NWN Catara Information (english)

Update: Plea­se head over to our forums, you will find all the infor­ma­ti­on in a much nicer for­mat the­re.

The fol­lo­wing is a collec­tion of the old world infor­ma­ti­on from the can­cel­led cata​ra​.org web­site. I might refor­mat and sort it some­time later, but not today :).

If you want to log in to the ser­ver, all necessa­ry infor­ma­ti­on (ie link, hak­packs, etc.) can be found here.

Life and Law

Sunday, 06 March 2005

Someo­ne asked for infor­ma­ti­on on dai­ly life, here is a small over­view. If you have more spe­ci­fic ques­ti­ons, post them in the forum.

For the typi­cal Cataran, life is qui­te mono­to­nous. The majo­ri­ty lives in small mano­ri­al vil­la­ges and work on the fiel­ds, as wood­cut­ters or as miners.

Sin­ce Cata­ra is a very medi­eval socie­ty, most of the lower clas­ses work as peas­ants on the land of a noble, recei­ving pro­tec­tion for their duties.

The les­ser nobles often live in a clo­se or near­by manor. This is no big cast­le, often it is not even made from stone.

The working class is orga­ni­zed in guilds (except for free pro­fes­si­ons) and tends to con­cen­tra­te in the cities or big­ger vil­la­ges, but wood­craf­ters, smiths, pot­ters, mil­lers, etc can be found in near­ly every vil­la­ge.

To most peop­le it does not real­ly mat­ter if their vil­la­ge belongs to king, noble, church or cult. This can chan­ge and the only important thing is just tre­at­ment. Most Lords tre­at their ten­ants well, becau­se they know of their depen­d­en­cy on them. Manors/Villages admi­nis­tra­ted by bai­liffs or she­riffs tend to endu­re more hardships, sin­ce the owner knows he will not stay fore­ver.

The main worries of the average men are ever­y­thing that can mess with work (wea­ther, war), wild ani­mals or (in wil­der regi­ons) Kobolds, Gob­lins etc. Most peop­le have fear and respect of magic users. If they are no wit­ches it is ok, but still not real­ly good, except if shown to be other­wi­se.

Law and value of life are unders­tood in a medi­eval way. If two unre­la­ted peop­le meet in the forest and one ends up dead and the other has an excu­se no one will ask too many ques­ti­ons (this is of cour­se ano­t­her thing if a noble is con­cer­ned). Sin­ce cor­po­ral punish­ment is the norm, life is not view­ed and valued ‚huma­ni­ta­ri­an‘, as it is today. Of cour­se ever­yo­ne is sad if someo­ne dies, but no one would be expec­te to go out of his way to pro­tect life becau­se „all life is sac­red“ (except strong adher­ents of Shai­lin may­be) .

This also leads to no „mer­cy“ towards intel­li­gent mons­ters. (gene­ral­ly)

Typi­cal cri­mes are ste­aling, mur­der, arson, rape, adulte­ry etc…

Magic, and how people react to it

Fri­day, 04 March 2005

Magic is very rare on Cata­ra. This has of cour­se an effect on how the com­mon peop­le react when they see it. At the very least magic will pro­vo­ke asto­nish­ment and won­der.

If the magic user is not readi­ly reco­gni­ze­ab­le as part of the Church or the Cult or the Roy­al Mage Order, peop­le will at least be susp­cious, if not out­right hos­ti­le.

Witches vs „Legal“ Mages

If you are seen doing magic and peop­le have rea­sons to assu­me you are not part of any of the esta­blished mage groups, you will be deemed a witch.

Wit­ches will be fea­red, per­se­cu­t­ed, or sim­ply kil­led on the spot, depen­ding on the cir­cum­s­tan­ces.

Every play­er who plays a magic-using cha­rac­ter will have an easy opti­on of joi­ning one of the esta­blished guilds. Until the­se are imple­men­ted some sort of lee­way is given by the DMs.

Howe­ver even being a „Legal“ mage will still make peop­le unsu­re of you, espe­ci­al­ly if your name is not known.

Established and legal Mage Groups

  • The various church­es & Holy Orders. Tho­se who do not want to fol­low a spe­ci­fic god are collec­ted in Ele­gils church
  • The Bro­ther­hood of the Ring, the Wizard-Guild of the Cult of Nine (male wizards only)
  • Being a trai­ned Cult mage, but not mem­ber of the Bro­ther­hood is pos­si­ble too.
  • The Bards guild, which is an exten­si­on of the church of Ephe­mis
  • The Cult offers several other orders that train and pro­tect magic users. Examp­les are the Order of the Eye, Order of the Sun or the Order of the Winds.

Animal summons:

If they behave and look like a trai­ned ani­mal, the most you’d get is pro­bab­ly a few rai­sed eye­brows. „Dan­ge­rous“ ani­mals (dire bears, big nas­ty loo­king wol­ves“) will cau­se a stir if not leas­hed and / or very obvious­ly restrai­ned. City Guards might ask you to „restrain the beast“, or lea­ve the town with it.

Magical critters:

If you are a well-known mage (which no one under level 15 is), you may get away with having an imp fami­li­ar fol­lo­wing you. In every other case peop­le will be suspec­ting wit­che­ry. Inher­ent­ly evil loo­king sum­mons will get you into trou­ble for sure.

The act of summoning / unsummoning:

Ran­gers cal­ling ani­mal com­pa­n­ions or mages sum­mo­n­ing their fami­li­ars are trea­ted as „cal­ling the crea­tu­re out from hiding“. We will even­tual­ly dis­able the FX for the­se two things.

Every other sum­mo­n­ing will inva­ria­ble cau­se com­moners and city guards to react at least ner­vous­ly or even with fear and loat­h­ing, unless the mage is clear­ly a guild mem­ber and acting to defend someo­ne / acting in some magic show.

