The Humans of Imarel and Ishaela
by T.A. Saunders ©2009 v1.7
Average Height: Six feet, two inches (male)/five feet and five inches (female).
Average Weight: Roughly 210lbs (male)/115lbs (female).
Appearance: Humans vary widely in appearance, with some dependence on region.
Languages Spoken: Cultural Tongue (Northlandic, Tashrani, etc.) and the Common Trade Tongue.
Racial Age Limit: Roughly 80 to 100 years.
Racial Nick Names: Child Race, Apes, Primitives.
Humans have a wide variety of looks and builds throughout Imarel and Ishaela.The most abundant of the various breeds of Humankind are the Shalzaari, followed closely by the Tashrani. Ishaela is almost exclusively populated by the Xosian and the Taijuni are the least prevalent sort of Human overall. The averages listed above are by no means the extent of human look and build, but rather provide a very generalized range in which to gauge Humans as a whole.
Racial Abilities and Limitations
Ambitious Will: Humans have the unique distinction of being able to pursue any class and have the chance to excel at it. While other races are limited by staunch, unbending beliefs, or a simple inability to grasp the concepts of a particular class, Humans are very open-minded to new ideas and to learn new skills. (+10% to intuition checks).
Enduring Spirit: Humans also are highly adaptable and can survive extreme differences in their environment. Because of this, Humans can endure where other races will begin to falter physically. While this does not make them immune to any particular environmental hazard, they will flourish despite these hazards, rather than be defeated by them. (+10% to endurance checks against environment hazards, such as extreme cold and heat, etc.)
Heroic Tenacity: Humans are not known for their willingness to give up or surrender. They will rally despite insurmountable odds, continue fighting even when all hope is lost and are known to have a nearly unbreakable spirit. Humans as a race have spent most of their existence fighting one enemy or another that has been more powerful than they are, granting an innate understanding of weapons and how to use them effectively as well. (55% resistance to fear, +12% to melee and ranged weapon hit).
Ingenuity: While other races are superior in crafting items, It is to Humans that most of the innovation of new inventions and new ways to do old things comes from. If a human is skilled in a particular craft there is a good chance he or she will figure out a way to make whatever their making in a different, possibly better way. Additionally, this gives Humans a slight edge in learning the complexities of magic, allowing them to see and understand magic in a way other races may have a more limited view upon. (+15% to masterwork crafting checks, +15% to spell hit).
Dark Arcana (Albadosian Only): The Albadosians are highly adept at spell-craft, having learned how to work magic around the cancelling effects of Starmetal. This measure of skill gives them a +10% to spell hit and a -20% armor rating vs. magic attacks upon them. (+10% to spell hit, -20% AR vs. magic).
Relentless (Hillfolk Only): Hillfolk will not give up. Ever. They are a stubborn, proud and downright vicious people in a fight when the cards are down. This sort of ferocity grants them a +15% to melee and ranged attacks and a 55% resistance to Charm/Domination magic (+15% to melee/ranged attack, 55% resistance to Charm/Domination). Ice in the Veins (Northlander Only): Northlanders are without a doubt, the toughest of the Human clans. The environment of Zoda and Miroa has made them hardy and capable of withstanding things other human clans would wither and die in the face of, granting them a natural -25% Armor Rating and a 55% resistance to both natural and magically induced poisons and diseases).
Balance of Mind and Body (Taijuni Only): Taijuni are a disciplined, honorable and fiercely loyal people. This allows them an unusual measure of focus and stress upon perfection whenever they choose a path in which to follow, granting a +5% to all class skills, whether be melee, ranged or magic-based. Furthermore, this sense of perfection grants them a +10% bonus in any unarmed combat styles they choose to study. (+5% to all class skills, +10% in unarmed combat skills). NOTE: This racial trait skill cannot be buffed by any other effect, spell or augmentation, such as a tattoo or magic item.
