The Wanderlust Legion
An excerpt from Darien bin-Zashar’s Peoples of Turann
Updated PE 507 by Isseus Devoren Garric
Born in PE 407 in the Empire of Ashura, Darien bin-Zashar was never satisfied with his homeland. He grew up hearing his father’s tales of adventure, of visiting faraway lands, fighting fantastic beasts, and meeting the widely varied people that inhabit the world. When he was old enough to leave, he stowed away on a pirate ship bound for Ohma. There, he traveled from Shantyside with a merchant caravan to White City, where he joined the Wanderlust Legion.
Darien quickly took to the adventurer’s life, and gained a reputation for being a silver-tongued diplomat, as well as a quick-bladed swordsman. He and his companions made their way across Ohma, hungrily devouring all the knowledge he could about the various cultures. From there, he traveled back home to Ghulam, exploring secret desert tombs in the Empire of Ashura, ancient jungle ruins in Kul’u, and rolling plains and hill lands of Dobiri. Once that land was conquered, he set off for the west, exploring the dragonborn continent of Mulgoroth, the orcish steppes of Horun’gahl, the pirate coves of the Black Isles, and many other fabulous, mysterious places.
By the end of his life, Darien bin-Zashar had become one of the most well-traveled people on Turann. In his last month alive, he compiled all of his journals, sketches, and interviews, compressing them all down into a pocket-sized book designed to be given to each member of the Wanderlust Legion. You hold the fifth version of this book now, distinguished reader. Prepare to be amazed and given to an unignorably powerful desire for adventure. This book only contains basic information; if you want to learn more, go out and learn for yourself!
Once the proud rulers of vast swaths of northern Mulgoroth, the dragonborn are just now beginning to re-establish themselves as a serious player on the world’s stage. Their fierce loyalty, deep pride, and brutal efficiency in combat gave rise to the empire of Lharvon in the early days of the Present Epoch, and it will carry the Dragonborn forth into the unknowable future.
The name “dragonborn” is well-applied to these folk. Their bodies are mostly humanoid, with the head of a dragon set upon wide shoulders and thick, muscular necks. Like the true dragons, dragonborn have various numbers and patterns of horns, and sometimes feathers, on their heads. Their skin is covered with a layer of protective scales that can vary wildly in color, marking, and thickness. Tails sprout from the base of their spines, and while they can be flicked about and moved, they are not prehensile. Dragonborn warriors often wrap their tails around their waists to prevent undue impracticality in combat. Their hands are wide, and they have three fingers and a thumb, each ending in a short claw. Their large, reptilian feet and chitinous claws prevent dragonborn from wearing most shoes, except those specifically designed for them (and even then, many dragonborn find them uncomfortable and choose not to wear them.) Thick, scaly footpads protect them from the hazards of typical walking.
While most Ohman dragonborn are refugees who integrate into whatever culture they find themselves in, there are some in Ohma who cling to the Mulgorothian ways. Dragonborn mothers lay clutches of between 2 and 8 eggs. Of these eggs, approximately 1 in 4 never. Those that do hatch are given social status and rank based on the order in which they emerge from the egg. Those that hatch first, the First of the Clutch, often go on to occupy high positions in the family (or “brood”, among the dragonborn), and only the First can hold the throne. Typically, if the First of the Clutch dies, the one hatched directly after assumes Firsthood, and all the benefits that go with it.
Honor, familial duties, and loyalty are prime virtues of dragonborn culture. Being the First is not a life of easy comforts, even among those with higher station. It carries with it severe expectations and responsibilities, and the First must make sure that one always represents the brood in a positive light, or risk the scorn of other broods, or even one’s own. Even those who aren’t First are pressured to do right by the brood, and bring honor to both oneself and one’s brood.
Dragonborn nations are ruled by a sarrum, or king, who serves as both a secular and religious leader. Directly under the sarrum are two advisors, the vazirum and the kalum. The vazirum manages and oversees the secular side of government. He confers with the sarrum on laws, taxes, and warfare. The kalum is the sarrum’s religious advisor, who assists with holidays, festivals, and decrees involving the state religion.
