For

the Glory

of Guildhall!


A Chronicle of Guildsmen in the Age of Order



 

Introduction

 

History

The Awakening

The Creation

The First Beings

Greater Beings

The Ages . . .

The Age of Nature

The Age of Life

The Age of Death

The Age of Order

The Age of Chaos

 

Guildhall

Founding of Guildhall

The Guilds

Alchemists

Artisans

Bards

Clerics

Cavaliers

Druids

Necromancers

Rangers

Rogues

Runecasters

Warlocks

Warriors

Wizards

Members of a Guild

Structure of Guildhall

Governance of Guildsmen

Council of Lore

Community Governance

Meetings

Stipends

Division of Labor

Inn Charters

Justice of Guildhall

History

Jurisdiction

Court Rules

Order of a Criminal Trial

Crimes and Punishments

Crimes of the First Degree

Crimes of the Second Degree

Crimes of the Third Degree

Crimes of the Fourth Degree

 

Beings of the Realm

Beard'on

Civilian Beard'on

Rager Beard'on

Elf

Deep Elf

High Elf

Low Elf

Sea Elf

Human

Ancient Path

Andorian

Asgarn

Bedouin

Coventry

Dale

Gypsy

Highlander

Holt

Kelt

Lundelle

Mongorian

Plainspeople

Klacton

Minotaur

Orc

Pythian

Rakkarin

Weetle

 

Geographic Information

Ansaki Fens

Elder Trees Valley

Fertile Valley

Five Kingdoms

Forlorne Mountains

Great Plains

Hollow Hills

High Peak

Isle of Minos

Karthydian Desert

Northern Confederation

Plains of Tharakana

 

Nobility of the Realm

 

Gods of the Realm

The Way of the Five

The New Gods

Religions

 

Conclusion



Introduction

The following contains an excerpt from the speech delivered by Loremaster Al’tar Shariz to the Council of Lore in 996 of the Age of Order regarding the reopening of the Inn at Evermoore. This chronicle is reprinted with permission from the Council of Lore. Some my find it ironic that many of the warnings given by Al’tar Shariz have come to pass in the decade since the reopening of the Inn at Evermoore.


“And now I shall yield the floor to Loremaster Altar Shariz,” announced the Speaker of the Crown and Shield. “He is here to provide critical background information needed to guide our vote on whether to reopen the Inn at Evermoore. A petition I might add which was brought forth by Loremaster Shariz and is to be voted on this afternoon.”


Al’tar Shariz rose the podium. He was dressed in traditional Karthydian garb. His black robes were closed at the waist by a belt that held a battle-worn scimitar. He wore a black turban, a long hooded cape and the surcoat of the Order of the Ruby Chalice. His clothes still bore the dust of the road. Altar spent much of his time traveling the realm. He was eccentric, charismatic and some said slightly insane. Many saw Al’tar Shariz as an omen of dark times to come ; others hoped his love for Guildhall would save the realm from destruction. But all knew that so long as Al’tar Shariz served Guildhall so would the zealots of the desert who followed him. His position as Loremaster assured world stability.


The world lives in the Age of Order, the fourth Age of the Realm. The next Age is the dreaded Age of Chaos when the world would be consumed in fire and flame. Al’tar Shariz is the charismatic leader of the Karthydian Faith. He controls the people of the desert who serve the god of chaos, Karthis. Each god had their Age and the Age of Karthis is next to come. It is prophesied that when the realm falls to Chaos, Karthis will destroy the world so that it will be reborn.


“Our story is the struggle of Order against Chaos, love against hate and peace against war,” began Al’tar, “I petitioned the Council of Lore to reopen the Inn at Evermoore, because Evermoore is one of the gathering places of reborn souls. Throughout our realm there are communities, places of ancient power, that have been catalysts for the turning of the Ages. Guildhall must establish an Inn at each of these places to maintain the ideals of peace and prosperity throughout this land.”


Someone cried out from the back of the room, “Enough of this religious nonsense.” There was some muffled laughter in the Hall, but it was the laugher of men and women who knew they denied the truth to themselves. It died as quickly as it began when they saw Al’tar’s frown. Altar continued firmly, “Do not be misled by those who foolishly disregard the old ways. Chaos is coming! The vengeance of Karthis will consume this world in fire and flame. The Age of Chaos will be the end of Order, the end of Guildhall, and the end of all we love.”


The assembled Loremasters shuffled nervously under Al’tar’s gaze. Altar continued. “The prophesies say that one day those of Guildhall will look around them and see the crumbled ruin of their dreams. It must be our task to prevent the turning of the Ages . . . to ensure the Age of Order and the peace of Guildhall continues forever. I am a child of Chaos, a son of the desert and I promise you that as long as the brotherhood of Guildhall stands united behind the dream of order the Age of Chaos will not come.”


“I believe the Age of Chaos will take hold when brother turns on brother and destroys the fraternity which we hold dear. When Guildsmen place themselves and their own individual beliefs above the common good, chaos will come. This noble dream of ours will fall when brother turns on brother for power, greed, glory and religion. When the members of Guildhall place their culture, their religion or their personal goals above the fraternity we share Guildhall will fall.”


“I see the past reflected in our actions of the present. The Five old gods ruled a world of peace and love, much like the world created under the rule of Guildhall. But remember the Herald of Grotar, Mortis of Noctis, Anaxian of the Pythians, the Elven civil war and all those who caused the Age of Death so many years ago. Those souls and their allies destroyed the dream of the Five and those same reborn souls can destroy our world. . . . they gather at Evermoore and other places of power throughout the realm spreading discord and sowing the seed of doom.”


“The Way of the Five and the teachings of Guildhall are paths of tolerance, communication, individual freedom, societal lawfulness and community respect. They are a noble dreams of peace and prosperity. The kingdom of the Five lasted for thousands of years, but it ended in bloodshed and ruin. If we are not ever vigilant, we will make the same mistakes and Guildhall will fall to chaos and ruin. My brothers and sisters in Guildhall, please vote to open an Inn at Evermoore and work to establish Inns throughout the realm to prevent the Age of Chaos.”

                                                                         


History

Our world is often called the ‘Realm of the Five’ because it was created by Five Gods to be a place of peace and prosperity. A world where all persons could fulfill their dreams and live out their life’s ambitions, but the nature of some people is to covet and to harm. It is easy for some to acquiescence to greed, hate and other vices, but our story is the struggle of those who would be Heros. . . This history honors those who choose virtue, when it would have been so much easier to walk a darker path.


The Awakening

In the beginning there were five elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. These five elements swirled into individual consciousness. They took individual names and forms, but collectively they were known simply as the Five.


Natallis: Earth became Natallis. Her form was a human female of plain beauty. She had long reddish-auburn hair adorned with leaves and flowers. She was curious, inquisitive and playful. Her thoughts moved the gods to create the realm. She gave the world Nature.


Lumina: Air became Lumina. Her form was a human female of stunning beauty. She had long blond hair, the color of sunshine, and carried herself with elegance and poise. She was patient, trusting and loving of all. She was called the goddess of light and day. She gave the world Life.


Noctis: Spirit became Noctis. In his youth, he was a pensive dreamer and poet. His form was a human male with a slim build, dark hair and intelligent caring eyes, but after the death of Lumina his form became that of a crooked man shrouded in robes of black. He was called the god of darkness and night. He gave the world Death.


Solnus: Water became Solnus. His form was a powerful man with chiseled facial features and eyes that portrayed a serious heart that was true to justice and right. He was solid in his beliefs and dedicated to honor. He gave the world Order.


Karthis: Fire became Karthis. His form was a handsome human male with an athletic build. In his youth, he was remembered for his carefree smile and easy-going manner. He was the trickster, the fool, the jester of the realm, but after the death of his brother his form became burning fire and he was reborn as a god of vengeance. He gave the world Chaos.


The Creation

After eons of nothingness, Natallis conceived the idea of creating a place to fill the empty void in which the Five existed. She convinced the others to aid her in the creation of a realm where the Five could give physical form to all that they had conceived.


She first appealed to the brothers, Solnus and Karthis, who were as different as fire and water, yet connected by the unbreakable bonds of sibling love. Solnus offered the laws of the universe; physics, mathematics and gave consistency to her dream. Karthis, offering change, varied the laws enough so that everything was unique in its own right.


Natallis then appealed to the lovers, Lumina and Noctis. Lumina offered the idea of a sun and day light. Noctis suggested a period of darkness lit by a silvery moon. Together they designed the sunset and sunrise making these beautiful to behold so that they would be a special time for lovers.


Together the Five worked to give the realm physical form. Solnus created the oceans and Natallis rose the earth from its depths. Solnus shaped the majestic white-capped mountains and carved out the lakes and valleys. Natallis made the land fertile and filled it with minerals, gems and precious metals. Karthis created a swirling desert of ever-changing sands. He made storms and caused lighting to strike. He let the rain fall in torrents and made every snowflake different.


All this was done before Lumina and Noctis, working together, gave the world its greatest gift, the cycle of life and death. It was through their labors that living things were brought into the realm. Natallis created flowers, forests and grass-covered prairies. She filled the skies with birds and the oceans with fish. The forests and prairies were filled with animals. The realm was suffused with the sounds of life.


The First Beings

The Five viewed the world with fascination, but each wanted to give more of themselves to the world. They wanted to create beings in their own image. They desired to create individuals who could feel, reason, remember and communicate. In time, the Five learned to use their developing powers to create beings capable of thought.


Noctis was the first to exercise these new powers of creation and he made the first race of truly sentient beings. Natallis and Karthis also acted individually to created their own beings, the Tibbyrrs and Gremlins respectively. The Five were not satisfied. It was agreed that the Five acting individually could not create a race in the image of the Five.

  

Lumina suggested that they begin working in small groups to created additional beings. Although these beings appeared more capable than those beings created by a single of the Five, they were each lacking in some capacity. Collectively, these became know as lesser beings.


Cyclops: Cyclops are easily identified because they possess only a single eye located in the center of their forehead. They are strong, gentle and very caring, but so lacking in their capacity to reason that they often hurt those around them by their blundering stupidity and lack of depth perception. Solnus and Natallis worked to create the Cyclops


Goblins: Goblins are a dark green-skinned race. They are generally sly and sneaky, but are also greedy and will lie, cheat and steal to gain things which they desire. Goblins often seem cowardly and will generally avoid a direct physical confrontation. However, as part of a large group they become emboldened. They are often led by Orcs, who easily force them into servile rolls. Noctis joined with Karthis to created the Goblins.


Gremlins: These orange-skinned beings have dome-like heads with little mouths and beady eyes. They are trickster creatures who delight in playing pranks, however, their antics are extremely dangerous. Gremlins have no understanding of when a joke goes too far and their favorite pranks are falling logs, man-catcher traps, trip ropes near cliffs, spiked pits dug on common trails and exploding boxes. Karthis created the Gremlins and they caused much confusion and harm. Even Karthis, who found humor in all things, was not amused.


Kravynn: Kravynn have brown skin, round, wrinkled faces and thin-lipped mouths with long fangs. Their ears are too large and their fingernails always seem in need of cutting. Kravynn, like their creator Noctis, feel emotions deeply. They are an expressive, passionate race. When they are emotionally content Kravynn can be passive, loving beings, but at the slightest notion of insecurity they have the potential to become suddenly aggressive. In this state, they are exceedingly dangerous.


Ogres: The Ogres are a light green-skinned race. They are harsh bullies who dominate the weaker beings around them through force. They are concerned with immediate gratification of their desires, which causes them to be impulsive and unpredictable. Ogres are not very intelligent and are easily manipulated. They are often led by Orcs. Noctis and Solnus acted to create the Ogres.


Trolls: Trolls are muscular beings with reddish brown skin and long wild hair. They are extremely strong and very tough. Trolls are happiest when they are able to use their strength for building. They are hard workers who enjoy working with their hands, but do not possess the intelligence necessary to design elaborate structures. Trolls need careful supervision if they are to perform complicated tasks, such as leveling, measuring and other more precise forms of construction. Trolls were created by Solnus, Noctis and Natallis and were the last of the lesser races created in the Realm of the Five.


Tibbyrrs: Tibbyrrs possess yellow-skin and large eyes that rise above their low sloping foreheads. Their mouths are entirely too large for their faces and their noses are far too small. Tibbyrrs are generally lazy and refuse to perform any kind of work. They hate living in cities or in groups larger than their immediate family. They often live by themselves near small ponds or river banks where they bask in the sun and live on fish. Tibbyrrs are territorial and once they establish ownership over a place, they may become violent if encroached. Natallis, acting alone, created the Tibbyrrs.


Greater Beings

After the Five, acting individually or in small groups, failed to create a race of beings in their image, Lumina suggested that they share equally of themselves and attempt to forge a perfect being. Under Lumina's guidance, the Five joined together to create a race of mortal beings having equal parts of all five of the elements. This race was called the Humans.


The gods were happy and they rejoiced for a time, but each still felt the world was lacking. The realm was so big and could hold so much more, so the five gods agreed to create additional races which each possessed varying attributes of each. These new races were vastly different from the Five in both form and temperament.


Collectively these are called Greater Beings because each of these beings was self sufficient, inventive and adaptive to their environment. They possessed the ability to reason and develop distinct individual personalities. Some of the Greater Beings could develop the ability to manipulate mana.


The Garden of the Gods was full and the beings dwelt together, but the Five could see that each was different and that they could not agree on how best to live in their world. Noctis and Lumina suggested that they should enter the word to care for their children to ensure that all lived harmoniously in peace and love. The others agreed, and the Five were born into the world to ensure harmony for all.


Beard'on: The Beard'ons, or Bearded Ones, appear similar to Humans except that both males and females are distinguished by their long, flowing beards. Beard'ons measure their social standing by the length of their carefully groomed beards and some Beard'ons have beards that reach down to their waist. Beard'ons are highly intellectual beings devoted to invention, construction and education. They are excellent engineers, builders and craftsmen. While most Beard ons are content with their inventive undertakings, there are some who have little patience for invention and building. These have quick tempers and fly into passionate rages. Invariably they smash more projects than they finish. These Beard ons often find solace in a military lifestyle. The Five contributed to the creation of the Beard ons in the following order: Solnus, Natallis, Lumina, Noctis, Karthis.


Elf: An Elf looks very much like a normal Human with pointed ears. Elven society is full of ancient heritage and tradition. They value their past, reliving it in the form of stories, dances, games and other social activities. Their customs are passed from one generation to the next with great reverence and remain unchanged for hundreds of years. Elves value learning and education. Though their culture is rooted in the past, their minds are quick to grasp new concepts. The Five contributed to the creation of the Elves in the following order; Lumina, Solnus, Natallis, Karthis, Noctis


Human: Humans are the most numerous beings in the Realm of the Five. They are adaptable beings and have varied cultures, traditions and ideologies. Each of the Five contributed equally to the creation of the Humans.


Klacton: Klactons are insect-beings who possess a hive-oriented society. The hives are ruled by fertile queens, who lay eggs to populate the hive. Klacton larvae grow into many forms of Klacton which have specialized duties in the hive. These Klactons do not have independent thought, but perform their hive duties instinctually as part of the hive mentality. However, some larvae can grow into an independent form of Klacton which is truly sentient. These rare humanoids are known as evolved Klactons. The Five contributed to the creation of the Klactons in the following order: Solnus, Natallis, Noctis, Lumina, Karthis


Minotaur: Minotaurs have human facial features, but their skin is dark brown in color. Two sturdy horns grow from either side of their forehead. Generally the males have larger horns than the females. Minotaurs have sturdy physiques and make powerful fighters. They also have a thick hide which provides additional protection from injury. Minotaurs are generally proud, noble, honorable beings; they do not lie, steal or cheat. The Five contributed to the creation of the Minotaurs in the following order: Noctis, Lumina, Natallis, Solnus, Karthis


Orc: Orcs have a physique similar to humans except that they are green-skinned and generally more muscular. They are often seen as barbaric and as having a reputation of being quick to anger and ferocious in their capacity for violence, but beneath these casual observations one can discern a rich culture filled with stories of heroism and honor. Life as an Orc has its rules; the strong survive to lead and the weak survive to serve, if they survive at all. The Five contributed to the creation of the Orcs in the following order: Noctis, Karthis, Solnus, Natallis, Lumina.


Pythian: Despite their lizard-like appearance, Pythians are warm-blooded humanoids who walk upright as humans do. Their well-muscled bodies are covered with greenish scales and a fin which crests their heads. Pythians have a great respect for the elders of their people. They value wisdom and rarely act rashly. Many Pythians are deeply religious. The Five contributed to the creation of the Pythians in the following order: Natallis, Solnus, Noctis, Lumina, Karthis.


Rakkarin: Rakkarins are cat humanoids. Their bodies are covered with fur, the color and patterns of which depend on the particular culture of the Rakkarin. Rakkarin faces appear more catlike than human and also reflect their culture. Rakkarrins typically live a nomadic lifestyle and tend to be excellent hunters. They value family and social status. They are well known for their grace and athletic ability. The Five contributed to the creation of the Rakkarrins in the following order: Natallis, Karthis, Lumina, Noctis, Solnus.


