The Den, or the race of man, has over the years, thrived and spread throughout the lands, admirably adapting to every and all environments and situations. The rise of man has had a significant impact on the other races, most of them eventually accepting humans as allies and comrades.
But there are many who still distrust the Den, regarding them with the same savagery as other primal races. Other races welcome them in with either a humorous curiosity or in the same way predators lure their prey.
Man has always strived to better themselves so it’s no surprise to see them in positions of power, including the ruling family of The Crown. A situation that most are content with.
The Korr, otherwise known as the Dwarven race, inhabited Kernow long before The Den, they are proud of their heritage and even prouder that they are the native race to these lands.
These people innovated mining and became masters of their craft, so when man came along they took them under their wing and taught them their ways, working side by side in the mines, an alliance that was solidified when the 2 races had to battle against the discovery of the Orcs and goblins in their tunnels.
Over time, The Korr and the Den have grown side by side, thankful of their friendship, (although the Dwarves think of it more of a paternal relationship) encountering more species both above AND below land.
The appearance of the Chaosgate, (which they call the Deray’yet) has thrown the Dwarves into disarray, at first coming to blows with Man, blaming them for its coming, Fortunately, the Arrival of The Crown resolved any issues and even sealed a pact with the Korr, earning their exclusive allegiance.
The only thing that unsettles the Dwarves nearly as much as The Gate is the Morvoren (the Sea spawned). To the Korr, the ability to live and breathe below the sea just isn’t natural to them, coupled with the fact that there are old fishing legends of sea creatures who either seduced their sailors or outright attacked their vessels puts a distrust in them, this can be put aside for the greater good, most of the time…
Shrouded in mystery and powerful magic, The Koth, (or Elvenkind) descended from the North.
They arrived peacefully and without any aggression, however they were most certainly armed for war.
After tense negotiations with the Korr, their intentions became clear… Deray’yet. The Infernal doorway.
The Koth claimed that their magic had erupted with signs of mortal danger from far away, so their council gathered and chose to investigate the phenomenon, travelling many hundreds of miles. They offered their advanced knowledge and information to the Korr and Den as long as they may study the Chaosgate and attempt to seal it.
The Elves taught new magic and skills with a new weapon… the Bow.
It now seems almost an eternity since their arrival and their friendship has grown strong, the rise of The Crown duchy and it’s offer of induction was met with a wry smile and a handshake, (out of politeness, NOT necessity, The Koth know there are grander powers at play.)
The Elves are generally known for their calm, almost emotionless demeanour, however, this peaceful and tranquil state is savagely ripped away when a Koth encounters their ancient enemy… The Skeus-Koth.
When the world was much younger, The Koth and the Skeus-Koth were still at war.
The Shadow-elves are the polar opposite of their once brothers. Though just as agile and graceful, they are aroused by violence, murder, torture and depravity. Where the Koth show restraint and etiquette, the Shadow elves show savagery and cunning.
Their mages were also made aware of the Chaosgate appearing, but knowing of their honourable cousins, they hid in the darkness and tracked the elves from afar to the land of Kernow, Waiting for the right time to strike.
A Skeus-Koth scouting party was traversing the coastline in the far south at dusk, when they saw on the horizon a green column of light burst into the darkening sky. The Shadow-Elves stalked towards the beam, when they arrived at the sea they stole a boat and continued on.
Soon arriving on an island, they were almost immediately assaulted by an endless horde of skeletal warriors that lay buried in the island sands.
After a hellacious fight, a now familiar green light ruptured again from within the night.
That evening, with promises of unending blood and flesh, The Skeus-Koth joined Lord Scythe and The Claw Duchy.
The forest of Tehidith grows vast and fertile, and for good reason.
The several Tribes of The Plantae, or Plant Folk are known through out the realm as the sentient voice of nature. Beings that walk and talk like a Man or Elf but are composed of leaf, branch or flower. Instead of blood, their veins run rich with sap.
