The stories preceeding the tale of Claudius and Derlo, set in the fantasy world of Naradun.
 
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 Civilized Races of Naradun

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Renate
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PostSubject: Civilized Races of Naradun   Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:55 pm

These are the races acknowledged as the "Civilized" races of Rindor, the only land that's been fully developed as of yet in the Karadun setting. Most of these races are also found pretty much everywhere else in the world as well, so these are the main species of the world, so to speak.


Humans
- Humans in Naradun are pretty much like in most fantasy settings. They are the most widespread and common race around, and among the more "civilized" races in existence. They don't excel much in magic compared to other races, and they're not exceptionally strong, but they're both versatile and resourceful, and not to forget; Common. Since the majority of Naradun's population consists of humans, a human will generally be welcomed in pretty much any major city or large town or village.

Humans are also known to be among the most tolerant of races, whereas many other races feel a lot of animosity among one another. Most races are welcome in human settlements, while many other races would go as far as denying one another entrance because of one's racial features alone.

An average human lifespan is 70-90 years.
A human reaches adulthood at the age of 18 years.
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Elves - Elves are very similar to humans in appearance, about the same height and build, only generally slimmer and more elegantly built. They have pointy ears and graceful bodies capable of far more agile movement than their clumsier cousins, the humans. They are less sturdy however, lacking the brawn of humans and other more powerfully built races.

Elven society is heavily based around druidism, and they are a very spiritual people who prefer green untamed wilds to cities of stone. Most elven settlements are actually living trees, shaped by druidic magic to serve as biological housing for elvenkind. Some elves have taken to living in more "civilized" areas though, settling in human-based towns rather than living in one with nature. Elves are not as plentiful as humans, but not an uncommon sight across the lands. Elves and humans have over time formed a lasting friendship, and half-elves are not a too uncommon sight either. These combine the natural grace and spiritual connection of elvenkind with the brawn and versatility of the human race.

While the most common study of elves is druidism, many elves also study the arcane arts in order to become powerful magicians. Priesthood and clergy are a rarer sight among elvenkind, as they primarily base their faith on the forces of nature itself, rather than the Gods and other divine beings.

Upon reaching adulthood, an elf will be adorned with tribal tattoos on parts of, and commonly all over their bodies. These tattoos have important historical, religious and traditional meaning to the elves, and not having a tattoo is considered a great shame among elvenkind. Elven tattoos mostly appear as slick swirly patterns, with the occasional star or dot spicing up the intricate lines. The tattoos represent the cycle of life, the moon, the stars and the sun, as well as the bond the elves share with the earth and its spirits. Lacking such a tattoo is among elves a sign of disrespect and unknowingness about nature and her gifts, and as such, an elf unfortunate enough not to receive any tattoos (which happens only rarely) is considered an outcast by his or her kin.

Elves can live for quite some time, many living up to 1000 years before dying.
An elf reaches adulthood when 200 years of age.
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Night Gremlins - Night Gremlins, or Hun'var as they are called in their native tongue, are a short, underground people about the height of a human's chest They're easily recognized by their gray skin, goblin-like appearance and bright yellow eyes. Night Gremlins can see clear as day even in the darkest of night, a side-effect from living in their natural habitat, the underworld. This has also led to most Night Gremlins generally detesting daylight, as it stings their sensitive eyes in a much higher degree than the surface races. Night Gremlins are quite inventive, and rumored to be among the most highly skilled smiths and engineers in Rindor.

Few match their skill when it comes to crafting swift blades, sturdy armor, traps, black powder-based explosives and the likes. Night Gremlins also harness magic to some extent, and many powerful and potent spellcasters hail from the underground realm of Thinya. Night Gremlins are a generally distrusted race, as they are often affiliated with evil. Many times in history have armies of Night Gremlins marched forward along forces of evil and darkness and ravaged entire countrysides, murdering in cold blood. While Night Gremlins are generally allowed to wander freely in most of the civilized parts of Rindor, many are distrustful of the grey-skinned denizens of Thinya. Another reason they are frowned upon is the fact that within their underground realm, Night Gremlins freely allow the arts of necromancy, reaminating the dead and dealing with occult and malevolent powers.

Night Gremlins tend to lack the physical strenght of other races however, and your average Night Gremlin would have great trouble withstanding the blows of a more powerful foe for long. Night Gremlins tend to be deceptive and cunning in their ways, their tactics in battle and war often being resorting to superior technology, stealthy ambushes and downright dirty tricks in order to achieve victory.

