Options for Sarlonan Campaigns

The continent of Sarlona, birthplace of psionics and the kalashtar race as well as stronghold to the Inspired, is a fascinating change from a standard Eberron campaign. Whether running a full campaign in the eastern continent or treating your players to a brief foray into the land of the Inspired, the 3.5e sourcebook Secrets of Sarlona cannot be recommended strongly enough. It is a treasure trove of description and character options for players and DMs alike. However, if you're running a 4e campaign the mechanics are a little outdated and require some conversion to use. Allow me to save you the trouble.

New Backgrounds

In the Fourth Edition Eberron Player's Guide, there's just one background "Sarlona" that covers the entire continent. This may be sufficient for a campaign set primarily in Khorvaire, but in order to make full use of the materials available for Sarlona more is needed. Below you will find a number of backgrounds to help characters and DMs find the right character concept for their campaign.
In Sarlona, the Common tongue is a foreign language that few are familiar with. For a campaign set mostly or entirely in Sarlona, the easiest solution is to have characters gain Riedran as an automatic language rather than Common (so a changeling would speak only Riedran, a shifter would speak Riedran and one other). For a Khorvairian campaign, add Riedran as an associated language to all backgrounds in this section.

Adar Backgrounds

The land of Adar is a nation under siege. It has been surrounded by Riedran forces for centuries, surviving only because of the powerful psionic defenses of the kalashtar and the tenacity of its defenders. The wild peaks of the have been a haven since long before the Inspired came to Eberron, but since Sarlona became a battleground for the struggle between two quori factions the fight between Inspired and kalashtar has become synonymous with the war between Riedra and Adar.
Associated Skills: Nature, Stealth
Associated Language: Quori

  • Keeper of the Word: Though Adar is mainly known for its psionic traditions, spellcasters of all sorts can be found in the mountainous nation. Primal worshippers travel through the wild mountain passes, divine servants of the Path of Light heal the wounded in the fortress-monasteries along the border, and arcanists study ancient lore on paper which itself outdates the floating towers of Arcanix. You are one of these Keepers of the Word, venerated spellcasters who band together to protect Adar’s magical heritage. How do you feel about the aggressive tact that the kalashatar Speakers have taken the Keepers over generations? Do you actively devote yourself to the defense of Adar or are you a grudging participant? What secrets have you uncovered in your studies among the dusty vaults of the Land of Earth-Sky? Even if you do not understand all that you have read, most in Khorvaire would give much to see what was a matter of course in your training back home.
  • Summit Road Guide: You are a member of the Summit Road, the expert guides who smuggle goods and people across the borders of Adar. Many Summit Road guides are arcanists or psionicists who use their powers to hide their charges during the dangerous border crossings. Others are highly skilled scouts who know the mountains like their own selves and can slip past Riedran guards with barely a whisper. As an adventurer, you are no longer actively working with the Summit Road. Did you leave by choice? Were you forced out after breaking the organization’s rules? What would drive you to abandon your oaths?
  • Wandering Defender: Many Adarans leave their homeland, not necessarily running but taking the fight elsewhere. Kalashtar communities across Khorvaire fight the Inspired on new fronts, keeping them from working their tendrils into other lands and finding new weapons to strengthen their efforts. While many of these emigrants continue their whole lives abroad, you are one who found an opportunity to return home. What have you seen while you were away? Is it the same coming home or are do you feel like an outsider in your own homeland? Perhaps you are even a Khorvairian native from an Adaran family, returning at long last to the land of your parents. Does it live up to the legends? Not many can feel at ease under the constant threat of Riedran attacks, especially those who did not grow up in it.

Riedra, Land of Unity

The land of the Inspired was once many different kingdoms. Through their manipulations and scheming, the continent erupted into wars which resulted in just one nation left: the Unity of Riedra. This vast nation is made up of eight different provinces which were once independent kingdoms. While they have lost their autonomy today, however, the cultures in each province are still nuanced and differ greatly from one another.

