From Tenebrae
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Common Alignments Any
Common Classes Any
Influencial Faiths Generally varies by region
Most Frequently Found In Any
Naming Ideas Generally varies by region
Human Characters Humans

Called The Younger Children, or Children of Second Age, humanity has now come into its own, staking near ownership over most of the known world despite being on the low end of the scale of power in comparison to a polytheistic world of demons, gods, angels, giants and dragons. Regardless of this, humanity's abilities to adapt to survival in nearly any location, their drive to expand and evolve, and their hardy, creative natures, enable them to thrive and compete in a world much larger then they are. There are some who say the recent events of The Movement of the World have brought about the impending end of the age of humanity, but one thing is certain, which is that champions of humanity will not allow them to fade quietly from the stage of history.

By and large the humans of the world of Gaea are what you would expect them to be like given the fantasy setting. As a race, they are diverse and numerous. Many of the larger cultures of humans have recently begun to embrace the rise of technology through the power of Artifice and the development of steamwork and clockwork technology in its wake. Thus, humans are among the leading races in terms of technological advancement and scientific achievement. Other more mighty races often underestimate humans, but no other race has influenced history or achieved the highest heights of kingdom building or the lowest depths of corruption as humans have. Overall, there is a sense of hardiness and bravery that seeps through the entire race, enabling them to rise up in times of great trial and adversity. Although every human culture differs from the other, there are basic common traits that all possess.

Society and Lands

Human culture was born in the southern reaches of the continent of Vantyre in days prior to the growth of the Dune Seas. Cerenza, one of their first major civilizations, grew rapidly in size through exploration, trade and commerce, and monuments to their ancient culture still stands to this day in southwestern Veyshan where remnants of their phaoronic dynasties still persist. Humans spread across the bulk of The Great Continent in the aftermath of the Time of Glaciers, disrupting the efforts of other older races as they grew in number. Eventually, a large bulk of them settled along the western coast and in the north. Humans have ultimately broken up into dozens of different cultures and nationalities. However, of these there are several that stand out very prominently and adequately represent the rest.

When choosing to play a human, it is important to carefully consider your nationality and culture. Further in this document you will see the different cultures that an individual can hail from. It is important for humans to consider these cultures because unlike other races, there is no singular cultural identity that unites all humans. For example, the humans from Dran are known for their great stature and physical strength. They are rugged and barbaric as well as mighty warriors who often work as mercenary armies in distant lands. By contrast, the Nation of Selentia, a member of the Myrddion High Kingdom, is also known as The Land of a Thousand Princes. The humans here pride themselves on high society with high levels of cultural taste and the finer, more silken aspects of life. They are swashbucklers, rogues and poets. The culture you choose for your human will help color his background, accent, appearance, and goals. For these purposes, humans are actually split into their different cultural entries with the differences in abilities and capabilities reflected therein.

Alignment and Religion

The entire pantheon of Gaea is available to humanity and in truth they have shaped most of the global belief systems where the gods are relevant. It is among humanity that the individual gods find their most faithful allies and staunchest foes.

Locally, humans find themselves influenced by their cultures.

Human Cultural Groups

Humanity is perhaps the most diverse of the enlightened races in terms of the variations that exist. The information below represents the most common of the cultural variations. Most of our human cultures have real world and historical equivalents in order to give you a basis to work from when determining the particular nuances about your characters and various cultural quirks that space here does not allow us to delve into. You are encouraged to use this information to color your character's background and your daily roleplay.

Human Cultural Groups
Subculture Generally or Usually Found In...
Acanian Everywhere
Aesir Stormgarde
Cerenzan Southwestern Veyshan, and the Jade Islands
Dranei Dran
Eldanar Myrddion and Charn
Phurai Dae The Vast
Tsurans The Vast
Veyshanti Veyshan
Xian Jade Islands

Acanian: Acanians are the dominant culture of humanity that emerged from the collapse of the Millennium Kingdom and are spread throughout the continental regions of Arcania and Estamir. They are sometimes referred to, in Arcania at least, as Common Men for they can be found throughout the Holy Kingdom of the Lion, in Alexandros, in Rune, the mountains of Khazad Duin, the deeps of Charn and in numerous unnamed duchies, small kingdoms and oligarchies in The Vast and Eastern Thresholds. They can even be found in Dran or in The Desolation as outlaws and bandits.

