Overview of Oros Milav
Oros Milav is a land of snow and ice, a world of long winters and forgotten lore buried deep beneath the snow. It is the northernmost nation on the continent of Ahtmac. Dense evergreen forests, looming glaciers, rugged mountain passes, and small alpine valleys define the region’s topography. The nation has a climate very similar to that of Sweden, in that it sees the sun maybe 3-4 months out of the year. Summers are joyous but brief, winters long and grueling. Though primarily populated by hardy humans and the occasional gnome, recent events have plunged the nation into cultural, economic, and social upheaval by the emergence of ancient races and the collision of past sins with future hopes.
For two thousand years, humans thought they were the only sentient creatures in Oros Milav. Gnomes were seen briefly, but rarely ever integrated themselves into society. Recent events have revealed four very different peoples sharing their world of snow and forest alongside their diminutive companions: the Lilithiul, an ancient, ageless race steeped in magic and history; the Garaou, tribal were-folk sequestered in the darkest parts of the woods; and the Kurothe, the descendants of ancient giants who populate the distant hills and fringes of glimpsed lands. The Kurothe, in turn, revealed their alliance with the stout but hardy dwarven folk residing deep, deep in the western mountains.
Perhaps the single most important aspect of life in Oros Milav for the bulk of the population (humans, Lilithiul, and Garaou) is religion. The three races share very similar creation myths, especially in the case of the humans and Lilithiul. Human society is a theocracy, with both head of the church and political ruling power The Queen of Oros Milav. The present Queen is Her Majesty Natalia, who rules from the Crystal Palace in the human capital of Salanista.
Human religion centers around The Goddess (whose name has been lost to time). The Goddess is represented as a madonna figure with her gaze directed down at her subjects, open palms spread and golden shawl covering her hair. She is associated with light, warmth, and the sun. For a nation that sees steady, usable daylight for 3-4 months before the sky is swallowed by blizzard clouds, one can imagine just how the correlation came to be. Her teachings are of compassion, mercy, and tenacity. She does not ask for any bloodshed in her name, rather welcomes all living things – human or otherwise – into her warm embrace. She teaches that gentleness and persistence are the keys to achieving goals, just as the sun’s rays gently but continuously wear thin the clouds of the storms to grant Oros Milav spring and summer every year. She does not, however, condone rolling over and dying and grants boons to those willing to stand and fight against their oppressors.
The Goddess is served by her three Handmaidens: the Maiden of Arms, the Maiden of Truth, and the Maiden of Compassion. Each represents a facet of the Goddess, and human theocratic structure mirrors this celestial hierarchy. The Queen, considered to be a living conduit for the Goddess (an assumption that seems to be supported by the fact that, though human, Queens will live for several centuries), is served by three women who oversee military, judicial, and public health sectors respectively. Despite having a female deity and a ruling Queen, human society is not matriarchal. Roles between the sexes are balanced overall – women serve in the military, men take leave when their wives give birth, etc.
In direct opposition to the Goddess is an entity known as the Tasuh. The Tasuh delights in suffering, deceit, intricately-laid plots and sheer chaos both. Instead of being associated with a celestial or natural event in the way that the Goddess is associated with the sun, it is believed that the Tasuh merely seeps his influence into weak-minded mortals and drives them to do wicked deeds to further his evil schemes. He is associated with the corruption of the pure and innocent, single-minded selfishness at the expense of others, and subjugation. His name is synonymous with slavery and depravity, and slavery is not tolerated under Oros Milav law.
Religious interpretation can vary widely depending upon where in Oros Milav one travels. In the Grand Cathedral of Salanista the High Bishop will speak the word of the Goddess to the masses, recite passages from Her Scripture and wax philosophical upon the metaphors contained therein. In rural villages, people take a much more literal approach and may not appreciate any challenges to their views that have worked to keep them alive despite all odds, the weather, and the environment for so many years.
Travel and Other Aspects Made Easier by the Lilithiul
Travel has always been a real challenge in Oros Milav – muddy roads in the spring and summer, frozen roads in the winter, vicious wildlife, and bandits just to name a few – but major metropolitan areas have seen a great and useful luxury with the reemergence of the Lilithiul and their magical wisdom: teleportation. Teleportation is limited by weight, size, and distance. Heavy things like en masse building materials and cargo shipments must still travel overland, but for enough coin a Lilithiul technician can teleport a small group of people (or a single Kurothe, depending upon their size) to any teleport platform on the Grid. A few places of note located on the Grid:
- Salanista, the Human Capital and Seat of the Queen. The major political, religious, and economic hub of Oros Milav. Also the most cosmopolitan in terms of races walking the streets. Here humans and Lilithiul rub shoulders with gnomes and attend temple services with Garaou after watching a Kurothe correct a dwarf on the nature of rune-casting.
- Douni, the Water City. Located on the south-east shore, Douni is second in economic importance and cosmopolitan flavor only to Salanista. Often called the Gateway to Oros Milav, it is a port city and major hub of trade with the Sun Kings who rule their land of sand and fire far to the southeast across Ulmi Bay.
