On Beastkin

Beastkin live in the wild places of the world, finding themselves most at home in the heart of nature, and rarely stray too far from the spirits of their ancestral homes.

The greatest penalty for transgression in a Beastkin tribe is exile. Branded as a mark of shame, they can find no home with any other Beastkin tribe, and rarely last long on their own.

Some small few have found themselves in Queenstown, and whilst shunned by each other, they have managed to scratch out a life for themselves.

On the Fall of the Drakashi

The fall of the Drakashi Empire was one of the major causes of instability amongst the warring Istani kingdoms, but they also fought over dwindling supplies of silver and, after the Ascension of the Storm, water supplies.
The descendants of many of those who fled the constant turmoil would become the conqueror-kings of the Old Crown Margravate.

Goldscale Lizardfolk inspiration

Ancestors of the Goldscale Lizardfolk

Greyscale Lizardfolk inspiration

Ancestors of Greyscale Lizardfolk

Races of the Old Crown

Well, I’ve more or less finished the races. Here’s some blurb on them. I hope they whet your appetite some.

Menfolk
Menfolk are a youthfully active and opportunistic race, and a great many empires and kingdoms that cover the face of the world are led by Menfolk.
They make their homes in all terrains, among all other races.

Menfolk vary plenty in size and complexion, though normally fall between 5 and 6 and a half feet tall, ranging in skin tone from a deep rich brown to an almost alabaster pink. Their hair ranges from black to white, through various shades of brown, though their eyes show the greatest diversity.
This diversity is perhaps one of their greatest strengths, and (though far from unknown) they tend to be the least xenophobic of all the races of the world.

Sometimes seen as brash and impulsive by the more stoic and pensive races, they are nonetheless useful to the world, each other, and the other races in countless upon countless ways.

Draken
Renowned as warriors, and raised from a young age to follow a millenia-old culture of warrior nobility, the Draken resemble nothing is not upright lizards. Their ancient Draken Empire was one of the first to form following the fall of the Oon, but is now also long since gone itself.

Adult Draken stand between 6 and 7 feet tall. Their leathery skin is covered in fine scales ranging in hue from green to gold to red to blue, often mottled with patterns of other colours. The scalles are noticeably larger in a ridge from the nose to the back of the head, and on down the back.
Draken have a short tail, and their three-toed feet end in claws. Occassionally, elder Draken grow a bony protrusions from their cheeks, and behind their flat ears.

Known as a proud and noble people, they often cut an imposing figure through crowds. Questioning a Draken’s honour will usually result in a brief but brutal physical attack, and sometime death.

Notable NPC Draken:
Candle, Sheriff of Kingsmead

Giantkin
The Giantkin are a race of hardy, muscled and above all tall beings with a connection to the primal forces of nature.

Usually dwelling in mountains and scrubland, the scattered tribes of the Giantkin vie with each other for territory, when they aren’t engaged in similar struggles with neighbouring tribes of other races.
They thrive on their competitive nature in almost all things; a Giantkin marketplace is rife with angry bickering and bartering.

Standing between eight and ten feet tall, their skin is the colour of their mountain homeland – mottled brown and grey. Their skin is thick, and leathery, and their frames are always tight with muscles beneath it.
During puberty, the lower canines of males tend to grow to become small tusks, whilst the upper canines in both sexes become much more pronounced.
They typically wear their hair in long braids, and wear the warpaint of their clan upon their faces (warrior or not).
Giantkin have life spans comparable to those of Humans.

Anything that can be conceived as a challenge invites Giantkin to keep score, tracking their progress against both their comrades and themselves. A sellsword might remark on how many times he has drawn first blood in battle, and he’s certainly mentally tracking his own performance in open warfare against those stories of his tribal ancestors.
This competitiveness can take the form of good-natured rivalry or of angry, spittle-driven argument. As a race they have no patience for cheaters, gloaters, or sore losers, but can be very hard on themselves when they fail to measure up to their own past accomplishments.
Daring that borders on foolhardiness is also a common trait.

They have no fear of heights, climbing sheer mountain cliffs and leaping great chasms with ease. Their nomadic lifestyle of hunting and gathering instills in them an inquisitive interest in whatever lies over the next ridge or at the head of a canyon. To a wandering hunter’s mind, that curiosity can lead to better hunting grounds or a good water source that would otherwise go undiscovered.

Whilst they have no real track with the worship of gods, they revere the spirits of nature and their ancestors, honouring them in songs and sagas that date back hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Their wise men, called spirit-speakers, seek to bring them closer to the natural world in every way that they can.
Their chiefs lead from the fore in battle, although most of their warriors seek to lead in this manner.

Wode
The Wode are a furred, horned race, somewhat shorter than Menfolk. They are often seen as primitive, and their tribes squabble for resources both among themselves and their neighbours.

