Culture and Races of the Known World

The Culture of the Eladrian Empire

From the capital city of Mortarion in Eladria, the Silver Empire of Eladria extends more than four thousand miles thereabouts in every direction. The culture's and races it claims dominion over are as diverse as the environs it controls. With the stabilisation of the Astral sea and the recent reliability of magic the Eladrian Empire has been able to administer and maintain its massive bureaucracy across the vast territory it claims. Stable teleportation and telepathic messaging as been instrumental in this. This has also lead to the almost perfect flow of resources from one city to another allow merchants to set up business across the world. Thus it is that Syverian made swords from the finest sky-metal can be bought in the heart of Eladria, in the cosmopolitan city of Dalyr, merely days after they were made. Similarly orders can be placed for such weapons without the trouble of sending the message overland. The other effects of the growing integration of commerce and magic as meant that the villages and towns that once were teeming with the majority of the world's population have been left to ruin, with most people migrating to the cities. With mundane rituals and greater magic saturation crops have been easier to grow and maintain. No longer do authorities take a tax of a peasants crop for working his land, rather agriculture is centralized in the huge farm ventures of the great Eladrin Houses or with merchant ventures.

The Eladrin Empire has maintained its stability for so long because it is based on a system of Satrapies. Whilst the Empire controls and enforces its territory it leaves the day to day running of each city state within its empire to its original inhabitants. Thus it is that the human city of Volos in Mestria is still run by the Kysioson Line of Kings with the Empire looking on. It is similar for the Wood Elves of Ilisyr in the Fyrswood. The Eladrian Empire however has standardised currency across the entire empire and all the Satrapies use the Platinum Dragons, Golden Lions, Silver Swords and Copper Wheels. Similarly the Eladrian laws are enforced across the empire in the local courts, generally overseen by elven or the Doomsgaurd. The empire itself is ruled from Mortarion by the Empress Tayrasi and her Undying council. The Empress is advised by her council, one hundred and sixty nine Eladrian revenants and liches, many of whom were already undead by the time of the Great Dwarven war. Together they set down the laws and administer the empire.

The Eladrin military is diverse though two particular units are standout. The first is the Doomsgaurd, made up entirely of Tieflings. Many of this elite unit are in fact mages or psions as much as warriors. The Doomsgaurd dates to an earlier tradition where in many of the elven nations gave sanctuary to Tieflings running from human persecution in exchange for military service. The Eladrian Empire uses the Doomsgaurd to track down escaped slaves of any nationality, and as a shock unit to inspire fear into human populations. The leaders of the Doomsgaurd are called Dreadlords and are generally awarded with armour shaped like daemons to inspire fear. Even more elite than the Doomsgaurd are the Eladrian Immortals. This unit is the bodygaurd of the Empress Tayrasi and the Undying Council and is composed entirely of revenant Eladrin. It is said there is some ten thousand of these literally immortal warriors and that they each have centuries of experience at their finger tips.

Languages of the Empire

Note: When selecting languages for your character the following applies;
Imperial Dwarven replaces Common, Low Elven replaces Elven and Dwarven is replaced by one of the dwarven tongues of your choice, depending on the region your character hails from. Any other language may be picked as a bonus language when selecting languages, to use a Fingertalk one does not need to speak the tongue the Fingertalk is based on, as they are different forms of communication. However to speak High Elven one must already be able to speak Low Elven, as High Elven requires a nuanced understanding of the common Elven tongue. This may seem excessive, but the benefits of speaking High Elven make it almost worth as much as a Trained Skill, as such instead of purchasing the linguist feat you may spend any skill training to get an additional language.

Imperial Dwarven - An imperially standardised version of the common trade dwarf tongue, it is spoken in all corners of the empire and is the state common tongue.

High Elven - The official language of the Eladrian Empire, it is spoken by few except for noble Eladri, but is still used for all important official business and by the Judicial system. The arcane texts of the many mage academies of Eladria and the world are written in High Elven, as the Eladri were amongst the first to study the arcane.

Low Elven - Commonly referred to as elven this is a simplified version of High Elven that is used by elves for day to day communication. It is a 'second common tongue' in the empire, only having been fairly recently displaced as the state common tongue by the formulation of Imperial Dwarven.

