Pine (Pinetip) Hardtank | Father | Docens Harris' father, a halfling distiller, living near the Suragal capital of Docens. Has a big extended family. Hard-working busybody.
Lilurial Hardtank nee Oloren | Mother | Docens No-nonsense elven hedge-witch. Very casual and blunt for a witch, and her powers involve unpredictable effects. Tells stories involving the craziest magics as if they're commonplace. Had some great achievements in her past, and tried to instill a strong drive in Harris. Supportive, but Lilurial was the member of the family that would leave for weeks on end to do great things while Pine was the stable presence.
Asna De Tours | Frenemy Wealthy human schoolmate who may have also escaped the emergence of the Warped in the Whetstone Academy of Applied Esoteric Studies (WAAES). You remember her as confrontational and would argue with her in classes, but you found each other in cooperation after the troubles in your school became more clear and you made plans to escape. Things got chaotic at the end there, but last you saw of her, she was racing away through the jungle on a horse. She did try to call out for you to find you, but you couldn't respond without potentially being discovered. You think her family was in Jovia.
A series of classmates and professors | Whetstone Academy of Applied Esoteric Studies Here are a bunch of names and brief description of people you knew from school who might turn up as a topic, or might turn up in person
Calear Gulduran, Crystal elven headmaster. male Amalath Keyfiel, Crystal elven elocution professor, female Logon the Revolting, Gnomish Abjuration professor, male Axily Keoris, half elven student, male Heavy Lad Tog, human student, male Coral Hail-and-Snow, human student, female
Places Harris Knows
Whetstone Dome | An oasis of urban civilization in a wild province Harris' birthplace and former residence early in his youth. While it barely meets the description of a city, with under 25,000 residents, compared to the rest of Whetstone, it is a haven of culture and infrastructure. Harris' parents have since moved far north and east to avoid any interaction with the War, and Harris barely remembers the Dome. Whetstone Bridge | Travel Hub People travel from all over to Whetstone Bridge to sell their wares and meet people. The town is not permanent resident to many, but travelers are abundant. Fellow students mentioned visiting in order to see the rare, unusual reagents for sale on the Bridge. You've traveled over the bridge before earlier in life, and seen the marketplace, but only from the window of a carriage.
Green Canopy | where the trouble began The isolated town known as Green Canopy is perhaps the most beautiful in Whetstone. The area is verdant, humid and lush, surrounded completely by an enchanted jungle called Maidenhair. Wealthy interests and individuals have built up the infrastructure of the Canopy and made it a comfortable place to visit and vacation. The lack of easily navigable roads make it difficult to travel to on land, but there is a healthy druid circle less than three miles away, and a teleportation dome has been built in the town square. There are tribes of kobolds in the vicinity, kept at bay by magic. Green Canopy is the home of the Whetstone Academy of Applied Esoteric Studies. Originally in Whetstone Dome, the school was relocated to Green Canopy due to the potential secrets held in the Maidenhair jungle and the research opportunities to study the Maidenhair druids. After the emergence of the Warped at the Academy, Harris fled north on foot through the jungle to escape, a dangerous and arduous adventure. He eventually found farming villages to rest and hide, and earn a little money.
Docens | Capital of Suragal, former home Harris lived in Docens during his teen years, and knows a fair bit about the city. His parents now live less than a day's travel from Docens. Session 0 task: How do you want to handle your parents?
Things & Factions Harris Knows
The Warped | a mystery You don't know what happened, exactly, except you saw many people of your school - staff, students, teachers- being dragged into a portal by others - Warped versions of people you recognized. You also saw these others coming out of the same portal - they came back weird, and dangerous. They looked the same at first glance, but when you get close, they were not right. There are lots of incongruous things about that night, a lot that doesn't make sense. You've had a lot of changes to your body and terrible, debilitating fevers since that day, making it hard to be sure. You're certain you escaped, and think you escaped the grasping, horribly extending arms of other people who'd become changed. At the same time, you think that some mages of the school were casting magic at you. Perhaps it was friends trying to aid your escape, or perhaps the Warped are casters themselves. But for the Warped, you feel like you know a few things for sure. They're out there. They'll come looking for you. Above all, you can't lead them to your family, ever.
Orcs | an isolated race Fifty years ago, the Empire crushed the number of tribes of orcs in Suragal to almost nothing in the "Orc Push". Historically, orcs have been depicted as nothing but unfeeling brutal animalistic raiders of peaceful settlers. Harris has never seen one, but has known a number of half-orcs and got along with them well enough. A few orcish tribal villages still exist on the east coast of Suragal, and though you don't know the details, you've heard that "the orc problem" is a revived topic of political conflict now that the war with Aurelia is over.