Wode are as prolific as Menfolk, but as a people they’re less creative and more prone to warlike behavior.
Wode live in the wild places of the world, although they are also prone to staying close enough to settlements; they like to prey on trade caravans and unwary travelers.
The chieftain of a Wode tribe is usually the strongest member, though some chieftains rely on guile or mystical might more than martial strength.

A Wode’s skin is often sallow, with eyes ranging the same gamut as Menfolk. Big, pointed ears stick out from the sides of the head, and prominent sharp teeth sometimes jut from the mouth. Wode have coarse, wiry hair across their entire body, ranging from dark to light brown.
Their horns can be similar to deer, goats or rams.

Golem
In recent centuries, the Golem have appeared in and around the Old Crown. Whilst not frequently seen, they are at least known.
Constructed from articulated plates of metal, wood, or clay, the Golem seem to be ancient servants of the Oon, who after millenia have awakened to the potential of sentience. Most modern scholars believe an Ascended must have had a hand in this sudden change, though they do not know which, or whether the god continues to exist.

They stand at about 5 feet when made of wood, 6 when made of clay and 7 when made of metal. They have eyes that are glowing points of light, of varying hues. They repair naturally over time, in the same way that other races heal, though like other races the process is not perfect. A buckled metal leg may heal crooked, and a severed limb seldom grows back as more than a stump.

Originally arriving from the City of Festivals, the Golem have integrated into the Old Crown easily. They vary in personality, but are usually seen as friendly enough, if a little lacking in personality.

Notable Golem NPCs:
Captain Truth, Queenstown Guardsman

A History Lesson

What I have written so far for the general overview of my setting history. Most of this is beyond player knowledge, but the very highly educated will know snippets certainly. Characters would need to quest to find out anything about ‘Origins’ or the creation of the Wode and Menfolk.

The true history of the world is vast, but a short version is presented below.

In millenia past, there dwelt a race known as the Oon. Born with an innate magical ability, they were able to travel to other ‘Origins’  and meet the people who lived in these parallel planes. At some point, the Oon decided that their abilities made them superior to the other races they met, and they began to enslave many of them. Further magical experimentation further turned the races they found into shadows of their former selves.
The Draken and Wyvings were their footsoldiers in their wars of enslavement, or during the petty squabbles between the Oon themselves. The Wildfolk were a servant class, filled with butlers, court messengers and handmaidens. The Stonekin were manufacturers of those tools and insturments which the Oon deemed themselves too superior to create. The Giantkin were their outdoors labourers, tasked with farming and construction.
At some point, they used their magical abilities to create an amalgamated slave race, mixing the blood of various races with that of beasts. What they created were the rebellious Wode, able to follow simple orders but incapable of complex tasks. Their next creations were Menfolk, pulling together the most useful traits that they could, but this time instilling a small amount of themselves into their creations. Whilst Menfolk were able to complete complex tasks, they were resentful of their enslavement, and surreptitiously began a movement to overthrow their powerful masters.
Of the other races, various theories are put forth as to their nature as slaves of the Oon, though none can be said to be truly accurate. The Golem may be an earlier creation, or may be an alternate project. The Darklings exhibit traits similar to the Wildlings, but also wildly different. It is clear that the Oon were able to shape the various races with their magics, but how many are shaped and to what degree will forever remain a mystery.

The Oon ultimately fled following the slave revolt, though it is not known to where. All that was recorded was that some could not be accounted for.
The Draken and Wyvings established an empire some centuries later, still thousands of years in the past. They formed a series of vassal states about them, though in time this empire also fell. It is widely believed that the Draken and Wyvings fell apart due to their command by two opposing forces, led by the newly Ascended Dragon King and Usurper respectively. This is however untrue, and there are still cadres of Wyvings living in isolation who are loyal to the God of Justice (and coincidentally, many of the Usurper’s followers are Draken…)
Around the time of the Draken Empire’s fall, and for centuries after, the area of the Old Crown was dominated by the Moorish, the name given to the tribes of Wildfolk in the area. They were driven out and north by Menfolk invaders from across the sea, eventually forming the Northern Imperial Republic amidst the steppes and tundra. The Old Crown then enjoyed several centuries of prosperity, centred upon the capital of Queenstown, before the disappearance of the Queen. In her stead, the Margrave took over general ruling, whilst a search was made for the Queen, and later any royal line of succession. Despite many noble houses professing possible heirs, this search was ultimately fruitless. The Margrave title has been passed down the generations since, effectively ruling the region.

The Old Crown itself has begun to fall in upon itself, first falling back from its holdings in the Southern Swampland, and later losing its place as the largest trading port in the known world to the City of Festivals, east across the sea. Some say it only continues to function due to patronage by various of the Stonekin noble families, nearby trade links with the Northern Imperial Republic, and the decent relationship with the (effectively independent) Raethmoore Mage Academy situated at its northern border.