Draconic - Considered the first language to be spoken on earth, Draconic is a harsh, though fluid langauge, and non-draconic generally require rigorous voice training to get close to a natural accent. Many spell books are written in Draconic, as dragons created many of the spells still used today. Draconic is spoken by Dragonbnorn and mages amongst others esoteric enough to pick it up.

Kar'Mestri - A dwarven tongue, this language is spoken by the dwarves of Mestria, including the clan-holds of Tvrzhrad, Krevhrad and Zylhrad.

Kar'Syveri - This dwarven tongue is spoken by the dwarves of the north, who reside in the clan-holds of Syveria.

Kar'Eladri - This dwarven tongue is spoken by the dwarves who reside in the clan-holds of Eladria. Due to proximity to the Eladria heartlands as been influenced by the elven tongues, and is therefore slightly more poetic than other dwarven tongues.

Deep Speech - A version of the Elven tongue that is considered to have diverged when the Drow fled underground it is spoken chiefly by the dark-skinned elves. It is harsher than Low Elven, though is a much more practical language, and has a fondness for harsh sounds and compound words.

Abyssal - The tongue of daemons and other primordials who have no societies many clerics and conjurers study it. It crops up from time to time in spell instructions and is not uncommon amongst ancient ruins.

Supernal - The tongue of angels, celestials and devils and other astral beings who form societies. This tongue is also used for some worships 'cant' or prayer tongue.

The Human Tongues - The tongues spoken by the human race vary from region to region, with slightly remote human settlements sometimes having dialect completely incomprehensible to the next nearest settlement. There are however several major human tongue that are fairly consistent across regions. These are;

Vargar - For the Northern nations of Mestria, encompassing Lorstheim, Vargaria and Baronia.
Aeslic - For the islands of Rhannior in the Wreathed Sea.
Cassangreci - A fairly common tongue in the south of Mestria.
Lyssian - The language of ancient Lyssia, still spoke by some in Mestria and Northern Kracia.
Krazian - Spoken by the human nomads of Kracia.
Azuric - Spoken by the humans of the southern part of Eladria.
Kurzish - Spoken by the humans of the northern part of Eladria.
Syski - A langauge spoken by the few humans who reside in the souther part of Syveria.
The Zyndarian Tongues - Languages spoken by the humans native to Zyndaria south of Eladria. It is said that their are over a hundred of these tongues but speakers are generally capable of understanding each other.

Glibtongue - A composite language made up of parts of Deep Speech, trade dwarf and Kurzish this tongue is used by the orkoid and goblinoid inhabitants of Tartaria, and is used as a common tongue in the free city of Khaanos.

Fingertalk - Many races have developed means of which to communicate non-verbally. There are several fingertalks well known in the empire. These are;

The Elven fingertalks - Unlike the low elven and high elven langauges these vary by region, and sometimes by clan. They are used to communicate silently during rangings. Each Drow city also has an individual fingertalk. The Eladrian do not however have a finger talk, as they spend more time using magic and forming proper armies to have developed a fingertalk of their own. Numerous Eladri units however learn either Drow or Elven.

Kath'Mestri, Kath'Eladri and Kath'Syveri - Dwarven fingertalks, unlike the elven ones are standard by region and are used by dwarves to communicate in tunnels when quiet is required.

more incoming…

Races of the Known Firma

The Eladrin – the White Elves

The culture of the Eladrin of the Empire is matriarchal like all the other elven cultures. It is common practice for Eladrin mothers and maidens of noble houses to veil themselves and wear long white shifts of flowing material when they walk the streets, lest the eyes of lesser races look upon them. Eladrin men have been known to fight to the death for even an Eladrin crone they do not know, such is the Eladrin respect for the matriarchy and their females. The Eladrin in ancient times were the servants of the Dragon lords. They once had mighty empires that spanned the world, but after horrible infighter were displaced across the earth by human nations. With the Shardfall though began the Eladrin renaissance and after more than a thousand years of largely human domination of the world, particularly of fertile Mestria, the Eladrin began a war of conquest, started by the knowledge gained from millennia of research. They favour necromancy, and single handed swords and are ruled by Undying Councils of Eladrin Revenants and Liches, and have since Conquered most of the known world. They have ghostly white skin, hair colours that are metallic in sheen, silver instead of white, bronze instead of brown, and gemstone coloured eyes. As a race they are found of slaves and are responsible for the creation of the orkoid and goblinoid races through Carnemancy, or Flesh Magic in ages past. Their religion is based on a worship of the elements, as they consider the idea of trying to comprehend of a god a futile intellectual activity. They generally worship the gods as aspects of various elements, though they reserve a special place for Cifyre as their God of Dusk and Dawn, Keeper of Secrets and the aspect of magic.

