Doom of Irafan
People of Irafan
People of Irafan
Most of the common races of Aeon can be found in Irafan. A brief background for each is given below. Follow the link to learn more about their lands, cultures histories and beliefs. [GM Note: to make this reference easier to use, the descriptions have been organized to parallel the races as described in the D&D4e PHB I & II; NPC races (including potentially playab le races with rules listed in the monster manuals) are listed after these].
Dragonborn – A recent addition to Irafan. The dragonborn come from a volcanic archipelago west of Eschoth. They are a proud, warlike people who have been hired in large numbers as mercenaries by the Aslaa. Though their culture considers abandoning a battle to be dishonorable, a number of deserters have recently come south into Irafan, asking the empire for Asylum and telling disturbing stories of the things they witness and acts they were required to perform.
Dwarves – Very rare in Irafan. Dwarves hale from a land east of Mandor. Their homeland is ruled by giants, to whom the dwarves live in servitude. As it is the dwarves who are responsible for the vast, beautiful cities in which the giants dwell, they are prized in other lands as artisans, craftsman and architects. The handful that dwell in Irafan are particularly sought after as a more reliable alternative to Drow engineers.
Eladrin – The Eladrin of Irafan live almost exclusively in Nor-Hen. However, many can be found in human lands as well. Some are there as warriors, serving Irafan as part of the mutual protection clause of the Treaty of Elgard. Many, though, simply choose to spend some time there out of curiosity – whether because they served there previously in a military capacity, or simply because tales of the place caught their imagination. Though it is not likely that an Eladrin would call human lands home, and most would tell you that they are only there “to visit” or “for a little while,” this can translate to the long lived Fae as a stay of several hundred years. [GM Note: For more information about Fae in general, their history and the legends of their origins, go here.]
Elves – Within Irafan, the Elves live mostly in the wilds of Blackthorn Forrest and in the rural northern plains and foothills. The Elves of northern Irafan have a close relationship with both the Irafani Reeves, and with an order of rangers operating in the north known as the Ashen Order. The only other large Elvish culture on the continent is in the mountainous jungles of southern Ebover. There are a surprising number of Elven villages tucked away in the mountain glades of the far south. Some have speculated, in fact, that the range as a whole contains the largest coherent elven culture in the world. The southern elves are rare in Irafan, though they occasionally travel by ship from Merivor to Callon.
Half Elves – Though romantic entanglements between elves and humans happens occasionally, most Half Elves in Irafan come from one of two sources, neither of which involves the chance joining of elf and human. The first of these is the half elven culture of Melingoth. The other is the ritual of imperial succession created by the Treaty of Elgard. Though the half elven rulers born of the ritual of succession are forbidden to marry, they have had many children over the years with lovers and concubines. These children and their lines are forbidden to be recognized as noble, but a tradition has grown over the years of rulers finding inlfuencial places for their children amongst the wealthy merchant families of Endovar. This has eventually led to the creation of a number of powerful half elven families that have increasing control over Endovar inland trade. It should be noted that most of the rulers of Irafan were descended from Eladrin on their Fae side. The Irafani, however, use the term “Half Elf” indiscriminately to refer to any half Fae.
Halflings – The Halflings were once a rural people that dwelt in peace in the western Mandoran countryside. When Mandor was destroyed, those that were able escaped west into Irafan. They found that, in human lands, the freedom they crave was more easily found in cities, where they could live in small communities of their own within the larger human ones, making a living as they saw fit, than in the country, where the humans tended to try to press them into peasant farming.
Humans – Humans in Irafan tend to have one of three backgrounds; First are the native Dren and Irafani, who have lived together for so long that it has been over a thousand years since they truly had a separate identity (though many in the south claim a Drennish identity, few, if pressed, know a great deal about the Dren, nor can they possibly hope to establish a pure Drennish ancestry). Second is the Gornish barbarians, refugees from Mor Harund that are pouring over the Thunderspire Mountains in numbers that are beginning to truly alarm Irafani officials (See Gornish Refugee Crisis). And the third is the dark skinned humans of southern Ebover. Scholars from the city of Merivor claim evidence that these people once dwelt in many cities across the jungle. However, if this is true, the only known city to have survived to the present day is Merivor itself. Merivorani traveling to Irafan are usually affluent traders and their guards and hirelings.
