitable regions. Unless things change dramatically,
Kharakhan are said to revere one of the Forgotten          in another few generations they will probably be gone.
Gods, Kron the Mighty. However, they have no magic
and do not observe formal religious rituals of any         Kharakhan Giant
known type. Kharakhan bury their dead beneath
massive cairns of stones in a solemn ceremony that         “What you want, short stuff?”
may last for several hours.
                                                           Your people are dying out. The Sage of your clan won‟t
The Arts                                                   say it outright, but you know it‟s true. There‟s little left
                                                           to hunt in the Wastes, and your children rarely have
The Kharakhan know little of music or art, but are
                                                           enough to eat. You give them all you can, but you
skilled in the reading of ancient runes and symbols.
                                                           worry they‟ll grow up weak. If it wasn‟t for the old
They are the only folk who have been able to decipher
                                                           things you find in the ruins and trade to the Orgovians,
the strange glyphs that the ancient Drakken engraved
                                                           you‟d have even less. So the Sage sends some of the
upon certain of the ruins of Kharakhan.
                                                           clan away for a while, to make do among the smaller
                                                           peoples. Most other places, there‟s more food and
Language                                                   water, but there are other problems for a Kharakhan.
Kharakhan speak an ancient and obscure dialect of          Everything‟s tiny, to start. You have to make your own
common Talislan, which to the ears of civilized            stuff, „cause you can‟t use the things that others use.
Talislantans makes them sound even more savage and         You have to sleep with the animals, „cause you‟re too
unsophisticated than they are. They are also able to       big for the beds, or even the rooms. When you fight for
read Drakken-glyphs, a talent that appears to have         hire, the bosses don‟t care that you need more food
been passed down from generation to generation for         than the others do. They don‟t pay you any more, and
thousands of years. Common Kharakhan names begin           most times they won‟t give you bigger rations. And
with the prefix, “Kha”, as in Kharun, Khatos, Kharos,      they all think you‟re a savage and a freak. You don‟t
Khamon, and Kharis.                                        talk much to most of them. There‟s only been a few
                                                           you‟d call friends, who you can laugh with. But you do
Government                                                 what you have to do, and when you visit your people,
Kharakhan respect wisdom, age, and experience. The         you bring them what you can. It‟s a tough life. You
eldest member of any band of Kharakhan is regarded         wouldn‟t mind so much, except for the children.
as its nominal leader, and is consulted when the tribe
requires advice or guidance. These individuals are         Physical Characteristics: 10‟-15‟, 1,000-1,200+ lbs.
referred to as Sages, for they know all the ancient lore   Dusky gray-black skin, massive physique, savage
of the Kharakhan race, and are considered qualified to     features, hair tied in long queue.
speak for the other members of the clan. The clan‟s
Sage is consulted whenever disputes arise. Most are        Attributes:
settled amicably, though serious conflicts may be          INT -3          STR +8        CR +3
settled by a “duel.” The contest may take the form of a    PER +3          DEX -4              MR -3
wrestling match, or an event similar to a tug-of-war.      WIL +6          CON +9        HP 45
                                                           CHA -2                 SPD -5
Defenses
Kharakhan rely upon their size and heavily armored war     Special Abilities: Skin serves as one point of armor;
wagons to deter aggressors. They will fight if given no    fist inflicts DR 6 + STR; uses giant-sized weapons or
recourse, at which times they are known to exhibit         uses two-handed melee weapons of normal size in one
great ferocity and bravery in battle.                      hand; detect scent of Men at range of 50 feet.

Commerce                                                   Skills:
Kharakhan clans   barter among themselves, exchanging      Battle Maul +4           Artificer +6
tools, weapons,   and raw materials like scrap metal,      Giant-sized Sword +4     Artisan +6
bone, and hide.   Kharakhan will sometimes trade with      Shield +3                Survival +1
peoples such as   the Orgovians and Djaffir. In return,    Brawling +3              Low Talislan, native dialect
                                                           Mounted Combat +3        Drakken glyphs, fluent
Weaponer +7                                                  statesmen, artists, and military leaders. Now the
                                                             Marukans are sometimes hard-pressed to find eleven
Equipment: Loincloth, sandals, armor of boiled land          individuals who have the time or energy to handle the
lizard hide, black iron shield, battle maul, giant-sized     responsibilities of governing, and the Council is often
sword, shoulder pack, giant-sized tools, ogriphant           comprised of whoever is willing to do the job. The legal
steed; giants based in the Wastes may have access to a       system is now in a shambles. Most of the judges have
war wagon.                                                   had to take other work in order to feed their families,
                                                             and criminals often get off without penalty due simply
Wealth: 15 gold lumens in assorted currencies or             to the inefficiency of the bureaucracy. The good news is
artifacts.                                                   that thievery is almost unknown in the city-state; the
                                                             bad news is that there isn‟t much worth stealing
THE MARUKANS                                                 anymore in Maruk.
Once a robust and hearty folk, the Marukans now
exhibit a wan and unhealthy appearance. Most have            Magic & Religion
pale sallow complexions, sunken eyes, and limp brown         Marukans are a superstitious folk who believe that their
hair. Morose and gloomy by nature, they dress in             lives are controlled by the caprices of fate, luck, and
unflattering garments made of sackcloth and walk             omens. Hoping to change their fortunes, they seek the
about with their eyes downcast.                              aid of Talismancers -- minor magicians who specialize
                                                             in the making of luck medallions, charms, and other
Ancestry                                                     enchanted items. These individuals claim to be masters
                                                             of Talismancy, a field of magical study considered
The Marukan are descended from the ancient
                                                             somewhat specious by other Talislantans. Their wares
Numenians, a people whose lands were destroyed by
                                                             are available for sale throughout the city-state.
The Great Disaster. The survivors sold salvage from the
ruins, eventually earning enough to acquire a tract of
                                                             The Marukans once practiced elaborate funeral rites
land from the Hadjin, upon which they erected the city
                                                             such as embalming, laving the deceased with scented
of Maruk. For a time the Marukans prospered, selling
                                                             oils and perfumes, adornment in costly vestments, and
food crops to Carantheum, Danuvia, and Hadj. But
                                                             interment in splendid underground tombs. Now
sometime afterwards a series of misfortunes beset
                                                             Marukans are buried with no concern for ritual, while
them. Their crops failed, their animals died, and their
                                                             the tombs of their ancestors are plundered for
people became dispirited. The Marukans continue to
                                                             valuables.
labor under this curse to the present time.

Society                                                      The Arts
                                                             The Marukans once had a rich artistic tradition. They
Marukans once lived in artful structures of brick and
                                                             practiced painting, sculpture, music, decorative arts,
masonry, with domed copper roofs. Now, most of their
                                                             etc. Now few have time for such endeavors, as they are
buildings are in disrepair, the copper plating stripped
                                                             preoccupied with the task of trying to eke out a living
from the roofs and sold for salvage. Formerly known for
                                                             for themselves and their families.
its stable family units, Marukan society has fallen apart.
Many families have been forced to split-up, as
individuals leave the city-state in order to find work       Language
elsewhere. Those who remain in the city-state now            Marukans are conversant in Low Talislan. Common
work as dung merchants, menial laborers, subsistence         male names include Merdmire, Marud, Merduk, and
farmers, salvagers, and talismancers. Few Marukans           Marik. Female names end in an “a,” as in Merdmira,
marry anymore, and the birth rate continues to drop          Maruda, Merduka, and Marika.
each year.
                                                             Defenses
Customs                                                      The remnants of the Marukan military still defend the
Marukans are perhaps the most downtrodden and                city-state as best they can. However, the so-called
ill-aspected of all the Talislantan races. They suffer       “citizen militia” is poorly armed, disorganized, and not
from an ancient curse that has brought ill fortune down      very motivated. Their weapons are in need of repair, as
upon their heads. Considered harbingers of doom in           are the city‟s fortifications, many of which have begun
many lands, Marukans are shunned as if they carried          to crumble from lack of maintenance.
the plague. Fear of curses and bad luck dominates what
is left of Marukan culture. Consequently, the people         Commerce
have taken to wearing “Luck Talismans” of many types         Maruk‟s prosperous agrarian society is on the verge of
and descriptions (see The Talismancer‟s Art).                bankruptcy. Its fields have gone barren, and the
                                                             farmers barely grow enough to feed their own people.
Government                                                   The only remaining crops are a bland type of tuber from
                                                             which a coarse gruel called phlan is made, and
Until the advent of the curse, the city-state had been
                                                             rock-lichen, which is used to make a type of
governed by a Ruling Council comprised of eleven of
                                                             unleavened bread. Among the few remaining resources
the city‟s leading agriculturists, merchants, magicians,
                                                             are the giant ogront that roam the sparse plains around
Maruk. Their dung is in plentiful supply, and is collected
from the surrounding environs and sold for fuel and           “I‟m a Marukan. There‟s really no way my life can get
fertilizer.                                                   any worse.”

Worldview                                                     You know that life will never be good. You are cursed,
Maruk has no allies or enemies of note, as it has little      as your family and friends and neighbors are cursed, as
that anyone wants or needs. Though the Marukan                every Marukan is cursed from the moment of birth. No
government has technically been bankrupt for decades,         one knows what your people did to deserve their
the Ruling Council continues to offer a reward of one         wretched fate. Some blame the Hadjin, who sold you
hundred thousand gold lumens to anyone who can                the land you built your city on. Some blame foreign
successfully lift the curse from the city. The offer still    wizards who steal your luck; you wear your lead
draws a few optimistic mystics, savants and reputed           medallion to ward against this magic. You won‟t peddle
miracle-workers, though not nearly so many as in years        ogront dung to survive. You‟d rather make a living as a
past.                                                         mercenary. You would like to believe that you‟re brave,
                                                              but you‟ve never really gotten the chance to prove
The Talismancer’s Art                                         yourself in battle. Whatever group of soldiers you‟ve
                                                              joined, it was always the same: “Empty the slops,
The Marukans are a people hounded by ill fortune. To
                                                              Marukan”; “Care for the steeds, clean and sharpen the
make their lives more bearable they resort to the use of
                                                              weapons, drive the supply wagon.” At least you‟re good
luck charms, or talismans. These devices are created by
                                                              at these things -- you‟ve had plenty of practice. Still,
the Talismancers of Maruk, who over the course of
                                                              you trained hard to be a soldier, and all you want is a
many generations have devised a great number of
                                                              chance. Maybe in a smaller group you‟ll be treated like
charms, each suited to a particular ill or woe. The most
                                                              a warrior. You try not to get your hopes up. You keep
common type by far is the standard Luck Talislman, an
                                                              plugging along, because you‟ve nothing better to do.
all-purpose item that is said to confer protection against
                                                              But you‟re a Marukan, and life will never be good.
most common forms of bad luck, misfortune, and
mishap. This device, while certainly of practical utility
                                                              Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-6‟2”, 80-120 lbs. Pale
and unquestioned efficacy, is by no means deemed
                                                              complexion, sunken eyes, limp brown hair.
sufficient to protect the wearer against the more severe
forms of maledictions. For such purposes Talismancers
                                                              Attributes:
recommend that their customers augment the standard
                                                              INT 0          STR 0         CR +3
Luck Talisman with additional charms, each designed to
                                                              PER 0          DEX +1        MR 0
foil a specific malady, accident, or affliction.
                                                              WIL 0          CON +1        HP 22
                                                              CHA -2                SPD +1
These include talismans that protect the wearer from
household accidents, accidents that occur outside the
                                                              Skills:
home, accidents involving vehicles, or accidents
                                                              Weapon <choice> +2             Cook +4
occurring during a particular month or year; talismans
                                                              Weapon <choice> +2             Animal Handler +4
to guard against fever, the ague, falling hair, dizziness,
                                                              Brawling +2                    Laborer +4
bloating, emaciation, wrinkles, or excessive bodily odor;
                                                              Mounted Combat +1              Ride +3
charms intended to ward against black magic,
                                                              Guard +3                       Low Talislan, native
witchcraft, shamanism, diabolism, demonology, unclean
spirits, vengeful ghosts, creatures of the night, invisible
                                                              Equipment: Sackcloth garments, worn leather armor,
stalkers, things that lurk in closets or under beds; and
                                                              choice of two cheap weapons (daggers, hand axes,
amulets that grant relief from curses, oaths, mordets,
                                                              slings are common), shoulder pouch, luck medallion,
the Evil Eye, graven images, totems, fetishes, poison,
                                                              cooking gear, elderly aht-ra steed.
wild animals of various sorts, noxious vermin, and so
on.
                                                              Wealth: Five gold lumens, in copper pieces.
For all the complexities of Marukan Talismancy, even its
most devout adherents do not claim that these devices         Marukan Dung Merchant
are foolproof, nor do the Marukan Talismancers
                                                              Homeland: Maruk
guarantee that their creations confer even the most
limited of beneficial effects. The reason for this, they
                                                              You lost your sense of smell some time ago. For a few
say, is that the curse that follows the Marukans affects
                                                              years after you started hauling ogront dung, your
all things that they do, even the making of Luck
                                                              dreams were of the scent of your mother‟s cooking.
Talismans. Yet all agree that it is far better to wear
                                                              Now, not even in your dreams do you remember what
such charms, cursed or not, than to risk the
                                                              that sensation was like. You shouldn‟t complain. At
consequences of going without any protection at all.
                                                              least you haven‟t starved to death yet. At least the
                                                              dung gives you something of worth to sell. And it‟s not
Marukan Mercenary                                             as if foreigners would stand your presence anyway,
                                                              even if they could tolerate the scent of you. To them
Homeland: Maruk                                               you are a cursed people, and they fear that the
condition may be contagious.         It‟s   as   good   an   Marukan Salvager
explanation as any for your life.
                                                             Homeland: Citystate of Maruk
Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-6‟2”, 80-120 lbs. Pale
complexion, sunken eyes, limp brown hair.                    "I risked my wretched life to acquire this so-called
                                                             'junk'. Are you so certain you cannot spare a few more
Attributes:                                                  coppers for its purchase?"
INT 0          STR 0             CR +1
PER 0          DEX 0             MR 0                        You like to think you are a salvager, but you know that
WIL 0          CON 0             HP 20                       in truth you are little more than a scavenger, for there
CHA -2                 SPD 0                                 is little to salvage in Maruk anymore; everything of
                                                             worth was stripped and sold a long time ago. Now, you
Skills:                                                      hunt for anything that might be sold for even a few
Staff +1               Laborer +3                            copper pieces, or used or recycled for some other
Brawling +2            Ride +3                               purpose. To others, much of what you salvage is little
Merchant +4            Low Talislan, native                  more than junk, but occasionally you manage to
                                                             unearth something of moderate worth, and that helps
Equipment: Sackcloth garments, staff, shoulder               you through the lean times. You dream of making that
pouch, luck medallion, durge-drawn dung wagon.               one big find that will allow you to raise yourself above
                                                             the poverty and despair of your people, but you know it
Wealth: Three gold lumens, in copper pieces.                 is a foolish dream, for your people are accursed, and
                                                             such luck long ago deserted them. You have
Marukan Talismancer                                          increasingly thought of leaving the city-state and
                                                             seeking richer salvage among the ruins of the
Homeland: Maruk                                              Wilderlands, but the dangers there are greater still, and
                                                             few adventurers will accept one of your misfortune into
You are among the most respected people in Maruk.            their midst. Hope was something you gave up on many
That in itself is not much of an accomplishment, and         years ago.
there is little incentive to remain in a city so
impoverished. Still, your people need the talismans you      Physical Characteristics: 5'6"-6'2", 80-120 lbs. Pale
create to protect themselves against the misfortunes,        complexion, sunken eyes, limp brown hair.
accidents, and dark magics that plague them. Sadly,
foreigners do not hold your profession‟s products in         Attributes:
such high regard. Perhaps they are right to question the     INT +1                STR 0             CR +2
efficacy of your talismans; look at your own wretched        PER +1          DEX 0       MR 0
luck. Yet the benefits of Talismancy are not so easily       WIL 0           CON +1      HP 21
dismissed. Imagine what life in Maruk would be like          CHA -2                SPD 0
otherwise.
                                                             Skills:
Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-6‟2”, 80-120 lbs. Pale        Club +1                 Salvager +3
complexion, sunken eyes, limp brown hair.                    Pickaxe +1              Traps +2
                                                             Sledgehammer +1         Merchant +5
Attributes:                                                  Brawling +2             Conveyance - cart +1
INT +1                 STR 0             CR +1               Antiquarian +1                 Low Talislan, native
PER 0          DEX 0             MR +3                       Climbing +2             Phaedran, basic
WIL +1         CON 0             HP 20                       Laborer +4
CHA -2                 SPD 0
                                                             Equipment: Sackcloth garments, crowbar, shoulder
Special Abilities: Talismancy.                               pouch, torch, pickaxe, sledgehammer, 50' rope,
                                                             grappling hook, block and tackle, luck medallion,
Skills:                                                      durge-drawn cart.
Wizardry                         Deception +6
     Four Modes of choice +2     Artificer +4                Wealth: 10 gold lumens in copper pieces.
Talismancy +4                    Merchant +5
Staff +1                         Ride +3
Brawling +2                      Low Talislan, native
                                                             THE MONADS
                                                             Monads are massive creatures who stand over seven
Equipment: Gray sackcloth vestments and cloak, staff,        and a half feet in height and may weigh as much as
shoulder pouch, numerous luck medallions of assorted         seven hundred pounds. They are entirely hairless, and
types, spell book.                                           have striated black and white skin. A comparatively tiny
                                                             cranium, and immense torso and limbs, are other
Wealth: Five gold lumens, in copper pieces.                  characteristic features. Loincloth and sandals are their
                                                             preferred attire, augmented by a cloak in cold weather.
                                                             Government
Ancestry                                                     Monads have no ruler, leaders, or government. Peaceful
Monads are a hybrid race created in ancient times by         by nature, they generally adhere to their basic laws and
the magicians of Phandril, who bred them for heavy           customs of whatever land in which they reside.
labor. Unlike most of their masters, Monads survived
the The Great Disaster, and are still extant in Talislanta   Defenses
today.                                                       Despite their great size and strength, Monads are
                                                             remarkably gentle creatures who usually abstain from
Society                                                      violence. If forced to defend itself, a Monad may use its
The Monad population has no homeland, but is                 great bulk to knock down and/or restrain an attacker,
scattered across the continent Talislanta. Most monads       while continuing to maintain an outwardly placid
were sold into slavery following The Great Disaster,         demeanor.
ending up in such lands as Faradun, Rajanistan, and the
Kang Empire. In the Seven Kingdoms, where slavery is         Commerce
illegal, they are treated well and may be hired at           Monads understand the concept of work for pay or
reasonable rates. A large portion of the Monad               barter, but seem less well-informed as pertains to the
population now resides in Hadj, providing a cheap            value of their services. As such, they are often cheated
source of labor.                                             by unscrupulous employers. Monads produce no wares
                                                             of their own.
Monads are monosexual beings who prefer to live in
simple dwellings with others of their kind. They do not      Worldview
mate or have children; they simply divide themselves
                                                             As a race, Monads evince little capacity for
into two separate entities (see All from the One). No
                                                             self-determination, and have no formal relations with
one knows exactly how the process works, or how often
                                                             any other people or nation. Most Talislantans do not
it occurs.
                                                             think they have the intellectual capacity to even
                                                             comprehend such matters.
Customs
Bred strictly for size and strength, Monads possess no       All from the One
formal skills or training. They follow instructions well,
                                                             “Among several of the more curious features associated
however, and are tireless and loyal workers. Most
                                                             with Monads is the fact that they appear to be
Talislantans regard Monads as dumb, lumbering
                                                             completely devoid of sexual characteristics. The natural
creatures, useless except as pertains to the most
                                                             question, at least in the mind of my occasional traveling
menial and physically strenuous labors. Yet others
                                                             companion, the rogue magician Crystabal (who seldom
believe there is more to these simple beings than meets
                                                             thought of anything but this subject), was: how do such
the eye (see Language).
                                                             creatures procreate? While visiting the city of Hadj I
                                                             chanced to learn the answer to this question, and so I
Magic & Religion                                             will relate it to you.
Monads possess no facility for magic. It is not known if
they believe in a supreme being or beings, though they       As I rode through the city on a cargo dray acquired
may regard their ancient Archaen creators in this            from a Marukan dung merchant (another story entirely)
manner.                                                      I saw a solitary Monad trudging along the road. On its
                                                             broad shoulders was a great bundle of parcels; a short
The Arts                                                     distance behind, its owner, a Hadjin aristocrat, reclined
Monads are not known to practice any arts or crafts.         in comfort within a canopied palanquin. Suddenly the
They appear to enjoy music of all sorts, and are             Monad slowed to a stop, laid its bundle down, and sat
fascinated by displays of color, which Monads find           upon the ground. The Hadjin, seeing what had
highly entertaining.                                         transpired, instructed his Hajan servitor to have the
                                                             Monad pick up its parcels and continue on without
Language                                                     delay. The Hajan repeated these orders to the Monad.
Monads are mute, but understand common sign                  The Monad seemed not to hear, but sat with its eyes
language. Among their own kind they favor a complex          closed. The Hajan servitor raged and threatened; her
variation of sign that seems to have been devised by         Hadjin master held a scented handkerchief to his nose
the Monads themselves and is incomprehensible to             in obvious distaste. Still the Monad remained immobile.
other peoples. Scholars who have studied the Monad           At this point the Hajan servitor, a female of middle
language describe it as rich, detailed, and cryptic; some    years, risked the ire of her master and informed him
go so far as to claim that Monads have a “secret             that he must wait a moment, for the Monad was about
culture” that is completely beyond the ability of            to reproduce.
non-Monads to perceive.
                                                             This the creature did, by the most incredible process
                                                             imaginable. Concentrating intently, the Monad split
                                                             itself down the middle, the separation occurring along a
                                                             vertical axis from the head down through the entire
torso. For a short time each of the halves squirmed and      Ancestry
twisted about, changing in form with each passing            The Orgovians are the last remnants of a people who
minute. Finally there were two new Monad, each fully         once hailed from the small kingdom of Orgovia.
formed and identical in appearance, though both were         Following The Great Disaster, their homeland was
smaller than the original by half. The division of the       overrun by savage tribesmen and their nation driven
Monad into two creatures took perhaps ten minutes in         into ruin. They now roam the Wilderlands of Zaran and
its entirety, during which time I could not help but stare   surrounding regions, making their living as traders.
in complete fascination at this miraculous occurrence.
The Hadjin aristocrat likewise witnessed this event,         Society
which caused him to become physically ill, and in the
                                                             Orgovians are nomadic traders who range from the
process soil his rich garments. The Hajan driver turned
                                                             Wilderlands of Zaran to the Desert Kingdoms, and
her head, either from a lack of interest in the procedure
                                                             sometimes as far as the Eastern and Western Lands.
or to disguise the enjoyment she felt at observing her
                                                             They travel in small-armed bands of up to twenty
master in such an undignified condition.”
                                                             individuals, carrying parcels of goods from many lands
                                                             on the backs of their loper steeds. Orgovian bands are
Monad Laborer                                                loosely organized and usually consist of one or more
                                                             extended families, plus a number of males or females
Homeland: None                                               from other bands who have joined the group through
                                                             marriage or choice. Males and females marry in a brief
Every day the suns move across the sky. Those you            ceremony that involves the exchange of gifts,
work for say watch them, and stop your work when             symbolizing a relationship of mutual trust. As bands are
they go down. You do what they say. You follow               always on the move females must often give birth while
instructions, and you are given food. You work, you eat.     “in the saddle.” Infants are wrapped in swaddling and
That is good. That is why you were made. That is what        affixed to the back of their mother‟s steed with the rest
they see. But there is more. The Monads need no words        of the baggage and possessions. Most learn to ride
to speak. But we know many things. Every day the             before they can walk. Orgovians subsist on foods
suns move across the sky. But there is more. Much,           gathered in the wild or obtained through trade with
much more.                                                   other peoples.
Physical Characteristics: 7‟-7‟6”, 500-700+ lbs.
Striated black and white skin, hairless, tiny cranium,
                                                             Customs
immense torso and limbs.                                     Orgovians have dealt exclusively in barter ever since
                                                             the fall of the old nation of Orgovia and the subsequent
Attributes:                                                  devaluation of its currency, a lead coin called the yatma
INT 0           STR +8          CR 0                         (hence the origin of the popular phrase, “not worth a
PER 0           DEX -4                  MR -4                lead yatma”). If offered coin instead of barter for their
WIL -6          CON +9          HP 40                        wares, Orgovians may accuse the unwitting offender of
CHA 0           SPD -4                                       attempting to rob them, generally with disastrous
                                                             results (see The Art of the Deal). They tend to be
Special Abilities: Has no true long-term memory and          suspicious of civilized folk, whose ways the Orgovians
cannot learn skills, per se; must be instructed in any       neither fully understand nor trust.
complex task, performing relatively simple or menial
tasks at Laborer level.                                      Government
                                                             Since the fall of their old kingdom, Orgovians have
Skills:                                                      been suspicious of all governments and institutions.
Laborer +9                                                   Their bands have no leaders; instead, decisions are
Sign, native dialect                                         made by majority rule. The band may elect to expel
                                                             any member who fails to adhere to accepted customs
Equipment: Loincloth, sandals, cloak.                        or practices, or who commits an act of violence toward
                                                             a fellow Orgovian.
Wealth: Five gold lumens, unless enslaved.
                                                             Magic & Religion
THE ORGOVIANS                                                The Orgovians once had a god, but no more. After The
                                                             Great Disaster they said their god had abandoned
Orgovians are a wiry, rugged people, hard and spare as
                                                             them, and so they did the same. They know little or
flints. Notable features include dusky-orange skin,
                                                             nothing of magic, which they regard with suspicion and
protruding chin, squinty eyes, and nostrils that
                                                             distrust. Orgovians bury their dead in shallow graves
resemble vertical slits. They dress in leather vest and
                                                             and quickly move on.
curl-toed boots, loincloth, and brown felt headdress.
Iron armbands are worn for decoration, typically by the
dozen.                                                       The Arts
                                                             Orgovians have no musical tradition, and have little
                                                             time to devote to artistic endeavors. However, in order
to pass the time while riding on their steeds, Orgovians     is deductible as a business expense, and is well worth
create intricately tooled leather items such as belts,       the investment in any case.
bracers, and vests. These goods are superbly crafted,
and are highly valued by the Djaffir and other tribes.       By all means do not offer coins to an Orgovian, either in
                                                             payment for goods or as a gift. These people use barter
Language                                                     exclusively in all transactions, so remember to bring
Most Orgovians speak both Low Talislan and sign.             other goods to trade. Fine fabrics, jewelry, rare spices,
Common male names typically begin with the prefix            and ornate Zandir blades are highly valued by
“Or,” or “Org” for females. For example: Orfir, Ordavo,      Orgovians. Trinkets and worthless brumagem are not,
Orva, Ortu (male); Orgovia, Orgala, Orgolas, Orgavi          and may be regarded as a sign of bad faith. If coins are
(female).                                                    all you have, you might try to hammer them flat and
                                                             barter them as precious metals, allowing the Orgovian
Defenses                                                     to determine their worth by weight rather than
                                                             denomination (using the phrase, “These are not
Orgovians rely on the speed of their mounts and pay
                                                             coins”, may also be helpful).
close attention to their surroundings in order to avoid
potential trouble. If faced with no recourse, or if
                                                             Should your gift or offering fail to meet with the
offended in some manner, a band will attack en masse.
                                                             Orgovians‟ approval, you may put aside all thoughts of
In such cases Orgovians exhibit great ferocity, and
                                                             trades or transactions. Instead, your primary concern
should not be taken lightly. The traders carry
                                                             now becomes one of survival. Bow politely, say your
fierce-looking prod-hooks and star-throwers to defend
                                                             farewells, make whatever excuses you wish, but leave
themselves against thieves and brigands. Their steeds,
                                                             the area without delay. For once you have curried an
called lopers, will also fight if threatened and are quite
                                                             Orgovian‟s disfavor or distrust, you will be regarded as
vicious.
                                                             an enemy. Should you argue or haggle at this point, the
                                                             Orgovians may perceive that you are trying to cheat
Commerce                                                     them, and elect to do violence upon your person. Such
Orgovian clans travel far and wide, and have access to       difficulties, while not always inevitable, occur with some
goods and commodities from many distant lands and            frequency. This may go far to explain why many
strange places. They are canny traders, and have a           merchants prefer to deal with the Djaffir, who though
knack for obtaining rare merchandise that may be             conniving in their own right are at least more placid of
difficult to find elsewhere. Only by dealing in unusual      temperament than Orgovians.”
and uncommon wares are Orgovians able to compete
with the Djaffir merchant tribes, whose goods are
generally of a more common and widely marketable
                                                             Orgovian Trader
sort.
                                                             Homeland: None.

