The small city of Selni lies on a wide peninsula near an archipelago in the northern seas of the world of Tenrir. The inhabitants are generally human, seeing as the city itself claims allegiance to the great human empire of Dalerith. The environment on the various islands and the coast and land itself is generally appropriate with that of the north, cool or mildly warm in summer and cold in winter. The archipelago to the west, however, is a freak zone of weather, with one island being temperate and warm and another perhaps ten miles off a frozen wasteland at all times.
The city is a major site of shipping despite its relatively low population, where trade from a variety of cultures and lands takes place, even between enemies. As such the paramount interest of the city council is trade. Over the past few months, piracy and attacks by ocean monsters have began to happen with increasing, and disturbing, regularity. There seems to be no consistent pattern to the activities, certainly not enough for the small military of the city to deploy a large force in the wide ocean. And so, in the tradition of small cities everywhere in Tenrir, it has offered a cash reward to any who can help settle or provide information on this threat. Drawn by the clink of gold and the lure of fame and glory, mercenaries, sell-swords, rogues, and noble adventurers alike have converged on Selni, all eager to claim their prize in the northern ocean.
Magic: The magical spectrum of Tenrir is primarily directed into three groups, White, Gray, and Black magic. No magical sphere is 'good' or 'evill', it exists as a fundamental force through the balancing of opposites. Black magic is primarily destructive. If it heals, it heals through causing damage to others, but most Black magic is fundamentally negative. It takes things away, it does not create.
White Magic, on the other hand, is fundamentally positive-if it damages, it does so by doing too much, and is just as unsuited to it as Black magic is to healing. A White magic-user heals and purifies, or augments, they do not usually destroy. That does not, however, means that White Magic is necessarily 'good', as the art of raising undead, for example, is one of White, not black, magic.
Gray magic is the neutral area created by the two interacting. Many mages specialize in Gray magic with only minor delving into the other realms.
Some Races of the Selni Area and Beyond: This is by no means a complete list, as many races of Tenrir are either not well-known or small in population.
Human of Dalerith: The human inhabitants of the nation of Dalerith are generally tall and straight, talented in both mind and body. Skin tones vary from the dark shades of the southern coasts to the pale skin and blonde hair of the north. Dalerithans are a hardy folk and generally wise beyond their experience, as many have an almost precognitive 'sixth sense' known as the Sight.
Elves of the North: The ancient race of elves has spread far and wide with many offshoots, but most well-known in Dalerith are the Evening, Dawn, and Noon elven peoples. Elves live much longer then humans and are generally more towards the slender and handsome builds then humans. The Noon Elves are the vast majorityof Dalerithian elves, a tough and kindly people, adaptable and cunning. They love the forests and the plains of the northern regions and are very dextrous, experts in the uilitarian arts of Gray magic. The other two elven races were created by contact with the two extremes of magical power.
Evening elves were once known as 'Black' elves, because they were a failed experiment with taming the raging seas of Black magic all elves can feel. They have something of the demonic in their souls, and all elves of the Evening fight an inner battle quite frequently against that destructive core. They are masters of warfare, and also of Black magic. Their skin tones vary, though, as a group, they tend to seem 'darker'-even the most pale Evening elf seems to almost give off an inner darkness that is almost tangible, resulting in their generally being melancholy and more dour then a normal elf.
Elves of the Dawn, on the other hand, are creatures blessed with the essence of pure light. Where Evening elves seem to darken the air, they shine with an inner light and happiness. Dawn elves are flighty and whimsical. Though they build surprisingly great works, they take their parties as seriously as a battlemaster does his practice. The world is one great joy to these creatures; rarely do they stay sad or serious for long. As is fitting, Dawn elves make exceptional bards, entertainers, or users of White magic.
Goblin: The goblins of Tenrir are small, slightly curved-back creatures generally about four and a half to five and half feet tall. While many of their kin fell to evil, bestial savagery and foulness, these creatures retain the humanike minds of their original race. They are neither inherently handsome or ugly, though they can be either. The Goblins are incredibly strong and tough for their size, rivalling that of a tall and strong man, and they are good at acrobatics and jumping. They have a humanlike mind as well as humanlike, if more 'pointed' and angular features, though their hair tends to be straight. Though they are slightly less adept at magic then humans, there have been cunning goblin mages of great talent. Goblins of a particular area and climate adapt themselves quickly to it, generally within a few generations-they have been known to dwell in the lava-filled caverns of the earth or the reefs and depths of the sea. Goblins are also masters of metalwork and machinery, and they were the first to develop the 'gun', a long device placed on the shoulder, braced with both hands, and then a small fuse ignited with a flint or match to propel a small iron ball with great force, causing a small explosion at the impact point. As of now the goblins are the only race to use them in any considerable number.
