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The World of the Diamond ThroneEdit

Here you will find not only the giants, litorians, akashics, unfettered, and others that you are already familiar with, but a full description of the history of the dramojh, the coming of the giants, the return of the dragons, and the backgrounds that suggest why the races interact the way they do.


The WorldEdit

Every culture has its own name for the world, but in the Common tongue of humans it is known as Serran. Deep in all racial consciousness, known also as the akashic memory, lies the truth of the creation of the world, although the exact date of that event is contested.

A single moon hangs high in the Serran sky. On clear nights, most people perceive it as having a light blue hue. In the middle of summer, however, it is bright white. The moon shares the night sky with five planets. During the day, the sun is a warm yellow.

The Lands of the Diamond Throne are but a (large) part of a single continent on Serran, which in turn is part of a larger land mass. The most explored portions are frequently called “the realm” in addition to the “Lands of the Diamond Throne.” Historically, the area was called Terrakal, and before that, the entire continent was simply “the Land of the Dragons.” The giants of today call it Dor-Erthenos.

The southernmost edge of this continent lies about 700 miles above the world’s equator. In recent days, more has become known about the continents of Pallembor—the Mysterious West—and Skaraven, where the wicked avian humanoids known as harrids come from. And at least one other continent is known to exist, to the far east, from which the giants and sibeccai originally hail.

Keeping Time

The Serran day is 24 hours long, although no one has names for the actual hours. People refer to noon and midnight, as well as dawn and dusk, and then measure time from there. “Two hours after noon,” they say, or “an hour before dusk.”

The year lasts 364 days. There are 13 months of 28 days each. Most often, the months are simply called “Firstmonth,” “Secondmonth,” and so on, all the way to “Lastmonth.” The giants have their own names for the months, however, as do the faen and others. The giant month names are “official,” and many people adopt the evocative, flavorful names the faen use.

The days of the week also have a variety of names, but the common names are used so widely, they are the only ones worth noting. There are seven days in each week, each with a shortened or slang form often used as well:

• Dawnday/Dawday

• Waterday/Waday

• Earthday/Erday

• Halfweekday/Hawday

• Skyday/Skiday

• Firesday/Firday

• Restingday/Resterday

Important Days

Although there are many festivals, sacred days, and days of ceremonial importance to the people of the realm, these are the most important ones: Although the nature of Monte Cook’s Arcana Evolved is such that DMs can use the races, classes, and other features in it to create their own campaign world, the Diamond Throne is a ready-made setting designed specifically around all the concepts from this book.

• Runecurse: On this, the supposed anniversary of the death (or disappearance) of the Rune Messiah, all living creatures suffer a –1 luck penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, and checks. Curse spells gain a +1 bonus to their saving throw DCs. This observance occurs on the 10th of Firstmonth.

• Remembrance: The 17th of Secondmonth is the anniversary of the last day of the Battle of the Serpent’s Heart, when the giants defeated the dramojh. This day people remember the heroes of that struggle and those slain or tortured by the evil dramojh. This is typically a day of solemn celebration.

• Landwarding: On the 3rd of Thirdmonth, folks observe the importance of the land. People work to plant on this giantish holiday, nurturing life in the soil. They also take special care of animals.

• Moon’s Eve: On the 12th day of Fourthmonth, witches (and others) celebrate the magical significance of the moon. At night, from dusk until midnight, all simple spells are one slot lower than normal to cast (0-level spells remain unaffected).

• Narasanight: The 15th of Fifthmonth is a giant festival day—although the festivities really happen at night. On this evening, giants gather to sing and tell stories. Many important ceremonies take place then as well.

• Solstices: The summer solstice occurs on the first day of Seventhmonth, and the winter solstice on the last day of Lastmonth. Each of these days is considered sacred, and most people treat them with solemn reverence. The only ceremonies on these days are those devoted to giving thanks to the land. Greenbonds in particular hold solstice days as special; those able to do so often spend these holidays in the company of the spirits of nature, who are said to celebrate in fantastic and unimaginable ways.

