The Ari'ilden Saga
Humans are a race split into two main groups, and they live all across Tarras. The humans are further divided into the Men of the Reign, whose empire spans from the Holy Desert in the south to the Wolfswood and the Markish Tundra in the north; and the Wildborn; explorers, druids, and those humans who refuse to abide by the customs, laws, or religious norms of Reignic civilization.
There is only one true civilization in this world, and from it derive all others. That civilization is yours, and as a man or woman of the Reign you represent the leading edge of progress and culture to the other races. The policies and decisions of the Church can be polarizing, however, and so being of the Reign does not mean you are for the Reign. Indeed, in such a tightly-run society, dissent is to be expected — all the more so for how hard it is reined in when discovered. Ultimately though, your blood is of a conquest-driven theocracy, and blood is hard to escape.
- Ability Scores: +2 to any one Ability
- Offensive Bonuses: +1 Attack vs Chaotic foes
- Defensive Bonuses: +1 Defense vs Wildborn, +1 Will save vs Chaotic foes
- Other Racial Bonuses: +2 Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Religion) is always a class skill; +2 skill ranks per level)
The forests of the north, the deep swamps of the east, and the coastal cliffs of the west: these are the lands of the Wildborn, and woe to any man who treads there unwelcome. The Druidic leaders of the Wildborn hold keep at ancient temples in the wilderness, worshipping the spirits in their glory, but the Wildborn are not all fanatics. The remnants of ancient humans who refused to fall in line with the First Empire, at heart all Wildborn are simply man and women who will follow their own rules and live their own lives, free of the tyranny of government or organized religion.
- Ability Scores: +2 CON, +2 CHA, -2 INT
- Offensive Bonuses: +2 Attack while outdoors or in natural structures,
- Other Racial Bonuses: +5 ft Base Move Speed, +2 Climb, can ignore one AoO per encounter
Many ages ago, mankind strolled upon the face of Verden alone. Created by a confluence of Adaephon and Din, the Ancients were the masters and the partners of their domain. These forebears of all modern humans were hulking and powerful, but also wise and had an accord with the natural world before the Old Gods came into being. As a direct and pure descendant of humans of antiquity, you are gifted with unnatural long life and a wise soul, but the burden of your long years and the impatience of your descendants and their cousins the Battleborn and Vervlokt weighs heavily on you.
- Ability Scores: +2 STR, +2 WIS, -2 CHA
- Defensive Bonuses: +1 natural armor
- Other Racial Bonuses: You do not suffer from exhaustion, and you may interact with plants and animals as though they were intelligent creatures using your Wisdom instead of Charisma.
You are a descendant of Reignic conquerors and soldiers. Your family has spent generations on the very edge of the Hinterlands, pressing the Wildborn further back from Reignic territory. You protect your people above all else, and you will always be leading the eternal onward march of civilization. You believe strongly in your superior racial heritage over other races and the Wildborn, and take no shame in making that apparent. +2 to intimidate checks against other races, +1 damage vs Wildborn, Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword
- Languages: Reignic, Northborn Dwarven
Your years spent in temples or druidic groves reading every musty tome and holy book you could find about the traditions of the Spirits and the Five have given you insight into the natures of both mortals and Gods. There is no secret of the world that is truly lost forever, and you know that faith and history are inextricably linked. +2 Knowledge (Religion) and (History) checks, Weapon Proficiency: Dire Flail
- Languages: Reignic or Wildborn, Sylvan or Old Imperial
There are many dangers in this world, and by your reckoning, the majority of them are beyond the comprehension of simple mortal men. You hold up wards against the darkness and disease as readily as you do an enemy on the battlefield, and complex rituals, charms, and potions seem sufficient protection from most dangers, mortal or otherwise. At the same time, you laugh at the Godless and Industrials, who would put their faith in man-made machines and contraptions, when it is clear that there are greater forces at work in the world. +2 trait bonus to saves vs spells and spell-like abilities, +1 to-hit vs all casters, Weapon Proficiency: Composite Longbow
