Saturday, June 27, 2020

Otherworldly Races of Monvesia

RETCON NOTE:  This is the first of two posts replacing "Elves of Prace and Xahaca."  This post also replaces "Neshu of Raviq." 

In the world of Monvesia, the transitive planes are known as Otherworlds--homelands for those beings called daemons.  Eight in total, these planes are bound to companion pairs sharing common Spheres and Dominions.  While humans can develop a connection to one of these planes, there are other mortal races which have been born from them (though remaining "native" to Orbimond).  Four in total, these races are each the product of a pair of otherworlds, and they demonstrate the same Temperamental variation as humans.

These races are:

As a whole, these races have alien cultures that often confound their neighbors.  They even consider themselves different than their mortal companions.  Conflicts involving these races are typically internal--each race consisting of rival factions.  Even their religious traditions exist beyond the common saints of the Spheres.  Furthermore, their otherworldly origins make them immune to the Taint, which otherwise plagues the moral races.  

As a class of race, they share many commonalities--but their specific planes of origin separate them drastically from each other.

Liminal Elves of Prace & Xahaca

Language Analog:  Finnish (Prace), Hungarian (Xahaca)
Inspiration:  Fairy folklore, Wicca

Tainted Counterpart: none, elves are immune to Taint
Temperamental Association: see below

Names (any gender): Aamu, Aatos, Ahti, Aimo, Aino, Alli, Ansa, Armas, Armo, Arvo, Aulis, Eija, Eino, Hella, Hilja, Ilma, Ilta, Impi, Into, Jalo, Kai, Kaleva, Kauko, Kielo, Kirsikka, Kukka, Kyllikki, Lahja, Lempi, Lumi, Mainio, Maire, Meri, Merja, Oiva, Onni, Orvokki, Otso, Paiva, Pilvi, Pyry, Rauha, Ritva, Sade, Sampo, Satu, Seija, Seppo, Sini, Sirpa, Sisu, Soile, Sulo, Suoma, Suvi, Tahti, Taika, Taime, Taisto, Taipo, Tarmo, Taru, Tauno, Terhi, Terho, Terttu, Toivo, Tuija, Tuuli, Tyyne, Ukko, Urho, Vanamo, Varpu, Veli, Vesa, Vieno, Virva, Voitto, Vuokko

Elves are native to southern Prace--a region that has since been settled by humans (Notopoli) and goliaths (Inheritance).  While elves sill remain scattered among settler populations, they have also migrated to western Xahaca.

Among humans, elves are often confused with satyrs--an absurd notion to anyone familiar with both races.  However, initial contact with elves was sparse, so any races native to the wilderness of the new new world was considered an elf.  As human settlements spread throughout the Monvesien valley, they encountered more satyrs than elves--so came to assume that the northern satyrs and southern elves were representatives of a single race. 

Elves call themselves hantija in their own tongue, roughly translating as "first folk" or "rulers/masters," referencing the their history as one of the first races of Prace.  They are divided into six "strengths" or "groups" (väki), which mimic the six spheres.

  • Epävakainen Väki ("changing folk"), the Altruist eladrin (Tome of Foes); they consider themselves the Children of all the Archfey.
  • Kalman Väki ("death folk"), the Nihilist shadar-kai (Tome of Foes); they consider themselves the Children of the Witch Queen.
  • Metsän Väki ("forest folk"), the Vitalist wood elves; they consider themselves the Children of the Green Man.
  • Salainen Väki  ("secret/hidden folk"), the Idealist high elves; they consider themselves the Children of the All-Mother.
  • Veden Väki ("water folk"), the Dynamist sea elves (Tome of Foes); they consider themselves the Children of the Shield Maiden.
  • Vuoren Väki ("mountain folk"), the Materialist dark elves; they consider themselves the Children of the Horned One.

Astral Gith of Desolation


Language Analog: None.  The classic gith language from D&D lore is adopted.
Inspiration:  Gith lore already present in the game; kalashtar and Inspired lore from the Eberron campaign setting.

Tainted Counterpart: none, gith are immune to Taint
Temperamental Association: see below

Names:  See Tome of Foes.

Long after the exoduses that led the goliath and humans out of Desolation, a new race found its way to its abandoned cities.  The gith are a race born from the Taint, akin to thoughtforms but flesh and blood.  Some suspect that they were once humans and goliaths that were transported to the Astral planes of the Dreaming and Limbo, where the curse of the Taint in a more pure form transformed them into something far removed from ogres and orcs.  A gith will laugh at this theory, however.

They agree that they were once enslaved by the HMDJVNW, and they fought back against their opressors to win their freedom.  Severe losses among the HMDJVNW during the archaemons' war against the giants may have contributed to gith success.  Today, gith can be found in Limbo, the Dreaming, Vaynon, and Desolation.

The gith subraces are factions of a great war that has plagued the race since their freedom--groups that associate with different aspects of their shared history, and have different visions for the races's future.  Today, the conflict appears to be two-sided--though no war is so simple.  Each faction consists of a handful of subraces.

