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C A M PA I G N S E T T I N G

RICHARD BAKER DAVID NOONAN STEPHEN SCHUBERT

Disclaimer: Sasquatch Game Studio is an independent game publisher. his game is not licensed, endorsed by, or authorized by any third party.
CREDITS
Design: Richard Baker, David Noonan, Stephen Schubert
Additional Design: Ed Greenwood, Mike Shea, Scott Rehm
Development: Stephen Schubert
Editing: David Noonan, Cal Moore
Front Cover Art: Todd Lockwood
Back Cover Art: Klaus Pillon
Interior Illustrators: Jason Engle, John Kaufmann, Justin Mayhew, Lee Moyer, Klaus Pillon,
Claudio Pozas, Lee Smith, Patricia Smith
Cartography: Christopher West, David Noonan
Art Direction: Richard Baker
Graphic Design: Mackenzie Schubert, Corey Macourek
Production Specialist: Nissa McCormack
Special hanks: Angie Lokotz, Larry Weiner

Primeval Thule Campaign Setting is published by Sasquatch Game Studio, LLC, under the Open Game License version 1.0a Copyright 2000 Wizards
of the Coast, Inc. Sasquatch Game Studio LLC, the Sasquatch logo, and Primeval Thule are trademarks of Sasquatch Game Studio, LLC. All characters
and the distinctive likenesses thereof are property of Sasquatch Game Studio LLC. his material is protected under the copyright laws of the United States
of America. 2015 Sasquatch Game Studio, LLC.

Product Identity: he following items are hereby identiied as Product Identity as deined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, and are not Open
Content: All trademarks, proper names, dialogue, plot, storylines, locations, characters, artwork, and trade dress.

Open Game Content: All game mechanic text appearing in chapters 2, 6, and 7 (including the names, stats, and rules text of new character races, domains,
narratives, equipment, monsters, spells, and magic items) is hereby designated as Open Game Content.

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4
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1: he Primeval Continent . . . . .8 Lands of the Long Shadow . . .130 he Sark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Bold Heroes, Deadly Dangers . .9 he housand Teeth . . . . . . . .138 Stonequay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
A Savage World . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Other Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Temple Quarter . . . . . . . . .190
Tyranny and Wickedness . . . . . 18 Tir-Paland . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Life in hule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 4: he hulean Campaign . . . .148 he Tower of Black Flame . . . 192
Gods and Cults . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Running a Game in hule . . . 150 Cavern of Golden Tears . . . . .200
Secret Lore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Creating Primeval Adventures150 he Scent of Jasmine . . . . . . .208
In Closing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Wilderness Challenges . . . . 151
Madness andHorror. . . . . . 151 6: Monsters and Villains . . . . .218
2: Heroes of hule . . . . . . . . . . 36 A Low-Magic Setting . . . . . 152 Animals, hulean . . . . . . . . . .220
Races of hule . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Stone Age and Bronze Age Beastman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .224
Atlantean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 he Black Circle . . . . . . . . . . .226
Human . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 hulean Treasures . . . . . . . . 154 Cyclops, hulean . . . . . . . . . .228
Dwarf, hulean . . . . . . . . . .41 Narratives in Play . . . . . . . . . . 155 Dragon, hulean . . . . . . . . . .229
Elf, hulean . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Campaign Arcs . . . . . . . . . . .160 Eidolon of the Glacier . . . . . .230
Halling, hulean . . . . . . . . .42 he Idol of Daoloth . . . . . .160 Headhunters of Phoor . . . . . .232
Character Classes . . . . . . . . . . .43 God of the Stone Skulls . . . 162 Rakshasa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .234
Character Narratives . . . . . . . .49 Shadow of the Serpentman . . . . . . . . . . . . . .236
Choosing a Narrative . . . . . .50 Great Serpent . . . . . . . . . . . 163 Servants of RLyeh . . . . . . . . .238
Followers, Income Cults and Secret Societies . . . . 165 he Seven Knives . . . . . . . . . .240
and Titles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Known Dungeons of hule . . 171 Winged Ape . . . . . . . . . . . . . .242
Narrative Descriptions . . . . .52 Extraterrenes . . . . . . . . . . . . .243
Patrons and Enemies . . . . . . . .79 5: Quodeth, Great Old Ones . . . . . . . . . . .248
Arms and Armor . . . . . . . . . . .82 City of hieves . . . . . . . . . . . . .176 Villains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252
Life in Quodeth . . . . . . . . . . .177
3: Atlas of hule . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Factions and Personalities. . . .180 7: Magic and Spells . . . . . . . . .256
Claws of Imystrahl . . . . . . . . . .85 Exploring Quodeth . . . . . . . . 185 Spells of hule . . . . . . . . . . . .258
Dhar Mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94 Bazaar Quarter . . . . . . . . . . 185 Magic Item Histories . . . . . . .262
Hellumar and Nimoth . . . . . .104 Canal Quarter . . . . . . . . . . 185 Magic Items and Artifacts . . .265
Highlands of Nar . . . . . . . . . . 112 Old Quodeth . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Kalayan the Golden . . . . . . . .120 Palace Quarter . . . . . . . . . . 188

SIDEBARS AND TABLES


25 Adventures in Primeval hule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 New Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
A Quick Overview of hules Topography . . . . . . . . . . 15 he Palace of Voor Darayn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
he Cities of hule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 he Mammoth Graveyard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
he Atlantean Calendar and Timekeeping . . . . . . . . . 22 Shaka Ewalu, theVale of Myth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Languages in Primeval hule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 he Angry DM: Pace Yourself! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Character Arms and Armor in hule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Random Names for hulean NPCs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
he Nine Powers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 he Angry DM: Depraved or Mad? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
he Great Old Ones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Jewelry of the Dead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
A Timeline for hule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Group Skill Checks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
hules Cosmology: Source, not Destination . . . . . . . . 35 Monsters by CR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Other Character Races. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 More Beasts of hule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
Domains and Deities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Monsters Not Found in hule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Narratives at a Glance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 New Spells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Special Enemies of the Deities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 New Magic Items . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Legionaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Extraterrene Calling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259
New Armor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

5
Introduction

B
efore the great glaciers covered the northern is the time of the giant predators, beasts such as cave
world for the last time, there was an age of bears, giant vipers, and saber-tooth cats. Even the her-
legends now forgotten in the modern world. bivores are huge and short-temperedmammoths and
Cities of barbaric splendor and brooding ruins from giant sloths can be every bit as dangerous to humans as
prehuman times were scattered across the great isles the big predators.
of the north. his was the land of hule, savage and he tribal peoples of the wilderness are just as
spectacular, a world of wonders and terrors. And it savage as the beasts whose home they share. he best
lives now only in the darkest depths of prehistory and are simply warlike and territorial. he worst tribes are
half-remembered glimmers of myth. unspeakably vicious and bloodthirstyheadhunters,
hule is an alternate Earth, a world in which legend- cannibals, or degenerate primitives who worship inhu-
ary places and creatures once existed and magic, dark man monsters and eagerly torture or sacriice any who
and mysterious, held power over young and supersti- fall into their hands.
tious humankind. Its civilizations arose in a warm and
lush northern world, but were erased from history by CITIES ARE
the ten-thousand year reign of the vast ice sheets. his
is the age of Atlantis and Lemuria, of serpentmen and
WICKED PLACES
he wilderness is dangerous, but civilization is little
savage beasts, of star-demons and sorcery. From this
better. he city-states are dens of greed, crime, and
mythical time we draw our oldest stories of deadly
callousness. Powerful thieves guilds dominate many
monsters and bold heroes.
of hules cities and struggle endlessly with rival
guilds for territory and inluence. Slavery is wide-
SEVEN QUALITIES spread, and secretive cults dedicated to forbidden gods
OF THULE lurk in the shadows. he rich and powerful constantly
pursue intrigues to move closer to the throne, while
he world of hule is home to a distinctive set of
the underclass simmers in unrest and resentment.
cities, dungeons, monsters, and tribes. Its landmarks
Heavy-handed oppression is the typical response from
and history tell a vivid story of a world full of riveting
the civic authorities.
adventure and deadly danger. But, more importantly,
hule also possesses its own unique characteristics or
personality that sets it apart from the typical fan- THE WORLD IS
tasy world. MYSTERIOUS
hule and its neighboring islands are largely unex-
THULE IS BARBARIC plored. Vast jungles and forbidding mountains and
Humans and demihumans are young races, and glaciers deter all but the hardiest and most determined
civilization is not well established. Many people live travelers. Consequently, people dont know what is
in tribal societies close to natureand its dangers. more than a few days travel from their homes.
Even within the walls of the city-states, life is often he stark mountains and brooding jungles hide
violent and unforgiving. he so-called civilized peoples many secrets: Abandoned cities, the strongholds of
entertain themselves with bloody arena ights, and inhuman powers, foul temples, degenerate tribes, and
practices such as robbery, dueling, and assassinations hidden lands ruled by obscene monstrosities. Any of
are commonplace. Life is all too often nasty, brutish, these dangers might be waiting in the next valley over.
and short, whether one lives in a jungle village or an Many of these places are unique and unrecorded
opulent palace. cities belonging to peoples that no one else knows
Engineering, knowledge, and technology are about, ruins whose builders are lost to history, terrors
likewise not very advanced. Writing is known only to that exist nowhere else in the world. One should be
sages, scribes, and those few people wealthy enough to ready for anything in the wilderness of hule.
aford an education. Arms and armor are usually made
of copper or bronze. he great temples and monuments MAGIC IS A SECRET
of the cities are raised by hordes of laborers using the MAN WAS NOT MEANT
simplest of tools and techniques. TO KNOW
Humans dabble in supernatural powers at their peril.
THE WILDERNESS Occult learning is fantastically ancient, predating the
IS SAVAGE rise of humankind; arcane lore comes from prehu-
Leave the city and youre taking your life in your man civilizations. his ancient lore is dangerous in
hands. here are few roads, and the jungles are teem- the extreme, and the most likely outcome of taking
ing with bloodthirsty predators. he lora and fauna of up arcane studies is a horrible and grisly doom. Few
hule belong to a crueler and more primitive age. his wizards die of old age.

6
Introduction
Priestly magic is not quite as dangerous, but it is still
rare. Most priests and acolytes have no magical train- INSPIRATIONS OF THE
ing at all and master only the doctrines and everyday PRIMEVAL THULE SETTING
prayers of their faiths. Priests initiated into the secrets Primeval Thule is a world that draws deeply on the pulp fantasy
of their gods magic are rare individuals who belong to tradition of writers such as Howard, Leiber, Burroughs, and Smith.
a secretive and mysterious cabal. he gods are inscruta- These stories feature larger-than-life heroes vying against unre-
ble, and priests jealously guard access to their power. pentant villains and savage monsters. They are lurid, action-driven,
Because magic is such a dark and esoteric ield of sometimes a little salacious, and unapologetically episodic in
study, users of magic are rare. Even the largest cities nature; you can be sure that another evil wizard is waiting for the
are home to no more than a handful of adepts, and hero in the very next story. But these wild yarns have given us some
those individuals are feared and whispered about far of the most iconic and unforgettable characters of the 20th century.
and wide. Enchanted swords and magical treasures are At its core, Primeval Thule is a lost world built around wan-
similarly rarethe great majority of huleans have dering freebooters, savage beasts, sinister villains, and lashing
never seen a magic item and would likely fear and shun swords. If youre planning on running a Primeval Thule campaign,
anyone they knew to possess one. a great irst step would be to brush up on pulp adventure classics
such as the Conan stories, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser tales, or the
ANCIENT EVILS Pellucidar, Tarzan, or Mars novels. Those were our inspirations for
THREATEN MANKIND the setting, and they should be yours too!
he reign of humanity is new and fragile; older races
such as serpentmen, rakshasas, or troglodytes lurk in
many places. heir realms and kingdoms have fallen into ABOUT THIS BOOK
ruin, but these ancient creatures dream of reclaiming he Primeval Thule Campaign Setting is a supple-
what was once theirs. hey hate and resent humankind. ment for your roleplaying campaign. A world of bar-
Worse yet, the old races were not the irst to inhabit baric adventure awaits; your journey into the primeval
hule. he further back one travels, the more horrible continent now begins!
and aberrant the ruling powers of the world become. Chapter One: he Primeval Continent serves as
Before the serpentmen and the demonic rakshasas, the an introduction to hules peoples, landscapes, and
world was dominated by horrible monstrosities such secrets. We recommend beginning your exploration of
as moon-beasts, star-things, and mi-go. A handful of hule by reading through this chapter irst.
Great Old Onesentities as old as the Earth itself, or Chapter Two: Heroes of hule introduces the At-
even olderlie dormant or imprisoned in the desolate lantean character race and describes how more familiar
places of the world. Some of these prehuman beings races play new roles in this age. Nineteen heroic narra-
are utterly indiferent to the existence of humans, but tives are provided to ofer you ready-made backgrounds
others crave human minions and worship. Human and themes for your hulean character.
tribes and cities that stumble into contact with these Chapter hree: Atlas of hule describes the prime-
ancient powers are often destroyed in horriic ways. val continent and the neighboring lands. In addition
to serving as a gazetteer of the setting, this chapter also
FREEBOOTERS, presents several potential adventure sites with maps
MERCENARIES, and descriptions.
Chapter Four: he hule Campaign ofers a wealth
OPPORTUNISTS of advice for gamemasters on how to present and run
his is an age of bold, brawling, larger-than-life games set in the Primeval Thule setting.
heroes. Adventurers are deined by their ambitions; Chapter Five: Quodeth, City of hieves describes
they hunger for gold, glory, and power. Great causes the city-state of Quodeth, an excellent place to begin
or noble crusades are all very well, but most of hules your hule campaign. Included in this chapter are
itinerant adventurers are in it to get paid. If there are three ready-to-play adventures presenting several iconic
no rumors of treasure waiting to be found and oppor- hule experiences.
tunities seem thin on the ground, a hulean hero is Chapter Six: Monsters and Villains provides a
likely to move on in search of brighter prospectsor bestiary of more than forty hulean beasts, monsters,
concoct a scheme to win wealth from someone who and villains to challenge the player characters.
isnt worthy of it. Of course, adventurers sometimes Chapter Seven: Magic and Spells presents a selec-
ind themselves in dangerous situations that ofer no tion of hulean magic items and spellbooks. Magic
particular reward other than survival. Even the most may be rare in hule, but heroes walk strange paths
jaded mercenary recognizes that ighting her way out and often encounter arcane mysteries.
of a beastman stewpot or fending of a slaver raid is
necessary, even if theres no gold to be had.

7
Primeval Continent

1: The Primeval Continent


It is a land of deep jungles and golden seas, mysterious and unexplored.
It is a land of knife-edged mountains and deadly glaciers, trackless and forbidding.
It is an age when humankind is a young race, newly arisen on an ancient and
monster-haunted Earth. Mighty cities and sprawling empires rise and fall, weaving a tale
of great deeds and epic tragedies that will be lost and forgotten by the peoples who came
later. Even the land itself is fated to fall beneath the numbing cloak of endless winter,
burying the triumphs and defeats of this vanished age beneath miles of ice.
But for this glittering moment in the slow dream of time, hule livesand it is a
ierce, cruel, splendid, and marvelous moment indeed.
8
Primeval Continent

S SAVAGE
alutations, Mighty King! As you have com-
manded, so have I done; within this codex
lies all that I could discover of the lost land WILDERNESS
of north, the primeval continent of hule. his manu- To ind deadly adventure, all a native of hule need
script is the summation of the Atlantean scrolls that still do is strike out into the continents untamed wilder-
remain to be read, the scryings and divinations of your ness. Civilization clings to the edges of the continent
seers, and the accounts and tales of a dozen far-wander- in tiny pockets and footholds surrounded by vast
ing travelers. I must tell you that much that was once unexplored lands. he great majority of hule is un-
known is now forgotten. he libraries of Atlantis lie settled, and roads or trails are few and far between.
under the waves, and we live in a darker and more igno- A few old Atlantean highways link some of the larger
rant world than our noble ancestors. I have done what I cities in and around the Inner Sea, and swift mer-
can; may my unworthy writings prove illuminating and chant galleys create tenuous lines of communication
sate your royal curiosity. across these uncharted waters, but most of hules
At your instruction, I begin with what all know, civilized folk never leave the safety of their cities.
assuming nothing. Even the hardiest barbarian tribes are hesitant to
hule lies far in the northern reaches of the Earth, wander far from their familiar territory.
but these lands are still kissed by the long centuries of You must understand, O king, that the sheer
summer. It is a wide and wild land, stretching more ruggedness of hules wild landscape is a daunting
than two thousand miles from the Shields of Sunset obstacle in its own right. he coasts are ringed by
in distant Nar to the shores of the Boreal Sea. North towering mountain ranges with few passes. he
and west from this untamed continent lie the mighty interior is a steaming basin of jungles and swamps,
islands of Hellumar and frozen Nimoth, and beyond trackless and home to countless dangerous beasts.
those, the strange and untraveled isles of the polar seas And the northern marches of this primeval land
where no man goes. To the south lies the great Atlan- are under assault by a deadly and terrible foe, the
tean Ocean, whose distant shores touch on scores of implacable glaciers that every year creep closer to
lands, including your own enlightened realm. the verdant jungles and opulent cities of hules
It is also a land of mysterious cities, wicked and deca- heartland. Already a quarter of the continent lies in
dent, home to proud warriors and sly thieves. It is a land the grasp of unending winter, and an ever-widening
of savagery and splendor, grim heroes and prehuman band of dying forest and windswept tundra marks
monsters, wonders and terrors enough to ill the ebon the malevolent inluence of the merciless ice. Moun-
scrolls of Katagia or the council-ires of the Narthan tribes tains, jungles, swamps, tundra, glaciersthese are
with a thousand incredible tales. his is hule, beautiful hard and dangerous lands, and they swallow many a
and deadly, primal and untamed. And, whatever else it traveler without a trace.
may be, it is above all a land of adventureand terror. Terrain and weather are certainly dangerous
enough, but the true peril of hules wilderness lies

BOLD HEROES, in the savagery and bloodthirstiness of the beasts


and monsters that roam the wild. Many terrible
DEADLY DANGERS creatures long since vanished from the gentler lands
of the world still linger in hule: saber-tooth cats,
In hule, deadly peril and glittering opportunity walk
huge vipers, hulking mammoths, and ill-tempered
hand-in-hand. A brave hunter from a savage tribe goes
giant sloths. In hule, nature is most deinitely red
single-handed to face an evil from beyond the stars
in tooth and claw...and if savage beasts were not
that threatens her people; a sly thief from the teeming
enough, the wilderness is also home to many warlike
markets of Quodeth hatches a scheme to pillage the
barbarian tribes. Outside the dubious safety of the
tower of a dread sorcerer; a wandering sellsword stum-
city walls, a traveler can expect to ind the hands
bles across the ruins of a lost city and battles brutal
of all other men and women turned against him
beast-men for a ruby the size of a mans ist. It is a land
along with the fangs and claws of ferocious beasts,
of mystery, wonder, and danger, a place where a man
ancient horrors, and degenerate half-human savages.
or woman with nerves of steel and a strong sword-
handor perhaps mastery of forbidden lorecan
carve his or her name in the annals of fate. RUINED CITIES
AND LOST LANDS
In this grim and brutal setting, some heroes ight for
tribe or city, and some ight simply to survive. But it
must be said, Majesty, that most adventurers are sells- Because hule is both ancient and largely unex-
words and freebooters with no higher ambition than to plored, many strange and forgotten things lie hidden
carve out their fortunes however they can. he prospect in the depths of its wilderness. Dozens of cities have
of gold and glory is all they need to draw them on, and risen in its green hills or deep valleys, lourished
even though most will die terrible deaths in far-of places, and prospered, then fallen into ruin through ages
a few may make themselves princes...or even kings. of decay or sudden horrible catastrophe. Remote

9
Primeval Continent
25 ADVENTURES IN TYRANNY AND
PRIMEVAL THULE CORRUPTION
What sorts of adventures are especially appropriate for the primeval Given the many dangers and dark secrets of hules
continent? Characters in Thule face a world of savage wilderness, wilderness, your Supreme Majesty would doubtless
corrupt villains, and things that should not be. In Thule, adventurers deem it wise to remain well within the shelter of the
might... continents civilized regions. Unfortunately, hules
Loot the ruined temple of an elder god. cities are all too often wicked places indeed. Deca-
Become pirates and prey on merchant galleys. dence, cruelty, tyranny, corruption, slavery, oppres-
Rescue the daughter of a tribal chieftain from a party of beastman sion...the ills of civilization are too many to easily
raiders. number. At best, hules cities are hard, heartless
Fight in the arena of a decadent city. places where the poor lead lives of desperation and
Assault a slaver fortress. want. More often, cities are built on oppression,
Steal a ruby of fantastic value from a nobles monster-guarded injustice, and wanton cruelty, celebrating social evils
treasury. of one sort or another.
Explore the ruins of a cursed city. Warfare is commonplacemost city-states are
Challenge a tyrannical wizard-king. intense rivals, and open ighting is never far from
Kill the icy heart of a living glacier. breaking out. he sheer distances involved and the
Hunt mammoths to prove their worth to a barbarian tribe. diiculty of marching through hules wilderness
Slay a demon in the tower of a sorcerer. means that conlicts tend to devolve into years of
Battle star-things preying on human cattle. raiding and counter-raiding, with relatively few de-
Root out a foul cult threatening to take over a city. cisive battles. No great conquering power has arisen
Sail to strange islands with unknown perils. to take the place of Atlantis, destroyed centuries ago,
Plunder the tombs of barbarian kings. although cities such as Katagia and Lomar harbor
Break the power of a thieves guild. aspirations of conquest. hules cities are also beset
Depose a weak or foolish king and seize the throne for themselves. by numerous barbarian tribes that resent the citys
Seek the wisdom of a monstrous oracle. eforts to control territory they regard as their own,
Read books of sorcery written by inhuman wizards who lived before or that see the people of the cities as rich, soft, and
mankind existed. ripe for plunder.
Search for the lost ruins of an Atlantean city. While cities are rife with intrigue and murder,
Venture into a frozen monastery claimed by deadly polar cold, then they also ofer individuals with ambition and talent
perform a ritual of binding to imprison a demon prince before it the opportunity to go far indeed. Politics and power
escapes to torment the world. are in constant play in most hulean cities; ones sta-
Defend a village against a beastman horde. tion is determined by personal wealth and inluence,
Steal the secret of iron from a dwarven priest. not the accident of high birth. Many high lords and
Unmask a rakshasa impersonating a high nobleman. merchant princes began their days as slaves or street
thievesand more than a few monarchs were once
wandering sellswords.
jungles or isolated mountain valleys are home to
all sorts of wondersand evilswhose existence is
not even guessed at in the wider world. A stretch of INHUMAN EVILS
trackless jungle might be home to terrible beasts such As your Supreme Majesty knows, humans are a
as chimeras, hydras, or lamias that are supposed to young and brash race; the oldest human civilizations
exist only in legends and fables; an unscaled plateau rose only a few thousand years ago. But some civi-
might harbor the ruins of a city whose people died lizations in hule are vastly older, predating mans
in a plague of vampirism; a forbidden gorge might be appearance on the planet. Before the irst humans
the homeland of a degenerate tribe of cannibals ruled found their way to hules shores, rude kingdoms
over by the bloated spawn of Tsathoggua. of cyclopes and beastmen sprawled over the wild
Most huleans are happy to let lost cities remain continent, perpetually at war with each other and
lost, but every now and then a bold barbarian or with the decadent realms of the elves. hey in turn
arrogant sorcerer stumbles across fantastic wealth found empires of cold-blooded serpentmen and cruel
in the depths of black peril. Treasuries illed with rakshasas dominating much of the continent when
ancient gold, scrolls holding secrets of power, arti- they arrived. Before the time of the serpentmen and
facts of magical mightmany such things have been the rakshasas, primordial races such as elder things,
recovered from the worlds forgotten lands. he most mi-go, moonbeasts, and the monstrous Great Old
adventurous heroes seek out these places, risking life, Ones reigned over this ancient land. Each of these
limb, and sanity for the chance to strike it rich. inhuman, sometimes alien, cultures left their own
abandoned cities or forgotten strongholds for human
scholars to puzzle over in later years.
10
Primeval Continent

In general, these survivors of ancient civilizations roaming the world in search of loot and glory, or
are slowly passing from the world. he prehuman perhaps a steely-eyed mercenary constantly searching
races are in decline, withdrawing to deeper and more for a prize worthy of her ambitions; the wizard is a
remote sanctuaries or dreaming away the ages in master of forbidden lore for whom commoners and
deathlike slumber. hey often resent the presence of nobles alike step aside, shaking in dread.
humankind in their old places of power, and a few he cruel cities and the deadly wilderness have
(the rakshasas and serpentmen especially) scheme a thousand tales to tell, but they all begin with a
to bring ruin to the human race by whatever means character driven to attempt great things. hules
are necessary. Even those that are unconcerned with heroes, like those of any land, are unique individuals
human encroachment in hule represent an age-old who have the right combination of ighting skill, a
baleful inluence that still poisons the world today, powerful drive or motivation, and the opportunity
leaving behind terrible ruins haunted by creatures to excel. You have speciically commanded me to
older and stronger than humankind, dreadful secrets tell you of the heroes and villains of this lost land,
of magic and power that harbor the potential for Majesty; what follows is a selection of the narratives
untold destruction, and vile cults worshiping things I have perused.
that should not be. Atlantean Noble: hroughout hules teeming
cities, the oldest and most honored noble houses claim
HEROES OF THULE descent from the royalty of vanished Atlantis. Even
though the island empire was destroyed more than
Deadly wilderness and wicked foes are only part of three hundred years ago, its learning and culture still
what makes hule savage, O King. he heroes who shape hulean society today. In fact, nobles without a
call this primeval land home are just as distinctive drop of Atlantean blood often lay claim to this ancient
and dangerousas the land they live in. his is not lineage, simply to bask in the respect it brings.
a world of chivalrous knights, scholarly wizards, and Many Atlantean nobles lead lives of pampered
noble quests. hules champions are made of diferent luxury, which would seem to be poor preparation for
stuf, and they often have more self-serving motiva- a life of adventure. But long ago, the people of Atlan-
tions that the shining heroes of less savage lands. he tis were bold and conident explorers. hose in whom
typical warrior in hule is a hot-tempered barbarian
11
Primeval Continent
he Dhari are only one of hules many barbarian
THE HEROS NARRATIVE AT tribes, Mighty King, but they are strong, numerous,
YOUR GAME TABLE and respected throughout the continent. hey are
The narratives presented in this section represent only a handful of the known to be tough and trustworthyand ierce
stories you might choose to tell with your character. They are uniquely enemies when crossed.
Thulean, chosen for their distinctiveness and rooted in the story of this Free Blade: Freebooter, mercenary, sellsword
savage world. hule is home to many a bold adventurer looking to
Choosing a heroic narrative is an important part of creating a char- earn his fortune with the edge of a sword. he free
acter for the Primeval Thule Campaign Setting, because it anchors your blade often takes service as an ordinary mercenary
character in the setting much in the same way that choosing a charac- if nothing else presents itself, but an adventurer of
ter race or character class does. this stripe is not just a sword for hire. Instead, the
Rules and beneits for choosing a heroic narrative are presented in true goal of the free blade is to ind fame, fortune,
the Primeval Thule Campaign Setting. or a place in the world, to strike it rich or win a title
through some bold masterstroke. Until that oppor-
tunity presents itself, the free blade moves from place
the old blood runs true are often driven to seek out to place and keeps her nose to the wind.
new places and new adventures. Golden Sea Corsair: Piracy is all too common in
Bearer of the Black Book: Arcane magic is not the dangerous waters of hule. he corsairs of the
a simple matter of study and practice in hule. Kalayan Seathe great central lake of huleare a
Humans are born with no supernatural powers, of violent and quarrelsome brotherhood who recognize
course, and there is no tradition of arcane scholar- no law save their own bloody code. Its not unusual
ship among the human cultures of the continent. for corsairs to serve as seagoing mercenaries, taking
To master supernatural powers, a human mage or the gold of one city-state to plunder the trade of an-
warlock must turn to non-human traditions, which other. Unfortunately, corsairs are notoriously ickle
involves seeking out a suitable tutor or deciphering and untrustworthy, and are quick to change their
the occult writings of some earlier race...such as the colors. Individual pirates are free to follow any cap-
writings found in the Black Book. tain they choose or jump ship when a better oppor-
he Black Book is a forbidden grimoire of terrible tunity comes along, so a single corsair may over the
age, passed down through the years from one adept course of a few months serve as a crewman on half a
to another. Some say the Book is alive and aware, a dozen diferent galleys; in some ways, the Golden Sea
demonic entity with a sinister purpose. Others say corsairs are a single great horde of marauders who
that the Book exists in many times and places at happen to be split up between a score of ships.
the same time. Whatever the truth, the mage who Guardian of the Nine: Most people in hule,
possesses it is well on his or her way to becoming one both city-dwellers and wilderness tribes, are thank-
of the most powerful wizards of hule. fully ignorant of the alien races and cosmic evils that
Beastfriend: hules ferocious animals are an lurk in the worlds hidden places. he society known
everyday threat to a hunter of the tundra or jungle as the Guardians of the Nine, however, is not. hese
but for a few warriors with powerful intuition and priests and scholars constantly shore up the worlds
keen understanding of the natural world, hules age-old defenses against forces from beyond the
beasts are allies, not foes. Beastfriends possess an Earth, ighting a secret and never-ending war against
uncanny ability to communicate with beasts both unthinkable calamity.
mighty and small, and frequently befriend the most Ice Reaver: he iercest and most warlike barbar-
fearsome predators. A warrior jogging along with ians of hules wilderness are those who make their
a dire wolf or a saber-tooth cat at his side is almost homes in the shadow of the encroaching glaciers.
certainly a beastfriend. Beastfriends are extremely Driven from their once-green homelands by the
self-reliant, but they rarely feel comfortable among relentless advance of the ice, these hardy warriors
other people and do not stay in one place for long. frequently turn to a life of raiding and plunder,
Dhari Hunter: Natives of hules deepest and pillaging the peoples who live in less harsh climes.
most dangerous jungle, the Dhari people are re- he sight of their dragon-prowed longships sweeping
nowned as warriors, guides, trackers, and hunters. down on the coastlands is enough to panic all but
Most Dhari hunters are suspicious of civilized folk the strongest and best fortiied cities.
and have no interest in a softer life, but others are While the northern reavers are feared and hated
drawn to see the great cities of the coastlands by with good cause, not every barbarian from the icy
curiosity or simple wanderlust. Fighting skills and realms comes to pillage. Individual ice barbarians
uncanny stealth honed by lethal tribal warfare pro- often seek work as mercenaries or guards in the
vide the typical wandering hunter with all he or she rich southern cities and are highly valued for their
needs to earn a living in the city-states. strength and ferocity.