For many years, the Plantae were considered folklore by most other species, stuff of myth.
Then, from out of the woods, they appeared in their dozens. All of them stumbling wearily from their hiding places, some clutching large pods containing their children as they began to hesitantly meet with the known races of Kernow and for the first time, reveal themselves to be more than legend.
During the talks it became apparent that the reason for their appearance is due to the migration of another race known as The Pryv into their forest, the Pryv apparently wanted Tehidith as their own and even though the Plant Folk are capable of defending themselves, they felt their numbers were dwarfed by the mass of invading Pryv,
Apparently, the only Plantae that stayed in the Woods were the Dren tribe, an aggressive clan who proudly sport large thorn like protrusions and poisonous, stinging leaves. One moss covered eye witness claimed that the last thing they saw of the Dren tribe was them charging towards a column of sickly green light…
Known to the Dwarves as “Sea-spawned”, The Morvoren have abided in our seas for aeons, away from the eyes of the land dwellers above. Feeling that it was safer this way and all abided with this for a more peaceful way of life, the Sea-Spawned would observe carefully the Kernow coastlines, watching the land dwellers for any activity that may reveal the race below the sea. Their monitoring drew them to The Isle of Scythes, where they could clearly sense the malevolent magic at work there, it was decided quickly that they would guard it and if needed reveal themselves in order to prevent the spread of dark power.
During these proceedings, a break away group of Sea-spawned known as the Dowr attacked their leaders and ignited a civil war, the conflict itself unveiled them all to the world, as the Dowr ambushed boats and butchered sailors, rebelling against the need to hide.
This war endured for a great time, while watched in return by the concerned Dwarves high on the cliff tops. During this war, Lord Scythe contacted The Dowr, offering them more power in exchange for safe passage to the mainland. The Dowr agreed and henceforth Lord Scythes dark influence spread to the mainland.
The loyalist Morvoren were horrified to learn of this act, and miraculously appeared on land to warn of the coming and attempt to aid them. The Korr were unwilling to accept any aid, tarring the whole species with the same brush, however the intervention of the other members of the Crown Duchy welcomed them to the fold.
The Morvoren now fight in a strange new world along side new allies, as they seek to redeem their error caused by the traitorous Dowr sea spawned who now lurk in the Claw Duchy,
The Morvoren proudly fight with their allies however as they learn more about the new surroundings, they have become aware of The Chaosgate. A concept so terrible and alien to them that they even have a strong distrust and aggression towards those poor wretches that are,
Unfortunates to some, cursed by many, welcomed by very few, The Derey-Tava walk the earth in fear of persecution, or worse.
Called “Chaos-Touched” in the common tongue, these people have a range and variety of appearances, some looking to onlookers as virtually indifferent to any other man, the majority unfortunately bear twisted horns, demonic eyes, or some other hellish trait that betrays their mark. These people are the result of possible dealings made moons ago or with pleasures of the flesh forced by beings from beyond the Chaosgate, their ancestors had long been put to the sword after agonising torture. However their descendants still to this day bear their wrong doing. The wise among the Races will understand that they should not be blamed for the sins of their fathers or the violation of their mothers.
The Duke of the Crown is luckily one of these people, who regularly reminds his people to tolerate the Derey-Tava as allies.
But trust can be hard, when one stares at you resembling something that ripped free from the Chaosgate. Mothers will pull their children tighter and soldiers will often instinctively grip their sword pommel at the sight of a Chaos-touched.
In a cruel twist of fate, the Arch-Duke of the Claw also welcomes them with open arms. He believes that they maybe the key to mastering the secrets to controlling the gate and those within, rumour has it he has forced a few inside as emissaries to his cause, but none have returned… alive.
When the gate opens and the creatures pour forth from inside, you will usually find the Derey-Tava at the front line, as their hatred for the demons is clear to see by all, either as an act of revenge on their foolish ancestors, or to prove to their allies that they are honourable in their intentions.
