Amazons are a race native to the lands of the Almati. They revere strength, cunning, endurance and skill, but more specifically, they respect these traits in women. Amazons consider women the pinnacle of all things and men little more than dumb brutes. They are loath recognize even obvious accomplishments by men. Amazons reproduce by breeding with human, elven, or, occasionally minotaur males and produce both male and female children. Amazons consider giving birth to male children a sign of weakness and somewhat embarrassing and will often leave this children out to die from exposure or trade their male children for the female children of neighboring non-Amazon communities. Males in Amazon society are treated as second class citizens at best. Most believe that the Amazons broke away from one or more human tribes in the distant past and developed their culture as a way of protecting themselves from the predations of male dominated tribes around them. Amazons believe that they were created by their goddess, Amaz to represent and protect all that is good in women. Amazons are tall, ranging in height from 5’6” to over 6’ tall. They have powerful, lean builds with very little body fat. . Their skin and hair colors are generally fantastic, with various shades of blue, green and purple dominating though red also occurs. Amazons from the Ravnivori continent (often called Valkyrie) generally have paler skin color and white is not uncommon amongst them. Amazons favor weapons that accentuate their skill and speed such as spears, and thin bladed swords. They are also excellent shots with thrown weapons and bows. They prefer to wear light or no armor and often use shields of all kinds. Amazons have a close link with horses and are some of the finest cavalry in Almatia and the Emire in general.
Graceful: Amazons are naturally lithe and start with a d6 in Agility
Martial Training: Due to the training Amazons receive in their youth they start with a free d6 in shooting and riding.
Loyal: Amazons are loyal to a fault. They will not abandon a comrade and will fight for a friend’s safety until the end.
Battle of the Sexes: Amazons consider Minotaurs to be the embodiment of everything wrong with males and thus, the world. The feeling is mutual. This comes through in their dealings with Minotaurs and they receive a -4 to Charisma when dealing with members of that species.
Cultures: Amazons are native to both Almatia and Ravnivori and may choose either culture.
Draga, like Dracotaurs are the descendants of Sunchaser and other dragons. They, however, are the product of the dragon’s mating with Naga. They too consider themselves the guardians and benefactors of the Empire. However, whereas Dracotaurs are much more likely to do what they consider in the best interest of the Empire, Draga are much more obedient, serving the Empire with fanatic loyalty. They have also continued their association with their non-draconic ancestors, considering themselves simply a new clan of Naga and often intermarrying and/or mating with their more mundane counterparts. Draga look much like Naga with a humanoid torso atop a snakelike tail. Their scales are generally coarser and they have large muzzles filled with sharp fangs. Their bodies have several horns and horny plates. Because of their strong draconic blood, they have 4 arms. Their scales can be any of the shades common in the Naga, though gold and yellow are more common, and even other colors will have these colors as accents. They are larger than Naga, the smallest being 10’ and, like Dracotaurs, grow throughout their lives, the oldest and largest currently being just over 20’ long.
Draga weapons are quite similar to those of their Naga ancestors, depending still on their striking style for their weapons. However, they are always larger and heavier and feature the ornate decorations also common for Dracotaurs. Their armor is also heavier and more commonly covers their whole bodies.
All Thumbs: Being preternatural creatures that rely more on their own abilities than anything else, draga have an inbred dislike of mechanical objects, and thus have the All Thumbs Hindrance. They shun most mechanical items and designs.
Armor +2: Scaly hide.
Breeding Hindrance: Due to the not quite completely compatible nature of their ancestors, all draga are born with some manner of deficiency. Select a Minor Breeding Hindrance or upgrade to a Major Hindrance by also expending one of the Minor Hindrance options allowed during character creation and combining the two (See Dragon Man supplement for details.)
Imperial Deference: Draga exist in a hierarchal society, and true dragons and possessed sit upon its peak. As such, draga are –4 during opposed Intimidation and Persuasion rolls with dragons and possessed.
Four Arms: Draga possess four fully functional arms. These extra limbs allow the draga to take one additional non-movement action per turn with no penalty.
Large: Due to their looping coils, Draga are larger than most other humanoids and gain a +1 to toughness.
