Adventuring in the Allied Kingdoms of Nora

Also see Adventuring in Aremia, Adventuring in Lorasia, Adventuring in Midgard, Adventuring in Morgenia, Adventuring in Reshaga, Adventuring in Seruzhar, Adventuring in Shao-Wei and Adventuring in Zamunda. Also Adventuring in the Four Brothers Era and Adventuring in the Age of Alexander

There is more wilderness than civilized land in Nora. Ancient nations from many races and cultures have risen and fell. Their mark on the landscape is inevitable. There is much that has not been seen by living eyes in centuries. Creatures of evil plot in the darkness.
There is much adventure to be had.

Table of Contents

Adventurers


Usually referred to as free-riders in general, an adventurer's travels are unusual and exotic. They live by their wits and usually take part in risky courses of action for profit or position.

Adventurers come in many packages. These are the most common in Nora;

  • Free Riders - Also called Free Lancers, these adventurers have taken to the philosophy of Viseth. They travel the land using force (or influence through association with powerful people) to right the wrongs done to the common people.
  • Mercenaries - People who take part in royal sanctioned odd-jobs, bounty hunting or armed conflicts and is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain.
  • Royal Agents - The Invisible Blades of Canstice or the Gwythwyr of Tir'Ein; these agents work semi-autonomously from the crown to ensure lawfulness.
  • Cartographers - Maps of many regions are hard to find as few people chance the danger involved to undertake them. Thus, explorers funded by the compass-society seek out the dark places of the world.
  • Delvers - Also called "tomb raiders" or "grave robbers" as those that specialize in exploring forgotten crypts and dungeons. The term is also sometimes used for thieves and trap makers/disarmers.
  • Outlaws - A person having been issued a Writ of Outlawry which declares them unprotected by Noran laws and usually places a reward for their death or capture. These figures usually become bandits (if not already) or become constantly on the move to keep from being identified.

Destiny

Most adventurers believe in a form of destiny. This is derived from the idea of Ka, or Path. Viseths believe that those who shape the world are drawn together in what is referred to as a ka-tet, sometimes referred to as an adventuring party.

The Eight Powers

The Eight Powers, trained arts of the educated, are methods of making war, exerting influence into the world and oneself. As expounded by Graţie Pepene in 80 PI, the six methods of strength are:

  • Arcane Power; magic used through wizardry, sorcery and pact binding.
  • Divine Power; magic used through prayer and belief in a higher power.
  • Elemental Power; magic used through a connection to the elemental planes.
  • Ki Power; energy derived through meditation and unlocking of the body's chakras.
  • Martial Power; ability caused by weapons training and physical prowess.
  • Primal Power; magic through commune with nature and totem spirits.
  • Psionic Power; force caused by the focusing of one's mind and will.
  • Shadow Power; magic through the connection of the Shadowvast.

The Common Peoples


Nora allows for many races as official citizens effected by its laws. Humans, kamiks, elves, dwarves, dragonborn, tibbits, shifters and halflings were all included in the original establishment of the Allied Kingdoms, with tieflings added and eladrin, half-elves and phoelarchs recognized as their own race later. Referred to as the Common Peoples, these twelve races have lived in relative peace since the beginning of Nora.

Humans

Humans are the dominating race on Nora. They rule three out of the four Allied Kingdoms of Nora and have colonized Midgard and Lorasia to the north as well as Aremia to the west. Their short lifespans allow the race to adapt quickly to changes in the world and to quickly improve on past innovations.

Description and Homelands

Humans in Nora generally have fair skin with darker tones found eastward and in southern parts of Canstice. Hair color ranges from black to red to blond. Black hair is almost universal in southern Canstice and in Tir'Ein, while blond and red are most common in Vatharond. Humans in Vatharond also tend to be taller and more brawny, while those in Canstice are shorter and thinner. In Tir'Ein, the intermingling of elven blood has given humans graceful features with green eyes being common. Humans of Ilefain run the gamut in appearance and tend to set the average.

The four human kingdoms of Canstice, Ilefain and Vatharond hold the majority of humans in Nora, though the human desire to explore ensures their appearance in any land.

Humans in Nora

Humans tend to not be intimidated by the presence of other races in their major settlements. They can (and do) hold any profession and tend to be the major movers-and-shakers of Nora whether be it a king or a lowly bandit-lord.

Canstian Names

Like most humans, Canstians have two names; a given name bestowed at birth by parents and a family name derived from the father to denote legacy. Family names are normally written after given names.

  • Many Canstian male given names end in -o but can also end in -e; Giuseppe, Antonio, Giovanni, Francesco, Marcus, Mario, Luigi.
  • Female names end in -a but can also end in -e; Maria, Sofia, Anna, Rosa, Giuseppina, Angela, Giovanna.

A large number of Canstian family names end in i or have one of three other suffixes;

  • -ello/illo/etto/ino (diminutive "little"), e.g., //Bernardino, Bernardello/
  • -one (augmentative "big"), e.g., Mangione
  • -accio/azzo/asso (pejorative), e.g., Boccaccio

Nobility in Canstice adds il before the name such as Antonio il'Cacci.

Fainish Names

In Ilefain, it is important to add a proper honorific or style before the person's name. Gentleman or Miss (for unmarried women) or Mrs. (for married women) for commoners and merchants. Sir or Dame is for those of knighthood or lower nobility. Lord or Lady (often followed by a profession) for upper nobility. Other styles exist, such as royal or military titles.

Fainish people often have two given names. One of them, almost always the first, is used in daily life; the others are solely for official documents, such as birth, death and marriage certificates.

The Fainish also make great use of noran callings for middle names.

  • Male Names: Alexander, Anthony, Enzo, Fanois, Kevin, John, James, Michael, Timothy.
  • Female Names: Jean, Julia, Jessica, Jennifer, Karine, Lydia, Sonia.
  • Family names: Bernard, Fitzroy, Gillet, Girard, Martin, Moreau, Paul, Richard, Roux, Simon, Thomas.

Fainish nobility is noted by a di, de or d such as Dame Colleen Mary don diThomas.