12
Primeval Continent
Initiate of Mysteries: he priesthoods of hules
cities represent a wealthy and powerful social class
that jealously guards its prerogatives and secrets
especially the secrets of priestly magic. hose
individuals who are initiated into the inner circles
of a temple hierarchy gain access to powers that few
others understand, but in return they are expected
to use their status and their command of magic to
advance the interests of the priesthood...and, if possi-
ble, the deity they profess to serve.
Jungle Trader: Suspicions run deep between the
people of the cities and the tribes of the jungle, but a
few intrepid merchants set out to make their fortunes
by trading for the ivory, hides, gemstones, and other
treasures the jungle ofers. Part explorer, part diplo-
mat, and part thief, jungle traders have a reputation
as sly, double-dealing cheats and scoundrels, but this
notoriety is somewhat undeserved. To survive and
thrive in their chosen trade, they must carefully cul-
tivate relationships with dozens of potentially hostile
tribes. As a consequence, jungle traders are rumor-
mongers of the irst degree, and seem to be the irst
to hear about anything new in the wilds of hule.
Katagian Pit Fighter: Most cities in hule host
arenas of one kind or another, but none are so pitiless
or bloody as the ighting pits of Katagia. Some pit
ighters are free men and women who battle for the
rich purses ofered by the arena owners, but many
more are slaves or convicts doomed to die for the
entertainment of the masses. Pit ighters who survive
their time in the arena are usually highly sought
after as bodyguards and enforcers by various under-
world iguresthere are few people more intimi-
Panjandrum: Most cities are governed by a despot of
dating than someone who has killed frequently and
some kind or another, and any efective despot builds a
publicly for sport.
loyal base of civil servants to enforce his or her rule. A
Myrmidon: Loyal soldiers sworn to ight for city
panjandrum might be a military commander, a magis-
or master, myrmidons are the most disciplined and
trate, a vizier, or some other important bureaucrat who
well-trained warriors to be found in hule. Every
wields power in the name of the sovereign. Low-ranking
city-state (and most noble houses) retains elite for-
panjandrums are often used as spies, investigators, and
mations of myrmidons for defense against the threats
diplomats, traveling widely and looking after their citys
of a savage world. Most myrmidons are naturally
interests, while high-ranking panjandrums are usually
expected to stay close to their barracks and serve
among the most powerful and wealthy igures in the city.
alongside their fellows, but some are trusted with
Quodethi hief: hieves guilds are a fact of life
more freedom of action or retained to act as agents
in any major city, but the city of Quodeth is home to
or assassins at large for their masters.
guilds numbering hundreds of thieves. hese huge
Occult Scientist: hule is a land mired in igno-
organizations are stronger than all but the richest
rance and superstition. Most people see magic in the
and most powerful noble houses of other cities, and
workings of anything they dont understand, which
Quodethi guildmasters think nothing of giving
includes both supernatural and scientiic phenomena.
orders that will be obeyed by men and women a
he occult scientist brings a reasoned and deliber-
thousand miles away. To belong to a guild of Quo-
ate approach to the study of all sorts of matter and
deth is to belong to an army of vicious, conniving
energy, seeking understanding of the deepest secrets
cutthroats, an army in which one can climb through
of the universe. he occult scientist often enjoys a
the ranks by ones wits, daring, and record of suc-
somewhat better reputation than most arcane spell-
cess. While guildmembers constantly scheme for
casters in hule, since he seeks out knowledge for
inluence and position, they are quick to close ranks
its own sake. In fact, the occult scientist may even
when some external foe insults the guild or damages
attract the support of wealthy patrons interested in
its operations.
his research.

13
Primeval Continent
Sacred Slayer: Temples are rich and politically
inluential, which means that most priesthoods
WILDERNESS
acquire many powerful enemies. Sacred slayers are DANGERS
the guardians and avengers of hules temple hierar- People unfamiliar with the wilderness assume that
chies. Serving as bodyguards, agents, and assassins death in a dozen diferent forms waits to pounce the
of the priesthoods, sacred slayers are expected to be instant one leaves the narrow belt of relative safety
fanatically loyal and obey the orders of their priest- around a town or city. Like many fears, this is based
ly masters or die in the attempt. he most capable more on imagination and inexperience than actual
sacred slayers are given dispensation to work as free threat. hules wilderness harbors many dangers, my
agents, spying on behalf of the temple and acting in King, but it is also lush, rich with game and forage,
its interests wherever they ind themselves. and in many cases spectacularly beautiful. Travel-
Soothsayer: huleans see hidden meaning in ers who exercise some very basic precautionsfor
many thingsthe movements of the stars, dreams, example, choosing campsites carefully or hiring
prophecies, and scores of everyday omens and signs. experienced guidesrarely run into trouble they
Soothsayers serve barbarian chiefs or civilized nobles cant handle. he problem is that, from time to time,
as advisers, interpreting the will of the gods and disaster can strike even the largest and best-prepared
ofering guidance in supernatural matters. Many expeditions. In hules wilderness, help is rarely close
soothsayers are capable practitioners of magic, but at hand.
not all; some are simply wise, insightful advisers As long as one avoids the glaciated regions of the
valued for their counsel alone. continent, there are few landscapes in hule that are
Star-Lore Adept: Wizards of any sort are rare in innately hostile to life; there are no deserts, cli-
hule; each city is home to only a handful of true mates are moderate, and food and water can usu-
mages, and these individuals are regarded with awe ally be found. But the terrain of hule is extremely
and fear by the people around them. Wizards who ruggedforbidding mountains, knife-edged ridges,
dabble in the lore of the Great Old Ones and the and sheer gorges seem to conspire to delay and divert
antediluvian races of the primordial earth are rarer travel on foot. Physical exhaustion from marching
still. here is no doubt that the star-lore adepts path up and down steep hillsides can leave inexperienced
to power can be shockingly swift, but the risks they travelers too tired to guard themselves properly
accept would make lesser mages blanch in horror. against hungry beasts or hostile tribes. Only a fool
Few dare to meddle in the business of a wizard who strikes out into hules jungles or mountains without
masters such dark and dangerous lore. a trail to follow or a very knowledgeable guide. Get-
Tribal Outcast: Many barbarians leave their native ting lost in the forest is no mere inconvenienceit is
tribes to seek their fortunes in the rich city-states. a situation with potentially lethal consequences. he
Naturally, warriors who are held in high honor by wild lands of hule are literally trackless, ofering
their people or who are content with tribal life are travelers few landmarks or references once a party
not likely to seek their fortunes elsewhere, so a large leaves a known trail.
proportion of the barbarians who ind their way to hules terrain is rarely lethal, but its animals,
the cities are outcasts of one sort of another. Unable on the other hand, pose a very signiicant danger
or unwilling to it in with the tribes of their birth, to travelers. he forests and tundra are home to
they are wanderers and exiles in search of a new place countless large and aggressive beasts, many of which
in the world. are dangerous to humans. Predators such as dire
wolves, cave bears, crested eagles, and saber-tooth

A SAVAGE cats are obviously threats to life and limb, but many
of hules herbivores are equally dangerous, O King.
WORLD he foul-tempered ground sloth is a monstrous beast
the size of an African elephant with foot-long claws
Perhaps the single most salient feature of hule,
that can rip a warrior in half, while the hulean elk
Mighty King, is the brooding, primal wilderness that
sports antlers that stretch a dozen feet tip to tip.
virtually covers the continent. Even the most urban
Many of hules creatures are simply the most gi-
and domesticated city-states lie no more than an easy
gantic and ierce examples of their kind to be found
days walk from true wilderness where terrifying beasts
in any age, and by quirks of history or climate they
and hostile tribes of savages hold sway. he civilized
happen to be native to this land at this time.
folk of hule fear the wilderness and do their best to
While hules giant beasts are impressive, one
wall it out, huddling within well-defended cities or
creature is still indisputably the most dangerous
fortiied towns. Barbarians do not fear the jungles and
alive: Man. he wilderness is home to tribes of ierce
forests the way civilized people do, but they certainly
barbarians and bloodthirsty savages who spend
hold a healthy respect for the dangers that surround
their days in a constant state of war against all other
them, and learn at an early age to remain keenly aware
people. Blundering into the territory of a hostile
of their surroundings at all times.
tribe is quite often a fatal mistake. Warnings are
14
Primeval Continent
rareusually the irst sign of impending attack is
a volley of poisoned arrows from the shadows, or A QUICK OVERVIEW
a wave of screaming berserkers bursting out of the OF THULES TOPOGRAPHY
brush. Worse yet, tribes found in especially remote Thule is a vast, mountainous island-continent that stretches more
regions are often cannibals, headhunters, or fanatics than ifteen hundred miles end to end. Nearby lie the great islands of
dedicated to the worship of monstrous or demonic Hellumar and Nimoth, with stranger lands yet beyond their shores. All
gods. Swift death in battle would be far preferable to three lie in the northerly reaches of the Atlantean Ocean, but in this age,
the sort of torments that would follow after capture they are warm and verdant. The ice is only just beginning its relentless
by such degenerates. advance.
The dominant feature of Thule is the rampart of mountains ringing its

A PRIMEVAL coasts. The Shields of Sunset guard the high plains of Nar in the west.
To the south, the mighty Starcrowns reach elevations of more than
LANDSCAPE 10,000 feet and shelter a maze of fjords and inlets known as the Claws
Newcomers visiting hule for the irst time soon of Imystrahl. In the east, the volcanic Zinandar Mountains smolder and
learn that this is one of the most rugged and inac- fume. In northern Thule, the highlands and peaks are covered by the
cessible lands in the world. Steep mountains virtu- great glacier known as Kang, the Pale Death. This ring of mountains
ally ring the island continent, creating a daunting forms a gigantic basin or lowland in the center of Thule. A great lake
barrier against travel to the interior. he great central known as the Kalayan Sea lies here, surrounded by deep jungles and
plain of hule is much latter than the mountains trackless wilderness.
and highlands of the coast, but it presents an even As one might expect from a land of such extremes, each region of
more diicult obstacle: Dense, trackless jungles and Thule has its own rugged beauty. The Claws of Imystrahl are majestic
swamps that are home to countless large, hungry fjordlands, home to Thules oldest citiesseaports with their faces
predators. turned toward the Atlantean Ocean. The mighty Starcrowns virtually
wall off these steep islets and peninsulas from the rest of Thule. The Nar

FJORDLANDS Highlands in western Thule are wide, rolling plains and hills where ierce
nomads roam. Kalayan the Golden is the region around the inland
he irst part of hule that greets new arrivals are its
sea, home to the jungles of Dhar Mesh, the swamps of Phoor, and
spectacular jordlands. he great majority of the con-
the richest and most powerful cities of the continent, great powers
tinents coastline is mountainous, my King, plunging
such as Quodeth and Lomar.
steeply to meet the sea in a veritable maze of narrow
The northern coasts are known as the Thousand Teeth, after the
inlets and steep-sided islets. Some of these inlets
countless rocky islets and spires that dot the Sea of Mists. These are
stretch more than a hundred miles into the interior,
barbarian lands with few cities. Finally, Thules northeastern reaches
ringed by ever-higher peaks.
are known as the Lands of the Long Shadow. Vast tundra plains
Fjordlands teem with life. he steep slopes are cov-
and barren, windswept hills mark the creeping onset of everlast-
ered with light forest where game animals abound,
ing winter, with the grim expanse of the glaciers looming on the
while the cold, deep waters are home to dense shoals
northern horizon. Here the secret of Thules wonders and majesty is
of ish and beds of shellish. Fjordlands also ofer
made plain: This is a doomed land, and its beauty will not last.
easy travel by sea, since these waterways and inlets
comprise the best roads one could hope for. On
the other hand, moving overland from one jord to forests of the northern world, vast and desolate.
another is often impossible. Sometimes two villages Like the jordlands of the outer coast, the forests
on the same island or cape may only be four or ive are among hules kinder climes, rich with game and
miles apart as the crow lies, but sailing ifty miles forage for those who know them well. he wood-
around the point is a much easier and faster way to lands are also home to a variety of large and aggres-
travel from one to the other than trying to climb the sive beastshules forests are dangerous places
mountain ridge separating them. to wander carelessly. Worse yet, Supreme Majesty,
Given their moderate climate and access to the they are the hunting grounds of barbarian tribes,
sea, jordlands would seem to be ideal for settlement, some of which are quite ierce. hese hardy folk have
but they generally lack arable ground. Fjordlands little use for intruders and are prone to defend their
are anything but lat, and only a few ideal spots can territory with sudden violence. In the wilderness, one
support towns or cities of any size. should assume that all other people are enemies until
proven otherwise.
FORESTS
Between the sweltering jungles of the interior and INLAND SEA
the bare shoulders of hules mountains lie magnif- he central lowlands of hule are dominated by a
icent broadleaf forests. hese mixed woodlands are chain of vast freshwater lakes. he largest of these is
dominated by ancient oaks, beech groves, maples, known as the Kalayan Sea, and it stretches almost
and silver-trunked birch trees. As one travels north, seven hundred miles from end to end. he Kalayan
the beech and oak forests give way to taigathe pine is often called Kalayan the Golden, or simply the
15
Primeval Continent

Golden Sea, for the striking hues of its surface during True rainforest actually has relatively little under-
the long northern dawn and dusk. growth, as your Supreme Majesty no doubt knows.
he inland seas of hule ofer the best means of However, hules rugged topography provides lots of
traveling any distance across the rugged landscape, but hillsides where dense understory growth can devel-
they are far from safe. Storms on the Kalayan can raise opthe jungles of this primeval land are usually
waves every bit as large and dangerous as those of the jungle, not just canopy forest. A fecund collection
Atlantean Ocean, it is said, and many ships have been of life in all forms thrives in this lush environment,
wrecked in these waters by sudden squalls. Corsair including an unbelievable number of venomous
galleys lurk in the Kalayans jagged coasts, eager for the or predatory beasts that can kill humans. In fact,
opportunity to fall on a passing merchantman. Finally, hules jungles are often home to creatures that died
large and hungry predators swim these watersthe out ages ago in other parts of the world; more than
Kalayan (and other sizable lakes) are home to freshwa- a few dinosaurs still lurk in these verdant retreats, it
ter crocodiles, giant gars and pike, vicious eels, and a is said.
few atavistic survivors such as plesiosaurs and mosa- Naturally, there are no human cities or civiliza-
saurs. Its not a good idea to swim unarmed, O King! tions to be found in the interior jungles of hule.
here arent all that many barbarians or savages, for
JUNGLE that matter; most people look for less hostile places
he jungle is in many ways the single deining to make their homes. But the tribes that dwell in this
landscape of hule. Dark, deadly, mysterious, and fearsome environment are some of the toughest and
impenetrable, it forms a vast green world within a most ierce warriors in hule.
world, a place where savage beasts and feral barbarian
tribes struggle against one another in a never-ending GIANT CAVES
battle for survival. Here the illusions and pretenses of In addition to its spectacular vistas of ice-capped
civilization are stripped away, leaving raw and ierce mountains and vast forests, hule is also home to a
nature as the ultimate arbiter of whether one lives or number of caves and caverns of tremendous extent.
dies. Death lurks only a few heartbeats away, ready to he vast interior basin of the island-continent com-
claim the careless or unlucky. bines limestone hills with heavy rainfallthe perfect

16
Primeval Continent
recipe for the formation of truly gigantic cavern sys- monsters are often found on the higher slopes, and
tems. he hilly reaches in the Land of Long Shadows not all of these are abandoned. Star-things and
and the northerly lands of Hellumar and Nimoth are mi-go lurk in the remote heights, blasphemous sur-
likewise riddled with caveseven if these regions are vivors from an earlier age.
now too cold and dry for huge caves to form, they
were tropical until just a few centuries ago. SWAMPS
here is no true underworld system of con- he coastal plains of hules inland seas are home to
tinent-spanning caves miles below the surface in dense, tangled swampshuge stretches of looded
hule, my King, but the natural caverns accessi- forest that can stretch for dozens or hundreds of
ble from the surface are quite impressive in their miles. Gigantic cypress trees mantled with hanging
own right. Some of these include huge chambers moss loom over the shadowed waterways, and the
hundreds of feet across, while others are sprawling rare patches of dry ground are overgrown with un-
networks of passages and chambers dozens of miles derbrush covering every hummock or islet. Count-
in extent. Strange ecologies of cave-dwelling crea- less meandering creeks, lakes, and sloughs further
tures develop in the larger cave systemsand some impede travel on foot; swamps are almost impossible
hold hidden strongholds of monstrous beings, or to navigate without a local guide or an uncanny
dark temples dedicated to the worship of forbidden sense of direction.
gods. Unspeakable powers such as Great Cthulhu, Much like jungles, swamps teem with a vast
Shub-Niggurath, or Yga-Ygo were once strong in number of large and dangerous beasts. Huge reptiles
these lands, and many of their followersor possibly such as giant vipers, crocodiles, pythons, and mon-
the Great Old Ones themselvesmay lie dormant in itor lizards seem especially common in these humid
the deepest of these caves. areas, and a few dinosaurs that should have gone
extinct millions of years ago still lurk in some places.
MOUNTAINS Worse yet, Mighty King, the tribes of the swamps
he story of hules mountains is written in ire and are some of the most primitive and degenerate people
ice. Mountain ranges in the northerly portions of the to be found anywhere in hule. he vile headhunt-
continent (and in the great islands of Hellumar and ers of Phoor are perhaps the best example; masters
Nimoth) are desolate, inhospitable places mantled of stealth, ambush, and poison, these murderous
in mighty glaciers and snowields. Huge iceields ill savages are fanatically devoted to the worship of
the valleys and choke the passes, rendering travel terrible prehuman gods and regard all other humans
nearly impossible. he mighty Starcrowns of hules as potential sacriices.
southern coast are so lofty that they, too, have fallen
into the grip of endless winter, even though they TUNDRA
are many hundreds of miles south of the creeping As one travels farther north, the trees grow sparser
glaciation that is conquering the northern lands. But and more stunted until inally they give out alto-
the ranges in eastern hule smolder and smoke with gether. his is the tundra, a vast arctic plain that lies
their own subterranean ires, my King, creating a between the taiga and the advancing glaciers. Some-
barrier of volcanic heat against the encroaching ice. times referred to as the Lands of the Long Shadow,
Lush and verdant compared to the icy ramparts of the tundra plains of northern hule are a harsh and
the other ranges, they are only marginally less im- forbidding environmentbut in summer and fall,
passablefrequent eruptions, constant tremors, and they teem with big game. his is the domain of the
deadly fumes can close of passes with no warning mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, the muskox, and
whatsoever. the caribou. Vast herds roam these lands, migrating
Between glaciers, volcanoes, or sheer elevation, with the seasons.
the mountain ranges of hule (and the great islands Like the taiga forests, the tundra is home to tribes
of Hellumar and Nimoth, which lie close by) form a of nomadic hunters who follow the great herds.
nearly impassable barrier blocking travel between the Hunting mammoths or rhinos is no small feat; these
coastal jords and the interior jungles. As one might giant beasts have thick hides and ight aggressively,
expect, few people live in these regions. A few hardy trampling any hunter that gets too close. Taking
tribes of human barbarians make their homes in down a mammoth is a long and dangerous game of
these high vales, fortifying the narrow passes against luring the beast into charge after charge by hunters
intruders, and the Zinandar Mountains are home to who show themselves and suddenly retreat, while
the city of Kal-Zinan, where the dwarven masters dozens of arrows and thrown spears slowly wear
guard the secrets of iron and steel. down the mighty animal until it can be goaded into
here is one thing more that must be said about a reckless charge against a thicket of grounded spears
hules mountains: here are many places in the or lured over a clif.
high peaks where men should not go. Black temples
buried in the snows and terrible ruins of prehuman

17
Primeval Continent
GLACIERS By their very nature, despots come and go swift-
A grim and implacable enemy is at the gates of the ly in most places. An inluential nobleman, a high
northern world. Year by year, the summers grow captain in the army, or an unscrupulous high priest
shorter and the northern glaciers creep steadily manages to secretly gather the support needed to
closer to the lands of humankind. Already the great topple the old ruler, and takes the throne for a few
island of Nimoth lies trapped in endless winter, yearsor perhaps a decade or twountil someone
the ice thickening over its abandoned cities with else successfully deposes the deposer. he nature of
each passing winter. In the mountainous spines of this transition varies from city to city and culture to
Hellumar and hule, new glaciers are marching on culture. In martial Lomar, the road to the throne lies
the surrounding lands. Already the glacier known as in leading legions to victory abroad. In mercantile
Kang the Pale Death holds the northeast quarter of Quodeth, wealth is the way to power; the queen is a
hule in its icy grasp, and lesser iceields are slowly igurehead, and those who seek to rule the city vie to
spreading too. claim the position of High Vizier through bribery,
As your Supreme Majesty might expect, hules extravagance, and the occasional assassination.
glaciers are cold and inhospitable. Nothing grows hran, city of the Black Circle, belongs to the most
here, and few animals can ind food on the ice. powerful wizard of that dark order, who holds it
Without grazing or game, there is nothing to eat until a challenger defeats him in a battle of spells. In
unless one is near enough to the sea to get by with hule, my King, might confers legitimacy.
sealing or ishing. Even that meager existence is Unfortunately, the brutal politics of power are not
impossible during the months when the seas are the only problems hulean civilization faces. In this
frozen over. In addition to the lack of food and the age, the social compact is rough and incomplete.
bone-chilling cold, glaciers are treacherous terrain Cities are hard and heartless places where the strong
to cross. Crevasses, sometimes hundreds of feet oppress the weak, corruption runs rampant, and
deep, can be completely concealed by a thin crust the most wicked entertainments and practices are
of snow that gives way when an unfortunate traveler simply routine. Each of hules cities seems to harbor
unwittingly walks over it. Avalanches, toppling ice its own fatal law, an injustice or social ill that cries
boulders, or outbreaks of meltwater can also threaten out for redress. For example, Quodeth is beset with
life and limb. A few bold caravans cross an arm of a thievery, usury, and fraud, all the problems of a
glacier when necessary, but no one lingers in these society in which gold reigns unchecked. he crim-
desolate places. son-walled city of Marg is little better than a giant
Worst of all, my King, hules glaciers seem to slave market where human life is bought and sold for
possess an active and malign intelligence. hey a handful of coins, while the people of Imystrahl are
sometimes exhibit supernatural powers, surging for- mired in the waking dream of the black milk and
ward to cut of the retreat of trespassers or changing hardly care whether they live or die.
course to climb over and crush towns that should To put it another way, my King, every city-state
be out of their reach. Some cold and hateful spirit in hule is marked by its own brand of wickedness.
animates these titanic masses of ice, willing them Travelers who blunder into strange cities unprepared
onward to crush the lands of civilization and blanket might soon have reason to wish they had remained
the world in never-ending winter. in the monster-hunted jungles.

WEALTH AND
TYRANNY AND SOCIAL STATION
WICKEDNESS In hule, personal ambition and ability are the inal
arbiters of how high one might rise. hulean society
he wilderness of hule may be majestic and deadly,
but so too are the continents civilized regions. can be surprisingly meritocratic, and it ofers many
hules city-states are ancient and often magniicent chances for upward mobilityif one deines merito-
in their monumental architecture and barbaric splen- cratic as permissive of advancement to anyone who
dor. Golden palaces and rich gardens sprawl behind can bribe, strong-arm, or assassinate their way into
towering walls manned by proud warriors in jeweled the upper classes. People with ability (and perhaps
harness, while mysterious temples and the minarets a little personal ruthlessness) acquire the means by
of astrologers and sages soar to the sky. Yet for all which they can buy their way upward. In fact, many
their wealth and beauty, it must be told that the mercenaries and freebooters take up their dangerous
civilizations of hule are frequently cruel, warlike, profession in the hope of someday winning a high
and oppressive. Despotic overlords rule by whim and appointment or noble title.
caprice, showering rich rewards on their favorites and At the top of the social ladder, naturally, stands
ruthlessly laying low any foes or rivals who attract the monarch, although the exact title might be king,
their suspicions. queen, overlord, warlord, or tyrantyour peers,
Majesty, in title if not in lineage. here is no such
18
Primeval Continent
THE CITIES OF THULE Lomar, City of Triumphs. A warlike city in the Kalayan Hills,
The island-continent of Thule is mostly wilderness, and cities are Lomars legions represent the strongest army to be found in
few and far between. While there are a great number of small Thule.
settlements, barbarian villages, and trading posts scattered Marg the Crimson, City of Slavers. Home to the Crimson
throughout the land, true citiesor anything that can even claim Slavers, Marg is a cruel and oppressive place whose slave
to be a cityare not common at all. Most scholars would name markets are illed with wretched captives.
perhaps thirteen to ifteen cities in Thule and the surround- Nim, City of Reavers. A lawless and brutal harbor on the
ing lands, depending on whether one would call a place like northern coast, Nim is the refuge of the Reaver Kings of the
Ur-Ghom a city or not. boreal seas.
The cities of Thule include: Orech, City of Mazes. Cloaked in mystery and madness,
Akal-Amo, City of Temples. A distant and mysterious city on Orech is a city under the inluence of reclusive priests of
the great island of Hellumar. Hastur the Unspeakable.
Droum, City of Tusks. The people of Droum are abandon- Quodeth, City of Merchants. Largest and richest of Thules
ing their city in the face of the approaching glaciers, leaving cities, Quodeth is overrun by thieves guilds; in fact, some
behind a plague of restless dead. name it the City of Thieves instead of the City of Merchants.
Ikath, City of Serpents. Built upon the ruins of a great ser- Rime, City of Ice. A hidden haven under the very snout of
pentman city, Ikath is the gateway to the Dhari jungles and Kang, the Pale Death, Rime is a secret pirate haven where the
their rich trade in ivory, gems, and hides. Golden Corsairs of the Kalayan Sea hold power.
Imystrahl, City of the Black Lotus. An elven city, Imystrahl is Thran, City of the Black Circle. Remote and forbidding,
falling into ruin under the inluences of the opiate known as the Thrans black walls conceal the strongest and most wicked
Black Milk and a pernicious cult of Nyarlathotep worshipers. cabal of magicians in all of Thule.
Jomur, Place of Chiefs. The meeting-place of many tribes in Ur-Ghom, City of the Beastmen. Hardly a city at all, Ur-Ghom
northern Thule, Jomur is virtually abandoned for three-quar- is the seat of the brutal beastman khur-za-khur, or Chief of
ters of the year. Chiefs. Folk of other races enter at their own peril.
Kal-Zinan, City of the Iron Gate. The city of the dwarves, where
stern ironmasters jealously guard the secret of iron working. There are rumors of hidden cities concealed in Thules vast
Katagia, Last Bastion of Atlantis. A strong city of the south- jungles or in the trackless mountains, but these places remain
ern coast where the last vestiges of Atlantean culture and undiscovered for now and have no dealings with the known
learning are preserved. cities of the continent.

thing as a constitutional monarchy in hule; the officials. They hold titles such as vizier, magis-
monarch wields power without limit. With a word, trate, general, consul, or panjandrum. Your humble
the monarch can sentence any person to execution, scribe would of course be counted among this
send a city to war, strip titles and wealth from a rival, class, my King. In the name of the citys ruler, they
or decree a month-long festival. he only check on enforce law, command the army, supervise public
the monarchs power is what the citys nobles or of- works, and regulate taxes and duties of all kinds.
icials permita monarch who rules capriciously or High-ranking officials are every bit as powerful and
inefectively becomes too dangerous to leave on the inf luential as the great nobles of a city, and often
throne, and therefore ripe for deposing. vastly wealthycontrol of an important office gives
Beneath the monarch are the nobles. hese fami- an official plenty of opportunities to become rich.
lies control hereditary oices, monopolize rich trades Many viziers and panjandrums are, of course, quite
or commodities, or own vast estates in the surround- corrupt, but others are honorable and forthright
ing lands. he qualiications of nobility vary from civil servants.
city to city; for example, in Lomar, nobility refers Most cities in hule are also home to large and
to whether one can trace descent from great heroes inluential orders of priests. Temples are rich and
of old. Nobles have vast reserves of wealth and live powerful institutions, O King, and often control
in opulent palaces. hey command personal armies estates and troops that rival those of the strongest
in the form of their household troops, keep hordes noble houses. Like noble houses, temples can often
of loyal retainers and advisors, and own hundreds or be quite jealous of their privileges and position.
even thousands of slaves who work their ields, labor Cloaked in mystery and ancient traditions, temple
in their quarries, or crew their galleys. Nobles often hierarchies serve as a balancing force of sorts, coun-
enjoy virtual immunity to the laws of their home tering the most oppressive practices of monarchy or
cities and need only fear the censure of their peers or nobility, but also defending the status quo against
the direct action of the citys ruler. the resentment of the lower classes.
Nobles wield great power, but the monarch he merchants are a large middle class in most
who holds the ultimate power in a city does so by hulean cities. In fact, in some cities, there is very
maintaining the loyalty of the next social class: The little distinction between a wealthy merchant and
19
Primeval Continent
a wealthy noble, my King, as unfortunate as it is to
relate. Merchants include shipowners and caravan
masters who engage in trade with distant cities,
moneylenders, shopkeepers, and even skilled artisans
and craftsmen. Anyone who owns a place of business
and practices a trade for himself or herselfeven
independent landowners with rich vineyards or
orchardsis counted as part of this class.
Soldiers and servants make up the lower classes.
hey are free men and women, but they work for
whoever can pay them. In many cases, the pay is
simply the privilege of belonging to a household and
having room and board provided to them; warriors
often take service with a noble house and serve loy-
ally for decades with no expectation of pay beyond
a few silver pieces every now and then to gamble
away or spend on drink and revelry. he best masters
look after servants who grow too old to continue
their labors. Its not unusual for a noble to reward
an old and faithful servant or guard with an easy
retirement and a gift of enough money to make the
servant comfortable. Regrettably, not all who employ
servants are so kind-hearted.
As one might expect, slaves are near the bottom of
the social ladderbut they are not quite the bottom,
my King. he conditions of slavery vary widely from
owner to owner. Slaves may be kept in wretchedness
and misery, put to hard labor and discarded once they
are no longer useful, or they might simply be tenant
farmers who live on the land they work for their owner,
enjoying lives not all that diferent from a poor member
of the servant class. Beggars are regarded as the lowest
of the low, beneath even slaves. After all, if someone is
a slave, its because someone else thinks theyre worth
owning and feeding. Beggars, on the other hand, are so
wretched that no one cares if they starve or not.
hieves, smugglers, assassins, and other scolaws
occupy a curious position in hulean society. hiev-
ery is considered a trade of sorts even in the face of
the sternest laws against theft and extortion, Mighty
King, as unlikely as it may seem. herefore, guild-
masters, and master assassins are generally regarded
as members of the merchant class, while the average
guildmember holds a position similar to a laborer in
an artisans workshop and is considered a servant of
the guildmaster. Only the most vile murderers and
criminals are truly outside hulean society.

