Talislanta Races H-R

Written by Martin K.

Part A-G | H-R | S-Z


RaceStrConDexIntWisCha
Hadjin / Hajan       +2   +2
Harakin   +2     +2  
Imrian +2 +2        
Ispasian       +2 +2  
Jaka +2       +2  
Kang +2   +2      
Kasmiran       +2 +2  
Kharakhan +4 +4        
Mandalan   +2     +2  
Mangar +2 +2        
Manra   +2 +2      
Marukan - - - - - -
Mirin   +2   +2    
Mogroth +2 +2        
Mondre Khan +2 +2        
Moorg-Wan +2 +2        
Muse         +2 +2
Nagra   +2     +2  
Na-Ku   +2 +2      
Oceanian (Sea Nomad)   +2 +2      
Orgovian   +2     +2  
Parthenian       +2   +2
Phantasian       +2   +2
Quan +2     +2    
Rahastran         +2 +2
Rajan   +2   +2    

 

 

Hadjin, Hajan

hadjinsThe Hadjin are a tall and slender folk similar in stature to the Cymrilians. They daub their pale green complexions with colored powders, and dress in layered robes, upward-sweeping caps and long, velveteen gloves.

The Hadjin are descended from the Phandre, a sect of magicians who fled from the Western Lands during the Cult Wars, taking with them a vast store of wealth that had been accumulated by their ancestors. Among their assets were three parcels of land, two of which were leased at a considerable profit; these became the citystates of Danuvia and Maruk. The third was the site upon which the citystate of Hadj was built.

The citystate of Hadj is a monument to materialism and a haven for the idle rich. There is no such thing as public property in Hadj, where every square foot of land is allocated for rent or lease. The Hadjin aristocracy possess no useful skills to speak of, but are the inheritors of an incredibly vast store of wealth left to them by their early ancestors. They live in luxury, their every need attended to by loyal Hajan, a class of highly refined servitors.

Hajan regard themselves as “Penultimates” — second only to their Hadjin masters, and as such, exalted in comparison with other peoples. They serve as personal valets, chauffeurs, gourmet chefs, factotums, magistrates, and ambassadors; the citystate’s Monad population and foreign immigrants handle all manual labor, and comprise the working class of Hadj. Hadjin eat only the most costly delicacies, and dress in finery. Marriages are elaborate affairs arranged by the parents of the betrothed in order to enhance status and pedigree. Their children are raised by Hajan servants and instructed in the intricacies of Hadjin etiquette by Hajan tutors; they are not allowed to associate with commoners of any sort, and are sheltered from all aspects of the world outside of Hadj.

Born into great wealth, the Hadjin consider themselves superior to common folk. They are in the habit of waving themselves with scented fans when in the presence of outsiders, whom they deem odious, coarse, and offensive in terms of appearance and odor. A people of highly refined tastes, the Hadjin shun hard work of any sort. They maintain their lofty standard of living through their investments and by allowing adventurers to explore the monolithic tombs of their wealthy ancestors, a privilege that does not come cheaply.

Backgrounds

Hadjin Aristocrat: house leader, classic poet, erotic novelist, music connoisseur, gourmet, bonvivant, disowned heir

Hajan Penultimate: mercantile scribe, valet, chauffeur, gourmet chef, factotum, magistrate, ambassador, marriage broker, perfume creator

Hadjin, Hajan Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Cha

Filthy Rich: Regardless of class, your starting gold is 2d20 x 100 gp.

A Job for the bodyguard (Racial power)

Once per battle, when an ally intercepts an enemy trying to engage you, you can grant that ally a +4 bonus to all defenses that turn as a free action.

Adventurer feat: At the start of battle, grant a nearby ally a +4 bonus to initiative.

Champion feat: When you grant a defense bonus to an intercepting ally, that ally can also make an opportunity attack against the enemy he intercepted.

Epic feat: You can use this power twice per battle.

 

Harakin

Blood Ritual 1The Harakin are a gray-skinned race, lean and rugged of build and averaging over six feet in height. They dress in loincloths, cowls, high boots, and heavy gloves, usually made of reptile hide. Both the males and females paint the areas around their eyes with black pigments, giving them a fearsome aspect.

To the Harakin, life is a constant struggle to eke out a living in a harsh and unforgiving land. Raised in the hostile environment of Harak, these folk are able to endure great hardships. Both the males and females are warriors, and of necessity, survivalists.

Harakin clans are nomadic, traveling from place to place in search of food and water, both precious commodities in this region. Their preferred food is wild muskront or tundra beast, from which they also obtain hides, bone, and horn. If game cannot be found they may raid other clans in order to steal their food. When even such raids have proved fruitless, Harakin subsist on scorpions, serpents, spiders, and bits of lichen and mosses.

The Harakin care nothing for the ways of civilized people, they view all other living creatures as prey. Some Harakin clans have domesticated the dractyl, a species of winged reptile native to the sheer cliffs of Harak’s coastal regions. The Harakin use these creatures for transport and in battle. Though ugly, mean, and ungainly, dractyl require little food and are themselves somewhat edible.

The Harakin have no interest in art or music. Skills and crafts not related to warfare or survival are regarded as useless. Each clan member learns to make his or her own weapons, which are hammered and honed from the numerous fragments of black iron found almost everywhere throughout the region. All other skills needed to survive — such as hunting, dressing game, and finding water, etc. — are considered warriors’ skills. The Harakin word for “survival” and “fight” (hakta) are one and the same.

Backgrounds

Harak nomad, raider, survivor, dactyl rider, weaponsmith, tanner, medicine man

Harakin Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Wis

Survivor: Once between quick rests, roll twice on a skill check required to survive in a harsh environment. You need half the amount of food and water of other races.

Swift Kill (Racial power)

In the wasteland of Harak, long, drawn out battles spell death for both parties. You move in for the kill to end it as quickly as possible.

Your first hit in a battle deals an additional 1d6 per level damage.

Adventurer feat: You gain a +2 bonus to your first attack in a battle.

Champion feat: Increase the bonus damage to 1d8 per level.

Epic feat: Increase the bonus damage to 1d10 per level.

 

Imrian

imrienImrians, are tall and muscular, with sloping shoulders, and dark, deep-set eyes. Their scaly yellow-green skin is covered with a coating of translucent slime, which serves to keep moisture in when they are on dry land. Their hands and feet are webbed, and their powerful jaws are lined with a double row of sharp teeth. Both the males and females dress in crude loincloths of kra hide and wear necklaces of brass rings.

The Imrians have a single large settlement called Kragan. Located in a great lagoon situated in the center of the island, this place consists of hundreds of reed and thatch hovels, each plastered with mud and supported on stilt-like poles. The tallest of these structures tower forty feet or more above the lagoon, and are occupied by the wealthiest Imrians — the King of Imria dwells within the highest. The least prosperous Imrians own hovels which stand just above the water or are partially submerged, depending upon the tide. Slave laborers and those awaiting sale are housed in floating pens, moored by heavy lines to the lagoon bottom.

Dominant Imrian males often keep the “choicest” females for themselves; those in positions of power may have a harem of consorts from which to choose. The concept of family is unknown to the Imrians. Young Imrians hatch from eggs, and spend their youth as water-breathing “newts.” Lungs capable of breathing out of water develop by the end of the eighth year, after which the Imrian is considered an adult. From this point on the creature must fend for itself.

Imrian habits are generally unappreciated by the other intelligent races of Talislanta. Most consider the amphibians' taste for slugs, worms, and leeches to be disgusting, and find it impossible to enjoy a decent meal in their presence. The Imrians themselves find most common types of food and drink revolting, but regard ten year-old brine and giant water bugs as great delicacies. The light coating of slime that covers the body of a healthy Imrian is likewise unappealing to some — especially clothiers and launderers, who dread the appearance of an Imrian in their establishments.

Imrians are slavers, a profession that enlightened Talislantan peoples regard as repulsive. Even among those who use slaves Imrians are regarded as a backward race. The Imrians, aware that this is how they are perceived, exhibit considerable defensiveness, hostility, and insecurity regarding the issue of their nobility and lineage.

Imrians are among the few Talislantans who do not fear to sail into the open sea. They range far and wide in their massive, barge-like coracles, which are constructed from the bones and hide of kra. Smaller vessels of woven reeds are used for shore raids and to transport captured slaves back to the larger ships.

Backgrounds

Slave trader, slave hunter, sea warrior, sailor, ship cook, newt guard, pearl diver

Imrian Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con

Amphibious: You can breathe under water.

Thick, Slimy Hide: You always count as wearing light armor and take no penalties for it, regardless of class. However, wearing armor interferes with your slimy skin, and you take a -2 penalty to attack rolls in heavy armor (or your class penalty, whichever is higher). The skin also allows you to survive out of water for up to a week.

Immune to Batrean female's scent

Claws: Treat as d6 melee weapons

Slippery (Racial Power)

Once per battle, when an enemy attempts to grab you or impose the stuck condition, immediately make a save to avoid it.

Adventurer feat: If you succeed at the save, the enemy provokes an opportunity attack from you.

 

Ispasian

Ispal fulOn the top floor of the highest tower in Ispasia, a group of individuals who regard themselves as the true rulers of the Kang Empire meet daily to decide the fate of a world. Around a table of costly blue jade and fine whitewood, they look out upon a city of elegance and grace and over the dark waters of the Gulf of Quan and the Sea of Madness. Ispasia thrives, more than any other city in the Empire, but it does so quietly. Your people suffered the Quan, despite their pomposity. They cultivated decadence, and you profited by catering to their excesses. Now you suffer the Kang, despite their contempt. They cultivate war, and you will profit from their excesses as well. And when the Kang’s aggression has brought destruction down upon them, you will simply find a new path of prosperity. For you understand that commerce is the true realm of power. It provides for all the needs and desires of life, and it brings the only ally whose loyalty can never be questioned: profit. Among Ispasians, kinship and friendship are matters of business. You do not let feelings cloud your judgement. You endure no conflicting obligations, judging opportunities only on their risks and rewards. You plan your fortunes towards a chair around that table of white and amber, and you will do what must be done to achieve your goal.

