Races and languages
Even though humans are by far the most numerous, there exist several other races in Frandum, each one with its own culture, creation tales and sometimes even kingdom. As a player in Frandum, it will be possible for you to choose among seven of these races (in bold below), which will grant you some additional features, mainly for the sake of roleplaying.
Apart from these main races, there exist other deviances or strange beasts made through magical experiment, but none of them are numerous or interbreeding.
There are, apart from the common tongue (which everyone knows), 9 languages in Frandum. The more you hear a language, the more you will understand it. It takes a long time to master a language, though, and you will not learn anything unless the speaker is better than you are at the language in question... or unless you read a good dictionary.
Races and languages summary
These are the races which hold political power in Frandum, ruling the kingdoms through their massive numbers counting in hundreds of thousands if not millions.
Frandum has many species of life. Some intelligent, some not intelligent. Of the former, the race with the greatest numbers is the human race.
Humans can be found everywhere in Frandum: in forests, in mountains, on islands, in caves, in villages, cities, deserts; in cold areas, hot areas; wet areas, dry areas... Everywhere! Valea, the largest kingdom of Frandum was founded and built by humans, as were many other kingdoms that have been and have faded. Humans have dominated Frandum for as long as they have existed.
Humans have some natural enemies, these being the orcs and their relatives, the goblins and trolls. They easily make enemies, and are not as faithful as are, for example, elves of any kind. Therefore they have fought many wars, both amongst themselves and with other races.
Hate is easily grown in the human mind, which is the only mind that has been able to turn Galanhir's goodness into a way of egotism and search for power to rule the "lesser" ones of their own race. They are a people with a mind for war and destruction, yet seldom in the name of Shezael, as one would think.
Humans are known to be the most flexible race, with many following Galanhir, many following Reset, and many following Shezael.
The human settlement is very different from place to place; some settle in big cities with powerful rule and strict laws, while other prefer living their lives in small tribes with only fifty-or-so people. Humans are not strangers to any craft or art in Frandum, neither are they masters of any. They make good weapons, yet not as good as the elves; they make good armour, yet not as good as the dwarves; they are good hunters, yet not as good as orcs... But being adequate in many areas can have its advantages in some cases, which is probably the greatest reason that humans have been able to get ahold of all the power they have kept even until the Fourth Age of Frandum.
Humans have a tongue with which they may speak with humans of other civilizations or tribes, beside the common tongue. This human language is simply called human, and is the most widespread language in Frandum.
Elf (or high-elf)
The high-elves of Frandum are well known for their beauty in song and appearance, but also for their skillfull hands that make incredible weapons as well as beautiful garments and jewelry. Elves are bright and fair, usually with long, straight hair of any colour (though black or golden are the most common colours). A vast majority of the elves follow Galanhir, and very few are unaligned. Even less follow other deities.
The high-elves have their main settlement in the west: the city of Liriel, located on Sunset Island in the middle of the Dusk Sea, on whose eastern shore lies the mainland of Frandum. Liriel is the capitol of the kingdom of Phodela, which has mostly elven inhabitants, but also a lot of humans on the mainlnand.
Elves are mentioned in countless myths, and their glory can never be exaggerated. The elves of Phodela have never joined any great war, and those who have tried conquering their kingdom have quickly understood how impossible it is to fight the skill and power of the elves.
The elves have a much more peaceful way of worshipping Galanhir than, for example, humans. They use their time (of which they have plenty, since war is not upon them, and their lifespan is very long) to contemplate the problems of the world and ask Galanhir for guidance, and never go out on holy wars, destroying evil just for the sake of it (as some humans do). They do fight evil, but on a more spiritual level, and they look rather to convert evils than to simply destroy them. But to say that the elves have never outrightly destroyed evil would be a terrible lie.
Elves are natural spellcasters, due to their spritual closeness to Galanhir, and all their contemplating hours, days, months and years. It is said that an average elf of Liriel would beat most of Sanctuary's apprentice spellcasters, if a contest were to be arranged.
The high-elves are closely related to the sylvan elves, but prefer big cities instead of green forests for their habitat, even though they don't dislike forests - in fact, they love forests, and consider all of life holy.
Elves speak elvish as their mothertongue, and most of them also know human quite well, due to the humans that live in Phodela.
