by Kipper Snifferdoo
Whether Etlarnic or Midlander, humanity has given rise to some of the most noble of individuals in Adlatum’s history, as well as some of the most wicked. Before the fall of the ogres in the Age of Light, humanity was enslaved. The elves wrested the Midlands from ogre control and freed the humans. When the elves fled, humanity was left alone and flourished, to the point at which the human-centric Tao-Shin was one of the key imperial players in the Canon War. With the Drowning, the church’s religious power immediately collapsed, and many splinter nations formed among the Midlands.
The Kingdom of Etlarn is a nation founded by idealistic mages and sorcerers who sought a more idyllic life in a mountain region to the northeast of the Celestial Bureaucracy. At several points in their history they have clashed with and developed highly arcane and martial methods of dealing with dragons and dragonkin, and remain a shining beacon of nobility and courage in Adlatum’s troubled Time of the Prophet.
Personality: The people of Etlarn are an open and trusting people. Any race, other than dragonkin, is welcomed into their lands to trade or even to set up on the land. The people are fiercely devoted to attempting to be a mage, cleric, or sorcerer, but if they are not able to attain that, they will find a new career in life with little regret.
Physical Description: Humans from Etlarn tend to be hardy and strong in magic. They shorter than other humans, standing on average about 5’6″ in height, both males and females. Those that practice magic tend to be lean, and those who are paladins tend to be sturdy and strong. Most have blue or brown eyes and deep black hair. Mountain-living folk have pale skin, while plains-living Etlarners have a darker nut-brown coloration.
Relations: For the most part, the people of Etlarn get along with most races, having a good standing with both the Gildanesti and Onarians to the south, and the kunda and Mahjoran to the west. The Etlarn people do have a strong hatred of dragons and dragonkin, mainly due to the fact that they have been at war with each other for so many years.
2nd-3.5 Edition: The majority of the Etlarnic people are aligned with good, though neutral or even evil folk do live within the borders of Etlarn.
4th Edition: The majority of the Etlarnic people are aligned with good, though unaligned or even evil folk do live within the borders of Etlarn.
Etlarnic Human Lands: The Kingdom of Etlarn greatly increased in size following the Drowning, and is now one of the largest nations on the continent. Most of the population live in the Etlarn Mountains and Sky Seeker Mountains, but as the war with the dragonkin continues, more and more of the common people are leaving the mountains to populate the grasslands and hills that arose following the Drowning.
Religion: The major religions of the Etlarnic people are those of the Etlarnic Defenders, the mages and paladins that govern the nation. The major gods are Giustiza (Kiri-Jolith), Autenanima (Solinari), and Pietarde (Paladine). Vidu (Zivilyn) is also revered due to her involvement with the earth and mountains.
Language: When the people broke away from the original Midlands to found Etlarn, their language developed quickly into Etlarnish. Much of Etlarnish was created from the language of magic, to the point now that a person speaking Etlarnish cannot understand someone speaking a language of the Midlands. All Etlarnic folk learn Common to break down this barrier and communicate with other humans.
Names: The names of the Etlarnic people derive from their environment or what the family does for a living.
Male Names: Andoja, Ilaro, Roholda, Yugorv.
Female Names: Bonafila, Gisella, Rosavel, Suza, Vittora.
Clan Names: Blackpeak, Bluelake, Highridge, Mana, NurVar.
Adventurers: Most adventurers from this human nation head into Etlarn’s mountain ranges to seek out and eliminate the “dragons” lairing there. Others take up the defense of nearby settlements from the dragonkin, or seek out threats to the magocracy.