A Night Gremlin's lifespan usually reaches 70-90 years.
A Night Gremlin reaches adulthood when 18 years of age.
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Orcs

Orcs are known for their violent, brutish and simple ways of solving things. Orcish philosophy mainly centers around the belief that if brute force does not work, it means you're not using enough of it. They're viewed upon by most other races, even the elves, as both barbaric and crude.

Despite their barbarism though, orcs are accepted into the fold of the Civilized ones, and they're a much valued addition in any army, mostly as frontline soldiers. Few can withstand the full force of a fully armed orcish batallion. Orcs are also quite efficient builders and manual laborers, as an average orc can easily carry a much larger weight than a well-trained, powerfully built human. Orcs are quite popular within pretty much any field including heavy manual labor. Orcs are known for their wild temper though, and a short fuse combined with massive muscles often lead to confrontation. Three out of five barfights are generally started either by orcs, or someone openly insulting orcs in order to start one.

Orcs generally live to be about 120 years old, and an average orc reaches adulthood at the age of 20.
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Nunoki - A nunoki is a dead member of any of the above races brought to life, through the use of a very expensive, complex and powerful spell, which is the only magic of necromantic nature ever to be allowed within the western part of the world. In order to raise a Nunoki, a powerful and experienced wielder of the magical arts will require days of meditation and preparation beforehand, and many rare and expensive reagents in order to perform the ritual. When the ritual is completed successfully, the soul of the subject will be yanked back into its body, and the body will once again be "alive", with many new advantages and weaknesses.

The Nunoki does not have to breathe. However, it will feel hunger and thirst. A Nunoki needs to feast upon the flesh of the living, and drink their blood in order to sustain themselves. What kind of flesh and blood is not important, and Nunoki in the civilized parts of the world are often fed live poultry, cattle and the likes. Nunoki of a more malevolent nature often prefer humanoid flesh though, something that makes the Nunoki a feared and often misunderstood creature.

A Nunoki has far greater physical strenght than it had while alive, and that, combined with an immunity to pain makes them a feared sight on the battlefield. A lone Nunoki will often have a more than fair chance against entire bands of foes. A Nunoki may still be defeated though, as they are not without weakness. Nunoki are very vulnerable to magic of holy nature, such as the prayers of a cleric or priest, or the charms and spirit-magics of a shaman or druid. Being creatures undead of nature they are also subject to many powerful spells otherwise useless against living beings. A Nunoki may also bleed to death, as they need the flesh and blood of living prey to sustain themselves. A Nunoki that is beheaded or pierced through the heart will also nearly instantly die.

Note that a Nunoki will not regain any lost limbs, flesh or similar when created. Because of this, people intending to raise anyone as a Nunoki will generally preserve the body in one way or another, magical or otherwise. It is also common practice to sharpen the teeth of a soon-to-be Nunoki, as humans, elves and such will find it quite hard to tear through flesh without either the use of tools, or, as previously mentioned, sharp teeth. It is important that a Nunoki's internal organs are intact (Restricted to heart, brain and stomach), as they will still need nourishment in death. A Nunoki is quite easily recognized, as its eyes glow with a bright green light, and it will often be unnaturally pale as a result of its death. Many are also stiched together or lack flesh on regions of their body.

Nunoki do not age, and as such they may live until they are slain.
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Animal Aspects - An Animal Aspect is a member of any of the above races born with the aspects of an animal spirit. Each animal in Naradun has a pantheon, a spirit which is the divine embodiment of the very essence of the animal it represents, and occasionally, a mortal will be born with the aspects of an animal pantheon. If the subject is for instance born with aspects of the feline pantheon, he or she will be born with cat-like features on his or her body, as well as having a mindset quite similar to that of a feline creature. A Feline Aspect may also have claws, cat-like eyes, a cat-like grace to one's movements and so on. However, few, if any animal aspects are born with much more than that.

No aspects to date have been born with a tail, fur, scaled body or similar. They merely inherit some of the features, and as previously mentioned, mindset of the animal they represent, although many claim that a deeper, primal power rests within the hearts of the aspects, granting great power to those who know how to unlock it. Animal Aspects are generally stronger, more agile or smarter than other members of their race, depending on which animal they represent. However, they also inherit many of the pantheon's weaknesses. A Mouse Aspect for instance, would have a very keen sense of smell and hearing, and be very agile and quick, but lacking in strenght, and be of an unusual cowardly mindset.

Animal Aspects are extremely rare, and many people live their way through live without ever seeing one. It is estimated that about one out of 1000 children is born as an Animal Aspect. Animal Aspects mostly occur within the more spiritual and druidic races of Naradun, the elves, among others. However, humans, night gremlins and so on also have their share of pantheon-touched individuals. Exactly why or how a child is born as an Animal Aspect is unknown, and a widely discussed theme among scientists and philosophers.