Dragonborn have a healthy respect for other races. Raguuk teaches acceptance and tolerance of other peoples and their ways, but that he is the only true god and that those of all other faiths follow false gods and should be shown the right path through the actions of the dragonborn. Dwarves are the most well-respected due to their love of tradition and order, while the Mathuin are considered a terribly misled people, albeit with fierce and honorable warriors.
Alignment and Religion
The honor and tradition that guides dragonborn culture leads to a rigid way of life. Dragonborn as a whole seek to uphold honesty, justice, and loyalty, making most lawful. While there are those who care only for themselves and their own honor, most believe in the right of everyone to be treated justly and fairly, leading to a good alignment.
A rarity among the peoples of Turann, dragonborn are monotheistic. Raguuk is a god of light, justice, and order. He is, essentially, every important virtue to the dragonborn, made manifest. Though not considered a god, the Stormwitch is a spiritual entity of discord, nearly as powerful as Raguuk. She sows chaos into the world and seeks to fight Raguuk and his followers.
Ohman dragonborn who join the Wanderlust Legion typically do so to make their own mark in a land where they have no strong cultural identity. Their deep faith and strongly-held convictions lend well to the paths of the paladin and cleric, and those outside the clergy often become fighters. It is easy for them to find the discipline needed to study the ways of the wizard. A larger-than-usual number of them have magical bloodlines that grant them the skills needed to become a sorcerer. Their lawful tendencies aren’t often conducive to the barbarian’s wild style or the bard’s flighty nature, and few have deep enough connections to the natural world to become rangers or druids. Raguuk condemns warlocks as abominations who make unholy pacts with false gods.
Naming conventions among the dragonborn revolve around the individual’s hatching order. Before the given name comes the dragonborn’s surname, made up of their hatching order, followed by the name of their brood.
Male Names: Anbir, Dagrim, Eshkar, Garash, Gazimbi, Hazi, Kishar, Mezem, Namkuuzu, Sagar, Teboru, Tilmun, Urtun, Zimar, Zuunak
Female Names: Amah, Biluda, Darila, Didila, Erish, Gashan, Gilninda, Kaziri, Minesh, Nashtita, Namtaar, Shamuush, Tukumbi, Uanna, Zena
Surnames: First-Gukur, Second-Vashukun, Third-Melak, Fourth-Hilimaz, Fifth-Enkara
These proud, bearded folk are fierce warriors, shrewd merchants, and renowned craftsmen hailing from mountain kingdoms known as dwarfholds. In ancient times, armies of svartalfar drove them out their deep underground homes and onto the surface, where the king Gundr Thunderhand led them to victory over mountain giants and claimed their ancestral home, the Dragonspine Mountains. Over time, several clans emigrated and founded new kingdoms in some of the other mountain ranges of Ohma. Dwarven culture extols honor in battle, protection of history, and bringing one’s clan and ancestors glory.
A dwarf is short, wide, and stout, built for hard battle and hard work. All male dwarves begin growing thick beards before adulthood, while the women have long locks of hair and are rugged, but beautiful. A male dwarf with no beard is a strange sight indeed, as most keep their facial hair finely decorated and styled, but not necessarily long. Their skin, hair, and eye color ranges as much as that of humans. Dwarves from the Snowblind Mountains, called Hammer Dwarves, are fair of skin and hair. Those from the southern Dragonspine Mountains, called Boulder Dwarves, are darker of skin and hair, with more earthy tones than their northern cousins.
Dwarven culture has various nuances that vary from hold to hold, but most are known for being structured and orderly, with emphasis on masonry, craftsmanship, religious faith, and skill in battle. Nearly every dwarfhold is run by a king (both male and female monarchs are referred to as kings, and female kings tend to wear artificial beards for public appearances) who is advised and aided by a high priest, archmage, and lord general, but a few are governed by a council of clan patriarchs and matriarchs.