The Ispasians are a folk of slender physique, lemon-yellow skin and expressionless features. They dress in robes of fine silkcloth, upon which are indited elaborate sigils representing their respective family crests.

The Ispasians are a people who have prospered through their mastery of financial matters and transactions. They live in manor houses set within the walls of their well-manicured and tastefully landscaped estates. The typical Ispasian manse has circular windows of rose colored glass, a pagoda-style roof, slender white columns, and a flight of white stone stairs leading to the entranceway. Their homes are decorated in rich, yet elegantly understated, style. Typical amenities include a large sitting room, parquet floors carpeted with rugs imported from the Desert Kingdoms, and furnishings upholstered in the finest Mandalan silkcloth.

Ispasian marriages are treated as a merger of two families and their fortunes, and are negotiated with the usual Ispasian discretion and attention to detail. Children are raised by servants of foreign extraction (typically Mandalans), and begin schooling in financial matters at age three. Ispasians drink rare wines from fluted crystal glasses and eat the finest foods, but never to excess. Their one weakness is the desire to acquire things of value and beauty.

Backgrounds

Accountant, commodity trader, gem cutter, goldsmith, wine merchant, high-stakes gambler, Kang translator, Imperial bureaucrat

Ispasian Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Wis

Wealthy: Multiply your starting gold by 10.

Weigh the Odds (Racial power)

You have learned to calculate probability with a clear precision. You were bred to succeed, and know enough to avoid the pitfalls of excess and ostentation.

Once between short rests, have the DM tell you the DC of a skill check or attack that you attempt.

Adventurer feat: You gain a +1 bonus to the roll if you decide to take the odds.

Champion feat: If you decide not to take the odds, you gain a +1 bonus to a d20 roll of the next other action you attempt.

 

Jaka

jakas-2a8d417The Jaka are a striking people, with sleek black fur, a silvery-gray mane, and blazing green eyes. They dress in loincloths, with vests of toughened and boiled leather for protection. Most favor leg and arm bracers as decoration an additional armor, and pendants that the they believe protect them from the “evil eye”.

The Jaka claim to be descended from a noble race of intelligent beast-folk who once roamed the forests of northern Talislanta before the coming of the Archaens. They are a fiercely independent folk who value freedom above all things. They hunt or trade in small bands of up to a dozen or so individuals. They make no permanent dwellings, though they may mark an expanse of woods or hills as their hunting territory. When male and female Jaka mate it is usually for life. Jaka females rarely give birth to more than two litters in their lifetime, and almost always give birth to twins.

Though considered barbaric by most Talislantans, the Jaka are actually a complex and cunning folk. They are canny traders, and as mercenaries are much in demand as scouts, hunters and guides. A few also possess some talent for the taming of wild beasts, through which the Jaka became known as “the Beastmasters of the Northern Woods.”

Jaka tend to be suspicious by nature, a trait that is attributable to their uncannily acute senses. The Jaka’s sixth sense, which alerts them to the presence of danger, is so acute that the creatures occasionally evince behavior that verges on paranoia. While the Jaka are loners at heart, they are known to make steadfast, if not particularly sociable, companions.

Jaka have no formal religion, though they revere one of the Forgotten Gods, Jakar, meaning Lord of the Beasts. According to legend Jakar was the scion and companion of Creator, who made him the first beast to walk erect and the master of all other animals in the forest. It was Jakar and his mate, Jalar, who gave birth to the race of Jaka, and who taught the first Jaka the secret lore of the Beastmasters.

Backgrounds

Beast tamer, Jakar mystic, talisman maker, hunt leader, wilderness guide, fletcher, tanner, herbalist

Jaka Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Wis

Sixth sense: Jaka instinctively sense nearby danger, especially if that danger has a supernatural or magic origin. This allows them to perceive dangers with wisdom-based skill checks that races limited to five senses cannot perceive.

Instinctive Dodge (Racial Power)

Once per battle, when you are hit by an attack, add 4 to your defense score. If the defense is now higher than the attack roll, the attack is a miss.

Adventurer feat: Also add the escalation die.

Champion feat: If the attack is still a hit, you don't expend this power.

Beast Lore (Talent)

Once between short rests, when making a skill check to handle a tame animal, roll twice and take the better result. You also gain the following three abilities:

Communicate with animals: The communication is limited to what the animal can perceive and process. Most animals are cunning and perceptive, but not necessarily smart or educated. Their focus is on the four F: feeding, fighting, fleeing and reproduction. Use the Druid's Nature Talking class feature for guidance.

Call animals: You can call animals of a specific species from about a mile radius. This does not guarantee that such animals are around, or that they are friendly to you.

Command: You can give commands to animals, but only one command per attempt. The command must be within the animal's natural instincts, and cannot go against its sense of self-preservation.

Adventurer feat: You can use this talent with natural wild animals.

Champion feat: You can use this talent with dire animals and beasts.

Epic feat: You can use this talent with aberrations and oozes.

 

Jhangaran

jhangaraYour villages are crowded; there are too many mouths to feed, and not enough food. When you go in search of mud-slugs, water raknids hunt for your flesh. The settlements are ridden with filth and disease. Clouds of flits hover above the stagnant water-holes, and the air is thick with the stench of the sewage ditches. Sometimes the traders come down river, to buy scintilla, sapphires, and amber from your people. That is good, for they pay in coin or barter. But when the traders bring chakos, you drink with the others of your village. Then many fight and die in fits of anger. It is not good when these things happen. But at least there are less mouths to feed.

Jhangarans are odd and ungainly in appearance. They have marbled brown and sepia-colored skin, elongated limbs, elliptical craniums and pinched, angular features. Both the males and females are hairless, and may attain heights in excess of six and a half feet. They go about barefoot, and wear only loincloths and bands of coarse cloth wrapped about their arms and legs.

Jhangarans are a sullen and superstitious people, prone to displays of hostile or even violent behavior. They live in tribal groups, typically comprised of individuals of the same occupation. Within these tribal groups are subdivisions representing clans – loosely-knit family units comprised of individuals related by birth, “marriage”, or even more specious connections. There is little sense of unity, and less cooperation, among these folk. Jhangaran “marriage” is in large part a farce. If a female is impregnated, she claims a male as the father of her child, and the two are “married”. There is no ceremony, and the union has little meaning save that the female may now hound the father for money or goods; more often than not, the male tries to shirk his responsibilities.

Conditions in a typical Jhangaran settlement are abysmal. Open ditches serve as sewage lines, and the air is heavy with the stench of filth and decay. The huts are alive with insects and vermin, and ragged bands of filthy children run around unattended. An outer wall constructed of rude axe-hewn timbers affords their settlements some protection from against attack by bandits, wild beasts, and murderous hordes of water raknids. The tribes subsist on sea-slugs and raw meat, do not use fire, and have no knowledge of metal-working or magic. Jhangarans have a great weakness for alcohol, and consume as much cheap ale and grog as they can afford. Unfortunately, alcohol makes them mad and unpredictable.

The Jhangaran people are divided into four different tribes, who differentiate themselves by the color of the arm and leg-wrappings that they wear. Mud-Miners wear grey, Marsh-Hunters wear green, black is for Mercenaries, and red for Outcasts. Rivalries between the four tribes are common, the effects of which may range from prejudicial behavior to all-out warfare. The strangest of the tribes are the Outcasts, who wander the swamps and jungles of Jhangara in groups ranging in size from a half dozen to as many as a hundred individuals. The other tribes regard them with superstitious dread, and will do almost anything to keep a group of Outcasts from approaching their own camps and settlements. It is the belief of the Jhangarans that all Outcasts bear with them the “stigma of doom.” A Jhangaran who is so much as touched by one of “the cursed ones” is immediately branded an Outcast. He or she then has two choices: commit suicide, or join the Outcasts. To kill an Outcast, the Jhangarans believe, brings a terrible curse upon the murderer and his or her family.

Jhangarans are anarchists who observe no laws and argue constantly among themselves. The loudest and most obnoxious individuals usually prevail in a given situation, and may temporarily be regarded as a “leader” of sorts. A single settlement can have as many as eight or ten such figures, each striving to be heard over the others. Accordingly, projects requiring group cooperation are usually doomed to failure from their inception, explaining the dismal living conditions that are typical of Jhangaran settlements.

Backgrounds

Mud-miner, marsh-hunter, mercenary, outcast, confused sorcerer

Jhangaran Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Dex

No alcohol tolerance: If you drink alcohol, you grow violent and completely lose control. (This is a roleplaying cue.)

Harsh upbringing (Racial Power)

Once per battle, when you take a recovery, heal the maximum amount instead of rolling dice.

Adventurer feat: Your stubbornness grants you a +1 bonus to MD.

Champion feat: You gain a bonus recovery.

 

Kang

kangsIt is a proud time to be Kang. No longer do your people bow their heads to the indolent, bloated Quan, swallowing your khir for the sake of gold. You have taken what rightfully belongs to the Crimson Horde, to your Warlord, and to the Red God, Zoriah. Now, the slaves of the Empire know their true masters. Now, the cities are fit for warriors. Now, you will seize the lands long denied you. You will live as you should: charging towards victory on the back of your strider, falchion held high, shouting the name of your clan. The other nations will tremble at the sound. You are the Kang, and you are strong.

Tall and fierce, Kang have fiery red skin, white pupil-less eyes, and brutal features. Both the males and females wear their long black hair pulled straight back in a single queue. Iron collars and armbands are the fashion among these folk, who customarily attire themselves in armor even when off-duty. So is Kanjiko, a form of scarring used to decorate the body.