Einish Names

The Einish have a traditional system for naming children: the first son is named after the father's father, the second son after the mother's father, the third son after the father, the first daughter after the mother's mother, the second daughter after the father's mother, the third daughter after the mother. Any further children are named by the parents' choice.

  • Male Names: Aaron, Aneirin, Bel, Bran, Cadfel, Cai, David, Dylan, Elian, Garreth, Lloyd, Nye, Owen, Padraig, Robin, Tom, Wynn.
  • Female Names: Adrian, Alison, Bethany, Branwen, Gladis, Glenda, Gwen, Linn, Megan, Morgan, Olwen, Rhianna, Roslynn, Sianna.
  • Family Names: Ada, Alden, Ashley, Bagley, Bevan, Bryce, Kincade, Gower, Hale, Kelly, Lusk, Morris, Vaughan.

Several Einish have Og as a middle name regardless of their birth order such as Nye Og Ada.

Vathroni Names

Vathroni given and family names are each made from two parts regardless of sex, though female names tend to end in a vowel.

  • Prefixes: Alf-, Aed-, Ceol-, Chold-, Coen-, Ed-, Fri-, Her-, Hild-, Hrod-, Ing-, Lut-, Os-, Rath-, Sig-, Theod-, Wulf-.
  • Suffixes: -bald, -beorn, -beorg, -brand, -fried, -gart, -gar, -grim, -gyth, -helm, -lid, -laf, -mir, -noth, -red, -ric, -sten, -rud, -wald, -ward, -win.

Most family names of Vatharond have vel preceding them such as Herod vel'Fribald. This practice came from the dragontribes who used vel to mean "son of" before their father's name. As a result surnames were not fixed, and changed from generation to generation.

Vathroni honorifics are often added after names, rather than before.

Dragonborn

Dragonborn originated in the ancient nation of Viresia. The nation began warring with the decadent Midan Empire to the cost of their own homeland. The dragonborn were instrumental in the creation of the Aquarian Empire and, beyond that, the settling of Brehr in Ilefain. The dragonborn value family, respect, obligation and self reliance.

Description and Homelands

Dragonborn are strong and dependable in both body and spirit. There are few landowners who wouldn't want a dragonborn laborer in their employ.

Viresia may have been lost to the ages, but what the dragonborn lost in a unified state, they have gained in the respect of all nations. They scattered across Nora, finding their own way as individuals. However, interestingly, even today dragonborn never forget or disrespect their heritage and most take the time to practice some form of martial training to feel more connected to their great ancestors.

Dragonborn in Nora

Dragonborn are historical warriors, practicing unarmed combat and the sport of Fogari, and have pioneered many strategies and military applications, but when the dragonborn mystic Sedeuses spread his teachings of insight and introspection, the race as a whole received a spiritual awakening. Now they balance their martial thought with their spiritual discipline.

Possibly due to the lack of any formal homeland, dragonborn families keep a strict social system common to eastern cultures. Each level of the order, is broken into families.

Dragonborn also have traditional gender roles. The division between a female’s and male's domain is established at the door step. The outside work belongs to the male and the inside work belonged to the female. However, especially fit women can take on the cloth of armaments and be a warrior in the same way as the males. These females are called ixcalta, or fire-cats.

A dragonborn's first wife is always arranged by the families of the groom and bride after he takes part in the Goge. However, the husband may then gain up to (but never more than) three more wives if he so chooses.

Dragonborn revere turtles and believe them to be true dragons that have reached a perfect physical form. It is considered a major taboo to kill or injure a turtle.

When a male dragonborn comes of age he is expected to go on the Goge. It is a pilgrimage where he leaves his parents home and sets out on a journey out in the world. A special dragonbone short sword is crafted for the Goge. This journey ends when he reaches the sea and casts the sword into the waters, a gift to the dragonturtles who live there.

Dragonborn are traditionally steeped in literary tradition and are one of the earliest cultures to have a written alphabet. It is required for dragonborn of both genders to be literate and educated in history, mathematics, martial arts, and science. Libraries are historically important for the dragonborn. The crafting of traditional scrolls and modern books are highly prized.

Dragonborn Names

Dwarves

Under the mighty mountains of the Wyrmspires live the honorable and mighty dwarves. Migrating from the northern land of Midgard, the dwarves have fought bloody wars both civil and otherwise. The principle dwarven weapon is the warhammer with nearly all dwarves proficient in its use.

Description and Homelands

Dwarves have divided into three cultures. The Unterian dwarves are those that inhabit the empire of Untergrund, and the silent dwarves are those that migrated across Nora to reside in the Starlight Mountains.

Unterian dwarves are proud and keep to their warrior culture. The silent dwarves have a society built around elemental magic and spiritual enlightenment.

Dwarves place armor highly in society. All official functions and rituals are completed in decorative heavy armor. Dwarves also favor braided hair and consider it a high art.

The Empire of Untergrund is overseen by Kaiser Bekin Streitaxt. It is locally centered by two great cities; Eisenstadt in the north and Flachstadt to the south.

Dwarves in Nora

Unterian dwarves are famous for their faustkampf, the different martial art styles of the dwarves. What most can do armed, the masters of faustkampf can do with bare hands. Another art the dwarves are famed for is the art of atmenschreiben in which runes are carved to magically seal stories and emotions.

Unterian dwarves are divided into clans, each of which is loyal to the Kaiser. The clans are each headed by a hauptlord and everyone is structured into a tightly regulated social order. Dwarven warriors, or verteidigers are considered nobility and are offered much privilege. Those outside the order, and therefore not citizens of Untergrund, are slaves, habitual criminals and beggars.

The Unterians hold themselves to a high standard, personified by the Krieglehre, the warrior code. Dwarven verteidigers are expected to be courteous, brave, honest and proud. Personal disputes are handled through Konkur, a form of ritualized combat.

Sometimes a newly initiated dwarf feels the pull of adventure or seeks justice for a wrongdoing either ancient or new. This youth may then enter the todessuchen, an ancient and sacred rite, where a young dwarf leaves his clan and sets out to battle evil in the world.

