Knave of Fates
The Umegarik were the first race of the Father, Aitzurra given all of Toreen to themselves. Originally there were seven, and resided in a great city in the middle of Kartuus. Eventually, they became “1001” (countless) and held dominion over all of the land and all of the beasts. They are now a lost race, their ruins all that is left of them. Their home continent is an arcane wasteland, shunned by all but the most daring relic hunters.
“Pure” and “Elder” are terms of respect given to the oldest remaining race of Toreen, the Bea’txo . Any other address by a stranger addresing them is seen as an insult, and a repeated lack of respect will likely be punished by a quick, and sometimes fatal, duel. Their home is the Eternal Domain of Tsu’in Maritsa (“the cradle of the chosen people”), spanning an three-island continent (Marit), with a number of small trading colonies elsewhere. At the heart of their Empire, lies the city of Santhyria. At the city’s heart is the Palace of the Seven Dawns, the interior of which has never seen by non-Bea’txo eyes.
The Palace is home of the Celestial Princess (“_Amatsuotome_”) and her consort. The deified Princess is the most powerful monarch on all Toreen, and likely the most powerful sorcerer as well. One thousand and one supplicants genuflect, praise, and pray about her constantly, and volunteer supplicants are screened carefully. Every 1001 years she divines the identity of her successor, abdicates to her, and retires with her Consort to the Mausoleum of Splendors.
There are eleven noble houses to which almost every _Bea’txo_owes allegiance (in order of traditional courtly rank: Magyos, Kattare, Rusba, Jianku, Ueno, Qa’g’am, Situ, Vei’nat, Tengku, Bui-xu, Olam). There were two families who rebelled nearly three thousand years ago, and now their names have been stricken from all records, and exiled from the island forever. They were, at the time, the two most powerful of the families, and in a grab for complete dominance, failed utterly. The families fled to Delim, and one is believed to reside with Azkaderra community in the Robinet region. The “Yu” are the remainder. Those living outside of, or exiled from, a noble house.
_Bea’txo_are encountered rarely in the civilized lands, and then usually as diplomats, nobles and industrialists of the highest rank. They return to their homeland yearly. They are long-lived, haughty and manipulative. And they are not to be wronged unless you are suicidal and impatient.
The Azkaderra are all descended from the Bea’txo, and are often found in isolated pockets around the world, as merchants and diplomats in major cities, as sailors, craftsmen of the highest order, animal trainers. Some have lived in their own isolated communities long enough to have developed a separate culture. The Zynar are found in the Neverending Wood of Zynaris on Tulis, the Qi Simias of the Qisimel Valley of Valdia, and the Tumkayal of the Vale of Bailatuan.
The gigantic, but feeble, Hustaiko and the diminutive, but cunning, Vihurritu are tainted races anathema to civilization and banished to hiding places like underground caves and mountain peaks, far away from the favored men, Meseidiaren. The power of Hustaiko is great, but they recoil from bright sunlight, so only come above ground at night. They are found on Delim, Tulis, Areiystis, and rumor to have been spotted by sailors passing Kartuus.
The Meseidiaren are the most populous and the dominant race of nearly all lands beyond Marit. The Kingdom of Zalamir dominates most of Delim, up and down the coast of the Cyclonic Ocean. A vast and unwieldy human empire, the direct control has contracted down to Salaam, the Regal Islands, Vandemar, and edges of the Fushenti Desert. Breakaway lands Müchen and Robinet still pay fealty to the Emperor in Salamport, but self-govern.
Zalamiri people are generally divided into two groups by appearance: the swarthy seafarers and traders from the south that have held the kingdom together for this long; and the laconic inland farmers who feed the kingdom. Many grains grow well inland, and with a number of calm bays and navigable rivers, much trade flows through the seaports. The Zalamiri Navy is unrivaled and has made the difference in too many wars to count.
Occupants of the southern Regal Islands call themselves Regals, and often claim due to their fine, fair features to be descendants of royalty, who often vacation here, Bea’txo, or Azkaderra . One cannot believe anything these silver-tongued debauchers have to say.
Vandemish peoples have lived on their land through floods, earthquakes, rise and fall of empires, barbarian attacks, and plague. These are a dark people with a dark sense of humor. The land of Vandemar is colder, rockier, and more exposed to the wild and dangerous creatures of northern Delim. They were subjugated by Zalamir originally almost by accident during a Zalamiri campaign against neighboring Baerland, and they remain part of the kingdom largely just to house troops watching the Baerian front.
The Great Fushenti Desert can be claimed by no nation, but the Bedine settlements along its edges acknowledge Zalamiri dominion in order to claim protection from the many dangers likely to erupt from the desert’s interior. These are a secretive and mystical people, with alien, angular features and darker skin. There are a number of ascetic monasteries and hidden colleges of magic along the desert’s edge.
