campaign settings

Faith of Zenthar

Portfolio: Military power, patriotism, and undeath
Domains: Law, Death, and War
Alignment: LN
Holy Symbol: An eight-pointed silver star on a black shield
Favored Weapon: Morningstar

Languages

Languages

Many languages are spoken in Eckor. Unlike the simple language system offered in Player’s Handbook, however, Eckor uses a slightly different system, which can be found here, though with a little work it is a simple matter to use languages as they are presented in the core rules. It’s not uncommon for a person to speak half a dozen languages, even though he’s completely illiterate. It’s also not uncommon for a person to speak only the language of his own nation. While a few “Common Tongue” languages exist in various places, the language barrier is a bit tougher to get around than in many other worlds.

Any time a character would gain a language for free (such as druids, who learn their own language at 1st level), he gains one rank in that language, allowing him to speak it conversationally, but not to read or write it. Likewise, any time a feat, prestige class or other source has a language as a prerequisite, it requires 1 full skill rank in that Speak Language skill, unless it specifically requires the ability to read and write the language, in which case it requires 3 full ranks.

Common Tongues

A “Common Tongue” language is a language recognized and spoken by many who live or do business in a specific area. Traders, travelers and those who make their living on the road use these languages to communicate with people in a general area. Common Tongue languages are almost never taught as a first language. A Common Tongue language may not be selected as the language a character gets 1 free skill rank in during character creation.

En Shian

Commonly called “Trader’s Tongue,” En Shian is a language commonly spoken in the nations of the Great Desert. It’s an old common tongue language that supposedly originated among the tribes of Altali as a means for communicating with those from other nations. A large alphabet of 45 characters makes it a little difficult to learn at first, but it also allows for precise detail in the drawing of contracts. Outside of those who do business in desert nations, it might be a little difficult to find a translator of En Shian, but in the nations of the Great Desert, it’s difficult to find a trader or businessman who doesn’t speak the language. The desert nations are quite wealthy, and traders, merchants, caravan drivers and those who do any kind of business for themselves often learn En Shian quickly to maximize their clientele.

En Shian is spoken and written using the syntax of Alatalise, but it uses components from Altalise, Dii and Sheif ibn Shi’al. Anyone that has a skill rank in two of these languages can speak and understand En Shian as though he had half a skill rank in it. En Shian is most often used among the desert nations, but it’s not limited strictly to them. The language is popular among merchants from the nations of Inama and Zymia and has in recent years gotten a foothold among merchants and traders from Bralda as well.


Imperial

Imperial is one of the world’s newest major languages, being only a few years younger than the Empire. It is commonly spoken in the various nations that make up the Empire, but has also become Eckor’s main language of trade and commerce. Unlike some languages, it can be reasonably expected that a speaker of Imperial will be able to find a translator in a city of almost any size with relative ease anywhere in the civilized world. Imperial has an alphabet comprised of 29 characters.

Imperial is somewhat of a bastard language. Its lexicon is made up of words from all of the Imperial nations, and it constantly acquires words from other languages as well. It was originally created to be easy for those from the Imperial nations to learn and understand. Anyone that has a rank in three languages native to Imperial nations can speak and understand Imperial as though he had half a rank in it.

Pygalig

Sailors, whalers and pirates travel to all manner of exotic places in their work. The language commonly spoken in one port may be completely different from that spoken in the last. However, while a person might find it difficult to find a translator that speaks the language of his homeland, in port cities people who speak Pygalig are a dime a dozen. Pygalig is generally used to communicate with harbormasters and dock workers, but in a port city that sees any sort of international traffic, tavern owners, prostitutes and constables will all speak the language.

Pygalig, often called “Sailor’s Speech,” is a very basic common tongue language. To those who don’t speak it, it often sounds rough and uncultured, which fits the speaker more often than not. Pygalig does not have an alphabet, since most sailors are illiterate anyway. Additionally, it is a very unrefined language, and is not given to subtlety or tact. With no higher vocabulary to master and no written component, a single Speak Language skill rank is all that’s required to speak and understand Pygalig in its entirety.

Languages of the Civilized World

There are many languages commonly spoken throughout what is widely considered to be the civilized world. Most of these languages are spoken primarily in the areas indicated, but settlers and travelers have taken many languages to many unexpected places.

Alatalise

Alatalise is perhaps the most basic language in common use today. It is used primarily among the tribes of the nation of Altali, but each tribe has its own dialect. Alatalise has no alphabet, and the elves of the nation see no reason to include one. There is no use for a written language in the day-to-day life of a tribe, and inter-tribal agreements require no written document, since they last only as long as is convenient. As a result, only two ranks in the appropriate Speak Language skill are required to master Alatalise.

Alatalise is language enough for use among a tribe, where everyone speaks the same dialect, but communication often breaks down during inter-tribal discussions. While the dialects are similar from tribe to tribe, some words often have radically differing meanings. Each tribe stubbornly believes that its dialect is the original language, and refuses to lower itself to speaking the “crude” dialect of another tribe. This has lead to many bloody conflicts in the past, and the best speakers of Alatalise are often those who take the time to learn the intricacies of the language, the better to communicate with everyone on their own terms.

Dii

Dii is the language spoken more than any other in the nation of Taj-Alid. It has an alphabet of 24 characters, but the real genius is its numbering system. Instead of being based on factors of 10 like most other systems, it is based on factors of five. Everything is counted in terms of five, including how many factors of five have already been reached. This allows for a very user-friendly numerical shorthand that makes a visit to Taj-Alid’s famous markets less tedious.

Dii is a very poetic language, meant to shower the listener with adoration and praise or berate them with insults while getting the point across. It is thought of by many in the desert nations as a language of love, since many lengthy epics poems have been composed with the Dii language. Even foreigners generally agree that the language is one built for praise and commerce, though the same foreigners will often add that it’s built so just to put the listener off his guard so the speaker can get the best deal possible.

Midoneese

Midoneese is the language most commonly spoken in the areas of Midon and northern Vastings. It shares a root language (a dead language called Plutinic) with Reesa and Visa Trola. It uses the Plutinic alphabet, which is comprised of 28 characters. The syntax is completely different from other Plutinic-based languages, though. It makes heavy use of apostrophes, which often replace adverbs and adjectives or dictate that a word might be pronounced differently than it is spelled.

Midoneese can sound like a complicated language to foreigners. When spoken, it is often filled with sudden changes in speech pattern, such as being spoken from the mouth to suddenly being spoken from the throat. This most often signals a change in tense or, very occasionally, a change in temperament or emotion. Midoneese uses “double words,” a characteristic that is unique to the language. If a written word is apostrophized in a certain way, that word is spoken aloud twice. This serves as an emphasis that goes beyond other descriptors to single the word out as particularly important.

Mon Gaarian

Mon Gaarian, the language of the city-states of Mon Gaar, is a language that developed over decades from several differing dialects. Like the Mon Gaarian people themselves, it grew and evolved with trade in mind. Roughly 150 years ago, it was codified into a dictionary that allows no room for expansion. It has an alphabet of 31 characters, which contains no punctuation. Contractions are not used, nor are words ever shortened in the written language.

Mon Gaarian is among the strictest of the languages in the civilized world. When speaking casually, it may sound much like any other language, but when addressing someone formally or when conducting a business arrangement, even among friends, it is a very ritualized language. The speaker’s tone is expected to remain steady and not change. Each sentence is suffixed with a single-syllable word ( such as ko, do or lo) to specify if the sentence was a statement, a question or otherwise. To show emotion during formal speaking is considered uncivilized, and opposing Mon Gaarians will often publicly bait each other specifically to try and make the other show emotion, and thus lose face.

