I am going to launch this thread with two entries each one detailing one of the new races. More detailed information about the campaign setting will be set out in this thread (developed by all of the participants) and some (things I created will go in the Campaign thread.
The Maetaur are an indigenous population of Monstrous Humanoids. They are normally found living in and among the indigenous populations of Humans and do not normally have their own communities. The history of the local populations contains stories of a time before the Great Kings when Human and Maetaur tribes fought but it was through the unification of many indigenous peoples under King Adennore of the human people, called the Banyan DePoir (People of the Valley of Ban) and the Chief of the Maetaur people (in the human legends he is called, Wiliman Cloudrunner, whereas in the Maetaur versions of the same story it is a female chief and High Druid called Wilmorra Greyskies) in a war against a race known as the Tafganor (Orcs) which, according to legend, drove the Tafganor out of the land, that the Human and Maetaur peoples came to be one population.
Description: Maetaur are medium sized creatures. They are described as “small” centaurs by Elves and Halflings (though true centaurs are not known in these lands). They have the torso, from the mid waist up of a humanoid creature resembling a Halfling in size and build but with delicate facial features, round, instead of pointed, ears, and straight, light colored hair that is thick and lustrous. Their lower bodies resemble a small pony, and can be solid colored in brown, grey or white. Piebald and other unusual colorations (speckled or spotted) are very rare. Maetaur males do not normally grow facial hair. Both Male and Female Maetaur prefer to wear the hair on their heads long and loose, but braid or tie the hair on their tails (they have no “mane”). Typical height for a Maetaur is 5’4” to 5’10” for females and 5’6” to 6’2” for males. Average body weight for both male and female Maetaur is 260 to 340 pounds (obesity is rare among Maetaur, but not unseen).
Society: Maetaur and Humans have similar social behaviors, with the notable exception that Maetaur are particular about conventions of dress, and use types of dress to denote station and social status. All Maetaur are conservative when it comes to their bodies and both male and female Maetaur wear variations of the tradional “Rafgham” (a long skirt made from woven threads of cotton or wool, it buttons across the top of the equine part of the Maetaur and is worn to within a few inches of the ground). Male Maetaur will wear a wide belt and shirt on their human like parts, and females normally wear a long shirt and a narrow, sometimes multiple, belt or belts. Gender identity is an important part of Maetaur society, and the culture recognizes more than two gender roles for each sex. It is not uncommon for Maetaur to be flirtatious and promiscuous, among their own kind, and often change partners several times through their lives, but they are traditionally committed to a partner when raising children, and stand-offish with other races if topics of interspecies intimacy arise. It is not unusual to find large households of mated Maetaur raising from four to nine young in a collective parenting environment where it is difficult to tell what the intimate relationships are among the adults, but these family units are normally headed by a older female who enjoys the attention of many males, though she is usually only intimate with one male at a time. Maetaur with typically take offense to suggestions that they can or do engage in interspecies couplings (though it is not uncommon for a Human and a Maetaur to interbreed, the offspring is always a Maetaur).
Relations: Maetaur do not see a distinction between the local human population and the humans who have invaded the land, and generally treat both with kindness. Maetaur have a long history of cordial relations with Gymnaga, but find them to be peculiar and overtly intimate at times. The Maetaur are skeptical of the Elves and do not, as yet, trust them. Meataur seem to be fascinated by Halflings, and are friendly toward them, but find it difficult to accept their behavior as most Halflings are dismissive of the Natural religion of the Maetaur people. According to tradition, Maetaur and Tafganor (orcs) were in conflict in these lands before the arrival of the first Human kind, and they still see the Trafganor as racial enemies even though no one can remember the last time an actual trafganor kind was seen in these lands.
Alignment and Religion: Meataur are general Good, and often Neutral. They can be Chaotic (rarely) and Lawful (even more rare) and are only now, in the past few generations, coming to understand Lawful as it is applied by the invading populations in regards to the existence of a unified government. Meatuar follow a Nature Religion overseen by a council of Druids (and there is often talk of a High Druid Council that calls secret meetings during the High Seasons, the winter and summer Solstices). They recognize several Nature Gods, each having dominion over different natural aspects of the world including elemental gods. Meatuar Druids do not, usually, seek to have authority within Maetaur populations, but do not object to being called upon to be arbitrators in disputes.
+2 to Dexterity, +2 to Wisdom, -2 to Intelligence, +1 to Charisma
Empathetic: +2 to sense motive checks
Sure Footed: +2 to Skill Checks or Saving Throws that involve balance and footing.
Pack: A Maetaur can carry or drag +20% of weight allowed by its strength, but is limited to normal strength ratings when attempting to lift.
Other racial characteristics for the Maetaur race can be developed as the campaign is played
The Gymnagaopthian (Gymnaga)
The Gymnaga are an indigenous population of Monsterous Humanoids, but by their own history they do not originate in these lands and their stories talk of a great migration many thousands of years ago. Their history as part of these lands is filled with long periods of Slavery under the dominance of the Snake –People (these are called Sashi-Anhain, and are similar to Yaun-Ti in appearance and behavior, but there are differences between these monsters in this campaign setting). Gymnaga people prefer to live close to sources of fresh water, but even something as small as a four acre pond will be sufficient for their needs. They can, and do live among regular populations of Humans and Maetaur.