General Rule:

Wha­te­ver you do: Keep in mind that magic is rare, and peop­le are fond to think of „Wit­ches ever­y­whe­re“. Most peop­le have the mind­set of late midd­le ages / ear­ly renais­sance on earth. While they are open for enligh­tement, sca­ry magic will throw them back a lot.

Even a mage in an order can be con­s­i­de­red dan­ge­rous, espe­ci­al­ly if they cast spells on ano­t­her without asking. Even Can­trips and non-harm­ful spells can be mistrued easi­ly.

Last Updated ( Satur­day, 08 April 2006 )

A brief History (revised)

Fri­day, 04 March 2005

In anci­ent times Elves and Troll fought for domi­nan­ce over the world, Dra­gons devas­ta­ted the lands and Humans and Dwar­ves had to fight to sur­vi­ve every day.About 1000 years ago the Count of Glass and his empi­re Cibo­la, rose, defea­ted the domi­nan­ce of the Elves and began the Age of Men. The Empi­re Cibo­la ruled all the known lands across the oce­ans. They impor­ted Orc-slaves from afar and built gre­at things, but their god­less­ness should bring them down again.

It was the year 807 Cibol when the signs star­ted to show. Rains, fami­ne and unrest swept through all the pro­vin­ces. The Orcs rebel­led, floods kil­led thousands and the sun did not shi­ne during the day.

It was the bles­sed year 1 of Light (811 Cibol) when the lords of Cibo­la were punis­hed by the Gods. In Cata­ra, the Pro­phet arri­ved with a Tra­vel-phe­no­me­non and began the upri­sing. Collec­ting Men, Dwar­ves, Elves and Orcs under his flag he set out to rid Cata­ra of the Empi­re.

The Cibolans were cha­sed off, and their capi­tal Myran­dia was shat­te­red by the Gods and sank below the sea. Sad­ly, the­re was no unity about what should fol­low.

After 20 years of stri­fe and war Edward I., the Fist of the Gods, could unite all free and belie­ving counts under his flag and gave the peop­le peace by foun­ding Cata­ra.

In unci­vi­li­zed regi­ons the hea­thens pro­spe­red. The Witch-King­doms Dalo­ra and Talo­re, prac­ticing witch­craft and slavery and Gil­dan, Realm of the Elves were for­med. Our fri­ends the Dwar­ves retrea­ted to their anci­ent Moun­tain-Realm, but kept up the fri­endship with Cata­ra and most Orcs went north to roam the plains in free­dom.

After 4 years the King deci­ded to build his palace in the new capi­tal, Catar, becau­se the­re was no pos­si­bi­li­ty of rebuil­ding Myran­dia.

From 58 on the­re was war with Dalo­ra, becau­se they sup­por­ted the rob­ber-knights of cast­le High­rock. By 67 the Dalorans final­ly gave in and deci­ded to chan­ge their poli­cy.

The 70s brought the rise of pira­cy. Under the flag of legen­da­ry Ahab Bla­ckeye hund­reds sai­led a road of slaugh­ter. And slaugh­ter they did get, once Edward I. had finis­hed his fleet, and the pira­te-thre­at.

The 80s and 90s were overs­ha­dowed by odds about tra­de-rou­tes and goods with Talo­re. The­re were some skir­mis­hes, but after a few years a sen­si­ble solu­ti­on was found.

After a hund­red years, the time of the Pro­phet ended and the Gods took him back to their realm. Wea­ke­ned by this loss of spi­ri­tu­al lea­dership, a lot of peop­le suc­cumb to the Black Death.

In the fol­lo­wing years the Cult of the Nine inheri­ted a few manors and stret­ches of land. The Cult also pre­sen­ted old docu­ments and important sup­por­ters, sho­wing thus how inte­gral a part of Cataran socie­ty the Cult is.

The win­ter 118 was the col­dest anyo­ne can remem­ber. Gob­lins, Kobolds and even sin­gle Ogres attack vil­la­ges. A Giant that threa­tened Rade­s­crest was stop­ped at the last moment becau­se a Priest sum­mo­ned Rilos who final­ly kil­led the crea­tu­re. Long term effects are the erec­ting or upgra­ding of city walls.

In the year 123 Edward I. is kil­led by ano­t­her sur­ge of the Black Death. Due to back­up by the Dwar­ves his son, Edward II inherits.

The sighting of a Dra­gon in 134 cau­ses panic and mas­si­ve inte­rest in bows.

The King can announ­ce good news in 140 when the fist Elvish tra­ders sin­ce the upri­sing arri­ve by ship and open new ways of tra­de. Even exotic goods from far away Bataar now reach the King­dom and the King out­fits a few ships to secu­re tra­de-con­nec­tions.

In the 150s Dalo­ra and Talo­re wage war for domi­nan­ce. Grain­pri­ces rise, cau­sein unrest. Smugg­lers and pira­tes use the tur­moil to their advan­ta­ge. After a suc­cess­ful run of the navy over 70 bucca­neers are exe­cu­t­ed in 156.

The ear­ly 160s see a never exp­lai­ned series of raids on cara­vans and vil­la­ges in the south, all without any sur­vi­ors. Some suspect a Demon-Cult…

By 170 Gal­lows are rai­sed in many towns to dis­cou­ra­ge ban­dits, and Catar gets a mili­tia.

177 Bar­ba­ri­an attacks from the south threa­ten vil­la­ges, The South­mark-Army is crea­ted

183 The Elvish Mer­chant-Adven­tu­rers are allo­wed to sett­le in Catar for 30 years.

186 Vil­la­ges in Lee­va­le are atta­cked by a hor­de of undead from Dalo­ra

187 A bridge col­lap­ses under the weight of the lar­ge audi­ence at the mass-exe­cu­ti­on of 29 pira­tes. Mea­su­res are pro­mi­sed

188 Out­lan­der pira­tes have abduc­ted and ens­laved 29 tra­ders.

190 Dalo­ra and Talo­re decla­re war on eacho­ther.

191 Grain­pri­ces are on the rise. Late in the year there’s a dis­pu­te bet­ween the king and the Counts Schee­ver and von Hee­ne. The latter’s daugh­ter is sup­po­sed to mar­ry prince Dar­in. Rumors about a pos­si­ble feud abound.