Animal Aspects do not generally live any longer than their kin. As such, a human Animal Aspect would be considered an adult at the age of 18, and probably age and die when around 70-90.
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PostSubject: Re: Civilized Races of Naradun   Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:49 pm

Arvel - The Arvel are an elf-like race of pale-skinned beings, found mostly in the frozen northern parts of Naradun. Your average Arvel stands about six feet from the ground, has a variety of skintones varying from light blue to nearly snowy-white, and generally blueish white hair as well. Their eyes are alight with a pale, blue light and they look like children of the winter spirits themselves (which, according to Arvel religion, they actually are). The Arvel are generally qiute slim, almost frail in appearance, and aside from the skin-tone and other obvious differences, they are quite similar to their elven "cousins".

An Arvel is dependant on living in a cold enviromnent in order to survive. If the temperature around an Arvel at any point reaches below zero degrees celcius, then the Arvel will begin to sweat, get sick, and eventually wither away and die because of the heat. Because of this, few Arvel ever venture from the frozen north to the warmer southern regions of Rindor. Select few of the Arvel however, are granted artifacts known as "Frost Orbs", which generates cold within the bearer's body, thus sustaining a constant freezing temperature within the Arvel it is given. The orbs attune themselves to the Arvel they are given to (usually given by an Arvel artificier or spellcaster), and should another take the orb, the orb would be powerless until it is once again near its owner.

The Arvel are generally rare, and with the rarity and expense of the frost orbs, combined with their general reluctance to leave their frozen homes, Arvel are a very rare sight in most parts of Naradun. Occasionally though, usually on a mission or pilgrimage of sorts, Arvel individuals, or on rarer occasions entire groups, have been spotted travelling throughout the land.

Arvel are known to be exceptionally skilled within the art of magic, and many aspiring young mages look up to the casters of the Arvel race. Not many non-Arvel get the opportunity to learn from the Arvel directly though, as the Arvel tend to be very secluded and distrustful of outsiders. While not necessarily hateful, the Arvel are generally hostile to people not of their frozen kin, and often refer to them as "Lesser beings, basking in the warmth of the accursed sun".

Arvel lifespans are very long, and an average Arvel can live up to 1000 years.
An Arvel reaches adulthood at 200 years.

Racial Traits:
Arvel are quite resistant to frost-related damage, be it magical or otherwise. Roughly 50% of all frost damage directed towards an Arvel is removed.
Arvel are very vulnerable to fire spells. An Arvel will take roughly 50% more damage from any fire-based source.
Arvel have very high amounts of arcana stored in their bodies. An Arvel arcane caster will have roughly 50% more mana than other arcane casters (divine casters, priests etc will not benefit from this).
Arvel are very quick and nimble, often having a higher dexterity than most other races.
Arvel cannot survive in climates with a temperature above -1 degree celcius unless they have a Frost Orb.
Arvel are physically weaker than most other races, in most cases relying on speed or spells rather than strenght.

