View Full Version : Races & Cultures

10th of May, 2017, 21:45
Below are some of the race & culture details that we'll be running with in this re-imagining of Terry Amthor's Shadow World.

10th of May, 2017, 21:54

The majority of the Namegivers inhabiting Archen come from the immigration of the Tanari and Wulirians. Although there are many who bear typical Tanari (tall with fair skin and lighter hair colors) and Wulirian (shorter with darker hair and complexion) traits, most are of mixed blood that the rest of Jaiman sees as a separate racial group (Archeni).

In addition to the far more numerous human population, Archen also boasts a sizable dwarven presense as well as several tribes of Erlini in the Calen Aear Forest.

11th of May, 2017, 02:52

There are two bastions of Khazh‚d in Archen, the Khazud Urudbalabi who dwell deep below the roots of the tallest mountain in the Ice Teeth (Zarkh LambamrazŻkh - Snow Spire) in a frozen fortress called GuthŻlbalbzirak (Citadel of Icicles). The second group is called the Khazh‚d MaizrÍh (Undrowning Dwarves) and they dwell below the mountains of the Shaedeep (Azahinmhan‚d -Sea kissing hills) in the GairÓn Kheluddush‚ (Caverns of Dark Glass).

The Urudbalabi dwarves have traditionally had strong ties with the Altgrave of Iceholme, and have a long standing treaty with the High King (when there last was a High King) fixing their borders.

The MaizrÍh dwarves have little contact with the surface world, so much so that the people of Shaedeep regard stories of ‘little men under the hills’ as nothing more than stories told to frighten children. Relations between the Urudbalabi and the MaizrÍh have never been warm (it was a Urudbalabi diplomat who first called them the ‘not drowning’ dwarves), and neither group has had formal contact with each other for the last one hundred years or so.


There are few scattered bands of Erlini (wood elves) that keep to the rugged alpine hills and valleys of southern Faethren. Additionally there are rumors of ‘swamp elves’ living in the deep recesses of the Brakenwyr.

In the past, the elves and humans had a close bond as they worked together to tame the wilds of Archen. As of late, the relationship has become strained, with the elves resenting the recent and relentless expansion of men into what had always been Erlini territory.

12th of May, 2017, 08:08
Iceholme - The mountainous and frozen land of Iceholme has been ruled by an Algrave of House Gray since before Adrigh Coelwulf, the first High King. The Grays sided with Coelwulf in his bid to unite Archen, and after his victory was given the honor of being the only Ealdor allowed to bear arms in the King’s presence, a tradition that continues to this day (even with the lack of a Adrigh). Called the fir Ghemdrith (winter men), or simply Ghemdrians by the rest of Archen, Iceholme and its people are usually seen as old fashioned, traditional, and honorable.

Coat of arms: Two wolves rampant facing each other with a great sword, inverted, between them on a split field (left silver, right black). The left wolf is black, the right white.

Marchon Reig - the planes and rolling hills of the Western March is the demense of House Rothach, under the rule of the current Marchioness, Sorcha ap Rothach. The March is the breadbasket of Archen, and boasts the largest population and number of cities. From the sprawling castle of Dur Aranoch, the Marchioness is able dispatch her cavalry to the far corners of her lands within a few days. This military might, combined with the intense rivalries and deadly maneuvering within the court at Dur Aranoch, have more than few of the Marchioness’s neighbors worried. Marchers are known for their delicate sense of honor, dueling, and horsemanship.

Coat of arms: White horse rampant on a field of blue.

Taren Dur - the hills and valleys of Taren Dur were once the envy of all of Archen. Plentiful with game and blessed with soil rich for both farming and mining, it came as no surprise when Adrigh Coelwulf chose to build King’s Hall. Originally meant as a secluded hunting lodge, King’s Hall quickly grew to become the private estate of the Adrighs.

Then came Wledig, the Mad King.

Now the gleaming cities and manors of Taren Dur lie in ruin, inhabited by brigands or monsters or things far, far worse. Only the city state of Ta’mur retains some of the earldom’s ancient glory. Once the royal shipyards, Ta’mur earned its independence by opening its gates to the Traitor’s Army as they marched on Wledig. Since then, Ta’mur has managed to maintain her freedom through the wealth and political cunning of their merchant houses.

Faethren - Is a land torn between two cultures and races - the order and industry of the humans to the west, and the freedom and harmony of the Erlini to the south. Until recently the Faethren had been able to synergize these disparate influences, blending the pragmatism of men with the timelessness of the fey. When the Traitor’s army marched on Wledig many score of Erlini archers marched under the banner of the Golden Stag.

Now Biocuin Wenya ap MÓr struggles to keep the two sides of her bloodline from coming to blows. Her human allied nobles pressure her for more timber to feed the shipyards of Ta’murr, while her elven allied nobles pressure her to stop further expansion into the Calen Aear forest. Stories of disappearing livestock and attacks by frenzied beasts have the human settlements building walls and forging arms. While tales of felled blue oak (sacred to the Erlini) and over hunting have the wood elves actively patrolling their territory. Wenya knows it’s only a matter of time before she will be forced to take sides.

Faethren are known for their liquor, looks and luck.

Coat of arms: Golden stag head on field of green

Brakenwyr - The earldom of Brakenwyr is considered by most in Archen to be the backwater of the island. The earldom itself is less than one hundred years old, and was carved out of royal hunting lands by Aldrigh Wledig and given to Sir Ursdeen of Tuasic on a whim (some say he lost it in a game of cards, others as a payment for various sullied tasks done for the king).

With the land came a new title, Ursdeen dhu Black, and command of Castle Black, a massive keep built entirely of basalt. Ursdeen's lands were to revert back to the king on his death, but as he outlived the Mad King, he decided to keep them. Had the bogs of Brakenwyr had anything of value besides peet,
The current Ealdor Brakenwyr is Ursdeen dhu Black, Emic’s son.

Residents of Brakenwyr tend to call themselves by their city or hamlet of birth, rather than Earldom, adding rem+(city name) to their name. Those who dwell in the swamp itself are called dunbar’don (a bastardization of the Erlini dhŻnendbairdan -wild watery earth men)

Coat of arms - Black tree on a split field (party per bend sinister) of white over red.