192 (pre­sent) Still trou­ble brewing bet­ween counts and pro­vin­ces. Reports of dra­gon sightings. Also rumors about a demon-cult ope­ra­ting near Beckron.

Dominant Features of Catara

Wed­nes­day, 05 Janu­ary 2005

Cata­ra is a world with a few domi­nant fea­tures:

  1. The Arri­val of the Gods
  2. The „Cult of the Nine“
  3. The Tra­vel Phe­no­me­nons

1. The Arri­val of the Gods

About a thousand years ago, or so the elves tell, the gods arri­ved on Catar. Sud­den­ly they were the­re, wan­de­ring the world, doing mira­cles, and attrac­ting wor­ship. Alt­hough the elder elves have detail­led records of a time pre­da­ting the gods, most shorter lived races (ie: ever­yo­ne else) dis­mis­ses this as a myth the elves spread to claim supe­rio­ri­ty.

2. The „Cult of the Nine“

Near­ly half of the human popu­la­ti­on of Catar refu­ses the wor­ship the gods. They ack­now­ledge their pre­sence and their power, but they do not pray to them, visit their temp­les, or do any­thing that amounts to wor­ship.

Ins­te­ad, they clus­ter around 9 empty altars, cele­bra­ting their inde­pen­dence of the gods.

3. The Tra­vel Phe­no­me­nons

Every so often a huge ball of light­ning speeds across the land. Crea­tures who stand in it’s way are taken up with it, and more or less instan­tious­ly reap­pe­ar at an ent­i­re­ly dif­fe­rent loca­ti­on. So far, no one can say why this hap­pens, or has been able to pre­dict the­se things.

Races

Half-Orcs

The Half-Orc is a pro­duct of a uni­on bet­ween a Lar­ge Orc and a human.

Often the Orcish par­ent is, or was a slave, which means that most of the­se indi­vi­du­als have inheri­ted a most­ly human cul­tu­re. Phy­si­cal­ly they also fit in well among the humans, usual­ly fea­turing only a slight­ly hea­vier build, big­ger strength and some­ti­mes the enlar­ged cani­nes as evi­dence of their orcish par­en­ta­ge.

Orcs

The­re are two dif­fe­rent stocks of orcs known: Wild and Lar­ge Orcs.

Wild Orcs are small and very pri­mi­ti­ve huma­no­i­ds. They make up for their lack in sta­tu­re and civi­li­sed wea­pons by amp­le amounts of wild vio­lence. Their limi­ted intel­li­gence keeps them from beco­m­ing real­ly dan­ge­rous, but in lar­ge groups they are a real menace.

Lar­ge Orcs are the nor­mal rep­re­sen­ta­ti­ves of their race and have a majo­ri­ty over the other sub­races. Becau­se of their natu­ral endu­ran­ce and strength they are valued high­ly as slaves by various other races. Despi­te the pre­ju­di­ce cau­sed by this, the Lar­ge Orcs pos­sess a con­s­i­derable intel­li­gence and have deve­lo­ped an extra­va­gant cul­tu­re of their own.

Halflings

In reclu­si­ve, out of the way parts of the coun­try the­re are some­ti­mes found the­se small folk.

They pre­fer the quiet life­style in their small sett­le­ments and rare­ly lea­ve them. They are and pre­fer to be unob­trusi­ve, but not as with­drawn and reclu­si­ve as the non-grey elves, so the explo­rer or casu­al wan­de­rer might sud­den­ly walk into a quaint litt­le vil­la­ge whe­re he real­ly didn’t expect one.

In hil­ly coun­try the­se vil­la­ges often take the shape of bur­rows, but whe­re the ter­rain is unsui­ta­ble they are just as hap­py living in hou­ses. Hal­f­lings are a chee­ry, often care­free folk. Most­ly they live as far­mers, in small com­mu­nities. Gene­ral­ly hal­f­lings are neu­tral to good in terms of align­ment.

Some say hal­f­lings are a sub­race of humans, but nobo­dy can con­firm this and hal­f­lings inva­ria­b­ly deny it clai­ming proud­ly that they are a full race on their own.

Dwarves… and Gnomes

The­re are four dif­fe­rent dwar­ven folks known: Moun­tain, Ice, City and Dark Dwar­ves.

Moun­tain Dwar­ves make up the majo­ri­ty of the Dwar­ven races on the world. They are ever­y­thing one gene­ral­ly assu­mes about dwar­ves: small, broad-shoul­de­red, long-bear­ded, not very fond of speech, but all the more fond of ale and most of all: Gold!

A stran­ge sub­race are the City Dwar­ves, who live in cities above the ground ins­te­ad of the usu­al under­ground moun­tain halls and have adap­ted their cul­tu­re to this life­style. They fit in much bet­ter in their cho­sen envi­ron­ment and as such get along bet­ter with humans. Catar has a small popu­la­ti­on of the­se dwar­ves.

Ice Dwar­ves are tough and very resis­tent to cold. They live in glet­chers. You won’t meet them in Cata­ra.

Dark Dwar­ves are a sub­race of dwar­ves that live deep in the ground whe­re the sun never pene­tra­tes. This suits them per­fect­ly, becau­se they have a strong aver­si­on to light, which was honed over the cen­tu­ries that they have lived down the­re. Note that Dark dwar­ves are neit­her dark skin­ned, nor gene­ral­ly evil.