DARK DELIGHTS
hese are cruel times, and the entertainments and di-
versions of hules cities would shock the sensibilities
of a diferent day. Civilized huleans think nothing of
watching men and women die in arena ights or seeing
criminals put to death in spectacular and grisly execu-
tions. Gambling dens, brothels, ighting pits, opium
houses, and hidden shrines where forbidden deities are
worshiped with debauched rituals can all be found in
the crowded precincts of the typical city-state.

20
Primeval Continent
he wantonness and hedonism of the typical Punishment for crime tends to be swift and harsh.
city-dweller are one of the primary reasons why the Prisons are unknown in hules cities, although most
people of the barbaric tribes dislike and distrust garrison buildings and magistrate courts have cells
civilization. A bloody-handed ice reaver might hurl for holding accused criminals until the authorities
himself into battle against a hundred foes without can determine punishment and see it carried out.
a moments hesitation, but blanches at the wicked hese punishments include logging, ines, maiming
displays that are all too common in hules cities. or marking, enslavement, exile, or death.
Naturally, the basest forms of entertainment tend
to collect in the poorest and most desperate neigh-
borhoods. Some sort of thieves quartera crowded, WARFARE
crime-ridden district of extreme povertycan be AND RIVALRY
found in almost every city. Some are ghettoes walled As your Supreme Majesty can surely appreciate, relations
of from the more prosperous districts nearby, some between one city and another are even more tense than the
are bad neighborhoods that anyone might wander relations of the various factions and powers within a city.
into by mistake, and some are actually buried streets Distrust, suspicion, and vicious rivalry is the typical state
built over and forgotten by the city oicials, but of afairs between hules civilized states. he warriors of
these impoverished districts are all riddled with Lomar despise Quodeths naked mercantilism; Quodeth
crime and thievery, and every city has one. resents Katagias celebration of Atlantean heritage and
he thieves quarter of a hulean city is a world superiority; Katagia is repelled by the snake worship of
of its own, a city within a city. Here the city guards Ikath. he cultural divides are deep and diicult to bridge.
do not venture. Vicious gangs of ruians, bands of Despite these diferences, open warfare between
slavers, beggar brotherhoods, and of course thieves cities is rare, simply because most cities are so far
guilds rule over each street or block. Its no place that apart that it is nearly impossible to attack one an-
anyone with a better choice would willingly choose other directly. Lomar lies three hundred miles from
to live, but the wretched masses have few other Quodeth, with rugged mountains and deep jungles
optionsa life of poverty and desperation within covering most of the intervening terrainany Lo-
the city walls seems preferable to a swift and certain maran legion that set out for the City of Merchants
death in the wilderness. would be decimated by starvation, disease, and the
endless attacks of jungle tribes by the time it arrived.
LAW AND ORDER Quodeths mighty leets could bring a Quodethi
Systems of law and law enforcement are not very well army to Lomars shores more easily, but they would
developed in most hulean civilizations. here are be outnumbered three to one by Lomars matchless
no constables, police, or city watch oicers in hules phalanxes once they landed. For now, these two
cities, Mighty King. Instead, laws are kept by the citys enemies can only watch each other and wait for some
soldiers, who only enforce whatever laws the monarch turn of events to change the basic strategic consid-
wishes enforced, and only in those districts the mon- erations. Similar diiculties challenge most of the
arch bothers to protect. Justice is often for sale, and a other civilizations, and limit their ambitions.
noble or wealthy priest can bribe magistrates or guards Since long marches across hules wilderness are so
to take action against anyone who ofers ofense, diicult, cities ind other ways to compete with each
whether the charges are legitimate or not. other. My King, you will ind that proxy warfare is
In general, simple vices are ignoredpeddling quite common in this land; when a city falls into
exotic drugs or establishing a brothel are not against civil warfare or disorder, its neighbors eagerly funnel
the law in most places, although trying to avoid the arms, gold, and mercenaries into the ighting, hoping
taxes and gratuities city oicials and guard-cap- to pick the winning side and gain inluence over
tains collect can bring down the heavy hand of the their neighbor. Likewise, cities in the same region
authorities. City guards only step in when a crime is vie with each other to win the allegiance of the
especially serious or when they catch the perpetrator stronger barbarian tribes in the area, in the hopes
in the act. Crimes that generally provoke the atten- that they can goad hordes of wilderness warriors into
tion of the city guard include: taking the ight to their rivals. Competition between
Murder (although dueling or consensual ights merchants of diferent cities is absolutely ruthless, as
do not count as murder). various cities compete to control especially valuable
Assault or theft (when the victim belongs to the or strategic tradesskirmishing, raiding, and piracy
higher classes). are common mercantile activities.
Arson, rioting, or general mayhem. While hules cities spend a good deal of time and
Rebellion or resistance to the monarchs soldiers. efort interfering with each other, they also keep a
Practice of dark magic (although few guards wary eye on the rise of barbarian tribes in the wilder-
would dare hinder a known wizard). ness. Barbarians have no love for civilization, espe-
Worship of forbidden deities. cially civilizations as corrupt and hedonistic as those

21
Primeval Continent
of many hulean cities. he combination of rich
treasuries and decadent ways is an irresistible lure to LIFE IN THULE
barbarian hordes, my King. Over the centuries, more hule may be a cruel and hard land of many dangers,
than a few cities in the Kalayan or the Lands of the but it is not a hell on earth. Many people lead decent
Long Shadow have been laid to waste by waves of lives and enjoy their share of ordinary pleasures
berserk warriors. Pragmatic cities simply bribe strong in their due seasonfeasts and revels, family and
tribes to trouble somebody else, while more hostile children, the satisfaction of work well donewheth-
cities such as Lomar or hran viciously punish any er they are illiterate barbarians, simple craftsmen, or
incursions in their lands. great nobles. Adventurers, on the other hand, are far
from ordinary. he stories of their lives are written
on a broader canvas, Supreme Majesty, for good or
for ill. But they arise from the same common clay
THE ATLANTEAN CALENDAR as all other men and women in hule, and grew up
AND TIMEKEEPING amid the same traditions and ways as the people
The civilizations of Thule use the old Atlantean calendar with which around them. he ordinary details of life in hule
you are familiar, O King, dividing the year into twelve months of 30 are part of who they are.
or 31 days each. The Atlantean calendar is an observational system
based on the transit of the sun against the various constellations of the CITY-DWELLERS,
zodiac. Since these transits may vary by a day or so from year to year,
the length of the months is not ixedpriests or oficial astrologers in
BARBARIANS,
each city generally issue an oficial calendar every year, predicting the AND SAVAGES
length of each month. By tradition, the new year begins on the spring People in hule fall into one of two broad categories:
equinox, and the months are named after the sign that houses the tribesfolk and city-dwellers. In general, these two
sun throughout the year. cultural groups distrust and dislike each other. he
Naturally, the Atlanteans had their own ideas of what constellations uncivilized jungle hunters or tundra nomads regard
stood for, and in different ages the constellations stood in different the people of the cities as corrupt, decadent, untrust-
parts of the Earths sky than they do now. The months of the Atlantean worthy, and greedy beyond all reason. In return, the
calendar are: citizens of hules city-states think of the barbaric
peoples of the continent as ignorant, lawless brutes,
Atlantean Month Sign Equivalent all too ready to meet any obstacle or setback with
senseless violence.
Tebon The Chariot (Capricorn) March
City-dwellers, naturally enough, are the people of
Sana The Slave (Aquarius) April hules civilized realms. Only the upper classes are
Adar The Dragon (Pisces) May literate, but all are subject to the laws and customs
Nidon The Ram (Aries) June of the city in which they live. A large number of
Taru The Bull (Taurus) July city-dwellers are farmers or frontier-folk who actually
Samon The Throne (Gemini) August live outside the protection of city walls, tending the
Dumet The Messenger (Cancer) September
ields and groves that feed the masses.
Barbarians are not far behind civilized folks in
Abron The Lion (Leo) October
some areas, particularly the crafting of weapons and
Ulon The Warrior (Virgo) November armor. Some are nomadic or semi-nomadic, moving
Tisra The Mammoth (Libra) December from place to place to follow food sources such
Samnu The Scorpion (Scorpio) January as migrating herds or to seek milder lands for the
Kislon The Chimera (Sagittarius) February winter months. Others, Mighty King, are settled,
and keep herds and tend ields much like civilized
Astrology is taken very seriously in Thules civilizations, and the people. he chief diferences between these settled
upper classes frequently pay lavish sums to have detailed horoscopes barbarian tribes and civilized folk are the lack of
cast to commemorate noteworthy events such as a marriage or the written laws and records, and the simplicity of the
birth of a child. It seems a prudent and commendable practice, my social hierarchy. In a typical tribe, a barbarian an-
King. swers only to his or her own conscience, serving no
Barbaric peoples lack the ability to do precise observations or calcu- lord or master. Chiefs and elders are respected and
lations, but they can certainly note the length of the day and tell when listened to, but they do not rulethey lead.
a new year begins. Likewise, they know their winter stars from their Savages, on the other hand, are signiicantly less
summer stars and can estimate the month with a good deal of accuracy. advanced than barbarians. Your Supreme Majesty
If a barbarian has to plan a date in the future, he or she is likely to say might naturally think the terms barbarian and
something such as, I will meet you here on the irst new moon in the savage interchangeable, but they mean difer-
month of Adar, and wont miss by more than a day or two. ent things. he people of a savage tribe use only
those tools and weapons they can ind in the world
immediately around them; they know nothing of
22
Primeval Continent
metalworking, writing, or commerce, and very little they cant be used to make clothing or shelter. No
of magic or other secret lore. Despite the preconcep- matter how many coins a merchant ofers, a savage
tions of civilized folk, savages arent stupid. After wont part with something tangible and useful such
all, surviving in hules wilderness with nothing as a pelt that might keep one warm or a hunting
but stone, wood, and ire requires a good deal of spear. However, coins are pretty, and many savages
planning and inventiveness, and any savage warrior are happy to trade pretty things of their own such
is quick to appreciate the value of a bronze or iron as uncut gemstones or ivory carvings. Your Supreme
blade. hey are simply wary of change and suspicious Majesty may ind that savages are more than happy
of diferent cultures. to trade their trinkets for civilized goods that are
he most well-traveled individuals from all three clearly useful, such as bronze spearheads or warm
groups (adventurers, for example) soon learn that garments.
there are good and bad people wherever one goes. Barbarians have a better idea of what coins are
Many tribal wanderers ind their fortune in one city worth, even if they rarely use them. hey are more
or another, and plenty of civilized merchants and likely to measure wealth in terms of the livestock
mercenaries form fast friendships with people of the they own, the houses and halls they build, or the
tribes they meet. weapons and tools they craft. Bartering with ones
neighbors for goods or services is more common
COIN AND TRADE than paying in the coins of the cities. Most barbarian
Precious metals are relatively common in hule, my tribes have at least occasional contact with civilized
King. Every major cityand a few noble houses, traders or encounter trading posts during their trav-
temples, or especially prosperous merchant enter- els, so they tend to save what coins they do collect
prisesmints coinage in copper, silver, gold, and for the occasions when theyll be useful in trade.
occasionally bronze, electrum, or platinum as well.
In general, the value of the coin is dependent on DAYS OF THE WEEK
the weight of its metal; denominations arent widely In addition to the months and days of the Atlantean
used, simply because the intense rivalry and com- calendar, huleans also count seven-day weeks tied to
petition between cities means that coinage marked the phases of the moon. his is only used to provide
with a value higher than its physical worth may not weekdays and provide a more convenient schedule for
be honored outside the boundaries of the city where regular commerce and observances, which otherwise
it was struck. would have to be ixed to speciic dates ahead of time.
Some of the more notable coinage that circulates he days are named after major deities as follows:
in hule includes: Asuras Day
Atlantean sunburst. Made from orichalcum, Tarhuns Day
the red gold of Atlantis, a sunburst features a Kishars Day
many-rayed sun emblem. It is valued at 20 gold Nergals Day
pieces in most large cities. Tiamats Day
Quodethi double peacock. A gold coin of Mithras Day
twice the normal weight, the double peacock is Ishtars Day
stamped with the royal emblem of the city. It is he middle of the week is considered inauspicious
worth 5 gold pieces in Quodeth, or 2 in anoth- in some cities, and people avoid beginning new
er city. enterprises or conducting important business on
Margish kraken. hese large silver coins are Nergals Day and Tiamats Day. huleans have little
emblazoned with the image of a many-tenta- notion of a weekend, but in most places Ishtars Day
cled kraken. In Marg, their value is ixed at one is a day of light work; many festivals or revels are
healthy ield slave, ifteen to twenty-ive years in planned to fall on the last day of the week.
age, and they can be redeemed for such at any
civic auction. For a slaver, the krakens value is RECORD OF YEARS
about 10 common gold pieces. Most people in hule count years from the beginning
Nesskian fang. hese small, triangular gold of their monarchs reign. For example, a merchant
coins occasionally turn up in forgotten ser- might boast that she bought an olive grove in the
pentman hoards and date back to the serpent- third year of Queen Nalyanis reign, or promise to
man empire of Nessk. hey are accepted in pay a loan by the eleventh year of the queens reign.
some cities, but in Quodeth they are known as If the queens reign happens to end before eleven
snakes gold and regarded as bad luck. years, people understand that the date means eleven
While a purse heavy with gold pieces can see to years from the year in which Queen Nalyani assumed
many needs in civilized regions, not all the peoples the throne. In the course of a single human lifetime
in hule care about money. Savages have little use there are rarely more than half a dozen rulers to keep
for coins; they cant be eaten, they arent tools, and track of in any given city, so it is not very confusing.

23
Primeval Continent
LANGUAGES IN PRIMEVAL THULE
You can assume that all player characters can speak Low Atlantean and their own native language. Characters of Intelligence 9 or less
have fairly limited vocabularies in Low Atlantean and may suffer circumstance penalties to interaction skill checks if that is the only
language they share with the person they are interacting with (GMs discretion).

Common Language Spoken by Script


Atlantean, Low Most humans, elves, and dwarves Atlantean
Atlantean, High Atlanteans, scholars, wizards Atlantean
Dhari Humans (Dhari) Draconic
Dwarven Dwarves Dwarven
Elven Elves, wizards Elven
Kalayan Humans (Kalayan) Elven
Lomari Humans (Lomari) Atlantean
Nimothan Humans (Nimothans) Dwarven
Urgan Beastmen, gnolls, winged apes
Uncommon Languages Spoken by Script
Benthic Aboleths, deep ones, cultists Pnakos
Draconic Serpentmen, troglodytes, kobolds, sorcerers Draconic
Giant Cyclopes, giants, minotaurs Dwarven
Rakshasan Rakshasas Infernal
Rare Languages Spoken by Script
Abyssal Demons, ghouls Abyssal
Celestial Angels, gods, priests Celestial
Infernal Devils, warlocks Infernal
Mi-Go Moonbeasts, mi-go, star things Pnakos

Characters can learn additional languages in the normal manner, although wizards should know at least one of the following lan-
guages: Draconic, Elven, or High Atlantean.

From time to time truly villainous or despised COMMON LANGUAGES


monarchs are stricken from history by their succes- Most people in hule are bilingual to a greater or
sors, which can introduce some uncertainty for later lesser extent. hey know the language of their home
scholars. city or tribe and converse luently in that tongue.
Tribal peoples follow a similar custom, but they hey also know some amount of Common or Low
tend to date years from notable eventsbattles, Atlantean, a simple version of the High Atlantean
natural disasters, or heroic deeds of great renown. language. Speakers of Common Atlantean get by with
For example, a barbarian might count the seventh a couple of thousand words and some standard phras-
year since we fought the Lomarans at the River es, but can converse well enough for all but the most
Klal, or the ninth year after the Great Comet. On complicated or nuanced concepts. he more isolated
occasion the beginning of the rule of a well-loved (or barbarians have little use for a common language, and
much-hated) chieftain counts as a notable event, but its not unusual to ind that particularly reclusive or
not often. Finding common references by which two hostile tribes dont understand any Atlantean at all.
barbarians can agree on when something happened Languages commonly encountered in hule and
can be challenging at times. the surrounding lands include:
Scholars and sages make use of the Evenoran Low Atlantean: he common tongue of hule
dating system (or Atlantean Reckoning), which and nearby lands.
counts years from the foundation of Atlantis by High Atlantean: When Atlantis reigned as the
Evenor, the irst king of that realm. Since the supreme power in the lands of the Atlantean Sea, its
destruction of that realm, the Evenoran dates have language was known by all but the most isolated and
become less and less well known throughout hule backwards savages. he waning inluence of Atlantis
(and your own realm, Supreme Majesty), but no in the current day means that Atlantean is slowly fall-
other universal measure exists. In this system, Atlan- ing out of use throughout hule. It is still a language
tis was destroyed in 1906 AR, and the current year is of scholarship, science, and many occult studies.
2213 AR.
24
Primeval Continent
Dhari: he language of human tribes and cities Draconic: he language of the serpentmen. De-
of Dhari ethnicity. he written form is based on the based forms of this tongue are spoken by troglodytes
language of the serpent-people. and kobolds.
Dwarven: he language of the dwarf race. Its runes Giant: An old and almost forgotten language,
are used (rarely) as the basis for writing in Nimothan rarely encountered in the current day.
and Giant. Rakshasan: he proud and cruel race of rakshasas
Elven: he language of the elven people. It is im- do not teach their language to people of lesser races,
portant in arcane studies. but a few libraries in hule hold examples of their
Kalayan: he language of humans of Kalayan writings.
ancestry, most notable the city of Quodeh. Kalayan Abyssal and Infernal: Not native to the Earth,
was strongly inluenced by Elven and still uses the and known only because demons, devils, and other
Elven alphabet. creatures from parallel dimensions sometimes ind
Lomari: Humans of Lomar speak this tongue. It is their way into the world.
unrelated to any other languages in hule. Celestial: he language of the gods and their
Nimothan: Human tribes and cities of Nimothan servants. he holiest tomes and scrolls in existence
descent speak this language. he written form is contain passages written in Celestial.
based on dwarven runes. Mi-Go: Known to only a handful of scholars
Urgan: he primitive language of the beastmen, and cultists, most of whom are not entirely sane.
gnolls, and the more intelligent beasts and apes. he strange and sinister mi-go are among the most
here is no written form. widely traveled of the extraterrene races that visit the
Benthic: A prehuman language spoken by the Earth, and their languagegenerally unpronounce-
ancient civilizations of the seas. he written form able by humansserves as a common tongue among
is a fantastically ancient glyph system referred to as the alien races that occasionally visit hule.
Pnakos, known principally for its appearance in the
Pnakotic Manuscripts.

25
Primeval Continent
CHARACTER ARMS
GODS AND CULTS
here are many gods in hule, my King: Protectors
AND ARMOR IN THULE of cities, patrons of merchants, spirits of forests or
Unless stated otherwise, you can assume that any metallic armor your char- beasts, and dark things remembered only by a few
acter encounters is made from bronze scales, rings, or plates, and that any savage tribes or vile cults. his is a superstitious age,
metallic weapon your character inds is likewise made of bronze. Since the and humankind is surrounded by mysterious powers.
great majority of Thules warriors are armed and armored in bronze, there is In such a world, people naturally seek to understand
no special penalty or bonus in most combat situations. the forces around them by giving them names and
seeking to win their favor or avert their displea-
sure. Whether the gods take note of such things or
STONE, BRONZE, not, few indeed could say, for the gods of hule are
IRON AND MORE inscrutable.
he Atlanteans were masters of metallurgy and ma- Gods and other divine entities of this land fall
chines, Mighty King, but their inluence did not pen- into one of three broad groups: he Nine Powers, a
etrate to the deepest jungles of hule. In general, the pantheon of mythological igures who are the gods of
savage peoples of this land make do without metal the civilized peoples; the Forest Gods, myriad spirits
arms or armor, while the peoples of the city-states of beast, wood, and weather that are worshiped by
are skilled in working copper and bronze. Barbarians many of the savage and barbarian tribes; and the
who have any regular contact with civilized folk are Other Gods, dreadful prehuman entities that are
able to equip themselves with bronze arms and armor venerated only by the most degenerate cultists and
too, whether through trade, tribute, or pillage. tribes.
People (and intelligent monsters) who have little con-
tact with civilization generally wield weapons of stone, ASURA
bone, and wood. In many cases, these inferior materials Goddess of Dawn, Messenger of the Gods, Flame of
are still quite suicient to do the joban arrow with Atlantis
an obsidian point is nearly as lethal as one with a hard Symbol: A crown or tiara with rays of sunlight
metal point, as long as the target isnt wearing armor Alignment: Neutral good
made from better materials. Naturally, few adventurers Portfolio: Dawn, ire, beginnings, inspiration
insist on using primitive weapons when better weapons Favored Weapon: Spear
are available, so even the most savage hero usually gets
his hands on a bronze spear or sword early in his career he goddess of dawn, Asura is said to begin each
once he begins interacting with more civilized folk. new day by kindling the sun with divine ire. She
Weapons and armor made from iron are rare. he is a igure of glory and hope, dispelling darkness
only people in hule who know the secret of work- and driving away evil things with her coming. Her
ing iron are the dwarves, and they do not simply sell holy texts teach that people are meant to live free of
their prized arms. In fact, most dwarves assume that oppression and realize their potential, doing good
anyone carrying an iron weapon murdered a dwarf works and aiding those less fortunate than they. She
and stole it, and treat the bearer accordingly. When was once considered the special patron of Atlantis,
dwarves do make a gift of an iron sword or shield to a and her radiant glory symbolized the progress and
worthy recipient, they usually put a mark of iron on enlightenment of Atlantean civilization.
the recipienta small tattoo or brand of the smiths Temples of Asura commonly greet each sunrise
rune, indicating that the bearer has the right to carry with ringing gongs, and keep a sacred ire burning
that weapon. Of course, many raiders and marauders at the altar all year round. he priests of Asura lost a
carry iron weapons looted from dead heroes and dont great deal of wealth and inluence when Atlantis was
have any such mark. But dwarves are not above hiring destroyed, but after centuries of decline, Asuras faith
thieves or assassins to get these weapons back when is now gaining strength again as her priests champi-
they learn of one. on the cause of hules lower classes. he priests of
he mages and craftsmen of Atlantis also knew the Asura oppose the worst excesses of the slave trade,
secret of working iron, of course, and a number of strang- calling for laws to ensure that slaves are treated well,
er and more mysterious alloys as wellsteel, mithral, and a few of the most radical even go so far as to call
adamantine, orichalcum, and others. It is possible that for the abolition of slavery altogethera position
these secrets may still survive in some Atlantean ruins, that puts them at odds with the elites of hules
but for the most part this knowledge has vanished from cities.
the world. A small amount of Atlantean weapons and
suits of armor can be found in the treasuries and vaults of
hule, and they are generally regarded as priceless. Only
the greatest of princes or kings own such marvels.