Worldview                                                    Centuries ago, you hailed from a kingdom as wealthy as
Though suspicious by nature, Orgovians will deal with        Hadj is today. But that is the past, and it holds the
most anyone, provided they are offered fair value for        bitter lessons that Orgovian children learn well: do not
their wares. They despise bandits and cheats, and            put your trust in kingdoms, nor alliances, nor money.
routinely kill such individuals in order to trade their      Your people are nomads now, and you travel the
scalps and possessions for useful goods. The Orgovians       continent dealing in the rarest of goods - flawless
are on good terms with the Yitek and Djaffir, both           malachite and sard, amberglass flasks of vintage
trusted trading associates. The Dracartans also enjoy        aquavit, Mirin swords etched with adamant. Like your
good relations with these people, as do the Sindarans        loper steed, you trust most others only so far as your
of the Seven Kingdoms; many Sindaran collectors              prod-hook can reach. Trust is a commodity as well, and
maintain close friendships with Orgovian traders in          you must be given a share before you will agree to give
order to obtain items that they wish to acquire.             yours in return. To those who betray you, however, you
                                                             will gladly grant a swift death.
The Art of the Deal
“Merchants and entrepreneur who plan to have dealings        Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-6‟, 90-160 lbs. Dusky
with the Orgovians would do well to keep several facts       orange skin, protruding chin, squinty eyes, slits for
in mind. First and foremost: in all dealings with            nostrils, lean and wiry build.
Orgovians, the most important factor is the appearance
of fairness. Until proven otherwise, foreigners are          Attributes:
regarded as potential thieves, assassins, or worse. It is    INT +1                 STR 0            CR +3
the custom among the Orgovians to exchange gifts             PER +1          DEX +3       MR 0
before entering into trade negotiations of any sort. Be      WIL +2          CON +2       HP 22
prepared to do so, and do not stint in your offering -       CHA -2                 SPD 0
your generosity and overall trustworthiness will be
judged on the basis of its value. Bear the added cost of     Skills:
these gifts without complaint; the price of the offering     Star-Thrower +3                 Appraiser +5
                                                             Prod-Hook +3                    Antiquarian +5
Weapon <choice> +2               Animal Handler +3            will always be a Rahastran, both in appearance and in
Mounted Combat +3                Artificer +4                 spirit. Unwilling to abandon the call of the Zodar,
Guard +4                         Ride +6                      Rahastrans leave their offspring in the care of others
Merchant (Barter only) +9        Low Talislan, native         and continue on their way. Should the child one day
Survival +6                      Sign, native                 decide to seek out his or her Rahastran parent, the
                                                              Rahastran will agree to teach the young one the secrets
Equipment: Leather vest and curl-toed boots,                  and traditions of the Zodar.
loincloth, brown felt headdress, fifteen iron armbands,
prod-hook, star-thrower, pouch with twelve “shooting          Customs
stars,” choice of weapon, assorted pouches, bundles,          To the Rahastrans, life is an intricate game of chance.
and sacks, loper steed.                                       Most tend to be loners, though some are able to
                                                              tolerate the company of a few trusted companions, at
Wealth: 250 gold lumens in barter goods (ivory, bolts         least for a time. Because they are able to predict the
of fine fabrics, rare spices, ornate metal tools and          future, Rahastrans are regarded with mixed emotions
weapons, ornate jewelry, etc.).                               by other Talislantans, who are fascinated with the
                                                              Zodar, yet fearful of the secrets that the cards may
THE RAHASTRANS                                                reveal.
The Rahastrans are a tall and dark-skinned folk who
carry about them an air of mystery and magic. The             Magic & Religion
wear cloaks, gloves and long coats of blue fustian, and       For Rahastrans the Zodar is religion, magic, art, and
pendants of carved amethyst. Every Rahastran carries a        craft. They turn to the cards for spiritual guidance, and
deck of enchanted cards known as the Zodar.                   ascribe sentient virtues to their cards, which they claim
                                                              are imbued with divinatory powers by the higher spirits.
Ancestry                                                      Able to foresee the means of their death in the cards,
The Rahastrans are the direct descendents of a sect of        Rahastrans often prepare a will indicating how their
cartomancers who once served the rulers of the ancient        possessions are to be divided among their chosen heirs
kingdom of Phandril. According to their legends, their        and successors. Most prefer to be cremated along with
people were banished after a Rahastran displeased the         their cards.
ruler of Phandril by giving an unfavorable reading
regarding the future of the kingdom (the reading turned       The Arts
out to be accurate, and Phandril was destroyed during         Rahastrans make their own cards by hand, inditing
The Great Disaster). Since that time Rahastrans have          each with the traditional illustrations and symbology.
been wanderers, who give their allegiance to no               They also fashion the silver cases used to hold the
government.                                                   Zodar deck, decorating them with intricate scrollwork.
                                                              Both the cards and cases are considered works of art by
Society                                                       many folk. However a Rahastran will never sell his or
Rahastrans are traveling seers who wander from place          her own deck, which was made especially for that
to place, earning a living as fortunetellers or gamblers.     individual.
It is the custom of these individuals to trust to the luck
of the Zodar, an archaic and magical game employing a         Language
deck of twenty cards, each marked with a different            Rahastrans are fluent both in Low Talislan and old
arcane symbol. While Zodar is often thought of as a           Archaen. Because they travel so extensively, many are
game of chance, the cards are most often used to              able to pick-up a smattering of other tongues along the
divine the future, or to reveal a person‟s deepest            way. Common names are highly individualistic,
thoughts and desires. In addition to supplying a              reflecting the eclectic tastes of the Rahastrans. For
livelihood, the Zodar guides virtually every aspect of a      example: Rashir, Tarean, Dalusia, and Falusche.
Rahastran‟s life on a day-to-day basis. It is said that no
Rahastran would ever make an important decision               Government
without first consulting the cards and reading the            Rahastrans consider themselves masters of their own
portents, nor would he or she take any action that the        fate, their actions influenced only by the cards of the
cards indicate to be unwise.                                  Zodar deck. They normally adhere to the laws of
                                                              whatever land they are visiting in order to avoid
Rahastrans tend to be loners; there are no bands or           unwanted attention.
tribes of Rahastrans, nor do they have any homeland.
Some Talislantan scholars believe that there may be no        Defenses
more than a few hundred Rahastrans extant on the
                                                              Normally non-violent, Rahastrans will use their magics
continent, if that.
                                                              to defend themselves if left with no other alternative.
                                                              Many Talislantans believe that it is bad luck to do harm
Rahastrans do not marry, though on rare occasions
                                                              to a Rahastran, and so give them a wide berth.
they may indulge in romantic affairs or dalliances -- if it
is in the cards. Should the pairing of a Rahastran and a
mate of any other race result in pregnancy, the child
Commerce                                                     cards, and they have led you on an obscure path. The
Rahastrans tell fortunes for coin, barter, or if the mood    wandering life is lonely; you attract friends and lovers,
strikes them, for free. When gambling, they prefer to        but few can tolerate for long your moodiness and
deal in silver and gold lumens, though a Rahastran may       introspection. No one understands that your emotions
accept any attractive wager -- provided the cards            and your destiny are beyond your control, given to the
indicate that doing so would be propitious.                  Zodar and blown like so many leaves upon the wind.
                                                             Nothing is known to mortals. Only the Zodar knows
Worldview                                                    what will be.
Rahastrans are deeply distrustful of the Aamanians,
                                                             Physical Characteristics: 5‟8”-6‟4”, 130-190 lbs.
who in the past and present have persecuted and
                                                             Dark complexion, black hair, bright blue eyes, angular
hunted their people as witches. Consequently, a
                                                             build.
Rahastran will never travel to Aaman unless such a trip
is decreed by the cards. Generally speaking, Rahastrans
                                                             Attributes:
regard most other peoples neither with animosity nor
                                                             INT +3                STR 0       CR 0
trust.
                                                             PER +4          DEX 0       MR +4
                                                             WIL -2          CON +1      HP 20
Fate in the Cards                                            CHA -1                SPD 0
“The ability to foresee the coming of unfortunate or
tragic events by means of the Zodar is a burden carried      Skills:
by all Rahastrans, who are viewed by many Talislantans       Cartomancy (Six Modes of choice) +5
as harbingers of doom and ill fortune. Often shunned as      Gambling +6                   Herb Lore +2
loners and outsiders, it is not surprising that many         Merchant +5                   Survival +2
Rahastrans become moody, somber, and withdrawn. So           Deception +6                  Ride +4
it is that the majority of these people rarely remain in     Legerdemain +5                Low Talislan, native
one place for long, preferring to travel from place to       Brawling +2                   Archaen, fluent
place as dictated by the cards.                              Artificer (Zodar) +5

To a Rahastran, the knowledge bestowed by the Zodar          Equipment: Cloak, gloves, breeches, cap, and long
is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand they         coat of blue fustian, pendant of carved amethyst, Zodar
know that the cards may show them how to attain              deck in silver case with intricate scrollwork, belt and
whatever they desire, whether it be riches, love, or         bandoleer with pouches, traveler‟s satchel, graymane
influence. In fact, some say that the power of the Zodar     steed.
is addictive, and that this is the true nature of the
Rahastrans attachment to their cards. Yet weighing           Wealth: 25 gold lumens in assorted currencies.
heavily on the mind of every Rahastran is the
knowledge that the Zodar also holds the key to their
own fate, and that one day they will draw the card           THE VERDIR
that foretells their own death.”                             Verdir are tall and somewhat gangly in appearance, and
                                                             have skin the color and texture of new grass. An
                                                             elongated cranium decorated with a mane of
Rahastran Cartomancer
                                                             yellow-green leaves is typical of members of this
Homeland: None                                               unusual species. Verdir wear loincloths of woven grass,
                                                             with bracelets and necklaces of woven vines. The
“Truly, the Zodar favors you. I draw the Silver Moon         females augment this costume with garlands of
and the Greater Sun - your luck will hold when you           meadow blossoms in a variety of hues.
need it most.”
                                                             Ancestry
You left your adoptive parents when you were fourteen,       The Verdir are believed to be related to the Green Men
several years later than they would have preferred. Yet      of the Dark Coast, though their people may have been
it took that long for you to attune yourself to your first   “mutated” or altered in some respects by The Great
deck of the Zodar. Your parents could do nothing but         Disaster or some other phenomenon.
remain patient. The first few years alone on the roads
of the continent were precarious. You had discovered         Society
little of reading destiny and nothing of casting spells.     Sentient plant-folk, the Verdir tribes live in villages
You made a living through gambling at cards, cheating        made of living plants, set atop the giant flowering
when you could. It cost you several thrashings, but it       lily-pads that grow in the lakes and ponds of this
was preferable to going hungry. As you learned better        region. They make useful tools and implements from
to interpret the cards, and better to gauge what your        woven vines, leaves, gourds, and roots, and have
clients wished to hear, you found a steady income as a       domesticated a species of water-bug known as cibants,
teller of fortunes. The deeper magic you learned as          which they employ as steeds to carry them to and from
well, but that you kept a secret, as all of your people      their floating settlements. Verdir subsist on sunlight,
do. You make few decisions without consulting the            rainwater, and minerals derived from certain plants,
roots, and tubers. The ingredients are mixed with water        exquisitely delicate. Bellflowers, wind chimes, and grass
to form a paste that is served either as a type of             flutes are used to create languid melodies that are
porridge, a liquid collation, or Ð when dried in the suns      interwoven in complex harmonic tapestries.
Ð as wafers. Verdir do not use fire, which terrifies
them.                                                          Language
                                                               Verdir speak the secret language of plants. Their name
Verdir reproduce via a strange combination of                  are long, colorful, and flowery. For example: Brilliant
humanoid and plant activity, involving the transfer of         Blue Sun Blossom, Seductive-Scented Meadow Flower,
pollen from male to female. The process is apparently          and Blush-Red Luminous Lake Petal.
pleasurable, as Verdir spend much time either
preparing to mate or actually participating in the act.        Government
Dedicated pleasure seekers, male and female Verdir             Each settlement is governed by an elder known as the
mate often, and prefer variety in their choice of              Dao, who is regarded as a great and wise sage. The
partners. Verdir young begin life as seeds, growing            Dao makes all decisions of importance to the
together in a pod-like protuberance that forms on the          settlement, such as when to hold various lustral rites,
back of the impregnated female. When the pod is                what to serve at these celebrations, and when to go
approximately a foot in length it is gently removed,           forth and collect sashesh. The Verdir follow his
planted in the soil, and watered regularly for a period of     commands without question.
seven days. At the end of this time a dozen or more
young “seedlings” emerge from the soil. They remain            Defenses
rooted for another two weeks, feeding on sunlight and
                                                               Verdir have no weapons or armies, and virtually no
water and growing like weeds. At the end of this time
                                                               talents as warriors. The waters surrounding the Verdir
the young uproot themselves and begin to walk about.
                                                               settlements provide sufficient protection from most
Vestigial root fibers on the feet disappear after a few
                                                               predators, in particular the hostile Arborin tribes and a
days.
                                                               local monster known as the Ravant, which is greatly
                                                               feared. As Verdir are plants rather than beings of flesh
Customs                                                        and blood, they are not bothered by carnivores, though
Verdir are hedonists who take their pleasure in the here       herbivorous creatures will sometimes graze on sleeping
and now. They love music, art, and romantic conclaves,         Verdir. When faced with danger Verdir either flee or
and engage in these favored pursuits as often as               attempt to blend into the foliage. Given the natural
possible. Verdir seem to have a feast or “lustral rite” for    coloration of these folk, the latter form of defense can
every occasion, from the blossoming of a favored flower        be quite effective.
to the various positions of the twin suns, and visitors
are always invited to take part. It is the custom of           Commerce
these folk to partake in various intoxicating
                                                               The concept of currency or barter appears to have no
plant-mixtures, considered an important preparation for
                                                               meaning to the Verdir, who give freely and ask nothing
their traditional fertility and nature rituals. Most popular
                                                               but friendship in return.
is the substance known as sashesh, a powerful
hallucinogen derived from a type of local fungi, which
the Verdir regard as sacred. Verdir hunters regularly
                                                               Worldview
                                                               The Verdir are a peaceful folk who pose no threat to
venture into the Wild Wood in order to obtain quantities
                                                               other peoples. They sometimes socialize with the
of this fungi, despite the dangers.
                                                               inhabitants of other Verdir settlements, but otherwise
                                                               have no formal relations with outsiders. A rival race of
Magic & Religion                                               plant-folk, the Arborin, are hostile towards the Verdir.
Verdir have no formal religion, though they recognize a
being known as “the Kagan” as their Great Creator.
They know little else about this individual except the
                                                               Verdir Hedonist
general location of his abode, yet dedicate lustral rituals
                                                               Homeland: The Aberrant Forest
and erect images in his name on the off-chance that he
may indeed be some sort of deity. The Verdir figure            Each day is cause for celebration. Flower-days for every
that the practice is harmless enough, and may well             blossom, feasts of joy and sun-song dances, planting
offer benefits in the afterlife, if there is such a thing.     time and seedling harvest, sashesh hunts and lustral
Verdir “plant” their dead, returning them to the soil          rites. The celebrations are a part of nature, of the
from which they sprang.                                        forest, as much as your people, as much as the cibants
                                                               you tame and ride. As much as the melody of wind
The Arts                                                       through the tinsel-trees, the dizzying visions of
As part of their rituals Verdir paint themselves with          sashesh, the sweet exchange of pollen. This is as
multi-hued pollens and plant-dyes, with wildly colored         nature intended, and perhaps it is part of the Kagan‟s
results. They also enjoy painting flowers and leaves in        grand design, as well. Either way, you will partake of all
different colors, weaving necklaces and garlands, and          that nature has to offer, and revel in its splendor.
creating topiary “sculptures” in various unusual,
abstract shapes. Virdir music is quiet, emotional, and         Physical    Characteristics:    6‟6”-7‟,   150-175    lbs.
Grass-like  skin,   elongated     cranium,    mane     of   the Soul). They look, act, and feel different from others,
yellow-green leaves, gangly build.                          and are subject to protracted periods of depression.
                                                            During their early years they may hear “voices” in their
Attributes:                                                 heads, or experience hallucinations of varying duration
INT 0           STR 0           CR -2                       and severity. As they get older they begin to develop
PER +2          DEX +2          MR 0                        strange powers, for which there seems to be no logical
WIL -1          CON -1          HP 18                       explanation. Then, on the eve of their thirteenth
CHA +2          SPD 0                                       birthday, young Xambrians receive a vision from an
                                                            ancestral spirit, who explains the Xambrians‟ heritage
Special Abilities: Speak with plants;            natural    and the reason for their existence. From this point on
camouflage (+8 to Stealth in woodlands).                    the child is a Xambrian wizard hunter, and will receive
                                                            spiritual guidance and training from the ancestors, until
Skills:                                                     he or she is ready for “the calling.”
Artificer +2             Dance +3
Animal Handler +5        Alchemy (Narcotics) +4             Customs
Music +3                 Stealth +2 (4/12)
                                                            At any time following the first spirit vision, a Xambrian
Art +3                   Language of Plants, native
                                                            may receive “the calling” (a summons from the spirit
                                                            guides), letting the Xambrian know that one of the
Equipment: Loincloth of woven grass, bracelets and
                                                            enemies of his people has returned to Talislanta in the
necklaces of woven vines, garlands of blossoms
                                                            form of a reincarnator, and directing him to travel to
(females), various tools, instruments (bellflowers, wind
                                                            the place called Omen, the mountain of skulls. Once
chimes, grass flute), gourd of pollen and plant-dyes,
                                                            here, the ancestor-spirits will tell the Xambrian how to
cibant steed.
                                                            locate the reincarnator, and will invest the wizard
Wealth: None; Verdir have no concept of barter or           hunter with a portion of their spiritual strength. From
currency.                                                   this moment on, the Xambrian will not rest until he or
                                                            she has carried out the vendetta.

THE XAMBRIANS                                               Government
Xambrians resemble the Ariane in stature, but have          Xambrians are guided by the ancient code of their
bone-white skin and long, raven-black hair. Their           ancestors: “Justice, not vengeance.” Aside from this
customary mode of dress includes a cape, high boots, a      Xambrians recognize no other law or authority.
vest, and tight breeches of black strider hide, with
gauntlets of fine silver mesh.                              Magic & Religion
                                                            Xambrians revere and obey the spirits of their
Ancestry                                                    ancestors, whose souls can never know rest until their
These folk are descended from the ancient Xambrians,        murderers have been brought to justice. From their
a peaceful people who were all but exterminated by a        ancestors, Xambrians learn abilities that enable them to
cult of black wizards known as the Torquarans. At their     resist and combat magicians; talents necessary to the
hands, untold thousands of Xambrians perished in the        pursuit of their life‟s goal. Xambrians believe that upon
Firepits of Malnangar. A few Xambrians escaped into         passing from the mortal world they will be reunited with
the Wilderlands and went into hiding. Assisted by           their ancestors. Whatever burial customs their people
unknown benefactors, they somehow managed to                once had are now lost.
survive The Great Disaster, disease, and starvation. To
the spirits of their ancestors they swore an unbreakable    Language
oath, to find and bring to justice the murderers of their
                                                            Most Xambrians speak Low Talislan, and can read old
people. The last of their descendents, the Xambrian
                                                            Archaen. Among themselves, wizard hunters prefer to
wizard hunters, can still be found scattered across the
                                                            converse in ancient Xambrian, an otherwise dead
Talislantan continent.
                                                            language that was once used by their ancestors.
                                                            Common Xambrian names usually end with the suffix,
Society                                                     “an,” a tradition among the families of old Xambria. For
The few remaining Xambrians have but one goal in life:      example: Javan, Xiran, Shian, Ishan, and Xian.
to hunt down and bring to justice the reincarnations of
their ancient enemies, the Torquarans. The Xambrians        Defenses
have no homeland, no clans, and no families. They do
                                                            Instructed by their spirit guides, Xambrians learn the
not marry, and can mate only with another Xambrian;
                                                            use of the runesword, tracking skills, and the ability to
no other union will bear fruit. Unable to bring infants
                                                            counter and dispel magic. Thus, they are well able to
with them while undertaking such dangerous work,
                                                            defend themselves.
Xambrian females are forced to abandon their offspring
at birth; usually to a family or individual whom the
                                                            Commerce
Xambrian has come to know and trust.
                                                            When not on a spirit quest, Xambrians will sometimes
No matter how they are raised, Xambrian children are        take work as bounty hunters, Wilderlands guides,
doomed to grow up as outcasts (see A Shadow Across          mercenary scouts, or adventurers. They do so not
because they covet riches or recognition, but so that       soul, and know that it is all that matters in your life.
they can survive and continue the ancient vendetta          Yes, you will somehow beget children, despite the road
against the enemies of their people.                        of solitude you travel. Some day, you will find your
                                                            mate upon the same trail of retribution. Yet there will
Worldview                                                   be no joy in that union. You will be drawn to Omen
Xambrians owe allegiance to no king or nation. A grim       once more, and at the mountain of skulls you will be
and moody lot, they are regarded with suspicion by          sent your separate ways, with only your ancestors to
most Talislantans. Many regard them as cursed, and          accompany you. Friendship is as difficult to secure.
want nothing to do with them. Xambrian regard for           Outsiders fear you as an agent of Death, and your
modern-day magic-users of any sort ranges from              moods grow ever darker. Some few may join you for a
distrust to outright hatred.                                time, and you may find moments of calm in which you
                                                            may assist their goals. Until the next time you hear the
A Shadow Across the Soul                                    Calling.
Of all Talislantans perhaps none are so tortured in mind
and spirit as the Xambrians. Their ancient ancestors        Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟2”, 100-180 lbs.
were nearly eradicated by the Torquaran wizards, who        Bone-white skin, long raven-black hair, dark violet
waged a campaign of genocide upon them for no other         eyes, hard features.
reason than sheer hatred. Their homeland, ravaged by
                                                            Attributes:
warfare and the effects of The Great Disaster, lies in
                                                            INT +1                 STR +1       CR +4
ruins -- an inhospitable wasteland, haunted by the
                                                            PER +2           DEX 0        MR +3
spirits of their ancient ancestors, and the specter of
                                                            WIL +6           CON +1       HP 21
that grisly monument, Omen, the mountain of skulls.
                                                            CHA -3                 SPD 0
For the few Xambrians who survive to the present day,
                                                            Special Abilities: Spirit Guidance, Anti-Magic
life holds little in the way of happiness or serenity.
Sworn to seek justice for the terrible wrongs done to
                                                            Skills:
their people, no Xambrian is free to pursue his or her
                                                            Spiritblade +2                   Arcane Lore +2
own individual aspirations. Marriage, raising a family,
                                                            Dagger +2                        Underworld +5
building a home, or even settling down in one place for
                                                            Brawling +1                      Survival +4
any length of time are not possible; a Xambrian must
                                                            Tracking +5                      Ride +5
be prepared at all times to follow the calling, whenever
                                                            Stealth +5                       Low Talislan, native
it may occur. Outsiders regard them with superstition
                                                            Traps +3                         Archaen, fluent
and mistrust, and such friendships as they may make
                                                            Interrogate +5                           Xambrian,
are usually temporary at best.
                                                            fluent
Traveling through hostile wilderness, spending weeks or
                                                            Equipment: Vest, tight breeches, high boots, and cloak
even months completely alone, always waiting for the
                                                            of black strider hide, gauntlets of fine silver mesh, large
calling but never knowing when it will come --this is the
                                                            shoulder pouch, spiritblade, twin daggers, graymane or
fate of the Xambrians. It is no wonder then that some
                                                            ontra steed.
folks say of the Xambrians are a doom-haunted folk
who bear a shadow across their souls.                       Wealth: 80 gold lumens in assorted currencies.

Xambrian Wizard Hunter
                                                            THE ZA
Homeland: None                                              The Za are lean and muscular, most standing at or just
                                                            under six feet in height. Their skin is a pallid yellow in
“You murdered untold thousands of my people, and for        hue, leathery in texture and lined with creases and
too long have avoided the judgement that awaits all of      wrinkles. Za shave their skulls, and forgo all but the
your kind. Finally, you shall belong to Death.”             most abbreviated attire. Necklaces of hammered
                                                            black-iron disks are favored, as are bands of
Long ago, the Xambrians had a homeland, a history,          reptile-hide worn on the head and upper arms. Males
and a culture of their own. Then the Torquaran wizards      generally wear long, braided mustaches; females, two
came: they razed your people‟s lands, erased their          long braids, one above either ear.
culture, and sent their innocent victims to perish in the
Fire-Pits of Malnangar. The few to escape swore a           Ancestry
sacred and binding oath to hunt down their people‟s         The Za believe that all the primitive peoples of
killers, even if it took until the end of time. You are     Talislanta are descended from a single race: the
their descendent, and you bear the ancient burden of        Landborne, or Wild Races. In ancient times vast tribes
your ancestors. The spirits of the ancient Torquarans       of Wild Folk held sway over the entire continent, and
live on, cloaked in the dark forms of reincarnators.        once fought the ancient Archaens to a standstill.
Time and again they return, claiming new bodies from        Divided by war, pestilence, and finally The Great
the living. Your ancestors call out for justice; the oath   Disaster, the Landborne split into numerous smaller
cannot be ignored. You have heard the Calling in your
groups and factions. The Za are perhaps the largest
such group.                                                   The Arts
                                                              Though Za get most of what they need in the way of
Society                                                       weapons, tools, and implements by raiding, their
Nomadic bandits who range far and wide throughout             craftsfolk exhibit no lack of native talent. Skills include
much of the central Talislanta, Za are the bane of the        decorative metalworking, tanning and preserving hides,
Wilderlands of Zaran. Their clans can range in size from      and carving wood, bone, and stone. Braiding is both a
small scouting parties to great raiding bands of as           practical craft and an art form among the Za. Knots of
many as three or four hundred individuals. They prey          various sorts are used to represent numbers, words,
upon merchant caravans, landarks, and travelers of all        and ideograms. The music of the Za consists of complex
races. Za carry their possessions with them on the            cross-rhythms played on gongs and tube-like drums,
backs of their mounts and in carts drawn by older             accompanied by chanting and, on occasion, the wailing
greymanes or land lizards. Contending that the                of a female soloist. Most Za songs are about the loss of
Wilderlands region rightfully belongs to them, Za             their homeland, their betrayal by the ancient Archaens,
rationalize that they are justified in robbing and            and the legend of the Tirshata.
murdering any who trespass in “their” territory.
                                                              Language
Though females are an integral part of the clans, Za          Most Za are conversant in both Low Talislan and Sign.
society is male-oriented. Za males may take as many           Common      names     are  usually    constructed  of
wives as they can attract; skilled warriors and               two-syllables, and start with the prefix, “Za.” For
successful bandits carry the most esteem among Za             example: Zai, Zakai, Zakhan, Zaiyan, and Zahai.
women. Wives who possess skills that the Za deem
useful -- such as riding, swordsmanship, bowmanship,          Defenses
hunting, robbing, etc. are most favored. The first wife       Za rely on mobility for defense and offense, and are
generally wields the most influence over her husband          skilled riders. They prefer to strike without warning,
and the other wives. Wives of lesser status must help         then flee swiftly away before their opponents can
raise the young; if no such persons are available, then       mount      serious  resistance.  Za    warriors  wield
older women must suffice. Za subsist on wild game,            jagged-edged broadswords, and fire barbed arrows with
root, and tubers, in addition to whatever foodstuffs they     their bows. Greymanes, with their long manes and tails
are able to obtain in raids.                                  done in tight braids, serve as steeds for the bandit
                                                              clans.
Customs
Za are fierce and cruel, seldom taking prisoners.             Commerce
Exceptionally valorous foes are sometimes accorded the        Za clans trade among each other often, exchanging
dubious honor of being taken alive, so that they may          stolen goods, food, and weapons. Barter is used among
later be slain in ritual fashion. The Za drink the blood of   the tribes, as are foreign currencies of various types
these vanquished enemies from skull-cups, believing           and denominations. Za sometimes trade with other wild
that this gives them the strength of their foes. Za are       tribes such as the Danelek, Orgovians, Beastmen, and
sensitive to insults, and have long tempers (see Blood        Kharakhan.
for Blood below).
                                                              Worldview
Government                                                    Most of the civilized peoples of Talislanta regard the Za
Za bandit clans are led by a chieftain: an individual         and the other wild races as vicious savages; “Sub-Men”
who, by dint of his prowess in battle and cunning, has        is the term used by many. There is considerable
shown himself to be the strongest leader. The chieftain       prejudice against these people, about whom most
will continue to hold this position until it is taken from    civilized Talislantans are generally ignorant.
him by force or by guile. Za laws are simple and direct:
obey the band‟s chieftain, or be prepared to usurp his        Blood for Blood
power.
                                                              The Za are a grim and unforgiving folk who will never
                                                              forget a wrong or turn their back on an insult. The
Magic & Religion                                              offended party is expected to seek retribution, or else
The Za have no religion or god. They know nothing of          suffer loss of face and esteem. To signify the intent to
magic, but have great faith in the ancient legend of the      seek revenge a Za will say the words, “Blood for Blood”.
Tirshata, a great chieftain who once ruled over all the       Among the Za this phrase is considered a solemn oath -
Landborne tribes during the time of the Archaens.             an unbreakable pledge that the injured party will not
According to the tale, one day the Tirshata shall return      rest until the insult has been avenged, in equal or
to unite all the wild tribes once again. At the designated    greater kind. With these three words the Za is
hour, “the Tirshata shall be revealed, and the Za will        thereafter committed to a blood feud, which by Za law
rise up and smite their enemies, until they alone rule        cannot be settled until blood has been spilled.
the lands from east to west.” Za bury their dead with
little ceremony, swearing an oath of revenge upon all         A blood feud may exist between individuals, families, or
those who have wronged the Za people in the past.             entire tribes. It may last a few moments, or may be
passed down from one generation to the next, until the        WIL -1          CON +4      HP 25
terms of the pledge have been fulfilled. A blood feud         CHA -1                SPD 0
need not result in the death of the offending party in
order to be satisfied, though this is often the case, as      Skills:
matters tend to get more heated the longer an                 Za Broadsword +4        Scout +5
unsettled feud drags on. Because the injured party is         Whipsash +3             Merchant +5
entitled by Za law to seek redress, the offender may          Wristblade +3           Guide +7
not launch a blood feud of his or her own in response.        Short Bow +3            Survival +2
Once matters have been settled, the feud is considered        Brawling +3             Ride +5
over and done with.                                           Mounted Combat +3       Low Talislan, native
                                                              Stealth +4              Sign, native
The longest running and greatest blood feud on record         Tracking +3
is that between the Za and the Archaens, which is said
to have begun soon after the onset of The Great               Equipment: Loincloth, tight hide chest binder
Disaster. According to the Za, the call of “Blood for         (females), harness of studded land lizard hide, bands of
Blood” was spoken when the Archaens broke their               reptile hide on head and upper arms, wristblades,
promise to the Za‟s ancestors, who had been ceded the         whipsash, Za broadsword, horn short bow, quiver of
rights to the continent of Talislanta as part of a truce      twenty barbed arrows, necklace of hammered
between their two peoples (in return, the Archaens            black-iron disks, graymane steed (with braided mane).
were ceded the rights to the skies above Talislanta).
The Za have yet to avenge this affront, which took            Wealth: 40 gold lumens in assorted currencies.
place over a thousand years ago, but it has not been
forgotten.                                                    Za Bandit

