|Table of Contents||Regions||Races||Classes|
|Skills and Feats||Equipment||Dream Energy||Spells|
|Dream Creatures||Creature Lists||Relics||Game Mastering|
|Glossary||Appendix: The Magi||Designer's Notes||Magi-Nation Sites|
Each of the races from the Moonlands are presented below in detail for d20 gaming. Cultural notes (from the Book of Ages) provide insights into the outlook and culture of the different races, while the second section details the game mechanics for including the Moonlanders in a d20 RPG game. This section is written for the gamer who is familiar with the d20 system, and will make references to the D&D Player's Handbook. The following notes give general rules for the races.
General Description: All Eliwan races are humanoid, and generally have the same build, height, etc. as humans. Skin color (where not otherwise mentioned) tends toward caucasian. The eyes of Eliwan are larger, and more luminous than human eyes, while the nose is slightly smaller. Eliwan have only four fingers on each hand; their fingers are slightly broader and stronger individually than human fingers.
Arderians live in the floating clouds of Arderial, high above the surface of the Moonlands. They are naturally gifted with an ability to fly, and love to spend their time floating among the clouds and soaring high in the stratosphere, where day gives way to eternal night. Their magic deals with the air and the weather, and although such magic may, at first glance, appear to be weaker than explosions and earthquakes, it is no less dangerous.
Personality: Among the Moonlands, the phrase "putting on airs" means acting like an Arderian. Arderians are known for being proud and vain, which is rather alarming when one considers that this means they are even more so than the rest of the Magi-Nation. In their opinion it is only just and right that they inhabit the region that soars above all others; they take it as proof if their inherent superiority, and they enjoy spending their idle time lazing on a cloud and gazing down at the other Magi far below. Arderians are typically soft-spoken and somewhat dreamy, as one might expect from a race that enjoys the utter freedom of magical flight. Yet despite the impression they give, Arderians are temperamental, and take slights as personally as the other races. Unfortunately for everyone, it takes some time for Arderians to work up a good fury when they are offended; as a result, they often exact their vengeance hours or days afterwards, which has given them a bit of a reputation for being as unpredictable as the weather.
Physical Description: Arderians tend towards the tall and thin; tall because their environment offers them no restrictions, and thin because the lighter they are, the easier soaring is for them. Arderian physique tends not to be as athletic as those of the ground-dwelling races, but rather softer and smoother as the gentle soaring does not but as much stress upon their muscles. There are exceptions, of course, and those Arderians who spend a lot of time on or near the ground tend to be more buff than their fellows. Arderians are light-skinned, even pale, and their eyes are usually light colors found in the summer sky. Their hair is most commonly blue, although shades from plum to blonde to gray are not unknown. Arderians prefer to wear their hair long and loose, as it looks best when blown in the breeze. And they make sure there are enough breezes at all times to show off their hair to best effect.
Attire: Arderian fashion follows the same trends as Arderian hairstyles: "long and free looks best on me." Most Arderian clothing is loose, with lots of long dangling sashes and billowing folds. At times when the expansive and decorative wardrobe would be indiscreet when blown about, tight underclothing is worn beneath to provide modesty with minimal interference with the windblown look. Arderians accessorize with light jewelry. They are especially fond of butterfly wings (treated for durability) as they provide maximum color and beauty for minimal weight.
Arderian Society: Arderian society is as free and unorganized as the winds and clouds themselves. Arderians are a rather intellectual society, spending countless hours debating philosophy, writing poetry, or idly - and rather wildly - speculating on the activities on the surface of the Moonlands far below them (this activity they term "groundwatching"). Children are allowed to soar about as they please; Arderian parents perhaps enjoy less parental concern than any other race in the universe; the heavens are slow to anger, and the children are incapable of falling as they soar gracefully from cloud to cloud. However, this freedom is not without a price. While blessed with freedom and security, many Arderian children lack the discipline of other races' offspring, and tend towards whimsy even when times are serious.
Names: Arderian names are very reminiscent of their region: open and airy. Vowels are round and full, and often found in pairs and diphthongs. Most consonants are soft.
Adventurers: Not all Arderians are condescending. Those who speak up about the value of the other regions often find themselves to be de facto outcasts, and descend to the surface of the Moonlands to find new friends. Other Arderians thrive on excitement, which is not something found in long supply whilst debating the finer points of existentialism on a gauzy cloud-top. Such Arderians similarly look for dangers to add some zest to their lives. Finally, Arderians have been known to visit the Moonlands surface just to find out more about the lesser beings that live there - though often this type of adventurer isn't overly popular to go exploring with.
Deep in the fetid swamy region of Bograth lurks a degenerate race of Magi. The Bograthians are squalid and small-minded, but nonetheless proud and determined, as evidenced by the fact that they have not only survived, but prospered in their disgusting homeland. Despite their high intellect, they seem oblivious to the world around them; their names and titles are as grandiose as their homes are pathetic, and even the most powerful Bograthian lacks a concept of hygiene.
