Sunday, January 7, 2018

Worldbuilding Afternoon

Taking a long weekend off and had 3 hours free so I cranked out a few things: three villains for my street-level Champions game; more work on the sector map for my Traveller setting; an adventure for my Seaward campaign; and some details for my Rolemaster setting. I only had an hour for Rolemaster, so I apologize for how raw it is:

Races and Cultures
Common Men:
Common in the Patchwork Lands
Cimer [sa-MERE]- Tall, strongly-built; dark hair, fair skin, blue, green, or gray eyes. Mainly in the East and South. Hillmen, Highlanders, Hillmen, Rural.
Lomba- Below average height, slight build; blonde to auburn hair, tan to ruddy skin; any color eyes. Throughout the region. Urban, Rural, Woodmen, some Mariners.
Aire- From the Islands and the coasts. Average height and build; brown or sandy hair; brown or hazel eyes; tan to fair skin. Mariners, Littoral, Rural, some Hillmen, some Urban.
From other lands, but not uncommonly living in the region
Telle- Average height and build; black hair, brown eyes, fair skin. Urban, Rural, Hillmen.
Nemedi- Tall, strongly built; black skin, hair, and eyes. Mariners, Littoral, Urban, Rural.
Gaal- Short, wiry; tan to olive skin; any hair and eyes. Rural, Woodmen, Urban.
From distant lands, but sometimes visitors to the region
Kurgoi- Shorter, any build; black hair and dark eyes; yellow to dark tan skin. Nomads, Plains.
Urgaas- Average to tall, average to strongly built; red skin; black hair, dark eyes. Plains, Nomads, Woodmen, Littoral, Hillmen.

High Men
From the Patchwork Lands
The Danae- Tall, average to braod-shouldered; black or red hair; blue, gree, or hazel eyes. Fair to ruddy. Found throughout the region, often nobles or leaders. Urban, Mariners, Rural. Love the stars and lore.
Sometimes living in the Region
Murgen- Tall, strongly-built; sandy to fair hair; brown or hazel eyes; average complexion. Highlanders, Hillmen, Aerial. Love the mountains and channelling.
From distant lands, but sometimes visitors to the region
Ska- Very tall, average build; pale to very pale complexion; any color eyes. Plains, Hillmen, Desert, Nomads. Love horses, often mentalists.
Altari- Average height, very strongly built; brown hair and eyes; olive to dark olive complexion. Mariners, Littoral, Urban. Master sailors and craftsmen.

Stone Dwarves- Found throughout the region, easily the most common. Average height and build for their race; dark olive to tan skin; black or brown eyes.
Iron Dwarves- Found usually only in the central hills. Slightly below average height, but even more broadly-built than a Stone Dwarf; tan to fair skin; blue or green eyes.
Ice Dwarves- Rarely from the region, but sometimes found in the very east. Taller than average for their race; ruddy skin; red, blond, or platinum blond hair; blue or green eyes.

Wood Elves- Found in the South, North, and the central hills; the most common in the region. Dark tan to fair skin; sandy brown hair (red is found, but rare); brown or green eyes.
High Elves- Not as common as Wood Elves, but found throughout the region. Ruddy skin; black hair, brown or hazel eyes.
Gray Elves- Very rarely from the region; can be anywhere. Platinum blond to silver hair; blue eyes; pale to very pale complexion.

Found mainly in the central hills. Tend to resemble to local Human populace.

Other Races
Found in or near the region
Gnomes- Smaller relatives of dwarves, they are scholars and loremasters. Secretive and quiet, they are allies to Good.
Gnolls- Masters of magic and mining, these close relatives of gnomes are, if anything, more shy and secretive. Also allies of Good.

The Goblins
The goblin races are a plague on the land. Their raids, assaults, and outright wars are a constant threat to civilization. Lying, stealing, murder, torture, and cannibalism are the goals of these foul creatures.
Kobolds- The smallest, weakest, and most devious of the goblins.
Goblins- The most common of the related races, goblins are cruel, vindictive, and fiendishly good at making war machines, torture devices, and cunning traps.
Hobgoblins- Bigger, tougher goblins, they are also meaner and more vicious.

