July Update

Current Progress 7/13

Below are some updates on the things we’ve been working on and a new staff member joining the team.

New Staff!

quill-and-ink-11I’d like to officially welcome Eric MacLean to the team. He’ll be joining out team as a co-conspirator and writer and has already helped me to flesh out a significant portion of the dwarf write up. Welcome Eric!

Backgrounds

Not too long ago we released a backgrounds playtest, and got very positive feedback, with some great suggestions on some improvements to them. We’ll be revising them again this week, and maybe adding one or two more to the playtest document.

Races

As far as the races of Veyrn, we very much want each race (and even subrace) to have its own unique culture and traits. The idea being that each subrace should be a distinct look at that race, not merely a dwarf or elf with slightly different bonuses but a branch of the race with very different ideals and beliefs, something that sets them apart and lets them be unique. Because of this the sections for each race will likely be longer than similar sections in other books, the dwarf section is currently at about 2200 words and only about 60% complete. When we are relatively content with what we’ve come up with we will be sure to give you a peek at what we’ve come up with.

Library_Dark_Scene_v01While the Millennial Kingdom is not meant to be an extensive look at every race in Veyrn, our goal is to include every race in the setting so that other books aren’t required to play every race found throughout the setting. Later supplements will of course expand on the material within, but won’t be required to play.

Death of Winter (First Adventure Module)

After sitting on the first draft for a few weeks, I’m ready to start the next step, and begin typing and editing it. Having taken the time to think about it over the last couple weeks, I’ve realized that it is likely a bit boated and could stand to be streamlined a bit. So I’ll begin the arduous task of cutting down the unneeded bits and making the story a bit tighter.

Thats all we have for this update, we’ll keep you posted and things progress!

 

The Fae

The Fae, Faeries, The Fair folk

Little Thumb 2In Veyrn most make very little distinction between the fae and other spirits. In some places they are considered superstitious nonsense or dangerous threats. Modern depictions of these beings have diluted them in film and television, and they are often seen as lighthearted, silly or just a bit mischievous. The original stories were a bit darker, and the tales were heavily influenced by the arrival and conversion of the native peoples to Christianity.

The Seven RavensThose fae that currently inhabit the world were descended from powerful beings that once sought to conquer and rule the world. Most see them as just stories, but to the people of Falta they are a frightening reality. While not every fae bears malicious intent, all of them are potentially dangerous and known to react violently for even a slight insult. This has caused the people of Falta to become fearful of the unknown, and every ill both natural and unnatural is often attributed to these beings. Homes are often decorated in iron, a substance known to keep them at bay, and occasional offerings are left for them, to placate them and entice them away from their homes.

Perhaps the biggest impact the fae have had on the world of Veyrn was the introduction of beings such as they elves and goblins. These two races once served as loyal generals and foot soldiers in the strange faerie armies. After their failed attempt to conquer the world, they remained behind and are now for good or ill, a part of the world.

wood-3072434_1920To the south of the nation of Falta, rests the forest of Dormach. This massive forest is a dark and foreboding place, rumored to be inhabited by strange faerie creatures. It is also the home of the Feituwatha, a race of elves who were unwilling to turn from their old ways and abandon their ancient masters. They work in secret forging bonds with the fae who remained and trying to find away back to the strange realm the elves know only as The Grey. This twilight realm is said to exist between the borders of our world and the world of dreams, much like the fae themselves. It is a strange mercurial realm bound to whims of its masters. In times past great conflict existed between the Feituwatha and the druids of Falta. It ended after much bloodshed, and a pact was made, stopping all aggression between the two people. Unfortunately, the powers of the druids have begun to fade, and conflicts with other nations only serve to embolden the Feituwatha. Some say these elves seek to return to The Grey, others insist they wish to hand the world over to them as an offering or proof of loyalty. Only the Feituwatha know for certain.

The Goblins of Veyrn

Knives in the Dark

Blix2Of all the creatures in fantasy gaming, goblins are one of the most common and most used creatures. Rare is the character that has not had to battle these small, evil creatures at some point in their career. They exist in most settings, and rare is the game that does not make use of them in some way.

Veyrn will naturally have goblins, they exist as one of the most prominent creatures that a character may encounter, and they will have an interesting and unique history, and background, but before I get into some of that I’d like to make a few distinctions between my goblins, and those most common to most worlds.

