The immortal dwarfs of Damor
The young mountain sheep came charging up the trail and into the Meadow of the Elders, past the startled Elder-Guards, and stopped, panting and half incoherent. “Relax,” came a deep, amused voice in his mind. “Take a deep breath, and then share your thoughts with us.”
“Yes, Revered One.” He took the deep breath advised, then trotted forward and touched his head to that of the Elder.
The genesis of Gurgustius and Gorboduc and the curse upon their father Brutus is a terrible legend. Who knows if it is true? But it is the only way to account for the hideous sutured spawn of the King who is hidden.
The giants of the Thunderheads
Few even know of the existence of the DarnunÃƒÂ©.
They were formidable even before they learned how to use weapons.
Nahactl, the Wanderer
The Great White Dragon is rarely seen. Nobody knows where he slumbers, but they do know his cave is on one of the highest peaks in the world. Only few stories have made it to be Known about across the lands. Few ever made it back to there home villages to tell the story.
The camp was eerily quiet this evening. The fire itself seemed nervous enough not to crackle; the wind seemed too scared to whistle. These treks into the Blade Peaks always worry me, what am I doing here? I find myself asking that very questions even during the day time now, not just during the night. Tales of rangers heading into the peaks and not returning were always common, what worries me is that myself and the group of rangers are heading into these blasted mountains in search for one such group. How my life would be much better had I not learned the truth. The Oricks are here, small brutish little bastards for true, but ruthless and uncaring. I just want to return home. Wait, a sound in the darkness. A scrap? A grunt? oh no they are here!
- Ranger Arkisa, Last journal entry,
They come in the night, and they take things. Nothing neccesary. Maybe they’ll take some candle wax, mabe a few sticks, a curtain, anything. But guard all your possesions boy, because if you don’t, they’ll come down on you like a hellbeast in one of their damned machines.
Deep in the mountains, beyond where the trails end, one can find collossal stairways and long, cliffside roads, massive arched bridges and huge vaulted tunnels, spanning thousands of miles. These roads, though seemingly deserted, are closely watched by their creators, the reclusive and strange Iothun (“yoh-thoon”).
Ru-Men are an old race who dwell throughout the area encompassed by the Hundred, but are most plentiful in their traditional homeland on the Andraverly Mountains on the west coast of the Heavy Sea (northward of Peklichr). They live in small “nests” of 10-20 individuals which generally lie in the mountains or cliffs. Many call them the Crow Men or the Jackdaw Men, while others refer to them as the Black Mountain Bastards.
It is interesting to realize that in the scheme of the world we are but one oddity. But we are an oddity that the humans and other smaller pitiful races take for the corrupted races of Sethalis. That we are not. I would say they hate us for our superior mentality and superior quality weaponry. As is with all children who can’t have what is out of their reach.
-Synn the Undying - Troll Cheiftan and Mastersmith
The wait shall be over soon infidel. Soon we shall come from our darkened homes and sally forth on the Plains of Redemption and wipe the blight of our anscestors from our history. Our counsins will tremble at our approach, the humans will run from our strength and the Gison will board themselves in the mountain citadels giving the land beneth them to us. Oh yes, weakling. We are coming.
-Shieox Chief-priest of the Night Eyes Clan
The children of stone care little for the others who are not of our kind. Ours is a kinship with the world around us, while the others destroy and pollute. It will be only a matter of time before the world itself fights back against those atrocities. Before the mother world rights herself. I feel no pity for them, only outrage.
Gundarg - Gison Philosopher
Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.
Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.
Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.
The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.
Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.
In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.
Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.