The Orcs
Looking akin to even bigger hobgoblins, the orcs are truly a separate race cut from the same cloth.
Lesser Orcs- Squat, ugly creatures that are the vast majority of all orcs.
Greater Orcs- Almost identical in appearance and outlook, greater orcs are capable of fighting in sunlight.
Gray Orcs- Fortunately very rare, these creatures have all of the evil of a lesser orc, but a keen mind and the ability to use magic.

Rare Races
Some are from distant lands, some are vanishingly rare, some may be only legends.
Troglodytes- Legends of primitive ape-men living in deep caves who kill and eat all intruders are found throughout the region.
Mermen- Sailors of the deep sea speak of the mermen; aloof and shy, they will ally with the Good races against evil.
Shuikmar- The same sailors speak of the vicious 'shark men' who live in the ocean and use trained sharks to hunt men.
Gratar- Tales around tavern fires speak of the frog men – the size and shape of men, but resembling frogs. They come in various colors and the colors (red, gree, gray, etc.) indicate their power. Rumored to be from other dimensions!
Urloc- Legends say that on the lonely shores of distant seas you can find huge, ancient towers, towers older than any elven kingdom. And within them you sometimes find an Urloc. The Urloc are, according to the legends, as superior in knowledge and magical prowess to the elves as the elves are to kobolds and they can sometimes be convinced to teach a member of other races some of their lore.

The Giants
From Ogres to Trolls to the various Giants. Some few are allies, but most are evil.

Languages of the Patchwork Lands
Ethne- the “common speech” of the area. Essentially a universal language within the region.
Cimmerian- Spoken by the Cimer people, especially in remote areas.
Airu- Common in rural Aire communities, sometimes with sailors. Sometimes used in rural fairs to overcome the various strong accents of Ethne.
Danaa- Language of the Danae, effectively the 'high speech' – commonly used by nobles and in formal settings like meeting a king. A sign of breeding, wealth, etc.
Altarii- Mother tongue of the Altarian Empire and the Altari. Effectively the “common tongue” of sea trade.
Thornung- The language of the dwarves. There are a number of dialects, but they are mutually intelligible.
Arstelle- The language of the Elves. Like dwarvish the many dialects are distinct, but intelligible.
Blurg- The mutual language of the various goblins. Commonly also spoken by orcs and other evil beings capable of speech as a 'common tongue' of evil creatures.
Kru'kar- the orcish language. Also sometimes spoken by evil giants and trolls.
Montan- Language of giants and trolls.
Eckel- Used by the Holy Church as a 'universal tongue' for good priest, theologians, and diplomacy. Also the language used by (non-evil) casters of Channelling magic, including semi- and hybrid casters.
Moloni- Rumored to be the ancient tongue of the gnolls, now the de facto language of essence users, including hybrid & semi- essence casters and elementalists.
Ran'Dai- Akin to Eckel and (especially) Moloni, but for Mentalism.
Sharshuck- Sometimes called 'the Black Speech' or 'the accursed tongue' this language is common among evil spellcasters, such as warlocks and necromancers, of any realm. Derived from ancient languages of great age, very ancient tomes (usually of forbidden lore, but rarely of general knowledge), grimoires of demon knowledge, etc. are often in Sharshuck. Commonly spoken by demons.

The Sky and Calendars
The Moons
Selenn- A large pale orange moon with a regular 40 day cycle. Completes a transit (orbit) once every three days.
Morlenn- (Sadhya to the gray elves). A small silvery blue moon with a regular 52 day cycle. Transits once a day.
Urtha- Small bright white moon that transits three times a day. Irregular cycles with its phase and brightness following no known pattern.
Toruun- Blue-green moon with variable features and a semi-regular cycle of about 30 days. Sometimes appears smaller or larger.
Balenn- (Commonly called Blackmoon). A glittering black/gray moon with no discernible cycles, Not on the same transit as the other moons and can appear everywhere from overhead to on the horizon at its height. Transits 3 times every five days.