• Bladesong: On this day, also known as Warrior’s Day, the populace celebrates and honors those who excel with skill at arms. Usually this day, the 10th of Tenthmonth, features combative competitions and tournaments. All characters proficient in martial weapons gain a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, and checks.

• Landsmilk: This harvest festival is celebrated in most lands, although it has a few different names, like Karatul and Bountyfest. It occurs on the 14th of Eleventhmonth.

• Vaddinalakin: The last day of Eleventhmonth is the day most sacred to witches. On this day, all witches cast spells and use their witchery powers as if they were one level higher than normal.




MONTHS OF THE YEAR
Common Giant Faen Litorian* Dragon
Firstmonth Iu-Tarthes Sunshadow Snow Wisdom
Secondmonth Ae-Noman Frostglint Mist Goldspell
Thirdmonth Ai-Gebbon Windlion Birth Silverscale
Fourthmonth Ko-Fenas Fathereye Rain Coppertail
Fifthmonth Ji-Naras Bloomkiss Sun Bronzewing
Sixthmonth Rin-Taras Neverstar Leaves Brasseye
Seventhmonth Pal-Henach Brightsong Sky Whitegreed
Eighthmonth Yun-Feerna Skyhome Reeds Blackbreath
Ninthmonth Te-Carob Mothereye Gift Greenclutch
Tenthmonth Na-Vesto Flameleaf Twilight Bluetooth
Eleventhmonth Al-Gerran Kinspeak Stars Redclaw
Twelfthmonth On-Heccan Chillmoon Sleep Slumber
Lastmonth In-Dearam Wolfhowl Moon Platinumshine


  • The litorian calendar considers Birth the first month of the year.


The People

The lives of the people in these lands—whether they be human, faen, giant, verrik, or any of the other races—are grounded in such concepts as duty, personal integrity, and the importance of one’s word or oath. Obviously that doesn’t mean that everyone has a great deal of integrity or a strong sense of duty. It simply means that, when judging one’s character, these are the criteria used. Although people use words like “good” and “evil,” they’re just as likely to use “honorable” or “untrustworthy.”

Generally speaking, then, people in the Lands of the Diamond Throne value their own personal honor and the actions that shape others’ opinions of them. Giving one’s word means something to these folks, as do bonds of trust and duty. They are an emotional people who do not often give in to frivolity or laziness.

These traits vary from individual to individual and can show marked differences among the various races. For example, faen normally are more emotional and quicker to be a bit frivolous than others, while sibeccai are less emotional and even less frivolous.


Ceremonies

Again generally speaking, the people of the Lands of the Diamond Throne value ritual and ceremony. They take pride in following tradition and respecting careful, deliberate, and meaningful rites and formal customs.

The ceremonies held to be important in these lands say a lot about the nature of the people that value them. Although some ceremonies carry game benefits—ceremonial feats, for example— the following list discusses only ceremonies of cultural significance (with the exception of the naming ceremony).


Naming Ceremony

Most important of all ceremonies, the naming ceremony occurs for almost every individual at a time of maturity. For humans, verrik, and litorians, this is around age 14; for giants and faen, around 20; and for sibeccai, it can be as early as age 9 or 10. (Mojh normally do not go through a naming ceremony as mojh, but as humans, for most mojh do not become mojh until they are adult humans.) At this time, one goes into a trance and delves deep within to learn one’s own truename. This also serves as a rite of passage ceremony.

This ritual often involves a large part of the community in which the individual lives—sometimes as many as 50 people participate. It takes about an hour and is normally followed by a feast and various entertainments: singing, dancing, comedy, and so on.

Characters who are Unbound—or, as they are sometimes called, unnamed—do not go through this ceremony. This is obviously a rare occurrence; an adult usually reaches maturity without a truename only under special circumstances. Sometimes, people reject their truenames, while other times they were merely ignorant of the principles or the process (some claim that certain people are just born without truenames). It is possible, however, to have a truename without going through the naming ceremony.

Even bestial or primitive creatures, such as goblins, rhodin, or chorrim, have their own versions of this ceremony. Monstrous intelligent creatures such as lamias, sphinxes, and hags often learn their truenames on their own.