Dwarven Names

Names consist of a military title, a gender specific given name followed by a clan name.

Common language pseudonyms commonly are used by arcanists and priests. These single word names represent the dwarf taking on a new identity and focus.

  • Male Names: Felix, Elias, Ernst, Heinrich, Jost, Karl, Kasper, Konrad, Leon, Luca, Lukas, Maximilian, Melchior, Wilhelm.
  • Female Names: Gertrude, Else, Ema, Frieda, Lea, Lena, Leonie, Sofie.
  • Clan Names: Diamant, Gelb, Gesicht, Klugheit, Meister, Motte, Mutig, Pilz, Sturzhelm, Warheit.
  • Pseudonyms: Blaze, Calm, Granite, Lion, Spirit, Star, Teacher.

Eladrin

The sinister eladrin are noted for their passion, cunning, and opportunistic endeavors. They are sometimes accused of being haughty and egotistical. They are an ancient race, having reached an advanced level of magical ability long before humans had learned to walk upright. Their master over their own mystic domain in unquestioned. Their beauty is matched only by their steadfast dedication to their civilization.

Description and Homelands

Eladrin are tall and lithe elf-like humanoids with light skin that ranges from a pearly white to a sky blue. Their hair, often blond or otherwise lightly colored, is worn long and well groomed. Looking upon the long blade as a symbol of honor, most eladrin wear such weapons both during ceremony and leisure.

The eladrin have made a number of fantastic cities that exist on both planes at once. While their main kingdom is Tír Dhúchais in the twilithe, they have several colonies in Nora, their largest being goldwood.

Eladrin in Nora

The whole of eladrin society and tradition is based upon a highly structured caste system. Military/political rank is the main influence in eladrin social standing. Because eladrin are members of a militant civilization, who consider defending it of foremost importance, military service and its accompanying rank are decisive factors in determining social eminence.

This militaristic society is lead by the Ard Ordú and every citizen is a soldier. The continuation and integrity of society is the first duty to every eladrin. This almost fanatical belief has lead to strained relations with other races. The eladrin have a contempt for elves and their concept of individual freedom which is only strengthened by the physical similarities between the two races. They also commonly use gnomes as laborers and fodder for their armies.

Eladrin tend to be highly reclusive, engaging in extended periods of isolationism, and can be perceived as outright dangerous to other species, seemingly believing themselves to be superior.

It is customary for eladrin adolescents to undertake an initiation ordeal known as treoir, in which they are left to fend for themselves in the forest for a specific period of time. Not all children survive this rite of passage. After this rite, the child is to choose an older mentor of opposite sex to complete his adult training.

The Scáth Amharc Ar is a highly-respected and feared eladrin intelligence organization. Its purpose is guarding the security of society, both from the eladrin's enemies and from traitors within the eladrin population itself. The covert, often invisible presence of the Scáth Amharc Ar keeps the general populace in a constant state of compliance, that any signs of dissent with the status quo will result in their disappearance.

Eladrin Names

Eladrin names consist for three parts, a given name, a clan name and the name of a family within the clan with a hyphon between the final two. These three names were culturally interchangeable and non gender specific. One eladrin's given name was another eladrin's clan name.

  • Names: Aenbecan, Allcallorred, Breth, Breidei, Caltram, Ciniod, Corcoran, Deoord, Drest, Forcus, Galam, Gartnaich, Gede, Irb, Lutrin, Maelchon, Nectan, Onnist, Talorc, Uid, Uvan, Wroid.

Elves

Elves have organized themselves in a loose confederation of tribes found in each of the Great Forests. Most tribes are settled hunter/gatherer communities with little use for agriculture. Animals are commonly kept and are highly respected semi-spiritually.

Description and Homelands

Elves are somewhat shorter than humans, with darker skin tones from tan to dark bronze. Their dark hair is worn untamed and usually decorated with feathers or beads, lacquered rope knots and ironwood leaves. Hides, leather and wool were used for clothing.

Most elves use temporary ink to give themselves tattoos called mheintio. Spiral motifs are common, and all have certain significance. The tattoos last anywhere from 3-10 years.

Elves in Nora

Little political organization occurs within or in between the tribes. Tribes joined only for repelling large scale orc invasions and disband soon after. Even so, trading, communicating and even marriages between tribes are common.

Central to the elven mindset is the concept of rhythid, or independence. It is a concept that combines aspects of fate and chaos together to mean that no one is responsible for another's destiny. The elves fiercely defend their freedom from oppression and consider it a great insult and dishonor to give orders to someone as if you owned them.

While most elves revere Dhanni as a true god, elves believe she has three aspects; Naearu (the land), Môr (the sea) and Awyr (the sky). They also recognize the hysbren, or wood-fairies, to be her spiritual servitors. In this, they have a very reverent view of dryads.
The elf druid, or therwyth, leads religious ceremonies and often leads tribal communities. Village druids usually have servant bodyguards called rangers.

Elven Names

Elves often have a variety of names. When a baby is born, parents often give him or her a "milk name". The given name is then usually chosen later and is often chosen with consultation of the grandparents. It is highly offensive to name one after an older member among the family, or even distant relatives. Given names resonant of qualities which are perceived to be either masculine or feminine are frequently given, with males being linked with strength and firmness, and females with beauty and flowers and tend to end in -ia.

An elf will usually have three names, a given name, a mono-syllabic generational name to be shared with brothers and sisters and a parent name taken from the father's given name if a boy or the mother's, if a girl.

Elven given names can and often do change with time, most often after significant deeds or events caused or experienced. Also, if an elf distinguishes themselves in life, they can be given a posthumous name. It is also common for educated elves to acquire "courtesy names", usually self-selected and often somewhat whimsical.

Common names are names that elves may call themselves to allow humans and other races to pronounce them correctly. These names can either be direct translations, chosen for its sound, or bestowed by allies.

  • Given Names: Adnau, Ameathyr, Anfarwol, Ardystia, Arthyr, Befor, Bendefig, Brofwyd, Bybyr, Chyfaill, Dadogi, Eirian, Goleuedig, Rhyfelyr, Saethyr, Tadogych, Thedwyth, Urthasol, Warcheidiol.
  • Generational Names: Broch, Char, Eryr, Fyr, Gwen, Lhif, Nghar, Nos, Og, Tair.
  • Common Names: Windfeather, Summerlake, Firedance, Moonbeam.