The ancestors of the Kang were wild tribesmen of the steppes who reveled in battle, hunted wild tarkus for sport, and loved as fiercely as they fought. In the second century, the Kang tribes united and threatened to take over territories then known as the Quan Empire. They were bought off by the Quan, whom they served until the Silent Insurrection of 611, when the Kang finally took over control of the Empire for themselves.

As in the old days the primary unit of Kang society remains the war clan; an extended family of male and female warriors, forged together in a blood alliance against all who oppose them. This, in essence, is the Kang philosophy. Kang normally mate for life, though their marriages are often tempestuous affairs marked by outbreaks of physical violence. They prize aggressiveness in their mates above all other considerations. Children are raised by Kanjira – a professional class of tutors comprised of Kang who are too old or infirm to serve as warriors. Kang society is modelled after the military chain of command. Kang are subservient to all individuals of higher rank than themselves, and tend to be verbally abusive and condescending when dealing with those of lower rank. Foreigners, having no rank per se, typically fall into this category unless they have earned khir – a term meaning “honor in battle”.

The length and adornment of a Kang’s queue is a mark of pride. For festive occasions, the queue may be bound with silver bands or jeweled rings. In battle, iron rings of leather thongs usually suffice. Kang never wear their hair down or unbound except to bathe. Losing one’s queue in battle is considered a terrible disgrace; the victim will know no rest until he or she gains revenge for this evil act by killing the perpetrator and recovering the lost queue.

Backgrounds

Free nomad, Imperial general, Kanjira, dishonored veteran, drunkard thug, beast tamer, Kanjiko artist, Zoriah priestess, clan bard

Kang Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con

Kanquan (Racial Power)

Once per battle, as a quick action, you can enter Kanquan style. While fighting in that style, you gain a +2 bonus to melee attacks but take a -2 penalty to AC. You can end that style as a free action at the end of each turn.

Adventurer feat: If your melee attack roll is a natural 18+ while in Kanquan, you daze the enemy until the end of its next turn.

Champion feat: You weaken the enemy instead of dazing him.

Epic feat: You stun the enemy instead of weakening him.

 

Kasmiran

kasmiranThe Kasmirans are short and lean with odd-looking, shriveled features. They dress in hooded cloaks, loose robes, and curl-toed boots or slippers, apparel well-suited to the extremes of their environment.

Originally a nomadic folk displaced by The Great Disaster, the Kasmirans are a wealthy people. They established settlements in the Kasmir desert around the beginning of the second century

Kasmirans live in windowless stone towers, their doors barred and locked to protect against thieves. Spytubes are used to scan the surroundings before allowing any visitor to enter. They subsist on a simple diet of coarse black bread, desert palm fruit, a type of hard erd’s cheese called kasmara, and cups of steaming-hot mochan. Kasmiran families are insular by nature and suspicious of outsiders. Only members of the same family and ancestral clan truly are trusted; a Kasmiran’s lineage is evident in his or her name, which among Kasmirans serves as an individual’s references. Cooperative endeavors with other families can be achieved, though usually only through protracted negotiations. Kasmirans marry late in life, and never divorce. No marriage is allowed to take place without the permission of both families. The husband is the nominal head of the household, though a wife who earns more than her husband may surpass him in influence. Children are often sent to a guildschool to learn a profession.

Backgrounds

Gem trader, trap wizard, carpet trader, cheesemaker, clan historian, architect

Kasmiran Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Wis

Err on the side of caution (Racial Power)

You gain the Trapsense ability, as per the rogue class feature. If you are a rogue, you gain a +2 bonus to trap-related checks.

 

Kharakhan

kharakhansKharakhan are massive folk, averaging over twelve feet in height and weighing upwards of a thousand pounds. They have dusky grey-black skin and savage features, and wear their hair long and tied back in a queue. Kharakhan dress in loincloths, sandals, and crude armor made from boiled land lizard hide.

The Kharakhan are descended from a nameless tribe of Wild Folk who were extent during the latter part of the Archaen Age. It is believed that when The Great Disaster struck, the tribe was exposed to magical emanations, and suffered a form of mutation called giantism. Persecuted thereafter as freaks and misfits, they fled into the northern Wilderlands. They settled among the ruins of old Kharakhan, a place suited to their great size, and eventually came to be known as the Kharakhan giants, or simply the Kharakhan.

The Kharakhan are hunter-gatherers who range throughout the northern Wilderlands territories in massive armored conveyances known as war wagons. Though the giants call the ruins their home, they are often on the move, hunting for food and useful salvage. There are several tribes, all of which regard themselves as part of the same people. The Kharakhans’ great size is both an advantage and a disadvantage: though it affords them protection from lesser predators it also means that they cannot use tools and implements employed by humanoids of smaller stature and so are forced to make what they require from raw materials. Kharakhan also require substantial amounts of food and water in order to survive, both of which are often in short supply in the regions that they have been forced to inhabit.

Kharakhan are polygamous; males may take several wives, or females several husbands, depending on the make-up of a clan and availability of mates. Because their race is dwindling in number, Kharakhan are very protective of their children, keeping them in the wagons until they are old enough to stand a reasonable chance of survival. Once numerous, only a few hundred of these savage folk still remain extant on the continent.

Kharakhan giants are gruff and crude by nature, having little knowledge of civilized customs and manners. Their outward demeanor and imposing size have led other peoples to regard them with trepidation. Yet while Kharakhan will aggressively defend their clans and possessions they are not a warlike folk by preference. When they are tending their young or with friends these massive folk can be surprisingly gentle.

Kharakhan are said to revere one of the Forgotten Gods, Kron the Mighty. However, they have no magic and do not observe formal religious rituals of any known type. Kharakhan bury their dead beneath massive cairns of stones in a solemn ceremony that may last for several hours.

Kharakhan respect wisdom, age, and experience. The eldest member of any band of Kharakhan is regarded as its nominal leader, and is consulted when the tribe requires advice or guidance. These individuals are referred to as Sages, for they know all the ancient lore of the Kharakhan race, and are considered qualified to speak for the other members of the clan. The clan’s Sage is consulted whenever disputes arise. Most are settled amicably, though serious conflicts may be settled by a “duel”. The contest may take the form of a wrestling match, or an event similar to a tug-of-war.

Backgrounds

Wrestling champion, war wagon builder, bodyguard, prophet of Kron, slave gladiator, clan warrior, beekeeper, stonemason

Kharakhan Racial Bonus: +4 Str AND +4 Con

Large Size (Racial Power)

You can wield weapons of giant size. Increase all weapon dice by one step.

Primitive: You start with one less class talent (usually 2 instead of 3).

 

Koresian

See Cymrilian.

 

Mandalan

mandalansA golden-skinned folk, the Mandalans are slender of build, with almond-shaped eyes and pleasant features. It is the custom of the males to shave their skulls, while the females do the same, leaving only a top-knot of long, black hair. Both sexes wear lose fitting robes or pajama-style garments, typically of silkcloth, a material which is common in the regions in which the Mandalans live.

The origins of the Mandalan race date back to the Forgotten Age, when their nomadic ancestors migrated from the Opal Mountains and established permanent communal settlements along the eastern coasts of what is now the Kang Empire. Here, the Mandalans established a peaceful society devoted to the cultivation of the mystic arts and sciences. The arrival of a succession of hostile nomads ensued soon afterwards, from the Zhan to the Mazdaks, and the Quan. Each in turn subjugated the Mandalans, who offered no resistance. Each, in their turn, eventually grew complacent and were overthrown by other peoples. Only the peaceful Mandalans remain as they were before.

The Mandalans have an advanced and enlightened culture centered amidst the pastel spires, arches, and promenades of the coastal city of Jacinth and outlying regions. Many who live in Jacinth serve as artisans, scholars, and historians. They live in simple but elegant dwellings made of parchment stretched over wood frames, with rock gardens, meditation areas, and shaded arbors adding a sense of serenity and beauty to their surroundings. The remainder of the population is scattered throughout the countryside, making their home in small villages. They live in rustic dwellings of artfully woven reeds and thatch, and work as farmers, herders, and weavers. Mandalans place great emphasis on the family. Marriage is considered a bonding of bodies and souls; a sacred trust and covenant between the participants. Ancestors and elders are respected; several generations often live together in the same home.

Backgrounds

Silkworm farmer, silk weaver, woodcraft artisan, rock gardener, village mystic, spirit warrior, ascetic monk, roof thatcher

Mandalan Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or +2 Wis

Passive resistance (Racial power)

Once per battle, when you are affected with a condition, make a save against it as an interrupt action.

Adventurer feat: Add your Wisdom bonus to the save roll.

Champion feat: If the save is a success, you do not expend this power.

Mandaquan (Talent)

You are proficient in the Mandalan art of weaponless, defensive combat. The basic principle of Mandaquan is passive resistance—in effect turning an opponent’s offensive energy back upon him and avoiding harm by dodging or eluding attacks. Mandaquan cannot be used offensively.

Use a standard action to assume the Mandaquan defensive stance. Until the end of your next turn, when you are attacked in melee combat, make an unarmed attack against him or her.

Attack: Str or Dex + level vs. opponent's attack roll

Hit: 1d4 per level + Str or Dex damage. The opponent's attack misses, and you continue the defensive stance.

Natural even hit: If the attacker was using a weapon, you can disarm him or her. You can also choose to grab or throw (force to pop free) him or her.

Miss: You take your opponent's hit and you end the defensive stance.

Adventurer feat: You can use the counterattack against close-quarters attacks.

Champion feat: Increase the damage dice to d6.

Epic feat: Gain a +1 bonus to all defenses while in defensive stance.

 

Mangar

mangar-femmeYour first memories are of violent storms on the Far Seas. Your mother says you were born on a carrack. The man who claims he’s your father wasn’t there. He has since lost two fingers and many lumens to you in ska-wae. You were allowed to shave your head on your twelfth birthday, and earned your sea dragon tattoo on your sixteenth, after commanding your first vessel. You lost count of your kills after fifty. You spend months at a time on the mainland now, studying your prey - the trading companies. For a large enough tribute, you’ll attack the ships of their rivals. For an additional amount, you’ll promise not to raid their own ships. The mainland poses unfamiliar threats, and these you welcome with open arms and drawn scimitar. But though there is plunder to be had, nothing will keep you long from the sea. You will die where you were born, on the rolling decks of a carrack. And you will take many to the waters with you on that distant day.