- Fort Gräppensdötter. Located in the far north along the Gräppensdötter Fjords just shy of the glaciers, it is a major military position providing both support to rural villages and protection from the pirates that often use those treacherous waters as both cover and storage for their ill-gotten gains.
- Machus Brigsnde, a town just a few miles down the slopes from the dwarven city of Sliabh-Mor, the ‘Great Mountain’.
- Orhun, one of the five known remaining Lilithiul hidden cities. Though many young Lilithiul have ventured into the world at large, older folk and those more set in their ways remained in their hidden sanctums. Outside visitation requires permission from Council of Five presently residing in Salanista.
Other luxuries the Lilithiul have provided with their magic include lights without fuel, running water (combined with dwarven metallurgy, you have plumbing! Dwarves love Lilithiul for this; “Can you imagine how much mead I can brew when the water just comes to me?! Instead of having to fetch it from the well every time!?”), and long-distance communication devices, though such items are expensive to maintain and are typically reserved for military operations.
A common misconception is that the Lilithiul do all this because they’re pretty little do-gooders. Rather, for a Lilithiul, magic is very much a case of use it or lose it. Lilithiul magic becomes stronger the more they practice, both as an individual and as a race; if it stops being practiced, the magic begins to atrophy. All one has to do is get on a Lilithiul’s nerves to feel the potent sting of their magic and realize just why they insist on spreading it to every reasonable aspect they can manage.
Recently it was discovered that, in addition to being innately magical beings themselves, Lilithiul have the potential to awaken inherent magical talent in others around them. Many humans began demonstrating magical healing capacities where they hadn’t before.
Brief racial summary
Note: these summaries are exactly what the title states – BRIEF. Thorough descriptions of each race will be written up and presented along with adjusted stat blocks. For now these simply give a flavor of each race’s perceived role within the world of Oros Milav.
*Note: Suggested/forbidden classes are for flavor purposes. If you really want to play an odd combo, run it by me. If you can swing it, odds are you can play it.
Humans – play humans if you want to be resilient, capable, and always have an extra trick up your sleeve. Humans are the most populous race for a reason – they’re damn adaptable. Always seem to have that second wind right when they need it.
Suggested classes: Anything divine, anything martial, anything primal
Forbidden class: Sorceror. Humans have no innate arcane ability.
Lilithiul – play Lilithiul if you want to be magical through and through. Lilithiul can fly, teleport themselves and allies, and even the most martial-minded of them know a few simple cantrips. Only young Lilithiul are likely to be adventuring, but your magic must be practiced to be strengthened. There are many in this world that can benefit from your power.
Suggested classes: Any arcane, any divine, some martial
Forbidden class: Rogue. There’s a long-winded alternative to be explained soon.
Garaou – play Garaou if you want to be a werewolf and change forms at whim. Fierce and pack-oriented, they are the ultimate warriors, trackers, and cullers of the weak. Yet you are not without control, for the Goddess gave you a very special task which only you and your brethren can perform. Will you stay true to your divine calling, or fall prey to the temptations of the Tasuh like the corrupt benyem clans and earn the eternal ire of your former pack?
Suggested classes: Anything martial, anything primal, anything divine, some arcane
Forbidden classes: None
Kurothe – play Kurothe if you want to play big, and I mean big! Kurothe start at about eight feet tall. You listen more to the land than other races, not too keen on being movers and shakers in world events like humans or Lilithiul. Like your Garaou and dwarven allies, honor is the binding aspect of your mentality and your tribe. But you’re not above putting a whiny little upstart in his place and you know most of the smaller races initially perceive you as slow-witted, due to your tendency to speak the Common tongue in stilted sentences. Common just has too many useless words in it, for your tastes. RP hint: troll the shit out of people.
Suggested classes: Anything martial, anything primal
Forbidden classes: None
Gnomes – Gnomes don’t make for adventuring much, simply because once they find a place, they usually like to settle in – be it a nice, cozy mushroom or under the loose stone in a favored family’s hearth. But if a favored human or Garaou goes off, well, who’s going to keep an eye on them? Though still tricksters to a fault, gnomes tend to attach themselves to individuals, often growing up with them as children into adulthood. Often called ‘the Ultimate Sidekick’, gnomes are nevertheless not to be underestimated in their own right, though they often are. Makes watching the big ones fall that much more hilarious.
Suggested classes: Anything martial, anything primal, anything arcane
Forbidden classes: Avenger. Gnomes don’t do the whole ‘divine vengeance’ thing.
Dwarves – play a dwarf if fighting, drinking, and crafting sound like the life for you. Dwarves are relatively new to the nation-wide scheme of things, only venturing out of their mountain-sealed fortress-cities in recent years. But there’s trade to be had and pints to be sampled, more than you ever imagined while cooped up in your cities! A dwarf’s word is his bond and his grudge runs even deeper. Like the Kurothe, they care more for the land (and its riches!) than following some moral code laid down by the Tall n’ Lankys. Nobody tells a dwarf what to do! Except maybe his wife.
Suggested classes: Anything martial, anything primal, anything arcane
Forbidden classes: None