They are the smiths, bakers, jewelers, merchants, courtiers, artisans, engineers and architects of the world. Physically speaking they run the full gauntlet, typically influenced the most by their geographical location and sometimes intermixing with more pure blooded cultures that dwell as their neighbors and that exist on the fringe of society. They can be pale or bronze skinned, lanky or powerfully built, usually dark haired but not always. More than any other culture of humanity, they show the variation that can occur from the mixing of families and the myriad relationships and alliances that exist amongst the sons of men.

Humans07 aesir.png

Aesir: Sailors, bodyguards, mercenaries, warrior kings and occasional raiders and ravagers, the Aesir share some similarities with their distant cousins, the Dranei, nearly approaching the Dranei in size and comparative with them in strength. As sailors they are unmatched, even by the southern sailors of Cerenza, and when disciplined into organized armed forces such as those held by the nation of Stormgarde, few can match their determined focus upon the battlefield. The Aesir are largely isolated in the northern reaches of the world in distant Stormgarde and beyond. In Stormgarde itself, their culture has left the days of ancient barbarism and pillaging behind and formed a martialocracy society of warrior kings and druidic advisors. Some players have drawn from Old Norse as a source of names for their Aesir.

Further north in Wintergarde, these lands are dominated by shamanistic groupings of Aesir known as Skalds, who maintain close watch over the forests and glacier ridden fields of the High North, even to the distant Icewall Mountains where remnants of Maugrim the Tyrant-God's forces still hold sway. Though the days of them raiding the warmer, southern lands are long gone, Aesir still eagerly pass beyond the Steps of Ymir into the Myrrish lands and beyond and there they are found as proud, noble warriors who maintain the traditions of their northern ancestors. High instances of lycanthropy abound among them and many a legend includes variants on worship of aspects of Caracoroth the great wolf god or Angoron as the Beast King.

Cerenzan: Dark skinned, proud cheekbones, dark haired, noble and sometimes arrogant, the Cerenzans of today are the descendants of those who founded one of the earliest and mightiest civilizations of men, who even today maintain some of the worlds oldest monuments to their greatness. The ancient Cerenzans created systems of mathematics, astronomy, architecture, politics and religious rites that are still in use by numerous cultures to this day. Though Cerenza, today, is but a pale fraction of its former glory, it thrives in southwestern Veyshan and along the Islands of Jade where they dwell as traders, merchants and sorcerers of some renown.

In these coastal regions their skin ranges from deep brown to red, and they are sailors of considerable skill. As a people they favor colorful bright clothing, dressing with sashes, robes and garments that reflect their homelands of deep, southern heat. Their ancient past has also bred a degree of arrogance in many of them, especially when compared to the histories of their northern brethren, but they have yet to embrace the industrialization that is sweeping other areas of the Great Continent. Instead, they prefer to keep their use of artifice to a minimum while relying more on their ancient arts and traditions to sustain their lifestyle.

Humans05 dran.jpg

Dranei: The seven true tribes of Dran are known as The Dranei. A race of towering humans who dwell in the rugged land of Dran, sharing the region with giants, orcs and other monstrous humanoids and yet thriving as the dominant race there regardless. Dranei have produced warlords of staggering power and mercenary champions of nearly uncontrollable strength. Their mercenary armies have fought in wars all across the known world and the nation heavily promotes acts of warfare, strength, brutality more.

They are the consummate barbarian people, being the first image that comes to the mind of many when they think of such individuals. The Dran draw their strength from a mighty bloodline influenced by giantish blood and centuries of warfare and natural selection in the harsher northern lands of the continent. As such many consider them paragons of physical condition and strength whose capabilities far exceed that of most normal men. They are hardier, stronger and tougher then common men but lack in other areas such as versatility and flexibility to different ways of thinking.

Humans08 eldanar.jpg

Eldanar: The Eldanar are also known as the Highborn and are descendants of a once mighty people who at one time possessed a degree of celestial bloodline. Historically, their legends, abilities and activities have placed them in the forefront of many historical documents regarding the history of the continent of Arcania. Today, their legend stands divided--among Myrddion, scattered Highborn are often found in the positions of lords, knights, loyal vassals, and soldiers. In contrast, the Highborn of Charn are seeing as having turned on their legacy, becoming monsters in their own right, and some bards wonder whether there is any celestial blood left within this latter group, or if it has long been sullied.