Witty Rapport (Tashrani Only): The life of a gypsy lends a certain ability to be glib and in large part able to convince others of how great or possibly terrible something is. They are storytellers and it really makes no difference if the stories are actually true. To be more blunt, they're excellent liars. For this reason, Tashrani gain a +15% to use illusionary magic and a +5% to all Swashbuckler-related skills. Additionally, they enjoy a +5% to the Bartering, Negotiation, Prostitution and Seduction Non-weapon proficiencies. (+15% to illusionary magic, +5% to Swashbuckler skills, +5% to Bartering, Negotiation, Prostitution and Seduction non-weapon proficiencies). NOTE: This racial trait skill cannot be buffed by any other effect, spell or augmentation, such as a tattoo or magic item.
Touch of Darkness (Xosian Only): Xosians have lived under the oppression of vampires and demons for hundreds of years. Until very recently, all their people knew was war with Khavos and his vampiric progeny. This sort of life lends a measure of skill when using Necromantic and Occult magic, granting them a +15% spell hit for both sorts. Additionally, they gain a +10% to melee/ranged hit when fighting undead of any sort. (+15% spell hit to Necromantic and all Occultist magic, +10% melee/ranged hit vs. undead).
The Gods Shall Provide (Palathian Only): Palathians gain a +15% to all divine magic spell hit, including the magic used by rangers. Additionally, Palathians gain a +5% to crafting proficiency checks, including masterwork checks, but not including special/sentience checks. Additionally, Palathians gain a re-check on failed crafted items, at half the original percentage for success. This re-check only applies to the actual crafting roll and not masterwork and special/sentience checks.
One With the Land, Sea, Sky and Sun (Quivynite Only): Plainsfolk gain a +15% to mystic spell hit (Seer Classes) and gain a +5% to hunting/gathering non-weapon proficiencies (hunting, fishing, foraging, etc). Furthermore, followers of a particular Elemental Prince also gain a -50% mystic defense against that element (ex. followers of Ciahal would have -50% mystic defense against lightning/wind attacks). This bonus does not apply to those who do not follow one of the Elemental Princes.
Humans are the one race that is not limited in what profession they choose to pursue.
The Rise of Humankind
The 'child race' they are called. Little more than barbarians that worshiped the Elves as gods at the time of Ishaela's demise, Humans have come an incredibly long way in a relatively short period of time. With nurturing from the Sivanoshei, Humans grew quickly in all manners of knowledge and began creating and constructing things that rivaled even the Elves' own creations in majesty and wonder.
The first documented interaction with Humans was around 8440 BF, where they were found in nomadic tribes by a Dwarvish mining team on the sub-continent of Quivyn. The Dwarves, more interested in mining than Humans and the Humans, more interested in hunting than mining generally left one another alone, though had generally amiable dealings. Eventually the Sivanoshei would discover the Humans on their own as well and immediately took them to their proverbial bosom and sought to guide them in civilized ways. Recently there have been artifacts recovered from the island of Tamayr Shuru that indicate that humans may have actually existed on Imarel first and were later migrated to Ishaela, for reasons unknown.
The Dwarvish clans were against bothering the Humans at all, stating that if Kaal had wanting them shaping Humans instead of rock, they would have found the big, smelly bastards in the ground instead of on the land. Despite this protest, the Elves continued to shape, mold and guide the Humans until it became obvious that if the Dwarves didn't have a hand in Human development, the Elves may well mold them into something to use against them.
So it came to pass that both the Dwarves and Elves took a great interest in instructing Humans in all manner of mundane craft, lore and knowledge. Soon, they were able to build their cities, forge their own weapons and use mathematics to construct all manner of engineering wonders for themselves. The only thing that remained for them was Magic and of all the things learned from Elves and Dwarves, magic was the thing Humans craved the most.
The Price of Knowledge
It was because of this craving that the Prince of the Sivanoshei forbade Humans to learn magic. The Dwarves, who distrust any magic that does not come from prayer to the Old Gods, likewise admonished any teaching of magic to Humans. However, there was a great movement amongst the magic-adepts of Am-Shei that the Humans should be taught magic; that they had the right to know such things and the Elves had no province to hold it over the child race as if they were gods.