Oolahn

Oolahn is the native language of the island nation of Land, ancestral home to the halfling and gnome races. Though the two races speak the language with slight variations, they are mostly small cultural differences, and are otherwise identical. The Oolahn language has an alphabet of 25 characters. The written language makes heavy use of joining punctuation, as two words that punctuate into a single word often have a different meaning than the same two words separated by a space.

Those who don’t speak Oolahn as a native language often describe it as a series of croaking sounds. It’s spoken mostly from the top of the throat and makes extensive use of long “oo” sounds. Oolahn is somewhat simple when compared to some other spoken languages; questions often sound the same as simple statements. To distinguish a question, the speaker makes a smacking sound with his lips directly after speaking. Despite Land’s status as a nation of the Empire, Oolahn is rarely commonly spoken outside of the island nation and various large port cities. Few who aren’t halflings or gnomes have the need or desire to learn it.

Reesa

Reesa is a language common to the nations of Tiel and Visha. It shares a root language (a dead language called Plutinic) with Midoneese and Visa Trola. It uses the Plutinic alphabet, which is comprised of 28 characters. However, Reesa’s syntax and grammar structure aren’t compatible with that of Midoneese or Visa Trola, so being able to read one language does not mean one can read the other Plutinic-based languages.

Reesa is an expressive language. More often than not, words end in vowel sounds, most commonly “ah” or “ee.” When a phrase ends in a vowel sound, it is commonly extended for a second or two, though this is more a result of culture, and less a rule of the language, and it may be cut from a conversation entirely as a courtesy. As a language, Ressa is often described as being expressive by non-native speakers because the number of multi-syllable words outnumbers monosyllabic words in the lexicon more than five to one. This is due to a heavy use of prefixes and suffixes that act in place of adjectives and adverbs that would stand as individual words in many other languages.

Ribonise

Ribonise is the common language of people from North Ribonia and South Ribonia. Globally, it’s a significant language because most of the founding documents of the Empire are written in it. Among the Empire, Ribonise is the language most non-native speakers learn, specifically because of the importance of the founding documents. The Ribonise alphabet contains 27 characters. The written language follows several strict grammatical rules, which makes it very useful for written contracts and treaties, since there is little room for interpretation.

Ribonise is sometimes used as a primer language for teaching foreigners to speak the Imperial language. This is because it is a very neutral language, without many harsh-sounding syllables or hard stops. While it sounds somewhat more pleasing to many foreigners than the languages of some other Imperial areas, the spoken language follows just as many strict rules of grammar, just like the written language. Because of this, many learn to speak Ribonise and a few learn to read it well, but very few non-natives bother to master the language.

Rien

Rien is the primary language of the nation of Inama. Many of the multi-lingual denizens of the Uncivilized Lands speak it as well, thanks to hundreds of years of being beaten back by the hardy people of Inama. The alphabet is fairly simple, with only 18 characters, but it’s capable of producing some exemplary work, as evidenced by the fact that The Frozen Odyssey of Grímur (arguably the world’s greatest epic) was penned entirely in Rien.

Rien is spoken from the diaphragm and contains a number of bass sounds. It has a lot of long oo sounds, and the majority of its syllables are spoken with an exhalation, rather than on an inhalation. A Zymian emperor once said “Rien is a language of throaty, ape-like grunts, but it matches the toughness of its speakers.

Sheif ibn Shi’al

Sheif ibn Shi’al, literally ‘The Speech of Shi’al,’ is the language of Al-Amim. Few people outside of Al-Amim read or speak it, but it’s the dominant language of the nation. All public announcements, whether written or cried, must be in Sheif ibn Shi’al. The written language is complex, and contains 43 individual characters. Additionally, each character is mirrored if it’s the final character in a sentence to show that the sentence is finished.

The rules of the spoken language aren’t as complex as those of the written language. Sheif ibn Shi’al is spoken from both the mouth and the throat, and doesn’t sound quite like any other language, even those of other desert cultures. The most obvious feature of the spoken language, at least among the worshippers of Shi’al, is that everything, whether written or spoken is attributed to Shi’al. For example, if a man declares his love for a woman, he might say “This gift of my love, which was given me by Shi’al, I now give to you.” Those who speak the language for practical use but don’t worship Shi’al, such as foreign merchants and traders, often find this tedious.

Susuvski

Susuvski is a language most native to the nation of Thur. Having once been part of Thur, Bralda’s native language is also Susuvski, but a few of the smaller southernmost provinces of Mon-Gaar also speak Susuvski. The Susuvski alphabet is comprised of 27 characters, and unlike many other alphabets, there is no distinction between upper and lowercase letters. When read by many from Imperial nations, Susuvski seems at once familiar and alien. This is due in large part to the fact that many letters in the Susuvski alphabet strongly resemble letters from the Plutinic alphabet, only reversed.

Susuvski’s spoken form relies heavily on vowel sounds. This makes it sound as alien as it reads, because it is typically spoken directly from the diaphragm. The “L” sound is always rolled, and “th” sounds are generally replaced with a “D” sound. When non-native speakers want to mock the Susuvski language, they typically do so by blending like-sounding words with the sounds of vomiting. It is a joke that few speakers of Susuvski appreciate.

Tah an Tak

Tah an Tak, literally ‘Word of the Land,’ is the language of the nations of Pichu Tah and Tupu. It is the most prevalent civilized language spoken by those few tough enough to spend an extended time in the Savage lands, so despite some initial resistance, it has gained a small foothold in Kobukia as well. For many years, Tah and Tak had no written component (though it has had a detailed numbering system since before the founding of many nations), but within the past two centuries a written language system has emerged. This language has a pictorial alphabet with a virtually unlimited number of characters. A specific character is a picture of exactly what the writer wants the reader to imagine, and it’s left to the reader to piece together the meaning of multiple pictures.

Tah an Tak’s spoken component is made up primarily of monosyllabic sounds. Since Pichu Tah’s government relies on decisive command, it is usually spoken forcefully and sometimes in a clipped manner. This sometimes gives the impression that the speaker is talking down to the listener, which probably stems originally from Pichu Tah’s extended feudal system of government.

Visa Trola

Visa Trola, literally “Under Mountain,” is a language most commonly spoken among dwarves. It originally hails from the nation of Tholldan, but is commonly spoken in Hlor as well. It shares a root language (a dead language called Plutinic) with Midoneese and Reesa. It uses a slightly modified Plutinic alphabet, which is comprised of 29 characters, though many that saw the written language of Visa Trola next to another Plutinic language might mistake it for a completely different set of characters. Over the centuries, dwarven hands have tended towards stretching the characters, making them taller and thinner and more able to fit into a monospace (each character is as wide as all other characters). This tends to make the characters easier to carve into hard surfaces, like metal or stone.

When spoken, Visa Trola sounds very “to the point,” and speakers are often incorrectly assumed to be in a foul mood. This is mostly due to the word structure of the language. Except for words that end in a “rolling r” sound, words are most often spoken crisply and with the ends clipped suddenly. Visa Trola does not have a “w” sound, and when speaking in another language, a Visa Trolian accent is most obvious because “w” sounds are replaced with a “vha” sound. As a general rule, Visa Trola does not use contractions and has very few instances of prefixes or suffixes. As a result, the language has a huge vocabulary.


Zymian

Zymian is a widespread language that was once among the most commonly spoken anywhere in the civilized world. Today it’s commonly spoken in the lands of Zymia, Tyrus and southern Vastings. The Zymian Empire spread over a huge area and had several remote colonies. A few still speak the Zymian language, most notably Kobukia. The Zymian alphabet is truly huge, having more than 250 individual characters. It is written from the top of the page down to the bottom. Each character represents a single syllable instead of a specific sound. So far as written languages go, Zymian is among the most complex (some would instead say “convoluted”).