26
Primeval Continent
HERUM KISHAR
Lord of Beasts, the Ape-God Goddess of Grain, Mother of Rivers, Queen of the Gods
Symbol: Broken bones Symbol: A sheaf of grain
Alignment: Chaotic evil Alignment: Lawful neutral
Portfolio: Beasts, savagery, rage, destruction Portfolio: Agriculture, the earth, rivers, motherhood
Favored Weapon: Greatclub Favored Weapon: Light lail

An old and brutal god, Herum represents the Goddess of agriculture and growing things, Kishar
violence and bloodthirstiness that lurks inside is the consort of Mithra and the mother igure
the human heart. He was one of the irst gods of among the Nine. She is the mother of Tarhun, and
humankind, a suitable deity for naked savages who held in some reverence by followers of that faith as
were barely more advanced than apes themselves. well as her own. Kishar teaches that all things come
Herum teaches that humans are no more than beasts in their own season, and that people should give
that can think, and that the true man is one who thanks for the bounty of the earth.
rids himself of his delusions and false morals, giving Few temples are dedicated speciically to Kishar.
himself over to the beast that lurks within. She is more commonly worshiped in conjunction
Few civilized folk still worship Herum. His mes- with Mithra, and in many places the highest-rank-
sage of primitive rage and brutal impulse repels the ing priestess in a temple of Mithra also serves as the
more advanced cultures of hule, and his temples citys high priestess of Kishar. Kishars clerics observe
sit forgotten (or shunned) in the older quarters of the seasons of the year, declaring the times for plant-
hules ancient cities. But here and there Herums ing and harvest and seeking Kishars blessings of rain
crude altars stand in the wild places of the world in and sunshine in good measure.
jungle clearings or on windswept hilltops, stained
with the blood of the sacriices the ape-god demands MITHRA
from his worshipers. His worshipers include the most God of the Sun, Lord of the Sky, King of the Gods
savage warriors, murderers, and lycanthropes. Symbol: A sunburst and eagle
Alignment: Lawful good
ISHTAR Portfolio: Sun, justice, sky, rulership and dominion
Goddess of Love, Luck, and War Favored Weapon: Heavy mace
Symbol: Eight-pointed star
Alignment: Chaotic neutral he ruler of the Nine, Mithra is the god of the
Portfolio: Love, beauty, art, fortune, passion sun and sky. Kishar is his consort, and headstrong
Favored Weapon: Scimitar Tarhun is his son. He is a just and benevolent king,
ordering all things so that his followers can enjoy
Ishtar is the goddess of love and beauty. She is justice and prosperity in their lives. Mithra is also
legendary for ickleness and its of jealous rage, a stern and vigilant judge who checks the wicked
but this same passionate nature also drives her to ambitions of gods such as Set, Nergal, and Tiamat,
ight fearlessly to protect those she loves and boldly ensuring that they fulill their role in the scheme of
confront foes. Ishtar therefore possesses an import- things without exceeding their lawful authority. He
ant aspect as a goddess of war. While Nergal is the teaches that order and justice are the instruments
god of warmaking and conquest and Tarhun is the by which the most good can be done for the most
god of battle, Ishtar represents war as the ultimate people.
expression of unchecked emotion. Her dogma can be Mithras temples are often the grandest and most
reduced to one simple idea: Live passionately, in all powerful in a city, and his priesthood is rich and in-
senses of the expression. luential. hey are usually strongly aligned with the
Ishtar is one of the most widely worshiped of the citys monarch, and the support of Mithras priests is
Nine, and her temples can be found in almost every often one of the chief pillars on which a citys king or
city. Consequently her priestesses tend to be rich, queen bases his or her rule. Few rulers can keep their
powerful, and inluential. Many of the rites and thrones for long if Mithras priests determine that
festivals associated with Ishtars temple are orgies of Mithra no longer blesses the monarchs reign.
one kind or another, which goes a long way toward
explaining Ishtars popularity with the masses. Cler- NERGAL
ics of Ishtar are also seekers of beauty, defenders of God of the Underworld, Lord of War, King of the Dead
art, and protectors of their cities. Symbol: A black lion with a mane of lame
Alignment: Neutral evil
Portfolio: War, death, avarice, the underworld
Favored Weapon: Longsword

27
Primeval Continent
Set is ancient beyond measure. According to some
THE NINE POWERS stories, the lord of snakes actually arose during the
Most civilized Thuleans recognize a distinct pantheon of greater long ages when serpentmen ruled over hule and
powers with wide inluence and temples in the more important city- was irst worshiped as a god by that ancient and
states. This group of major deities is sometimes known as the Nine wicked race. He is the eternal enemy of Mithra, and
Powers. Not all of the Nine are known in all cities; different priesthoods a bitter rival to Nergal and Tiamat. Set teaches that
wield different amounts of inluence from city to city. In fact, many free will is illusion, and that the only path to un-
Thuleans would argue about which deities are properly numbered derstanding is to surrender oneself to him in body,
among the Nine Powers, usually substituting a civic patron, a legend- soul, and mind.
ary hero, or (in some cases) an anthropomorphized version of one of While the worship of Set is unwelcome in many
the Great Old Ones. cities, none can deny the power and inluence of his
The Nine Powers are generally held to include: temples. As much as the priests of Mithra and Asura
rail against the sinister machinations of Sets priests,
Deity Alignment Description few would dare to move openly to ban Sets wor-
Asura NG Goddess of dawn, ire ship or desecrate his altars. Over the years, zealous
Herum CE God of beasts, rage
crusaders have tried to do just that in cities such as
Katagia and Quodeth, but sudden mysterious deaths
Ishtar CN Goddess of love and luck
and various other disasters invariably ensue, bring-
Kishar LN Goddess of the earth, agriculture ing these ill-considered campaigns to an end. Sets
Mithra LG God of sun, sky, lordship worshipers consist largely of the downtrodden and
Nergal NE God of war, the underworld the defeated, people who think so little of themselves
Set LE God of night, secrets, snakes that they surrender their all to the Lord of Night in
Tarhun CG God of storms and battle the hope that he will reward faithful devotion with
the comforts and power that have eluded them. Many
Tiamat CE Goddess of the sea, chaos
other people simply hope to propitiate the Lord of
Serpents and avert the misfortunes and catastrophes
at his command.
A grim and implacable igure, Nergal is the god of
the underworld, war, and death. He represents war
as the drive for power, dominion, and triumph, the TARHUN
desire to subjugate enemies and claim what is theirs. God of Storms, Lord of Battle
Nergal is also the stern and inal judge of the dead, Symbol: A three-forked lightning bolt
sentencing souls deserving of punishment to ages of Alignment: Chaotic good
penance in his hell of black lames. Nergals philos- Portfolio: Storms, sky, battle
ophy teaches that the strong rule over the weak, and Favored Weapon: Battle axe
people are meant to seize the things they want in
lifea creed that often casts the lord of the under- Brash and headstrong, Tarhun is a god who con-
world as a sullen and resentful being who believes fronts his foes and tries his strength against them
Mithras place as the ruler of the pantheon belongs without hesitation. he son of Mithra and Kishar,
to him. Tarhun is a warrior-hero, a igure that battles scores
While Nergal is a dark and demanding deity, his of dreadful monsters in various myths and tales. He
temples are found in many cities and are irmly es- celebrates battle as the true test of manhood (or wom-
tablished in hules civic life. War comes to all lands anhood), the strife in which a warrior can show his or
sooner or later, and warriors seek Nergals favor in her true merit, and teaches that people with courage
the struggles they face. His priesthood urges a strong and honor can make the world a better place by chal-
hand in dealing with the wretched masses and rival lenging wickedness and crushing it underfoot.
cities, and they also sponsor spectacular (and bloody) Tarhuns temples are common in the more martial
games to celebrate the anniversaries of triumphs and cities of hule, especially Lomar, Katagia, and Nim.
conquests from past wars. He is increasingly seen as a god of strength and valor,
a war deity who rewards courage (unlike Nergal, who
SET rewards only triumph). Many warriors take Tarhun
God of Night, the Great Serpent as their patron and seek his favor before battle.
Symbol: Twin serpents Tarhuns priests frequently sponsor athletic games,
Alignment: Lawful evil tournaments, and gladiatorial contests to celebrate
Portfolio: Night, secrets, treachery, poison, snakes the virtues of physical hardiness and valor.
Favored Weapon: Short sword

28
Primeval Continent

TIAMAT THE FOREST GODS


Mother of Dragons, Goddess of the Sea, Queen of Chaos he idea of gods with human representations and
Symbol: A dragon skull with ive horns human concerns is relatively new to the people of
Alignment: Chaotic evil hule, my King. Before the time of Atlantis, no one
Portfolio: Chaos, destruction, monsters, vengeance, knew of gods such as Mithra or Asura. Even the old,
the sea primal deitiesHerum, Set, and perhaps Tiamat
Favored Weapon: Morningstar had no priests or houses of worship. In those years,
humans worshiped only the unseen spirits of hill and
Goddess of the sea, Tiamat is a capricious and wrath- ield, beast and tree. he people of the cities may have
ful deity that supposedly gave birth to many of the forgotten their names, but the tribes of the jungles and
more terrible monsters plaguing the world today. Long the plains remember the Forest Gods, and they still
ago she warred against the other gods and was subdued pay homage to them.
only with the greatest of diiculty, and she still hates all hose who worship the Forest Gods are not priests
the others to this day. Tiamat teaches that the world is or clerics. hey are druids, shamans, or totem war-
without order, and that those who serve chaos and be- riors of one kind or another. heir magic is derived
seech her favor will be rewarded with power and riches. from the spirits of nature, not the power of faith or
While temples dedicated to Set and Nergal can be the divine intercession of the gods. In fact, tribal
found in many hulean cities, Tiamats worship is not people are mystiied by the rites and doctrines of the
quite as common. At best, those who have to hazard life city gods; to the typical barbarian, gods dont want
and livelihood on the seasishermen, sailors, and mer- anything from humankindthey just are. Honor-
chantsare careful to pay their respects to the dragon ing the natural spirits is simply good sense, since
goddess, hoping to avert her wrath with suitable oferings. angering the spirit of the deer by failing to express
People who feel they have been wronged also have been gratitude for a successful hunt might lead the spirit
known to seek out Tiamats shrines and pray for disaster to keep game away from the hunter in the future,
to befall their enemies. Tiamats priests often seek out while angering the spirit of the mammoth is a good
monsters wherever they lurk, providing them with trea- way to get oneself killed.
sures and sacriice to honor the children of the Queen.

29
Primeval Continent
Civilized travelers are sometimes inclined to treat In the beliefs of hule, gods have little to do with
druids and shamans with skepticismafter all, mortal souls or the afterlife. Most city-dwellers are
they have their own explanations for the mysteries not terribly religious; the idea of seeking eternal
of nature and do not look at the world in the same salvation through faithful service to a deity simply
way more primitive peoples do. But there is no doubt isnt a part of most cultures. Instead, pious citizens
that shamans and other practitioners of nature magic observe rituals and make minor sacriices more as a
deal with powers every bit as real and capable as the matter of participating in civic culture (and perhaps
mystic forces harnessed by a wizards spells or a cler- invoking a little good luck) than as a matter of seek-
ics prayers. It seems that for the wilderness tribes, ing favorable treatment in the hereafter. Piety and
believing is seeing. hey perceive a world where every moderation are the virtues of good people, and good
animal, every tree, every rock, and every stream pos- people need fear nothing that awaits after death.
sesses its own living spirit, and for them, it is so. Some holy texts state that gods can reward their
loyal servants or punish the very wicked, but these
WORSHIP, BELIEFS, are usually portrayed as bounded fatesa great
traitor may be sentenced to spend an age in Nergals
AND DEVOTION black hells, or a courageous hero may be chosen to
he gods of hule are more secretive or aloof than feast at Tarhuns table the day she falls in battle. But
those of many places. his is not a land where gods if the writings of hules priests are to be believed,
move mortals like chess pieces or appear in shining most souls simply depart the world on death, and
visions to direct their followers to take on quests or the gods have limited power or interest in decreeing
launch crusades. A priest in hule is generally left otherwise.
to his own devices and determines the nature of his
service on his own. CLERICS AND MAGIC
Clerical magic is rarely seen, and is every bit as secre-
tive and mysterious as arcane magic. In hule, clerics
THE GREAT OLD ONES dont pray for spells. Instead, they gain their magical
The Nine Powers are the gods of Thule, but they are not the only gods powers when they are initiated into the deeper mys-
in Thule. Long before the gods of the human pantheon or even the teries of their chosen deitys worship. To put it an-
myriad spirits of the natural world came into existence and assumed other way, once a priestess of Ishtar is initiated into
their places, primordial powersevil, ancient, inhumancame to the the secrets of Ishtars priesthood and invested with
young planet and established their alien dominion over land, sky, and power, she gains the ability to use spells. What she
sea. Only the most fearless (or foolhardy) of sages study these crea- does with those powers after that point is up to her.
tures, but from these scholars a few terrible names are known. These Because priests can only be judged by the observ-
Great Old Ones include: able actions they take, it is far from certain that
any given cleric is serving his or her deity faithfully.
Deity Alignment Description
Priests, like all other mortals, are fallible and cor-
ruptible, and their magic has no special divine im-
Cthulhu CE The Caller in the Deep
primatur that makes it holy or good. Magic in hule
Dhuoth CE The Giver of Eyes
is mysterious and not well understood, and hules
Hastur NE The King in Yellow priesthoods are nothing if not mysterious.
Ithaqua CE The Wind-Walker
Lorthnuun
Nyarlathotep
NE
CE
Lord of the Golden Chalice
The Crawling Chaos
SECRET LORE
he great majority of hules people, both barbarian
Shub-Niggurath CN Black Goat of the Woods
and civilized, go about their lives in blissful igno-
Tsathoggua NE The Sleeping God rance of the worlds vast age and dark secrets. For
Yga-Ygo NE The Dweller in Dreams them, history is little more than a handful of garbled
Yog-Sothoth CE Opener of the Way stories handed down over a handful of centuries
from savage ancestors who had barely mastered the
Driven into hibernation in the desolate places of the world or exiled making of ire, and the world is as it has always been.
to the far reaches of time and space, the Great Old Ones hunger to his is as true in hule as it is in your Supreme Maj-
return and reclaim what was once theirs. Some who bargain with these estys own realm.
beings do so in search of power, some are degenerate tribes that cling Most barbarians and lower-class city folk know
to their monstrous gods, and some are vile cultists who pray for the only the most basic facts about things they havent
end of all existence. Few indeed dare to name these Other Gods aloud, personally experiencedfor example, there was
but that does not mean They are not worshipped. It is better not to pry once an empire called Atlantis, or shamans gain
into these matters, Majesty. magic powers from spirits of nature. Well-educated
people such as the oicials or nobles of a city can
trace the broad outlines of events or big picture
30
Primeval Continent

truths, such as, Atlantis reigned from two thousand the Dhari people. And it is not unusual for powerful
years ago to just a couple of hundred years ago, and kings or priesthoods to create new versions of old
they colonized many lands around the Atlantean myths in order to cement their own authority and
Ocean, or sages say there are ive kinds of magic, place in history. Only the most diligent and widely
including animism, the magic of shamans and traveled of sages possess any real glimmer of histor-
druids. Only the most dedicated scholars would ical understanding, and in many cases, they fear to
be able to create a detailed history of Atlantis, or share what they have learned.
describe each form of magic and its practitioners. hose sages who have pieced together an account
Getting them to share that knowledgeand en- of hules history begin their tale in the Primordial
suring that its not colored by a scholarly or sinister Age. his is the vast span of time stretching from the
agendais no easy task. beginning of things to the irst appearance of human-
While there are many things that are forgotten or kind. While humans did not yet exist, the earth was
misunderstood in this superstitious age, the biggest not empty; ancient prehuman races held sway over
and most important secrets fall into a few broad cat- the world. he stories of their wars and triumphs are
egories: history, magic, cosmology, and the existence mostly lost in time, with only a few cryptic ruins or
of the Great Old Ones. crumbling scrolls left to record these times. No one
knows for certain who or what might have lived upon
HISTORY OF THULE the Earth in these distant years, but toward the end
of this time, hule was dominated by two prehuman
Most people are familiar with the broad history of empires: the serpentmen and the rakshasas.
their own city or tribe. hey know the foundational he Age of Dawn marked the coming of mankind.
myths of their culture and the more important events It is diicult to give a precise beginning to this age
that have taken place during their own lifetimes, since no one knows how long primitive men roamed
and possibly during the lifetimes of their parents and the African plains before wandering out to the rest
grandparents. Unfortunately, hulean learning is of the world; it may have been anywhere between
parochial in the extreme; a Quodethi knows next to 50,000 and 10,000 years before the current age of
nothing about the history of Katagia or the tales of
31
Primeval Continent
A TIMELINE FOR THULE
100,000 AR? The Primordial Age. No human civilizations anywhere in the world.
35,000 AR Serpentman empire of Nessk conquers eastern Thule.
30,000 AR Age of Dawn. The irst humans appear and begin to migrate outward.
8800 AR Primitive humans arrive on Thules shores.
7500 AR Guardian menhirs erected around Thule by a secret druid order.
4200 AR First Dhari tribes begin settling southern Thule. They eventually move westward into Dhar Mesh and Nar.
2955 AR Age of Myth. Elves arrive in Thule through world gates.
2700 AR War breaks out between the elven realms of Imystrahl and Sersidyen and the serpentman empire of Nessk. Intermit-
tent wars continue for centuries.
1950 AR Rakshasas of Jhi Anool gate in a demon horde to destroy the elven realm of Mesildyar in northern Thule.
1420 AR Elven legions, reinforced by the warriors of their subject human tribes, drive the rakshasas from Thule. The rakshasas
retreat to Hellumar.
1124 AR Imystrahls legions besiege and raze the Nesskian fortress of Bhnaal Pruth at the mouth of the River Quosa.
655 AR A foul orange rain falls over the Inner Sea; the alien being known as Dhuoth takes root in a remote valley and begins to
grow.
500 AR The Kalay tribes begin their settling of Thule.
240 AR The barbarian chief Jal Dror founds the city of Quodeth.
0 AR Age of Atlantis. The warlord Evenor unites Atlantis and establishes his capital, creating the Empire of Atlantis.
16 AR Quodeths armies defeat the elven kingdom of Sersidyen.
99 AR The cities of Quodeth and Hurhun combine forces to destroy the troglodyte kingdom of Vhaug.
307 AR An Atlantean leet raids Imystrahl, causing great damage.
429 AR Dwarves arrive in Thule, migrating from the eastern continent.
495 AR Atlanteans found the colony of Katagia.
566 AR First Nimothan explorers begin settling northeast Thule and the island of Nimoth.
616 AR The Atlantean colony of Orech is established on Thules northern shores.
833 AR Dwarven city of Kal-Zinan is founded in the Zinandar Mountains.
1114 AR Vanadar, the Crimson Prince, fails to seize the Atlantean Throne. He is exiled to Thule and founds the city of Marg.
1178 AR Vanadar, King of Marg, sacks the elven city of Imystrahl.
1215 AR Ghedrar the Necromancer rises to power in Ikath and builds an army of mummy warriors, seizing much of central
Thule for his kingdom.
1451 AR Atlantean legions conquer Quodeth, adding the city to their empire.
1511 AR Dwarven schism leads to civil war and the ruin of Kal-Zinan. The victorious clans vow to rebuild, and the losing clans
are exiled.
1673 AR Atlantean general Nemruth leads a leet across the Inner Sea to attack Ikath. He defeats the undead armies of Ghedrar
the Necromancer and withdraws after installing a puppet king. Ghedrars body is never found.
1744 AR The Yellow Priests assume power in Orech after a plague of madness ravages the city.
1817 AR War breaks out between Atlantis and Lemuria. Most of the ighting takes place in northern Africa.
1906 AR Atlantis is destroyed and sinks beneath the waves.
1980 AR Invaders from across the sea, a lost tribe of Lemuria, found the city of Lomar.
2000 AR Glaciation renders much of the Kingdom of Nimoth uninhabitable. Beginning of the Nimothan migrations.
2011 AR Kal Keor the Terrible becomes chief of the Jandar tribes, and crushes Thran.
2016 AR The Jandar horde defeats Droum. Kal Keor names himself King of Droum.
2022 AR The Jandar hordes attack Quodeth and are repelled.
2035 AR Kal Keor is assassinated by sorcery; the Jandar hordes disperse, and Kal Keors empire crumbles.
2040 AR Bayod Naz, the Black Wizard, reveals the existence of the Black Circle and seizes power in Thran.
2087 AR Lomar defeats the city of Hurhun in a sudden war. Hurhun is sacked, its people scattered, its walls pulled down, and its
ields salted.
2096 AR The glacier Kang overruns the small realm of Lendosk in a single winter.
2104 AR Beothoe, capital city of Nimoth, is engulfed by glaciers.
2112 AR Wandering tribes driven from Nimoth found the city of Nim on Thules northern coast.
2155 AR Legions of Lomar defeat Droums army. Droum sues for peace and is forced to pay a ruinous tribute.
2168 AR Princess Jara Boh is exiled from Lomar. She founds the city of Rime in an abandoned stronghold of Lendosk.
2176 AR The Black Milk is introduced in Imystrahl.
2183 AR Cult of Great Cthulhu spreads widely and grows dangerously inluential as star alignments bring a season of dark
dreams and whispers of doom.
2209 AR Deyane Hazeda becomes Quodeths queen at age 15. Grand Vizier Ibland Posk rules as the power behind the throne.
2213 AR Age of Ice/Age of Man. Current year.

32
Primeval Continent
hule. Humans were savages, without writing or
metal or numbers, but they were a young and vigor-
SOURCES OF MAGIC
he history of hule amply illustrates that the
ous race. Serpentmen and rakshasas regarded these
worlds ancient empires were founded on occult
new arrivals as mere pests and wiped out tribes that
learning and lore. Yet your Supreme Majesty is cer-
blundered into their territorybut these elder races
tainly aware that magic is something humans were
were already in decline, and humans found many of
not meant to wield. Humans, for all their learning,
their old cities and strongholds empty.
are creatures of the natural world, and magic in
he Age of Dawn gave way to the Age of Myth
any form is essentially unnatural. Mastering magic
5,000 years ago, when a new race arrived in the
requires more than simple study or a natural knack.
world: the elves. A proud and warlike people, elves
hose who seek to use magic must irst ind a suitable
came to hule from a parallel earth, leeing through
source of magic and harness it. hules scholars speak
dimensional portals to escape some dire danger in
of ive distinct origins or sources of magical power,
their native world. Armed with learning and magic
and many wonder about several more that have not
equal to those of the serpentmen and the rakshasas,
been conirmed to exist.
the elves carved out kingdoms of their own. Many
he irst form of magic mastered by humans after
human tribes swore fealty to elven rulers, serving as
they began to spread throughout the Earth and learn
warriors in elven armies battling against the remain-
its secrets was animismprimal magic, or spirit
ing serpent kingdoms and rakshasa realms.
magic. From the earliest days of humankind, wise
he founding of Atlantis, the irst and greatest
men and women saw the world as a place alive with
human empire, 2200 years ago marked the turn of a
spirits and forces, and sought the favor of these nat-
new age. he Age of Atlantis saw humankind equal
ural spirits. Civilized huleans can barely perceive
and then surpass the learning of the older races;
these spirits, and some openly scof at barbaric
armed with powerful sorcery and advanced science,
superstitionsbut shamans, druids, totem warriors,
the Atlanteans created many great wonders and
and others who draw magical power from the spirits
brought a vast portion of the world under their sway.
of nature know better, my King.
Several of hules great citiesKatagia, Orech, and
As the wandering tribes of humankind began to
Marg, for examplehad their beginnings as colonies
slowly settle and become civilized, they forgot the
of Atlantis. Later, as the empires power grew, the
ways of their savage forebears. Instead of spirits of
Atlanteans turned to conquest and subjugated lesser
beasts and seasons, they began to seek out powers
cities such as Quodeth and Droum.
that could teach crafts, knowledge, and secrets of
Atlantean lords ruled much of hule for a dozen
lore. Where once humans raised stone circles, they
centuries or more...but at the height of its power,
began to build stone temples, and they named the
Atlantis was laid low by a terrible cataclysm. he
beings that taught (and sometimes chastised) them.
cause of this disaster is not known; some believe the
To their most faithful followers, the gods taught
Atlanteans were dabbling with a new and uncon-
the secret art of invocation, or divine magic. Some
trolled source of energy, some say the gods struck
believe that clerics beseech the gods for miracles that
down Atlantis for its overwhelming hubris, and still
the gods in turn grant, but in truth the gods do not
others familiar with the secrets of the Great Old
channel this power to their followersthe prayers
Ones believe that the some baleful alignment of the
and forms of cleric spells are designed to unlock the
stars awoke one of these monstrous powers, which
same supernal power the gods themselves employ, al-
then destroyed the Atlantean civilization. Whatever
though clerics are initiated into only a small portion
the cause, most of the island-continent of Atlantis
of this divine secret.
sank beneath the waves 300 years ago, marking the
Humans may have discovered the power of ani-
end of an age.
mism and invocation on their own, but the secrets of
he current age has earned no particular name
arcane magic originated among older races. Arcana
yet, although some sages refer to it as the Age of
is the science of the occult, the logical study of
Man, while otherstaking note of the glaciers
supernatural principles and efects. It is the wizards
slowly devouring the northern worldrefer to it as
learning and study, an endlessly complex and ab-
the Age of Ice. In this day, the old races are waning
struse science in which the most fundamental secrets
quickly; the serpentmen and rakshasa empires are
of the universe are waiting to be discovered. Humans
long dead, the elves are sliding into decadence and
irst studied arcana from stolen scrolls of serpent-
decline, and the few remaining outposts of Atlantis
man mages or under the tutelage of the elves, who
are losing their power and inluence over the young-
hoped to ill the ranks of their armies with servants
er city-states of hule. Mercantile Quodeth and
powerful in magic. he wizards of Atlantis elevated
martial Lomar are the great powers of the north-
the arcane arts to terrible and dangerous heights, and
ern continent now, even if they wield only a tiny
paid the pricebut the Atlantean lore and its elven
fraction of the power that Atlantis (or the earlier,
origins are still studied today.
prehuman empires) once possessed.

33
Primeval Continent
Sorcery represents a diferent approach to power, DISTANT SPHERES
O King; instead of changing the world with arcane he Earth is only one planet among many in the
knowledge, the sorcerer uses arcane knowledge to universe. Astrologers have studied the movements
change himself or herself into a being whose nature of nearby planets such as Venus, Mars, and Jupiter,
is now in part magical. Sorcerers begin their careers and know them well. What might lie in the sands of
by inding some rite or ritual and making a sacriice, Mars or beneath the clouds of Venus no one knows,
giving up some part of their humanity to gain power. but one thing is certainly true: Alien races have come
In a world where magic use of any kind is seen as to the Earth from distant spheres on many occasions
dangerous, sorcery is especially feared. In hule it is in the past, and some still visit the world from time
said that the art of sorcery was the secret of innate- to time to this day.
ly magical races such as rakshasas or genies, who Since the denizens of other worlds have left little
bartered their secrets to human seekers, usually at record of their travels on Earth, and few (if any)
terrible cost. humans have traveled to these spheres, very little is
here is one last route to power, a road that is dark known about them. he Moon is said to be home
and dangerous indeedone can always bargain for to a vile race of anthropophagic slavers known as
the gift from an entity with the powers one seeks. the moon-beasts, although it is possible that these
heurgy is the path of the warlock or the witch. By creatures hail from the moon of an alternate Earth,
making a pact with some supernatural patron, the not hules own moon. Saturn (or one of its moons,
warlock gains the ability to use magic for his or her more likely) is supposedly the home of Tsathoggua, a
own purposes. he best of these patrons are ickle Great Old One whose crude stone altars can still be
and inhuman powers from diferent realitiessly, found in remote caverns. he black world of Yuggoth
mocking devils or bewitching fey. he worst are lies at the outer edge of our suns domain, and is
Great Old Ones, blind and hungry, responding to home to the fungal creatures known as the mi-go.
rituals far older than mankind. heurgy descended Other planets are even more distant. he cursed
to humankind from beings far more alien than elves city of Carcosa, dwelling place of Hastur, stands on a
or serpentmen, and warlocks are objects of suspicion world that orbits the star Aldebaran. Nyarlathotep is
and terror in all but the most callous of cities. Shun said to dwell in the World of Seven Suns near the star
this dark knowledge, my King! Fomalhaut; the dhole-gnawed shell of the planet Yad-
Other forms of magic almost certainly exist, of dith is thought to lie near the star Deneb. Nheb, home
course. he Earth is ancient, and not even the wisest of the star-things that lurk on hules highest peaks,
sage could begin to enumerate all the occult tradi- is a vapor-shrouded moon orbiting a vast world near
tions and supernatural laws of its prehuman civiliza- the star Schedar. No doubt there are dozens of other
tions. But there are many dead cities and cursed ruins alien races that have taken an interest in the Earth at
in hules jungles, and some of these are the result of one time or another, and left their own dimensional
dabbling in secrets man was not meant to know. gates or transportation mechanisms hidden in hules
junglesbut it should be noted that very few humans
OTHER WORLDS ever leave the Earth, my King, and none of those indi-
If it pleases my lord and sovereign, the Earth is but one viduals have ever been known to return.
world among countless worlds in existence. he in-
inite depths of space are home to alien planets beyond PARALLEL DIMENSIONS
number, but there are also ininite parallel realities in Learned sages and scientists know that some things
which diferent versions of the Earth exist. he most exist in a diferent way than the ordinary matter
powerful magicians and the most advanced scientists that makes up the world. Creatures such as ghosts or
possess techniques to travel to distant stars or into wraiths are not made of the same stuf that earthly
these parallel dimensions. For some reason or another, creatures are, Mighty King. A student of science
hule has had more contact than most lands with these might say that such beings simply vibrate or resonate
distant spheres. on a diferent frequency, and thus interact with the
Some of hules sages have attempted to describe world in strange and unexpected ways.
these alternate worlds as a Great Wheel of meta- Ethereal beings and objects are still in the world,
physical realms, as elemental planes, or as realms but they are somehow out of phase. Unseen and
revolving around a universal axis. Most of these intangible, they pass through the world unnoticed.
philosophical concepts arent terribly accurate. In hey can dimly perceive the ordinary world around
hules cosmology there are no heavens or hells them, but humans that have attained an ethereal state
where souls are given their eternal rewardother report that they seem to be moving through dense
worlds can certainly be idyllic or hellish places, but gray mist. A few (thankfully rare) monsters such as
they are every bit as physical as the Earth itself, and the star-things of Nheb seem to be able to shift to and
subject to physical laws and realities, even if strange from an ethereal state of existence at will.
and unfamiliar. Like ethereal beings, astral or dream beings exist
34
Primeval Continent
in a diferent mode than physical beings. To be
in astral form is to be pure thought. Astral beings THULES COSMOLOGY:
can roam the world as disembodied intelligences, SOURCE, NOT DESTINATION
seeing distant places and interacting with others Thule exists in a universe that is more scientiic and less magical than
through dreams or visions. Astral beings can also most fantasy settings. The stars are really stars, and theyre sometimes
enter dream-worlds, building for themselves astral thousands of light-years distant. Metaphysical or elemental planes of
bodies that mimic their own physical forms even existence arent really a part of the setting. On the rare occasions that
though their own physical bodies lie sleeping or in Thulean PCs leave the Earth, theyre usually physically traveling or tele-
deep trance somewhere in the real world. porting to another planet, or moving to an Earth of an alternate reality.
Finally, some sages suggest there may be a supernal Cosmology is therefore more important as a way of describing where
dimension or plane, a level of existence on which the things come from, not where PCs can go.
gods and their servants dwell. Whether or not this In general, most extraplanar monsters or races you wish to use in your
is simply another form of astral existence, only the game just come from alternate Earths. Fire elementals or salamanders
gods could say, but celestial palaces and heavenly come from a version of Earth where volcanism runs amok and ire magic
domains do not seem to exist in the physical world. prevails. You can assume that there are Gehenna-like or Tarterus-like ver-
sions of the Earth where creatures such as night hags or demodands rule,
ALTERNATE EARTHS or iendish versions of beasts and monsters dwell. But in a setting where
In addition to the numberless worlds scattered through- barbed devils might meet mi-go, its useful to have a uniied explanation
out the ininity of the starry night, hules sages have of how these things it in the same multiverse.
conirmed the existence of many diferent Earths.
It seems there are many realities in the cosmos, O Nifhel is a dark and frozen orb ruled by giants or
King, and Earthor a diferent version of itexists titans with powers of darkness and cold.
in many of these alternate realities. Beings that are Kaf is home to the hidden race of genies. It is said
apparently terrestrial in nature but clearly came into to be a world of deserts, mountains, and ruins.
existence in diferent worlds may be natives of an
alternate Earth, not an alien planet. Devices of pow- Your humble scribe wishes that he could relate more
erful magic or advanced science can serve as doors than this meager handful of hints and whispers about
between these diferent realities, allowing creatures to other worlds, but these things are only recorded in
move from one to another at speciic crossing-points. the rarest and most perilous of tomes, my King. here
Of these alternate earths, the most well known is are many more worlds hinted at, but it is hard to say
the world of Faerie. It is much like hules earth, but whether two books refer to the same place by diferent
innately magical, and peopled by strange creatures names or use the same name for many diferent places.
and powers that occasionally take an interest in the One thing is known: Powerful magic (or advanced
human world. Crossing points to this alternate world science) can sometimes pull natives of these alternate
seem positively commonplace, at least in legend worlds into hule and bind them to service. Wizards
every dark hill or lonely glen might harbor a secret do so at their own perilthe farther into the cosmos
door to the faerie world. Many educated huleans one reaches, the less likely it is that what one calls up
laugh at such stories, but there is no doubt that this can actually be controlled. Again, my King, I must
otherworld exists, since the elves came to hule from urge you not to pry too deeply into these matters.
this realm many centuries ago.
he world of Shadow is likewise closely bound to
hule, and is innately magical in a dark and deadly IN CLOSING
way. By all reports, the shadow-Earth is a cold and Your humble servant thanks you a thousand times for
gloomy realm, sparsely peopled; life itself is slowly your kind attention, Mighty King. If some unimportant
leeched away from those who linger too long. Nec- detail or rumor escapes your keen perception, the fault lies
romantic energy infuses this realitythings do not entirely with this unworthy scribe. As you have command-
stay dead for long in this otherworld, and hulean ed, all the notes and sources from which this discussion
mages who wish to meddle with the nature of life was drawn have been faithfully copied and bound with
and death sometimes draw upon this dark power. this tale; you will ind them in the following chapters.
Dozens of additional alternate worlds or realities In the following pages many of your questions will
are known to exist or are hinted at in the oldest doubtless ind their answers. But as one who has had
and most terrible grimoires. hese seem to be more the privilege to visit the primeval continent in your
distant from or out of alignment with hules Earth, Supreme Majestys service, allow me to add this inal
and thus less accessible. Some of these include: remark: My words do not do justice to hule.
Tanar is a hellish world (or group of worlds) that is Should you choose to voyage to its shores, you
home to the swarming hordes of demonkind. shall see wondersand, possibly, terrorsunimag-
Lanka is the original home of the rakshasas, a ined in the tamer lands of the Earth. Read on, my
place of steaming jungles and titanic fortresses. King, and learn more of what awaits you in hule!

