World of Dread

The Chaturyan Confederation

The four noble races are the stolid Dwarves, the swift Elves, the stalwart Halflings, and the superlative Humans. Members of the four noble races exist across many kingdoms, city-states, and frontier nations. The vast majority of these states have come together as signatories of the Chaturyan Treaty, the treaty of the four noble races. They have formally delineated the bounds of acceptable religion, the laws of war between members of the noble races, and the procedures for dealing with those pernicious and pestilential foes of all the righteous.

The Pernicious Fae

Legends tell of noble sidhe who strode across these lands like demi-gods, but they are unknown to the sight of living men. The only fey known to mankind are inconvenient pests at best, and terrible monsters at worst. They poach game and livestock, taint wells, mislead travelers, destroy machinery, deceive the righteous, and worst of all: they steal human children, leaving only a "changeling" to mock the righteous parents.

Luckily for mankind, we have discovered that the fey are just as vile to each other as they are to us. Humanity has the noble ability to make peace and common cause with other noble races, be they man-like elves of wands and woods, or delving dwarves of the deeps, or humble hamlet halflings. We four noble races, united as the faces of the Fourfather, have driven back the savage spirits of the untamed wilds.

As I write this, the allied forces are returning from the tundras, have secured stunning victories against the bestial wendigo of the north. The war of the north is well documented elsewhere, I shall not dwell on it here, but instead focus on the many species of foul fae which remain unbroken.

Aranea: These were-spider shape-shifters are often able to cast magical spells similar to a Wizard. They can assume a form resembling one of the noble races. It is said that their blood is a potent hallucinogenic. They are reported to emerge from Faerie during the three nights of the full moon, gliding down on web-strands hung from moonbeams.

Goblinoid: The goblin, hobgoblin, and bugbear are easily dispatched once discovered; however, their penchant for hiding and inciting otherwise innocuous creatures into a man-eating frenzy makes them more problematic. They are reported to emerge from morning mists.

Dryad: Enemy of hunter and herdsman, pestilence of plow and paddock, these brazen blights appear to be able to utterly quench the free will of a man, or for that matter, a member of any other noble race. They are able to hide in the living wood of any tree. They are reported to emerge from faerie via ancient trees at midsummer's eve.

Giant: The ogre, troll, and giants proper all seem to be related, and not merely because of their unnatural size. They are able to speak a common language. Due to their size and rarity, we are uncertain if they are faerie denizens or not, though the troll in particular exhibits enough magical potency in its regenerative ability to cause suspicion. Regardless, they tend to be found in the company of fae, and leading and organizing said fae, so they have marked themselves as the enemies of all noble races.

Gnoll: Possibly the result of foul practices upon stolen human children, for their blood is red as ours. If so, their minds are irrevocably broken. Spare them no mercy. No reports document an ability to emerge from faerie, nor return there.

Harpy: Beware the song of these filthy, ill-tempered vultures. They seem to congregate near the sea-shore, but no reports indicate the conditions under which they emerge from faerie. Reports indicate that they may return to faerie by flying into the billowing black smoke of a burning human's pyre.

Kobold: Unusually deadly, given their penchant for traps and trickery in the already-hostile underground environments where they seem to spawn. Reports indicate that they emerge from pools of stagnant water in caverns that have never seen the light of day, but not precisely when.

Treant: Usually placid until threatened. Do not engage. Report location to nearest civilized stronghold, and let the army handle these. If you must engage, be sure to bring axes and fire. Unknown how they emerge from faerie.

Other Creatures, Fair and Foul

Demons, Devils, Devae and Djinn: A warrior treats his weapons with respect, for he knows they are deadly tools. A mage treats these spirits in much the same way, for much the same reason. Unlike the pernicious fey, these spirits cannot find their way into our world without the aid of a mortal spellcaster. This makes them less common, so the four noble races have not seen fit to ban their use or demand their extermination, but make no mistake: they are dangerous.

Quasi-Humans: There are many quasi-mortal races: formerly members of a noble race, now tainted by spirits, fey, outsiders, or mutated by some other unknown threat. If they bleed red, the Chaturyan Treaty's official stance is that they may be left in peace, and noble houses may trade with them if they see profit, but they may not live in lands which are signatories to the Chaturyan Treaty. Quasi-mortals who lack the decency to bleed red blood are deemed too far gone from the path of righteousness: handle them as you would any other fey.

Undead (Mindless): The Fourfold Church has an uneasy relationship with these undead. The Fourfather grants His priests the means to create and control these unsanitary beings, but His chosen also have a potent prayer arsenal specifically to destroy them. His priests are technically allowed by law to act as they believe, so long as they can back their actions up with scripture. However, in practice there are cultures within the Confederation who rely on skeletons or zombies for labor, and forcing them to replace these laborers with slaves or serfs is not supported by scripture.

Undead (Willful): These may be sinners cursed with unlife as torment for their worldly deeds, they may be fools tricked into an Infernal bargain, they may be the pranks of death-aspected fey, or they may be unrighteous spellcasters attempting to survive beyond their allotted span of years in direct disobedience to the scripture of the Fourfather. No matter what their origin, the scriptures are clear: exterminate them with extreme prejudice.

Ship Prefixes and Designations

HMS
His / Her Majesty's Ship, operates under the direct authority of one of the Crowns, no restrictions on activities. The number of these ships grows as the Royal Navies moves from a feudal arrangement to a more modern "standing army" structure.
NWS
Noble War Ship, licensed for heavy weaponry, not licensed to trade in free cities or foreign ports. Generally restricted to operating in noble's own waters, but may be called upon by their Crown to serve in war, or to clear a troublesome trade route of monsters or pirates.
NTS
Noble Trade Ship, licensed for free trade in any port, not licensed for heavy weaponry. At times these ships will employ a mage to skirt the law on weaponry.
HTS
Honorable Trade Ship, licensed for trade in at least one domestic port, free to trade in any foreign ports it can, not licensed for heavy weaponry.
PTS
Private Trade Ship, not licensed, probably foreign. This designation is often pronounced "PiraTeS", and treated accordingly.
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