The Zymian language sounds very foreign to those unfamiliar with the language. Words are comprised of simple single-syllable parts and the language is spoken very quickly with no pause for verbal punctuation. Thus, to many it sounds as though the speaker is simply making noise or spouting off a litany of simple sounds. In reality, the spoken Zymian language is just as complex as the written language. It can be very specifically expressive, but also contains many pitfalls, since if the wrong word is used at the wrong time, it’s an excuse for the listener to find insult, which was a common source of duals to the death in ancient Zymia.

Sign Languages

Sign languages are used by various people in Eckor. Many groups of thieves, warriors and assassins have their own special sign language that is common only to members of their group. Some people with deaf friends or family develop sign languages, but no single standard sign language exists for communication with the deaf. Sign languages have no spoken components and therefore only require a single rank in Speak Language to master, but sign languages are not counted as class skills for any class, even if Speak Language is a class skill, unless that class’s description specifically states otherwise.

Orcish

The orcs of Bralda lived in slavery under the people of Thur for centuries before winning their freedom. During that time, they devised a special sign language that could be used to communicate without their slave masters noticing. It was this language that allowed the orcs to coordinate the uprising that eventually won their freedom. As knowledge of the language spread, many began to refer to it simply as ‘Orcish,’ and it has been used many times as the battle cant of elite warriors.

Orcish is primarily a hand language, and would be difficult for anyone without two hands to use. It relies heavily on subtle positioning of the hands and fingers. Basic commands can usually be given with a single hand, but a full conversation will almost always require two free hands.

Trader’s Cant

The Trader’s Cant is a sort of unofficial language that is used more by smugglers than by most honest traders. Instead of an actual language, the Trader’s Cant is more of a series of natural-looking body poses. It’s incapable of acting as a communication medium on its own, but if it’s used in conjunction with a spoken language, it acts as an innuendo that can’t be understood by those not schooled in the language.

Secret and Ancient Languages

There are many ancient and dead languages in Eckor. As well, there are many languages that are secret, whether by design or by the fact that most civilized beings are unaware of the languages’ existence. Many more secret and ancient languages exist than those detailed below. By their very nature, ancient and secret languages are extremely difficult to learn. To learn such a language, a person must either have a teacher with at least two ranks in the appropriate Speak Language skill or must have an Intelligence score of 13 or higher. A secret or ancient language may not be selected as the language a character gets 1 free skill rank in during character creation (except for Druidic, which all druids gain a free rank in at 1st level).

Druidic

The language known only as Druidic is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the world. It is a language created by and taught only to druids. No druid, whether good, neutral or evil, would ever consider teaching the Druidic language to someone that was not a druid. Though the spoken language is loosely patterned after the Sylvan language, it does have a rudimentary alphabet containing 15 characters. These characters are runes, and each represents an important aspect of a druid’s life, such as one of the elements. The alphabet is structured so that only one of the 15 characters is symmetrical. In this way, a character that is written as a mirror image of itself is the opposite of what that character represents. For example, if the rune for water is written backwards, it usually means fire, but in certain contexts, it could mean something else, such as dryness or drought. The only character that is symmetrical in the Druidic alphabet is a circle rune that means both life and death.

When spoken, Druidic is a highly ritualized language. It sounds very much like a simplified version of Sylvan spoken with hard emphasis instead of flowery tones, but though the same syllables are used, they mean very different things. Thus, someone hearing a druid speak could easily confuse Druidic for Sylvan. When druids speak to each other, they are generally quick and to the point. Words in the Druidic language usually don’t have more than two syllables, and generally don’t have multiple meanings. When possible, druids converse with each other empty-handed, as the position of the hands indicates which of the speakers is the more important or higher-ranking druid. Many other factors can dictate the course and tone of a conversation in Druidic. For example, if the speaker kneels and picks up some dirt and allows it to flow through his fingers, it symbolizes that the conversation will have bearing on the fate of the natural world (whether locally or globally), or if one druid approaches the conversation with stones in his hands, it means he considers himself the superior druid and will not speak unless this is recognized. These little nuances are far too many and varied to list.

Hieroglyph

Hieroglyph is an ancient pictorial language that is often found stamped into clay tablets or painted onto the walls of ancient tombs in the Great Desert. Hieroglyph is ancient beyond reckoning, and has been found in the oldest pyramids and tombs. It is widely believed that Hieroglyph was the language of an ancient people that had power to rival that of the gods, but somehow disappeared into the sands of the desert. Common Hieroglyphic tomb writings speak about committing the deceased person’s body to “the dark abyss,” while sending his mind and spirit free from the concerns of mortal beings.

As a language, Hieroglyph is effectively dead. Except for the occasional eclectic ruler or rich merchant who pays to decorate the inside of his tomb with Hieroglyph writing, no one uses the language anymore. Hieroglyph has no spoken components and therefore requires a single rank in Speak Language to read and two ranks to master, but it is not counted as a class skill for any class, even if Speak Language is a class skill, unless that class’s description specifically states otherwise.


High Draconic
High Draconic is an ancient language spoken primarily by dragons. It shares some characteristics with Low Draconic, but High Draconic is a much more cultured and advanced language. High Draconic’s alphabet is comprised of 73 characters. The written language does not use punctuation. Instead, each sentence is written on its own from the top of the page down. Many of the characters in the High Draconic alphabet represent both a letter and a number. As well, many characters double as prefixes or suffixes to a word, which is used to symbolize a particular emotion. Because of its complexity and its ability to dictate emotion, High Draconic was chosen long ago as the universal written language of arcane magic.

When spoken, High Draconic is generally spoken from the throat as much as from the mouth, with many hissing and croaking sounds. The tongue is often rolled lightly, with the intensity of the roll being used to show the intensity of an emotion. The position of the speaker’s head is used as much as the facial features to display emotion. With dragons, the position of the wings and sometimes the tail as well are also used in this manner. A character that can speak High Draconic at a conversational level (1 skill rank) knows the words, but generally does not know enough about the body language of High Draconic to make use of it. A character that masters High Draconic (4 skill ranks) knows as much as possible about both the spoken language and body language and is able to converse with no trouble. Additionally, while he may not be able to mimic the movements himself (unless he has wings and a tail), he knows how to read the body language a of a dragon as well.

Despite their differences (which dragons will often go on and on about), there are some similarities between High Draconic and Low Draconic. Anyone that has a rank in one of the two languages can speak and understand the other as though he had half a rank in it. Thus, a conversational speaker of High Draconic may have a very rudimentary understanding of Low Draconic when he hears it spoken.

Plutinic

Plutinic is a trade language that was in common use in the civilized world for several centuries. Around 2000 years ago, as national borders became more solidified, Plutinic saw a decline in usage. Other less-complex languages began to see more use, and the Plutinic language itself was gutted in several places to make it less complicated, resulting in the formation of the languages of Midoneese, Reesa and Visa Trola.

Plutinic is an overly-complicated language that follows rules that more modern languages abandoned centuries ago, or never had in the first place. As a result, even though it has the same alphabet as Midoneese, Reesa and Visa Trola, native speakers of those languages cannot understand written Plutinic. Very few people still speak Plutinic aloud, and it is generally only taught among sages interested in reading non-translated historical accounts. Though some Plutinic phrases survive in famous historical accounts or law books, it is effectively a dead language.