The main “family unit” of the Mangar is the corsair crew; captain, first mate, second mate, and so on. Able males and females frequently sail forth from the settlements on raids and are absent for long periods, leaving the children in the hands of those who are too elderly or infirm to go to sea.

Justly renowned as murderers and cut-throats, the Mangar Corsairs are the bane of ships that traverse the waters of the Far Seas. They are regarded with hatred and fear by sailors from many lands. The Mangar range far and wide in their swift-moving carracks, preying on other vessels, torturing victims, and robbing them of their valuables. There are a number of different pirate bands, all rivals of one another. In lean times they prey on each other, sometimes fighting over potential plunder.

Mangar are superstitious, and often read the skies and seas for omens. On a day judged to be governed by ill omens a Mangar crew will not set sail except under threat of bodily harm. They will then obey, but with much reluctance. There is a powerful taboo against mutiny, which is believed to bring a terrible curse upon the mutineers. Despite this Mangar are occasionally willing to risk the effects of a curse rather than endure the torment of an especially cruel or avaricious captain.

The Mangar bow before no god, but have a superstitious fear of sea and air elementals. To placate these entities they sometimes burn offerings of incense from brass censers hung from the bowsprits of their carracks. Mangar bury their dead at sea. When not on the hunt, Mangar favor ska-wae, a dangerous game played with curved daggers and dice. Mangar with less than the customary number of fingers are not uncommon, a direct consequence of poor ska-wae play.

The Mangar possess a talent for treachery that is ingrained upon them from an early age. Mangar children are taught that in order to survive and prosper, they should never trust the word of others. Instead, they are told to trust only their own instincts, and to do whatever is needed to achieve that which they desire. This behavior is evident in all aspects of clan life, and is typified by the Mangar game of ska-wae, where it is acceptable to cheat, so long as one does not get caught.

Mangar will do anything to obtain an advantage over their rivals. When courting a prospective mate, males will bribe, cajole, threaten, and sometimes even kill in order to win a female’s affection. To rise to the rank of ship’s captain, a Mangar corsair may have to eliminate a half-dozen rivals, using guile, duplicity, or the simple expediency of a knife in the back. Competition for the position of clan chieftain is even more fierce, and may entail the use of blackmail, sabotage, slow poisons, or outright warfare.

The Gao say that to meet a Mangar in combat is to understand the true nature of the Mangar soul. Where Gao rely on swordsmanship and daring, Mangar prefer ambushes, dirty tricks, and sneak attacks. A Gao is gracious both in victory and defeat. Win or lose, a Mangar will put a knife in you the minute your back is turned. To put it simply, the Mangar trust no one, and are in turn trusted by none.

Backgrounds

Shipwright, ship cook, dread pirate, lost three fingers in ska-wae, tattoo artist, whale hunter

Mangar Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con

Dirty Fighting (Racial power)

Once per battle, when your attack roll is a natural 16+, you can also hamper the target until the end of your next turn.

Adventurer feat: When you hit an enemy that is dazed, hampered, stunned, stuck or weakened, add your level in damage.

Champion feat: The hamper effect is (save ends).

 

Manra

manra adam by shardglass-d4lyakw cYesterday, you swam the murky waters of the River Chana, hunting for mudrays. Spotting a sizable specimen, you dove deep beneath the surface and caught it within your jaws. The day before, you leapt as a chig to grasp an avir in your pincers. You spent the three months prior as an elderly willowood tree, drinking water through your roots and light through your leaves. Such has been your life since your thirteenth year, when you were taught the secret of changing your form. Four months of chewing the leaves of jabutu, depriving your stomach and senses, and joining in the rituals with the other Manra have opened your mind to new thoughts and your body to new shapes.

Your people have spent their existence studying the beauty of nature through the senses of many entities. You live fluidly, changing your culture as readily as your forms. Only the dangers of the jungle are constant, and the malice of the Chana and Kang. So you may leave the jungle to travel the continent towards new experiences. You embrace this change, for it will allow you to grow and provides purpose to your days.

The Manra are nature worshipers, whose primary concern is the protection of the mountain rain-forests that they call home. It is the shamans who initiate the other members of the tribe in the secrets of shapechanging. To the Manra, shape-changing is a means of attaining a deeper understanding of the natural world. Each bodily form is said to represents a different symbolic attribute: avir-form symbolizes freedom, flight from responsibility and care; tree-form represents tranquility, patience, strength, stability; shathane-form represents power, fury, aggression under provocation; and so on. In adopting the outer appearance of an animal or plant the Manra believe that they also adopt the inner, or spiritual semblance. For this reason no Manra would ever want to learn how to adopt the form of any creature that is “evil” or “false” in nature.

Background

Jackal shaper, shark shaper, hawk shaper, snake shaper

Manra Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Dex

Shapeshifter (Racial Power)

You gain the initiate level of the druid's Shifter talent for free. You can spend one class talent to become an adept, even if you are not a druid.

 

Marukan

marukansOnce a robust and hearty folk, the Marukans now exhibit a wan and unhealthy appearance. Most have pale sallow complexions, sunken eyes, and limp brown hair. Morose and gloomy by nature, they dress in unflattering garments made of sackcloth and walk about with their eyes downcast.

The Marukan are descended from the ancient Numenians, a people whose lands were destroyed by The Great Disaster. The survivors sold salvage from the ruins, eventually earning enough to acquire a tract of land from the Hadjin, upon which they erected the city of Maruk. For a time the Marukans prospered, selling food crops to Carantheum, Danuvia, and Hadj. But sometime afterwards a series of misfortunes beset them. Their crops failed, their animals died, and their people became dispirited. The Marukans continue to labor under this curse to the present time.

Marukans once lived in artful structures of brick and masonry, with domed copper roofs. Now, most of their buildings are in disrepair, the copper plating stripped from the roofs and sold for salvage. Formerly known for its stable family units, Marukan society has fallen apart. Many families have been forced to split-up, as individuals leave the citystate in order to find work elsewhere. Those who remain in the citystate now work as dung merchants, menial laborers, subsistence farmers, salvagers, and talismancers. Few Marukans marry anymore, and the birth rate continues to drop each year.

Marukans are perhaps the most downtrodden and ill-aspected of all the Talislantan races. They suffer from an ancient curse that has brought ill fortune down upon their heads. Considered harbingers of doom in many lands, Marukans are shunned as if they carried the plague. Fear of curses and bad luck dominates what is left of Marukan culture. Consequently, the people have taken to wearing “Luck Talismans” of many types and descriptions.

Backgrounds

Street peddler, struggling farmer, talisman crafter, doom prophet

Marukan Racial Bonus: None!

Marukan Curse (Racial power)

At the start of each of your turns, roll a d12 to see if your curse causes something bad to happen.

If the result is a natural 1, something bad happens to yourself. You sprained an ankle; a weapon breaks; the floor caves in; a spell goes haywire; you walk into an attack that would have missed; the chandelier comes down on your head; a demon breaks lose from the summoner's control.

On a 10+, something bad happens to an enemy instead. You're convinced one of your talismans deflected the bad luck; maybe that's even true.

If the die roll is equal or lower than the escalation die (including natural 1), the curse fizzles and you no longer roll for the rest of the combat.

Adventurer feat: Once per day, when the curse hits you, also have it affect one nearby enemy.

Champion feat: Once per day, roll a d20 instead of a d20. Resolve as above, but on a natural 2, the curse hits an ally.

Epic feat: If you roll equal or lower to the escalation die, you are no longer affected by natural 1, but you still roll at the start of each turn.

 

Mirin / Rasmirin

rasmirinbromspellwalkerA people of noble bearing, the Mirin are tall and statuesque. They have bright blue skin and hair as fine and white as gossamer. Mirin dress in robes, boots, and headdresses trimmed with frostwere’s hide.

The Mirin are believed to be descended from a group of Archaens whose cloud-city fell to earth following The Great Disaster. Pursued by vengeful bands of Wild Folk, they fled north into the wilderness. Along the way many died from exposure, wild beasts, and battles with their pursuers. Facing certain death, the last members of the group commended their souls into the hands of whatever deity held sway over the region. According to Mirin legend their prayers were heard by the Forgotten God, Borean, an ancient elemental deity who granted them a miraculous boon: immunity to cold. The grateful survivors went on to establish the first shrine to Borean, and later, the first Mirin settlement.

Mirin live in crystalline ice castles constructed from blocks of solid ice, cut from glacial ice-quarries and carved into useful and decorative forms. Mirin have close family ties, a holdover from the days when cooperation was absolutely essential to their survival. Marriage ceremonies are performed by priests of Borean, and are joyous occasions. Children are taught to read and write, and instructed in Mirin philosophy and culture. Members of all professions are equally valued in Mirin society. Hunters provide the settlements with edible lichen, wild and aquatic game, hides and horn. Priests and priestesses provide guidance and keep written records; warriors defend the settlements. Alchemists forge adamant, an alloy of blue diamond that is one of a very few metals that does not become brittle in sub-zero temperatures.

It is the custom among the Mirin to undertake a ritual “bonding of spirits” with a chosen mate or close friend. The procedure, known as “melding”, creates a type of innate psychic link between the two individuals. While melded individuals cannot actually communicate via this ability, each will instinctively know if the other is in danger or in great distress. For entertainment and diversion, Mirin enjoy racing sailed ice schooners on the frozen lakes of L’Haan and across the Sea of Ice. The winners are awarded valuable trophies made of adamant and blue diamonds, and are greatly admired for their achievements.

