Age of the Dragons
The world has a long cultural history with some distinct differences from ours. These, along with the rules and information for each culture and language will be below.
World Cultural Differences
Below are some of the major differences between the game world and our world.
The concept of Chivalry does not exist in this world as it does in ours, and gender equality is the norm. The idea that men should protect women is impractical due to the nature of the afterlife – they will not be able to rely on anybody but themselves there. Instead, most cultures believe that women should be strong and martially trained just as men.
Despite the danger of bodies being raised as undead, it is considered taboo through most of the world to cremate a body. A body is to be wrapped in white cloth, and buried (or entombed) with a weapon – usually one the person wielded in life, if possible. Most cultures have some variations on this, but if you are unsure of a man’s customs, this is a safe bet.
There are several different cultures, and rather than being dependent on race many of them are dependent on the region you grew up in (just like language) .
The Caelimic culture is that of the High Elves searching for and embracing their past civilization.
Unusual among the cultures of the world, people of this land burn the corpses of their dead, in a ceremony they call Tine de Rugadh Arís, or “Flames of Rebirth”.
The hearty people of the Stormlands are, as a general rule, more focused on surviving the next winter than anything like politics or spectacle. The long harsh winters force it so. With the end of the war between Gildas and Highmere, things in the region have settled down quite a bit – but most believe it is a truce as thin as the line of Rivaire’s navy which keeps it. Farther to the north, in the Northalnds and the Border Hills the focus shifts from threats of war to threats of an equally dangerous bent – Dragons and undead. Two Dragons rest in the region, Hraximathicus near the Rotting Marshes and Katla in the mountains that divide the Shiverdales from the Northlands. Hraximathicus seems to protect the destroyer worshiping cultists that flock to his area as well, and the effects of their foul magic rarely stay within their lands. Even further north, past the Border Hills and the Northlands, is completely frontier land. Populations are sparse and isolated.
Men At Arms
In the Stormlands, it is normal for any boy or girl of 13 years or older to be trained in martial combat. The most common weapon is the long sword, but others are acceptable. Exceptions are often made for those who are already pursuing other means of strength such as magic.
Gildean is by and far the most common tongue, but those living near the Northwinter Mountains may speak Angran as well, as there is a sizable Giant population there. Oceanic is common among the traders in port cities, as well.
Oceanic people are very varied and seem exotic to each shore they land upon. They are usually easily identified by their bright colored, loose fitting, and often revealing clothes. They live off the sea, and are as carefree as the ocean waves. Just like the ocean though, they can turn stormy at a moment’s notice.
Oceanic people tend to believe that the resting place of the body is the resting place of the soul in the Afterworld. Since they feel so comfortable at sea, most communities wrap the dead in cloth and tie them with rope. Once a month or so, a ship sails out to sea for the purpose of sending the bodies to the afterlife. Its a dangerous voyage – taking several corpses days away from land, but its a danger that the people readily accept knowing that someone will do it for them. Once far enough out to sea – usually a day or two, the body is tied down with rocks and sunk to the bottom of the ocean, where hopefully they can find peace.
In a land constantly torn asunder by war, peasants of the Kinglands can worry about little more than surviving each day. Those sworn to a banner must rise to defend their kingdom when necessary however, which is quite often. Often times Lords will allow some able bodied soldiers to stay behind in times of war knowing that the village must survive to be able to field soldiers for the next war, likely around the corner.
With 4 kings who all wish to claim rulership over the whole area, political tensions in the region are always tight. At any time the smallest slight can set off a domino reaction leading to war again.
The Dathrien Empire is a known and feared throughout the world. Your average imperial citizen is used to a life of living in fear and oppression, however the ruling class dwells in decadence. On the surface Darion commands the Empires legions, but most know this to be a ruse. The true power behind the throne is the dragon Radix and his pet mages that control Avinter. All nations that are not already subjugated to the Empire fear the day they choose to change that situation – they fear their drake riding mages and commanders, their monsters, golems, and undead warriors, and their soldiers who fight on threat of their families lives.
These same nations must also fear another empire – the Valais empire is just across the Three Kings Sea.
Further to the south of the area are several Jungle Islands. While they house few permanent residents, they are the site of many a forgotten ruin. Many adventuring parties have been lost trying to delve their secrets.
While within the borders of the empire, Dragonborn are especially feared as the enforcers of Radix, or the mentors of Mages. Reaction penalties and bonuses for them are increased here.
Outside the borders of the Empire, the fear or respect they carry is changed to outright hatred. Unless one has done some outstanding deeds to distance himself from his clan, he is likely to be attacked on sight, so long as the citizens feel it will escape Radix’s notice.
Those of the midlands seem to always be bracing themselves, fearing the inevitable attack from the Kinglands or the Emperium.