The Drow – the Black Elves

The Dark Elven City States can be found in the Deserts of Kracia. Their primary interaction with other societies is one of raiding and slaving. The Drow cities were quick to join in on the Eladrian Empire, and fought alongside the Eladrin, revelling in the destruction and capture of so many of the lesser races. Since then they have become the primary slave traders in all the Empire as they are now allowed to pass more freely through the metropolises of Eladria since they are controlled by Eladrin who share a similar point of view to the Drow about all the other races. All around the Ivory, Shadow and Trade Seas the Drow are feared as pirates and slavers supreme. Largely though the Drow are an insular race, and live in large cities are built at the heart of the vast desert of Kracia. Each city is connected to the others by the huge network of the tunnels of the Hollow. The cities themselves are fed purely from the resources of the Hollow, the lush Zire river, and slaves. They are clever, technologically devious and most generally evil. They wield their destructive and daemonic magics and the sharp curved swords they favour, from the backs of their drake mounts that stride effortlessly through the desert. Their dark skin helps them survive the desert sun, and their hair is commonly bleached platinum blond by the suns harsh rays, red through the blue eyes are the norm. They worship Viella and sometimes Karganath or Alazi. Like all elves the Drow are matriarchal, though with a particularly sinister twist. The Drow reproduce similar to how a spider does and female Drow may keep numerous male consorts, forcing them to fight each other to prove their worth to her. Many a Drow matriarch has been known to birth one male's child before sacrificing him in the name of Viella once his service is done.

Wood Elves – the Grey Elves

Elves or Wood Elves as the Eladrin refer to them, are those Elves who reside in the ancient forests of the world. Under these ancient trees they build cities amongst the boughs of the trees, or on the forest floor using the hollowed out shells of ancient trees as towers. Many have never having forsaken these ancient homes and wanderlust is therefore not uncommon and it is primarily these elves that father Half Elves, interacting on the most equal terms with humanity out of the other elves. Wood elves are commonly of grey or brown of skin, with earthy hair colours, blonde, auburn and sometimes green. Their eyes are commonly orange, green, blue or brown. So in tune with nature are the Elves that it is said that their skin, hair and eye colour emulate the season they were born in. Not surprisingly they worship Aerin Goddess of the Forest, Fire and War. It is common amongst elves for them to tattoo their skin with markings to emulate the creatures of the forest, patterning themselves like tigers, tree-cats, wolves, bears, constrictors, vipers, spiders and owls. The Wood Elves are like all elves matriarchal. Generally they are ruled over by queens, and male elves tend to serve their women without question. The Wood Elves are welcomed in the Eladrian Empire and many of them can be found as scouts, mages or as soldiers.

Dragonborn

The dragonborn are the results of ancient draconic pacts and dragon Carenmancy. It is said that they were once the sentient servants of the Dragons who remained loyal through the millenia, since before the Eladrin rose up and cast down the dragons. Whatever race they may have once been though, whether human or Eladrin, is now forever gone. Draconic and lizard like the dragonborn have a warrior culture based on martial and magical prowess. It is common amongst the dragonoborn clans for them to believe they are the superior race of all the earth. Ironicall this means they have never formed a consistent culture or nation, tending to adopt others, as they spend far too much time killing each other in duels to prove their supremacy of each other. In this they emulate the nature of the Dragons, who studies show fight and kill each other as often as they do simply to prove their dominance. It is rumored however that the Dragonborn do indeed form societies, it just requires a Dragon to rule over them, as is whispered occurs in the Dragonlands. Many Satrapies of the Eladrian Empire employ dragonborn gaurds and warriors. They worship Xortivar the Platinum Dragon.

