The Known Races of Ereth
There are many races of beings living on Ereth, not all are known to man. These are the races that you will be most likely to encounter in game. Only those marked with an * are available as player characters.
To play a dwarf you must wear gray or brown face make-up. Male clan elders are always bearded. If you want to play a male clan elder, you must wear a beard. Dwarves dress in simple tunics and braies of earthen colors. The different strongholds have traditional plaids denoting their clan. So far, no specific plaids have been chosen, so if you have a favorite you can designate that as your clan plaid. Both males and females commonly wear leather or metal armor and helmets.
The preferred dwarven weapons are adapted from tools; picks, hammers, axes and maces. They like large, bashing weapons. This doesn't mean you have to fight with a big battle axe if you are a dwarf, but it would be in character.
They live in strongholds built around their mines. Only clan members are allowed inside. Small villages outside the walls are trading centers and accommodations for travelers. Dwarven magic is drawn from their god, Morgen. They have little use for non-dwarven magics.
Dwarves are sometimes banished from the strongholds as punishment for crimes against the clan. That could be a player's motivation for being in another country, or a good cover if your dwarven character has some other reason for traveling about.
Playing an Elf involves wearing elf ears and having an elf stone [a faceted jewel] on your forehead. Forest Elves have green elf stones; Coastal Elves have blue elf stones. Wild Elves wear yellow stones. Elves of Ereth are very close to humans in appearance. In fact, if an elf covered his pointed ears and his elf stone, he could pass quite easily as a human. They are somewhat longer lived, typically reaching the age of 150-200 years.
Elves wear simple tunics and leggings. Their more formal dress is usually elegant silks and fine satins. When traveling, they wear what is most appropriate to the region.
They live in small enclaves in forested and coastal regions. There are currently some conflicts within the Elven communities. Usually somewhat xenophobic, some Elves have recently taken up residence in non-Elven communities. An Elven player character could be an exile, or possibly a trader or mercenary.
The Elves in this area are a lost colony who came here by ship many years ago. They came from Tu'Atha, an Elven kingdom far across the ocean. They have been here about 800 years. They worship the Elven gods and goddesses of their homeland.
Glimmers have golden skin with a metallic sheen. Player characters must wear gold face make-up. Their hair can be any color, usually with glittery highlights. Some even have eyes of a metallic color. Some glimmers have pointy elf ears, some have human ears.
Glimmers wear bright, colorful clothing, with a preference for fabrics with gold in the patterns or golden threads in the cloth. Both males and females wear lots of colorful, jingling jewelry. They love precious metals and gems, anything that glitters and catches the light.
Unless, of course, they don't wish to be seen.
Glimmers are great travelers and can be found in any area. They have a clan based social structure. They are popular entertainers. Their priests and priestesses are great dramaturgists and wield impressive magical abilities. They are adept traders and love to barter. Their reputation as thieves and con artists makes them untrusted by most other races.
No problem coming up with a reason for a Glimmer to be in Haefen. Glimmers show up anywhere they like.
Humans on Ereth are as variable as they are in our own world. They have many different religious beliefs and many different styles of governing themselves. They usually live in cultures with some form of central government.
Some cultures are very sophisticated and some are quite primitive. Most of the human cultures of Ereth are similar to medieval earth, although some human barbarian societies are closer to Orcish clan systems.
As a human player character, you can choose a country of origin from the ones supplied in our books, or you may create your own. Feel free to bring in your own ideas.
It's a big world, choose your place in it. If you want to be an exiled King, you just have to come up with a location for your kingdom. Most nearby locales are already spoken for, but you can be from a far off, never heard of country if you like. Create the type of culture you need to explain your character's background, aptitudes and skills.
Ogre player characters have the option of playing a sophisticated city dweller, the Al-Zamin, or a noble tribesman of the nomadic Al-Nisrae.
The Al-Zamin are frequently merchants, traveling priests, or mercenaries. It is not uncommon for Al-Zamin to become adventurers.
Al-Nisrae, on the other hand, rarely leave their tribe.
If you play an Ogre character you must wear blue, green or black face make-up in the area around your eyes. You may also have blue or green hair, although this is not required. The Al-Nisrae frequently have tattooing or scarification. You must have at least one tusk or a good reason why you lost it. You should wear traditional Ogre dress or have a character history to back up why you are dressed differently.
City dwelling Ogres wear flowing caftans over full, loose fitting pants with vests, shirts, or tunics. The women frequently add layers of veiling over the pants. A turban, scarf, or keffiyeh and agal usually covers the head. The types of fabric reflect the wealth of the wearer.