The law was made by the Prince that no Human was to be taught sorcery and it was a law almost immediately broke by a movement of Sivanoshei led by the illusionist, Ko`rashae Ri. This magic-for-all underground instructed Humans in secret, though as Humans take great pride in their deeds and their accomplishments, it was not long before it was discovered by the Prince of the Sivanoshei and later by the Dwarves.
What the other races of Ishaela had not realized that the Humans, tempted by the dark will of Khavos, the Spirit of Decay had learned far more magic on their own and delved into serving the Arch Demon in return for greater and greater power of both sorcerous and spiritual variety. It was not long after this that many of these secret acolytes of Khavos became the first vampires; the vessels of the Spirit of Decay's will on Ishaela.
With the viral capacity of the vampire to corrupt those that they came in contact with, it was not long before Elves also fell under the dark sway of Khavos and soon following the Dwarves as well. This uprising led to the overthrowing of the Human Kingdom of Sengaard with the assassination of the entire royal family. When this happened, Khavos placed his vampire lieutenants in charge of the city of Sengaard and renamed the territory the Kingdom of Xos, after his own Abyssal Plane.
Events that transpired next are well known; vampires infiltrated all nations and there was a great upheaval that led to the use of the World Gate and exodus to the mysterious World of Imarel that Ishaela has always drifted above. The Elves took what few humans remained untainted and within reach of their armies and evacuated them with their colonists, leaving behind the Sivanoshei warriors to fight off the vampiric threat and make safe Ishaela, or seal the threat of Khavos behind them forever.
Humans on Imarel
Things were generally pretty quiet for Humankind, up until the War of the Eternals. Between the arrival of Humans and Elves on Imarel in 4499 BF and the start of the war on 202 BF there is roughly four thousand years of human development the comes to pass before the war sweeps across Imarel. Once more, Elves instruct Humans in all manner of civil development and a few artisans of Humankind manage to survive the slaughter on distant Ishaela as well, bringing with them the knowledge of Dwarvish Rune-Forging, engineering (including knowledge of black powder) and perhaps most feared, magic.
Since it becomes clear that the Elves cannot stop the Humans from practicing magic, they spend a great deal of time educating them of the dangers of magic, having the example of Ishaela to direct them to whenever a question of power is brought forth. It is not long before the greatest Elvish spell-casters are joined by Human peers.
During the War of Eternals, the Humans were largely left alone, mistaken as simply pets to the Elves, or possibly slaves. Having no real value, other than entertainment for the songs they could sing or the eye-pleasing dancing they partook in, the Shar`Vaire considered them curiosities at best.
But the Humans were clever as a people and as they grew in understanding of the world helped as best they could their Elvish saviors in many secretive ways. Since the Shar`Vaire never stormed their cities in force, Elvish refuges were hidden there, often in the basements of households or in the wine cellars of taverns. Whenever a Shar`Vaire troop passed through their cities during this time, they never bothered to look, confident that the Humans would not possibly dare involve themselves in what was deemed a conflict beyond their reckoning.
As the war drew to a conclusion and as such their debt of salvation to the Moon Elves paid, the Humans allowed them to stay within their cities as equals, just as the Sivanoshei had many centuries ago when both peoples fled dying Ishaela. Many Humans took up the study of advanced sorcery, witchcraft and druidism from the Elves at this time, feeling the lessons of the past war meant it was time to grow in strength as a society.
Still others listened to the words of Quar`Vess missionaries; the scant few that still held true to the edicts of the Old Gods, Zorah and Kaal. These humans went on to become priests and paladins, many of which in turn founded the city of Windsong some years later. Others would end up setting in Farwind and learn from the Quar`Vess in other subjects and reveled in the previously unfound lore of their new home on Imarel.
Though missionaries had established a temple of Kaal in the city of Sundown when it was founded and drew a great many worshipers, the local government's policy on religion did not give it the chance to prosper as it did in other cities. This drove many Humans who lost their faith or grew jealous of the power of the Shar`Vaire or the Quar`Vess or even the Elves themselves to begin taking part in demon and devil worship, in hopes of unlocking the ancient secrets the Shar`Vaire keep.