Za Smuggler                                                   Homeland: Zaran

Homeland: Wilderlands of Zaran                                Zaran belongs to the Wild Folk, the Landborne - your
                                                              people. It was ceded to them by the ancient Archaens.
“You are wise to fear me. But better to deal with me          You do not care to hear the excuses of the
than a whole band of my people, no?”                          oath-breakers. They caused the Disaster that ravaged
                                                              your tribal lands. They call you “Sub-Men,” as if you are
You‟ve made a good living off of fear. Your people plant      less than they are. You afford them no lenience nor
terror in the hearts of those who travel through your         mercy. Such notions are for the weak. They travel
homeland, and your jagged broadswords show no                 through your lands in their caravans, carrying with
mercy. Often the outsiders flee, leaving the goods of         them riches that are rightfully yours. So you take what
their caravans as easy spoils. Growing up, you saw            they owe to you, and you teach them to fear you. Yet
many of your friends die in battle, or when tempers           still they come, daring you, taunting you, bringing
flared, in vendettas. You thought you could profit more,      greater numbers of warriors to protect their precious
with less danger, working as a smuggler for the               goods. If they think your people will run, they are
caravans. They pay you to guide them through the              wrong. These lands are yours. Your honor demands
territory of your people unscathed. So what if                that you take vengeance. You have sworn an oath of
sometimes you pass along word of certain rich                 blood.
shipments to your Za brothers? It helps keep demand
for your services high, and besides, you must be careful      Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 90-190 lbs. Pallid
not to draw the ire of your people. If it comes to a fight,   yellow skin, leathery and lined with creases and
you will do battle with whomever you must. And                wrinkles, deep-set eyes, shaved head, long, braided
afterwards, you will drink the blood of a brave enemy,        mustaches (males), long braids above each ear
for this adds their courage and strength to your own          (females), lean and muscular build.
and rids you of the dishonor that this life breeds. And
when your employers see you drink the blood of other          Attributes:
Za, they will believe you no longer side with your            INT -1          STR +2       CR +4
people. You are tempted, it is true, to keep the spoils of    PER +1          DEX 0        MR -2
this life for yourself. But you also understand fear.         WIL -1          CON +4       HP 25
                                                              CHA -2                 SPD 0
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟, 90-190 lbs. Pallid
yellow skin, leathery and lined with creases and              Skills:
wrinkles, deep-set eyes, shaved head, long, braided           Za Broadsword +4                Tracking +3
mustaches (males), long braids above each ear                 Whipsash +4                     Scout +4
(females), lean and muscular build.                           Wristblade +4                   Survival +2
                                                              Short Bow +4                    Ride +5
Attributes:                                                   Brawling +4                     Low Talislan, native
INT -1          STR +2           CR +4                        Mounted Combat +4               Sign, native
PER +1          DEX 0            MR -2                        Stealth +4
                                                            Some go so far as to cite the distinction between Djaffir
Equipment: Loincloth, tight hide chest binder               merchants and bandits as one of semantics only. The
(females), harness of studded land lizard hide, bands of    implication is that there are no bandit or merchant
reptile hide on head and upper arms, wristblades,           tribes per se, only Djaffir; i.e., a Djaffir who has
whipsash, Za broadsword, horn short bow, quiver of          nothing to sell becomes a bandit. When he has stolen
twenty barbed arrows, necklace of hammered                  something and wishes to sell it he becomes a merchant.
black-iron disks, graymane steed (with braided mane).       The Djaffir do not take kindly to such talk.

Wealth: 25 gold lumens in plunder.                          It is the peculiar custom of all Djaffir to wear leather
                                                            fetish masks, which cover the entire face. The Djaffir
The Desert Kingdoms                                         will not remove these masks except in the privacy of
                                                            their tents, believing that “the face mirrors the soul,”
                                                            and that their masks protect them from hostile magics.
THE DJAFFIR                                                 These devices do indeed seem to confer some
The Djaffir are uniformly slender and wiry of build, dark   protection from magical influences, and certainly are of
skinned, and of average height. Flowing head dresses,       practical use against sandstorms. Individuals of a more
robes, and cloaks of beige or white linen are worn by       skeptical nature claim that the Djaffir wear masks
both tribes, along with boots of soft animal hide. All      simply to conceal their identities from those whom they
Djaffir wear traditional fetish-masks made of cured hide    intend, by one means or another, to eventually relieve
and decorated with occult symbology.                        of their money.

Ancestry                                                    Government
The Djaffir are descended from a large group of             Each clan has its own chieftain, who directs the day to
nomadic tribes displaced by The Great Disaster. Some        day activities of the group. Both the bandit and
believe they are distantly related to the Kasmirans, a      merchant tribes are in turn ruled by a Sheik, who
prospect that neither people seems to relish.               governs the lesser chieftains. At the head of all the
                                                            chieftains and the two Sheiks is the Caliph of Djaffa,
Society                                                     who is regarded by his people as their spiritual leader.
The Djaffir people are comprised of many families and       Aside from his duties as arbiter of all tribal disputes, the
clans, each of which belongs to one of two main tribes:     Caliph of Djaffa performs no other known function.
merchant traders or bandits. By far the most numerous       Even so, it is said that at a single word from the Caliph,
of the two tribes, the Djaffir merchants make their         all the tribes of Djaffa would unite to do his bidding.
living by buying and selling goods from distant lands
and importing them across the continent in large            Magic & Religion
caravans. They also breed aht-ra and other beasts,          The Djaffir are a devoutly religious people who revere
which they sell at markets from the Western Lands to        the deity, Creator, whom they depict as a desert
the Kang Empire. The bandit tribes are mainly caravan       wanderer who watches over all nomads. Djaffir
robbers, though on rare occasions they have been            “priests” and “priestesses” are known as wizards, but
known to raid small settlements and encampments,            serve mainly as tribal healers and seers. They are often
taking anything of value that can be carried off.           called upon to interpret the meaning of events, which
                                                            are regarded as omens of symbolic, if not actual,
The Djaffir have two settlements, which grow or             significance. Djaffir wizards make the fetish-masks
contract in size according to the comings and goings of     worn by all their people. They are also employed to cast
the various merchant and bandit tribes. These “desert       spells of warding upon the bodies of the deceased, in
cities” are comprised entirely of tents and pavilions,      order to protect them from grave robbers.
allowing them to be moved at need.
                                                            The Arts
Djaffir males can take as many wives as they can afford     Djaffir arts include ornamental beadwork, pottery, and
to keep. No wife is more important than any other, nor      mosaic. Crafts include fine leatherwork, linen, rugs,
are any offspring favored over the other on the basis of    ornate swords and daggers. The music of the nomadic
maternal origin. Women are allowed to do anything a         Djaffir tribes features high, trilling vocals over complex
man can do except rule a tribe or take more than one        rhythmic figures; the latter, performed on cymbals of
husband. There is evidence to suggest that Djaffir          varying pitch, shakers, and aht-ra hide tribal drums.
women have begun to rebel against these inequities,         Another instrument is the djaro, which also doubles as
but the ancient traditions are not easily changed.          a short bow; the bowstring is struck with a rod or stick
                                                            to produce its characteristic “twanging” sound. A
Customs                                                     whirling, spinning dance called the django is a
Though they will use force if necessary, Djaffir bandits    traditional favorite of the tribes.
are not known to engage in wanton or senseless
violence. Neither are they known to attack the caravans
of other Djaffir, a fact that has led many to suspect
collusion between the sheiks of the two tribal groups.
Language                                                     chieftain raised his scimitar and let out an exultant cry.
Djaffir speak Nomadic and Talislan. First names often        The rest of the tribe replied in kind, and we were off,
begin with the prefix “Dj”. For example: Djamal al Arin,     thundering across the plains and into Rajanistan.
Djeral djen Harune, Djalla il Faruud, and so on.
                                                             The first Rajans we encountered were a band of Virds,
Defenses                                                     barely risen from their sleep. We rode directly into their
                                                             encampment, the Djaffir capsizing tents and slashing
The Djaffir make no fortifications, but rely on mobility
                                                             indiscriminately with their blades, and were gone before
for defense and offense. Most males and females
                                                             the Virds knew what had transpired. The Djaffir were
acquire proficiency in the use of bow and scimitar by
                                                             wild with the thrill of battle, and becoming ever more
age ten or eleven.
                                                             bold with each passing mile. At the sight of a Rajan
                                                             merchant caravan, the nomads shouted in unison some
Commerce                                                     deprecating remark. Then they descended upon their
Djaffir caravans are large and heavily-armed against         rivals, wreaking havoc upon the Rajans‟ baggage trains
attack. They carry goods to and from the marketplaces        before again dashing off towards Hadran.
of many countries, from the Western Lands to the
Eastern Lands. Unlike the Farad, Djaffir generally do        This last incident aroused the attention of a contingent
not deal in contraband. Nor do they normally deal in         of Rajan cavalry, who set off after us in hot pursuit.
artifacts and curiosities, as Orgovian traders often do.     When the bridge at Hadran finally came into view, my
Instead, the Djaffir trade in goods such as spices,          heart leapt with joy, then just as quickly sank; blocking
ornate rugs, copper or brass utensils, bolts of silkcloth    the bridge was a unit of Shadinn land lizards. With the
from the east, mochan, dried fruits, and wines. They         Rajans at our heels and the Shadinn ahead, our doom
also breed and sell domesticated animals such as             seemed imminent. Though certainly aware of our plight,
aht-ra, which are in wide use among the peoples of the       the Djaffir continued to ride at full gallop towards the
Desert Kingdoms and elsewhere as steeds and burden           bridge. The Shadinn responded, charging forth on their
beasts. The Djaffir themselves produce few marketable        armored lizards to meet us head on. This, evidently,
wares, though they make lances, daggers and short            was what the Djaffir had hoped would occur. Scattering
bows of good quality for their own use.                      like leaves on the wind, the nomads rode in between
                                                             and around the Shadinn‟s lumbering beasts, who nearly
Worldview                                                    fell over themselves trying to match the agile
The Djaffir are allies and friends of the Dracartans, both   maneuvers of the Djaffir‟s swift steeds. The pursuing
of whom despise the Rajans. They are also on good            Rajan cavalry arrived on the scene only to become
terms with the Yitek, Yassan, and to a lesser extent,        hopelessly entangled with the Shadinn host, which by
the Danelek. The Djaffir and Kasmirans have been             this time was in a state of utter disarray. In the ensuing
trading partners for many years, despite some                crush of Rajans, land lizards, and Shadinn, the nomads
animosity between the two. Djaffir complain that the         were able to make the bridge. Four of our group had
Kasmirans are cheap, while the Kasmirans complain            suffered slight wounds, a small price to pay for such
that Djaffir merchants are no different than Djaffir         sport, at least in the opinion of the Djaffir.”
bandits. Some say both make valid points.
                                                             Djaffir Merchant/Bandit
Sport with the Rajans
“Both the Djaffir merchant tribes and their bandit           Homeland: Djaffa
brethren have no love for the Rajans, and will seldom
pass up an opportunity to “pull their beards” (as they       “This silkcloth has burdened my aht-ra from Jacinthe to
like to put it). I am reminded of an incident that           Cymril. Your offer is an insult to my fine beast.”
occurred at the eastern edge of the Wilderlands of
Zaran. The Djaffir merchant tribe I had been riding with     There is little of Talislanta that you have not seen with
was known to do business with certain merchants in the       your own eyes. Every year past your sixth birthday, you
city of Hadran, in the Kang Empire. To do so, the Djaffir    traveled with your cousins on their trade routes,
either had to follow a circuitous route through the          observing the customs of foreigners and learning the
Volcanic Hills or trespass through a heavily patrolled       local markets. Your tenth and fifteenth years were
sector of Rajanistan. Naturally, the Djaffir always chose    spent with your father‟s brother, to experience the
the latter approach, as it was the shortest of the two.      bandit life and to train with the horn bow. Yet trade is
                                                             in your blood, and you chose to remain a merchant
On this particular occasion, the tribe decided that they     when you knelt before the Caliph on the second
would show their utter disdain for the Rajans by             morning of his great feast. These are dangerous times,
venturing into their territories during broad daylight. I    and you are wary in your travels, but you will not be
assured them that they need not be so bold merely to         diverted from your business. The reputation of your
impress me, which they considered a grand joke. On           people is a great boon, and customers rarely question
the next day we rose before dawn and approached the          the quality of your goods. Surely, there are some who
Rajan border. There we waited, mounted on our swift          accuse you of banditry and deceit, and deride you for
ontra, a cool night wind blowing at our backs. When the      hiding your face. You explain that the fetish mask
twin suns finally broke across the horizon, the tribe‟s      serves to shield your soul from magic; the other
benefits, however useful, are incidental. You remain         sick, and read the many omens that The Nomad leaves
distant from most outsiders you meet, but true friends       with His passing, magics that do not burden The
are as family to you. To some, you may even reveal           Nomad. Now you serve His people by tending them,
your face. Such friends will ride beside you through the     and ensuring that the evil magic that conquers the soul
Wilderlands and guard your back against Za and               cannot afflict them, as it has the Rajans. Now, you are
Beastmen. In turn, you will follow them on their own         a Wizard yourself, and create the fetish masks that
journeys. Along the way, you will always find means to       shield your people from such evil sorcery, and when
make profit.                                                 next The Nomad races across the skies, you will know
                                                             you have done well.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 80-160 lbs. Dark
brown skin, hair, and eyes, wiry build.                      Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 80-160 lbs. Dark
                                                             brown skin, hair, and eyes, wiry build.
Attributes:
INT +2                 STR 0            CR +3                Attributes:
PER +1          DEX +2          MR +1                        INT +3                 STR 0            CR 0
WIL 0           CON +1          HP 21                        PER +1          DEX +1          MR +3
CHA 0           SPD 0                                        WIL +1          CON +1          HP 21
                                                             CHA 0           SPD 0
Skills:
Scimitar +3             Caravan Master +4                    Skills:
Short Bow +3            Animal Handler +3                    Wizardry                        Healer +4
Dagger +2               Guard +4                                   Enchantment +5            Dagger +1
Mounted Combat +3       Survival +4                                Heal +3                   Ride +4
Ride +4                 Nomadic, native                            Reveal +3                         Survival +3
Merchant +7             Low Talislan, fluent                       Ward +5                   Nomadic, native
Appraiser +5            High Talislan, fluent                Artificer - Fetish Masks +5     High Talislan, fluent
                                                             Doctrines - The Nomad +4        Low Talislan, fluent
Equipment: Traditional leather fetish mask, cloak,
robes, and headdress of light linen, boots of soft aht-ra    Equipment: Traditional leather fetish mask, cloak,
hide, curved dagger, scimitar, horn short bow with           robes, and headdress of light linen, boots of soft aht-ra
quiver of twenty arrows, belt and shoulder pouches,          hide, curved dagger, leather-bound spell book, belt and
aht-ra steed with baggage.                                   shoulder pouches, aht-ra steed with baggage.

Wealth: 50 gold lumens in assorted coins.                    Wealth: 50 gold lumens in assorted coins.

Note: Djaffir bandits are distinguishable from the           THE DRACARTANS
merchants solely through their attitudes and actions.        The Dracartans are tall and jade-skinned, with chiseled
Children spend time among both groups, and learn the         features. They dress in flowing robes of fine white linen,
same set of skills. Older bandits are likely to have         and adorn themselves with necklaces, bracers and torcs
focused their energies upon improving their skills in        of red iron.
combat and riding.
                                                             Ancestry
Djaffir Wizard                                               Formerly a tribe of poor nomadic wanderers, the
                                                             ancestors of these hardy folk settled in the Red Desert
Homeland: Djaffir
                                                             some centuries ago. With the re-discovery of the lost
                                                             art of Thaumaturgy, the Dracartans learned how to
“The Nomad has left us a sign that portends good
                                                             create red iron, a metal superior in all aspects to
fortune. Today will be a good day for trade.”
                                                             common black iron. The Dracartan people prospered,
                                                             and Carantheum soon became a strong and prosperous
The Nomad of the Stars watches over your people
                                                             nation.
during his wanderings across the skies, but He is not
always there, so you, His humble and devoted servant,
are proud to watch out for them in His stead, doing          Society
your utmost to preserve them in His absence. As a            With little more than their own ingenuity and
child, you were always drawn to the beauty of the sky        thaumaturgical talents, the Dracartans have built a
above, and watched the bright white flame of The             flourishing and sophisticated civilization in the midst of
Nomad as he raced across the heavens. You knew,              a barren desert. Dracartan architecture tends to be on
even then, that you would serve Him, as did the Wizard       the grand scale, but aesthetically pleasing. Their cities
who took you as an apprentice. You spent many hours          are comprised of domed towers and circular structures
learning to craft the fetish masks of your people,           of whitewashed stone, which the Dracartans make from
training and practicing until you had finally created your   thaumaturgically solidified sand. Red iron plating is
own under instruction. You learned the magics that           used for defensive purposes, and to add decorative
enable you to protect the bodies of the dead, heal the       touches.
                                                             Individuals convicted of minor offenses are sentenced
Safe within their walled cities, the Dracartans practice     to perform some sort of civic duty, such as cleaning
many a diverse array of crafts and professions. There        municipal sewage receptacles. Banishing violent or
are food-growers, artisans, metalsmiths, thaumaturges,       habitual criminals to the Wilderlands is also a popular
merchants, priests, teachers, public officials, desert       punishment.
scouts, and many others. The populace subsist on a
plentiful diet of dates, erd‟s milk, erd cheese, and a       Magic & Religion
type of unleavened bread made from provender plant           The folk of Carantheum revere Jamba, the mysterious
called t‟chall. Kasmiran mochan is a popular beverage.       god of their nomadic ancestors. Dracartans build
                                                             pyramid-shaped shrines in honor of their patron, whose
Dracartans consider themselves to be part a single           ways are said to be beyond the understanding of mere
family; “One tribe, one heart,” as they say. Males and       mortals. According to legend, it was Jamba who guided
females are accorded equal status in the family and in       the Dracartans into the Red Desert and told them
Dracartan society. Children are cared for by their           where to find the fabled seventeen Ruby Tablets
parents and grandparents; education is considered of         describing the lost art of thaumaturgy. Dracartans
the utmost importance, and children begin schooling at       believe this knowledge was conveyed to them by Jamba
age three.                                                   himself, the only time the deity is known to have
                                                             spoken. For this reason it is not permitted to speak or
Customs                                                      make noise while in a Dracartan temple, lest the faithful
The Dracartans are a moody and introspective people,         miss any further pronouncement of Jamba.
prone to brooding. Most are friendly, if somewhat
reserved; frivolity is not a quality associated with these   Carantheum is famed for its thaumaturges, who are
folk. This trait can be ascribed to the unending struggle    greatly esteemed for the wondrous products which they
of the Dracartan people to survive, first as a tribe, then   create. Not the least of these is the elusive substance
as homeless wanderers, and now as a nation.                  known as quintessence, a crystalline powder derived by
                                                             a secret alchemical process (see The Academy of
Dracartans exhibit an admirable degree of tolerance for      Thaumaturgy). Dracartan thaumaturges transmute the
the ways and beliefs of most other peoples, except as        bodies of the dead to solid form, after which the
pertains to the inhabitants of Faradun, the Kang             deceased are buried in underground tombs.
Empire, and Rajanistan. The former two, while accorded
a modicum of courtesy in Carantheum, are regarded            The Arts
with suspicion and distrust. The prevailing attitude         The music of the Dracartan people is a medley of
towards Rajans is less indistinct, and can be                complex rhythmic figures overlaid with droning vocal
categorized as “murderous.” Enemies of the Dracartans        chants. Instrumentation includes daro (drums made of
since their nomadic days, the Rajans have long sought        fired clay and land lizard hide), dracara (ancestral
to wrest control of the Red Desert and its wealth of         drums made of red iron, dating back hundreds of years,
minerals from Carantheum, and there is no love lost          and tchan (red iron cymbals). The making of red iron
between these two peoples.                                   jewelry, utensils, tools, and weapons of superior
                                                             craftsmanship is also a popular artform.
Despite their current wealth and prosperity, the
Dracartans remember the old days when they had               Language
nothing. Though they can afford to surround
                                                             Most Dracartans are bilingual, speaking a simplified
themselves with creature comforts, they choose to live
                                                             version of High Talislan and the language of their
simply. This is both a way of honoring the ancestors
                                                             ancestors, Nomadic. The former, stripped of some of its
who struggled so that they might prosper, and a means
                                                             more pretentious affects, is used extensively in
of ensuring that should the Dracaratans lose everything
                                                             everyday life, and in all dealings with civilized peoples.
as they did long ago the race would still be strong
                                                             The latter tongue is reserved for matters pertaining to
enough to survive.
                                                             the Dracartans themselves, and to converse with
                                                             nomadic peoples such as the Djaffir and Orgovians.
Government                                                   Common male names end in an “a”, and female names
Carantheum is ruled by a king, who is chosen through a       end in “al”. For example: T‟Jama, K‟tara, M‟Dara
process known as the “Test of the Ancients.” This            (males); T‟jamal. K‟Taral, M‟Daral (females).
ordeal consists of three separate parts: a journey
through the desert, the scaling of a mountain of glass,      Defenses
and the retrieval of a magic scepter from a vault deep
                                                             The Dracartan military is known to be quite formidable,
inside a crystal mountain. The test is held once every
                                                             though the exact size and capabilities of its forces are
twelve years, unless the premature death of a reigning
                                                             government secrets. The capital city of Dracarta has a
king requires otherwise.
                                                             large fleet of armored duneships, many divisions of
                                                             aht-ra cavalry, and and several dozen hurlants capable
The laws of the Kingdom of Carantheum are strict but
                                                             of propelling spheres of red menace, yellow peril, and
fair. A court of nine elders judges all cases; trials and
                                                             other dangerous substances. The city is surrounded by
judgement are swift and final, with no appeal possible.
                                                             tri-fold walls, and despite the best efforts of the Rajan
army has never been successfully penetrated. The            Dracartan Desert Scout
citadels of Anasa and Nadan are also heavily armed and
fortified against attack, and harbor even more troops       Homeland: Carantheum
and duneships.
                                                            “Jamba wills my people to survive. You may defeat me
Commerce                                                    today, but you will not thwart Jamba.”
Carantheum produces most of what it needs, with the
exception of water, which is obtained from deep             Carantheum is besieged. The Rajans arm themselves
underground wells but at times is in short supply. When     with dark magic and stolen windships. The Kang, free
needed, the Dracartans obtain stores of life-giving fluid   from their former masters, the Quan, grow bold to the
from Astar of the Seven Kingdoms, using thaumaturgy         east. The Farad attract ever more trade away from the
to solidify water from Lake Zephyr, cut it into massive     Red Desert. The Za are increasingly restless. Ever is it
blocks, and transport it to Dracarta in massive land        so for the children of Jamba, ever do you struggle to
barges. Merchant caravans from many lands come to           survive. You are a soldier in that struggle, a guardian to
Dracarta to acquire red iron, for which they trade goods    your people, and you know better than most that the
of all varieties: amberglass from Cymril, woven goods       desert is an unforgiving home. Yet you have your faith
and hardwoods from Vardune, scintilla and amber from        in your god, and you have the bounty of his singular
Jhangara, metal and precious stones from Arim, beasts       gifts. From thaumaturgy, you have storm crystals to
from Djaffa, and many other items. Duneships and land       propel your duneships, red menace and blue havoc for
barges skim across the desert on red-iron runners,          the hurlants. Your merchants trade red iron for scarce
bringing cargoes to and from many distant lands.            necessities, and your craftsmen forge from it your
                                                            citadels, arms, and armor. Indeed, the torc and the
Worldview                                                   bracers that mark your profession and rank are of that
The Dracartans have good relations with the Djaffir and     crimson metal. You are reluctant to travel abroad,
Yitek tribes, whom they have known since the time of        fearing that war will come while you are in foreign
their nomadic ancestors. They have close ties to the        lands. Yet your nation relies upon the caravans you
Yassan, a people displaced by The Great Disaster and        have guarded, and you recruit allies and mercenaries
given safe haven in the Dracartan settlement of Nadan.      among all whom you encounter. The courage and skills
The nation-states comprising the Seven Kingdoms are         of those you find as comrades may turn the tide of
also considered to be close friends and allies.             coming battles. Jamba wills your people to survive, and
Carantheum‟s enemies are even more numerous.                you will obey your god however you may.
Despite several costly defeats, Rajanistan continues to
covet the Red Desert‟s riches, and remains a constant       Physical    Characteristics:    6‟-7‟,   125-240     lbs.
threat to the Dracartans. The Kang Empire is also           Jade-green skin, dark hair and eyes, chiseled features.
believed to have an overly acute interest in this region.
Za bandit tribes have preyed upon caravans heading to       Attributes:
and from Dracarta for many years, and show no sign of       INT 0           STR +2          CR +5
letting up. The Araq, too, have no love for Dracartans.     PER +2          DEX 0           MR +1
                                                            WIL 0           CON +3          HP 25
                                                            CHA 0           SPD 0
The Academy of Thaumaturgy
The Academy of Thaumaturgy, in Dracarta, is the only        Skills:
place in Talislanta where the ancient art of                Longsword +3            Artillerist +2
Thaumaturgy is taught. The inner walls of this red          Hurlant +3              Tactics +4
iron-plated building are heavily reinforced with            Weapon (choice) +1      Survival +2
alternating layers of metal and ceramic plating -           Mounted Combat +2       Ride +3
precautions deemed necessary due to the volatile            Tracking +3             Low Talislan, native dialect
nature of the work that goes on at the Center. For it is    Scout +4                Nomadic, native
here that the Dracartan Thaumaturges work their             Pilot (Duneship) +2
wonders: distilling elemental essences, transmuting
matter into different forms, and concocting the             Equipment: Vest of red iron disks padded with fine
marvelous substance known as quintessence.                  linen, red iron torc and bracers, linen and chain mesh
                                                            headdress, breechcloth, longsword with shoulder
By skillful utilization of the magical properties of        sheath, hurlant with quiver of twelve light crossbow
quintessence, Dracartan thaumaturges are able to            quarrels and six hurlant bolts, choice of third weapon.
transmute the very nature of substance. Thus, they are
able to solidity water, liquefy stone or metal, turn sand   Wealth: 50 gold lumens in Dracartan pyramids.
into glassine stone, or place elemental forces in
suspension. This crystalline compound is so unstable
                                                            Dracartan Dune Sailor
that, in its most rarified form, it must be stored in
amberglass vaults over five feet thick, lest even the       Homeland: Carantheum
smallest quantity escape into the outside environment.
“We must be as tough and enduring as the red-iron             Elders, and the King of Carantheum. You tread
runners under this great vessel, slicing through the          cautiously in advancing your craft; conscious of the
hardships that face us with determination in the sight of     awesome forces you wield with your caduceus. In
Jamba.”                                                       Dracarta, you have taught at the Academy, produced
                                                              elemental essences for the military, forged ingots of red
The sands of the Red Desert are treacherous, forever          iron for export, and helped to maintain the city
shifting beneath the scorching winds, and you must be         infrastructure for water and sewage. Abroad, you have
vigilant for the dangers they bring. As a sailor of your      solidified and mined water in Astar, debated theories of
proud nation‟s great duneships, you work to pilot them        magic at the Lyceum Arcanum, and negotiated trade
safely along their chosen routes, keeping constant            compacts with the Djaffir, Kasmirans, Orgovians, and
watch and alertness for hazards such as sandstorms,           Ispasians. In recent years, your assignments have
the illusory tricks of sand demons, and the assaults of       taken on increasing urgency as the forces against your
your hated foes, the Rajans. Complacency cannot be            people have gathered strength. You have begun to
tolerated, for who knows what lies behind the next sand       prepare your craft for martial conflict, to accustom
dune, and the desert is a harsh place, demanding that         yourself to the violence of final resort. The day will
only those with the will to survive will do so. As one of     come when such sacrifice is required of you. Jamba
mysterious Jamba‟s favored, you are acutely aware of          willing, you will be ready.
the hardships your people face, but you are doing your
bit to bring your people triumph over adversity, and          Physical    Characteristics:    6‟-7‟,   120-220     lbs.
Jamba willing, you will not fail, lest your blood stain the   Jade-green skin, dark hair and eyes, chiseled features.
already crimson sands.
                                                              Attributes:
Physical    Characteristics:    6‟-7‟,   120-220     lbs.     INT +3                STR 0             CR –1
Jade-green skin, dark hair and eyes, chiseled features.       PER +1          DEX 0           MR +3
                                                              WIL +2          CON +1          HP 19
Attributes:                                                   CHA 0           SPD 0
INT 0           STR +1           CR +3
PER +2          DEX 0            MR +1                        Skills:
WIL 0           CON +2           HP 22                        Thaumaturgy +7          Merchant +2
CHA 0           SPD 0                                         Alchemy +4              Low Talislan, native dialect
                                                              Engineer +2             Nomadic, native
Skills:                                                       Diplomacy +2            Archaen, fluent
Pilot - Duneship +5     Dagger +1
Artillerist +3          Survival +1                           Equipment: Thaumaturge‟s white robes and cap,
Longsword +2            Low Talislan, native dialect          cloak, caduceus, red iron torc and bracers, red-iron
Hurlant +2              Nomadic, native                       bound spell book, scroll case with one spell scroll.