Dwarves regard the “Three Disciplines” of War, Knowledge, and Religion as the most important and honorable traditions in the entirety of their society. Dwarfhold capital cities usually have 4 main chambers: The Hall, a main city build on multiple layers of platforms reaching deep into the earth; the Great Library, which acts as a magical and academics district for the city; the Great Barracks, a center for the city guard and the armies to train, as well as weapon and armor smithing; and the Great Tabernacle, where temples to various gods and religious orders are housed, and infirmaries and hospitals can be found.
The insular nature of dwarf culture (and the fact that in most holds, only dwarves are allowed to have any political or religious authority) has sometimes been interpreted as racism, and it is absolutely true that many dwarves would rather not deal with anyone outside their own race. By and large, however, dwarves are immovable traditionalists stuck in old ways that have nothing to do with hatred or ignorance for other peoples. They trade freely with foreigners and welcome them into their halls with hospitality, but always keep in mind that these outsiders are not like them, and can’t fully understand their ancient society.
Alignment and Religion
As a whole, dwarves are fiercely religious, due in most part to their strict adherence to long-maintained tradition. Faotim, god of the forge, is considered by most religious scholars to be the progenitor of the dwarves, and most of the bearded folk worship him. However, they do so not because of his status as their creator; rather, his actions, teachings, and ideals have convinced the dwarves that he is worthy of worship. A lifetime of traditions extoling virtue and honor has bent most dwarves to be lawful good in alignment, but there is a portion that holds the customs themselves above any morality, making them lawful neutral.
Legend says that when Faotim forged the first dwarf, his eyes were made of diamonds and his fingers were fashioned from gold. Whatever the truth may be, it’s no denying that each dwarf has a strong streak of greed. For most, this is a healthy desire to constantly improve the standing of his or her family. There is the odd dwarf born with ‘more diamonds in his eye’ that sets off into the world in search of a dragon’s hoard. The warlike culture of dwarves tilts these adventurers toward the fighter class, and those who are deeply religious often find purpose as clerics or paladins. Their respect for knowledge and history leads many to seek the arcane magic of the wizard, and from this tradition sprang the first Rune Scribes. Because of their lawful nature, dwarves rarely become barbarians, bards, or rogues. They find the nature magic of druids difficult to grasp, and often aren’t in tune enough with the natural world to make good rangers.
In ancient times before any other races walked the surface of Ohma, the elves were one people. Over time, however, they split into the lorilvani (gold elves) and the sylvani (wood elves). This schism arose as a matter of philosophy: The lorilvani prided themselves on their intellect, using wit to make great strides in the fields of magic and technology, while the sylvani believed that their cousins were sacrificing their connection with the natural world, which lived and breathed, for the dead cities of humans. Finally, the high elves (a name the gold elves gave themselves) left behind the forests completely, integrating into human society. The wood elves watched silently in the shadows of their woodland homes as the alliance of gold elves and humans gave rise to the Everlasting Empire of Rannica. This golden age came and went, and both of the elven cultures began to notice a decline in their already small birthrate. Scholars estimate that if the unexplained trend continues, the elves will completely disappear within the next millennia.
Elves are usually shorter than humans, have pointed ears, and tend to be very beautiful. Their skin colors often resemble the paler complexions of men, but city elves (the modern name for gold elves) can have skin that is tinged with gold, blue, or purple. Their hair is generally blond, brown, red, orange, or silver. Wood elves sometimes have earthy skin tones, often resulting in skin that is tinted ruddy brown or olive green, and their hair, aside from the normal colors of humans, can span the entire spectrum of autumnal leaves.
The decline of the elven race has affected the two cultures in different ways. The city elves have decided to leave the best legacy they can for the humans that they see as their “students” in the ways of civilization, even though the younger race has been at it for a few millennia now. They continue to be in positions of authority when it comes to all sorts of arcane magic and technology. The wood elves, on the other hand, have begun to withdraw deeper into secrecy. It’s becoming increasingly common for these elves to protect their forest homes from any outsiders with quick and deadly force.
