The Ineffable Mysteries of Ophion
Geography and Backgrounds
The Kingdom of Ourburos: This generally peaceful land lies along the Starfall Ocean, and the majority of the population are farmers or ranchers. They export salted meat and vast surpluses of wheat. The capital, Mela, is famous for its skilled artisans and swordsmiths, but apart from this center of commerce, the nation is pastoral. The exception to this is their sailors— Ourburos has the largest armada of any nation, and is commonly considered a deciding factor in why the Sahruk empire to the south does not sail north.
Regional Bonus: +2 Knowledge (nature), +2 profession(Sailor), free masterwork weapon at character creation
The Rodmar Republic: This civilized land is home to many great artists, artisans, and thinkers. A cosmopolitan land, Rodmar holds perhaps the highest population of non-humans in the western world. The government is a rag-tag of principalities and other small, autonomous territories which share a standing army. The Quiet Forest is a haven for elves, many of whom are refugees from Elrador to the south. It’s one of the few places where humans can visit and trade with elves freely, though not always welcomed. The Skyreach mountains are home to the Golden Dwarves, great crafters and metalsmiths, but these folk tend to be reclusive and xenophobic. Trade with them is lucrative but uncommon. The human presence in Rodmar is concentrated along the coast, where there are many ports. Rodmarians are respected sailors and shipcrafters, but not as renown as their neighbors in Ourboros .
Regional Bonus: +2 Perform, +2 Craft(choose a craft)
The Empire of Elrador: The holy land has earned its name through the supposed miracles that occurred there long ago in the past. It is said that Eru, the overdiety that reigns over all others, sent His prophet to this land long ago to guide men and teach them in His ways. Elrador was once a might elven nation, peaceful and prosperous, but continued contact with the humans proved to be their downfall. More and more humans flocked to the land and eventually hostilities broke out. Humans won, and the Holy Empire of Elrador was founded in Wendel, the nation’s capital and one of the largest cities in the civilized world. Since then, elves have been evicted from their forests, which are slowly eroded every year as more and more resources are required for the ever-expanding Elrador army. Wendel is also where the Holy Order, the centralized command of all paladins, is based. The church has a heavy hand to play in everything, including the mandatory and free education system.
Regional Bonus: +2 Knowledge(religion), +2 Knowledge (royalty and nobility) , +2 Knowledge(History), +2 to saves vs fear
The Confederacy of Fueni: Fueni is a costal nation, made of a loose confederation of city-states that have banded together for protection against their growing neighbors. Much trade goes through their ports, but their ships are cargo vessels, not meant for war. Many of their citizens are poor and indentured servitude to merchants from Karaka is common. Slavery is legal, and Elrador has been a major purchaser of slaves from the hapless city states. The population is mostly human, although halflings are also common.
Regional Bonus: Endurance as a bonus feat
The Sultanate of Karaka: This desert nation runs along the Karina River in a long, meandering river valley through an otherwise inhospitable dessert. Karaka is inhospitable to most northerners, but those who know the land are comfortable there. There are many trade routes running from Aubpressia and the Sahruk Empire to the south, and Karakan merchants are famous for their haggling and skill with numbers. There has lately been pressure on them from the Aubpressians to the south, and some consider war to be inevitable, which would most likely prove disastrous for Karaka. They keep no standing army, and hire mercenaries for their wars.
Regional Bonus: +4 appraise, +2 profession (accounting), +2 to saves to avoid damage from thirst or starvation
The Aubpressian Empire: This savage land to the south is home to towering ivory spires, massive cities with stone and iron walls, and an invasive slave trade that has sparked tensions with their neighbors. The emperor is worshiped as a god by the citizens, who pay costly tribute in the form of gold and blood. All male citizens serve mandatory military service in their youth, and are trained in the army’s sprawling phalanxes. Aubpressia has held a constant, tense truce with the Sahruk Empire to the south, but their warlike nature may be due to the centuries of fighting that proceeded the peace. They have conquered Caudecia, a peaceful island nation to their east, which is also a major source of their slaves and spices.
Regional Bonus: +2 Intimidate, Proficiency with spears, Monkey Grip (Choose spear or longspear) as a bonus feat
Haut Mountains/Hordelands: This region has no formal, unified government, instead being ruled by tribes of barbarian dwarves and humans. The rugged hills are home to many other races, including orcs, goblinoids, and gnomes, and much of the land is unexplored. Many tribes follow shamanistic traditions, worshipping ancient deities or animal spirits.
Regional Bonus: Toughness as a bonus feat, +2 Survival
Gaulacia: This tribal land has been conquered by Elrador and is currently ruled by an appointed governor. Gaulacians are often looked down on as inferiors and savages, but even Elrador recognizes their skill with horses and cavalry. Boasting the largest mounted army on Ophion (now an auxiliary to the imperial forces), the Gaulacians were a prosperous and powerful people for many years. They have integrated well into the empire, but are still looked down upon for their status as second-class citizens.
Regional Bonus: +2 handle animal, +2 Ride
The Republic of Theadras: This island nation has long since been hailed as the birth of human civilization. Theadras’ capital, Zenedras, is a mighty fortress with spires that scrape the heavens. Theadras has a true parliamentary democracy, and the rights of all citizens are protected regardless of race or creed. Theadras has not seen war in many years, and as such has enjoyed a prosperous age of discovery and cultural expansion. In the past, the majority of citizens were farmers, but food has become so cheap that towns and villages of craftsmen and specialists are now common. Basic education is provided for all families by traveling friars, paid by the two ruling consuls. While Eru is the most commonly worshiped deity, people are free to worship any deity or pantheon they like, and all temples are protected by the law.
Regional Bonus: 2 Profession( Choose any one) +2 Diplomacy
Hallador/Orm: This northern, tribal land is home to fierce warriors, also skilled sailors, who launch constant raids against coastal cities in Rodmar, Theadras, and Gaulacia. Many of these men are of towering stature and build. Skilled in battle, they are also known as great explorers. They tell tall tales of a land far to the west, across the Starfall Ocean, incredibly vast and ruled by savage elves. The various tribes worship their own pantheon of gods, and consider the religions of southerners to be foolish and backwards. Many of their creation myths speak of opposing forces of fire and ice, and some tribes take pride in their claims of being descended from frost giants.
Regional Bonus: +2 profession(sailor) , +4 to saves to avoid damage from cold, Weapon proficiency (hand axe, battle axe or great axe)
The Sahruk Empire: This land , far to the south across the Fuoco Desert, is the vast empire of the lizardfolk. Barred from northern expansion by the desert to the north and the aubpressians to the west, The Sahruk Empire extends for leagues to the south, into lands unknown by humans. The empire is older than human history, but few humans known anything of its rich past. The lizardfolk supposedly openly practice slavery and arcane magic, neither of which endears them to civilized humans. Players choosing this regional background are escaped slaves, most likely bred in captivity for hard labor or gladiatorial combat.
Regional Bonus: 20% starting gold, Illiteracy, Weapon Proficiency (choose a martial or exotic weapon), Toughness as a bonus feat