Description: Gymnaga appear to be a mix of a reptilian creature and a Halfling, and to the interest of both the Gymnaga and Maetaur people their Halfing parts are very similar, though generally speaking Gymnaga have a more robust Halfling physique and are considered, by Humans and Maetaur alike as more physically attractive, having larger, more almond shaped eyes, wider mouths, and shinier hair. However it is important to note that a Gymnaga’s lower body is not Snake-Like. All of the major body organs of a Gymnaga are found in the torso. The reptilian lower body, which begins at the hips is scaled, and contains a short bone structure that is the hip bones and a strange fusion of two upper leg bones into one common knee, but there are no lower leg bones, only the tail bones continue after the knee. The color of a Gymnaga’s lower body can be dark brown through dark green, and speckled yellow and blue over a deep emerald green is not uncommon. Typical height, when standing on the knee, of a Gymnaga is 4’’-10” to 5’6” for females and 5’2” to 5’8” for males. Typical overall length for a Gymnaga is 9 to 12 feet. Typical weight is 160 to 250 pounds. Obesity is extremely rare, but very thin Gymnaga are not uncommon. Gymnaga are semi-aquatic. They cannot breathe water, but can hold their breath for very long periods, up to ten times their constitution score in minutes, before any checks would be required to continue to hold their breath.
Society: Gymnaga have strict rules for place among their communities based upon Class. There are four Classes in their society, The Priest Class (the ruling class, and this is handed down from mother to first born daughter), The Artisan Class (which includes all craftsmen but not laborers or people who take care of animals), the Warrior Class (a very small class), and finally the Low Class which is all unskilled workers, and those who fish or hunt for food. Class conflict is unknown, and each Gymnaga respects and understands their place in society. However, these class distinctions are often pushed very far to the side when a community of Gymnaga is smaller than a few hundred. Generally, when encountered as isolated small settlements, Gymnaga will be found trying to break out of their class roles, though there will always be Priests (Clerics) who are females among any settlement population. Among the Gymnaga are a strange sort of warrior (Inquisitors) who are technically considered part of the warrior class, but who have taken a vow to enforce the society accepted norm that only females can be priests of their Pantheon, and are thus often considered “classless” by other Gymnaga. Typically a Gymnaga, male or female, will wear a long dress like garment that is wrapped around the upper body (in the fashion of what we would know as “Ancient Greece”). These garments can be made from cloth or skins, and often the finer, more delicate the fabric the higher the class of the wearer. Belts are common, but the preferred material is wool, tightly woven and colorfully died. While Gymnaga interact with other races amicably, they can often cause unusual “bad” relations to exist because of their lack of acknowledgement of the need for physical boundaries. They are often intimate with Humans and Maetaur alike and while Humans find this behavior welcome, if challenging, Maetaur find it offensive. Gender Identity is not clear among the Gymnaga, and no non-Gymnaga races understand this, although it is easy to differentiate a male from a female Gymnaga, the only absolute behavioral differences that can be observed by an outsider are the behaviors of the Priests, which tend to be authoritative, a behavior no male Gymnaga exhibits. It is not uncommon to see male and female Gymnaga be overly concerned with their physical appearance and charm, and the attention of other Gymnaga, and other races, of a sexual nature, is always welcome if not sought after. Gymnaga, as far as anyone knows, cannot produce offspring with Human or Meataur relations. Gymnaga bear live young, typiccllay one baby is born, but twins are not unheard of. Gymnaga do not form mated or bonded pairs and families of Gymnaga raise children as a cooperative effort. Gymnaga see all other races, regardless of an individual’s place within their own society, as “Classless”. This does not mean they treat other races with disdain, only that they do not see a need for other races to be identified by class as they are not Gymnaga at all anyway.
Relations: Gymnaga like the company of Humans and Maetaur and find their behavior, their tendency to be uncomfortable around Gymnaga, as a curiosity not to be looked down upon. Indigenous Humans, being accustomed to the behavior of Gymnaga, find them pleasant if a bit difficult to interact with at times. However, the invading human population seems to be overcome with interest in the Gymnaga, and this is causing some tension between these people. Where the Meataur do not see a difference in the two human populations, it is well known that the Gymnaga DO see a difference, in physical appearance and behavior. The Gymnaga are curious about the Elves, but not bothered by them. Gymnaga are conflicted about the Halflings invaders, and are usually closed mouthed about their feelings. It is whispered that there is some ancient connection between them (though the Halflings disclaim any such talk).
Alignment and Religion: Gymnaga are predominately Good and Lawful (in their own way and among larger populations), but can be Neutral and rarely Chaotic. Their religion is highly structured and worships a Pantheon of various gods that are both like the Gymnaga in appearance, and in some instances, not at all. Some isolated Gymnaga communities have been known to adopt Druid like followings, but they are reluctant to acknowledge the authority of other races deities. Gymnaga Clerics are always leaders of their communities and can be found acting alone, as a village leader, or at times as groups. Some Gymnaga Clerics will often leave their communities, at the request of more senior clerics, to study the ways of other religions to better understand their own.
+2 to Charisma, +2 to Intelligence, -2 to Constitution, +1 to Strength
Low Light Vision 50 feet
Natural Swimmers: +2 to any swim check and swim is always a Class Skill
Alluring: +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks
Flexibility: Gymnaga are never denied their Dexterity Bonus to AC unless they are magically or physically restrained. A Gymnaga cannot be Flanked by less than three creatures.
How would the Gymnaga react to a Male Oracle?
How do the locals react to the classes of Gymnaga? Do they even recognize the difference between a Low-Born and a Warrior-Born? Do Gymnaga ever transcend class? Could a Low-Born who has a particular skill at the martial ways ascend to Warrior status?
Good choice, as this is a small Gymnaga settlement (less than 30 individuals) a Male Oracle, in constant conflict with the dominant female priest of the community, is going to be exciting.
Meataur try to understand the class distinctions of the Gymnaga, but don’t always get it right. Humans, the locals anyway, respect the class distinctions but do not make a point of their importance unless a Gymnaga does first. The invader populations do not get it at all, and will have difficulty interacting with Gymnaga, though they do try not to let these difficulties escalate to violence.
You are born into your class, and do not, normally transcend them. But Things are changing in the world, and small settlements of Gymnaga will have individuals who are pushing those boundaries. Opposition comes mainly from the Priest Class and Warrior Class.