Unlike their lorilvani brethren, the sylvani are increasingly xenophobic. Outsiders are rarely permitted within their domains. However, natural curiosity remains, and some younger wood elves find themselves drawn to the outside world so they can experience it firsthand. The gold elves are, in many ways, polar opposites to the wood elves. They love interacting with other races, though they generally look on them as children who need enlightenment that only a “high elf” can give.
Alignment and Religion
Gold elves are not a very pious people. Wood elves tend toward the Old Faith, a godless, totemic religion that has roots in the most ancient of times. The domains of the gods will mean nothing, they believe, when the world is returned to its original state of harmony and serenity. Gold elves prefer to think about what they can do for themselves, rather than what they can entice the gods to do for them. Elves of both cultures are emotional and flighty, but they value compassion.
All elves are possessed in their early adulthood of a grippingly powerful curiosity. This isn’t directed toward any particular thing: it’s just a desire to learn and experience. This is what gives rise to the vast majority of elven adventurers: Many strike out to learn about the world, its people, its ancient secrets, or all three. Some seek forbidden lore and power, for no other reason than to tickle their curious nature. There are some elves, though, who allow their curiosity evolve into a lust for power and a desire to subjugate those around them.
A half-elf’s quality of life can usually be distinctly divided along a line based upon the elven culture from which they were sired. Among wood elves, a half-elf is seen as neither human or elf, a corrupted mongrel whose mingled blood is a curse. To them, muddying the blood of the dwindling elf race with humans is a sin. Families with half-elf children are shamed and kicked out of most tribes. Gold elves, however, love the half-elves, seen as a new race that can carry their legacy into the future. Rather than seeking to retain purity of blood, they actively seek human mates to create half-elf offspring. In Rannican society, they are considered among the highest-born nobility, and a half-elf child whose human parent is a commoner brings her whole family into nobility.
Half-elves combine the appearance of both elf and human. Their ears are leaf-shaped, pointed like an elf’s but only slightly longer than a human’s. They can have skin and hair colors that range the whole spectrum of elves and humans, but with muted versions of the ethereal hues of their elven parents. While male elves cannot grow beards, half-elves can, and though they don’t produce the thick, bushy facial hair of humans, it is not uncommon to see a half-elf with a goatee or short beard.
Half-elves do not have their own culture; indeed, they barely have a racial identity at all, instead adopting the one into which they were born. It is impossible for a half-elf to blend in, making it nearly impossible for one with a wood elf parent to exist in their wooded realm without severe persecution. Thus, half wood elves often survive as raiders, thieves, and highwaymen, plaguing either the forest in which they were born or the human lands beyond the wood’s edge.
A half gold elf is born into the lap of luxury; in Rannican society, they are seen as combining the best aspects of Rannicans and high elves. If a half-elf is born to a human commoner, the human parent and their immediate family are granted land and a title if they can prove their child’s high elf parentage. Half-elves represent much Rannican nobility. Despite this, they have a tendency to be dissatisfied to stay where they are; their elven heritage gives them the desire to adventure, but their mixed blood makes it hard for them to find their own identity in a world where everyone seeks to thrust one upon them.
Rannican humans have a fascination with half-elves, regardless of their parentage, and treat them with respect and adoration. Dwarves, generally indifferent to humans but suspicious and dismissive of elves, often latch on to the elven side of a half-elf when forming opinions of them. High elves love their offspring with the humans, but much of their aversion to the woodland elves is foisted onto their half-blood children. Most other races rarely have enough time to get to know half-elves to truly form an opinion about them.
Alignment and Religion
It’s not uncommon to hear half-elves talk about abandonment by the gods. Religion, by its nature, is largely tied to the society in which one grows up; half-elves, being without definition or identity, have no gods that are explicitly their own. Some half-elves simply adopt the religion of their forebears, while others dismiss religion entirely. A few religions exclusively half-elf in nature have sprung up, but now they are either practiced in secret due to persecution by established religious leaders, or they failed to catch on and have faded into obscurity.
Half-elves are typically neutral, sometimes with a chaotic bent due to their itinerant nature.