- Languages: Reignic, Back-a-talk
Growing up among the Druidic Mystics of the Hinterlands, you long ago embraced your destiny as a true servant of the Old Spirits, and you bear a complex tattoo of one or more of the Spirits as a demonstration of your faith. You wear this mark proudly, and its presence serves as a constant reminder of the endurance of the Maechlan against all obstacles that you use to push yourself every day. +1 Fortitude Save, +2 Intimidate, Weapon Proficiency: Harpoon
- Languages: Wildborn, Sylvan
Whether the Druids and Priests will admit it or not, many humans have no interest in dealing with divine powers, and simply want to live their lives, free from heavenly intervention. Whether this is from apathy or anger towards Ascendants matters little, as both Atheists and Agnostics laugh at the powers spoken of by holy men, and trust their fates to the sword in their hand or the tongue in their mouth before the powers of a divinity. This lack of divine concerns makes these men and women particularly able to relate to a variety of individuals, and they are rarely refused a bed anywhere but the most devout of settlements. +1 Will Save, +2 Diplomacy, Weapon Proficiency: Quarterstaff
- Languages: Choose Two: Reignic, Old Imperial, Back-a-talk, Wildborn, Sylvan
It seems foolish and absurd that, in this time of advancement and enlightenment, so many of the people in the world still believe in Gods and Spirirts and childish myths of that sort. Or at least, that is what you believe. Having grown up in one of the few rising hotspots of invention and scientific advancement such as Dunmore or Kingsport, you have seen firsthand both the glory and power of the new Age of Industry, and it will not be stopped by Gods or men. +2 Craft (Alchemy), +2 Disable Device, Weapon Proficiency: Pistol
- Languages: Reignic, Back-a-talk
You are the scion of a powerful noble family out of the south of Tarras, which, now or in the past, had great resources at its disposal. Perhaps your family ventured north, perhaps not. Perhaps they still hold power, perhaps it is lost. Regardless of the current situation, you have every confidence that your name will rise to even greater renown and glory than ever in the history of the Reign and Empire, and that you will be the one to make that happen. +2 Knowledge (Nobility), +2 Ride, Starting Wealth +20%, Weapon Proficiency: Rapier
- Languages: Reignic, Old Imperial
Throughout time there have been certain men and women who are respected for their age, their wisdom, and their enduring longevity. These individuals are thought to be the last remnants of a grander age of Men. They are the mystics in the wilderness, the village elder, and the soldier who has been fighting longer than anyone can recall. They persist, they survive, and they live on to tell the tales of the Ages. +2 WIll save, +2 Fortitude save (below 15 HP), Weapon Proficiency: Hooked Axe
- Languages: Choose Two: Old Imperial, Wildborn, Sylvan
Both the men of the Reign and the Wildborn were given life by Hemos during the Making. They wandered beneath the stars of Thea for many generations afterward, until the Elven armies of Ohtar crossed from the Far Continent to Tarras, and the Long Dark began.
After the reclaiming of Tarras from Ohtar’s forces by Jatos and the Battleborn, mankind was swept up in the creation of the Dwarven Dominion, where they served a lower-caste role as slaves and servants. This lasted for the centuries of the War of the Far Continent. When that war ended and the Battleborn Companies returned to Tarras after the Sundering, the Dominion quickly buckled beneath the militarism of the returners. This left mankind directionless until the founding of Vandalia on the ruins of a Dwarven slave-camp and from there the eventual rise of the First Empire.
Many humans, however, did not join in the league of trade-states that was the Empire, and these men and women moved further and further north and west, settling sporadically and discovering in the Hinterlands the worship of the Old Spirits amidst Elven and Dwarven ruins. To the extent that there was a unified society, these humans are known to themselves as Maechlan, and to others as Druids — though many of the Maechlan identify themselves by where they were born and who their parents are, and strongly resent the implication that all non-Reignic humans are of a kind.