It seemed like this was too much information to send out as a personal message, and I am making a HUGE request here that players who are not Alodoan Halflings, please, do not use this information to metagame. There is a lot here about the people who have invaded the land the people of Woodbridge call Home, a land they call Finra Oluun, and Players who are playing members of the indigenous population should not read this post, beyond this out of character message.I am putting this here for players who are thinking about playing Halflings and it is repeated in the discussion thread. Again, please be prudent with this information. Remember we are all supposed to be working on this campaign setting together and this post has things in it that were suggested by some players, and embellished by me to help us get some of the setting established. Thanks.
As a Halfling Player Character you will know the following information. Halfings, as a race, were abducted in great numbers from their homelands over six hundred years ago by sea going Elven raiders from a country called Irishea. After four hundred years of bondage there was an uprising, initiated by a group of Halfling Wizards calling themselves the Liberators of the Garalee (though no Halfings who are in this area at this time can tell you exactly what that means, most understand that Garalee was the Halfling homeland). The uprising of Halfling slaves was brutal and short, and the Elves, unable to match the Halflings in Arcane Wizardry (even though they considered themselves masters of Arcane magic), granted freedom to all Halfling slaves. However, few Halflings were able to make the journey across the sea back to their homeland, and this naturally led to a dramatic change in the makeup of the country of Irishea. One hundred years ago (after one hundred years of Halfling freedom) a mad queen of the Elven people (Queen Arosebelle) declared war against the Empire of Alodoan, a primarily Human Empire. The war was a disaster, and resulted in the Queen being dethroned by leaders of the Elven church, and capitulation to the Alodoan empire. Since Irishea became part of the Alodoan Empire conditions and opportunities for Halflings improved.
Fifteen years ago the Empire of Alodoan invaded the lands of a large island country known as Orimar. The invasion was prompted by an attack on Alodoan shipping along the eastern Alodoan seaboard. Orimar lies to the south east of Alodoan, approximately two hundred nautical miles, and the increase in pirate raids on Alodoan ships forced the Empire’s hand. Fortunately a long protracted war was avoided when the Alodoan people learned that Orimar had no unified government and was, in fact, a land of many waring kingdoms beset with many internal struggles. Everywhere the armies of Alodoan landed warlords and petty kings of small tribes surrendered or fled in ships never to be seen again.
Initially not very many Halflings were part of the Alodoan invasion of Orimar, but once it became clear that the land was easily concurred and that the Empire of Alodoan had big plans for settling and farming of the fertile land, and when regular passage, at no cost to anyone wanting to resettle to the new land, was available, Halfling took an interest in the land of Orimar. Initially this seem like a perfect opportunity to finally get some distance between the Elven people and the Halfling people, but strangely enough a large number of Elves also took an interest in Orimar.
Now it is no secret that there is a separatist movement among the Elven people that seeks to create a new homeland away from the country of Irishea (which was devastated by the war and subsequent natural disasters, the worst of which was a period of fifteen years when Irishea, which lies at the north along the coast of Alodoan, was subjected to several hurricanes). The idea that these Elves would think that they could just leave their own suffering populations and expect the Halfings to get the country back on track is offensive to most Halflings and most Alodoan Halflings will accuse any Elf they meet of being a separatist, even though the separatist movement is quiet small and only about one in ten elves actually supports the movement.
So you (and your family if you want to include one) have taken the voyage to Castletown, one of the more promising settlements in the Alodoan expansion into Orimar. After living for a few months in Castletown, you heard of a small, peaceful, and quiet lovely little village of indigenous people called Woodbridge, just to the southeast of Castletown. The Lord of Castletown had negotiated a peace with the village leaders and a settlement agreement was initiated that granted citizens of the Alodoan Empire the right to build homes, establish trades, and farm up to ten acres of land, if desired. After saving money for a while, you paid the fee, 200 gold pieces, and moved into a little cottage, very sturdy, with four rooms, and a modern all metal wood burning stove, that is just a few yards from the banks of an oxbow lake. There is a little wooden bridge, some twenty feet wide and seventy feet long, at the southwest bend of the oxbow lake that crosses the lake at a narrow point and connects to the land in the center of the oxbow, and this is where the Village of Woodbridge proper lies. To the northeast of your home is a little wood, the locals call it the Maple Wood, and within this wood there is a settlement of very strange little centaurs like people who call themselves Maetaur, and to the south of the oxbow lake, following the river, there is another settlement, of even stranger folk, a sort of half snake half Halfling people who call themselves Gymnaga.
Life in Woodbridge is simple. The locals are good people. There is plenty of food, and the weather seems nice (it is early spring).
Alodaon Halflings are arrogant, and confident. Most of them know some arcane magic (it is considered a sign of respect to the people who liberated the Halflings from slavery to at least try to learn some magic). And every Alodoan Halfling knows two O-level arcane spells and can cast them a number of times per day up to their Intelligence score (unless their Intelligence score is 10 or greater and then they can cast those spells as often as they want). When dealing with Elves, Halflings show little if any respect, and often are dismissive of the problems Elves have. Halflings are mostly non religious, though they do have a Patron Goddess (Kiiroan Gehr, the Goddess of Halflings is a goddess of mysteries and Arcane Magic). Alodoan Halflings are easily enthralled by Maetaur and Gymnaga of the opposite sex.
About Aladoan Halflings
This information represents what a local Human, Maetaur or Gymnaga, knows about the Halflings, if your character is a Halfling you receive more information
Halfings and Elves represent approximately 30% of the invading population, and are almost equally represented (Halfling are just a little less than half of this 30%). Until only very recently Halfings or Elves did not visit Woodbridge, though occasional Aladoan Humans did (and these were usually well armed but not aggressive, parties). Those very few people from Woodbridge who visited Castletown (while it was under construction, about 25% of the population of Woodbridge worked at the site at some time or another, either as laborers, animal handlers, or skilled craftsmen, this means that as many as 75 to 80 locals have had firsthand experience with the Alodoans) came back to the village with this information.