Etlarnic Human Racial Traits
Etlarnic humans possess the human racial traits listed in the Player’s Handbook except as follows:
- Automatic Languages: Common and Etlarnish. Bonus Languages: Any, except secret languages such as Druidic.
here is a small population (several thousand) of human plainsmen who have recently been found to live in the Broken Lands. The Maliaru Clan is made up of many scattered tribes located primarily in minotaur dominated Sakkaras with a few living in the disputed regions of Ogun. The origin of these humans are unknown, but there are a number of theories ranging from people who survived being washed northward during the Drowning to freed slaves of the minotaurs from the Canon War. Unfortunately there may be no way to verify the truth of any of these theories. Like the minotaurs they have no written history, and only the art of story telling preserves any scrap of the past. However since stories used to promote lessons and embellish myth are not treated any differently from tales of the history by either race, an accurate account of past events is a futile dream.
The Sakkaran minotaur tribes have been warring against the Maliaru for as long as either side remembers. They have battled for survival as often as the minotaur has done battle against their own kind or the Oguna. Many of the tribes are nomadic, struggling to find food, shelter, and water. This is a common life for any in the Broken Lands. As the centuries continued on, the Maliaru had begun to adopt more of the customs and practices of the minotaur (who they refer to as the Alnathmin). Several of the minotaur tribes occasionally now will trade with them, and some claim their blood lines have begun to mix. How well the few tribes in Ogun are getting along with the Oguna is not yet known.
The Maliaru tend to remain in regions towards the central and northern parts of Sakkaras. For these reasons the people of the Midlands had no idea of their existence until recently when a few of the Maliaru began assisting minotaur raiding parties from the southern regions of Sakkaras who invade Bhadlum from time to time. This alliance is a frustration to the Midland border nation since a Maliaru can walk among the Midlanders with less chance of being spotted as compared to their minotaur cohorts. Most Maliaru have no interest in assisting the bullmen in trying to retake the Bhadlum lands for their own, but a scattering of men and women from the clan have left their tribes to do just that. With most Maliaru remaining in their own in the north however, most Midlanders do not see those who wish to do the Midlands no harm.
Maliaru men and women have a paler complexion than people from the northeastern regions of the Midlands, but their skin is as thick and worn as any who live a harsh life in the wilderness. They tend to be taller than many other humans, ranging from 6’3″ to 6’9″ in height whether man or woman. Their eyes range through a variety of colors, but often the color appears much more sharp and bold than would normally be expected from a human race. Hair ranges from blond to soft brown, and Maliaru of both genders tend to sport strong jaw lines. Their bodies are well strengthened from a lifetime in the Broken Lands.
They speak their own language that has a heavy similarity to the minotaur tongue, but a few do know how to speak common with some difficulty. When not disguised to move among the Midlanders, they often are seen wearing leathers and hides from kills made in the north.
They speak their own language that has a heavy similarity to the minotaur tongue, but a few do know how to speak common with some difficulty. When not disguised to move among the Midlanders, they often are seen wearing leathers and hides from kills made in the north.
The people of western Adlatum, the vast area known as the Midlands, come in a variety of cultures and appearances. After the Drowning, many humans fled from their homes in search of safety, often escaping with nothing but their cultural opinions and way of life. Thus, the Midlanders are far from culturally homogeneous. The last few centuries resulted in some mixing of blood from one part of the Midlands to another, but there are still centers of regionally specific cultures throughout the Sovereignties.
Personality: Midlanders tend to be stubborn and opinionated. Their exact views on things vary (whether to support Tashrama or the Sovereignties or neither, for example) but it is rare to find those who are truly tolerant or open to contrary viewpoints. This is not to say they are always fighting with each other, but it does tend to encourage building frustration. Those living closer to the north or south borders are more likely to be concerned with threats from abroad, whereas those at the center of the Midlands are more concerned with internal issues.
Physical Description: It is not always accurate to determine a Midlander’s home nation by their appearance, due to the mass uprooting of homes after the Drowning, but it can help to play the odds. The dark haired, swarthy, gruff look points to a northwesterner, possibly from Trejor or Vjenor. The light hair and very pale skin was usually a sign of Solishairon heritage, until trade with the Oguna picked up in later times. Those from Dhu and southern Tashrama tend to have dark brown skin and black hair, while even the often red-haired Charant Arosan humans carry a faint blue or green tinge to their skin pointing to a very distant relation to the Corinesti. Humans from the southwestern Midlands tend to be broad-shouldered with narrower eyes, while those in the multi-cultural FyxZharar now have a mix of traits from a wide variety of regions.
