The Kingdom of Taneth (Common Lore)   Posted by Winters Breath.Group: 0
Winters Breath
 GM, 3 posts
 Cold as death
 Don't you mess
Wed 3 Aug 2016
at 15:54
The Kingdom of Taneth (Common Lore)
Contents

1: History

2: Races

3: Geography

4: Notable Places

5: Language, Customs, Religion and Festivals



This message was last edited by the GM at 01:17, Mon 09 Jan 2017.

Winters Breath
 GM, 33 posts
 Cold as death
Fri 6 Jan 2017
at 02:04
The History of Taneth
The Age of Dragons

In time immemorial, the Gods created the world and walked upon it. They fashioned the land and the seas, the sun and the stars. They created all the myriad flora and fauna that inhabit it; from the tiniest bug to fantastical beasts. Their crowning achievement, by all accounts, were the mighty Dragons; who soared above the world and nested beneath it, some were masters of the waves, others of the forests. No corner of the world knew them not. They were blessed with knowledge; language, writing and magic were theirs from birth. They ruled over the world in whichever way they saw fit and so an Age passed.

The Elder Races were also created, as well as Giants and other creatures blessed with sentience and those primitive civilisations developed under the guidance of the Gods. The Dragons were divided on the "Lesser" Races, however; some thought they existed merely to serve, using them as slaves and ruling over them in the crulest manner. Other Dragons saw the potential in them and strove to cultivate their minds and societies into something greater. As was inevitable, war shattered the world. Giant fought Dwarf, Elf fought Gnome and Dragon fought Dragon until eventually there were no more Dragons left and the world was a darker place for it. Many creatures became extinct in the Dragon Wars, never to be seen again.

This was many thousands of years ago and only myth, legend and hearsay remind us of what might have been during the infancy of the world.



The Age of Giants

The oldest historical records, those few fragments that still remain, and some of the oldest tales tell of the Age of Giants. When all the Dragons were gone, the Lesser Races struggled to recover from the terrible Dragon Wars. The world was changed and was made a harsher place; from the ashes rose first the mightiest of creatures; the Giants. The Gods were gone, having left with the passing of the last Dragon. So the Giants forged their civilisations anew and ruled, but it was not as with the Dragons; the Giants were cruel masters, all. Songs of woe and sadness are still sung of this time, for the Elder Races; the Dwarves, the Gnomes and the Elves, being smaller and weaker were enslaved by the Giants. Under their lash, the great civilisation of the Giants rose up; a testament to the will of those that built it, though it was built on the suffering of the ancestors of the Elder Races.

Besides a few songs, scraps of scrolls and crumbling ruins, however, little remains from this Age, for a great calamity befell the Giants...the Sidhe arrived.



The Age of the Sidhe

Less still is known of the Sidhe than of the Giants. Though the Giants were cruel, the Sidhe were a devastation. They came from beyond the Veil, bringing death and destruction, with a face so fair it caused men to weep at the mere sight of such beauty. Folk tales still remain of the form and habits of the Sidhe, who took many shapes and guises, but little is known of what they truly wanted. Fear is all they brought and when they left, they left nothing.

All any could do was hide. The first to go were the Giants; thinking themselves strong, they confronted the Sidhe and died. Thousands of enslaved Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes died in the preliminary battles. The Elves retreated to the forests. The Dwarves and Gnomes retreated beneath the earth, cowering in the darkest places, digging deeper and deeper until they could dig no more. For more than a thousand years, they hid, biding their time and struggling to survive in the depths of the earth.

When eventually the Gnomes (being the more curious of the two Races) made their way back to the surface, the world was once again changed. Seas had shifted, forests were destroyed and new ones arisen, where once there were deserts, there were lush jungles and where once there was green fields, there was wasteland. The once great cities of the Giants were mere ruins and there was no sign of the Elves. Magic, it seemed, had become much diminished; the remaining Elder Races had never learned much from their Giant overlords and along with the Elves, many of the magical creatures that once inhabited the world were simply gone. Great beastial creatures haunted the dark corners of the world, some bearing resemblance to the once proud and noble giants, but a sad and broken resemblance it was. Of the Sidhe; nothing remained.



The Age of Strife (4A0 to 4A1427)

The modern chronicles of history begin.