The Humans seem friendly, and interested in peace between them and the local populations. They have advanced building technology, and other sciences, such as medicine and agriculture. The Elves among the Aladoans are quiet and do not talk much and seem aloof. They are very strange looking, somewhat tall and thin, and appear fragile. The Halflings are almost the opposite, in every way. The, at first appear to look much like a Maetaur or Gymnaga except that they have very pronounced pointed and oversized ears, as well as larger and more round shaped eyes (both Maetaur and Gymnaga have normal sized ears for their heads and slightly almond shaped eyes). The Halflings seem to be very good at arcane magic and most of the Halflings that locals met were arcane casters of one kind or another. There was some tension, in the beginning, between the Halflings and Maetaur and Gymnaga, as it seemed that the Halflings were overly curious about these local populations and being that their mannerism could be described as forward and condescending, some negative interactions occurred. It was primarily the Human Alodoans who interceded in these situations and pressed for peaceful resolutions.
There is some kind of odd relationship between the Elves and the Halflings. Locals have told stories of how the Halflings speak in very abrasive and offensive tones when addressing the Elves and the Elves, mostly, are quiet and withdrawn around groups of Halfings.
It would appear that the Halfings are easy in being addressed as Alodoans, but there are some Elves who are uneasy with being associated with that Empire. Since Alodoans have only begun moving to homes built just outside the outer bank of the oxbow lake where Woodbridge lies, in the past year, little more than this is known about these people.
Religion in Woodbridge
The humans that live in Woodbridge worship a Pantheon of Deities that is a combination of Nature gods and ancient ancestor kings and heroes. That is as far as I’ve gotten with this. I would like help from Players in identifying a set of Gods to represent
The God of the land (an earth god, with focus on growing things and strength)
The God of protection (an ancient King, Queen, or Hero, someone who championed the people long ago and was elevated to Godhood)
The God of the home (a hearth god or goddess with ties to the Maetaur people possibly)
The God of secrets (a god over strange magic and prophecy, possibly with ties to the Gymnaga people)
The God of passion (a god or goddess of irrational behavior, chasing after dreams, wealth or love)
A Saint (a local ancestor who overcame a huge obstacle and has ties to Woodbridge)
This should be enough to get our little human community started.
The Gymnaga have a Pantheon of traditional Gods and Goddess similar to the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome with the exception that the Chief Deity is a Female who is the protector of the Gymnaga people. The Gymnaga will claim that their religion, their rituals and beliefs, is centuries older than the beliefs of the humans and Maetaur.
The Maetaur worship a small family God set, a principle Father and Mother who are the creators of the world, and their children who have dominion over aspects of life (protection, healing, planting, animal husbandry, and the elements, air, earth, fire, and water). It is important to note that the Meataur have a firm belief that Elemental Manifestations (creatures and such from the elemental planes) are good aligned.
Here is my first attempt to flesh the pantheon out a little more. Feel free to edit or change as you see fit. I am not married to any of it.
Ki-Tiana - goddess of the Earth, farming, crops, and weather. Align- CN, Nicknames- The Earth Mother,the Elemental; Symbol - precious stones Domains - Earth, plants, Strength, Weather,Water, Fire. Spouse of the Sun, Ki-Tiana is mother of all things but is cold and aloof and often causes men more trouble than good. Prayers to her often go unanswered.
Mithras - god of protection. Nicknames - The Lame God, the Intercessor, the Gray Traveler, Friend of Man. Align - NG; Symbols - The Raven, the Quarterstaff, Hooded cloak. Domains - Protection, Good, Luck, Travel, Liberation.In ancient times, Mithras was a warrior-king that united the people under one kingdome and ruled in peace. He recieved a fierce wound that left him lame. When he died he ascended into godhood, but his kingdom fractured into the small units it remains in. He wanders his old kingdom in the guise of a lame traveler. Those that offer him aid recieve his gift of luck, those that turn him away see fate turn against them. He acts as the intercessor to the rest of the gods who are not exactly keen in the affairs of men and most prayers are said through him.
Alara - Goddess of the Home and Hearth, Fertility, Life (and Death but in a happy way not dark). Daughter of Ki-Tiana. Align - LN; Nicknames - The Daughter, Life-bringer; Life-ender; Symbol - Mouse, Rabbit, other small animal that reproduces often. Domains - Life, Death, Healing, Law, Animals. She represents the domestic side of life. Death is also her domain as it is the end of life, but leads to a happy home and return to family. Women often follow her.
Belisarius - God of Secrets, Trickery, and Magic, God of the Moon, Night, and Darkness Son of Ki-Tiana. Align- CN(tending to Evil). Nicknames - The Wise Man, The Whisperer, The Trickster, The Knave, Symbol - Owl or Wolf or other Nocturnal predators. Domains - Knowledge, Darkness, Night, Chaos, Magic, Runes, Trickery. Jealous son of Ki-Tiana, he is a foe of Man. While arcane magicians worship him, he often leads them towards evil/dark magic. He appears as a wolf.
Kali- Goddess of Passion, Love and Dreams. Wife of Belisarius. Nicknames - Dreamweaver, Love-Bringer. Align - CN(good?). Symbol - large Knotted Rope; Candle; Domains - Chaos, Love, Luck, Gambling, Dreams. Emotional and hard to predict, Kali vacilates between friend to man, and enemy. Her actions are on a whim and forethougt is not her strength. Strong emotions like rage and love, ecstasy and pain are where she is seen in daily life.
Let me know what you think? Still need to think about the Saint figure but thinking about town founder as a starting place
That would be the Human Pantheon, right? GM Terquem recently indicated that we would be using Calistria for the Elven Goddess from Pathfinder. Very nicely done though! Calistria is very similar to what you have come up with for Kali.
Dieredon: It was my intent to have them be similar. Hope that meets approval. Even across cultures, many gods/goddess have similar names/traits.
Wiscara: See GM's post above about Gymnaga's pantheon being quite similar to Traditional Greek/Rome. I think you can google Roman Nature goddess and get what you need. Just create a name.