Other Rituals

Brotherhood Ceremony: Very similar to a joining ceremony (see below), someone entering into a partnership, alliance, or any kind of joint venture with another (or one group allying itself with another) may hold a brotherhood ceremony. Sometimes small, informal groups like adventuring parties hold brotherhood ceremonies to fortify their relationship. Usually brotherhood ceremonies require the participation of only those involved in the relationship and perhaps a witness. However, sometimes these ceremonies are vast, as two tribes or kingdoms ally with one another. When celebrated between a few individuals, the participants often tell each other their truenames as a sign of complete trust.

Disavowal Ceremony: The opposite of a joining or a brotherhood ceremony, the disavowal rite is performed when it comes time to end a relationship. This might be a divorce, the end of a partnership, or a family member disavowing another publicly for some wrongdoing. Sometimes, when performed by a ruler toward another ruler, this ceremony marks the beginning of a war.

Farewell Ceremony: Similar to the welcoming ceremony (see below), this rite sends travelers off on voyages and visitors back on their way home. This ceremony is usually large and sometimes accompanies a feast.

Funeral Ceremony: When someone dies, this daylong ceremony is held in the person’s honor, to wish his soul a quick and safe journey to the afterlife.

Healing Ceremony: When someone is ill, this ceremony is performed to ritually cleanse both the patient and the room she occupies of illness. This is not considered magical healing (and it confers no such benefit), but it is thought to put the patient in the correct frame of mind to encourage natural healing. Some spellcasters will not attempt to use remove disease or a similar spell without first performing this short ceremony.

Joining Ceremony: Unlike the naming ceremony, the joining ceremony varies greatly from race to race and culture to culture. These ceremonies join two people in marriage, signifying their physical and spiritual union.

Faen and giants are both fiercely monogamous, while sibeccai rarely mate for life, instead preferring to have multiple spouses over the course of their relatively short lives. Humans, litorians, and verrik vary in their opinions, and mojh utterly reject marriage and joining—as well as love and sex. Sprytes, it should be noted, still hold onto their faen ideals regarding love and marriage even though they cannot reproduce.

Lifequest Ceremony: Often when apprentices finish their apprenticeships, or students finish their studies, a ceremony congratulates them and commemorates their setting out on the path of their life. These are usually small and informal ceremonies.

Luck Ceremony: When someone begins a new venture or takes on a quest, this ritual helps ensure that he finds only good fortune. It often is held with just one person in addition to the person needing luck. One never holds this ceremony for oneself.

Mourning Ceremony: In contrast to a victory or thanksgiving ceremony (see below), the mourning ceremony is performed when one or more of the participants has experienced a great loss or a defeat. This is an extremely long ritual, sometimes extending over multiple days. It can also follow a funeral ceremony.

Oath Ceremony: When someone swears an oath or takes a vow stating that she will (or sometimes will not) do something, she often states the vow before witnesses in a short but very formal ceremony.

Resurrection Ceremony: In the rare cases when magic brings someone back to life, this ceremony welcomes her back to the land of the living and solidifies and calms her soul after its harrowing journey.

Thanksgiving Ceremony: Sometimes accompanying a victory ceremony and sometimes simply held when something fortunate happens, this ritual usually involves as many people as the participants can muster. The bigger the blessing, the bigger and longer the ritual. Many cultures use a form of this ceremony at times of harvest, when a drought breaks, and so on.

Victory Ceremony: This celebratory ritual not only allows someone who has achieved a great feat to be honored, but it is an opportunity for the victor to give thanks to those who helped him. This ritual usually coincides with a great feast or party.

Welcoming Ceremony: This very short rite welcomes newcomers into a home or important dignitaries into a kingdom or a city. It often involves the exchange of small gifts. A form of this ceremony is used when a new baby is born into a family.


The Major Races

The major races of the Lands of the Diamond Throne are giants , humans, faen, litorians, sibeccai, verrik, and mojh. Other minor races, such as goblins, rhodin, chorrim, hags, and so on make too small an impact on the lands to be considered major races, and dracha are too newly arrived. The lands referred to in this section and the next are shown on the map. Racial


Demographics

Humans are the most numerous and widespread race in the Lands of the Diamond Throne. With the exception of the deepest reaches of the Harrowdeep (and the frozen wastes beyond), and the heart of Zalavat, where they are not welcome, humans live throughout the entire realm, at least in small numbers. (There are certainly areas of the Bitter Peaks, Thartholan, and the Wildlands of Kish, for example, that offer dangers too great for settlers, and the only humans in Skaraven are slaves.)