Humanity as a Culture
The Humans of Imarel have a good bit of difference between them, despite having been the last remaining survivors of a doomed world. Thought to have been much less so those many eons ago ,the Humans of modern Imarel have come a long way from their origins on Ishaela.
There are some of a more pale look (especially if they hail from Blackgate) while others have a swarthy look about them (a likely sign they hail from the Tashran area). They entertain all walks of life, from thief to sorcerer, mage to warrior and can excel any of the paths one may follow in life.
However, because of the way the Humans were first restricted in how they learn magic, they are less likely to know how to use sorcery as the Asyndi do, but rather will favor either the Xosian or for the more adept humans, the Shei method. The exception to this are Humans who have been instructed intensely by a Quar`Vess wizard (since Shar`Vaire will not teach Humans magic willingly in most cases) to learn the Asyndi method.
If a Human can train their minds to accept this knowledge, they are every bit as capable of casting sorcery in the swift and dangerous manner as the Shar`Vaire...which alone makes them far more of a threat, mingled with their ambition than even the Shar`Vaire will publicly admit.
The other great strength of the Human peoples is their ability to keep and maintain their faith. The Old Gods have seen hope and promise in Humans and in rare instances have blessed them with the gifts of holy power that were once exclusive province of the Shar`Vaire, before they fell from grace.
Humans of the North (Northlanders or Zodasians)
The Humans of the North tend to be tall and ruggedly built barbaric nomads. They are the descendants of the last survivors of an attempt to colonize Zoda by the Dwarves some time before the War of Eternals. There are few records from that time that survived, save to say that the colony had been massacred by an unknown enemy, possibly Masoq. These are a proud warrior people, that show heavy influence from both the ancient Dwarves of Ishaela and more recently the Voraath,that will sooner die fighting on their feet, than succumb to the cold climate they have adopted.
The typical Northern Human can reach height to nearly seven feet for the males, and six foot five inches for the females at their tallest. Average is always on the statuesque side however. They also tend to be fair-haired and eyed, though brown eyes and hair are possible. The males tend to favor facial hair and braid their beards from a tradition that was carried down and learned from the long since lost Dwarves of Ishaela. Females tend to wear their hair long and will also braid that to keep it from their face while fighting. It's not uncommon for such warrior-maidens to braid a blade into their hair. This too is believed to be a tradition picked up from the Dwarves of Ishaela.
These Northlanders have have very little contact with other races, besides some of the humans of the South, whom they will trade and the Voraath with whom they trade with if there is a state of peace with that particular tribe. There are many Voraath that actually live amongst Humans in the larger cities. This has led to a strong kinship between the two peoples and a trading of knowledge. Wild Elves are known to the Northlanders, though only adventuring sorts usually end up in the cold steppes of their homeland.
These people are scattered amongst the freeholds that sprouted up some years after the fall of Blackgate. Those that did not settle in these various freeholds took to adopting the nomadic lifestyle the Voraath favor. Save the two war-like tribes of the Voraath and most Masoq that war with everybody, the Humans and Voraath of the north rarely war with each other, though skirmishes between freeholds happen from time to time.
Myth and legend has it that once, during the long forgotten age when the Giants' population was engorged and they held much of Zoda, those who followed the barbaric ways of Hidul took it upon themselves to capture the scarcely civilized Northlandic women so as to dramatize their conception. These women would be raped and brutalized, yet kept alive through Shamanism. Strangely, the offspring born of this ritual were always female. Unsurprisingly grotesque Half-Giants, they were kept as fodder with which to deal with things too small for the Giants' cumbersome size. As Imarel grew civilized, though, outsiders trickled into Zoda to oppose the savage ways of the Hidulan Giants. Many of these women born into slavery died in the resulting conflict, but some didn't. A scarce few, abandoned by their fathers to wander the barren wasteland of ice, were taken notice of by the deceased Hidul's father. Perhaps out of some lingering sentiment for his slain son, or simply for his own amusement, he guided the survivors together with whispers in the frigid wind. Uniting once again, albeit for survival instead of servitude, they named themselves the Miroudǿtr.