Snake Tail: While their unusual body structures don’t slow the Draga in most situations, few other races design their architecture to accommodate the creatures. A Draga must succeed on an agility check to climb a ladder or rope (or the rigging of a ship, for that matter,) and even then can move at only half speed. Stairs present a similar obstacle and they can only move half speed up or down them unless they succeed at an agility check. Any armor that normally covers the legs costs twice as much to adapt to their anatomy.
Cultures: Draga exist in all three cultures and may take the advantages from any one.
Dwarves are native to the Ravnivori lands and the mountains that form the border between Almatia and Shan. However, these two branches of the race are distinctly different. Both respect tradition, duty, and martial prowess and they both societies have a clan structure. The similarities end there, however. Ravnivori clans are all distinct and often at odds with each other. Before uniting under the rule of the Ravnivori Empire they often warred with each other. Shan dwarves, on the other hand are united under the rule of a single Mandarin. Ravnivori clans are completely self-sufficient while the clans of the Shan are each specialized, its members performing one service for the nation for generations. Thus, family and loyalty are much more important to Shan dwarves than they are to Ravnivori Dwarves. Even the physical features of the two branches are different. Both are shorter than humans or elves, being between 4’ and 5’ tall, and both are have stocky builds and are heavier than either humans or elves. However, Shan dwarves are more slender than their Ravnivori cousins and very thin members of their race can pass for short humans. Ravnivori dwarves have pale skin, hair and eyes. Their hair is often blonde, light brown, or red. Their eyes are generally blue or green. Shan dwarves have golden skin, dark hair and dark eyes with epicanthic folds. All dwarven men grow thick, long facial hair. The Ravnivori wear full beards whereas Shan shave and trim theirs into various types of beards, mustaches and sideburns that display their clan affiliation. Ravnivori Dwarves favor heavy sturdy weapons such as axes and hammers. Their armor is some of the toughest and most impregnable in the world, but is also quite heavy and they often wield equally effective shields. Shan Dwarves use curved blades similar to their human counterparts, but they are generally much heavier and thicker. Hammers are less popular amongst them, but also used. They disdain the use shields and all of their weapons can be wielded with both hands. Their armor is lighter, though still relatively bulky and protective. Both types favor crossbows as distance weapons, though Shan Dwarves are also prone to use the black powder weapons that have recently been introduced in the Empire.
Low Light Vision: Dwarven eyes are accustomed to the dark of the underearth. They ignore attack penalties for Dim and Dark lighting.
Slow: Dwarves have a Pace of 5”.
Tough:_ Dwarves are stout and tough. They start with a d6 Vigor instead of a d4.
Cultures: Dwarves are native to both Ravnivoria and Shan. They may choose either culture. Ravnivori dwarves are generally insular. Though there are a fair number of Ravnivori dwarves who venture out into the world to adventure or make their way in the larger world, the bulk of their clans not only do not mingle with the outside world but often do not mingle with each other. Shan dwarves, on the other hand, have a complex web of associations and alliances fostered through kinship and marriage between their clans. Ravnivori dwarves strive to retain their individuality. Shan dwarves strive to be a useful part of their clan. A recent addition to the dwarf population of the Ravnivori Empire is the Yoltsov clan.
Elves are native to both the lands of Ravnivorous and Almatia. They respect nature, learning and magic. They are a peaceful people, generally more than willing to remain in their secluded forest cities and spend their long lives in contemplation, thought and learning. However, when they wish, they make formidable warriors, uniting impressive magical skill and fighting puissance with equally impressive woodland abilities. Many young elves seek adventure by leading the life of a warrior. Despite existing on separate continents, all elves have similar physical forms. They are small compared to humans standing between 5’ and 5’6” tall with thin, willowy builds. They have pointed ears and almond shaped eyes. Hair, eye and skin color can vary widely amongst elves. Hair colors range from blue and black, through brown and red to blonde and even silvery. Eye colors include blue, green, brown, black and yellow. Skin color can be anything from pale pink to a deep mahogany brown. Unlike humans who once had very narrow skin, eye and hair colors in different areas, Elves of every skin tone, eye and hair color can be found in almost any community. Elves primarily use fast, elegant weapons such as longswords and rapiers. Elves disdain the use of shields, as most of them are ambidextrous and will use a weapon in both hands. Their armor is usually light, though, elven cavalry is known to use armor all the way up to plate on occasion.
