Treatise on Eruna - Page 5 - Myth-Weavers

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World of Farland

A world conquered by evil and ruled by the Lords of Sin; A unique campaign setting designed to be used with all editions of D&D.


Treatise on Eruna

   
I agree about be burned dead.

Beautiful on the draft. Make sure to note in your draft where you need maps and crunchy stats. How long is the word doc now? Also, feel free to copy and paste the Budum-Ishi write up into it.

PART SIX OF AN ONGOING PROJECT (unfinished)

BADALA - DEN OF THE SLEEPING TIGER

One of the most stable and peaceful realms of Eruna is Badala in its far east, cut off from the rest of the world by desert and mountain. It is well-watered and fertile, rich in game and herbs, and many beasts exotic even by Erunian standards that are found nowhere else on the continent; including its national animal, emblazoned on every flag and painted on every door, the tiger.

The Badalans treat tigers with almost religious reverence, calling them 'little cousin' and hoping to be reborn as one after they die, dismissing the notion of an afterlife in a different plane of existence. There is no formal law against harming a tiger, for no Badalan would ever consider it, and the tigers themselves have a curious aversion to hunting Badalans, though their goats or sheep are fair game.

Badala is a nation characterised by confidence. Specifically, the confidence to do what is right, above and beyond such petty things as laws and expectations. It is a nation where an individual who seeks no aid in tending his flocks, or hunting his prey, will be praised and prized greatly; yet if they fall on hard times, help of any kind is offered freely even by strangers. It is a nation where shame comes not from weakness, but in discourtesy and lack of charity, where self-sufficience and community spirit walk hand in hand.

Even the lowliest of its people carry themselves as if they were kings. Truly, there is at least a touch of blue blood in all native Badalans, for their royalty is renowned for both its enormous sexual appetite and its fecundity - it is a rare year when even one queen or princess is not pregnant, or for them to have a single cub in their litter. And in that phrase, many peculiarities of Badala are given an explanation, to those with the wit to see it.

The original settlers of Badala were a rakshasa cult, and as corrupt and monstrous as any such group, yet intensely proud of their devotion. Admittance to the inner circle of the cult was an arduous gauntlet of trials, survival of which was rewarded with lycanthropic infection and transformation into a weretiger. Over time, the cult grew in size and its focus began to shift away from its supposed patron, until the weretigers themselves became the focus of adoration; and, eventually, took on the role of royalty to the young country.

Since then, the kings and queens of Badala are those who have enough of the pervasive lycanthrope blood to achieve the change without assistance - such as a bite or the full moon - and more importantly, who embrace this part of their heritage. To the Badalans, a royal bastard is not one born out of wedlock or to commoners, but one who denies what they are, whether firstborn of the queen herself or child of one of her many relatives.

Much of the peaceful existence of Badala is down to the near-constant patrols of the lycanthropic heirs and their retinues throughout the farms and villages, either on the lookout for unknown potential heirs, or just looking to make some more potential heirs further down the line. Just about every family in Badala can tell half a dozen stories of a young prince or princess arriving on their doorstep, very much in heat and very much willing to join in the work to earn their satisfaction.

Astonishingly, despite their origins, the Badalans of today worship the same gods as people do from Farland to Kale, albeit under different names and forms. Of these, Kantor is becoming overwhelmingly popular in his guise as the warrior-god Idimba, mighty and proud and glorious, typically portrayed as a Badalan king in a hybrid human-tiger shape. Notably, perhaps having been imported from Old Ishia, his more sedate and tempered counterpart in the Badalan pantheon is Bestra in the form of the cow-headed woman, Mother of Gods Droshvanni, and favoured deity of the royal house. More explicit depictions make a point to showcase her suckling the other gods from a pair of udders, including Idimba.

*****

THE IDIMBI AND THE SILVER SCIMITARS

If there is any upset in Badala, it is due to the increasing popularity of Idimba, who is beginning to eclipse Droshvanni in importance. His missionaries, calling themselves Idimbi, the 'little children of Idimba', travel nearly as much as do the royalty and for much the same reason, albeit broadening their family through preaching and conversion rather than sex. In recent years, they have even begun to range into the Cen-Cenla Desert, meeting considerable resistance from the locals.

This has led to numerous minor conflicts that, sadly, typically end in bloodshed and further hostility. The ordinary Badalans do not generally approve of this, but only a very few can bring themselves to condemn the violence. Most of those who do are the ones who have a different personal god than Idimba - the followers of Droshvanni are naturally predominant among their number.