Personality: Bograthians are somewhat less than the premiere social race of the Moonlands. Even speaking with one leaves most people with an unclean feeling, like they want to scrape the slime from their ears just for having listened. This is not just because Bograthians openly consort with dark powers; they also have a reputation for being dishonest and sneaky, which is in part well justified and in part exaggerated by their grotesque appearance. Bograthians are arrogant to the extreme, and use grandiose titles for themselves. They consider themselves to be the pinnacle of creation, the most powerful of Magi, and their region to be the greatest empire in history, all despite strong evidence to the contrary. Nevertheless, they persist in holding to their beliefs, which they use as an excuse to break whatever vows or treaties they may have with "lesser races". Many societal norms across the Moonlands are not issues with them; they seem to have a peculiar blind spot with respect to cleanliness, comfort, aand maintaining their homes in good repair. This oversight may in fact be due to the great disconnect between their self-image and their real nature
Physical Description: Bograthians look as degenerate as they are. Or maybe they are as degenerate as they look. It doesn't really matter. Their skin is an unhealthy color of decay, varying between the green of dying moss and the brown of really stinky mud. Their hair is reminiscent of wet moss: long, with a greasy or stringy appearance, and colored in a variety of muted, unhappy colors. While they stand upright in their early years, they generally grow more hunched, fat, and toad-like as they grow older. Their posture is always mediocre and they often lurch or shuffle when they walk. They have large, pupil-less eyes that glow with a pale sickly light, and they stare unblinkingly at whomever they speak with. Their voice is typically unrefined and croaky. And, as mentioned before, grooming is not their forte. Expect body odor, long nasty fingernails, and smears of mud (which may, in fact, be "makeup").
Attire: The first word that springs to mind when describing Bograthian dress is "damp", followed closely by "mildewed" and "ugly". They wear heavy fabrics like canvas and such - durable but ugly. Skin coverage is full, and hoods are commonly used. Their dismal colors are further diminished by the stains and tears garnered from having been worn in a swamp for years on end. Many clothes are so old that large mushrooms and mosses grow on them. One other note: to date, no Moonlands scholars have been able to determine a measurable difference between Bograthian "work clothes" and Bograthian "finery".
Names: Bograthian names frequently evoke the same reaction as Bograthians themselves.
Adventurers: Bograthians seldom adventure outside of Bograth itself, since they don't relate to outsiders or outside ideas well. The few adventurers that do wander from Bograth are rarely trusted, and even more rarely accepted.
Calders live in the intensely volcanic region known as The Cald, at the southern tip of the Moonlands. Fierce, proud, and impressive, Calder Magi specialize in the creation and application of fire. As you can imagine, this fills their everyday life with danger. They gambol about in their fiery region, leaping along stepping-stone pathways above lakes of flaming lava and causing eruptions in their wake. It's an exciting life.
Personality: If anything describes the Calders, it's the phrase "hot-headed", though of course they themselves do not see it. They describe themselves as daring, fearless and disciplined, which is admittedly true, but does not quite convey the Calder's sheer enjoyment of conflict and destruction. Calder Magi love to create effects that are larger and more powerful than they can control, just to watch the havoc those events wreak on the Moonlands, an activity that most would consider reckless. Unfortunately, this habit of creating chaos follows the Calders wherever they go, as a result of which they have antagonized pretty much everyone in the Moonlands (no one likes a guest who burns down the house just to watch the flames). As a result, the Calders have fought many wars, and have retreated into isolation in their hazardous region. There they hone their skills and their fighting prowess, preparing for future confrontations and refusing to mingle with lesser, weaker races. Calders typically take offense quickly, hoping either to intimidate their foes or start a fight.
Physical Description: Calders are usually athletic and well-muscled, for they spend their days rambling around a rocky environment, pushing big boulders, climbing lava flows, or hopping over large flaming pools. In such a place, one must be physically fit to survive. While most Calders are born fair of skin, it is not uncommon to see them with solid tans or perhaps evenly distributed reddish sunburns over their entire body; these they get from the intense light and heat of the volcanoes they so love. Calder hair ranges from blonde to yellow to red and brown, with the more fiery colors being more common. They typically wear their hair short so it doesn't catch fire, and it often appears upswept. Some observers believe this is due to the constant updrafts of hot air in The Cald. Calder Eyes follow the trend set by the hair, and are also found in the more fiery colors, ranging from gold to red to a variety of browns.
Attire: Calder attire reflects their warlike attitude. Many Calders wear some sort of armor to demonstrate their willingness to fight. This is usually a token piece such as bracers, but occasionally more extensive guards protecting a majority of the Calder's body is worn. Headbands are de rigueur among Calders, for it keeps the sweat out of their eyes (and, in their opinion, looks way cool). Finally, it must be noted that Calders love to wear clothing that reveals their well-developed muscles. Calder men parade about in bare chests, while women love to show off their abs.
Calder Society: Calder society is very much a power-based warrior's society. Duels between Magi are a daily occurrence as the Magi strive to improve their skills - and not so incidentally to claw their way up the social pecking order. Besides duels, Calders also hold frequent contests in which participants can demonstrate their athletic or magical prowess. Races down treacherous slopes, balamant smacking, and bobbing for arbolits are all popular pastimes. Calder education focuses almost exclusively on power: how to generate it, how to form it, and how to apply it for maximum effect. Unfortunately, this pattern tends to ensure that each generation of Calders is at least as warlike as the last, and diplomacy is all but a lost art among the people.