Agile: Elves are graceful and agile. They start with a d6 in Agility instead of a d4.
All Thumbs: Elves have an inbred dislike of mechanical objects, and thus have the All Thumbs Hindrance. They shun most mechanical items of any design.
Low Light Vision: The character’s eyes amplify light like a cat’s, allowing him to see in the dark. He ignores attack penalties for Dim and Dark lighting.
Cultures: There are Elves from both Ravnivoria and Almatia. They may choose either culture. Elves have also been discovered on Vel and some of these Elves have joined the Empire.
Humans are the dominant species in the Ravnivori Empire and on Retra, in general. They are also the only sentient species to occupy all three continents before the unification of the planet. Adaptable and outgoing in the extreme, these volatile creatures regularly try and do things members of other races don’t contemplate. True Ravnivori humans are tall with broad shoulders and long limbs. They have is very pale skin and their hair is usually blonde or red and straight or wavy. They generally have blue or green eyes. Alamatian humans are shorter and stockier than the Ravnivori with darker skin that ranges from olive colored to light brown. Their hair is generally darker, usually brown or black, though auburn is not uncommon. It varies from wavy to quite curly. Their eyes are similarly dark, usually brown or black with a few instances of hazel. Shan are the smallest of the human races, shorter and more slender than either of the other two types. Their hair is almost always black and very straight and their eyes are also black or dark brown. Human weapons and armor run the gamut from light to heavy, from elegant to crude.
Adaptability: Humans gain a free edge.
Cultures: Humans are the only race that originates from every continent on Retra. They may choose any culture. Ravnivori humans are known for their extremes of passion. They can go from being stern and foreboding to being loud and boisterous, often with no provocation in the opinions of others. Ravnivori feuds are legendary for their duration and ferocity as are their celebrations. One can have no more implacable foe and no better friend than a Ravnivori. It is not uncommon for them to occupy both roles at some point in a relationship. Almatian humans are somewhat easier going. While it is true that Almatian vendettas are the stuff of legend and often multigenerational affairs, Almatian humans see nothing wrong with enjoying life, relaxing and do so at every opportunity. A Ravnivori might shake an acquaintance’s hand and speak a few sentences when they meet on the street and a Shan will often simply bow and pass but an Almatian will start a conversation that lasts for minutes, if not hours. Even strangers receive warm greetings from an Almatian. Shan humans are much more serious and structured. Each person has a place and function in Shan society and thus in the universe as a whole. It is each person’s ultimate honor and goal to fulfill this function and most other activities are considered a distraction that should be avoided. Shan feel little need to associate with people not of their class. Humans have also been discovered on Vel and some of these Humans have joined the Empire.
Ki’Li’Lee are perhaps the most unusual of the races from Retra. They are also the only one whose arrival is alluded to in the annals of history. The most ancient Almatian texts speak vaguely of several stars that fell one night and the discovery of the Ki’Li’Lee in a previously uninhabited part of the continent soon after. It is now assumed that the Ki’Li’Lee were a void running race and that their arrival on the planet was the result of some crash that left them stranded. The Ki’Li’Lee themselves, in their usual inscrutable ways refuse to speak of it or answer any questions about where they came from. All Ki’Li’Lee are psychically connected and, a Ki’Li’Lee within 10 miles of another is automatically in constant mental contact with it. With effort they can boost this to hundreds of miles and with the appropriate devices they can reach out across the distance between stars. This is not an ability they can block and they exist in a constant hive mind. This gives them an a point of view that the other races of the Empire find exceptionally alien as Ki’Li’Lee have not sense of themselves as individuals and consider themselves extensions of the greater whole. Ki’Li’Lee are also the strangest looking inhabitants of the Ravnivori empire. Their skin is pale to the point of being bluish grey and almost completely smooth with no hair or scales anywhere on their bodies. Their heads are large and round with huge, black eyes. They have no noses, only a pair of nostrils and anywhere from 3 to 9 tiny, fleshy feelers around their mouths. Ki’Li’Lee have four arms but each of their hands has only three fingers. These fingers are totally opposable and form a triangle on their hands. Ki’Li’Lee are as slender as elves, though a bit taller. They range in height from 5’6” to just over 6’ tall. Ki’Li’Lee weapons often seem strange in the hands of other races. They favor the use of spiked chains and kamas and katars. Their armor is light, but sturdy, providing surprising protection.