Sylvan

Sylvan is the language of the fey. It is spoken by fairies and nymphs, satyrs and centaurs and all the other fey creatures residing both in the Prime Material Plane and the Feywild. The Sylvan language does not have an alphabet or a written component, and therefore only requires two skill ranks to master. Different races of fey speak Sylvan differently. For instance, most sprites speak the language so quickly that it often sounds like little more than a series of flutters and clicks, whereas centaurs and satyrs often speak gruffly and from the diaphragm. Regardless of the speaker, however, the Sylvan language always has a special quality to it, like the listener is remembering the sound of leaves rustling in the wind or the flapping of a bird’s wings. Despite its “flowery” sound, Sylvan is a language capable of expressing a full range of emotions, anger and hatred included.

Tah an Pak Tak

Tah an Pak Tak is an ancient pictorial language that was used in the regions of Pichu Tah, Tupu and the Savage Lands thousands of years ago. No one is certain exactly who invented the language, but it’s carved on the walls, both inner and outer, of many ancient temples and ziggurats. Some of the oldest carvings speak of the Calendar of Times, and seem to date back to the first Times. Many other carvings detail powerful creatures and heroic figures and speak of ancient nameless gods that fought for dominance of the lands.

Tah an Pak Tak is a dead language. No one uses it anymore, though archeologists, tomb robbers and some scholars of history study the language. Tah an Pak Tak has no spoken components and therefore requires a single rank in Speak Language to read and two ranks to master, but it is not counted as a class skill for any class, even if Speak Language is a class skill, unless that class’s description specifically states otherwise.

Undercommon

This language does not have a word or name for itself in its lexicon. The dwarves that tunnel deep into the mountains call it verfluchte zunge (“cursed tongue”), but it’s generally referred to as “Undercommon” by the few civilized people who speak the language. Undercommon has an alphabet with a virtually infinite number of characters. The written language is almost pictorial, with different elements added to or subtracted from a character to change its meaning. It can be a difficult language to read, even for someone schooled in it. The written language itself is somewhat frightening, as each character is made up of several pointed lines, giving it the look of a wickedly-crafted blade.

Undercommon is a harsh language to most ears. It has a sound that is alien to most other spoken languages, and has many sounds that can’t be classified as either consonant or vowel. It is spoken from the throat and contains a lot of phlegm-drenched rolling of the throat. This fact alone has convinced many that the language originated with the illithid, though it is spoken by other deep-dwelling races as well.


Languages of the Uncivilized World

The areas of the world widely called uncivilized are home to many different races and perhaps hundreds of different languages. Those who journey into these areas or regularly fight off incursion from them often understand a little bit of an uncivilized language or two, all the better to given them an edge over their opponents. Many more uncivilized languages exist than those detailed below, possibly numbering in the hundreds.

Goblin

Goblin is a very harsh language that is spoken by goblinoid creatures, such as bugbears and hobgoblins. These creatures can be found in small pockets all over the world, and are often exterminated as soon as they are discovered, but the largest mass of them is in the Uncivilized Lands. As a result, Goblin is a language spoken by many in The Borderlands. It has a surprisingly well-defined alphabet of 23 characters, and a number system that is based on 8, rather than 10, like most other systems.

As a general rule, goblinoids have extremely guttural voices, and their language reflects this. It is spoken mostly from the back of the throat, and has a number of rumbling sounds incorporated into words. These rumbling sounds help set the tone of the conversation, and they often mark which of the speakers is in the dominant position.


Low Draconic

Low Draconic is a very bastardized dialect of High Draconic. While High Draconic is spoken almost exclusively by dragons, Low Draconic is spoken by many of the reptilian creatures of the world, such as kobolds, lizardfolk and troglodytes. It uses the same alphabet as High Draconic, but it’s rare that a creature that speaks Low Draconic will have need of writing, and even more rare that such a creature would choose to pepper its writing with symbols of emotion.

Upon first hearing it spoken, a listener might guess that Low Draconic is an entirely different language than High Draconic. In truth, they are different dialects of the same language. Compared to High Draconic, Low Draconic sounds stretched and tortured. The spoken element comes more from the mouth and less from the throat, and is often accompanied by hissing sounds. Low Draconic has an expanded vocabulary of words dealing with some of the darker aspects of existence, such as war, pain, death and the like, but is not capable of expressing the same range of emotions as High Draconic.

Despite their differences, there are some similarities between High Draconic and Low Draconic. Anyone that has a rank in one of the two languages can speak and understand the other as though he had half a rank in it. Thus, a conversational speaker of High Draconic may have a very rudimentary understanding of Low Draconic when he hears it spoken.

Ogre

Ogre is the default name of the language spoken by ogres and trolls. Neither race has ever gone on record with a proper name for their language, though most from the civilized nations wouldn’t care if they did. Ogre has no alphabet, as most ogres and trolls are tuninterested in writing anything down.

Ogre is a very strong, harsh language that makes great use of the deep voices typical of ogres and trolls. It is full of bass sounds and features hissing sounds occasionally as well. Some have reported that Ogre is a language of single-syllable words, but this is not true. Ogres and trolls just tend to speak at a pace slow enough that their words can sound broken up. When faced with creatures less physically powerful than themselves, trolls rarely speak at all. Ogres, on the other hand, can sometimes have a surprising vocabulary for creatures with as little intellect as they have. This is due partly to the fact that Ogre has very few individual sounds, so once two or three sounds are learned, they can be combined into hundreds of words.

Outside Languages

Most people in Eckor are not aware of the existence of other planes of reality. Therefore, learning of the existence of other planes or meeting a creature native to another plane is generally required to learn an outside language. To begin learning an outside language, a person must have at least one rank in the Knowledge (the planes) skill. An outside language may not be selected as the language a character gets 1 free skill rank in during character creation.

Aquan

The language of Aquan most likely began on the Elemental Plane of Water. It is spoken by a few water-based creatures in Eckor, however, such as merfolk. While no written language exists among the elementals, some of the more intelligent mortal speakers of Aquan use a basic pictorial language. While there are many hundreds of possible characters in this language, it can be difficult to read, as different races use different characters, or even some of the same characters that mean completely different things. A reader of Aquan that comes across an unfamiliar written dialect must make a Decipher Script check (DC 20, if the character has 2 ranks in the proper Speak Language skill, DC 15 if he has 3 ranks) to be able to properly read the dialect.

At a basic level, Aquan is not an overly difficult language for mortals to speak. It’s comprised mainly of sounds that resonate in the throat, like humming. This is enough to carry on the most basic of communications, however,some of the more advanced language relies heavily on the intake and expulsion of water through the throat. Someone who has mastered the Aquan language (4 ranks) can certainly understand advanced Aquan speech, but is himself limited to basic communication unless he has the ability to breathe water.

Auran

Auran is a language that probably began on the Elemental Plane of Air. There are very few creatures native to Eckor that speak the language, but exceptions do exist, such as giant eagles. Generally whimsical by nature and bound to no solid object, creatures of air have never created an alphabet. As a result, only two ranks in the appropriate Speak Language skill are required to master it.

Auran is spoken by sucking or blowing air. The sound is generated completely in the mouth, as the air passes through the lips. By positioning the lips differently, many different sounds can be achieved. Thunderclaps and whistles often accompany these sounds. Most mortals aren’t capable of creating a true thunderclap with their lungs, but they can generally get their point across. The few wizards that understand Auran sometimes use it amongst themselves like a secret language, since it’s very easy to disguise their speech as little more than breathing.

Celestial

Celestial is a language of the higher planes of good. It is used primarily by good outsiders, such as angels and celestials. The Celestial alphabet is made up of 49 individual characters. Each character represents both a sound and a specific word. Thus, one character might be both a hard ah sound, as well as meaning ‘love,’ if used on its own. The language is written vertically, from the top of the page down, and its characters are fairly simple, being mostly circles connected by various types of lines (straight, squiggly, etc). Because of its divine source and its ability to function as a limited shorthand, Celestial was chosen long ago as the written language of divine magic by many of the churches dedicated to deities of good.