Half-Elves

One of the few things known about the Shi’imti Empire was that early in its history it briefly warred against the elven tribes. This war stirred an emergence of aberrations that caused the Shi’imti and the elves to unite and slay the eldritch horrors. Although the Shi’imti retreated back to their own doings, some humans stayed with the elves and this directly caused the creation of a new race, the half-elves.

Description and Homelands

Half-elves are a true breeding race that are loved by the elves and, at worst, tolerated by humans. They mostly live throughout Tir'Ein and the northern parts of Ilefain and Vatharond but can be found anywhere. In fact, there is a high population of half-elves in Aeros, Canstice.

Half-Elves in Nora

Half-Elf Names

Halflings

Halflings are a small sea fairing race. They are proud and fierce warriors, typically fighting with small sabers. Halflings sail through the seas and up the rivers playing their ocarinas to seek plunder. They are rebellious, clever teams who operate outside the restricting bureaucracy of modern life.

Description and Homelands

Halflings usually style their hair in their notable dreadlocks or tight braids to keep out moisture from the sea air. They also wear bright multi-colored bandannas and, when raiding, paint their bodies with a red dye.

Halflings hail from the Nicoboan Islands, a small chain to the south west of Nora, in the Noran Sea. There are a number of islands of various sizes in the area, some where people have never stepped foot. Dangerous reefs cover the sea floor and only the seasoned halfling sailors can transverse them safely.

Halflings in Nora

The halflings live in separated family companies. In most places, a halfling company is led by a Cacike, a title which may or may not be followed by the halfling's first name. Cacikes are sorcerous wielders of wild magic and, though they tend to be calmer than an average halfling, when in battle they are uncontrolled fury. Halfling companies are usually communist in behavior and individual members have little that they would not share with each other. Halflings tend to be very argumentative. They maintained a neutral outlook, truly caring only about themselves and their own. The halflings began a strong bardic tradition as they had no means for libraries aboard their sea vessels.

Halfling Names

Halfling names are like human names with a gender specific given name and a surname. It is common for both males and females to have a name derived from Common that is a title or, for females, describes something pretty, often a flower.

The surname is usually taken from either the city the halfling was born in, a company name (if in existence) or a name in Common that denotes or alludes to a profession.

  • Male Names: Adric, Alwan, Amadom, Amani, Aray, Arcus, Busta, Canard, Casim, Chante, Clester, Daevon, Duron, Ennis, Erskine, Ferric, Ghana, Jolice, Judge, Keenan, Kendrick, Keyair, Kian, Kojo, Lasil, Major, Radd, Reggis, Reshay, Rhashan, Serek, Shan, Sidell, Terell, Umar.
  • Female Names: Adelaide, Aiesha, Althea, Amarika, Aurelia, Ayana, Butterfly, Chemier, Cozzie, Cyiarra, Daisy, Dashay, Duchess, Ezola, Fawn, Grace, Jade, Kalise, Kea, Kiyana, Kolonda, Koyana, Laketta, Mia, Mylandra, Odessa, Ordena, Raca, Raven, Sakina, Shantair, Tasiya, Tauni, Tawanda, Vondra, Zara, Zekia, Zola.

Kamiks

Peaceful, but not helpless, the quick of form matched to the calm of mind.

Kamiks are notable for resembling humanoid foxes and are considered beautiful and patient. They are actually a sibling race to the far more aggressive gnolls. They farm and hunt in peace and prefer to be left alone by other cultures. Kamiks have a high magical tradition and revere a spiritual presence known as the Sublime Song.

Physical Qualities

Built like humans with the heads of foxes, many folk mistake kamiks for gnolls or lycanthropes at a distance. A short coat of fur covers a kamik from head to toe, while longer, silkier hair (much like a human's) grows from the tops of their heads. A kamik's body fur tends to range from a dark chestnut to golden with white underbelly, black ear tips and legs, and a short, bushy tail usually with a distinctive white tip. Thick leathery skin covers the palms of kamik hands and the soles of their feet, and they usually keep their claw-like fingernails and toenails cut short.

Kamiks in Nora

Kamiks as a people prefer rural lifestyles rather than the busy traffic of the city. Kamiks have all but perfected agriculture and animal husbandry. As a biproduct of the kamik's agricultural lifestyle is the casual consumption of sukergot, a grass-like plant with psychotropic properties.

Kamikian culture is rich in tradition, music, and spiritual ritual. Kamikians continue a long oral history tradition through stories, songs and proverbs. In rural areas, Noran culture's impact is minimal; the literacy rate in common script among these kamiks is quite low. However, more than half the adult population can read the local gnoll script.

The kamiks have a rich oral history that is passed down through praise singers or hakilos. This passing down of oral history through music has made music one of the most distinctive traits of the kamik.

The kamik do not separate roles from male and female except when dealing with unavoidable biology and life cycle issues such as pregnancy. The males and females are treated as equals in every way. In addition to this gender equality (or perhaps because of it) there is no formal marriage system practiced by most kamiks. Mating pairs are considered temporary and casual.

Growing from values common in rural societies, the kamik family structure revolves around the extended family.

Kamikian Names

Kamik children are given their name on the seventh day of after birth, and their children are almost always named after a very important person in their family.

Kamiks usually only have one name which is gender neutral.

  • Names: Barrow, Bojang, Camara, Ceesay, Cham, Colley, Darboe, Konteh, Manneh, Sanneh.

Kamikian Adventurers

Camara is a kamik warlock in a pact with the Sublime Song.
Manneh is a kamik bard.
Barrow, a kamik sorcerer,

Tieflings

Tieflings are are race of tradition and innovation. A product of interbreeding between humans and the rakshasa of the Midan Empire, today, tieflings have no empire, but due to the riches acquired during their reign, most now live as nobles throughout the kingdoms. They often make their living as governing nobles, doctors, inventors, tinkers or working with airships.