Tieflings – All Tiefling bloodlines trace their origins to Mandor before the Apocalypse. Many were able to escape the destruction and fled into Irafan. However, between officials who still viewed them as the eastern enemy and a populace who often made little distinction between them and their demonic ancestors, their welcome was less than warm, and their lives far from easy. Forbidden by law from forming communities of their own, they developed into a network of small clans, largely isolated from one another. Ironically, hundreds of years of legal isolation forced them to learn to deal with the humans of Irfan and caused them to become mistrustful of other Tiefling clans. As the laws have become more lax, some tieflings have made an effort to create a broader sense of tiefling communities beyond the clan structure, but these have been largely ineffective.
Devas – Devas are rare in the world of Irafan, as in most places. There is no Deva culture to speak of. At any given time, one might expect to find two or three in the entire empire, likely in the service of one of the temples.
Gnomes – Small gnomish villages are quite common, though well hidden, in the wilds of Blackthorn Forest. Beyond Blackthorn, you will find no settled gnomish communities, but “victims” of wanderlust – considered a disease in gnomish society, albeit a common one – may be found in many of the cities and larger towns. Additionally, there is a lucrative illegal trade in gnomish slaves. They bring a high price in some ports, and there are rumors that some of the old families of Eris and Apophis secretly keep them as well.
Goliaths – The goliaths live excusively in the Thunderspire Mountains. They have an ancient culture based on honor and valour. In Goliath society, the only thing valued higher than a warrior is a stone singer, those gifted with the magic talent of shaping structure from the bones of the mountains themselves. Typically, Goliaths only travel to meet a challenge that has been given them, either as part of a rite of passage before being recognized in some official capacity, or to cleanse themselves of some sort of crime.
Sarnathi (Half Orcs) – [GM Note – There are no Orcs in Irafan; the race referred to as “Half Orc” in PHB2 is an independent race, not a half breed] The Sarnathi dwell in the swamps of northern Ebover. They name themselves after a fabled ancient city called Sarnath, their first home. They believe that the gods destroyed the city as a punishment for some sin their ancestors committed (the sin differs from tribe to tribe), and they are now forbidden to build or dwell in cities. Though they have a tradition of impressive architecture, masonry skills and sculpture arts, these skills are poured into the building of temples to their gods while the people dwell in simple huts. Those who leave their people to dwell in the northern cities are said to have been taken by Nyarlat, one of their gods, a devil-like figure thought to be the creator of Elves and Humans (the “Northern Races” as the Sarnathi call them).
Shifters – Though not common, shifters are broadly geographically diffused across Irafan and the surrounding lands. They tend to be somewhat nomadic, though there are a few villages where they congregate, mostly in the largely deserted tracts of the Eastmarch or the heath between Blackthorn Forest and the Thunderspire Mountains. Also, a number can be found dwelling with the northern elves and the Sarnathi of Ebover. You will not generally find a shifter living in a human settlement, and most humans of Central and Southern Irafan will never have seen one. However, they are common visitors to the northern towns and villages, coming for news, trade, or possibly a mug of ale, and the conservative, provincial northerners are surprisingly comfortable with their presence.
- Drow: Dark skinned elves that live beneath the mountains of southern Ebover. They have developed impressive engineering skilled, rivaled only by that of the dwarven slaves of the giant kingdoms far to the east, due to the difficulty of raising and maintaining cities beneath a rain forest. Though valued in Irafan for their engineering skills, they are also regarded as treacherous and only to be hired for jobs that no one else has the skill or knowledge to complete.
- High Elves: These aloof, etherial, very long lived beings consider themselves to be the closest of the Fae races to their Anahon ancestors, often insisting they be called by the Anahon word for First Born: Bendefiglynn. They tend to be scholarly and reclusive, and often deal arrogantly with other races. There is a small “Bendefiglynn” monastery near Iluven, a small elvish trade outpost on the edge of Blackthorn Forest.
Moriven – A strange, reclusive race that dwelled in central Irafan until they suddenly and mysteriously dissapeared several hundred years ago. They looked largely human, though their reclusiveness was so acute that they were rarely seen, especially in later years. Most ancient human records desccribe them as some sort of strange Fae, while Fae records described them as odd and “disturbing” humans. [GM Note: Follow the Moriven link for details on information discovered over the course of the campaign on the possible origin of the Moriven]