Even within Badala however, the Idimbi missionaries are causing some disturbance by trying to ban silver, on the grounds that it is a holy metal and suited only for the armament of the gods, in particular their own. However, aside from its decorative use, silver is greatly prized in Badala for its alchemical properties, in particular for its value in purifying water. Removing silver from Badala would, aside from upsetting jewelers and merchants, also render the Silver Scimitars unable to live up their name.

Despite what they sound like, the Silver Scimitars are not a mercenary band or warrior assembly, but actually very impressive works of engineering. More precisely, they are a series of mills and aqueducts that channel water through reservoirs infused with alchemical silver, the precious metal periodically filtered out of the supply at certain points by mesh barriers and expert alchemists. The purified water, whether runoff from the mountains or even brought up from the Fornaer Sea, is used across the country for the purposes of irrigation, drinking and even bathing.

If the Idimbi somehow get their way, and Badala is purged of silver, the quality of life in the country would slowly begin to drop. With the aqueducts and reservoirs needing to be dismantled to remove the metal, many farms would struggle to irrigate their crops and water their herds adequately, and it would take decades to rebuild the system afterwards.

An interesting side-effect of these generations of silver-purified water going into the land and the people is that not only are Badalans unable to be cursed with other forms of lycanthropy unless it is by incredibly powerful magic, such as a Wish spell, but if their heritage is fully awoken, even a silvered attack will cannot overcome their resistance to injury. Would-be lycanthrope hunters that attempt to exploit the natural weakness of a were-creature in other lands invariably, and fatally, learn too late that the rules are different in Badala.

*****

CADOCIA - IN THE FROST AND THE FURY

In the northern reaches of Yrrkune, along the Apkaun Bay, the coming of winter can be a time of celebrations and festive joys, of light snows and invigorating storms to stir the soul, and of course, drive fish into the waiting nets for the last great bounty of the year. Those who travel further north, however, soon find themselves in a land where such weather is considered a summertime boon beyond compare.

Cadocia is one of the harshest and most unforgiving of the inhabited lands, breeding a people hardier than any save perhaps the dubiously resilient dwarves of legend. Shrieking winds tear across the frosted steppes where only the sturdiest of stone buildings can remain standing. The rivers are perpetually raging torrents of ice and froth. The mighty pine forest of Hupik and the northern reaches are perpetually encased in snow. To survive here requires an iron will - and caribou. Lots and lots of caribou, also known as the frost elk and the reined-deer.

To the Cadocians, caribou provide literally everything they need to survive. Their furs ward off the cold and skillful fingers can sew them into waterproof coats. Their leather is tough enough to make into sturdy boots, and along with their bones are used as building materials. The antlers can be carved into all sorts of tools. Caribou meat is very fatty and filling, whilst its milk can be made into a fine cheese and its blood into an excellent soup. Even the contents of its stomach, partially digested lichens and mosses, can be extracted and boiled with its organs to make a nutritious, if nauseating, mash.

Most Cadocians are nomadic hunter-herders of the vast caribou herds, often upwards of forty thousand strong, that roam the great Northern and Eastern Steppes, following them on their endless migration and making sure as little harm comes to them as possible. As their competition for this life-giving resource includes everything from wolves and bears, to frost giants and remorhazes, the Cadocians have a tendency to lose more of these battles than they win, but sheer tenacity keeps them going.

The only two major permanent settlements, other than traditional campsites that are often unoccupied for nine or ten months a year, are Majutenos and Laipedos in the farthest north of the country. A visitor to either can be forgiven for thinking them little more than the most provincial and depressing of villages, seeing only a few ugly and squat houses of lumpish granite blocks, but they are cities in their own right - it just happens to be the case that much of them is below the ground, where it is warmer, tunnels carved through ice and compacted snow as underground corridors between homes fashioned out of entire caverns.

Nearly eight thousand people inhabit Laipedos, and over ten thousand live in Majutenos, the populations of both surviving mainly by fishing for the great whales and sharks of the ice floes, and trading with their nomad cousins for caribou goods and Hupik pine to build their canoes. The people of Laipedos are acknowledged as the better seafarers, but it is the caribou migrations passing within a few miles of Majutenos that account for its larger population. More reliable food sources and trade opportunities, after all, do wonders for a city.

