Book of Black Ravens
All players must be connected to Patriarch Naibi and his family in some way. This could be anything from being his son, daughter, niece, nephew or any of those by marriage. You could be a member of the household guard, a tutor for the younger children, or any other household position.
Patriarch Naibi and his family are human, so if you are one of his direct descendants you should be human as well (if you want to be a Half-Elf or Half-Orc you should talk to me, as that adds complexity to your background). For those not related to him, any of the core races is an option.
The Dwarves are the “oldest” race, born of earth and stone, and are scattered across the land in ancient holdfasts and new mining towns. Their culture varies widely, and they should be considered the “base” race, rather than humans. They form the backbone of many communities, and known for their hard work, fortitude, and stalwart defense of their homes. They are slow to trust, however, and consider most outsiders, regardless of race, with suspicion and caution.
The Elves are an ancient and venerable race, and consider themselves to be the first and only truly civilized race. The Elven Dynasty is far to the East, but a few centuries ago Emperor Wan Zhe sent out a fleet of great tribute ships. These tribute ships sailed the world, scattering and reforming, spreading the word that all nations owed the Emperor tribute. Many of the ships’ captains found ideal places to settle, and new Elven settlements cover the world. A great meteor destroyed the remainder of the fleet, bringing an end to the Age of Tribute, and the Elves have begun to lose their distinct culture, gradually blending in with the local cultures they are surrounded by. “High” Elves represent the traditional Imperial Elves, while “Wood” Elves are the colonists from Tribute ships; however all such communities would have a few families which hold the old traditions and are also “High” Elves.
Much of the southern continent is occupied by Halflings. Semi-Nomadic herders in the great southern desert, they know all the secret paths and hidden oases. They reveal these secrets to any who gain their trust, but brutally slay any who betray them. They are often mocked and feared in equal measure. Many halflings live in hidden fortresses, all but invisible to those who pass by, and some tell of great libraries and magnificent gardens, storehouses of both water and knowledge against the numbing desert heat.
Humans are everywhere, but they have not always been. The vast and fertile grassland of the great steppes is the heartland of the humans, and over the centuries wave after wave of them has swung out of the steppes, horselords and sorcerers, rangers and barbarians, waging war on the Elven Dynasty, the Dwarven strongholds, the Halfling holdfasts, the Dragonborn citadels. Their vast armies sweep across walls and wards, but they have no weight behind them and eventually break apart or drift away, leaving the camp followers, remaining soldiers, and survivors to rebuild. The two places they end up the most, the Elven Dynasties and the A’bul Empire, have many humans and strong intermarriage.
Many consider the Dragonborn to be holders of great knowledge, and indeed they are masters of the forge and leaders in learning. Many merchants travel through their Citadels, and most come back preaching their Gods and bearing great wealth. Protected from both the Humans and Elven Dynastiy, the great Citadels only war with the A’bul Empire. Dragonborn themselves are somewhat rare, but are generally respected and honored, as most Dragonborn found outside the Citadels are wealthy merchants or traveling nobility.
Forming the backbone of the Wild Nations, gnomes were until recently lost in a dark age of barbarism and inter-clan feuding. The great Tribute ships changed all that, and although they are often disparaged as “Halfling-Elves”, the gnomes have adopted many Elven ideas and flourished, uniting against outside threats and developing new nations, which may someday soon be ready for the world stage. Due to their centuries of barbarism, many poor gnomes have been scattered throughout the rest of the world, where they are treated as servants, second class citizens and even slaves.
Most often found in the Elven Dynasty and along its borders, Half-Elves can also be found throughout the human steppes and in and around the Tribute settlements. They are diplomatic, have little culture of their own, and often end up wandering as bards, merchants, diplomats, or vagrants. Recently, however, a self-proclaimed prophet in the Wild Nations has staked out territory and declared it the home of the Half-Elves, and has been sending missionaries out to bring “home” any who wish to join him.
Most often found in the A’bul Empire, Half-Orcs are recognized and treated as full citizens there, along with Humans and Orcs. Half-Orcs are considered by many to be the best of both worlds, with the strength and vibrance of the Orcs but the wit and savagery of the Humans. Although they do not have a land of their own, many within the A’bul Empire are Half-Orcs. Outside the A’bul, they are treated as Orcs would be – generally with a mix of fear and admiration.
This race has not been designed and is not playable at this time.
The Orcs rule the might A’bul Empire, which rests at the junction between the Inner Sea, the Great Steppes, and the Draconic Citadels. The Empire is the home of rich merchants, a powerful army, and wise and powerful wizards.
The Tieflings live in isolated tribes and villages around the world, with other races sending their outcasts and criminals to live in these communities. Strong and vibrant, they are looked down upon by outsiders. Within cities they often occupy ghettos and are feared and scorned.