Goblins are NOT comic relief

Goblins in most worlds are well, stupid. They have low intelligence scores, and this is often used to provide comic relief. Combined with their generally lack of threat (though even the weakest creature can be powerful under the right circumstances.) they are often depicted and being evil to the point of ridiculousness. They are dangerous to the unprepared, but not often a serious threat to the average character, sometimes even bumbling and cowardly toward those stronger than them.

Goblins in Veyrn, will not be more physically imposing that standard 5e goblins, but they will be a great deal smarter. I would state them as having a cruel intelligence, a cunning that allows them to think outside the box, coupled with a low wisdom that keeps them from holding back, even when a situation might warrant caution. Rarely will they attack without a strategy, and often have several escape routes planned. The people of Veyrn treat them not as weak creatures who sometimes cause trouble, but a more serious threat. In Veyrn they are a force to be feared. This change is tied to their origins, which I will discuss next.

Legions of the Archfey

The goblins are not native creatures to Veyrn, though they have been there long enough to have found their own niche. They have survived and flourished by taking what they need, and brutally killing those in their way.

The Althuwatha [High Elves] tell of their origins. The small vicious creatures made up the bulk of the armies of the Archfey. They were the favored troops of these beings, employing them on many campaigns, until they, along with the elves were abandoned, and left to their fates. Without their Fae masters to rein them in the task fell to the elves, who struggled with the task. Eventually the goblins broke free of even their control, and continue to wreak havoc wherever they go. They are smart enough to avoid large settlements, but smaller towns and villages are often considered easy targets.

Lurkers in the Dark

blix

Blix from Legend (1985), Universal Pictures

Goblins prefer to hide in the shadows, and make their homes in the caves, holes, and other places untouched by the light of day. They are not hindered by the sun, but prefer a nocturnal existence, as it the concealment the night provides is advantageous to them.

 

Without Number

Aware of their physical limitations, when possible the goblins will attempt to use strategy and tactics that emphasize one of their biggest advantages. Goblins breed quickly, far faster that any other intelligent race on Veyrn, this allows them to replace their lost warriors quickly, they will creep from the cracks and crevices of the earth, assault in considerable numbers, then disappear. Villages near known goblin settlements must keep careful watch, often hiding behind walls or palisades for safety. They seldom stray beyond these wall in cover of night. Those who do are often never heard from again.

Race Spotlight #2: Frauki

The Frauki are a benevolent race of Froglike humanoids.

“Though you are defeated, I do not look down upon you. You have fought well and bravely this day. Had you faced a different opponent the outcome may have been different, but alas the Lady is with me, and with her grace I cannot be beaten.”

-Calen, Knight of Steill

Born Of The Swamp

Born in the swamps of the Kingdom of Steill the frauki are a noble yet reclusive race. Seldom are they seen far from their island home. Most frauki are born, live, and die without ever leaving the confines of the jungles they call home.

They grow and develop much as their more mundane amphibious counterparts. Growing from egg to tadpole to adult all in the seclusion of their nesting grounds, which are the most sacred and protected places in the Kingdom.

Much like the frogs they so closely resemble frauki are able to live in and out of the water with ease. Some are also skilled swimmers, while those that dwell in the trees become adept at climbing through the branches.

Some scholars debate as to whether the frauki are a natural race of Veyrn or the result of magical experimentation. There is evidence for both theories, and the Frauki themselves are often distrustful of arcane magic. Despite this the frauki are a proud of their heritage, and will always refute any claims of their existence being unnatural.

Loyalty and Honor

Nothing is more important to the frauki than their sense of honor, and their entire society is built upon these ideals. From the lowliest peasant to the king himself each strives to maintain their own honor, and that of their people.

This ideal leads many frauki to dedicate themselves to their chosen occupation, and many who choose less mundane lifestyles often find comfort in the life of a swordsman, closely following the code of chivalry.

A frauki whose honor is besmirched will go to great lengths to see it restored, offering compensation or service to offended parties or embarking on quests to make things right. Those who go out of their way to insult or offend a Frauki had best be wary for even the most mild mannered of them will take up arms against those who would treat them with disrespect.

In The Service Of The Lady

A deeply spiritual people, the Frauki honor a deity they call The Lady of the Lake. The Lady is said to appear near their sacred lake, and often brings words of wisdom. They revere her above all other gods, though they have a deep respect for the beliefs of others.

It is said that the Lady will send her bravest and most skilled warriors on holy quests for the betterment of the kingdom. These quests often take young frauki far from the safety of their home, bringing them into contact with the many races of the outside world.