Known to many other cultures as the Beastkin or The Manbeasts.
You would be forgiven for thinking these feral beasts to be primitive or stupid, an unassuming man is usually a dead man.
The Neskar choose not to build homes for their pack as to them it is a waste of time, preferring to constantly move on and continue the hunt, the hide on their back being more than enough to protect them from the elements. Tools and weapons too are considered a convenience but not wholly necessary. Why would they, with their brutal claws and wickedly sharp teeth? To the Neskar, there is nothing more exhilarating than the thrill of the hunt and to bring down the prey with your own claws.
Once in time’s memory, the moors of Bodmin would be home to many roving packs of these savage creatures. All living in relative peace and respect with each other, the odd scuffle to hone their skills but nothing more. But over the years, the hunt became longer and the prey was harder to find. Many packs even died of starvation as a result. Currently 3 packs remain,
The Kei- a gathering of several old packs, these usually sport the features of great canines or bears, other packs know them as The Dogs or worse still The Mongrels but are smart enough not to say that in earshot.
The Kath are the more feline Neskar, bearing the features of cats, with the personalities to boot, some proud, some predatory, some downright lazy!
The Edhen are the smallest remaining pack, bearing the features of Avian beasts, feathery instead of fur and deadly snapping beaks in place of a snout. Some very rare Avian sport vestigial wings too but it has never been known for any to fly.
These 3 packs found the scent left behind by the travelling races headed to Kernow and followed, desperate for fresh meat.
After a period of war against their Kernow prey, they held a gathering between the 3 packs and admitted it was better to call a truce and try to befriend the others than face extinction.
Some joined The Crown to learn the ways of the other species, others could not refuse their predatory nature and allied with The Claw.
From the small fishing village of Mauzell, deep within the Claw Duchy, a series of sightings have been reported of Beastkin, however the descriptions have caused confusion and worry as they resemble none of the 3 packs from the moors, the Pirates and cut-throats that berth in Mauzell say these Neskar are more like giant Rat-men…
The other Races quickly learned the Beastkin have an amazing talent to smell any deadly toxins in the vicinity, even if hidden in a bottle or by other means. This has saved the Duke of the Crown twice, much to the disappointment of any would be assassin.
The only regret to befriending a Manbeast is when they encounter a werekind.
The Neskar strongly believe that were creatures are an insult and a aberration to nature and their own ‘pure blood’, usually resulting in a flurry of claws and teeth from both parties.
The Karrek , or Rock-men, were discovered by the Dwarven Korr, many moons ago in their excavations below the surface.
At first there were whisperings about noises coming from the dark tunnels ahead, but as the Korr ventured forward with lanterns, they would find nothing but a dead end in a solid stone wall before them. Other times, men would argue about tools or even food having gone missing from their belongings, then mid argument suddenly stopping to hear ‘knocking’ from the distance, this noise gave them their temporary nickname of ‘The Knockers’ , thus fuelling many ghost stories in the drinking taverns of The Korr and Den.
For a while, the more superstitious man or dwarf would even take an extra snack to toss into the darkness, believing this to be for good luck!
Then, one day a horrendous rumbling occurred in a far off mine shaft. The curious miners, fearing a cave in, ran to the aid of any would be casualties.
They found several bodies of slain goblins strewn among the rubble. After a moment, a nearby pile of rocks started to shudder and tremble! The miners braced for combat and slowly moved toward the shifting rocks, expecting a green skinned foe to leap at them.
To their utter surprise, the rocks were moving themselves!!! This was the first discovery of a rock-man, a Karrek.
After, hauling the strange personage back to the surface, the Korr elders were summoned whilst the miners attempted to nurse the fallen creature back to health.
The next night, it awoke.
At first in a blind fear, boulder like fists flailing toward the surrounding miners. Then after much defensive posturing and wariness, they managed to calm the frightened Rock-man.
He explained to his new found friends that they have existed for centuries, beings that were conjured by the Piski race to act as warriors and guardians. Over the ages, the Piski allowed them to act under their own free will, and encouraged them to develop their own society.