The giants, as a race, never stray far from the water—the love of ships and sailing runs too deep in their blood. Thus, the vast majority of giants live on the coast or along the banks of the largest river in the land, the Ghostwash. Giants are known only by reputation south of the northern edge of Fallanor (except for along the coast), in most of Zalavat, and west of the Bitter Peaks.

Although sibeccai usually dwell near giants, they have gone farther afield in the last hundred years or so, spreading south into the Southern Wastes and into the mountains to the east and west. They are virtually unknown as far south as Fallanor, the Wildlands of Kish, and most of Zalavat.

Faen dwell mostly in the north, in and around the Harrowdeep. In addition to their own isolated hamlets and villages in the forest, they frequent the Crystal Fields, the northern Elder Mountains, and cities such as Navael and Thayn. However, being fairly curious and daring, faen individuals can be found anywhere.

Most people think of litorians as keeping to the Central Plains, but in fact they range throughout the lands south of the Harrowdeep, even into Zalavat, Fallanor, and the Jungles of Naveradel. They are not unknown in Verdune, Thartholan, Kish, and into Pallembor, the Mysterious West. Litorians are second only to humans in their propagation and population.

Verrik hail from the South, specifically Zalavat. To find a verrik in the North, particularly north of the Ghostwash, is a surprising circumstance. Elsewhere, particularly in the warm climes of the South—Fallanor, the Free Cities, the Wildlands of Kish, and the Jungles of Naveradel—verrik thrive in numbers. Many also dwell in the island kingdom of Noll.

Mojh live in small numbers almost anywhere that humans dwell. They favor remote locales and seem rather impervious to climate, so one could look for a small mojh colony high above the snow line in the mountains, in the dry Southern Wastes, or in the Wildlands of Kish and probably find one.


Racial Differences and Indifferences

None of the major races—giant, human, faen, sibeccai, litorian, mojh, and verrik—are broadly recognized as outright enemies. However, certain races get along with some better than others.

Giants and faen get along about as well as members of two races possibly could. The predilections of both folk complement each other. Both appreciate the importance of balancing duty with celebration and relaxation. Really, though, giants look at all races with the same sort of “little brother attitude” (as the human philosopher Dionest once put it).

Faen hate it when people look down on them because of their size. They normally go into any relationship assuming they will be treated as equals. They only feel resentful when others prove them wrong. Thus, more than any other race, they are likely to judge people as individuals rather than react to them based on their race. (Dionest once put it another way: “Faen ignore the race of those they meet and treat everyone the way they would treat another faen. Of course, that means they are continually surprised when others do not act like faen.”)

Sibeccai remain somewhat distant from all races save the giants. In particular, however, they do not mix well with faen and often find themselves resentful of litorians. They frequently make no attempt to conceal these feelings, but change their behavior only when individuals prove their worthiness of respect.

Litorian philosophy encourages them to look upon all creatures with the same amount of respect (although initial wariness is always in order). However, their natural inclination was to resent giants, as some humans do, even if they show it more subtly. But over the years, the giants have gradually won their respect. These same instincts make them somewhat hostile to mojh and sibeccai at first, but they try to overcome them.

Mojh look at almost every race with the same slight distrust.

Verrik are inscrutable and stoic. While they believe their way of thinking is best, they are less likely than, say, humans to judge members of other races for their differences. They perhaps understand giants and humans best of the other races, finding litorians and faen a bit bewildering at times. Verrik also deal well with mojh and sibeccai, but find them, in general, a little dangerous.

Some humans resent giants as outsiders who have “taken over.” Generally they are wary of the harsh, sometimes cynical sibeccai and the mojh—humans who willingly gave up their humanity. Like the other races, humans are a bit disturbed by the verrik, despite the fact that in the history of the realm, humans and verrik have never actually come into conflict. Humans like faen but sometimes do not take them as seriously as they should, much to the humans’ loss and the faen’s displeasure.


