Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bane and Boon of Blood - Demihumans of Ravania (Updated 6/24/10)

Most of the standard demi-human races of D&D's other worlds are found in Ravania, though they often take different forms or have evolved a different outlook, given the harsh climate and nature of the land. There are some new races either borrowed from some of the supplimental resources for 3.5ed (e.g. Uldra) or created or modified on my own. In many cases, they have been given names, but in those cases, I have listed their "standard" name in parenthsis.

[Editor's Note: This post has been changed more than others. I have consolidated elves and half-elves into a single entry. Also, the concepts for Gnomes, Rilki, and Uldra have all been merged into the Uldra which fill the niche of gnomes in the game, though are organized differently]

Alif (Elves)/Alphir (Half-Elves)

It should come as no surprise that there are elves in Ravania. Their kinship with the faeries that make up the majority of the Spirits of the Land means that the elves are not alone, despite the dark shadow that has befallen the land. The elves of Ravania tend to keep to their own communities, having found a log time ago that the superstitions of the humans of Ravania can easily work both good and evil. The largest of the elf settlements is a city far to the east called Halidir by the elves and Nostrigrad by the humans. Here in this city of towering ice are said to dwell the Winter or Ice Elves.

Alphir are the offspring of unions between humans and elves. The are like the half-bloods of their kind found anywhere else in the world except that they stand out even more in the dire land of Ravania. Alphir are often held in high-regard in villages and settlements, being seen as a link to the faeries and Spirits of the Land. It is not uncommon to find Alphir as mystics or scholars, folklorists and wisemen among villagers. Like other demi-humans, Alphir are not looked upon so favorably at court being viewed with mistrust and suspicion for their ties to the old ways and the wild places of Ravania.

Dhampir (Half-Vampires)

Extremely rare, and both revered and reviled, the Dhampir are the strange result of a vampire’s attack on a woman in the late stages of pregnancy. Normally, a woman not far along loses her child due to the trauma of vampiric attack, but in a rare few, the evil negative energy exchanged in the attack transforms the unborn child into a supernatural being with the powers of both the living and the undead. Often these children grow to be hunters of the undead, seeming to gravitate to the human communities that foster them more than they do their non-living progenitors.

Dwarge (Dwarves)

Dwarves are reviled in Ravania. Though the dwarf race was once a presence in the Land of Ravens, they have been brought into decline ever since they were blamed for the great Winter Curse that befell the land. Whether this is true or not, and to what extent, is unknown to most. An ancient, closely-guarded secret to those who do know it has forced most dwarge to live in seclusion in isolated holds, no bigger than a stronghold. Those that remain are spiteful and bitter, and often quite evil. Their skills and abilities have been turned to doing wrong in most cases and their ancient bloodlines horde powerful magic and secrets.

Uldra (Gnomes)

A race of diminutive, fey people, the Uldra live a detached, wild existence. Uldra people are known to be boisterous and friendly but also suspicious of outsiders and fearful of those people and things they do not understand. Uldra have a close kinship with the creatures of the wild and make use of wolves as mounts and pack animals, speaking with ravens freely.

Dregs and Druug - Humanoids of Ravania (Updated 6/24/10)

Ravania is not just home to races of humans and demi-humans. There are other races that also fill the far-ranging expanses of the eternally frozen land. Most of these other folk exist in relatively small numbers, compared to the major peoples of Ravania. They form strongholds or small territorial lands, which though known are seldom recognized by the more civilized folk. There are those, however, who keep themselves to the shadows and live within or around the common folk of the land. Still others, namely the Druug, have formed a vast horde, challenging that of the Tajads made up of a coalition of humanoid species and led by the dread Ravanian ogres known as Huraags.


The Druug are a collection of humanoids of indistinct breed. After generations of tribal conquest back and forth and subsequent interbreeding and inbreeding, the Druug can no longer claim any one species of humanoid as kin. Druug range in appearance from hulking hairy brutes to pale or mottled being of stringy muscle. The one common thing they all share is a savagery and malice that drives them to constant raiding, warfare and pillaging.

Most races of Ravania avoid the Druug as best they can, but the Tajads, living on the same open range, often come in conflict with them. It is a well accepted fact in all of Ravania that, if not for the Druug, the Tajads would have already swept west and ravaged the more civilized regions of the land. 


The mysterious Kenku are a race regarded with suspicion and fear by most of Ravania. The frozen empire sports many a tale of the shady exploits of these odd crow-men. Sneaky and cunning, the creatures haunt nearly every corner of Ravania, even the urban sprawls of the Ravnik cities and the wild spaces east of the Deep Forest and the eastern expanses of the Yalskawald. It is said that the Kenku are ancient among the races of the Ravania and hold private secrets of the land that no other mortal can dare imagine. Of course there is no way for any man to know for certain.

What is true and well known is that the Kenku are perfectly happy carrying any any manner of dark misdeed for the right price or at their cryptic whims. Kidnappings, murders, espionage, even conspiracy are all within the scope of any Kenku's bag of tricks. Given the right contacts, and they have endless numbers of them, a Kenku can network himself into any position and acquire any piece of information.


As the elves are graceful and full of life, the Sibhir are lewd and full of wickedness. In their glacial fortress, they worship their patron goddess Loveathir and pay her homage by conjuring all manner of great evils and lavishing in the vile natures. They far east of the Great Wastes are theirs and any creature setting foot within their realm is subject to their merciless whims.

The Sibhir are elves, but they are greatly changed since falling from the light. Skin tones usually run a more earthy tone, grey and a luminous white being common. Sibhir tend to wear their hair long but ornately dressed, the silky strands being white, silver, sometimes even golden in color. Their shifting eyes seem to favor the colors of ice. The men of Ravania have few dealings with the Sibhir, being far enough away to escape their meddling, but in the east, the Tajads and the Druug do feel their icy touch. Often, it is through these savage hordes that the Sibhir extend their reach to other parts of the land.


In many lands, ogres are a wilderness menace and the denizens of dungeons deep, seldom encountered but greatly feared. In Ravania, ogres are frequent and range over a territory as vast as the empire itself. They form savage bands, raiding and pillaging villages and caravans as well as engaging in all other manner of banditry. But, that is not the limit of their villainy.

The ogres of Ravania are a diverse species ranging from common ogres to huge breeds with mixed giant heritage called Huraag. They are also known to to breed with nearly anything whether it will have them or not, which has produced all manner of fowl offshoots and half-breeds. These crossbred monstrosities have been the source of many legendary creatures throughout the history of Ravania. Such creatures often live as solitary outcasts but occasionally exceptional examples may take on the role of chieftain of a band or sometimes form several bands into tribe-like groups.


Relatives of the common goblin, the Sverdlinka are a vile and hardy species which are uniquely adapted to the harsh climates of Ravania. Sverlinka are not purely humanoid, carrying some fey blood but of the blackest sort, making them crafty and intelligent.

Sverlinka are masters of trap and trick and can be found in all locations across the Ravanian expanses. Common tricks include baby snatching, poisoning of wells, tainting of crops and livestock, murder, larceny, even extortion, making them one of the most frequently encountered and most reviled races in all the land.