Celestial is a very beautiful language. Some claim that to hear it spoken from the lips of an angel is like hearing the soft tinkling of dozens of bells ringing. Otherwise, it sounds much like many mortal languages. ‘W’ sounds are often drawn out, and most sentences tend to end on an upnote. Among the uneducated, Celestial is often thought of as the language of the gods, which has allowed more than one educated charlatan to take advantage of them.

Fiendish

Fiendish is the primary language spoken on the lower planes of evil. It is mainly used by evil outsiders, such as demons, devils and yugoloths. The Fiendish alphabet is comprised of 42 characters. Like the Celestial alphabet, the Fiendish alphabet’s characters each represent both a sound and an specific word. Thus, one character might be both a sharp “ch” sound as well as meaning ‘rage,’ if used on its own. Fiendish is written from right to left, and as though to spite Celestial’s simplicity, its characters are brutally complex. When looking at a character from the Fiendish alphabet, one gets the impression that there’s a geometric pattern lying just beneath the surface, and that if one could wrap his mind around it, a greater understanding of the universe could be reached.

Fiendish is a utilitarian language. Despite any effort made by the speaker, Fiendish can never sound beautiful. Some have described it as the sound of metal buckling and being wrenched against itself, screeching in protest the whole way. Others have marked it as the tortured screams of the damned as hooks and razors dig into their flesh. The one thing that everyone agrees on is that when it’s spoken with conviction, Fiendish is a language that demands to be heard.

Ignan

Ignan is a language of fire creatures. Like the other elemental languages, it most likely began on another plane, in this case the Elemental Plane of Fire. True creatures of fire are somewhat more common in Eckor than those of the other elements, resulting in Ignan being a more commonly-used language. Like air creatures, creatures of fire are generally bound to no solid object –at least, not one that will not be destroyed by their passing– so no alphabet has ever been developed for the Ignan language. As a result, only two ranks in the appropriate Speak Language skill are required to master it.

When spoken, Ignan bears a passing resemblance to Auran to the untrained ear. It is comprised primarily of the windy sounds of flames being stoked. Popping and crackling noises are also sparingly used, but the bulk of the spoken language is made by passing air out of the lungs while keeping a gravelly throat. This results in something approximating the true sound of fire, at least close enough that it can be understood by speakers of Ignan.

Terran

Terran is a language of earth, and was most likely created on the Elemental Plane of Earth. Of the elemental languages, it is the least-likely to be used in Eckor. Terran has no alphabet, as earth-based creatures are not likely to require written communication. As a result, only two ranks in the appropriate Speak Language skill are required to master it.

Terran is a very odd language to mortal ears. To hear it spoken is like listening to gravel roll and stones grate against one another. It is often punctuated with loud snapping sounds that resemble the cracking of boulders. All but the most basic of sounds are impossible for most mortal throats to imitate. Most mortals that wish to communicate in Terran instead of just understanding it when it’s heard, use a pair of stones, which are rubbed together, struck against one another and occasionally slammed hard enough to sound as though they’ve been split.

The Aureshan Empire

Capitol: Aureshtolrea_aureshan_superlowres

Population: 30,000,000 (48% humans, 10% gnomes, 10% half-elves, 10% dwarves, 8% elves, 7% orcs, 5% half-orcs, 2% other)

Exports: Manufactured goods, grain, livestock, wine, books

Auresh

Metropolis, population 135,303 (79% human, 9% dwarf, 5% halfling, 2% gnome, 2% elf, 1% half-elf, 1% half-orc, 1% other)

GP Limit: 150,000 gp

Cash on Hand (Total for City): 1,014,772,500 gp

Political Map

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Physical Map

Click the image below for a larger image.

Calendars

The Passage of Time

The world of Eckor is old by the standards of its nations. The oldest item ever discovered by archeology that can be conclusively proven to have been created by humanoid hands is a metal helmet found in a small tomb in Taj-Alid. According to magical investigation, it dates back 6578 years, which is more than 1500 years older than the oldest calendar system in use today. Among the few that are aware of other planes of existence, a small number are aware that there are other civilizations in the universe that are far older than that of Eckor.

Regardless of how time is measured by an individual, for the purposes of spells, powers and effects that last a specific amount of time, a day is one full rotation of Eckor on its axis. This takes 24 hours. A year is one full rotation of Eckor around its sun. This takes 384 days. Regardless of the individual calendar of the land, an effect that has a duration measured in days or years uses these numbers as the duration. Additionally, any effect that has a duration measured in weeks lasts for 8 days per week, and any effect that has a duration measured in months lasts for 32 days per month.

The Imperial Calendar
Since the founding of The Empire, trade all over the civilized world has increased greatly. Commerce has spread across the world, opening the borders of many nations. As Imperial has become the de facto language of trade and commerce, so too has the Imperial calendar spread and been adopted by many. The various nations of the Empire use it almost to the exclusion of any other calendar. Many other areas have adopted it as well, seeing the spread of Imperial values as an inevitability. Across the civilized world, almost anyone that is involved in trade or commerce in any meaningful way will have a basic understanding of the Imperial calendar.

The Imperial calendar is separated into two suffixed parts. IC, meaning ‘Imperial calendar,’ refers to a year after the founding of the Empire. The current year is 856 IC. PIC, meaning ‘pre-Imperial calendar,’ refers to a year before the founding of the Empire. PIC dates count backwards from the founding date, so a date two hundred years before the founding of the Empire will be referenced as 200 PIC.

The Imperial calendar is based on a 384 day year. The year is separated into twelve months. The year begins with the month of Trayh, which makes up spring along with the months of Devel and Harken. Summer follows in the months of Naamor, Rola and Hendor. Vera, Timor and Sylar make up Autumn and the year finishes with the winter months of Hathor, Wray and Druja. The first day of each month is generally called ‘Firstday’ and the last day of the month is called ‘Lastday.’ A full moon occurs each month, and the day following a full moon is generally called ‘Moonday.” Each month is split into four weeks, each containing eight days.

Example: Today is Firstday of Hathor, 384. We will be reading about the infamous Battle of Green Wood, which happened on the fourth day of Druja, 127 PIC.


The Years of Shi’al
The Years of Shi’al is the world’s oldest numerical calendar, and goes back farther than any major calendar in use today. By and large, it is only used by the nation of Al-Amim and is, as everything adopted by the leading government of Al-Amim, a tribute to the god Shi’al. The current year is 4993 and Shi’al’s faithful claim that this calendar began the year that Shi’al created his chosen and gave them the land of Al-Amim.

Shi’al is a sun god, and his followers were among the first to pinpoint the revolution of Eckor around the sun at 384 days. Each year is broken down into several ‘cycles,’ which begin with the first full moon or dark moon (new moon) of the year and last until the next full or dark moon. Each cycle lasts approximately 14 days, and there are usually 23 or 24 cycles in a year. The cycles act somewhat like months in more modern calendars, with times being recorded by the number of like phases that have come before in the year.

Example: “Today is the eighth day of the fourth dark cycle in the Year of Shi’al 4993.”­

The end of a cycle usually does not coincide with the end of the 384 day year. A cycle that begins in one year and ends in another is called a “continuing cycle.” A continuing cycle is not considered the first such cycle of a new year, and the next two cycles will be called the first dark and full cycles of the new year. When recorded, a date during a continuing cycle is recorded as such using the new year.