In the modern age, this matriarchal and nomadic society of warrior women still isolate themselves from civilization. The matter of reproduction involves seeking out the finest Northlandic men and challenging them to battle; if the Miroudóttir emerges the victor he is taken hostage and molested by the woman until she is confirmed pregnant, then released. If a boy is born, he is escorted to the nearest town by the Miroudǿtr with the father; these unusual sightings are practically the only readily apparent evidence of their existence. The coming of age ceremony for a Miroudóttir is a week following her first period, prepared or not. She is sent to draw first blood from a Borjah and survive nine minutes without being slain or fleeing. If successful, her supervisors will arrive to assist in slaying the beast. The Borjah's body is blessed by their holy women and used to oufit the newest Miroudóttir.
Humans of the South (Tashrani or Gypsies)
The name People of the South is something of a misnomer; while a great deal of the territory these people occupy isn't necessarily 'southerly' in direction, being that Tashran is located in the Mid- southeast of Tal`Rah, It is simply a moniker given to their kind by the Brookshire settlers that eventually formed the populations of Vale and Sundown.
The Tashrani are swarthy people, who tend towards dark hair and dark eyes, though rarely the light-eyed Tashrani can be found, hinting at possibly Northlander or Hillsman ancestry in their past. They are average in height for Humankind, lingering around the six foot mark for men and five feet, five inches for women. They are generally wiry, though the easiest way to tell a Tashrani who leads a good life is by the swell of their stomach.
Nearly any example of song, music or dance also comes from the peoples of the South, who have maintained the heritage given to them by the Elves so many eons ago on Ishaela. Great fire dances, plays and story-telling are all staples of these fine and tradition-centered people. Because so many of them are nomadic, their shared history is told through songs. The oldest of these songs have more than a few words that were derived from the Elvish tongue.
The Humans of the South have earned the nickname 'gypsies' earnestly and there are many to this day that retain that heritage by only lingering in cities for a short while to trade, but preferring to remain on the deserts and open plains of eastern Tal`Rah. These gypsies in particular enjoy trade with the Shar`Vaire, who find them amusing. While they enjoy great fortune in traveling through some of the greater cities in the Sovereignty of Anthalas, they also risk great peril in their treks across the edges of the Burning Lands to make the best coin and to scavenge ancient Asyndi relics lost in the desert.
The long-standing tradition is that the gypsies will dance and sing for Shar`Vaire warriors and sorcerers they encounter and in turn, the Shar`Vaire will almost always give the gypsies a bit of sorcerous weaponry or trinket to trade amongst their kind. The Shar`Vaire are particularly fond of gypsy foods and wine.
It is also somewhat common for a Shar`Vaire to pick the prettiest girl of the gypsy camp to take as a 'pet'. While this sounds degrading, the Human girl is treated incredibly well and given every manner of adoration for as long as her age keeps her attractive. This relationship is considered a blessing to most all Tashrani families and to interfere with such a relationship is considered a great insult.
When such girls grow too old to dance and pleasure the Shar`Vaire, they are always returned to their gypsy families with a large sum of gold and possibly one or two Half-Shar`Vaire children (depending on the age of the children they may be old enough to opt to stay with the Shar`Vaire father, though most tend to return with the mother, to ensure her safety).
While this is considered a position of high honor amongst these traveling gypsies, it is frowned upon throughout the rest of the Windsong Republic, as it is thought of as slavery. Tashran, Bladefall and Kasyr are the exceptions of this as these cities are populated by many of the desert-roaming gypsies that have grown weary of the traveling life.
Humans of Shalzaar (Hill People, Hill-Folk, Shalzaari)
The collected people of Shalzaar are the direct descendants of the original settlers from Ishaela. They are commonly referred to as Hill People or Hill-Folk for the fact that a great many of them settled the hilly lands that would eventually become Brookshire and Moonfall. These people would also make up the bulk of the settlers that would found Windsong (with the Moon Elves), Vale and Sundown.
Most Hill-Folk tend to be ginger, black or brown haired, with a handful showing up blonde, with eyes favoring brown, blue and green. They are fair-skinned and tend to be a solidly built people (something in-between the immense People of the North and the lithe and sleek People of the South). Most men average around six foot five, while the women are roughly around five feet and eight inches.
