Rise of the Twilight Empire
Races of Clay (Humans, Halflings)
These are the races with little inborn magic. They are shaped by magic, rather than the other way around. Despite this lack of natural ability, they have crafted great empires through sheer determination and willpower, and now that their empires have crumbled, they cling to life the same way. Halflings and Humans are distantly related, though few today can say exactly how. Nerath was a large cosmopolitan empire, and people of every skin tone can be found represented in the Nentir Vale.
|Human||+1 to any two||6||Extra Skill, Feat||Nerathi|
|Halfling||+2 Dex, +1 Con||5||Lucky, Brave, Halfling Nimbleness, Naturally Stealthy||Nerathi|
The Fey, or the Races of Wind (Elves, Eladrin, Gnomes)
There is another world, parallel to this one. A world where the rules of reality are as fragile as glass. A world of great beauty and terror. It has many names: Faerie, The Shining Lands, the Plane of Dreams. The scholars of Nerath called it the Feywild. It encroaches on our world, and many of its denizens and monsters have passed through the veil. Wood Elves are fey who came to the world millennia ago and have adopted this world as our own. Eladrin, or High Elves, and their servants the Gnomes, rarely leave their crystalline cities in the Feywild. If they have, it is either for a crucial mission, or it is to wreak havoc and discord. The Fey are nothing if not unpredictable.
|Elf (Wood Elf)||+2 Dex, +1 Wis||7||Darkvision, Keen Senses, Fey Ancestry||Nerathi, Sindar|
|Eladrin (High Elf)||+2 Dex, +1 Int||6||Darkvision, Keen Senses, Fey Ancestry, Cantrip||Nerathi, Sindar, Eladrin|
|Gnome||+2 Int, +1 Con||5||Darkvision, Gnome Cunning, Natural Illusionist, Speak with Beasts||Nerathi, Eladrin|
Moradin’s Chosen, or the Races of Stone (Dwarves, Goliaths)
At the dawn of the world, a great war was waged between the gods and the primordials. Moradin, the Forge God, built two races back then: the Dwarves to forge great weapons and the Goliaths to wield them. Both have the endurance of steel, and the same can be said of their willpower. Both are reclusive. The Goliaths hide their clans high atop the mountains, while the Dwarves hide theirs beneath them.
|Dwarf||+2 Con, +1 Wis||5||Darkvision, Dwarven Resilience, Stonecunning, Dwarven Toughness||Nerathi, Dethek|
|Goliath||+2 Str, +1 Con||6||Natural Athlete, Stone’s Endurance, Powerful Build||Nerathi, Dethek|
Half-Breeds (Half-Elves, Genasi)
Magic, once it has entered a human bloodline, never leaves. Since humans have so little natural magic, they absorb it readily from any source, and thus they can breed with many of the strange magical races of this world. Half-Elves have a touch of fey blood. Genasi have elemental blood. Since Nerath was so cosmopolitan, most folk consider Half-Elves and Genasi to simply be strange looking humans. There are two other half-breed races worth noting…
|Half-Elf||+2 Cha, +1 to two others||6||Darkvision, Fey Ancestry, Skill Versatility||Nerathi, Sindar|
|Air Genasi||+2 Con, +1 Dex||6||Unending Breath, Mingle with the Wind||Nerathi, Primordial|
|Earth Genasi||+2 Con, +1 Str||6||Earth Walk, Merge with Stone||Nerathi, Primordial|
|Fire Genasi||+2 Con, +1 Int||6||Fire Resistance, Reach to the Blaze||Nerathi, Primordial|
|Water Genasi||+2 Con, +1 Wis||6, Swim 6||Acid Resistance, Amphibious, Call to the Wave||Nerathi, Primordial|
The People of Fire (Dragonborn, Tieflings)
Millennia ago, there were two great rival empires that spanned the world: Arkhosia and Bael Turath. Arkhosia was ruled by dragons, while Bael Turath was ruled by humans who made a pact with the forces of Hell who became Tieflings. The two empires engaged in a war that lasted centuries that wound up consuming them both. Their legacy lives on, however, both in the ruins and artifacts they left behind and also their people. Because magic never leaves human blood, the half-infernal Tieflings and the half-dragon Dragonborn persist to this day. They are viewed with deep suspicion by the common folk.