Borunan Backgrounds

Borunan is dominated by ogres, forged on the ruins of their ancient kingdom. Eight in ten citizens of Borunan are ogres and oni, while the others are heavily influenced by their large neighbors. The ogre races were forcibly pacified generations ago, their strength and magic turned to labor and protection in the service of Riedra, but not even the Inspired are perfect. Cracks in the perfect plan of the quori show and exceptional individual may find themselves widening or sealing them depending on their politics.
Associated Skills: Arcana, Endurance
Associated Languages: Giant

  • Former Stone Soldier: You were chosen in your youth to serve in the Harmonious Shield as a solid defender against the barbaric hordes pressing on the borders of the Unity of Riedra. The tough Stone Soldiers are often chosen from the solid folk of Borunan so you are in good company, but something happened to make you leave. Were you thrown out? Did you retire to work on the farmlands of your home province? Did something happen while you were serving as a soldier?
  • Horned Shadow Cultist: The Horned Shadow is an alliance of ogres and oni intent on reviving the past glories of their races in Borunan where their presence is strongest. Most of the cultists are ogres but others are humans who have been promised power in the new kingdom by their oni patrons. As masters of deception and illusion, the oni encourage this in their followers and many leaders in the Horned Shadow are intent on spreading the cult’s influence to other nations and other continents. Their humanoid followers can blend into society and funnel resources and information back to Borunan for the coming revolution.
  • Riedran Eneko: While the eneko are most common in Syrkarn, they are a marginalized population at Riedra. According to the Path of Inspiration, the oni are vessels for lesser altavar and must live honorable lives to redeem the spirits trapped in their forms. The ogres are beastial creatures, the same as shifters, and must advance along the Path to achieve a better position. Whichever line you come from, you represent a throwback, a retro-grade product of ogre and human blood. If your parents must live well to advance, your existence must be flawless. Are you on the run from inquisitors of the Thousand Eyes for your undesirable lineage? Have you secured yourself a reprive as part of the Savage Legion?

Corvagura Backgrounds

The heartland of Riedra, Corvagura is the most heavily populated and the most loyal. The Riedran capital of Durat Tal is located there from which the Inspired govern and direct. Before the Unity, the people of Corvagura suffered under sorcerer-kings and their continuing gratitude makes them the people that the Inspired lords count on most and trust with potentially dangerous knowledge.
Associated Skills: Diplomacy, History, Religion

  • Blessed Servant of the Hearth: The Sheltering Hearth sees to the physical well-being of the Riedran people, seeing to plagues and disaster relief. Though non-psionic magic is forbidden in the land of the Inspired, some are allowed to study other sorts of magic for the benefit of the people. Whether you use divine magic or not, you are allowed to study the spells and gods of the ancients. You were taught from a young age that such topics could corrupt and ruin. Do you see this as a noble sacrifice that you take on for the good of your nation or have you glimpsed something real in these ancient scrolls that drives you on?
  • Doctrine Speaker: From the capital city of Durat Tal, the Inspired send their edicts to the people. Because most Riedrans are illiterate, unless the path chosen for them requires reading, the laws and announcements of the land must be delivered and spoken in person. Subtle messages can be sent through the shared Voice which sounds in the population’s dreams, but more complicated messages are trust only to extremely loyal couriers. Couriers like you. Are you still a courier for the Inspired? What trials have you undergone to test your loyalty? Perhaps you have had to carry some surprisingly harsh edict or incongruous message. Do you ever question your role in the Inspired’s grant plan?
  • Hanbalani Altas Architect: The egg-shaped monoliths that dot the landscape of Riedra are the densest in Corvagura where the population and loyalty are the greatest. You are one of those entrusted with plans to assemble the great monuments, a sacred and important task. Obviously the most important parts are entrusted only to the eyes of the Chosen, but what have you seen of these great structures? Do you have any idea of their purpose or as you as ignorant as the rest of your countrymen? If your class is a psionic one, perhaps you have made some disquieting discoveries. If not, at least you have a stronger understanding of the mysterious psionic power of your leaders.