Con­tra­ry to what most humans think: Gno­mes are actual­ly not a sepe­ra­te race. In fact, near­ly every gno­me has dwar­ven par­ents. In anci­ent times, when the first gno­mes star­ted to appe­ar the ear­ly dwar­ves thought them abomi­na­ti­ons, weak and way too eager on thin­king ins­te­ad of mining.

The­re are sca­ry bed­ti­me sto­ries of how the­se gno­mes were cast out by their dwar­vish clan, shun­ned for their pecu­la­ri­ty.

Today all this is view­ed as a myth: A Gno­me is just ano­t­her dwarf, alt­hough a spe­cial one: He is less sto­cky, more wiry, and usual­ly a lot more apt to be a tin­ke­rer, or even a spell­cas­ter. Gno­mes and dwar­ves ming­le free­ly.

Elves

The elves are the oldest race on the world, pre­da­ting even the gods if one can belie­ve their own legends and his­to­ries. During their long stay on the world the elves have deve­lo­ped cer­tain sub­races and various cul­tures as well:

  • High Elves are the most anci­ent elves. They are aloof and very, very rare, to the point that nobo­dy knows whe­re and even if they still exist. Most peop­le in Cata­ra wouldn’t even know there’s such a thing as a High Elf.
  • Light Elves are an off­shoot of the High Elves ori­gi­nal­ly that claim they are the High Elves and are only con­tra­dic­ted by their Dark bre­thren that claim the same (see below). They are rare in Cata­ra to the point of non-exis­tence and the gene­ral popu­lace doesn’t even know of their exi­s­tan­ce.
  • Dark Elves are also an off­shoot of the High Elves that claim they are the real High Elves. Dark Elves are not to be con­fu­sed with Drow; they are not dark skin­ned and a non-elf would not be able to tell a Dark Elf from a Light Elf or any kind of other Elf for that mat­ter. Ano­t­her Elf would know. They are cal­led Dark becau­se of their ten­d­en­cy to fol­low the dar­ker and more sinis­ter paths in life. Dark Elves are rare in Cata­ra to the point of non-exis­tence and not much is known about them.
  • Grey Elves are a much youn­ger race of elves. They are more out­go­ing than their bre­thren from the older races, and it is inva­ria­b­ly a grey elf that you will encoun­ter among other cul­tures as adven­tu­rers, mer­chants and tra­vel­lers. They gene­ral­ly value art and know­ledge very high­ly.
  • Wood Elves have a clo­se bond with natu­re and live their lifes with­drawn into the forests away from what we would call civi­li­sa­ti­on. The chan­ces of mee­ting one are at best remo­te.
  • Win­ged Elves are gra­cious and slen­der, and have fea­the­red wings. Their cul­tu­ral empha­sis is ali­ke to that of the Wood Elves in that they pre­fer a clo­se bond with natu­re and don’t live in other cul­tures but their own. Their num­bers are very low com­pa­red to the other elven races due to the rigors of recent wars and being a favo­r­ed prey of dra­gons and other flight­ed crea­tures.

A gene­ral note on Elves: As a non-elf in Cata­ra you might meet an Elf some­ti­mes, if rare­ly. This is in 99.99% of the cases a Grey Elf, but the non-elves don’t real­ly know this. The know­ledge about elves is gene­ral­ly not good enough to dis­tin­guish bet­ween the elf sub­races, if they even know the­re are the­se sub­races. An Elf is an Elf to them and thus most pro­bab­ly also to you.

This text focu­ses on the customs of the elves of Gil­dan, espe­ci­al­ly regar­ding their child­ren.

On Elves

The elves of Gil­dan seem to be united for most for­eig­ners. But in rea­li­ty they are qui­te mixed and sub­jec­ted to many schisms. The dif­fe­rent elven folks are High, Grey and Wood Elves, all of them living sepa­r­a­te­ly. The High Elves have with­drawn them­sel­ves into the inner lands of Gil­dan long ago. They have qui­te an own way of living, mar­ked by their near eter­nal life, and their lack of con­tact with mor­tals.

High elven child­ren are care­free and joy­ful crea­tures. The com­mu­ni­ty will tre­at them as young child­ren well until their 40th year. Only then they slow­ly begin to matu­re, a pro­cess that takes again 10 to 20 years. Humans often are decei­ved by this, as elven child­ren of 20 years alre­ady look phy­si­cal­ly matu­re and are also using nor­mal „grown up“ speech. But from the elven view­point they are small child­ren, as they lack the expe­ri­ence of hund­reds of years.

Elven child­ren only stay with their par­ents for the first two years of their life. After the­se, they will be given to a befri­en­ded hou­se­hold. This is cau­sed by the sharp dis­tinc­tion elves make bet­ween a „par­en­ting coup­le“, and a „life coup­le“. Par­en­ting cou­ples are a neces­si­ty. The­se pai­rings are usual­ly deci­ded at birth for each per­son. When an elf matures, he con­cei­ves a child with his assi­gned part­ner, as a com­ing of age ritu­al. After the new­born child has been given away the par­en­ting coup­le usual­ly splits up again. Only can then both par­ties slow­ly start to beco­me full mem­bers of elven socie­ty.

The „life coup­le“ is a pai­ring built out of love. Mutu­al affec­tion, and the will to walk life’s path toge­ther is the force that keeps them toge­ther. As the­se cou­plings aren’t made for the pur­po­se of con­cei­ving child­ren, the gen­der of the cho­sen part­ner is com­ple­te­ly irrele­vant for most elves. Only a tenth of the­se cou­ples actual­ly rai­se child­ren, so tho­se that form „fami­lies“ often build up com­pa­ra­tively lar­ge ones. The child­ren view the mem­bers of the hou­se­holds they are rai­sed in as their fami­ly, even if they aren’t rela­ted gene­ti­cal­ly.

Once a child­rai­sing coup­le noti­ces that one of their adop­ted child­ren has star­ted to matu­re, they help it to find a men­tor. This men­tor will teach the child a pro­fes­si­on, tailo­red to the young ones needs, inte­rests and capa­bi­li­ties. Once the appren­ti­ce­ship is over, the elf is con­s­i­de­red matu­re.