As with Yrrkune, the Cadocians are firmly under the thumb of the Dweller in the Wintervale, whose long-standing alliance with the frost giants, and the use of ice trolls to breed a special strain of cold-resistant bazok soldiers, has meant that Cadocia is relegated to a vassal state of least importance. Fortunately, the sheer lack of anything valuable, insofar as the Dweller is concerned, in the land give it a certain freedom of direct oversight. A quota of foodstuffs and furs are presented as tribute each year, the amounts unchanged in nearly two hundred years, and so long as the Cadocians do not try to revert to spirit worship and continue to offer at least lip service to Vornoth, they are mostly left alone.

An exception to this state of affairs is whenever emissaries are travelling between the Wintervale and the Below Folk, the name Cadocians call the derro who inhabit the dreaded forgecity Tumodan only a half-mile below the surface. Then the forces of one or the other will sweep through the tribes and seizing as slaves anywhere from twenty to a hundred unfortunates based on whatever lunatic reasoning the derro are currently using, to offer as a gift to the recipient of the embassy. Those who go to the Wintervale usually survive and are permitted to return home after a decade or two of service. Those who go to Tumodan usually are cut to pieces to serve in multiple unspeakable experiments.

*****

THJATHJIEUL - THE SNOW GNOMES

The vast majority of Cadocian folk tales are impenetrable to outsiders, full to bursting with ideas that few can understand; and most typically reference other, equally strange, older stories and legends that only the very wisest tribal elders can recall more than a verse or chapter of, lost to time after the Wintervale extended its dark power over the land. However, there is one story that the Cadocians tell which resonates with any from beyond the Nameless City, of refugees fleeing a disaster beyond them only to find themselves trapped in a foreign land they were never suited for.

What separates this from other folk tales is the curious name they give to these refugees - Thjathjieul, or the Ice Diggers, a word unlike any other in the Cadocian language and far more reminiscent of the bewildering tongue of the gnomes. To anyone familiar with the equally bewildering gnomish mindset, it would come as no surprise to learn that the Ice Diggers are indeed the descendants of the first gnome kingdoms overrun by the forces of the Wintervale, and in order to escape slavery and death, fled directly through the very heart of this spreading evil to the unwatched wastelands on the other side.

Here, in the exposed frost desert beyond the Dwarf Peaks and the Northern Steppes, the gnomes dug themselves into the miles-thick ice plain and hid away from all who might seek to cause them harm. As they cast aside their old traditions in favour of new ones designed to keep them hidden, the early Thjathjieul needed several generations to master their secretiveness, and some Cadocian nomads inevitably spotted them over the years.

Gnomish ingenuity saw them through these terrible early days. Fantastical contraptions were designed to provide heat and light to the underground, allowing them to plant crops and raise animals, albeit sickly and mutated ones. Even the slightest magical ability became channeled into illusion and trickery, so that any who strayed too close to their homes would find it impossible to proceed further and be turned around without knowing it.

Colloquially, the Thjathjieul may be referred to as snow gnomes, being sufficiently culturally different from their distant cousins elsewhere in the world to be given a different name; but in many ways, at least when there is no immediate danger to worry about, they are little changed from their ancestors. They still maintain their rigid caste system, they still enjoy growing prodigious amounts of facial hair and sculpting it into bizarre shapes, they still think in ways that would seem chaotic to a slaad, and most crucially they still have a marked aversion to hositan - despite there having been no living halfling anywhere within a literal thousand miles of them for over three hundred years.

The labyrinthine home of the Thjathjieul is presently called Kinnanuqomagsakk-adrokimuyaterttaitok - which, roughly translated, means "that place where there is neither bear nor wolf, but also no edible fish or deer" - but has been known by a variety of similarly unpronounceable descriptions as its immediate environment changes. For example, when ice trolls descended from the Dwarf Peaks and remained on the plains for nearly a year, the name included a warning about them, which was temporarily replaced with a reminder that the enemies of an enemy are not necessarily friendly after the trolls were gathered up by Wintervale bazoks for a breeding experiment.

Being entirely and deliberately ignorant of the outside, as far as the Thjathjieul are concerned, they are the last free peoples in the entire world. Anything and everything is a potential servant of the Dweller in the Vale, whom they hold in greater terror and hate than even Vornoth or Grlaarsh - for a god is merely a god, but their servants are a far more immediate, and consistent, danger. Paranoid to the point of delusion, reticent to the point of muteness, secretive to the point of savagery; yet a snow gnome is still a good person at heart, one who longs for the power in the Wintervale to be cast down, and for all the oppressed peoples to walk freely amongst each other again - except for the halflings of course, who can stay right where they are.




