The Twilight Realms
The Twilight Realms
The region consists mainly of dense dark forest occasionally broken up by rolling hills or areas that have been cleared for human settlement. To the north is a fairly substantial mountain range and to the east is a cold and bleak coastline. The further south you go the more swampy the landscape becomes. Plains and Deserts are not part of the local terrain.
There are no Deities known and revered by the entire world. Most culture is extremely localized to villages and towns that includes religion. Individual cults may occasionally establish small monasteries, temples or shrines away from their area of origin but the idea of truly organized religion is unknown to this region.
Humans (Use the standard traits, not the Variant ones)
Humans are the most prevalent race in the area. Human life is organized extremely locally resulting in an extremely diverse set of cultural and spiritual practices. There are no Dieties of the world, only local cults. There are no kingdoms only local communities governed by whatever local system has been devised. Communities can be as large as a city or as small as a tiny village. People rarely travel or trade with other communities more than a day or two away from their own homes.
Dwarves (Please use Mountain Dwarf Subrace)
Dwarves live deep underground where they engage in clan wars fought over territory and treasure. These wars are fought both overtly with blood and steel as well as covertly with intrigue and tense diplomacy. Some of these blood feuds are hundreds of years old. The only reason you encounter a Dwarf on the surface is because they’ve been exiled by their family or because their family was decimated and they needed to flee.
Elves (Please Use Wood Elf Subrace)
Elves live in villages in the deepest, darkest and hardest to reach recesses of the forest. They see themselves as stewards of the wild and organize themselves around nature cults. They generally do not appreciate the developments of most human cultures and see them as threats to the natural order of the wilderness. An Elf who leaves the wild is one who is suffering a philosophical or spiritual crisis.
Halflings (Please use Stout Subrace)
Halflings are “country folk” who build their villages as far away from everyone else as possible. They are extremely insular and outright hostile to outsiders. Their local practices are kept extremely secret and the community is kept organized through careful indoctrination of children and arranged marriages. A halfling does not leave his home; he flees it, frequently changing his name in the hopes that his family will never find him.
Dragonborn are not a race but a blood legacy. Dragons died out a long, long time ago. One tale says they were hunted to extinction by ancient Sorcerer-Kings who drank their blood and ate their hearts to gain their power. Once every few generations a child descended from these ancient Sorcerer Kings is born a “Dragonborn”. These individuals are viewed as cursed and people who do not know the dragon legends refer to them as “Snake Men”.
Gnomes (Substitute Deep Gnomes From Element Evil Player Companion)
Gnomes also live deep underground and indeed are second-class citizens to the Dwarven nobles and merchants they serve. Gnomes are born to lines of indentured servitude to a Dwarven clan. The arrangements of servitude are so ancient and so complex that no gnome has any hope of ever legally escaping his obligation. A few gnomes escape to the surface and spend their lives hoping that no Dwarf with a claim on his labor ever finds him.
Half-Elves are rare but generally more accepted by Humans than any of the other races. They are generally born from a genuinely loving union between a human and an elf who chose to leave their enclave. This generally means that a Half-Elf has been raised in the shadow of his or her Elven parents’ melancholy and spiritual malaise. The weight of this ancestral burden is not often easily escaped.
Orcs are not a separate race but a primordial ancestor of humans. Legends speak of lost tribes of Orcs still practicing ancient rites to elder gods. Most people dismiss these legends until they meet a Half-Orc and then they react with fear and horror. A Half-Orc’s human parent has quite the tale to tell but many choose not to share it with their offspring only looking upon them with pity and sorrow.
Tieflings are similar to Dragonborn in that their demonic bloodline often goes dormant for generations only to surface without apparent cause every once in a while. Every Tiefling is descended from a Warlock who had a very intimate relationship with his or her pact patron. When a Tiefling is born to a family it is generally regarded as an ill omen and every Tiefling goes through life looking over their shoulder expecting their unnatural ancestor to arrive with tiding of their blood destiny.