Tiefling

Created from the interbreeding of Daemons and humansa and through infernal pacts, Tieflings always carry a reminder of their dark heritage be it horns, scales, tail, cloven feat, black pupilless eyes or a smell of brimstone. Once scorned, feared and executed by humans, Tieflings have always been accepted by the Elves, and particularly so the Eladrin. Tieflings have features that are as manied and varied as the human race itself and dispositions to match. They form a crucial part of the Eladrin Empire’s military as well as many Wood Elf nations. They are used exclusively in the formation of the Doomsgaurd, units of fearsome Tieflings who are amongst the best fighters of the Empire, who’s daemonic appearance strikes fear into all they stand against. They are also used to track down escaped slaves, and many Tieflings relish the chance to hunt down escaped humans who once persecuted them so thoroughly.

Humans

For a millenia or more Humans were the dominant race on Earth. They had nations all across the trade sea, Mestria, Kracia and Eladria. They are social creatures to the extreme and have an incredibly fast reproduction cycle and short lives and are quick to learn and master skills. As such in the time after the Dwarven Great war and the sundering of the Dwarvern Common Fraternities they came to dominate the world. In the time of their dominance however they were largely xenophobic and led many crusades against the other races, earning them the scorn of many of the Elderling races. They are the most common slave race of the Eladrin Empire and the breeding of human slaves and freemen alike is heavily monitored by the Doomsgaurd to insure a stable population is maintained.

Gnomes

Once gnomes were elves who were forced to work the dragon mines deep underground, or taken as dwarvern slaves. Millenia of years and the effects of the magical saturation of the Hollow have changed these elves in shape and their inherit abilities. They are much smaller than their cousins the elves are generally looked down on as a gross perversion of elven-blood, though some scholars think that there is little anatomical difference, or any real difference between the other elves and gnomes.

Halflings

Halflings are quite simply just that. They are half size humans. With the exterminations and enslavements of the human race some have considered the half men a race in their own right though they may interbreed freely with humans, giving rise to either human or halfling progeny.

Half Elves

The result of the intebreeding of elves and humans they are commonly of Wood Elf origin, and most frequently the result of human rape of elven women. Sometimes though half elves are born of a loving an meaningful relationship between humans, but this more uncommon. Half Elves are welcomed by the Wood Elf societies with open arms who see them as lost cousins, whilst they tend to receive a frosty reception in Eladrin and Human societies.

Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugbears, Orks

The goblin and orkoid races stem from the same time as the half orks. These creatures werre created from once peaceful and ancient apes, monkey, humanoids and giants creatures into the feral batle lusting, devious and evil creatures they are today. These races were purposed for the slavery of the Eladrin. Orks and goblins however have a physoliogy that is capable of coping with much harsher extremes than other races and many escaped slaves have made their homes in the frozen wastes of Syveria, the Deserts of Tartaria and Zyndri. They have never however been able to gain a foothold in the Telysis Desert, perhaps because the drakefolk and the Drow of the desert capture or kill them before their rapid breeding cycle can continue, or that the perilious conditions of the sands are too much for orkoid, or goblinoid physiology.

Half Orks

It is a common misunderstanding to suggest that a half ork is half man half human, rather they are actually a race in themselves. They are referred to as half orks simply because they were created through the Carnemancy and eugencis programs of the Eladrin in millenia past, combining human, ape and daemon blood. Whilst some half orks do indeed come from the rape of human women, most breed true. Half orks are generally found in the service of Eladrin, though not as slaves as one might think. They generally have a sense of honour and recognise their violent natures and try to overcome this with codes of martial honour. As such they are the pinnacle of ancien Eladrin Carnemancy, carrying both the strength and ferocity of the other orkoid creatures, and the adaptability and capacity to learn and try to rise above their violent natures. They are frequently found as the soldiers of the Eladrin.

Shifters

The legacy left behind of lycanthropes, most shifters come from tribes in Tartaria or from the Zyndrian desert. It is said that these people are common in Zyndria and beyond in the jungles of the Dragonlands. Societies of shifters tend to have a clan like structure, though more commonly shifters live within another culture and adopt that as their own. They like all peoples find their place in many trades in the Empire, particularly mercenary and footpad work.