Equipment: White linen vest, headdress, and                   Wealth: 200 gold lumens in Dracartan pyramids.
breeches, red-iron torc and bracers, red iron longsword
with shoulder sheath, flask of water, hurlant with quiver     Dracartan Priest of Jamba
of twelve light crossbow quarrels and six hurlant bolts,
dagger; dunesailors in Dracarta may have access to a          Homeland: Carantheum
duneship.
                                                              “It is true that Jamba has not openly entered our lives
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in dracartan pyramids.                 since the Exodus, but who are we to question the
                                                              unfathomable ways of a being beyond our ken? He led
Dracartan Thaumaturge                                         our people to the tools of our salvation, and for that we
                                                              should place our faith in him.”
Homeland: Carantheum
                                                              Jamba was the savior of your people, leading your
“Astramir taught that thaumaturgy is dangerous to the         ancestors to the Ruby Tablets, and the secrets of
careless and rash. Do not force me to illustrate these        Thaumaturgy contained therein; secrets that have
lessons.”                                                     enabled your people to prosper in the face of adversity.
                                                              However, while your people continue to offer quiet and
On the first day of the eighth year of your schooling,        sincere thanks to the enigmatic deity, He has not made
you were called away from your tutor by a tall woman          His presence felt since that time, a fact that continues
robed in white. She brought you to a vast pyramid of          to perplex many of you. In His honor, your temples
crystallized sand and launched you upon your true             must remain utterly silent, lest Jamba speaks again and
studies into the nature of matter, essence, and               goes unheard, so, as one of His devoted clergy, you
quintessence. Seven years later, you completed your           have learned the silent language of Sign, enabling you
studies at the Academy and swore Astramir‟s Oath to           to communicate without breaking the holy silence.
gain admittance into the Guild of Thaumaturgy. Always         Outside of the temples you serve Jamba‟s people as
you obey the will of Jamba, the Guild, the Council of         best as you can, performing ceremonies of birth,
marriage, and death; inspiring, comforting, and healing
those in need; reiterating that although no mere mortal     Rajan society is dominated by men. Women are totally
can    comprehend       Jamba,     faith  requires   no     subservient, and are forbidden to show their faces or
understanding. You continue to watch the skies for          any part of their bodies in public. Rajan men are
signs and portents that might indicate Jamba‟s coming,      allowed to take as many wives as they can support.
and you ponder what knowledge or presence of Jamba          Wives are “bought” from their fathers, usually at age
might exist elsewhere, for although you will never          thirteen, and are considered property; a man can
understand Him, you will always seek His presence.          banish an unwanted wife at any time. Children are
                                                            raised by the wives, and are kept out of sight from the
Physical    Characteristics:    6‟-7‟,   120-220     lbs.   Rajan men, who have little patience for child-raising. At
Jade-green skin, dark hair and eyes, chiseled features.     age thirteen, female children are sold off, and male
                                                            children are given to priests of the Nihilist Cult for
Attributes:                                                 training.   Most   will   become     warriors,     others
INT +2                STR 0             CR -1               necromancer-priests, according to their abilities.
PER +2          DEX 0           MR +1
WIL +3          CON +1          HP 19                       Customs
CHA +1          SPD 0                                       Fatalistic by nature, Rajans believe that the harsh
                                                            circumstances of their existence are punishment for the
Skills:                                                     sins of their ancestors. In essence, Rajans think the
Doctrines - Jamba +3    Artificer +2                        Talislantan world is Hell. For these people, death is the
Oratory +4              Low Talislan, native dialect        means of ascension to a better life in the next world -
Healer +4               Nomadic, native                     the Rajan version of Heaven, where the faithful will be
Astrology +3            Sign, native                        rewarded by attaining revenge over their enemies,
Administrator +2                                            power, wealth, and the means to satiate all mortal
                                                            desires.
Equipment: Priest‟s red robe, cape, cap, and boots,
red iron torc and bracers, astrolabe, red iron case (for    It is the unfriendly custom of both male and female
sky charts), pouch.                                         Rajans to carry concealed weapons on their persons,
                                                            curved daggers being considered especially elegant.
Wealth: 75 gold lumens in dracartan pyramids (salary        Rajans also favor kaj, a potent narcotic made from a
and offerings).                                             combination of Farad k‟tallah and the resinous buds of a
                                                            hallucinogenic plant know as rajoum. Abuse of this
THE RAJANS                                                  substance is common in Rajanistan.
The Rajans are a dark-skinned folk, tall and wiry of
build, with blood-red eyes, and horn-like protrusions       Government
jutting forth from their chins and foreheads. They dress    The Khadun is the absolute ruler of Rajanistan, and
in dark grey capes, veiled headdresses, and                 High Priest of the Nihilist Cult. A group of thirteen
loose-fitting garments bound with cords at the wrists,      necromancer-priests known as the High Council are
ankles and waist. These same cords are used for many        charged with the administration of the Khadun‟s edicts.
practical purposes by the Rajans, including the             The Khadun is the ultimate authority in Rajanistan; he
strangling of enemies.                                      passes judgement on individuals who have committed
                                                            serious offenses. Under his iron rule, Rajanistan is
Ancestry                                                    among the most repressive states in Talislanta. The
Certain Talislantan scholars believe that the Rajan races   punishment for most crimes is the removal of an
may be related to the Za, a theory that the Rajans          appropriate body part: liars have their tongues cut off,
themselves vehemently deny. Rajans prefer to believe        thieves lose a hand, and voyeurs lose an eye. The
that they are descended from the Torquarans, rulers of      penalty for adultery is especially grim. Individuals
a dark empire that once spanned much of the                 accused of treason or heresy are imprisoned in the
Talislantan continent. The folk now known as the            Tower of Irdan, where the Rajin practice their arts (see
Rajans were once nomadic hunters, who eked out a            The Rajin).
meager existence in the harsh deserts of Rajanistan. In
404 the Rajan tribes united under a chieftain called the    Magic & Religion
Khadun, and conquered the other desert peoples of           Rajans worship the Khadun, whom they say is the
Rajanistan.                                                 earthly manifestation of the dread entity known as
                                                            Death. More accurately, the Khadun is the central figure
Society                                                     of a cult of personality that exists primarily to further
The Rajans now live in the city of Irdan, a fortified       his own goals. In this way the Nihilists are similar to the
enclave built into the side of a mountain. Their            Torquaran wizards, a cult of black magicians whose
dwellings are made of bricks dried under the light of the   only religion was the pursuit of power.
twin suns, and hung with dark curtains and tapestries.
Rugs woven in bold reds and blacks cover the earthen        Devotees of the Nihilist Cult believe that only by dying
floors, and iron braziers provide illumination.             can they become one in spirit with the Khadun, and so
are eager to sacrifice their lives for any cause that he      nation with whom the Rajans have formal trade ties. No
endorses. Along the same line of reasoning, the Rajans        other business is done in Irdan, as the Rajans do not
claim that by killing non-believers, they convert them        fancy foreign merchants in their country. Flax from the
to their morbid religion -- “conversion by the sword”, in     desert thistle is woven into fabrics of various types,
the most literal sense. Devotees of the Cult are              died black and adorned with skull motifs, but is only
embalmed      and     buried    with   full   ceremonies.     sold domestically. The Rajans mint their own gold,
Non-believers are tossed into the sacrificial fires.          silver, and copper lumens, each bearing the image of a
                                                              Rajan death mask. This currency is mainly used in
The Nihilist Cult operates out of the Temple of Death, in     Rajanistan, and is not honored in Carantheum, the
the city of Irdan. Here, the Khadun resides within his        Seven Kingdoms, or Aaman.
sanctum, protected by his legions of fanatical followers.
Priests of the Nihilist Cult are said to consort with the     Worldview
spirits of the deceased, hoping to exhume lost magical        Rajanistan remains the primary military threat to the
secrets of the Forgotten Age.                                 other kingdoms of this region. The Rajans continue to
                                                              covet the ore-rich sands of the Red Desert, but have
The Arts                                                      thus far been unable to wrest these territories away
Rajan art is obsessed with death symbology, which             from the Dracartans, whom they envy and despise. The
appears on all metal weapons, tools, and implements,          Khadun has sworn to crush Carantheum, if every man,
and in sculpture, pottery, and architecture. Their music      woman and child in Rajanistan must die in the attempt.
is dark and ominous-sounding, as befits these folk.           As his generals are unfortunately known more for their
Instruments used include twenty-foot long black iron          fanatical obedience than their tactical abilities, some
temple horns, decorated with the images of leering            observers speculate that such a result is within the
skulls; the uraj, a monstrous pipe organ that requires a      realm of possibilities.
team of forty slaves to fill it‟s giant bellows; black iron
cymbals, and iron drums beaten with mallets carved            Under the auspices of their assassin-mages, Rajanistan
from the bones of the Rajans‟ enemies.                        exports terrorism across the continent. The Khadun
                                                              seeks to foment rebellion and anarchy in other lands,
The Rajan Dance of Death is a sacrificial ritual              hoping thereby to weaken and confuse his enemies.
dedicated to the Khadun, and through him, Death.              Prejudice towards Rajans is prevalent throughout
Participants don iron death masks, dose themselves            Talislanta, especially in Carantheum, where the term,
with kaj, and arm themselves with long-bladed                 “son of a Rajan,” is a grave insult. Given the Kang
ceremonial daggers. The dancers whirl about the               Empire‟s history of expansion and conquest, Rajanistan
intended victim, slashing at the air with their blades.       may also have some reason for concern in this
The music builds to a frenzied climax; then, as one, the      direction.
dancers plunge their daggers into the victim‟s heart.
                                                              The Rajin
Language                                                      The Rajin are a secret branch of the Nihilist Cult, which
The Rajans have their own language, called Rajanin,           rules Rajanistan. They are essentially a cult within a
which they claim is derived from the ancient Torquaran        cult; only assassin-mages can belong to this cell, which
tongue. Common male names begin with the prefix or            serves both as the personal bodyguard and covert
title “Raj,” which means “servant of Death” in Rajanin,       militia of the Khadun. No one joins the Rajin by choice.
and are hyphenated. For example Raj-Khan, Raj-Amon,           When in need of new initiates the assassin-mages send
and Raj-Omir. Female names begin with the prefix,             forth agents to steal young children, whom they drug
“Suraj” (meaning “property of”), followed by the name         and take from their homes at night. The victims,
of the male who claims her as his own. In the case of         typically boys under the age of five, are brought in
an unmarried woman, this is the father; after marriage,       secret to a Rajin sanctuary for training. Such incidents
the female takes the name of her “husband”. For               are quite common in Rajanistan but are never reported,
example: Suraj-Khan, Suraj-Amon, and Suraj-Omir.              for to do so would mean swift and certain reprisal.

Defenses                                                      Awakening in darkness, the young initiates are accosted
Rajan maintains a large standing army, though it is           by hooded figures who tell them that they have died.
comprised mostly of conscripts and low-class Vird             They offer to give back their lives, but only if they
infantry. The Rajans are believed to be constructing a        agree thenceforth to serve Death. Those who refuse are
fleet of windships, having recently acquired windship         slain; those who consent are “reborn”, and given new
arcanology from the Farad.                                    names. No longer are they allowed to speak of their
                                                              families or their former lives, which are now
Commerce                                                      meaningless. So begins a period of intense
                                                              indoctrination and instruction in the arts of torture,
Rajanistan is rich in gold and oil, both of which are
                                                              interrogation, Nihilist Cult dogma, necromancy, and a
obtained by slave labor and transported by caravan
                                                              type of martial arts called rajira - the Rajan art of
from the Jade Mountains to the fortress-city of lrdan.
                                                              assassination. When the Initiates have reached the age
The Rajans use their resources to purchase weapons,
                                                              of eighteen they are ready for a final test. In secret,
slaves, and narcotic herbs from Faradun, the only
each is given the name of another Initiate whom he or        Skills:
she must kill. Those who survive the test are officially     Necromancy                     Torture +5
acknowledged as Rajin.                                            (Four Modes of choice) +2         Stealth +4
                                                             Da-khar +3                     Deception +7
The Virds                                                    Dagger +2                      Rajanin, native
Several other nomadic tribes, referred to collectively as    Assassinate +5                 Low Talislan, fluent
the Virds, make their homes in tent settlements              Alchemy (Poisons, Powders) +3
scattered across Rajanistan. They include the Aramut,
the Zagir, and the giant Shadinn. All originate from the     Equipment: Dark gray cloak, veiled headdress,
same root stock as the Rajans, and have similar              loose-fitting garments bound with cords at the wrists,
cultures. They share a common language, homeland,            ankles, and waist (used for strangling and other
and nomadic background. Conquered by the Rajans              purposes), boots and mask of black strider hide,
long ago, they have been assimilated into the ranks of       iron-bound spell book, da-khar (clawed gauntlets), two
Rajan society. None have any talent for magic.               daggers, pouch with six vials of poison and powders,
                                                             pouch with devices for torture, garments appropriate
Rajan Assassin-Mage                                          for disguise.

Homeland: Rajanistan                                         Wealth: 250 gold lumens in salary and valuables stolen
                                                             from victims.
“Death wishes for you to join Him, and I am sworn to
obey his every whim.”                                        Rajan Desert Warrior

As a youth you were taken from your home, to a               Homeland: Rajanistan
strange and frightening place. Hooded figures
surrounded you, saying that you had died and had gone        Death is your master, and all the living must one day
to the next world. Death appeared, speaking in the           bow before him. Serve Him now, and when you die you
voice of the Khadun: your life would be spared, and you      will go the next world, never to want again. So spoke
could go back to the world of the living. But from that      the Khadun, ruler of Rajanistan and avatar of Death on
day forth you would be required to serve Death though        this mortal plane. His word is law and scripture, and
His secret followers, the Rajin. You trembled - even         you are a believer. The Khadun has said that the
young children knew that the Rajin were individuals to       enemies of your people are the enemies of Death.
be feared. To be such a thing was beyond your                Hated Dracartans, miserable Djaffir, blood-red Kang -
comprehension. Then your training began. You learned         you will convert them to your beliefs, by the sword if
the arts of torture, and of the clawed gloves called         necessary. You will send them screaming into the next
da-khar. You learned spells to change your appearance,       world to meet your dark and vengeful god. And when
to move unheard and unseen, to imprison or kill. You         you join them in the next world, Death will smile upon
learned to concoct the poisons and drugs of your trade.      you, and you will want for nothing. So said the Khadun;
And when you killed the one who had been your                so say the scriptures.
classmate you became Rajin - assassin-mage, Servant
of Death. Since then you have served the Khadun on           Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-6‟4”, 100-200 lbs.
many holy missions. You have traveled to other lands         Dark brown skin, wiry build, black hair, blood-red eyes,
to stalk and slay His enemies, and to effect dissent         horn-like protrusions from chin and forehead.
among their peoples. Disguised by magic, you have
sold your services as a mercenary, spy, and assassin.        Attributes:
At times you‟ve worked with unbelievers, and found           INT -2         STR +2       CR +4
that you could come to respect their skills. Despite their   PER +2         DEX 0        MR 0
ignorance, their companionship is sometimes a                WIL 0          CON +3       HP 22
welcome thing. Yet if Death calls for them tomorrow,         CHA -2                SPD 0
you will not hesitate to obey.
                                                             Skills:
Physical Characteristics: 5‟6”-6‟6”, 130-230+ lbs.           Scimitar +2                    Tactics +4
Dark brown skin, wiry build, black hair, blood-red eyes,     Short Bow +2                   Scout +3
horn-like protrusions from chin and forehead; usually        Dagger +1                      Survival +4
disguised as a member of another race.                       Shield +1                      Ride +4
                                                             Mounted Combat +1              Rajanin, native
Attributes:
INT +2                   STR +1           CR +3              Equipment: Dark gray cloak and veiled turban, partial
PER +1          DEX +2            MR +3                      plate armor of black iron over thinly padded uniform,
WIL 0           CON 0             HP 21                      black iron shield with death‟s head design, scimitar,
CHA -2                   SPD +2                              dagger, horn short bow, quiver of twenty arrows, belt
                                                             pouch, and aht-ra, land lizard, or graymane steed.

                                                             Wealth: Five gold lumens in silver pieces.
                                                              you may rain down fire on the wretched Dracartans,
Rajan Necromancer-Priest                                      and all those that refuse to see the glory of Death,
                                                              converting them, and sending them to judgement.
Homeland: Rajanistan                                          Yours is the honor of bringing Death from Above! You
                                                              will cut through air and infidel alike, reaping a harvest
In your thirteenth year you were chosen to become one         of souls for the Khadun! For Death!
of the ruling class of your nation. It is an honor to serve
your Master, the Khadun, avatar of Death. When you            Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-6‟4”, 100-200 lbs.
join your dark God, you will be rewarded for your             Dark brown skin, wiry build, black hair, blood-red eyes,
service with a place by His side. In this world, your         horn-like protrusions from chin and forehead.
ambition is to become a member of the High Council, to
govern your empire according the will of the Khadun.          Attributes:
You have much to learn, many rites to perform, and            INT 0           STR +1       CR +3
many tests to transcend before you could ever join that       PER +2          DEX 0        MR 0
elite number. You prepare yourself for that day,              WIL 0           CON +1       HP 22
preaching proper doctrine to the masses and                   CHA -2                 SPD 0
administering stern judgment to transgressors. It is as
your Master intended. It is your destiny.                     Skills:
                                                              Scimitar +2                     Artillerist +3
Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-6‟4”, 100-200 lbs.             Shield +1                       Survival +2
Dark brown skin, wiry build, black hair, blood-red eyes,      Dagger +2                       Rajanin, native
horn-like protrusions from chin and forehead.                 Pilot - Windship +1

Attributes:                                                   Equipment: Studded leather tunic, spiked buckler,
INT +3                   STR -1           CR 0                scimitar, dagger, veiled headdress, heavy gloves,
PER 0           DEX 0             MR +5                       boots, baggy pants.
WIL +3          CON -2            HP 18
CHA –1          SPD 0                                         Wealth: 10 gold lumens in silver pieces.

Special Abilities: Third eye detects invisible/astral         Shadinn Executioner
presences at up to 100 feet, at level of Necromancy.
                                                              Homeland: Rajanistan
Skills:
Necromancy                    Staff +4                        Your people are the strongest of the Rajan races. Once
     Seven Modes of choice +7         Alchemy +6              rulers of the southern deserts, you are now subjects of
Invocation                    Administrator +6                the Rajan Empire. The past is gone. You serve the
     Five Modes of choice +5 Litigator +5                     Rajans, and their dark god, Death, is now your god. So
Doctrines (Nihilist Cult) +10 Rajanin, native                 be it. You have served in the Khadun‟s army. You rode
                                                              into battle atop your massive steed, wielding your great
Equipment: Dark gray cloak, robes, headdress, and             war axe and trampling the Rajans‟ enemies. In Irdan,
gloves, black iron death bask, sandals, ornate belt, iron     your axe has had other purposes. Here you serve as
staff with death‟s head, iron-bound spell book, six           Executioner under the priests of the Nihilist Cult. It is
amberglass vials of concoctions in pockets of cloak.          your job to send infidels and traitors to the next world,
                                                              to meet their fate at the hands of the dark god. You do
Wealth: 2,000 gold lumens in personal and state               your job well, and give them a clean death. The priests
funds.                                                        say you will be rewarded in the next world. Perhaps
                                                              they are right. But in this world you must serve the
Rajan Wind Reaper                                             Rajans.

Homeland: Rajanistan                                          Physical Characteristics: 6‟8”-7‟4”, 300-450+ lbs.
                                                              Dark brown skin, black hair, blood-red eyes, horn-like
“Death from Above!”                                           protrusions from chin and forehead, clawed hands and
                                                              feet.
Now the worthless infidels have greater cause to fear
the might of Rajanistan, and tremble in the dark              Attributes:
shadow of Death‟s chosen people, for now your glorious        INT -2          STR +5        CR +4
nation has acquired the secrets of building the ships of      PER 0           DEX -2              MR -3
the skies! Praise be to Death! Praise be the Khadun!          WIL +2          CON +4        HP 28
The windships of your nation are akin to the scouring         CHA -2                 SPD -1
sandstorms of your desert home, bringing harsh death
through the air, and like Death, they cast a long and         Skills:
chilling shadow. From the decks of the black windships        War Axe +3                      Guard +6
Dagger +2                        Weaponer +6
Weapon (choice) +2               Survival +4               The Lands Above were your home, and you ruled them
Mounted Combat +1                Ride +5                   unchallenged until the furred beasts on two legs came.
Torture +6                       Rajanin, native           They fought you with strange powers, casting you deep
                                                           into the bowels of the earth, and they took your home.
Equipment: Executioner‟s mask, loincloth, sandals,         For aeons you, the first ones, have struggled to survive
and spiked straps (all of black leather), partial plate    in the dark depths, and have rekindled your strength
armor of black iron for battle, war axe, dagger, choice    over the flames of your hatred for the surface dwellers.
of weapon, shoulder pouch, land lizard steed with          They have forgotten your people in their arrogance, and
partial plate armor of black iron.                         rest their fragile bodies blissfully unawares. Now, your
                                                           people know the many ways that lie beneath the feet of
Wealth: 50 gold lumens in silver pieces.                   the hated ones, and soon the day will come when you
                                                           will take the land back, and feast on the flesh of the
Vird Infantry                                              ones above.

Homeland: Rajanistan                                       Physical Characteristics: 7‟-7‟6”, 300+ lbs. Reptilian
                                                           features, brown scaly hide, powerful build, heavy tail,
You are the servant of Death. You are eager to join        claws and fangs, forked tongue, yellow eyes.
Him, but you fear that He will not be pleased with you.
You do not wish to suffer at His hands. That is why you    Attributes:
kill His enemies. They are numerous, and they are          INT +1                 STR +4          CR +5
better armed and better trained than you. You attack       PER +2          DEX +2        MR -1
them in waves, and many of you die. The Rajans have        WIL +3          CON +5        HP 28
no concern for your lives. They say it is an honor to      CHA -6                 SPD +2
serve Death, but if you don‟t they will kill you anyway.
You are beneath them, a wretched, mongrel people.          Special Abilities: Bite or Claws (DR 2), Tail (DR 4,
Why, then, should Death have interest in you? Your         may be used to simultaneously defend from rear
fate is one of pain.                                       assault), cold does double damage, Scaly Hide (PR 2).

Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 90-160 lbs. Lined and     Skills:
creased skin of dark hue, sparse dark hair, blood-red      Capture Bow +3                Stealth +3
eyes, clawed hands and feet.                               Brawling +3                   Scout +3
                                                           Dagger +1                     Swim +3
Attributes:                                                Climbing +2                   Sauran, native dialect
INT -2          STR +2       CR +3                         Guide - Underground Highway   +5
PER +2          DEX 0        MR -3
WIL 0           CON +1       HP 20                         Equipment: Capture bow, dagger, coil of rope.
CHA -2                 SPD 0
                                                           Wealth: None.
Skills:
Scimitar +2                      Artificer +3              THE YASSAN
Dagger +2                        Deception +4              The Yassan are a short and stocky people, with metallic
Shield +1                        Survival +4               grey skin, flat features, and six-fingered hands. They
Stealth +3                       Ride +3                   dress in hooded yellow tunics and breeches, with heavy
Climbing +3                      Rajanin, native           leather boots and gloves; a costume well-suited to their
                                                           preferred line of work.
Equipment: Dark gray cloak and veiled turban, armor
and shield of land lizard‟s hide, scimitar, dagger,        Ancestry
shoulder pouch.                                            The Yassan are thought to be descended from a race of
                                                           neomorphs created by the ancient Archaens. Displaced
Wealth: Two gold lumens in silver pieces.                  during the aftermath of The Great Disaster, the Yassan
                                                           spent many years wandering in the Wilderness of
THE SATADA                                                 Zaran. Eventually they were found by Dracartan desert
As of this time the cultural write-up is not done.         scouts, and their clans granted sanctuary within the
                                                           walled settlement of Nadan.
Satada
                                                           Society
- NPC Only –                                               Yassan are artisans by trade, skilled in the working of
                                                           metals, stone, and glass, and adept at building,
Homeland: Underground Highway                              repairing, and maintaining, most types of mechanisms
                                                           and structures. While certain aristocratic Talislantans
“Hssssss!”                                                 denigrate them as “commoners” or “manual laborers,”
the Yassan are highly intelligent and possessed of an     craft of some sort. The music of the Yassan
independent spirit. They are arguably the most skilled    technomancers is technically oriented, complex, and
artisans on the continent, and can build or repair just   highly structured; in fact, most of their musical
about anything.                                           instruments also double as tools. All Yassan
                                                          instruments are either hammered, beaten, or plucked.
The Yassan know no ancestral homeland, nor do they        Favorites include the clangals (flexible saw blades used
know much of the origins and history of their people.     as cymbals), tubals (metal pipe), metal-harp,
Despite this, they have created a unique and diverse      spring-chimes, and hammer-gongs. Yassan “sheet
culture, which emphasizes hard work, honesty, and a       music” resembles a set of mechanical diagrams.
respect for craftsmanship that is unsurpassed by other
peoples. Since being taken in by the Dracartans, the      Yassan sculpture utilizes geometric shapes and
majority of Yassan now reside in Nadan. Most live in      symbols, cut from metals of various sorts, polished or
Dracartan dwellings, modified to suit their needs and     lacquered, and arranged in unusual forms. Their
decorated to their tastes.                                creations exhibit a high degree of technical expertise,
                                                          and no lack of imagination.
Yassan are devoted to their clans, or family units.
Couples bond for life, and may produce as many as ten     Language
offspring - large families are favored by the Yassan.     Yassan are fluent in both Nomadic and a native dialect
Children are raised by the parents; at age two they are   of High Talislan. They are also able to read and write
enrolled in a Yassan trade school for intensive           technomantic symbology. Yassan names usually have
instruction.                                              but a single syllable: Ome, Yan, Ang, Enk, etc. There is
                                                          no difference in male or female nomenclature.
Customs
Among these people, hard work is considered a virtue,     Defenses
and sloth, a crime. Yassan craftsmen uphold the           Yassan have no organized military. In return for
highest standards of craftsmanship in all things that     sanctuary and shelter granted to them by Carantheum,
they do. They have little respect for those who produce   all Yassan spend one year in the Dracartan military
sub-standard or slip-shod work. Yassan hate being idle,   engineer corps. They perform a vital function, helping
and always keep busy (see The Arts).                      to maintain and repair Dracartan duneships, roads, and
                                                          fortifications.
Government
The clan unit, based on the extended family, serves as    Commerce
the Yassan hierarchy. At its head is the eldest male or   Yassan fees tend to be high, but the speed and quality
female, followed by his or her eldest son or daughter,    of their workmanship are unsurpassed. They are in
and so on down the line. Yassan have no government        great demand in civilized regions, where their clans are
other than this, though as guests in Carantheum, they     involved in maintenance, engineering, and construction.
honor all Dracartan laws. Serious offenses, almost        It has been said that Yassan society is essentially one
unknown among the law-abiding Yassan, are usually         large trade guild.
handled within the clan.
                                                          Worldview
Magic & Religion                                          As citizens and subjects of Carantheum, Yassan observe
Yassan believe in the entity called Creator. They         much the same political agenda as their patrons. Those
worship together as a family, giving thanks for their     who live outside of Carantheum typically remain neutral
homes, jobs, and health. Each of their homes has a        as regards other nations and peoples. However, a
small shrine with a beautifully crafted, seven-pointed    Yassan will never work for anyone he or she doesn‟t
star sigil, representing the Yassan concept of Creator.   trust. This includes the Kasmirans, whom the Yassan
Yassan dead are placed in coffins of intricately carved   accuse of stealing certain of their trade secrets.
stone and buried in the desert.