Typical Al-Nisrae clothing is made from lightweight cotton fabrics in light colors. The men tend to wear blousy pants with tunics, while the women are invariably found wearing skirts and halter type tops. During the colder months, they tend to wear layers instead of thicker garments. For headwear, they employ scarves or the traditional keffiyeh and agal.
Ogres inhabit the eastern desert. They have had settlements and ancient cities as long as there has been any recorded history. There is no evidence of ancient Ogre cities in the far southern deserts, although many nomadic Ogre tribes claim to have originated in the south.
The city dwellers, the Al Zamin, are ruled by the iron hand of the hereditary Qatchah of Qabara. The Khons, leaders of the Al-Nisrae, honor the Qatchah and help to defend the borders of Qabara, but follow their own ways.
The relationships between the nomads and city-dwellers are complex and rich in history. Check out the Ogre supplement guide.
Orcs have human coloration, pig-like snouts, and up to four tusks. The males are generally larger than the females. They fall into the normal size and strength range for humans.
You must wear a pig snout and tusks to play an Orc. Orcs typically wear rustic clothing, but Orcs living in other societies may adopt different clothing styles depending on the character history. Most Orcs prefer bold, heavy jewelry. Males wear trophy belts displaying proof of their fighting skills. Unmated females wear their hair loose. They add a braid for each mate they take. The number of rings in their ears denotes the number of children they have born.
Orcs usually live in extended family groups belonging to loosely bound clans. Males are warriors or beast handlers. Females perform all other types of work. Males are highly disrespectful of men who do "women's work". Young males frequently set off on their own as mercenaries. Orcs are usually uneducated. They consider their own customs and ways as normal and think everyone else is weird, misguided or just plain wrong.
The Orc home territory is to the south of Altoria, within the Wild Lands. They have a few small villages that they struggle to defend against the goblin tribes. The expanding Dwarven Kingdoms drove them from their original territories.
Little in Rover's physical appearance sets them apart from other humans; except their brashness and dashing demeanor. They definitely get your attention. Rovers dress flamboyantly; the men in loose, gathered pants and full sleeved shirts or tunics; the women in many layers of skirts. Both sexes wear flowing capes and shawls. Layer on accessories like scarves, sashes, and vests; wear rich, dark colored clothing with lots of heavy, ornate trims and you'll be dressed appropriately. Tattoos are common among Rovers of both sexes. Males and females frequently use heavy eye make-up and wear jeweled facial ornaments. Partial to silver and turquoise jewelry, Rovers layer on many necklaces, bracelets, and rings at once. They prefer large dangling earrings.
There are six Rover clans, each having their own ways and customs. Rover clans are led by hereditary leaders called Khazair. Legends have them originating in the Southern Deserts. They are a nomadic people and travel widely. Rovers have the most extensive herb lore of any race. They are masters of poison and potion lore.
Quick tempered and intolerant of other's ways, they are a gregarious people among their own. They love festivities and social gatherings. Arrogant, overbearing party animals; Rovers are great fun to play. They are heavily involved in the commerce of this world and can be found in all areas. Rovers are mercenaries, merchants, spies, and couriers. A Rover has an excuse to get into just about everything.
Players must wear fangs. Some vampyres have no pigmentation at all while others could easily pass as fair skinned humans. Vampyres of Magoria dress in the finest clothes made from the richest fabrics. They are noted for their elaborate hats and headdresses. Magorians always try to outdo one another with their latest millinery creations.
The cities of Magoria are sophisticated and wealthy. Few Magyars live outside the cities. The farms and villages are left to the commoners, usually humans. The humans of Magoria are slaves to the Magorian nobility.
Hereditary vampyres do not need to drink blood to sustain their life, but they do need to draw the life essence from other creatures. Since most countries other than Magoria frown on this, it could pose some problems.
The official state religion of Magoria is the temple of Lialu. A vampyre who suffers final death is not recognized by the fates, which accounts for the belief among other races that they are without souls.
If playing a vampyre, or anyone from Magoria, you definitely need to read the Kingdom of Magoria supplement. This is a very complex society.
Some races are not available as player characters, even though they are not uncommon in certain areas. You may encounter them in your travels. You should be able to recognize them quite easily.
Dark elves have pale skin, red elf stones, and the pointed ears of all elves. They dress in dark, exotic clothing.
