Dungeons and Dragons: Krystallos
Humans are the most populous race of Krystallos. They are the primary populations of the Amethystian empire, the Free City of Peridot, the Chalcedony Protectorate, the Jade Kingdom, the Pearl Territories, the Quartz Territories and the Amazonite Tribe. They are an incredible diverse and adaptable people. They vary widely, physically. The people of Onyx are extremely pale skinned with dark hair while the Scapolites are dark skinned. The Thulite tribesmen are extremely tall as are the Amazonite tribeswomen with reddish-bronze skin. The people of Chalcedony are olive skinned, short and stocky while the people of the Jade Kingdom are more golden skinned with eyes some think seem more elven than human.
The dwarves of Krystallos live primarily underground, in vast halls beneath the Ruby and Garnet Mountains. There are two kingdoms who share a bitter rivalry – they were once one nation but argue bitterly over which one came first and which split off from the other. Outsiders who have visited both kingdoms say they are almost exactly alike. Dwarven society is divided by a strict caste system. While friendships are possible between castes they are rare. Dwarves are raised to believe that each caste is vital to society and that trying to step outside of one’s caste can cause society to break apart. Dwarves take pride in their castes and the tasks they perform, even if they (privately) grumble about how the higher castes treat them or the laziness of the lower castes. Dwarves who live outside the mountains usually belong to one of two groups – either they are traders or diplomats representing their kingdoms or they are outcast, exiled for breaking the laws of the caste system.
The elves of the Sapphire Forest are the longest lived of the races and bound by strict traditions. They have rules, rituals and ceremonies to govern every occasion. These traditions are kept by loresages who answer questions, guide elves, and teach the rules of society. On the occasion that a situation arises that isn’t covered by the traditions the loresages consult their texts and devise new rulings based on lengthy debate and history. The elves believe in living in harmony with the forest. They do not mine or farm in traditional ways but instead harvest from the forest. They are expert shapers, growing plants and trees into tools, clothing and even architecture. Elven coloring varies with light green and pale white being the most common. A shimmering, pearlescant skin coloring is rare. Hair colors tend towards those of nature: browns, whites, blacks and greens.
The Halflings are a joyful people who enjoy adventure but love comfort. They love stories and have an innate curiosity that often drives them to master new tasks or make new discoveries. Halflings are very fond of food and it is common for them to have as many as nine meals per day. Halflings can be clannish, with large extended families often making up entire villages. There are two major halfling communities: the Emerald Shire and the Turquoise Shire. Neither is a nation in the traditional sense but, instead, an alliance of villages brought together by culture and race. The Emerald Shire halflings are famous as culinary experts and it is considered a point of pride in other lands to have a Emerald Shire halfling on staff as a chef. The Turquoise Shire halflings famously breed large, ugly dogs that are incredibly loyal and amazingly fierce in combat. Halflings use them as mounts while others use them as guard dogs.
Short, reptilian humanoids who are native to the Citrine Wastes, kobolds are known the world over as craftsmen and innovators. They adapted sailing ships to create sailing skiffs that work on the shifting sands of the desert (and were later adapted for the grasslands around the Free City if Peridot). They regularly innovate in the fields of pottery and glassware and optics. Their invention of choava, a bitter drink that causes wakefulness in a manner similar to some teas, is currently a rage across the land. Kobolds have several cities set up for the purposes of trade across the Wastes but roughly half their population lives in nomadic tribes that travel from oasis to oasis and city to city. They are unfailingly polite and friendly people, willing to entertain and share with strangers but can turn warlike quickly if they believe their hospitality and good nature is being taken advantage of.
The Gnomes of Krystallos like to live life to the fullest. That doesn’t mean life is a constant party. Instead, they put their all into whatever it is they do: work, play, love, and life. Gnomes are small people, only a little taller than halflings or dwarves. They have natural magics, capable of creating illusions. Gnomes have a reputation as master alchemists. Much of what they create is legal and helpful but there’s a dark side to this as well. Using various lichens that grow in their caves, some gnomes create different mind altering and addictive substances that flow out through the Free City of Peridot and into the world at large.
Until recently, the Illithids were the most unusual race of Krystallos. While they resemble the other races, generally, they have a damp, smooth skin and almost aquatic heads with four, long tentacles that surround a rather lamprey like mouth. Illithids live in caverns on Mount Opal. They do not speak vocally but communicate through telepathy. This is not mind reading but, instead, an ability to project their words into the minds of others. Other races tend to be wary of Illithids, not understanding their grim and somber ways, but they also respect them as guardians of death rituals (even the elves will consult with an Illithid cleric of Opal about death rites) and natural diplomats.
A strong, tall and powerful race. The average Darfellan stands at six feet tall and weighs around 200 pounds of pure muscle. Their slick, glossy skin is jet black broken up by white markings. The shape, size and location of those markings distinguish family groups. The rare individual who is born entirely black or entirely white are considered children of destiny, with important futures ahead of them. Semi-aquatic, Darfellan live in villages along the northern coastline of Krystallos. They are hard working, taking great pride in their professions. The majority of Darfellan are fishermen. Those Darfellan found outside of their villages often work as laborers or mercenaries, sending funds back home to support their families. They take whatever job they have quite seriously, giving it their all.
The Modron are seemingly mechanical lifeforms who served the invaders during the Great Invasion. When the invaders left this realm, many Modron, for unknown reason, stayed behind in the Opal Badlands. However, instead of continuing the war, the Modron focused entirely on building a strange, mechanical, clockwork city. Exhausted by war, the people of Krystallos decided to leave the Modron alone so long as they proved to not be aggressive. Since then, some modrons have wandered out into the world to engage in trade, acquire goods and materials and even, occasionally, join society at large. Those modron who join society at large seem to be outcasts from their people and are all cube shaped, with two arms and two legs (modrons come in a variety of geometrical shapes with different numbers of limbs, normally). They are extremely logical, analytical, and literal with little understanding of metaphor.