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And that is just about all of Eruna done, with the exception of the Greatwall Mountains and a few little compilations of things like names for the Havenish, Sutherlanders, and Cadocians. Those are on their way and will arrive on time for the New Year.

Great stuff, as usual. The rich detail makes it stand out.

And I've just completed Cadocia. I think I have to say that I have an impish...no, a gnomish grin on my face right now.

Snow gnomes— Awesome.

PART SEVEN OF AN ONGOING PROJECT (unfinished)

CHILDREN OF SUN, STONE, AND ICE - THE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE OF ERUNA

There are three great mountain ranges in Eruna, all but sealing its northern borders against Yrrkune and the Wintervale, and running along nearly the entire length of its western shore. Each is home to similarly great creatures, for Eruna breeds size and strength in those who endure these inhospitable landscapes.

Throughout the Mountains of the Sun, the twice-exiled Minotaur Havenish live peacefully and dutifully, holding Bestra as their patron goddess and still remembering her as Athwar-ke, the name and form by which she was known to their ancestors in Old Ishia. Every midsummer, they gather by the sea at First Landing to await the triremes from the Archipelago, and exchange their Asterian children for the Minotaur children born to the Asterian Havenish in the islands. The rest of the year, they herd goats and tend to vineyards, waiting patiently for the day when their sundered people may be reunited.

In the Kuluba Range, the immense ice leopards prowl nigh-impassable peaks in search of prey, often finding it in the Jilans who come in search of their cubs and other exotic beasts. Several ancient white dragons, far from the chill realms that they find most hospitable, slumber for centuries at a time in forgotten caves, each guarded by a small enclave of Aldrans. These fey giants, rare even in their native Belendale, try to keep both the dragons and their magics dormant, for whenever one is roused, the entire southern half of Eruna risks being plunged into an ice age before the Aldrans can subdue these primordial creatures once more.

And in the Greatwall Mountains, the Risarvinnae and the goliaths make their homes. The nomadic goliaths, whose name for themselves is in fact where the word comes from, travel as they please and claim the very highest peaks and plateaus as their own. The Risarvinnae, the hybrid offspring of humans and a now-extinct race of giants called risari, inhabit the ruins that once housed their ancestors; and often welcome goliaths into their halls, though few others have ever been invited within.

In all three cases, a traveler in these lands is most likely to survive an encounter by being polite, if not necessarily friendly. The Minotaurs only fight in self-defense, and whilst the Kuluban Aldrans are quite insistent about not venturing into certain areas, they rarely attempt to kill intruders, but merely drive them off. Self-confidence and bravado are also incredibly useful in the Greatwall Mountains, especially if their owner is clearly outmatched, for it engenders respect among the goliaths and the Risarvinnae.

Of these cultures, it is that of the Risarvinnae which is least known to the outside world, with only a few in Budum-Ishi and the northern villages of Badala truly aware of them. The former, indeed, has a very long-standing debate in the Serpent Council as to how to deal with them, divided into two factions trying to gather enough support from the undecided rest to carry out their wishes. Amhefor the Elder seeks to destroy them, arguing that they inhabit lands that ought to belong to the Ishians; whilst Khesef, the High Priest rasilhi of Vornok-ka, wishes to subjugate them for the greater glory of his god, and to prove himself a greater servant than the Dweller in the Wintervale, worthier of far superior reward and power.

*****

THE RISARVINNAE - THE CONQUERORS OF GIANTS

If any culture is similar to that of the Risarvinnae, it belongs to the Anarians, whose people retain many of the traditions of early humanity and who traveled extensively, even after their distant cousins settled themselves in towns and cities. In many ways, a Risarvinni is a mirror for the earliest humans, their ancestors having been enslaved and devoured by the risari since approximately the time of the grim War of Cleansing in 7012 ER, long before any humans even formed villages, let alone unique cultures.

For thousands of years, they were considered little more than amusing, delicious vermin; to be toyed with and farmed for their meat, or hunted for sport. Modern Risarvinnae refer to them as the Onitsmesgrir, the Sons of Wretchedness, in part for their lifestyle and in part for their final actions. Over the passing centuries, the trickle of escapees from this horror accumulated into a pool of families that lived in eternal fear and hunger of the monstrous overlords of the mountains. As with all true vermin, they bred quicker than they could be exterminated - and eventually, as with any other uncontrolled vermin, they erupted from their lairs in a murderous frenzy.