A deeply religious folk, the Mirin revere Borean, the God of the North Wind. Mirin Priests and Priestesses are the spiritual advisors of their race, and regard Borean as the protector of their land and its ecology. They do not build temples in his name, but erect altars on the snowy steppes around frozen lakes such as L’Lal and Rhin. It is only in such open and natural surroundings, the Mirin say, that one can truly feel the presence of the God of the North Wind. Mirin inter their dead in ornate coffins carved from solid ice, which are “buried” below the surface of a frozen lake.

The frigid and rock-strewn Outcast Islands serve as home to the exiled cult of Rasmirin. Numbering only a few hundred or so renegades, the Rasmirin population dwells in rude ice fortresses, ever plotting new schemes to overthrow the ruler of L’Haan. Their ancestry and culture are similar in most respects to the Mirin, though the Rasmirin revere the destructive forces of nature, as represented by the elemental spirits of storms and darkness.

Backgrounds

Mirin: Ice carver, cleric of Borean, winter druid, northlands warrior, melding widow, alchemist

Rasmirin: anarchist, heretic, elementalist, fisherman

Mirin / Rasmirin Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Int

Immunity to cold: Mirin and Rasmirin are unaffected by attacks that deal cold damage.

Melding: This ability creates a psychic link between two individuals who have undertaken a ritual bonding. While melded individuals cannot communicate verbally via this ability, they will each possess an instinctive awareness of the other's spiritual condition; i.e. healthy, content, distressed, weakened, imperiled and so on.

Mirin: Borean's Shield (Racial Power)

Once per battle, when you take damage while staggered, reduce the damage to half. You cannot use this ability against fire damage.

Adventurer feat: You can also heal using a recovery.

Rasmirin: Wrath of the North Wind (Racial power)

Once per battle, deal 5 ongoing cold damage per level on a hit with an even attack.

Champion feat: Once per day, you can use this ability on an odd miss.

 

Mogroth

mogroths-2a8d588There is no need to hurry. Time does not pass any faster, or slower, if you do. You take the time to see what is around you, and enjoy the things you find in your travels. It is why you left the swamps in the first place. There were many good things in Mog. The bitter, tangy taste and smell of mung-berries. The skittering waterbugs and mudwalkers. The patterns of the tangled bombo roots. But Talislanta is large, and there is so much more to see. You like the forests best. You can forage for roots and seeds and nuts, or hang upside-down from the trees - this is most relaxing. The cities are strange places. There are no leaves or berries to find here, so you have to trade amber and quaga and other things you’ve found to buy food. Your smaller friends say that you get cheated, but you don’t care about money. You’re glad that you’ve made friends, even if they do always seem to be in a hurry. They make you ride a land lizard, because you’re too slow for them on foot. Still, they like to have you around. You never argue, you know a lot about plants and animals, and you’re strong. You won’t let anyone hurt your friends. That makes you angry. That’s when you break things. There is enough time yet to wander - sixty years at least, before you’re too old to have children. So you take things slowly as all Mogroth do. It is a good life, and you are happy.

The Mogroth are a race of tree-dwellers who bear some resemblance to giant, humanoid sloths. They stand up to eight feet in height and are covered with a thick coat of fur that confers protection from biting insects and parasites. As such, Mogroth require little in the way of clothing, and rarely wear anything more than a simple loincloth and a necklace of woven grasses.

Mogroth make their home in simple huts of woven leaves and grasses, erected in the branches of large mung-berry trees. They live in communal groups composed of their large extended families: silver-backed elders, mature adults with brown- or buff-colored fur, and tawny-hued offspring. The young cling to their mothers until age two, after which they are too large to carry. Each family has its own tree-hut, and gathers its own food. When too many families congregate in a single area, several wander off to establish a new settlement.

Mogroth subsist on the bitter leaves and fruit of giant mung-berry trees, which are shunned by other creatures. Biased towards their own views on the subject, the Mogroth maintain that only those of refined tastes are capable of appreciating the mung tree's distinctive savor. Mogroth are especially long-lived, a condition attributed to the slow metabolism of these creatures.

Mogroth are slow-moving creatures of placid temperament. They never argue among themselves, and are patient to a fault – Mogroth have been known to sit for days waiting for a single cluster of green mungberries to ripen rather than search for other provender. They have a great appreciation of natural beauty, and may stop to admire a particularly fascinating flower or crystal moth for hours at a time. Mogroth tend to be trusting, and even naive. While they generally abhor violence, these powerful creatures can become extremely dangerous if driven to anger.

Backgrounds

Tree hugger, amber collector, nature observer, curious wanderer

Mogroth Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con

Slow: Roll a d12 instead of a d20 for initiative.

Strong: Once between short rests, roll twice for a strength-based skill check and take the better result.

Large size: You count as a large creature. This has no direct effect on your game statistics.

Underestimated Strength (Racial Power)

Despite your slow movements and your gentle nature, your sheer mass of muscle makes you a dangerous foe.

Once per combat, on an even hit with a melee attack, deal maximum damage.

 

Monad

Due to their lack of a long-term memory, Monads aren't suited as player characters. A character with a wealthy or noble background might have a Monad servant, or even several. These usually don't have any combat training, and thus, no stats. If you want a Monad bodyguard, use the Necromancer's Skeletal Minion (TW84) talent as a guideline.

 

Mondre Khan

mondre-khansThe Mondre Khan are squat and powerfully built, with leathery skin, a mane of coarse black hair, and a long fringe of fur running down the back of the legs and arms. They dress in hide loincloths and bits of leather and plate armor stolen from the Kang.

Nomadic hunter-gatherers, the Mondre Khan travel in tribes of up to forty individuals, subsisting on wild mountain berries and fresh game. They are hardy creatures who require little in the way of nourishment and can travel long distances on just a few scraps of food. Tribes camp in the mountains, finding shelter amongst copses of trees, in caves, or beneath rock overhangs. Their camps are always well concealed, and are temporary at best; bands move on after a day or two in order to avoid being detected by the Kang.

Khan tribes are basically extended family units, though survivors from tribes decimated by warfare with the Kang or illness are usually welcome. Unlike Beastmen packs, bands of Mondre Khan rarely engage in hostilities with each other, for the reason that they regard the Kang as their mutual foe. Mondre Khan mate for life, and are very devoted to each other. Females usually give birth to twins. Both the male and female protect their young with their lives.

Savage and feral by nature, Mondre Khan exhibit the ferocity and cunning of wild beasts when on the hunt or in battle. They find it difficult to repress their bestial side, and may react in the manner of wild animals when cornered or subjected to extreme stress. Conversely, Mondre Khan show great kindness and compassion for their young, and appear to harbor deep feelings for their mates and loved ones. This dichotomy seems to be ingrained in the Mondre Khan persona, and their people’s struggle with the duality that is inherent in their physical and emotional make-up: on one side, the man-like creature striving to achieve a higher state of consciousness, and on the other, the wild animal driven by primal urges.

Backgrounds

Tribal scout, beast hunter, berry collector, clan sage, untrained chaos mage

Mondre Khan Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con

Claws: Your claws are d6 melee weapons. You count as two-weapon fighting with them. Once per scene, you can roll twice on a skill check to climb and take the better result.

Champion feat: Increase your claw damage die to d8.

Bestial: When fighting in melee combat, your animal side takes over. Add the escalation die to damage with melee basic attacks. Apply the ability damage multiplier at 5th and 8th level to this damage. However, you need to rein in the beast before you are able to do anything tactical, civilized or sophisticated in combat, i.e. anything except a basic melee attack. Reining in the beast is a quick action. Roll a d20. If the result is equal to the escalation die or lower, you fail to control your inner beast for the turn.

Adventurer feat: You can cast the spells of your class without reining in the beast. You better have a good explanation for this, especially if you are a Wizard.

Full Bestial (Racial power)

Once per battle, during your turn, gain double the bonus from the escalation die to attack and damage.

 

Moorg-Wan

moorg-wanThe Moorg-Wan are squat, four-legged humanoids of massive size. Their ponderous frames are covered with thick folds of loose brown skin. They wear no garments of any kind, but make crude tools and weapons of wood and bone.

The Moorg-Wan live along the banks of the Boru River, and in the sodden territories between the two rivers are their ancestral breeding grounds. Their mud-palace dwellings resemble great, oozing piles of muck and silt connected by networks of above-ground tunnels. Clans range from small villages of twenty-to-thirty individuals to great mud “cities” with populations of up to five hundred.

Male Moorg-Wan engage in violent mating ritual-combats in order to win the right to mate with females; dominant males may have a “harem” of a dozen or more females. Their young hatch from eggs, then spend the first seventeen years of life as legless, mud-dwelling newts. The customary six appendages develop soon thereafter, along with rudimentary lungs.

Moorg-Wan eat plants, mollusks, the eggs of other creatures, and – on occasion – their own young. They consider the lotus plant a delicacy, and jealously guard their supplies. Their tribes dredge the riverbanks for amber and mine the mud for sapphires and other semi-precious stones, which are found here in abundance.

Backgrounds

Gem digger, tribal warrior, mud hunter, wood carver, egg warmer

Moorg-Wan Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con

Claws: Your claws and tail are d6 melee weapons. You count as two-weapon fighting with them.

Amphibious: When in mud or shallow water, roll twice for initiative and disengage checks and take the better result.

Four-legged: You can't be easily pushed or tripped.

 

Muse

Boris-Vallejo-Butterfly-WingsMuses are among the most beautiful of the humanoid races. Their bodies are slender and lithe, their features delicate and exquisitely fashioned. They dress in translucent robes shaded in hues complementing the colors of their skin, hair, and butterfly wings – pastel blue, aquamarine, turquoise, violet, and rose, to name just a few.

Muses are descended from an archaic race of forest nymphs, possibly of magical origin; the ancient Archaens often summoned such creatures for their pleasure, and their couplings occasionally yielded unexpected results.

Muses erect no permanent dwellings, shunning physical labor as tedious and uninspiring. They tend to congregate in groups of varying size and composition; individuals come and go as they please. Young Muses must develop telempathic powers for themselves, as these talents are never taught.