Often the­se appren­ti­ces get a spe­cial task assi­gned at the end of their appren­ti­ce­ship. This task doesn’t need to be ful­fil­led at once, or even at all. Every elf can deci­de for him­s­elf if he wants to do it, and no one ques­ti­ons him if he doesn’t even start to think on it. It is not uncom­mon that several cen­tu­ries pass befo­re an elf even takes noti­ce of that task.

But should an elf actual­ly start to do it, he will inva­ria­b­ly bring it to the end, even if it takes his who­le life to achie­ve. Tho­se who mana­ge to finish their task are con­s­i­de­red to be mas­ters of their pro­fes­si­on, and enjoy the hig­hest repu­ta­ti­on amongst their kin.

In gene­ral, elves stay in Gil­dan. Only occa­sio­nal a few Grey Elves ven­ture out­side of the forests, for tra­de and adven­ture. Any elf seen in Cata­ra will inva­ria­b­ly attract atten­ti­on.

Humans

The human race is the most pre­va­lent in Cata­ra, but the humans have many cul­tu­ral dif­fe­ren­ces among them­sel­ves. Some human fami­lies claim that their blood­li­ne is more „pure“ than others and seek to retain that puri­ty, even sub­scribing some spe­cial fami­ly traits and abi­li­ties to this hig­her blood. This ten­d­en­cy is often found among the nobi­li­ty.

Most humans howe­ver are of not in this group and claim no spe­cial abi­li­ties. The majo­ri­ty of the humans is what one could descri­be as com­moners; city or rural folk that live a nor­mal live.

Humans howe­ver are a high­ly adap­ta­ble race with a sur­pri­sing talent for sur­vi­val in vary­ing cir­cum­s­tan­ces. It is not uncom­mon for the humans in a par­ti­cu­lar regi­on to have adap­ted to strong influ­en­ces from their sur­roun­dings and neigh­bo­ring races. The result of such adap­tati­ons is often indi­ca­ted with a spe­ci­fic indi­ca­tor, for examp­le „nomads“, „wood­lan­ders“, „high­lan­ders“, etc.

On Half-Elves

Half-Elves are the result of tho­se rare uni­ons bet­ween an elf and a human. Their cul­tu­ral out­look depends most­ly on the rai­sing parent(s).

If the rai­sing par­ents are elven; he will undoub­ted­ly be rai­sed to know some­thing about his elven heri­ta­ge (if he can endu­re the nor­mal elven upbrin­ging that is). His/her human side often prompts an impa­ti­ence with the elven upbrin­ging which is tra­di­tio­nal­ly well over 50 years. Young half-elves brought up in an elven hou­se­hold will inva­ria­b­ly run into trou­bles when reaching their ado­le­scence 30 years befo­re their elven par­ents expect it…

If he/she is only rai­sed by the human par­ent, or by a pure­ly human par­en­ting coup­le (read the elven child­rai­sing customs), then the cul­tu­ral out­co­me is usual­ly a rela­tively nor­mal child accord­ing to human stan­dards, and only the phy­si­cal attri­bu­tes set him or her apart.

High, Light, Dark and Win­ged elves are so reclu­si­ve, and „above“ the world that they sim­ply don’t inte­re­act with humans in gene­ral, much less con­cei­ve a child with them. This means that almost all Half-Elves have a Grey Elven par­ent. The­re may be the very, very rare excep­ti­on, but until now, this is com­ple­te­ly unhe­ard of.

In such a case the fami­ly of the elven par­ent would actual­ly seek out the child as well as the human par­ent to inves­ti­ga­te the birth. Inva­ria­b­ly they would suspect a uni­on of force rather than love, and tre­at the child as an abomi­na­ti­on.

Population & Government

Approximate total population: 200 000

Race Amount
Humans 98 196 000
Nymphs 1 2 000
Orcs ½ 1 000
Dwar­ves - 800
Hal­f­lings - 450
Elves - 400

Human population localisation:

Catar 18.000
Other cities 25.000
Islands 63.000
Main­land 94.000

Government structures

General Feudal System

The King resi­des in Catar, the capi­tal of the coun­try. He usual­ly rep­res­ents exclu­si­ve­ly the coun­try. The barons are lords of their own baro­ny, but owe the crown a mon­th­ly tri­bu­te and their sup­port. Con­flicts bet­ween barons are not unusu­al.

Lands in Catara and their rulers

Land Ruler(s)
Coun­try The King (the­re is only one)
Pro­vin­ces Usual­ly Count, alt­hough some have other per­so­nal tit­les.
Baro­nies Baron or Knight

The 10 provinces

Pro­vin­ce Popu­la­ti­on Capi­tal City City Pop. Local Lord km²
Catar 37000 Catar 18000 King Edward II of Catar 5586
Gro­va­le 13200 Rade­s­crest 3200 Count August Schee­ver 10625
Lock­beck 17800 Wer­dum 2800 Count Tim­men of Hee­ne 4727
Lowerg­orn 15000 Gorn­mouth 2000 The 7 Mages 5625
Seagro­ve-Gorn 21000 Green­me­a­dow 4000 Countess Julia­na of Moun­tain­crag 10156
Lee­va­le 24200 Beckron 4200 Count Asti­nus of Beck­va­le 10000
Myran­dia 11000 - - Dra­gon­prince Dar­in 4884
South­mark 29600 Hill­fall 4600 Baron Ata­nis 30000
Tor­kum 30100 Caverns­ton 5100 Derk of the Mea­dow 40000
Nyr 2000 Nyr - Queen Nyyv­na 5000