Dar Jin Background

The city of Dar Jin holds a special position in the Unity of Riedra. It is the only place in the Unity where foreigners are allowed to live, in the walled off section of the city known as the Jhodra. The dragonmarked houses have claimed sections of the Jhodra and Khorvairians walk its streets boldly, only dimly aware of the world of control and indoctrination that exists in the greater city and the rest of Riedra. You are from this teeming population, the single largest settlement in the entire world. Do you enjoy living so close to these mysterious foreigners? Do you see it as a duty that some in Riedra must endure or a danger that you must trust the Inspired to protect you from? Perhaps you have dreams of meeting these Khorvairians and even, under the protection of the Sacred Inspiration, travel to their lands to prove to yourself how backwards they are.
Associated Skills: Streetwise.
Associated Languages: Common, Elven.

Dor Maleer Backgrounds

The frontier province of Dor Maleer is a wild place where Riedran rule is not as strongly upheld as in the south. Maleeri are an independent people and many live in small villages or nomadic camps rather than the walled towns of their Inspired. Without having the population in specific areas, the Riedrans are not always able to effectively indoctrinate them. Luckily for the Inspired lords, the savage tribes of the Tashana Tundra are a ready threat which binds the people together and makes them grateful for the security of Riedran rule.
Associated Skills: Intimidate, Nature
Associated Language: Dwarven

  • Dwarf Hunter: The Maleeri are a fairly tolerant people, but experience has taught them to be wary of the dangerous dwarven rebels across the border. The Inspired expelled them from Dor Maleer when they brought the territory into the Unity, but the clans continue to attack across the border in skirmishes, guerilla operations, and sabotage. You have devoted your life to fighting these savages, whether you have the support of trained soldiers or not. In other provinces, the people rely on the Harmonious Shield for protection but the Maleeri know how to take care of themselves. Perhaps you were a hunter and have tracked the dwarves as long as you have tracked elk and goats for food. You might also have lost someone and had to learn the necessary skills in a hurry to take your revenge. Have you been reprimanded by Riedran officials or do they value you as a useful specialist?
  • Local Guide: Riedrans are not used to a lack of information but the truth of the matter is that much of Dor Maleer is unmapped and known only by the locals. You are one of these, a Maleeri who is at home on the wide plains of the north where others quickly get lost and unable to find supplies. As a specialist for the military, you fall outside of the normal hierarchy in an army which prides itself on orderliness and structure. Have you experience gratitude or resentment from the soldiers you assisted in Dor Maleer? Did you volunteer for the position or were you forcibly conscripted out of your previous life? Eventually, the Inspired would like to see Dor Maleer as a tamed and urban province like those in the south, which means your position is to assist in making yourself obsolete in the future. Do you find this thought comforting or troubling?
  • Savage Legion Recruit: Dor Maleer has the largest shifter population of any Riedran province, which also makes it the largest recruitment area for the Savage Legion. You are one of the Maleeri shifters, recruited either willingly or forcefully into the army, and you maintain a difficult balance in society. Riedran generals see the shifters as both effective and dangerous, the common people find them exotic but also familiarly troubling. The Path of Inspiration teaches that shifters are barely above the animals they represent, more beast than man and for that reason all the more disturbing. Normal animals at least have no idea of their beastiality, but shifters know exactly what they are doing as they run in packs and attack people in the north to drink their blood and devour their souls… or so the Inspired lords warn their subjects. As a northern-born shifter yourself, do you agree with this interpretation and seek to better yourself or do you secretly rebel against the idea that you are a lesser being? Are you envious of the shifters in the personal guards of the Chosen, wishing for their simpler lives, or do you look down on these creatures who have never felt an untamed wind in their hair?