Yassan are skilled in the mechanical aspects of
                                                          Work for Hire
                                                          “My first encounter with the Yassan occurred while I
Technomancy, a lost branch of the arcane arts that is
                                                          was traveling by land ark across that region of the
practically unknown to Talislantans of the New Age.
                                                          Wilderlands known as the Barrens. The ship‟s navigator,
Their knowledge of complex mechanisms and
                                                          a Zandir whom we all suspected of favoring an
exceptional manual dexterity enables them able to
                                                          afternoon tipple or two, failed to notice the appearance
repair, assemble, disassemble, or modify just about
                                                          of a large boulder, partly submerged in the sandy soil
anything that has working parts, including the most
                                                          and laying directly in the path of the land ark. The
complex      windship  levitationals  and    essence
                                                          resulting impact damaged both the vessel‟s starboard
accumulators.
                                                          forewheel and aft-rudder, causing the land ark to come
                                                          to a halt, listing precariously to one side. After berating
The Arts                                                  the navigator and cuffing him soundly about the ears
Yassan take one day off each month for relaxation and     for good measure, the ship‟s captain ordered his first
recreation. During this time most practice an art or      mate to raise a yellow flag, indicating that the ship was
in distress and in need of assistance. „Distress‟ would
also describe the state of the ship‟s passengers, for we         Skills:
were stranded perilously close to territories known to           Technomancy +5          Merchant +5
be occupied by hostile Beastmen tribes.                          Engineer +5             High Talislan, native dialect
                                                                 Artificer +4            Nomadic, native
As luck would have it, a clan of Yassan technomancers            Artisan +4               Technomantic symbology,
passing through the region spotted our signal and came           fluent
to our aid. Without delay they retrieved block and               Art or Music +1
tackle, extensible hoists, and other tools from their
wagons and set to work. In short order they righted the          Equipment: Hooded yellow tunic (with utility pockets)
land ark, raised the hull, and removed the damaged               and breeches, heavy leather boots, gloves, pouches;
forewheel and rudder. Within an hour the damaged                 red iron strongbox for technomancer‟s tools and
parts were repaired, along with several cracks in the            technomantic actuator.
hull and a slightly bent axle that even the ship‟s
carpenter had not noticed. The captain was overjoyed,            Wealth: 1,000 gold lumens; most stored in Dracartan
until he was presented a bill for the Yassan‟s services,         vaults.
the extent of which very nearly caused his swarthy
features to go pale. Still he paid the technomancers             THE YITEK
without complaint, knowing full well that the quality of
                                                                 A desert people with dark brown skin and hair, Yitek
the workmanship was well worth the price.”
                                                                 are thin, wiry, and active; there is no such thing as a
                                                                 fat Yitek, for their people are constantly on the move
Yassan Technomancer                                              and are well-adapted to a nomadic existence. The
                                                                 customary mode of dress includes loose-fitting robes,
Homeland: none (most reside in Carantheum)
                                                                 cape, and veiled headdress. The latter affords
                                                                 protection from sandstorms, and also provides the
“If the task is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”
                                                                 wearer with a modicum of anonymity - a useful
                                                                 function, given the Yitek‟s line of work.
You are proficient at assembling, repairing, dismantling,
maintaining, and modifying all manner of mechanisms
and conveyances. You must have worked on forty wind
                                                                 Ancestry
                                                                 Like the Dracartans, the Yitek are among the many
machines alone in the past year. The elders of your clan
                                                                 Talislantans whose ancestors were displaced by The
trained you well: you work quickly and efficiently, with
                                                                 Great Disaster. The Yitek claim to be descended from
technomantic tools that most other Talislantans do not
                                                                 the folk of ancient Ashann, and say that they were once
understand. Your estimates are accurate and fair,
                                                                 rulers of a great and powerful kingdom. Others regard
though quality workmanship does not come cheaply.
                                                                 the Yitek legends with skepticism, stating that their
The reputation of the Yassan is known far and wide,
                                                                 tribes have always been as they are now: wandering
and so your abilities are in great demand. Your time
                                                                 vagabonds whose only talent is tomb-robbing.
abroad has added some small degree of interest to your
life, but foreign cultures are best left to foreigners. Still,
you are grateful to the stolid Dracartans, who have              Society
treated your people almost as members of their clan.             The Yitek are nomads who traverse the Desert
The Sindarans intrigue you, for some say it was their            Kingdoms         and     Wilderlands      regions       in
ancestors, the Neurians, who originally invented the art         small-to-medium-sized bands. There are two main
of technomancy; your own ancestors may well have                 tribes: the Notas (northern Yitek) and Sutas (southern
worked for them long ago, though no one remembers                Yitek), named after the general regions in which they
back that far. How the Sindarans came to lose their skill        are found and which each claims as their respective
in technomancy, or what secrets of the ancient art were          territories. The two tribes are usually on good terms
lost during The Great Disaster, you do not know. There           with each other, though territorial disputes are not
is little time for questions when there is so much work          unknown. Yitek bands are highly mobile, carrying
still to be done.                                                everything they need and own on the backs of their
                                                                 aht-ra. Most prefer the three-humped tatra, which,
Physical Characteristics: 5‟-6‟, 120-220 lbs. Metallic           though not as swift as the one-humped ontra, can carry
gray skin, flat features, squat physique, six-fingered           heavier loads. This is an important consideration, as the
hands with two thumbs each.                                      typical Yitek mount must bear water, provisions,
                                                                 weapons, sleeping tent, tools such as winches, chisels,
Attributes:                                                      pry-bars, a musical instrument or two, and even the
INT +2                    STR +1           CR +2                 rider‟s offspring.
PER +2           DEX 0*            MR +1
WIL 0            CON 0             HP 20                         Like their rugged mounts, Yitek require little in the way
CHA 0            SPD 0                                           of food and water, and so are able to venture into areas
                                                                 considered uninhabitable by other Talislantans. They
Special Abilities: Exceptional manual dexterity, DEX             earn a livelihood by scouring the Desert Kingdoms and
+9 for fine manipulation.                                        Wilderlands for ancient ruins, using old maps, legends,
artifacts, and their own instincts to guide them. Yitek       the tribes have no wizards or shamans. Yitek bury their
are particularly adept at locating sites and structures       dead without ritual or ceremony, knowing all too well
that have been lost beneath the shifting sands, or            the transient nature of monuments to the dead.
deliberately hidden in order to protect their contents.
Ancient burial grounds and crypts are among the most          The Arts
coveted finds, due to the riches that such places may         Though the rigors of their profession often prevent
contain - hence, the Yitek‟s reputation as tomb-robbers.      them from enjoying artistic pursuits, Yitek love music
                                                              and dance. Whenever two or more Yitek bands meet in
Customs                                                       friendly territory they always get together to eat, and to
The Yitek are known for a morbid or “dark” sense of           exchange news and gossip. Afterwards they unpack
humor, a trait that is perhaps essential to their trade       their stringed yukas, tsimbals, and ahtra-hide drums
but that other folk sometimes find distasteful. Indeed,       and begin to play. Many Yitek bands will go out of their
the nature of the Yitek‟s profession is such that many        way to hear a performance by Bodor musicians, whose
Talislantans prefer to avoid prolonged or unnecessary         musical talents they greatly admire.
contact with them. Few Yitek evince any great concern
for such views, which they attribute to ignorance and         Language
superstition (see Magic & Religion).                          Most Yitek speak both Nomadic and Sign, and in
                                                              addition are able to read a smattering of dead
Yitek males may take as many wives as they can afford         languages, magical scripts, and the like. Yitek names
to keep, a large number of wives being regarded as a          have two parts: band affiliation (common ones include
sign of status among these folk. Marriage contracts are       Yata, Yato, Yeta, Yuta), and personal name. Common
customarily arranged by the father of the bride.              personal names for males include Maj, Fej, Naj, Nas,
Prospective suitors strive to outdo their rivals by           Fas; females versions end in an “i”, as in Maji, Feji,
offering the richest gifts, thereby earning the father‟s      Nasi, etc.
favor and his daughter‟s hand. Yitek offspring are doted
upon by their mothers, but otherwise ride with the band
                                                              Defenses
and are expected to contribute their fair share to the
                                                              Yitek bands rely more upon mobility and stealth than
group as soon as they are old enough to gather food,
                                                              force of arms or numbers. They can travel great
get water, and tend the band‟s beasts.
                                                              distances in short periods of time, leaving little or no
                                                              trace of their passage. When in hostile territory Yitek
Government                                                    often travel at night, hiding and sleeping during the
Yitek bands operate as small communes, with everyone          day. Or they may simply ride day and night for as long
contributing to the group‟s welfare. Each band has a          as it takes to accomplish their objective. If pressed,
nominal chieftain or leader, generally the oldest and         Yitek will fight, and fiercely; however, this is not their
wisest male of the group. The chieftain‟s main                preference.
responsibility is to locate favorable sites for excavation,
to negotiate the sale or trade of recovered goods and
artifacts, and to distribute the profits fairly. Among the
                                                              Commerce
                                                              Yitek deal in treasure, artifacts, and other valuables
Yitek, stealing from or committing violence against
                                                              recovered from the ruins that they discover and
another member of the group, hoarding food or water,
                                                              excavate. These they trade to the Orgovians, or sell to
or coveting another‟s spouse are considered serious
                                                              the Djaffir and the Dracartans. The Sutas tribes claim
crimes. Should a member of the band be accused of
                                                              the Hadjin, Danuvians, and the outpost of Akmir as
such an offense, the chieftain may be called upon to
                                                              clients; the Notas sell to Sindar, Kasmir, and the
judge the offender‟s case. The punishment for all but
                                                              outpost of Karfan. Regardless of tribe or band
the most trivial offense is expulsion from the group -
                                                              affiliation, Yitek will not deal with the Farad, whom they
Yitek bands are close-knit, and will not tolerate
                                                              regard as swindlers.
untrustworthy persons in their midst.

Magic & Religion                                              World Relations
                                                              Both the northern and southern Yitek tribes are on good
Yitek appear to have little interest in matters of
                                                              terms with the Djaffir and Dracartans, whom they mark
religion. This may be more an issue of pragmatism than
                                                              as friends. The Yitek also get along well with Yassan,
spirituality, for in the pursuit of their profession Yitek
                                                              and sometimes hire Yassan clans to help in heavy
often have to undertake actions that others would
                                                              salvage or excavating operations that the Yitek
regard as taboo: i.e., opening crypts, “desecrating”
                                                              themselves are not equipped to handle. Yitek are one of
ruined temples or burial grounds, and so on. It is
                                                              the few Talislantan peoples who deal amicably with the
interesting to note that the Yitek are among the least
                                                              Orgovians; they are fair traders, and know better than
superstitious people in all Talislanta. Even so, most
                                                              to stint when it comes to the customary exchange of
Yitek carry a charm or two to ward against curses and
                                                              gifts. In addition to the Farad, the Yitek have no love
the like, just in case. These devices are not made by
                                                              for the Za, Beastmen, or Rajans, all of whom have been
the Yitek, but are usually obtained by trading with other
                                                              known to pursue and attack Yitek bands.
peoples such as the Orgovians. While all Yitek are
taught by their elders to decipher old runes and sigils,
Yitek Tomb-Robber
                                                            Wealth: 100 gold lumens in assorted coins and
Homeland: The Red Desert                                    valuables.

“May the gods receive his soul. We‟re content to take       Yitek Exorcist
his gold.”
                                                            Homeland: Djaffa
Desert lands and crypts were the only homes you knew
as child. You were lulled to sleep on the back of your      "The dead often clutch their dearest possessions in their
father‟s aht-ra, amidst the soft shadows of flickering      cold embrace, and for some that dearest possession is
lanterns and the rhythmic scraping of pickaxe and           life."
chisel. Your toys were archaic locks and disarmed traps
that your older brother collected for you. History was      The     power    of    unfinished  business,     or   such
tangible, dusty, and stale, and you learned to respect      overwhelming passions as vengeance, greed, lust, and
and preserve it. Outsiders believe that you violate the     love can hold the strongest will in their thrall, and so it
sacred, that you risk angering those whose tombs and        is that some spirits of the dead will not pass on, and
homes you unearth. Yet if they could speak, would their     remain trapped in this world, to the torment of both
spirits wish to be lost and forgotten beneath the dusts     themselves and the living. Those spiritforms that haunt
of time? By your actions, you resurrect for them a          the ruins and tombs of the continent are a particular
legacy out of shards of ignorance. Of their discarded       curse, for they seldom willingly relinquish their
bones, you forge an irony the dead must surely              possessions to your people. As one of the Yitek's skilled
commend. They would not begrudge your clans the             exorcists, it is your calling to banish these restless
meager living you earn - traversing abandoned lands,        spirits to the afterlife where they belong, thereby
following obscure clues, and using instincts honed since    removing an impediment to the trade your people ply.
childhood to seek out the remnants of ancient               It can be a dangerous task, but tomb-robbing never
civilizations. Interesting that outsiders, despite their    was without its hazards, and many traps are far more
insults, are eager to trade for the artifacts and           lethal than the spirits you face.
treasures that you uncover. You follow a path of your
own making, in the company of family and clan or with       Physical Characteristics: 5'6"-6'4", 85-185 lbs. Dark
outsiders of parallel interests. Some are wary of you for   brown skin and hair, lean and wiry build, angular
your vocation, but time among the catacombs serves to       features
dispel such bias. Irony, you find, is more difficult to
teach.                                                      Attributes: INT +3 PER +3 WIL +2 CHA -3 STR 0 DEX
                                                            +1 CON +3 SPD 0 CR +1 MR +1 HP 20 Special
Physical Appearance: Dark brown skin and hair, lean
and wiry build, angular features.                           Special Abilities: See well in darkness; Exorcism

Attributes:                                                 Skills:
INT +2                  STR 0           CR +2               Exorcism +5             Linguistics +1
PER +3          DEX +2          MR +1                       Dagger +2               Antiquarian +4
WIL 0           CON +4          HP 21                       Arcane Lore +3          Merchant +3
CHA –2          SPD 0                                       Locks +4                Ride +3
                                                            Traps +4                Survival +3
Special Abilities: See well in darkness.                    Salvager +5             Nomadic, native
                                                            Stealth +2              Sign, native
Skills:                                                     Survival +3             Low Talislan, fluent
Scimitar +3                     Linguistics +1              Cryptography +2         Phaedran, fluent
Guard +3                        Antiquarian +4
Locks +6                        Merchant +5                 Equipment: Veiled headdress, cape, loose-fitting robes
Traps +6                        Ride +3                     (all of woven gauze), pouch, shoulder sack, thieves'
Salvager +7                     Nomadic, native             tools, dagger, pickaxe, chisel, pry-bar, winches, tent,
Stealth +2                      Sign, native                map case, Djaffir charm (+5 vs. curses), tatra steed.
Survival +3                     Low Talislan, fluent
Cryptography +2                                             Wealth: 100 gold lumens in assorted coins.

Equipment: Veiled headdress, cape, loose-fitting robes      THE SOUTHERN RIM
(all of woven gauze), pouch, shoulder sack, thieves‟
tools, scimitar, pickaxe, chisel, pry-bar, winches, tent,
choice of musical instrument, map case, Djaffir charm
                                                            THE AHAZU
(+5 versus curses), tatra steed.                            These fierce, four-armed folk may exceed seven feet in
                                                            height, and are quite imposing to behold. They have
                                                            bright-yellow skin, with fiery red markings lining the
                                                            face and neck and running down the back of the arms,
legs and spine. Their features are almost demonic:           Ahazu adhere to a secret warrior code that prohibits
sloping forehead, forked tongue, thin nostrils, and          them from attempting to escape if captured in battle,
dark-green, pupil-less eyes vacant of mercy or               which is considered a grave humiliation. If taken in
compassion. Long and lean of build, Ahazu dress in           such a manner an Ahazu becomes the captor‟s slave for
reptile-hide loincloths, with numerous thongs tied below     life. The pact can be broken only if the captor assaults
the shoulder and at the elbows, wrists, knees and            the slave, at which point the Ahazu will be free to do as
ankles                                                       it pleases. This arrangement can be deceptive,
                                                             however, as an angry Ahazu may regard even an
Ancestry                                                     accidental bump or touch as an “attack.”
The Ahazu are a savage and warlike people of unknown
ancestry. Some scholars believe that the race may be a       Ahazu aspire to certain ideals: to hunt with skill, show
mutated variety of Araq, though the Ahazu are not            courage in battle, “move swiftly and strike like the
entirely reptilian in appearance. Certain cultural           wind,” and neither ask nor grant any quarter in battle.
similarities also suggest a common bond with the Kang,       They are both extremely demanding and unforgiving of
possibly through some unknown “missing link.”                themselves. Ahazu warriors who feel that they have
                                                             fared poorly in battle may become despondent and hurl
Society                                                      themselves over the cliff known as Leaper‟s Ridge, to
                                                             their deaths. The area below this cliff is said to be
Ahazu are nomadic predators who subsist on fresh
                                                             littered with the bones of thousands of Ahazu, some
game, from small creatures like avir and winged
                                                             dating back over a thousands years.
serpents to large beasts such as land lizards and even
exomorphs. Because they eat raw meat only and use
no preserving techniques, Ahazu require plentiful
                                                             Government
supplies of fresh game in order to thrive. Their tribes      When on the hunt, an Ahazu tribe will be led by the
make no permanent dwellings, preferring instead to           group‟s best tracker, who is called the Hunter-Chief.
sleep in the treetops. The typical Ahazu tribe is            The best warrior, called the War-Chief, leads the tribe
constantly on the move; once they claim a territory as       when it is intent on battle. Either chieftain may be a
their hunting ground they guard it aggressively, hunt        male or female. While Ahazu may fight each other to
until the area is played-out, then move on to the next       settle disputes, violence of this sort is accepted as part
area.                                                        of the warrior life. No punishment need ever be meted
                                                             out among these folk, for Ahazu who have failed in any
Males and females mate for life. Both take turns             way to live up to the tribe‟s standards generally commit
transporting their young in backpacks made of woven          suicide.
vines. Ahazu young are carried everywhere, even into
battle, until they are strong enough to run with the         Magic & Religion
adults. Ahazu who are too old or infirm to keep up with      The Ahazu have no spell-casters, and consider magic
the tribe generally commit suicide by jumping off            the domain of cowards and weaklings. They are said to
Leaper‟s Ridge (see Customs).                                revere a secret warrior-deity, whom they believe
                                                             determines the outcome of all battles. Ahazu observe
Ahazu have two basic modes: hunting and fighting.            no formal rituals or holidays as regards their secret
When hunting for food, the Ahazu never venture               deity or any other occasion. To die anywhere but in
beyond their own borders. The appearance of a group          battle is considered dishonorable.
of the yellow and red-striped warriors anywhere outside
of their junglelands is a certain indicator that the Ahazu   The Arts
are on the warpath, launching a raid, or tracking a          Ahazu create objects and implements of wood, woven
fleeing opponent. Flight is advisable, for Ahazu in such     reeds and grasses, stone, and hammered metal. Crafts
a state are liable to attack anyone they encounter.          are limited to the making of useful implements such as
                                                             weapons, tools, waterskins, small clay pots, and so
Customs                                                      forth. Each Ahazu makes his or her own implements.
Ahazu are beset by dark moods and governed by                When charging into battle Ahazu let out a series of
strange passions that other races do not comprehend.         sharp, high-pitched cries. Originally thought to be
They are prone to fits of shan-ya; literally, “battle        nothing more than warlike screaming and posturing,
madness.” When “the rage” is upon them, Ahazu will           the Ahazu “war-songs” are actually complex musical
attack any living creature in their path, even their own     compositions that convey battle tactics to the Ahazu.
comrades. In such a condition Ahazu are completely
devoid of fear, feel no pain, and attack with incredible     Language
ferocity - it is said that a single Ahazu in shan-ya can     These folk have their own language, called Ahazu,
sometimes kill a dozen or more foes in the span of just      which is typified by harsh shrieks and yells, frequently
a few moments. To die during a fit of shan-ya, slaying       punctuated by violent gestures and the brandishing of
enemies by the score, is considered the greatest             weapons. Ahazu also communicate in a peculiar version
possible death for an Ahazu warrior.                         of sign, using four hands to convey meaning with great
                                                             rapidity. Common names include Y‟azu, K‟yaz, I‟zu,
S‟azu, Y‟ozu, A‟zu, and so on. Ahazu have no written       of my group still standing. Surrounded and
language.                                                  outnumbered, I could think of no response but to fight
                                                           until the end. Suddenly one of the Ahazu let out a
Defenses                                                   blood-curdling scream. Frothing at the mouth, he set
Ahazu excel at jungle warfare, their striated coloration   upon his own companions like one possessed, wielding
enabling them to blend into the surrounding vegetation.    a three-bladed knife in each of his four hands. From the
Their warriors wield heavy three-bladed throwing           other Ahazu I heard the cry, “Shan-Ya!”, repeated
knives in combat, and are absolutely fearless; there are   several times. While they were occupied with the mad
few more terrifying experiences than an all-out charge     one I made a strategic withdrawal into the jungle.”
by a band of screaming, blood-crazed Ahazu (see
Ahazu: On the Warpath).                                    Ahazu Honor-Slave

Commerce                                                   Homeland: The Dark Coast
Among their own people, Ahazu use barter to exchange
goods such as hides, horn, herbs, clay pots of healing     “Your language I do not understand, but your drawn
salve, and food. They will sometimes trade with            sword tells me all I need to know.”
outsiders who offer them metal weapons or intoxicants,
but such dealings are dangerous affairs; Ahazu             Your God is displeased with you. He sent the slavers
sometimes find it simpler to kill a foreign merchant       with their woven vines and clouds of sleep to take you
than to haggle for long periods.                           from the jungles. Your honor was lost in their capture-
                                                           nets, and now only your master may restore it, if the
Worldview                                                  God so wills. Your master tells you to fight, to guard
Most Talislantans who are aware of the existence of the    him and home against his enemies. Sometimes, you
Ahazu regard them as fierce, bloodthirsty savages.         fight with many others watching, and they cheer for the
Such impressions are not far from the mark. The Ahazu      blood you spill with the three blades of your gwanga.
have no known ties to any other tribe, race, or nation.    You miss the crimson leaves of the parasol tree that hid
They mark the Moorg-Wan as their ancient enemies and       you from the sight of foes. Yet your enemies have only
territorial rivals, and often engage in vicious battles    two arms, and few can match your strength and
with the swamp people. Ahazu will never do harm to a       prowess. You wish to fight the bronzed women, the
Green Man, believing that such actions anger the           warriors with pictures on their hides, and the armored
ancient Forest Gods, and may yield terrible                red-skins of the east; only by defeating worthy enemies
consequences.                                              will you redeem yourself in the sight of the God. You
                                                           know he watches you, for at times he tests you with
                                                           shan‟ya, and through your limbs his rage brings death
Ahazu: On the Warpath
                                                           to all who are near. One day, he will be pleased with
The Thrall warrior, Cesta, once worked as a mercenary
                                                           you once more, and he will incite your master to strike
guard on an expedition into the Junglelands. Her
                                                           you. Then you will shatter the master‟s skull with the
account of an attack by a band of Ahazu follows.
                                                           smooth stone of your matsu, and you will be free to
                                                           find battles of your own.
“Far in the distance I heard the fierce howls of an
Ahazu band on the warpath. There was little time to
                                                           Physical Characteristics: 6‟8”-7‟6”, 160-260 lbs.
take defensive action. We herded the mounts into a
                                                           Bright yellow skin with fiery red striations, four arms,
grove of parasol trees and took cover behind a stand of
                                                           lean build, sloping forehead, forked tongue, thin
thornwood. A moment later the Ahazu war party came
                                                           nostrils, dark-green, pupil-less eyes.
into view, running towards us through the dense
undergrowth. Now I understood the reason for the
                                                           Attributes:
Ahazu‟s striated skin: it helps them blend into the
                                                           INT -1         STR +3        CR +5
jungle shadows, and makes them difficult to see clearly.
                                                           PER +1         DEX +4        MR -2
We fired our crossbows as the first line of warriors
                                                           WIL +1         CON +1        HP 28
came into range. The Ahazu took several casualties, but
                                                           CHA -2                SPD +4
kept on coming. The magician, Balmundos, prepared to
send a spell of fire into their midst. The Ahazu
                                                           Special Abilities: Can make one additional attack or
unleashed a hail of three-bladed throwing knives. That
                                                           parry each round, without penalty; this does not apply
was the end of Balmundos.
                                                           to dodging, movement, or non-combat activities; skin
                                                           striations provide +3 bonus to stealth attempts in their
Another second and the Ahazu were upon us, leaping
                                                           native territories; shan-ya battle madness.
and scrambling over the thornwood barricade. In close
combat, the four-armed warriors had a decided
                                                           Skills:
advantage. I countered with wide strokes of my
                                                           Matsu +4                       Tactics +4
greatsword, using the long blade to keep the attackers
                                                           Gwanga +4                      Artificer +1
at arm‟s length - an excellent strategy, but an
                                                           Shield +2                      Weaponer +3
inadequate response, for the Ahazu were too many.
                                                           Brawling +2                    Ahazu, native
They overran our position, and soon I was the only one
Guard +3                         Sign, native dialect
Stealth +2                       Low Talislan, basic        Baratan Pirate
Survival +3
                                                            Homeland: Baratus
Equipment: Loincloth, chest wrapping (females), arm
and leg thongs (all of reptile hide), shoulder pouch, two   “Get the gangplanks aboard! Move, you scum!! We
gwanga (throwing blades), gwanga (war club), black          attack before dawn!”
iron shield.
                                                            Your people once ruled the skies above Talislanta.
Wealth: None.                                               Forced to flee to the south, your ancestors made their
                                                            home on the jungle isle of Baratus. Your fleet is only a
Ahazu Warrior                                               shadow of its former glory, but slowly you rebuild. The
                                                            great crested dragons control the skies over nearby
Homeland: The Dark Coast                                    Draknar, so you have turned your eyes back to
                                                            Talislanta. Your windship prowls the skies of the
There is the hunt, and there is war. This is what it        southern Talislantan coast, your goal to capture more
means to be Ahazu. If you cannot hunt, you will starve.     windships and levitationals. Your engineers on Baratus
If the prey is gone - if you have killed it all or it has   have begun to build great windships, but the secrets of
escaped you - then your tribe must move on. If you do       the magical levitationals is still a mystery and must be
not make war upon your enemies - the Moorg-Wan, the         taken from the other sky-faring races. Your greatest
Imrians - then your God will not hear your battle cries,    moment will be when you are the one to capture the
and you will be captured and taken from your jungles.       Talislantan mage who, after no small amount of
If the Hunter-Chief or the War-Chief can no longer lead,    coercion, a task that your people have become quite
then they will step aside. If you grow too slow or weak     proficient, will divulge those arcane secrets. One day,
to hunt and fight, then you will go to Leaper‟s Ridge to    Baratus will possess a fleet the likes of which have not
die. You will scream the savage war-cry until you           been seen in modern days. Then Talislantans will cower
breathe no more. That is what it means to be Ahazu.         in fear as the shadow of the Baratan Armada darkens
                                                            their cities.
Physical Characteristics: 6‟8”-7‟6”, 160-260 lbs.
Bright yellow skin with fiery red striations, four arms,    Physical Characteristics: 6‟ - 6‟-6”, 140-220 lbs.,
lean build, sloping forehead, forked tongue, thin           Gray skin, hard features, lean and rugged build.
nostrils, dark-green, pupil-less eyes.
                                                            Attributes:
Attributes:                                                 INT 0          STR +2        CR +4
INT -1          STR +3        CR +5                         PER +1         DEX +2        MR -2
PER +1          DEX +4        MR -2                         WIL +2         CON +3        HP 28
WIL +1          CON +1        HP 28                         CHA -2                SPD +1
CHA -2                 SPD +4
                                                            Skills:
Special Abilities: Can make one additional attack or        Windship Pilot +4
parry each round, without penalty; this does not apply      Navigation +3
to dodging, movement, or non-combat activities; skin        Scout +4
striations provide +3 bonus to stealth attempts in their    Hookspear +4 (cross between a polehook and a duar)
native territories; shan-ya battle madness.                 Weighted net +3
                                                            Barbed bolos +3
Skills:                                                     Coerce +4
Matsu +4                         Tactics +4                 Weaponer +3 (weapons used in aerial combat)
Gwanga +4                        Artificer +1               Aerial Combat Tactics +3 (including stealth and surprise
Shield +2                        Weaponer +3                tactics)
Brawling +2                      Ahazu, native
Stealth +2                       Sign, native dialect       Possessions: Fur and leather gloves, leggings and
Survival +5                                                 jacket (to protect against the cold at high altitudes),
                                                            leather cowl and facemask, hookspear, bolos, hooked
Equipment: Loincloth, chest wrapping (females), arm         and weighted nets, rope and grapple
and leg thongs (all of reptile hide), shoulder pouch, two
gwanga (throwing blades), matsu (war club), black iron      Wealth: None other than your possessions, and the
shield.                                                     windship you serve on.