Taxes

Gene­ral­ly about 50 % of all sorts of inco­me, for examp­le:
·        Wood­cut­ting in the Lord’s forests
·        Her­ding ani­mals on the lord’s lands
·        Trans­porting some­thing over the lord’s lands (import/export tax)
·        Ever­y­thing that’s har­ve­sted or pro­du­ced
·        Using the mills

Taxes are also owed for various offi­ci­al cere­mo­nies and licen­ces:
·        Death and buri­als
·        Mar­ria­ge
·        Church and Temp­le taxes
·        Guild Licence
·        Magic Licence

Law and Court

The King’s Laws

App­li­ca­ble to both Nobi­li­ty and Civi­li­ans in case of cri­mes against the Crown and the coun­try.
Examp­les: Tre­a­son, Dis­obey­ing of direct orders, Attacking the King’s Men, Arson, For­ge­ry, Har­bo­ring Fugi­ti­ves from the Law, High­way Rob­be­ry, Dis­re­spect towards the King or the Aut­ho­ri­ty of the Crown.
Pos­si­ble punish­ments: Han­ging, Deca­pi­ta­ti­on, Tar and Fea­the­ring, the Rack, being Drawn and Quar­te­red, etc.

Civilian Law

App­li­ca­ble to pro­vin­ci­al and baro­ni­al courts and smal­ler lands in case of argu­ments bet­ween civi­li­ans or civi­li­an insti­tu­ti­ons as well as smal­ler, local cri­mes.
Pos­si­ble punish­ments: being decla­red an out­law, ven­det­ta, mai­ming, gold (fines), forced labor, having the Thie­ves‘ Mark bran­ded into your hand or in more seve­re cases your forehead. Fines and forced labor are the more com­mon punish­ments.

Deities and the Cult

Religious Systems

The­re are two oppo­sing sys­tems of belief and wor­ship on Cata­ra

Peop­le on Cata­ra know that the gods are the­re. Many have actual­ly seen one at least once. Wor­ship as a rule is poly­the­istic. Peop­le pay homage to wha­te­ver god suits their cur­rent needs. Only Pala­dins and Cle­rics focus on one god or god­dess.

Oppo­sed to that is the Cult of Nine. It is a qua­si-reli­gious group, that actual­ly rejects the gods. Men can do wha­te­ver they want, they claim, and that the gods are meddling ins­te­ad of hel­pful. The Cult still ack­now­led­ges the exi­s­tan­ce and power of the gods, but refu­ses to wor­ship them.

The Cult of Nine

The Cult of Nine is a qua­si-reli­gious group that actual­ly rejects the gods. Men can do wha­te­ver they want, they claim, and that the gods are meddling ins­te­ad of hel­pful. It’s mem­bers ack­now­ledge the gods exis­tence, but refu­se to wor­ship them.

It is important to note that they are not non-belie­vers. The exi­s­tan­ce of the gods isn’t argued, just if they are worth wor­ship­ping. The Cult of Nine thinks they aren’t.

The vast majo­ri­ty of the Cult are humans, alt­hough the­re are a few non-humans in it too. Note­ab­le is the scar­ci­ty of Half-Orcs or orcs in it: The Cibo­le­an Empi­re trea­ted them as slaves, and sin­ce the insur­rec­tion, few for­mer slaves have embraced this reli­gi­on.

The Different Orders of the Cult

The Cult of Nine is split into nine orders. Nine is an extre­me­ly important num­ber for them actual­ly.

Order of the Eye

The Order of the Eye are said to be the Seers of the Cult. That tit­le is a bit con­fu­sing though. They are not actu­al divi­ners or pro­phets. They are Psi­ons and well ver­sed in under­stan­ding and using the human mind. Their task is to under­stand other peop­le, to give advice on what they are likely to think. Mem­bers of this order can be spies, advi­sors, scho­l­ars, sooth­say­ers, coun­celors and the­ra­pists.

A novice of this order vol­un­ta­ri­ly gives up his eye­sight for a long time, to bet­ter train his other sen­ses, and to focus his mind. During the long trai­ning, he will learn how to tap an inner well of power, to per­form incredi­ble feats. No one real­ly knows what the limits of the­se powers are, but it is said that they par­al­lel tho­se of true wizards in some ways.

The Cult of Nine always sta­tes that the mem­bers of the Order of the Eye show what humans are capa­ble of if they real­ly focus on their own skills, ins­te­ad of depen­ding on gods. In fact, the­re has been no report of a sin­gle god-wor­ship­ping Psi­on on Cata­ra.

Order of the Robe

The spi­ri­tu­al gui­des, as well as the inter­nal Inqui­si­ti­on of the Cult

Order of the Sun

The Druids, Ran­gers and her­ba­lists

Order of the Fire

Here the smiths, alche­mists and artists gather, to fashion the things the Cult would need.

Order of the Snake

Bro­thers and Sis­ters of the Sna­ke are the hea­lers.

Order of the Winds

Heralds, talent scouts (dub­bed Com­ferrs) and the rese­ar­chers and map makers of the Cult.

Brothers of the Ring

The wizards of the Cult. It is noted that no sorce­rers are part of this bro­ther­hood, and only men are admit­ted. Sign of mem­bership is a light gray metal ring worn on the litt­le fin­ger of the left hand.

Order of the Flaming Blade

The Knights of the Cult, and their fighting Order. On joi­ning, a Knight has to pledge 9 years of devo­ted ser­vice. Only after having ser­ved as a kna­ve, the the knight is allo­wed to take his vowes, which inclu­de celi­ba­cy and pover­ty. The knight will be owning not­hing but the equip­ment the Order grants him or her.

The nine years will be spent as wan­de­ring years, whe­re he may only resi­de up to 9 mon­ths at the same spot (the­se times are usual­ly spent in some gar­ris­son)

After this ser­vice, he ascends to a hig­her rank and gets per­mit­ted to mar­ry and acqui­re goods.