With the Sidhe gone, the Gnomes and eventually the Dwarves too emerged from their subterranean halls and began the long struggle to build anew. New beings populated the world; Humans and their smaller kin, the Halflings lived primitive existences in rude villages and tribes. The Orcs and Gnolls, no more developed but bestial and vicious, hunted them for food and in the deepest swamps and jungles, the Lizardfolk brooked no strangers. Amidst this chaos, the Gnomes and Dwarves taught the Younger Races what they could, but the Orcs and Gnolls resented such interference, prefering their tribal ways and the Lizardfolk...well the Lizardfolk did not want to listen.

So it was the Humans and Halflings that inherited the wisdom of the Elder Races and with that knowledge and with the aid of their Elders, fought back the hordes of Orcs and Gnolls and contained the Lizardmen in their remote sanctuaries in the swamps and jungles. A new civilisation began to arise, a coalition of Younger and Elder Races. It was not easy and there were many set-backs, but eventually people began looking to the future, to a time of prosperity, trade and advancement.



The Modern Age (5A0 to 5A729)

The Modern Age is recognised to have begun with the founding of the Kingdom of Taneth, with its seat of power at the great city of Welbridge. Nestled in the foothills of the Griffonridge Mountains, Welbridge sits at the conjunction of three borders; to the north lie the Dwarven Halls, to the south are the Human Lands and to the west, the Gnome Principalities. The Halflings hold no lands of their own, preferring to integrate with the societies they live among. From Welbridge, the King of the Humans, the Master of the Dwarves and the Prince of the Gnomes (all titles of equal rank among their own people), rule jointly for the betterment of the Kingdom as a whole.

Orcs, Gnolls and Lizardfolk still plague the region, raiding from their respective lairs, but the armies of the Kingdom keep them in check. Dark things still lurk in the corners of the world, but the fear of enslavement by Giants or the terror of the Sidhe have been banished along with "foolish" notions about mythical creatures, Dragons and magic. It is a modern age and such stories as told by the Elders are considered only that; bedtime stories and the fanciful ravings of old fools...

...until, that is, the midwinter of 5A729, when the Long Winter began and the Sidhe were rumoured to have been seen.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:13, Mon 09 Jan 2017.

Winters Breath
 GM, 34 posts
 Cold as death
Fri 6 Jan 2017
at 02:30
The Races of Taneth
[under construction]

The Elder Races

Dwarves
- Live beneath the Griffonridge Mountains in the Dwarven Halls.

- Mountain Dwarves are the most common; strong and well trained, they're the miners and warriors.

- Hill Dwarves live near the surface, making them wise and hardy. Many make the pilgrimage to the Monasteries of the Martial Schools that sit atop their mountain home.

- Duergar, also known as Deep Dwarves, are shrouded in mystery and the ancient arts of their oldest traditions from when the world was young. Traditionalists to the core, they often mistrust "surface dwellers".

Gnomes
- Live to the west in the rolling hills of the Gnome Principalities.

- Rock Gnomes are the most commonly seen of their folk, living closest to the Capital of Welbridge and the Griffonridge Mountains. They are well integrated into the powerful northern cities in the Kingdom and are respected as shrewd but fair traders.

- Forest Gnomes live further west, deeper in the Gnome territories. They like to think they've recaptured some of the original heritage of their people; which was lost when they integrated with the Dwarves during the Age of the Sidhe.

- Deep Gnomes live comfortably alongside the Duergar, deep in the Dwarven Halls and are all but unknown to the surface world. They delve the depths of the mountains and like the Duergar, preserve the ancient traditions of their forebears.

Elves (Lost Race)
- Haven't been seen since the time of the Sidhe, thousands of years ago. Stories of their kind still persist and tell of a fae and beautiful race, given to the arts and works of great craftsmanship.

The Younger Races

Humans

Halflings

- Lightfoot

- Stout

- Ghostwise

The Brute Races

Orcs

Gnolls

Lizardfolk

Troglodyes

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:47, Mon 09 Jan 2017.

Winters Breath
 GM, 35 posts
 Cold as death
Fri 6 Jan 2017
at 16:09
Geography
[under construction]

North: The Griffonridge Mountains, Dwarven Halls. No passage further (edge of the world)

West: Gnome Principalities, rolling hills, Forest of Enar

East: The Sea (over the sea: islands, jungle, unknown)

South: Human Lands, Plains (Orcs), Forest of Teeth (Gnolls), The Swamplands (Lizardfolk)

Far South: (mountain range?), Desert (rumoured?)