Wealth: None.                                               THE BATREANS
                                                            The Batreans are a primitive folk who dress in rude
THE BARATANS                                                garments of coarse cloth and dye their hair with
As of this time the cultural write-up is not available.     indelible blue pigments. Members of their respective
genders bear so little resemblance to each other that        flowers prior to burial, a custom that is still tolerated by
they seem to be from separate species. Batrean males         the Imrians. Males had no such customs.
are huge, slope-shouldered, hairy, and remarkably
ugly. Batrean females, on the other hand, are engaging       The Arts
creatures, slender and lovely beyond compare. The            Even prior to annexation, Batrean males evinced little
males dress in coarse hides; the females, in robes of        interest in crafts or the arts, preferring hunting,
translucent linen.                                           gambling, eating, and fighting. Females practice many
                                                             decorative crafts, including painting with plant dyes,
Ancestry                                                     making jewelry of shells and painted beads, macrame,
The Batreans are believed to be descended from               basket-weaving, and pottery. The Dance of the
survivors of The Great Disaster, who fled from the Lost      Diaphanous Veils remains a seductive tradition
Continent after it sank below the waves. If true, then       practiced by the females. During the mating season it is
Batreans may be related to the sea nomads of                 one of the few things that will excite the turgid Batrean
Oceanus.                                                     males. The dance is said to be even more effective on
                                                             males of other species.
Society
The Batreans are a simple folk who live in huts made of      Language
woven thatch and subsist on a diet of tubers, fruit, fowl,   Most female Batreans are fluent in both Chanan and
and shellfish. Prior to the island‟s occupation, males and   Low Talislan, while the males are barely conversant in
females traditionally lived apart. Now the two sexes are     the former of these two tongues. Common male names
strictly segregated by their Imrian masters, who have        sound harsh and brutish, such as Thag, Vrog, and
killed off most of the males, saving only a few dozen for    Zhug. Females have mellifluous sounding names like
use as breeders.                                             Saiel, Jalea, and Shalisa.

Breeding males are kept in thornwood pens and allowed        Defenses
out only to take nourishment and relieve themselves.         A heavily armed contingent of about a hundred Imrians
The females still live in huts, but are closely watched by   is currently stationed on Batre. They built a lookout
Imrian guards. Batrean males seem unmoved by the             tower and crude harbor facilities, but otherwise merely
beauty of their females, whom they largely ignore            took over the existing Batrean fortifications and
except during the males‟ brief, weeklong mating              upgraded them. Encircling the only remaining Batrean
season. Female infants are raised by the women. Male         settlement is a living wall of thornwood, augmented by
children are largely ignored, which may explain their        rows of sharpened stakes and hidden snares.
diminished learning capacities.
                                                             Commerce
Customs                                                      Until the island was annexed by the Imrians, it was the
The customs of the Batrean people are also divided           custom among the males to sell their womenfolk for
along lines of gender. The males are crude, boorish,         gold, a practice many believe the females instigated as
and slovenly, and seem possessed of a limited                a means of escaping their loutish mates. Now the
intellectual capacity. Batrean females, on the other         Imrians control the sale of Batrean females, and Imrian
hand, are exceedingly clever. They possess the ability       brass rings are used as currency on the island.
to emit a scent that beguiles males of almost all
humanoid species, making them susceptible to                 World Relations
suggestion. This talent develops at the onset of
                                                             The Imrians breed Batrean females for sale as slaves
puberty, and manifests a sweet smelling musk, so
                                                             and concubines, transporting them via their crude
subtle that it may not be noticed. While male Batreans
                                                             coracles to such distant lands as Faradun, the Kang
and Imrians are immune to this pheromone, males of
                                                             Empire, Arim, Hadj, and Zandu. Aside from this, Batre
most other humanoid species are not. Nasal plugs or
                                                             has no relations with the outside world.
filters afford some protection against this ability,
though such devices are not uniformly reliable (see
Scent of a Batrean).                                         Scent of a Batrean
                                                             In his famed book, Perception and Delusion, the
Government                                                   estimable Kabros, sorcerer and one-time ruler of
Formerly, dominant males served as tribal chieftains.        ancient Phaedra, states emphatically:
Now, the Imrians rule Batre, and any that do not obey
their orders are killed out of hand.                         “The ability of Batrean females to influence males of
                                                             other species can be attributed to their scent, which
                                                             possesses aphrodisiac properties similar in effect to
Magic & Religion                                             tantalus vine. Batrean males, who as a group suffer
Batreans have no organized religion. The females are         from chronic sinus difficulties, are evidently unaffected
said to know something of magic, though the males are        by the potent pheromones emitted by their mates.
far too dense to comprehend such things. Batrean
females adorn the bodies of their dead with garlands of
Intrigued by Kabros‟ writings, I endeavored to find         green (naturally a pale brown or hazel); often disguised
some means of putting his claims to the test. An            as a member of another race.
opportunity unexpectedly presented itself in Zandu,
where, as a courtesy to a Farad monger, I volunteered       Note: Batrean females can bear children by males of
to chaperone three Batrean concubines whom he               certain other humanoid races, although they are quite
intended to sell in Arim. The Farad went off to tend to     skilled at preventing unwanted pregnancies. Such
other business, leaving me to watch over his wagon, in      offspring will only rarely possess the mother‟s ability to
which were safely secreted his lovely charges. Plugging     beguile by scent; on the positive side, they will never
my nasal passages with two small wads of compacted          resemble Batrean males, instead acquiring a mixture of
silkcloth, I entered the wagon, employing a minor bit of    both parents‟ physical characteristics.
legerdemain to foil the Farad‟s locks.
                                                            Attributes:
The Batreans greeted me with obvious delight, and           INT +4                   STR -2            CR 0
pressed their charms upon me in a most generous             PER 0           DEX +1            MR +3
fashion. All went according to my most optimistic plans,    WIL +2          CON 0             HP 18
until a sudden sneeze caused my hastily improvised          CHA +6          SPD 0
nasal filters to be expelled. I came to my senses
sometime later, awakened by the shrieks and curses of       Special Abilities: Beguile by scent; males (other than
the Farad monger, who had returned to find the              Batrean and Imrian) must make Willpower roll to resist
concubines missing, and with them, all of his gold.         any suggestion made by the Batrean female.
Happily for myself, the Batreans had been kind enough
to hide me, dazed but unhurt, in a clump of nearby          Skills:
bushes. I deemed the results of my experiment to be         Natural Magic (Four Modes of choice) +3
sufficiently conclusive, and departed the area              Weapon (choice) +3             Stealth +3
post-haste.”                                                Alchemy (Elixirs) +1           Forgery +2
                                                            Dance +7                       Cultures +3
Batrean Paramour                                            Seduce +6                      Chanan, native
                                                            Lip-reading +5                 Low Talislan, native
Homeland: Batre                                             Deception +2                   High Talislan, fluent

“Come the rising suns, you‟ll remember nothing of this      Equipment: Simple garments for travel, translucent
night. Only the pleasurable ache of your body and the       linen robe, pouch (for herbs, dyes, etc.), one concealed
lightness of your purse will evidence that I ever visited   weapon of choice, fan, three vials of elixirs.
your room.”
                                                            Wealth: 40 gold lumens            in   assorted   coins   and
This is your third life, and you mean to make the most      valuables (often stolen).
of it. The first life was your childhood on Batre, among
the brutish males of your race and the slime-coated         Batrean Male
Imrian occupiers. You remember fondly the elder
women and their teachings in the arts of magic and          Homeland: Batre
subtle influence. All else of that time is violence and
sadness. The second life was your time as a slave and       The thornwood hurts you. Sometimes you are angry,
concubine. Your master had the cold heart of a Sauran,      and you try to break the thornwood. The scaled ones
and you still bear the scars of his discipline upon your    don‟t like that. They punish you if you do not do as they
back. You listened and watched, studied the nature of       say. You have not hunted in a long time. Many moons.
power in this world of cities, and waited with patience     Many years, you think. You don‟t remember well. In the
and caution to seize your freedom. This third life is       thornwood, every day is the same. There is nothing
dangerous still; Batreans are valuable slaves, and you      worth remembering. They give you bad food. Some
must often disguise your heritage. Yet opportunities        days, it makes you sick. They don‟t let you play with
abound; even without resorting to your pheromones,          the bone dice anymore. They have taken the bone dice
men are easy to manipulate, and you have steeled            away. When they do let you out of the thornwood, they
yourself against their touch. Sometimes, you merely         want you to mate with the females. They prod you with
take their wealth and cloud their memories. More often,     spears, until you mate. You would like to kill the scaled
you gather allies, knowledge, favors, and influence. To     ones. But they are too many, and you are too few.
find scintilla, one must search the nests of raknids, and
the contacts you acquire are often quite distasteful. Yet   Physical Characteristics: 7‟-8‟, 250-350+ lbs. Dingy
you intend to secure the power you need to place            yellow skin, matted green hair, sloping shoulders,
yourself beyond your past. Your children will never         muscular physique.
know your sufferings.
                                                            Attributes:
Physical Characteristics: 4‟6”-5‟6”, 80-110 lbs.            INT -4          STR +6            CR +4
Ivory-skinned, hair dyed sapphire blue or emerald           PER -2          DEX -3                     MR -4
                                                            WIL 0           CON 0             HP 30
CHA 0           SPD -2
                                                            Customs
Special Abilities: Immune to Batrean female‟s ability       The Black Savants rarely associate with other peoples,
to beguile by scent.                                        a situation which most decent folk find quite
                                                            acceptable. Some few have been known to serve as
Skills:                                                     advisors to kings and tyrants, though seldom for any
Club +2                  Survival +4                        great length of time, and usually only to suit their own
Dagger +1                Gambling +2                        purposes.
Torture +2               Chanan, native
Traps +2                                                    Black Savants never eat, sleep, or rest. Neither do they
                                                            perform physical labor of any sort, leaving such tasks to
Equipment: Loincloth, giant wooden club, stone              demons, whom the Savants capture and bind to their
dagger, pouch.                                              service. In fact, it is said that Nefaratus was
                                                            constructed by demon laborers in a single night.
Wealth: None.
                                                            Magic & Religion
THE BLACK SAVANTS                                           Though they are often thought of as diabolists, the
The Black Savants stand nearly seven feet in height,        Black Savants do not revere devils. However, they
and are stoop-shouldered and gaunt in appearance.           occasionally consult with arch-devils and other powerful
Their traditional costume includes boots, gloves, cloak     entities of the lower planes when in need of
and robes of satiny black cloth, hooded and veiled so as    information. Like their ancestors, the Thane, the
to obscure their features. Only their eyes are normally     Savants are occultists in the truest sense of the word:
visible; cold, unfeeling orbs like twin shards of onyx.     they are seekers of secret, lost, and forgotten lore.
The morbid appearance of these folk becomes
understandable when one realizes that they are not          The Arts
truly alive, but are the reanimated forms of a people       The ancient Thane crypts, mausoleums, and cenotaphs
who lived long, long ago.                                   of Khazad are notable for their intricate symbology, as
                                                            well as the bas-relief demons and devils that adorn the
Ancestry                                                    surfaces of these structures. The ancient Thane also
The Black Savants are the descendants of the Thane, a       made gold, silver, and copper funerary masks, brass
reclusive people whose black hulled vessels once plied      funerary urns, and countless other types of relics, all of
the waters of the Midnight Sea and beyond. Learning in      exceptional craftsmanship.
advance of the coming of The Great Disaster, the Thane
made preparations to ensure the survival of their race.     Nefaratan structures exhibit similar ornamentation,
They constructed a vast necropolis in northern Khazad,      which some say is the work of diabolical architects. The
in which the entire population of Thanatus was interred     Black Savants are also said to use captive pyro-demons
in stasis, awaiting the day when the effects of The         to forge black adamant, a type of metal that is used in
Great Disaster had passed. Unfortunately, something         the making of enchanted blades and other useful items.
went wrong: most of the Thane souls were lost among
the lower planes, and only a handful of their people        Language
awakened from their long slumber. These folk are today      Black Savants are mute, a side-effect of the process
known as the Black Savants.                                 that was used to preserve their physical forms. They
                                                            converse in an ancient form of sign, using secret signs
Society                                                     when they do not wish to be understood by outsiders.
After leaving Khazad, The Black Savants established a       Savants also read and write in the old Archaen tongue.
sanctuary on the island of Nefaratus. They have             Some are said to be fluent in the dead languages of the
remained here ever since, seeking some way to bring         Forgotten Age, as well as the languages of creatures
their people back from the dead. On the island of           who hail from the lower planes.
Nefaratus, the Savants live in ony towers, each edifice
housing a single “cabal” (an old Archaen term, meaning      Government
a group of magicians working together in concert to
                                                            The Nefaratans appear to have no central government,
achieve a single goal). Each cabal is charged with a
                                                            though there is a magical hierarchy of sorts. Each cabal
specific task: the exploration of a particular region of
                                                            has its own leader, called an Archimage, who assigns
the lower planes, the interrogation of certain
                                                            their tasks. The Archimages comprise a cabal of their
lower-planar entities, the search for some obscure
                                                            own, which appears to serve as a ruling body of sorts.
magical tome or artifact that might contain a clue about
                                                            Their decisions are made by majority rule.
the location of a lost soul. Some use obsidian mirrors as
view ports - or perhaps gates - to other dimensions.
Others perform strange experiments involving the            Defenses
concoction of volatile essences and reagents. Their         The island of Nefaratus is well protected by natural
efforts are said to have but single goal: to bring their    fortifications. Its sheer cliffs and perilous reefs render
people back to life.                                        the isle safe from all but the most determined
waterborne assault. The obsidian towers that serve as        have awakened long ago, once The Great Disaster had
the Savants‟ homes confer protection from aerial             passed. But something went wrong; the rejuvenation
attacks, and are virtually impregnable to non-magical        process failed, and their souls were lost to the dark
weaponry. Their black iron ships are likewise deemed to      nether regions of the lower planes. Your cabal will do
be nearly indestructible.                                    whatever it must to retrieve their lost souls, and you
                                                             will not rest again until they are rejoined with their
Commerce                                                     mortal forms. So you consort with devils, bargaining or
The Savants are said to consort with entities from the       threatening as suits your needs. You hunt demons and
lower planes, trading such things as soulstones,             interrogate them, or use them as slaves in your forges
enchanted items, and captive demons for occult secrets       and galleys. You scan the underworld through obsidian
and artifacts. They are not known to have relations with     mirrors, trade with shadow wizards, and wander the
any Talislantan peoples or nations, and in fact appear       cities of the red night in search of clues. One day you
to evince little interest in the concerns of the present     will find the souls of your brethren, and waken them
age.                                                         from their sleep. Then, perhaps, your race can once
                                                             again know what it is to be alive.
Worldview
                                                             Physical   Attributes:    6‟6”-6‟10”,  160-200           lbs.
The activities of the Black Savants have long been
                                                             Stoop-shouldered, gaunt, cold onyx eyes.
subject to speculation. Their midnight-black vessels are
rumored to sail the cursed waters that lie at the edge of
                                                             Attributes:
the world. Sailors who have encountered such vessels
                                                             INT +5                   STR 0            CR 0
at sea claim that they are propelled by the efforts of
                                                             PER +5          DEX 0             MR +8
demons, chained to the oars with silver shackles and
                                                             WIL +5          CON -1            HP 20
driven on by giant, copper-skinned devils. Others claim
                                                             CHA -5                   SPD -1
to have seen the black ships pull into certain port cities
on moonless nights, only to depart before the coming of
                                                             Special Abilities: See invisible/astral presences at
dawn.
                                                             range of sight; immune to disease, aging, the need for
                                                             food and water; mute.
The Savants
Kabros, self-proclaimed scion of the great sorcerer,         Skills:
Koraq, claimed to have had first-hand knowledge of the       Necromancy (All Modes) +15        Antiquarian +15
mysterious folk known as the Black Savants. He wrote         Alchemy +15                       Arcane Lore +15
a brief monograph on the subject, an excerpt from            Staff +15                         Linguistics +10
which appears below:                                         Doctrines (Lower Planes) +15      Sign, native dialect
                                                             Pilot (Nefaratan vessel) +10      Archaen, fluent
“The assumption that the Black Savants are necessarily
evil, simply because they dress in a forbidding manner       Equipment: Veiled headdress, hooded cloak, robes,
and avoid contact with other peoples is, I believe,          gloves, and boots (all of black, satin-like cloth), black
erroneous. This is not to imply that the Savants should      adamant- and silver-bound spell book, black adamant
be embraced as our friends. In fact, I would                 staff, obsidian mirror, demonic slaves.
recommend against it. A policy of objectivity, on the
other hand, might be of use when attempting to               Wealth: Unknown; Black Savants do not engage in
understand these people.                                     commerce with Talislantans.

It is important to understand that the Black Savants are
not diabolists, as has long been suspected, but              THE FARAD
occultists. They monitor activities on the lower planes,     The Farad are a dark and saturnine folk of above
but only to obtain information. True, the Savants admit      average height, with flint- grey skin, stony visages, and
to keeping demons as slaves, and express a decided           narrow eyes as black as coal. The customary mode of
preference for the company of devils. Does this in and       dress for Farad males includes elaborate headdress,
of itself justify categorizing them as an evil race?         voluminous robes, broad sashes, and velvet boots, all
Perhaps, and perhaps not. After all, are not each of us      hung with ornate tassels, fringes, and beads of colored
obsessed with our own personal demons?”                      glass. Men over the age of twenty wear their beards in
                                                             twin braids bound with silver fastenings, the length and
Black Savant                                                 the degree of ornamentation employed being
                                                             considered signs of status. Farad women wear long
Homeland: Nefaratus                                          silken gowns and veils, and adorn themselves with
                                                             necklaces of silver loops, and rings on each of their
It has been a very long time since you knew what it          fingers.
was like to be truly alive. You no longer age, and thus
the years are not a restraint upon you. Yet your             Ancestry
brethren, the other Thane, still sleep in the crypts of      Some say the Farad are related in some way to the
Khazad. Their rest has lasted far too long. All should       Rajans. Others claim the Farad are descended from the
ancient Baratus, a race of sky-roving pirates. Neither       Mongers: the shop owners, peddlers and hawkers who
theory is very complementary to the Farad, who much          make up the vast majority of Faradun‟s citizenry. Each
prefer to claim descent from the Archaens.                   House has its own Monopolist, Userers, Procurers, and
                                                             Mongers.
Society
The Farad are a mercantile people who live in walled         The laws of Faradun are harsh, and not altogether
villas made of brick and stone, with wrought iron bars       comprehensible to outsiders. Thieves can be sentenced
on the doors and windows. They like to indulge in fine       to torture, imprisonment, maiming, or any of a dozen
foods, and shun simple fare as “peasant fodder.”             more inventive forms of punishment. Death is the
Generally speaking, the wealthier the Farad, the more        mandatory sentence for embezzling funds, a crime
costly his or her home, style of dress, and style of         considered more heinous than murder. Conversely, in
dining will be, as wealth is a sign of status among these    Faradun, goods stolen from other lands can legally be
folk.                                                        resold as “pre-owned” merchandise. The Houses police
                                                             themselves, and consequently, many crimes go
Farad marriages, like their mercantile contracts, are        unreported.
essentially business affairs. The usual procedure is for
the heads of two mercantile Houses (families) to             Magic & Religion
arrange the marriage. The purpose of the union is to         The Farad have a religion of sorts, revering the Golden
gain competitive advantage over rival Houses, and            God Avar, deity of material riches and personal gain.
bidding for especially desirable mates is not uncommon.      The merchant-priests of Avar preach the attainment of
Since “love” is not usually a factor, husbands and wives     wealth by any means. To illustrate the point, they sell
often use consorts to fulfill their emotional and physical   blessings, golden idols, and other holy items in the
needs. Farad children are raised through infancy by          god‟s gilded temples. They also handle funeral
paid or slave attendants. At age five they are enrolled      arrangements, selling the gold-chased coffins favored
in boarding schools, at which time they begin their          by wealthy Farad and offering advice on how best to
formal education in Farad mercantile practices. Parents      safeguard their lavishly decorated tombs from would-be
are usually much too busy with their careers to bother       thieves.
with their children until they are old enough to bring
into the family business.                                    Farad wizards tend to be pragmatic by nature. Most
                                                             have little interest in the arcane arts, but study magic
Customs                                                      only to further their desire for wealth and power.
Farad bears an unsavory reputation as unscrupulous
merchants that is tempered only by their great wealth        The Arts
and apparent competence in mercantile endeavors.             Farad interest in art and crafts is based on the profit
Generally speaking, a Farad will buy or sell anything        motive. The Houses underwrite artistic endeavors only
from anyone, with no questions asked. Trusting no one,       if they believe they can make a profit on the deal.
Farad merchants require prospective clients to sign          Accordingly, only arts with commercial potential are
elaborate mercantile contracts for all but the most basic    supported. Since Farad prefer to be art dealers rather
transactions. Bribes, favors, and special incentives are     than artists, foreign artists and musicians are in
common Farad practices; when attempting to make a            demand in Faradun - provided their work has
deal, a Farad can be most accommodating, and even            commercial potential.
obsequious. Conversely, Farad possess a capacity for
cold-blooded, emotionless behavior that is matched           Language
only by the soulless logic of the barbaric Harakin.          Farad speaks High Talislan, which they regard as a sign
                                                             of status. Farad nomenclature is two-fold: each
Government                                                   individual has an informal name, used primarily during
The social, mercantile, and political hierarchy of           one‟s youth, and a formal title. Informal names are
Faradun are all related; each reflects the nation‟s utter    generally short: Avi, Fe, Nir, Sej, Jir. Formal names are
obsession with commerce. The ruler of Faradun, known         derived from the names of the great mercantile Houses,
as the Cral, wields absolute power, and is responsible       such as Falal of the House of Nageth, Sulemar of the
for determining market prices for all goods that are to      House of Zorastin, etc. Male and female nomenclature
be bought or sold in the capital city. Second in line of     is distinguishable only by such titles as Madame or Sir.
authority are the Monopolists, individuals given power
by the Cral to determine the availability of various         Defenses
wares. Each is responsible for a single commodity, such      The capital city of Tarun and its port facilities are
as slaves, contraband, gemstones, metals, narcotics,         heavily fortified against attack, and are considered
and so forth. Next come the Usurers, who lend money          to be impregnable. Towering sea-gates protect the
at exorbitant rates to finance commercial ventures           harbor, and can be closed at need. A sixty-foot wall
approved by the Monopolists. Dependent upon the              encompasses the city, protecting Tarun from assault by
Usurers are the Procurers, who travel far and wide,          land.
acquiring merchandise from various sources and
establishing new trade contacts. Finally, there are the
Faradun has no army of its own, but hires foreign            “For a proper remuneration, I will acquire for you
mercenaries to protect its holdings, properties, and its     anything that you may desire. Never would I think to
fleet of merchant vessels. In recent years Faradun has       burden you with questions.”
begun to produce windships. Some claim that the Farad
stole the arcanology required to construct such vessels      The day before you left for boarding school, five years
from the Cymrilians. However, the Farad say that they        of age, you abased yourself before the golden idol of
discovered this information in the Hadjin Tombs.             Avar in your father‟s home. There you vowed to make
                                                             your parents‟ riches seem that of a poor fruit monger.
Commerce                                                     You have many gold lumens to acquire before that vow
Through the port of Tarun pass the merchant ships of         is met. As a Procurer, you travel the continent by
many nations: Imrian slave vessels, Zandir freetraders,      caravan and galley, arranging for commerce and
Sunra dragon barques bearing gold and riches from the        securing contacts among the foreign merchant houses
Kang Empire, Aamanian ore traders, and even Corsair          and governments. You long for the day when, as Usurer
vessels from the Mangar Isles and Gao-Din. The Farad         or Monopolist, your clients will come to you in Tarun
have an extensive network of buyers and sellers located      and your agents will journey among foreigners. The
throughout the continent. They have their hands in just      accommodations of your hosts are often squalid and
about everything, from legitimate trade concerns to          repugnant, especially among such as the Imrians and
shadowy operations involving the sale of narcotics           Rajans. Whenever you may, you spend your time
stolen goods, stolen arcanology, and other forms of          abroad in Zanth, where wealth is enjoyed. Yet some
contraband (see Visit to Tarun).                             degradations are rewarded with ample profit, and there
                                                             are few offers that you will not consider, no goods that
Worldview                                                    you would refuse to traffic: “gold is gold,” as your
                                                             people say. What is the difference? You greet clients
The Farad‟s unscrupulous trade policies have brought
                                                             and associates with a mask of geniality, but they are
them great prosperity, as well as the enmity of many
                                                             clients, nothing more or less. You treat others of your
Talislantans. Following the sale of windship arcanology
                                                             people in the same manner; if you ever whisper in the
to the Rajans, Farad mongers and procurers were
                                                             ear of the Cral, your words will serve your own interests
banned from both the Seven Kingdoms and
                                                             above all else. Faradun has prospered through citizens
Carantheum. In retaliation, the Farad began selling
                                                             like yourself. You will prosper as well.
weapons to the Rajans, who in turn have re-sold these
items to some of the Wild Tribes.
                                                             Physical Characteristics: 5‟8”-6‟6”, 100-200 lbs.
                                                             Flint-gray skin, stony visage, coal-black and narrow
                   Visit to Tarun                            eyes, beards in twin braids bound with silver fastenings
          (From a Farad mercantile brochure)                 (males).
The scenic port city of Tarun offers many attractions
not readily available in other lands. In the marketplace     Attributes:
of Tarun you can buy practically anything - provided         INT +2                  STR -1           CR 0
one can afford the price, of course. The list of available   PER +1          DEX 0            MR +2
commodities is practically endless; virtually anything       WIL +2          CON 0            HP 19
that can be owned, rented, or otherwise exchanged            CHA 0           SPD 0
under contract can be obtained here. For the
discriminating buyer there is a wide selection of the        Skills:
rarest mixtures and substances. The list includes            Dagger +4               Administrator +4
aphrodisiacs, soporifics, tonics, potions, powders,          Scimitar +3             Caravan Master +4
poisons, and antidotes; k‟tallah, euphorica, kesh,           Merchant +8             Pilot (Merchant galley) +4
skullcap, stimulants, invigorants, and rare varieties of     Deception +5            Ride +5
dream essence not available elsewhere, to name but a         Appraiser +5            High Talislan, native
few.
                                                             Equipment:      For     males,   elaborate    headdress,
Also bear in mind that Tarun is a leading supplier of        voluminous robe, broad sashes, velvet boots, all hung
“previously-owned” goods. We stock items in all              with ornate tassels, fringes, and beads of colored glass;
categories, from personal possessions to lost artifacts,     for females, long silken gowns and veils, necklaces of
missing religious relics, books and scrolls, jewelry,        silver loops, rings on each finger; curved dagger,
antiquities,   and    valuables of   all   sorts.   Our      scimitar (males only), coin purse, ledger book.
previously-owned goods are guaranteed untraceable for
one month (exceptions and restrictions may apply; see        Wealth: 250 gold lumens in assorted coins and
contract for details). And remember, we also purchase        precious stones.
previously-owned items at competitive prices.
                                                             Farad Monopolist
Farad Procurer
                                                             Homeland: Faradun
Homeland: Faradun
You have earned your position as a Monopolist,                spy upon their rivals, undermine their competitors, or
unchallenged master of your House. You made your              worse. It matters little to you, so long as they have
offerings to Avar the Golden God, and bought his              gold to pay. It is true that you are a wizard. But you
blessings. You rose through the ranks of the Procurers        are also a Farad.
and Userers, besting your rivals with wit and guile, and
gold. You acquired riches, and used your wealth buy           Physical Characteristics: 5‟8”-6‟6”, 100-200 lbs.
the allegiance of powerful friends. You crushed your          Flint-gray skin, stony visage, coal-black and narrow
competitors, bought and sold their businesses, and            eyes, beards in twin braids bound with silver fastenings
amassed a fortune. When your talents caught the               (males).
attention of the Cral, you bought his favor with gifts of
gold, surpassing those who stood in your way. The Cral        Attributes:
was pleased. In recognition of your accomplishments           INT +2                  STR -1           CR 0
you were given a commodity to exploit and granted the         PER +1          DEX 0            MR +2
position of Monopolist. Your predecessor was not so           WIL +2          CON 0            HP 19
fortunate: stripped of his assets and position, he left       CHA 0           SPD 0
the country in disgrace. It was no concern of yours. You
have arrived at the pinnacle of Farad society. You are a      Skills:
Monopolist. Avar spoke the truth. Gold is good.               Wizardry              Administrator +4
                                                                   Three Modes of choice +3 Ride +5
Physical Characteristics: 5‟8”-6‟6”, 100-200 lbs.             Alchemy +2            Caravan Master +4
Flint-gray skin, stony visage, coal-black and narrow          Dagger +1             Pilot (Merchant galley) +4
eyes, beards in twin braids bound with gold fastenings        Merchant +4           Appraiser +5
(males).                                                      Deception +5          High Talislan, native

Attributes:                                                   Equipment:       For    males,   elaborate    headdress,
INT +2                  STR -1           CR 0                 voluminous robe, broad sashes, velvet boots, all hung
PER +1          DEX 0            MR +2                        with ornate tassels, fringes, and beads of colored glass;
WIL +2          CON 0            HP 19                        for females, long silken gowns and veils, necklaces of
CHA 0           SPD 0                                         silver loops, rings on each finger; curved dagger, coin
                                                              purse, ledger book, gold-bound spell book.
Skills:
Dagger +7               Caravan Master +10                    Wealth: 250 gold lumens in assorted coins and
Scimitar +7             Pilot (Merchant galley) +7            precious stones.
Merchant +18            Ride +7
Deception +15           High Talislan, native                 Farad Merchant-Priest of Avar
Appraiser +15           Quan, fluent
Administrator +14       Nomadic, fluent                       Homeland: Faradun
Litigator +9            Rajanin, fluent
Diplomacy +8            Sea Nomadic, fluent                   “As it clearly illustrates in the Tome of Transactions:
Forgery +7                                                    „Sales without a receipt are non-returnable‟.”

