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Species

PC Species

  • hunadu — Eusocial centaurs, and a proud warrior race. The neuter sex is literally called warriors; males and females are distinguished from them by prodigious fetlock feathering.
  • salaslith — Draconian humanoids, made by the dragons as servants, today they're the mystic scholars… and keepers of old, mouldering lore.
  • walvuri — By our standards a fox/svartalf hybrid, they forge the cutting edge of magitech deep in their minehalls. Crafty in every sense.
  • (river) zora — Returned from the south, they make seemingly-boundless money transporting goods around the melt rivers of the Karanas… in the process spreading wealth to every other species.
  • (high) elf — Returned from the north, they found paradise; here they explore worldly pleasures and the abstract secrets of the cosmos in equal measure. In the depths of history, elves were made by a dragon, to combine the brilliance of the walvuri with the immediate passion of the humans. Perhaps it worked too well…
  • siren — Strangers in every land, these feathered temptations hide their darkness only as well as necessary. Those here have a wanderlust which gives them extra welcome, as they've seen the world and are glad to sing of it.
  • human — A wild people, who've tamed mammoths and taken to the metal age arts without losing their core passion.

NPC Species

  • (ice) elf — Left behind by the high elves, a solemn people turned ever more inward.
  • (night) elf — Sort-of returned from the Plane Of Shadow, their dark nation straddles both realms.
  • (valley) elf — An enduring people, maintaining a sliver of civilization between the goblins and the glaciers.
  • goblin — Hobgoblins, orks, bugbears, trolls, ogres, and others all share one convoluted bloodline. For the most part, they also share a loose collection of bands in Nektulos Forest.
  • enhanced wolves(dire wolf, winter wolf, worg) — Many are integrated into goblin society, albeit as servants.
  • (yellow) kobold — As the saying goes, nasty, brutish, and short. Cursed that every word will come out as meaningless "utterances", they're still wood age and not likely to get further.
  • merrow — Their wealthy federation in the southern seas brought low by the long conflict with sea zoras, they're now a hardened, hungry people… who nevertheless have the heart to rebuild their former glory, if they choose.
  • (sea) zora — At this point, minor cousins of the river zoras, in the seas north of mer territory.

History

In ages past…

  • The dragons built a massive empire, bioengineered the salaslith to administer it for them, and then tore it apart in paranoia and greed. At the least, Draconic brought runes to the world.
  • The Sixth Interregnum followed.
  • The salaslith built the cruel Stharvalel Kingdom in the image of their old masters. It was during this time the dragon Alamaise bioengineered the elves. Stharvalel was in some ways efficient, but over the centuries more and more effort was poured into keeping the slaves in their place, until it collapsed under the Redcap Revolts.
  • The Seventh Interregnum followed.
  • The elves built the Nine Courts from fiercely egalitarian memes, but the reality was not so egalitarian(although it was indeed fierce). Prejudice constantly favored the "natural", but as always, ideas of what's natural and what's not shifted from decade to decade. The Nine Courts fell to the goblins one by one as the glaciers advanced, save for a few scattered decades when they fiercely embraced the glaciers as natural.

When the glacial sheet advanced…

  • The cold-blooded zoras fled south, into mer territory. Some contested the merrow on the open ocean, and became the sea zoras; others went upstream to avoid the merrow, and became the river zoras.
  • A group of elves colonized this new natural terrain, and became the old high elves. (They call themselves "high elves", but everyone else calls them "ice elves". They don't get along well with everyone else.)
  • The walvuri took well to the icy terrain. The "beaked" peak of Ravenholm is the only part that was above the glaciers — the rest was shaved and its veins revealed. Walvuri burrowed into ice and stone, and magma below, and developed "metal age" tech.
  • Humans feasted on mammoth, until they had nearly driven their food source extinct. With ranching, and "metal age" tech hungrily borrowed from the walvuri, the humans brought mammoths back from the brink. Eventually the "mammoth tribes" prospered atop their mighty steeds.
  • The cold-blooded salaslith split. Some fled to the skies, in lifter ships powered by ancient magics(hastily revised in the face of necessity). Some took shelter in kaers and lairs, sealed under the ice, and refined necromantic arts as the base of their ecology.
  • The sirens fled east, and eventually built a home on the rocky islands of Ird.
  • The goblins advanced with the sheet until they could advance no more, and petered out.