Sylvan (or wood-elf)
The sylvans are an ancient folk. They are closely related to the high-elves, and the only thing that separated these two races were in ancient days solely their choice of homes: the high-elves lived in cities, while the sylvans lived in forests, close to Nature. In the Fourth Age, this remains one great difference, but there are also other differences. The sylvans have adapted to a life in the woods, changing their ways to fit better with what Nature wants. For instance, to more easily remain hidden, their stature has decreased a little, leaving them a little shorter than their cousins the high-elves, while their skin darkened slightly.
Sylvans live all over the world, even if the most likely place to run into them is Elventrees, the silvery forest in the kingdom of Leavern, where lies the great sylvan city of Diminiel. This was in the beginning not intended to be a city, but a stronghold for their defense in their wars against the drow, long ago. Using their magic to hide this stronghold, and themselves, they were able to defeat the main host of the drow, and a peace treaty was signed. The Southern Peace lasts even now, in the Fourth Age, and the stronghold became the home of many sylvans, and was later named Diminiel. Though it is a city, it is still in accord with Nature, and the sylvans would never dream of changing their ways so that it would hurt Her.
Some say that there are sylvans in Greenwood in the far western kingdom of Etenland, where reigns anarchy and the forests suffer greatly. There is no proof, though, since the sylvans are very discreet and seldom show themselves, if not to kill an enemy of Nature.
Sylvans protect the forests, but their ways are secret. They remain hidden and invisible to the eyes of the unwary, and when the threat is obvious, they strike with great precision, destroying whatever evil is upon their sacred forest.
Sylvans are mostly good, but some are known to have been persuaded by the drow, and turned evil. Those leave the sylvan society and are never seen there again.
Sylvans speak elvish as their mothertongue, and everyone knows at least some animalic, to better understand the will of the forest and all of its life.
The drow were initially both high elves and sylvans that had been captured by Tagran, Harbinger of
Destruction, the first lieutenant of Drago, and thrown into Hell in the middle of the Third Age. There they
would be filled with lies about how Galanhir was not what he said he was, and that Shezael was the creator
and the good one, but her true nature had been hidden by Galanhir in his attempts to gather enough power
to destroy her and usurp her rightful position as ruler of the world.
The drow are, with no exceptions, evil right down to the marrow. They are intelligent, though not as much as "regular" elves. They have acquired physical capabilities even greater than their predecessors, and their minds are always working on new ways to torture an enemy - just for the fun of it.
The drow lived in Hell for a long time, but after a few of them had escaped and made a living in dark caves in the west of the mainland, and Shezael saw that they were corrupted enough to be able to make life hard for the followers of Galanhir and Reset, she set them free. In time, most of them would leave the west and go to the south, where the kingdom of Tan-lorak would be formed over the ruins of the dwarven kingdom of Kraggen-Kor. There they would long fight the kingdom of Leavern, and almost destroyed the sylvans, who eventually managed to hide their capitol from the eyes of the drow and, through the use of stealth, destroyed their main forces, leaving the drow no other option but to sign a peace treaty. This is rued by the drow these days, and as Tan-lorak slowly grows stronger, they may one day have their revenge on the sylvans.
The drow have always held on to their elven tongue, this being the only reminder of what they once were. Some also speak the tongue of the undead, since from the days in the west they had some cooperation going on with the cursed city of Shenar Enhoth.
Dwarves are a short and bearded mining folk, but also great warriors usually on the side of Reset. They are known for their greed and their axes, as well as for their continuous wars with the orcs in the eastern mountains of Frandum. Their kingdom of Kraegor has more than 3,000,000 dwarves within its borders.
Being the last standing kingdom of dwarves, it is also the greatest that ever was, though the time of the dwarves' legendary expedition to Thunderdelve is still known as the golden age of the dwarves, as well as the days of their ancient kingdom in the mountain of Kraggen-kor, in the center of today's Tan-lorak, abandonded and mourned.
Thunder Island is an island in the Dragon Sea, on which the dwarves discovered great richness in terms of gold, mithril and other ores. On this island was, in the Third Age, built a dwarven settlement. During an expedition that was led by Kralon, a settlement was established and Kralon became its king - the king of Thunderdelve.