Frauki Names

Male Names. Alden, Bromley, Chadwick, Eldric, Glenn.

Female Names. Alvina, Braeden, Della, Kendra, Luella.

Frauki Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 2.

Age. Frauki reach adult hood at around 15 years of age, and generally live till around 60 years of age.

Alignment. Most frauki are Lawful Good. Their culture puts a strong emphasis on honor and personal responsibility.

Size. Frauki average between 4 and 5 feet tall, and between 125-160 lbs. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Brave. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Natural Jumper. You gain proficiency on Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks. Your long jump is up to 20 feet and its high jump is up to 10 feet, with or without a running start.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Frauk (Frog Song). Frauki have a distinct accent when speaking common, very reminiscent of old english.

Subrace. Two main subraces of frauki populate the world of Veyrn: The Lakeborn and Treeborn. Choose one of these subraces.

Lakeborn

The frauki born in the great lakes of Steill are among the most numerous of the race. As their name implies they begin their lives as tadpoles, swimming in the safety of the great lake that serves as both a nursery and site of religious worship. Lakeborn frauki are dark green or brown in color, and tend to be much more social than their treeborn cousins.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Amphibious. You can breathe air and water.

Swift Swim. Your swim speed is 30 feet.

Treeborn

The Kindgom of Steill is home to many miles of jungle and swamp, and the Treeborn make their home in the canopies of these ancient forests. Most spend their whole lives amidst the trees. They are shy and more reclusive than the lakeborn, but skilled climbers. Their coloration tends toward darker shades of green or tan.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1. Born in the Trees: Your climb speed is 25 feet.

Natural Camouflage. While in natural terrain, you gain advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide.

Race Spotlight #1: Karei (Hobgoblins)

Here is an early playtest version of a new race, the Karei. Feel free to let me know what you think. I’m always open to constructive Criticism.

“Say it again and I will cut the words from your throat. You will die bleeding as I pluck your tongue from your skull, and hold it before you.”

-Curvus of the Black Spear

 

Fallen Warriors

Called hobgoblins by those who wish to end their lives quickly, the people of Karsh are descended from a small, but powerful nation of soldiers and warriors. They earned great renown on the field of battle, and their knowledge of military tactics was second to none.

When their longtime allies the people of Halqu, embarked on a quest of expansion, the Karei were the first obstacle in their path. The Halqan people spread propaganda and misinformation about the Karei and when they were most vulnerable launched their assault. In the end the mighty armies of Karsh were defeated and the surviving Karei scattered to the four winds.

Built for War

The Karei are large by human standards, the average Karei stands about six feet tall, with males reaching nearly seven. Their bodies are strong, and powerful from years of training the harsh lifestyle they lead. Their hair grows, lifestyle they lead. Their hair grows thick, particularly the sideburns and eyebrows. Their eyes are fierce and predatory, favoring shades of yellow and green. This is further complimented by elongated canines which adds to an almost feral appearance. Their skin bears an olive-green complexion.

 Proud Nomads

With their homeland lost to them the people of Karsh live a nomadic life. Selling their services and skill to the highest bidder, the once noble race now finds work as mercenaries. Their skill and ferocity in combat is renowned, and they fetch soaring prices for their work. Their pride forces them to complete their assigned task, and they never betray those who have paid for their service. They do not take kindly to deception, and any attempt to trick or mislead them is a sure way to earn their wrath.

Sacred Ancestors

The Karei revere their ancestors as other races might revere the gods. They have a strong oral tradition full of inspirational tales of glory and battle. These stories teach their history as well as inspire the new generations to aspire to the great deeds of their forbearers.

Karei Names

Male Names. Andris, Braxus, Maris, Aivar, Valdis.

Female Names. Annas, Inese, Inga, Liga, Dace, Anita.

Karei Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.

Age. Karei mature at the same rate as humans and have lifespans similar in length to theirs.

Alignment. Karei follow a strict code of conduct in most areas of their culture, they tend toward Lawful Neutral.

Size. Karei are between 6 and 7 feet tall and weigh between 180 and 250 pounds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. 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.

Skill Proficiencies. You have proficiency in the Athletics and intimidation skills.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Karei.

Subrace. Two main subraces of Karei populate the world of Veyrn: Eastern and Western. Choose one of these subraces.

Eastern Karei

The Karei that fled to the civilized lands to the east, found work primarily as mercenaries. This contact with a variety of people and cultures has allowed them to survive, even prosper. They retained the inherent nobility of their forebears, while embracing foreign ideas. They are not universally accepted, but have not garnered the fear and suspicion of their western cousins.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.