What we would call the ice age, they call the Eighth Interregnum.

When the glacial sheet receded…

  • The plains of Karana were left ground smooth. Hunadu exploded onto the scene, conquering most of the Karanas under various kingdoms. Here the river zoras, always "just flowing by" and never claiming land, were welcome to "full trade access". Some wonder if the hunadu even realize so many zoras live their whole lives as supposed visitors, but the hunadu know they pay respect to the true conquerors.
  • Meltwaters poured a thousand little rivers into the northern Karanas, which eventually collect into the mighty Serpent River. The zoras returned, escaping conflict with the merrow, but it was the river zoras who took root with a vengeance. They traded far and wide, bringing together walvuri metalworks, sky salaslith earth-and-air magic, death salaslith necromancy, strange discoveries of desperate hunadu, abstract elven enlightenments, and siren stories from lands impossibly-far to the east.
  • Where the Serpent River empties into the sea lies Freeport, gateway between the Serpent and the sea beyond. An old port city of the elves was built here, and today its ruins are a partly-flooded sewer system under Freeport — inhabited by undead living on the refuse of the city above. This, combined with a system of subbasements built by organized crime, makes Freeport "the Triple City" to unsavory types.
  • Ravenholm is the greatest of the Jardinne Mountains yet released by the glaciers. The walvuri dug deeper, minehalls reaching their peak. They explored tech in new directions, valuable metals paying for every innovation the zoras could sell them. With all this boiling in their epic science machine, selling the hunadu designs for new superweapons was but a sideline.
  • Most of the old high elves came down, reveling in the paradisaical Forest Of Cosmic Enlightenment on the east face of the Jardinnes. The hard core left behind consider the "wood elves" traitors.
  • West of the Jardinnes, the glaciers have swept the land clean and made a desert. Underneath the sands still lie ancient salaslith ruins… and now the strongholds of the Bound Eternal, necromancers extraordinaire. These are the salaslith of kaers and lairs, who never truly emerged, but burrowed around with undead labor.
  • The surviving lifter ships returned, the Flying Spire and Archanon among them. The salaslith had learned much in centuries living aloft, but they readily sold it off to return to spiritualism in the earth. Archanon remains as a prosletyzing center, but the Flying Spire was sold to river zoras, who use it as an extravagant bazaar.
  • In the east, the glaciers left fjords that couldn't hold for long, and the tumultuous land is gradually taken over by the young Nektulos Forest. Crawling ever north, valley elves make their homes where the trees are sparse, but the forest is ruled by wolves and goblins… except for the night-elven stronghold of Neriak.
  • Along the coast east of Nektulos Forest, yellow kobolds hold sway, the low-down dirty bushwhacking cannibals keeping out even the goblins.
  • South of Nektulos Forest, what could be seen as terrible land was turned into the canal-riddled port city of Bel Kressiak. Lacking almost all the location advantages of Freeport, its main advantage is that the land isn't good for anything else — and if you build it, they will come. Not far out of town, in the swamp, lies Bloodbriar, ancient fortress of the elves… and of the dragons before them.
  • The mammoth tribes are still up there, still metal age(~TL3), and still mostly human. They worship the light of metal god Chrom, and the drum of blood god Heartok. They sheathe the tusks of their mammoths in steel, mix armoring techniques, and put archer nests on top to make war upon each other. To impress them with your badassery is to earn their burning tribute, the most valuable currency in this deprived land they've turned into home.
  • The sirens still officially live on the sorceror isles of Ird, but more and more their misfits are coming ashore for fame and songs.

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