Relations: With exception, Midlanders take an almost egotistical pride in how well they get along with other races, whether it is true or not. Shore-bound humans trade with the Corinesti as much as possible in order to broaden the reach of their currency. Those near dwarven territories rely on their stockier neighbors for a constantly reliable schedule of business. Usually, the Gildanesti and Hartdar citizens are so ingrained into the Midlands that most human neighbors don’t see them as a separate group at all. Gnomes tend to behave far too differently to be seen as “one of us,” but their usefulness in administrative matters has more than proven their worth. Oguna, bakali, and minotaurs are not looked at by many with tolerance due to the threat of the “uncivilized barbarians” across the borders.
Kunda are viewed with equal degrees of curiosity and distrust. The short folk’s unpredictability, more than their other qualities, leads to many Midlanders keeping a healthy distance between themselves and a kunda.
2nd-3.5 Edition: The humans of the Midlands cross all alignments. Some of a particular nation may lean in one direction, and another nation may lean another way. But overall there is a wide spread of outlook and behavior across all Midlanders.
4th Edition: The humans of the Midlands cross all alignments. Some of a particular nation may lean in one direction, and another nation may lean another way. But overall there is a wide spread of outlook and behavior across all Midlanders.
Midlander Human Lands: The northern nations of the Midlands stretch from Bhadlum eastward to Solishairon, skipping the dwarven lands of Kedaltol. The southernmost nations include Mauritand, Hudiechia, and Dhu. Although other races call the Midlands home, humans hold a strong majority in just about all of the Sovereignties.
Religion: The strongest faith in the Midlands is known as Tashrama. Up until recently, the church was thought to be a means to worship the gods together in a progressive order (i.e. a cleric of Miraphayt could be promoted to a cleric of Erraii). However, with the exposure of the Elder Dragons as the true powers of Tashrama, many are leaving the church. With the gods just returning, some are finding new faith with them, and others have abandoned faith all together. At this point in time, religion in the Midlands is in upheaval. It is far too early to tell how the faith of the people will settle in the months and years to come.
Language: Centuries ago, the primary human languages of western Adlatum were Trejori and Hudieran, though each tongue had its regional dialects. Thousands of people were displaced because of the Drowning, and the bartering language known as Trader’s Common became a much easier method of communication and even bridged the gap between the western and eastern landmasses. “Common” gained dominance over the next few centuries, but the older languages hold more sway in several regions, primarily the northwest and southernmost nations. When Montegron began to unify the Sovereignties, Common gained even more popularity when he pushed that international treaties were to be written in the joint tongue.
Even with the prevalence of Common, local dialects and accents vary to such an extreme that nationalistic people may have trouble fully understanding those from other Midland nations, never mind foreign nations. Compounded by variations in local slang, traveling merchants and ambassadors tend to be the strongest versed in the nuances of regional dialect. Unlike the variations in physical appearance, accents and slang have become a much more accurate method of determining one’s place of origin.
Names: Since the Drowning, the style of human names in the Midlands varies widely, and rarely has any set pattern. What used to be common names in Dhu may suddenly be popular in Trejor and vice versa. On occasion, human parents may use elven or dwarven names for their children purely because the name “sounds nice”, often being ignorant to a name’s true meaning or its accurate spelling. Even the family names have been muddled with the post-Drowning travels.
Male Names: Jermon, Vorn, Maggad, Glann.
Female Names: Noragaen, Judane, Seratain.
Family Names: Asha, Falecohvo, Holmestorm, Olen, Veliya.
