"Protect us, oh holy one,
from the dangers of the night
may your smoke and ashes
to our souls with clarity ignite"
There are three ways to live. And living them well, living them with purpose, allows you to die easy.
"Death. What happens when one dies? A question that all civilized peoples have tried to answer. Some claim you go to a place where you are rewarded or punished based on what you do when you're alive. Some claim that you a simply reincarnated.
"They are all wrong. The truth is that we are in a state of transformation. Humans are simply in a complicated version of a caterpillar in a chrysalis. We started as mere animi. Now we are humans. And just like the caterpillar turns into something grander after its time in a chrysalis, we become something grander when we die.
"You see, we become gods."
The Noble Expertise of Creating the Remaining Organism is a gentlemen's club. People who don't belong call it the Noble Expertise, or perhaps the Expertise, but the people in the club call themselves necromancers, and the club itself N.E.C.R.O.
Banished from their foolish tree-hugger kin, the Plains Elves were forced into a semi-nomadic lifestyle.
"The HAS Endeavor is this ship. Its run by these 'obbit pirates. One day, me and me mates were sailing to this island, 'cause there was some old dungeon that I had a really good reason to loot at the time. So's as we sailed, them pirates led by their cap'n, a 'obbit called Ralph, boarded us, and stole all me gold! I was pissed for ages."
-Old Gerald, man in the pub
Culture/Religion: based on fear and respect. Gods are very dangerous creatures, sometimes friendly, often not. Temples are the way to make contact with them... if not easier, then at least more concentrated in one place. Were it not for the temples, gods could be running amok among the people. Therefore, mortals have to keep the gods close to temples, entertained and worshipped. It doesn't make the bad ones any friendlier, though (and is no guarantee some won't go on trips now and then). Still, there have to be priests that are hardy men, able to survive the rigours of their position, get a sufficient number of worshippers to make the gods feel important enough, and mediate the contact between mortals and immortals.