The risari had become complacent and though they had the strength to slaughter their attackers, most were simply driven mad by the sight of their own blood, or their homes being burned, and offered little resistance. The initial bloodshed was terrible enough, for all the justification it had, but what followed remains the shame of the Risarvinnae to this day, and they do not speak of it without good reason. Suffice to say, by the time the first true dulim were sighted, and the great king Fingalion returned to lead his people in their war, there was nobody either fully risari or fully human in the Greatwall Mountains.

Centuries passed and the hybrid descendants of this monstrous time finally began to learn the rudiments of civilisation, mainly from the Ishian explorers who tried to chart a route through the mountains into Yrrkune, although Ishia collapsed long before they could be called truly civilised. Having been given a taste of the modern life, at least for what it was five thousand years ago, the Risarvinnae began to rebuild and restock the crumbling edifices of their ancestors.

Somewhere between the founding of Farland itself, and the Twin Kingdoms of Zeland and Orland, the Risarvinnae reached the peak of their culture; and there, as far as they were concerned, they have remained for the past four millennia. It has only been in the last two hundred years that they have given more than token thought to the outside world again, as the ancient routes through their territory have become traveled again by Ishian and Kunese merchants.

*****

MODERN RISARVINNAE - A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS

To call the Risarvinnae primitive is to be generous. Flint tools and fur clothes predominate among many of the tribes, and a weapon so complicated as a bow is rare. They have no written language, not even the peculiar hieroglyph pictography of Old Ishia, nor any understanding of art so advanced as cave painting or even dyes. Jewelry is virtually non-existent and tattoos, even as decorated scars, are equally rare.

The domestication of animals is a thing they have heard of and scarcely believe, and the idea of planting crops is one they consider ludicrous. Money and property are both acknowledged as being very important to other people, but exactly why is beyond them. A small item might have a sentimental or practical value that restricts its use to others, but in general everything is shared equally among the members of a Risarvinni tribe.

And yet, they have available to them everything they could possibly need to advance culturally. Their spoken language is remarkably complex and adaptable. Engineering projects such as bridges and even aqueducts are not unknown to them. The mining and smelting of many metals is commonplace, and the thick forest provides plenty of charcoal for making steel. One specialist tribe even pursues the study of magic to the exclusion of all else.

Part of seems to be that they simply do not wish to change their ways, for those have worked well enough to keep them alive and healthy through even the toughest times. A Risarvinni hunter cannot kill more prey with a steel-tipped spear to justify the time and effort to make one over a flint-tipped spear. A Risarvinni engineer might design a bridge of stone and iron, or just cut down a nearby tree if the path is to be temporary. The knowledge is passed down from generation to generation, but only rarely is put to its fullest use, and then only when a Risarvinni leaves the Greatwall Mountains.

*****

YLSMYR AND THE ASLAUG - RISARVINNI RELIGION

The Risarvinnae are a monolatreist society, who acknowledge that others believe more than one god exist, but themselves offer praise to a single deity, whom they name Ylsmyr and which means, roughly, an impossible achievement, or perhaps a paradox. Stranger still, they treat their god as a type of celestial relative, and can thus be praised or blamed for everything with equal fervour. It is not uncommon for a Risarvinni who has had a spate of bad luck to stand under the open sky and threaten the deity with a severe beating for his apparent capriciousness.

Although Ylsmyr has been sometimes described as a local version of Kantor or possibly Thranton, the truth is very different, evinced by the fact that the few true Risarvinnae clerics do not receive spells or powers related to either god; but rather those of death and destruction. In life Ylsmyr was a nameless and bestial terror of the Onitsmesgrir, and the one who inflicted the worst atrocities upon the risari, attracting the attention of Grlaarsh. Upon his death, the god took his spirit and hid a portion of his own essence within, to serve as a type of divine phylactery should the worst happen and he lose his war against Vornoth.

Viewed in the best possible light, Ylsmyr is a half-formed analogue of the archdevils of Barathus and demon princes of Malor, a reservoir of all the hope drained by the planar energies of Carcus - but it is hope reserved for the Death God, and no other. Ylsmyr himself, interestingly, has grown to view Grlaarsh as something of a jailor, and Carcus his prison; as apparently the thousands of years of worship by his mortal descendants have completed him and made him into more than merely a vessel for the survival of Grlaarsh.