Description and Homelands

Tieflings no longer have any sort of 'homeland' but still share a common culture. After the dissolution of the Midan Empire, tieflings fled across Nora, many still possessing the vast wealth of their forefathers, looking for a new home. This time is known to the Tieflings as the Period of Wandering. Many tieflings settled in towns and used their retained fortunes to build their own legacies. It was this that lead to the foundation of the noble families.

Tieflings in Nora

While tieflings may never grow out of their sinister reputations from ages past, they have gained another popular trait; that of invention. Tiefling artificers are true masters in the creation of contraptions, airships and even golem construction. Parinte Orasharu invented the airship not even a century ago and now the tieflings sail the skies and carve their name as the best airship sailors today; a claim the halflings surely wish to contest.

Tiefling Names

Phoelarchs

Overview

Physical Qualities

Phoelarchs in Nora

Phoelarch Names

Phoelarch Adventurers

Shifters

Overview

Description and Homelands

Shifters in Nora

Shifter Names

Tibbit

Tibbits are small humanoid creatures that have the ability to turn into a common house cat. They most likely arose from felines kept as familiars in ages past. The powerful magic that allows a familiar to gain intelligence and magic abilities slowly filtered from one generation of cats to the next. Whether tibbits evolved from a natural process, divine intervention or a sudden surge in the magic running through their ancestry, none can say. Tibbits have never existed in large numbers, but in pockets of small thigh knit communities.

Much like their feline ancestors, tibbits exhibit independence, curiosity and quickness of mind and body. The rarely form communities of larger than two or three families and even these small colonies rarely hold together for more than a few years. Shortly after reaching adulthood, a tibbit develops an intense wanderlust and goes off to satisfy his racial curiosity. Tibbits can be found wherever humans and other civilized humanoid races have established cities, towns and colonies.

Among humans and other humanoids tibbits usually remain in their cat form. The stray cat that prowls a neighborhood, the mangy cat adopted as a temple's unofficial pet and the lazy feline always close at hand at the local tavern might be tibbits. Driven by curiosity, tibbits love to remain in their animals form while observing humans.

Cynical observers comment that a tibbit seeks to spy on others. Tibbits hold that they merely like to keep and ear and eye out for any interesting bits of news. Tibbits are typically too chaotic, carefree and impulsive to work as spies r hired killers. Upon hearing a group of adventurers talking over a treasure map in hushed tones, a tibbit might be just as likely to shift into humanoid form on the spot and offer to join the adventure as she is to lose interest and chase down a juicy mouse she spotted across the tavern.

Personality: Tibbits, as benefits their heritage, are moody curious and sometimes arrogant. Many tibbits prefer the comforts of a fine meal (whether a succulent rodent or a five source feast in the lap of luxury), stiff drink and a soft couch. Even the most decadent tibbit, however, eventually succumbs to the steady pull of its curiosity. A tibbit might spend years living off the treasures it won in adventure, only to suddenly strike out into the unknown again.

When dealing with others, tibbits show a similar capability to change their attitudes and posture depending on their moods. A tibbit might act relaxed and languid one moment, alert and inquisitive the nest. They tend to have a slightly distant, arrogant attitude toward others, as if as a race they share a colossal, secret joke over the other intelligent creatures. Still, once a tibbit marks someone as a friend few other creatures match their devotion. A tibbit might complain about a friend's needs or tend toward laziness, but hen trouble arises, he is a dauntless ally.

Physical Description: In humanoid form, tibbits are small, stealthy, dark skinned people with pointed ears and catlike eyes. Their hair tends to grow thick and long and males tend to grow sideburns. Their skin tones range from a tawny brown to black, but occasionally a tibbit has pure white skin. Their hair color matches the wide range of colors found in house cats, from pure white to striped silver to deep black.

In cat form, tibbits look like fat but energetic house cats. They appear identical to (and indistinguishable from) any common domesticated breed.

Relations: Tibbits tend to regard other folk with a detached sense of bemusement. Much of their lore and common wisdom regarding men, dwarves and elves filters through their guise as house cats. Thus, tibbits see how other races act when they think no one else is around. To a tibbit, every intelligent creature is a bundle of secrets just waiting to unfurl before them.

In general, tibbits find humanity's ambition, drive and fiery passion intriguing. They consider dwarves overly dour. Elves strike them as kindred spirits, as tibbits appreciate that the long lived races share a similar tendency to see issues from different perspectives. They adore gnomes and many tibbits adopt such folk. Folk who have benefited from the protections of a tibbits have strong traditions of taking care of stray cats and treating their feline pets as treasured companions.

Alignment: Tibbits have a strong tendancy toward chaos and an equally strong lethurgy toward moral issues, making the majority of them chaotic neutral. Carefree, decadent, and given to long periods of wallowing in luxury, tibbits can be maddeningly self centered. Some tibbits tend toward proactive freedom seeking marking chaotic good as the second most common alignment. Such tibbits share many of their neutral bretherin's tendencies but a struggle or a chance to spring a trap on evil doers rouses them into action.

Evil tibbits, particularly chaotic evil tibbits, are rare but dangerous. They us e their shapeshifting ability to spy on humanoids for information useful for extortion schemes. Many of them work as spies and assassins, as their innocent feline form makes it easy for them t o slip into heavily guarded areas. After all, even the most alert guard pays little attention to a cat. Some evil tibbits become powerful crime lord, observing their underlings and competitors in cat form and ruthlessly culling those who plot against them.

Lands: Tibbits have no lands of their own. Instead, the dwell within civilized territories established by other folk. Any civilization that keep domesticated cats likely houses colonies of tibbits within its cities.

Few tibbits make their identities openly known once they settle in an area. A tibbit is much more likely to remain in cat form as she travels through a city although she usually keeps a will hidden luxurious apartment hidden in an out of the way corner of town. Many tibbits become petty thieves raiding pantries for fine foods, liquor and other creature comforts.

Tibbits who travel the land might keep their humanoid guise to make dealings with other creatures easier. Even these tibbits prefer to pass themselves off as travelers from other planes and they rarely publicize their ability to change shape.