The Shalzaari also make up the bulk of civilized humans on Imarel and are the fore-bearers of most Human knowledge in Magic, Mathematics and the Sciences. Hill People also tend to be good at manufacturing gunpowder weapons, like cannons and flintlocks; trades learned from the ancient Dwarves of Ishaela and passed down for generations.
Of the four distinct races of Humans, the Hill Folk are the most boisterous and tend to get into the most trouble. They are adventurous, curious and often leap without looking. This does not constitute an inability to think, but simply a willingness to take risks. It is said amongst the gypsies that a safe bet is a Hillsman taking a bet.
The Shalzaari make up the largest Human population on Imarel and Brookshire was once boasted as being the largest human city on Imarel, until the discovery of secretive people of Albadosia and their sprawling capital of Kazban.
People of Xos (Shadow Folk, Xosians)
The Xosians are the first Humans and the first race to fall to the evil of Khavos. They were, till very recently a slave race, allowed to exist only as food for the vampires of Xos and bred for strength and intelligence, so the finest amongst them maybe turned into vampires themselves and made to serve Khavos.
Thanks to the efforts of heroes from the city of Sundown and the Sivanoshei Elves, the Xosians are now a free people. With Khavos destroyed and the vampire nation shattered and scattered, the Xosians as a people are beginning to realize their worth and their capability. For the moment, they remain under the provisional protection of the Sivanoshei Empire while they establish a government and begin to rebuild the damage from a war that has raged for nearly six years.
The typical Xosian has deathly pale skin, dark hair and dark eyes. Because of the shortened day caused by Ishaela's rotation, these Humans are mildly light-sensitive and tend to prefer the dark more than their brethren elsewhere. They are slightly taller than Hill People on the average and tend to be wiry and slight of build, almost to the point of seeming frail.
Xosians are also the most gifted Humans with magic and have shown considerable skill adopting the Shei and even the Asyndi methods of spell-casting. It was because of this natural inclination, some Sivanoshei felt the Humans could be taught magic safely.
Despite their overall intelligence and wit, the Xosians are a people that have lost much of their history thanks to propaganda and misinformation. Almost all records of old Sengaard have been lost, leaving the Xosians the task of recovering what they can and start anew. Relations between the Xosians and the Dwarves are also strained at best, giving the Sivanoshei the difficult task of acting as the go-between for the two peoples in an effort to smooth relations.
People of the Taijun Empire (Fire-Callers, Taijuni)
The People of Taijun, or simply Taijuni are a slight framed, dark haired and dark eyed people with a light gold tincture to their skin. There is almost no variation to these traits but there has been known to be the occasional birth of a blue or more rarely, green-eyed Taijuni child. Hailing from the recently re-discovered island of Tamayr Shuryu, these people do not worship the Old Gods, the Spirits of Imarel or the Lords of Chaos, though they will pay homage to them. Rather, they worship an ancient Vocorian giant named Adnor, that has the capacity to grant prayers. These prayers take spell-like effects, giving the illusion that they are able to cast sorcerous spells in spite of the massive deposits of Starmetal that exist in that area.
Adnor seems to have the most influence in the fire and stone elements, as such his priests are separated by gender as well as element. Priests are Ki-Kunja, or Rock-Shapers and priestesses are Yun-Jai, or Fire-Tamers. Priests oversee much of the construction of buildings, monuments and care of the land, while the priestesses primarily use their skills with flame as part of the imperial army. It should be noted that Yun-Jai are the only females allowed in the imperial army, aside of a handful of Scythe Witches.
The first Taijuni were actually ship slaves for the Shar`Vaire armada that came to Tamayr Shuryu in 2060 BF. When it became apparent that the armada was doomed, Captain Corsaan D`Vyr let the slaves take whatever supplies they could carry and go. They had chosen to go north east, along the beach, till they found a clearing in the jungle. That clearing would eventually become Taijun.