Weetle: Weetles are nimble and dexterous humanoid beings, with shiny black noses and whiskers on an otherwise human-looking face. Extending from their lumbar region is a long vestigial tail. Weetles are inquisitive and intellectual. They are collectors of items of academic interest such as books, maps, writing, tools and so forth. Weetles are also well known for their fondness for shiny items, which is more an instinctual attraction than a real desire for wealth. The Five contributed to the creation of the Weetles in the following order: Karthis, Natallis, Solnus, Lumina and Noctis.


The Ages . . .

After the time of creation, historians of the realm divided time into Ages. The first age predates all recorded history and information about events is derived primarily from legends and fables. It was called the Age of Nature and its beginnings were when the five gods were born into the realm. The beginning of the second age, the Age of Life, began when the races descended from the Garden of the Gods and went out into the world. Each race of beings chose a part of the world to call their own. The unified realm was filled with peace for three thousand years as the Five ruled from the city of Evermoore.


The beginning of the third age, the Age of Death, was marked by a great war that consumed the realm. The Age lasted only one thousand years, but it almost ended all life in the realm. In this time of terror and unbalanced magic, strange creatures evolved, such as hounds that spit fire or ice, vermin with deadly bites and a host of other arcane creatures. The teachings of the Five were almost lost. The fourth age, the Age of Order, was marked by the founding of Guildhall and the rebirth of civilization. The glorious institution of Guildhall united the world in peace and established order throughout the realm. The prophesied fifth age, the Age of Chaos, will mark the end of peace and the ultimate destruction of the realm in fire and flame.


The Age of Nature

In the first age the Five came to live among their children in the Garden of the Gods, which was on the highest peak in what was later to be called the Forlorne Mountains. During the Age of Nature life was full and joyous. The races lived as one with each other and the plants and animals. The birth of the Five into the realm brought the power of mana into the world and with their entrance, the realm was truly alive.


The first age was a time of great learning. The Five wished to share their knowledge and powers with their children. They preached the Way of the Five, the first religion of the realm which taught all to believe in balance and to live in love with each other and the world of nature. It mandated that all conflicts be resolved by verbal discourse with an equitable decision reached by compromise. Violence was forbidden and crime was nonexistent. It was a time of plenty where all were content.


It was in this age the Five began to teach those who understood and served the ideologies of the Way of the Five to manipulate the power of mana. These blessed few were called the Sworn Servants of the Five. In the beginnings of time the Five-Sworn took an oath to the Five to forever guard the realm and to ensure that it continued in the Way of the Five.


For their oath, the spirits of the Five-Sworn were bound to the realm and would be reborn. These eternal souls are the guardians of the realm and their actions control the passing of the ages. The Five-Sworn were grouped according to the god whom they served. The Beaconers served Lumina, the Reavers served Noctis, the Crusaders served Solnus, the Warders served Natallis and the Jesters served Karthis.


At the end of the Age of Nature, the people of the realm had grown too numerous to remain in the Garden of the Gods and so it was decided that they should go forth into the realm. One by one the races left the Garden and each was charged to follow the Ways of the Five, to keep the peace and to exist in harmony with their neighbors.


The Five led the Five-Sworn to the Valley of the Rainbows. It was here where the first city was created by the brothers as a wedding gift to Lumina and Noctis. This was the city of Evermoore and its beauty was never to be equaled. Its walls were built of colored crystal and its spires touched the sky.


The Age of Life

In the Second Age, the races of the realm went out into the world to live and grow. They found places suitable to their temperament and made their own cities fashioned after the city of Evermoore.


The Humans, the oldest people and most numerous, settled in the plains of the east, the highlands and isles of the northeast and the western plains. The Elves settled in the forests of the west and the Beard'ons settled in mountains of the west. The Pythians traveled to the tropical swamps and rainforests of the south. The Orcs went north into the mountains, bringing the Goblins and Ogres. The Weetles moved into the hills of the southeast where they lived in small burrows. The Rakkarrins dwelled in the southwest region which included an expanse of plains, tropical forests, mountains and portions of the great desert. The Klactons, being the slowest and the least numerous of the races, were forced to travel to the coldest tundra in the far north, making their homes in the caves of ice and snow.


The lesser beings were given homes amongst the greater beings. The Goblins and Ogres traveled with the Orcs. The Orcs promised to keep them safe and put them to good use. The Goblins and Ogres started out as servants, but became more like slaves, working to avoid the whip.


The Kravynn stayed with Noctis in Evermoore. He worked hard to help the Kravynn control their passions. And give them a purpose in life. The Kravynn became the caretakers of the Crystal City, a task which they cherished. They happily fulfilled duties such as butlers, maids, messengers, civil servants, street sweepers, lamp lighters and so forth. They took great pride in their jobs and enthusiastically performed them.


The Tibbyrrs entered the forests and made their homes by small ponds and on river banks, where they scavenged the remains left by others. Once in a while a friendly Warder would move in and try to teach them, but most often they were left alone.


The Gremlins were too disorganized to lay claim to any part of the realm and since their pranks caused much turmoil, no other race allowed the Gremlins to be close. They wandered the realm causing endless problems for the Sworn Servants of the Five. One day, during the Age of Life, the world suddenly discovered that the Gremlins were gone. They seemed to have vanished without a trace, but they were not missed by any, save Karthis. The God of Tricks accused his brother, Solnus, of taking them away. Under his brother's persistent questioning Solnus would merely shrug his shoulders and say, "And if I did hide them, what a fine and fun game it will be for you to find them again." Karthis looked for his children across the realm, but never found them. As the years passed, the Gremlins were forgotten except for a myth which foretold of their return before the Age of Chaos.


The Trolls labored to build the human cities of the realm. They also traveled with the Sworn Servants of the Five as porters, but in the latter part of the age when unrest became widespread they were trained as protectors and then as soldiers.


The first half of the second age was a time of peace and prosperity as the races continued to follow the Way of the Five. The Five-Sworn traveled the realm helping all those in need. They settled disputes, kept the laws of the Five and established governments so that all people could continue to live in peace. At the greatest point of the Age of Life, Noctis and Lumina were crowned the Lord and Lady of the realm. From Evermoore they ruled the nations of the realm. The Age of Life promised an eternity in a world without crime, war or needless death.

For a time the dream was a reality, but somehow in the second half of the Age of Life the dream faltered. The Way of the Five was discarded by many who sought to rule themselves with their own codes, faiths and ideologies. The peace of the realm could not be kept and the age ended in bloodshed and war.


Many try to blame the fall on the Five, because there is no denying that the Five moved on to live their own lives. It is true that the Five grew distant from the needs of their peoples, but the people of the realm had their teachings. They could have followed the Way of the Five forever maintaining a world of life, but instead choose to discard them.


It may be true that the Five grew divided and distracted from the needs of their people as they dealt with issues of their own. It was said that a jealousy smouldered between the brothers as both Solnus and Karthis loved Natallis and she was torn between the two and could never decide which brother would have her heart. It was also said that Lumina and Noctis experienced troubles of their own, as lovers often do.


A few mortals had dreams of their own and no longer wished to follow the Way of the Five. They began to rally their peoples and to corrupt them to their own ends. Where the Way of the Five gave power to all equally, the malcontents wanted to collect power for themselves. They were small and petty of mind and could not grasp the glory of a peaceful world where all were entitled to an equal share. They wanted to unseat the Five and re-make the world in their own image. These malcontents became the leaders of their peoples and preached the downfall of the Five.


Most historians agree that the Five were too concerned with their own affairs to realize that the mortal races had begun to stray from the Way of the Five. Many of the races decided to create their own paths, but none more so than the Orcs, Pythians and Klactons who completely abandoned the teachings of the Five.


As these races began to make their own laws which violated the teachings of the Five, the Five-Sworn tried to stem this tide, but the rulers resisted. Having tasted power, the malcontents were not willing to be swept aside. Worse was that many of the Five-Sworn were lured away by promises of their own greatness. These wayward servants of the Five contributed to the fall as they broke their sacred oaths sworn so long ago.


The Five, absorbed in their own problems, did not see the failing of their dream until it was too late. Those races who turned away from the Five created new gods to better fulfill their own selfish needs. These new gods were not gods of peace, balance or love. They reflected the feelings of their creators and possessed the same aspirations and lusts as the peoples who created them. The new gods sought to challenge the Five and became the catalysts which would move their people to war and shatter the Age of Life.


The new gods were created through the use of a powerful ritual in which thousands gave up their lives and spirits to form the physical bodies of these avatars. The new gods had tremendous power because they came from the combined essences of those who created them.


The first, foremost and most powerful of the new gods, was Grotar of the Orcs. This god was brought into the realm by his Herald, Harog Judnor, a former Sworn Servant of the Five. The impact of this new god was terrible and would prove the undoing of all that the Five knew, loved and taught.

The next was Tharakana, the goddess of the Klactons. The Klactons, not being able to identify with their creators, brought into existence through their belief an insect god who was like them. Tharakana had power over all of the hives and united their society as one. The Hive-Queens and their evolved Klactons lost all control of their hives.


The Pythians created Ansaki, the Spirit of the Swamp. He embodied all life that came before him and had the wisdom of the Ages. His form was that of an ancient Pythian, who appeared older then time itself. Ansaki was wise, but not wise enough to foresee the horrendous effects that the fall of Evermoore would have on his people and the realm. He never forgave himself or his people for the role they played.


The Elves created Eveya, pregnant goddess of the Harvest. She was to give meaning to the toils of the working Elves and settle the unrest growing between the ruling castes and those below. Instead she became the mother of Unity, the child whose death would divide the Elves forever in bloodshed and hate.


With the creation of the new gods, the Age of Life could not be saved. The concept of war was created by the Orcs and for the first time armies were raised. Both sides turned to violence as both had strong convictions.


The first major conflict to erupt occurred in the Elven lands. The Elves were divided into a caste system separating the population into the rulers, the intellectuals, the professionals and the laborers. There were many Elves at all levels of the caste system who were unhappy with the strict adherence to the system which developed in the later part of the Age of Life.


The goddess Eveya was created by the Elves of the lower castes who worked the fields and tended the beasts. The Elven senate, many of whom remained true to the Five and favored the caste system, narrowly passed an edict which outlawed the worship of the goddess Eveya.


Eveya had a child. This child, named Unity, was to bring all Elves together and abolish the caste system. The child was murdered in its crib by the dagger of an outspoken Senator who was against the worship of Eveya. The Senator denied the deed, but was none the less condemned for the crime. The Elven struggle blossomed into a civil war consuming all of the Elven people, except a few who choose to leave the homelands on ships in search of a peaceful existence. Blood was shed as the Elves turned on each other.


A schism formed in the Sworn Servants of the Five. The first group was lead by Aradawn, a Beaconer, who believed that the various peoples of the realm should be allowed to rule themselves as they desired. Aradawn refused to condemn the creation of new gods as a sacrilege. He felt that as long as these Avatars did not violate to the peace of the Five, they should be allowed to exist within the realm.


Mortis, a Reaver, who was later to be called the Black Hand of Noctis, saw the creation of Avatars as a betrayal of the Five. He believed that Noctis and Lumina should be more than the nominal rulers of the realm and he refused to acknowledge any government that did not derive its power from the Five. He began a clandestine campaign to destroy any who tried to usurp the power of the Five through the creation of Avatars or national governments which failed to support the Way of the Five.


The Five taught only helpful lore. However, near the end of the Age of Life, the lore of the Five was perverted to use for war. The people of the realm learned to create undead and summon beings of power, such as elementals, archons and spirit beings. Advances were made in the control and use of the elements to enable the spontaneous creation of fire and ice and their use as a weapon.


The Crystal City became a place of fear as rumors of the training of armies reached it. A guard was raised for the city of Evermoore and Aradawn, a Beaconer, was chosen over Mortis to lead it. This strained the relationship between the Sworn Servants of Lumina and Noctis, who thereafter had difficulty working together.


As tensions continued to grow the city Guard was transformed into a militia. In time, Sir Aradawn, using lore newly created by Solnus, founded the Order of the Five to lead the militia of Evermoore. The Order of the Five was created for defense and its motto was "Defending the Dream." The leadership of the Order came from those Sworn Servants still loyal to the Five.


The Age of Life ended when the combined armies of Orcs, Pythians and Klactons destroyed the Crystal City and ended the dream of peace.


The Age of Death

The beginning of the third age is marked by the fall of Evermoore. It was a time of tremulous upheaval and world change for the worst. Grotar had a plan to rule the realm and dispensing of the Five was merely the first step. It was not until the Fist of Grotar smashed the realm and plunged it into the Seven Days of Darkness that this horror was truly realized.


The Klactons desired the Valley of the Rainbows as their home now that the Minotaurs were driven from it. Grotar refused to yield Evermoore to them and placed one of his own generals as ruler of the valley as the Orcs hoped to benefit from pastureland of the valley. The Klactons under the iron fisted rule of their goddess Tharakana threatened war against the Orcs. Before the Klacton armies could march against the Orcs, the great Fist of Grotar, a meteor, struck the plains of Tharakana, sending clouds of dust and debris across the sky that blocked out the light for seven whole days.


The Klacton homeland was in ruins and the survivors started their war against Grotar, but they were soundly defeated in almost every battle. Tharakana became obsessed with the destruction of Grotar. Her madness was destroying the Klacton people by keeping them in a war they could not win. This eventually caused her demise as the Hive-Queens and evolved Klactons slew her for the good of their race. Shortly thereafter, the Klactons made peace with the Orcs and acknowledged Grotar as ruler of the Plains of Tharakana. The Klactons were a broken people and would not recover for more than a thousand years.


A great Troll uprising occurred in the Five Kingdoms. Trolls were commonly used as laborers and guards, but during the uprising they fled the Five Kingdoms to dwell in the East Range of the Forlorn Mountains.


The Orcs took the Seven Days of Darkness as a sign that Grotar should rule the realm. During the darkness the Orc Dreadlords betrayed their treaty with the Five Kingdoms and led their armies against the Humans. The Dale was quick to fall as it had no army to defend itself. The remaining Five Kingdoms offered stern resistance, but a surprise attack on Andor by the Pythians doomed them. The Orcs conquered the northern four kingdoms and the Pythians seized Andor.


The wandering Gypsies of the Five Kingdoms, who still followed the Way of the Five, were captured by the Orcs and forced to live in camps. Seeing the fate of the Five Kingdoms, the Beard'ons and Weetles accepted the rule of Grotar rather than fight his armies.


The Rakkarins and Plainspeople refused to surrender and were conquered by the Orcs. Their decentralized natures made it impossible for them to unite and put up organized resistance. They were forced to conduct guerilla style raids. The Orcs responded by placing the Plainspeople onto reservations where they were forced to labor for the Orcs. The Rakkarins who refused to live in captivity were slain. By the end of the Age of Life there were few Rakkarrins left in the world. The largest was a group who fled into the Karthydian desert to escape the Orcs.


The civil war continued in the land of the Elves. Those who remained loyal to the Way of the Five and favored the caste system fought against those who favored religious freedom and the abolishment of the caste system. After a decade of bloody fighting the latter group was beaten by the traditionalists.


The defeated Elves were given a choice; serve the victors as a working class or leave the Elven homelands. Because of this ultimatum the Elven race broke into cultural factions. Each of the factions adopted colored tattoos which were placed on all children at birth to mark their culture. All Elves must have these tattoos.


The group of Elves who had refused to participate in the war against their brethren became known as the Sea Elves. They traveled the oceans of the realm in a vast armada of ships. They lived as traders and vowed not to return to the Elder Trees Forest until wounds of war had healed and the Elves could live as one people again.


The victorious Elves in the homeland became known as High Elves. They were the ruling class, the educators, the military officers and respected professionals.


Those defeated in the Elven homeland broke into two factions. The first group unable to bear separation from their forest home, agreed to remain in the homelands and become the working classes who were the bakers, farmers, soldiers and laborers of the society. They became known as the Low Elves.


The Elves who refused High Elf rule accepted banishment, but the goddess Eveya interceded. She could not bear to see her worshipers cast out into the shattered realm. She offered to voluntarily give up her life if the Elves who refused to accept High Elf rule, would be allowed to live under the roots of the trees they loved so dearly. These Elves became known as the Deep Elves and they dwelled in a vast network of tunnels under the roots of the forest.

The Minotaurs who were driven from the Valley of the Rainbows spent years wandering the realm searching for a new home. They were lead by their own new god, Minos, who came to them during the fall of Evermoore. Minos had a vision of a perfect place where the Minotaur people would forever be safe. His obscure vision revealed that when the Minotaur people were ready the mists would part and reveal their new home. After many years of sojourn he led them to the Isle of Minos which became their home.


The remainder of the Age of Death was characterized by the Orcs' struggle to expand their Empire. It was a terrible time for the realm, thousands died in war and famine. The Orc Dreadlords were ruthless. They sought nothing less than total domination of the realm.