Names: Calder names are as hard as the people. Vowel sounds are harsh, and the Calders use hard consonants, as well as select soft ones. The net effect is to sound like crackling fire or burbling lava.
Adventurers: Second only to the Naroomese, Calder society promotes adventuring. Moving about in a hostile land - never mind that you make it hostile by your tendency to burn it - make a warrior stronger and more versatile. Thus most Calder adventurers rove about seeking to increase their personal power and fame, and thereby be more powerful and respected upon their return home. Curiously enough, the exposure to other cultures tends to mellow the attitudes and open the minds of these warriors, and therewith helps keep The Cald from becoming truly isolationist. There are a few Calders who adventure to escape the harsh lifestyle of The Cald, but they are rare.
The Sands of D'Resh are an inhospitable desert filled with an equally inhospitable race of Magi. The Sands are an ever-shifting region of illusion and emptiness. The magi therein live a nomadic lifestyle, both moving as the sands change and changing the sands as they move. They specialize in illusion magic, naturally, but the more powerful also have the ability to dissolve into sand or fade into thin air. They control the winds, the light, the heat and the shade, and everyone trembles at the thought of crossing them.
Personality: The Magi of D'Resh successfully hid their existence for a thousand years, which led to the widespread belief that the vast western desert was entirely devoid of life. Only the most recent excursions have found that the desert is a vibrant (if hazardous) place, and that was only because the D'Reshi decided it was time to enter the affairs of the Moonlands. As one might imagine, after a millenium of isolation, the d'Reshi are not a terribly social race. In fact, most Moonlanders consider them terse and untrustworthy. "Shifty" is a word that comes up often, especially since D'Reshi are fond of fading out when things are not going their way ... even something as simple as conversation. It is certainly true that the D'Reshi hold their secrets tightly.
The Magi of D'Resh are also sensitive about their scales. Each D'Reshi's scales are created in the traditional coming-of-age ceremony. The Elder and the young Magi trace the desired pattern of scales with an ancient and revered tool called a j'timh. The scales then grow into the pattern that has been marked out, and forevermore the Magi bears those scales.
Physical Description: Alone of all the races, the D'Reshi are utterly hairless, which is not surprising when one considers how hard it is to get sand out of your hair. Instead, D'Reshi have patterns of scales along their head and eyebrows, and often on other places like their upper arms, chest, etc. These scales can be quite colorful at times, and the shapes and colors of the patterns are as unique as fingerprints. D'Reshi skin is sandy in color, varying from a light beach tan to a ruddier badlands red-orange. Their eyes, set beneath heavy, almost reptilian brows, are bright and stand in stark contrast to their skin. The most common colors are reds, purples, and blues. Their eyes also have nictitating membranes (translucent inner eyelids), which allow them to see clearly in the heaviest of sandstorms. For some reason, they find their ears unappealing, so they wear multiple earrings. The d'Reshi are very agile, with a light build that makes it easy for them to move confidently across shifting sand and treacherous rocks.
Attire: D'Reshi are most often seen wearing long robes and sashes, which are often a bit the worse for wear from having been scoured by the desert sands. These robes conceal their shape, as well as provide a way to wick unwanted water away from their bodies. Wraps around their hands, head, and feet help protect exposed skin from the harsh environment, and can easily be adjusted when needed. Bone armor provides protection, adds to a fearsome look, and makes it possible to bury one's self in the sand and spy on trespassers. When in more relaxed surroundings, d'Reshi wear gauzy fabrics cut for smaller coverage.
Rustic giants lurking in the bitter crags of the range known as Kybar's Teeth, the Kybarites are a fearsome foe. They loom over the smaller Moonlands races, nearly qualifying as giants to the smallest. Wrapped in furs and eking out an existence among the rocks, theirs is a bitter life, but one they exult in, for they believe the harshness makes them more powerful and better off than the lowlands races, softening in their creature comforts and wallowing in excess.
Personality: "Like a rock" is a phrase that is often used for Kybarites, be it for their ability to stand in the fray without retreating, or for their less-than-expert intellectual processes. They typically wear a perpetual scowl on their granite-like faces, which is a pretty clear depiction of their attitude towards life, the universe, strangers, and everything. Kybarite children are happy like all children, of course, and they play rather recklessly on the precipices and in the chasms, but as time goes on, the gritty reality of the harsh Kybarite life molds them into stern adults. This stems partly from the need to find food and shelter, and partly from the experience they gain as they injure themselves testing the limits of their abilities. Adult Kybarites are fearless but realistic; they know their limits and are not afraid to push themselves, but they also know what's impossible. While they appear to be gruff and grim to outsiders, Kybarites have a well-developed sense of humor, though it relies heavily on physical humor (pratfalls, slapstick) and earthy jokes.
Physical Description: Kybarites are first and foremost known for their large size and powerful build: almost every Kybarite is over six feet tall and heavily built. Their skin is moderately light, with individuals ranging both lighter and darker. The most singular feature of Kybarite skin is the appearance of bright geometric designs These are not tattoos, but rather birthmarks known as "Kybar's bites." These are present on all Kybarite babies at birth, and the location and color of these birthmarks are used to predict the baby's future. Kybarite hair is shaggy, almost woolly, and it ranges from black to steel blue, or brown to dishwater blonde. Hair is worn long, often with beads or other trinkets braided in. Their ears lack any decorations like points or such, and are perhaps a bit small to protect against frostbite. Their eyes are blue, green, or gold, light or icy in color, and enhance the scowl so often seen on Kybarite faces.