35
Heroes of Thule

2: Heroes of Thule
Many are the dangers of the primeval continentterrible beasts, savage tribes, cities
riddled with thievery and murder, and elder horrors lurking in the desolate places of the
Earth. he people of hule, whether they are barbaric nomads or civilized city-dwellers,
live in a world where deadly threats may strike at any moment. In this savage land every
man and woman, from the humblest laborer to the richest noble, goes armed and stands
ready to ight for his or her life.

36
Heroes of Thule

I
t has always been true that the most diicult brutal and primitive age. But a little more than three
challenges provide the best opportunity for hundred years ago, Atlantis was destroyed in a terrible
people to show their worth. he average hu- cataclysm. Nine out of ten Atlanteans were erased
lean tribesman is inured to physical hardships and from existence in a single day, breaking the worldwide
routinely deals with lethal predators that few other dominance of the Atlantean race.
people could possibly survive. he typical city- While the vast majority of Atlanteans died with
dweller might spend her days working as an artisan their empire, some survived the destruction. he
or shopkeeper, but she has had to defend herself with Atlanteans were a race of far-traveling mariners, and
cudgel or blade many times, ighting of robbers or thousands of sailors and merchants were far from
rivals. Compared to the common people of most set- Atlantis on the day of doom. hey were also conquer-
tings, the common folk of hule are fearless, tough, ors and colonizers who controlled vast domains on
and exceedingly warlike. Survival in the primeval the continents surrounding the Atlantean Ocean, and
continent demands no less. thousands more Atlanteans lived in these overseas
In a world so accustomed to brutality and danger, possessions. he Atlanteans of the current day are
heroes are extraordinary specimens indeed. Just about descended from these travelers and colonists.
every member of a barbarian tribe may be a dan- Atlanteans have lost much of their vast lore and
gerous warrior, but the one who decides to wander advanced technology, but they are still a powerful
of and seek her fortune in the lands of civilization? force for good or evil in the world. Proud, audacious,
She must be something special indeeda lithe sa- self-reliant, and industrious, they work to preserve
ber-tooth cat in human form, with the reactions of a the fading glory of Atlantis and recover what they can
cobra, the speed of a gazelle, and the keen senses of a of its lost sciences and arts. Some Atlanteans use this
timber wolf. here are a thousand tough and fearless lore to guide (or dominate) the less-advanced peoples
barbarians in hule, after all, but shes the one who is around them, hoping to rebuild Atlantis in a new
worth telling stories about. home. Others recognize that the time of Atlantis has
Not all heroes act heroically, of course. he world passed, and work to pass its knowledge to younger
of hule is a crueler and more primitive place than civilizations where it may do great good.
most other settings. In hule, one should think of
a hero as a character that is worth telling stories PHYSICAL QUALITIES
about, not someone who acts altruistically or battles Atlanteans are fully human, and possess a human
evil for the sake of the common good. his is a world range of builds, body types, and features. hey form a
of mercenaries and freebooters, not champions of distinct ethnicity, and can be identiied as Atlantean
good . . . although more than a few hulean heroes at a glance. hey are a tall and handsome people in
do indeed ind themselves forced to confront the general, and many Atlanteans are natural athletes.
worst evils imaginable. heir skin color ranges from a light copper hue to
a deep bronze, their hair is usually dark brown or
RACES OF THULE raven-black, and their features tend to be ine. heir
most notable features are light-colored eyes in hues
Many diferent peoples live in hule. Humans of
that are rare among other humans: gray, green, an icy
various tribes or ethnic groups are scattered across
pale blue, or even a bright gold. he contrast between
the continent, and vastly outnumber the people of
the light-colored eyes and the copper or bronze com-
other racesthis is an age of humans, after all. But
plexion is often quite striking.
humankind is a young and barbaric race, and they
Because Atlanteans are declining in numbers, more
still share hule with peoples such as dwarves, elves,
and more have married into the general population of
or hallings.
hule. Classic Atlantean features are becoming hard
his section provides an introduction to the char-
to ind, although the wealthiest and most powerful
acter races found in the Primeval Thule setting.
families are more likely to preserve the old bloodlines.
Atlanteans are a new character race native to hule;
they are human, but they possess a unique cultural
heritage and new racial traits and powers. A discussion ATTITUDES
of hules other human tribes follows, along with a AND BELIEFS
description of hules elves, dwarves, and hallings. Atlanteans value knowledge and learning above
all things. Even the most martially inclined Atlan-
ATLANTEAN tean is not just a muscle-bound soldierhe or she
is a student of combat and strategy, drawing upon
A dying race, Atlanteans were once the most advanced
centuries of martial philosophy. Atlanteans believe
and powerful people to be found anywhere on the
that every human endeavor can be studied, critiqued,
Earth. he great empire of Atlantis was fabulously
and advanced through the application of logic and
rich, and Atlantean magic and technology made the
scholarship. he history of Atlantis was a triumph of
island empire a realm of marvels in an otherwise
progress in science, magic, war, and the arts, and now
37
Heroes of Thule
that Atlantis is no more, the surviving Atlanteans
strive to preserve and spread this philosophy to the
other peoples of the world.
Because Atlanteans ruled over much of the Earth
for so long, they see themselves as more intelligent
and capable than other people. hey are the kings
of men in the parlance of the old empire, and they
naturally see themselves as leaders. Atlanteans are
proud, conident, and strong-willed, and often expect
some amount of deference from people who do not
share their education or incisiveness. At best, this
attitude comes across as haughty or patronizing. At
its worst, it is a belief system of racial superiority that
empowers Atlanteans to dominate weaker peoples.
However, many Atlanteans believe that the advan-
tages they enjoy also carry an obligation to work to
make the world a better place; more Atlanteans are
compassionate teachers than arrogant conquerors.
Atlanteans are not especially pious. heir cultural
heritage of scientiic learning and technological
advancement makes it easier for them to have faith in
their own abilities instead of seeking divine patrons to
protect them. Many people believe that the tragic fate
of Atlantis was the gods punishment for this hubris,
although few Atlanteans would agree. hose Atlante-
ans who are religious usually regard Asura, Mithra,
Nergal, and Tiamat as the most important deities, and
venerate them above all others. Asura in particular
was viewed as the patroness and protector of Atlantis,
and even though Atlantis is gone, her people still look
to the dawn for inspiration.

ATLANTEAN
COMMUNITIES
he nation of Atlantis is now gone, and there are
very few places in the world where Atlanteans live
in their own isolated communities. In this new age,
Atlanteans are most often found as minority pop-
ulations within the cities or lands of other human
peoples. Over the long centuries of Atlantiss preem-
inence, Atlanteans living overseas naturally enjoyed
signiicant advantages of wealth and political power
in the empires various colonies. hese advantages are
not what they once were, but they still existAtlan-
tean families are often titled nobles, successful mer-
chants, or powerful politicians or military leaders.
Atlanteans are especially common in the city-states
of Katagia, Marg, Orech, and Quodeth.

ROLEPLAYING AN
ATLANTEAN
When you play an Atlantean character, you are
playing someone who is richer, more inluential, and
better-educated than most of the people he or she
meets. Whether you regard these advantages as your
birthright or as privileges you must earn through
your own deeds is up to you.

38
Heroes of Thule
Seek knowledge for its own sake. Your people are Wealthy: Atlantean characters begin play with ive
the living examples of the maxim that knowledge is times the normal starting wealth for their class, and
power. Most Atlanteans cultivate a keen interest in many can purchase common magic items with their starting
diferent thingsancient history, the natural sciences, wealth for 100 gp each. Atlanteans come from wealthy
war and strategy, commerce, philosophy, the arts, almost families with a number of heirlooms.
any ield of study imaginable. Be intensely curious about Languages: Atlantean characters speak Low Atlan-
the world around you, and seek out opportunities to tean (the common tongue), High Atlantean, and one
explore ancient mysteries or discover new things. bonus language. Atlanteans can choose any common
Lead by example. Atlanteans are supremely or uncommon language they want, but not rare or
self-conident. While you are certainly capable of secret languages (see Languages in Chapter 1). hey
reasoning with people to get them to see why your can read and write in any language they know.
ideas are best, it has long been a cornerstone of the
Atlantean makeup to demonstrate the merit of an ar-
gument by living it. When you know youre right, its
HUMAN
time to act, and trust that the success of your actions A young and vital race, humans are not far removed
will argue your point for you. Others will follow when from the primordial savagery of their beginning
they see you succeed. times. In fact, many humans still live as savages, with
here is always a better way. Your peoples dedica- no tools or technology other than wood, stone, or
tion to study and progress has demonstrated time and ire. here are many diferent races or ethnicities of
time again that there is always room for improvement. humans scattered throughout the unexplored wilder-
When faced with an unappetizing choice, you are ness of hule and its neighboring lands, but ive are
convinced that a better choice can be found if only you particularly important: the Atlantean, Dhari, Kalay,
are perceptive enough to ind it (or decisive enough to Lomari, and Nimothan peoples. he Atlanteans are
seize it). Question why something is done the way it is distinct enough to form their own unique subrace,
done, and look for a better way to do it. and have already been discussed. he other branches
of humanity in hule are described below.
ATLANTEAN
HUMAN, DHARI
RACIALTRAITS he Dhari are the prevalent race of central and
While Atlanteans are fully human, they possess a dis- western hule. hey inhabit the jungles, forests, and
tinct cultural heritage that ofers them unique oppor- hills of the continents interior basin, especially the
tunities compared to most other humans in the world. regions of Dhar Mesh (from which they take their
his means that Atlanteans have diferent ability score name) and the dry uplands of Nar. Most Dhari are
adjustments and racial traits than other human char- barbarians or savages, at home deep in their native
acters do. jungles, but civilized Dhari make up most of the pop-
Ability Scores: +1 Strength, +2 Intelligence. ulation of cities such as Katagia, Orech, and hran.
Atlanteans are naturally inclined toward an unusual Dhari tend toward medium height, with brown or
combination of athleticism and scholarship. black hair and eyes of brown or blue; men often grow
Age: Atlanteans are somewhat long-lived compared beards and wear their hair shoulder-length. Dhari
to most other humans. hey reach adulthood by 20, are naturally light in skin tone, but most are deeply
and often live to an age of 120 or so. tanned by lives spent outdoors. hey often dress in
Alignment: Atlanteans tend to be lawful, believing well-cured buckskin, leather, or hides, and think
that societies can be engineered with strong laws and nothing of stripping down to a loincloth and simple
good planning. Whether those laws bring good to all harness for carrying weapons or tools in the steaming
or help the evil to oppress the weak depends on the humidity of their jungle home.
individual; Atlanteans have been both protectors and he Dhari people revere the spirits of nature and
conquerors in the past. see the world as a living thing. hose who live in cities
Size: Atlanteans are Medium creatures. regard the gods simply as particularly important spir-
Speed: Atlanteans have a base speed of 30 feet. its, and honor them the same way they honor the spir-
Broad Education: Atlantean characters begin play its of the forest, the animals, and the elements. Dhari
with training in any two Intelligence-based skills. men and women are expected to be strongly self-reliant
Atlanteans are raised with a love of learning and are en- and independent; they prize freedom and the right
couraged to study any subject that catches their interest. to speak their minds or refuse leaders they disagree
Headstrong: Atlanteans gain tactical advantage with. hey tend to be direct, honest, and industrious,
on saving throws against command, dominate, geas, and compared to other peoples of hule, they are very
and hold spells. Atlanteans are willful and are used modest in their personal conductpart of self-reliance
to having their way; when confronted with spells or is self-control, after all.
efects that threaten to master the will with a direct
attack, they are diicult to break.
39
Heroes of Thule
HUMAN, KALAY around the honors (and plunder) each warrior wins in
Most numerous of hules peoples, the Kalays were the citys endless campaigns. In personal dealings, the
the last of the major tribal groups to migrate to hule Lomari tend to be courteous, honorable, and generous.
in the time of the continents population by humans. hey are nearly as pious as the Kalays, and as mod-
hey are the dominant race of the Kalayan Sea region erate in behavior as the Dhari. However, Lomari are
as well as the Lands of the Long Shadow. Most Kalays very proud and can be quick to take ofense; a Lomari
are civilized, but some are barbarians, especially those is likely to respond to an insult by challenging the
who live in the shadow of the northern glaciers. hey ofender to a deadly duel.
form the majority of the population of cities such as
Quodeth, Droum, Ikath, and (thanks to one far- HUMAN, NIMOTHAN
wandering tribe of long ago) Akal-Amo on the island Fierce warriors of the northern lands, Nimothans are
of Hellumar. No Kalay tribes can be truly said to be a people without a homeland. he island of Nimoth
savagesvirtually all Kalay settlements have at least now lies under the encroaching glaciers, and for
some metalworking and simple writing. decades the old kingdom of the Nimothan people has
Kalays are of short to medium height, and are often been abandoned to the ice. Migrating southward, the
lightly built. hey have dark hair, dark eyes with a Nimothan tribes have carved out new lands for them-
distinct epicanthic fold, and a bronze or golden skin selves along hules northern coasts in places such as
color. Men sometimes grow small beards, but a good Nim, Rime, and the chiefdoms of the housand Teeth
number of Kalay men have little facial hair at all. with bloody axes and burning brands. A southerly
Barbaric Kalays usually dress in furs and leathers, but branch of the tribe conquered old Atlantean holdings
civilized Kalays favor short, colorful tunics, belted at in southern hule long ago, and now makes up most
the waist, with bare arms and legs and a cloak or cape of the population of the predatory city of Marg. How-
for warmth. ever, even city-dwelling Nimothans are barbarians at
As one of the more civilized races, Kalays are greatly heart, scorning civilization and its decadent ways.
concerned with manners and appearances. hey are Nimothans are tall and strongly built; the average
the most religious (or at least the most observant) of man is more than 6 feet in height, and its not unusual
hules peoples, and show their reverence for the gods for Nimothan women to reach 6 feet as well. hey are
by building grand temples and holding many festi- very fair-skinned, although those who travel exten-
vals throughout the year. In conversation they tend sively in southerly lands can eventually acquire a light
to be circuitous and polite, avoiding ofensive topics tan. heir hair is light brown, blond, or red, and their
or confrontation. To more plain-spoken peoples such eyes are usually blue or gray. Nimothan men take pride
as Dhari or Nimothans, Kalays talk a lot and dont in growing the largest beard or mustache they can, and
say much. both men and women usually braid their hair.
Bold, boastful, and given to extravagant gestures,
HUMAN, LOMARI Nimothans laugh loudly, ly into sudden rages, fall
he most recently arrived of hules human peoples, into crushing melancholy, or hurl themselves into mad
the Lomari came to the primeval continent only a ventures at the blink of an eye. Most other people in
few short generations ago, migrating from lands over hule are convinced that the Nimothan race is touched
the ocean. hey are comparatively few in number and by madness. Nimothans are quick to settle diferences
are dominant in only one city, Lomar. here are no with contests of strength, isticufs, or edged weapons,
savage or barbaric Lomari tribes, but Lomari freeholds but they rarely hold grudges for long.
and homesteads are scattered throughout the hills
south of the Kalayan Sea. Already these outposts are OTHER HUMAN TRIBES
adopting more of the ways of their barbaric neighbors, he ports of hule attract merchants and mercenaries
although it is too soon to say that they have forgotten from many far lands. hey are strangers in hule
civilized ways. their homelands lie in the mysterious islands beyond
Lomari are generally tall and long-legged, although Hellumar or on the vast, unexplored continents of
not quite so tall or heavily built as Atlanteans or Nim- the Atlantean Ocean.
othans. hey have dark complexions ranging from a he Bytha come from small, barbaric kingdoms along
warm brown to a jet black, with African features, dark the eastern shores of the sea. hey are slight of build,
eyes, and black hair. Men generally dress in cotton with fair skin and brown or black hair. Small numbers of
kilts, often dyed in bright colors, while women favor Bythan sailors and ishermen inhabit the Isle of Bones.
long, sleeveless dresses. Both typically add long, loose To the southwest, the forests of Umn Tsav are home
robes when faring into cooler regions. Most Lomari to countless nomadic Umni tribes. hese simple hunt-
men consider themselves warriors and wear arms and ers and gatherers have no metalworking. Most Umni
armor everywhere outside their homes. tribes are peaceful, but some are territorial or even
he Lomari are a martial race; war and conquest warlike. Umni tend to be short and strongly built,
are the pillars of their society, and civic life revolves with deep bronze skin, dark eyes, and black hair.
40
Heroes of Thule
North of Hellumar lies the great Borean Archipelago, THULEAN DWARF
largely unexplored by huleans. A strange people known
as the Hyperboreans lived there once, but ice covered
SUBRACE
those lands long ago. A few surviving Hyperborean he dwarves of hule are a subrace not found in other
clans linger in Hellumar, and sometimes individuals worlds. In addition to the racial characteristics common
visit the temple city of Akal-Amo. hey are exceedingly to all dwarves, hulean dwarves have the following traits.
talloften 7 feet or moreand fair-skinned, lean and Ability Scores: +1 Strength or +1 Wisdom.
lanky, with yellow or white hair and pale eyes. Alignment: hulean dwarves are calculating and
mercenary; they rarely act outside of their own self-in-
terest. However, they understand that dealing unfairly
DWARF, THULEAN with others is likely to be bad for business in the long
Secretive masters of stone and iron, dwarves are a run. As a result, they tend toward neutral alignments.
race of arms-merchants and mercenaries. hey dwell Secret of Steel: After purchasing starting equipment,
in hules mountains, carving hidden holds from the choose one of the characters items (armor, shield, or
living rock. Outsiders are strongly discouraged from weapon). hat item is made of superior dwarven steel,
seeking out their homessometimes with deadly force. and is treated as a magic item with a +1 bonus. If the
Only the fortress-city of Kal-Zinan, the City of the Iron item is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced the next
Gate, welcomes visitors of other races, and even so these time the hulean dwarf character returns to his or her
guests are watched constantly. But many human traders homeland, or gains a level. If the character is 10th level
and warriors gladly endure dwarven suspicions to seek or higher, the item has a +2 bonus.
their help, because hulean dwarves are the only smiths Languages: hulean dwarves speak Dwarven and
in the world who know the secret of working steel. Low Atlantean (the common tongue). hey may or
Dwarven weaponsmiths and armorers do not simply may not be literate (see Character Class and Literacy,
sell their prized work. hey make each piece as a speciic later in this chapter).
commission, and its not unusual for the weaponsmith to
stipulate that on the wielders death, the arms or armor are
to be recovered and returned. Some dwarf weaponsmiths
go so far as to require the recipient to accept a brand or
tattoo matching a smiths mark on the blade, to indicate
that he or she has been speciically granted the right to
carry and wield the smiths work. Convincing a dwarven
smith to make arms or armor for anothers use might
involve presenting the smith with a rich gift, performing a
great service for the smith, or earning a reputation of skill
or heroism such that the smith would be proud to arm a
hero of that caliber. Dwarves have been known to hire
thieves to steal back blades that fall into the wrong hands,
or assassins to kill those who misuse them.
Dwarves excel in all other forms of metalwork, of
course, and dwarven merchants frequently travel to the
larger and wealthier cities or barbarian tribes to trade
tools, utensils, and fabrications of high-quality iron and
bronze. Other dwarves form mercenary companies and
ight for pay; unlike most other sellswords, dwarves are
rigorously strict in honoring their contracts and requir-
ing their employers to do the same. As a people, dwarves
are careful to stay neutral in the afairs of other races,
and take sides only when they are well paid to do so.
Dwarven culture places great importance on
mastering trades. Dwarves have almost no hereditary
titles; instead, most dwarven communities are led by
a council of the oldest and most experienced masters
of important trades. hey are a pious and respectful
people, and regard Tarhun, Nergal, and Kishar as the
special patrons of their race.
Taciturn and hardworking to a fault, dwarves are
diicult to befriendbut if one is fortunate enough to
win a dwarfs friendship, he will ind that a dwarf is a
friend of exceptional loyalty and generosity.
41
Heroes of Thule
ELF, THULEAN Some elves ind themselves cast in the role of tutors
and mentors to the younger peoples of hule, and in
he elves of hule are a fading people, sinking deeper
that role they can excelbut many other elves are
and deeper into dreaming lassitude with each passing
so enmeshed in their own dreamlike concerns that
year. Before the rise of Atlantis they were one of the
they see little reason to engage in the mortal world at
dominant cultures of the continent, but as human civ-
all. Others, such as the decadent nobles of Imystrahl,
ilization arose and grew strong, elven civilization grew
have embraced the worst excesses of hedonism or
old and decadent. he mighty elven kingdoms are long
cruelty in order to impart some meaning, no matter
gone, leaving only a handful of crumbling city-states
how dark, to their empty existences.
and lonely strongholds where the last vestiges of this
Elven heroes, of course, are made of diferent stuf.
once-great race pass their days in reverie and ennui.
hey are exceptional members of their race, throw-
Elves are few in number and have generally moved
backs to the days when elves battled terrible monsters
past a life of doing to a life of being. hey love learn-
for mastery of hule. Some ight to protect the weak-
ing, study, relection, and things of beauty. he great
ening enclaves of elven culture that remain in the
works of the elven race in the current day are now
world, some adventure to experience something new
songs, studies of nature, and philosophical constructs
in their own long centuries of life, and still others
that reveal the meaning and purpose of existence.
seek to ind the vitality and ambition in other races
hey have little use for gods, and generally ignore
that their own people have lost.
human deities. he one practical talent in which
elves still excel is magic; long ago, elves discovered
and explored arcane lore, and much of hules arcane THULEAN ELF SUBRACE
tradition is based on this ancient elven knowledge. he elves of hule belong to the high elf subrace. hey
possess the abilities and traits of high elves found in
other worlds, except as noted here.
Alignment: Like the elves of many other worlds,
hulean elves value freedom and individuality. How-
ever, most are self-centered and disinterested in the
troubles of others, and many regard other peoples with
open contempt. hulean elves are usually chaotic in
alignment, and most are neutral or evil.
Languages: hulean elves speak Elven and Low
Atlantean (the common tongue). hey can read and
write in any language they know.

HALFLING, THULEAN
Natives of the forests and jungles of hules steaming
interior, hallings are a barbarian people who build no
cities and regard the ways of civilization with suspi-
cion. hey are the undisputed masters of stealth and
woodcraft, using the terrain of their chosen homeland
to easily avoid larger enemies. In fact, hallings are so
good at avoiding people they do not want to meet that
many civilized huleans consider stories of tribes of
child-sized people living in Dhar Mesh or Phoor to be
mere fables.
Hallings have a reputation for being shy and sus-
picious of strangers, but this is not entirely deserved.
hey are often quite friendly and hospitable to strang-
ers, once they have determined that the strangers are
not enemies. hey are happy to trade with people they
trust, and more than a few jungle traders have become
rich by bringing good metal tools and weapons to
hallings with gemstones and ivory to trade. However,
hallings are deadly foes to enemies foolish enough
to venture into their territory. hey are masters of
ambush and poison, pelting invaders with a rain of
envenomed arrows from the jungle shadows.