Further info:
Arvel are generally weak physically, beaten in most cases when faced with the raw physical strenght of humans or orcs, for example. They are, hwoever, like the elves, quite nimble and quick, thus more often prefering light armor and weapons over plate mail and heavy weaponry. The Arvel are poor frontline soldiers, but make excellent assassins in most cases, given their wit and natural speed.
Arvel excel in one field above all others, however, the use of arcane magic. An average Arvel has twice the arcane potency of most other races, resulting in a vast reservoir of mana and sheer arcane power. Where they inherited these powers from is unknown, whether it is from the dawn of the race itself or if they were exposed to some kind of arcane phenomena way back in history. Regardless of how they came to possess this power, they are wielding it, and wielding it well. Arvel rank among the most advanced spellcasters in the world, their magnificent cities of arcane wonder making many a human jaw drop.
Most other races use magic frequently in industry, implementing magic into construction, travel and other purposes. The Arvel have taken this one step further by making magic day of their everyday life. Arvel houses are more often than not filled to the brink with arcana, chairs enchanted to move themselves so that their owner may sit, brooms wipe the floor on their own accord, mirrors in the hallway show their viewers in outfits of their choice and so on.
Arvel society:
Arvel society is based in the land of Arvelaar, where the majority of the population lives today. Arvel rarely venture outside their own lands, prefering the cold confines of their homeland rather than visiting their neighbours, who prefer the "accursed hot lands below". The Arvel haev always been led by a queen, said queen passing the title down to her firstborn daughter upon death. Should the current queen not have a daughter, the closest female relative of the queen is then chosen in her place. Directly below the queen is the counsil, which consists of the leaders of the different factions of Arvel society. There is the general, who commands the Arvel army on behalf of the queen, the magister, who is the head mage in all of Arvel society, the high priest or priestess, who leads the priesthood of the Arvel, the head assassin, leader of the royal order of assassins, and one representive from most other major oranizations, architects, merchants and so on.
Arvel are mostly distant and cold towards visitors, prefering to deal with their own kin rather than outlanders. However, they do realize the importance of their allies, treating them with respect, if not friendliness. Having been included in the Western Alliance, the Arvel have established trade routes in between Arvelaar and Turokhal, as well as the occasional trading vessel being sent all the way to Rindor.
Though Arvel are quite reluctant to leave Arvelaar, some Arvel settlements do exist in the other northern lands, Unaku, Umen and Thak. These settlements are small though, rarely exceeding one hundred individuals. Most Arvel living outside of Arvelaar are outcasts, though some have ventured into the neighbouring lands out of free will. Others again are stationed as scouts in case of northerner activity.
Some Arvel also live in the western lands, mainly Rindor and Turokhal. These Arvel are mostly stationed there because of official business though, as said countries are considerably warmer than the northern lands. Only the northernmost parts of Turokhal are cold enough to support Arvel life at all, other parts of the world rarely dropping below zero degrees celcius in temperature. Arvel living in other regions must resort to frost orbs in order to survive at all, lest they get sick and die.

Arvel Relations:
Arvel as a whole are allied with the western lands, including Turokhal, Rindor, Angul and Nya. Emissaries are sent to each nation regularly to refresh diplomatic relationships and form new trade routs, pacts and the likes. The Arvel and the western races both earn on this, as Arvel artifacts are highly prized and sought after throughout the world. In return, the Arvel recieve exotic goods and foodstuffs from their allies, as well as military aid against the increasingly aggressive northerners and giants.
Arvel are mortal enemies of the northerner humans, a particularly barbaric breed of humans mostly situated in Thak. They are more numerous than the Arvel, and physically stronger. However, the Arvel have more experience in the arcane arts, and they now have powerful allies to back them up. The Arvel are seeking to claim the entire north for themselves, having already claimed large parts of Thak and Unaku as their own. They do however, meet fierce resistance from the local inhabitants, orcs, yetis, giants and northerners. The Arvel and the savage races of the north are locked in a standstill of sorts, neither having the advantage over the other. Also, the westerners are reluctant to aid the Arvel in invading their neighbours, as the northerners prove to be both a problem and a business opportunity for the western lands. Northerners regularly raid the shores of Turokhal, though just as often, they approach the inhabitants of Turokhal and Rindor bringing with them goods they wish to trade with the westerners.
When it comes to the southern and eastern parts of the world, the Arvel are quite neutrally inclined towards both the brown-skinned southerners and the greyish easterners, allowing both free passage within their borders. Arvel have not offered, nor been offered to ally themselves with either side though, well aware of the fact that should they choose to aid the south or the east actively, the other side might very well turn against them with hostile intentions.

Frost Orbs:
Frost orbs are expensive artifacts created by powerful frost magic, generating a constant aura of cold around its owner when it is near him or her. A frost orb, while fragile-looking, is quite resilient, able to resist most physical attempts to break it. A solid smash from a heavy warhammer would be enough to break one without much trouble though.
Frost orbs are roughly the size of a fist, and are often pierced so that they may be attached around an Arvel's neck, strapped to a belt, mounted on a staff or the likes. The orb must be within 3 feet of its owner, or it will cease to function, dependant on the owner's unique aura in order to work at all. If the owner dies, or the orb is removed from the owner, it will be nothing but a light blue transparent orb. When near its owner however, it will glow with an eerie cold light.
The air around an Arvel must be at least -1 degree celcius, to prevent the Arvel from growing sick from the heat and eventually dying. The orb generates a constant temperature of -4 degrees celcius, keeping its owner nice and cold no matter its surroundings. Exceptions do apply though, as if an Arvel for instance is hit by a fireball, it will be too much heat for the orb to handle. The orb will also not be of much use if the Arvel decides falling into lava or climbing into the mouth of a red dragon is a good idea. The orb protects its wearer from the environment, rather than nullifying sudden extreme changes of temperature.
Frost orbs are quite expensive, and are very complex artifacts which require a lot of skill within the arcane arts to construct, as well as several hard to come by materials. Upper class Arvel will often be in possession of Frost Orbs, though the middle and lower class Arvel will in most cases not to be afford one, except if they are given one for one reason or another.
Frost orbs are constructed by wizards, and the wizard who constructs the orb decides whom it should belong to. Once the wizard hands the orb over to its designated owner, the orb will attune itself to the owner's aura, binding itself to it so that it may not be used by any other.