Khalesh Backgrounds

Before the Sundering, Khalesh was a nation ruled by secretive demons known as the shulassakar who the Khaleshites worshiped as deities. Most of the nation was wiped out in the Sundering and the current population is mostly resettled peoples from other areas but all are aware of the dangerous heritage of this region. Locals generally shun the ruins, preferring to leave well enough alone, and devote themselves instead wholeheartedly to the Path of Inspiration.
Associated Skills: Heal, Insight, Religion

  • Holy Inquisitor: All loyal Riedrans worry about the sources of corruption that prey on the weak-willed, but as a Khaleshite you have physically seen them. Dark ruins lurk on the horizon, waiting for the unwary to disturb the altavari who hide there. Some evil spirits are not content to wait and they come to the towns and villages of Khalesh to infest and destroy. These are the reasons that drove you to become an inquisitor for the Inspired, rooting out corrupt souls in the community and finding the enemies of the Path of Inspiration to stop them from destroying all you hold dear. Do you still hold to your zeal and look for heretics? Perhaps you’ve seen something that makes you question your role, wondering at some of the inconsistencies you have witnessed. You may also have become stronger in your convictions after seeing proof of corruption in the flesh.
  • Ruin Delver: Most Khaleshites avoid the ancient ruins of fallen Khalesh but not you. Where others fear the influence of altavar, you see an opportunity for answers to your nagging questions about the past. In order to visit these sites you need to slip out of town unnoticed and travel into their depths with hardly any equipment or training. What have you seen in the depths and how has it changed you? After seeing such beautiful temples, it’s hard to imagine why you are supposed to be so afraid of them, even if you have no idea what the ruins actually are. The Inspired have agents watching to make sure no one develops an undue interest in the old ruins but so far you have managed to avoid their notice. At least, you’re pretty sure you have.
  • Spiritualist of the Path: In most Riedran provinces, religious education is highly formalized and controlled by the Inspired. This is mostly true in Khalesh as well but there are some like you who take on a personal responsibility to tend to the faithful. When surrounded by relics of a dangerous past, the community needs all the anchors it can to avoid being swept away with the demonic influences of ancient Khalesh. How do you see yourself and your role? Are you a priest outside of the normal hierarchy or do you merely provide a willing ear and kind words to your neighbors before directing them to the local priest of Inspiration? Some Inspired lords tolerate spiritualists like yourself because of the extra fervor and devotion that they give to the community, but others are concerned with anything outside of the normal hierarchy. Punishing a religious figure is always tricky without disturbing the commoners and the most common method is to discredit and ostracize them, even driving them into exile across the Syrk border if they cannot be killed.

Nulakesh Backgrounds

Before the Sunering, Nulakesh was a nation with a high population and a disciplined army. Now that it is a Riedran province, it still has these virtues but it uses them in the service of the Inspired lords. Many of the regiments in the Harmonious Shield are recruited from this province and, while the province is not especially fervent in its devotion to the Path of Inspiration, Nulakeshi are very strong supporters of the nation of Riedra.
Associated Skills: Athletics, Diplomacy, History

  • Harmonious Shield Officer: With its strong tradition of defending the nation, Nulakesh is the province where most of the officers of the Harmonious Shield are drawn. The highest positions are, of course, held for Chosen and Inspired but command positions for those leading small units of men can be earned by any Riedran commoner with enough promise, as in your case. Some families are even favored generationally, though most Riedrans are unaware because the family unit is eschewed under the Inspired. Local lords will encourage two promising citizens to have a child in the hopes that they will result in a truly exceptional individual. This was the same program, in fact, that led to the Chosen in the first place, and the next generation of Empty Vessels is constantly in production.
  • Nonhuman Servant: When you were recruited to work for the Inspired lords, either as a soldier in the Harmonious Shield or a spy in the Thousand Eyes, you were volunteering for a career that would allow you to live virtuously and improve your station in the next life. When you received your assignment in Nulakesh, however, any respect for this career by the common people was lost. Nulakeshi are notoriously prejudiced against nonhumans and the insignia on your uniform matters somewhat less to them than the strangeness of your appearance. Even changelings, who stand above humans on the Path of Inspiration and deserve respect and fear, receive only suspicion in the bastion cities of Nulakesh. Those shifters and ogres serving in the Savage Legion are even worse off, generally treated as one might a dangerous guard dog that they don’t trust the owner to maintain. None of this is voiced, but no doubt it has made you question your responsibility for the citizens of Nulakesh. Have you also reconsidered your oaths to the Inspired, who sent you here and refuse to teach their subjects proper respect? Have you wondered about other lands where your people might receive better treatment? Not every soldier responds to a difficult deployment the same way, but the promises of peace and improvement are core to the rule of the Inspired but you have not seen them much in Nulakesh.
  • Student of the Broken Throne: You are not as convinced of Riedra’s greatness as your neighbors. When you hear of how the ancient Nulakeshi reconquered their homeland during the Sundering, you ask wonder why they should stop there. As a member of the Broken Throne, you seek to gather and protect any remaining treasures of the twelve kingdoms lost during the time of chaos that led to Riedran rule. The Broken Throne has no aspirations of fighting against the Inspired and they do not wish to resurrect the kingdom of Nulakesh, but this large province has the most number of ancient traditions which endure in the days of the Unity. Your fellow conspirators may not wish to fight, but maybe they don’t see the whole truth. Do you believe that Nulakesh can survive under the Inspired or are you willing to take powerful measures to save your heritage?

