Tales of Tolara
“It is not what we are born, but what we become that is the true measure of our lives.”
-Lorand Da’aldo, High General of the Demi Army
The land of Tolara is as vast as it is ancient and as such is the home to many different races, each clamoring for strength to rise to the past glory spoken of by their ancestors.
Humanity has always been a tenacious group. Climbing the ladder of creation on the back of technology and progress, their comparably short lifespan merely a setback to the power that they have gathered over the years. They can be found in most corners of Tolara for their ability to adapt and evolve is second to none. Lorond, the grand general of the Demi Army, was once human.
Halflings and Goblinoids
The Halflings, a tiny race with courage and a sense of justice that even a Titan couldn’t match. They are the founders of Erronade, the sanctuary of technology and freedom that the Emperor can never touch. This is in large help to the Goblinoid people, clever and wicked in design. Theirs are the hands that crafted the defenses of Erronade, theirs is the will that keeps those defenses running, and it is their cleverness that hides Erronade from the Emperor’s watchful eyes.
As ancient and sturdy as the stone they mine, the Empire has been rough on the Dwarves. Isolated in their mountain home, they were once reviled and mistrusted for their rumored connection to the Duergar. They have since proven themselves time and again in the Demi War and beyond in their stalwart loyalty and noble dedication to the world and its people. There are still those who would wish ill to the residents of the Heavenstooth Range and so the Emperor has given the Tin King use of a large contingent of the Imperial forces should the need ever arise. All the Emperor asks in return for this is a sharing of ore found within the mountain. A price that not all were pleased to pay.
Hobgoblins, Orcs, Half-Orcs and the Barbarian Tribes
In the southwest of Tolara, at the foot of Lorowal, lies grass that will forever be stained red with blood of a thousand thousand battles. The Barbarian tribes have clashed with the Hobgoblin and Orc forces since the Empire’s expansion pushed the shamanistic societies into the corner of the world. There, they must fight for food, shelter, and survival. Great heroes and greater villains have been born from this chaos.
Since the Aven’Dorano left this world in the Demi War, there has been a great separation of the Elfish clans. Trusting each other only a small amount above the rest of the mortal races, the Elfen have, for the most part, been content with isolation while they attempt to gain back their former glory, history, and power.
Those elves that live within the clouds themselves. The Aven’Cumulae reside in the highest reaches of Heavenstooth Pinnacle and are, or so they claim, the true descendants of the Aven’Dorano. Very little is known about these secretive and aloof elves other than their rumored longevity which is said to span into millenia. However, unless some Aven’Dorano survived and are masquerading as the Cloud People, none have been alive so long to test the theory.
Those who worship the moon and pray for her guidance. The Lunarae are part of an ancient sect of Elves who have shunned the worship of the sun and give their prayers instead to the everloving moon. Luna hears the petitions of those who dwell within the Moontouch Islands and gifts her Chosen with the power of destiny. Every year the High Priestess of the Lunarae along with a contingent of Guardians leave for a month long Pilgrimage to the other two Elfish clans to collect the Tears of the Heavens. This process culminates with the joining of two powerful artifacts and the ancient Awakening Ceremony.
The crafty Prisoda are the keepers of the Crystalseed, a powerful panacea which, when ingested, can cure any illness. Devoted to the Dancing Sisters in their shining glory, the Prisoda are the most cosmopolitan of the Elves, many becoming traders, merchants, or even taking human lovers or mates. Despite this, the Prisoda still keep to the old traditions when the Crystalseed is concerned and it is a great privilege to be responsible for one. The Crystalseed Tree has become integral to the Prisoda culture and tradition, separating them from their cousins. The Emperor has long sought after a sapling of the Crystalseed Tree, a bargaining chip which the Prisoda have used to gain close to equal status with humans within Tolara.
The Stone Children. The Lightless. The Shunned. The Drow. They are the keepers of secrets, the masters of intrigue, and the lovers of the flesh. The Obesen have been given many names throughout the years and have been given a million and one reasons to be reviled by their heaventouched brothers and sisters. Led astray by a foolish Eru, the Obesen became cursed with eyes that could not stand the glory of the heavens. They fled underground where they met others of their kind. The Derugar, the Illithid, the Deep Eru. There they have stayed, carving out an existence within the heart of stone and mortar. Few venture out beyond their darkened homes, and those that have dared give nothing but reason for the stories that mothers tell to scare their children at night.
Gifted with the blood of dragons, the Wyrmtouched are all, in some way or another, related to those ancient and magical beings which once dominated what would become Tolara. Their descendants have lost much of the power of the great Wyrms, but the blood will always out, or so the stories say.