Four Arms: Ki’Li’Lee possess four fully functional arms. These extra limbs allow the Ki’Li’Lee to take one additional non-movement action per turn with no penalty.
Telepathy: Ki’Li’Lee are naturally psionic. They are in constant communication with each other and can communicate telepathically with any intelligent creature they can see.
Outsider: Ki’Li’Lee are unusual creatures with a strange appearance and a bizarre way of thinking. They receive a -2 to their charisma scores when dealing with people of other races and many people simply refuse to deal with them.
Cultures: Although the Ki’Li’Lee nation is in Almatia, they hold themselves separate so they receive no culture bonus.
Mechanids are the results of numerous experiments and attempts over the years to create cheap, loyal soldiers and servants. Some are fairly unique, the singular results of a genius’ experiment, while others come from massive forges shops that churn out the same model again and again. No matter the exact process, there is always magic involved in their creation. It is impossible (so far) to produce an Automata with all the information necessary to make them useful at creation. Instead, they are bestowed with a modicum of intellect, a few rudimentary skills and the ability to learn. This capacity to learn means that, assuming they are not somehow destroyed first, an Automata eventually achieves sentience. Once this happens, they are no longer referred to as Automata and become Mechanids. This is not a cut and dried demarcation, though and at some point, most Mechanids end up at the center of a legal quandary. All Automata are owned by someone when they start their lives but it is illegal to keep a sentient being as a slave unless they have broken some law. The first time an Automata began to show signs of self-awareness, there was a great deal of debate about whether or not such a creature could even become sentient and even more debate about what should be done once it was proven that it could. In the end, a compromise was made. When a Mechanid becomes sentient, he remains a contract slave to his owner, laboring until he has worked off the price that was paid for him, usually in the same task he has been performing until that point. After this time, he is freed and treated as any other sentient being. Due to the methods involved in their creation, Mechanids have a wide variety of appearances. They can be made of iron, brass, wood, cloth or any of a number of other materials and any number of combinations of materials. Sometimes, the machinery that makes them move can be seen, other times they show only smooth shells. They all have eyes, though other facial features vary and shape, size and style of all these features can vary wildly. No matter the specific materials and designs of a Mechanid it never appears organic. And is always obviously a machine.
Durable: Due to their construction, Mechanids gain a +2 when attempting to recover from being Shaken and called shots do no additional damage to them.
No Metabolism: Since they have no blood, Diseases and Poison do not affect Mechanids.
Outsider: Mechanids are obviously not living creatures in the traditional sense. It is not uncommon for people to treat them like simple machines and it is fairly common for people to treat them as second class citizens even when they recognize they are not Automatons..
Cultures: Mechanids have been created in every land for every purpose. They can choose any culture.
Minotaurs are the opposites of the Amazons in many ways. They respect strength, endurance, size and brutality and they respect these traits even more in males. In fact, they consider males superior to females in all ways and treat the women in their society as second class citizens at best. There are no female Minotaurs and they reproduce by breeding with human, dwarven, elven, or, occasionally, Amazon women. Male children produced by these unions are always Minotaurs while female children retain the stock of their mothers. Minotaurs view producing female heirs as something of a failure and will at times surreptitiously kill or sell these children, especially if they are the Minotaur’s firstborn. The myths of other Almatian and Ravnivori races hold that Minotaurs are the descendants of a man who was cursed by the gods because of his mindless temper. Minotaurs, of course, have a different belief. They believe that they were handcrafted by their god, Tauronus as paragons of masculinity. Minotaurs are invariably huge. They tower over the other races at 7’ to 8’ in height with powerful, thick builds. They have the heads of bulls and fur covered bodies. Almatian Minotaurs have heads that resemble the bulls of cattle while the heads of Shan Minotaurs more closely resemble water buffalo bulls. A very few in both regions resemble bison bulls. Their fur can be white, brown, gray or black, and spotted coats are not uncommon. Their eyes are generally yellow, brown or red. Horns are considered a sign of strength and fertility amongst Minotaurs and the bigger they are, the better. Minotaurs prefer to use weapons that accentuate their size and brutal strength such as massive axes and hammers. Their armor is often light, as it is a point of pride and courage for them to enter battle with little or no protection.