Religion: Tibbits pay homage to Tala Errin, god of change. They generally lack an organized religion, instead preferring to view Tala as a big brother figure and protector. Some clerics believe that tibbits are simply too arrogant and independent to shackle themselves to a deity and few tibbits argue againt this assessment.

Language: Tibbits speak common or whatever language dominates the region they settle in.

Names: Tibbits tend to adopt nicknames based on their physical traits and deeds, A tibbit kitten is given a nickname by his parents one that reflects his temperment and appearance. When a tibbit comes of age he adopts a name of his choice. Tibbits tend to pick names from other folk, usually based on sound rather than meaning.

Strangers and business partners use the name a tibbits picks for themselves, while the tibbits close friends and family use the original nickname chosen by their parents. A tibbit allows only his closest friends to learn and use the nickname, A non-tibbit given such a privledge has received one of the highest honors a tibbit can grant to an outsider.

As a tibbit travels the world, he adopts a surname that reflects his experiences and important deeds. A tibbit usually changes his surname after such an event, but his true name uses all of his adopted surnames from childhood onward, and not just the latest one. When two tibbits meet, they share these long form names to express their pasts with one another.

In general, tibbit names work for either sex. Whither male or female, a tibbit who has a short tale in cat form likely ends up with the nickname "Spiketail"

Adventurers: The life of an adventurer comes naturally to a tibbit as her curiosity pushes her ever onward. While many tibbits satisfy this drive with travel to civilized area and exploration of a city's corners, some tibbits want more out of life. "Adventurer" s seen as a respected occupation among tibbits and they have a natural fascination for adventurers of other races. In some cases, a tibbit in cat form take to following an adventuring band, concealing its true nature until an oppertune moment. A tibbit fighter might spring from cat to humanoid form in time to drive off a group of orcs that threatens the party's camp. In this manner, tibbits prove their valor and demonstrate their unmatched stealth in hopes of winning a place with their unwitting comrades.

Other Races


  • Deva:
  • Drow:
  • Gnome:
  • Half-Orc:
  • Minotaur:

The Land of Nora


Nora is a massive peninsula jutting westward out of a much large continent to the east. It is bordered northward by the Green Sea, westward by the Noran Sea, southward by the Blood Sea and eastward by the Wyrmspire Mountains. Generally divided by the Four Rivers into four sovereign kingdoms and two sub-states, Ten Horns and Untergrund, the dwarven subterranean kingdom.

Canstice

In the southern part of Nora lies the grassy fields and soft hills of Canstice. Myth tell us that it was in this land that Tala Errin, god of luck, created the arts by looking at the wind swept grass and being moved to song. Once the land of the great Aquarian Empire, ruins now dot the land, most now occupied by goblins, reminding all Cansticians of both the wonders of the past and the significance of its fall.

The ancient capital of the Aquarian Empire, Sofia, may still be found. Some say there are still untold riches hidden in the ruined city, but no living thing has every laid eyes on it due to the undying guardians that roam the city as if it never fell. Southward, in the Blood Sea, Labylithea is found, home of the war-like [minotaurs. The Devil's Hand Peninsula lies in the southeastern part of Canstice, some say home to a land of cruel devils.

The people of Canstice are a jubilant people who love horseback riding. Quick to laugh and sing, the love of life is strong. Canstians are celebrated thinkers and as such love riddles, and games of strategy. They find joy and dedication in many pastimes and occupations. Canstians hate to be kept in a rut and change clothes, hobbies and even vocations as often as they can. It is said that no-one ever knows what a Canstians is thinking, because as soon as he has thought it, he has already changed his mind. This, however, does not stop them from mastering any craft from pottery or lute-playing to dagger throwing or spell-weaving. Canstians magic tends to be theatrical but precise in its application, commonly put to use with another artistic form, usually music and dance.

Ilefain

The oldest of the Allied Kingdoms, Ilefain lies in the west. Everything from tall mountains, arid plateaus, thick forests, and sweeping valleys can be found in the Glorious Kingdom. The earliest signs of human civilization can be found here in the form of the Shi’imti citadels. The first human empire, the Shi’imti society is still a mystery as almost no historical records survive today, and their citadel ruins are difficult to explore because of the gnolls that have chosen to take residence inside.

Lindblum, the capital of Ilefain for nearly 500 years, is said to be the greatest of human achievements. The Flying City does not actually fly, but nearly everything around it does. Home to the Lindblum Royal Airship Company, the airship is the primary form of transportation in and out of the city. Being built almost vertically, it is almost impossible to reach all the areas of the city on foot and so aircabs are used to transport people from district to district. From far away, the city looks like a beehive perched on top of a hill.

Not surprisingly, the first thing most people think of when Ilefain is mentioned is the Church of Light. It is true that the Church is important to the Fainish, but despite common belief, it does not dominate their lives. The Church is headquartered in Temple, where St. Lydia, the Virgin Saint, built the first dedication to the true gods. The current Hierophant, Maxem the Mariner, has been sitting on the Velvet Seat for nine years. The people love him and help him to pray during Ilefain’s numerous holidays.

Education is very important to the Fainish. They require all children to attend church-sponsored schools and learn about living peacefully with their peers. Nearly everything is done in groups in Ilefain, work, games, outings, being a valued member of society is the very core of Fainish thinking. This, of course, applies to martial endeavors as well. Both arcane colleges and warrior gymnasiums are popular, mostly as places of casual higher education, but also by serious students. The Fainish take serious thought to the process and technique behind both sword and spell, valuing precision and recall.

Tir’Éin

Unique among the kingdoms of Nora is Tir’Éin, the kingdom of the elves. Elves have thrived for as long as, and some claim longer than, humans. Though it would be hard to say that they ever built a civilization as humans would recognize it, Tir’Éin has a distinct culture that is far reaching and has remained largely unchanged for over ten thousand years. Historically organizing in semi-nomadic tribes, elves lived off the land and rarely faced inter-tribal conflict, instead warring almost constantly with the orc clans that have lived in the forests and mountains just as long as the elves.