Highborn often find themselves compelled to contribute to the common welfare of whatever part of society they are in. By and large, they are a good people, although the depravity of the Civilization of Machines and Sorcery, and founding and current leadership in Charn, show that even they fall and are not incorruptible.

The Eldanar are mostly concentrated in and around the Myrrish kingdoms, which is to say the lands united under the banner of the Holy Kingdom of Myrddion. They have no true kingdom of their own and instead operate as scattered remnants and households in service of nobles and lords. In the furthest east and south, in Charn's domain, Highborn can also be found and here the roles are reversed. Ruling houses and nobility operate within the Charn aristocracy as tyrants and enslavers. For Charn was founded by exiled Highborn from the West lands. It is unusual for Highborn to originate in lands other then these.

Their hair is often dark with variations of reddish gold, sandy brown and true blond occurring. They are typically fair skinned but some sport ruddy appearances or olive-tinted skin. Their eyes are often grey, green or blue. Long lived, Highborn possess a lifespan approaching that of the average half-elf but mature at the same rate as the average human. Highborn are traditionally trained in horsecraft, favor heavy armor and are comfortable fighting with swords and shields. Today the Highborn cavalry is still strong and in use in places like Myrddion, where they supplement the efforts of foot soldiers with their skill. Some players have drawn from Authurian legends and classic, heroic fantasy for their Eldanar.

Phurai Dae: Phurai Dae, sometimes called the Plains People or The Horse Lords, maintain a nomadic lifestyle deep in the heart of the great plains known as The Vast. Life in The Vast's shifting plains and planar-happenings ranges between joyous and harsh. Battered in the past by magical upheavals and great arcane warfarers, The Vast is known for the weak walls that separate it from The Far Realms and The Unseen. Strange creatures of chaos take shape here and wander the world, races from realms far beyond mortal understanding attempt to make their way across it and in some places, time itself may slow, flow backwards or stop all together.

Despite these hardships and those presented by more natural forces be it monstrous raids or simple politicking between the nomadic tribes and cultural groupings, the Phurai Dae thrive. They are a people of free spirits, quick to laugh and boast, and thunderous in their anger. Tall, weathered brown by the elements, their usual mode of dressing is colorful and showy. Their simple ways and life belie a complexity to their matriarchal society, which is one of the few examples of a true democracy in a world of kings, queens and empires. They are friendly to other races though can become very superstitious at times to over-abundant displays of magic or even the heavy use of arcane technology. The Phurai Dae are one of the few who have, as a tradition, truly mapped the planar chaos that afflicts the heart of The Vast, making order and sense out of the chaos and thus knowing how to chart their travels.

Tsurans: Tsurans are another human culture that share the great plains of The Vast with the Phurai Dae. The Tsurans, olive-skinned dancers and mysterious trader-travellers, can mostly be found in communities and settlements. These are ruled over by established princes or in wandering caravans known as The Faring Folk, that plunder the mysteries of the great plains and the weak planar walls that plague The Vast. Their loose perception of personal properties and their tendencies towards the flamboyant have earned the Tsuran an interesting reputation among other cultures and it is a reputation that they often use to their advantage.

They are lovers of games of chance and many a sharp-witted Rogue, Bard or even Wizard sometimes comes from Tsuran stock. They take well to the art of illusion-making, and they bind this well into their revelries which can last well into the early hours of the morning. Their flexibility and eccentric natures do not make it difficult for young Tsurans who leave the bands and princedoms to find work out in the wide world beyond. Even in the Vast, they often find themselves working alongside the Phurai Dae as guides, outriders and rangers exploring the great mystery of the plains.

Humans01 veyshanti.jpg

Veyshanti: The people of the vast sub-continental sized region of Veyshan are collectively known as The Veyshanti. From their elaborate head wrappings and robes -- worn to help protect from the searing winds of the desert -- to their leather and light armor, skin shades of mahogany and brown, and traditional use of the curved scimitar, the Veyshanti are easily distinguishable and stand out compared to other cultures in the world.