The sociological component of this world development speaks to me in a surprising way. It's fun to have a blankish slate...
Ok I'll find a list of the major ones since there are going to be LOTS and choose a dozen? or so and see what I can come up with. Remembering the chief one is female. I can imagine the love god will be popular?
Wiscara-You are going to want to change directions on that and be thinking about Maetaur Gods, not Gymnaga Gods.
I think the treatment of the Urandoman Pantheon is fantastic, but I have some concerns (these things don’t need to be changed, it just seems off to me).
If Mithras was a man who united people, he would most certainly have to be a Lawful Good man, and shouldn’t he be a Lawful Good Deity, but as I talk about below, he is seen as Neutral Good by the people?
I think that these people would not have a strong grasp of the value of “Law” that is in the ideas of greater laws, and for this reason the God Alara should not have Law as a domain, and then once that is removed, she reads more as a God of Neutral Good (with Chaotic tendencies)
Belisarius would be better as Neutral Evil (with Chaotic tendencies) and be a kind of Dark God that the people are afraid of, and would be worshiped only in secret by people with questionable motives).
Kali (whose name is, honestly, a little too close to, you know, well, “Kali”, which could offend some players so let’s rethink that name please) Should be Chaotic Good, and is probably the God most people in Woodbridge invoke most of the time as they are a fiercely Good, and Independent, passionate people (even though the local priest would like the population to recognize Mithras as their patron first, the people have their own way of looking at the world, in that when things are good they pray to this Good of Passions, and when things are troubling they turn to Mithras, something the Priest has mixed feelings about).
Now with the Gods of the Urandoman’s as primarily Good (and Chaotic), it is easier for them to accept the Alodoans, who are also Good people, but I can see trouble in the future because the Alodoans have a pantheon dominated By Lawful Gods. Sure right now, with the Alodoans bringing better home building, more magic, better agriculture (and domestic pigs! Only wild dangerous Boars are native to the Woodbridge area and this new domestic animal is seen as a great boon for the people) things are grand, but let’s see how the future unfolds when the Alodoans begin expecting more Lawful behavior out of a very chaotic (but Good) local population accustomed to doing things their own ways.
Also, remember that Calistria is as foreign (in concept and familiarity) as it could possibly be to the local Human, Maetaur and Gymnaga people.
The locals have never seen an Elf or Halfling before six or seven years ago.
I hope to put up a list of seven to ten principle NPC(s) of Woodbridge today.
Unless I missed someone, we only have
An Elf Ranger (Aladoan)
A Human Druid (Urandoman
A Human Priest(Urandoman)
A Human Witch (Urandoman)
And I will get some information up today on the role of Witches, Druids and Clerics in Woodbridge.
About the Clerics, Druids, and Witches, of Woodbridge
There is little, if any, organized religion in Woodbridge. There are no “regular” services, and no temples or churches. The people of Woodbridge are comfortable saying prayers, in their own ways, to the various Gods they know of, and ask for blessing and guidance when it feels necessary.
However, there are people who have dedicated their lives to religious beliefs and they play a role in some of the day to day activities of Woodbridge.
First there is Corlew Panforey, or Mr. Panforey, as he is known to the village. He is a sixty four year old man, in good health (in his youth he was a mason, and likes to point out some of the stonework around the village that is his handiwork). He married late in life to Rowelliwyn Woolorly, the daughter of Martin and Jeneanne Woolorly (a family that keeps sheep and goats), and did not expect to father children, but he prayed for a family, and his prayers were answered.
He now has two daughters (aged fourteen and eleven, and one son, age nine). When he saw the answers to his prayers in the flesh, Mr. Panforey devoted the rest of his life to charity work, and took on the role of local priest (though he has no real authority in this self appointment). He has, in his sixty four years of living in Woodbridge, learned from wandering travelers, local Maetaur Druids, and the Gymnaga, much about the various beliefs of the people of the land. He prays every day, but does not always receive the blessing of spells from the Gods he prays to, though in times of need he has been surprised with spells he’s not certain he understands.
He is a peaceful man, a bit of a busy-body, and is on good terms with practically everybody. In the last year he has established a friendship with a younger man, whom he has begun calling Brother Phineas, and is proud to see the same sort of religious dedication in this young man, that he sees in himself.
Mr. Panforey is often asked to say a few words at marriages (even when he is not asked to perform the ceremony himself), bless families, and new building projects (where he can go on and on a bit too much talking about how things are different today and not done in the ways things used to be done), and always speaks at funerals when there is a burial in the local graveyard (but tends to avoid getting involved in the burial rituals of the Gymnaga or Maetaur). He knows the rituals of the Maetaur Druids and is acquainted with the leader of the Gymnaga people, a Cleric by the name of Rosilindeae Vesuna.
Mr. Panforey is a 3rd level Cleric, but does not always have access to second level spells. Most days he will have orisons prepared and at least one first level spell. His domains are Good, and Community
Then there is the Druid, Dominic Tabrello. He is a male Maetaur, and the leader of the Maetaur people who consider themselves part of the Woodbridge community (of which there are forty three, from seven Maetaur families). He is in the prime of his life, at thirty three years old, and by far not the oldest Maetaur in the community. He is the companion of a female Maetaur, who is also a Druid, and whom some suspect of having more power than he does. Her name is Cicily Fautinbino, and she is older than he is by sixteen years.
In total there are five practicing Druids among the Maetaur. It is not spoken of in the company of non Maetaur people, but it is well known that the Maetaur Druids hold monthly meetings in a secret grove to discuss purely domestic matters and often to cast votes on decisions the Druids feel need to be weighed more carefully when it could affect the well being of all of them. It is even suspected that it is in these meetings where they vote on who will lead them. Dominic has been leading the Maetaur for just over two years (his mate was leader for nine years prior to him).
The Maetaur Druids are more than happy to help the local Human and Gymnaga population with matters under their expertise, and there is a good rapport between Dominic and Mr. Panforey (and cordial if a bit strained relations between Dominic and Rosilindeae.