Sahuagin: These green- or gray-skinned tribal monsters have created many societies under the waves. They are savage, powerful creatures, with a bipedal stance, though they retain many features from sharks. These are primarily a variety of fins on the back of their humanlike limbs, and an incredibly powerful jaw, though Sahuagin also possess fierce, sharp claws. They can swim as fast as their shark cousins with ease, commune with them, and breathe either air or water. Sahuagin tribes raid the land with disturbing frequency, though the creatures show no sign of being 'inherently' evil so much as merely savage-one can attempt to make deals with them. Sahuagin think in a slightly different way then humans, though they ae intelligent enough. Their brute strength is incredible, as is their stamina, but they lack the necessary concentration to become good mages. Sahuagin reproduce as fishes do, which is good for the suvival of their race, seeing as many sahuagin are fond of flesh-including their own race's. They are the sworn enemies of the naga, who battle them for similar dwelling areas.
Naga: The naga are a race of serpent-men who dwell beneath the seas, though they still retain most humanlike features above the waist. They are a powerful, organized race who acts for reasons of their own-humans do not understand the naga's devotion to the group as a whole as opposed to personal growth and development. A juvenile naga is in most manners indistinguishable from a common snake, save for the addition of two clawed limbs. When they reach what in humans would be puberty, they enter a cocoon, and a year later emerge as teenaged-upper bodied humanoids, with the lower body of a powerful snake. During this stage of their life, they can become either good magi or good fighters, and reproduce as mammals do-naga-human halfbreeds are rare but not unknown. Some hundred years later, the naga undergoes another transformation and becomes a form mor suitable to their chosen path. This happens again a hundred years later. At this point they live for another hundred years and then perish, at which point their life experiences are added to another peculiarity of the naga, a sort of communal memory which is shared betwen the tribe. This might explain the naga's fanatical loyalty to their individual tribes- nagas without a tribe usually commit suicide. Naga can breathe underwater, and swim quite quickly. They are the blood enemies of the sahuagin.
Wolfen: These monsters are shaped like bipedal wolves. They are cunning, dangerous foes, easily angered and very territorial. Wolfen are a clan-based people, and run in family groups-a lone wolfen is usually an outcast who is hunted by his clan. They are expert trackers, and surprisingly powerful mages. This is due to their family-based culture- clans pass down magical knowledge from generation to generation. Wolfen are feared and disliked by humans and many other races-far too many Wolfen clans have destroyed countless villages who supposedly infringed on their territory.
Fey: The Fey are a diminutive people, about two feet tall on average, and weighing no more then twenty to fourty pounds. Though they are strong for their size, in comparison to anyone else, they are weak, though very agile. They can fly with the small insect wings attached to their shoulders, and travel fast. To make up for their lack of physical power, most fey are expert mages. Fey are whimsical and mischevious, and delight in tricking humans into acting foolish, though most fey would never willingly risk a human's life. There are some theories they are related to elves.
Ti'yual: The Ti'yual, or Ti, are a race of nature spirits, Gray magic given tangible form. They are difficult to describe, because of the nature of their corporeal bodies. A Ti will assimilate the characteristics of the land he or she is attuned to-attuning is a ritualistic process that takes several hours of communing with the land. Thus, their bodies can change dramatically with every landscape they enter. Ti are, for all extents and purposes, immortal. They are very difficult to destroy as well, because even if the corporeal form of the Ti is destroyed, the spirit flees back to the spot where it originally attuned, to shape a new body from the materials therein. Only destroying a Ti while it is attuning or reshaping its body truly kills him or her. However, this comes with a price. A Ti in an area he or she has no attuned to begins to 'break down' after a few days. They must attune themselves to the area or disintegrate.
Celestials: Celestials are creatures spawned of the flow of White magic, and exist within it, not normally coming into being on the material plane. When they do, it is usually because a mage has summoned them. There are many varieties of Celestial, but as a group, they are positive in nature. Violence pains them, and harms their psyche, while construction and creation are their truest joy. Celestials have no physical form naturally-the combo of their mental picture and the mind of the mage summoning them creates a body which the celestial's spirit is tied to. If it dies, they are banished to the flow of white magic, where they promptly lose much of their self-awareness-for all extents and purposes death until they are resummoned, which they cannot be for ten years and a day. Even so, summoning is random. Though one might tink thesecreatures would be naturally good, there have been incidents of Celestials glorying in the pain and misery they wreak behind them-after all, it is creating misery, is it not? Still others place no value on intelligent life, and attack many they see. A Celestial bound to the material plane can be 'protected' by a series of wards of Black magic, bound about their created form. Such wards pain them greatly, but shelter them from the psychokinetic agony of violence and decay they encounter.
Demons: Demons are the creatures of the darkness spawned by Black Magic. While not evil per se, they are plagued with destructive desires that they often, whether they like them or not, cannot control, and when cmbine with the joy of sensation, they can become unwillingly creatures of great evil. Demons, like celestials, do not exist on the material plane, and in their natural home lose most of their personality or self-awareness; they are generally summoned by a mage or wizard of considerable strength, a body formed for them from the combination of their mind and the mage's imagination. If it dies, they are banished to the flow of black magic, where they promptly lose much of their self-awareness-for all extents and purposes death until they are resummoned, which they cannot be for ten years and a day. Even so, summoning is random. To prevent the Demon running wild, or not following the mage's orders, wards, enchanted chains, and potent spells are placed on them, forged of white magic. The presence of such chains is an excruciating agony to them, and most demons desire nothing more then to get them off-even though they will probably lose control of themselves and become nothing more then randomly destructive monstrosities.
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