An elf’s wanderlust drives her to leave her home and experience the world. While not as powerful or as imperative as their elf parents’, half-elves also experience an inborn desire to explore, and are among some of the most prolific adventurers in Ohma. With natural affinity for a wide range of skills, half-elf adventurers are an asset in almost any adventuring party. Unfortunately for those parties, half-elves rarely stay in one place or with one group for long. Always seeking definition and identity, half-elves rarely make lifelong friends.
A distant relative of humans, halflings began their distinct development around the same time as humans were being given a hand up by the high elves. Some humans were visited by another race of fey ancestry: the leprechauns. Their interactions with these creatures led to an entirely new and distinct race from humans; the boundlessly lucky halfling. Now, centuries later, the halflings live an itinerant lifestyle, wandering the roads of Ohma in their caravans, peddling wares, singing traditional music, and doing their best to avoid the wrath of those who look down on them.
It can be easy to mistake halflings for simply being short humans. The tallest only rises to a humble height of 3 feet, 6 inches at most. They generally have tan or olive skin tones, and dark, curly hair. Their ears are gently pointed, but not nearly as long as an elf’s, and their craniums are flatter on top and slightly elongated relative to humans.
While their human cousins have for centuries drawn borders on maps, given names to patches of land, and sought to call themselves kings and emperors over their peers, halflings as a whole have never felt this urge. The road is their home, and travelers are their countrymen. These nomadic folk travel in large caravans of wagons, clanking with pots, pans, and tambourines, in tribes made up of several families united in bloodlines, marriage, and friendship.
The halfling’s life is hardly free and easy, however. In cities, where they often stop to resupply, sell their crafted goods, and enjoy some rest from the road, they are plagued with hatred and disdain. The prevailing, and mostly untrue, notion is that halflngs are criminals and thieves, who distract you with fortune-telling or music in one hand, and cut your purse with the knife they hold in the other. However, halflings are masters of using their small size, natural agility, and supernatural luck to evade the notice of those with ill intent. This certainly does no favors to their reputations.
The Small Folk value life and liberty over nearly everything else. Their “live and let live” attitude allows them to get along with nearly anyone, but others are not so accommodating. Especially in the Free Cities of Alnia, they suffer the scorn of “civilized” people with preconceived notions. They tend to get along well with adventurers. However, they have developed a very insular culture, and many customs and traditions are practiced only among other halflings. Marriages between halflings and members of other races are nearly unheard of, and are almost universally scorned by their culture.
Alignment and Religion
Freedom is the highest virtue to halflings, and most of them are chaotic in alignment. Most believe that everyone is entitled to freedom and life, making good the most common alignment for them.
While they tend to scoff at organized religion, the Small Folk are not without their spiritual beliefs. The traditional halfling faith is known as Deleng, and it emphasizes the importance of family and liberty. They have strict rules about cleanliness, eating, respect for others, justice, and personal honor, but these don’t always match up with the beliefs and rules of outsiders and can be yet another source of conflict between them and halflings.
Some halflings like to say that life itself is an adventure, and the life of the wanderer comes naturally to them. Of all the sapient races, they may be the most intrinsically suited to adventuring. Their agility, cunning, and luck lend themselves well to a rogue’s skillset, and in truth this is likely the first thought in an Ohman’s mind when they hear “halfling adventurer.” However, it is believed by scholars that it was the halflings that first discovered the magic of music, and to this day halfling bards are incredibly common. Warlocks also have a precedent, as they are known to dally with otherworldly entities regularly, and the Fey Pact is the most prevalent.
Halflings have three given names. First, a hidden name known only by the mother. This is given to confuse evil spirits and prevent them from knowing the child’s true name (interestingly enough, the same idea can be seen in demons and devils, who are bound by any summoner that calls them by their true name). Second is the tribe name, by which a halfling is only called by other members of his or her tribe. The third name, their “outsider name,” is used among halflings that have no close relationship, or when a halfling deals with outsiders. They also have a surname that identifies their family.