There have been Humans who have learned to be practicing Druids from the Maetaur, but it is not common for Humans to want to dedicate themselves to that kind of life.
Dominic is a third level Druid, his mate, Cicily is, or was, perhaps once a fifth level druid, but she has taken a leave from those responsibilities and is happier just being a mother. In addition to these two there are three first level Maetaur Druids, who are not well known to the human population
And then there is Rosilindeae. She is a Cleric of the Gymnaga people, of which there are twenty seven in five families, who have a rigid religious belief system, but who, for reasons she keeps to herself, has decided to be more relaxed about. It is uncommon for Gymnaga groups to not follow strict religious formalities (daily prayers and blessings), and so her community is an exception to the rule. Some of the people in Woodbridge proper believe this could be because of Rosilindeae’s connection to an outspoken Gymnaga Witch, Bertrius Colinaria (A male Gymnaga who is very charismatic).
Humans and Maetaur do not generally seek out Rosilindeaea’s help very often, but there have been times in the past years, when the village was suffering from outbreaks of minor illnesses or when there were episodes of flooding, when She, Mr. Panforey and Cicily have worked together for the common good of the village.
Rosilindeae is a third level Cleric. Her domains are Liberation and Weather
Now that is all there is to know about the religious leaders of Woodbridge, but not all there is to know about the secrets of Woodbridge.
There is a God among those known to the Humans of Woodbridge, and through strange and unknown circumstances, this good takes many shapes and forms, he is also known in the Pantheon of the Mautaur and Gymnaga people. He is sometimes called Belisarius, and at other times, Raal, and also, Trynomor. He is a good of trickery, deception, and dark secrets (some believe him to be a God of evil, while others understand him to be a God of pure chaos and in that regard not an outsider to the people of Woodbridge who are fiercely independent).
There is a long history, among the Urandoman people, of individuals who are touched by Belisarius, or his minions, and these people are known to everyone as Witches of the Woods. There are even strange stories told of Maetaur and Gymnaga folk who have answered the call of Belisarius.
Among Human villages it is not uncommon for a Witch of the Woods to live among and be a regular part of the village, but among Gymnaga folk, and Maetaur folk, these individuals are normally shunned and at the same time respected for their unique powers.
Currently there is a well known Witch living in Woodbridge proper and she is called Auria the One Hand (it is rumored she cut off her own left hand to sacrifice it to perform some strange ritual, but Mr. Panforey can tell you the truth if you want to know it).
No one in Woodbridge knows of a Maetaur Witch in the area, but it is possible, and lastly there is the Gymnaga Witch, Bertrius who for the time is living among the Gymnaga folk and is seen, by them, as a sort of spiritually awakened individual.
All witches in this setting derive their power from Belisarius or one of his minions (see the entry above on the Human pantheon). Auria the One Hand, is a third level witch. Bertrius is a second level witch.
Lastly there are rumors that oracles occur among all three people of this land, though it is not known if there are any in this area at this time.
Local Humans, Maetaur, and Gymnaga have no real knowledge of the religious practices of the Alodoan people, their Gods or Beliefs.
I know that you do not have the list of NPCs available as of yet, but who is the proprietor of the Bread and Board?
re: post above regarding religions etc
When DM'ing I always wanted a forum to bounce world-building ideas off of and never had one. I like the concept of this world and especially like the co-operative nature of it's creation.
Thanks for kickstarting!
Oscar Oghan Age: forty One, he is a tall, broad shouldered man, but he is a bit lame having suffered a back injury when he was a young man. His wife is Molu "Lulu" Oghan (Sharety). They have two teen age sons, Sean and Roan. Both The Oghan and Sharety families are well represented in Woodbridge.
As you are becoming an actual Druid, you will be shown to a special ceremonial glade in the woods. All Maetaur people will attend, and any Human folk you want to be there, may also attend. The ceremony was two days ago (five days before the spring festival) unless you want to role play the event.
I will role play the ending of it. And my idea was that she had to find her companion. I have that typed up already. This will all happen just before the festival begins. Or just as it begins.
Feel free to set the scene of it for me if you like, in a spoiler perhaps so everyone doesnt have to read if they dont want to. Or I can just make it up from Cara's PoV. Perhaps they are just finishing up, shaking hands or whatever they do. Shaking hands seems too formal lol.
Okay, sounds good
Just to keep us on track here, (excellent posts in the Game thread so far, thanks!)
The game introduction describes an event three full days before some kind of local "spring festival", and by the posts of Brother Phineas and Dieredon, we are still on that time schedule.
(The morning described by the players would be the same day that Wuda meets the Alodoans, they have twenty miles to travel before they reach Woodbridge, and that puts them there one day before the festival,assuming they can make about 8 to 10 miles per day or two days from today. The festival will take place on the fourth day from the beginning of the game.)
So Wiscara can get into the game now, possibly making preperations (putting together the "props" whatever those might be, that she needs for the ceremony)or she can wait,and then as the days progress we can set the stage for the ceremony.
Is it possible that Marcus Dale can be with Wuda. That he is her apprentice and helper. Maybe even a grandson of some sort. I think it could be a good "hook" in, plus that will give reason to why I have ranks in craft (arms/armor/cloth) and profession (merchant/tanner). If not than I will keep working on the character backstory, but the crunch is all set up to go :)
There was an effort, from the beginning, to have all of the characters be a part of the Woodbridge community. I think Marcus could be a valuable part of the community. Woodbridge must have its share of craftsmen. Is there some specific reason you would not want him to be a citizen of Woodbridge?
About the Ruins of MacNorra House
South of the village of Woodbrige about a half mile walk along the wandering river Lorisaine, you’ll find a peculiar stone ruin that locals call the Ruins of MacNorra House.