To other Talislantans, Muses often seem distracted, disinterested, and aloof. In fact, they are contemplative by nature, and are highly perceptive as regards their surroundings. Muses rarely speak, preferring to communicate via telempathy, or thought-images, which are used to convey information and emotions.

Because muses are delicate and sensitive creatures, they are regarded by many other Talislantan races as weak and defenseless. Nothing could be further from the truth, as anyone who has ever made the mistake of threatening or angering a muse can attest.

Backgrounds

Aimless wanderer, windpipe musician, seashell collector, illusion painter, gauze dressmaker, teleempathy poet

Muse Racial Bonus: +2 Wis or +2 Cha

Wings: Your butterfly wings allow you to fly. You are adept at aerial maneuvers and you can hover, but you tire easily and need to make Constitution checks if you try to be airborne for more than a few minutes. You can only carry very little weight when flying, and armor is right out.

Pacifist: Muses have lithe bodies and lack the strength to wield weapons effectively. On top of that, physical violence is against the values of your culture. Always reduce your weapon dice by one category (d10 - d8 - d6 - d4; do not reduce d4 further).

Natural Telepath: Muses are natural telempaths, able to communicate by means of thoughts and images. Muses can sense the strong emotions of others, broadcast and receive thoughts, project mental images, sense the presence of living beings, and even influence others’ emotions.

Teleemphatic Defense (Racial Power)

The ability to project mental images via telempathy can be a powerful, and even deadly, weapon. At the first sign of danger, Muses will often project a form of imagery intended to warn or frighten potential aggressors, as Muses are averse to causing pain if it can be avoided. Warning imagery can cause the subject to experience feelings ranging from a disturbing sense of insecurity or inadequacy to a nameless, deep-rooted dread.

You gain Teleemphathy as an additional basic attack, in addition to the ones gained from your class.

Teleempathy (Basic attack)

At-will, close-quarters attack

Attack: Wisdom or Charisma + level vs. MD

Hit: 1d6 per level + Charisma psychic damage. The Muse can decide deal no damage and daze the target instead (save ends).

Miss: Psychic damage equal to your level

Special: You can trigger flexible melee or ranged attacks with teleempathy (if your class has them).

Adventurer feat: If the escalation die is 3+, when you deal damage with teleemphathy, you daze the target until the end of its next turn.

Teleemphathic Hallucination (Talent)

Should repeated warning imagery fail to achieve the desired result, some Muse have the ability to use the most dangerous form of projection: telempathic hallucination, a concerted assault upon that part of the attacker’s brain that controls the senses. Using telempathy, the Muse can alter the subject’s perception of reality in any way desired, creating terrifying illusions and crippling phobias, trapping the target in a hallucinatory reality.

If the escalation die is 2+ and you roll a natural 16+ on the attack roll with teleempathy, you can choose to stun or confuse the target (save ends).

While the target is under the stun or confusion effect, you can spend a standard action to increase the intensity of the effect. In that case, the target's next saving throw is a hard save.

Champion feat: Increasing the intensity is a quick action.

Epic feat: If the target fails three saves, it becomes permanently trapped in the illusionary reality.

Whisp Companion (Talent)

Muses have a near-symbiotic relationship with the race of woodwhisps, who serve them as “translators” and by gathering food and erecting impromptu tent-pavillions of gossamer and flowering vines, which in muse society pass for domiciles. In return, whisps are rewarded with stimulating telempathic visions and the pleasure of the muses’ company. Muse children are raised by the group’s whisps, who teach them how to fly and to find food.

Like muses, woodwhisps can fly. When muses wish to conserve telempathic energy, they have their whisp companions speak for them. Given the animated and occasionally sarcastic nature of whisps, communications of this sort can yield unusual results.

Your whisp will stay by your side but it’s not under your control. The whisp does not fight. Ordinarily they aren’t damaged by enemy attacks and spells unless the story calls for it. If your whisp dies despite your best efforts, you can search for a new companion.

Adventurer feat: Your whisp gains an ability from the Wizard's familiar ability list (it already has flight and talkative).

 

Nagra

female orc shaman by boc0-d5n0wmx cNagra have mottled grey-green skin, black fangs, peaked skulls, and their eyes are like tiny ebony specks. They dress in rude garments made from the furry hides of winged apes, ankle and wrist bands of woven fibers, and earrings made from the fangs of exomorphs or tarkus.

The Nagra tribes once lived far to the Northeast, but were driven into the southern junglelands by the Kang, who hunted them like animals. Most of the survivors settled in the jungles of the Topaz Mountains.

The Nagra are semi-nomadic hunters whose movements mirror the migratory patterns of the wild beasts upon whom they subsist. When their prey has settled into a region for purposes of grazing or feeding, the Nagra erect temporary shelters of skins and wooden poles that serve as hunting camps. When the wild beasts move on, so do the Nagra. Nagra bands tend to be comprised of several small families, and rarely total more than twenty in number. Females carry their young strapped to their backs until they are old enough to walk and learn how to hunt for themselves.

The Nagra generally have a low regard for the ways of civilized peoples. They shun mounts and conveyances, and are tireless runners, able to cover distances of up to thirty miles a day with ease. Other peoples tend to find the Nagra somewhat strange, and even eerie. This is particularly true as regards the Nagra’s taste for serpents, which they swallow whole, uncooked, and alive.

Nagra are famed trackers. THey can track any creature by following the minute traces left by the passing of its spirit through the astral or material planes. To utilize it, they must first locate the trail of the intended subject and isolate it from the traces left by other entities. In desolate areas where few creatures are found, it may take no more than a few seconds. In large towns or cities, the process of locating and isolating a single trail among hundreds or even thousands of others may take anywhere from several minutes to several hours.

Once the trail has been found, they are able to follow it anywhere: over land, across water, or through the air. They can determine the age of the tracks, the type of entity that made the traces, and whether or not the tracks belong to a specific individual; each entity’s track is completely unique.

Backgrounds

Tribesman, manhunter, serpent tamer, bone carver, spirit shaman

Nagra Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Wis

Tireless Runner: Nagra can march for a day, a night and another day without stopping.

Spirit Tracking (Racial power)

You gain the Ranger's Tracker talent for free.

 

Na-Ku

na-ku gollum by the hand-d6xit2m cSome Talislantan scholars believe that the entire Na-Ku race may have been spawned by the Na-Ku’s King, a horrible half-demon known as Narug. Others think the race may be a mutated species of Darkling, or a cross between Darkling and some lower planar species.

The Na-Ku are cannibals who prey on other humanoids. Like termites in a hive, the Na-Ku exist solely to satisfy the desires and urges of their ruler - the horridly obese Na-Ku King. At his behest they go forth in their canoes to hunt for food, slaves, and consorts, whom they feed to their king. Despite frequent hunting and raiding expeditions, the Na-Ku are barely able to keep up with the King’s prodigious appetite. As a result, most Na-Ku must make do with such scraps and leavings as they can scavenge, hide, or steal. Only their part-demonic constitutions prevent the miserable creatures from starving to death.

Na-Ku live in crude, domed huts made of thatch. They prefer to eat man-flesh, but are unparticular with regard to type and quality: humanoids, wild animals, carrion, dead aquatic creatures that have washed-up on the shore, and even fellow Na-Ku are all considered equally edible. Males and females mate indiscriminately, the female giving birth to a “litter” of up to eight young. Fully half of the offspring are still-born, and two thirds of the surviving litter either die of neglect or are eaten.

Na-Ku exhibit many of the attributes of their demonic forbears. They are greedy, voracious, and cruel, and pick on those who are weaker than themselves. Talislantan sailors speak of Na-Ku who, being held in captivity, have devoured their young, their mates, and even themselves (the latter claim may perhaps be an exaggeration).

Backgrounds

Starving hunter, scrap collector, trash digger, restless eater, favorite of the King, escaped servant, sewer cleaner, rat hunter

Na-Ku Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Dex

Pitiful Creature (Racial power)

Once per battle, when you are attacked by an enemy that is larger than you or higher level, force that enemy to roll a save. If the save fails, the enemy's attack can't target you.

Champion feat: You can use Pitiful Creature against any target.

Epic feat: If the save fails, the target provokes an opportunity attack from you.

Prehensile Tail: You can make a melee attack with your tail that deals no damage but grabs the target. You can use this attack as an interrupt when an enemy fails a disengage check against you.

 

Oceanian (Sea Nomad)

sea elf by lunareth-d6ye03g c2The Sea Nomads of Oceanus are a green-skinned, dark-haired folk of average height and slender build. Their style of dress is best described as eccentric: vests of iridescent scales, loincloths of rainbow kra’s hide, and necklaces of colorful shells being most popular. Their warriors augment this basic wardrobe with shields of zaratan-shell and fierce-looking helms made from the skulls of aquatic predators such as nar-eels.

According to their historians, the Sea Nomads once dwelled in a far off land. When The Great Disaster struck, the inhabitants fled in boats. In their haste, or so the historians claim, the escapees left behind a witch named Jezem, noted as a practitioner of black magic. Out of spite Jezem placed a murrain upon her people, that they might never again dwell upon the land without invoking consequences of the most dire sort. Though the nature of these consequences was never specified, the survivors thought it best not to tempt fate by testing population and due to the ravages of wind, water and sea dragons.

The Sea Nomads have learned how to utilize the ocean’s natural resources to fit their needs. The primary source of building materials is yellow aqueor, a giant species of kelp that can grow to lengths of up to five hundred feet. The plant’s massive trunk, cut into sections and dried by exposure to sunlight, takes on a buoyancy and tensile strength similar to wood. The leaves are edible, and the fibrous stems can be used to make rope, parchment, mats, baskets, and even a type of coarse cloth. Other materials used in construction include coral, sponges, the hide and bones of sea dragons, and adhesives derived from the secretions of various species of shellfish.