While their population does not span far beyond the island of Tamayr Shuryu, the Taijuni are an incredibly disciplined and industrious people, known for their metal-working, exotic foods, calligraphy art and their Scythe Witches. As black powder is relatively scarce and expensive in this part of the world, bladed weapons and bows and arrows are still the law of the land. As such, some of the most finely crafted swords, crossbows and armors come from the Empire of Taijun.
People of the Kingdom of Albadosia (Mystics, Albadosians)
The people of Albadosia, or simply Albadosians, are a tall, black-skinned people who are both strong in mind and body. Similar to Northlanders in both physical stature and height, they are thought to be the only people to have discovered a way to use magic despite the presence of Starmetal. In fact, their magic requires and consumes Starmetal to function at all. Because of this vast capability, the Albadosians at one point sought to conquer the Taijuni and nearly did so, had it not been for the arrival of Adnor. While potent in its own right, the Albadosian Incanters were no match for the god-like Vocorian and were sent back to Albadosia. Now and then an Albadosian ruler attempts to prod Taijun's defenses, with little avail; most of their time is spent fending off the excessive population of Khazaar-worshiping Zissah to be overly troubled with the defeat of the Taijuni.
The Albadosians are an ancient and wicked people, thought to be the first tribe of humans ever to walk the world. Originally, it had been thought that Humans originated on Ishaela, with the Elves and Dwarves, but evidence uncovered from relics discovered during a recent expedition to Tamayr Shuryu have revealed the possibility that Humans originated on Imarel first then found their way to Ishaela through sorcerous means. These humans evidently were stranded, scholars believe, because their magic may not have worked at all without a steady supply of Starmetal. Without the magic those explorers depended on so much, they essentially devolved into the relatively primitive tribes the Elves and Dwarves would find thousands of years later. The Albadosians that remains on Imarel have maintained their kingdom for countless eons and have grown both arrogant and decadent in their reign. While never quite able to rid themselves of the Zissah, they are more than capable of keeping their kingdom from being overrun, thanks to their sorcery. Unfortunately its also the reason they cannot advance on the Zissah, since the Zissah territories on Vocoria proper are decidedly far more lacking in the presence of Starmetal.
Albadosians of course are known primarily for their strange magic, or the Albadosian Method of spell-casting. This method of spell-casting requires Starmetal in some form (the more refined, the better) that is most often fashioned in a wand form. These wands are often marked with glyphs, infusing the power of the magic within the wand. Each time the Albadosian spell-caster uses a spell, a little bit of the wand dissolves away. Eventually, the wand will deplete itself fully and a new one will be needed. A simple chunk of Starmetal ore can be used in a pinch, but without the glyph-marking process, the metal is consumed much faster. This gives the Albadosian spell-caster the ability to cast spells nearly as fast as an Asyndi, with the drawback of requiring Starmetal as a material component always. The Albadosians are also fond of gold, jade, onyx and silk, with a great many of their garments and jewelry fashioned from these items. The Albadosians are also known for their worship of the ancient planar god Ghozoth the Deep.
People of Palathia (Reverents, The Pious)
Separated by time, war and sea, the Palathians (pronounced Pala-thay-in) are direct descendants of refugees that fled Sengaard during the initial invasion by Khavos and his vampires. Led by Half-Sivanoshei exile, known only as Alastria the Accused, and her Kaal’kor companion, Benjak Aleswehl, of Glantheel, the Humans, and handful of Shei deserters set out across continents and the sea to find a place away from what they felt was a power struggle between two equally oppressive figures, in the King-Priest, and in Khavos.
While neither Alastria or Benjak were under any illusion that they could keep running forever, it was important to those who followed them that wars should be fought for freedom, not to supplant one dictator for another. Alastria, a ranger of Jadaia and Benjak, a priest of Hiron had strong belief systems and, as they traveled, they also served as a pair of traveling preachers (Benjak was actually an ordained minister of Hiron) to their proverbial flock. They did not preach of their personal beliefs however, but rather the power of faith and belief in and of themselves. They encouraged their ‘congregation’ of followers to find their own gods, and worship how they deemed fit.
