The Chronicle Developer Journal #7: Page 2 of 2
Goblins have only recently split into two noticeable sub-races, with some straying into the cities, living among the other races long enough to be called domesticated, and others remaining in the wilderness, known widely as savages. Physically they are somewhat different, with domesticated goblins taller and skinnier, while savage goblins tend to be more muscular and stout. Their mental and social dissimilarities are as obvious as their names.
Almost every goblin on Vinthryl worships the same thing: an object called the Nalunto. Exactly what it is and what it’s supposed to do seem to be a mystery to all but the most faithful of the goblin race, who commonly state that only those that truly believe in the Nalunto will understand its power. The few beyond their kind that have witnessed the object have said that it is dull, unexciting, and as one historian delicately put it: “Almost offensively unimpressive.”
Like the most races, ogres are split into a city-going variety and a wilderness breed, called Civil and Free ogres respectively. Their split was quite a bit more turbulent, however, as all ogres were freed from slavery sometime in the Second Epoch by the legendary warrior Sodikal. He is credited with the most revolutionary war tactic ever employed by ogres, a devastating maneuver he dubbed “club smash.” As the potent technology behind his genius spread to the rest of his race, ogres were soon free of their captors and roaming the world as they pleased. The divide occurred when some ogres grew homesick of the cities they once served in and headed back into society as civil ogres, while the rest remained in the wild as free ogres. With their powerful stature and Sodikal’s legacy of the club smash passed down from generation to generation, ogres are rarely forced to do anything against their will, but are still usually dim enough to get tricked into waging war for someone else or paid far below the standard rate for their services.
Civil ogres tend to pay homage to the memory of Sodikal, honoring him with festivals of drunken revelry and contests of strength, but free ogres perpetuate his existence by worshiping his heir. Though the lineage of Sodikal has been severed in numerous places, free ogres naturally assume that whoever is left standing in an annual tournament of lethal combat must logically be his descendant. Obviously, sovereignty of the free ogres changes about once a year.
Gnomes are diminutive but intelligent, bearing a great appreciation for peace and the advancement of their studies, with city gnomes most interested in science and country gnomes quite skilled with magic. They choose their lifestyles and living conditions appropriately, plying their trade for the benefit of their metropolitan or rural communities and rarely venturing far beyond.
Though gnomes are technically split into two breeds, they get along better than any other base race’s individual branches, having never fought an open war or recorded an open conflict. Their devotion to their craft is paramount, with city gnomes looking upon science as a form of religion just as much as country gnomes worship the abstract forces of magic. The astounding fact about their relationship is that the two sides, science and magic, have rarely, if ever, been the subject of a contest or debate. Gnomes tend to respect each other and their relative professions.
Faeries come in two varieties, or as some monstrous creatures call them: “flavors.” Sprites are fast and mischievous, quick to temper and even quicker to act, while pixies are renown for their aptitude with magic. Rarely growing more than one foot tall, faeries are nonetheless a capable people, using their aerodynamics to significant tactical advantage in combat. Curiously, though the bulk of faerie maneuverability is based on their physical traits, those with more advanced social attributes tend to move faster, too.
One of the few ethical divides between the two faerie breeds has to do with their area of worship, with sprites dedicated to Llorinq, the primary sun of Vinthryl and pixies devoted to Ooyidu, the secondary or “hidden” sun. Common people might not even notice the difference, but it’s a concern the faeries take very seriously, crediting each of the two stars for various aspects of existence.
Of all the trees on Vinthryl, only three types have ascended to consciousness and begun to walk the world as explorers, not just motionless spectators. They are the mighty ironwood, the highly mobile nimblewood, and the magically proficient etherwood. Towering over most other races, the ironwood are incredibly durable, fearing little in the world except fire, which all treefolk are understandably timid around. Nimblewood treefolk are much more agile than any of their peers, yet still not quite as dexterous as any of the humanoid races. The mysterious etherwood have a connection to the magic in nature that goes unrivaled among the living races.
All treefolk worship Vynthe, the god who gave its freedom to inhabit and protect the world itself. Without need of any metaphor, the roots of every treefolk are intimately connected to their deity, forging a relationship between patron and follower that no other race enjoys.
The halflings are one of creatures the gods didn’t create and never foresaw existing, being a distant offshoot of the common human race that evolved independently of their influence. They even split into two breeds over time: the charismatic, comfort-loving thick halflings and the swift, adventurous thin halflings. Like the gnomes, the halfling breeds have never actually gone to war with each other, but arguments in halfling communities are quite common, as thick halflings are almost xenophobic in how greatly they cherish the sanctity of the home, while thin halflings tend to adore the open road and the unknown.
In fact, thick halfling religious beliefs hold that the home is a temple to the family, which deserves worship on par with any divine deity. Thin halflings are at the opposite end of the spectrum, paying daily tribute to what they call the “Last Landmark,” which is the final place on Vinthryl they’re able to visit, wherever that is. Though halfling communities are almost always a combination of both sub-races, these differences in philosophy often result in family disputes, heated political debates, and sometimes even drunken brawls.
- Rick Wells, Technical Lead, Rapid Reality
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