The Karrek in return, came to the aid of the Piski when needed and also in more recent times hid in the open as great rocks and boulders to stand sentinel over the sleeping giant mounds, some Rock-men guarding in groups creating ‘stone circles’.
Very recently however, they were being hunted down one by one. The Greenskins had somehow been made aware of their existence, and encouraged to harass and attack them, causing great fear among the Karrek race. On learning this, The Korr offered their friendship and told them of the Crown Duchy. The Rock-men, now in their dozens among the Crown, were made to feel most welcome in their new home.
It is a reassuring sight to behold a towering Karrek, by your side in battle for the Crown, most enemies having to work much harder to attempt to fell one of these stone clad warriors as they thunder through the enemy ranks.
Only at the sight of a Greenskin, will they ever hesitate in conflict.
A swarm is coming…
The Pryv, man sized insectoid creatures of every variety, are appearing more and more into our lands.
It was once well known that the Insectoids lived in the vast Cardinham forest, it was also a wise suggestion to either be respectful when passing through or not to pass at all.
This all changed with a sudden rise of undead in the forest.
This plague of unlife tore through the woodland and destroyed all before it, the plants dying under their march and the trees torn asunder, the real mystery being: what happened with the trees?
There have been no reports of any wooden fortifications being built nearby yet the trees are being felled at a rapid rate..?
The undead were also known to be attacking the inhabitants directly. However, it is not the warring that has affected The Pryv as most are able combatants, but it is the ruination of their world around them that has caused them to leave and seek a new home.
Their journey took them to the Grand forest of Tehidith.
Upon arrival, The Pryv were overwhelmed at the beauty growing before them, even more intoxicating were The Plantae.
When they first met the Plantae, the insectoids were overcome by a mysterious arousal that pulled them in like an invisible force, unaware that they were merely attracted to the pheromones being naturally secreted by the Plantae. This causied the Pryv to react with an almost uncontrollable need to restrain and ingest their secretions further.
The Plantae interpreted this as a frenzied assault on their kind so felt forced to flee in the confusion.
Within the forests, the Pryv existed in different sub species:
The Gohi are by far the proudest. A wasp like subspecies with an almost military infrastructure to their society, now falling apart with their queen having gone missing amidst a raid by the undead army on their grand hive. They now search for rumours and stories concerning her possible whereabouts.
The Kenes are a highly secretive, spider like subspecies. Due to their natural tendency to lurk in the shadows, they have found themselves to be capable assassins for hire and cut-throats, (allowing them a warm welcome in the Claw)
The Tykki are a most beautiful butterfly subspecies, their once majestic wings now vestigial remains due to the attacks. These Tykki are not a warrior caste, instead using their beauty and charisma as diplomats and ambassadors.
Subspecies dwelt on the edge of the Cardinham Forest, eagerly ambushing strangers utilising their natural scorpion pincers and stingers to assault the uninformed travellers. Their aggressive manner has often caused them to clash frequently with the nobler Gohi warriors.
Other subspecies have apparently been seen and spoken of such as an apparent ‘moth warrior’ who travels the land righting wrongs. Another tale reports of a gang of ant like creatures who are known to ambush travellers in the valley of Lappa, many adventurers have tried to find the gang but without luck, however they have reported finding several tunnel networks hidden in the valley wall…
Such is the chitinous hide of a Pryv creature, that it’s often been seen that one such warrior is still standing after having received a blow that would normally fell a man, however, it’s also been said by many a healer that to attempt any such magics of healing on an Insectoid is futile due to their as mentioned natural armour.
The oldest race in the realm, the reptillian Kramvil once wandered freely on the primordial land that would much, much later become Kernow.