Ohr Kaluun Backgrounds

The islands of Ohr Kaluun were once a magocracy devoted to the Dark Six, wizards of shadowed power and paranoia. During the Sundering they walled themselves in behind elaborate labyrinths but the dream manipulators of the quori turned the Kaluunite factions against each other, changing the labyrinths from defenses to prisons.
Associated Skills: Arcana, Bluff
Associated Languages: Abyssal

  • Heir of the Ruins: You are one of the secret mages in the Heirs of Ohr Kaluun, scholars who search out the ruins of Kaluunite arcanists in the hopes of learning their secrets. As a practitioner of arcane magic, your very existence is a crime and you must keep your abilities hidden at all times. Do you seek knowledge for its own sake or do you intend to use your magic for some grander purpose? Would you overthrow the Inspired or do you think that you can live alongside them once you have proven yourself capable? Do you work alone or do you have a patron teaching you? Many things lurk in the bloody mazes of ancient Ohr Kaluun and an unwary arcanist might become unwittingly bound in plots as old as the world itself.
  • Island Smuggler: The Inspired control the largest island of Ohr Kel and the bastion city of Dar Kel, but the other islands are marked by varying degrees of brigandry. You are one of those that lives by smuggling supplies throughout the island, a criminal on the edges of the largest police state in Eberron. Your customers may include Adaran guerillas, Tashana war parties, rebels in Nulakesh or Pyrine, or even foreigners from Khorvaire or Aerenal who want to be brought into or to escape from the tightly controlled nation. How do you feel about these customers? Are you sympathetic toward their causes or do you simply enjoy the chance to bloody the nose of Riedran officials for your own reasons? Maybe you see smuggling as nothing more than a business transaction, an opportunity which exists for the clever to live a little more comfortably.
  • Iron Gate Road-Agent: While the Inspired have concentrated their authority in the large port of Dar Kel, they have by no means given up on the rest of the islands. The Iron Gate, which watches over all interactions between Riedrans and outsiders, hires capable and independent agents like you to patrol the islands and ferret out the unscrupulous smugglers. This is a calculated risk, however, because it flies in the face of the Inspired’s normal policies. Independent agents by definition are not tightly controlled and a capable loyal servant can become a capable traitor disturbingly quickly. What have you seen in your days as a road-agent? Do you agree with your superiors’ view that these smugglers are dangerous and corrupting? Have you seen any of the foreigners who hire them? As a trained member of the Iron Gate you are familiar with the official policies regarding foreigners but what happens when reality differs from the propaganda?

Pyrine Backgrounds

The ancient kingdom of Pyrine is thought to be the birthplace of modern worship of the Sovereign Host, brought over to Khorvaire by the humans traveling in Lhazaar’s expedition centuries ago. The people of Pyrine today are completely devoted to the Inspired, however, and the province is host to many of the departments of the Unity making it’s people especially loyal.
Associated Skills: Diplomacy, History, Religion