Dwellers of the Deep South, The Veyshanti are divided into two cultural groups. Those who dwell among the Dune Seas and those who thrive among the mercantile courts and princes of the Golden Coast. Together, they are considered Veyshanti, although they have vastly different cultural beliefs and outlooks.

The tribes of the Dune Seas have wandered the growing desert for as long as any can remember, singing hymns to the moon and the stars and the goddess of law and justice. In contrast, the people of the Golden Coasts are exuberant, colorful, flamboyant and overwhelming to the point of decadence. Yet, the differences between the rich and poor here are stark and as wide as the chasms of the Rift Seas. Slavery is common here, arcane magic is used in an overabundance and the blood of the ancient djinns runs through the veins of the ruling class.

Xian: The mysterious Xian are comprised of a myriad number of ethnicities that itself, only represents a fraction of the legendary realms and exotic domains that lie beyond the Roof of the World. The Islands of Jade and Tsang Lun are themselves the result of ancient colonial offshoots of these further distant realms and have taken on identities of their own due to their trade and intermingling with nations and cultures of the north and west.

Dusky skin and almond shaped brown eyes are common traits of the majority of the Xian, the Hin, who, ruled by their Azure Empress, dominate much of the island chains that make up Tsang Lun. As a people they are prosperous and traditional, soft-spoken and polite, and not prone to outbursts of anger but rather seething quietness when they are insulted. Though seemingly reserved, they are renowned as artisans, crafters and colorful users of cloth and magic to work visual wonders that dot their numerous gardens, pagodas and temples to their variations of the gods. Numerous monkly traditions have found their way into western lands, spurred on by their various philosophical approaches and strong animistic traditions.

Recent Events

The Pathfinder Campaign for Emblem of Ea opens up with humanity besieged on all sides. There are some who believe that the golden age of men is coming to an end and that they have failed as stewards of the world. The ascension of the dark goddess has triggered numerous events that have pushed the nations of men nearly to the brink. Years of constant warfare has taken its toll on the Myrrish Kingdoms and civil unrest grows over contention over the throne of the High King. The expansion of the Desolation, the scar of the world, and unrest of civilization has left its mark. The very landscape of the world of men has been altered by earthquake, tsunamia and magical upheaval, and the ability to be unified has been compromised. Humans who are the victim of fallen nations without kings or leaders flock to the restored industrialized city state, causing it to rapidly swell in size and become a new beacon of hope in turbulent times.

Human Racial Traits

Humans live around 65-90 years.

The below numbers below assume an "average" person. That is, they probably have a strength and constitution within the 9-11 range. Higher physical stats will make these numbers go up. In other words, a character with 18 strength will weigh much more than one with 9. This site can be used to gauge weight though remember some races possess unique composition, bone structures, or even additional appendages and so on that may influence.

Human Average Height and Weight
Name Base Height Base Weight Modifier Weight Multiplier
Human, male 4ft 10in 120 lbs +2d10 x5 lbs
Human, female 4ft 5in 85 lbs +2d10 x5 lbs

Human Starting Age
Adulthood Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger Cleric, Druid, Monk, Wizard
17 years +1d4 +1d6 +2d6