In the end of the Third Age, however, Tagran, Harbinger of Destruction, would send a power too great for the dwarves to withstand - the Frysnaca. This snake-like monster destroyed the dwarven settlement and killed Kralon, who bravely fought when all his men had been destroyed, unwilling to leave his precious island. Before this he had sent his wife and child away to Sanctuary, and they survived. Because of this, the heir of Kralon was kept alive, making the dwarven folk hope for an attack on Thunderdelve, to take back what was stolen from them. These days, Thunderdelve is no more than a hangout for bandits and pirates.
Dwarves are also a quite proud folk. They see their smith work as the world's finest (with is not far from the truth), and are very careful to whom they sell their creations. Both men and women have long, thick, braided beards, reaching at least their waists. The wearer of the longest and thickest beard equals the most respected dwarf! You could only dream of touching a dwarf's beard and leave without a fight...
Dwarves have a language of their own, known as dwarvish. Not many other creatures speak this language, but some miners of other races may have learned a bit when working with the dwarves.
Orcs make out the main force, not taking in account the forces of Hell, of Shezael. They are greatly feared pillagers and ravagers by humans and dwarves. When the whereabouts of an orcish host is discovered by any settlement of good alignment, war is soon raging between the two. This usually doesn't happen before the orcs have done some serious damage to the town, though.
When it comes to fighting orcs, the good people put aside all their other feuds and unite, concentrating on removing the orcs to whatever price.
The mortal enemies of the orcs are humans, elves and dwarves. They have been enemies since the dawn of time, and no one really knows how it all began. Orcs don't even like evil humans, and treat them with great disrespect (as they do with all life, actually).
The orcs are related to the goblins and trolls, but are bigger than the first and smaller than the latter. They have always lived with these, and always been greater in number than both the other. Many goblins have, however, left the orcish settlements more and more in recent centuries, and formed their own societies (though greatly influenced by the orcish ways) in deep caves in Frandum.
Orcs are always, without exception, evil down to the core. Shezael has always been, and will always be, their Queen.
The orcs tribes are gathered in one great, though un-united kingdom, which is the kingdom of Sulmak, located in the eastern mountains of Frandum, with its western border toward Dostenia and its south-eastern border toward Kraegor.
Orcs speak orcish, which is the basic language spoken by the lesser evil creatures of Frandum, that are related to the orcs.
Sibeis are humanoid reptiles with powerful scaled bodies and lidless eyes. They have an average intelligence, barely below that of humans. Their origin is unknown, but rumours have it they were once enslaved by ancient people of the Second Age before they found their own freedom in the wasterlands of the world.
The Great Tasaar desert is the home of most sibeis. There they like it the most, but they are known to have travelled to other parts of the world as well. Some go to the Valley of the Dragons to study, but the dragons never let them stay more than a couple of years or so (which is a very short time for a dragon).
Sibeis are well-known for their strife for knowledge. Many are quite powerful spellcasters, and quite a number decide to join the clergy of their deity.
Most sibeis are believed to be evil by outsiders, but this is not the case. Of course, there are some that are evil, but just as many follow Reset or Galanhir.
Sibeis speak serpentim as their mothertongue.
These races have important settlements, and are recognized by all beings of Frandum, even though they are far from being a worldly force.
The little and mischievous creatures, related to orcs and trolls, known as goblins, are beings easily manipulated, something that Shezael has taken advantage of. There is no known goblin throughout the history of Frandum that has not joined the ranks of Shezael.
Goblins get the lowest positions in the armies of evil, but they can still be rather nasty opponents. Their numbers are often great and their methods cruel. Few ever escape the tortures of the goblins once captured.
Even though they are smaller and even less thought of than orcs, they can make use of their diminutive brains at times. It is not that very uncommon for older goblins to try their luck at alchemy, and some manage to succeed rather well. Few join the alchemists' guild, though, since not that many are allowed to leave the caves of their tribes.
Having in ancient days been oppressed by the orcs because of their lesser stature and strength, in societies where the survival of the strongest is the rule, the goblins left the orcish settlementswhere they once lived, and formed their own societies, though much like that of the orcs. They do not like anyone but themselves.
Goblins are known to dwell in deep tunnels under mountains, either dug by themselves or dug by other races that were driven away, or had abandonded their homes, to make place for the goblins. Their numbers are unknown. Humans see them more or less like animals, and kill them on sight. When a cave of goblins is discovered by humans, it will soon see the last of its days.