Other Lights Between the Ground and the Stars
Talenna- A bright spark of light that slowly circles Selenn each day. Sometimes casts a shadow on the surface of Selenn.
Faerie Lights- Appear to be 'below the moons and above the mountains'. White, blue, green, or red lights of various hues that appear in the night sky. The move at various speeds, may change direction, appear out of nowhere and vanish. Last moments or hours. Many believe they are related to Essence flows.

The Solar Year- The planet completes a year every 364 days.
High Elven/Human calendar- Developed millennia ago it is the 'default' calendar. Based on the cycles of Selenn most years have 9 months of 40 days each. Each month is divided into 4 'rides' (weeks) of ten days. Every tenth year an “extra” month is added to account for the difference between the solar and lunar calendars. Names for months and days of the ride vary from region to region, but in the Patchwork Lands the months are usually;
Newlight; Coldstill; Lambing; Stormsky; Firstfruits; Highsun; Shearing; Harvest; Firestrike; and on the tenth year Jubilee (which is added between Firstfruits and Highsun).
Days of the ride are usually;
Moonday, Twoday, Threeday, Fourday, Fiveday, Sixday, Fairday, Kingsday, Massday, Restday.
Gray Elven Calendar- Based solely on Sadhya (Morlenn) the year begins in Spring and has 7 months of 52 days each with no lesser division. Sometimes used in legal records for clarity.
Dwarven Calendar- Purely solar with a simple count of days. Traditionally every day evenly divisible by 5 is a rest day and the 4 days leading up to the Winter Solstice are a festival.

People and Places Beyond the Patchwork Lands
The Holy Order of the Golden Eagle- An order of paladins of proven mettle.
Society of the Shroud- A group of necromancers, sorcerers, warlocks, and other evil people dedicated to murder, destruction, and undeath.
The Cousins- Assassins and murderers for hire.
The Bright Order- An alliance of adventurers dedicated to protecting civilization from monsters and the forces of evil.
The Brotherhood of the Quatrefoil Banner- A secret society dedicated to magical research; opposes evil.
The Guild of Making- Alchemists and such of all sorts.
The Order of the Purple Star- Seers, Mystics, Astrologers, and Mythics.
The Academy of War- An alliance of warriors that focus on warfare, especially against humanoids and evil forces.

The Shadowlands- East of the Black Mountains, the remains of the Empire are full of ruins, fell beasts, undead, and unsavory characters.
The Greatwood- A massive forest north and northeast of the Patchwork lands, with the Sea of Grass beyond. Home to enclaves of elves and gnomes in the south, less saavory things to the north.
The Sea of Grass- Stretching vast distances beyond the former Empire, the Sea of Grass is home to various nomads, scattered trade cities, and strange creatures.
The Hot Sea- The strait between two continents is flanked by 2 active volcanoes (the Pillars of Fire) and surrounded by the Hot Sea where magama, deep sea hot springs, and elemental actions heat the sea to the point is steams.
Starspire- A massively tall mountain with an observatory near its peak; a focal point for astrologers.
The Plain of Shimmering Lights- One a far continent is a remote mountain plateau. On certain nights when the moons are right faint lights shimmer over its surface. It is said that when the stars are aligned gateways to other worlds open.
The Sorcerers' Isles- Far to the South are islands ruled by foul spellcasters who use their magic is lure in the unwary.
Cen'Lu Ur'thaa- In a hidden alpine vale is a massive city carved into the circling mountains. Once the capitol and pride of a High Elven empire, it is now home to terrible monsters.
Arbathan- Once the tallest peak on the drowned continent of Altaris, it is now the island home of the descendants of the royal family of the Altari.
Arzha Teleri- Altari city-state on a southern continent.
Eresh Kagol- Last city of the High Elves.
Cirda- Island home of Lord of the Gray Elves.
Black Mountain- (Called Durthon by the dwarves). Home to the King of the Iron Dwarves and seen as the last remnant of the Dwarven Empire.

Sepultar the Vile- Semi-mythical leader of the Shadow Lands.
The Grand Sorcerer- Leader of Sorcerers' Isle.
Ka'Marg the Fierce- Ruler of an Orcish kingdom on a western continent.

Orion the Doughty- Rumored to be the most powerful living magician.

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