A Knight of the Fla­ming Sword has none­theless a high pres­ti­ge, and after the 9 wan­de­ring years will often take up high posi­ti­ons in the guards of one of the other orders, or may­be even a com­mand of one of the many keeps of the Cult.

They are impo­sing figu­res, wea­ring magi­cal blue robes, a blue steel hel­met and, if they are of a very high sta­tus, fla­ming two han­ded swor­ds.

Council of Eternity

The ori­gi­nal Coun­cil of Eter­ni­ty is in Cibo­la. As such, com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on with them seems to have bro­ken down for qui­te a while due to the insur­rec­tion.

In Cata­ra, the­re is an inte­rims Coun­cil, made up from the hig­hest mem­bers of the indi­vi­du­al orders.

Their names are known to the public:
Isak Herb — First Pro­c­lai­mer of the Cult — „The Ninth“
Mas­ter Uram Der­ra­gol — Arch­mage of the Cult of Nine — „Ring­bro­ther“
Uhar Fires­son — Order of the Robe - „Should­er­pie­ce“
Ayahn — Order of the Eye — „High Seer“
Gas­ra of Myran­dia — Order of the Sun — „Flet­ching“
Emjen Tage­ryn — Order of Fire — „Gold“
Jare­la Star­sign — Order of the Sna­ke — „Heart“
Sir Nas­ran of Gorn­he­art — Order of the Winds — „Nor­thwind“
Sir Garan Cho­renn — Order of the Fla­ming Bla­de — „Cross­guard“

The Gods

Constain — God of Nature

Like Jona­ton, Con­stain is a Natu­re God. Whe­re Jona­ton empha­si­zes the good­ness, har­mo­ny and balan­ce of natu­re, Con­stain embo­dies the oppo­si­te; the dest­ruc­tive and pure force that is natu­re in its rawest form. He loves natu­re, but hates the races of sen­ti­ent spe­ci­es that have come to live in and on it, regar­ding them as para­si­tes to get rid of as soon as pos­si­ble. Con­stain is said to have a body that con­sists of sha­peless goo or ooze.

Align­ment: TN
Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Grea­ta­xe
Domains: Ani­mal, Dest­ruc­tion, Plant

Sorudred — God of Destruction

It is unknown if Sorud­red is real­ly a God or just an obscu­re demon, but still ill­nes­ses, con­fla­g­ra­ti­ons, pla­gues, and other phe­no­me­nons of grand sca­le dest­ruc­tion are often attri­bu­t­ed to Him. It is a widespread custom to use His name in cur­ses and when swea­ring.

Align­ment: CE

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Gre­atsword

Domains: Death, Dest­ruc­tion, War

Rakkar – God of Thieves and Ambushes

All thie­ves ply their tra­de in the favor of Rak­kar. When someo­ne has had some­thing sto­len then it is often said that Rak­kar has play­ed His tricks on him or her.

Align­ment: NE

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Dag­ger

Rilos – God of War and Hunting

Rilos loves fights and batt­les, but also the hunt. Often he’s repor­ted to ride around on his win­ged hor­se, hun­ting down giants and des­troy­ing other unfri­end­lies. Rilos‘ true fol­lo­wers will never just kill for the kil­ling though. Every oppo­nent that is met in batt­le, and every prey that’s hun­ted deser­ves to be hono­red and respec­ted, as wits, strength and cun­ning are tested in batt­le or pur­su­it.

Align­ment: CG

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Batt­le­a­xe

Domains: Ani­mal, Plant, War

Jaletar – God of the Suns and the day

Jale­tar rep­res­ents the two suns that rise over Cata­ra every day. He makes sure they stay on cour­se and rise and set cor­rect­ly. His name and power is also often invo­ked when banis­hing dae­mons or crea­tures of pure evil. It is said that in His holy light, no darkness or crea­tures of darkness can exist. His twin bro­ther is Nua­gar.

Align­ment: LG

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Longsword

Nuagar – God of Darkness, the Night and Dreams

Nua­gar is Jaletar’s twin and their sphe­res of influ­ence clo­se­ly bor­der; his sphe­res of influ­ence lie in the res­ting pha­se of the dark night. He is not an evil god though, but rather rep­res­ents the who­le­so­me aspects of darkness and night; the sleep and rest­ful dreams that bring refresh­ment and strength to face a new day.

Align­mentL: NG

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Cross­bow

Domains: Air, Healing, Pro­tec­tion

Shailin – Goddess of Love and Feelings

Shai­lin is the patron of tho­se who love and tho­se that approach each other with affec­tion of some kind. Many hea­lers are found in her ranks, for healing comes forth from a love of life its­elf.

Align­ment: NG

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Net

Domains: Good, Healing, Pro­tec­tion

Drekon – God of Death and Mourning

God of Death and Mour­ning

Dre­kon is the most dra­ma­tic per­so­ni­fi­ca­ti­on among the gods. Accord­ing to legend He is the One that loves all peop­le and all crea­tures the most. This is why, after the many wars and the many deaths his heart is bro­ken. Legend paints him as a bro­ken figu­re of a man tra­vel­ling through the deserts and was­te­lands, loud­ly pro­c­lai­ming his lament. He stops at every death and mourns it, then takes the deceased’s soul and leads it into a bet­ter world.

It is Dre­kon who cries for the deaths of us all, whe­ther we are kings or thie­ves, and in the end we all pay him our last tri­bu­te, which he never wan­ted or asked for.

Align­ment: TN

Favou­red Wea­pon: Shield

Domains: Death, Pro­tec­tion, Strength

Ugaris – God of Trade and Luck

Cur­sed and prai­sed equal­ly by many, Uga­ris is a con­tro­ver­si­al god. His favor is fore­ver chan­ging and fluc­tua­ting, all want to have it, but it always seems to aban­don them at the most inop­por­tu­ne time, while at the same time being the­re when nee­ded most. No mer­chant, tra­der or gam­bler can go without his favor for any length of time, so despi­te being jud­ged a bit immo­ral by some, his fol­lo­wers are still many. His favo­ri­te pas­sti­me is the ridd­le­con­test.

