Friday, October 14, 2011

Warriors of Calabria

Many are the faces of the warriors who travel Calabria. From those who trade their services for coin, to knights sworn to ancient oaths, the sword and spear are seldom far from a hand eager to do battle.

N.C. Wyeth

Mercenaries are ever at the employ of merchants eager to protect their business investments. The Confederacy of Traders and Merchant's Republic both boast impressive armies, and many a free merchant has a sellsword or two as his side. However, where loyalty lies only to coin, profit and security can change like the weather. Still, many a trader would  prefer the devil he knows to the one he can't understand, and are just as frightened by the concepts of loyalty and honor as they are of an empty pocket.

N.C. Wyeth

Generation through generation stand the Knights of the Empire, sworn to uphold justice and mercy. Chivalry is their code, and pursing doers of wrong to the ends of the earth is their aim. Woe to the scoundrel who's reputation has reached the ears of such a knight.

N.C. Wyeth

Unconcerned with the petty exploits of men, the rangers of Calabria pursue their own vengence against creatures of darkness. Ever vigilant, they track the wilds and wastes, hunting foes of mankind with every breath they draw.

N.C. Wyeth

Preying upon the unsuspecting, highwaymen lurk at woods edge, and make their beds in the ruins across the countryside. All who carry coin are their prey.

N.C. Wyeth

Unique amont the men of Clabria are the Knights of Oregate. Sworn only to their ruler, they have but one goal; to protect the wealth of their territory. Rare through the ages is the Knight of Oregate who's loyalty has been turned.

Peter Nicolai Arbo

Famed is the might of the warriors of the clans of Calabria.
They are slow to wrath, yet fierce in battle, both man and woman among them. A feast at the table of ravens awaits those who underestimate their prowess.
Gustav Dore

Knud Berglien

From across the Northren sea come men of honor, ever ready for battle, yet willing to die for the sake of their countrymen. From the harsh winter wastes they carve their lives, filling each day with battle or merriment. Rare is their presence is Calabria.

Jean-Joseph Benjamin Constant

From beyond the Sea of Hope come warriors of wisdom, unparalleled in learning and art. Seldom are their blades idly drawn.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Clans of Men of Old

Ever have there been peoples who kept to the Old Ways. With eyes ever watching from the wilderness, they have seen the futility of the feats of man; building ever stronger, taller, and more expansive, only to be crumbled to dust by the whim of the Gods. With steady stride, these watchers continue in their traditions, unruffled by the noise of those who would feign to shape the earth as if it were theirs to mold.
Thomas Cole

N.C. Wyeth
They live in the heights of the mountains, or in the deepness of the wood. They live by calming rivers, or near the crashing shore. And in these places of solitude, they commune with all that is; leaf, wind, and creature of the earth. They derive their strength through root and stone; through crystal spring and summer storm; through winter's fire and the lactation of the ewes.

Nicolaj Albildgaard

Their secrets and their ways are preserved generation through generation with story and song. Not a single word of the Old Tales are written in their hand in the markings of the men of cities; rather, they are carried on blessed tongue, to the fortunate ears of those with the grace to listen patiently.

The earth and the winds listen also to their tales, as do the forests the the beasts of the fields, the flame and murmuring brook.

William Beard 
It has been told that these clans have each a special bond with a totem; a creature of Phanes, lord of all animals. A bond so strong that language is shared between man and beast, and that there are those who can take the form of such an animal at will.

William Beard

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Concerning the Gods, and Those who Follow Them

Since the time of The Shattering, the Archons have abandoned the earth, taking their secrets with them. The knowledge of man is but a shadow of what it once was, and there are many who ever toil to discover the lost treasures of the Gods. Many paths are followed, all seeking the same source, though one may seem to have little in common with another.

Caspar David Friedrich

There are those who have always followed their own way, eschewing temples of crafted stone for a more basic connection to the earth and all that dwell on it and within it. Here and there scattered across the land are monuments as old as the earth. To these places come those that shun the cities of men. People of the deep wood, of the mountains, and of the rivers. And the people of the sky, the Gryphonym. It is best to leave these places undisturbed, as forces deep and strong dwell within them, with little tolerance for the intrusion of the ignorant.

Carl Spizweg

There are those who pursue such knowledge as an entertaining endeavor, and are drawn to power as moths to a flame. It is well that such men should be thwarted, as the forces that they toy with are far beyond their imagining.

Ever they will toil, prodding and probing as children in the dark. Yet the light they discover will all too often be the searing flames that scorch the soul.

Whether their goals are good or ill matters not, for when vengeance strikes it takes no heed of intention.

John Waterhous

There are those who have kept the secrets, passed down one to another in lineage unbroken. And though some great measure of what was once known has been lost, they do not idly call upon the forces that wait just beyond the veil of worlds, nor do so with a light heart. Desperate are they who barter with ones of such knowledge, and many are the sorrowful souls who were granted their heart's desire.

Gustav Moreau

Finally are the priests of the temples, who seek to impose the will of the gods on man. Yet many are the priests who instead impose their own will, either through arrogance or through the cunning of deceitful spirits with sweet voices. The wrath of the gods may slumber, yet strike swiftly when awoken.

Of Bogeymen and Bugbears

Theodor Kittelsen
Larger than Goblinkind, this frightening group of creatures are ever at war with mankind. Though their appearance varies widely, and they all shun the sun, these creatures of darkness have several varieties.

Bugbears live in dark forests, from which they seldom venture.
Roads passing through these forests are treacherous even in daytime, as the overhanging canopy creates a perpetual twilight within the woodland.

Henri Fuseli
Orcs live in the earth, and are particularly loath to venture out into the sun. They will seldom be found outside far from a cave opening, with roots that delve deep.

Gargoyles are flying creatures of the night.

Bogeymen are the most mysterious of all. Some say they are creatures of the element of Time, and are able to vanish at a moment's notice.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Of Goblinkind

Arthur Rackham
Goblin is a broad term which covers many creatures of mischievous nature. Common to Goblinkind is their  small size, cunning, and dark and cruel humor. They may be solitary, or gather in large groups. They will almost always avoid physical combat with humans if they can.

Tommyknockers (whom the Dwarves call Kobolds) are of the earth, and dwell in caves and mines. They communicate over long distances by knocking on pipes and cave walls (hence the term Knockers). They are known for causing cave ins, and otherwise creating mischief for miners.

Redcaps are solitary Goblins who favor inhabiting the ruins of human civilization. They get their name from their habit of dying their caps in their victim's blood.

Hobgoblins are goblins of the wood. They live within trees and hillsides in dark forests, and venture out mostly at night. They are most active during the new moon. Hobgoblins have a propensity for abducting small children.

Kelpies are water Goblins, and tend to be solitary. They lure humans to the water either to be their mates and servants or to meet a watery death. They are shapeshifters, and often take the form of horses.

The Pooka is a Goblin of air, which like the Kelpie has the ability to shapeshift.

The Mandragora is a Goblin of fire.