Müchenwalders are an independent, industrious folk, living in lush valleys surrounded by rich hills and mountains. They are distrustful of outsiders. usually those lacking the Müchen signature black to dark brown hair and brown eyes. Kambral are a notable exception, having helped this land gain its independence from the Zalamiri Empire. They do grow excellent fruits and vegetables, and make fine machine parts and brews of all sorts. Their capital, Zoellnich, is home to the world’s largest clock.
Reclusive Bea’txo-exiled lords have carved out Robinet from the Zalamiri Empire. The nobles’ Bea’txo tastes and sensibilities heavily influence the Robenesch people. Living in high mountain valleys, surrounded by Vandemar, Baerland, Müchen, and Salaam, the fair-haired and well-mannered Robenesch take an even-handed approach to dealing with everyone. Many Robenesch Bea’txo and Azkaderra serve as diplomats for various countries in foreign lands, and no small number of knightly orders and mercenary bands maintain their headquarters in the capital, Ouiton. Many fine dairy products come from Robinet.
Far to the south are the Barons of the Sorrow Hills, the feudal result of a penal slave rebellion in a backwater colony. They were a poor and paranoid people, until the gold strikes seventy five years ago. Now they are nouveau riche with a penchant for bothering the rest of the world. They only thing that seems to come from there, other than the gold, are smelly miners, cutthroats, and uncouth dandies making enemies wherever they go.
The lands touched by the sprawling Valdus River on the continent of Tulis are known as Valdia™. The original settlers of Valdia™ emigrated largely from Old Zalamir (the lands of Salaam, Müchen and Robinet eastward across the Cyclonic Ocean). Salamish influence can be found in every aspect of Valdian life.
To the north of Valdia™, behind the Resplendent Peaks, lies Van Diemen’s Land, a former penal colony for Zalamiri criminals is now a twisted, poor, backward land bent on conquering their way into the industrial age. They have a history of failing miserably.
The headwaters of the Valdus reside within the Crown of Dorodan in the land of Thradon, the ancestral home of the Kambral, a short and ingenious people. The Kambral are creators and inventors of the first order, responsible for carrying out most of the industrialization of the modern world. Kambral are respectful of their elders and employer, and are quite punctual and meticulous. Groups of Kambral will be found working as foremen in nearly every factory.
The native nomadic people of nearly all non-civilized lands, the Grugan, are being forced in Valdia™ further into the Wild Country, and the prairie animals they thrive on, are dying off at the hands of hunters and railroaders and the expansion of the cities. But the Grugan are a hearty people of large stature that seem to thrive on the open spaces and the fungus growing under their skin. Grugans in different lands have different types and colors of fungus; in and around Valdia™ it is a harsh green. They are not brilliant, nor learned in the ways of civilization, but are cunning on a very primal level. They are earnest, with their own particular warrior code.
The diminutive cousins of the Grugan are the appropriately named Feklings. These creatures are stupid and foul scavengers also with fungi growing all over them standing about two-and-a-half feet tall and with slightly over-sized heads. They are ubiquitous scavengers among all races. The only place they are not found is in the Imperial City. WARNING: Their “chiefs” are those with the biggest heads, and evidently quite cunning and brilliant. When encountering large numbers of these creatures, reason with or slay the leader. All others are but vermin.
Pymlion are a wee curious folk from the savage jungles of Arestes. They are barely more than half the height of a human, but with lightning reflexes and little qualms about injuring a non-Pymlion. Their natural curiosity and athleticism makes them outstanding scouts, but they can be quite unreliable, walking away from a good job with little notice if it strikes them.
Kithayeen are a desert-dwelling bipeds that personify the dangers of the desert the Bedine fear. Their morphology is radical and shocking. they all have a chitinous exoskeleton, but vary greatly from there. Some have 4 arms, digitigrade legs, can breath fire, or can blend into their environment.
Erdoji, or The Lost, are nomads, wandering the continents, untrusted by those in settlements. Rumors of demonic pacts, shapeshifting, and twisted animal hybrids follow them.
The Hustaiko are one of The Fallen, overgrown and twisted humanoids being punished for some transgression. They normally retain some of their intelligence, but rarely their will or insight of the Known Peoples. They stay far from large settlements for fear of being hunted, but will raid small fringe towns when desperate.
The Vihurritu are one of The Fallen, stunted humanoids that infest most caves, mountain ranges, and some of the surrounding hills. Some are found to be cunning, and even fewer intelligent, but they are all thoroughly foul and evil. They are often found accompanying Hustaiko on raids, or scavenging from the fringes of human settlements.
The Dunyabetia are created Fallen with designed in limitations that live in a specific, narrow environment. They often take the form of bipedal amphibians, birds, fish, insects, lizards, and snakes.