Each subrace uses the traits of its parent faction.  Members of the altruist "New Gith" may use either Githyanki or Githzerai traits--as they are a rising faction drawing from the others.  
  • Githyanki of Limbo
    • Dynamist Wasteland Githyanki who roam the scarred terrain of Desolation.
    • Nihilist Githyanki Militants who rule the faction from Limbo and Vaynon.
    • Vitalist Githyanki Pirates who raid not only in Limbo, but also along coastal Desolation.
  • Githzerai of the Dreaming
    • Idealist Githzerai Aesthetes who form the religious arm of the faction in the Dreaming and Vaynon, but can also be found wandering Desolation.
    • Materialist Githzerai Preservers who are defenders of the weak and of the faith--both in the Dreaming and Desolation colonies.
  • Altruist New Gith, who seek to build a culture in Desolation and a paradise on Vaynon free from the conflicts and ideals of their peers.

Endless Neshu of Raviq


Language Analog: Ancient Egyptian, Coptic
Inspiration:  Hieroglyphic illustrations, Vedalken of Magic: the Gathering (secondary inspiration)

Tainted Counterpart: none, neshu are immune to Taint
Temperamental Association: see below

The neshu are a race of hairless humanoids with colorful skin tones--each color range representing a sub-race specialized to a particular environment or task.  They have settled througout the Nefret river valley, separating the cattelfolk and dogfolk homelands of Raviq.  Their god-king, the Pharaoh, claims dominion over eastern Raviq.

The neshu races are named for their dominant skin color--which are culturally associated with societal roles.

NOTES:  Use the traits for Vedalken in the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravinicaas the base traits for neshu, disregarding those abilities identified below as being specific to Khesbedj (or "blue") Neshu--and applying the traits for the specific sub-race desired.
The typical colors associated with the Temperaments are subverted among the neshu, with white and black reversed. 
  • Desher (Red) Neshu, red-skinned neshu, Vitalist explorers native to the deep desert north of the Nefret river.
    • Ability Score Increase.  Your Constitution score increases by 1.
    • Desert Born.  You are naturally adapted to extreme heat, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide and you ignore any drawbacks caused by desert environments such as difficult terrain or similar hazards.
  • Hedj (White) Neshu, pearl or creamy white-skinned neshu, Nihilist scholars (priests and mages) living south of the Nefret river, near dogfolk territory.
    • Ability Score Increase.  Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
    • ...
  • Khesbedj (Blue) Neshu, bright or dark blue-skinned neshu, Idealist architects and traders living near the mouth of the Nefret river
    • Ability Score Increase.  Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
    • Partially Amphibious.  See the vedalken entry in Guildmaser's Guide to Ravnica.
  • Khem (Black) Neshu, coal or midnight black-skinned neshu, Altruist nobility and diplomats living among the great cities along the Nefret river and seacoast.
    • Ability Score Increase.  Your Charisma increases by 1.
    • ...
  • Meresh (Orange) Neshu, copper and gold-skinned neshu, Materialist miners and laborers native to the coastal highlands north of the Nefret river.
    • Ability Score Increase.  Your Strength score increases by 1.
    • Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with the artisan’s tools of your choice: smith’s tools, brewer’s supplies, or mason’s tools.
    • Stonecunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the Origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your Proficiency Bonus to the check, instead of your normal Proficiency Bonus.
  • Wadj (Green) Neshu, blue-green-skinned neshu, Dynamist farmers and peasants native to the fertile floodplains of the Nefret river.
    • Ability Score Increase.  Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
    • Mask of the Wild.  You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Ethereal Spirit Folk of Fuhon & Henjal

Language Analog: Japanese
Inspiration:  Oriental Adventures

In earlier editions of D&D, spirit folk are considered an offshoot of the human race who are descended in part from the spirits of the land.  In Monvesia, they are treated as the embodies spirits themselves, and not humans.


Tainted Counterpart: none, spirit folk are immune to Taint
Temperamental Association: see below

Names:  see Japanese Names, though translations of natural objects and features into Japanese would also suffice.

Spirit folk are known as kami in Fuhon and yaksha in Henjal.  Like elves, they are commonly associated with the nature spirits of animist and shamanic cultures.  They are as much the guardians of the wild as they are the embodiment thereof--and like those natural phenomena, they can be both benign and malignant.

Their god-king, the Mikado, rules the land of Fuhon--where spirit folk are revered as governors and guides.  In the rest of Henjal, they fill roles similar to muses and/or tricksters.  These spirit folk still revere the Mikado, but do not consider that god-king their soverign.

Despite the fact that humans passed through the continent from Desolation to Prace, they bypassed many of the races native there.  This may, in part, be because of the spirit folk, who guided humans toward the decaying Scalikind Empire (and the vanara beyond).

The classes of spirit folk include:
  • Bamboo/Forest Spirit Folk, Vitalist
  • Celestial Spirit Folk, Altruist
  • Deathly Spirit Folk, Nihilist
  • Mountain Spirit Folk, Materialist
  • River/Lake Spirit Folk, Dynamist
  • Sea Spirit Folk, Idealist
No traits are provided for this race at this time.  Spirit folk are a classic race present in the game in several editions.  A spirit folk race, with many of the sub-races listed above, may still be released for the current edition.
To make a spirit folk character, a player is encouraged to use the elf traits--keeping in mind that these characters will be culturally (and linguistically) distinct from the elves listed above. 

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