Now the ruins are not any kind of house, nor were they put there by anyone of the MacNorra family, but fifty years ago, Duffy MacNorra, who has since passed on, discovered the ruin and set out to build a house near there. Duffy gave up on the project when he married Ginny Barrow, and they moved into Genny’s parents house at Lakeside.
The ruin is six structures, all of very large cut and fitted stones (each being, on average, about two feet long on each side and one foot high). The stones were brought, most likely, from a hill to the east of the river, a place people only know about in stories, called The Hill of the Cairns.
The six structures are not uniform. Three of them are round, about thirty feet in diameter, and rise to a height of eight to twelve feet. These three structures are placed one hundred feet from the river bank, to the west. Two of the structures are rectangular, twenty feet by sixty feet, and are set perpendicular, with their long sides parallel to the river bank, and here the river bank shows signs that it was cut and reinforced with stones. The two rectangular structures have walls that rise only to a height of four to six feet, and unlike the round structures show signs of having, once, interior walls, the foundations of which can still be seen. Lastly, and most strangely, there is a square structure. This structure sits in the river itself, on a bed of hard stone where the water is only a few feet deep. It is forty feet on a side, and rises to a height of fourteen feet. Two of the sides, the two facing up and down river, are open and the river flows through the structure. There is a peculiar hole some four feet square in the eastern wall of the structure six feet above the river. There are no features within the structure except for a ledge that is two feet wide that runs the entire perimeter of the building eight feet above the water.
When Duff found the ruin, there were no roofs, and some of the walls were only partially intact. He also found stones, similar to the ones of the ruin, seventy five yards away from the eastern bank of the river, but as the forest closes in thick on the eastern side of the river, he didn’t follow what he thought was a trail of the stones going east toward the Hill of the Cairns.
Twelve years ago three families of Gymnaga came to Woodbridge. They came from the south, and claimed they had been driven out of a larger Gymnaga village many miles upriver. At that time, Sean Flaherty was the village elder, and he was sympathetic to the situation of the Gymnaga and agreed to give them the ruin as a place to build their homes. Since that time, two more Gymnaga families have joined that community, and they have built up the ruin to suit them. They have added roofs of timber and shingle to most of the structures, and built up some cottages, in a similar style to the cottages at Woodbrigde next to the round structures of the ruin, which they use as craft shops, where they work leather and spin wool. Being a semi-aquatic people, they have taken to the structure that sits in the river quite naturally, and added a second floor to it, but left the ceiling open, and this is a sort of part temple, part “town hall”. The long buildings on the banks of the river are homes to the two largest families of Gymnaga, Rosilindeae’s family of six (three adults, two adolescents, and one small child), and a second family (not identified yet) of seven. In the cottages (three) are three other families of five, five, and four.
Rosilindeae’s family would be of the Priest class in their own culture, the family that lives next to them are of the Warrior Class, and two of the families in the cottages are of the Artisan class, and the last is of the lower class, but this Gymnaga community does not hold class as highly as a larger community would.
Having writers block...until now.
Marcuss Dale was born and raised in Woodbridge. His father is a local craftsman, of arms, armor and cloth. His father, taught Marcus everything he knows about these subjects and many more such has how to haggle for the best prices to keep the small community thriving. His father was known well for the kilts and other garments made that lasted many seasons.
Marcus Dale's mother is a local midwife, when the situation warrants. When not delivering new life to the world, she is an educator. She taught Marcus what he knows of the local surroundings, both man made and natural. local/geography
Marcus went to work for his father when he was about 10 years old. At first he was tasked with working the billows, helping hold pieces of cloth to help create kilts and other clothes. It wasn't until Marcus was 15 or so, and built up his strength and stamina that his father tasked him with creating actual armaments. His father, was shocked at the worked turned out by his son, it was very well done.
When asked about how he created such a fine piece, Marcus responded with
It's not about how hard I hit the material, but rather where and how methodical I am when making it
In shear amazement, Marcus' father, let him have a little bit more control of the business, since he was hoping Macrus would follow in his footsteps and take over the business one day.
Marcus and his father worked together on jobs when they came in. Also on supplying the small community with enough clothing to keep them warm on the brisk nights of autumn and nearly frozen nights of winter.
For the Gymnaga Gods and the Pantheon I have some ideas
Koi-vin: Goddess of Communities, Law, Protection and Water, she is a Lawful and Good deity, often depicted as a Gymnaga female encircling a town with her body, holding a white orb or pearl in her right hand. She is also known as the Watchful Goddess or more lovingly called 'Mother from the Sea'. She is the main goddess of the Gymnaga Pantheon.
Keravus: God of the Sky, Sun and Weather (equivalent to Zeus in some ways), a bit of a fickle god he often swings where his mood takes him. A Neutral deity, depicted often with a hammer and a scepter, the hammer stands for his anger and thunderstorms, the scepter for his benevolence and good weather. He is also known simply as 'The Fickle One' or ' the Striker' when bad weather is coming.
Talagos: God of the Hunt, Archery, wild animals and Stealth. He is the God to whom many pray when they go hunting, go to war or don't want to be noticed. He adheres often to the right of the strongest, though he is known to play favourites at times. Though chaotic in nature, he is not prone to good or evil, preferring nature to run its course. He is depicted as a cloaked hunter, recognisable by his silver bow and arrows.
Yovit: Goddess of Fertility, Earth and Plants, a benevolent goddess that seeks balance in all things but enjoys seeing a forest grow and develop from a single seed. She is seen carrying a bit of earth with a small tree in it, though if this is just an indication of her true size or a representation is not known. Her symbol is three trees twisted into one.
Do-Wiar: Goddess of Wisdom, Reasoning, Study and Devotion (to learning), she is worshiped mainly by scholars, mages and judges (in addition to Koi-Vin). Her influence reaches out to those that study, however good or evil they may be, sometimes suggesting that they should do anything to acquire more of it (think Neutral to NE). Her depiction is a being that looks human holding an open book and a quill, ready to write things down. Symbols are obviously the same book and quill.