Attire: Kybarites live in a cold, harsh environ, and it shows in their dress. In fact, they play up the barbarian aspect, both because it's rather fashionable, and also because it frightens their more cultured neighbors. The first thing anyone notices about the Kybarites is the fur, because Kybarites have little cloth. This fur is often ornamented with claws or fangs, and is cut and styled asymmetrically. Kybarites also like primitive, colorful jewelry: dangling earrings, charms made from fangs and claws, and beaded necklaces are all commonplace among the Kybarites.
Kybarite Society: The Kybarites have a disperse social structure, because their land can support only a few people per square mile, but while thin, it is strictly hierarchical. They live in small bands, which are grouped into tribes and clans. The family leaders of each tribe gather for meetings once a month, the tribal leaders of each clan gather once a season, and each clan's leaders gather for a Kybarite moot once a year. At these meetings, tribute is passed to those in power, which helps provide the sustenance needed for the few Kybarites castles. Kybarites respect strength and ability, thus hunting is a big part of Kybarite society. Moga fang necklaces, yark gloves, and other trophies are mementos of challenges faced and defeated, and are cherished by the owner and his or her family as tangible evidence of bravery and prowess.
Names: Kybarites have names that seem almost primitive in nature and frequently start with a harsh consonant. They use only single vowels, and there are often not enough vowels to go around.
Adventurers: While rare, Kybarite adventurers are feared the Moonlands over. Some Kybarites get a taste for the larger world, and adopt the adventuring life to learn more about other cultures. Others seek to hone their warrior skills by facing new and interesting challenges instead of staying at home to do more jumping and climbing and fighting. Some Kybarites rebel at the strict social structure of their homeland, and go abroad to earn status and experience so they can return to Kybar's teeth and build a stronghold of their own. None of these incurs any direct problems for the Kybarite back home, although there is a constant concern that he or she may "go soft among the lowlands" without proper guidance from the clan elders. This gives an adventurer a bit of a social stigma until given a chance to prove them wrong.
Racial Traits & Abilities
Nar is a vast, frozen land to the north of the rest of the Moonlands, long thought to be an empty lifeless place. Two subraces of Narans exist in the perpetual freezing weather. Those who dwell outside and stalk the frozen tundra (the "Owtee") are a large, shaggy brutish sort of people, while those who dwell within the ice mountains (the "Enni") are a leaner, more cultured people with a philosophical bent. Recently, the Narans have thrown off their seclusion and entered the fray.
Personality: Narans are not a terribly welcoming people. In fact, based on initial impressions, most consider them to be ruthless and cold-hearted. In part this is due to the fact that they live in perhaps the least forgiving environment in the Moonlands; they do not have the lush and fertile terrain of Paradwyn, nor do they have the easy, comfortable woodlands of Naroom. Nar is a hard and treacherous place that breeds a hard and practical people. In part, this is because thousands of years of isolation have left them uncomfortable around outsiders. Narans speak little and promise less, because they know from experience that even the simplest plan can be fouled up by freak chances. Narans are a patient people as well, willing to spend years and years to complete a single project in as perfect a manner as possile. In line with this, their loyalty and self-sacrifice is beyond reproach, since any time they can gain for their compatriots is time the enemy loses.
Physical Description: Narans are one of the more striking and less-often-seen races of the Moonlands. They have very dark skin, which, among other things, absorbs what little heat the sunlight can provide them. In stark contrast, their eyes are very pale, reflecting away excess light. Narans are shaggier than most. Their hair is thick and crinkly, looking almost like an artificial snowdrift, and they let it grow long and unruly. At times, Narans wrap longer sections of hair around their necks for warmth. They also have bushy crinkly eyebrows protecting their eyes. Hair color is almost universally white, with only a few having very pale pastel colors, usually blue and gray. Narans have compact rounded ears, well-shaped, and pointed upwards. Their natural resistance to cold weather allows them to move about without as much clothing as you'd think, and their large feet help them move across snow quickly.
Attire: As is the case with their physique, the two subraces of Narans have different attire; the outside-dwellers have a more rough and barbaric look, which those who dwell indoors have more refined and elegant clothing. Naran clothing is often white, and almost always a pale icy color, since these blend in with their surroundings so well. High collars are common to keep the wind at bay, while fur trim is used on most edges. Only rarely will you see sweeping or very loose clothing; these are reserved for formal indoor occasions. Narans sometimes use tight-fitting goggles when the weather or terrain promises bright reflections. Narans also wear big steely cleats on their feet to ensure good traction wherever they go.
Adventurers: Naran adventurers are almost unheard-of. Many other Moonlanders believe Nar to be uninhabited, or at least very sparsely populated. The Narans keep everyone else away, and rarely leave their homeland. Naran adventurers might have gotten lost by mishap, or possibly left Nar because of a disagreement. Even then, a Naran will never reveal much about his homeland.
Naran characters should choose between Enni and Owtee characters. Most adventurers should be Owtee.