Often viewed as primitive and dull witted due to their hunched stance and that they can sometimes struggle to communicate in the common tongue due to their physical verbal differences. Yet these reptiles have been around for a VERY long time, therefore display great patience. After all, ‘revenge is a dish best served cold blooded’
Little is known about these scaly people, except that the vast vast majority of them dwell in the caves and on the coast known as ‘The Lizard Peninsula’. The Kramvil apparently slowly withdrew there as the other races began to emerge and thrive.
Another opinion is that they were the first to see the appearance of Demons in our realm and an age long war was fought, slaying thousands of hellish creatures, unfortunately doing the same for the Kramvil race in the process. The latter reason seems possibly more believable due to the fact that these reptillians will ferociously hiss and roar at the mere mention of demons, let alone what they are capable of on the battlefield.
This train of thought unfortunately carries over even at the sight of the Chaos-Touched, their appearance too causing rage and malice to rise within the heart of a scaled one.
Although there are variations with the reptile men, there is no evidence to support any sort of clans or tribes within their culture. However it has been noted that many appear to resemble traditional lizards, some being more snake like, some rarer types having stumps that may have once been dragon like wings, other even older Kramvil have been known to display features of giant lizards from many moons ago?!
These variations have resulted in an amazing mix of scale colour, frills, claws, snouts and tongues that amaze and astound most onlookers, most significantly being their scales, these being almost as tough as the hide of a Pryv warrior, the scales being able to deflect some significant damage against them but without being so tough that healers are unable to assist them.
Just remember that these people are cold blooded both physically AND morally…
Most races always view themselves as morally ‘right’ , or justified in their actions. The Gwer, or Greenskins are completely aware that their actions are debased, hideous and barbaric… And they love it!
There are many Greenskin clans that are comprised of Orcs, Trolls, Goblins and Gremlins. They simply live to destroy, vandalise and kill. What we call torture, they call ‘playtime’, what we would consider to be vicious and savage, they think of it as fun and jovial.
The Gwer are proud to be evil and revel in their sick, twisted games, toying and harassing the other races for their own personal delight.
Due to this, the Crown have made a conscious decision to hunt and destroy all of these foul monsters to the ends of the land
Luckily for the Greenskins, the ancient pact placed over the town of Chaosgate has given a bizarre loophole or immunity clause, “as long as they are seen defending the land against the demon spawn”
A loophole that frustrates the Crown yet they are honour bound to uphold, (woe betide the foolish Goblin that strays out of the town boundaries…)
This situation delightedLord Scythe back on his isles, so he eagerly enlisted the clans and brought them all under his banner.
Most races are as a result are wary of the sadistic mindset within the Gwer, yet there’s something about The Den that brings a Greenskins hatred and violence to their highest, for some mysterious reason they just loathe humans…
Death comes to us all, however in recent times, ‘undeath’ has become apparent too.
There have been many legends and stories of undead, skeletal warriors or vampiric entities lurking in the night air, even the origin of the Chaosgate town involves undead as well.
Necromancers have come and gone in history, either slain by others or faded into shadow, yet none more infamous or feared as the master of death, Lord Scythe.
Other undead armies are commanded from other unseen hands. It was once Lord Scythe’s army forcing itself from the south toward the mainland.
The dark master has his representative in various locations, including one in Chaosgate known simply as The Arch Duke.
Not unlike the Greenskin Gwer, the Bocka are regarded as a serious threat to the land by The Crown and once again, outside the boundaries of Chaosgate should be destroyed on sight.
It is no surprise then, that the backbone of the Claw Duchy is a unending supply of skeletons, ghouls, ghosts, zombies, vampires and wights, ready to fight at a moments notice without any thought (if at all) to their own mortality, thanks to the Necromancer’s influence. At this time the current command is to defend against the gate, the realm awaits their inevitable next orders…
Rumour has it, that once upon a time, a noble of the Crown was afflicted with a vampiric taint, the condition cursing his body and soul for all time. His mind, however, was still his own and was able to maintain as best he can his noble duties and still regard the honour of the Crown Duchy.