Goliaths

Goliaths are those with giant blood flowing through their veins, as such they tend to reside in the mountains amongst human or dwarven villages were they were born. Sometimes they become nomadic and spend time amongst the giant clans, though commonly they return to civilization, unable to feel at home in either society. They are quite often found as a slaves and mercenaries in the Eladrian empire.

Dwarves

Dwarves are as often seafarers and traders as they are miners. Generally they worship Dragar above all else though there are sects who worship Bahamut. Most dwarves are traders and artisans before warriors, though all dwarves are taught to fight. Their trade langauge was adopted in times long past as a language of trade between elves and men and since then has flourished between all races. The dwarves are generally suspicious, if not downright hostile towards the use of magic, which is ironic, given their proficinency at enchanting and Technomancy. Many dwarven nations keep nearly as many and varied slaves as the Eladrin and the Drow, though other abhor the practice.

Wilden

A race that has only recently appeared on Earth, dating to around the Shardfall. They first appeared in a swathe of druidic and elven reincarnations. It is thought that are the new forms of the thousands of forest spirits and dryads massacred by the human nations and the astral destruction caused by the shardfall, who’s spirits failed to find any new trees to come to reside in. Sects of them can be found within the forest, particularly amongst the wood elf and wild elf cultures.

Shardmind

The Shardminds are a result of the Shardfall. In the Eladrin’s experimentation with the shard the Eladrin woke some fragments of the shards into sentience. These shards quickly learnt and began to prosper. They reproduce communally, each shardmind occasionaly donating a single shard of their conglomeration to a Shardmind Enclave from which a new conglomeration is formed. Whilst they do not eat or drink overtime their bodies regenerate new crystals and so the Shardminds continue. They tend to treat everything with skepticism and subject it to logical inquiry and so do not set much stock in the ritual parts of relgiion, though they are well aware of power of the gods. To this day Shardminds occupy generally high status in the Eladrian Empire and Eladrian and Shardminds tend to treat each other as equals.

Warforged

Studying from the Shardfall catastrophe and the Shardminds, the Eladrin used the knowledge they gained to create the warforged. The Eladrin Wizards, Artificiers and Technomancers consumed many human souls in the design and then creation of the warforged. The result was a race of sentient, tough and metal warriors based on the common anatomy of Elves, Dwarves and men. They were created towards the end of the Reclamation, though in the final years of the war were decisive in many battles, striking fear into the hearts of the Eladrian Empires enemies. After the reclamation Warforged have been used heavy infantry in the Eladrian armies. Whilst Warforged are in no way forced to be loyal, many are still loyal to the Eladrian empire though many were given their freedom after the wars. Some Warforged have even gone on to create new Warforged, so unindetured Warforged are not uncommon.

Deva
Earthbound reincarnations of demi-gods, spirits and powerful angels or saints, Deva are aspects or the essence of these entities in mortal form. They are very rare, though they have been more prevalent in the world since the shardfall. Deva have been known to take up many occupations, as well as find themselves in many situations, including slavery. This itself may seem odd, but is sadly justified in many situations as despite someone having the appearance of a Deva, they may not manifest many powers or skills, or even manifest only evilness and selfishness and thus be condemned to a life of slavery. Deva are immediately identifiable from the rest of the race their form takes, a usually human or elf like form. They might have brightly coloured, or black pupil less eyes, or a Celestial rune marked into their skin on their forehead. It is common for them appear to have different skin tones, such as blood red, black, purple or gold from a distance, but one notices these are actually tattoos or markings that cover the entire Deva's body in an intricate Celestial script.

Minotaur
An ancient race of humanoids it is said that they once had several civilizations, or were bred by the Eladrin and dragons of old. Little is truthfully known about the origins of the Minotaur, although they are prevalent in the Empire, most often as slave labour.

Githzeria
It is said that the Githzeria are a race from beyond the Dragonlands, and beyond Zyndria. They are a strangely featured race, and some consider them akin to elves. They have a proud sense of honour and their philosophies generally differ to many in the Empire, as they choose to worship the Unity, an expression they say, of all Gods. Whilst not many are seen in the Empire, they occasionally turn up through the teleportation networks and there are several Githzeria enclaves in the southern Eladrian cities.

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