One of the reasons for the Risarvinnae being stuck in the past is the the emulating of their solitary, savage deity by their leaders. The tribal chieftains are exclusively male, gaining and retaining their position through duels with challengers who believe themselves to be the strongest and fiercest man in the tribe. Whilst these brutal fights are encouraged to ensure only the best man leads, the baser inclinations of the combatants are kept in check by the Aslaug, the exclusively female priest-caste.

Formed during a time of plagues and famines that almost killed them all, the Aslaug are charged with keeping the Risarvinnae alive at any cost, being literally trained from birth for this purpose. Even the chieftains, whose word is normally law, must yield to the commands of an Aslaug, or risk being torn limb from limb should his decision prove to have endangered the tribe. With chieftain and priestess both possessed by a violence more risari than human, it is no wonder that the Risarvinnae are so rigidly bound by the traditions their leaders espouse.

The term Aslaug actually translates as 'the wife of a god', and the Risarvinnae believe them to be the earthly incarnations of the female power, necessary counterparts to Ylsmyr - a personification of the male power in many ways - and at whose side they will stand, deified in death, to uplift the worthy to join them in eternal life, or damn the unworthy to suffer in recompense for their sins.

The Risarvinnae say that Ylsmyr, though omnipotent, is weak and directionless without his wives; that all the harm in the world comes from him forgetting to stop a disease or injury from happening, or unleashing a hurricane instead of a mere rainstorm, and it will be the Aslaug who set him straight as they did the Risarvinnae. Eventually, they say there will be enough Aslaug at his side to keep his mind focused, at which point everything will become perfect forever.

Any mother may offer up her newborn daughter to the Aslaug for testing, though as failure is extremely likely and carries with it severe penalties, including death of infant and mother both, it is customary for a mother to do this only when she knows she will have no more children. If she has other children that still require care, it is similarly customary for them to be taken in by the Aslaug who carried out the sentence of death.

Should those children be unweaned babies, the task is made easier by a bizarre aspect of Risarvinni biology - even if they themselves are not mothers, Risarvinnae women can start producing milk in a matter of hours from when a baby needs it, the sound of its hunger acting as a trigger if it continues for long enough. This astonishing ability not only remains throughout a Risarvinni woman's life, but can actually increases in potency as they age, with the eldest women being theoretically able to nurse every baby in the tribe.

Unusually for a priest-caste of this type, the Aslaug are granted neither greater nor lesser freedoms than any Risarvinni woman, nor are they proscribed from pursuing any interest or full livelihood outside of upholding the traditions, with but a single exception. As the Aslaug are 'wedded' to Ylsmyr, they are required to remain faithful and celibate, understood as the sole misfortune of being a mortal married to a physically-absent god.

>>>>>

UNIQUENESS OF THE GOLIATHS OF FARLAND

Note to
Note to Farland and me: Suggest putting this and other similar notations in sidebar form. Also must create said similar notations for things like ki-rin and tlincalli, or possibly have a foreword containing all the notations...
readers:
A broad outline of the Goliath race and its mechanics can be found in the official Wizards of the Coast publication "Volo's Guide to Monsters", ISBN 978-0-7869-6601-1. The below is an expansion designed for the World of Farland setting, drawing heavily from the 3rd edition version found in the official Wizards of the Coast publication "Races of Stone", ISBN 0-7869-3278-3. Included are the Lithoderm Gifts that also contain the official Goliath quality of Stone's Endurance.


Goliaths are perhaps the rarest of any race not called gnomes. Other than a lone tribe or two wandering far from any other, they are found exclusively in the Northern Teeth beyond Anaria, and in the Greatwall Mountains dividing Yrrkune from the Cen-Cenla. As nomads, they do not truly share their home with anyone, though they often meet and trade with the Anarian seal tribe, the Einar; and are closely aligned with the Risarvinnae, both of whom see a lot of themselves in the other.

Both groups of the goliaths continue to speak their language Gol-Kaa in much the same way as their earliest ancestors did, and can understand each other perfectly well despite complaining about the atrocious accent; however, they write it using very different alphabets, the Anarians using their own variation of gnomish script and the Erunians using classical dwarf runes that date back to the founding of Wawmar.