Some traditional halfling names remain widely used, but in their travels they have adopted some naming conventions of other cultures, or taken names from outsiders and adjusted them to their liking. This is the case with all categories of the halfling name.
Male Names: Andrei, Boiko, Django, Gyorgy, Hanzi, Jardany, Kamlo, Motshan, Nikos, Pobea, Stefan, Terrangi, Tomas, Vano, Zindelo
Female Names: Araunya, Charani, Dika, Femi, Florica, Grauni, Jeta, Kisaiya, Lillai, Majaris, Masilda, Syeira, Tamatea, Vai, Zujenia
Family Names: Argintari, Badzo, Badi, Cervenak, Dangi, Grigore, Holomek, Koztas, Mirga, Zingaros
Orcs are newcomers to human lands. Originally, this warlike people is from Horun’gahl, a continent roughly half the size of Ohma that lies south of the dragonborn homeland of Mulgoroth. Clannish and fierce, the orcs are regarded with suspicion and fear by most. Their alien culture marks them as uncouth barbarians, but in truth they are tactical geniuses and valorous warriors. They have unmatched courage, undying loyalty to their leaders, and unending endurance.
Part of what marks orcs as “different” and “other” is their strange appearance. Orcs are humanoids with thick, muscular builds. Males and females both have intimidating forms, standing anywhere between five-and-a-half and six-and-a-half feet tall. Their skin ranges between a vibrant green and a dusky gray, and their hair is dark. Eye colors tend to be gray, red, brown, yellow, orange, or violet. They have pointed ears, sloping foreheads, squat noses, and square jawlines. Their prominent bottom canines often protrude from their lips, giving rise to the insult “tusk-face.”
Horun’gahl is a land of steppes and savanna. It is here that the orcs developed and perfected their cavalry warfare against their mortal enemies, the gnolls. The bond between orc and horse has shaped every aspect of orcish culture. Children are given horses of their own as a symbol of reaching adulthood, training them to be ridden into war. The leader of the orcish clans is called Khan, and his closest advisors are called Horse Lords. When the Khan dies, the Horse Lords fight to the death, with the last remaining Horse Lord becoming the new Khan. He appoints a new circle of 7 Horse Lords, who eat the hearts of their predecessor’s horses. This is both a show of respect, and a ritual for imbuing the new Horse Lord with the last’s power and wisdom.
The Khan is the undisputed leader of the orcs; it is to him or her that each orc swears undying, eternal fealty. Those who do not are called “unhorsed” and are never allowed to own or ride a horse until they have atoned for their treachery. The Khan is the paragon of orcish society; an expert horseman and indelible warrior. His or her tactical mind is unmatched (if the Khan wishes to live long), and he or she leads with charisma and strength. When the Khan leads the horde into battle, it is a terrible sight indeed; hundreds of orcs on horseback, armor glinting in the sun, a cloud of dust reaching to the sky. It is no wonder they have beaten the gnolls into such submission. (Isseus’ note: The current Khan of Horun’gahl is Hrulki Khan, a male warrior. The Khan of Sarikam is Varuga Khan, a female who exhibits druid magic. The Khan of Askar is Dolkar Khan, a male that seems to be a skilled ranger.)
According to orcish tradition, war is holy and conquering new lands is the right of the strong. Those who perish in war, regardless of the side they fall on, are heroes. They show great respect to those who fight to the death, but those who run from battles or surrender are considered cowards and are denied a warrior’s death. These are often made slaves. As with most things in orcish society, slavery can be resolved by a fight to the death with the slave’s owner.
Alignment and Religion
The orcs of the past worshipped Groxx, a god that embodied their ideals of strength, courage, loyalty, and power. Not long after orcs came to human lands, their god stopped communing with them. Clerics and paladins lost their spells, and they never heard from him again. So it has been for nearly 100 years, though some orcs report that they have begun hearing from Groxx again.
When the first orcs arrived on Ohma, they did so in force, driving out the humans that controlled the fens of Askar. To this day, those from the former human kingdom hold a powerful grudge toward the orcs, and in fact all other races eye them warily. Orcs don’t tend to care what other people think about them, and make an attempt to solve any disputes with combat. Regardless of their race, orcs regard those who fight bravely with deep respect.