Dragons and Dracha

Dragons cannot be ignored as prominent inhabitants of the Lands of the Diamond Throne—a region once called the Land of the Dragons. The dragons left this land for the far-off West thousands of years ago, but have recently returned. In their absence, the dragons changed—not that anyone remembers the dragons of old to notice the differences.

Gone are the clear-cut distinctions between chromatic and metallic dragons. Now each dragon has its own individual powers and abilities not based at all on their appearance.

The dragons make no apology for their absence during the time of the dramojh. They express gratitude toward the giants for taking care of that problem but make it clear that they wish to invoke ancient pacts between their kind and the giantish realm that forbade a giantish presence in their ancestral homeland. “Thank you,” they have said to the giants, “but now it is time for you to leave.” The dragons, by right of history, heritage, and power, claim the Lands of the Diamond Throne (a name they do not use, of course).

Obviously, the giants have no interest in leaving. They shed blood to defeat the dramojh—creations of the dragons, no less— and now feel a sense of stewardship over the land. Giantish allies stand firm behind them.

However, not all the peoples of the Diamond Throne harbor much love for the giants, whom they still consider usurpers. Some of these see the reemergence of the dragons as an omen; others, simply an opportunity. Either way, they side with the dragons. Others are tempted to the dragons’ side because of what they offer.

The dragons bear with them the otherworldly tenebrian seeds that can be used to “evolve” creatures, granting them great power through draconic ceremonies. Members of all races save the giants have willingly undergone the process of tenebrian evolution in exchange for their sympathies to the dragon’s cause. (Others, knowing that it was those very seeds that created the dramojh, reject the “evolution” process as abhorrent before nature and all that is good.)

With the dragons came the dracha. These draconic humanoids were the heralds and harbingers of the dragons’ return and have quickly spread throughout the Lands of the Diamond Throne. They can be found anywhere, but only in very small numbers. Plenty of the folk of the Diamond Throne lands have not yet laid eyes on a dracha (although they may have heard of them). The dracha are more common in the near West, such as in Verdune and Thartholan, or in the South, including the Southern Wastes, than in the Central Plains or the Devanian coast.


Regional Differences

In addition to the people’s racial differences, the area in which they live encourages cultural differences as well. Humans display this variety most clearly, but it is true—in general—of other races as well. In fact, one cannot entirely divorce racial and regional differences, since the attitudes and cultural distinctions of people from the South exist at least in part due to the presence of the verrik, while those of the North are influenced by the faen.


Life in the North

The Devanian coast, the Harrowdeep, and most land north of the Ghostwash are known collectively as the North. Generally speaking, this region includes the “heart” of the Lands of the Diamond Throne, and the towns and cities there are among the safest and most orderly places in the realm. Northern folk consider themselves a bit more sophisticated than those of other regions, although most would not make such a claim out loud.

Generally speaking, Northerners appreciate elegant food and wine, the arts, and communal activities. They are gregarious by nature and usually polite and hospitable. They value aesthetics and convenience very highly. Northern society is somewhat striated, with a strict hierarchy of low-, middle-, and high-class people. They see occupations as very compartmentalized—a Northern farmer is more likely to hire workers to fix his fence than to do it himself because that’s not “his job.”

Few people live in the land between the Elder Mountains and the sea. This region gets a lot of rain and cold weather and sometimes is called “the new frontier.” Although once the home of one of the continent’s oldest kingdoms (Devania), it has become a wilderness grown over the ruins of that ancient civilization. The people are mostly herders, trappers, hunters, and miners. They have a quiet, calm, and thoughtful manner. These men and women are far less gregarious than others in the North.


Life in the South

People refer to the lands south of the Ghostwash, down through the Southern Wastes and most of Zalavat, as “the South.” This region is marked by contrasts. The verrik maintain an orderly, ancient society of their own, but the members of other races in the South are more free-wheeling and rough. Many dwell in the region because they or their ancestors moved southward to find a less structured, more free-spirited home. Cities such as Khorl, Jerad, and Xavel are known to be fairly lawless, with less direct control by the representatives of the Diamond Throne—although in comparison to other places (such as the Free Cities of the South) this reputation is usually overstated.