If their habits were known to each other, the Anarian goliaths would probably be disparaged as little better than lowlanders by their Erunian cousins, for they often camp in the Forsaken Valley and even go fishing with the Einar; abandoning many traditions and customs in favour of Anarian ones. The Erunian goliaths, on the other hand, would doubtless be accused of having chosen to abandon the wrong thing entirely, namely the aged and infirm members of a tribe who cannot keep up, and are not seen as worth spending precious resources on keeping alive.

A goliath respects the three virtues of strength, skill, and fairness. Of these, it is fairness that is most important, and to accuse a goliath of cheating or being unjust is a very serious matter. For example, the Anarian goliaths have the same love of competition as their Erunian cousins, but as their only outside opponents are the ordinary human Anarians, their sense of fair play needed assuaging. To this end, they developed an enormously intricate system of handicaps and points to apply in order to give the Anarians a fair chance at winning any competition both races are involved in.

As a more serious example, among the Erunian goliaths the abandoning of their weak is not the death sentence it would be for the Anarian goliaths - instead, they are taken to the nearest Risarvinni tribe to be adopted as an adviser or teacher, until they die naturally or cannot stand being in one place any longer and just walk away one day to die alone. This is seen as a fair compromise between the necessity of leaving behind the weak so as not to endanger the tribe, and the desire to be merciful to their kin and friend.

In every goliath tribe, there are five major roles that are taken by those most suited to the position, for the goliaths aim for nothing if not justice in these assignations - the chief, the skywatcher, the adjudicator, the lamenter, and the tent-mother. Daily positions of authority are given to individuals for specific purposes, such as leading a hunting party or foraging expedition, rotating these positions so everyone has a chance to prove their worth.

A chieftain must be calm and rational, able to make decisions and accept censure for mistakes, including stepping down if too many are dead. A skywatcher is usually a cleric or druid, responsible for the spiritual health of the tribe, and for reminding them not to over-harvest an area of resources. An adjudicator knows the laws of the goliaths, listens to complaints, resolves grievances, and referees competitions and games. A lamenter leads the celebration of a dead goliath's life, with those of the Erunian tribes also having the grim duty of deciding when a goliath cannot continue to travel with the tribe anymore and must be treated as though they were dead.

The most enduring role, and the only one that is gender-specific, in a tribe is that of tent-mother, usually given to the same female. It is her job to look after the infants and children whilst their parents are working, from teaching the fundamentals of good behaviour and laws, to nursing the babies as yet unweaned. Astonishingly, and a little inexplicably, goliath women share with the Risarvinnae the ability to produce milk when a baby needs it, even if they are not mothers. A tent-mother also has the important duty of deciding when a child has strength and learning enough to be made into an adult, and leads the ceremony marking the end of childhood.

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LITHODERM GIFTS - ALTERNATE SPECIAL QUALITIES

A goliath's lithoderm pattern and colouration is believed to indicate certain things, such as good fortune or resilience, and in many cases a goliath does seem to possess the qualities its lithoderm indicates. Whether this is due to some latent magical ability, or is mere coincidence, is ultimately irrelevant to the goliaths, and they do not question it. When creating a goliath character, you may pick one Lithoderm Gift to have.

Eagle's Sight: Your eyes are as powerful as that of a great eagle. You have advantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks requiring sight, and advantage on saving throws against being blinded.

Fate's Fortune: Your destiny is too great to be thwarted by mere mortality. The first time you are reduced to 0 hit points, you automatically become stable. After benefiting from this trait, you can't benefit from it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Glacier's Will: You have a mind as focused and implacable as a glacier. You have advantage on all saving throws against being charmed or frightened. If you fail such a saving throw, your confidence is shaken so that you cannot benefit from this trait again until you have finished a long rest and succeed on another one.

Mountain's Strength: A mountain withstands all time throws at it and so do you. The first time you will suffer a level of exhaustion, you instead do not. After benefiting from this trait, you can't benefit from it again until you finish a short or long rest.

River's Course: Water goes where it wills, as do you. Any movement speed you have or gain increases by 5ft. You also gain advantage on saving throws against paralysis, unless you fail such a saving throw and thus drain your energy. You can regain advantage by completing a long rest.

Stone's Endurance: You can focus yourself to occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Storm's Fury: The opening seconds of battle are when you hit hardest. Your first melee weapon attack in combat has advantage on attack and damage rolls. After you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Wind's Grace: Some say it is easier to wrestle the wind than to catch you. You gain advantage on all rolls made to escape a grapple.

Other than correcting mistakes, this is done. So yeah. Happy New Year.

Beautiful. I’ll email you.







 

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