|Dragonborn||+2 Str, +1 Cha||6||Draconic Ancestry, Breath Weapon, Damage Resistance||Nerathi, Arkhosic|
|Tiefling||+2 Cha, +1 Int||6||Darkvision, Fire Resistance, Infernal Legacy||Nerathi, Turathi|
The Ghostborn, or the People of Shadow (Shadar-Kai)
There is actually another parallel to this world other than the Feywild, but where the Feywild is bright, the Shadowfell is dark. It is the land of death. The underworld. Purgatory. It is where all souls reside for a time before either being taken to the Astral Sea by their god or passing through the Raven Queen’s gate, beyond which even the gods may not tread. But even a land as dark as this is not totally devoid of life. There are cities in the Shadowfell where the living and the souls of the dead intermingle. Humans born in the Shadowfell are called Shadar-Kai, or the Ghostborn. In order to combat the dulling malaise of the Plane of the Dead, the Shadar-Kai seek out extreme emotions and experiences to maintain their sense of self. Many are fanatically devoted to the Raven Queen. They have seen what she fights for.
|Shadar-Kai||+2 Dex, +1 Con||6||Darkvision, Necrotic Resistance, Shadow Walk||Nerathi, Turathi|
The People of Light (Aasimar)
There are two ways for an angel to leave the service of its god: rebellion and desertion. The rebels become devils, while the deserters choose to be born into flesh as the immortal Deva, or Aasimar as they were called in old Turathi. When a Deva is killed its soul, after spending its time in the Shadowfell, is reborn into another body. The experience is traumatic, and only fragments of the Deva’s previous life remain in its memory.
|Aasimar||+2 Cha, +1 Wis||6||Light Bearer, Radiant Resistance, Healing Hands, Radiant Soul||Nerathi|
The False Men (Warforged)
Nerath was famous for two things: its piety, and its magical craftsmanship. The Warforged are what resulted when it sacrificed the former for the latter. Nerathi mages learned the art of soulcraft, a domain previously restricted to the gods. They bound the new souls into bodies of wood and stone and used them as engines of war. Many believe that is why the gods did not lift a finger when the beastmen razed Nerath to the ground.
|Warforged||+2 Con, +1 Str||6||Living Construct, Warforged Resilience, Composite Armor||Nerathi|
The Demonborn (Drow, Half-Orcs)
When men are tainted by demon blood, they become Orcs. When elves are tainted by demon blood, they become Drow, dark elves in service to their corrupted goddess, Lolth. But the demonblooded curse is not absolute, and some strong-willed individuals can overcome their instinct for bloodlust and cruelty and join the civilized races. Orcs who break away are often referred to as Half-Orcs, because an orc who does not kill for sport can hardly be called an orc at all.
|Drow||+2 Dex, +1 Cha||6||Darkvision, Keen Senses, Fey Ancestry, Drow Magic||Nerathi, Abyssal|
|Half-Orc||+2 Str, +1 Con||6||Darkvision, Menacing, Relentless Endurance, Savage Attacks||Nerathi, Daraktan|
Beastmen (Orcs, Gnolls, Minotaurs, Ogres)
The result of mixing demon blood with the various races. They are engines of pure destruction.
Goblins (Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugbears)
These three are actually different breeds of the same race with wildly different physiques and temperaments (much like different breeds of dogs). They were once fey as well, but they crossed over so long ago, even before the elves, that they have gone completely native.
The Candleflames (Kobolds)
The servitors and slaves of the Arkhosian empire. When the empire collapsed, they spread out and bred like rats, and now they are a nuisance everywhere.
When the people of stone overthrew their giant masters, not all of them rebelled. The duergar are descended from the dwarves who stayed loyal, and were exiled to the Underdark by their victorious brethren. They still possess some of the elemental gifts granted to them by their giant masters so long ago. They are a brutal race, and alternately war with or trade with the drow depending on the circumstances. They often worship dark gods, such as Asmodeus who they also view as being wrongly imprisoned. Some still hold to the oldest ways, and worship the demon lords their giant masters once served.