  • Classification: humanoid (human)
  • +2 to One Ability Score: Human characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
  • Medium: Humans are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Humans have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Bonus Feat: Humans select one extra feat at 1st level.
  • Cultural Trait: All humans must select a culture of origin. For more detailed information about the nine major cultural groupings of humanity please see further below.
    • Acanian Common men who can rise up and overcome despite great adversity and the power wielded by their oppressors is a common theme for Acanians. They receive a +2 racial bonus to all saves involving fear as well as a +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy.
    • Aesir Northern warriors and wanderers of the ice wastes, the powerful Aesir receive +2 racial bonus to intimidation and a +4 racial bonus to resist cold related conditions.
    • Cerenzan Founders of ancient traditions of math, science and principles of civilization, the Cerenzan are a cerebral people and receive a +2 racial bonus on knowledge (Arcana, Engineering, History, Religion) checks.
    • Dranei Dran produces stalwart individuals with legendary levels of strength and endurance. They receive a +2 racial bonus to intimidation and a +4 racial bonus on fortitude checks to resist Fatigue and Exhaustion.
    • Eldanar The Eldanar tend to represent the extremes, the best and worst among humanity, and possess strong souls. They receive a +2 racial bonus to diplomacy and checks and a +2 racial bonus to saves against death effects, energy drain and ability drain attacks.
    • Phurai Dae Legendary horse lords and nomads of the Great Plains, Phurai Dae receive a +4 bonus racial bonus to ride checks involving horses and a +2 racial bonus to handle animal. They may use their full ride bonus on animals not suited for riding.
    • Tsuran Performers and tricksters at heart, Tsurans receive a +2 racial bonus to Bluff, Sleight of Hand and Diplomacy checks.
    • Veyshanti Hardy desert merchants and children of djinn and elemental kings, the Veyshanti deal with their elemental driven environments well. They receive a +4 racial bonus on fortitude checks to resist heat related conditions and a +2 racial bonus to appraise.
    • Xian Artists, merchants and traders from the Utter East, the Xian receive a +2 racial bonus to Appraise, Diplomacy and Bluff.
  • Skilled: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.
  • Languages: Humans begin play speaking Common. Humans with high Intelligence scores can choose any of the main racial languages they want (except secret or generally forbidden/exclusive languages).

Character Options

Human Racial Feats

The below are racial feats for this race. All races receive a bonus racial feat at 6th level (when you level, send in a +request to staff). House feats and feat summaries may be found on the Feats page. Items with a * have had their pre-reqs altered to fit the setting (see Feats page). You must meet the pre-reqs for any racial feat you select.

Fearless Curiosity, Human Improvisation, Surge of Success, Dauntless Destiny, Heroic Will, Intimidating Confidence, Fervent Soul, Fervent Knowledge, Fervent Pride, Fervent Spirit

Optional DM Rules

Ea's magic responds to its people. Wizards, sorcerers, the uncovering of Aspects are not the only ways in which magic manifests.

The following are options for any storyteller, for use in PrPs, scenes, backgrounds, and small stories. If some of these rituals come across as "didn't we always have--!??" that is part of why these are being offered: to illustrate just how active magic is in Ea. Also, just because there are no given mechanics for them does not mean they shouldn't exist.

These rituals and options are beyond the scope of any one PC working on their own.

They are meant to be used as story devices, and tend to require a story element, such as a visit to the sylvanori elders. In addition, they require the presence of more than one person from that community--they are NOT means to add to individual PCs' power levels. Finally, all rituals work according to story. Sometimes rituals sometimes work perfectly, and other times do so to varying degrees (that's just saying they are story-dependent, and not a means of power).

You are welcome to build on these ideas, or expand on them.


Ritual Magic

Raider's Luck: This fickle ritual works as often as it fails. When it does work, it's said to lead to incredible treasures or finds. Groups of Aesir gather together to enact it, and wish for luck on their raid. If they succeed, the magic points them towards a valuable object at the site. Valuable is a relative term--even cursed objects are valuable, as is complex artifice. Thus, even when the ritual succeeds it can seem to fail--complex and scholarly objects are not often useful to the Aesir or may be of a form they fail to recognize.


Ritual Magic

Builder's Resonance: The Cerenzan were ancient builders and are modern architects and scholars. Although not as ancient in magic as the sildanyari, they have turned their modern understanding to architecture and the mathematics underlying Ea's forces, and the world has rewarded them for it. Working together, Cerenzan may tease out resonance and arcane energy patterns. Through arcane workings and mathematical pattern matching, they can tie an object's resonance to its owner. This ability lets them to work and mine the patterns, uncovering which objects are made by the same crafter. Likewise, it enables them to uncover relations between objects that are otherwise undiscernable to the naked eye. The amount of detail varies widely; that is, it is up to the story.

Patterning: By studying the stars overhead and conferring with known star charts, it is said that Cerenzan elders may also understand some of the resonance of the stars. This allows them to discern potential futures--though this is a weaker ability, and not as potent as an oracle's. It is more accurate to say they are able to surmise potential.

Sacred Objects: The Cerenzen's cities are long gone, though there are said to be fragments. These are considered valuable, and Cerenzan scholars compete to be able to study their patterns.


