Linking Characters to the Setting, Class Guide – By Tom L. & Pigasus
There are dozens of ways to come up with character concepts: one can choose to ‘riff’ of an existing popular character, get inspired while reading through a canon or non-canon Setting culture, or just choose a nick and let the PC develop from there. Often, muns decide on a class, race, or culture first, without consulting any material, and then build upon that simple foundation.
This essay attempts to facilitate the bonding of an initial character concept, in classes, races, and cultures (as well as a few extraneous elements), to the developed cultures of Siveth. In addition, it may be used as a simple way to bone up on various aspects of the Setting for whatever purpose. In a way, it’s simply an index to the Setting cultures and would be well used as such.
Of course, characters need not be tied to the Setting in any way other than that they find themselves drinking ale in an inn in downtown Drache. But for those muns who have chosen not to use ‘local’ concepts simply because of the massive amounts of setting info one must master, this essay may serve to alleviate the difficulty.
It is important to note that this index contains most of what is known about Arangoth’s world today, but is certainly not definitive as many lands are still undiscovered or reported inaccurately.
Warriors, Knights, Mercenaries
Mercenaries are extremely common in the realm, whether they’re hireling caravan guards or elite companies. One well-known mercenary unit was the Crimson Shield, whose commander served as Drache’s Lord Protector for a time.
Knightly orders tend to involve family traditions of who gets to keep which piece of land. The most infamous Arangothain order is the Beady Eye (formerly Watchful Eye), which rebelled against the princes of Arangoth and caused a period of strife. The order has been dissolved but there are rumors about its resurgence.
Drache used to hold major international tournaments for fighters to test their skill. Many warriors decided to remain in Drache afterwards, especially the prize winners. In Panguro, Samurai are the closest thing to knights.
In Najjir, a land called Qarsythe is ruled almost completely by a guild of arcanists. They have a handle on almost all types of magic, favoring the elemental powers and most wear cloth masks over their faces as a cultural tradition.
Alesian battle-wizards combine their voices in destructive choruses to attack their enemies and buff their allies.
The orcish Firestorm Clan uses spellbook sorcery instead of shamanism to inflict destruction and summon horrible monsters against their foes.
Witches, Druids, Shamans
The most powerful witches on the continent rule over the steppes of Thontaran. They are mysterious women, who have access to powerful relics from a former empire and who can turn the land itself against their enemies.
Assi shamans use elemental powers tied to the seasons. Zul Kiran orcs heavily rely on shamans to heal and augment their standing forces.
Druidism is at the heart of Griffon’s Aerie culture, where each high griffon is bound to a tree and its attendant dryad. Many Sorani elves from Elvendeep also become druids. Some human druids watch over Sresar Vale, in Arangoth.
Clerics, Priests, Paladins
The Templars of Menxvan form the biggest order of priests, paladins and crusaders in Arangoth. The Guardians of Menxruk, who prefer less knightly methods, oppose them with sabotage, terrorism and sedition. In Najjir, Menxvan-worship is institutionalized in most major cities.
Rogues, Thieves, Assassins
Thieves are everywhere. For a long time, the underworld of Drache was ruled by a “King Nobody” – a rotating title that eventually was eclipsed by a “Correspondence of Thieves.”
Assassin guilds are poorly known because ones that get too famous get extinguished. A Najjira group of assassins with political goals recently became active in the area, on behalf of some shadowy “heresiarch.”
Bards, Performers, Musicians
Barbarians, Hunters, Rangers
Humans considered “barbaric” include the Assi and the Thons, mostly because they live primarily in tents, move around a lot and get into confrontations with more “civilized” travelers. That said, their fighting style can be described as barbarian as well, relying on quick, furious, unarmored attacks. The warriors of Nahuatl are the same way.
Orcish tribes are considered barbaric but when Zul Kiras marches as a single nation, it looks more like a coherent army than a furious horde. Of course, the war kings of Zul Kiras do employ furious hordes as part of their forces, to demoralize the enemy.
The best elvish rangers are said to be found in Elvendeep, among the Wild Elf peoples and the Order Emissariat, and in Mazewood. Arangothian rangers, native or newcomer, may find a home for their skills in the Provincial Guard. Humans can also come from Pentland, where the dangerous flora and fauna of the exotic interior requires special attention.
The most infamous pirates are Korthai, a group of raiders that live mostly on their ships. They are known for absorbing captured prisoners into their society.
A naval attack recently forced a group of pirates from the Equine Islands south of Arangoth, leaving them with no place to go and their leader dead.
The biggest navies belong to the Berjeron farfarers from Mwayambi and the Pentlanders. While less powerful militarily, Secca has one of the oldest and most respected merchants marine. Bahija, an up and coming island nation, is also starting to hedge in on both Pentlander and Berjeron trade routes.