Adventuring orcs are not uncommon. Most that leave seek to bring glory to their clan and their Khan, either by performing great feats or returning with glorious treasures. Like many adventurers, they join the Wanderlust Legion out of convenience. Some orcish adventurers are unhorsed, adventuring to gain acceptance in other cultures. More often than not, though, the unhorsed find this an impossible prospect. If orcs are a savage race, how much worse must be those cast out by the orcs?
The savage natives of Westmark are called Mathuin. These noble people have lived in the cold forests of Ohma’s westernmost nation since before men migrated there. For centuries, they’ve been fighting a losing battle to maintain their ancestral home. Some have integrated into the communities of humans, but many still fight, fang and claw, to protect their livelihood. Mathuin culture puts emphasis on tribal and familial relations. “For the tribe” is a common battle cry, and a Mathuin will derive either lifelong glory or eternal shame from her tribe.
Some of the most imposing creatures on the face of Turann, Mathuin rise to an intimidating eight feet. They resemble humanoid bears, with large heads, fur-covered bodies, and fierce tooth-filled jaws. There is not much sexual dimorphism; male and female Mathuin look nearly the same on a superficial level. Their fur can be black, brown, or white, but it is always a solid color. Many of them choose to dye intricate tattoos on their fur, which they believe grants them magical defenses.
Mathuin organize into tightly-knit tribes composed of several families. Some tribes are endogamous, but others allow their members to intermarry with members of other tribes. They are fiercely warlike; cubs are trained from a young age in the arts of battle. However, they also put a heavy emphasis on honor. Theirs is a savage sort of honor, though, and when they go into battle, they let their ferocious nature overwhelm them.
Druids are at the top of Mathuin society. They serve as both religious and secular governors among the tribes. Although all tribes share this common bond, there is very little unity between them, and in ancient times, war between the tribes was commonplace. With the threat of cultural annihilation looming, many of them have put aside old differences and banded together. Some still cling to their grudges. This refusal to cooperate will be the downfall of their people.
Gender roles play no part among the Mathuin. While females carry, deliver, and nurse cubs, once they are weaned, many mothers leave their cubs in the care of their fathers while they go off to war. This is due in part to the fact that there is little difference in appearance and attitude between male and female Mathuin, and partly because of their devotion to Artio. According to them, her two aspects are not human and bear, but rather male and female. Travelers in their lands will often hear a Mathuin use both gender pronouns in reference to the Great Bear. It is equally common to see a female blacksmith as a male taking care of the home.
Recent events have shaped the perception of Mathuin toward the humans of Westmark. By and large, they do not hate all humans (though there certainly are many who consider every one of that young race a threat), only the ones that wish to subdue them. Any attempts at negotiating a peaceful surrender of their lands are considered an insult, and a Mathuin answers insults with the blade of her axe. Dwarves hold a place of admiration among the Mathuin, who respect their ancient traditions and adherence to them. Wood elves are looked upon favorably, as they live in harmony with nature, while gold elves generally receive harsh glares and curt replies. The other races are looked at as outsiders who could never understand the Mathuin, and are treated with dignity, but not kindness.
Alignment and Religion
The Mathuin practice a religion similar to the Old Faith of the wood elves. They worship the spirits of the natural world, especially bear and other animal spirits, with whom they feel kinship. Their deepest reverence, however, is reserved for the goddess Artio, and she is the only deity considered worthy of worship by the Mathuin.
Some gods teach only the beauty and stillness of nature. Others embody only its feral savagery. Artio is both. Artio manifests herself in two ways. One is the form of a beautiful but strong woman, which represents nature’s beauty, endurance, and calm. This form is the babbling brook, the swaying tree, and the gentle squirrel. The other is the form of a rampaging bear, which represents nature’s savagery, violence, and rage. This form is the drought, the thunderstorm, and the savage beast.