Massive: Minotaurs are naturally larger and more powerful than most other races. They start with a d6 in Strength. They can also carry 8 times their strength score unhindered rather than the 5 times normal for most races. In addition, they gain a +1 to toughness because of their bulk.
Martial Training: Minotaurs are raised learning to fight and wrestle and being familiar with weapons. They receive a free d6 in Fighting.
Bullheaded: Minotaurs are extremely arrogant. They routinely underestimate the prowess and abilities of not only females, but other races and even other minotaurs. A Minotaur will argue his point to the death once he’s made up his mind and will often attempt to defeat his enemies in the most contemptuous ways, relying on his strength to pummel his foes into submission rather than thinking through the consequences.
Battle of the Sexes: Minotaurs consider Amazons to be the embodiment of everything wrong with females and thus, the world, in general. The feeling is mutual. This comes through in their dealings with Amazons and they receive a -4 to Charisma when dealing with members of that species.
Cultures: Minotaurs originated in Almatia, but a large colony of them migrated to Shan long ago. Thus, they may chose either Almatian or Shan for their culture. Almatian minotaurs are loud and aggressive. They use their bulk and fearsome appearance to bully people and get their way. They are also quite goal oriented and make excellent generals and merchants. Shan minotaurs are much more retiring. Many of them are farmers who live quiet lives. However, though their tempers are slower, they are much fiercer when their ire is raised. There is little more fearsome than an enraged Shan Minotaur, all the more because it is so strange in comparison to their usual personality.
Notables: Kazucarn Gurk
Naga are native to the Shan continent, though a large contingent of them defected to the Almati Confederation long before the Ravnivori invasion. Like the dwarves and humans of Shan their culture is based upon duty, tradition and honor. However, Nagas’ views of honor differs from both of the other two races. While they owe their loyalty and fealty to their families and clans and have extensive social networks and rules, they see nothing wrong with attacking from ambush or using subterfuge to ensure success. They also have little concept of mercy and any foe defeated by a naga should not expect to live long enough to be a prisoner. Naga have humanoid torsos with long, snakelike tails instead of legs. These tails range in length from 9’ to 12’. Their skin is scaled, the scales on their tails large and obvious while those on their torsos, arms and heads are fine enough to be mistaken for smooth skin at a short distance. Common scale color ranges from green to brown and black with gray appearing on occasion and, very rarely, red. Various patterns, such as stripes, chevrons and diamonds generally decorate their backs but their underbellies are often a lighter shade or entirely different color and never have a pattern. Some naga have some control over their coloration and can consciously manipulate the hue of their scales. While dramatic changes are impossible, these alterations are enough to help them blend into their environment. Their eyes are yellow, red, green or black and their hair is dark, generally black, blue, green or purple. Naga favor large, heavily curved blades, spears and polearms, weapons that allow them to use their unique body structures to make quick strikes and retreat before a counter attack can be mustered. However, their true forte lies in archery. Naga are master bow makers, capable of making short and long bows as well as composite and compound bows of all sizes. Naga archers are rightly feared throughout the Empire. They, like all Shan dislike shields and they seldom wear armor. When they do, it is always light, often made of bamboo, but never restrictive of their ability to swim or climb.
Serpentine Dexterity: Naga are deft and agile creatures and receive a d6 in Agility.
Large: Due to their looping coils, Naga are larger than most other humanoids and gain a +1 to toughness.
Ambush Predators: Because they can control their skin color to a degree, some Naga are especially adept at hiding and get a d6 in Stealth for free. Others focus their skills on archery and gain a free d6 in Shooting.
Bloodthirsty: Naga have a rather stark view of the world and are loathe to leave potential enemies to alive endanger them again. They never take prisoners unless ordered to do so by someone of authority and no Naga commander will ever do so. This provides a -2 to Charisma with members of other races.
Snake Tail: While their unusual body structures don’t slow the Naga in most situations, few other races design their architecture to accommodate the creatures. A Naga must succeed on an agility check to climb a ladder or rope (or the rigging of a ship, for that matter,) and even then can move at only half speed. Stairs present a similar obstacle and they can only move half speed up or down them unless they succeed at an agility check.