Southerners seem less particular about art, food, drink, and other such “sophisticated” concerns than their Northern neighbors. Their concerns are both more base (simple survival, particularly in small villages and hamlets) and more philosophical (freedom, rights of the individual, a person’s rightful place in the world, and so on).

Entertainment in the South is usually bawdy and the humor broad. Ale is a more common drink than wine (although verrik always prefer wine).

It is more likely that a litorian would find a home of his liking within the bounds of a Southern city than one in the North. They take to the less structured, freer lifestyle in such places over the stricter, more “refined” communities of the North.


Life in the Far South

Also known as the Distant South, this region includes Fallanor, the Free Cities of the South, the Jungles of Naveradel, and even the Wildlands of Kish. People under the rule of the Diamond Throne know little about these faraway places. The occasional trader or sailor brings back tales of the Free Cities or Fallanor: stories of wild, exotic locales, lawless cities and races, and beasts unknown in regions farther north. Only the hardiest and most intrepid explorers can relate information about Kish or Naveradel. These unsettled lands are strange and filled with exotic creatures and amazing wonders.

Outside the direct rule of the Diamond Throne, the people of the Far South are much less cohesive than those of other regions. Traits of the population include self-reliance, a distrustful nature, and far less value placed on community, honor, and keeping one’s word. This is a rough-and-tumble place. Customs vary from city to city and change quickly with the rise of new rulers or sudden trends.


Life in the Near West

The near West—Verdune and Thartholan—continues to rebuild from the devastation and changes wrought by the dramojh. Communities are few and far between, and most are governed by paranoia and fear due to the undead and otherplanar creatures still inhabiting the region. Cities and towns here have high walls and take curfews seriously. You’ll hear people here say things like “better careful than dead” and “trust is earned, not given.”

For the most part, these folk remain quiet, somber, and slightly nervous. Yet they are determined and stubborn as well. Most do not have the luxury of convenience or sophistication.


Life in Pallembor

If the people dwelling in Pallembor have some relation to the folk of the Lands of the Diamond Throne, it is tenuous and ancient. In Pallembor, humans and dracha commingle without hesitation, and the sight of a dragon is cause for welcome rather than alarm. The people of the Mysterious West, whether human or dracha, look upon the dragons as powerful guardians and patrons.

Villages, towns, and cities of Pallembor are old and sophisticated, filled with statues, colonnades, and fountain-filled plazas. Most have some kind of available roost or castle made especially for dragons who might visit from time to time. The people in these communities are welcoming and friendly unless given a reason not to be. Those who raise the ire of the locals can never hope to regain their welcome, for their memory is long.

The people of Pallembor do not speak the Common tongue but instead have their own language. Also, many speak Draconic.


Life in Skaraven

A harsh land of fierce weather and predatory beasts, Skaraven is ruled by the vulturelike harrids (see Chapter Twelve). Members of the major races (humans, litorians, sibeccai, faen, and so on) dwell here only because they were taken as slaves from their homes and brought here or because their ancestors were taken in a similar fashion. The harrids are harsh masters and force their slaves to carry out all their physical labors, as the harrids themselves are too preoccupied with study and research. Most slaves never live to be very old, between the harrids’ cruel whips and the backbreaking work.

Skaraven is mainly a desolate wilderness. Its few cities are fairly large and walled for protection. Whether harrid, human, sibeccai, or another race, most people in Skaraven seem paranoid and pessimistic. Harrids rule virtually all the settlements of Skaraven.

The people of this land speak Harrid and a bit of Common.


Pastimes

Despite the contents of the previous chapters of this book, life in the Diamond Throne lands isn’t all about fighting, spellcasting, and going on adventures. The people of the realm have fun as well.


Festivals

Festivals and celebrations occur all the time, particularly on important dates and holidays and when ceremonies are performed. They often involve music, dancing, games, contests, and—of course—food. It’s not at all uncommon for a traveler to arrive in a community and find residents engaged in a festival she’s never heard of. Many are very localized.