Example: “Today is the fourth day of the continuing full cycle in the Year of Shi’al 4993.”­


The Desert Calendar
By its proper name, the Desert Calendar is called the Calendar of Salid et Heis, which translates to the ‘Calendar of Sun and Sand.’ It is an old calendar that spans more than 4000 years of time. The Desert Calendar is broken down into three eras, the First Era (FE), the Second Era (SE) and the Common Era (CE). The First Era ended when the great wizard Najm ad-Din Mustadi, who was advisor to the great kings of the day, disappeared with much concern after performing the ritual of lichdom. The years of the First Era are listed backwards, with the first year being the year before the Second Era begins and the rest of the years stretching out to infinity across the past. The Second Era lasted 1834 years, and ended during a night of destruction when the stars rained from the sky. The years of the Second Era are counted ahead, with the first year being the year after the First Era. The years of the Common Era are counted ahead, with the first year being the year after the Second Era. The current year is 473 CE.
The recording of time is somewhat less important to most denizens of the desert than to those that specialize in very specific fields, such as astronomy, archeology or arcane study. Most desert dwellers mark the passage of time in great lengths, rather than in smaller portions. Instead of being based in weeks or months, the Desert Calendar records time by use of the equinoxes and solstices. The year begins on the date of the summer solstice, and the dates of the northward equinox (which occurs in spring), winter solstice and southward equinox (which occurs in autumn) are also important, as they mark one in sh’hai, which translates roughly as ‘heavenly rotation’ or ‘shift in the heavens.’ The time between these events is generally between 95 and 97 days, which means that there is often a difference of a few days between a year in the Desert Calendar and other calendars that keep more accurate track of the days in a year.

Example: “Today is the twentieth day since the northward equinox in the year 473 CE.”­


The Zymian Calendar
Upon the founding of the Zymian Empire almost 1400 years ago, a new calendar system was established as one of many means to pacify and unify the various tribes and peoples that had been conquered under the Zymian flag. At first, it was little more than a means to count the number of years that Zymia was the world’s largest empire. However, over the centuries that Zymia remained an effective world power, the calendar was added to and changed to suit the needs of the times and occasionally to play to the ego of a dictator. While the Zymian Empire has ceased to be a major world power, Zymia and several of the lands she influenced, most notably Inama and Kobukia, continue to use the Zymian Calendar.

The Zymian Calendar is a yearly calendar of 384 days. Time is separated into two groups, the Years of the Zymian Empire (YZE) and everything that happened before the founding of the empire (BZE). The years before the Zymian Empire are counted backwards from the Founding Year (1 YZE), and contain a zero year. Thus, the year before the founding of the Zymian Empire is 0 BZE, the year before that is 1 BZE and so on. The current year is 1382 YZE.

Each year is comprised of 8 months, each named for generals and dictators that were popular or powerful enough to immortalize themselves by insinuating their names on the recording of time. From the beginning of the year to the end, the months are named Baccinai, Dromos, Hevelina, Marius, Ptrovinus, Serverinei, Titus and Trovius. Each month lasts for 48 days, and each contains at least one minor holiday called a ‘Feastday.’ During a Feastday, most businesses close, and the wealthy and important throw lavish parties, either for those who serve under them or for peers in an effort to gain station. The year begins on the festival day of Ferrinalia, the holiday commemorating the founding of the Zymian Empire.

Example: “Today is the eighteenth day of Dromos, 1382 YZE.”­

The Calendar of Times
The lands north of the Empire have traditionally used a calendar system known as the Calendar of Times. It is widely thought that this calendar is the oldest in the civilized world, since stone carvings at religious sites date the calendar back over 5300 years. The nations of Pichu Tah and Tupu use the Calendar of Times to the exclusion of any other system. The city-states that make up the nation of Mon Gaar used this calendar in ancient times, but have adapted to using the Imperial Calendar. Still, old superstitions persist, and it’s widely believed in Mon Gaar that some aspects of a person’s personality and perhaps even his destiny can be determined based on which Time he was born in. Some archeologists have theorized that the Calendar of Times may have originated in the Savage Lands, as some ancient sites have been discovered there with extremely old calendar stones.

The Calendar of Times is a cyclic system that records time in 10-year cycles called ‘Times.’ There are 10 times, named (in order) Dragon, Water, Ape, Serpent, Angel, Naga, Crocodile, Stone, Demon and Jaguar. When one Time is over, the next begins and the circle continues. Therefore, when the Time of the Jaguar is over, a new Time of the Dragon begins. According to the oldest temple in Pichu Tah, it is currently the 6th year of the 53rd time of the crocodile.

Example: “The last earthquake this village felt was long ago, in the 8th year of the 53rd time of the Naga.”­

Imperial Pantheon

Deities of the Imperial Nations

The deities mentioned below do not represent the entirety of every deity worshipped by members of the Imperial nations. Innumerable other deities are worshiped, be they real or not. Those deities mentioned below are the focus of some of the larger or more politically influential churches in the Empire. The deities mentioned below do not fall into any sort of collective or a true pantheon. The only tie that binds most of these deities together is that the majority of their worshippers live among the Imperial nations.

Drey (Dray)
The Platinum Knight, General Drey, The Lord of Battle
Symbol: Two swords clashing with a shower of sparks
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Honorable combat, war, the souls of dead soldiers
Domains: Law, Protection, War
Favored Weapon: Longsword

Drey is The Platinum Knight, the warrior of warriors. His cause is to find honor and glory through righteous battle. His clerics are holy warriors and leaders of great armies that fight just and honorable battles in the name of their holy General.

Dogma
The most important weapon a warrior can have is his honor. A warrior without honor is a warrior that is destined to fall by his own folly. Only through the fires of honorable combat can the soul be purified and forged to ultimate perfection. Death is a small price to pay for glory, and true glory holds the key to a warrior’s immortality. Those who attain glory in battle and fight with honor are afforded a special place in The Heavens, where they may fight at Drey’s side for all eternity.

Temples and Clergy
There are relatively few temples dedicated to Drey. Those that do exist are as much war colleges as places of worship. The philosophy of Drey’s teaching says that every true and honorable warrior carries his own temple within his heart. Services, be they in a temple or in a camp just prior to a battle, are usually filled with references to great battles and warriors from history, which are meant to inspire the listener to greater acts of glory.

Clerics dedicated to Drey are among the most fanatical warriors in the world. They never back down and they only retreat when there would be no glory in dying at the hands of the enemy. They tend to do little evangelizing, preferring to prove the rightness of their dogma through action, be it a one-on-one duel or a full-scale war. Drey’s clerics generally forego typical cleric vestments, and favor battle-scarred armor covered in symbols of their faith.

Hamon-Ti (Hay mon tee)
Lady of the Hunt, Primus, The Bear
Symbol: A bear’s paw the with an arrow behind it.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Hunting, tracking, predators, primal nature
Domains: Animal, Chaos, Strength
Favored Weapon: Longbow

Hamon-Ti is nature itself. She is the primal animal spirit and the thrill of the hunt. Those who revere Hamon-Ti recognize and embrace the chaotic order of the natural world.

Dogma
All things have an instinct to survive at any cost, and all things carry inside them a killer’s instinct. There need be no malice in it, but every living thing must kill to survive. The predator stalks and kills his prey for survival, but also for the thrill of the hunt. The thrill of the hunt honors the prey and thanks it for the gift of life it has given. Those who ignore this fact and allow their instincts to be dulled by allowing others to provide for them for too long are destined to one day become prey themselves.

Temples and Clergy
There are not many proper temples dedicated to Hamon-Ti. Where ground is consecrated in Hamon-Ti’s name, standing stones and stone circles are used in place of closed buildings. These are generally in fairly out of the way locations, such as forest clearings, but a few do exist near towns and cities for service to the faithful that choose to live in urban areas.

Clerics dedicated to Hamon-Ti are usually as much hunters as priests. They maintain the sites holy to Hamon-Ti and guide others towards her teachings. In some areas, clerics of Hamon-Ti are heads of local druid circles, acting as a direct line between the goddess and her followers. Many rangers, druids and hunting enthusiasts revere Hamon-Ti as well.