  • Evangelist of the Inspired: Pyrineans do not have the fear of foreigners that many Riedrans do and many actually enjoy talking to them. No Riedran is foolish enough to try to understand these barbarians, but with effort you and your fellow devotees might show them the power of the Path of Inspiration. You have been able to talk with a number of foreign merchants and travelers, something which might make you dangerous. You are a loyal citizen and worshipper, however, at least in the eyes of the Inspired. Is this still the truth or have you learned something about your leaders from the outsiders that makes you question?
  • Revenge Seeker: During the Sundering, your ancestors in Pyrine were crushed between Nulakesh and Ohr Kaluun. Many have forgotten, but you remember from the stories that you have seen and heard. You are all part of the Unity now but are the Nulakeshi and Kaluunites really as worthy as your own people? The people of the Ohr Kaluun islands are smugglers and brigands and the northerners in Nulakesh trust too much in themselves and not enough in the Path of Inspiration. You’re people are the rightful heirs of the peace that the Unity has brought and you seek ways to make this the case. All struggle along the Path to better themselves but is it so much to suppose that one people might be more favored than others?
  • Scholar of the Destroyed: The libraries and temples of Pyrine were buried in the wars that destroyed the nation. Growing up, thinking about this lost knowledge was tantalizing to you and for some reason you were unable to understand why the Inspired lords forbade any attempts to find and study these things. You have only been able to find a few caches of writings but what they say is incredible. What does this make you think of the Inspired or the Path of Inspiration? Are you frightened by this knowledge or encouraged? Do you try to convert your neighbors or leave them behind for a new life in a foreign land? If you do reach somewhere new, of course, you

Rhiavaar Backgrounds

The western islands of Rhiavaar are a striking counterpart to Ohr Kaluun in the east. Where the Kaluunites are scheming and secretive, the Rhiavaarans are straightforward and honest. Once the islands of Rhiavaar were home to feared slavers, but with their inclusion into the Unity they have become valued sailors and navy captains instead. Trade across the Sea of Rage to Q’barra occurs through Rhiavaar and, secretly, the spread of Inspired control to Khorvaire does as well.
Associated Skills: Acrobatics, Perception, Streetwise

  • Harmonious Sail Officer: The Harmonious Sail is the Riedran navy, an important buffer for the Unity with major hubs in Rhiavaar. You have had a long career in the Harmonious Shield, probably serving as a second under a Chosen captain. In the course of your service you probably ran Adaran blockades, challenged Syrk pirates, and escorted merchant ships to the barbaric shores of Khorvaire. Did these tasks convince you of your role in the Unity or cause you to question the propaganda supplied by the Inspired? You have clashed with foreigners on the high seas, seeing some of the truth to the tales of caution, but you have also had some of the most regular contact with them of any Riedran. Whatever you think of foreigners, it is probably an extreme opinion.
  • Q’barran Trader: Riedra has a subtle presence in many locations in Khorvaire but only in Q’barra do they act overtly. King Sebastes has agreed to give the Inspired special permissions in the kingdom of Q’barra and they have certainly taken advantage of it. You are one of those tasked with keeping this special relationship alive, a merchant who makes sure that Riedran goods are indispensable in Q’barra. You were chosen for this mission based on your loyalty and dependability, but what could prepare you for the savage, exotic culture of Q’barra? Are you able to see through the dirt to the strong community underneath or has your experience only confirmed what you have heard since birth? If nothing else, you are one of a small number with direct experience in Khorvaire which makes you invaluable to loyalists and rebels alike.
  • Thousand Eyes Informant: Rhiavaar is a province with a lot of potential, but also a place where the Inspired are taking a lot of risks. With sailors that routinely deal with outsiders and a direct trade route to savage Khorvaire, the Inspired count on loyal citizens like you to maintain order. Whether or not you are an actual agent of the Thousand Eyes, you are an important information asset feeding secrets and rumors back to your superiors. You are a strong wall against the dangerous influences that lurk outside of your nation’s borders and that means you must always be vigilant against corruption, especially in yourself.