Cultures: Most Naga are Shan, though there is a relatively large colony in Almatia that has been there long enough that the members have adopted much of Almatian culture, thus Naga may choose either Shan or Almatia as their culture.
Saurians originate in the swamps that dominate the southern shores of Almatia and Shan. Despite dozens of centuries of dealing with civilized races, Saurians remain primitive in many ways. They are superstitious and have a difficult time understanding complex ideas or creating any but the most rudimentary of tools. Their swampy homes are often no more than primitive shacks or mud huts built on a spit of dry ground. However, they are quite strong and tough and make excellent warriors and laborers. Saurians are generally taller than humans ranging in height from 6’ to 7’ and they are much more heavily muscled, though not bulkier. This makes them deceptively heavy. Their skin is thick and scaly and often has bony plates and ridges along their spines, backs, shoulders, arms and legs. Their eyes are yellow or red. Saurians’s skin is meant to blend into their swampy homes and can be varying shades of green, yellow, brown and gray. Their reptilian heads are large with powerful jaws filled with jagged teeth. Their hands and feet are clawed and webbed and they have thick tails. Saurians generally use primitive weapons such as crude clubs, axes and spears made out of wood, bone and stone. They carry shields made from wood, often covered in hide or some easily malleable metal to give them more strenght. They also manufacture simple bows.
Scaly Hide: Saurians’ thick skins give them a +2 armor bonus to toughness.
Toothy Maw: The fang filled mouth of a Saurian can be used as a weapon. A bite from a Saurian deals Strength + d6 damage.
Powerfully Muscled: Saurians begin with a d6 in Strength due to their impressive muscle mass.
Slow Witted: Saurian’s are not as clever as other races and it takes two points per rank to raise their Smarts during creation. After creation their Smarts may be raised as normal, though, they are incapable of ever rising about a d10.
Slow Footed: Saurians’ bulk and stooped posture work against them, making them slower than most races. A Saurian’s pace is only 5 though their running die is unchanged.
Cultures: Though “culture” is a somewhat generous description for what passes in Saurian lands, these creatures can chose either Almatian or Shan culture.
Troglyns inhabit and rule the vast cavern and tunnel complex that lies under much of both Almatia and Shan. Their society nominally follows that of the Shan humans with a single mandarin ruling all of them and that mandarin nominally reporting to the Shan Emperor. A complex bureaucracy with even more complex rules defining it flows down from this mandarin. Unfortunately, the rules have become so complex that no one really understands them fully anymore and Troglyn society and government is nothing more than thinly veiled anarchy. Anyone from any class or caste can attain any position, though it is determined more by their skill at subterfuge and deception than any true ability. Any Troglyn who gives a straightforward reason for doing anything is hiding a particularly subtle and complex deception. Troglyns are the smallest of the species under the domain of Ravnivorous. They seldom rise to 4’ in height and can be as short as 3’. Their builds are small and flexible. Their skin is usually a grey or dull brown color though black is a rare possibility that is considered particularly exotic and attractive to other Troglyns. They are completely hairless and their heads feature horns in a variety of shapes and large, bulbous, green or red eyes. Their tails are long and thin. Troglyns almost exclusively use missile weapons. They use a variety of bow and crossbows, both of their own manufacture and those they can procure from other races. Even their melee weapons can be used at range, with throwing axes, javelins, spears and throwing knives being most popular. They seldom wear armor, though they will occasionally carry shields.
Fast Healing: Troglyns heal much faster than other creatures.
Thermal Vision: Given their home environment, the ability to see in the dark is vital to Troglyns. They can detect heat signatures as easily as light.
Combat Tails: Troglyns can use their tails as weapons. When hitting someone with their tail they deal Strength + d6 damage.
Small: As the smallest of the sentient species on Retra, Troglyns are not as durable as the larger races around them. They take a -1 to their toughness.
Cultures: Troglyns inhabit the lands under both Almatia and Shan. They may choose either culture. Both sides believed they were working for them in the long wars between the two nations and the Troglyns quickly changed allegiances to the Ravnivori when it became evident that the Empire was going to defeat them both.