Adventurers: Many humans choose to adventure close to their own homes, or head out into the world in order to make a better living for themselves. Others venture out for the purpose of benefiting whatever cause they believe in.
Midlander Human Racial Traits
Midlander humans possess the human racial traits listed in the Player’s Handbook except as follows:
- Automatic Languages: Common and either Hudieran or Trejori. Bonus Languages: Any, except secret languages such as Druidic.
Onarians are the humans of far eastern Adlatum who prospered from the Drowning and advanced as a culture in their own right. Originally an ethnic minority distantly related to the Etlarnic peoples, the Onarians were a subjugated race relegated to a few mountain passes and relatively poor agrarian valleys of the Condor Range. Unlike most human societies, the Onarians are matrilineal.
Personality: Onarians are considered taciturn and somewhat pessimistic, always seeing the worst until proven differently. Onarians are very religious and superstitious, seeing great meaning in the most minor of natural occurrences.
Physical Description: Onarians are among the tallest humans found on Adlatum. Onarian skin tone ranges from an olive tan to black the farther south and east of the country one travels. Eye color is almost always dark with a few, usually of noble blood, having an amber or yellow color. Onarians have very fine dark hair, which is worn long on males and elaborately coifed and braided for women.
Relations: Onarians are normally distrustful of outsiders, but get along quite well with the Gildanesti to the west and the Etlarnic people to the north and west. Onarians have very limited contact with most of the other cultures of Adlatum, but have many conflicts with the goblinoids to the south and the evil water breathing hobgoblins who inhabit the shallow waters of the southern coasts of Adlatum.
2nd-3.5 Edition: The humans of Onar encompass all alignments. Some of a particular tribe may lean in one direction, and another tribe may lean another way. Overall the spread of outlook and behavior is wide.
4th Edition: The humans of Onar encompass all alignments. Some of a particular tribe may lean in one direction, and another tribe may lean another way. Overall the spread of outlook and behavior is wide.
Onarian Human Lands: The Nhomarch of Onar stretches across the eastern sea plain of Adlatum, between the Kingdom of Etlarn to the north and the disputed territories to the south. The Condor Mountains and the Republic of Gildanesti make up the western border while the Eastern Ocean marks the end of Onarian territory.
Religion: Onarians practice a simple faith that is populated with a simple mystery cult made up of five deities. The Onarians revere Rig Mori (Habbakuk) as the god of the sky, Tannu (Sirrion) as the god of fire, Vidu (Zivilyn) goddess of the Earth, Veco Mori (Zeboim) goddess of the raging waters and Nertos (Chislev) the goddess of life. The Onarians do not believe in temples or elaborate shrines. Instead, simple stone steles may be erected near consecrated hilltops or pools; in some of the older areas neolithic stone circles are adopted as impromptu altars for simple religious practices.
Language: Onarians speak a language that has its roots in the same language that evolved into Etlarnic, and it is similar enough that simple concepts can be communicated between a speaker of Etlarnic and one of Onarian.
Names: Onarian names are rather simple and are considered backward by other cultures, with the family name coming first and the given name coming second.
Male Names: Anda, Preth, Darish and Coman.
Female Names: Alma, Loda, Tarmah and Zaharias.
Clan Names: Telsedrain, Sarasin, Lothario and Canaan.
Adventurers: Onarian adventurers are among that rare group who seeks to leave home and hearth to explore or bring service to the greater world.
Onarian Human Racial Traits
Onarian humans possess the human racial traits listed in the Player’s Handbook except as follows:
- Automatic Languages: Common and Onarian. Bonus Languages: Any, except secret languages such as Druidic.
The origins of the Teusten people are muddled by the passing of centuries. Some believe they branched off from the earliest Midland humans; others believe they emigrated from whatever mysterious distant continent that the Corinesti are believed to trade with across the western ocean. Either way, they are generally seen as reclusive and dangerous.