During this time the forces of magic were used in hatred and anger. Thousands died and the realm was warped. Magic faded from the world and then burst back mutating and changing the beasts and creatures which existed in the realm. Hounds became capable of breathing fire and ice, insects grew to enormous sizes, new beings formed or came from other realms. The forests and other remote areas became places of fear and horror as these strange beasts lurked in the remote areas.


Alliances were made and broken as wars were waged against every race. By the middle of the age the only free areas were portions of the deepest Underrealm, the heart of the Ansaki Swamp, the Karthydian desert, and the Isle of Minos. All other races were ruled by the Orcs and their iron-fist empire.


The single greatest step toward ending the Age of Death occurred when a group of adventurers gathered in Evermoore to research and reorganize the teachings of the Five. It is said that these were the Sworn Servants of the Five reborn to help turn the Age from Death.


These adventurers grew in number and divided the recovered lore into specialized groups, or guilds. The members of the five original guilds called themselves Clerics, Druids, Warlocks, Wizards, and Cavaliers depending on the types of skills they possessed. In time more lore was recovered and additional guilds were formed. These individual guilds were united into the League of Guilds which later became Guildhall.


At the same time the League of Guilds was being organized, the Humans of Holt created a new god of their own. His name was Eldin and he was formed by resistance forces who had fought against Orc occupation throughout the Age of Death. His symbol was the symbol of Holt, the Iron Cross, but covered in blood. The Blood Cross, as it was known, became a symbol to rally the Human race.

After one thousand years of war, famine, and death, a renaissance began with the founding of Guildhall and the introduction of thirteen Guilds into the realm.


The Age of Order

The founding of Guildhall marked the beginning of the Age of Order. Thirteen Guilds signed the charter and Guildhall was built on a large island in the great inland sea which was later named the Sea of Lore. The purpose of Guildhall was to recover and organize the lore which had been taught by the Five on the highest peak of the Forlorne Mountains during the Age of Life. The Humans, Elves, Weetles, Minotaurs and Rakkarrins were the original founders of Guildhall.


In the beginning the founders of Guildhall portrayed themselves as merchants, healers and teachers. The Orcs paid little attention to their activities. The building of a school on the Sea of Lore was allowed by the local Dreadlord, Bumgar Narr. On the surface the school taught basic subjects, but in special classes students learned guild skills, such as healing, runic lore, elemental magic and the fashioning of items. The members of Guildhall were careful to keep weapons and weapon training confined to secrete bases in the Karthydian desert and on the Isle of Minos. Bumgar Narr had no idea that the school was teaching skills which would later form the basis of the armies that would end the Orc Empire.


A group of Humans created, Xanadu, the slayer of gods. Xanadu systematically seduced and killed those with the knowledge to create new gods, among them the most powerful Orc religious leaders. It is even rumored that she went after gods themselves trying to give the world back to the mortals. Xanadu preached that each person should place their faith in themself. She saw the new gods as usurpers who destroyed the Age of Life for their own goals. She believed that in a world without gods mortals could more easily find their own path in life. Xanadu was served by the militant Order of the Rack. It was an order dedicated to the destruction of new gods and of all those capable of creating them.


Guildhall began training the men and women who would organize and lead the armies of the realm. Under the guise of traders, the Guildsmen traveled the realm selling their wares. In actuality they were recruiting a rebellion. The wealth earned from their trading funded the war effort clandestinely developing throughout the realm.


Suddenly the Orc Empire was under siege. The armies of Guildhall marched from the south, while the armies Eldin came from the north. These armies were supported in almost every nation by resistance groups and independent military units, such as the Order of the Rack and the Knights of the Black Hand. The Karthydians sent soldiers to aid Guildhall, as did the Klactons and Phythians. The world raged in battle as the Orcs would not surrender meekly.


After years of war, the armies of Guildhall and their allies had driven back the Orcs and freed the world. Grotar and Eldin killed each other in the last decisive battle in the foothills of the Forlorne Mountains near the ancient town of Evermoore.


Guildhall helped to reestablish the territories, which had existed before the Age of Death and dispersed peace throughout the world. With the spread of peace came increased trade. The masters of the guilds, as they predicted, became wealthy beyond their dreams. As the realm was ordered, other races were allowed to join the guilds. The last to be admitted were the Orcs.

 

By the middle of the Age of Order the new gods had been slain or vanished and the world was delivered to the hands of mortals. The followers of Xanadu deserve much credit in ensuring that gods could not be returned to the realm by slaying those with knowledge to create them.


The Guildsmen breathed a sigh of relief. The gods no longer had physical form and religion would not be used to motivate the armies of the world as the Clerics, Druids and Necromancers controlled religious power. Leadership would fall to Guildhall and the mundane rulers of each land and not to devote fanatics.


The Age of Chaos

The prophets say that the Age of Chaos will not be marked by any great event. It is said that one day the Guildsmen will look around and realized that the world they ordered had been wiped away. They will look around and see that there are few loyal Guildsmen in their world. They will wonder why people do not visit their towns anymore and the same old faces is all they see. They will wonder why the great dream died and only then will they realize that they were the ones who destroyed it.


The prophets have seen that the Age of Chaos will be heralded by the Guildsmen themselves for they will forget that they are brothers and they will cast aside their laws. They will turn on each other and covet power to themselves at the expense of others. They will no longer meet and discuss their differences with words, but turn to violence and then to hate. They will become full of themselves and they will stop teaching the initiates the fraternity and laws of Guildhall. They will harm each other for reasons of race, religion, avarice or power. Their world will fall to chaos and the end will be near.


The magic will fade from the world and lore will be lost. The amassed armies of commoners will march and in this maelstrom there will be no place for the arcane. One by one the towns of the realm will falter and fall. The world will be consumed in entropy and the dream that was will be no more, leaving nothing but a mundane world devoid of the magic that once existed.


In the final days of the realm, Karthis, the god of chaos will return to wreak his vengeance. The realm will be consumed in fire and flame and all that was will be but a distant memory.



Guildhall


The Oath of Guildhall

I swear the oath of blood, life and soul

My loyalty shall be to my Guild

 and to Guildhall first, above all else.

I shall serve my brother and

sister Guildsmen in both life and death.

The Laws of Guildhall shall be the laws of my heart and mind.

For now and through all eternity

 I pledge this blood, this life and this soul

to the greater glory of Guildhall

And all that we represent in

Love, Truth, Honor and Eternal Fraternity.


At its height of power in the Realm of the Five, Guildhall was a powerful, fraternal organization of Guildsmen who fought to maintain the Age of Order. Guildhall was a bulwark against the Age of Chaos and the Guildsmen were champions of right and defenders of morality. Guildhall was the dream that represented the rebuilding of a shattered world and the end hatred, prejudice and animosity which existed in the Age of Death.


It was said in the Age of Order that all roads lead to Guildhall. Guildhall was more than a fortress on an island in the Sea of Lore. It was a way of life that valued cooperation, fraternity and mutual respect. Though Guildhall was built of granite and layered with silver and gold, it stood for so much more than power and wealth. Its foundation was of brotherhood and its mortar was of love. There was no evil that Guildhall could not overcome as long as its members held true to the dream.


Guildhall is a democratic entity where majority rules, but all voices are heard. Matters are discussed before general assemblies and a unified course of action is chosen by open vote. Once a determination is made the members of Guildhall act together for the good of all, even if they do not agree with the majority. This unity is how Guildhall maintains itself in the face of impossible odds.


The members of Guildhall are bound to each other by ceremonies which run deeper than obligations of blood and pledges of marriage. The vows that a Guildsmen makes to the Hall are stronger than any imaginable to the mundane person.


Guildhall seeks out the bravest, strongest and most intelligent persons in the realm. Only the best will become members of Guildhall. To be a part of Guildhall, to learn the lore it offers, is the greatest achievement of a lifetime, but with it comes great moral responsibility.


The thirteen guilds of Guildhall in the Realm of the Five, during the Age of Order are: the Guild of Artisans, the Guild of Alchemists, the Guild of Bards, the Guild of Cavaliers, the Guild of Clerics, the Guild of Druids, the Guild of Necromancers, the Guild of Rangers, the Guild of Rogues, the Guild of Runecasters, the Guild of Warlocks, the Guild of Warriors and the Guild of Wizards.


Founding of Guildhall

Guildhall was founded in the Realm of the Five at the beginning of the Age of Order. It began as a gathering of those who remembered the old ways and who traded to each other knowledge of the Five. This knowledge had either been passed down in their family or rediscovered in ancient ruins. This knowledge was the Lore taught by the Five in the Age of Life.


The group, led by the Black Knight and others, gathered in Evermoore. These persons were believed to be the descendant reborn souls devoted to the Five. The Black Knight claimed that he was given the idea of Guildhall from the spirit of Lumina who came to him amid the ruins of old Evermoore. He revealed to the group a plan to organize the learning of lore skills into systematic Guilds. The Guilds would be organized into a league and when they were strong enough they would create an institution to be called Guildhall.


The initial group was mainly Humans, Elves, Minotaurs and Weetles, with some Rakkarrin. In the year 990 of the Age of Death they formed the League of Guilds. In the beginning, there were only five Guilds which were modeled after the teachings of Lumina, Natallis, Karthis, and Solnus. They called themselves Clerics, Druids, Warlocks, Wizards, and Cavaliers. The first four used the force of mana to cast spells and prayers, whereas the last used force of arms.


In time, others came with knowledge and their skills were grouped into additional Guilds. The Van Dorn family, famous entertainers of the Age of Life, taught the lore of ballads and helped found the Bard's Guild.


The Cavalier's Guild split, dividing into those who wanted to train soldiers and concentrate on individual combat and those who wanted to concentrate less on weapon use and specialize into strategy and tactics used to lead armies in battle. The former became known as the Warriors, where the latter retained the name of Cavaliers. The Rangers broke of from the Warriors because they saw a need for scouting units which specialized in woodland craft.


Over the next three years the Artisans, Runecasters and Alchemists formed Guilds of their own. The need for intelligence gathering and political espionage allowed the Rogues Guild to enter the league as professionals with very particular skills.


The last guild to be admitted were the Necromancers. They had perverted the teachings of Noctis and created a dreadful lore which was hated in all the civilized realm. However, it was out of necessity that they were admitted. The Necromancers had vowed that if they were not given equal standing and recognized as a legitimate institution, they would side against the League and offer their services to the Orcs. Practicality carried the vote, because all saw that the alternative was to fight every enemy twice.


The League, with its full complement of thirteen guilds, moved its headquarters to a more defensible position on an island in the Sea of Lore and created a school where they taught mundane subjects openly, but in secrete they taught ancient lore to those dedicated to destroying the Orc Empire.


They formally named their institution Guildhall and hundreds came to learn what it meant to be a Guildsman. In a few years Guildhall was strong enough to challenge the Orc Empire and began openly teaching lore. With the aid of the Eldinites and the followers of Xanadu, the Guildsmen implemented their plan to bring the realm out of the Age of Death.


             The Guilds

The following are the thirteen Guilds of the Realm of the Five in the Age of Order.


Alchemists

Alchemists are devoted to the creation of compounds and the brewing of poisons. Their studies in anatomy and physiology allow them to replace body parts, graft extra organs, enhance muscles and resuscitate corpses. Alchemists have perfected their knowledge of physiology in the summoning of the golem, whereby they return true life to the dead. The crowning achievement of the alchemist is the transmutation of one element into another. In battle, the alchemist uses poisons and compounds to confuse and destroy the enemy or to enhance and augment their allies.


Artisans

Artisans work with raw materials, such as wood and iron ore, using the power of mana to fashion items in a short time period. They can create simple tools, weapons and armor in minutes. Their studies in construction and engineering allow them to fashion doors and machinery. In technologically advanced realms, the artisan can make computers and other complex electronic equipment. Their rituals allow them to protect and enhance items. In battle, they remain behind the lines fashioning weapons and equipment for those who have lost them. However, if the front line falls, the artisans are formidable fighters.


Bards

Bards are entertainers. They manipulate the world through song and create spectacular effects with their voice. Flamboyant and talented, they can make subtle poisons and perform rituals to amuse and delight. They are handy with a weapon, but much more skilled in just getting away. In battle, bards act in support. Their songs inspire others and often mean the difference between victory and defeat.


Clerics

Clerics lead the worshipers. They baptize and provide religious services and guidance for the followers of their faith. They have rituals to provide protection, restore injured limbs and resurrect corpses. They also have powerful prayers to destroy undead, demons and summoned beings. In battles, they are the primary healer whose services, though often underappreciated, are indispensable to victory.


Cavaliers

Cavaliers are the leaders of the armies. They specialize in the tactics and strategy that mean the difference between victory and death. The focus of the cavalier is on developing effective leadership skills. Though they have powerful rituals that unify and protect fighting forces, true success in this trade does not depend on swinging a sword, but on developing into a charismatic individual. Cavaliers plan the battle. They give assignments to the units and help the units to execute these assignments.


Druids

Druids are skilled in dealing with the natural world. They have powerful prayers to speak with and command the flora and fauna. They can heal, restore injured limbs and resurrect corpses. In battle, they are secondary healers, but their specialty skills are often required to save the day. They have powerful rituals to turn captured enemies into beasts to use as allies. Their unique prayers are of a more offensive nature and their rituals conceal strategic points.


Necromancers

Necromancers are skilled in dealing with death. Their admission into Guildhall was of necessity, for they have the power to raise corpses into undead servants. They also have offensive prayers that wither limbs and organs. Their rituals can spread pestilence and disease. The Necromancers of Guildhall are fond of saying, "if the armies of Guildhall fail in life, then they will triumph in death." In battle, it is the traditional task of the necromancer to raise and control the corpses of both friend and foe to fight for the cause. In these more civilized and less desperate times, the corpses of allied Guildsmen are not raised without permission.


Rangers

Rangers are woodsmen who develop extraordinary skills in dealing with nature. They have the ability to command animals and powerful rituals to conceal themselves and others. They can silence a sentry with a single strike and escape from areas where no one else could go. They are also excellent fighters. In battle, they are the scouts who gather information and report it back to the leaders. They are the eyes and ears of the army. They often work with small units to ambush and harass the flanks. They use their skills with distance weapons to strike down the enemy scouts before they can report.


Rogues

Rogues are the stealthy agents of Guildhall. They are not thieves or murderers and vehemently resent such accusations. They are highly skilled, well-connected individuals whose aptitude for espionage enable them to gather influence and broker power. Rogues have varied skills. In battle, they most often work alone or in small groups. They mix with the enemy forces in an attempt to kill the opposing leaders. More than one battle has been won by the single stoke of a rogue's blade.


Runecasters

Runecasters deal with fate and destiny. They scribe runes that provide protection from many dangers. They also have rituals that can tell the future, discover secrets and communicate with those who have passed on. They are also quite adept at using weapons. In battle, there is equal chance they may be found in the rear, drawing runes, or in the front, fighting.


Warlocks

Warlocks are the preeminent battle-mages. They have substantial skill in weapons and combat oriented spells which injure and destroy. In battle, they are on the front lines fighting side by side with the troops.


Warriors

Warriors concentrate their skills on weapon use. Their combat prowess is unmatched by any. They have numerous weapon skills and powerful combat abilities. In battle, they are the ones who actually carry the day. Rarely getting the glory, they are the first to fight and the first to die, but on their backs every victory is born.


Wizards

Wizards are the all purpose spellcasters. Their spells enable persons to levitate, breath water and a host of other things. They also have rituals that enchant weapons and shields. They can animate items and transfer abilities between individuals. In battle, the wizards may use their spells against their enemies, but their true power is their ability to summon powerful entities, such as elementals and animated objects to aid their side in victory.


             Members of a Guild

There is a hierarchy in the membership of each guild. At the bottom are the apprentices, then initiates, then the journeyman level, and finally one reaches the high rank of master.


The hierarchy denotes a level of learning and does not necessarily provide privilege. Once a person becomes a Guildsman, one has joined the brotherhood and is entitled to all its benefits. All Guildsmen are considered equal, no matter what their status, rank or position. While a master may have learned more skills than an initiate, his standing in Guildhall is not greater because of his rank.


Apprenticing: All Guildsmen must apprentice to their particular Guild. To become an apprentice, one must pass through the Ceremony of Apprenticeship. After passing through the ceremony, the apprentice is considered a Guildsman. However, only the best can be Guildsmen and often the apprenticeship period is used to remove those who do not make the grade.


During the apprenticeship, a person is taught the basic skills and theories of the Guild. The apprenticeship gives the student a foundation on which all other lore is taught. The reason why Guildsmen can learn so much more than the average mundane is because of the foundations taught during the apprenticeship. The Guilds have broken their teachings down into a hierarchal system, in which all later skills build on previously learned skills.


Apprentices often find it difficult to understand why they have to learn skills in a specific order, but, in time, they see that it is this strict ordering of skills that allows them to learn the more powerful abilities. Without the orderly learning of skills, Guildsmen would not advance as quickly or ever reach the upper ranks. In the early days, people burned out their powers by overtaxing their abilities. The Guild syllabi were designed to enable Guildsmen to maximize the skills they can learn in the shortest amount of time, while protecting them from destroying the connection between the body and spirit which allow the manipulation of mana.