Although Naroom does not sit at the geographic center of the Moonlands, the Naroomese have made great efforts to remain the cultural and political center. They invite people of all races to visit them in their forest homes (even the Calders, if there's been a lot of rain lately) in an attempt to keep communications open. The Naroomese specialize in plant magic, creating powerful creatures from seemingly innocuous vines and shrubs.
Personality: The Naroomese are a fairly mellow people. They live in lush, green woodlands, which lends peace and tranquility to their everyday life. They are inquisitive, gregarious, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like walking in the trees, taming fweep birds, and eating jellybeans. Their gardeners create dream creatures for beauty, not power. In addition, they have endeavored over the centuries to keep their minds open, the better with which to understand their neighbors. However, not everyone appreciates the Naroomese efforts; other races often complain that the Naroomese act with a quiet superiority, and this is perhaps true. Certainly Naroomese diplomats insist on meeting in Naroom, not because it's central, but "because Naroom is more neutral than other regions". Regardless, the Naroomese persevere, keeping a good face when insulted and not letting their emotions get the better of them when insulted. This last tendency causes many outsiders to consider them somewhat "wooden" but really, they're as passionate as anyone.
Physical Description: Just as Naroom is sort of in the middle of Moonlands politics, so too are the Naroomese people more or less in the middle of the various races. They are of average height and build, although rambling through the woods and climbing the long stairs and ropes of their tree cities keeps them in good physical shape. Their hair is somewhat unruly - you might even say shaggy or bushy - and is normally a bland, neutral color from dishwater blonde to brown. Their eyes tend to the colors of the trees and skies, blues and greens. Naroomese ears are perhaps their most interesting facet. Their ears vary from short and roundish to very long and thin, and are always pointed. They also slope downwards, sort of like some of the creatures that inhabit the Naroom woods. Overall, though, Naroomese never really look like they're misfits in any region, but then, they don't necessarily fit in, either.
Attire: Naroomese believe very strongly in living in harmony with nature, or at least they profess to do so as they build their sprawling tree cities. Nonetheless, they display their idealism by dressing in earth tones, primarily forest green and a variety of browns, with gold and red often used for a splash of color. Their clothes are simple, comfortable, and utilitarian, well suited for their idyllic lifestyle. Naroomese are very fond of the natural look, and go to great lengths to cultivate a casual adornment of leaves magically enchanted not to wilt.
Naroomese Society: Naroom has an orderly social structure. Youngsters are taught to respect their elders, and obedience is the expectation. Naroomese believe their ancient traditions uphold all things Naroom, and are as venerable and immutable as the gigantic trees that support their cities (in fact, Naroomese parents use this analogy with their children quite often). In spite of this structure, Naroomese society also encourages individual growth and development. Just as trees each have their own shape, so too should each citizen. To this end, Naroom cultivates a sincere appreciation for art and gardening for its own sake, and many spend hours a day trying to make their cities even more beautiful.
Names: Thanks to the influence of the other regions, Naroom has the most variance in names of any region. Yet although foreign names are fashionable, parents still respect tradition and choose variant names with soft or open endings for their children.
Adventurers: Naroom encourages adventuring. Naroomese tradition holds that the way to understand the world and the people within it is to see it with your own eyes, touch it with your bare hands, smell it and feel it in all its differences. Nevertheless, there are a wide variety of reasons Naroomese go adventuring. Most often it's curiosity and interest, but simple wanderlust also plays a part. Some Naroomese are looking for ancient wisdom or pursing legends of powerful relics. A few are even out for revenge, hunting down someone or something that did them wrong. Regardless of the reasons behind it, Naroomese can always count on the support of their society.
Wide, deep oceans surround the Moonlands, leading to the horizon where the water gives way to the barren landscape. Beneath the surface of the waves there is a whole different world, teeming with life. The denizens of this aquatic environ are the Orotheans, masters of the waves. With humanoid torsos and aquatic tails, Orotheans are perhaps the most exotic of the Moonlands races, and they specialize in the creation of powerful magical items.
Personality: Among the Moonlands, the phrase that someone was "a cold fish" came about as a result of visitors who had only a passing knowledge of the Orotheans, but the reputation sticks to them to this day. The Orotheans have the largest region, and can spend days at a time in utter solitude without even trying, and many come to prefer quiet time on their own. Additionally, Orotheans consider the study of the sciences of magic, relics, and physics to be one of the highest callings, and spend hours each day in these pursuits (as opposed to learning how to be better conversationalists). Orotheans love all manner of gadgets, and go to great lengths to pursue rumors of new items. Being so very intellectual, Orotheans tend to speak without much emotional expression, even delivering threats in a deadpan voice and logical structure. They also consider emotions not to be very important, and ignore many lesser insults and inconveniences. Beware pushing this too far, though, for Orothean tempers are both violent and long-lived.
Physical Description: In their natural state, Orotheans are merfolk: their torsos from the waist up look like any other Moonlander, but below the waist, they have the shape of a sea creature. Long fish tails are the most common, but the tails of seahorses, eels, and cephalopods are not unknown. Most Orothean tails are aligned with the spine of the torso, but rare exceptions turn sharply at the waist, making them look like aquatic centaurs. Orothean skin ranges from pale flesh to dark blue, but always has a hint of blue about it. Orothean hair is thick and is usually worn long. It has a kelplike quality to it, and ranges from reds to purples, blues, and greens, and can be very light to nearly black. Finally, Orothean ears are quite exotic, typically long and pointed or frilled, like seashells.