Personality: Although most foreigners see the Teusten as violent fighters, angry drunkards, and ready brawlers, the truth is that the Teusten have a hardy love of life. A love of conflict and combat is what the Teusten live for, whether on land or at sea. They despise most cultures and will even go so far as to attack a few other races on sight, but their anger is not directed to the world in general—just those who they see do not have the right to exist in it.
Physical Description: The Teusten bloodlines remained almost completely separate from Midlander and other human bloodlines for centuries. As such, there is evidence that the Teusten humans are not as human as other humans anymore (or from their perspective, that other humans have weakened to something less than human). Teusten men and women are much larger than other humans. Grown men range in height from less than seven feet tall to just short of eight feet. Women on average stand a few inches shorter, but their shoulder and waist sizes are often just as wide as the men.
Their eye color ranges from pitch black to sparkling colors of blue, green, red, violet, orange, and rarely yellow. Their hair is long, and sometimes worn in braids by both men and women. Teusten men often sport beards as large and as proud as any dwarf, but noting this fact to them will often be replied with a blade to the gut. Their hair ranges in color between blond, fire-stroked red, and black. Upon aging, women often become completely bald (including eyebrows and other body hair) over a slow span of years while the men’s hair commonly turns blue-tinted white or rarely a very faded light green.
The ears of the Teusten are very closely attached to their heads, unlike those of most other races, and they also have long, thick fingers. Many claim the Teusten have blood-ties to some unknown race from across the sea. The Teustens deny this, claiming them to be the proof of better breeding over the centuries.
Relations: The Teusten people are not fond of other races, especially not dwarves. Due to a long-standing history of conflict, any dwarf seen by a Teusten would be enslaved or killed on sight. They are at constant battle with the Nordar and Sundar at sea, and often fight the Sakkaran minotaurs who raid close to their border. They view the Corinesti traders as thieves, even though piracy and pillaging is conducted by many of their own kind. A few Teusten humans respect the minotaurs for their strength, and enjoy the bloodshed between their people, seeing it as a competition between two worthy adversaries. This is a view the minotaurs do not share. Unknown to most outsiders, trade exists between Teusten and the Igurna of Terragrym, a sign the Teusten people respect the ogre strength.
Kunda are one of the few races to often be treated well by the Teusten. They see them as no threat, and so they don’t bother combating them. They see their eccentricities as humorous, and take great enjoyment from their behavior. What would normally infuriate another race, a Teusten would find hysterical, even if they were the butt of the joke. On the other hand, the Teusten may be just as inclined to have some fun at the kunda’s expense, believing that turnabout is fair play (often at the kunda’s detriment). Above all, the Teusten love the tall and exciting tales of faraway lands the kunda bring to them—the more grandiose and unbelievable, the better. For this, the “child-race” is appreciated.
2nd-3.5 Edition: The spontaneous and confrontational nature of the Teusten people indicates a chaotic alignment. Many Teusten claim to live by a long lasting set of traditions and ancient laws, but these rules are so contradictory and vague that often anyone can pervert their meaning into whatever they wish at the time.
Although the negative outlook on most other races does encourage most neutral and evil views and actions, many Teusten have had little contact with the other races, and spend much time assisting their family, friends, and community for the benefit of others. As such, the Teusten include people of good, evil, and between.
4th Edition: The nature of the Teusten people is often spontaneous and confrontational, but they also claim to live by a long lasting set of traditions and ancient laws. However, these rules are so contradictory and vague that often anyone can prevent their meaning into whatever they wish at the time.
Although the negative outlook on most other races does encourage evil and unaligned views and actions, many Teusten have had little contact with the other races, and spend much time assisting their family, friends, and community for the benefit of others. With such a mixture of views spread out throughout their society, the Teusten people tend to be of any alignment.
Teusten Human Lands: A vast majority of Teusten humans live in the nation of Teusten located to the west of the Broken Lands, between Lake Borlesko and Blight Bay. Some have ventured into the waters and live on various scant islands, often times claiming to be colonies of the so-called Teusten Empire. Others live their entire lives on ships and massive floating barges built out at fixed points in the middle of the western sea, shunning the “cursed” life of the land-dwellers.