Trained for War. Gain proficiency in Light and Medium Armor.

Extra Language. You can read and write one language of your choice.

Western Karei

Remaining near their ancestral lands, the Karei of the west were plunged into a never-ending conflict with the humans, gnolls, and other races that now dominated the region. This adversity has caused them to grow more violent and aggressive, traits necessary for survival. Ironically this has also led them to mirror the negative stereotypes associated with their people.

Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 1.

Rage of the Fallen. When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.

Death Before Dishonor. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Building a World #3: Player Races

This seems like as good a place to start as any. The basic choices any player must make when creating a character is Race and Class. This post will be brief summary of the various races that make up the peoples of Veyrn. More detail will be provided in future pexels-photo-226721posts, dedicated to each of the races as development continues.

There will likely be many familiar races here along with a couple of new additions unique to Veyrn.

The Races of Veyrn

Changelings (NEW)

The peoples of Falta tell stories of the fair folk, the Fae. They give warnings about children taken and replaced by things not quite human. The Fae use the changelings to learn about the outside world, letting them live among the mortals, before returning to take them home. Some cultures have learned to accept them, others kill them on sight. They are the rarest of the races, and even they do not often know their true origins. Most appear as members of the race their were left with, exact copies, while other bare strange marks or deformities, that reveal their unnatural origins.

Dwarves

Ancient and proud the dwarven people claim to be the oldest of the civilized peoples. Hailing from the Harradim mountains the people of Thangnor are a stubborn and rigid society. Believing themselves to have sprung from the bones of ancient beings of stone and fire, known as the titans. They believe the mountains to be the remains of these colossal beings.

Humans

By and large humanity makes up the largest and most influential portion of the inhabitants of Veyrn. Once part of a great empire that spread across the whole of the main continent, they have since broken into several smaller nations, each with their own cultures and beliefs.

Elves

The elves of Erysalen are a dying race. They claim to have orignated in a realm known as The Grey, a realm of eternal twilight and home of the Fae. They escape their bondage at the hands of the Archfey, and fled to Veyrn. They built their own kingdom, and lived in relative peace. They remain vigilant however that the Fae must someday return to reclaim their people.

Half-Elves

Trapped between their human and elven ancestry they are few in number, and tend to dwell among human and elven communities. They are generally accepted by humans, but looked down upon by the elves. With a few exceptions they do not have any lands to themselves, instead trying to exist wherever they can find acceptance.

Halflings

The river folk of Barsa make their homes along the hills and banks of the great rivers that flow across the center of the continent. They are a peaceful and accepting folk, and tend to avoid getting drawn into the politics and machinations of others, preferring to live in peace.

Hobgoblins

Once native to the western continent, the people of Karsh, have long since been forced out their ancestral homes. They remain extremely honorable, and capable warriors, known for their ferocity on the battlefield. They live nomadic lives, selling their services to any that is willing to pay for their skill at arms. They are known to hold to a contract to the letter, and being relentless until the job is done. Woe be to the person to fails to pay or breaks a contract with them, for their vengeance is legendary.

Frauki (NEW)

The froglike inhabitants of the Kingdom of Steill are peaceful society of noble swordsman. Bearing an archaic for of speech and customs, they live in their jungle home and their knights defend it any who would harm them. They get involved in world politics, fighting always on the side of justice, adhering to code not unlike the codes of chivalry. They are known to have some of the finest swordsmen in the world. The legendary sword, Caliburn, is both their symbol of leadership, and a blessing from their goddess The Lady of the Lake.

Hey what about?

You’ve probably noticed that a few races are not listed as player options. Gnomes, Half-Orcs, and Dragonborn. The dragonborn don’t really fit into a setting where dragons are rare to the point of being mere myth, and I couldn’t really think of a reason to include them without compromising the integrity of what I am trying to produce. I choose to leave out gnomes as I plan to have a wide range of spirits, including the elemental spirits of Paracelsus introduced in the 16th century (Gnome, Undine, Salamander, and Slyph). I felt that having gnome spirits and a player race might create too much confusion, and rather than rename either of them, I opted to leave out gnomes.

Half orcs were a bit harder to leave out, and I went back and forth several times of their inclusion. There ARE Orcs, so it would make sense, that there would be half-orcs. Orcs are not as common as they are in other settings. I may add them back in at a later date, but for now they remain on the cutting room floor.