42
Heroes of Thule
Like other savage peoples, hallings know little of
gods or arcane matters. Instead, they learn the secrets CHARACTER
of nature spirits, calling upon them to help protect
and nourish the tribe. hey are deeply religious in
CLASSES
hule is a barbaric and superstitious place. Human
their own way, and are often shocked to learn that
civilization is young, and the great body of art,
civilized people are ignorant of the nature spirits.
literature, philosophy, and technology that underlies
Curiosity about other people and no small amount of
classic medieval fantasy worlds is incomplete at best.
wanderlust encourage halling adventurers to overlook
Libraries full of books, chivalric ideals, organized
the ignorance and bad manners of most humans.
religions, codes of law and traditions of scholarship
all of these things are absent from hule, or exist only
THULEAN HALFLING in the most primitive forms.
SUBRACE Naturally, some character types are more or less
he hallings of hule belong to a subrace not found common in such a setting than they would be in a
in other worlds. In addition to the racial characteris- more civilized land. Arcane magic is rare in hule,
tics common to all hallings, hulean hallings have so there are relatively few arcane spellcasters. If you
the following traits. choose to play a sorcerer or wizard, your character
Ability Scores: +1 Wisdom. Hallings are percep- is not one of hundreds of spellcasters thronging a
tive and deeply reverent of their forest spirits. major city; shes one of a handful in the city who have
Alignment: he hallings of hule are a barbarian dared to study secrets beyond mortal lore. A party
people who place freedom and individual honor above containing more than one arcane spellcaster would be
obedience to authority. hey are also some of the unusual indeed.
kinder and more generous people to be found in the Character Class and Literacy: he ability to read
savage continent, although simple survival dictates and write is far less common in hule than in more
a certain amount of reclusiveness in dealing with advanced settings. Most people raised in civilized lands
hules more aggressive races. Most hulean hallings can at least puzzle out writings they encounter, and
are chaotic neutral or chaotic good. a good number of people born to savage or barbarian
Masters of Woodcraft: hulean hallings can tribes eventually learn how to read and write if they
attempt to hide in any forest, jungle, marsh, or swamp spend a lot of time in and around civilization. How-
setting, as long as they have partial cover or are lightly ever, you shouldnt assume your character is literate.
obscured by their surroundings. To determine whether your character is literate,
Languages: hulean hallings speak Dhari and consult the table below and roll an Intelligence check
Low Atlantean (the common tongue). Most are not after you select your character class. If you fail, you can
literate (see Character Class and Literacy, later in this check again each time you gain a level to see if your
chapter). Hallings do not have a language of their character picked it up from his or her more civilized
own, and instead speak a dialect of Dhari, the lan- companions. If you multiclass, you may use the most
guage of their human neighbors in Dhar Mesh. advantageous category for your check. In addition, you
automatically become literate if you select a feat, skill,
narrative, or background that suggests literacy (for
example, learning how to scribe scrolls or forge docu-
OTHER CHARACTER ments, or the Bearer of the Black Book narrative).
RACES
Table 21: Character Class and Literacy
No one is certain whator whomight be hidden
in the vast wilderness of Thule. If you want to Class Intelligence check DC
allow a player to create a character of a less Barbarian DC 20
common race, feel free to do so. Perhaps there is Bard DC 5
an enclave of tielings or gnomes or what-have- Cleric DC 5
you somewhere in the depths of Thules unex- Druid DC 15
plored wilderness or on one of the other conti-
Fighter DC 15
nents. Its even possible that a character might
Monk DC 10
blunder into Thule through a magical gateway or
sinister curse, and might be the only example of Paladin DC 10
his or her race in the world. Characters of unusual Ranger DC 15
races are left to the GMs discretion. Rogue DC 15
Sorcerer DC 5
Warlock DC 10
Wizard DC 0

43
Heroes of Thule
Illiteracy is not necessarily the drawback it might Kyr: A vicious tribe of Dhari savages from the
be in more advanced settings. People in hule expect swamplands of Phoor, notorious headhunters.
to interact with a lot of other people who cant read or Narthan: Nomadic Dhari mammoth-hunters
write, and take appropriate steps. For example, when who roam the plains of Nar.
sending a message, a merchant might actually dictate Ullathi: Nimothans who launch sea-raids
a message to the runner instead of handing him a against eastern hule each spring.
written note; the runner simply recites the message
when he inds the recipient. Even people who cant BARD
read can understand tally marks, or recognize very Minstrels and musicians are common enough in
common symbols such as coin denominations. hules cities, but the heroic bard is not normally
found in this setting because arcane magic is so rare.
BARBARIAN Very few huleans dabble in arcane studiesif a
As you might expect in a setting of savage wilderness character makes any study of magic at all, shes much
and ancient civilizations, barbarians can be found more likely to be a true arcane caster (for example, a
anywhere in hule. Barbarians come in two basic sorcerer or wizard) instead of a dilettante. Elves and
varieties: savages and advanced tribes. half-elves are the primary exceptions to this rule;
Barbarian characters from savage tribes begin their arcane traditions are noticeably more prevalent in
careers as hunters, scouts, or warriors who know little elven culture, so an elf bard would not necessarily be
of the lands outside their tribes hunting grounds. out of place in hule. Some Atlantean nobles might
Savage tribes are small and insular (rarely more than also have a range of skills, talents, and magical ability
a hundred people or so), so relatively few ever wander best described by the bard class.
into civilized lands or become adventurers. hose
individuals who do leave their homelands possess un- CLERIC
matched woodcraft and survival skills, and are prized The priesthoods of Thules city-states are inf luen-
as wilderness guides or trackers. hese barbarians may tial, wealthy, and above all mysterious. Each temple
be backwards, ignorant, and superstitious, but they is a powerful institution that works to guide the
arent necessarily stupidgiven a chance to arm them- citys rulers in the proper direction, guard against
selves with better weapons and learn the ways of other dangerous inf luences and knowledge, and defend
lands, they are quick to do so. its exalted position at the center of civic life. Most
Barbarians from more advanced tribes tend to know importantly, the temples of the city-states work
much more about the world outside their homeland. hard to maintain a monopoly on magical power,
Stories of civilizations riches (and delights) draw many safeguarding dangerous artifacts and suppressing
restless barbarian warriors to leave their homelands and unapproved studies of arcane lore. A major temple
seek their fortune as mercenariesor raiders. Tribes of is a force to be reckoned with in the citys affairs
this sort tend to be strong in numbers, comfortable with and a law unto itself, with temple soldiers to arrest
practices such as agriculture, animal domestication, and wrongdoers and temple inquisitors to pass judgment
metalworking, and more than a little warlike. heir rep- and carry out sentences.
utation as ierce warriors ensures plenty of opportunities While temples celebrate their deities holy days
for employment in hules more civilized lands. and often dispense different forms of charity, they
he most important part of a barbarians identity do not exist to proselytize for the gods or to look
(at least at the beginning of her career) is her tribe. after the populations spiritual well-being. Thulean
Some of the more notable tribes include: priesthoods are more like exclusive societies that
are primarily interested in extending their inf lu-
Ammur: Fierce Dhari hill-clans from Ammu- ence, amassing wealth and power, and protecting
rath, south of the Kalayan Sea. the population from danger of any sortinclud-
Bearslayer: A tribe of dwarf warriors from the ing dangerous ideas or innovations. Few are truly
housand Teeth. altruistic or good institutions, although many
Bolotanga: A savage Dhari tribe from northern individual priests aspire to a higher calling and seek
Dhar Mesh. to minister to people in need. In centuries past, the
Drangir: A bloodthirsty Nimothan tribe from inf luence of the great temples did not extend far
Hellumar. from the cities, but in the last few decades some
Hurgan: Nomadic Kalay tribes from the eastern of the larger barbarian tribes (such as the Ammur
shores of the Kalayan Sea who domesticate and or the various Nimothan tribes) have also turned
ride hulean elk. toward the worship of the Nine. Priests from these
Jomurjan: Kalay nomads who roam the southern tribes naturally are much less interested in the in-
portions of the housand Teeth and the western trigues and power plays of the city-state temples.
parts of the Lands of the Long Shadow. Most priests are administrators and scholars who
work to advance their temples interests, and do not
44
Heroes of Thule
actually wield any form of divine magic. Clerics
form a distinct inner circle within each temple
priesthood, an elite order of leaders and special
agents initiated into the deeper secrets of the temple
and entrusted with the power of divine magic. Not
all clerics eventually rise to the highest ranks of the
priesthood, but any high priest is almost certainly ini-
tiated into this inner circle and is therefore a cleric.
Since clerics are so closely associated with the inner
circles of the temples they serve, choosing a temple for
a cleric character is an important part of building that
characters background. Some good choices include:

he Winged Tower in Katagia (temple of Asura).


he High Temple of Ishtar in Quodeth.
he Golden Hall of Mithra in Quodeth.
he Hall of a housand Victories in Lomar
(temple of Nergal).
he Jade Temple in Ikath (temple of Set).
he Hall of Broken Shields in Nim (temple of
Tarhun).

he various deities of hule are described in detail


in Chapter 1. In addition, two unique cleric domains
are found in hule: the Cosmic Domain and the
Ophidian Domain.

COSMIC DOMAIN
he Cosmic domain deals with the mortal struggle
to understand the ininite reaches of space and time.
Gods of the cosmos are often among the oldest and
most cryptic of the beings belonging to a pantheon,
and are frequently described as outsiders or predecessor
igures with little interest in mortal afairs. In many
cases, they are not even considered deities. hey have
few worshipers, and are most often sought out by
mortals seeking guides or oracles who can lead them to
the deep secrets of existencean impious and reck-
less ambition at best. In hule, gods of the Cosmic
domain generally consist of Great Old Ones who ofer
terrible knowledge in exchange for the service of their
mortal pawns.

Cosmic Domain Spells


Cleric Level Spells
1st color spray, feather fall
3rd levitate, see invisibility
5th blink, hypnotic pattern
7th confusion, dimension door
9th summon mi-go*, passwall
* New spell described in Chapter 7.

Secret Knowledge (1st level): When you choose


this domain, you learn dancing lights and ray of frost.
You also learn the Arcana skill.
Uncontrolled Perception (1st level): You can
muddle the perceptions of attackers by giving them

45
Heroes of Thule
disorienting visions of other realities. When a creature Ophidian Domain Spells
hits you with a melee attack, you can use your combat Cleric Level Spells
reaction to cause the creature to make an Intelligence 1st serpent ingers*, speak with animals
save. On a failed save, the creature becomes disoriented (reptiles only)
until the end of its next turn. While disoriented, the
3rd backbiter curse*, ray of enfeeblement
creature has tactical disadvantage on attack rolls and
5th enthrall, feign death
ability checks (but not saving throws). You can use
this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom 7th hold monster, polymorph (reptiles only)
modiier (minimum one) per day. 9th cloudkill, snake swarm*
Turn Extraterrenes (2nd level): You can use * New spell described in Chapter 7.
divine channeling to rebuke creatures with the ex-
traterrene subtype. As an action, you brandish your Bonus Proiciency (1st level): You are proicient
holy symbol and invoke your cosmic patron. Each with heavy armor.
extraterrene creature within 30 feet of you must make Master of Venom (1st level): You have resis-
a Wisdom save. If the creature fails the save, you turn tance to poison damage. In addition, you can create
it for 1 minute (or until it takes any damage). poison from materials at hand. You can create one
Sphere of Adaptation (6th level): You can use dose of poison per day, and each dose you create
divine channeling to survive alien or hostile envi- must be used within three days or else it loses its
ronments. As an action, you cause the environment potency (so, you normally have three doses of poison
within 10 feet of you to become tolerable for as long on hand). It takes an action to apply a dose of
as you concentrate, up to 1 hour. Creatures in the poison to a weapon (or three pieces of ammunition),
area ignore environmental conditions of extreme and an envenomed weapon remains poisoned for one
cold, extreme heat, high altitude, and poor air minute. A creature hit by a weapon coated in your
quality while they remain in the area. (hey do not poison must make a Constitution save or take 2d4
actually gain resistance to cold or ire, or the ability poison damage (4d4 poison damage if you are 10th
to survive vacuum.) level or higher).
Potent Ray (8th level): Add your Wisdom modiier Charm Reptiles (2nd level): You can use divine
to the damage you deal with ray of frost. channeling to charm reptilian animals and monsters.
Starry Wisdom (17th level): You gain resistance to As an action, you display your holy symbol and invoke
psychic damage, and you cannot become charmed or your deity. Each reptilian creature within 30 feet of
confused (for example, by the confusion spell). you must make a Wisdom save. If the creature fails
its saving throw, it is charmed for 1minute or until it
takes damage. While it is charmed, it is friendly to you
OPHIDIAN DOMAIN and your allies. A creature with an Intelligence of 2 or
Serpents are powerful symbols for ancient secrets and less remains friendly to you after the charm wears of,
hidden knowledge. Long ago, the Earth belonged to although if you injure it the efect ends.
the reptiles, and the terrible race of serpentmen lingers Reptilian creatures include animals that are reptiles,
in the jungles of hule to this day. In hule, ophidian dragons, reptilian humanoids such as troglodytes and
gods are pre-human deities who embody many of the serpentmen, and monsters that are reptilian or part
fears of primitive peoples: darkness, forbidden lore, reptile (for example, basilisks, chimeras, medusas, and
black magic, and death. Set is the only such god that salamanders).
survives in the Age of Man. Serpents Eyes (6th level): You gain darkvision to
a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, the
range of your darkvision increases to 120 feet.
DOMAINS AND DEITIES Poison Strike (8th level): You can infuse your
The deities of Thule have different interests and diverse portfolios. weapon strikes with poison. Once per turn when you
Gods and Great Old Ones appropriate for each cleric domain are hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can deal an
listed below. extra 1d8 poison damage to the target with that attack.
Cosmic: Hastur, Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth At 14th level, the poison damage increases to 2d8.
Death: Cthulhu, Nergal, Tiamat, Tsathoggua Serpent Shape (17th level): You can use your action
Knowledge: Asura, Ishtar, Set, Tsathoggua, Yog-Sothoth to magically assume the form of a snake. his func-
Life: Kishar, Mithra tions like the druids wild shape ability, except that you
Light: Asura, Mithra are limited to the following forms: constrictor snake,
Nature: Dhuoth, Herum, Kishar giant constrictor snake, poisonous snake, giant poison-
Ophidian: Set ous snake, and snake swarm. You can use this ability
Tempest: Cthulhu, Ithaqua, Tarhun, Tiamat twice, then you must rest to regain two more uses of
Trickery: Ishtar, Nyarlathotep, Set, Yga-Ygo Serpent Shape.
War: Herum, Lorthnuun, Nergal, Tarhun

46
Heroes of Thule
DRUID templesfor example, the hree Pillars Monastery,
Most barbarians do not worship the gods of the near the town of Tiyernalocated in spots of special
civilized peoples, but instead venerate the Forest signiicance to one god or another, but even so the
Godsa vast pantheon of nature spirits and natural rugged terrain and hostile wilderness of hule means
forces that they experience every day of their lives. that these structures are rare, indeed.
Druids (or shamans) are the chief priests and spir- Just as monks and monasteries are uncommon in
it-talkers of the barbarian peoples, and the tribes hule, masters of unarmed combat are likewise few
guardians of magic. In many ways, they are the cler- and far between. Some pit-ighters and gladiators spe-
ics of the barbarians, although no druid commands cialize in unarmed bouts, and are lethal in unarmed
the wealth or authority of an important priest in one combat. Many of hules warriors are exceptional
of the city-states; druids advise and guide, they do brawlers or wrestlers, and achieve almost as much
not command. deadliness without formal training. But no one would
Many druids learn the Urgan language, which is mistake a two-isted barbarian brawler for a disci-
dimly understood by some of the more intelligent plined student of the martial arts.
beasts. Druids in hule have no secret language or
organization of their owndruids of diferent tribes PALADIN
have little interaction with each other. he ideals of religious devotion, chivalry, self-denial,
and self-sacriice that lie at the heart of the paladin
FIGHTER concept are conspicuously absent in most hulean
he furious warriors of the barbarian tribes are cultures. his is not a world where the gods inspire
perhaps more iconic as the ighting men and women people to piety and moderation. Consequently, pal-
of the primeval continent, but the warriors of hules adins are almost completely absent from the setting.
city-states are every bit as ierce and hardy as their he larger and richer temples of hules cities do
barbarian counterparts. his is a warlike land, and recruit warriors to serve the priesthood and defend
every city has its own martial traditions, from the temple interests, but those individuals would be best
deadly gladiators of Katagia to the disciplined pha- described as ighters who simply owe allegiance to a
lanxes of Lomar. Noble charioteers, temple guards, temple (see the Sacred Slayer narrative).
implacable myrmidons, hardened mercenaries, street
gang enforcers, adventurers and outlaws of a hundred RANGER
diferent descriptionsthese are the ighters of hule. hule is known as the primeval continent for good
More than most other characters, ighters are reasonthe vast majority of this land is covered in
deined by the type of armor they wear and the type untamed wilderness. Warriors who master the arts
of weapons they prefer. Swords, axes, maces, and of hunting, skirmishing, scouting, and wilderness
other instruments of mayhem are just as prevalent in lore are therefore some of the most useful heroes
hule as they are in other settings, but some types around. Many warriors from the tribal peoples
of weapon and armor found in high medieval or of hule (especially the savage tribes) pursue the
Renaissance-era settings have yet to be invented in abilities of the ranger class, not the barbarian class,
this savage age. For example, the full plate armor and proving that stealth and hit-and-run tactics can
heavy warhorse of the mounted knight, or the rapier be even more deadly than the headlong fury of a
and parrying dagger of a city bravo, are not normally barbarian charge.
found in hule. Instead, a heavily armored ighter is While rangers are commonplace among the tribal
much more likely to wear a bronze cuirass or a scale peoples of Dhar Mesh or the Lands of Long Shadow,
coat, and a noble duelist is more likely to ight with a a small number of civilized heroes also study wilder-
pair of short swords. Refer to Equipment, later in this ness warfare. Cities such as Lomar or Quodeth are
chapter, for guidance on hulean arms and armor, and actively trying to tame their frontiers and expand the
new types of armor and weapons found in the setting. territory under their control; the settlers and home-
steaders who live in these border regions may be
MONK civilized in name, but often adopt the ways of their
Monks are not normally found in hule. here is no barbarian neighbors. Rangers from these outlying
true monastic tradition among the temples of the settlements may not be born to their trade as tribal
Nine Powers, and philosophies of asceticism and se- rangers are, but with time they master the same skills
clusion likewise have not yet developed in this ancient and learn to overcome the same enemies.
age. When huleans think of monks or monasteries, Both civilized and tribal rangers naturally become
they think of strange cults and remote wilderness very familiar with the speciic dangers and enemies
shrines dedicated to unnamed gods . . . many of native to their home territory, and are highly adept at
which are probably not wholesome objects of wor- dealing with these threats. If a ranger designates a fa-
ship. here are a few perfectly acceptable wilderness vored enemy, the following selections are appropriate:

47
Heroes of Thule
Home Region Recommended Favored Quodethi rogue need to know about the occult? hule-
Enemies ans are well acquainted with the old aphorism warning
Claws of Imystrahl Aberrations, elves, monstrosi-
one not to meddle in the afairs of wizards, and they
ties, minotaurs
naturally include sorcerers and warlocks with their
more scholarly colleagues.
Dhar Mesh Beasts, beastmen, iends,
While one arcane spellcaster looks much like an-
serpentmen
other to the typical barbarian or thief, the diferences
Hellumar and Nimoth Fiends, giants, rakshasas, yetis can be important. he arcane tradition of sorcery
Highlands of Nar Aberrations, beasts, gnolls arises from prehuman races for whom magic was as
Kalayan the Golden Beastmen, minotaurs, serpent- natural as breathing or eating. In hule, these prehu-
men, troglodytes, undead man races included genies, rakshasas, and serpentmen,
Lands of the Long Beasts, giants, monstrosities, or even extra-dimensional creatures. Humans (and
Shadow yetis other mortals) seeking to master this dangerous art
Quodeth Aberrations, undead either have a touch of inhuman blood in their veins,
Thousand Teeth Giants, gnolls, monstrosities
or make use of inhuman artifacts or rites to irst
transform themselves into something that is not quite
human. Any character who becomes a sorcerer is as-
ROGUE sumed to have already taken this irst step, and is now
Just ask anyone who spends an hour wandering the ready to begin testing the limits of his or her ability.
streets of Quodeth or Ikaththe cities of hule are Sorcerers often command special abilities or powers
full of thieves. Beggars, pickpockets, cutpurses, mug- based on their bloodline, although no particular
gers, burglars, and simple gangs of street robbers make bloodline can be said to be truly common in hule.
it dangerous to set foot outside a well-guarded palace Sorcerers with draconic powers generally derive their
or city gate. Few of these vicious criminals could magic from the forbidden rites of the serpentmen.
truly be described as heroes, but the boldest and most Sorcerers who wield wild magic gain their ability
daring rogues become legendary for their exploits. through the use of genie or rakshasa artifacts.
While individual rogues may win fame and renown,
most hulean city-dwellers see rogues as vicious
gangsters. Large, ruthless, and well-organized thieves
WARLOCK
As described under Sorcerer (above), most people in
guilds control whole districts in most of hules cities.
hule assume that warlocks, wizards, and sorcerers
Not all rogues belong to a thieves guild, but many
are just diferent lavors of the same thing. Warlocks,
do, and there are signiicant advantages to being
like sorcerers, derive their magic from supernatural
part of a big organization. A rogue who belongs to a
beingsbut instead of calling upon ancient bloodlines
guild always has a safe place to hide in her home city,
or seeking new transformations, warlocks seek the
a source of news and information when something
direct patronage of a powerful supernatural ally, forging
interesting develops, and (in a pinch) allies or muscle
a pact or bargain that will forever deine the warlocks
who can back her up in case of trouble. Some of the
abilities. Warlocks have become the most numerous of
more prominent thieves guilds include:
hules arcane spellcasters over the last century or two,
since the destruction of Atlantis and the increasing
he city of Marg is home to the Crimson Slavers,
senescence of elven civilization have brought about a
a ruthless alliance of slavers, merchants, and
sharp decline in other forms of arcane scholarship.
marauders.
he irst question for a warlock character is simply:
he Fangs of Set are an elite brotherhood of holy
With whom or what did he strike his pact? Most
assassins based in the city of Ikath.
warlocks begin their careers with perilous rituals that
he Golden Sea Brotherhood is a league of cor-
establish contact with a powerful patron. Researching
sairs operating from the hidden city of Rime.
or discovering a suitable ritual is a daunting task, and
he Red Furies are a guild of female thieves who
may involve searching through forgotten libraries,
control part of Quodeths old town.
visiting sites of arcane power, or stumbling across a
he most powerful guild in Quodeth is the Seven
forbidden tome. Most would-be warlocks never ind
Knives, a small army of thieves and assassins who
what they are looking for, but any character who be-
control much of the city.
comes a warlock has already overcome this irst chal-
lenge and forged a pact with a supernatural patron.
SORCERER Pacts for hulean warlocks include:
he average hulean makes little distinction between
the various forms of arcane study. No one knows much Fey patrons are quite rare in hule. he powers
about such matters, and the diferences between a sor- that rule in Faerie are unconcerned with events in
cerer, warlock, and wizard appear academic at best. All hule, but sometimes favor warlocks with some
three dabble in dangerous lore to do unnatural things; amount of elf blood.
what more does a barbarian freebooter or sharp-eyed
48
Heroes of Thule

Fiendish patrons are native to alternate worlds, wizards are generally avoided by any who are aware
such as demon-haunted Tanar. of their reputation, but the value of intimidation only
he Great Old Ones are the most common goes so far; if a wizard becomes a major threat to a
patrons of hulean warlocks. Nyarlathotep, city, she is likely to attract the attention of assassins or
Tsathoggua, and Yga-Ygo are interested in mortals inquisitorially minded priests from the major temples
dabbling with forbidden knowledge and some- and be put down.
times bargain with them.

WIZARD CHARACTER
Arcane scholarship is rare in the current age of hule, NARRATIVES
but this was not always the case. he high civiliza- Every hero has a story. Character race describes a
tions of Atlantis and the realms of elvenkind consid- heros natural gifts and talents from early childhood,
ered arcane magic one of the noblest of the sciences, while character class describes a heros skills, talents,
and made extensive study of occult lore. Much of and pure ighting abilitybut neither of these truly
what they once knew is lost forever, but enough describe what the character does with his talents
remains to make talented students of arcana some and gifts. hats where character narrative comes
of the most powerful and dangerous individuals in into play.
the world. A narrative is a description of a characters career,
Because arcane lore has faded into the realm of position, or calling in life, a third pillar of char-
myth and superstition for most huleans, it is poorly acter identity that helps you to tell the characters
understood by the massesand therefore feared. story. Your choice of narrative makes your character
Because all magic is feared, no particular schools of diferent from other heroes who share the same race
magic or spells are regarded as particularly sinister. and class. If your character is a human barbarian, is
Wizards who animate the bones of the dead, conjure he a beastmaster with a loyal animal friend? A hunter
demons, or enslave their enemies with insidious en- of the Dhari tribes, skilled in slaying ierce beasts?
chantments are just doing what wizards do; necro- Or an ice reaver, greedy for blood and plunder? If
mancers arent considered to be any less acceptable your character is an elf wizard, is he a far-seeing
than diviners or invokers. Reckless or destructive
49
Heroes of Thule
soothsayer, a Guardian of the Nine, or a mysterious
bearer of the Black Book?
CHOOSING A
Narrative is also one of the important determi- NARRATIVE
nants of your characters place in the world and how You can choose a narrative for your character at 1st
NPCs react to him. A NPC cant tell if an expert level. his serves as your character backgroundits
swordsman is a barbarian, ighter, ranger, or rogue your characters origin story, and describes how other
just by watching him ight. In fact, those terms have people in the setting see your character. You can only
little meaning to people in the world. But that same have one character narrative, and usually your choice
NPC can tell at a glance that a swordsman looks and lasts for the duration of your adventuring career (but
acts like a nobleman, a pit ighter, a raider from the see Changing Narratives, below).
icy wastes, or a vicious street thug. Like character Each narrative is available to characters of any race
race, narrative is an excellent measure of what is or class, unless it has speciic requirements. For exam-
observable about your character, and the kind of irst ple, the Dhari hunter narrative may make the most
impression he makes. sense for a barbarian or ranger, but theres no reason
A narrative provides your character with a modest you couldnt build a hunter concept around a rogue
set of skill or background bonuses that relect his who relies on stealth and sneak attack to make quick
unique experience and training. As your character kills, or even a druid who worships spirits of the hunt.
grows in experience and the tales of his deeds begin On the other hand, the whole point of the Black Book
to spread throughout hule, he may gain other ben- is that its owner possesses arcane power, so a character
eits: the high regard and friendship of NPCs who must be an arcane spellcaster to choose the Bearer of
respect individuals of his station, or perquisites such the Black Book narrative.
as the power to pass judgment against lawbreakers Narratives and Backgrounds: Narrative overlaps
in his home city or a pirate galley and willing crew the same conceptual space as character background, so
ready to join him at his beck and call. But, more dont choose both a narrative and a background. Ask
importantly, your characters narrative provides you your Gamemaster which system he or she prefers to
with built-in adventure hooks and tools for devel- use in the campaign.
oping the story of your character across his or her
career. Narrative provides you with friends, family,
rivals, enemies, ambitions, questions, and fears FOLLOWERS
and you can count on your GM using those tools Many narratives provide a group of followers. Fol-
to tailor the Primeval Thule campaign to your lowers come in three basic varieties: elite companies,
characters story. raiders, or armies. You dont have to pay them or arm

Table 22: Narratives at a Glance


Narrative Best for . . . Description
Atlantean Noble Fighter, wizard Hero from an aristocratic family
Bearer of the Black Book Sorcerer, warlock, wizard Master of a legendary artifact
Beastfriend Barbarian, druid, ranger Hero with an animal companion
Dhari Hunter Barbarian, ranger, rogue Savage-born hunter, tracker, guide
Free Blade Fighter, rogue Freebooter or mercenary
Golden Sea Corsair Barbarian, rogue Bold pirate
Guardian of the Nine Cleric, druid Enemy of the Great Old Ones
Ice Reaver Barbarian, ighter Berserk warrior from the icy north
Initiate of Mysteries Cleric Member of priestly order
Jungle Trader Bard, rogue Resourceful explorer and caravan leader
Katagian Pit Fighter Fighter Arena ighter or gladiator
Myrmidon Fighter, ranger Elite soldier
Occult Scientist Wizard Scholar combining studies of magic and weird science
Panjandrum Cleric, rogue Judge, agent, or oficial
Quodethi Thief Ranger, rogue Member of a powerful thieves guild
Sacred Slayer Cleric, rogue Holy assassin
Soothsayer Cleric, wizard Seer and adviser
Star-Lore Adept Warlock, wizard Dabbler in forbidden lore
Tribal Outcast Barbarian, druid, ranger Wanderer who cant go home