Tir’Éin features large areas of old growth forests known as the Great Forests. These areas of ancient and massive trees are unique in that they are quick to recover from fire or other disaster and are home to unique and strange features. The goldwood is home to many manifest zones from the Twilithe known as ruthags. It is in these areas the eladrin of the forest use to move back and forth between these two planes. The Arianna Forest teams with life and features many different elven tribes. The largest of the Great Forests, the Ghoper Forest is a preferred home to satyrs and sprites, featuring trees as big as buildings. The oldest and most guarded forest is the Hefyth Forest, where bronzewood may be found as well as the mythical Llyfr otren, or Book of Trees, a writing carved into the living wood of fifteen sacred bronzewood trees.

Past the forests there also lies the dargoneth, home to wandering tribes of shifters. Further still is the Hightide Swamps that is home to the lizardfolk. In western Tir’Éin lies the ruins of Elindor, a city of eladrin destroyed by the magic-hating sarkrith, now lying silently in wait. In the middle of Tir’Éin is the Bluog Seirff Sea where Einish wingships cut through the water plying trade and defending the land against sahuagin raiders.

Elves are not the only race living in Tir’Éin. Since the inclusion of the kingdom during the formation of the Allied Kingdoms, many humans have taken residence in the plains, forests and mountains of the land. In fact the majority of all cities and towns in Tir’Éin are human governed and settled, with most elves preferring to stick with their tribal traditions. The humans of the land have, of course, taken to a very elven outlook on life. All Einish people have a deep respect for nature and simplicity. Most wear simple garb and find fun in the form of footraces and archery. Craft skills are highly looked upon, and community is treasured along with leisure. Life seems to move at a slower pace in Einish towns.

Vatharond

Vatharond is Nora’s easternmost Kingdom. Joining 250 years after the formation of the Allied Kingdoms, Vatharond was, before that time, a loose gathering of barbarian tribes. The tribes were remnants of the ancient dragontribes that wandered prehistoric Nora and migrated eastward past the Wyrmspires. The largest, oldest and most celebrated tribe is the Blue Dragon Tribe of which the Kings of Vatharond owed their ancestry.

The largest and most notable of Vatharond’s features are the Wyrmspires, mountains so tall and massive that they house entire kingdoms of ogre, kobold and dwarf alike. Grave of the mythical Dragonarchs, the Wyrmspires stretch almost completely sea-side to sea-side northward/southward bordering Vatharond and Nora from more primitive civilizations such as the last remaining Dragontribes, the Nzamber Deathcults and brutal oni.

Also lurking in Vatharond’s borders are the Soulless Sands, a vast desert overrun with demons and a unhallowed temple-city dedicated to Shaydis, god of darkness. Deep in the heart of the Fellwood, Caer Teithio stands in a lake, home to the elven vampiress Dyne. Kaniwet, the Strange City, lies to the south along the DeBole Mountains and is the major trade city with Khemet and Moro, the desert lands south of the Blood Sea. Rumors speak of mysterious snake cults and deadly assassin monks along with the unique beautiful architecture and hypnotizing dancers.

The largest kingdom in reference to territory, Vatharond is home to a hearty, but sparse population steeped in the tradition of their nomadic ancestors. They value strength of arm and will as well as loyalty and valor. Rich in tradition of explorers and brave warriors, the vathroni people prefer a head on battle rather than guile. Raising krinfyra mounts, the vathroni fighting style is straightforward and effective, their magic is wild and powerful. Vathronis don’t waste time with subtlety and grace when ferocity and power will better help temper the unforgiving vathroni landscape.

Ten Horns

Not a kingdom itself, Ten Horns lies in the geographic and political center of Nora. Formed by two mountain ranges that create a massive bowl, Ten Horns was created when Quilus, one of the twin moons, fell from the sky and crashed into the ground. Located in this ancient crater is Alexandria, the largest city in Nora and home to the High Crown.

Untergrund

Also not officially apart of Nora, but somewhat within its borders is the empire of Untergrund located deep beneath the Wyrmspires. Formed by the legendary Steinkaiser Eisen, the unifier of dwarven clans, it is without doubt the oldest civilization recorded. In the subterranean halls, historic reliefs are carved to show thousands of years of Unterian perseverance. They value family, honor and tradition. With their hammers, the Unterians have fought countless wars against kobolds, goblins, ogres, oni and even each other, but they stand strong still; a testament to their strength.

Untergrund was invited to join the Allied Kingdoms, but preferred to be left to their own devices and settled for a treaty of non-aggression. They remain close allies to this day.

Dar Kunor

Underneath Nora lies an underworld full of shadows and evil. Creatures come out when the sun goes down and terrorize the countryside. Dar Kunor is deep, ancient and above all, deadly.

The Underdeep

Under the waves of the seas lie vast hidden kingdoms of merfolk, tritons and tondron aquatic elves. Even more unreachable than Dar Kunor, the world of the Underdeep rarely influences the world of dry land Nora.

History


The Grand History of Nora is a sweeping tale of epic proportions. Basic events found in a timeline usually do not tell the full story.

Ancient History

After Cosmos fell asleep and the Twelve Walkers journeyed from the world, the Great Races spread across Nora and built their empires. The naga ruled the western sea, the treants roamed the central woodlands, the leshay kept the northern forests and the titans called the southern reaches home.

In this enigmatic time the great races warred with each other, enslaved races and ruled the land. These races fell after many millennia of rule, leaving the lesser races to come out of the shadows.

Rise and Fall of Empires

The first human empire was the Shi'imti Empire. Mysterious and primitive, little is known of their ways. They built ziggurats in modern Ilefain and lived in peace with the Aardian, the race that will become the kamiks and the gnolls.

As the Shi'imti migrated east and their empire fell apart, the humans turned to the rakshasas for salvation and the Midan Empire rose. The midans, great and jaded, were ruled by the rakshasas and their descendants, the tieflings. They constantly warred with the oni kingdoms of the north and the dragon kingdoms of the west.

The midans fell as they were overcome by the dragonborn and the might of the rakshasas failed. Together, mankind and dragonborn worked to build a more civilized nation. So the Aquarian Empire was formed in southern Canstice.