Syrkarn Backgrounds

The arid steppes of Syrkarn are unclaimed by any single leader, something which seems almost impossible in the shadow of Riedra. The population is made of independently-minded humans, ogres, oni, and enekos, all of whom believe in a strong community and a free life.
Associated Skills: Athletics, Dungeoneering, Endurance
Associated Language: Giant

  • Community Homesteader: There are a lot of large-scale politics that play out in Syrkarn, but most of the country is made up of people like you. In the arid steppes regions, you and your neighbors carve out a life of hard decisions and stony pride. You live in a difficult region of the world, but you are only made stronger by it. How many would be able to stand as you do against the might of Riedra, the insistent Adaran revolutionaries, and the greedy and unpredictable Khorvairian traders? You are Syrk, and that means more than just your national identity. It is easy to give your allegiance to some monarch, but you have devoted yourself to this land and the freedom it represents.
  • Riedran Immigrant: Some leaving the Unity of Riedra do not travel far, finding homes in the steppes of Syrkarn. Those that flee to escape the Inspired usually lay low and you may be among these quiet individuals, laying low and escaping the attentions of the Thousand Eyes. On the other hand, you could just as easily be one of the informants of the Thousand Eyes in the settlements of Syrkarn, sending reports on your fellow expatriates and Syrkarn natives back to your superiors in Riedra. These may seem like very different backgrounds, but the reality of living in the shadow of Riedra is that both refugees from and informants for the monolithic Unity live almost identical lives. Your secrets and your allegiances may never be truly known to other Syrks.
  • Yuan-ti Cultist: The yuan-ti are regarded with fear by the Syrks who picture them lurking in the shadows and in the ruins that dot the landscape. The thought of seeking help from these creatures is the equivalent of cuddling up with a scorpion in the Plains of Itzaina, but this is exactly what you did. Some seek the yuan-ti for their psionic knowledge, some for their records of the lost histories of the region. Others are simply in search of power and see few in Syrkarn who can feed their hunger. What have you bargained for from the hidden yuan-ti clutches? What do you hope to achieve from it?

Tashana Tundra Backgrounds

The tundras of the north are grey and featureless to newcomers, but for those who spend their lives here there is plenty to see. The rolling hills are covered in brilliant snow in the winter and speckled fields of flowers and lichen in the summer. It is a wild lands where the very planes themselves roil in massive storms that tear across the landscape and those that live here must be just as wild and just as strong. The Tashana natives are a varied lot but they can unite behind a need to survive against the power of the land and the machinations of the Inspired lords of Riedra.
Associated Skills: Athletics, Nature
Associated Languages: Dwarven

  • Akiak Guerilla: Once your people lived among the humans of Dor Maleer and Nulakesh as valued neighbors and skilled craftsmen. That ended in the Night of Razor Dreams when the dwarves were decimated in a vicious attack inspired by the quori and fled across the border to Tashana. With this tragic heritage, you are part of a cultural revenge that presses on you as a weight. Do you willingly take your part against the Riedrans or are you trying to find a new life on your own? Are you comfortable with the guerilla tactics that the Akiak dwarves prefer or would you rather launch a full war against the Inspired? It’s even possible that you are not a dwarf yourself but have joined the movement for your own reason. This is far from common and being the only non-dwarf among your fellows must have been a difficult and complex role.
  • Sky Teller: Called Worldspeakers by the Akiak dwarves, mystics have an important role among the nomadic tribes of the Tashana Tundra. In a land where libraries are unknown, keepers of lore are essential to the tribe’s survival. Sky tellers understand lichens and how to create the magic poultices for their warriors to use and they understand the complex planar energies that lead to the devastating aukaraks which periodically sweep the landscape. You are a student of this tradition, studying to guide your tribe through trouble and uncertainty. If you are a full sky teller, why have you left to travel on your own? If you left before you had finished your apprenticeship, on the other hand, what caused your instruction to end?
  • Trade-town Merchant: The towns of Whitetooth and Winterstead along the western coast of Tashana are some of the only sites of contact with the outside world. You are one of the merchants who lives in these strange places, too savage for the Syrk and Khorvairian merchants who come to port and too softened by these foreigners for your cousins in the interior. What led you to this life? Do you long to follow these foreigners back to their exotic lands or do you view them with disdain, eager to part them from their goods and send them on their way?
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