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Heroes of Thule
themyou can assume that the beneit of gaining It requires at least 1 month to gather your army or
these followers includes the ability to manage whatever horde, and you must be in the homeland of the war-
wages are appropriate, provide them with equipment, riors you are assembling. he army remains together
and see to their room and board. he majority of your through a full military campaign or efortfor exam-
followers are members of your own character race, ple, a march against an enemy city and the ensuing as-
although in certain circumstances (for example, if you sault or siegeand may remain in the ield for months
are a dwarf panjandrum serving in a human city) you or longer if the war continues. You can summon an
may summon followers of a diferent race. army or horde no more than once per three years,
Your followers are very loyal and are willing to unless the GM decides otherwise.
ight and die for you, but they arent suicidal. You Summoning an army or horde is usually a
can order them to take a ship and sail of to cross an world-building event, not a speciic adventure (al-
ocean that has never been crossed, but they wont though an army or horde may cause adventures to
obey if you order them to sail with no provisions, happen). he GM decides how your army or horde
or if you simply order them to march into the sea. afects the world.
If you abuse your followers badly (GMs discretion),
they may desert; regaining their loyalty may require a
special quest.
INCOME
Elite Company: A company is an elite band of Income may derive from a direct stipend, the sale of
warriors who guard you and protect your property and valuable produce from an estate, rents or royalties for
interests when you are not around. You gain a number businesses you are entitled to oversee, or your cut of
of followers equal to 6 + your character level + your criminal activity in areas you control. You usually
Charisma modiier. he exact type of followers you cant turn income into powerful magic items or buy
gain depend on your narrative. mercenary champions to guard you, but it does allow
Usually, one-quarter of your elite company is avail- you to sponsor activities or individuals you want to
able to accompany you on adventures, if you ask. Your help out.
warriors serve to guard campsites or mounts, but can If your narrative provides a source of income, the
be pressed into combat if needed. hey are diicult to amount your character receives is based on his or her
replace if killed (see Replacing Followers, page 159). character level.
An elite company is best used to provide you with a
handful of reasonably tough bodyguards for a diicult Character High Income
journey or adventure. However, the GM may modify Level
your XP award for adventures in which you rely heav- 110 (level + Int modiier) 50 gp/month
ily on your followers. 1116 (level + Int modiier) 200 gp/month
Raid: Raiders are allies numbering in the scores to 1720 (level + Int modiier) 1,000 gp/month
the low hundreds of individuals, who join you for a Moderate income is one-half high income.
speciic task lasting not more than a few days or weeks.
You can summon a number of warriors equal to (5 + For example, if you are a 10th-level character with
your Cha modiier) per character level; for example, if an Intelligence score of 16, high income is 650 gp per
you are a 12th-level character with a Charisma of 14, month, and moderate income is 325 gp per month.
you can summon a raid of 84 warriors. he exact type Bank accounts are not exactly common in hule,
of follower you summon depends on your narrative. but the larger cities are home to counting-houses
It usually takes 3 days to gather a raid, and the and moneylenders who can hold sums for you. You
raiders must be in the general area. If you are in the might also receive some of your income in the form of
same city or village as the raiders you wish to call, you property, investments, or ownership shares in diferent
can organize a half-strength raid in an hour. You can enterprises. A fat purse may not help you much during
summon a raid three times per year, although the GM the typical adventure, but it may make it easier for
may permit additional uses of the ability in appropriate you to hire specialists such as sages or assassins, live
circumstances. an opulent lifestyle, or sponsor individuals who attract
Raids are best used to meet an unusual challenge in your interest.
the course of an adventurefor example, countering
a large number of low-level enemy NPCs. Raiders nor-
mally act at GM discretion and have whatever efect
TITLES
your GM deems appropriate. Titles are more nebulous than followers or income.
Army or Horde: When you raise a mighty army, After all, the value of the title depends greatly on who
you can summon a number of warriors equal to (your youre trying to impress. In general, a high title is a lot
character level + your Cha modiier) 400; the exact like diplomatic immunity; most city guards wont dare
type of follower is determined by your narrative. he to detain or impede your character unless he poses an
army includes sub-leaders, mounts, warbeasts, or spe- immediate and obvious threat to someone else of high
cial units as appropriate. rank. A title also grants your character access to the
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Heroes of Thule
inner circles of power, the ability to gain audiences riders, or Ullathi sea-raiders. hese are not intended
with rulers or high priests, and a voice in important to be exhaustive liststhere are dozens of barbarian
afairs or decisionsfor example, whether the ruler tribes that might produce ice reaver characters. Feel
accepts an ofer of alliance from another city, or which free to invent your own.
laws should be passed. Much like an army in your ser-
vice, a high title is generally not useful for resolving an
adventure, but it may make new adventures possible.
ATLANTEAN NOBLE
he lost realm of Atlantis was an imperial power that
ruled over half of hule for many hundreds of years.
CHANGING Katagia, Orech, Quodethall were jewels of greater
NARRATIVES or lesser value in the royal crown of Atlantis. To this
day, a majority of nobles in the cities that were for-
You can select a new narrative with your GMs per-
merly part of the Atlantean Empire still claim descent
mission. Usually this is an important and long-lasting
from highborn Atlantean families. In fact, so much
change in your characters fortunes or station. An
prestige is attached to these old family lines that quite
ice reaver who spends a single adventure as a pirate
a few noble clans falsely claim Atlantean descent. Your
probably shouldnt change her narrative, but an ice
family is above any such base suspicions, of course.
reaver who never intends to go back to the icy wastes
Many huleans are born to lives of struggle and
in which she was born and sets her sights on becoming
want, but not you. You were brought up in a life of
a great pirate captain might be ready to change her
luxury and ease that most common-born citizens (let
narrative from ice reaver to Golden Sea corsair. As a
alone jungle savages) could hardly even imagine. You
rule of thumb, your character must practice the new
had access to the inest tutors and all the privileges and
career or path he or she is following for at least one full
perquisites of high station. No simple title intimidates
character level before actually changing her character
you; you have spent your whole live rubbing elbows
narrative.
with lords, princes, and panjandrums. Where you
When your character changes narratives, you lose
walk, common folk step aside; when you speak, people
the beneits of the old narrative and gain the beneits
listen. You wear an invisible mantle of authority and
of the new as a character of equal level. For example,
command, and you are used to getting your way.
if you were a 5th level ice reaver and you change
All nobles of Atlantean descent are human, or
narrative to Golden Sea corsair, you gain the ben-
at least partly so. Naturally, most are full-blooded
eits appropriate for a 5th level Golden Sea corsair.
Atlanteans and belong to the Atlantean character race.
(his is why you must spend a level transitioning
However, in some places the old Atlantean families
between narratives.)
have intermarried so often with the local populations
that the traditional Atlantean features and traits are
NARRATIVE virtually lost, leaving only a noble name and a family
DESCRIPTIONS history that stretches back through the centuries.
Humans of Dhari or Kalayan descent can therefore be
he narrative descriptions presented here are orga- Atlantean nobles, too, as can a few rare half-elves.
nized as follows. he people of Lomar arrived in hule after the fall of
Key Identity: his is a quick summary of character Atlantis, and never developed any tradition of rule by
races or classes that are especially appropriate for the Atlantean masters. Likewise, no dwarf, elf, or halling
narrative. For example, a Dhari hunter ought to be would ever be mistaken for an Atlantean of high birth.
a human of the Dhari ethnicity or a halling (since Key Identity: Atlantean, bard, ighter, wizard.
many halling tribes also inhabit Dhar Mesh and
produce hunters of similar skill). his is not a require-
ment to select the narrative, only a guideline.
ATLANTEAN NOBLE
(Narrative) Beneits: his paragraph describes the BENEFITS
sort of skills, talents, combat edges, or social advan- he life of a noble is more than outrageous deca-
tages conferred by the narrative. dence. Most young nobles enjoy the best martial
(Narrative) in the World: his entry explains how training available, since assassinations, duels, and
NPCs are likely to react to your character, and what feuds with rival families are commonplace occur-
sort of status or inluence your character is likely to rences in noble life. As your fame grows, you ind
wield because of who he is. It also notes any special that mere mention of your name is enough to open
enemies or rivals of people like your character. almost any door in your homeland, or to set the
Personalizing the (Narrative): he narrative citys bureaucrats and panjandrums working against
description concludes with suggestions about spe- anyone who displeases you (other than another high
ciic tribes, organizations, or cities your character noble, of course). Eventually, you may stand beside
may belong to. For example, ice reavers might be the throne as a member of the royal councilor, if
Bearslayer dwarves, Khatranir warriors, Hurgan necessary, you may take the throne for yourself.

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Heroes of Thule
Skill Training (1st level): You are trained in His- get your hands dirty if something or someone poses
tory and Persuasion. As a noble, you were instructed in a threat to your little empire.
the events that shaped your familys legacy, and learned Patrician of Katagia: he city of Katagia is the purest
the arts of diplomacy. example of Atlantean culture remaining in hule,
Urgent Command (1st level): On your turn, you and you were raised with the inest education in
can use a bonus action to allow one ally within 30 the arts and sciences of Atlantis . . . especially the
feet of you to make a single melee or ranged attack arcane arts. Your family is wealthy and powerful, of
as a combat reaction. You can use this ability once, course, but you understand that the true power of
and then you must rest to regain it. Atlantis was not measured in gold coins and loyal
Nobles Grace (6th level): Your air of nobility troops, but in knowledge. he libraries of Katagia are
and conidence gives you greater inluence over other extensive, but many secrets of Atlantean magic and
people in positions of power. You have tactical advan- technology lie hidden beyond the citys walls, and
tage on ability checks or skill checks to interact with you mean to seek them out.
nobles and leaders. Rebel Lord: Your family represented a threat to the
Noble Patriarch (10th level): You become the oi- ruler of your home city, so they were driven into
cial patriarch of your noble house. You are nominated exile. Fortunately, your family was able to carry of
to a seat of power in your home city, appointed to a suicient treasure to become established in a new
ruling body, or awarded some similar great honor. You home, but someday you mean to return to your
gain access to the wealth of your house and the author- native city and see justice done. Which city is your
ity to command its soldiers; you have a high income, true home? Where did your family ind shelter? And
and a company of followers equivalent to legionaries why were they exiled to begin with?
(see the sidebar on page 79). At 15th level, your follow-
ers improve to veterans.
BEARER OF THE
ATLANTEAN NOBLES BLACK BOOK
IN THE WORLD he Black Book holds dark wisdom within its pages,
for any who dare open it and read the ever-changing
As you might expect, you are a person of great
ink scrawl within. he Black Book is an artifact, and
importance in your home city. Since people know
its your dutyor curseto carry it with you and add
you are rich and powerful, they are careful to defer
to its eldritch lore.
to you in publicmost nobles have small private
You were chosen at an early age by a mentor to bear
armies that can do what they want to any non-noble
the Black Book with you throughout your life and
who causes trouble. he citys monarch or oicials
add your experience to its pages. he last owner of
might eventually do something about nobles who
the Black Book was maddeningly vague about what
are extremely abusive toward their social inferiors,
to write in the bookwhen the time comes, youll
but they might not, so commoners think twice about
know what the book expects you to write down.
crossing you.
Previous bearers of the Black Book have led lives as
Noble families in any city constantly maneuver for
monster hunters, court alchemists, learned sages, and
inluence and power, and these rivalries often become
royal wizards, just to name a few. From time to time,
quite heated. he worst enemy you possess is probably
you page through the Black Book and read some of the
another noble jealous of your fame or threatened by
hundreds of pages already illed. Bookmarks seem to
your success.
fall out of the Black Book, however, and you swear the
pages may be magically rearranging themselves.
PERSONALIZING THE Technically, the Black Book is an artifact. It cant
ATLANTEAN NOBLE be destroyed through ordinary means, and a simple
Each of hules cities has its own traditions of nobility detect magic spell will reveal its overwhelming power.
and trappings of power. Some cities such as Lomar or But the book doesnt directly make the bearer a more
Rime have no regard for Atlantean descent at all, for ex- powerful spellcaster, or aid the bearer in combat
ample. Consequently, your home city is one of the most . . . at least so far as you know. Wizards can use
important determinants of the sort of noble you are. the Black Book as a spellbook if they like (those
pages dont rearrange themselves and can easily be
Merchant Prince of Quodeth: Quodeth is the found), and any bearer can use the Black Book as a
greatest mercantile power in hule, and most of its alchemical workbook, a reference for ritual magic,
nobles control rich stakes in a variety of industries or a notebook for the strange and wondrous things
and trades. Your blood may be blue, but at heart they encounter as they travel across hule. Beyond
you are a man or woman of business. You own its indestructibility, the books only obvious magical
interests in merchant galleys, spice caravans, vine- feature is how the pages rearrange themselves from
yards, and silk orchardsand youre not afraid to time to time.

53
Heroes of Thule
across hule. Many sages and wizards have heard of
the Black Book, mostly because previous bearers were
powerful and/or notorious. Bearing the Black Book
will grant you entrance to many a cabal of wizards or
college of sages.
Not all attention is welcome, however . . .
Skill Training (1st level): You are trained in Arcana
and History, topics discussed at length within the book.
Eldritch Power (1st level): You gain a bonus
sorcerer, warlock, or wizard spell slot of the highest
level you can normally cast. If you cannot cast spells
as a sorcerer, warlock, or wizard, you instead learn chill
touch and true strike; you can use these spells at will.
he Black Book holds many arcane secrets.
Hidden Insight (6th level): he Black Book can act
as a focus and material component for any divination
spell. he book is not consumed when used as a mate-
rial component in this way.
Secret Lore (10th level): Once per day, you can cast
legend lore by simply consulting the book. You need
not know the spell or otherwise be able to cast it.

BEARERS
IN THE WORLD
At any given time, there are dozens of cults, conspir-
acies, and power-mad tyrants who would love to get
their hands on the Black Book. From time to time
youll have to fend of unwanted attentionsometimes
violentlyor go incognito to avoid shadowy igures
lurking in the dark.
You have a key ally in your eforts to thwart
would-be book thieves, though: the Black Book itself.
You were chosen to be the bearer of the Black Book
With their predilection for spellbooks, wizards are for a reason. In the future, youre going to witness or
natural bearers of the Black Book, but they arent the learn something important to future bearers, and the
only ones. Any character interested in ancient lore or Black Book wants to help you survive long enough to
powerful magic could be interested in the Black Book. write in its pages. From time to time, you may open
More to the point, adventurers are interesting to the the book to ind a warning scrawled in its pages.
Black Book itself, assuming that theres some sort of As written, its a lonely task being the bearer of the
sentience that controls or inluences it. Each bearer is Black Book, but its possible to envision an organization
supposed to carry the Black Book with them at all times devoted to keeping the Black Book safe and learning all
and record key eventssome of which may aid subse- they can from its contents. If that organization doesnt
quent bearers of the Black Book centuries in the future. exist when you become the bearer of the Black Book,
Key Identity: Wizard, bard, cleric, other spellcast- perhaps youre destined to build that organization to
ing classes. Among races, humans and Atlanteans are aid future bearers. And hule is a big place . . . whos to
most likely. say that there isnt more than one Black Book out there?

BEARER BENEFITS PERSONALIZING


he biggest beneit of the Black Book is the lore con- THE BEARER
tained within, every page painstakingly curated by Bearer of the Black Book is a more individual, unique
previous bearers. Its not reliable, however; you never narrative than most; you may never meet or hear of an-
know when paging through the Black Book will reveal other bearer during your time with the book. You were
a new spell, a ritual to close a portal, the recipe for a rare chosen as the bearer of the Black Book for a reason,
poison, or some other information. You swear sometimes however. Perhaps youre a bearer because of your con-
the Black Book knows what you want to know, and con- nection (through ancestry, mentorship, or admiration)
sulting its pages can give you the insight you need. with one or more of the following previous bearers of
Another beneit of bearing the Black Book is the the Black Book.
attention it attracts from arcanists and power-brokers
54
Heroes of Thule
Rubiak the Hunchback: Royal Wizard to Katagias tribesthe Lomari are too civilized, and the Nimo-
Solon III he Mad, Rubiak was obsessed with thans view the natural world as a foe to be conquered.
countering the Atlantean bastions territorial losses Hallings are especially likely to become beastfriends,
on hule by reaching and eventually conquering since many halling tribes rely heavily on well-trained
other worlds and dimensions. It didnt matter animals for both hunting and war.
how close to Katagias walls the barbarians got, he Key Identity: Barbarian, druid, ranger, rogue,
reasoned, if his monarch could rule lands beyond halling.
the portals he constructed. His writings in the
Black Book often concern portal magic . . . and BEASTFRIEND
what awaits adventurers in the dimensions beyond
those portals.
BENEFITS
You dont tame beasts so much as empathize with
Lord Venath: An advisor to notorious king Zaid
them so they gladly do your bidding. Animals
Onther of Quodeth, much of Venaths writings in
provide you more comfort and companionship
the Black Book involve the secrets of the city-states
thanpeople in most circumstances. You find the
noble families. Most of those families would pay
simple perspective of beasts preferable to the impul-
dearly (or alternatively, kill without remorse) for
sive or distrustful actions of most so-called civilized
those 80-year-old secrets to remain buried. A bearer
people.
of the Black Book is thus poised to sow chaosor
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You gain training in
a new orderin present-day Quodeth.
Animal Handling and Survival, and you learn the
Zar Kuhnel: Moreso than most bearers of the Black
Urgan language (see Languages, page 24). You
Book, the great sage Zar Kuhnel tried to learn the
possess an unusual empathy for animals, and you
ultimate purpose of the Black Book and wrote his
understand how and where they live.
hypotheses within the book itself. Kuhnel found
multiple connections, individually tenuous but col-
lectively convincing, between the Black Book and
the Old One Hastur. Whether the Black Book was
a tool or an obstacle to Hastur was a question that
vexed Kuhnel until his death. You can continue
Kuhnels research, if you dare . . .

BEASTFRIEND
he tribal peoples of hule live in a world ruled
by beasts both small and great. he predator and
prey relationships of hules primeval fauna arent
matters of mere academic interestthey are the
rules for survival in this primeval landscape, harsh
truths that are written out anew every day in red ink.
Most tribal hunters naturally concern themselves
with becoming as skillful and eicient as possible in
hunting their primary food sources, and avoiding the
most dangerous predators that share their environ-
ment. For some peoples, this means taming wild
beasts that can ind, pursue, or lush out prey that
otherwise would be impossible for human hunters to
manage alone.
You are a loner, more comfortable in the silent
company of a loyal animal friend than among people,
who are complicated and unpredictable. You see
things in the world around you that most others miss,
and possess a seemingly supernatural ability to train
animals of all kinds.
Beastfriends are almost always people who come
from the barbaric or savage cultures of hule. Learn-
ing how to tame (or at least befriend) wild animals
takes many years of observation and a keen under-
standing of the world they live in, and those born in
civilization simply dont have the opportunity. Most
human beastfriends come from the Dhari or Kalay
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Heroes of Thule
Animal Rapport (1st level): You can use the Ammur Eagle-Caller: he barbarians of Ammu-
Animal Handling skill to inluence both domesticated rath sometimes train crested eagles for hunting and
and wild animals. In general, you can only guide war. You were chosen to study this sacred art when
wild animals toward behavior they might normally you were young, forsaking your clan to join the
exhibit anyway. For example, a successful check might brotherhood of the eagle-callers. Its unusual for an
convince a predator to head of in search of easier eagle-caller to leave Ammurath; why do you seek
prey, convince a territorial beast such as a muskox adventure in other lands?
to ignore an intrusion instead of charging, or drive Daraynian Scout: You are a halling of one of the
herd animals away from danger. If the wild animal is tribes inhabiting the Darayn Peninsula, on the
undecided, the DC of the check is 10. If the animal is southern shore of the Inner Sea. Beastfriends may
committed to the behavior you are trying to change, be unusual in other lands, but many Daraynian
the DC is 20. If you are dealing with a number of warriors learn the ways of training battle-compan-
creatures at once (for example, a herd or pack), the ions and hunting-beasts; you arent all that special
DC increases by 5. in your homeland. In a world illed with dangerous
Deep Rapport (6th level): When you use the predators and hostile enemy tribes, the animal com-
Animal Handling skill, you charm the animal if you panions of you and your fellow Daraynian warriors
succeed. It remains charmed for 24 hours, until you help to even the odds in battle.
dismiss it or charm a diferent animal, or until you or Phoorean Packmaster: Not all beastfriends win the
one of your companions harms it. loyalty of their animal companions through kind-
Animal Companion (10th level): You gain a loyal ness and patience. he lash works too, and in Phoor
servant in the form of a wolf, panther, raptor, or beastfriends use pain and intimidation to break
similar animal. his functions like the rangers beast wild animals to their will. Phoorean packmasters
companion feature except that you can also choose a drive bands of vicious hyenas or hungry wolves into
Large animal suitable for use as a mount (for exam- battle ahead of their fellow tribesmen, spreading
ple, a riding horse, warhorse, dire wolf, hulean elk, confusion and panic among the tribes enemies.
or giant lizard). Your efective ranger level is equal to Some packmasters choose to sell their services to the
your character level 4. sort of employers who arent picky about who they
If you are a ranger with a beast companion, you hire, as long as they get results.
keep your existing companion, but add 2 to your
efective level for determining your companions stats.
DHARI HUNTER
he jungles and plains of hule are home to plentiful
BEASTFRIENDS game animals, but few of these creatures are easy kills.
IN THE WORLD Creatures such as the giant elk, the hulean sloth, or
Even among your tribe, you are poorly understood. the woolly mammoth sell their lives dearly. Worse yet,
Some superstitious tribes mistake the talents of hunters who venture into the wilds risk becoming the
beastfriends for black magic and drive them out, prey of the even more dangerous predators that hunt
while others assume that beastfriends are spirits in the same game the hunters seek. Only the bravest
human shape or simply afected by a peculiar form men and women dare to hunt in the wilderness of
of madness. Beastfriends often ind more respect and huleand you are one of them.
friendship outside their home tribes, and are highly Leading a life close to nature, you are quick, keen-
prized as trackers and scouts by those who arent eyed, inured to hardship, and intimately familiar
worried about superstition. with the plants and animals of your favored hunting
You have few true enemiesbeastfriends are grounds. Your spear or bow is your companion; you
relatively rare individuals, and are often inclined to are fearless in the face of any wilderness hazard or
stay out of other peoples business anyway. Your foes natural danger. Few indeed can match your wood-
are determined by your native tribe, and may include craft or your endurance.
slavers, beastmen, or savage raiding tribes such as the Most of the Dhari tribes are humans of Dhari
Kyran headhunters. descent. However, there are a few halling tribes who
roam the deep forests of Dhar Mesh, and share a
PERSONALIZING similar lifestyle, so you could easily be either human or
THE BEASTFRIEND halling. Humans of other nationalities are generally
too civilized to master the hunters skills to the same
Beastfriends are most common among peoples that live
extent as a native of the forests, but some do. Kalay
close to natureusually, tundra nomads or primitive
or Lomari hunters are likely to be individuals who
jungle tribes. he animal you befriend and the tribe
pursue dangerous game to harvest valuable pelts or
you hail from are important parts of your story.
ivory, as opposed to hunting for basic subsistence. It

56
Heroes of Thule
is a dangerous way to earn a living, and by necessity
they must learn the same skills that savage hunters do.
Dwarves and elves rarely become hunters, since they
arent tribal societies and dont often practice the trades
of trapping or ivory-hunting.
Key Identity: Human (Dhari or Kalay), halling,
barbarian, ranger, rogue, druid.

DHARI HUNTER
BENEFITS
Hunters of the Dhari tribes are expert trackers,
patient stalkers, and skilled at setting ambushes. As
you might expect, hunters rely on a deadly irst strike
to swiftly kill or incapacitate dangerous gameyou
dont get many second chances when you attack a
hulean sloth or a cave bear. As you gain in experi-
ence and begin to build a record of notable deeds,
you ind that the tribes of the jungle, both friend
and foe, have heard of your skill and respect you for
your bravery. In time, you may become a great chief
of your people, a champion in war and a wise leader
in peace.
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in
Stealth and Survival. To be a successful hunter, one
must understand every aspect of game behavior
including what else might be hunting the game
you seekbut the irst rule of the hunt is to not let
yourself be seen, heard, or smelled by the beast you
are stalking.
Hunters Strike (1st level): When you attack a target
that is not aware of you or has not acted yet in the
encounter, you can choose to perform a hunters strike.
You gain tactical advantage with the strike, and if you
hit, you deal maximum damage with your weapon.
You can use Hunters Strike once, and then you
must rest to regain it. DHARI HUNTERS
Hunters Instinct (6th level): You possess an IN THE WORLD
uncanny ability to notice animals and anticipate their Naturally, you are held in high honor by your own
behavior. You gain tactical advantage on all skill tribe, and by all who are friendly to your tribe. In
checks made against animals, including Perception addition, you may enjoy a reputation as a guide or
checks to spot hidden animals, Survival checks to tracker of great skill. Anyone contemplating an expe-
follow animal tracks, or Nature checks to identify dition into the jungles of Dhar Mesh or the plains of
rare animals and their abilities. Nar would be wise to retain the services of a Dhari
Dhari Chieftain (10th level): You become the hunter.
chief of your tribe or establish a new tribe of your hules savage beastmen are mortal enemies of the
own. You gain suicient followers to call for raids (see Dhari peoples, and they especially hate you. Most
Followers, under narrative beneits); your followers beastmen attack you on sight, and everyone with you.
are equivalent to tribal warriors. Your tribe numbers It is a rare day when you meet a beastman and no
a couple of hundred warriors, spouses, and children, blood is spilled.
and your tribal lands cover about 1,000 square miles.
In its own lands, your tribe is almost impossible to PERSONALIZING
locate or attack, and it is quite capable of getting
along without you for long periods of time if you
THE DHARI HUNTER
continue to adventure. he Dhari people are made up of scores of diferent
tribes, most of which rely heavily on the talents of their
hunters and trackers.

57
Heroes of Thule
Bolotanga Windrunner: You are a member of the the gold in the world is worthless to a dead man.
Bolotanga tribe of northern Dhar Mesh. Your Above all, you are a great believer in the power
people are skilled hunters and warriors like all of opportunity. No matter where you are or what
Dhari, but they also possess a deep and abiding youre doing, you never stop looking for your next
reverence for the primal spirits. You strive to live in big chance. If it involves making enemies or break-
harmony with nature, to understand the place of ing laws, so be it.
your people in the life of the forest and to defend Fighting skill is the stock in trade of the free
the forest with your own life if need be. bladeanyone following this path must be handy
Kyran Headhunter: Most Dhari tribes are ierce warriors, with weapons and willing to ight for pay. Free
but they rarely attack people who havent given them blades come from almost any culture or back-
ofense. Not so the headhunters of Kyr; this vicious ground. Some are wandering barbarians, some are
tribe aggressively raids and plunders every land within desperate street thugs trying to get ahead, and a few
their reach. Bands of Kyran headhunters have waylaid are highborn swordsmen or swordswomen forced by
travelers on the road to hran, burned villages as far east family circumstances to carve out their own place in
as Ry Mar, and even slipped over the walls of Ikath to the world. Even nonhumans such as dwarven mer-
murder people in the streets. You are a member of this cenaries or elven duelists are found in this opportu-
tribe, savage even by hules brutal standards. nistic trade.
As the name suggests, your tribe often takes the Key Identity: Barbarian, ighter, ranger, rogue.
heads of especially noteworthy enemies (or victims)
and brings them back to Kyr as grisly trophies. FREE BLADE BENEFITS
he skills you learned to stalk and bring down big Even if youre just beginning your career, youve al-
game are just as useful in stalking and ambushing ready been to more places and seen more things than
enemies. Are you proud of belonging to one of the most people. Free blades are deined by their wander-
toughest and most fearsome tribes of hules jungles? lust; youre familiar with a lot of diferent places, you
Or were you sickened by the bloodlust and savagery have a knack for languages, and you have an uncanny
of your people, choosing self-exile? ability to it in wherever you ind yourself. As a
Narthan Mammoth Hunter: You belong to one of veteran of many skirmishes, riots, and tavern brawls,
the Dhari tribes native to the plains of Nar, not the you have learned how to inish ights fast when you
jungles of the Inner Sea. You have little experience get an opponent at a disadvantage. It might not be
with the jungle, but you are familiar with the beasts particularly honorable, but honor isnt something
and the terrain of the wide savanna. Mammoths are you worry about too much. As word of your prowess
the most dangerous of all beasts regularly hunted by spreads, youll ind that you are never really without a
humans, so you are naturally the bravest and most jobtheres always someone hiring mercenaries, or a
daring of all the Dhari tribes. Mammoth hunters band of outlaws in need of a leader.
have a reputation for recklessness and risk-taking Skill Bonuses (1st level): Your travels and business
that even the steadiest jungle tribesman would never associations have provided you with a certain breadth
consider; you literally laugh in the face of danger. of knowledge. You gain a bonus language selected
from the following: High Atlantean, Dhari, Kalayan,
FREE BLADE Lomari, Nimothan, Urgan. You are also trained in
Mercenary, wanderer, outlaw, fortune-hunter, free- Intimidation.
booterthe cities of hule are full of hard-nosed Opportunist (1st level): When you make an
adventurers ready to earn a living with a strong opportunity attack, you gain tactical advantage.
sword-hand. Monarchs and nobles are always looking Instead of making an opportunity attack, you can use
for skilled soldiers, merchants need bodyguards, and a combat reaction to move up to your speed.
forgotten treasures lie waiting for the audacious ex- Sellsword (6th level): Whenever you are paid
plorer bold enough to dare deadly jungles and cursed gold for your services, you get 50% more gold. In
ruins and claim them. he free blade is a true soldier addition, you gain tactical advantage on skill checks
of fortune, a sell-sword who may try out a dozen dif- made to interact with mercenaries or other soldiers
ferent careers as he or she searches for that one bold for hire.
stroke that might make a mercenary into a lord . . . or Company of Blades (10th level): You have worked
even a king. for, with, and against many other sellswords and
Whether youre a professional mercenary with a earned their respect. You now have a company of elite
careful eye for the odds or a bored barbarian look- warriors at your call (see Followers, under narrative
ing for adventure, you keep your sword loose in the beneits). he warriors of your company are equiva-
scabbard and your coinpurse where you can see it. lent to berserkers or legionaries (see page 79); you can
Youre ambitious, resourceful, and pragmaticall choose which you prefer. When you reach 15th level,
they improve to veterans..

58
Heroes of Thule
You decide whether your company is a band of
outlaws, soldiers, mercenaries or something in be-
tween. You also may choose a base of operations, such
as a hall in a city-state, a watchtower on a road, or a
hidden cave near a trade route.