He was able to function for many years in service to The Crown with dignity and pride, however his secret was one day discovered by a would be assassin who failed to end him and then fled into the night, shrieking in terror to the rest of the realm his dark discovery.
Weeks later, the noble was hunted down in a stench ridden alley whilst he was eating rats and promptly laid to rest by the angered locals.
The undead vary in levels of sentience and intellect, yet there is a curious sight among all of them when in the vicinity of that Piski.
One can only assume that it is something in the threads of magic that repulses and angers all undead into a strong dislike for them, even a distrust toward the shadow Piski that reside within the Claws own ranks.
The fairy folk, the living embodiment of Magic and magical energies.
From Nymphs to Sprites, Fairies and Fey, Sylphs and Selkies, Brownies, Trollans and Changlings.
The Piski come in all shapes, sizes and demeanours.
Many Races consider them creatures of beauty, fun and innocence, while a few think of them as annoying and childish.
The Piski came into existence aeons ago, only the Kramvil can remember life before them. In fact, many believe that the Piski somehow were the Gods way of redressing the balance of life, when the demons began to overwhelm the lizard people (almost to extinction!) during The Ancient war.
The Piski innovated and influenced nearly all the magic that is weaved today, teaching their art to all of the other races as their gift upon the world. Their proudest achievement was the Creation of the Karrek, The Rock-people.
The Piski, despite their amazing magical power, are not considered a combative species and the prospect of war to them is almost “unethical”.
However, they were more than happy to utilise their new creation to defend and protect the realm as a bizarre peace keeping force.
While the majority of the fairy folk were pleased with the Karrek, there were a small collection of Piski that at first disagreed with such primitive stratagems.
There was another cabal of Piski that had a change of heart, wondering what the potential would be of more power, with such an army of rock warriors at their control..?
These few worked in secret to attempt an esoteric faction within the Piski leadership. Luckily for the others, they were discovered and were forced to flee. In their fleeting panic, the cabal mustered raw, untapped magics in an attempt to save themselves… And necromancy was born.
Mortified at the unnatural creations raised before them, the loyalist Piski were disgusted, even the cabal, although now escaped were ashamed of the line they had crossed and their foul, dark magic unleashed on the world.
Even today, all Piski are repulsed and enraged by undead that roam the land, knowing that it was their own kind that allowed this curse to exist.
The Changing Men, or Lycanthropes are an anomaly in the world, there is no evidence anywhere of how or why they came into being.
Many theorist Suspected the Piski of playing with magic centuries ago, yet there are no books or Piski members to confirm this.
Another theory is that the origin is more demon based, a possible symptom of being “chaos-touched”, however, it is a fool who would listen to the tongue of a hell spawned.
All we do know is that there are hundreds of stories from everywhere about “shape changers” and “were creatures”, being told by many a tavern fireplace.
The condition itself has different ‘strains’.
There are those who’s affliction is triggered by the lunar cycle, those who are affected by the onset of nightfall, some who trigger their change by extreme emotion (usually anger) and there are a few who can simply change at will under their own total control.
Even their ‘second skin’ is highly varied, although usually and most commonly mammals such as wolves, bears, foxes etc,
There is one legend, in the harbour town of Pensans of a pirate captain, who would would force people to walk the plank on his galleon then leap into the waters himself, contorting into the features of a half shark to hideously mutilate the hapless victim!
Keen eyed scholars have noticed 2 key factors in researching and studying all Chanjden… The first is that the condition is only apparent in the Den race, no cases of lycanthropy ever been recorded in another race or species.
The second factor is… Nighttime.
Regardless of their varied second skin and their change trigger, it has been found that there is something about the night that both blesses and curses them.
The Chanjden are slowly, over time, coming together. Their focal point of course, the town of Chaosgate. Here many interact with each other in an attempt to better understand themselves or to support those with less control over their abilities. Other Lycanthropes chose to enter the Claw Duchy, embracing their primal nature and rage, eagerly succumbing to their need to hunt and kill.
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