As evidenced by their fear of Jezem’s curse, the Oceanians are a people governed by superstition. Practically any event can have portentous significance to these folk, from the shape and color of clouds in the sky to the movements of sea creatures, the flight patterns of avir, the position of the moons and stars, and a hundred other possibilities.

Backgrounds

Shell diver, spearfisher, oarsman, navigator, float builder, reef weaver, cloud reader

Oceanian (Sea Nomad) Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Dex

The Tides of Battle (Racial Power)

Once per battle as a quick action, make a save. If you succeed, spend a free recovery. If you fail, you are hampered until the end of your next turn. Describe a good or bad omen that caused the result.

Champion feat: Add the escalation die to the save.

Note: Oceanian PCs are special in that they can step on land without suffering from Jezel's curse for the sake of playability. It's up to you whether the curse is just superstition or whether you have a One Unique Thing that cancels it.

 

Orgovian

orgoviensOrgovians are a wiry, rugged people, hard and spare as flints. Notable features include dusky-orange skin, protruding chin, squinty eyes, and nostrils that resemble vertical slits. They dress in leather vest and curl-toed boots, loincloth, and brown felt headdress. Iron armbands are worn for decoration, typically by the dozen.

The Orgovians are the last remnants of a people who once hailed from the small kingdom of Orgovia. Following The Great Disaster, their homeland was overrun by savage tribesmen and their nation driven into ruin. They now roam the Wilderlands of Zaran and surrounding regions on their loper steeds, making their living as traders.

Orgovians are nomadic traders who range from the Wilderlands of Zaran to the Desert Kingdoms, and sometimes as far as the Eastern and Western Lands. They travel in small armed bands of up to twenty individuals, carrying parcels of goods from many lands on the backs of their loper steeds. Orgovian bands are loosely organized and usually consist of one or more extended families, plus a number of males or females from other bands who have joined the group through marriage or choice. Males and females marry in a brief ceremony that involves the exchange of gifts, symbolizing a relationship of mutual trust. As bands are always on the move females must often give birth while “in the saddle”. Infants are wrapped in swaddling and affixed to the back of their mother’s steed with the rest of the baggage and possessions. Most learn to ride before they can walk. Orgovians subsist on foods gathered in the wild or obtained through trade with other peoples.

Orgovians have dealt exclusively in barter ever since the fall of the old nation of Orgovia and the subsequent devaluation of its currency, a lead coin called the yatma (hence the origin of the popular phrase, “not worth a lead yatma”). If offered coin instead of barter for their wares, Orgovians may accuse the unwitting offender of attempting to rob them, generally with disastrous results. They tend to be suspicious of civilized folk, whose ways the Orgovians neither fully understand nor trust.

The Orgovians once had a god, but no more. After The Great Disaster they said their god had abandoned them, and so they did the same. Though suspicious by nature, Orgovians will deal with most anyone, provided they are offered fair value for their wares. They despise bandits and cheats, and routinely kill such individuals in order to trade their scalps and possessions for useful goods.

An Orgovian will take a bit longer until the truly trusts other party members. Give yourself some time to play out this process.

Backgrounds

Steppe merchant, loper breeder, bandit hunter, caravan leader, desert navigator, weapons trader, artifact appraiser

Orgovian Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Wis

The true value of things: Once per scene, roll twice on a Wisdom check to determine the true value of something or someone. This ability, born from healthy mistrust and honed in years on trading, not only lets you determine fake goods, but also fake people.

Hard to deceive (Racial power)

Once per battle, when you are hit by a an attack against MD, or a deception, a feint, an illusion spell, invisibility or similar, immediately make a save to ignore the effect.

 

Parthenian

Warforged  Colored by endejesterYou are a component of Parthan, a tool of The One, an element in the Master Plan. You do not know the entirety of the Plan, as that is not necessary for your function. You do not communicate with outsiders regarding the Plan, for it is irrelevant to their functions. You must occasionally acquire these beings to aid you in your search, in your function. They do not all react well to the fuel you provide them. Many become defective, beyond your ability to repair. You must discard them, and you must acquire others from among the outsiders. The ingots you trade to acquire them are irrelevant to the Plan. These matters are not important. Only the Plan is important.

Parthenians stand seven feet in height, and from a distance appear to have glossy bronze skin and hair. They appear to dress in golden helms, shimmering yellow cloaks, armored vests, and iron arm and wrist bracers. Under close inspection it can be seen that Parthenians wear neither helm nor armor, and do not have bronze colored skin or hair. Rather, they are made entirely of bronze. Their “hair” is made of braided wire, their cloaks and vests fashioned of flexible, metallic cloth.

Parthenians are not natural lifeforms, but automatons. Cymrilian scholars have speculated that they may be survivors of The Great Disaster, created either by the ancient Archaens or perhaps the Neurians. Some believe that the Parthenians may have been created to locate and collect collect salvage from the sunken city of Aurantium, either to acquire treasure or to find some lost item or artifact.

The Parthenians are rumored to sail the unknown waters that stretch far to the west, across regions which many Talislantans believe lay at the very edge of the world. Employing humanoid slaves as divers, they scour the ocean floor, hauling sunken treasure and valuable salvage aboard their ships by means of winches. The Parthenians occupy a strange settlement called Parthan, an iron castle of ten towers, each over a hundred feet in height. Its facilities include a dry dock for Parthenian vessels, where triremes are maintained and repaired, and quarters for their humanoid slaves.

Parthenians do not sleep or eat, but must periodically ingest a liquid lubricant similar to refined lamp oil. Gender differences, even of a surface sort, are nonexistent; Parthenians do not reproduce, though they are apparently able to build new Parthenians to replace those who have been damaged beyond repair or lost. The renowned naturalist, Thystram, stated that there are only one hundred Parthenians in existence at any given time. All are considered parts of the whole, like a complex machine of a hundred parts.

The Parthenians are governed by an individual known as The One; possibly the first of the line. The One supervises the population of Parthan, ensuring that all goes in accordance with the Master Plan – apparently an ancient document or set of instructions, which serves as the Parthenian manifest. If a copy of the Plan still exists, its location is evidently kept secret and well guarded.

Backgrounds

The Fifteenth, barge navigator, slave trader, dive apparatus mechanic, diviner of the plan

Parthenian Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Dex

Automaton: immune to poisons, disease, and magical influence; does not sleep, age, or eat (although you must periodically ingest a liquid lubricant similar to refined lamp oil).

Brass skin: Always considered to be wearing at least light armor. Ignore any attack penalty in light armor from your class.

Flamethrower: (Racial power)

Once per battle, make a close-quarters attack as a quick action using your highest ability score against one nearby enemy’s Physical Defense. On a hit, the attack deals 1d6 fire damage per your level.

Champion Feat: Your flame thrower attack targets 1d3 nearby enemies in a group instead.

 

Phantasian

phantasian ChampionA pale-skinned people, the Phantasians are tall and very thin, with delicate features. They dress in long, trailing robes, conical caps, and necklaces of colored crystals.

The Phantasians are believed to be descended from the Archaens of ancient Elande, a great sky-city that was destroyed during the Great Disaster. Refugees fleeing from Elande in windships settled on Phantas, where they built Cabal Magicus.

Cabal Magicus is a fabulous castle that hovers high above the Isle of Phantas, tethered to the ground below by chains of adamant. The castle was constructed along the same principles as the sky-cities of the ancient Archaens, which were purportedly fashioned from solidified cloud-stuff. The modern-day Phantasians have long since forgotten the secret of manufacturing such materials, and now have all they can do merely to keep Cabal Magicus afloat. Like the ancient Archaens, the Phantasians once lived in splendor and ate only the finest and most costly fare. Now, they subsist on bland foods grown in their hydroponic gardens and nutritive elixirs of various sorts. Once among the most skilled practitioners of magic, the Phantasians have forgotten much of the fabled knowledge possessed by their ancient ancestors. Among the few secrets left to them are the talents associated with the building of windships and the art of distilling dream essence. It is these abilities that provide the Phantasians with their livelihood.

Phantasian society and civilization are in a state of decline, and appear to be on the verge of collapse. There is a sadness about these folk, whom many deem to be relics of a forgotten era. More than a few Phantasians prefer the old colonial Archaen worldview to the more liberal views currently in vogue among such folk as the Cymrilians. A return to the old ways, and Archaen-style dominance, would be looked upon with much favor by these folk – assuming there was some practical way to recapture the glory of those halcyon times.

Backgrounds

Dream merchant, sky barge sailor, sky city guardian, cloud farmer, historian, Archaea era archaeologist, cabal initiate

Phantasian Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Cha

Detect magic: Your eyes perceive the aura of lingering magic. You can detect spells and enchantments on items, as well as spellcasting ability or active spells on living beings. Make an Int-based skill check to gather details about the magic auras you see.

Inspiration (Racial power)

Once per battle, as a quick action, you can bless an ally with a short dream to lift his or her spirit. The ally can increase any one natural d20 roll by 1 before the end of combat.

Champion feat: After the ally uses the granted boon, make a recharge roll (16+) for this power.

 

Pharesian

See Cymrilian.

 

Quan

quansAt the height of their reign, the Quan were known for their haughty demeanor and gluttonous appetites. They dressed in the richest apparel, adorned themselves with jewelry, and exhibited the lofty airs and delicate sensibilities normally associated with royalty. Now reduced to poverty, the Quan dress in tattered finery or makeshift garments.

The Quan are the descendents of a barbaric people related to the ancient Mazdaks. Using military skill and guile they conquered an empire, but as time passed they descended into complacency. Their reign ended in 611, when the Kang seized control of the Empire in a single day.

After the Kang insurrection the Quan were removed from power and relegated to the lower rungs of society. Their riches were confiscated by the Kang, and their possessions sold at auction. Thousands of Quan were executed for “crimes against the Empire”. Hundreds more chose to commit suicide, ordering their servants to kill them rather than face the wrath of the Kang. The remaining Quan are no longer allowed to own property or have servants. Once marvelous beyond description, Tian, the old capital, has since fallen into a sad state of disrepair. The inhabitants live in squalor, struggling to grow or scavenge enough food to survive.