Goblins have always been speaking orcish, but have since their leave of the orcish society also adapted the animalic tongue.
Trolls are huge and horrible creatures, related to orcs and goblins. They are not as numerous as their siblings, but much more stupid. They are the strongest and most fearsome of the orcish hordes. Trolls are too stupid to lead an army, so they are stuck in the first lines of the evil armies. They are known for their cruelty and strength.
There are many tales about trolls. Some say that solitary trolls like living under bridges or in large caves. Truth is that not many trolls survive in solitude. They are too stupid to know anything else than killing and eating. If food doesn't come to their caves or bridges, they starve. So, if you meet a solitary troll, be sure that it won't survive for very long, unless it is very lucky.
Trolls are feared by everyone but the bravest of warriors, and when they come running toward a line of enemies, not many stand their ground and wait to be crushed beneath their clubs or huge feet, but run away, leaving their comrades to certain death. The last things a troll's prey remembers, would be the awful grin of the troll heading for the kill, and, of course, its stench. A troll can be smelt from quite some distance.
Trolls speak orcish as their mothertongue.
Merelf (or aquatic-/sea-elf)
Merelves live in the deep oceans of Frandum. Of the coming of the first merelf, no one knows. This merelf had pale blue skin and green hair, yet he was accepted in the elven society. Thus it was that he came to Liriel, where he would reach adulthood and find a wife, who gave him a son and a daughter that were also counted to the race of merelf and not high-elf. When three hundred years had passed since their birth, all three merelves suddenly started yearning for the ocean, and they went into the waters of the Dragon sea.
So, in Dusk Sea they lived for centuries, until they had become a numerous people, and they multiplied their settlements at the bottom of the sea, even though none of them ever matched the fabled city of Waterdeep.
Almost every merelf follows Galanhir, though there are a few that are misled and choose to follow Shezael. These are looked upon with great suspicion, and often they are slain even before committing any evil acts.
The merelf society is much like the elven society, except of course that they live under water. They can breathe air just as well as water, though they seldom leave their aquatic lives. There are a few known merelves that have tried their luck as adventurers on land, but there has never been a merelf that did not yearn for his home in the deep ocean constantly when walking on land.
Merelves speak elvish and aquatic.
The dragons are perhaps the mightiest beings the gods ever created. Beside their magnificent strength they wield an intellect that not even the wisest of men could compete with. Their rumoured breath of fire is one of the few things even the bravest adventurers shiver when they think about.
Dragons can be of any alignment, though the most common alignments are good and evil. They live far from human settlements, in a desert valley known as the Valley of Dragons. Even though there are some evil dragons living with the neutral and good ones, they are not very good citizens, since they do not respect the law at all.
The dragons of Frandum do not have a specific dragon language, but use the same one as the sibeis - the serpentim tongue.
Elementals are spirits of any of the six elements in Frandum: fire, air, water, earth, light and darkness. They follow the will of their creators, meaning also that they follow the alignment of the spellcaster that gave them life.
They live in places fit for their bodies: fire elementals live where it is very hot (volcanos, for instance), air elementals live close to strong wind currents (they thrive in hurricanes and storms), water elementals close to or in water (oceans, clouds, rivers...), earth elementals deep in the earth (caves, crevices in the ground...), light elementals wherever there is much light (though they survive in other places, they like it the best in well-lit areas, and during daytime), and darkness elementals where it is dark (could be anywhere; caves, basements, graveyards, abandoned houses... They like it better at night, of course).
The appearance of the elementals may also differ a lot. Fire elementals are mostly either completely made out of fire, or made out of some volcanic rock, still red-hot. Air elementals are usually transparent, yet not ethereal as one would think. Water elementals are often watery and light blue. Earth elementals are made out of stone or soil, and often larger than other elementals. Light elementals are like little suns, though not quite as bright. Darkness elementals are much like shadows, and evil ones are often distinguished by their red, glowing eyes.
Apart from that, their abilities may not be displayed physically, meaning that they can have their bodies look human or elvish or whatever, but their minds are of their respective element. These elementals often have their elements shown within their eyes: red, white, blue, brown, shining or black.
Though they may look human, elvish or whatever, they cannot mate with such a creature; in fact, elementals do not mate at all, since they are magical creatures that are created through magical means.
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