Equipment:      For    males,    elaborate  headdress,        The Tome of Transactions is the law you live by,
voluminous robe, broad sashes, velvet boots, all hung         containing the blessed Creed of Greed spoken by the
with ornate tassels, fringes, and gemstones; for              golden god, Avar himself. You have learned via these
females, long silken gowns and veils, necklaces of gold       teachings that all of life is a transaction and trade,
loops, rings on each finger; curved dagger, scimitar          every choice with its own unique profits and costs, and
(males only), coin purse, ledger book.                        you know that financial success, the only success that
                                                              matters,     comes     from    recognizing     the    best
Wealth: 100,000 gold lumens in House holdings.                opportunities, and taking calculated risks. To strive and
                                                              succeed at all costs is certainly admirable, but only if
Farad Wizard                                                  that success can be measured in monetary terms. In
                                                              Faradun, you perform blessings and rituals, for a
Homeland: Faradun                                             suitable fee of course, and hire out your services as an
                                                              advisor on financial matters, quoting from the Tome of
It is true that you are a wizard. You trained in that craft   Transactions and its many financial rules as necessary.
under a Farad master, who taught you that magic was           You eagerly accept donations, and sell holy icons and
best used to acquire wealth and power. You learned            coffins of fortune for a substantial profit, all the while
well, and found that there was a considerable market          assessing what you can do to accumulate more wealth.
for your talents in Faradun. Your services do not come        Now that you have paid your full tuition, you are taking
cheaply; magic, like all commodities, has its price. You      to the roads of trade yourself, for as it notes in the
weigh the offers of prospective clients carefully, always     Tome of Transactions: „The road to enlightenment is
seeking to maximize your profits. They come to you to         paved with gold‟.
Physical Characteristics: 5‟8”-6‟6”, 100-200 lbs.           elaborate twin braids (males), floor-length elaborately
Flint-gray skin, stony visage, coal-black and narrow        braided hair (females)
eyes, beard in twin braids bound with gold fastenings
(males).                                                    Attributes:
                                                            INT +1                 STR 0             CR 0
Attributes:                                                 PER +1          DEX +2           MR +2
INT +2                  STR -1           CR 0               WIL 0           CON +1           HP 20
PER +1          DEX 0            MR +2                      CHA +1          SPD 0
WIL +2          CON 0            HP 19
CHA +1          SPD 0                                       Skills:
                                                            Wizardry                Music +3
Skills:                                                     -   Alter +2            Song +3
Invocation                       Dagger +1                  -   Conjure +1          Merchant +2
      Two Modes of choice +2     Appraiser +5               -   Illusion +3         Deception +3
Doctrines - Avar +4              Artificer - Gold +3        -   Influence +2        Appraiser +2
Pilot - Merchant Galley +4       Administrator +4           Love-Making +5          Etiquette +5
Merchant +8                      Caravan Master +4          Seduce +4               Fashion +5
Deception +5                     Ride +5                    Acting +3               High Talislan, native
Traps +3                         High Talislan, native      Dance +3

Equipment:      For   males,     elaborate   headdress,     Equipment:      For    males,     elaborate     headdress,
voluminous robe, broad sashes, and velvet boots,            open-chested robe, and broad sashes, in many colors,
predominantly gold in color, all hung with ornate           all hung with ornate tassels, fringes, and beads of
tassels, fringes, and beads of colored glass; for           colored glass; for females, long form-hugging silken
females, long silken gowns and veils, predominantly         gown slit up the sides, and veil, in many colors,
gold in color, necklaces of gold loops, gold rings on       necklaces of gold loops, gold rings on each finger and
each finger; pocket edition of the Tome of Transactions,    toe; velvet-bound tome of erotic spells and songs,
curved dagger, coin purse, ledger book.                     musical instrument of choice, several silk cords,
                                                            selection of carved ivory or exotic hardwood male
Wealth: 250 gold lumens in saleable holy items, and         prostheses, silk blindfold, flask of fine spiced wine, vial
offerings.                                                  of aphrodisiac elixir, several alluring and exciting
                                                            fragrances.
Farad Sybarite
                                                            Wealth: 250 gold lumens in various currencies.
Homeland: Faradun
                                                            THE SEA ROGUES OF GAO-DIN
"There now, don't be shy; I have experienced                The Gao are a people of mixed blood originally
multitudinous sensual tastes and delights, and I am         descended from the ancient Phaedrans. Gao have
sure you will find me most accommodating or fulfilling      inter-married with many different peoples over the
as suits you."                                              course of time, and so exhibit no single set of
                                                            characteristics. The local style of dress is both diverse
The pleasures of the flesh are the most desired in life,    and flamboyant, and features a wide array of cloaks,
and satisfying such erotic demands can shower the           sashes, tunics, pantaloons, bandanas, ear baubles,
talented with gold. As a Sybarite, one of Faradun's         eye-patches, and high boots.
small order of courtesan-magicians, you provide
magically-enhanced carnal delights and hedonistic           Ancestry
entertainments so deeply gratifying that only the truly     Formerly a penal colony of the old Phaedran Empire,
wealthy can afford to indulge them. Your repertoire of      Gao was abandoned by its makers during the Cult Wars
voluptuary skills gives you the capacity to satisfy a       of the early New Age. The prisoners incarcerated in this
variety of partners, of either gender, from many races,     heavily fortified installation were simply left behind to
and the spells you bear can make any experience truly       fend for themselves. Showing a degree of ingenuity
addictive. Even so, the mastery of physical congress is     born of desperation, they salvaged an abandoned
far from being your only talent, for you are also skilled   Phaedran vessel and embarked upon a career as
in captivating dance, seductive melody, and the ability     sea-roving pirates. Soon thereafter, Gao-Din was
to become the partner of your client's dreams. Men and      declared an independent city-state, and the Rogue City
women of wealth, power, and influence have shared           of Gao was made its capital. Since that time the
your boudoir, and you have noted that all, rich or poor,    Sea-Rogues of Gao have prospered, and their small
are equally powerless when chained to passion.              settlement has become a haven for thieves and
                                                            outcasts of many races and nationalities.
Physical Characteristics: 5'8"-6'6", 100-200 lbs.
Flint-gray skin, saturnine or sultry visage, coal-black
and narrow eyes, attractive physique, beard in
Society                                                        individuals applying for citizenship must allow
The formal penal colony of Gao has grown into a city of        themselves to be subjected to scrutiny by the King‟s
sorts, its old fortifications expanded upon and modified       personal advisors, a group traditionally comprised of
for purposes of defense. Gao buildings are made of             fellow thieves, wizards, and the like. Those who pass
stone, brick, driftwood, or anything that‟s available.         their rigorous tests are granted citizenship and taught
Architectural styles reflect the preferences of dozens of      the seven secret passwords required to gain access to
races and ethnic groups.                                       the city. Those who fail are seldom heard from again
                                                               except as regards the aqua demons.
The city‟s current population, comprised mostly of
thieves, outcasts and freed slaves, is a remarkable            Magic & Religion
admixture of racial and cultural types. Rivals and even        All Gao are free to worship or not, as they please.
deadly enemies under normal circumstances, the                 Accordingly, many diverse cults and religions proliferate
inhabitants of the Rogue City generally co-exist with a        in the Rogue City, though most have only a handful of
minimum of difficulty on Gao-Din. While polygamy is            followers. Magicians of many sorts can be found
permitted by male and female citizens, adultery is             throughout the city. Their talents are considered useful
frowned upon. Individuals accused of such an                   by the Gao, who sometimes uses magic to disguise
indiscretion often simply get married, thereby avoiding        themselves, their booty, and their ships. Gao bury their
possible scandal. As a result of the city‟s liberal policies   dead at sea in a formal ceremony that entails the laying
concerning marriage, individuals born in Gao may have          of wreaths upon the water.
any number of legal “fathers” and “mothers,” and
countless relatives of various races and nationalities.        The Arts
Gao food is similarly diverse, and traditional cuisines        Gao is a melting pot of different cultures, their arts, and
from many lands are available in the taverns and inns.         crafts. The Sea Rogues have a great appreciation of the
                                                               arts; so much so that artisans, craftsmen, and
Customs                                                        performers found aboard ships plundered by the Gao
In popular folklore, the Gao are perceived by many             are often invited to live in Gao-Din.
Talislantans as glamorous adventurers, a perception
that the Gao work hard to encourage. Crude, crass, or          Language
abusive behavior is not tolerated among the Gao, who           Sea Nomad and Low Talislan are spoken throughout
value good manners. Though the Sea-Rogues‟                     Gao-Din, with embellishments sufficient to archive the
swashbuckling antics and charming manners set them             desired effect of charm and manners. Most Sea Rogues
apart from the murderous tactics employed by the               know at least one of these two languages, along with
Mangar Corsairs, there is no escaping the fact that the        their native tongues. Common names vary wildly
Gao are pirates who rob and plunder for a living.              according to background; there are no ethnic Gao
                                                               names per se.
Government
The Rogue City of Gao is ruled by an individual known          Defenses
as the “King of Thieves,” elected by popular vote once         In the event of attack all Gao band together to repulse
each year. The King‟s primary duties are to arbitrate          the would-be invaders. Access to the harbor is impeded
disputes, set fair prices for black market and                 by dangerous rocks, traps, and the local “fauna”. While
contraband goods, and enforce the three basic tenets of        the well-fed aqua demons who live in the waters around
the “thieves‟ code of honor.” These are: 1) it is illegal to   Gao-Din generally refrain from molesting Gao vessels,
kill a fellow thief (i.e., citizen of Gao) while in the city   they have no qualms about attacking other ships.
proper; 2) it is illegal to reveal the seven secret
passwords to any non-citizen; 3) it is illegal to steal any    Commerce
item worth more than twenty gold lumens from a fellow
                                                               The business of Gao-Din is piracy, and the fencing of
thief while in the city proper.
                                                               stolen booty is a primary concern. These dealings are
                                                               handled by means of secret contacts with agents in
The punishment for failure to comply with the code‟s
                                                               many countries on the mainland. Ransoming wealthy
tenets is determined by the King‟s appraisal of the
                                                               captives is another profitable endeavor. The King of
circumstances. In most cases, individuals found guilty
                                                               Thieves is allowed a ten percent cut of all booty
of breaking either the first or second tenets are bound,
                                                               captured by ships which utilize the city‟s walled-in
gagged, and fed to the aqua demons. Those found
                                                               harbor facilities, but does not otherwise burden the
guilty of breaking the third tenet are given two weeks
                                                               population with taxes or tariffs.
to reimburse the victim of the theft three times over.
Failure or inability to comply with this edict once again
brings the aqua demons alternative to bear.                    Worldview
                                                               Officially, the city-state of Gao-Din has no formal
Gao citizenship is not easily obtained, though it is           relations with any other government, religious group, or
technically available to any thief, outcast, or scoundrel      secret society. Neither does Gao rule out the possibility
who seeks it. In order to reduce the chance of spies or        of association with almost any government, group, or
informants infiltrating Gao‟s close-knit society, all          individual, providing there is a profit to be made by
entering into such a relationship. Only the Imrians,         and you respect your compatriots regardless of their
Rajans and Aamanians seem exempt from this policy,           ancestry or their past. The city that is your home and
the Sea- Rogues having a definite aversion to slavers        your haven is an oddity to other Talislantans. They hear
and religious fanatics. The Sea-Rogues steer clear of        rumors that most citizens are related by multiple
the mysterious Black Savants, whose dark vessels             marriages, that a child may have nine parents and
occasionally ply the waters of the Azure Ocean.              countless siblings. They whisper of a Thieves‟ Code of
Curiously, Gao-Din has an agreement of sorts with their      Honor, of seven secret passwords, and of feeding those
rivals, the Mangar Corsairs (see Professional Courtesy).     who betray the Gao to demons of the sea. They tell
                                                             tales of your gallantry towards the innocent and of your
Professional Courtesy                                        mercilessness towards slavers and spies. They know
If it is true that there is no honor amongst thieves, then   these truths, because the Gao desire it so. They cheer
the relationship that exists between the Mangar and the      for you, for you do what they would never dare. When
Sea Rogues of Gao-Din must be regarded as peculiar,          you walk among them on the mainland or when you
to say the least. Both are pirates by trade, though their    encounter them at sea, you turn this sentiment to your
methods are as different as night and day. The Mangar        advantage, to lining your purse with lumen. Others may
are cutthroats who are known to subject their victims to     forget, but you are always a thief. The role of the hero
torture, humiliation, and cruel sport. The Gao are           is simply a bonus.
swashbucklers whose gallant treatment of their victims,
females in particular, is the stuff of popular folk          Physical Characteristics: 5‟4”-6‟4”, 80-240 lbs.
legends. The Mangar are despised; the Gao are                Racially mixed; features vary according to ancestry.
romanticized. Further, there is no love lost between the
two, who regard each other with considerable                 Attributes:
animosity.                                                   INT +1                 STR 0            CR +3
                                                             PER 0           DEX +2          MR +3
Yet despite such differences an unwritten agreement          WIL -1          CON +1          HP 21
exists between the Mangar and Gao, which, with few           CHA +3          SPD +2
exceptions, has remained unbroken for centuries. In
short, the two have divided the seas and oceans of           Special Abilities: Possible, according to ancestry.
Talislanta between them. The waters from the western
shore of the Bay of Cicz east to the Far Seas and north      Note: The physical characteristics and attributes listed
to the Sea of Madness are considered the territories of      reflect a Gao of indeterminate ancestry, the
the Mangar. From the eastern shore of Baratus Bay            intermingled population of Gao-Din. Gao Sea Rogues
west through the Azure Ocean belongs to the Gao. The         may, instead, be of practically any specific racial
southern tip of Faradun marks a line of demarcation          background; for such a character, replace the
between the two territories that is observed by both         characteristics and attributes with those of a member of
peoples.                                                     the selected race or species, adjust the total skill
                                                             ratings accordingly, and add the appropriate native
Cynics have suggested that the division of territory         language (Sea Nomad and Low Talislan would then be
between these two peoples is one of geographical             “fluent”).
convenience only. However, this does not explain why
the Mangar will seldom pursue even the richest               Skills:
merchant ships west beyond the horn of Faradun, or           Dueling Sword +4                Appraiser (Treasure) +3
why the Gao will abandon pursuit of vessels that pass        OR Magic Order of choice        Deception +3
beyond this point to the east. Rather than convenience,           Four Modes of choice +2 Underworld +6
it appears that relationship between the Mangar and          Weapon (choice) +1              Stealth +3
the Gao is primarily one of professional courtesy.           Evade +5                        Pilot (choice of craft) +8
                                                             Swim +5                         Sea Nomad, native
Gao Sea Rogue                                                Two Thieving Skills of choice +3 Low Talislan, native

Homeland: Gao-Din                                            Equipment: Diverse and flamboyant garments,
                                                             including   cloaks,    sashes,    tunics,   pantaloons,
“I may be a pirate, madam, but I am a pirate with            bandannas, ear baubles, eye-patches, high boots;
manners.”                                                    dueling sword or spell book, choice of weapon; if based
                                                             in Gao-Din, may have access to a pirate ship.
It is a proud life to be Gao. Most Talislantans are mired
in petty laws, traditions, and bigotry. They are             Wealth: 50     gold   lumens   in   assorted   coins   and
imprisoned by the rich and the strong. Your people are       valuables.
beyond such restraints. You are pirates and thieves,
and the laws of other nations do not apply your kind.        THE GREEN MEN
You are the dispossessed and the abandoned, and you          Green Men are small in stature, with mossy green skin
have created your own history through ingenuity and          and hair, and bright yellow eyes. Imp-like in
force of will. You are the despised and the enslaved,
appearance, they dress in abbreviated garments made           practice are limited to the weaving of simple fabrics,
of soft, woven mosses.                                        baskets, and rope.

Ancestry                                                      Language
The origins of the Green Men are uncertain. Some              Green Men speak the secret language of the plant
believe that the species evolved naturally. Others claim      world, a lilting cant that is said to be quite pleasing to
that the Green Men were created by the Archaen                the ear, and is reminiscent of the music of wooden
sorcerer, Viridian. Green Men themselves do not appear        flutes (see Speaking the Language of Plants). Common
to know the answer to this question, nor does it seem         names are “soft” sounding, with no hard consonants:
to concern them.                                              Laomo, Lahsa, Eloa, and Alaho. Gender distinctions are
                                                              not apparent.
Society
Green Men are the gentlest and kindest of all                 Defenses
Talislantan races. They possess the ability to influence      Green Men are incapable of doing harm to other living
all things that grow in the earth, and enjoy a symbiotic      things, regardless of the provocation. Their only
relationship with their environment. Green Men derive         defenses consist of a variety of ingenious snares and
all that they need to survive in the rain-forests: shelter,   pitfalls, which they excel at making. Many of these
clothing, and sustenance. They reproduce by budding,          devices employ living plants - such as yellow stickler,
the young sprouts reaching adulthood in about six             stranglevine and violet creeper - none of which ever
months‟ time. Green Men make their homes in the               molest the Green Men. When threatened, the natives
boles of great, living plants that they call D‟Oko. They      usually flee deeper into the forest in order to entice
live in communal groups of up to eighty individuals,          pursuers into their cleverly laid traps. If trapped or
reproducing by means of a process similar to                  cornered, Green Men will surrender without a struggle.
cross-pollenization. Here, they tend the great d‟oko
plants that serve as their homes with great care and          Commerce
affection.                                                    Green Men are symbiotes who live in harmony with
                                                              nature, and share freely of all they have. They do not
Customs                                                       trade with other peoples, but will share what they have
Green Men view all things in nature as connected: part        with those in need.
of the same living, breathing organism. They co-exist
with many species of plants and animal that are               Worldview
regarded as dangerous or hostile by other Talislantans,       Shy by nature, Green Men avoid contact with most of
including the giant mantrap plant, stranglevine,              the so-called civilized races, though some exhibit a
exomorphs, alatus, and others. The uncommonly mild            fondness Ariane, Muses, Green Aeriad, Gnomekin, and
and sensitive disposition of these benign forest              Mogroth. Green Men are often preyed upon by slavers
creatures is such that, if removed from their homeland,       from Imria, who sell the docile creatures as servants
many Green Men gradually wither and die of sadness.           and gardeners. Imrians invade the Dark Coast in
                                                              numbers during the rainy season, when the Green
Government                                                    Men‟s    young    are   just  beginning   to  mature.
The Green Men have no ruler or governing body, but            Unscrupulous buyers in Faradun, Rajanistan, and the
live according to the Laws of Nature. There is no crime       Citystate of Hadj are known to covet Green Men slaves.
among the Green Men, anymore than there is crime              Curiously, the Mud People and Ahazu never harm the
among any members of the plant kingdom.                       Green Men, believing that doing so would arouse the
                                                              wrath of the jungle.
Magic & Religion
Green Men have an affinity with the elemental spirits of      Speaking the Language of Plants
plants, earth, water, and air, but practice no formal                    Excerpt from the logbook of the Green Aeriad
religion. Their reverence for the rain forest is derived                                     Botanomancer, K‟Ya Cha.
from a love of all things in nature. Some Talislantan
naturalists claim that Green Men observe the changing         “The weeks that I have spent among the Green Men
of the seasons; in particular, the coming of spring. They     have finally begun to yield results. They have come to
claim that the Green Men have certain secret rituals          trust me, and to understand that I mean them no
and celebrations that no outsider has ever seen,              harm. One of their number, a creature named Lahsa,
involving organized chanting, singing and perhaps             today agreed to act as an interpreter, allowing me to
dancing. More research into the subject is required.          communicate with some of the local forms of plant life.
                                                              From our discussions I was able to acquire a fund of
The Arts                                                      valuable knowledge, both in the practical and
To the Green Men, nature is art; they see beauty in the       theoretical realms. For instance, I learned that the
natural arrangement of flowers, grasses, vegetation,          primary difference between plants and humanoids is
hills, valleys, trees, streams. Such crafts as they           their perception of time. To plants, humanoids are
                                                              mercurial, chaotic, and unpredictable. By contrast,
plants are steady, patient, and respectful of the natural
order.                                                       Equipment: D‟oko (living source of food and shelter),
                                                             loincloth and vest of soft, woven mosses.
All plants and trees are members of the plant kingdom,
a hierarchy that ranges from the humblest lichens to         Wealth: None.
the greatest and most ancient mangs. As a general
rule, the great trees tend to speak more eloquently
                                                             THE IMRIANS
than shrubs and plants. Having lived longer, they are
                                                             Imrians, are tall and muscular, with sloping shoulders,
wiser than their younger brethren. Stretching their
                                                             and dark, deep-set eyes. Their scaly yellow-green skin
limbs above the top of the forest they can sense scents
                                                             is covered with a coating of translucent slime, which
and sounds carried by the winds; through their network
                                                             serves to keep moisture in when they are on dry land.
of roots they can detect the presence of other creatures
                                                             Their hands and feet are webbed, and their powerful
by vibration. According to Lahsa, trees have a sense of
                                                             jaws are lined with a double row of sharp teeth. Both
history, a field of knowledge that they hold in high
                                                             the males and females dress in crude loincloths of kra
regard. Plants and shrubs, on the other hand, are more
                                                             hide and wear necklaces of brass rings.
concerned with the here and now.

Of all the plants we spoke with, the least sociable by far   Ancestry
was the spitting crocus, which hissed at me as I             Talislantan scholars believe that the Imrians are
approached and ordered me to go away (Lahsa                  probably descended from the Batrachians, a race that is
apologized for the plant‟s rude behavior, which he said      believed to have been extinct for centuries. The Imrians
was typical of the species). A spiny-stemmed repente         disagree, claiming that they are the fabled First Folk of
likewise affected a standoffish demeanor, but under the      legend (see Magic & Religion).
gentle prodding of Lahsa it finally allowed me to touch
it without stinging. A great span-oak proved to be most      Society
cooperative. It talked with us about its history and         The Imrians have a single large settlement called
lineage for hours, until the twin suns set in the west       Kragan. Located in a great lagoon situated in the center
and the great oak fell fast sleep.”                          of the island, this place consists of hundreds of reed
                                                             and thatch hovels, each plastered with mud and
Green Man Symbiont                                           supported on stilt-like poles. The tallest of these
                                                             structures tower forty feet or more above the lagoon,
Homeland: The Dark Coast                                     and are occupied by the wealthiest Imrians - the King
                                                             of Imria dwells within the highest. The least prosperous
You grew from a seedling with the knowledge that all         Imrians own hovels that stand just above the water or
plants possess. You know to reach towards the suns,          are partially submerged, depending upon the tide.
for their light nourishes you. You know to drink from        Slave laborers and those awaiting sale are housed in
the earth, where the water is rich with life. You know to    floating pens, moored by heavy lines to the lagoon
exchange pollen, so that your buds will grow to be           bottom.
healthy. There is much to learn during your life,
however, and many cousins to teach you. The trees            Imrians mate indiscriminately, though dominant males
hold great stores of wisdom, running through their           often keep the “choicest” females for themselves; those
veins like sap. You have much to teach as well, and you      in positions of power may have a “harem” of consorts
tend to your family. The d‟oko, more than any others,        from which to choose. The concept of family is unknown
are your true companions, and you cannot imagine an          to the Imrians. Young Imrians hatch from eggs, and
existence apart from them. You will never have to, as        spend their youth as water-breathing “newts.” Lungs
long as your family can keep the slavers away.               capable of breathing out of water develop by the end of
                                                             the eighth year, after which the Imrian is considered an
Physical Characteristics: 3‟-3‟6”, 40-50 lbs. Mossy          adult. From this point on the creature must fend for
green skin and hair, bright yellow eyes.                     itself, or risk being eaten by the adult males, who are
                                                             extremely belligerent.
Attributes:
INT +4                   STR -4           CR -5              Imrians habits are generally unappreciated by the other
PER +2          DEX +4            MR 0                       intelligent races of Talislanta (see Among the Slavers).
WIL 0           CON 0             HP 10                      Most consider the amphibians‟ taste for slugs, worms,
CHA 0           SPD +3                                       and leeches to be disgusting, and find it impossible to
                                                             enjoy a decent meal in their presence. The Imrians
Special Abilities: Speak with plants, Influence Plants.      themselves find most common types of food and drink
                                                             revolting, but regard ten year-old brine and giant water
Skills:                                                      bugs as great delicacies. The light coating of slime that
Influence Plants +6      Artificer +1                        covers the body of a healthy Imrian is likewise
Traps +5                 Language of Plants, native          unappealing to some - especially clothiers and
Stealth +5               Sign, basic                         launderers, who dread the appearance of an Imrian in
Herb Lore +5                                                 their establishments.
Customs                                                       Language
Imrians are slavers, a profession that enlightened            Although most Imrians are able to speak a crude
Talislantan peoples regard as repulsive. Even among           version of Low Talislantan tongue, their slurred and
those who use slaves Imrians are regarded as a                gurgling manner of speech can be difficult for outsiders
backward race. The Imrians, aware that this is how            to comprehend. When among their own kind Imrians
they are perceived, exhibit considerable defensiveness,       prefer instead to converse in Piscine, the language of
hostility, and insecurity regarding the issue of their        other aquatic creatures. Imrians use a crude written
nobility and lineage.                                         symbology and numerology that they claim was
                                                              developed by their ancient ancestors. Actually, it was
Imrians are among the few Talislantans who do not fear        created from bits and pieces pirated from other
to sail into the open sea. They range far and wide in         primitive writing and number systems, and patched
their   massive,   barge-like   coracles,    which  are       together in haste with little sense of logic or
constructed from the bones and hide of kra. Smaller           organization. Deciphering such writings is difficult for
vessels of woven reeds are used for shore raids and to        non-Imrians, not because of their intricacy but because
transport captured slaves back to the larger ships.           of their hodge-podge nature.

Government                                                    Defenses
The Imrians are ruled by a King, who lives in the city of     The Imrians have a naval force of several hundred
Kragan. His primary responsibility is to oversee the          coracles, but their ships are flimsy in comparison with
slave and narcotics trades, though the King is also           the wooden-hulled craft of other Talislantans. Imrian
commander in chief of the Imrian military. The Imrian         military capabilities are considered mediocre at best. In
hierarchy is based on a military command structure:           fact, the settlement of Kragan is more formidably
the King commands his Captains, who give orders to            protected by its hostile environs than by the Imrians
their lieutenants, on down to the lowly “mud soldiers”.       themselves.
Imria has no legal system to speak of. Individuals
accused of crimes are usually assumed to be guilty and        Commerce
executed by whoever is in command.                            Slavers by trade, Imrians prey upon the primitive tribes
                                                              that dwell along the southern coasts and isles of the
Magic & Religion                                              Talislantan continent: the Witchmen of Chana; the Mud
The Imrians worship no god, and mock those who do as          People, Ahazu, and Green Men of the Dark Coast; the
ignorant savages. They have no ritual observances as          Batreans and Sawila from their respective isles; and to
regards the dead, and merely feed their bodies to the         a lesser extent, the Mogroth of Mog. They also traffic in
kra. Considering themselves to be superior to the other       narcotic herbs, exotic beasts, and various forms of
races   of    Talislanta, they    are   incapable    of       contraband, selling mainly to the Farad. Brass rings are
comprehending any position bearing greater esteem             employed as currency among these folk.
than King of Imria.
                                                              Worldview
The Imrians claim to be the First Race, from whom the         Before the founding of the Seven Kingdoms, the
„lesser species‟ supposedly descended. They say their         Imrians ruled a large stretch of Mog and Taz, but when
people rose from the primordial seas that gave birth to       the Thrall tribes united they cast the intruders back into
all life on Archaeus. The Imrians cite as evidence            the sea - to this day, the two races hate one another.
certain ancient coral tablets, held in their possession for   Several bloody defeats inflicted by the armies of the
many generations. Retrieved from a sunken crypt by            Seven Kingdoms have also persuaded the Imrians that
their early ancestors, the tablets purportedly contain        slave raids into Astar to capture Muses are no longer
the secret history of the Imrian race, dating back over       profitable. Despite such setbacks, the Imrians continue
20,000 years.                                                 to foster dreams of conquest. They succeeded in
                                                              subjugating the Isle of Batre in the year 602, and now
Those Talislantan scholars who acknowledge the                use it as a breeding ground for slaves, who are sold to
existence of the Imrian tablets believe that they do          Rajanistan and Faradun.
indeed contain priceless historical information - not
relating to the Imrians, but of an ancient and advanced       Among the Slavers
civilization that sunk beneath the waves untold ages
                                                              The Farad Procurer, Falalas of the House of Nazir, was
ago. There are thought to be several thousand of the
                                                              required by his superiors to handle certain transactions
coral slabs in the city of Kragan, many of which may
                                                              with the Imrians. These are his thoughts, as recorded in
contain priceless secrets from the Forgotten Age.
                                                              his ledger:

The Arts                                                      “This evening I was required by my superiors to
Imrians have no tradition of music, art, or dance. In an      entertain an Imrian captain and his chief slaver in my
attempt to appear civilized they will sometimes acquire       quarters, in order to finalize a lucrative transaction
works of art created by foreigners and hang them in           involving the acquisition of eight dozen slaves. I did not
their rude dwellings; the results are usually dismal.         relish the job, as the Imrians are a repulsive lot who
reek of mud flats and rotten shellfish. Nevertheless,
obligation to my House was the prime consideration.            Skills:
From the start, the affair went badly. In response to my       Capture-pole +2                  Animal Handler +3
offer of dinner the Imrians requested aramatus, a              Oc +2                            Appraiser (Slaves) +6
variety of giant armored leech, boiled alive in brine and      Survival +3                      Merchant +5
served in its shell, with a ragout of sand crawlers and        Traps +3                         Piscine, native
sea slimes. When this request was brought to the               Stealth +6                       Low Talislan, basic
kitchen my cook tendered his resignation at once. In a         Pilot (Coracle) +4
panic I sent a pair of assistant Procurers to the
marketplace to find foodstuffs suitable for my Imrian          Equipment: Loincloth of kra hide, necklace of
clients.                                                       brass-ring currency, capture-pole, oc (barbed bola) with
                                                               shoulder case, shoulder pouch, water-skin filled with
In the interim I sought to entertain my guests as best I       brine, coracle with chained kra team.
could. Two hours passed, during which time the Imrians
drank a cask of fermented brine, all the while growing         Wealth: 25 gold lumens in assorted currencies, plus 15
louder and more obstreperous with each passing                 gold lumens in Imrian brass rings.
minute. The transaction seemed in dire jeopardy when
finally my two assistants returned, carrying with them a
                                                               THE JHANGARANS
steaming, eight-foot long aramatus coiled-up in a great
                                                               Jhangarans are odd and ungainly in appearance. They
iron tureen. The meal was served and the Imrians ate
                                                               have marbled brown and sepia-colored skin, elongated
with relish, cutting the aramatus into sections and
                                                               limbs, elliptical craniums and pinched, angular features.
cracking open its shell with iron tongs and knives. After
                                                               Both the males and females are hairless, and may
dinner they toasted me with mugs of brine, affixed their
                                                               attain heights in excess of six and a half feet. They go
marks to a contract, and departed. My chambers were
                                                               about barefooted, wearing only loincloths and bands of
a mess and my furnishings covered with slime, but at
                                                               coarse cloth wrapped about their arms and legs.
least the deal was done.”