By the time the refugees hit the shores of Palathia in 454 BC, they as a group became a ferocious band of guerilla-fighters, with nearly zealot-levels of loyalty for the two heroes, that had given them hope in a truly dark time in Ishaela’s history. Palathia had been, up until this point, heavily populated with tribes of Moul, a primitive race of amphibian people. These tribes were already quite intent on killing each other, so there was little thought in attacking Alastria, Benjak and their refugees on their first encounter.
It didn’t take long for the group of three hundred or so, to begin cutting deep swathes into the population of Moul; even as beleaguered as their were, superior tactics and greater mastery over sorcery proved to be an overwhelming advantage against the the tribes. With the Moul properly frightened of the Sengaardian refugees, settling the continent could proceed.
Thousands of years later, the Palathians have become a deeply religious and industrious people, who value hard work and faith over fame and glory. They are deeply religious, but have no set ‘state faith,’ save Xosian deities are forbidden in any form. The Palathian people have a naturally ruddy complexion, lighter hair, and broader, sturdier frames than the Sengaardians they descended from, though like them, tend to be of slightly above average height.
Palathians have a theocratic government, but rather than having a King-Priest, who is given their station by birthright, the Divine Council is a composite of the five major faiths of Palathia: Kaal, Zorah, Jadaia, Hiron and Trentarius. This council is comprised of all the Immaculates of the faiths, who are given their position by their respective churches. The will of the Divine Council is not absolute however; there is also a Parliament comprised of Speakers, elected by the people of each town and city, that can challenge decrees given by the Divine Council.
People of Quivyn (Plainsfolk, Plains-Striders)
The history of the Quivynites is largely an unwritten one. Sharing an origin with the original nomadic people that would become the Sengaardians, Quivynites were the ancestors of those who didn’t accept the Sivanoshei or their ways, but chose to remain on Quivyn, and retain their tribal way of life. This went largely undisturbed surprisingly, until 1351 AC, and the Three Way War. With the influx of Sengaardian refugees fleeing the political upheaval, came an expected mixing (and clashing) of cultures.
While the larger cities and government of Quivyn reflect both the refugees of the Three Way War (statistically, still considered Sengaardians), and those natives who chose to embrace the more industrialized way of life (called simply, Neo-Quivynites), the true Quivynites remain a tribal people, uninvolved in the politics of those who share their land. Referred collectively as “Plainsfolk,” these native Quivynites, at first viewed the influx of Sengaardian refugees with mixed reactions; some tribes offered food, shelter and safe passage through their hunting grounds, while others were openly hostile, driving them off to wherever the winds took them. Because of this, many ‘Neo-Quivynites’ refer to the Plainsfolk as savages, and will refuse to do business with them, or have been outright hostile themselves.
Insofar, despite these cultural contrasts, the newly formed government of the Neo-Quivyinites (The People’s Republic of Quivyn) has not attempted to encroach upon, or conquer the indigenous Plainsfolk, though there are more than a few voices in the fledgling government that believe they should be ‘brought into the fold, by force if necessary,’ despite the fact the Neo-Quivynites are the newcomers to this land. The Plainsfolk do not have have a formal arrangement of government as a whole, but rather have governance within their particular tribes. These tribes all have chieftains that meet to negotiate hunting grounds and trade with one another, or in the case of wars amongst themselves, broker peace.
Quivynites do not worship Indarian or Xosian gods, but pray to the elements, whose prayers are answered by the various Elemental Princes and their servants. Despite diametric opposition in many cases, between tribes that choose to follow a particular element, there is very little war based on that opposition. Most comes from conflict over hunting ground, the occasional conquest of a smaller, weaker tribe and various offenses taken and given between chieftains.
Quivynites have a tanned, to reddish complexion, with broad facial features. They are of average to slightly below average human height and favor darker hair, and earthy eye colors. They are a very spiritual people, and very entrenched in their shamanistic beliefs. They live off the land and have found ways to thrive, despite the harsh changes in season and the rapid change in hunting conditions it can bring. They are as at home under the stars as they are in shelter, and do not, generally speaking, observe territorial boundaries.