Halflings and elves | heart and soul People have a lot of opinions about elves and the different subraces of elves - the woodland Sylvan elves, the erudite Crystal elves, the survivalist Sand elves, and many more, but as part Sylvan elf yourself, you know that people are far more differentiated by their upbringing than their race. You've met dumb Crystal elves and incompetent Sand elves, so the stereotypes may not mean as much to you. You've never met a Fen elf, but have heard they are more ancient and primal than the other subraces, and are in some ways the source and reason that elves have higher competency in magic. But you have met elves at school who are fractionally human, halfling, Sylvan and Crystal elf in different measure so in some sense judging by prejudice couldn't work even if you tried. Your Dad's side of the family's gatherings have introduced you to the traditional halfling cooperating-village method of raising a family, and the joys of getting everyone you know drunk in one room. In some ways, halflings are the heart of Whetstone. While humans are more numerous, the fondness for farming, nature, friendliness, and cooperation are what Whetstone is often known for, and that is usually best personified in the halflings you met.
Gnomes | standoffish genius None of the gnomes you've ever met seemed to want to form lasting friendships. Many can be erratic or eccentric, but usually quite clever and dedicated. They lean toward cerebral pursuits.
Dwarves | an extinct race In ancient history, before the Year Zero, the Dwarves residing within the mountains of the world had periodic tribal and military conflicts with elves of all types for reasons beyond count or reliable record. Though peace and cooperation eventually prevailed between the races, simmering tensions always existed, and Dwarves began to occasionally trade and communicate with the world above, though remained mainly isolationist. With the proliferation of humans by the 2870s, elves and humans had tenuously joined forces in a power struggle for land in the world north of Suragal. There was a social, religious, and political movement that came into power called "Clarity" in that time that was highly xenophobic. History says the beast-men races of all types endured many injustices, but perhaps the most unfortunate, unintentional victims of this were the Dwarves. While Dwarves were not as directly persecuted as Beast-Men, but shunned and ignored, and cut off. The Dwarves faced an "Evil from the North Side of the Mountains" that somehow drew them in and wiped them out utterly. The other humanoid races of the world ignored their plight, and most races of the world consider this to be modern civilization's greatest failure. Within a generation, the Clarity movement was no more. And while one can understand how Dwarves might be defeated militarily by a mystery force, the only way to explain their complete extinction would involve the darkest of magics. There are a thousand thousand tales of why the Dwarves disappeared, and centuries later, the truth is still unclear.
Goliath | misunderstood giants Session 0 Task: Tell me about a goliath you've met, if any
Teleportation | Magic and arcanotech options Teleportation exists in the world, but it is rare and expensive in different ways. Pure magic options for long-distance travel use reagents from extinct creatures that are almost unobtainable, and most magic users never learn how to cast teleport spells because they would so rarely have the opportunity. Some of the reagents' quantity requirements can be mitigated by structures such as teleportation domes, and dedicated teleportation mages who cast hours-long rituals to change, for instance, the requirements from a full Silph tooth to a tiny chip of a tooth. The Porters' Guild is dedicated to these mages who often have city-based day jobs working at teleportation domes teleporting people and goods for a significant fee. In addition, things that are teleported have to stay within a teleportation dome for the full duration of the ritual. Druidic Circles are a more swift, inexpensive option, but are only found in unblemished enchanted forests and worst of all you have to deal with Druids. Arcane technology has also been developed to find a more swift, convenient form of teleportation for individuals, but the magic energy cost is currently kind of absurd. the arcane equivalent of five hundred to a thousand first-level spells, to open a teleportation door for long enough for one or two people to walk through.
Druids | victims of the sheer power of nature Druids draw their magic from animism, harnessing natural elements in a way that is a wild parallel of the arcane. Generally chaotic and unfocused, a druid might try to summon a typhoon and instead get a hailstorm, and from your experience, that druid would probably not care. It's easy to imagine a druid saying, "If it is the way that nature wills, then so be it." Something about their magic tends druids toward collective delusions, making them incredibly powerful, capricious, and dangerous. Anyone can become a druid, but you are almost sure to lose yourself in the magic effects, which very often focus on the caster himself, such as wildshape, regeneration, and hardened physical forms. Even those academics that choose to study druidic powers from an objective distance tend to get drawn in to the chaos and madness. Most beastman magic users are druids, as are many tieflings (those with demonic ancestry), as they seem to be either most attracted to those forces, or most able to cope with the chaos.