Initiate Rank: After an apprentice learns to manipulate mana in accordance with the methods of his guild, he is promoted to the initiate level of the guild and may begin learning lore of the first rank. As the initiate gains status within the guild, he will be taught more lore skills. When he is able to perform ten skills in the initiate rank, he may be promoted to the next level through the Ceremony of Advancement.


Journeyman Ranks: The next three ranks are generically called the journeyman ranks within the guild. The Guildsman has proven himself competent, but has a long journey before he becomes a master.


Master Rank: After a Guildsman has passed through each of the journeyman ranks, he may then become a master. There are very few masters in each realm, as it takes a tremendous amount of commitment and work to achieve such status. To become a master, one must show a devotion to the guild and must follow its ideologies and beliefs. Masters are the only persons in a Guild who are able to teach. They are the caretakers of the Guild and zealously guard Guild lore and other secrets.


Structure of Guildhall

The headquarters of Guildhall is located on an island in the Sea of Lore. During the first week of each month the Loremaster of each Guild meet in a general assembly to discuss the business of Guildhall.


The Isle of Lore contains the best schools which Guildhall has to offer. To be accepted as an apprentice on the Isle of Lore was a great honor and usually meant that the person was destined to go far in the politics of Guildhall.


Great Halls: Every large city has a local hall of guilds and its own local Community Council of Guildmasters. The local meeting places are called Great Halls and are beautifully crafted with high vaulted ceilings and a rich elegance which inspired envy in all. Within the large cites the individual Guilds control the universities and act as institutions of higher learning. Each Guild erects its own Guild building within the walls of the city. These immense fortified structure are grand displays of wealth and power with each Guild trying to build bigger than the others. No Guildsmen may harm another within the sanctity of a Great Hall.


Inns: In the smaller towns there is often a lack of resources. Small town Guilds do not have the finances to support their own individual structures or a Hall of Guilds. Guildhall, sensitive to the plight of small town Guildsmen, erects and maintains structures called Inns.


These Inns are owned by Guildhall and act as centers of commerce and education for those in remote areas. The Inns are run by Innkeepers who are hired by Guildhall on the recommendations of a Charter Sponsor.


Inns serve as a gathering point for the Guildsmen in the local community who often attend monthly Markey Days with adventuring, feasting and entertainment. The laws of Guildhall protect the sanctity of the Inn and no Guildsman may harm another within the sanctity of an Inn.



Governance of Guildsmen

Guildhall is run by a democratic process where majority rules. The principles of democracy and freedom were created by the Five as a compromise between the governments proposed by Solnus and the absence proposed by Karthis. The system of governance was never instituted in the Age of Life as Evermoore was destroyed by the Orcs and the dreams of the Five died with their age.


Leadership in Guildhall is derived from popular vote and is not a matter of rank. All Guildsmen are considered equal, no matter what their status, rank or position. The ideology of Guildhall gives freedom to every Guildsman, so long as he does not harm his neighbor.


Sadly, Guildhall is often seen by some, as a large bureaucracy devoted to economic gain. While a few Guildsmen may abuse the noble teachings of Guildhall for their own gain, the majority of Guildsmen are trying to do the right thing.


             Council of Lore

Guildhall is governed by a ruling council composed of elected representatives from each of the guilds within the realm. The elected body is called the Council of Lore and its members are referred to as Loremasters. All of the representatives are considered equal and have an equal vote. The Council of Lore Meets regularly in Guildhall on the Isle of Lore.


Keeper of the Crown and Shield: The Keeper presides over the Council of Lore. He has no vote. The Keeper of the Crown and Shield is elected from general membership of all the guilds. He does not need to be a master. It is only required that he be a Guildsman or an apprentice, of good standing, in one of the guilds. The Keeper holds his office for three years. Elections are held in the late fall for the following calendar year.


Loremaster: In each guild, there are five persons elected to the Council of Lore. They are the leaders of their respective guilds and represent the interests of their Guild. They are elected for five year terms by democratic elections. Elections are staggered so that one leader is replaced each year. During their term, it is their duty to uphold the principles of Guildhall.


Community Governance

Every community no matter how small has a group of Guildsmen who meet regularly to discuss important matters.


Community Councils: Community Councils serve to organize the efforts of Guildsmen within a city or county. Community Councils are composed of locally elected officials called Guildmasters. If there are not enough Guilds in a location to warrant representation through a Guildmaster Council, then the Guildsmen organize into a democratic council where everyone has a single vote and majority rules.


A Community Council holds regular meetings at which they discuss current events and set policy for their community. Elections are held yearly in late fall for the upcoming year or when necessary to fill vacancies.


Guildhall expects that local Guildsmen have the experience and dedication to handle their local concerns. Guildhall should not be contacted and Guildsmen must solve local concerns within themselves. Guildhall has learned from experience that it is harmful to meddle in local politics.


The one exception to this is that if local Guildsmen are breaking Guildhall law by harming Guildsmen and the local Community Council is unable to deal with them. The Council as a last effort may request help from Guildhall through the Innkeeper and Charter Sponsor. There is no crime more against the spirit of Guildhall than when brother turns against brother outside the democracy of Guildhall. This crime is still punished with the ferocity of old. The Justices and their terrible Inquisitors and Enforcers can be summoned to arrest and try the offenders. If the problem rests with the leaders of the community, then their town charter will be revoked and Guildhall shipments will cease.


Charter Sponsor: Every Inn has a charter sponsor who helps to maintain and insure that all of the laws of Guildhall are followed. He may overrule decisions of the Mayor and the Community Council when they conflict with the edicts of Guildhall, impede the governance of the Inn or threaten the safety of the community.


He works very closely with the Innkeeper to ensure that the Inn runs smoothly. It is his job to ensure that service requirements are being followed. He must also ensure that there is a Community Council meeting and that proper protocol is followed. He encourages a healthy relationship with the mundanes and he ensures Guildsmen have access to teaching during market days.


The charter sponsor is the town's liaison to Guildhall. However, a charter sponsor's main duty is to encourage the Inn to resolve issues without involving Guildhall. The Charter Sponsor may never speak for Guildhall, but he may interpret its laws and give his own opinions as to what course of action would be best for the town in light of the goals of Guildhall. He should facilitate a solution which is congruous with the spirit of Guildhall and which promotes the common good.


To enforce the laws and charters, a charter sponsor has control over the shipments of supplies to the Inn. Supplies will not be shipped to a town which does not follow and enforce the laws of Guildhall. If cessation of shipments to the town does not return lawfulness, he may summon the judicial powers of Guildhall. Should this fail, the Inn must be closed.


Innkeeper: The Innkeeper, or Hallmaster in larger cities, is entrusted by Guildhall with the care and maintenance of the local meeting place. This person represents the interests of the Inn or Hall. He is the single most powerful individual in the community as he is directly responsible for ensuring the laws and ideologies of Guildhall are followed by all those who make use of the facilities over which he has been entrusted.


An Innkeeper has the full authority of Guildhall and may overrule decisions of the Mayor and the Community Council when they conflict with the edicts of Guildhall, impede the governance of the Inn or threaten the safety of the community. An Innkeeper is appointed or removed by Guildhall on the recommendation of the Charter Sponsor.


An important task of the Innkeeper is welcoming new persons to the town. Innkeepers must approach visitors and introduce them to their Guildmasters and to other important town persons. A visitor to a town will return only if he is made to feel welcome. It is the task of the Innkeeper to facilitate the return of these visitors. The Innkeepers are running a business and their task is to ensure that Inns run at a profit. New persons must be made to feel welcome.


Guildmasters: Each guild will have a democratically elected Guildmaster whose primary duty is to represent that Guild in the Community Council. The secondary duty is to welcome new members into the community and help them with understanding local events. Guildmasters must be outgoing friendly persons who are devoted to fostering strong unity in their Guild.


The Guildmaster is elected by the local members of that guild. Every member is entitled to vote in the election. An apprentice cannot be a Guildmaster. The Guildmaster is responsible for the day to day operation of the guild in that town. They also take an active role in the ceremonies of advancement, coaching their members through the tests given before the ceremonies.


A Guildmaster must get to know every member of his guild and must keep them appraised of what is happening in the community. It is very important that a Guildmaster approach new persons in town. Guildmasters are the leaders of the community and their efforts will do much to ensuring that new persons return to the town.


Mayor: The mayor is elected by the Community Council to preside over the inhabitants within the local area and to handle the day to day operations of the town. He is the liaison between the mundanes and Guildsmen. He has no vote on the Council and is merely a coordinator.


Scribe: The scribe shall write down all the happenings of the meeting and shall distribute them at the next meeting to members and also to Guildhall. The scribe will also publish a monthly newspaper to inform all of events happening in the local community. The minutes of all meetings shall be kept and submitted to Guildhall each year. The scribe is elected by the Community Council.


Warlord: Some towns located in frontier locations or on crossroads, may find it necessary to provide a military leader. The warlord must be a Cavalier, chosen by the Cavalier's Guild and presented to the Community Council. The warlord has no vote on the council, but he serves in an advisory capacity on military matters.


A warlord shall facilitate military actions by consulting with the local Guild leaders and other influential Guildsmen. The warlord shall develop a plan based on these consultations and brief all persons involved before conducting any military engagement. No organized group of Guildsmen may march into an armed engagement without being completely informed as to the cause of the conflict.

 

The warlord's powers are limited to commanding those Guildsmen who wish to join in the common defense. Conscription of Guildsmen into a fighting force is unlawful.


The warlord does not have a vote on the community council. A Cavalier must assume the role of warlord. If there is no Cavalier present at the Market Days, the position of Warlord shall be left vacant and the Community Council shall establish a committee of at least three Guildsmen for the common defense.


Magistrate: The magistrate is elected by the Community Council to interpret law, to try cases and sentence the guilty. His authority comes directly from the laws of Guildhall. Magistrates have full control over the community court system. They may name acting prosecutors and sheriffs, but these positions must be ratified by the community council.


When a complaint is filed with the magistrate, he must act on it expediently and ensure that the laws are followed. Failure to impartially try a crime and to ensure that the guilty is punished is a crime against the sanctity of Guildhall and is considered treason. He has no vote on the Community Council, but serves in an advisory capacity on legal matters.


Prosecutor: The community prosecutor is responsible for pressing complaints against persons who perform criminal acts. Prosecutors help victims draft complaints and represent them in legal proceedings. Prosecutors work closely with the magistrate and the sheriff. Large communities elect prosecutors, but any member of the community skilled in law can act as a prosecutor. He has no vote on the Community Council.


Sheriff: The sheriff is the strong arm of the law. He acts on warrants issued by the magistrate to bring alleged criminals before the court. A sheriff is empowered to deputize persons to aid him in the arresting of a criminal. He has no vote on the Community Council.


Masters of the Kitchen and Supply: The Inn has two assistant positions who are appointed by the Innkeeper. These persons are responsible for supervising the kitchen and supply respectively. The work with the Innkeeper to ensure that at least one of them is present in the Inn at all times. When the Innkeeper is not present, these persons have full authority. They do not have a vote on the Community Council.


Meetings

Community Council must conduct a meeting before the feast at every market day in which the Guildsmen meet in that month. All members of the council are expected to attend or send a representative if they cannot. A special meeting of the Community Council may be called but notice must be given to all members.


Community Council meetings are open to the public and must be conducted in an easily accessible place. Any Guildsmen who wishes to speak on a matter must be allowed a reasonable amount of time to convey his point. Guildhall is founded on the principles of democracy and every voice must be heard. Secrete meetings are not allowed.



The order of business shall be: Opening and call to Order, Approval of the Minutes, Old Business, New Business and Closing.


Voting: There must be a full meeting of the Community Council before a vote may be called. Each Guild, through their Guildmasters, and the interests of the Community, through the Innkeeper, must be represented. Guilds that fail to send a representative will not receive a stipend and are not considered in the vote.


Each Guildmaster is entitled to one vote and all deadlocks are broken by the Innkeeper. The Charter Sponsor can overrule decisions of the Mayor and the Community Council when they conflict with the edicts of Guildhall or impede the governance of the Inn or the safety of the community.


A motion may be made and seconded by anyone on the community council. A vote on day to day town business may be called on a seconded motion, and passed by a majority vote. All special business requires a two thirds vote of the community council. Approval of persons into Guildhall as apprentices requires a unanimous vote of the council.


Results: When a course of action is discussed before a general assembly and decided on by open vote the members of Guildhall are expected to act together for the good of all, even if they do not agree with the majority. Decisions of a Community Council cannot be ignored by Guildsmen and are enforced under the laws of Guildhall as Contempt.


Stipends

A stipend is paid to each member of the community council for their service to their community. The Mayor, Scribe, and Innkeeper each receive payment for attending the meeting and performing their tasks throughout the market days. Furthermore, Guildhall will pay to each Guildmaster a stipend, which will consist of one shield per member of that guild in attendance at the market days and personally signing the guild roster to be kept by that Guildmaster. Each guild member must sign their name and rank to the roster to ensure that the Guildmaster has personally spoken to each member and heard his opinion as to the pertinent matters. The Guildmaster must submit the list at the meeting in exchange for the stipend. The Magistrate, Sheriff, and Prosecutor shall be permitted to include their own fees as part of fines levied during the course of trial.


Division of Labor

It takes a lot of work to run an Inn or Hall and Guildhall expects all Guildsmen to contribute their share to the running of the Inn. Guildhall does not make a profit from the operation of an Inn. It is financially impossible for Guildhall to hire persons to sit at the Guildhall Supply position or to operate the kitchen. If these services are to exist they must be staffed by members of the community. Guildsmen are expected to work together to ensure that their Inn functions.


Inn Charters

All Inns are under the protection and support of Guildhall. To retain this status they must comply with their charters and enforce Guildhall law. An Inn that does not function in accordance with this charter will not receive supplies of base substances or components from Guildhall. Inns that fall to lawlessness or allow Guildsmen to perpetuate violence on other Guildsmen will quickly be closed. The peace of the Inn and brotherhood of all Guildsmen is paramount.


Justice of Guildhall

The Courts of Guildhall are powerful bastions of tradition steeped in formality. The Justice of Guildhall is swift and brutal and, within the Courts, there is a strict adherence to the black letters of the law. In the traditional court there is little room for compassion or plea bargaining. It is based on an Inquisitorial practice whereby the accused may be subject to any method of interrogation. The guilty are punished with finality in an effort to protect the innocent.


History

The brutality of Guildhall justice was born out of necessity. The Age of Death and early Age of Order were filled with corruption left over from a decadent Orc Empire. The shining world Guildhall sought to create could not be created without tremendous social change. After the armies were done fighting, the courts became the front line against destroying the injustices left behind by the Orc Empire. Corrupt officials and the most vile of criminals were tried for their crimes, but courts had to contend with lying under oath, bribing of witnesses and a thousand other measures set to thwart justice and maintain the abuses of the Age of Death.


Guildhall, in an effort to promote peaceful world change, used the courts to cleanse society of the criminal element. The times required brutal measures and Guildhall passed the Judiciary Resolution which created the Court system and the strict Judicial Code of Guildhall.


In the early days of the Age of Order corruption in the lower levels of the judicial system was common. Sheriffs and magistrates were sometimes manipulated by local strongmen. Guildhall passed the First Amendment to the Judiciary Act which made it a crime of the first decree to inhibit or manipulate the court system as a member of the judiciary. No longer could local leaders influence court officers as the Inquisitors of Guildhall's higher courts investigated all suggestions of malfeasance by local court officials with the greatest vigor.


Through the efforts of the courts, Guildhall became a shining bastion of democracy and rose to its height of glory in the Age of Order. The Courts remained to ensure that Guildsmen did not prey on other Guildsmen. These somber and powerful institutions await the filing of a written complaint to ensure that the guilty are punished and the innocent are avenged.


The goals of the justice system are deterrence, retribution and restitution. Through strict authority, quick action and harsh punishments, the court of Guildhall seeks to deter criminals from acting against other Guildsmen and if they do the court seeks to have the criminals not only be punished with extreme retribution but to compensate the victim for his loss through restitution. Guildsmen learned quickly not to prey on each other and to talk out their differences, rather then to allow them to escalate to bloodshed.


Jurisdiction

The Courts of Guildhall ensure justice for all Guildsmen. The Courts of Guildhall have jurisdiction over all matters involving Guildsmen and ignore all national boundaries. If any person has harmed or has a grievance with a Guildsmen the case may be heard before the Courts of Guildhall.


Court of the Sword: This court is the local court and is found in every community. It is composed of a Magistrate, a Prosecutor, and a Sheriff and his Deputies. These positions are often elected by the local Community Council. The Magistrate is the local judiciary, but his actions are considered actions of Guildhall. He is bound by Guildhall Law and is responsible for misapplications of that law. His main duty is to form the court and preside over the resolution of the pending action. The Prosecutor, in days of old called an Inquisitor will investigate crimes and prosecute at criminal trials. The Sheriff, with the aid of his deputies, brings the accused to justice and ensures that Justice is carried out.