Attire: The Orotheans are the least modest of the races. Part of this is simply due to the fact that in their aquatic environment, clothing offers little protection from the environment. Thus Orotheans wear even less than the Calders, generally only as much as modesty demands. Women cover up in scanty bikini tops, and both genders occasionally wear small bits of armor, but actual clothing is rare, and what tidbits they do wear are fashioned from shells and scales.
Orothean Society: Despite the value it places on logic, learning, and knowledge, Orothean society is steeped in birthright. Perhaps this tradition keeps an otherwise scattered civilization functioning, because it ensures that everyone knows who will manage what jobs as time passes. The strict family hierarchy results in some families having their own accents, the result of children imitating their parents right down to mispronounced words. Orotheans avoid travel on land, largely because they assume outsiders look down on them (when in fact, outsiders avoid Orotheans not because of prejudice, but because they fear swimming in the deeps). Nevertheless, Orothean memory is long, and gratitude and debt are ingrained in their social structure. Gain an Orothean ally, and you have gained a lot.
Names: Orothean names use a lot of open vowels, and hard consonants are softened by diphthongs. Their names end with vowels or long consonants. All this makes them easy to pronounce underwater.
Adventurers: Orothean adventurers are a rare breed. About half of them are archaeologists looking for new and interesting relics in hard-to-find places on the surface world. The other Orothean adventurers are outcasts (or "castaways" as they are called in the deeps). To pursue a life of action and adventure runs counter to most Orothean customs. Various urges drive this need. Some Orotheans are genuinely gregarious, and look to form close friendships with other races. Others are very emotional, and run away from their stolid home life. Still others have a fascination for walking, and find every excuse to put their talent to the test (and maybe learn some landlubber tricks).
The Orothean aquatic form is varied. When an Orothean character is created, the player should select one of the following forms for the character's lower half while in water (abilities only apply when in merform):
Paradwyn is an eruption of life in the midst of the Moonlands. A steaming, tropical hideaway, much of its border is so thick as to be impenetrable. A relatively isolated race of Magi lives within the lush riot of colors that grows from the soft earthen ground to the high rainforest canopy. Peaceful, happy, and as full of life as the plants around them, these Magi gallivant and play among the branches and vines and huge, sweeping ferns. They know the ways of the jungle... better than you.
Personality: The lush jungle environs provide an easy life for the Paradans, as a result of which they are a very warm, accepting, happy people. They are honest, fair, direct, and have a high sense of personal honor. They do not desire contact with people from other regions, although when a visitor intrudes on their land, they are happy to provide a lavish welcome. Perhaps best of all the races of the Moonlands, the Paradans know how to relax. They lounge in hammocks, soak in steaming hot pools, or dream up little jungle eebits to fetch them fresh fruit. They sunbathe to change the tint of their skin, which can fluctuate more rapidly than might be expected. The one drawback of this cultural focus on relaxation and indulgence is that on occasion Paradans have difficulty taking serious matters seriously. When they do, though, they can be dangerous. One of their most popular games involves stalking the Paradan creatures. The best Paradans can move with the utmost stealth through the thick underbrush, sneak up on a bagala, smack it on the haunches, and get away safely. These skills serve them well when conflicts come to blows.
Physical Description: Paradans are one of the more exotic species of the Moonlands, at least in the opinion of the adventurers from Naroom and Weave. Their skin is a lush green in color, ranging from light lime to deep emerald. Their hair is very stiff and thick - so thick it almost seems solid at times - and holds its shape very well. It comes in a variety of bright colors, ranging from soft tints to a moderate shade. Most often their hair stands up or out, and they arrange it in an eye-catching if informal fashion. Paradan eyes are bright and colorful, and there is no standard color. In fact, its not uncommon to see someone with two differently colored eyes. Paradan ears are well shaped, oblong like human ears, and are not pointed. Paradans spend their time playing in the jungle, and it shows in their easy, almost casual athletic build. Of course, their long fingers and toes and their slender arms and legs also help them to gambol about.
Attire: The Paradans are second only to the Orotheans in wearing next to nothing, which one might expect for a race that lives in a hot, steamy jungle. What clothing they do wear is simple, although brightly festooned with intricate patterns. Most people wear small, tight-fitting items that won't get snagged as they bound about in the rain forest. Older or more important people wear looser (though still simply cut) items. Most adornments come from flowers, leaves and fruit. Mock animal parts are also included; perky ears on headbands, paws on sandals, etc. Armor, when worn, is made of heavy nutshells.
Adventurers: Paradans rarely adventure. That sounds like too much work, and the Paradan philosophy rarely mixes well with the adventuring life. Also, since Paradwyn has almost anything they might want in abundance, there is even less reason to travel outside of Paradwyn. However, the few adventuring Paradans do so usually because it sounds like fun. Frequently they've met a visitor from another region, who describes the entertainments of their own region, and the Paradan wants to try something new. When they mix with other races, their zest for life and the pleasures to be found make them pleasant to be around.