Hahr’ur (Har ur)
The Reaper, Lord of the Dead, The Final Judge
Symbol: A disembodied head wearing an executioner’s hood.
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Death, execution, divine judgment
Domains: Destruction, Evil*, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Scythe

* Replace desecrate with death knell and create undead with planar ally (evil creatures only).

Hahr’ur is the lord of death and the arbiter of souls. He is the final judge of the dead before a soul is sent to its eventual fate. It’s often said that he is a harsh judge.

Dogma
All things that live eventually die. How one lives decides whether the soul flies free or is weighed down by the chains of guilt and responsibility. Those that live a life of innocence and value are judged fairly on the scales of Hahr’ur, and ascend to the highest Heaven. Those whose souls are burdened by the chains of their deeds, however, tip the scales of Haur’ur and slide to the deepest Hell. Those who attempt to escape judgment by cheating death must be hunted down and destroyed.

Temples and Clergy
Temples dedicated to Hahr’ur exist, but they are widely unpopular in most places. Many see the foundation of a temple dedicated to a death god as a sign that people will soon die. Where Hahr’ur’s temples are concerned, they are correct. Very occasionally, a temple of Haur’ur will arise near an area plagued by undead. In this case, they are warily welcomed by the locals, as Haur’ur despises the undead and his followers actively hunt them down and destroy them.

Clerics of Hahr’ur are often called reapers. While they take no vow to it, they are usually silent, speaking only occasionally. They wear black robes and shave their heads, tattooing their bald heads and faces with scripture in a language that is gibberish to most. Most menacing of all, however, are the scythes they carry with them. When a temple of Hahr’ur is established, people disappear. Unknown to most of the public, authorities at the temple watch the local population and pass judgment on them in seemingly-random patterns. Once judgment is passed, the reapers carry out the sentence of death.

Reapers are among the very few clerics in Eckor that do not evangelize. As they silently carry out their mysterious and grim business, no shortage of prospective priests submit themselves to the clergy of Hahr’ur. Most do not survive the dark rituals that are part of a priest’s education, but those who do go on to become reapers themselves.

Hephesius (Hu fez e us)
The Harvester, The Straw Man
Symbol: A bundle of harvested grain
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Domesticated plants and animals, the rain, astrological events
Domains: Animal, Plant, Water
Favored Weapon: Sickle

Hephesius is the farmer’s god. He controls the rains that feed harvests and tells mortals when to harvest with signs from The Heavens.

Dogma
Hephesius is a loving master who watches over simple people and helps them make the best of their lot. It was Hephesius that first taught mortals the skills of farming and animal husbandry. Hard effort pleases him and results in a good harvest. Those who slack or try to benefit from the work of others are cursed with a fruitless harvest. In his displeasure, Hephesius allows blight and famine to slip into the world, for as a burned field clears room for a healthy crop, so too does the will of Hephesius make a community healthier.

Temples and Clergy
Hephesius has few temples. He is the god of simple farmers and herders and though many worship him fervently, services to his name are often conducted in barns or open fields instead of temples of stone and glass. Nothing in his dogma decrees the need for sacrifice, but many of the faithful do so anyway, tithing an animal or a portion of their harvest to their local cleric. Most often, this tithe is returned directly to the community during a feast after the Harvest Moon.

Clerics dedicated to Hephesius are likely to be somewhat more rustic than many other clerics. Like the people they shepherd, they are often farmers or herders as well, and work just as hard as their charges. Most often, they are responsible for agricultural advice and veterinary assistance, but they also act as horse whisperers and often as community leaders as well. Their main function, however, is to pronounce the moons, a process that identifies when a sign from Hephesius dictates that fields should be planted or harvested, when the best time for animal breeding is and the like. In many communities, this is largely ceremonial, but in some areas, a harvest won’t occur until a cleric pronounces the will of Hephesius.

O’haara (O har a)
Wavemaster, Lord of the Tides
Symbol: A cresting wave
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: The sea, aquatic creatures, storms
Domains: Air, Chaos, Luck, Water
Favored Weapon: Trident

O’haara is the expansive ocean and god of all above and below his waters. Even among humans, he is most often represented as a gnome, and is in fact the patron god of most gnomes.

Dogma
While the sea has the outward appearance of ordered calm, under the waves lies another world, a chaotic collection of life that violently resists any attempt at structure or order. The sea has the power to conjure great storms, and its denizens can drag down the strongest of ships. However, the sea also provides, and gives back to those who respect its power.

Temples and Clergy
Those who make a living from the sea are superstitious by nature. A temple dedicated to O’haara can be found in almost every port city and fishermen’s village. Sailors, fishermen, whalers and even pirates quickly learn to respect the sea, and even the toughest of them at least give lip service to O’haara. His temples are rarely fancy establishments, often being made from bits of broken ships that wash up as flotsam, but they are rarely empty in an area with a sizable number of people that live and die by the sea.

Clerics dedicated to O’haara are often most active in marine ecology. They speak out against overfishing and the pollution of the sea. They also tend to be hard workers, being every bit as willing as the next man to haul a net or help construct a new dock. The services of a cleric of O’haara are in high demand among captains. The ability to influence the sea in positive way and control the wind a vessel sails by are prized benefits.

Shimar (Shee im ar)
Mindbender, He Who Knows, Lord of the Mind
Symbol: A humanoid head profile with a glowing mind showing through
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Psionics, forgotten and lost knowledge, the mind
Domains: Knowledge, Mind*, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Sling

* new domain; see below

Shimar is the master of the mind. All things known and all things forgotten are his jurisdiction. No secret can be kept from him, for the mind is his domain. Shimar is the patron god of many who practice psionics. The number of clerics dedicated to him is small, though they hardly seem concerned with that triviality.

Dogma
All thoughts are sacred things and should be shared with the universe. While sentience and independent thought are the first steps to enlightenment, psionics is a greater form of thought process that is more highly evolved. Through speech, people make their will known with their words, but through psionics, people make their will manifest through their thoughts. Controlling, manipulating or even suppressing thought processes is merely a way to impose one’s will on another, but permanently blocking or destroying a being’s ability to produce thought altogether is as great a crime as any in the world. Death is a natural part of life, even ascension to a higher form of thought, but intentionally causing brain death will bring Shimar’s wrath upon the offender.

Temples and Clergy
Temples dedicated to Shimar are almost non-existent, as there are usually not enough clerics or acolytes in any one area to maintain anything resembling a permanent structure. Most guildhalls belonging to the Guild of the Mind have at least a small shrine dedicated to Shimar. Most of Shimar’s believers come from the psychic population, though many among the guild offer little more than lip service.

Clerics of Shimar are usually very aloof and preoccupied. They are constantly thinking about some problem or puzzle in an effort to forward the will of their deity. Members of the general public usually consider them to be arrogant or on a high horse due to their constant detachment. Clerics tend to favor rusty red colored robes or cloaks and usually wear them with the hood thrown forward.

Mind Domain*
Granted Power:
Once per day, you may manifest one psionic power as a psion of your cleric level. Upon taking the Mind domain, choose one psionic power you qualify for. When you gain a new level, you many choose to replace your current power with a new psionic power, but you may only know one power in this fashion at a time. The power may come from any psionic discipline and may be augmented, but must have a power point cost equal to or less than your cleric level and follow the normal rules for augmentation.

Add Knowledge (psionics) and Psicraft to your list of cleric class skills.