The local courts are entrusted with a sacred duty to uphold the laws of Guildhall and are responsible for resolving day to day problems. It is through their actions that the weak are protected from the strong and that justice is done. It is a grave responsibility and the highest honor to be a magistrate.


A decision made in a local court may be appealed to this higher court, but only after the sentence has been carried out. The appeal shall be given to the Charter Sponsor who may forward the matter to Guildhall or act on the matter himself. In all cases of banishment he must receive the acquiescence of Guildhall.


In certain circumstances it is not uncommon for Guildhall to establish a special magistrate to handle specific similar cases. These Magistrates often travel the realms, accompanied by their Inquisitors and Enforcers trying cases wherever the offenses are committed.


An honest and fair trial is assured at the local level and local Magistrates always conduct themselves to be above reproach. The appellate courts do not tolerate Magistrates who do not follow the letter of the law. Failure to punish the guilty is seen as the most terrible crime and the Magistrate, Prosecutor, Sheriff and all parties involved will be investigated by appellate inquisitors to ensure that the guilty are punished. Any form of chicanery will be punished to the limited of the law. The voices of the victims call for justice and the Circuit Justices ensure that the guilty are punished.


Court of the Shield: The Appellate Court of Guildhall is composed of thirteen Justices. These Justices of the Shield are selected from each of the trades by the Council of Lore. They serve a particular geographic area riding what is called a circuit as they travel from town to town handling appeals. Serving each of the Justices of the Shield are five Inquisitors who are each served in turn by five Enforcers. These Justices do not try cases, but they review cases heard before the Court of the Sword. They send their Inquisitors and Enforcers to find the facts. Parties are expected to file legal briefs outlining the facts supporting their positions, however, the Inquisitors are quick to conduct their own investigations. The facts are collected and the Justice writes a legal opinion based on those facts and issues an order remanding, reversing or affirming the decision of the magistrate.


Court of the Crown: This court is the highest court of Guildsmen in the Realm. It is composed of Five Crown Justices. They are the final arbiters of the laws of Guildhall. Theoretically, a decision of a Justice of the Shield can be appealed to the Court of the Crown.


Court Rules

Local Magistrates must enforce the laws of Guildhall in their Jurisdiction, but they may also enforce their own local laws. The Court of Guildhall will uphold local law if there is a rational relation to a legitimate government end.


A Magistrate who properly convenes a court is permitted the use of inquisitorial methods to determine the veracity of the claims. These methods may even be used against Guildsman. All decisions of a Magistrate are directly reviewed by Circuit Justices. Appeals from a local court, by a Guildsman, are appeals of right and cannot be blocked by a local magistrate.


If a local magistrate fails to prosecute or does not adhere to the letter of Guildhall law in crimes involving Guildsmen, he will be charged under the First Amendment to the Judiciary Act and face penalties of the first degree. This court rule functions to discourage local favoritism or back room dealing. Magistrates and all court officials must be fair and impartial.


Before a court will act, the aggrieved party must file a written complaint. The complaint must state the facts in a manner sufficient to show that a crime had been committed. When a complaint is properly filed the Magistrate must act on it. If a local Magistrate fails to act the aggrieved party should file the complaint with the Community Council. If the magistrate still fails to act the complaint may be sent to the Court of the Shield.


When a local court receives a complaint it issues the Sheriff and his Deputies a warrant to bring the parties to the court. If the Sheriff is unable to complete his assignment, a reward will be offered and all Guildsmen are expected to join in the hunt. If the hunt fails, then the accused may be tried in absentia. An accused who has an opportunity to appear at his trial, but chooses not to appear, may not appeal to the circuit court.


Pre-Trial Procedure

The following are the trial procedures for use by Magistrates and Justices in trying cases involving Guildsmen. Guildsmen by their position in society have earned a special favor in the Courts of Guildhall. The primary mission of the Court of Guildhall is to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. The use of witnesses supplemented by the fundamentals of inquisitorial justice assures the veracity of the charges. All trials must be conducted in public. The court and trial procedure contained herein are used for both civil and criminal complaints.


Filing the Complaint

Before a court may take action a person must file a formal complaint in writing to the local judicial authority. Although, if the complaint involves injury to a Guildsman, a Guildsman may instead file a formal complaint with Guildhall. This complaint must include a written petition requesting a Guildhall Circuit Justice to convene the trial. The form of the Complaint shall contain the names of both parties, the charges or allegations, the circumstances of the charges or allegation, the name of the injured party, the damages to the injured party, and all other matter pertinent to the charges or allegations in question.


Judicial Action Following the Filing

Once the complaint is filed the Magistrate or the Justice shall then set a time and place for pre-trial discovery and the trial. The party bringing the action must give notice to all other parties, witnesses, or persons otherwise involved in the action. If a party to the action fails to present himself, the Judicial officer may use the sheriff and deputies to compel the party to attend. The judicial office may also post a reward for the capture of those persons eluding the Law of Guildhall.


Trier of Facts

The magistrate or justice, shall weigh all facts and make an impartial decision based on the facts presented in open court. There is no right to a jury in criminal cases. Persons accused of crimes against Guildsmen shall face the justices of Guildhall and shall be afforded with all rights of appeal, but a jury shall not be convened. There is still a right to a jury in civil cases. A majority vote of the jury is sufficient to determine liability in a civil trial.

 

Pretrial Discovery

Before the trial the parties, under supervision of the court, conduct a pretrial investigation to determine appropriate facts. In a criminal case the sheriff, under the guidance of the prosecutor, is required to investigate and gather evidence in criminal cases. The inquisitorial system discovers the truth through the use of Lore. Torture, domination and hypnotism are all acceptable methods to discern the truth. The court may test not only the defendant, but witnesses and the accuser. The truth must be found and the guilty must be punished.


In a civil case parties must generally conduct discovery of facts without the use of lore. Civil cases often involve complex issues that are a result of misunderstandings between the parties. The court's goal is to resolve the situation equitably. The only time when lore use may be appropriate in a civil trial is in cases where intentional torts are alleged or in situations of fraud or other lying.


After the investigation all persons with information become witnesses for the trial. A list of witness names to be called by both sides is prepared and exchanged by the parties. A list of all evidence to be presented at trial is prepared and exchanged by the parties.


Order of a Criminal Trial

The following is an abbreviated version of the conduct of a criminal trial. Justice must be performed publically, but it must not become a public spectacle.


Call to Order

The court is called to order by the Magistrate. All present must keep quiet. Anyone who fails to keep quiet after a warning may be charged with contempt. A trial must be conducted in an organized fashion.


Call of the Case

The case is then announced so that all present know the parties before the court. Example: "We are gathered here to decide the case of the people versus _______. I am Magistrate ________."


Reading of the Charges

The charges are read so that all present know the matter to be decided. Example: "_______ is charged with: Count One- the Murder of _____ a Guildsman. A felony under the laws of Guildhall; Count two- Robbery from a Guildsman; Count Three- Conspiracy to Murder a Guildsman and Count Four- Obstruction of Justice."


Pleading

The accused parties are asked by the magistrate to plead guilty or not guilty to the charged offenses. There is no need to have a defense attorney present. The laws of Guildhall are simple in their execution.


If a plea of guilty is voluntarily entered, the magistrate gives sentence immediately without the need for continuation of the trial. The magistrate may sentence a crime as one degree lower if the guilty plea is entered before open court as long as the victim is in agreement. This is known as plea bargaining and is the recommended method for resolving disputes. If the plea of not guilty is entered, the trial proceeds and if the criminal is found guilty he must suffer the full extent of the law.


Presentation of Evidence

Both sides make their case by presenting evidence and calling witnesses. The court may call witnesses or present evidence. If the defendant has had the truth extracted through torture or otherwise that individual will testify as to what he learned from the criminal during the process. The defendant usually presents his evidence last. The magistrate must keep order during this process and persons not involved in the proceedings are not allowed to interrupt.


Closing statements

Both sides will make closing statements.


Sentencing

The Magistrate or Judge deliberates and passes sentence on the guilty. A person found guilty of a crime must be given a sentence as proscribed by the laws of Guildhall. A person found guilty on more than one count or more than one crime must receive punishment for each of them, unless the crimes are merely lesser variant of the main charge under which circumstances they merge. For example, robbery necessarily includes the crime of assault and battery, and if the accused is found guilty of both, they would merge on sentencing to the higher crime. However, crimes such as burglary and murder do not merge, because they have nothing in common.


Crimes and Punishments

The crimes of the realm are divided into four categories: the crimes of the first degree, the crimes of the second degree, the crimes of the third degree and the crimes of the fourth degree. Each of these crimes has mandatory penalties. If a Guildsman is found guilty of a crime of a certain degree, he must be sentenced according to the level of his crime.


Some crimes are made more severe if committed in an Inn or other structure owned and/or operated by Guildhall. From the dawn of Guildhall, no Guildsman will harm another person in a Guildhall structure. Inns are places of safety and learning, where the business of Guildsmen and of Guildhall is conducted without fear or apprehension. Inns are the core of the community and a representation of all the good which Guildhall has brought to the world, as such are protected under the laws of Guildhall.


Almost every degree requires a term of mandatory service to the community. This term of service must be in the kitchen or at the guild supply if those services are provided at the gathering. If not they should be required to perform some other useful community service. The term of service should be one to five hours and the criminal shall gain no benefit for this service. A criminal that fails to follow the judgement of the court shall face contempt.


Crimes of the First Degree

The crimes of the first degree are generically called felonies. Guildsmen committing such acts betray the principles of Guildhall and are punished harshly. The mandatory punishments of the first degree are execution, embalming, and spiritquest for the first conviction. The magistrate may stipulate that the spiritquest be performed without ritual bonuses. Along with these punishments the criminal is required to pay court costs and restitution to the victim. They must also be subject to a term of public service to the community to which there is no other benefit to the criminal. In addition, they must be fined and suffer the confiscation of their property. On the second conviction there is the additional penalty of a mandatory banishment of one to three months. A banished criminal is not allowed to attend gatherings of Guildsmen. On any subsequent conviction the banishment will become permanent. Obliteration is reserved for the most heinous of criminals.


A person shall not directly or indirectly cause the death or spiritquesting of another Guildsman.


A person shall not steal or otherwise remove or control the will, physical form or possessions of a Guildsman through the use of force or lore.


A person shall not hold a Guildsmen against his will through the use of intimidation, force or lore.


A person shall not conspire with another to break the laws of Guildhall or to manipulate the Court systems.


Crimes of the Second Degree

The crimes of the second degree are less severe than the crimes of the first degree. The mandatory punishments for crimes of the second degree are payment of court costs and restitution to the victim. The magistrate must also sentence the criminal to a term of public service to the community which must be rendered immediately to which there is no other benefit. In addition, there may be a fine and the confiscation of property.


A person shall not directly or indirectly cause physical harm to a Guildsman.


A person shall not steal the property of a Guildsman while in an Inn or other structure owned and/or operated by Guildhall.


A person shall not ignore or impede an order of the court or a Community Council.


A person shall not cause harm to another person, nor may a person disrupt the enjoyment of another person's life while in or around an Inn or other structure owned and/or operated by Guildhall.


A person may not prevent the judicial process of Guildhall from determining the truth of the matters brought before it.


A person shall not perjure testimony presented in a judicial proceeding.


Crimes of the Third Degree

The crimes of the third degree are the least severe of the crimes, but are still treated seriously. The primary punishment is payment of court costs and restitution to the victim. The magistrate may also require public service to the community with no other benefit. In addition there may be a fine and the confiscation of property.


A person shall not steal the property of a Guildsman.


A person shall not disturb a Guildsman's enjoyment of life.


A person shall not aid or offer aid to an alleged or known criminal.



Crimes of the Fourth Degree

The crimes of the fourth degree prohibit certain unfair trade practices amongst Guildsmen. They were incorporated into the Judicial Act by its second amendment. In general, Guildsman and their agents are prohibited from acting to inhibit free trade. The primary punishment is payment of court costs and restitution to the victim. The magistrate may also require public service, the confiscation of property and fine.


A person may not set the price of a service so as to cause undue hardship on the community, nor charge an unconscionable or outrageous prices for their merchandise.


A person may not create trade agreements, alliances, or contracts between guilds to the exclusion of other guilds or Guildsmen.


The selling of raw materials or components by an individual or entity other than Guildhall is prohibited.


The selling of base materials or rare components for greater than the current market value is prohibited.


The breaking of a signed written contract between Guildsmen is prohibited.



Beings of the Realm


Beard'on

Beard'ons, short for Bearded Ones, are a highly intelligent race devoted to creation and building. They are excellent engineers, inventors, craftsmen, miners and metal smiths. Beard'ons have a human-like appearance, but all Beard'ons, including women, possess an abundance of facial hair. Traditionally social status is dependant on the length of their beards and prominent Beard'ons will have beards over one foot in length.


The Beard'ons cities are located in the West Range of the Forlorne Mountains. Each of these cities is a marvel to behold and an example of the ingenious construction skills of the Beard'on people. Fortresses seem to hang off cliffs and are connected to each other by cables on which traverse steam powered gondolas. Beneath the surface are labyrinths of carved stone with immense rooms and vertically sliding passageways. Gilded tunnels lead down to mines reaching deep into the earth where the purest of ores are found. The Beard'on mines connect to those of the Klactons and Deep Elves. Together this vast network of passageways comprise the Underrealm.


While Beard'ons are hardworking, intelligent and witty, they are sometimes prone to quick tempers. While most Beard'ons are content to invent, build and experiment, there are those who cannot spend the hours in tedious construction of ingenious devices. Since the Miners Strike, those Beard'ons without the ability to control this temper are forced to join the military and hone their rage to a powerful frenzy. Beard'on battle-ragers are some of the fiercest warriors in the realm.


The Beard'on people are lead by ancient kings who can trace their lineage back to the time of the Five. The kings rule over a city and the mines below it. The king and all of the Beard'on nobles hold their positions because of their ancestors who helped in the design and construction of the home city. All governmental officials, including judges and important military leaders are appointed by the city kings.


Civilian Beard'on

All Beard'ons who are not part of the military are civilian Beard'ons. These Beard ons have learned to control their volatile temper and channel it into productive pursuits.


Rager Beard'on

The battle-raging Beard ons live apart from other Beard ons. They dwell in barracks and train in the use of weapons. They are able to work themselves up into a fierce battle rage which makes them terrible opponents to face in battle. They will often bite their own lips and pull out their hair (but never their beards) in these frenzies, if combat does not immediately occur.



Elf

Elves are a cultured people, advanced and dignified in all aspects. They look very much like Humans except that all Elves have pointed ears and little facial hair. Their society is full of heritage and ancient wisdom. They tie themselves to these traditions, keeping them alive through the ages. Whether these customs are simple stories or complex dances, they remain almost unchanged as they are passed down through the generations. Elves also value learning and education. Their minds are quick to grasp abstract concepts. They are adept at philosophy and games of strategy. They can be powerful magic-users, but their quick minds also allow them to excel at the technical facets of weapon use.


The ancestral home of the Elves is in the Elder Trees Valley where they made their homes amongst the ancient old growth trees which stood hundreds of feet tall. There are many other smaller Elven communities in the realm, but all Elves see the Elder Trees Valley as their people's true home.


Deep Elf

Deep Elves live below the ground under the roots of the mighty trees which make up the Elven forest. Their tunnels connect to the deeper Klacton and Beard'on tunnels in what has become known as the Underrealm. The Deep Elves organize themselves into familiar houses. The leaders are females in deference to the goddess Eveya who created their home. The leaders of the Steads are called Mothers or Matrons. Each Matron has a council of advisors.


Deep Elf culture is rich with tradition. Deep Elves use a paste to darken their faces, which they believe creates a spiritual connection to the shadows in which they dwell. The connection allowed them to remain hidden in the shadows. Dance among the Deep Elves is a solemn expression of their banishment into the darkness of the Underrealm. The shadow dance is performed with small glowing lights or candle globes held in the hands or attached to their bodies at the joints. The traditional dance is composed of slow whirling movements set to the haunting sound of wind instruments, in later years the dance became faster and various instruments were used as accompaniment.


High Elf

High Elves generally view themselves as the only true Elves. The High Elves are traditionalists who often seem aloof and snobbish. They are inherently a leisure class who perform little or no real work. They survive on taxes, rental income and investments. The High Elves are the leaders of the Elven homelands. They make up the membership in the Senate and hold all lesser government positions. They are the officers of the military and intellectuals.


There are only a few trees left capable of being dwelt in, but generally the High Elves dwell in these trees. Their homes are luxurious and comfortable. High Elves spend much of their time relaxing and most have a favorite armchair in which they read or recline. Social occasions are genteel gatherings. Lavish balls and formal dances are a favorite of the High Elves and are held to mark occasions of state. To be invited to a prestigious dance is a great honor and shows social standing. Fancy dress is required and strict rules of etiquette are followed.


Low Elf

The Low Elves are generally seen as down to earth. Though a few hold a great bitterness toward the High Elves, there are many more who are content to work their jobs and enjoy the beauty of the forest. In fact, many Low Elves have opened their own shops on rented land and with the aid of High Elf investors. These Elves are happy to work and take great pleasure in its rewards.