Far beneath the surface of the Moonlands, a vast sprawling network of tunnels is home to a misunderstood subterranean society. This is the home of the Underlings, a quiet but fierce race, devoted to their duty to protect the Moonlands from the dangers of the Core. They stalk the caverns in the dim light of luminescent mushrooms, hunting nightmares and reinforcing their defenses. Despite their harsh life, they are a happy people, and perhaps the most technologically advanced.
Personality: Thanks to a poor reputation on the surface world, the term "underling" has become synonymous with servant. Underlings accept and even embrace that implication, for they serve in a sacred duty on the behalf of the rest of the Moonlands: they watch over the Core. Most of the Moonlands now considers the Core to be a legend, but down in the tunnels, nightmare creatures still appear without warning. Living with a pervasive threat that can strike without warning, Underlings are always prepared for battle. They wear their crystal digging gloves constantly. They never completely relax, not even during their frequent parties; they have perfected the art of relaxing while remaining alert. Even their sense of humor has gritty overtones. Underlings view the other races as largely short-sighted and unprepared, and this causes Underlings to present an air of disregard when dealing with outsiders. On the other hand, Underlings have a larger view of events, and are more open-minded and receptive to ideas that they consider of actual value.
Physical Description: Living in tunnels below ground, Underlings are slightly shorter than the average Moonlander, but their stocky build means they are no less heavy. Underling skin is dark, ranging from tan to rich brown, and often has a gray tint to it. Their hair is the most curious aspect of their physique; it is fungal in nature, and is formed in sections. These sections may be as small as a thin straw or as large as their head. Underling hair usually requires very little care, which is a good thing, since cutting and styling it can be quite the challenge, thus most Underlings let it grow as it will. The hair is often a muted color, but usually has spots that can sometimes be rather bright. Underling's eyes can be of any pale color, though the color is not always apparent, as their eyes are on average smaller than those of the other races, and underlings usually keep their eyes partially (or completely) covered with hair or goggles. Their ears are well-formed rounded or oval shapes, and unlike many races, are not pointed.
Attire: Underlings wear very utilitarian clothing, which is no surprise considering they are spelunking all day long. The fabric is heavy, and usually dull in color (not to hide the grime, but simply because colors don't show up well in the darkness of the Underneath). The clothes often show wear and tear, especially at the fringes. Underlings wear heavy boots with sharp cleats, to ensure they don't lose their traction in some of the more treacherous tunnels and rocky slopes. Finally, Underling wear their crystal digging gloves constantly, keeping both a tool and a weapon handy at all times.
Underling Society: Underling society operates in a siege mentality. Some say unnecessarily so, but the Underlings believe it is for the best. For safety, children are raised in a communal creche deep in the center of the Underlings towns. There they learn how to think and act like a warrior at all times, even their games are designed to teach them to fight the foul beasts that rise up from the Core. Underling society praises bravery, industriousness, and cleverness, but above all, safety. Underlings believe time is on their side, and the impatience of others plays into their hands. A warrior who delays a foe with clever tactics is held in higher esteem than one who just charges and attacks. Underlings are very inventive, and their locks, balloons, ships, and other gadgets make them the most advanced society of the Moonlands.
Names: Underling names are short and simple. They use blunt, closed, short vowels standing alone, and have endings that are hard as granite or dull as lead. Names ending with G and K are especially common.
Adventurers: Adventuring is often a part of Underling training, and thus it's not that unusual to see Underling adventurers - at least if you're underground. Underlings are less common above ground, where they tend to feel exposed without a comfortable tunnel surrounding them. Some Underlings adventure purely to learn new tactics and techniques, and to appraise the abilities of the landwalkers. Others join adventuring parties to try to open channels of communication and cultivate alliances. There are even a rare few driven purely by curiosity, a love of alien landscapes, or, in the rarest of cases, claustrophobia. Whatever the reason, adventurers are always held in esteem among the Underlings.
The Weave is a vast ocean of grass, and deep within its shadowy green recesses lives a unique society of people. The Weavers have adapted well to living among the grass, existing in peaceful isolation among the mile-tall reeds and finding ways to exist with little or no environmental impact. The grass itself bends to their will, creating paths, houses, baskets, swings, and other necessities; with all this, the Weavers have little need for the outside world.
Personality: Weavers are generally pacifist by nature, friendly and hospitable to those they greet. They like to play, relax, explore, and experiment. Specifically, they love to push themselves to the limit, climbing higher, running faster, leaping farther, and making more difficult jumps than ever before, a kind of "extreme sports" lifestyle that affects everything they do. They've been known to build swings that have a half-mile arc, they play a very reckless full-contact version of hide-and-seek, and even the way they move around The Weave gives visitors the willies. However, Weavers have also developed a healthy paranoia towards outsiders. For centuries, people from other regions have passed along the borders of The Weave. Calder fires burn the grass, Arderial cyclones disrupt the folded blades, and Bograthian mildew blights the plants. From what the Weavers can tell, it's a violent world out there. Yes, their view is judgmental and the world is not as bad as it seems, but as long as the Weavers remain at home, they'll never find out.
