Races of Shakandara

    A violent and wide-spread war has left its mark on the political and racial boundaries of Shakandara. The following is a brief description of the standings of each of the main races after the War.

    Minotaurs are considered a barbaric society, but not bestial as in most other worlds. They are excellent sailors. The culture is brutal and often deadly, but they are also known to take pride in their honor and will uphold promises to death. They are historical enemies of the Steppe peoples that border their realm. Most of the conflict was limited to raids and small unit skirmishes. These conflicts have all but disappeared since the War (see Steppe people's entry for more information). The minotaurs of Shakandara are considered a +3 EL race and use the following adjustments: +4 Strength, Con +2, Int -4, Cha - 2; +3 Natural Armor; gore attack for 1d6 (2d6 charging); 10' reach; Scent (Ex); Natural Cunning (Ex); Keen Senses (Ex) - +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks.

    The Steppe people lived the life of nomads across the northern prairies and grasslands. They followed the herds of elk and caribou during the summer, and retreated to the areas around the border-towns of the north during the winter, trading furs and horses with the frontier merchants. The Steppe tribes fought hard during the War, lead by their Khan, Ting Doa Gis. His quests during the War brought him into direct contact with a Minotaur, Scar, and their friendship has become a model for most of their respective peoples to emulate. A few small bands still resist the change, but they are a isolated fragment of this society at best.

    After the Race Wars at the beginning of time, all the races of elves banded together in one forest kingdom on the border of the Darklands, the place where most of the evil races were driven to during the final months of the battles. The various races of elves still exist, though the differences that once set them apart from one another in physical appearance have receded quite a bit. The exception to this are the drow and aquatic elves. All of the elven races have retained their various special abilities, advantages, and disadvantages. The elven kingdom has large deposits of mithral in the northern section of the country. These were used to create the legendary Elven Chainmail. They have been untapped for several centuries and may even be panned out. During the War, the dark elves tried to take the elven lands by emerging through a passage to Underdark near an abandon keep in this nothern territory, but they were pushed back. While the elves are still quite secretive by most races' standards, they have opened their borders considerably since the War, and there are few peoples that would find themselves denied access to these verdant lands. Queen Lessa Goldbrook rules over the Elven Nation, and her General Gil Shalos matains order within the realm. Lady Protector of the Forests Shakira Kree oversees the border patrol that keeps a watchful eye on the Dark Lands.

    The Southgate Dwarves represent the richest, most secretive people of all the races. The dwarven kingdom is the only known source of adamantine, and possibly the only extant deposits of mithral, in all of Shakandara. It is also rich in gold and platinum. For all this wealth, they have little arable land for growing food, so they trade extensively with surrounding countries for these goods. The journey to the Southgate kingdom was dangerous by any route, so the merchants that made these trips charged exorbitant prices for the goods. Many of these trading missions never made the complete return trip; bandits and monsters knew the value of these groups exiting the kingdom and ambushed them. These paths, though still dangerous by most accounts, have become safer since the War. The War was very taxing on the dwarves, as they suffered heavy losses both at home and abroad. Their export of weapons and armor has shifted to primarily masterwork items, with exceptional material items becoming increasing rare in availability. The dwarves also posses two islands off the coast that supply most of the mithral and adamantine that the smiths work with. These deposits are worked by deep dwarves (+2 Con, -4 Cha; Darkvision 120'; otherwise same as normal dwarves). Very few hill or mountain dwarves are found on these two island. The mainland is the opposite; the population is mostly hill (use gold dwarf stats from FRCS) and mountain dwarves (core rules dwarves) with very few deep dwarves. The population of hill dwarves handles most transactions with surface races, often acting as a go-between with the mountain and deep dwarves. There are no gully dwarves in Shakandara (thank the gods for small favors!).

    The gnomes of Shakandara almost exclusively inhabit a stretch of hilly and mountainous land bordering the ocean just south of the Minotaur Realm. The rock gnomes have constructed several cities in the hill regions and even along the ocean for trade. The deep gnomes work mining operations in the mountains and bring the valuables that they uncover to the surface cities. The Knife Edge Mountains are rich in silver and gems of many kinds. There are no tinker gnomes in Shakandara. There have been reports of forest gnomes, but they have never been confirmed.

    The only race of halflings found in Shakandara (use strongheart halfling stats from FRCS). They inhabited burrows among the hilly fields of their land. They traded frequently with their close neighbors, the dwarves of Southgate. The path from the halfling villages were well-traveled and fairly safe. The halflings never over-charged the dwarves for food and other goods. Likewise, the dwarves provided them with excellent weapons in trade, often masterwork quality. Despite the shady reputation that the race bears, this is one of the safest civilized areas to be in. The halflings are friendly to all but the most obnoxious or threatening outsiders.

    Humans are the most populous race on Shakandara and can be found across the realm in every settlement, town, and city. The majority of the main continent's landmass is divided into many human kingdoms of varying sizes and political structures. Look hard enough, and you can find just about every possibility among them.

    Many varieties of outsiders and other oddities can be found across Shakandara, including Tieflings, Aasimars, Genasi, and Half-dragons, as well as Incandents and Voidlings (see Andy Collins' website for more info on these two races). While none of these races have any known settlements, higher or lower numbers can be found of each individual race in different areas.

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