Ritual Magic

Mountain's Resilience: As a people, the Dranei tend to be simple and direct. So it is with their magics. When gathered in force, the Dranei appear to be more resistant to the strength of magic--both their own and outsiders'. This is not an absolute protection, but explains how they are able to withstand their long-standing feud against those so different--wizardry, and even shamanistic magics.

However, the downside of this is that once enacted, the Dranei have realized it is difficult to turn off--which can impact in-battle healing and other benefits.

Sacred Objects: A large people, the Dranei value things as big as they are--especially sound. Horns, particularly those taken from fearsome beasts, are often turned into prized instruments. The bigger, it is said, the better. Instrumental horns of a particularly powerful creature are often passed down through generations.


Ritual Magic

Eldanar's Oath: The Eldanar, it is said, were once the highest of the human races. It's true that what they dedicate their minds to, they achieve to extremes. The great contrast in Myrddion and Charn show living evidence. When the Eldanar make up their mind to achieve justice, there is little that stands in their way.

A group of Eldanar may declare the need for justice and mark the occasion with ritual, an exchange of blood, vows, and so on. This then acts as a lesser geas, but bestows the benefit of Heroism during the final battle.

Phurai Dae

Ritual Magic

Warp Rider: The phurai dae beasts carry the warp-magic of the Vast within them. The phurai dae know this and tap into it. It is one reason their herds are so valuable to them. When so mounted, groups of these riders may bend time and space, leaping great distances across the Vast. It is said the greatest of their tribal shamans may also use these talents to cross time. To accomplish this feat, the phurai dae and their peculiar horses must work together. However, they may bring a small number of outsiders (and outsider mounts) with them, "along for the ride."

Sacred Objects: A mare's first milk at the beginning of spring is said to bring communal good luck and good fortune.


Ritual Magic

The Fickle Wind: There is no formal name for this ritual, if even it is formalized at all. However, Tsuran have long noticed that when groups of them come together--no more than a few dozen, no fewer than a nuclear family--the art of the con becomes easier. Their voices become more persuasive, the cards always seem read, and so on, and in cases, the minds of their visitors may become clouded after leaving. It makes traveling bands of them dangerous to anyone who would keep their cash.

Shrouded Wagons: This second ritual draws from a similar source as Fickle Fate, though it's more formalized. It allows the Tsuran to get away, by creating a fog--whether by encouraging foul weather conditions, or encouraging a mild forgetfulness, as the Tsuran round up their transport and head on their way.


Ritual Magic

Gold's Gleam: There is a reason genie blood is prized, and even killed over. A clan with strong genie ties may call upon this power, though there is always a price to pay in blood or worse. It works as limited wish, otherwise. It's so named because the reward it is said, does not always outweigh the risk. Although it is supposedly an honor to be sacrificed for a wish, this is also a method to get rid of an unwanted heir or rival.

Hearing the phrase "toss the coin" or "seeking gold's true gleam" from a Veyshanti, then, is both fortune and threat.

Peace On the Oasis: Less a ritual and more of an unspoken rule--on converging on an oasis, groups of Veyshanti sometimes swear to pacts of nonviolence, so long as they are nearby its water. The superstition that "the next water upon your tongue will be befouled" is strong enough that these oathbreakers is enough that most honor this pact, though not always. For example, indirect harm is not considered a violation of these oaths.

Sacred Objects: Veyshanti seek scrolls of histories tied to the genies--especially those ascribing bloodlines or heritage. The search for true documents is a herculean task, as many of these have been altered throughout history.

Character Page Badges

Want to show off your Human pride on your Character Page? Use the following wikicode! (More badges here!)

Humans07 aesir.png

Human PC Badge
Ancestry: From where do your ancestors hail? Where do you?
Associated With: Are you particularly supportive of a nation, a temple, a group? Talk about them here! You may want to use the Homeland badge, below.
Faith: Your Faith

{{Badge-Title|Human PC Badge}}
{{Badge-Entry|Ancestry}}From where do your ancestors hail? Where do you?
{{Badge-Entry|Associated With}}Are you particularly supportive of a nation, a temple, a group? Talk about them here!  You may want to use the Homeland badge, below.
{{Badge-Entry|Faith}}Your Faith