Arvel throughout the world:
Arvel are as mentioned before rarely found outside of Arvelaar. However, some individuals may choose to venture out in the wide world for much the same reasons as other races, be it lust for adventure, fame, glory, fortune, money, whatever they fancy.
The problem most adventurous Arvel are confronted with though, is the inability to survive in most parts of the world. Only the wealthy among the Arvel can afford a Frost Orb, which results in most Arvel venturing out in the savage world outside their frozen home being waylaid and attacked by bandits quite often, the assailants often assuming their target is rich, which is in most cases true.
Individuals of the middle or lower class to exist though, who seek adventure in the lands beyond the north. These are more often than not Arvel who have in one way or another proven themselves worthy of carrying a Frost Orb, be it by performing a heroic deed for their homeland or by saving up a large amount of gold in order to purchase an orb. Some Arvel may of course have a family member or a close friend who is able to make a Frost Orb, recieving an orb as a precious gift.
Arvel are often met by distrust in the outside world, mostly because they are quite secretive about their own society, though not as much as the night gremlins. Arvel have a tendency to think themselves above all other species (which is, geographically correct), often meeting their allies and foes alike by a certain arrogance and aloftness.
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PostSubject: Re: Civilized Races of Naradun   Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:49 pm

Major Arvel Cities:
All Arvel cities are located within the borders of Arvelaar. The largest of them would be Arveldross, which is the capital city. The city is located in the middle of a vast tundra, and is a spectacular sight to behold. Amidst the ice and snow towers gargantuan frozen spires, massive icy spikes carved into mighty towers which the Arvel inhabit. Giant crystals slowly hover around many of these spires, their purpose unknown to most outsiders. Perhaps they are there to please the eyes, perhaps they serve some other purpose.
The massive spikes are connected by large bridges of ice and stone, wide enough for large crowds to walk in between the spires with ease. Below the spires is the lower city, which is where the middle and lower class live. The spires are inhabited mostly by the nobles. The lower city consists of somewhat more humble abodes, also carved out from ice. These are however, more roughly shaped, looking like an icy version of the night gremlin cities of Thinya, albeit more elegant and not as small.
Eshanti and Tandakh are constructed in a similar way, although less spectacular and more practical than fanciful in appearance. They are also only about one fourth the size of the massive city of Arveldross. Silverhaven, the only coastal city in all of Arvelaar is more influenced by western construction methods, consisting of houses and towers made of stone and wood. Most outlanders also prefer living in Silverhaven, making the port city more of a mix between all races rather than an Arvel settlement. Arvel are still the most numerous people in there though.
No Arvel cities exist outside of Arvelaar, with the exceptions of minor settlements and outposts in the neighbouring northern lands.

Arvel special classes:
The Arvel offer many unique training options, opening for a few very specialized classes.
Frost Wielder: The frost mage is an Arvel-only option, specializing in the school of frost while forsaking all other schools of magic but arcana. They are able to cast frost spells with far greater efficiency than other mages, and specialize in both highly protective and offensive spells. Frost Wielders recieve many special abilities in addition to their spells, which can be cast without paying any heed to mana cost, rather using a different system.

Royal Assassin: Another Arvel-only option. The Royal Assassin's Guild of Arvelaar is no big secret, anyone with knowledge about the Arvel know they exist. They are the eyes, ears and blades of the queen, sworn to protect her interests by disposing of her foes, as well as dealing with those among the Arvel themselves who defy her. Royal Assassins are feared among the Arvel, as they all too clearly demonstrate what happens to those who defy the reigning power of Arvelaar, killing off their victims and leaving them in public places without any witnesses ever seeing them coming or going. Masters of individual slaughter, the Royal Assassins of Arvelaar have turned murder into an artform.
Royal Assassins are highly trained in the use of poison, daggers, fist weapons, small swords, throwing weapons and hand-crossbows. They fight unarmored, as even light leather armor prevents them from utilizing their speed to its full potential. Royal Assassins are also well trained in the arts of gathering information, stealth, forgery and picking locks, as well as setting up traps.
(Only two so far. Do keep in mind, you do not -have- to choose a class. Classes are there in case you think "Hey cool, I wanna be like that")
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