The proud Dragonborn who carry the strongest traces of their Wyrm parentage in their veins are a people of the world. Travelers born with a natural wanderlust, the Dragonborn have very few settlements to call their own save for small Clutches in the Heavenstooth Range. Instead, they carve out trails old and new throughout Tolara, using their inherent magical powers and deep connections to the Garden and its riches to travel places none dare walk. The Dragonborn are born in colors relating a small bit of their ancient ancestry and this carries with it some personality. Reds are fierce, Golds noble, Greens curious, and Whites furious. Some Dragonkine have decided to take their education primary to their wanderings and so have enrolled in the Golden Academy which marks them as some of their most powerful members.
Lizardfolk, Kobolds, and Bullywugs
The dangerously cunning Scalykind have found solace from the disapproving gaze of the Empire within the Zexek Desert, Erronade, and within the underground communities of many of the major cities. Powerful and dangerous, they lack a focused community and instead take jobs as Mercenaries and assassins.
Ogres, Cyclops, Trolls, and Goliaths
Bones of stone, breath of a hurricane, courage of the fiercest flames, and blood of the ocean. Goliaths claim place as the only of the elemental progeny capable of true society and thought, the majority of the tall folk live in recluse and outcast. They dwell within the Barbarian tribes to the South or within the Zexek Desert carving a meager, nomadic existence from the elemental powers which forged them. The sons and daughters of the Elements themselves, the Titanforged are older than hearth and home, more ancient than the Eru themselves. Relics of a time before Tol and, some religious scholars say, failed attempts to create a divine spark, the Titanforged are large, powerful, and most importantly, dangerous.
Mudborn. That is the lot that Giantkind has been reduced to in recent years. Standing taller in stature than their more intelligent brethren, the Giants dwell in isolation due to exile in the deepest parts of the Heavenstooth Range. Their rage at the world that has reviled them has festered for hundreds of years, boiling like the molten rock which gave them life.
They are the perfect. The are the old folk, they are the Titans. Forgotten and immortal, these creatures of stone and steel are as large as they are lost. Doomed to wander the world as relics and remembrancers of the past alone. The Titans were the first before Tol, the children the Four Sires dismissed as folly. Their curse is clarity and many have taken refuge behind the doors of madness.
The Warforged. Once created in grand factories of the gnomes to defeat the near infinite swarm of the Demonic Incursion, some of the Manaquin have since gained sapience and some have even gained independence and freedom. Two Manaquins now roam Tolara. There is The Collected, a faction which maintains its psychic connection to Mother, the hidden central “brain” of the Manaquin. Then there are the Unchained, a far smaller group who have given up omniscience for an independent existence. This artificial race born from the powers of man attempting to surpass the Sires and Tol alike now has to face a future forged without battle to define it.
Children of Luna
Shifters, Lycanthropes,and Vryloka
The Children of Luna live secret lives during the hours when their mother’s sister holds sway. When the moon rises, the Pale Folk, as they call themselves, gather and begin their lives. Some fight against their animal nature and they are the few. Those that gather for the Hunt embrace what their mother made them and revel in the blood that they spill.
Children of Sola
Wilden, Gnolls, Minotaurs, and Satyrs
Those who live with the sun on their backs live proudly and dangerously. Lovers of adventure, gold, and battle, they wake with the morning and take everything the world has to offer. Living dangerous lives for the sheer thrill of it, the children of the sun can be found as pirates, treasure hunters, and monster slayers of great power. Their sense of community is close nearing that of lecherous, and most Children of Sola know each other in some fashion or another.
Pixies and Dryads
The beings of the Nehver are as alien as they are beautiful, living in a world of strange intrigue and death. Two groups of Fey have left the chaos of the Dance of Dreams for Tolara with their own purposes in mind. The Pixies, tough, clever, and mercurial, have carved out a home for themselves with the Elves. It is a rare pixie indeed who owes fealty to anyone, but those that do make implacable knights. The patient Dryads however act as liaisons between the world of Nehver and Tol’s Garden, hiding within the trees and waiting for the perfect moment to take action.
Genasi, Shardmind, Tieflings and Deva
The rippling seas of the planes on which Tolara bobs has made the veil between realities very thin of late. Those born from this chaos, either simply appearing fully formed or caused by some nearness to a rift during pregnancy, are set apart from the rest of the world by never quite belonging. The Riftborn make due the best they can, finding their lot in life by way of the world or against it. It is not a matter of the body, but of the soul.