Warlords Of Kruhl 3e EN:Setting

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The World Of Kruhl

Warlords Of Kruhl is set in the world of Kruhl. Kruhl is wide and deep, and populated by fantastic beasts and monstrous creatures. Everyone knows that monsters and magic are real, but most normal people rarely see them. Someone flaunting their magical powers is likely to elicit a combination of wonder and fear.

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History

The Scourge

Thirty years ago, a plague swept through the western lands of Kruhl... the Scourge.

No one knows what or who caused the Scourge. No medicine or magic was proof against it, and all who caught it died within a few months. Some people fled to isolated castles to escape it, while others closed the gates to their towns and cities to prevent it from coming for them. Nothing worked. There was no escape.

In a little over three years, the Scourge killed four-fifths of the population. Towns were left abandoned, castles became tombs, and the Khuraghol Empire fell silent.

Then, as suddenly as it began, the Scourge ended. The survivors gathered in small settlements, and began putting their lives back together.

Currency

Barter is the most common form of exchange, but wealthy merchants mint metal coins to facilitate trade. The most common of these coins in human lands are the gold sol, the silver luna, and the copper grain, but every variety of coin in every land has a different proper name. For this reason, coins are often referred to as simply "gold", "silver", and "copper", particularly by travelers who have no interest in remembering the official names for dozens of different coins.

  • A "copper" is a coin of copper or bronze, large enough to completely cover an adult human's eye (about the size of a US quarter). A copper is worth roughly enough food to keep one person alive one day (just barely). There are approximately 16 copper to the kilogram.
  • A "silver" is a coin of silver, large enough to cover the sun when held at arm's length (about the size of a US dime). A silver is worth 30 copper (roughly enough food to keep one person alive one month). There are approximately 54 silver to the kilogram.
  • A "gold" is a coin of gold or (more commonly) gold mixed with silver, large enough to cover the sun when held at arm's length (about the size of a US dime). A gold is worth 12 silver (roughly enough food to keep one person alive one year). There are approximately 29 gold to the kilogram.


Table: Currency conversion
Coin Gold Silver Copper Per kg
Gold 1 12 360 29
Silver 1/12 1 30 54
Copper 1/360 1/30 1 16


Religion

There are a score or so major gods, and hundreds of minor gods. Each town, village, or even crossroads also has a patron god, which is usually a minor god concerned only with that location.

With the exception of priests, it is extremely unusual to find someone who reveres only a single deity. You are as likely to find someone who eats only oats, or wears only green. It does stand to reason that a midwife would make offerings to Anasara (goddess of families and fertility) more frequently than to Skudra (god of smiths and of scholars), but the gods all have different areas of influence, and it would make no sense for a typical person to reject all others in favor of a single deity.

Priests are another matter. Priests do devote themselves to a single deity, or to a small group of related deities, and they might place themselves in opposition to priests of an opposing deity. But a priest of Anasara would still pray to Azif when trying to light the hearth on a cold winter morning.

To put it another way, someone who works for one brewery might refuse to drink the beer from a competing brewery, but they still drink water, wine, and so on.

Languages

Table: Standard languages
Language Typical Speakers Script
Common (Archaean) Humans Common (Archaean)
Dwarvish Dwarves Dwarvish
Elvish Elves Elvish
Giant Giants, trolls Dwarvish
Gnomish Gnomes Dwarvish
Goblin Goblinoids Dwarvish
Halfling Halflings Common


Table: Exotic languages
Language Typical Speakers Script
Abyssal Demons Infernal
Celestial Celestials Celestial
Draconic Dragons Draconic
Deep Speech Aboleths, cloakers, troglodytes Elvish
Infernal Devils Infernal
Primordial Elementals Draconic
Sylvan Fey creatures, corven, druids Elvish
Thieves' Cant Thieves, assassins (Symbols for basic concepts)


Archaean

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Archaean is the common tongue used by the nations of Archaea (i.e., Thrace, Rugeland, Vharsa, and among the Kurags), and by the few nonhumans who mingle in those predominantly-human societies. While the basic structure of the language is consistent across most of Archaea, there are some variations in dialect from region to region.

Gothic

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Gothic is the primary language of the Goth clans in western Archaea. Gothic is unusual among modern human languages because it is a descendant of Thane, the primary language of a civilization which once spread over most of western Kruhl prior to the rise of the Khultheans. Of course, like most modern languages, it has absorbed much of its vocabulary from Khulthean, but the pronunciation and sentence structure are still much closer to that of Thane than to any other living language.

Haruka

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Corven natively speak two distinct languages. The language used in everyday interaction is Haruka. Haruka is a complex tongue, and while the basic structure of the language is consistent across all of Kruhl, there are some variations in dialect from tribe to tribe.

Khitaj

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Khitaj is used throughout the nations of Khitai (i.e., Scythia, Cinnabar, Kazarahn, and Symeria), and is commonly used as a trade language in neighboring regions. The basic structure of the language is consistent across all of Khitai, but each kingdom has a peculiar dialect. However, speakers of different dialects can usually make themselves understood to each other.

Khulthean

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Khulthean is an ancient language from which most modern human languages derive. Several religious texts are written in the angular Khulthean alphabet, and many of the larger and more respected religious sects use Khulthean during their rituals and ceremonies.

Killillirukau

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The second language native to Corven is Killillirukau. Killillirukau is a much simpler language than Haruka, and is used by the Corven to communicate across great distances. Killillirukau has a much smaller vocabulary than Haruka, but it is syntactically redundant: the same word may be spoken six or more times in a single sentence. Two Corven flying in a clear sky may communicate with each other in Killillirukau from as far away as ten miles. Killillirukau has no formal alphabet, but it may be transliterated using the Haruka script.

Mabrahoring

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Mabrahoring is an ancient language known mainly by wizards, demons, dragons, and other such entities who value linguistic precision. Mabrahoring is an extraordinarily formal language, and it is quite difficult for a human to pronounce it properly.

Shaen

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Shaen (sometimes called Jayen) is a logographic alphabet used exclusively by druids. It has no verbal component, and is strictly a written language. Druids are very protective of the secret of Shaen, and only teach it to other druids. Some ecclesiastical scholars theorize that Shaen is an offshoot of Volex Pem.

Thane

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Thane (sometimes called High Archaean) is a dead language which exists only in the form of writing on ancient scrolls and monuments. It was the primary language of a civilization which once spread over most of western Kruhl prior to the rise of the Khultheans. Popular folklore says that finding an inscription in Thane is bad luck.

Volex Pem

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Volex Pem is an ancient logographic language, older and less commonly used than Khulthean. The most ancient and revered religious texts are written in Volex Pem, but it is rarely used in public rituals.

Zinjan

The zinjan of the Mrisinnian jungles speak a sibilant language which is difficult for non-zinjan to learn. The zinjan have no written alphabet, although they do use pictographs to record the history of their tribes and their leaders. They also use pictographs to mark dangers or leave scouting notes for other zinjan. For example, a drawing of three spears over a wavy line indicates, "clean water may be found three spear-throws distance in that direction".