In recent years Low Elves have become some of the wealthiest Elves, but generally the life of a Low Elf is characterized by a frugal lifestyle filled with many warm relationships. Low Elves have a deep feeling of community and family and will always work together to help each other through hard times. Information is quickly passed through the tight-knit community. Low Elf gossip is mostly confined to political, business and world information.


Sea Elf

Sea Elves live aboard a fleet of beautiful ships off the western coast of the realm. Their ships are built from metal and driftwood, because they refuse to cut down live trees for wood. While their ships look delicate, they are extremely agile and very fast. They can outrun and outfight any ship they encounter. They use bronze for metal tools and weapons, because it does not rust like iron.


Since their culture is based on individual ships, each ship is a separate community. Day to day operations are supervised by the members of the Ship Council. The Sea Elves' ships travel separately and they do not have a centralized government. News is passed from ship to ship and there is no need for laws outside of each ship's rules. All Sea Elves help and protect one another as a matter of course.


When there is a matter of grave importance affecting all Sea Elves a meeting of ships will be called and those present will elect a Voice to go forth and speak the collective will of the people. Voices are only elected for a short time and only for one concern. Once that concern is ended the Voice loses all authority to bind the Sea Elf people, until a new Voice is selected.


Human

The Humans were the first race created and contained equal parts of all five gods. With this equality, they were the most diverse of all races and the most adaptable. More than half of the Realm of the Five and most of the best areas of farmland were settled by Humans.


Ancient Path

The Followers, as they call themselves, practice a religion known as the Ancient Path, which commands them to, "Be as the beasts and live as they dwell." To outsiders they appear wild and animal-like. Some would even say they were downright uncivilized, but this would be inaccurate. Although they emulate beasts, they have a rich and unique culture which has allowed them to exist as an unconquered people for thousands of years. Followers of the Ancient Path wear heavy furs and imitate totem animals.


Andorian

Andorians dwell in the Kingdom of Andor which is the southernmost of the Five Kingdoms. Andor lies on fertile lands and is best known for its pleasant wines and artistic culture. The people of Andor are proud and place great weight on their royalty. Their nobility are refined, well-dressed and quite wealthy. The peasants are content and live well.


The northern part of Andor is filled with villas surrounded by gently rolling orchards and fields of grape vines. The south western part of Andor remains more heavily fortified. The border between Andor and the Ansaki Swamp is protected by a series of powerful keeps.


Andorian nobles love to hunt small game and fowl. During the fall months much of their time is spent in this sporting pursuit. Andorians raise many breeds of dogs which are specialized for the purposes of hunting. Lawn games are very popular with nobles and peasants alike. During the warm months the people spend their leisure throwing horseshoes around a post, driving wooden balls through rings with a mallet, throwing daggers into a ring on the ground and so forth.


Asgarn

The Asgarns are seafaring traders and sometimes raiders. They inhabit the coastal regions of the island that bears their name. Asgarns make their living primarily on the water, whether as fishermen or sea-faring merchants. However, most Asgarns do some form of farming, but this is mostly of agricultural crops. Their primary source of sustenance is seafood, although some Asgarns further inland will raise cattle and pigs.


The women have adopted a manner of dress which consists primarily of long tunics, over which an apron is worn. This apron consists of two rectangles (one in front, one in back) attached over the shoulders with fibula. This allows the women to change the front of the apron when it becomes worn. Sleeves were also fitted, as long sleeves over an open flame can be deadly. Most Asgarns are also noted for their long hair, which is often braided and pinned into intricate styles. Asgarn jewelry and embroidery contains many animal motifs. Asgarns wear earrings, bracelets, brooches and hair pins.

 

Asgarns live in small villages concentrated along waterways, although villages can sometimes be found up to half a day's walk inland. Most Asgarns refuse to go into the interior of their Island, and until the people of the Ancient Path were discovered, many horrible rumors had sprung up about animalistic "Flesh-Eaters" which effectively held the Asgarns back. Asgarn homes are often built of stone and timber with wooden roofs. There is often a formal fireplace, particularly in larger homes, and the roof of an Asgarn home is augmented with stylized animal heads.


Any Asgarn worth his salt will own a boat, even if it's just a small fishing vessel. Asgarn children grow up with "sea legs" and grown Asgarns owe their economy to this enterprise. Sea raiding was a practice among the Asgarns that developed during the Age of Death. Raids served several important social functions. Generally, it gave the eager, well-trained fighters valuable experience they may not be able to get at home. Sea raiding allowed a display of heroics and battle deeds important to their culture.


The Asgarn people are ruled by a single king. Below the king stand the chiefs of each city, called Jarls. These are usually related to the king by blood or marriage. Under the Jarls are the rulers of each village, called Hersar. The Hersar are usually minor relatives of the Jarls who are given rulership of a village in exchange for loyalty. A group of seers, diviners and wise men are commonly consulted before the leaders make important decisions.


Bedouin

Bedouins are found in the Karthydian desert. The desert was named after the god of Chaos. Life in the desert is hard and its people have grown strong. Limited resources and stiff competition ensures that the Bedouin people are a hearty culture.


Bedouins are nomads, and their name literally means "desert dweller." The clothing of the Bedouins reflect the harsh desert climate and are usually of a light-colored striped fabric, unless the Bedouin is traditional Karthydian which requires black or red. Men typically wear a long gown, which is either open down the front, or split to the waist and again at the ankles for mobility. Women wear clothing with wide sleeves and belted at the waist, with hand embroidery down the front and seams. Women usually wear a veil on their head, and attach gold and silver dowry coins to the front to frame the face. Women also show their wealth in their bracelets and anklets. For winter wear, women add a hip-length jacket.


Rural dwelling Bedouins are organized into familiar clans and are nomadic in nature. Bedouins divide up by rank, and nobility or commoner status is usually set, although there is some upward mobility based on sagacity or courage. The tribe is headed by a "sheik," who works with the elders to decide when and where a tribe will move. There are also a number of immense walled desert cities ruled by Sultans.


Bedouins are fierce fighters, although the disputes are usually over land and territory. It is considered very bad form for a Bedouin to graze his/her livestock in another's pasture, and such an insult could lead to a fight. Most warfare in the desert consists of raids along trade routes or of more wealthy neighbors. Some rich Bedouins have gone so far as to create their own armies to defend their possessions.


Coventry

The people of Coventry are mostly poor and much of their effort is spent attempting to better their lot in life. However, the corporations which run the whole of Coventry make it impossible for the average person to escape the slums and workhouses which he is born into.


After Coventry was invaded by the Orcs, its nobles were unseated and the Orcs increased Coventry's focus on production. The Orcs had a great need for manufactured products, especially those of a military nature. The conquered people of Coventry were forced to work in factories building war materials. Coventry became a sprawling industrial center. Its cities were filled with factories, work houses and slum housing.


After the defeat of the Orcs, the workhouses and factories remained and gave rise to powerful corporations. These corporations pooled funds to create monopolies on certain produced goods. The noble families never regained power. They remained poor and those who complained disappeared. The nobles who remain are merely employed by the corporations to legitimize various aspects of their operations. The investors, the owners and the operators who ran the corporations became rich and powerful, while everyone else remained a pauper.


The general population of Coventry are primarily poor and spend their lives in workhouses laboring for the corporations. Their tasks include manufacturing, shipping and secretarial. During periods of economic slumps unemployment is often high and street people are common. Such is the power of the corporations that even beggars must be licenced.


Officers of the corporations hire employees as spies to tell them secrets of other corporations or to keep tabs on people with whom they work in their own corporation for a few extra coins a week. The money people make above their salaries is usually kept hidden rather than being spent noticeably, because the people know that as they watch others, others watch them. Everybody tries to ferret out some juicy morsel of information to sell to somebody willing to pay for it. The identities of people employed by the boss' rivals or superiors are especially prized, as are minor elements of their plans or secrets.


Political activity in Coventry is full of bribery, spying, murder, intimidation, blackmail, side-switching and general duplicity on many fronts. Nobody in this society does anything for free; they always make sure they gain something from their actions. While most of what happens daily in Coventry is technically illegal, a standoff exists in which almost everyone possesses some damning information about almost everyone else. The laws are so weak and fuzzy that the only thing keeping regular people in line is fear that they will accidentally interfere with the plans of someone more powerful than themselves.


The industrial kingdom of Coventry is dominated by merchant corporations, all maneuvering to gain control of the main cities, trade routes and political offices. Governance of cities and towns are by publically elected officials, whose campaigns are financed by the corporations they serve.


Dale

The Dale is located on the richest farmland in all of the realm. Understandably, the people of the Dale are mostly farmers and herdsmen. Most of the realm's agricultural food products come from the Dale as well as its supplies of meat and poultry.


This fertile land of the Dale has always been coveted by its neighbors. During the Age of Life, both Holt and Coventry attempted to secure portions if it, but through deft political maneuvering of the Queen, staunch resistence by its people and the intercession of Guildhall, the Dale has maintained its borders.


The people of the Dale are not materialistic. They work their land to make a living and ask for nothing more. They are not an ambitious people. They are content to watch the seasons turn, to live and laugh with friends and loved ones and to grow old in the same house which they were born in.


The people of the Dale are very social and gather often for festivals, carnivals and religious rites. It is where young people meet and fall in love, where political leaders are chosen, how news is passed and when gods are honored.


The Dale is a hereditary monarchy. However, rule passes through the daughters and all power is vested in the Queen. When the Queen dies, her eldest daughter is crowned. Some towns are still ruled by hereditary lords, but as these ancient families die off, leaders are elected by the population and supervised by the Order of the Dale.


Gypsy

Gypsies have been called a laughing people, a dancing people, a trickster people, a wandering people, and regard themselves as a free people, all of which are generally accurate labels. Aside from the stereotypes, gypsies are nomadic merchants and entertainers. They travel the realm in caravans of brightly painted wagons selling wares and entertaining wherever they go.


During the Age of Death, Gypsies were often imprisoned by the Orcs who did not wish to allow groups free movement through their Empire. Those Gypsy caravans which continued were a pale comparison to the large wagon trains of the Age of Life. The end of the Orc Empire and the turning of the Age saw a resurgence of Gypsy culture, but the splender of the Age of Life has not been regained. There is some suspicion associated with Gypsies and in some places persons are not as welcoming to their caravans.


The primary social arena for Gypsies is the area within the caravan circle. This is where the food is cooked, the children play, the chores are done, and relationships are formed. At night, this is the happiest place, for the people will join together to sing, dance and play music.


A Gypsy is always colorfully dressed and wears many bells and as much dangling jewelry as they can. Long ago, gypsies dressed their children in brightly colored clothing and put bells on them so they could be easily found if they got lost. Over time the style of dress has shifted to the adults. Gypsy clothing is bright and colorful. It also can be very noisy, as Gypsies like to supplement their attire with bells and coins.


The Gypsies have no centralized government. They normally travel in groups called companies. Within each company there can be several families. Gypsy society has many traditions, but few laws. Gypsies possess both a strong sense of freedom and a strong sense of community. The two combine to form a general principle: You can do whatever you like as long as you do not harm the clan.


Highlander

Highlanders are Humans who live in the high mountains north of Holt. They are a proud and noble people extremely loyal to their clans. Ones clan is traced through the parents, and an individual views himself as part of several different family units. Apart from their immediate brothers and sisters, there is also the complex ties of cousins, parents' cousins, and ties by marriage. Hospitality is very important and family honor is sacrosanct.


Traditionally, men and women dress very similarly. Both sexes wear kilts, which are pleated "skirts" made from a tartan or plaid pattern. However, men's kilts reach to their knees, whereas women's skirts were lower. On top, men and women usually wear a light-colored tunic, often with puffy sleeves. The kilt is made from wool, and the tunic from linen. The kilt is traditionally made form one long, double wide piece of fabric, pleated about the waist and hoisted over one shoulder. The piece of the kilt going over the shoulder is referred to as the "plaid." The plaid goes over the shoulder opposite of the sword arm, in order to make fighting easier. This kilt serves as a blanket when out in the hills tending the flocks.


The pattern of the kilt does not denote a specific clan as many outsiders believe. In the Age of Life, clans claimed patterns similar to those worn in other parts of the Highlands. Further, as families spilt, died out or merged into one during the Age of Death it became impossible to know which patterns were original and which were retained or changed. Clans have been known to switch tartans or to have more than one tartan to represent the different bloodlines of their clans. Since no one can agree as to whom would have which pattern, it is generally accepted that no clan may claim a particular pattern as their own.


Holt

The people of the Holt dwell in the northernmost of the Five Kingdoms. Throughout their history they have faced constant attacks from the Orcs, aggressive sea raiding from Asgarn and frequent guerilla attacks from the Highlands. Holt's constant struggles with its neighbors has created a society based largely of military endeavors. The entire society is structured around a defensive posture. All of their cities are heavily fortified and garrisoned. Immense keeps exist along its northern and western borders. These keeps serve as strong points against the aggressive actions of the Orcs and highlanders.


The people of Holt are fiercely proud of their heritage and will not hesitate to defend their nation, king and god. Much of the population has some form of military training. Even small villages and mining towns are fortified and have a militia which trains regularly.


Since most people live behind protective walls almost every home has a small garden and a lawn. The lawns provide space for entertaining. Holt people are very fond of lawn games such as hitting balls with mallets through rings and throwing old horseshoes around stakes. The lawns can be used as supplemental gardens if a siege is not quickly lifted. The gardens are practical for supplying food during sieges which are unfortunately common among the outlying towns.


The men dress in shirts and breeches. The women often wear long dresses with wide sleeves. Hoodless capes with armholes are very popular. The people of Holt generally wear solid colors and have very little personal adornments.


Holt is a hereditary monarchy. The King rules from the city of Dresden. The land is divided into Counties, which are further divided into Baronies. Under the Barons are Baronets. This feudal structure is strong in Holt. The land is tied together with ties of fealty and religion.


Kelt

The Kelts dwell on the beautiful Isle of Eiren, which is an eternally green, seemingly magical place of bubbling brooks, rolling green meadows and hilltops ringed by standing stones. The Isle of Eiren is not a land of monetary wealth, but its people possess a wealth of spirit that surely outweighs their meager financial situation. The Kelts delight in dancing, singing and other communal activities. They are a passionate people, brave in combat and bold in bed, or so the saying goes. Although Kelts are renowned as fierce warriors, they spend most of their time farming. The primary livestock raised by the Kelts are sheep, cattle, and pigs.


The Kelts pride themselves on their generosity, and use gifts to maintain their place in the hierarchy. They value eloquence, courage, and success in war. The Kelts are great feast-holders, and along with the revelry and festivity, feasts often have ceremonial or religious overtones. Seating was in formal order of status. Some feasts often have mock combats and other strength contests, but all feasts have a satirist whose carefully placed pun could damage a reputation.


Clothing is made from wool and linen. Men wear long-sleeved tunics and breeches made of brightly dyed wool. Clothing is often embellished with gold thread and elaborate embroidery. Keltic women wear a style dress that was made with two long rectangles of cloth, laced up the sides, and fastened at the shoulder. Keltic women frequently wear anklets so their dresses are short enough for these to be seen. Both sexes wear delicate torc necklaces and bracelets.


Government among the Kelts is usually along clan lines. Each family group has a chieftain, and the council of chieftains elects a "High King." Each of the lesser chieftains will swear loyalty and fealty to the High King and will fight for him if their help is requested.


Lundelle

Lundelle is called the Land of a Thousand Gods, and in many ways the statement is correct. The common folk of Lundelle enthusiastically embrace different religions. They are very likely to attend any religious services they can find that is new and unique. They may have a favorite god, which they will worship if no others interest them, but they switch deities as the situation warrants. A powerful way that churches recruit followers is through gladiatorial games. The masses love to watch the lavish spectacles and competition between church teams is fierce and bloody.


Almost all land in Lundelle is owned by the military or the churches. Persons of the faith are given land to work in accordance with their commitment to the religion. Persons belonging to the military are garrisoned in towns devoted to housing the legion.


The nation of Lundelle is on its face a theocracy ruled by its most powerful religious leader, called the Pontifex Maximus. However, this religious leader is held in power by the Preatorian Guard which controls the powerful military of Lundelle and holds sway over the Holy Assemblage. Each of the churches of Lundelle have representation in the Holy Assemblage based on the number of active followers. A member of the assembly is called a Pontifex. The temples compete with each other to acquire worshipers in many cities, towns and villages.


Mongorian

The Mongorians have evolved into a culture where duty, loyalty and honor are paramount and actions speak louder than words. Each member of the society generally knows his place and is content. Most Mongorians value spiritual enlightenment and peace more than monetary wealth.


Mongorians generally dress in pants and shirts with overlapping fronts tied at the waist with a belt or held closed with cloth ties. The colors are often bright with much embroidery. Round straw hats are very common. The steppe people generally where furs and round pointed helmets.