Their society teaches honor, but emphasizes the savagery of nature. Because of this, many Mathuin are chaotic. However, they have good hearts and a respect for the circle of life, so they tend more toward good than evil.
More than any other, the Mathuin are people displaced. Most of the ancient tribes have been displaced, forcing a Mathuin diaspora across Ohma. A large portion of these Mathuin have chosen to ensure the legacy of their people by making themselves famous heroes, and have joined the Wanderlust Legion. The vast majority of those are barbarians, but the paths of the druid and warlock are not unheard of amongst them. A small number of these adventuring Mathuin are actually dishonored outcasts, excommunicated from their tribes for conspiring with Westmark to steal Mathuin land. Of course, they’d never tell anyone that.
Mathuin have given names and patronyms, preceded by the word “Mac,” meaning “born of.”
Male Names: Adair, Conall, Daegan, Droigheann, Eanrin, Fearghus, Girvan, Laoch, Murdach, Niall, Orain, Padraig, Séannan, Ruark, Tynan
Female Names: Áine, Aisling, Barra, Caithe, Éibhleann, Fainche, Fiona, Grian, Líadan, Máirín, Morrigan, Ríona, Séighín, Síle, Toiréasa
Full Names: Adair mac Kellach, Aisling mac Eanrin, Girvan mac Conall, Grian mac Tynan, Laoch mac Orain
Game Rule Information
As a member of the wild ursine folk of Westmark, you have certain traits as a result of your physiology and upbringing.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Age. Mathuin reach maturity at age 25. A normal Mathuin lives to be 160 years old.
Alignment. Mathuin are paragons of nature’s ferocity, tending toward the chaotic alignment. Life is sacred to them, however, and they are often good of heart.
Size. Mathuin are imposing creatures, standing between 7 and 8 feet tall. They weigh upwards of 300 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. The spirit-talker of your tribe says that Artio blessed Mathuin with the sight of their cousins, the bears. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
One with Nature. Your inborn affinity with the natural world gives you proficiency in the Nature skill.
Keen Smell. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on your sense of smell.
Ursine Health. Like your cousin the bear, you are exceptionally healthy and hardy. You gain 1 extra hit point at every level.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Mathuin. The language of the bear folk is a primitive version of the language spoken by the Westling humans that now live in Westmark.
Subrace. There are two subraces of Mathuin that inhabit Turann.
Daenn, the Grizzly
Native to the middle and southern areas of Westmark, the Daenn closely resembles the typical grizzly bear. They are less hardy than their northern brethren, but their closer relationship with the forest spirits has increased their collective wisdom.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Long Strides. When you dash, you can choose to go down on all fours and move twice your speed plus 10 feet. You ignore difficult terrain when moving in this way. You cannot use this ability again until you finish a short or long rest.
Bestial Claws. You have the rending claws of the bear. When you make an unarmed strike, you can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage. If you choose to roll damage in this way, you use slashing damage instead. If you have levels in the Monk class, your Martial Arts damage die goes up by one for unarmed attacks only. For instance, at 1st level, a monk’s martial arts damage die is a d4. If you are a Mathuin monk and you make an unarmed attack, you may instead roll a d6 for damage.
Tuaith, the Polar
Though these Mathuin do not actually live near Turann’s poles, they resemble the white-furred bears that do. They inhabit the cold forests and tundras of northern Westmark and southern Ysgard, and have a close relationship with the human Skalding tribes. These Mathuin must must overcome harsher environments than their Daenn cousins, becoming tougher and more concerned with real world problems as a result.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Marine Heritage. Accustomed to swimming in frigid waters to catch fish, you gain advantage on all Strength (Athletics) checks to swim.
Thick Fur. Your people live in biting cold for their whole lives. Because of this, you have developed a thick hide and layers of warm fur. Your armor class increases by 1, and you have resistance against cold damage.
(Main article: Humans of Turann)
Every other sapient race can trace its origin to a single continent, and in some cases a specific kingdom. Humans are something of an anomaly. They have ancestral footholds on every continent except Horun’gahl, and their cultures and physical attributes vary wildly among the different ethnic groups.