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:55, Mon 09 Jan 2017.

Winters Breath
 GM, 36 posts
 Cold as death
Fri 6 Jan 2017
at 16:09
Places of Interest
[under construction]

City of Welbridge - Capital City. Located at conjunction of three sub-nations (Human, Dwarven, Gnome). Jointly ruled. Center of trade and communication. Sits either side of a ravine, a great bridge spanning it. As much of the city is beneath ground as above; "cheapside" is the rickety slums that cling to the sides of the ravine (its denizens known as "siders").

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:01, Mon 09 Jan 2017.

Winters Breath
 GM, 37 posts
 Cold as death
Fri 6 Jan 2017
at 16:09
Language, Customs, Religion and Festivals
[under construction]

Languages

Modern Languages
Common - Common is a tongue derived from many sources. It has heavy influences from Undercommon, but also some fragments of Elven language, the crude Orc tongue and others. It is spoken widely across the Kingdom of Taneth and is recognised as the official trade language. Sometimes referred to as "Human" by the Duergar and Svirfneblin, often intended as an insult to other Dwarves or Gnomes who speak it.

A note on Halflings; the Halflings have no language of their own, but some do speak a peculiar dialect of Common; similar enough to the Common tongue to be understood or understand. Some say the elusive Thieves Cant has it's roots in this dialect.

Undercommon - The second most widely spoken language in Taneth, most of the Dwarves and Gnome people speak it as their primary language, as well as learning the Common tongue for their dealings with Humans, Halflings and other Races. Undercommon is a derivation of Dwarven; the ancestral language of the Dwarves and the Duergar and Svirfneblin both consider Undercommon a corruption of it.

Dwarven - Dwarven is the ancient language of the Dwarves, said to have been spoken since the first Age. During the Age of the Sidhe, when the Gnomes and Dwarves hid together beneath the earth, the Gnome language was lost and since that time Gnomes have traditionally spoken Dwarven in its place. Both the Duergar and the Svirfneblin speak Dwarven as their primary language, only learning Undercommon to better interact with their less traditionalist cousins.

Orc - Orc is the language used by the so-called "Brute" Races; the Orcs, Gnolls and Lizardfolk. It is a crude language, guttural and entirely without finesse, more suitable for bellowing in the heat of battle and growling out threats than civilised philosophical discussion. Some of the Monasteries of the Martial Schools teach this language as an efficient battle-tongue; preaching its simple practicality as ideal for giving and understanding orders under duress. Orc language has no formal written form.

Ancient Languages
Draconic - Purportedly the language used by the Dragons. Nothing is known of this language, which died many thousands of years ago along with its namesakes at the end of the Dragon Wars.

Elven - The Elven language has long since been lost and no native speakers remain. Some few fragments of text have survived the long years since the Elves were last seen, but only the most dedicated of scholars have anything but a rudimentary understanding of this legendarily elegant language.

Giant - The language of Giants and their kin. Like Elven, few scraps of text remain of this language and no-one is known who speaks it outside of the guesses of a few obsessed scholars. Dwarven and its derivative language Undercommon both use runes originally devised by the Giants and it is said by some that Giant is the ancient root language of the Dwarven tongue (an argument hotly debated in certain circles). Particularly adventurous scholars have been known to seek the ancient ruins of the fabled cities of the Giants in search of any fragments of Giant text that might reveal the secrets of that long-ago era.

Infernal - The language of Devils and Demons. Supposedly. No-one sane has ever seen a Devil or Demon, so claims that they have their own language are met with skepticism at best. Alleged "devil signs", the script used by these mythical creatures, have been debunked as fictional.

Primordial - The language that shaped the world. According to legend, this is the language of the Gods and the elemental planes. Legend has it that magi once had the ability to summon creatures from beyond the Veil that spoke this language, but no arcanist of any reputation has been able to replicate this feat in living memory.

Sylvan - The cursed language. Surrounded by superstition, few dare to learn any but the most fragmented phrases of this allegedly enchanting language. What little remains of it exists primarily in folk-lore, old wives sayings and (unsurprisingly) the most vehement curses. Nothing that could be used to hold even the shortest of conversations. A small collection of Elven texts exist that appear to be written in Sylvan, based on what few phrases are known.



Customs, Religion and Festivals

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:18, Mon 09 Jan 2017.