The Mongorians settled to the north eastern region of the realm. There are nomadic tribes in western Mongoria and a city dwelling society along the coast. The nomadic tribes, lived on the steppes of the Forlorne Mountains. They were a hardy people who carved out their home on the rugged terrain, where food was scarce and life was harsh. By comparison, the city people dwelling along the coast had an ample food supply. Their civilization grew around prosperous cities.


Within both groups of Mongorians there arose a number of prominent families who divided Mongoria into provinces. These provinces were on the brink of open conflict when the Five interceded by establishing the position of Emperor. During the Age of Life, the provinces were unified into one country under a hereditary Emperor who dwelled in the Imperial City which was built in the center of the country. The Emperor was responsible for ensuring peace between the nomads and the coastal dwellers.


Plainspeople

The Plainspeople are a spiritually strong and esoterically proud culture who dwell on the great plains which exist to the south of the Elder Trees Valley. They are known as independent thinkers, superb hunters and trackers and fierce fighters. Although they are primarily nomadic, they would settle at a winter camp which is chosen for protection and availability of essentials.


Among the Plainsmen there are literally dozens of different tribes, each with its own particular understanding of the general beliefs discussed below. Sometimes larger tribal groups will break apart, because it is easier to provide for fewer people. These smaller groups range out over the land spreading the beliefs of the tribe and intermarrying with members of other tribes.


The shelter used by the Plainspeople is known as a tipi. It consists of three or four main poles strapped with sinew, with as many as two dozen supporting poles in between. It is covered with decorated animal skin, painted with visions or events from the owner's life. The tipi has a base diameter of approximately fifteen feet and is erected off center for more headroom. The door usually faces east.


Clothing is made from animal skins, primarily mountain sheep and deer. Men's clothing consists of a shirt, leggings, breechcloth and moccasins. Women wear dresses covering them from chin to feet, knee high legging and moccasins.


The Plainspeople are devoted to maintaining harmony with the Sacred Powers. The sacred powers provide "medicine," spiritual and supernatural gifts, which guide one in hunting, war and healing.


Klacton

Klactons are an insect-appearing Humanoid race with a hive-oriented society. Each hive is ruled by a fertile Queen who lays the eggs which populate the hive. These eggs hatch into larvae which grow into the many specialized forms of Klactons. Each of these fulfills express duties in the hive and develops physical bodies suited to their tasks. There are workers, soldiers, breeders, matrons, and a host of other specialized Klactons. These Klactons do not have independent thought, but perform their hive duties instinctually as part of the hive mentality.


There is one form of particularized Klacton larvae which can grow into an independent being. These Klactons are no longer mere insects, but have become sentient. They are known as Evolved Klactons. They are capable of manipulating mana and may become Guildsmen.


All Evolved Klactons have two arms and two legs, which clearly set them apart from their insect brethren. However, they retain their antenna and large round multifaceted eyes. A chitinous shell covers their head, torso and long bones and short fur often appears on their joints. Their exact look depends on their particular hive.


Evolved Klactons are intelligent and autonomous, however, they remain emotionally tied to the hive mentality. Being separated from the hive often causes Evolved Klactons to experience feelings of loss and separation. They are usually seen as messengers between hives or explorers. Often they are sent to become Guildsmen and bring these skills back to the hive. Evolved Klactons who operate away from the hive for extended periods of time, must learn to overcome these feelings. If enough time passes an Evolved Klacton will become more independent in thought and can completely separate from the hive mentality.


The non-evolved Klactons make up the majority of the hive and there are many forms of non-evolved Klactons, but generally all non-evolved Klactons have six appendages, two antenna and large round eyes and a thick chitinous layer. They are incapable of common speech and act by instinctual purpose or under the telepathic directions of the hive Queen. Each non-evolved Klacton has a specialized duty to perform for the hive.


Klacton hives are generally build underground. Intricate tunnel networks are constructed by specialized burrowing Klactons. The Queen is usually located in the largest chamber, surrounded by her egg fields which are tended by specialized matrons.


Minotaur

Minotaurs dwell primarily on the Isle of Minos. They are proud, noble, and honorable beings with medium brown skin and horns protruding from their forehead. In the Age of Life Minotaurs dwelled north of the city of Evermoore in the foothills of the Forlorne Mountains. They were peaceful farmers, living in the shadow of the Five whom they worshiped as their creators and leaders. They were especially close to Noctis, who was their primary creator. At the end of the Age of Life, they defended Evermoore against the Orcs, Pythians and Klactons and were forced to make a sojourn to the Isle of Minos where they established a new home.


A Minotaur does not become part of the adult society until they marry. During early childhood, the child is under the tutoring of the respective parent. It is the job of the parent to teach values and basic skills. When they reach late childhood they are sent to schools and educated. The schools are divided by sex. The males and females learn to develop their skills separately. Following puberty, the schools begin having social functions where the young Minotaurs are expected to find a life mate. When they find a mate, the Minotaur pair is married and they leave the school and earn their place in their society.


Minotaurs generally marry for life. When they marry the male and female become as one, each complementing the other in all aspects of their life. They test for a place in their society as a unit. In the combat groups, the male and female fight side by side.


Minotaurs who do not find a life mate are extremely rare. Those who voluntarily separate from their mate are even more rare. Most Minotaurs who lose their mate follow shortly thereafter, such is the bond of love between the two. So entwined are their lives that neither can survive without the other.


Minotaurs revere athletic skill and physical prowess. Both males and females compete frequently in athletic contests, such as wrestling, foot races and various team sports. Once a year an Isle-wide Olympics is held in the spring. These games are hosted by a different city each time and represent the coming together of a whole people.


Orc

Orcs have a physique similar to Humans except they are green-skinned and generally more muscular. The Orcs of the realm of the Five generally live in the Forlorne Mountains, although there remain a few Orc villages in the Realm which were left over from the days of the Orc Empire.


Orcs are quick to anger and ferocious in their capacity for violence. When left to their own devices arguments are settled by bloodshed and leadership is determined by force. Orcs value physical strength and are extremely aggressive.


The Orcs settled in the Forlorne Mountains and were the first of the non-Human races to question the Way of the Five. In time the Orcs created their own god, Grotar, who lead them to victory against the Five. They shattered the Crystal City of Evermoore and ushered in the Age of Death.


With the founding of Guildhall, the creation of Eldin and the unification of the races against the Orcs, not even the might of Grotar and the Order of the Fist could stand up to the entire realm. The defeated Orcs were forced to democratically elect a High Council to rule their nation. They turned to agriculture and mining for sustenance. In 997 of the Age of Order a chain of events lead to an Orc Civil War that resulted in the rebirth of the Orc Empire.

  

In the new Orc Empire, Dreadlords run each city and the Circle of Challenge was reinstated as the preferred means of settling disputes. Guildhall without a standing army was powerless to stop the transition. The Loremasters could only wait patiently, hoping that the Guildsmen leaders of Orc society will remember their oaths to the hall and not bring the realm to war.


Despite their barbarous appearance, Orcs have a rich culture filled with stories of heroism and honor. Life as an Orc has its rules, and even if civilized men shirk from Orc custom, the rules function adequately to govern this aggressive race. The strong survive to lead and the weak survive to serve, if they survive at all. In this one maxim much of Orc society is revealed.


The life of the traditional Orc is simple and all know their place, which is inferior to another who can best them in the Circle of Challenge. Orcs value strength and physical prowess. At first, the Circle of Challenge was a way to privately settle personal grudges, but during the latter part of the Age of Life Orcs drifted from the teachings of the Five. The Orcs came to believe that might makes right and the strongest among them should rule.


Pythian

Pythians are a race of intelligent, warm-blood Humanoids who walk upright on their hind legs. They have green scaled skin and a reddish fin or coloring down the center of their heads, running from the forehead to the nape of the neck. Their long fingers often end in sharp nails, however, Pythians often cut these nails to better handle weapons and nets.


The Pythians settled in the tropical swamp later called the Ansaki Fens. In the end of the Age of Life they joined with the Orcs to make war on the Five. Their god Ansaki, the god of wisdom, was created shortly before the march to Evermoore. Pythians are not naturally warlike but they, like the rest of the realm, were caught up in the bloodshed of the Age.


Pythians developed a culture which honors learning and wisdom. They value their elders and give them a sacred place in their society. Over time they became fiercely isolationist and repel any transgression into their lands vigorously. Outsiders are rarely welcomed.


Their villages are built on water. Buildings are made of wood and woven grass that rest on top of great floating piles of reeds. Some Pythians also build on drier land and these live in buildings built of mud bricks and straw. Coastal Pythians normally wear brightly colored clothing which covers most of their bodies. They do not like patterns but favor solid colors. Inland Pythians prefer dark colors which will camouflage themselves in the swamps and make hunting easier.


All Pythian tribes build great stone temples to their god Ansaki. These temples rise out of the jungles dwarfing all around it. The largest have more than ten thousand steps leading up the face of the great temple. The interior of these temples are filled with scrolls and books. They contain the wisdom of the Ages and the written words of Ansaki. A temple is ruled by the high priest of the temple.



Rakkarin

Rakkarins are cat Humanoids. Their bodies are covered with fur, the color and patterns of which depend on the particular pride of the Rakkarin. Rakkarin faces appear more catlike than Human and also reflect their pride. Rakkarrins typically live a nomadic lifestyle and tend to be excellent hunters. They value family and social status. They are well known for their grace and athletic ability.


Rakkarrins have various fur patterns depending on their particular species. The names of the most common species are the Pumrani, Cheeteer, Tigra, Panthri, Jagga, Cougri and Lyon. Rakkarin generally live a nomadic existence traveling in smaller family groups and gathering with other Rakkarrins during certain festivals throughout the year.


In traditional Rakkarin culture a pride is essentially a group of mothers, daughters, and sisters, plus their cubs. The females do not flock to the male that is strongest. Rather, the males come to them to prove their worth and fight for the right to have their offspring born of the pride that the females have built.


The duties of child rearing naturally fall to the females, as do those of hunting. Females are therefore very deadly, physically capable creatures, working as a unit to take down prey much larger than themselves.


When a male takes dominance of a pride of females, he serves the purpose of protecting the prides hunting territory from competitors. The male of the pride changes from time to time as challenges are won and lost. The male can often be seen wandering the pride lands to patrol the territory. The females are hunters, but not fighters in the way males are.


Weetle

Weetles are nimble and dexterous Humanoid beings, with shiny black noses and whiskers on an otherwise Human-looking face. Extending from their lumbar region is a long vestigial tail.


In the Hollow Hills most Weetles live in small communities where everyone knows each other. These communities are called shires. By nature of their small communities, they have strong family bonds. Weetle families are very close, tight-knit groups which generally share a nest. Nests consist of a number of short tunnels connecting various rooms. Often, an entire extended family will live in a network of tunnels and cozy nests.


Weetles generally have an inquisitive, easy-going nature. They, for the most part, feel the constant fighting for wealth, land and pride is silly, and try to stay away from it at all costs, figuring there is more than enough for everyone. Weetles enjoy traveling and love adventures. They are natural explorers and spelunkers. Their spirits remain high even in the most adverse conditions, because they understand that getting to a place is at least half of the fun.


Weetles are often quite intellectual. They collect items of interest such as books, maps, writing tools and so forth. A Weetle can sit and discuss the unique items he collects for hours as each has a particular adventure behind it. Many of these items are of obscure origin and if asked the Weetle's cerebral nature provides remarkable theories as a basis for academic debate. It is common to find a Weetle running an antique shop or curiosity store. The Hollow Hills are full of them.


Weetles are also well known for their fondness of shiny items, which is more an instinctual attraction than a real desire for wealth. A Weetle's nest, or stash, is an extremely personal thing and the starting of one's own nest is a sign of maturation, while sharing one's nest with another is the equivalent of a pledge of marriage.



Geographic Information

The following is a description of what the average person in the realm would know to be true about a particular place in the realm.

 

Ansaki Fens

The Ansaki Fens, once call the Southern Swamp, is the ancestral home of the Pythians. It was named after their god, who was given physical form near the end of the Age of Life. The Fens are a huge expanse of swampy marshland and tropical rainforest.


Elder Trees Valley

The Elder Trees Valley is a large forested area. The Elder Trees River rolls gently through the valley. Its waters flow from High Peak. Along the river, in the valley, dwell the Elves. The forest of the Elder Trees Valley was once composed of huge trees which stood hundreds of feet tall. When the Orcs invaded much of the old growth forest was burned. Now only a few groves of these ancient trees remain. Beneath the valley is a great system of caverns and tunnels located in the roots of the trees. This is called the Underrealm. It was created by the goddess Eveya so the Deep Elves would have a home after they were banished from the Elder Trees Valley. In 1005 Age of Order an attack by interstellar beings known as Shaggothes destroyed much of the Elder Trees Valley.


Fertile Valley

The Fertile Valley is the land located between the west and south ranges of the Forlorne Mountains. The valley was named by the Rakkarrins who settled there during the Age of Life.


Five Kingdoms

The Five Kingdoms were founded during the Age of Life as the Human followers of the Five settled on the eastern edge of the realm. These lands were plundered during the Age of Death, but rebuilt after Guildhall succeeded in pushing back the Orcs.


Holt: Holt is the northernmost of the Five Kingdoms and possesses a powerful military. Its fortified keeps defend the Five Kingdoms against the hordes of Goblins and Ogres dwelling in the Forlorne Mountains. Its military is the largest and best trained of any nation in the realm. The Capital of Holt is Dresden. At the end of the first millennia of the Age of Order, Holt is ruled by an elderly king. His eldest son, Justin, heir to the throne, is a radical worshiper of Eldin. There is a great fear that if Justin took the throne, he would march the Legions of Holt to reclaim the Highlands, thereby causing a war between the Northern Confederation and the Five Kingdoms. The Kings second eldest son, Lewis, is engaged to marry Christiana, the beautiful daughter of Sir Garth, the Lord of Iron Keep and the First Knight of the Order of Holt.


Dale: The Dale is a rich and fertile land located to the south of Holt. Its capital is a large village named Greenfield. The Dale has no standing army of its own, but each town has a small volunteer garrison. The Order of the Dale patrols the western border, providing warning and supporting the towns who are targeted by Orc sorties into the Dale seeking to raid their food stores. At the end of the first millennia of the Age of Order the Dale is ruled by Queen Elisabeth. She has a niece, Elaine, whom she is grooming for the throne. They are the last of their line, which has stretched back from before the Age of Death. Rumors abound that the Queen and her niece are servants of the ancient god Natallis. If this is true, it may explain the uncommon fertility of the Dale.


Coventry: Coventry is the most central of the Five Kingdoms. It is often called the land of thieves. There is corruption everywhere. Its Capital is usually Bristol, but this can change, as does everything in this nation. The nobles are the hereditary rulers of the land but they have no real power. They are at the mercy of the corporations who have arisen to control this industrial nation. Noble families are hired by corporations to rule towns and provide legitimacy to the governments. Nobles are forbidden to have their own soldiers. Rather the corporations pay mercenary companies to serve the nobles and act as a police force. However, the mercenary companies are often as corrupt as the corporations who pay them.


The corporations were founded early in the Age of Order by moderately wealthy family groups. They began to exert influence on trade and shipping and invested heavily in manufacturing. Though devious of ploys, schemes, propaganda and false advertising they were able to upset the nobles, remove all taxation and rise to prominence in the nation. One thousand years later, these corporations have become wealthy beyond the dreams of their owners. They are so powerful that they control all aspects of life. Each family of investors zealously guard their wealth and positions on the boards of directors of their corporations.


Lundelle: Lundelle is located south of Coventry and is called the Land of a Thousand Gods. The people of Lundelle have a god for everything and every situation in life. They build large temples, expending large amounts of time and effort worshiping their many gods.


As one would expect there are many Clerics in Lundelle. They work for the religious rulers helping to spread the word of whichever god is currently in fashion. The Clerics provide the miracles necessary for the rulers to stay in power.


Andor: Andor is the southernmost of the Five Kingdoms. It has a large army and fights limited skirmishes with the Pythians of the Ansaki Fens. Despite its conflict with the Pythians, Andor is the most stable of all Kingdoms. It is ruled by a King and a Queen and a large court of nobles. The people of Andor are proud and place great weight on culture. Their nobility are refined well dressed and quite wealthy.


At the end of the first millennia of the Age of Order Andor is ruled by King Louis IX and his wife Queen Carlotta. They are well-respected leaders, who work hard to encourage trade with the Pythians and to support world peace. King Louis IX is a vocal supporter of Guildhall in a time when Guildhall's power appears to be waning amongst the mundane nobles.


Forlorne Mountains

The Forlorne Mountains are a vast mountain range covering a quarter of the land mass of the realm. They are home to many different creatures.


North Range: The North Range of the Forlorne Mountains are the ancestral home of the Orcs who lord over the hordes of Goblins and Ogres. In the heart of the mountains is the fabled Temple of Grotar.


West Range: The West Range is the traditional home of the Beard'ons. The Beard'on capital city is an immense fortress called Glittersum Hall.