Religion: Believed to primarily keep their faith with the gods of the sea, the Teusten faith is actually as diverse if not more than anywhere else within Adlatum. The Teusten believe their gods to be separate from pantheons of all others, due to the belief that no god worth its salt would waste time with other civilizations. But on occasion they will pay respect to the “Lesser Foreign Gods” while traveling in other lands.
Since the Starfall, they do not believe the gods had left them. Popular faiths claim that the gods were testing the people to see who had true faith, willing to worship and praise the gods based on the respect they desire for actions of old, rather than through the bribery of clerical spells. Even with the gods’ return, it is not uncommon to meet a Teusten cleric who refuses to cast the spells gifted him, to further prove his devotion by denying temptation. The paths of the Tao-Shin have continued to exist for the Teusten, but they see their church as a separate entity called the Vroevadle, “The Currents of the Souls.”
The Tashrama has no influence with the Teusten, but they wait to hear the tales of the coming war in the south. Many believe the Elder Dragons to truly be gods, but since they are Lesser Foreign Gods they have no inclination to give worship. Their belief that the dragons are deities may be purely based on the belief that if they are gods, it will make the stories of the war in the south more interesting.
Language: Another oddity of the Teusten people is the fact that their main language is a variation of dwarven and that many Teusten people are well versed in Hammertalk. Any respectable Teusten would claim that this is because they had once tried to educate the lowly race in the past out of pity, but that over time they “stole” the language and the art of Hammertalk and claimed it to be their own. According to them, the languages are properly named Wedoegla and tap-speak.
Rarely do the Teusten people bother with other languages, sans several choice and creative curse words and phrases. Some traders will likely know Igurni, and rarely will any bother with learning Common.
Names: There are no surnames used by the Teusten. Lineage is traced back by variations (often through alliteration) off of the names of the parents: boys off of the father, girls off of the mother. For example: a father named Rodvald may name his sons Rodmar, Rudvard, Rodbjarn, or Rodein.
Male Names: Bulverk, Elgrim, Gurdvaer, Iogsef, Kärsi, Nikorias, Oleif, Skoekr, Yngvard.
Female Names: Aeldris, Baegljot, Hrenfra, Melikorkra, Ogna, Singrid, Svalanya, Uenn.
Clan Names: The Teusten identify their hometowns or their lineage: Thorstald of Tullgrip, or Gordras daughter of Goedvo.
Adventurers: Many Teustens seek adventure in the northwest, anywhere from Blight Bay to the Broken Lands, but may be seen as far south as the Iron Isles. A brave few risk exploring the world further away, but stories are told of heroes who’ve sailed off the map to the west, daring to find the dark lands only the Corinesti are said to go. When adventuring most Teustens are in groups comprised of their own kind, but sometimes a slave of another race, or a kunda may be brought along as well to aggrandize their heroics into legends if they do not feel like exaggerating things on their own. It is almost unheard of to see a Teusten in a well-rounded group of adventurers comprised of an assortment of races.
Teusten Human Racial Traits
Teusten humans possess the human racial traits listed in the Player’s Handbook except as follows:
- +2 Strength, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. Teusten are known for muscle, but not for patience and good temper. The Strength bonus reflects their powerful build and size, while the penalties to Wisdom and Charisma reflect their rash and often anti-social behavior to other races.
- +2 to Charisma-based skill checks when dealing with other Teusten. Although Teusten do not often get along with others, there is a general camaraderie shared with each other (even though they are likely to brawl for fun as much as have a friendly drink). This bonus is only usable when the Teusten is not known to fraternize with “other sorts,” meaning other races.
- Automatic Languages: Wedoegla (Dwarven) and Tap-Speak (Hammertalk). Bonus Languages: Any, except secret languages such as Druidic.