Games

Of course games are a favored pastime for folks of all races. In addition to the few examples listed below, people frequently have contests of prowess or skill—footraces, hitting a target with an arrow, leaping, juggling, rope-walking, riddle solving, and so on. Litorians pit tribe against tribe in rough team sports. Fierce bloodsports, from gladiatorial-style combats to beast pitfighting, are common among the sibeccai.

  • Dancing Bones: A betting game played with dice.
  • Kings and Kingdoms: An elaborate strategy game with a board and many pieces.
  • Spit and Bobber: A game of manual dexterity played for small amounts of money.
  • Three’s Your Uncle: A game of throwing daggers at a target for points.
  • Witch Stones: A strategy game played with a set of tiles bearing symbols.


Theatre

Theatre has a long and distinguished history in the Lands of the Diamond Throne. From a lone minstrel or traveling storyteller to troupes of actors, dancers, and clowns moving from town to town in wagons to officially sanctioned works in huge, permanent auditoriums, theatre delights many. Some performances are clearly aimed at commoners, while others are meant for more sophisticated tastes. Most everyone, however, enjoys a good show.

Mojh and sibeccai are rarely actors. Giants, faen, and humans take to performing the most, and litorians occasionally try but are rarely any good (except at singing, at which many excel). Verrik attempt to incorporate magic or psychic abilities into all their performances.


Colloquialisms

A wonderful way to understand a people is to listen to how they talk, and even how they curse. Here are a few examples:

A Giant’s Reach: Something about 10 feet long (technically). More generally, something that is distant, but still visible. “The other side of the cave’s only about a giant’s reach from here.”

Ale-Addled: Drunk.

Angel’s Wings: Extreme luck. “He was saved by angel’s wings.”

Between Midnight and Death: A phrase used by many to mean “in deep trouble.” As in, “We’re between midnight and death down here!”

Biter: Someone weak, attempting to be strong. “Little biter” is the most common use. Often used by crude members of other races to describe a faen, particularly a faen warrior.

Bitter Suns: A curse. When directed to another, it means, “May the rest of your days be painful and sad.”

Bobber: A copper piece.

By Malleus’ Beard: An exclamation. The phrase refers to the great human hero Malleus, whose point of pride was his beard.

Cack: Nonsense.

Deuce: A silver piece.

Far From Home: Originally a litorian saying (“Araansha,” in the native tongue), this means anything strange or alien.

Farther West: A term that means “keep looking” or “keep trying.” Referring to the fact that for so long no one really knew what lay to the distant west, people use this phrase when someone makes an incorrect guess or can’t find something that’s lost. “Farther west, friend,” one might say to such a person.

Feykin: What giants often affectionately call faen.

Gob-Friend: A shortened form of “goblin friend,” this term is a pejorative descriptor for someone, implying that the person likes disgusting, low-class, or otherwise nasty things.

Little Brother: What giants often call a well-liked human.

Logsleeper: A stupid person.

Maggot: A devious person.

Meadfoot: Someone able to hold his liquor.

Niashra’s Gift: A blessing, or something truly excellent. A greater battle healing spell, a sack of 1,000 gp, or a masterwork sword, given from one individual to another, can be referred to as Niashra’s gift.

Queen’s Coin, or a Queen: A gold piece.

Race-Traitor: What some humans call mojh. This is a particularly offensive term.

Rarer Than a Dragon’s Scale: Something very uncommon, or something precious.

Royal: A platinum piece.

Spell-Brained: Stupid.

Strong as a Magister’s Staff: Something that is nearly unbreakable.

Witch-Headed: Crazy. Witches do not care for its use.


Warrior Greetings

A common practice among warriors of any type is to greet someone with one’s weapon: “My sword greets you,” for example, or the even friendlier, “My axe sings your praises.” Likewise, an unfriendly greeting is only slightly different: “Tell it to my blade,” or “Everything I have to say to you, I’ll say with my spear.” Similar in tone, some warriors say this to a character they distrust: “I’ll trust you/like you better/sleep better when you’re dead and buried in the cold ground.”

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