Physical Description: Weavers' skin is at the darker end of the Moonlands spectrum, ranging from a median brown to fairly dark, with undertones varying from creamy to deep brown. Their hair is also almost always brown, ranging from hay blonde to dark brown. Most Weavers prefer to use the Weave magic to arrange their hair into tight braids or absolutely perfect dreadlocks, each one the same diameter and length, and not one showing any hint of fuzz or kinks. Their eyes come in either various shades of brown, or else pale colors that show well against their skin, and their ears are well rounded and always alert. Although Weavers are by and large slightly smaller than most Moonlanders - averaging almost exactly five feet high - they have a trim and athletic build that suits them well in their home region. Given the ease of their lives in The Weave, many Weavers sport a perpetual smile.
Attire: Weaver attire is easily recognizable for the simple fact that it's made entirely out of woven plants. Casual wear is woven of soft and colorful blades, while items that need to be more durable - like the rare piece of armor - are woven out of a stiffer, wicker-like material. Since they are woven or braided by hand (and magic), Weaver clothes are form fitting, almost like a second skin. The persistent humidity in The Weave also keeps coverage rather small, though not immodest. Weavers occasionally use stones, shells, feathers, and other simple items to make jewelry.
Weaver Society: The Weave is a great place to live, and it has made its mark on its people. The grass willingly folds itself to make soft pathways, pleasant huts, and playground equipment that boggles the mind. This generosity formed the heart of the pacifist Weaver culture. Weavers are also a very here-and-now people; while The Weave is an ocean of grass, it's an ocean with very limited visibility. Influenced by that and the generosity of their region, Weaver society as a whole pursues short-term needs and goals. This entire lifestyle has pushed the Weavers to go over the top in the areas of sport and competition, as if the extreme nature of their recreation and the adrenalin-fueled pursuit of excellence might make up for the lack of danger and conflict in their everyday life. To be an athlete is to be respected.
Names: The borders of the Weave have been used for easy travel over the last few hundred years, thus Weaver names show more variance than those of other regions. Still, they typically end with vowels, although many times the final vowel is not pronounced.
Adventurers: Curiosity is the single most popular reason Weavers set out upon an adventuring life, unless you count the inherent innocence that keeps them from understanding how dangerous and adventuring life can be. The Weave is situated more or less in the center of the Moonlands, and many people move along its open borders rather than deal with the harsh terrain of Kybar's Teeth or Bograth. Seeing these varied strangers moving past naturally elicits excitement and interest. Some just leave, others get the final push from Gia or other scholars who send folks to find more research material. There are also a very few Weavers who are subtly expelled from their society for being too violent.
The true Core magi have been warped by centuries of exposure to Core energies. While they originally resembled the Eliwan, they were twisted by exposure to the Core energies. Core magi are not available to players without the Gamemaster's permission.
Personality: The Core magi are generally interested in one thing: power. Each of them is interested in gaining power for themselves and the Core as a whole. They are not necessarily loyal to each other, although neither are they necessarily backstabbing opportunists.
Physical Description: Core magi are generally unpleasant to look at (for most moonlanders), although nowhere near as disgusting as Bograthians. Their skin is covered by small scales, and ranges in color from green to light brown, but rarely are they a pleasant color. Their eyes are typically small, and emit a soft light when the core magi gets excited. The Core magi also have sharp teeth. Some Core magi also have horns. In addition to being generally unpleasant to look at, Core magi also have a strong odor that is unpleasant for non-Core magi. Each magi's odor is different.
Attire: Most Core magi prefer loose-fitting robes and cowls or capes. Core magi choose clothes meant to either impress or frighten others (sometimes both).
Core Society: Most of the Core magi are devoted to freeing Agram (again), and corrupting the rest of the Moonlands. Fortunately they are few in number, but beware - the Core is recruiting. For a long time, all Core magi were trapped in the Core. But that has changed.
Adventurers: Almost all Core magi are adventurers, or more properly, would-be conquerors. Korg and Zet are the two most visible Core magi, and are constantly concocting one scheme or another. However, while the rest of the Moonlands watches Korg and Zet, the rest operate quietly.
The invaders are a race alien to the moonlands. They are responsible for driving out the Eliwan from their original homeworld, El. The invaders are not present in the moonlands until after the Invasion. After the invasion, a few invaders might still be found. The invaders are not available to players without the Gamemaster's permission.
The invader society is a hierarchical set of castes. Each caste is functionally a different race, with different physical characteristics. The (known) castes are as follows:
Personality: Most of the Invader races hold little regard to those in lower castes. The GOH frequently punish AGAs for slight offenses, regarding them as vile creatures. KEWs are even more exalted. AGAs try to avoid the attention of the higher castes, serving obediently when commanded. Some AGAs resent this, but they hold little power.
Physical Description: All of the Invader races share some common characteristics. Most have a single central eye, though some races have additional eyes. They use tentacles for manipulation and locomotion. The tentacles may also be charged with dream energy. They have carapaces instead of bones, though the carapace only partially serves as an exoskeleton.
Most Invader races hover above the ground. They can charge their lower tentacles to create a repulsing field, which buoys them above a surface. However, they are not capable of true flight.
Invaders do not use animite rings. However, they do embed animite in their skin, which allows them to summon dream creatures.
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