Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stânfolde Part 2 - Races


(I've only extracted the fluff part of the character creation document to save space. The original includes the racial bonuses if different from the PHB.)

There are several different races available in the Stânfolde region. While most of them can be found in the Player’s Handbook, there are significant enough differences that each race will receive a full write up below. This will include both descriptions of the race and their statistics.

One overall difference between the races of Stânfolde and those presented in the Player’s Handbook is that there is less friction and difference between the races. To give something of an idea of the difference, consider that a dwarf visiting an elf village will be less like an American visiting China and more like an American visiting Europe. There are common institutions shared between all the races so a human could go to a dwarf, elf or halfling settlement and expect to find common currency, language, religion and organizations. While the races do each have their own culture, they can all feel somewhat comfortable with each other.

While they don’t have a society of their own, the plane touched are very prevalent in these lands. Aasimars are those who can walk about in daylight as they are revered and respected for their celestial heritage. Much like their celestial ancestors, aasimar tend to be kind, honorable, and proud. They normally live among humans, often becoming heroes and leaders of their communities as they continuously strive to bring justice and prosperity to their mortal kin. Statistically, they are templates and not a race unto themselves. The following modifications are applied to an already existing racial template.

Among the races dwarves are best known for their hardiness, be it in battle, in their resistance of magic, or in their stubbornness of character. They share a love of justice and stone, carving their lands out of the caves beneath mountains and producing masterworks of weapons, armor, and jewels unmatched throughout the land. The heart of dwarfdom lies in the Thunder Mountains, and the farther one gets from there the more human-like the dwarves become, especially those from the Thûsend Hills.

The dwarves of the Thunder Mountains are a dour and serious sort. While they retain their love of craft and drink, martial and religious matters are considered even more important. The great loss their kin suffered first in the Black Mountains and then they suffered in the battle of Thunder Pass still weighs heavy on them. They are certainly capable of enjoying life – the greatest tavern songs are all dwarven – but when matters get serious they are famous for putting on their “killing face” and not stopping until the job is done.

There are two main dwarf-only territories in the Stânfolde region. The largest and most important are the Thunder Mountains where settlements sit both above and below the earth. The largest of these mountains, Mount Thunor, is their attempt to create as massive a dwarven city as existed in the Black Mountains and by far the larges of their towns. Conversely, the Thûsend Hills near Sûthgeard houses a smaller community dwarves that are mostly refugee clans from the Black Mountains. Along with the many dwarves who have taken up living in human lands they have become very human-like in their attitudes.

The elves of the Luna Silva, or the Moon Elves, are often considered to be the “elder sons” of the races. This is more due to their longevity as it is not known which of the races, if any at all, was created first. Creatures of the forest, elves are renown for their woodcraft and skill with the bow. Everything they do seems to be touched with grace and beauty.

Moon elves see the glory of God in all his creation and choose to see life as a celebration of Heaven despite the pain in the world. Elven church services tend to be joyous events full of singing and even some spontaneous dancing – it is often joked that it is hard to tell a morning service from an evening revelry. It isn’t that they are never serious – a look at all the elven names in the Valley of the Dead will show what they are willing to risk and sacrifice when needed – it is more a matter of trying to find the light when trapped in the dark.

The Luna Silva home to many small elven villages that usually have public buildings and merchants on the ground and homes in the trees. While there is no equivalent to the dwarven Mount Thunor, the total elven population of the Luna Silva is about equal to the number of dwarves in the Thunder mountains. However, there are a larger number of elves mixed in with human settlements as they are often sought to teach archery to militias or called to duty in the clergy.

Sometimes called “halflings” by humans, the hin of the Stânfolde region are immigrants from the hin tribes of the Southern Waste who became more “civilized”. While considered somewhat uncultured and barbaric by the other races (who do not kill a boar and use its bones to make a knife as a coming of age ceremony) the fierceness they showed in battle during the war and the food they provide and has made them welcome members of society. Riding specially bred greyhounds and herding pigs on the plains, the hin have become a very common sight over the last few hundred years.

Hin are a very practical sort, in many ways more so than the dwarves. They have a firm belief in working hard and then playing hard – the work you do during the day, be it herding pigs or killing demons, ends with the day and at night you enjoy they fact that you aren’t working. Perhaps the greatest symbol of their mindset comes from their coming of age ritual. The young hin kills a boar and then must carve it in such a way that every part has a use – his first kukri is made from its tusks and his first mug is made from its tanned hide. Nothing is wasted, whether the use be for work or for fun.

The lands of the hin ranges from the Goodwine to the Brembur rivers – they roam the plains, herding their pigs from place to place. Recently they have been settling down more and penning the pigs in, but these settlements tend to either not last long or exist exclusively for the purpose with trading with others. Over the years, the hin have also learned not to graze on the land of farmers so there are currently few conflicts of that nature, but there is concern that as herds and farms grow that there may be trouble down the road.

The humans of the Stânfolde region are often considered the “glue” that hold all the other races together. Their language is the common language, their towns are the center of cross-cultural exchange. While not endowed with some of the extraordinary abilities of the other races, humans remain a vibrant and active member in the goings on throughout the land.

The tieflings are the offspring of humans and some lower planar denizen. This ancestry causes tieflings to often be shunned by respectable society, driving them to associate with those on the wrong side of the law. Often tieflings grow up with no family or close relations, and few tieflings feel the need to look after other members of their kind. Despite these obstacles, tieflings often have a strong personal drive to rise to positions of power, wealth, and respect. Statistically, they are templates and not a race unto themselves. The following modifications are applied to an already existing racial template.

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