Little is known of their history or culture. They are said to have a matriarchal society. Most contact with them is through the occasional merchant who comes to the surface world. Outsiders are discouraged from entering the subterranean realms of the Dark Ones. Occasional merchant visas are granted to traders. Without a current mercantile visa, outsiders found in their territories are executed.
Goblins, a plague on the world, are small humanoids said to consort with demonic creatures from other realms. It is rumored that Goblin shamans are able to summon these demons. Their twisted magic has warped areas in the Wild Lands so that few natural plants or animals can live there.
Goblins usually stand between four and five feet tall. Their red skin often has copper highlights. They have many sharp, pointy little teeth, and small, sharp claws. They wear rough tunics and braies dyed red with blood or colored to blend with their surroundings. Goblins often carry the bones of powerful enemies they have defeated.
Goblins guard the Wild Lands, living in tee-pee like dwellings. They keep women and prisoners as slaves. No one has been known to escape the goblin slave pens.
Goblin's swift, deadly raids are one of the greatest fears of any border town. The goblins often capture strange beasts and unleash them near settlements.
Though most kingdoms have had little trouble with goblins within their borders, there have recently been rumors of more frequent attacks on isolated settlements. Travelers claim to see large gatherings of goblins in the Wild Lands.
Golums are strange, frog-like creatures who frequent swampy areas. Their diet consists of mostly fish and insects. They are sometimes seen with fishing poles, spears, or nets. Shy and retiring, they are rarely seen out in the daylight hours.
It is said they are fond of music, and are sometimes seen lurking around areas where musicians are playing. They seem to have a compulsion to collect shiny objects. Most people living near Golum habitats consider them a nuisance. They are considered to be mostly harmless.
Golums are intelligent and some can speak the common tongue.
Gribbles are fairly rare, preferring to stay out of sight unless there is a joke to be played. Gribbles are the tricksters of Ereth, spending most of their time crafting more and greater jokes. The easiest way to gain status among the Gribbles is to pull a better joke or to take a really good joke and keep smiling.
Gribbles look like little 2-3 foot tall fuzzy bears with butterfly wings and fangs. The fangs are mostly pretense, since although these little teddybears will gladly eat the occasional bird or fish, they don't like red meat and never attack large animals unless it is to drive them away from a clan perch. They prefer to eat fruit, especially fruit with rinds or cores that they can throw down on Big people who walk underneath them.
Gribble clan system is simply an easy way to refer to the loose, large family units. These can contain anywhere from 10 to 40 or 50 Gribble adults, with easily twice that number of children. Of course, since Gribbles live lifespans of easily 200 years, and are considered children for around the first 150, you can quickly guess that age has little to do with adult status. You are considered an adult in Gribble society when you manage to pull a successful prank on the whole clan, or at least a large portion of it, or when you accumulate a lot of treasure. Each clan has their own perch, which is nothing more than a huge glorified treehouse. These perches can extend for 7-10 trees, and often include hollowed-out rooms inside the trees if they are big enough.
Gribbles are drawn to shiny things, especially shiny things belonging to other people. They consider the act of liberating such shiny things to be almost an art form, and they are quite the little artists! The few people who have had 'pet' Gribbles soon realized that they lost more valuables to their pet than was usually worth it. There is the story of the miser who had a pet Gribble. One day he realized his fortune was disappearing. When he set a trap to catch the thief, it was his pet... and about 30 other Gribbles his pet had invited in, to share in the joke.
Gribbles have an intelligence level high enough that they can occasionally learn to communicate well with their Big friends. Most won't bother to learn more than a few words, but the Gribbles that associate with humans, elves, etc. often quickly pick up Common. Their few sages, who they refer to as DreamMappers, also tend to pick up Big language.
They get along well with Pixies, who regard them as brothers in mischief. They get along terribly with Orcs and Ogres, who regard them as fun things to smash and annoying pests. Humans and Elves, in general, se them as a nuisance, but a cute and therefore tolerable one.
The standard Gribble powers are: Levitation, Invisibility, and Escape. Levitation 'cause their wings can't possibly keep them up, Invisibility 'cause somewhere along the line a Mage decided that yes, Gribbles could get worse, and proceeded to prove it, and Escape, which ingame means that if you're chasing a Gribble and he calls Escape, he got away. No ifs, ands, or buts. If you aren't a very powerful mage, that is the last you will ever see of that Gribble. Some Gribbles also have the power to cause minor illusions, enough to disguise themselves for a casual inspection, but not good enough to stand up to a determined probe or even a second glance.
You will probably hear traveler's tales of many other strange and exotic beings. Some may be factual, some may only be myths. You'll have to decide for yourself.