East Range: The East Range is a dark place of wild jagged peaks and deep caverns give plenty of hiding spots to the Kravynn and Trolls who moved there after the Fall of Evermoore. Flame and ice hounds appeared there during the Age of Death. The flame hounds are very common on the lower peaks, while ice hounds run free on the snowy tops. Kravynn have been known to domesticate both beasts.


South Range: The South Range of the Forlorne Mountains is barren and dusty on the west. These crags are occupied by desert dwelling Humans. The eastern face of the mountains is muddy and wet and is the traditional home of a number of Rakkarin cultures.


Great Plains

The Great Plains are a broad expanse of grasslands nestled between the Elder Trees Valley and the Karthydian Desert. The plains were settled by the nomadic Plainspeople during the Age of Life. They are also home to a vast number of large herbivores, as well as predatory species.


             Hollow Hills

The Hollow Hills are the traditional home of the Weetles. It is a large area of gentle rolling grass-covered hills in which the Weetles dig their homes and shops. The holes are usually grouped into towns called shires by the Weetles. If one is looking for antiques or other curiosities they would do well to visit the Hollow Hills.


High Peak

High Peak is the tallest mountain in the Forlorne Mountains and the realm. Legends say that on the top of the mountain there is a garden where the Five dwelled with all of the races of the realm before they traveled out into the world. On its east face, there was rumored to be a secrete fortress which was used by Mortis to launch his attacks against the Orcs during the Age of Death.


High Peak was once guarded by Dragons, the greatest of all animals, but after the imprisonment of Mortis and the defeat of his Reavers the dragons were hunted for their skins, teeth and bones. Despite the efforts of the Order of Evermoore, the last Dragon was slain near the end of the first millennia of the Age of Order. The High Peak of the Age of Order is merely a bleak and barren monument to what was once a glorious age and a beautiful dream. Climbing to the top is said to be impossible.


Isle of Minos

This is the home of the Minotaurs. The island is surrounded on all sides by cliffs. There are only a few harbors with beaches where ships can be landed. The Minotaurs have created a powerful civilization on the island. Sprawling cities surround the few harbors. The interior of the island is temperate and filled with lush vegetation. With the mountainous interior of the island are numerous dwellings and even smaller villages that have grown up around mining facilities.


             Karthydian Desert

The Karthydian Desert was named after the god Karthis. In the desert, the sands are always changing, shifted by the ceaseless blowing of the wind. Life there is harsh and demanding. The Ruins of Ash Shir are a holy site where pilgrims travel to each year. It marks the final battle between Karthis and an invading army of Orcs and Pythians. In that battle Karthis transformed himself into a god of fire and consumed the army with flame. He was never seen again. The Obsidian Tower was built in the Age of Death by Thanos and his followers. During the Age of Order it served as a holy site, but after the return of Thanos it became home to the red robed Karthydians who prepare for the Age of Chaos. It is now the capital city of the reborn Karthydian Empire which is ruled by Al'tar Shariz, a former Cleric Loremaster and Charter Sponsor for the Inn at Evermoore.


Northern Confederation

Although referred to as a Confederation, it can hardly be called anything more than a loose agreement not to wage war on each other and instead conduct it against others. The barbarian nations of the north, Asgarn, Eiren, Mongoria and sometimes the people of the Highlands work together for their mutual benefit against the Five Kingdoms.


Plains of Tharakana

The cold and icy windswept plains of the north are the home of the Klactons. In this desolate place the wind howls continually and snow blows almost year round. During the summer the days are long, but in the heart of winter the darkness settles in for what seems to be an eternity.



Nobility of the Realm

During the Age of Life the nobles of the realm of the Five were people of power, wealth and influence. After the Orc Empire conquered the realm the noble families were forced into servitude. The Age of Order returned the nobles to power within their nations, however, their authority was eclipsed by the efforts of Guildhall to order the realm.


Guildhall, at its height, could exert tremendous pressure on a ruler through trade restrictions or outright blockades. This did not mean that the rulers of the many kingdoms and countries were without authority, it merely meant the nobles had to pay heed to Guildhall if they wanted to stay in power.


In the year 997 of the Age of Order nationalistic movements began throughout the Realm, especially within the Orc and Karthydian nations. Commoner nobles began to covert power at least and the rule of Guildhall was threatened.


Gods of the Realm

There are primarily two groups of gods. The first are the five ancient gods, Noctis, Lumina, Karthis, Solnus and Natallis who created the Realm. They came into the Realm taking form as Avatars (or were created) and lived among their children. Their reign was ended at the beginning of the Age of Death. Their worship was not common during the Age of Order. During that time most people worshiped other pantheons of gods referred to as the new gods. The new gods were created during the end of the Age of Life when the peoples of the realm began to turn away from the Five and during the Ages of Death and Order when people were seeking things to believe in.


The Way of the Five

The Way of the Five was laid down by Noctis, Lumina, Karthis, Solnus and Natallis during the Age of Life. It was the first religion of the realm. It was worshiped during the Age of Life and has continued to be worshiped throughout history. The Way of the Five teaches balance, harmony and love. It asks its worshipers to live together in peace, accepting the differences which make each of us unique and trying to resolve conflicts without the need for violence. The symbol of the Way of the Five was the pentagram. Each pentagram was the color representing Natallis, Lumina, Noctis, Solnus or Karthis depending on whom the wearer served or worshiped.


Natallis: The followers of Natallis serve the natural world and celebrate its marvels. They worship in sacred groves deep within the woodlands. She is the patron of farmers, huntsmen, Druids and Rangers. Her color is brown. Her symbols are the oakleaf, the tree or the earth. In the Age of Life, her Sworn Servants were called Warders. Her physical form died during the fall of Evermoore


Lumina: The followers of Lumina celebrate life, accepting the journey from childhood to old age as part of the cycle of life. They value death as giving meaning to life. They worship in beautiful temples which face the rising sun, often connected to temples of Noctis. She is the patron of children, peacemakers, and Clerics of life and goodness. Her color is yellow. Her symbols are the sun, the dove, the wind or light. In the Age of Life, her Sworn Servants were called Beaconers. Her physical form died in the final weeks of the Age of Life.


Noctis: The followers of Noctis accept death as the end of the natural cycle of life, which allows for youth again when one is reborn. They celebrate life as a time for love and the forming of meaningful relationships. They worship in beautiful temples which face the setting sun, often connected to temples of Lumina. He is the patron of poets, dreamers, leaders, the elderly and Necromancers. His color is white. His symbols are the moon, the quill, the skull or a shadow. In the Age of Life his Sworn Servants were called Reavers. Noctis vanished after the fall of Evermoore.


Solnus: The followers of Solnus celebrate order, truth and justice. They worship along riverbanks and on high ground. He is the patron of magistrates, soldiers with a just cause, Wizards and Cavaliers. In the Age of Life his Sown Servants were called Crusaders. His color is blue. His symbols are the scales of balance, the crossed sword and shield, silver chalice or water. His physical form died during the fall of Evermoore. He was slain by Grotar beneath the gates of the Crystal City.


Karthis: The traditional followers of Karthis celebrate freedom, individual expression and positive change, but after the fall of Evermoore the followers became more concerned with the darker side of chaos and the entropy of the world. While Karthis was once celebrated in the streets during festivals and fairs, after the Fall of Evermoore he was generally worshiped only in solemn places. He was once the patron of jesters and fools, but in the Age of Order he was seen as the harbinger of the black robed zealots who dwell in the desert which bears his name. His servants once called Jester, but after the Fall became known as Illriggers. The Illriggers traveled the Realm killing those who caused the fall. The color of Karthis is red. His symbols are the chaos star, ruby chalice, ruby dagger, flaming sword, jesters cap and fire. The physical form of Karthis was believed to have been destroyed in the battle of Ash Shir, but prophesy foretells of his return to usher in the Age of Chaos.


The New Gods

During the end of the Age of Life and the early Age of Death a ritual was performed by thousands of people to actually bring their god into physical form. The religious followers gave of themselves by sacrificing their lives so the god could be formed of flesh and blood. The knowledge to perform this ritual was lost to the world, primarily through the actions of Xanadu and the Order of the Rack who believed that the world was better off without the gods. However, near the end of the first millennia of the Age of Order three fishermen discovered the artifact prison holding the Herald of Grotar. The Herald of Grotar returned the knowledge of this ritual to the world. The following is a complete list of all of the historical new gods which ever walked the realm as Divine Avatars before the return of the Herald of Grotar. All were either slain, destroyed or faded from the world by the middle of the Age of Order.


Ansaki: Ansaki was the revered god of the Pythians, who led his people against the Five. He was a god of wisdom who realized that destroying Evermoore was a terrible mistake. He ended his own life, sacrificing it so that his people could gain his wisdom. He died in the year 196 Age of Death. He is worshiped at the tops of great stone temples, where followers must climb thousands of steps to reach the summit. On the altars sacrifices are made to the wisdom of Ansaki. Ansaki is the wind moaning across the bayous and rustling the leaves of the willows and swamp oaks. Ansaki's symbol is the sycamore tree.


Eldin: Eldin was created in Holt as the first god of the Humans. He was a product of his time, created to wage war on the Orcs and free Humans from the tyranny. The Humans who created Eldin had a great hatred of other races, especially the Orcs. The Eldinite religion falsely relates that Eldin slew Grotar, but was stabbed in the back by a traitor as he left the field in the Battle of the Foothills. Eldin died in the year 31 of the Age of Order. The followers of Eldin have always been strong in Holt. The Knights of Eldin are often derisively referred to as Blood Knights, because of their white surcoats emblazoned with the symbol of Eldin, a red cross, known as the Blood Cross. The religion teaches Eldin is the one true god and that humans are the greatest race.


Eveya: Eveya was the new god of the Elves, whose short and tragic life would change the race forever. Eveya and her unborn child, later named Unity, were created by Elves led by Allyssandra Silverleaf, who was a Sworn Servants of Natallis, near the end of the Age of Life. Eveya was known as the Goddess of the Harvest. She preached that honest work produced good crops. Her worshipers were not only farmers and herders, but also craftsmen and laborers who embraced her philosophy which they adapted to mean honest work for honest pay. Eveya taught the working castes to be content and happy for the ability to build and create was the greatest gift of all. Unity was born and then murdered in his crib. His death started the Elven civil war, which ended with the defeat of the working class and death of Eveya. She died in the year eight of the Age of Death.


Grotar: Grotar was the god of the Orcs, adopted by the Ogres and Goblins. He teaches that Orcs are the greatest of all races and should dominate the realm. His worship was prevalent in the Age of Death, but fell out of favor during the Age of Order until it experienced a resurgence of popularity at the end of the first millennia. Grotar and Eldin fought a great battle during the Age of Order, killing each other in the Battle of the Foothills. Grotar's symbol is the Orc Fist of Power. He died in the year 31 of the Age of Order fighting Eldin in the Circle of Challenge.


Minos: Minos is the god of the Minotaurs whose exact nature is unclear. Some say he was created as an Avatar by Minotaur soldiers near the end of the battle of Evermoore, others say he mysteriously appeared out of the mists in order to lead the Minotaurs to safety. A small sect of Minotaurs believe Noctis sent Minos to save them in reward for their loyalty for they were the only race of greater beings who marched to the aid of the Five and the Humans of Evermoore. The form of Minos is that of a towering Minotaur wearing black plate armor and wielding a huge two-handed sword. After the Fall of Evermoore, he led the Minotaurs to the Isle of Minos, laying waste to all that stood in their way. He was killed by Orcs and Pythian on the beach as his people escaped to the Isle of Minos. He died in the year nine of the Age of Death.


Tharakana: Her form was of a giant female Klacton. She was the goddess of the endless northern wastelands of ice which bear her name. Tharakana was a harsh goddess for a harsh climate. She demanded complete reverence from her followers and drove them with a single minded goal to find a new homeland. She died in the year twenty-four of the Age of Death, murdered by her own people.


Xanadu: Xanadu was known as the Slayer of the Gods or the Mistress of Pain and Pleasure. Her changing form was that of the most beautiful woman imaginable by the person in her presence. She was created in the Age of Death by disillusioned followers of Noctis who blamed much of the state of the world on the new gods and the religions of false prophets. Xanadu was created to destroy the new gods and all who serve them. Her task was to cleanse the realm of all new gods and destroy the lore used to create them.


Xanadu seduced the priests of other gods into her bed and then slew them in passion's embrace, snapping their spines with her powerful legs. Her followers preach that more than one thousand false prophets fell to her wicked charms. She is credited with destroying the knowledge of the ritual used to create new gods and giving the world to mortals.


Legends say that after Xanadu finished with the new gods, she searched for Noctis. Some say she sought to seduce him as he was her one true love, others say she merely wished to destroy the old one in his lair beneath the ruins of Evermoore. Either way it is told that Noctis resisted her charms. He remained true to the memory of his love, Lumina, and imprisoned Xanadu on a magical rack. Sometimes at night, it is said, her screams can still be heard echoing down the Valley of Rainbows as Noctis turns the screws.


The religion of Xanadu preaches that mortals do not need gods to lead them. They teach that life is meant to be lived not in the service of a deity, but in the service of one of the prime paths: pleasure, pain or death. Each path seeks to understand one of these aspects of living, but the religion believes that all three make up the sum life. A follower of Xanadu will explore and indulge these three aspects to get the most out of his life.


The symbol of Xanadu is a torture rack, and her followers claim that Noctis will set Xanadu free if the ritual to create new gods is used in the realm again. After the release of the Herald of Grotar in the Age of Order, the ritual to create new gods was once again available to the realm. The worship of Xanadu experienced a resurgence among the mundanes and many clerics have cautiously chosen not to learn the divine avatar ritual.


Religions

The people of the Realm of the Five, believe in many things. The religions of the realm are too numerous to states: some revered heros of the Age of Death, some create philosophies of life, some are complete works of fiction, some are ludicrous or humors, some are outright lies, but each were followed in turn. The early religious leaders and then the Clerics, Druids and Necromancers of Guildhall created all sorts of religions to fill the void formed by the loss of the Old and New Gods.


These religions were founded on faith alone and worshiped deities who did not have a physical form created through the Divine Avatar ritual. The following is a list of the more prominent religions of the realm. It is by no means comprehensive.


Conclusion

“Well brothers I have taken enough of your time, for I see the torches in this great hall have burned low. I beg you to heed my words. Stay as one brotherhood and treat all with respect. Settle your differences with words and do not use violence. Do not let your disagreements fester into hatred for each other. Keep the world in Order and let it not fall to Chaos.”


“My beliefs in Karthis are as strong as any belief you hold dear, but I will place them and all other oaths second to the oath I swore to Guildhall. I demand you do the same. We must all serve Guildhall as the moral authority of this realm protecting the common good. There is no law greater than the Law of Guildhall. By our oaths we accept the decisions of our elected leaders and pledge to support the course they choose.”


“Guildhall stands for Order . . . a bulwark against the Age of Chaos. Its members are linked together by oaths of brotherhood and ties of friendship. So long as Guildhall remains a cooperative community the realm will never end. So this is your task as Guildsmen. . . Lead the world by example and be the greatest you can be. For the Glory of Guildhall, For the of Guildsmen and For the Glory of Yourselves.”


Altar’s voice became a deadly whisper. “I will make one more oath to you, my brothers, and to Guildhall. I swear that if you fail to hold this great community together and if it crumbles because you turn from the righteous cause of Guildhall . . . I swear that if the Age of Chaos comes from your failings, the Karthydian people will descend on this world as a desert storm. Be not swayed by personal power, wealth or glory. You will gain nothing, my brothers, from your failure to uphold the tenants of Guildhall except the cleansing force of fire.”


It has been ten years since Al’tar Shariz gave this speech to the Council of Lore. So much has happened in this dark decade that many claim the Age of Chaos has come . . . Guildhall denies the End of the Age of Order, but to the common person the signs are there. Every nation has established a strong military and their leaders stand ready to use them. A thousand tragedies both great and small were the stepping stones of the past ten years that brought us to this dire situation. Guildsmen throughout the realm struggle to keep the peace.


The Herald of Grotar returned to the realm in 997. Mortis of the Black Hand and Thanos, a mummy who seeks to bring about the Age of Chaos, were returned to the realm a few years later. The Orc Empire was reborn in June 1001 and Gorefang sits on the Throne of Bones as the Orcs clamor for Grotar’s return! The Comedy of the Damned, a group of banished Guildsmen, experienced a powerful resurgence and attempt to undermine the Age of Order. Five years of bloodshed and rebellion in the Highland town of Inverness nearly causes a war between the Five Kingdoms and the Barbarian Confederation on numerous occasions. The Shaggothes destroyed much of the Elder Trees Valley in 1005 and civil war threatens the Elven lands again.


In the Spring of 1006 the desert was united under Al’tar Shariz who forsook his vows to Guildhall, resigned as Loremaster and now leads the Armies of Chaos. Some said that Al’tar Shariz remains loyal to Guildhall and insist Al’tar only took the take the mantel of leadership to prevent the radical Thanos from gaining control. Others say that Al’tar Shariz planned his rise from the beginning and used the Inn at Evermoore to fulfill the prophecies. But all remember his whispered threat spoken a decade ago. . .