But this empire too, was destined to fall. Not by corruption or magical cataclysm, but by a war with a vast army of mind flayers and their aberrant servants. The culmination of this war was the event known as the Moonfall as one of Nora's moons literally crashed into the land. This event awoke the ingredori, the true gods, and they began to help rebuild Nora during the Years without Light.

The Years without Light brought the Godwars as the clergy of the Aquarians fought the new ingredori faith, but in the end could not deny the twelve gods' power. But the land was splintered into smaller kingdoms and other wars were common.

Soon the tyrant, Elknor the Wretched conquered western and southern Nora bringing death and despair with him. Elknor was defeated by the League of Free Peoples lead by alexander and the land was united in an era of peace as the Allied Kingdoms of Nora were founded.

Early Nora

Though commonly hailed as an unprecedented time of peace, the next 1,300 years were hardly without conflict. Battles with monsters and savage tribes continued. Xananua the Deathwhore brought plagues of undeath to the living before she was defeated. The Orcwars drew a bloody swath through Tir'Ein. The high royal family of Nora has been attacked again and again by those looking to seek power.

However, war was not all that came to light. A new calender and minting of coin was put into use to unite the land. Vatharond, the land of barbarians, joined the Allied Kingdoms. Dwarven sailors set out across the sea in search of new land to the west and discovered Aremia.

The Last 100 Years

The past one hundred years have been some of the brightest, and darkest, years Nora has ever faced. No one could have foreseen the dense mists that appeared in 1279. The mists seemed to excite savagery and paranoia in those caught in it. Because of this, goblins and orc invasions grew much, much worse during these years.

The mists also seemed to herald a time of horrible fortune on the land. Tragic murders, royal scandals, and an ever rising sense of evil roaming the wilderness. To make matters worse, the god of light and joy, Kira, had disappeared denying hope to many simple folk and even dividing the Church of Light.

In 1351, the mists left as quickly as they came and with as much mystery. This year also hailed the coronation of garnet-xvii which ushered in an era of prosperity. Over the next twenty years, Nora returned to its previous peaceful state. However, when a dispute broke out over the next king of Vatharond, a rebellion erupted and Nora found itself fighting the Severing War against Vatharond, the first political war since Nora was founded.

The current year is 1376 and the Severing War shows no sign of stopping.

Timekeeping


The Argentis Calendar

The Argentis calendar was created and implemented in 98 NS. It is a simple lunar calendar with thirteen months to a year (Sephir, Malphir, Daythal, Kalmnis, Florven, Ythal, Helphir, Kroven, Kithal, Legis, Urmnis, Erthal, Galven), four weeks to a month and seven days (Claritum, Luptum, Ollatum, Hastum, Dractum, Tibitum, Arbortum) to a week.

The Welkin Calendar

A base ten dwarven calendar based on on celestial bodies, but the movement of the tides of the underground lakes.

The Gwerin Calendar

A very old di-lunar calendar that would shift with the ages. Used for soothsaying.

The Eorik Calander

This is the traditional and spiritual calendar used by the dragonborn. Normally only used to mark festivals.

The Aquarian Calendar

A solar calendar used by the Aquarians.

The Midan Calendar

The midan calendar was very precise and is still used by some eastern cultures.

Travel


Roads

Roads are the main mode of travel. They take a traveler from city to city with way stations on major roads about every 15 to 18 miles. Noran roads vary from simple packed paths to paved roads using deep roadbeds of tamped rubble as an underlying layer to ensure that they kept dry, as the water flows out from between the stones and fragments of rubble, instead of becoming mud in clay soils.

Ship Lanes

Ship lanes, carefully mapped by early dwarven and halfling sailors, were not only determined by the distribution of land masses but also by the prevailing winds, crucial for the success of long voyages. They are very important for trade by sea and as a result are popular places for halfling pirates.

Airships

The Lindblum Royal Airship Company, created in 1345, manufactures and governs airships and their sky lanes. Airships are expensive, but relatively safe means of transportation. Only two cities (Lindblum and Alexandria) have airshipyards, but all cities (and some other locations) have at least one mooring tower.

Magical Travel

Coinage


The currency standard of Nora has been the gil since 14 NS. The collecting of gil throughout the mintings is a very popular hobby. The circulation of a standardized currency provides the major advantage to commerce by assigning values and thus to collect goods and services effectively and to store them for later use, or to split them among several providers.

Nearly all Noran commerce originates from the Knights Merchant who provide services of money changing, loaning, and issuing letters of credit.

Noran Gil

Unterian Bell

Dhuchian Clochduil

Kunorite Currency

Morish Currency

Khemetian Currency

Underdeep Currency

Aquarian Currency

Midan Currency

Shi'imti Currency

Languages


Religions


The Twelve Gods (Ingredori)

The Church of Light

The major religious organization of Nora. The Church of Light teaches the importance of Verai Songbird, Kira and Dhanni.

Gnesis Cults

These loosely connected cells revere the elemental gods and the primal powers they control. Ornus, Urala, Kalabrath and Tala Errin.

Covenant of Flesh

While their dogma stresses worship of self more than the gods, the Covenant still learns the lessons of the dark gods, legeon, Malym and Shaydis.

Cult of the Phoenix

Zylism

Looking for power within rather than with the gods, those who follow the philosophical path of inner peace find tranquility and strength.

Dracism

Dragon worship.

Cult of the Golden Mind

The source of psionic power.

Sublime Song

The song of the universe. Worshiped by Kamiks.

Anadlism

Worship of Primal Spirits. Found mainly in elven societies.

Geistlehre

Worship of elemental spirits. The Silent Dwarves excel in this faith.

Shadowcults

The Aquarian Gods

Government


Nora

Canstice

Ilefain

Tir'Ein

Vatharond

Dungeons


Epsilon's Castle

Sofia

Elindor

Caer Teithio

The Tower of Sorrow

Castle Darkspire

Games


Dragonchess

Fogari

Konkur

Magaz

Seren Rhyfell

Stiri Stirjak

Diseases


Deathsong

Feyrot

Fumos Fever

Tanzenfäule

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