Align­ment: CN

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Shorts­word

Domains: Cha­os, Tra­vel, Tri­cke­ry

Magmos – God of Fire and Blacksmiths

Mag­mos is despi­te his small sphe­re of influ­ence qui­te popu­lar among the peop­le. He is often rep­re­sen­ted as a mus­cu­lar man, always with a cheer­ful rhy­me ready. He sees to it that the hearth­fire is bur­ning bright­ly and that Rilos‘ arrows, and the kni­ves of figh­ters and chefs ali­ke are always sharp.  Mag­mos has a gre­at, popu­lous fol­lo­wing (espe­ci­al­ly among the dwar­ves, whe­re his fol­lo­wing is unani­mous).

Align­ment: LN (lea­ning towards Good)

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: War­ham­mer

Domains: Fire, Pro­tec­tion, Strength

Or-Koris – God of the Sea and Storms

Vene­ra­ted by tra­velers on all seas, Or-Koris is the per­so­ni­fi­ca­ti­on of the wild storm. Many lives has He clai­med alre­ady and many will still fall vic­tim to His winds and waters. Every sea­fa­rer, whe­ther casu­al or pro­fes­sio­nal, should endea­vor to appease Him and avert His fury befo­re set­ting sail, so the jour­ney might be free of dan­gers.

Align­ment: CN

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Tri­dent

Domains: Air, Dest­ruc­tion, Water

Marros – God of the Earth and Volcanoes

Mar­ros is pri­ma­ri­ly wor­ship­ped as the God of agri­cul­tu­re. It is wise to attract His favor; He pro­tects the field and ensu­res the earth is fer­ti­le. Ano­t­her side of His influ­ence is howe­ver the dest­ruc­tive power of the earth, espe­ci­al­ly vol­ca­noes. This means that it’s high­ly unwi­se to pro­vo­ke His wrath, becau­se not only may your field remain bare, but your lands might even be cove­r­ed with a lay­er of mol­ten stone and debris. Bes­i­des Mag­mos, Mar­ros is the only god wor­ship­ped by the dwar­ves. Any tun­nel or mine built without His con­sent is said to be doo­med to col­lap­se.

Align­ment: TN

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Scy­the

Domains: Earth, Plant, Strength

Janaton – God of the Forest

Jana­ton is often por­tray­ed as an old man, living peace­ful­ly in a small cabin in the midd­le of a lar­ge forest, sur­roun­ded by all kinds of ani­mals. One pro­vo­kes His wrath by unne­cessa­ri­ly dama­ging natu­re. The­re is not­hing wrong with hun­ting if done well, becau­se the hunt is a part of the natu­ral cycle of the woods and the ani­mals living the­re.

Align­ment: TN

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Long­bow

Domains: Ani­mal, Plant, Pro­tec­tion

Mirika – Goddess of the Fishermen

Miri­ka is the wife of Or-Koris and is high­ly respec­ted among fisher­men on the coast espe­ci­al­ly. She assu­res that enough fish migra­te clo­se to the shores, so the nets of the fisher­men are always full and the catch is boun­ti­ful.

Most nota­b­ly King Edward of Catar is a strong fol­lo­wer of Her and has his own shri­ne dedi­ca­ted to Her. This is becau­se his favo­ri­te dish is fresh fish.

Align­ment: NG

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Spe­ar

Domains: Ani­mal, Good, Water

Ephemis – God of Art and History

Bards, pain­ters, sculp­ters and poets; all artis­ans are pro­tec­ted by the vir­tue of Ephe­mis‘ powers. All pray to him for inspi­ra­ti­on and that litt­le extra bit of skill that will make a simp­le per­for­mance or sculp­tu­re into a true work of Art. Also all who wri­te down or recount the times gone past, and so pre­ser­ve lore and histo­ry for the gene­ra­ti­ons to come are spe­ci­al­ly pro­tec­ted by Ephe­mis.

Align­ment: LN

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Rapier

Domains: Know­ledge, Tra­vel, Tri­cke­ry

Nomakon – God of Magic and Knowledge

Noma­kon is hono­red by all that are sear­ching for enligh­ten­ment and know­ledge. He rep­res­ents Intel­li­gence, Expe­ri­ence and Wis­dom. Magi­ci­ans and libra­ri­ans espe­ci­al­ly, are often found among his fol­lo­wers, becau­se the­re is no part of magi­cal lore that He is not fami­li­ar with. He is the defi­ni­ti­ve Patron of all wizards, and tho­se that aspi­re to beco­me such will do well to acqui­re his favor. Also tho­se that wan­der long for­got­ten paths, sear­ching for the wis­dom of the anci­ents are under his pro­tec­tion and worthy of his favor.

Align­ment: LN

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Mace

Domains: Know­ledge, Magic, Tri­cke­ry

Ebruk – God of the Poor

Ebruk rep­res­ents hope for the poor. The temp­le of Ebruk is a shel­ter for the homeless and a place whe­re tho­se without gold can get a warm meal. It is custo­ma­ry for all, even the most wealt­hy, to dona­te to Ebruk now and then, to ward off fal­ling into pover­ty them­sel­ves.

Align­ment: NG

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Club

Domains: Good, Healing, Pro­tec­tion

Elegil – Ruler of the Gods

Ele­gil is the Ruler of the Gods, Lord of the Pan­the­on. There’s not­hing else to say about him, for he does not medd­le in the affairs of the mor­tals often. Only in Catar is the­re a temp­le dedi­ca­ted to him, and qui­te often the com­mon folk not of the capi­tal will never have even heard of him. He is sup­po­sed to have been the God of the pro­phet.

Align­ment: NG

Favo­r­ed Wea­pon: Flail

Domains: Know­ledge, Magic, Tra­vel