The nomads and the city dwellers of the Plainslands come into contact often enough to share one culture, despite the different living styles. The nomads travel the plains and sustain themeslves off hunting and gathering, while those who dislike that life style congregate to the large cities that center around bazaars selling all sorts of strange and exotic goods from all around. The proximity to the (jungle area below) and the vast bazaars make it a sort of launching ground for adventurers who wish to delve into the jungle and bring back ancient goods. While the people who call this place home are very traditional – they respect their elders and ancestors, and follow their own way of life – they are also probably the most accepting of other cultures, and they do not judge most customs that come through their cities.
Orcs are organized into Tribes, and the Warcheifs of Thrummnash holds sway over many of them.
Angran is the culture of the Giants. They are a stoic people, living beneath the mountains. They are organized into Clans that encapsulate several families. The patriarchs of these Clans then cooperate to make decisions that affect the race as a whole – usually at the level of the city they reside in. The cities themselves are sights to behind – massive cave systems with ornate crafting that seem larger than the mountains they are carved from. Beneath the earth there is an extensive system of caves that lead to easy trade routes – some even entirely underground. It is through these that men survived the great winter.
While the Giants don’t cremate their dead, they do not take risk of letting undead rise within their halls. Fallen giants are first bound in leather straps, their stony skin decays very slowly naturally, but it still would over the course of hundreds of years. As such, they are also preserved with a special chemical. Finally they are wrapped in white bandages and and placed in stone sarcophogi. Only then will a body be taken to a tomb.
Not bound to a specific location, Aikana is the culture of the Yamabushi and those who’ve built communities around them. Their religion follows a lot of the same principles as the Way of Peace, but with a higher focus on introspection and very little attention paid to the Creators or the Destroyers themselves.
The primary religion of people living in Aikana regions is the Way of the Lotus. Members of these communities fall into three main categories – Bushi, Monks, and Followers. Monks are the leaders of the community, those who have devoted themselves to becoming the epitome of the Way of the Lotus. Bushi (sometimes called Samurai by outsiders, but this is a misnomer) are warriors who hold the ideals of the monks but not the dedication. Instead they focus on protecting the villages from threats of the mountains – bandits, monsters, and the like. Followers are the common folk who live in the villages, and they still follow the tenants to an extent.
Generally they live in villages in the mountains around the worlds – a place where they will be left out of the politics of Kings and Emperors, where the races of man will not encroach on the homes of the Giants.
Each Dragon clan has its own unique cultural aspects, as well.
These are the languages currently used.
Gildean is spoken throughout the world much like English is today. It replaces Common in the setting. Before the great winter, Gildas was said to be a Kingdom that was among the most powerful in the world. While nobody knows where this kingdom resided, the royal line remained through the Great Winter. The heir founded a new kingdom, Gildas, and the language from that empire was the primary one spoken through the Great Winter.
|Real Life:||This language is based on English, using fantasy naming conventions.|
|Statistics:||If you speak Gildean you are considered proficient in any roll to decipher Orcish and Ancient Common|
The language rediscovered by the Caelimic Order in the ruins of their once-great cities.
|Real Life:||Based on Ancient Celitc languages and Irish|
|Real Life:||Based on Ancient Greek|
|Real Life:||Based on Game of Thrones’s Dothraki|
Spoken all over the Kinglands, as most were at some point in the control of Romalla
|Real Life:||Based on Latin|
|Real Life:||Based on French|
|Real Life:||Based on Nordic languages|
|Real Life:||Based on African languages|
The language of the Dragons and their Kin.
|Real Life:||Based on the Elder Scrolls dragon language and alphabet.|
Uses Gildean looking characters, but as the Orcs didn’t know how to read, they use different pronunciation/spelling etc.
|Real Life:||Based on Warcraft’s Orcish|
|Statistics:||If you speak Orcish you are considered proficient in any roll to decipher Gildean or Ancient Common|
|Real Life:||Based on Asian languages|
Arcanic is the language of Mages – most magical tomes will be written in this language, and even those that are not will reference Arcanic terms, making them difficult for anyone who does not speak it to read.
|Real Life:||Uses the Falmer alphabet of The Elder Scrolls.|
|Statistics:||Arcanic is required to read scrolls and spellbooks.|
These languages have not been used since before the Great Winter. It would be inappropriate for anybody but a very well studied scholar to have knowledge of these languages beyond the free levels.
|Statistics:||If you speak Arcanic you can attempt to decipher Ancient Arcanic.|
|Statistics:||If you speak Gildean you can attempt to decipher Ancient Common.|
These languages can only be learned under special circumstances.
|Statistics:||If you speak Caelmic you may attempt to decipher Sylvan.|