As a Quan, you set yourself up for a hard time. Their glory days are unlikely to return, and many races remember how they suffered under them all too well. If a Quan sets out to adventure, he'll try to get as far away as possible from the old empire. If you are trying to relive the bygone days as nomad warriors, you would be a fighter or a commander. If desperation has taught you that the ends justify the means, you'd probably be a rogue. Or maybe you are a descendent of former court wizards, an angry, untrained sorcerer.

Backgrounds

Disgraced court eunuch, homeless street musician, classically educated calligrapher, day laborer, luxuries trader, Kang collaborator, secret society member, strategic genius, Tian refugee

Quan Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Int

Heavy: When a creature pushes you away with an attack, i.e. forces you to disengage, you can choose to stay engaged.

Wobbling Belly (Racial Power)

Once per battle, when an enemy hits you with an attack against AC or PC (but not a critical hit), turn that hit into a miss.

Champion feat: Also pop free from the target.

Still Friends in High Places (Talent)

Through old ties, clever politicking or plain luck, your family survived the fall of the Quan Empire and is now an administrator, merchant or similar power broker under the Kang. Once per session, you can use your old contacts to gain access to information, items or favors. These services are not necessarily free. Before taking this talent, make sure that your GM is planning a campaign where it could be useful.

 

Rahastran

rahastranThe Rahastrans are a tall and dark-skinned folk who carry about them an air of mystery and magic. They prefer cloaks, gloves and long coats of blue fustian, and pendants of carved amethyst. Many Rahastrans carry a deck of enchanted cards known as the Zodar.

The Rahastrans are the direct descendents of a sect of cartomancers who once served the rulers of the ancient kingdom of Phandril. According to their legends, their people were banished after a Rahastran displeased the ruler of Phandril by giving an unfavorable reading regarding the future of the kingdom. The reading turned out to be accurate, and Phandril was destroyed during The Great Disaster. Since that time Rahastrans have been wanderers, who give their allegiance to no government.

Rahastrans are traveling seers who wander from place to place, earning a living as fortune tellers or gamblers. It is the custom of these individuals to trust to the luck of the Zodar, an archaic and magical game employing a deck of twenty cards, each marked with a different arcane symbol. While Zodar is often thought of as a game of chance, the cards are most often used to divine the future, or to reveal a person’s deepest thoughts and desires. In addition to supplying a livelihood, the Zodar guides virtually every aspect of a Rahastran’s life on a day-to-day basis. It is said that no Rahastran would ever make an important decision without first consulting the cards and reading the portents, nor would he or she take any action that the cards indicate to be unwise.

Rahastrans tend to be loners; there are no bands or tribes of Rahastrans, nor do they have any homeland. Some Talislantan scholars believe that there may be no more than a few hundred Rahastrans extant on the continent, if that.

Backgrounds

Gambler on the run, fortune teller, cartomancer, heartbreaker

Rahastran Racial Bonus: +2 Wis or +2 Cha

All in the Zodar (Racial power)

At the start of battle, roll a d6. When the escalation die is equal to the number you rolled, draw a card from the Zodar. If you do not have a Zodar deck, roll a d20 on the table below. The effect of each card is not set in stone, go with the flow of the story. The only certainty is that the Zodar spins your fate, whether you physically draw a card or not. If there is doubt whether a card in a certain situation should have a positive or negative effect for you, roll a d20. A low result means the card was negative, while a high result is good for you.

The Zodar

Card #1 - Zar: The Dark Moon. An ill-aspected card, signifying evil, conspiracy,black magic.

Card #2 - Laeolis: The Blue Moon. Sorrow, disappointment, heartbreak.

Card #3 - Jhang: The Crimson Moon. Rage, violence, dark passions.

Card #4 - Ardan: The Purple Moon. Romance, passion, desire.

Card #5 - Phandir: The Green Moon. Mystery, things unknown.

Card #6 - Drome: The Amber Moon. Peace, repose, relief.

Card #7 - Talisande: The Silver Moon. Good fortune.

Card #8 - The Lesser Sun. A matter of little import.

Card #9 - The Greater Sun. A matter of great import.

Card #10 - The Charlatan. Deception or deception discovered.

Card #11 - The Rogue. Loss, thievery, distrust.

Card #12 - The Warrior. Confrontation, conflict, vigilance.

Card #13 - The Assassin. Treachery, betrayal, death.

Card #14 - The Peddler. Opportunity, the chance for profit or loss.

Card #15 - The Wanderer. Travel and adventure.

Card #16 - The Wizard. Sorcery, chance, uncertainty.

Card #17 - The Mystic. Hidden knowledge, secrets.

Card #18 - The Alchemist. Change, transformation, the unexpected.

Card #19 - The Reaper. Inevitability.

Card #20 - The Archon. Victory.

 

Rajan

Necromancer Concept by DenjinPrime cThe Rajans are a dark-skinned folk, tall and wiry of build, with blood-red eyes, and horn-like protrusions jutting forth from their chins and foreheads. They dress in dark grey capes, veiled headdresses, and loose-fitting garments bound with cords at the wrists, ankles and waist. These same cords are used for many practical purposes by the Rajans, including the strangling of enemies.

Rajans prefer to believe that they are descended from the Torquarans, rulers of a dark empire that once spanned much of the Talislantan continent. The folk now known as the Rajans were once nomadic hunters, who eked out a meager existence in the harsh deserts of Rajanistan. In 404 the Rajan tribes united under a chieftain called the Khadun, and conquered the other desert peoples of Rajanistan.

The Rajans now live in the city of Irdan, a fortified enclave built into the side of a mountain. Their dwellings are made of bricks dried under the light of the twin suns, and hung with dark curtains and tapestries. Rugs woven in bold reds and blacks cover the earthen floors, and iron braziers provide illumination.

Rajan society is dominated by men. Women are totally subservient, and are forbidden to show their faces or any part of their bodies in public. Rajan men are allowed to take as many wives as they can support. Wives are “bought” from their fathers, usually at age thirteen, and are considered property; a man can banish an unwanted wife at any time. Children are raised by the wives, and are kept out of sight from the Rajan men, who have little patience for child-raising. At age thirteen, female children are sold off, and male children are given to priests of the Nihilist Cult for training. Most will become warriors, others necromancer-priests, according to their abilities.

Fatalistic by nature, Rajans believe that the harsh circumstances of their existence are punishment for the sins of their ancestors. In essence, Rajans think the Talislantan world is Hell. For these people, death is the means of ascension to a better life in the next world – the Rajan version of Heaven, where the faithful will be rewarded by attaining revenge over their enemies, power, wealth, and the means to satiate all mortal desires.

It is the custom of both male and female Rajans to carry concealed weapons on their persons, curved daggers being considered especially elegant. Rajans also favor kaj, a potent narcotic made from a combination of Farad k’tallah and the resinous buds of an hallucinogenic plant know as rajoum.

Rajans worship the Khadun, whom they say is the earthly manifestation of the dread entity known as Death. More accurately, the Khadun is the central figure of a cult of personality that exists primarily to further his own goals. In this way the Nihilists are similar to the Torquaran wizards, a cult of black magicians whose only religion was the pursuit of power.

Devotees of the Nihilist Cult believe that only by dying can they become one in spirit with the Khadun, and so are eager to sacrifice their lives for any cause that he endorses. Along the same line of reasoning, the Rajans claim that by killing non-believers, they convert them to their morbid religion — “conversion by the sword”, in the most literal sense. Devotees of the Cult are embalmed and buried with full ceremonies. Non-believers are tossed into the sacrificial fires.

The Nihilist Cult operates out of the Temple of Death, in the city of Irdan. Here, the Khadun resides within his sanctum, protected by his legions of fanatical followers. Priests of the Nihilist Cult are said to consort with the spirits of the deceased, hoping to exhume lost magical secrets of the Forgotten Age.

Backgrounds

Fanatic nihilist, apprentice embalmer, Death temple guard, bastard child of the Khadun, bone carver, caravan trader, necromancer, demonologist, runaway third wife, kaj merchant, temple architect, apocalyptic prophet

Vird: Several other nomadic tribes, referred to collectively as the Virds, make their homes in tent settlements scattered across Rajanistan. They include the Aramut, the Zagir and the giant Shadinn. Nowadays, they share a common language, culture, homeland, and nomadic background. Conquered by the Rajans long ago, they have been assimilated into the ranks of Rajan society, but as second-class citizens.

Rajan Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Int

Sacrifice to Khadun (Racial Power)

Once per battle, when you hit a staggered enemy with a natural 20, you kill the target.

Adventurer feat: You can spend a recovery to heal if you do.

Champion feat: You can trigger the power on a natural 18+.

Epic feat: The recovery is free.

 


Part A-G | H-R | S-Z


Version 0.8, 22 Jan 2017

 

Image credit:

Hadjin, Imrian, Jaka, Kang, Kasmiran, Kharakhan, Mandalan, Mangar, Marukan, Mogroth, Mondre Khan, Moorg-Wan, Orgovian, Quan, Rahastran: Pulpe de Poulpe (Talislanta French Edition)

Harakin: Brom - Blood Ritual; Mirin: Brom - Spellwalker

Ispasian: ? (from Talislanta 4th edition)

Jhangaran: Adam Black? (From Talislanta 2nd edition)

Manra: Ashley Cope - Adam

Mirin: Brom - Spellwalker

Muse: Boris Vallejo - Butterfly Wings

Nagra: Boc0 - Female Orc Shaman

Na-ku: The Hand - Gollum

Oceanian: Lunareth - Sea Elf

Parthenian: Endejester - Warforged Colored

Phantasian: Matt Cavotta - Planar champion (Manual of the Planes

Rajan: Denjin Prime - Necromancer Concept

 

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