About Prices, Goods, and Services
Where I hope to convey a setting that is comparable to a standard Pathfinder Game economic situation, I think everyone can agree that often times the costs of things in the rules are more appropriate to keeping adventures in the goods they need based upon the treasures they find, rather than reflect any sort of actual economy. AND I do not want to try to create an economy, but I have been running games for a very long time, and do have some experience for things that worked and things that didn’t.
Breakfast will cost two copper pieces at the tavern, if Lulu likes you, five if you have given her any trouble recently. A small metal object, a clasp or hook, for hanging on the wall, or making into a buckle for a pair of shoes, should cost about 3 to 5 copper pieces, but could cost one or two silver pieces, depending on how much money is circulating in the village.
With the spring festival coming up, and a known peddler of rare and exotic goods coming to town, people are bound to be a bit closed fisted with the money they have. Ultimately, you are going to have to ask a price for the goods that a character wants made, and then try to get that price without taking a loss on the materials you need to make them.
This village does not have resources to raw mining materials. Iron, Copper, Brass, and Bronze, come to the village about twice a year, and that is because someone in the village goes somewhere else to get those raw materials (and takes the financial risks associated with this kind of venture).
The total value of all coins, that are generally believed to exist, in the Village is about eight hundred gold coins worth of currency (mostly Urandoman coins, but about 30 percent are Alodoan coins, and they are similar sized and shaped, copper, silver and gold coins). Some villagers will trade the same four copper coins back and forth for weeks, for eggs, then for a meal prepared from those eggs, to chicken feed to make the eggs the same three people just swap a few coins. They don’t think about the silliness associated with what they are doing, it has become how money works.
So feel free to start at the basic cost listed in the rules, and then don’t get hung up on them. Ask a price, and try to get that price if you can.
Wow I sleep and everyone posts :p
Yea still working on their gods. Will have something soon and will probably need help to make it better.
First game post from me soon, Cara getting ready.
Didn't think I needed to put this in the game thread.
Marcus You might have missed a bit of dialog directed toward you from Wiscara.
Phineas I started typing a response to your post yesterday, read it back to myself and wasn't happy with it. See, I want Panforey to say you are right, but he is still the kind of man who knows his own limitations and knows that Auria is going to probably be better at identifying what is going on, he knows it, but he doesn't want to be reduced in your eyes, so let me have a little more time to try and get that right (of course I'll probably drop the ball anyway, haha)
Dieredon Getting to you today as well
PoseusThe river is shallow in places, not an easy swim, but faster, for you, than trudging along the bank. Do you want to approach someone in your own way or would you like to have an NPC approach you first?
I would like to encourage everyone who is participating to really make the effort to read everyone's posts, even if you don't think it is important to your character, except spoiler tags, try to respect those, because WOW everyone is doing such a great job bringing this village to life, THANK YOU
Just a quick note/question on Poseus's behalf; It was twenty years ago that a few families of Gymnaga migrated to Woodbridge, however if he was with that group as I first implied he would be 25 by now.
I think that he might be younger than that, else he would have been better at fishing and hunting, so he came with his family and others as a later group around twelve years ago if you don't mind that.
Edit: see post below; Excellent, than he would have come with the first group of families.
I may have created a contradiction somewhere above. The first post, going upward,About the Ruins of MacNorra House says it was twelve years ago for the first three families, and then sometime after that two more families joined that group, if I said twenty years somewhere else, I apologize, and for the record, let's hold it to the twelve years ago statement. This means Poseus could be around Seventeen, if that works for you.
DM Terguem - thanks for the note. Sorry to put you in a sticky place, but as a PC isn't that my job? If I were playing the NPC cleric, i might say something to the effect that "even though it might seem strange, the gods have given us these resources. Our role is to do more than pray, but to utilize all the gifts given to us is a greater exaltation." You get the idea.
Phineas, as you can tell, is a bit of a superstitious, xenophobic, and has a small town mentality. Hewants the power/authority of being the priest and has a hard time embracing the value of other races.
He does respect Mr P and I don't see that changing in this exchange.
Hope my little crush on the local girl is okay. Any thought towards giving a roll of the NPC's in town and keeping it living somehow? Right now, I'm following the few people, but if it gets to 100+ its going to be a handful.
Enjoying the starting point so far. Thanks!
Yea my bad I will BOLD peoples names in my posts in future. Also I read everyones posts just to make sure I get information right for something that might aply to me sometime in the future or something.
Ok finally got something for you.
Father - air/weather - Patyn - NN
Guides the weather, watches over all from above, druids focusing on him usually have bird companions.
Mother - earth/nature/moon - Matura - NG
Causes things to grow, controls the circle and order of things, cycle of nature.
Daughter - water/wisdom - Sophia - LG
Seeker of understanding, flowing and the most beautiful of all. Linked to moon to give tides.
Son - fire/knowledge - Dynamis - CG
Lives on the sun, giver of insight and intellect. But impatient and sometimes accidentally destructive, not realizing all consequences.
Son - crafting/skill - Teknus - LN
Combining wisdom and knowledge to create out of nature what is not nature. Builder and seeker of advancement.
Daughter - food/drink/fun/love - Palata - CN
Feeder of the family, always trying new things. Getting drunk and always after fun above all.
I based the names off greek words more or less.
Anything can be altered and ill expand more.
Let me know what you think
HI! It's ol'Hypo!
Profile is done- just thought I'd jump in here and put out a few feelers. Anything that needs to be changed can be edited if needed. So my Idea for Cal is that he's a new comer to the village- relatively speaking. He's been here for 5-6 years or so. Long enough to establish himself but still be considered a bit of an outsider. I wasnt sure how much world background Terq had, so I made Cal in such a way (see his background) that the outside world is as much a mystery to him as anyone else. I'm afraid I took advantage of Wiscara's background to get a local "feel" to Cal's introduction. I hope that's ok- as I said it can be changed if not. I'll wait for final GM approval of Cal before I start posting in the game tab.