Player Races and Classes
Humans – Humans are, of course, the most common race in Morrain and can hail from any of its communities. The most adaptable of the races, humans are perhaps the ones most at home in all of Morrain’s varied environs.
Dwarves – Approximately 32,000 dwarves live in Morrain, most dwelling in the outlying villages and hamlets close to the Ul Dominor Mountains. Many trace their ancestry to the dwarves of the Holdfast, but have chosen a life less insular than their mountain-dwelling cousins, turning their skill with metal or the combat arts to the defense of the nation they love.
Elves – Seventeen thousand elves call Morrain their home. Some have come from the Anseur Forest, while others have fled the defoliation of their homelands far away. All have found welcome and unconditional loyalty in the Argent Vale and now name King Stormwarden their liege. Adventuring elves can come from any of Morrain’s settlements, large and small.
Gnomes – It is no surprise that the abundance of gems in Morrain’s eastern hills accounts for the presence of the gnomes.
Halflings – The wee folk are uncommon, though not rare, in the far North, the bitter winters running counter to their longing for the creature comforts. The halflings that do make their home in Morrain are typically found in the small towns and cities.
Half-elves – More than 47,000 half-elves live in Morrain, for the relationship between elf and human has been a good one for centuries. Easygoing and charismatic, the half-elves are typically welcomed by most communities.
Half-orcs – Half-orcs are far from common in Morrain, but with seasonal orcish raids, it is not unusual for a settlement to have a token “pig blood” born in given year. With rare exceptions (such as in the town of Bone Hollow), halforcs are cursed with difficult lives, inheriting the enmity the community bears for their fathers and condemned to short lives of menial, backbreaking work. Half-orcs adventurers are typically those who have risen above their circumstances, taking destiny into their own hands. Whereas any young human or elf noble might make the choice to try his hand at adventuring, a young half-orc who has succeeded in gaining a suit of hide armor and a fire-hardened spear has already overcome more adversity then most would-be adventurers see in a lifetime.
Barbarian – Several tribes of human barbarians roam the Gendram Hills, contesting with the ogres for land and resources. Half-elves number among the barbarians, as have a few wild elf exiles who have been adopted by the human tribes, and nearly every half-orc in Morrain can lay claim to a level (or 3!) in barbarian.
Bard – Morrain is a place of many tales and many songs. Through their performances, bards echo this rich past and so maintain the identity of this freedom-loving kingdom. As a result, they are welcome in every hamlet, town, or city. Bards of all races apprentice themselves to the royal minstrels of King Stormwarden in Galaron, studying from the masters to carry the legends into lands beyond. While all bards are hungry for more stories to tell, adventuring bards join their warrior and spell-slinging friends to make their own legends.
Cleric – The gods Gorhan, Ireth, Daenthar, Delvyr, and Fenwar are the most commonly worshipped in Morrain, but there is a strong sense of spiritual freedom in the land, and clerics of all faiths can be found walking the dirt roads or cobbled streets. Only those whose religious codes require violence will find themselves on the run.
Druid – The Blackthorn Druids, a powerful sect based out of the Ashwood Forest, account for most druids in Morrain. They are aggressive and militant, more likely to use spell and scimitar before diplomacy to settle disputes with civilized folk, and thus many Blackthorn druids are of evil alignment. However, most of them are neutral, striving to find a common ground that allows nature and humanoid society to coexist. Good-aligned druids are more likely to come from the hermitic druids who serve Thalass in the woodlands around the Morro River, ensuring the waters remain clean and the animals healthy. The need to strike out against the evils that threaten the natural order gives rise to adventuring druids.
Fighter – The most common core class in Morrain is the fighter, many of whom comprise the elite soldiers in the King’s army. The need to secure the kingdom’s tenuous borders demands competent and loyal fighters, as well as the militias that train in every town. When threats arise that the armies cannot contend with, small strike teams are called for. Volunteers from the King’s army and the local militias often serve as the “muscle” for such adventurers. Human and dwarven mercenaries are also frequently hired to guard the gem caravans out of Far Cirque. In short, there is always a need for good fighters.
Monk – While monks are certainly uncommon in Morrain, the vast tracts of land and quiet glades of the forests are home to a small number of reclusive orders dedicated to spiritual self-perfection or, in some cases, religious devotion. They are the descendants of pilgrims who came to the Vale long before it became Morrain. These isolationists are seldom seen and live quietly in the wilds, but they sometimes appear when chaos threatens the harmony of the land. In addition, a dragon-built ruin in the Ashwood Forest has become the cloister for an order of monks devoted to the Reign of Dragons. They study the ancient scripts carved into the stone and emulate the fighting styles of aerial draconic combat.
Paladin – The most famous paladins in the land are the Argent Knights, King Stormwarden’s personal guard and the elite of the elite. Stationed in Stormkeep itself, this regiment of holy warriors serves Gorhan and Morrain with equal fervor, captained by Lady Tyaline. Almost every adventuring paladin in Morrain has been squire to one of these knights, though any paladin who has earned the esteem of either Lady Tyaline or the Argent Sovereign himself can be granted knighthood.
Ranger – There is a saying in Morrain: “Those who cannot abide tyranny become rebels. Those who fear not the dark become rangers.” The true meaning of the adage is debated by bards—after all, was not Morro Stormwarden himself a freedom fighter and a ranger?—but the true rangers of Morrain live the life that bards can only guess at. The wilds of this northern realm are harsh and unforgiving, and filled with predators. Rangers strive to protect society from the hunger of the wild, and strive to protect the wild from the ignorance of society. Good and neutral rangers come from all towns and villages, weaned on the tales of Morro Stormwarden and Kalenth the Moonbow, roaming the wild places in the name of peaceful coexistence. Evil rangers often serve the Blackthorn Druids, carrying nature’s aggression beyond the wood.
Rogue – The disreputable, the dishonest, and the surreptitious exist in all lands, and Morrain is no exception. However, the rogues of Morrain possess a sense of loyalty seldom found in any other kingdom. Following the stories of Vemn, the hero thief, rogues will steal, backstab, and lie, but they will defend their own. Vemn had referred to that as “Thieves’ Honor.” When true threats to Morrain arise, rogues from all walks of life volunteer to serve as spies, scouts, and political liaisons—and they can be found anywhere. Rogues of Morrain can be underhanded, but they possess conviction and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Sorcerer – There is a mystic pulse that underlies the many legends of Morrain, and sorcerers often take center stage. When one thinks of Morrain, one does not picture libraries and arcane colleges filled with studious wizards. This view is largely accurate, as sorcerers are more common than wizards throughout the Argent Vale. Perhaps because of the famous Olland the Fey, most adventuring companies favor the reliable firepower of sorcerers to the diversity of a wizard. “Life is too short,” they say, “to study and guess what the day will bring. Better to wield a single firebrand than five unlit torches against a troll.” Whether it is the large population of half-elves or the many stories told of dragons in Morrain, magic is said to be in the blood of the people, and so sorcerers arise from all races and communities.
Wizard – Despite the small number of wizards in Morrain, they are greatly valued. “When the sorcerers have run out of spells,” another saying goes, “it is the wizard’s foresight which wins the day.” Galaron is the only community large enough to house the materials needed for the wizard’s art, so most wizards in Morrain have served apprenticeships to that city’s defenders. Many forget that Jorem the Elder, father of the famous Morro Stormwarden, was a wizard himself, and that it was his guidance that helped unify the early settlers. Hedge wizards exist in every town across the Vale, many of whom may mentor the next generation of heroes.