''Rrrbit! Rrrbit! Great Jove has found you unworthy, human! Now prepare to die !''
Toltep walked slowly along the avenue, it would have been easier to swim along in the viaduct, but he had made it a point to not do the easy thing. All to often the easy path lead to ruin, and he had not survived so long by taking shortcuts, or the easy road. The market, what was above water, was abuzz with conversation. A large school of blood-crazed lurdi had been diverted into an ambush where the brave people had slaughtered the monsters. There was some worry, Toltep gathered, as a few had escaped.
''In a world dominated by savagery and barbarism, we alone represent civilization. Is it any wonder then that we are forced to keep the horrors of the outside world at bay?''
-an anonymous Usholal
Swimming with the Great Western Tide that sweeps towards Tarrod from the far west of the Ocean, the mighty and enigmatic Uuluun sing songs that speak of the unfathomable gods of the deep, and wrestle each other in seabed-shaking contests of strength and martial skill.
The jewel of the imperial shoal, this aquatic city is the emperor's seat of power.
Inhabiting the waters of Tarrod, the Organi is a dangerous creature.
Isolated from the known world by the seemingly endless watery wastes of the fabled Vaet Ocean, the Eshal rule the watery continent of Tarrod with an iron fist, ever ready to carry out plundering raids on the subject races at the slightest excuse. Proudly calling themselves the Brave People,the Eshal are a race of savage warriors and fanatics that are driven by the consuming need to find an ever larger number of victims to feed the monstrous thing known simply as the Matriarch .
Founded on the promise of prophecy, this fiefdom owes it success to its previously worthless amethyst deposits. And its very survival as well.
Swift and deadly as any Dunleoustous, the Anura remain a proud and free people, though outsiders have time and time again, imposed great cruelties on this race.
A dark shadow falls over the still waters of the swamp, and for a brief instant every sound made by a living creature ceases.
Unbeknown to them, the party of Brave People wading in the shallows in hot pursuit of a small band of defeated human soldiers, have themselves unwittingly become the prey.
‘‘By the strength in my sinews, I swear upon the spirits of my ancestors that this Curd will not forget the mate and children he has lost, nor find rest until his jaws have crushed the life out of the scum that dare to call themselves the Brave People!’’
The siblings of the Emperor:The High Priests
The Surash are without doubt,the most distrusted and least liked race in existence.
The Old One is the living core of Tarrod.
Just like with the sharks they so revere,a wrong or inappropriate action can provoke a lethal reaction from a Shura. As the other mer-races are so fond of saying among themselves,the only thing more unpredictable than a shark is a Shura. This is a prefered weapon, simple yet deadly.
Gar Eeels live in the large,weed choked rivers and lakes that cover much of the Powi lands,are are revered as godlings by these primitive people. Many shamans say that the power to control the rains, rest with the Gar Eeel or Messengers of the rains, as they are known by the tribes.
Ranchowen are aquatic beasts that are ridden by high ranking Eshal warriors. A lot more comfortable to ride than Great Serpents and infinitely more docile,they are highly prized live stock that are bred and reared in special hatcheries by skilled Eshal animal trainers and herders.
The Brotherhood’s goal was to preserve traditional Eshal practices and customs, with emphasis being placed on the belief that every member of the tribe mattered and that to ignore his rights and contributions, would result in the Clan collapsing.
The Great Serpents are the primary form of riding transportation for the Eshal. These massive, venomous creatures are one of the primary reasons that the Eshal were so successful in running roughshod over the cities of the Mer-folk.
Large and powerful, they are the aquatic equivalent of elephants in a battle situation-very dangerous, but no army can afford not to have large numbers of them.
The third son of a candle-maker, and secretly a spy, Tsiao Fong Wei betrayed his family, clan, and town to the merciless Qongg Dynasty, causing the deaths of his own family members. He survived to an old age hiding out in the country side and keeping a low profile. One day however, the “Paper Knife” finally found Tsiao Fong Wei , and exacted his revenge on behalf of the folk, dead and tortured.
After a furious struggle, the “Paper Knife” plunged twin burning candles into the eyes of the traitorous old man and laughed, as Tsiao Fong Wei howled in dismay and pain. Some say Tsiao Fong Wei died that day. Others say that the old man somehow escaped despite his sudden anguish and utter blindness.
The truth is lost to time.
But to this day the children of the Red-Ridge County towns and villages are told by their parents to always beware twin lights in the darkness and to never venture into the woods at night, and to keep an ear open for the Groaning Ghost, for somewhere out there Tsiao Fong Wei the Traitor, now a vengeful spirit, stumbles about the darkness moaning and wailing, candles still sticking forth from out of his otherwise empty eye sockets. And though the candles plunged into his eyes all those years ago were a’flame going in, now the wax protuberances are somehow lit from within and burn without, and two flickering lights in the darkness, always portend his coming.