Imrian Slaver                                                  Ancestry
                                                               The Jhangarans are thought to descended from a
Homeland: Imria                                                mixture of several wild humanoid peoples. Their
                                                               striated skin suggests a possible connection with the
You are of the First Race, the rightful lords of Talislanta.   Ahazu tribes of the Dark Coast.
All others deserve to be your slaves. If the others do
not recognize your claims it is because they are fools,        Society
too ignorant to know the truth. They say that you are a        Jhangarans are a sullen and superstitious people, prone
primitive people; if you are primitive, then why is it you     to displays of hostile or even violent behavior. They live
can breathe both water and air and they cannot?. They          in tribal groups, typically comprised of individuals of the
find your habits repulsive - you find theirs equally so.       same occupation. Within these tribal groups are
You ignore the smooth-skins. You are interested only in        subdivisions representing clans - loosely-knit family
power - enough power to reclaim your lost empire,              units comprised of individuals related by birth,
piece by piece. You will take many slaves and sell             “marriage”, or even more specious connections. There
them; you will rise within the hierarchy of your people,       is little sense of unity, and less cooperation, among
building your dwellings ever higher above the lagoons          these folk. Jhangaran “marriage” is in large part a
of Kragan. Your people will grow stronger until you            farce. If a female is impregnated, she claims a male as
have the power to enslave the other races. Then you            the father of her child, and the two are “married.”
will teach them the truth.                                     There is no ceremony, and the union has little meaning
                                                               save that the female may now hound the father for
Physical Characteristics: 6‟-6‟6”, 200-280+ lbs.               money or goods; more often than not, the male tries to
Yellow-green scaly skin, coated with translucent slime,        shirk his responsibilities.
webbed hands and feet, double row of sharp fangs,
muscular, sloping shoulders.                                   Conditions in a typical Jhangaran settlement are
                                                               abysmal. Open ditches serve as sewage lines, and the
Attributes:                                                    air is heavy with the stench of filth and decay. The huts
INT -1          STR +4        CR +4                            are alive with insects and vermin, and ragged bands of
PER 0           DEX -4              MR -3                      filthy children run around unattended. An outer wall
WIL 0           CON +2        HP 28                            constructed of rude axe-hewn timbers affords their
CHA -3                 SPD -2*                                 settlements some protection from against attack by
                                                               bandits, wild beasts, and murderous hordes of water
Special Abilities: Amphibious; SPD +5 in water; hide           raknids. The tribes subsist on sea-slugs and raw meat,
provides one point of armor, claws inflict DR 2 +STR;          do not use fire, and have no knowledge of
immune to Batrean females‟ beguiling scent; slime              metal-working or magic. Jhangarans have a great
coating allow survival out of water (up to one week,           weakness for alcohol, and are particularly fond of
half this time in hot, dry climates).
Zandir wine and chakos, both of which make them mad          The Arts
and unpredictable.                                           Jhangarans care nothing for art; the concept may be
                                                             beyond their comprehension. When drunk they shout
Customs                                                      curses and rude remarks in unison, pushing and
The Jhangaran people are divided into four different         shoving each other until they pass out. In Jhangara,
tribes, who differentiate themselves by the color of the     this passes for music and dance. Crafts are limited to
arm and leg-wrappings that they wear. Mud-Miners             basic necessities, Even then, Jhangarans produce no
wear grey, Marsh-Hunters wear green, black is for            articles of any intrinsic value, never mind aesthetic
Mercenaries, and red for Outcasts. Rivalries between         value.
the four tribes are common, the effects of which may
range from prejudicial behavior to all-out warfare.          Language
                                                             The Jhangaran tongue is a mangled dialect derived
The strangest of the tribes are the Outcasts, who            from Low Talislan. Jhangarans generally begin all
wander the swamps and jungles of Jhangara in groups          conversation by the use of a single imperative,
ranging in size from a half dozen to as many as a            delivered in a gruff or forceful manner, as in “Hold!”,
hundred individuals (see The Outcasts). The other            “Hear!”, and the popular Jhangaran insult, “!Die!”.
tribes regard them with superstitious dread, and will do     Common names are harsh-sounding, with hard
almost anything to keep a group of Outcasts from             consonants, as in Yazk, Jhank, Kozk, and Kyuk.
approaching their own camps and settlements. It is the
belief of the Jhangarans that all Outcasts bear with         Defenses
them the “stigma of doom.” A Jhangaran who is so
                                                             Jhangarans will band together to defend their clans,
much as touched by one of „the cursed ones” is
                                                             tribe, or settlements, but lack organization and
immediately branded an Outcast. He or she then has
                                                             discipline. Settlements are fortified, but defenses are
two choices: commit suicide, or join the Outcasts. To
                                                             crude at best. Jhangaran mercenary warriors are
kill an Outcast, the Jhangarans believe, brings a terrible
                                                             considered highly unreliable, and are employed only
curse upon the murderer and his or her family.
                                                             because they work so cheaply.

Government                                                   Commerce
Jhangarans are anarchists who observe no laws and
                                                             Most Jhangaran tribes own crude river craft, which they
argue constantly among themselves. The loudest and
                                                             use to ply their various trades along the length of the
most obnoxious individuals usually prevail in a given
                                                             mighty Axis River. The Mud-Miners of Karansk trade
situation, and may temporarily be regarded as a
                                                             with the Aeriad of Vardune, receiving goods from the
“leader” of sorts. A single settlement can have as many
                                                             Seven Kingdoms in exchange for bits of amber,
as eight or ten such figures, each striving to be heard
                                                             sapphires, and semi-precious stones. Marsh-Hunters
over the others. Accordingly, projects requiring group
                                                             trade captured beasts, hides, feathers and horn to
cooperation are usually doomed to failure from their
                                                             Zandir freetraders, who travel to Tabal in their
inception, explaining the dismal living conditions that
                                                             coast-hugging merchant vessels. However, Jhangara‟s
are typical of Jhangaran settlements. There is no
                                                             most valuable product is scintilla - the luminous eggs of
organized legal system in Jhangara, and no laws other
                                                             carnivorous water raknids, which infest the marshlands
than superstition and taboo. Jhangarans who are
                                                             around Tabal in numbers. Foreign traders often
accused of breaking a taboo are usually banished from
                                                             purchase scintilla and other goods from Jhangarans for
the tribe, to become Outcasts.
                                                             a fraction of what they are worth, then sell them to
                                                             wealthy customers in other lands at considerable profit.
Magic & Religion
Jhangarans have no religion, and know nothing about          Worldview
magic. They observe only two ritual days of note: Jha,
                                                             The Aeriad and Zandir tolerate Jhangaran excesses in
a holiday viewed by the populace mainly as a good
                                                             order to obtain valuable trade goods, but most other
excuse to get as intoxicated as possible; and The
                                                             Talislantans consider Jhangarans to be untrustworthy.
Septenarial Concordance, a fourteen-day period in
                                                             The unscrupulous Farad make no such distinctions, and
which the seven Talislantan moons remain in
                                                             employ Jhangarans to harvest k‟tallah. In recent years
alignment. During this time no citizen of Jhangara will
                                                             the Aamanians have sent missionaries to Jhangara in
dare to venture forth into the swamps at night. The
                                                             the hope of converting the tribes to Orthodoxy. The
Jhangarans claim that the Horag, a monster of
                                                             missions have met with some success, mainly because
immense proportions, stalks the swamplands during the
                                                             Jhanagarans are eager to embrace any philosophy that
Septenarial Concordance, searching for victims.
                                                             promises them a way out of the swamps.
Jhangarans accidentally caught in the swamps after
sunset during such times have been known to slit their
own throats rather than face the terror of this fearsome
                                                             The Outcasts
                                                             “Sometime ago I had the opportunity to observe one of
monster. Jhangarans do not cremate or bury their
                                                             the more unusual aspects of Jhangaran culture. I was
dead, but merely discard them in the nearest swamp,
                                                             approaching the settlement of Tabal by canoe, in the
bog, or ditch.
                                                             company of a pair of surly Jhangaran guides, when both
were distracted by a disturbance that emanated from        battle in distant lands. You don‟t care who you fight, as
the dense vegetation lining the near shore - a sound       long as you‟re given gold and food and drink. When
perhaps best described as a droning chant of some          your job is done, you use gold to buy more food and
sort, accompanied by a rhythmic, metallic clanging.        more drink. When your gold runs out, and your scintilla
                                                           and amber, you will hunt or steal to get more gold.
“My Jhangaran guides panicked and jumped overboard,        Outsiders hate you. They look at you like chigs, like
leaving me alone in the boat. Arms flailing wildly, they   vermin. They put you in stables with your marsh
struggled to shore and ran screaming into the              strider, their equs, and the other beasts. You know the
settlement. A minute later the heavy wooden gates          equs laugh at you. The Aamanians don‟t laugh at you.
slammed shut and were barred from within. A few of         Others of your clan have joined with them. They‟ve
the braver Jhangarans peeked nervously over the top of     traded their black wrappings for white armor. But their
the walls; the rest hid themselves from view.              god doesn‟t let them drink. Maybe they don‟t need to
                                                           drink, if they have enough food. Maybe you‟ll join them,
“As I sat in the slowly drifting canoe trying to make      too, if the priests with maces ask you. For now, you
sense of what had transpired a ragged band of several      fight, you eat, you survive. That is your life.
dozen Jhangaran Outcasts emerged from the jungle and
headed towards the settlement. They seemed a motley        Physical Characteristics: 5‟7”-6‟7”, 100-200 lbs.
group, dressed in rags, banging crude iron gongs and       Marbled brown and sepia-colored skin, elongated limbs,
pots, and dragging their feet or limping as they went.     elliptical cranium, pinched, angular features, hairless.
All looked glassy-eyed, slack-jawed, and in ill health;
some few gibbered and drooled, apparently without          Attributes:
control, as if perhaps they were deranged.                 INT -1          STR +1       CR +4
                                                           PER +2          DEX +1       MR -4
“A spokesperson for the Outcasts called out to those       WIL -1          CON +2       HP 22
who huddled inside the settlement. “Hear!”, said he.       CHA -2                 SPD 0
“We, who have nothing, come to you for alms.” The
Jhangarans inside Tabal let out a moaning, wailing         Skills:
sound, as if faced with a fate worse than death. One       Weapon (choice) +2      Stealth +3
among them cried out: “Anything! Only come no closer       Weapon (choice) +1      Traps +3
to the settlement, and do not visit your accursed stigma   Brawling +1             Interrogate +3
upon us!”                                                  Mounted Combat +1       Low Talislan, native dialect
                                                           Ride +4                         Sign, basic
“A moment later two heavy sacks were thrown over the
                                                           Tracking +3
wall in the direction of the Outcasts. The Outcasts made
no response, but stood completely still. From within the
                                                           Equipment: Loincloth, brief laced cloth vest (females),
settlement I heard more groaning and cursing. Then a
                                                           arm and leg wrappings, cloak (all of black linen),
third sack was thrown over the walls.
                                                           backpack, choice of two weapons, flask of liquor, marsh
                                                           strider steed.
“Apparently this appeased the Outcasts, for they come
forth to claim the offerings, which I now saw consisted
                                                           Wealth: 20 gold lumens in          assorted   currencies,
of leftover food, some sagging wineskins, bundles of old
                                                           scintilla, and precious stones.
rags, used utensils, and the like. The ragged group then
departed the area and headed back into the jungle.
Perhaps it was my imagination, but it seemed to me         Jhangaran Marsh Dweller
that the Outcasts did not appear so sickly or downcast
now as they did before; in fact, most seemed in good       Homeland: Jhangara
spirits, and even spry.”
                                                           Your villages are crowded; there are too many mouths
Jhangaran Mercenary                                        to feed, and not enough food. When you go in search of
                                                           mud-slugs, water raknids hunt for your flesh. The
Homeland: Jhangara                                         settlements are ridden with filth and disease. Clouds of
                                                           flits hover above the stagnant water-holes, and the air
“!Hear! Run now, or we must fight.”                        is thick with the stench of the sewage ditches.
                                                           Sometimes the traders come down river, to buy
You fight to eat. In Jhangara, you fight for marsh         scintilla, sapphires, and amber from your people. That
hunters or mud miners. They hate each other, and so        is good, for they pay in coin or barter. But when the
they pay you to fight the mercenaries of their enemies.    traders bring chakos, you drink with the others of your
There are many of you, and if some of your clan die,       village. Then many fight and die in fits of anger. It is
there‟ll be more food for the rest. They pay you with      not good when these things happen. But at least there
food and scintilla and amber. When you have no one to      are less mouths to feed.
fight, you wait at Jhangkin and scrounge for slugs.
When there‟s chakos or wine, you drink and feel the        Physical Characteristics: 5‟7”-6‟7”, 100-200 lbs.
battle rage. When outsiders come, they hire you to         Marbled brown and sepia-colored skin, elongated limbs,
                                                           elliptical cranium, pinched, angular features, hairless.
                                                            cling to their mothers until age two, after which they
Attributes:                                                 are too large to carry. Each family has its own tree-hut,
INT -1          STR +1       CR +3                          and gathers its own food. When too many families
PER +2          DEX +1       MR -4                          congregate in a single area, several wander off to
WIL -2          CON +2       HP 20                          establish a new settlement.
CHA -2                 SPD 0
                                                            Mogroth subsist on the bitter leaves and fruit of giant
Special Abilities: None; Outcasts are regarded by           mung-berry trees, which are shunned by other
other Jhangarans to have CHA -10; Outcasts have skills      creatures. Biased towards their own views on the
according to previous profession.                           subject, the Mogroth maintain that only those of refined
                                                            tastes are capable of appreciating the mung tree‟s
Skills:                                                     distinctive savor. Mogroth are especially long-lived, a
Javelin +2              Survival +3                         condition attributed to the slow metabolism of these
Dagger +1               Low Talislan, native dialect        creatures.
Brawling +1             Sign, basic
Merchant +3                                                 Customs
                                                            Mogroth     are   slow-moving    creatures   of  placid
For Marsh Hunters, add:                                     temperament. They never argue among themselves,
Tracking +3                     Traps +3                    and are patient to a fault - Mogroth have been known
Stealth +3                      Ride +4                     to sit for days waiting for a single cluster of green
                                                            mung-berries to ripen rather than search for other
For Mud Miners, add:                                        provender. They have a great appreciation of natural
Engineer (Mud mining) +4        Laborer +5                  beauty, and may stop to admire a particularly
Appraiser (Treasure) +4         Dredging +5                 fascinating flower or crystal moth for hours at a time.
                                                            Mogroth tend to be trusting, and even naive. While they
Equipment: Loincloth, brief laced cloth vest (females),     generally abhor violence, these powerful creatures can
arm and leg wrappings, cloak (all of linen; green for       become extremely dangerous if driven to anger.
hunters, gray for miners, red for outcasts), backpack or
shoulder pouch, stone dagger, flask of liquor; for          Government
hunters, add: two stone-tipped javelins, spool of cord
                                                            Inhabitants of the same settlement show considerable
for snares, two large sacks for scintilla, marsh strider
                                                            cooperation, but none seems to take on the role of
steed or small river skiff; for miners, add: stone-tipped
                                                            leader. Among these slow-moving and patient folk
javelin, dredging net.
                                                            arguments are very rare, and crime is virtually
                                                            unknown.
Wealth: 20 gold lumens in assorted currencies, scintilla
and hides (hunters), and/or amber, gold, and sapphires
(miners).                                                   Magic & Religion
                                                            Mogroth practice no formal religion, but exhibit a
                                                            reverence for the natural world. They have no capacity
THE MOGROTH                                                 for magic of any kind. Mogroth bury their dead in the
The Mogroth are a race of tree-dwellers who bear some       swamps in a quiet ceremony attended by all members
resemblance to giant, humanoid sloths. They stand up        of the village.
to eight feet in height and are covered with a thick coat
of fur that confers protection from biting insects and      The Arts
parasites. As such, Mogroth require little in the way of    It has long been believed that Mogroth crafts were
clothing, and rarely wear anything more than a simple       strictly functional in nature, and were limited to the
loincloth and a necklace of woven grasses.                  making of simple baskets, loincloths, and dwellings.
                                                            However, it was recently discovered that Mogroth
Ancestry                                                    weaving is actually a form of “writing”; the various
The ancestors of the Mogroth were probably                  configurations (knots, patterns, textures) are said to
tree-dwellers similar in some respects to the creatures     represent ideograms rather than letters or words. The
known as sapients. Both species are probably                inner walls of Mogroth tree-dwellings are covered with
descended from the Wild Races who ruled ancient             these “Mogroth tapestries”, which are actually pictorial
Talislanta in the time before the dawn of the Archaen       records of ancient history, events of note, family
Age.                                                        lineage, and other subjects.

Society                                                     Language
Mogroth make their home in simple huts of woven             Mogroth communicate in Low Talislan, speaking in slow,
leaves and grasses, erected in the branches of large        measured tones. Common names tend to be long (five
mung-berry trees. They live in communal groups              syllables is about average) and mellifluous, with
composed      of   their  large  extended     families:     numerous “soft” consonants. Female names end in an
silver-backed elders, mature adults with brown- or          “a”, as in Malamanala and Malonamola. Male names
buff-colored fur, and tawny-hued offspring. The young       end in an “o”, as in Molomolano and Mamonamolo.
                                                            Mogroth Wanderer
Defenses
Mogroth erect simple defenses against predatory beasts      Homeland: Mog
around their settlements, but otherwise have no
organized military of defense. They will band together if   “There is plenty of time. Let us stop and watch the
their settlements are threatened, particularly if Imrians   sunset for a while.”
are involved.
                                                            There is no need to hurry. Time does not pass any
Commerce                                                    faster, or slower, if you do. You take the time to see
Mogroth barter for goods, and have little appreciation      what is around you, and enjoy the things you find in
for the value of coinage. Though Mogroth generally          your travels. It is why you left the swamps in the first
shun the ways of civilized peoples, some have taken to      place. There were many good things in Mog. The bitter,
dredging the swamps for bits of gold and amber, which       tangy taste and smell of mung-berries. The skittering
they trade for casks of grog. The most ambitious of         waterbugs and mudwalkers. The patterns of the tangled
these creatures sometimes travel to Jhangara or the         bombo roots. But Talislanta is large, and there is so
Seven Kingdoms, bearing sacks of gold and amber.            much more to see. You like the forests best. You can
Slow and somewhat dull-witted by nature, Mogroth            forage for roots and seeds and nuts, or hang
seldom strike a hard bargain for their wares, a fact that   upside-down from the trees - this is most relaxing. The
draws unscrupulous merchants to them like whisps to         cities are strange places. There are no leaves or berries
blossom-nectar. They are sometimes taken advantage          to find here, so you have to trade amber and quaga and
of by crafty entrepreneur from Faradun and Kasmir.          other things you‟ve found to buy food. Your smaller
                                                            friends say that you get cheated, but you don‟t care
                                                            about money. You‟re glad that you‟ve made friends,
Worldview                                                   even if they do always seem to be in a hurry. They
Mogroth do not regard themselves as a consolidated          make you ride a land lizard or aht-ra, because you‟re
race or nation, and have no formal relations with other     too slow for them on foot. Still, they like to have you
peoples or nations. Individual Mogroth sometimes trade      around. You never argue, you know a lot about plants
with merchants or traders from other lands, such as the     and animals, and you‟re strong. You won‟t let anyone
Green Aeriad, Muses, Djaffir, and Jhangarans. Mogroth       hurt your friends. That makes you angry. That‟s when
have great animosity only for the race of Imrians.          you break things. There is enough time yet to wander -
                                                            sixty years at least, before you‟re too old to have
Mogroth Adaptation                                          children. So you take things slowly as all Mogroth do. It
The largest swampland in all of Talislanta, Mog is          is a good life, and you are happy.
known for its dangerous and difficult terrain. The
country is a virtual morass of sodden marshes, bogs,        Physical Characteristics: 7‟6”-8‟2”, 450-650 lbs.
sinkholes, and deadly quickmires. Though stagnant           Body covered with thick coat of brown- or buff-colored
ponds, muddy pools, and brackish streams abound,            fur, sloth-like features.
potable water is often scarce. The swamps are
overgrown with hanging vines, the tangled roots of          Attributes:
giant bombo trees, and dense undergrowth. These             INT -3          STR +6          CR +3
regions act as natural breeding grounds for insect pests    PER 0           DEX +2          MR -4
such as amber wasps, flits, and Tazian flies, which at      WIL 0           CON +6          HP 34
times are known to swarm in numbers sufficient to blot      CHA 0           SPD -4
out the light of the twin suns.
                                                            Special Abilities: Travel in trees at SPD +1; climb
Having dwelt in Mog for many thousands of years, the        trees at +5; hide protects against biting insects and
Mogroth have adapted to the challenges posed by their       parasites.
environment. Because traveling through the trees is
easier and faster than slogging through the muck,           Skills:
Mogroth have developed long arms and powerful,              Club +1                 Laborer +1
grasping claws that enable them to swing easily from        Brawling +2             Dredging +3
branch to branch. When navigating the swamps on foot,       Herb Lore +7            Artificer (Tapestries), +4
the slow-moving and deliberate gait of the Mogroth          Merchant +2             Ride +1
enables them to sense and avoid sinkholes, unsafe           Climbing +2 (4/9)       Low Talislan, native
ground, and other obstructions. Their keen sense of
smell is also an advantage, enabling Mogroth to             Equipment: Loincloth, necklace of woven grasses,
determine by scent whether a given source of water is       dredging net, club, shoulder pouch with collection of
safe for drinking or not. Perhaps the greatest              pretty objects, batra steed.
advantage possessed by these creatures is their dense
fur, which repels water and also protects them from         Wealth: 75 gold lumens in amber and quaga.
biting or stinging insects.
The Moorg-wan
The Moorg-Wan are squat, four-legged humanoids of           Magic & Religion
massive size. Their ponderous frames are covered with       Mud People Shamans are the spiritual advisors of their
thick folds of loose brown skin. They wear no garments      race. They possess no actual magical abilities, but are
of any kind, but make crude tools and weapons of wood       obeyed because their people believe that they speak for
and bone.                                                   Moorg, the Mud God. Purportedly, the worship of Moorg
                                                            involves many strange mating and fertility rituals, the
Ancestry                                                    nature of which is perhaps best left to the imagination.
                                                            Moorg-Wan dead are buried far from the village without
It is possible that the Moorg-Wan are a degenerate or
                                                            delay, as the corpses decompose rapidly and emit a
mutated species of Imrian; an even earlier connection
                                                            terrible stench.
may be made with the now-extinct Batrachians. The
Moorg-Wan claim that they are a distinct people,
spawned from the primordial ooze at the beginning of        The Arts
time. Curiously, this account does not differ               Moorg-Wan practice a unique art form that they call
substantially from the Imrians‟ version of their own        “mud sculpture”, and is essentially self-explanatory.
genesis.                                                    Their crafts are limited to the making of crude tools and
                                                            weapons. The Mud People have a weird form of music
Society                                                     involving the beating of hollow logs with clubs,
                                                            accompanied by the eerie wailing of newts. The music
The Moorg-Wan live along the banks of the Boru River,
                                                            is considered an acquired taste at best.
and in the sodden territories between the two rivers are
their ancestral breeding grounds. Their mud-palace
dwellings resemble great, oozing piles of muck and silt     Language
connected by networks of above-ground tunnels. Clans        The Mud People have their own language, a crude
range from small villages of twenty-to-thirty individuals   tongue punctuated by much slurping, gurgling, and
to great mud “cities” with populations of up to five        frothing at the gills, which is said to be almost
hundred.                                                    impossible for non-aquatic beings to replicate. They
                                                            also communicate by a version of sign that is somewhat
Male     Moorg-Wan     engage     in   violent   mating     different from standard sign language, as it makes use
ritual-combats in order to win the right to mate with       of an extra set of appendages and a tail. Common
females; dominant males may have a “harem” of a             names start with a “moor” or “mur” sound, as in
dozen or more females. Their young hatch from eggs,         Moorok, Muurg, Moorug, Muurek, Mugwan.
then spend the first seventeen years of life as legless,
mud-dwelling newts. The customary six appendages            Defenses
develop soon thereafter, along with rudimentary lungs.      Moorg-Wan are a belligerent and aggressive people who
                                                            guard their territories with considerable fervor. Their
Moorg-Wan eat plants, mollusks, the eggs of other           favorite weapons are the bwan - a heavy thornwood
creatures, and - on occasion - their own young. They        club - and daggers made from foot-long thorns. At
consider the lotus plant a delicacy, and jealously guard    close range, the powerful creatures sometimes drop
their supplies. Their tribes dredge the riverbanks for      their weapons and attempt to rend opponents with their
amber and mine the mud for sapphires and other              webbed claws, or to butt them to the ground and
semi-precious stones, which are found here in               trample them underfoot. Moorg-Wan settlements are
abundance.                                                  “mud-fortresses” surrounded by thornwood barricades
                                                            and mud walls up to ten feet in height. All able-bodied
Customs                                                     males are all considered warriors, and are required to
Moorg-Wan customs and culture are largely unknown,          defend the settlement if needed. Moorg-Wan war
due in great part to the unsociable attitude of these       parties regularly patrol the territories that border Ahazu
folk. Several naturalistic studies have been undertaken,    lands, searching for intruders.
with mixed results (see Moorg-Wan Civilization).
                                                            Commerce
Government                                                  Despite the fact that they have no organized economy
The dominant male in any group of Moorg-Wan will be         or mercantile tradition to speak of, the Moorg-Wan
its chieftain. The chieftain is aided by his shamans, who   value amber, sapphires and various types of
intimidate their superstitious followers with the threat    semi-precious stone. They sometimes trade with other
of curses and evil omens. There is no organized system      tribes in their territories, exchanging such goods as
of laws among these folk, though there are numerous         amber, food, wooden clubs and tools, and young female
taboos. Most revolve around obedience to the tribal         “consorts.”
shamans, who decide what is and is not taboo in the
first place. Offenders are judged by the shamans, killed,   Worldview
and fed to wild animals - no Moorg-Wan would ever eat       The Moorg-Wan are the sworn foes of the Ahazu, a race
such taboo-ridden offenders for fear of acquiring a         of four-armed humanoids who live in the Junglelands
taint.                                                      that lie to the east. The two races have fought over the
territories that lay between their two lands for           Brawling +5                      Moorg-Wan, native
centuries. The Mud People fear the Imrians, who            Engineer (Mud mining) +5         Sign, fluent dialect
sometimes hunt them with nets and capture-poles,
employing captives as slave-laborers in their Lagoon       Equipment: Bwan (thornwood club), thorn dagger,
City of Kragan.                                            sack with cord.

Moorg-Wan Civilization                                     Wealth: 50 gold lumens in sapphires, amber, and other
The Cymrilian magician Alderon, who was unlucky            precious stones.
enough to have been captured by a tribe of
Moorg-Wan, gave his appraisal of the denizens of the       Moorg-Wan Shaman
Dark Coast:
                                                           Homeland: The Dark Coast
“The Mud People, gross though they may appear to us,
exhibit certain of the attributes of civilized peoples.    “It is Moorg‟s will that he should die, and die slowly! To
They covet riches; particularly sapphires, which they      doubt the word of Moorg is to suffer his displeasure
spend an inordinate amount of energy dredging from         yourself!”
the muck and mire of their environs. They are religious,
as is evidenced by their reverence of Moorg, the giant     You were always smarter than your newt siblings, and
Mud God. They raise their offspring from egg to larval     rapidly excelled their dredging abilities in the mud
newt, then set the young adults to work in the mud         mines, locating sapphires with greater ease and facility.
mines. Those who find sapphires are rewarded with          Food was your reward, and you would have been a
food; those who do not are slain and served up as their    great warrior, had not an aged shaman taken you as
brothers‟ next meal.”                                      his successor, stating it was Moorg‟s desire. Under the
                                                           shaman‟s tuition you were told the greatest of truths:
Moorg-Wan Warrior