Mind Domain Spells
1 Charm Person:
Makes one person your friend.
2 Detect Thoughts:
Allows “listening” to surface thoughts.
3 Clairaudience/Clairvoyance:
Hear or see at a distance for 1 min./level.
4 Modify Memory:
Changes 5 minutes of subject’s memories.
5 Mind Fog:
Subjects in fog get –10 to Will and Wis checks.
6 Telepathic Bond:
Link lets allies communicate.
7 Antipathy:
Object or location affected by spell repels certain creatures.
8 Mind Blank:
Subject is immune to mental/emotional magic and scrying.
9 Astral Projection:
Projects you and companions onto Astral Plane.

*Note that taking the Mind domain bestows the psionic subtype on the cleric. See page 68 of the Expanded Psionics Handbook for more information.

Tuganja (To gan ja)
Khan of Khans, Lord Protector, The Strongest One
Symbol: A broken chain
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: Orcs, freedom, strength
Domains: Chaos, Good, Protection, Strength
Favored Weapon: Orc Double Axe

Tuganja is a deity of protection and freedom. While under his protection, no one will ever be cruelly subjugated and bent to the labor or will of another. He is revered by orcs and freed slaves, and secretly sought by those still in servitude.

Dogma
No person belongs to another. No person has the right to own another as property, to tell another what to do or think or believe. Under the protection of Tuganja, no one will be a slave to another for long. But freedom is as much a privilege as a right and must be earned. The weak-willed who bow down and never raise a single question in protest are not deserving of Tuganja’s protection. Only those who will stand up and fight for their freedom are heard. The strong must protect the weak, but the weak must not be afraid to become strong.

Temples and Clergy
Tuganja’s temples are found in many places in Eckor. There are very few in the nations of the Great Desert, but it’s difficult to find a village or town in Bralda that doesn’t have at least one shrine. Tuganja’s dogma is welcome in the nations of the Empire and many non-denominational temples include Tuganja next to other deities of the common people.

Tuganja’s clerics tend to be as much warriors as priests. Most try to spread their message of hope through displays of great skill and strength. His clerics tend to work by inspiring hope in others and whenever they find a people enslaved, they consider it their duty to inspire the slaves to rise up in freedom. Clerics of Tuganja favor armor instead of clerical robes, but many have started wearing blue capes with the symbol of Tuganja as a clasp to make themselves known.

Veni Raci (Ve ni Ra se)
The Wellspring, The All-Knowing Mistress, She Who Sees and Knows
Symbol: A book with an open eye on the cover
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Arcane magic, enchanted items
Domains: Knowledge, Magic, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff

Veni Raci is the ebb and flow of arcane magic. Every spell that is cast, every scroll that is used, every hidden pool of arcane energy is a piece of her. Without her, arcane magic would quickly shrivel up and fade away.

Dogma
Magic is everywhere. It surrounds and infuses everything in the world. Blessed are those who learn to shape it and mold it to their will, for they will begin to realize their true potential. Most cursed are those who would destroy magic in any form or by any means. Magic is a force to be used and protected.

Temples and Clergy
Temples of Veni Raci are not very commonplace. Most exist in the southern civilized nations, since Veni Raci was originally a deity worshiped by the Zymian Empire. More often that not, the guildhall of a mage’s guild will have some token shrine dedicated to her.

Clerics that dedicate themselves to Veni Raci are not especially common. Most that believe that arcane magic is a special force become arcane casters themselves. Still, they do exist, many taking up arcane magic as well as divine, and some even becoming mystic theurges. Clerics of Veni Raci tend to favor brown or dark red robes covered in all manner of arcane writings, which sets them apart from the average arcane caster.

Wis’a (We sa)
The Healer, The Lover, The Blue Lady
Symbol: A blue heart
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Healing, love
Domains: Good, Healing, Protection
Favored Weapon: Shortbow

Wis’a is the personification of all that is good and warm and loving. She is responsible for lovers finding their soulmates and for the healing of broken hearts. She is equally known as a healer and protector of the downtrodden.

Dogma
Wis’a loves everything and everyone. The arrows of her angels fly straight and true and wherever they land, love is certain to blossom. She is troubled by sickness and disease, and commits her followers to healing the wounds of the world. Through truest love and honest faith, anyone can realize the love Wis’a bears for them and the entire world.

Temples and Clergy
Wis’a may have more temples dedicated to her than any other deity in the Imperial nations. These range from giant cathedrals of stone and stained glass to tiny hovels maintained by a single faithful priest. The smallest temples rarely charge for their healing services, while some of the larger ones do, but do a good bit of charitable work as well.

Clerics of Wis’a are almost always among the kindest souls anyone would want to meet. They are interested in spreading the love of their deity through healing, but it would be a very rare cleric who withholds divine healing to someone of another faith. Clerics dedicated to Wis’a rarely become warriors, but many spend a good portion of time as battlefield medics, and some do occasionally join an expedition to lay to rest a group of unruly undead. Clerics of Wis’a favor white robes with a blue heart sewn in. They also tend to favor turquoise in any jewelry they wear.

Yangu (Yang gu)

Holy Light, The Good Son, The God of Day
Symbol: Half a broken heart, always white.
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: Healing, love, the sun
Domains: Good, Law, Sun
Favored Weapon: Flail

Yangu is the good personification of a dual-natured deity. Together with his twin sister, Yinga, they make up one body with two minds.

Dogma
Everyone and everything is sacred in its own way. Every living thing has the capacity to both love and hate. Oppose the forces that would kill and destroy, but never hate them. Hate is a tool of the Dark Half, and must not be used by those who wish to remain pure. Look inside always and tend to the light of love and forgiveness until it outshines hate and darkness.

Temples and Clergy
Temples dedicated to Yangu tend to be grand affairs. They often feature stained glass and large, open sunwindows int he ceilings of the common rooms to allow the light to fill the temple. One sect of Yangu's worshippers build temples that offer worship and praise to the deity's twin sister, Yinga, as well (referring to the two synonymously as "The Dichonomy").

Clerics of Yangu are extremely active among the smallfolk. They preach tolerance and understanding and encourage worshippers not only to forgive wrongs done to them by others, but to look within themselves and recognize the potential for darkness in their own hearts as well. Yangu's clerics favor white garments and tend toward polished armor when it's required.

Yinga (Yin ga)
The Dark Half, The Lady of Night, Darkheart
Symbol: A burning sphere
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Hatred, destruction, war
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Evil, War
Favored Weapon: Dire Flail

Yinga is the evil personification of a dual-natured deity. Together with her twin brother, Yangu, they make up one body with two minds.

Dogma
The world was created only for the fun of destroying it. Take enjoyment from everything and then watch it burn. Let no one stop you or hold you back. Do as thou wilt.

Temples and Clergy
Almost no temples dedicated solely to the worship of Yinga exist. A goddess of evil that commands her followers to destruction is typically not welcome in civilized society. Most followers of Yinga keep their true faith a secret from their neighbors.

Clerics dedicated to Yinga are generally solitary figures that travel from place to place. When they have stirred up enough trouble or worn out their welcome, they move on before they are brought down, only to start their particular brand of trouble all over again.

Deities

If one were to ask ten people whether gods above or below truly exist and if so, do they care about their worshippers, there would likely be ten different answers. Some would claim that if omnipotent beings really existed, there wouldn't be disasters or evil in the world. Others would argue that this means the gods exist, but do not care what goes on in the mortal world. Another viewpoint suggests that the existence of divine magic is proof not only of the existence of deities, but also of their love for the mortals they bestow their gifts upon. The counterargument to that is that if sorcerers and magi are able to tap into great power without the gods, why not so-called holy clerics as well? The debate is endless, but the reality is that the existence of deities cannot be conclusively proven or disproven. Faith seems to be the only true certainty.

Some examples of deities are listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list, as new religions are founded every day, many venerating deities that may be completely new.

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