FREE BLADES
IN THE WORLD
Rootless adventurers are common in hule. Some are
city-born men and women of the lower classes who
set out to win wealth any way they can. Others are
barbarians curious about civilized ways (or, perhaps,
unwelcome in their own homelands) who have noth-
ing to sell but their blades. Low-born huleans often
romanticize the free blades way of life, so you have
many friends among the common people.
Over time, you will naturally cross paths with
other free blades who have their own ideas about
the opportunities you come across. Competition,
rivalry, or outright treachery are the usual results
your worst enemies are all too often free blades just
like you.

PERSONALIZING
THE FREE BLADE
he hallmarks of a free blade are adaptability and
wanderlust. heyll do anything to get by, taking
on boring or dangerous work until something better
turns up, and they think nothing of setting out to see
if the next city ofers better opportunities.

Ammur Wanderer: he barbarian clans of the


Ammur Hills are a strong, settled Dhari tribe that
has at various times fought of incursions from
Lomar, Quodeth, and Marg. Many young Ammur Margish Wolf: he city of Marg has a deservedly
warriors leave their homeland to sell their swords evil reputation as the center of hules slave trade,
in the rich city-states. Unlike most barbarians, who but not every Marg is a slaver. Most are ruthless
know little of civilization before they arrive at a city merchants and traderscommonly called wolves
gate, you are acquainted with civilized waysyou in Marg and nearby landswho deal in any com-
just dont think much of them. modity that comes their way, or turn to robbery
Dishonored Lomari: he people of Lomar are and plunder if legitimate trade is hard to come by.
known for their martial spirit and prickly sense of Part mercenary, part trader, part outlaw, a Margish
honor. More than a few of Lomars warriors ind wolf has an evil reputation, but everyone knows
that better prospects await them in the wide world that you will do whatever you must to get ahead.
beyond Lomars mighty walls. Some of these exiles Zinandar Mercenary: You are a dwarf of Kal-Zinan,
leave voluntarily, unable to ind a place that suits the City of the Iron Gate. Kal-Zinan is renowned
them in Lomars rigid society. Others fail to live up for two principal exports: Iron arms and armor,
to the unforgiving standards of Lomari society and and the toughest mercenaries in hule. Youre one
leave in disgrace. Whatever your reason for leaving of the latter. Free blades in general have a reputa-
Lomar, you now earn the best living you can by tion for being opportunistic and unreliable, but you
selling a lifetime of martial training to the highest consider yourself a professional and prefer to honor
bidder. What drove you to leave? If you could go your contracts as long as your employer holds up
back, would you? his end of the bargain.

59
Heroes of Thule
GOLDEN SEA
CORSAIR
he seas of hule are plagued by leets of pirate gal-
leys. Preying on merchant shipping, coastal settle-
ments, and sometimes even large cities or barbarian
tribes whose lands are exposed to raids from the sea,
these corsairs pose a major threat to any unfortunate
enough to cross their paths. Of all the pirates to
plague the waterways of the primeval continent, none
are so widespreador so boldas the corsairs of the
Golden Sea Brotherhood.
As a corsair, you live outside the law. You are rec-
ognized by all civilized lands (and more than a few
of the tribal peoples) as an enemy of all mankind, de-
serving of nothing less than a swift execution should
you ever fall into the hands of the authorities or tribal
elders. Even if you are not personally a vicious brute,
you understand that the day you show weakness is the
day you die, whether at the hands of your would-be
victims or under the knives of your own comrades.
Yet, despite the enmity of all good people and the fel-
lowship of brutes and murderers, you have something
beyond price: absolute freedom. You kneel to no one.
Corsair leets are made up of the dregs of human-
itythieves and murderers who led their homelands
to escape justice, mercenaries too lazy or cowardly to
ind paying work, and brutal savages greedy to plun-
der the riches of more developed peoples. Any char-
acter who joins a corsair crew needs to be handy with
a blade, not only to make herself a useful member
of the crew, but also to have a chance of defending
herself against the scum and villains who surround
her. Few spellcasters are desperate enough to consider
becoming corsairs.
Key Identity: Barbarian, ighter, rogue.

GOLDEN SEA
CORSAIR BENEFITS
Corsairs are exceptional seamen, skilled at navigation,
rope handling, sailing, and naval tacticsafter all,
pirates who cant handle their ships efectively cant
catch prey or get away from the warships sent to hunt
them down. Terror and intimidation are your weap-
ons in combat; your headlong assaults strike fear into
the bravest foes. Individual corsairs often crossdeck
to other ships, turn smuggler, take up slaving, or even
become honest traders, so over time your network
of former shipmates comes to include hundreds of
pirates and sailors throughout the harbor districts of
huleyou have contacts in every port. Sooner or
later, the day comes when you command a corsair
galley of your own, and you will ind a rough and
ready crew eager to sail at your side.
Skill Bonuses (1st level): hanks to your experience
as a pirate on the high seas, you are trained in Acrobat-
ics and Athletics. In addition, you are proicient in the
use of boats, ships, and navigators instruments.
60
Heroes of Thule
Cutthroat Strike (1st level): When you attack Golden Sea Brother: You belong to the corsair leet
a creature that is threatened by at least one of your known as the Golden Sea Brotherhood, a bloody-
allies (in other words, its within your allys reach), you handed sea-horde that plagues the Kalayan Sea.
can choose to perform a cutthroat strike. You gain he corsair brotherhood is based in the hidden city
tactical advantage on the attack, and if you hit, the of Rime, and often hires out its services to nobles
target becomes frightened of you until the end of your and monarchs in need of leets. Golden Sea corsairs
next turn. have more loyalty to the Brotherhood as a whole
You can use Cutthroat Strike once. You must take a than any particular ship or captain, and have a habit
rest to regain the ability. of abandoning unsuccessful commanders to sign
Infamy (6th level): As word of your exploits gets on with the captains who lead them to the richest
around, you gain the respect of other pirates, mer- prizes.
chants, and outlaws of the coastal regions around the housand Teeth Raider: he northern coast of hule
Kalayan Sea and along the Atlantean Ocean. You gain is home to countless islets and headlands known
tactical advantage on all skill checks made to interact as the housand Teeth. Here scores of Nimothan
with people familiar with your reputation. chieftains and jarls measure their strength by the
Pirate Terror (10th level): Your former shipmates number of longships they command. To become a
make you captain of your own ship. You can sail with chief that other warriors will follow, you must irst
them whenever you need sea transportation, since your captain a longship, and to captain a longship, you
crew keeps your ship in a nearby port or will readily must prove that you are a ierce and cunning war-
steal one if you need something sooner. Your crew rior. What will you do to win fame and respect?
provides you with raiders any time you are aboard your Umni Sea-Wolf: You are a stranger to hule. Your
ship, and the spoils your crew obtains provides you home is the wide land of Umn Tsav to the west, and
with a moderate income (see Followers and Income, your people are simple by the standards of hules
under narrative beneits). Your raiders are equivalent great cities. Instead of galleys or longships, you sail
to bandits. Once per three years, you can summon an in boats of skin and hide, and you ight with weap-
army in the form of a corsair leet. ons made from bone and wood. Each year the brav-
est Umni warriors launch raids against the western
GOLDEN SEA CORSAIRS coasts of hule, landing savage war-parties to seek
captives, plunder, and trophies from the civilized
IN THE WORLD peoples. Were you left behind by such a raid, or did
he corsairs of hule are universally reviled by all other
you come alone to see for yourself the wonders you
people. he city-states hate them for the destruction
have heard about from other sea-wolves?
they wreak on merchant shipping, while all but the
strongest and most ierce tribal peoples sufer from
corsair raiding and slaving. Despite this universal hos- GUARDIAN OF
tility, corsairs are sometimes hired as seagoing merce-
nariesmany merchants ind it easier to buy protec-
THE NINE
Priests of Mithra hate those of Tiamat. Followers of
tion from corsair leets than to risk the loss of an entire
Asura will put those of Set to the torch if they can.
cargo, and city rulers who lack strong navies sometimes
And yet theres one exception within each of hules
bribe corsair lords to join them in war. Unfortunately,
organized religions: the Guardians of the Nine.
corsairs have a habit of not staying bought for long.
hough no less devoted to their patron gods, guardians
You can pass yourself of as a seaman or mercenary
cross religious lines to thwart the hule pantheons
when you are not surrounded by other pirates, so its
common threat: the Great Old Ones.
not overly dangerous to visit civilized ports when
Some of hules faiths call it scripture and to others
traveling alone or with a small group of companions
its heresy, but theres a belief among the Guardians of
who dont look like a gang of pirates. However, there
the Nine that millennia ago, the Great Ones rose and
is a price on your head in most citiesif the authori-
walked the earth, and only by combining forces did
ties ind out who you really are and what youve done,
the gods defeat them. his diminished the gods as well,
youll likely face the executioner within the day.
which is why deities do not (or cannot) manifest in the
world anymore either. he Guardians of the Nine will
PERSONALIZING THE do anything to ensure that the Great Old Ones, indi-
GOLDEN SEA CORSAIR vidually or collectively, never threaten the world again.
he iconic pirate of hule is, of course, a corsair In practical terms, this makes you a cult-hunter.
belonging to the Golden Sea Brotherhood. his Youre part of a sect within your religion that the
seagoing horde plagues the Kalayan Sea from one end broader priesthood doesnt necessarily understand. But
to the other, fearing nothing except the war-navy of when Great Cthulhu stirs, theyll be glad you have a
Quodeth. However, characters who sail with diferent plan to make sure he remains asleep.
pirate groups have similar beneits and drawbacks.

61
Heroes of Thule
Clerics are obvious choices for the Guardians of the that a Great Old One threat is truly imminent.
Nine, but its a pragmatic organization thatll take any Most of the priesthoods, though, are ambivalent
capable cult-hunter into its ranks. Many druids also about the Guardians of the Nine. hey have more
belong to this secret societydown through the centu- immediate, pressing concerns like suppressing rival
ries the Guardians have worked hard to forge alliances faiths and squeezing more oferings out of the
with followers of the Forest Gods, especially among merchant class and maintaining religious purity
the friendlier barbarian tribes. Almost all Guardians within their order. Because the Guardians consort
are spellcasters because they know theyll be expected with those outside of the faith, theyre sometimes
to close gates and banish horrors from another world. ostracized within their own priesthoods.
Key Identity: Human, cleric, druid. he biggest enemies of the Guardians of the Nine
are the cults of the Great Old Ones of course, but
GUARDIAN BENEFITS those cultists arent all in remote temples, under-
As you rise through the ranks of the Guardians of ground lairs, or hidden forest clearings. Its a cer-
the Nine, youll pick up some of the investigative tainty that cultists have iniltrated the hierarchies of
skills useful in uncovering cult activityafter all, all the major religions, and those agents of the Great
few cultists self-identify as cultists (until theyve gone Old Ones will stop at nothing to hinder the Guard-
completely mad, anyway). Youll also learn magic ians of the Nine any way they can.
techniques useful for thwarting Great Old One eforts
to intrude on the world. PERSONALIZING
he organization itself is another beneit of sorts. You THE GUARDIAN
have common cause with a subset of priests in every he key question for a Guardian of the Nine is which
major faith and shamans in the most important bar- patron deity represents your home faith. Its rare
barian tribes, even rival faiths or tribes who would or- but not unheard of for a guardian to change faiths
dinarily shun you (or worse). Walk into a major temple, but remain a guardian in good standing. Here are
make the right secret signs, and you can connect with a how three religions each deal with the Guardians of
guardian wholl help with your current investigation. the Nine in their midst.
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in Arcana
and Investigation. Unraveling the true purpose of a Mithra: You are an investigator; Mithras wide-rang-
mad cult requires a combination of occult lore and ing faith has many sages and researchers among its
attention to detail. ranks, and when they uncover a strange phenome-
Mind Clearing (1st level): When you fail a non that might have a connection to the Great Old
Wisdom or Charisma saving throw, you can use a Ones, they call upon their sect of the Guardians to
combat reaction to reroll your saving throw. You must examine the matter further. he rest of the church
abide by the results of the second save. You can use generally sees you as eccentric but occasionally
Mind Clearing once, and then you must rest before useful. heyre apt to send you of on long journeys
you can use it again. to explore a recently discovered monolith or strange
Banisher of Horrors (6th level): You gain a +1 ruins uncovered in the jungle.
bonus to attacks, defenses, and saving throws when Asura: You are the lame that puriies the corrupt evil
youre battling creatures with the extraterrene trait. of the cults, no matter where the corruption hides.
Elder Scribe (10th level): You gain the ability to More of an inquisitor than an investigator, you
inscribe an elder sign. Creating an elder sign requires an uncover Great Old One plots by uncovering cult-
8-hour ritual that must be performed under the correct ists and tracking them to their source. he rest of
astrological alignment, and a suitable piece of a rare Asuras priests usually do their best to ignore you,
type of soapstone. You can assume that the proper con- although theyre very touchy about any collabora-
ditions occur about once per year, although if an elder tion with evil-aligned Guardians.
sign you create is lost or destroyed, you may be able to Nergal: An adherent of the war god, you are often
replace it sooner (GMs discretion). the muscle when the Guardians must battle
against the forces of the Great Old Ones directly.
GUARDIANS You often dont get much advance notice; its more
IN THE WORLD like, Ride to Reglaren and put the village to the
he Guardians of the Nine have many friends of torch, or in three days Shub-Niggurath will rise
convenience; the tyrant of many a city-state has there. Youre usually outnumbered by the cultists
showered the organization with riches after they and horrors you face, but that just means more
thwarted a cultist uprising that threatened the city. targets for your wrath. Sometimes the other priests
But such appreciation is leeting as the threat fades of Nergal make noise about whether youre really
into history. he only lasting allies of the Guardians serving the forces of evil or just glorying in battle,
are the organized major faiths and a few of the wiser but they give you a wide berth because they know
shaman brotherhoods . . . if they can be convinced its not your blood on that armor.
62
\
Heroes of Thule
ICE REAVER navigation tools. Ice reavers are renowned for their
violent ways, and you are familiar with the hard terrain
The windswept glaciers, the frozen mountains,
of your home.
the vast cold plains beneath the shadow of the
Reavers Charge (1st level): You can perform
encroaching icethese hard lands are home to the
a Reavers Charge before initiative is rolled in an
fiercest peoples of Thule. The barbarians ofthe
encounter, as long as you are not surprised. You
cold lands live off the great herds of caribou that
can also use a bonus action to perform a Reavers
roam the tundra or the teeming seals and fish
Charge any time you reduce an enemy to 0 hit points
of the frozen coasts, but when the herds or pods
(or less) with a melee attack. When you perform a
move on, these hardy warriors soon turn their
Reavers Charge, you move up to your speed and
attention to different prey: The civilized peoples
make a melee attack.
of the warmer lands. Riding giant elk or rowing
You can use Reavers Charge once, and then you
dragon-prowed galleys, the reavers of the north
must take a rest before you can use it again.
strike with terrible speed and savagery, pillaging
Renowned Raider (6th level): Your name is known
and plundering their way across Thules remote
among the ighting peoples of hule, and your repu-
marches. From Nar to Quodeth, the reaver tribes
tation precedes you. When you make a skill or ability
are names of terror and dread.
check to interact with barbarians, mercenaries, or
As one of these northern raiders, you are at home
outlaws, you gain tactical advantage.
in the frozen lands. Your world is simple: he strong
Reaver Chief (10th level): You can call for raid-
survive, and the weak perish. You regard the city-folk
ers from your homeland to go marauding with you
of the south as soft and decadent, and despise their
(including a ship if they are a seafaring people). Your
hedonistic ways even when you choose to sell your
raiders are equivalent to tribal warriors. Once per three
axe or spear as a mercenary. he gods gave you the
years, you can raise a horde for a major attack. See
power to strive and to slay when you were born, and
Followers, under narrative beneits.
you intend to carve your way to greatness with your
bloody sword or axe.
Most ice reavers are humans of Nimothan descent,
simply because Nimothans make up the great major-
ity of the raiding peoples of hules northern wastes.
hey stubbornly cling to their homelands even as the
snows grow deeper year by year. A few tribes in the
eastern highlands of hule are Kalays; centuries ago
these were the hardy frontiersmen Inner Sea cities,
but over the generations they became more and more
isolated, adopting the barbaric ways of their neigh-
bors. Finally, a small number of dwarf clans with no
citadel of their own share these bitter lands with the
human tribes, and follow a similar lifestyle.
Key Identity: Human (Nimothan or Kalay),
dwarf, barbarian, ighter, ranger, bard.

ICE REAVER BENEFITS


Your people dont ight all the time. You were raised
to be a hardy hunter, and live of the great herds of the
northern tundra or the seals and whales of the cold
seas. he rugged mountains and broken glaciers of
your homeland might be impassable to other travelers,
but not to you. In battle, you rely on pure ferocity,
charging into the thick of the ighting and hewing
down your enemies with reckless abandon. Your many
battles earn you a reputation among other raiding
tribes and barbarian mercenaries employed in civilized
lands, and they listen carefully when you speak. In
time, your fame grows so great that hundreds of
northern warriors answer your call when you decide to
launch a raid of your own.
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are proicient in
Intimidation, and one other skill appropriate to your
tribe: Athletics, Animal Handling, or boats and
63
Heroes of Thule
ICE REAVERS monthsbut when the spring comes and the ice
breaks up, they take to their longships and spend
IN THE WORLD the warm months boldly harrying the coastlands of
You come from a tribe that measures a persons hule. While raiding is a way of life for the Ullath,
worth by his or her ighting prowess. If you are a your people are also explorers and sea-traders, and
great warrior, you are held in high regard by your have a driving wanderlust to see new places and ind
people; if not, you are expected to seek the oppor- new things. here are many ways to become a hero
tunity to prove yourself in battle. Civilized hu- to be sung of down through the years, and you are
leans who are aware of your tribes reputation (for determined to ind your fame someday.
example, the people of Akal-Amo, Orech, or hran)
are intimidated by you, and assume that you are
irrationally brutal and violent. However, they hold INITIATE OF
a healthy respect for your ighting skill, and many
southerners eagerly hire ice reavers as bodyguards,
MYSTERIES
Some devoted worshipers of a god are content to join
enforcers, or mercenary troops.
the rank-and-ile priesthood, while others join obscure
sects or orders (like the Guardians of the Nine, above).
PERSONALIZING You feel the call of your patron deity deeply, though
THE ICE REAVER so deeply that you want to bask in every glory and
here are many diferent reaver tribes, and each has its revelation your god has to ofer. Over time, youll
own unique story or quirk. learn secrets scarcely imaginable to more ordinary
worshipers. Youll grow ever closer to understanding
Bearslayer: You are a dwarf of a dispossessed clan. the very mind of the god you worship. And perhaps
Your people were driven out of their native citadel most importantly, youll ascend through the religious
years ago. With the loss of their home, they aban- hierarchy to a place where the rank-and-ile worshipers
doned their rightful clan name and took up a name may start venerating you.
of exile, calling themselves simply Bearslayers after heres a sect or order analogous to the initiate of
the beasts whose home they now shared. Some- mysteries within each of hules organized religions,
day you intend to be strong enough and respected though it goes by diferent names in diferent faiths
enough to lead your people back to their stolen (see below). heres a parallel structure for PCs who
citadel and reclaim it. worship the Forest Gods (often druids) as well.
Khatranir Warrior: You are among the last of a van- Key Identity: Human, cleric, druid.
ished tribe. Once your people called the heights of
Kha, the Ice Mountain, home. hey raided far and INITIATE BENEFITS
wide, blooding their tuchuk ice-axes in lands hun- hough your divine power grows as an initiate, the
dreds of miles distant. None were stronger, hardier, biggest beneit of becoming an Initiate of Mysteries
or more widely feared than the Khatranir. But while is the rise through the temple hierarchy. he major
you were away on a long journey to the warm lands, temples in a given city-state are among its most active
something terrible happened. When you returned power brokers, and you can put some of that power to
your people were dead, entombed in the snows of work for you. Over time, youll even gain followers
Kha by some dire frost curse. You do not know who rather fanatic ones!of your own.
cursed the Khatranir or why, but someday you will Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in
avenge your people. Religion, as well as one additional skill related to
Rider of Hurgan: You are a warrior of the Hurgan your gods portfolio: Athletics (Tarhun), Deception
tribe, known throughout hule as riders of the (Ishtar), History (Nergal), Insight (Asura), Intimida-
foul-tempered giant elk. Your people are close kin tion (Tiamat), Medicine (Kishar), Persuasion (Mithra),
to the Quodethi, and of all the ice peoples, the most Stealth (Set), or Survival (Herum).
likely to engage in peaceful trade with the peoples of Healing Blessing (1st level): You can use an action
the south. For you, raiding is not a matter of survival to heal yourself or another with a touch. You can heal
or pure bloodthirstit is a matter of pride, a way to hit points equal to three times your character level
avenge insults and defend your tribes own hunting per day, and need not use all of your blessing at once.
grounds. Change is coming to the Hurgan people: (For example, at 5th level, you could heal three times,
Your tribe must abandon their ancestral lands and restoring 4, 8, and 3 hit points). If the recipient is
carve out a new home from the lands of the south. someone other than you, the recipient also gains the
Are you the great chief the wise men see rising in the beneit of a resistance spell.
smokes of the future? Inner Circle (6th level): You are initiated into the
Ullathi Sea Reaver: he sea is the mother to your senior priesthood of your temple. All subordinates in
people. he Ullath live on the shores of the icy your temple hierarchy follow your orders. Priests and
seas, sealing and ishing throughout the winter adherents from other temples that share your deity

64
Heroes of Thule
regard you as an authority igure or honored guest
and do their best to accommodate your requests. If an
interaction skill check is necessary to inluence your
fellow priests or worshipers, you gain tactical advan-
tage on the check.
Keeper of the Shrine (10th level): Worshipers of
your god raise funds to build a shrine to your deity
and to you. hey consult with you on its location and
construction, though they possess only ordinary build-
ing techniques and craftsmanship. he shrine, once
completed, can serve as a home base for you. While
there, you have a reasonable expectation of safety, inso-
far as anyplace in hule can be considered safe. You
gain a company of bodyguards; half are priests, and
half are legionaries (see page 79). At 15th level, your
followers improve to knights.

INITIATES
IN THE WORLD
Other worshipers of your deity are generally im-
pressed that youre an Initiate of Mysteriesif theyre
well-versed enough in the religious hierarchy to know
that youre among the chosen ones. he relected
glory of your patron deity can be a powerful induce-
ment to good behavior. Eventually, theyll treat you
as a living saint.
Anyone who wants to diminish your deity might
decide to start with you, though. Nothing scandal-
izes the temple-goers like an Initiate of Mysteries
who falls from grace. Rival faiths and hidden sects
within your own religion will embarrass you or
disrupt your eforts if they can. And in the more
hierarchical religions, you might eventually develop
rivalries with other initiates as you each seek to
become the most favored of your god.

PERSONALIZING Set: Youre climbing a hierarchy within Sets temples


THE INITIATE known as the Serpentis Ladder, and you dont even
Each of the organized religions associated with the learn what the next stage of the hierarchy is like
Nine Powers has its own version of the Initiate of until youve attained the one before. Each of Sets
Mysteries; larger faiths have more initiates, of course. tests is a pop quiz, but you pride yourself on your
Here are three examples. adaptability. You can slither into whatever form your
patron desires if it gains you one more rung on the
Ishtar: he priesthood of Ishtar has had Initiates of Serpentis Ladder.
Mysteries for centuries, and this narrative takes its
name from that sect. You are a charismatic beacon JUNGLE TRADER
of love and luck, and what is luck but a low-level Someones got to get Imystrahli pearls to Katagia,
manifestation of fate itself? You seek rareied plea- or ind a new source of rare iron alloys now that
sures to be sure, but youre also keen for the chance to Kal-Zinan has closed its gates. hat someone is
keep ugliness and cruelty out of the world. you. Youre willing to crisscross the continent, brave
Tarhun: You are one of Tarhuns Harbingers, a group savage monsters, and overcome countless obstacles,
of warrior-priests that are destined to ride ahead of as long as the balance sheet is black at journeys end.
the Storm to End All Storms in a battle at the end of Lots of people call themselves traders or mer-
time. Youll be asked to prove yourself as an initiate chants in hule, but you dont have much in
in battle time and time again. Remember, Tarhun common with the farmer bringing his vegetables
adores valor over everything elsebetter to be downriver or the wagoneer selling ceramic pots from
bravely defeated than to be a cowardly victor. village to village. You favor high-margin cargoes and

65
Heroes of Thule
dangerous routes. Youre also comfortable with spec- JUNGLE TRADERS
ulationyoull observe a shortage and buy (or other-
wise acquire) the available supply. Everything from
IN THE WORLD
spices to silks to alchemical reagents to magic-im- Jungle traders are generally well-liked, because the vast
bued materials is in your hands just long enough for majority of hules population lives in a state of fun-
you to get it to the buyer and collect your proit. damental isolation. Even residents of the city-states are
he narrative is named Jungle Trader, but youll keenly aware of wonderful things from far-of lands that
go anywhere in search of a proitable gap between they dont have access to (and that lack gnaws at many
supply and demand. hat means classes with a predi- a potential customer). A jungle trader is the person that
lection for travel (such as rangers, rogues, and bards) brings you news of far-of lands and provides you with
are suited for the traders life. Really, though, if you necessities and luxuries you simply couldnt obtain any
like money, life as a jungle trader should hold at least other way. Jungle traders who use underhanded means
some appeal. such as thievery to handle the supply part of the equa-
Key Identity: Human, ranger, rogue, bard. tion have more enemies than most, of course.
Only two groups hate jungle traders as a matter
of course. he irst group are those victimized by
JUNGLE TRADER economicsthe local trader that you undercut, or
BENEFITS the noble who inds herself paying four times the
Unlike other narratives that provide skill, spellcasting, price for high-end mead because youve cornered the
or similar bonuses, the jungle traders beneit is pri- market. he second group is other jungle traders.
marily economic. All other things being equal, youre Among traders plying the same routes with the same
going to have somewhat more money than characters goods, the phrase cutthroat competition often
in other narratives. You can, of course, convert that becomes a literal description.
economic bonus into a combat or skill bonus (another
sort of trading, really), but youll always be tempted to PERSONALIZING
keep your funds liquid so you can pounce on the next
moneymaking opportunity.
THE JUNGLE TRADER
You also gain bonuses related to travel and com- Most of a jungle traders ailiations are business ar-
merce. You know merchants and their dealings, and rangements; thats the nature of the profession. he key
eventually you can take advantage of rivalries and thing that deines a particular jungle trader is what shes
ineiciencies among hules great merchant houses. selling. Youll deal with countless sorts of goods as you
You also gain a modicum of trail savvy, because the advance your narrative, of course, but if youre looking
unwary, oblivious jungle trader winds up in a tribal to make a proit, consider some of the following goods.
stew-pot, not counting coins at the trade routes
destination. Low Levels: Leave the basic, staple commodities
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in Persua- like grain and wood to mere teamsters; you want
sion, Sleight of Hand, and Survival. high-margin items like rare spices, gourmet food
Estimate Value (1st level): You can use an action to and drink, and ine textiles. Rare alchemical re-
carefully study an item and determine its value. his agents and spell components can often be harvested
functions as an identify spell, with no component cost. in the jungle or purchased from friendly tribes, then
If the item studied is not magical, you instead deter- brought to a city-state for a tidy proit
mine its value in gold pieces (and where in hule it will Middle Levels: Now your resources have grown, and
most likely command the highest price). your eye for an opportunity has sharpened. Youre
You can use Estimate Value once per day. interested in goods where the supply is inherently
Proit Margin (6th level): Whenever you sell a gem, low and the demand is sky-high. he decadent elves
art object, or magic item for gold, you obtain 10% of Imystrahl prize the black lotuses that grow in
more than the standard price. the southern jungles . . . but could perhaps be culti-
Trade Empire (10th level): Over the course of vated in hothouses elsewhere. Art objects and other
your career, you have created a network of local treasures belonging to Atlantis before it sank under
trade agents, factotums, and business partnersa the waves will fetch a priceboth to nostalgic
continental trade empire with you at its head. he Atlanteans and art collectors who realize that the
activities of your trade network provide you with a supply can only dwindle.
high income (see Narrative Beneits). In addition, High Levels: By this point, only the rich and pow-
your personal wealth is accessible in any city of hule. erful can aford you, so youre selling the most
Local counting-houses and moneychangers are aware valuable commodities on the continent of hule.
of your resources and can serve as a route by which Everyone wants iron and other metals that only
you can draw on your treasure, no matter where it is the dwarves can smelt, for example. Magic items,
actually kept. substances from other worlds, and curiosities from
exotic, ancient cultures are your stock in trade.

66
Heroes of Thule
KATAGIAN
PITFIGHTER
If the irst ight at the dawn of time was to the death,
its probable that the second ight was a wagering
propositionwith the survivor of the irst ight as the
favorite. As a Katagian pit ighter, youre part of that
tradition: gladiators who risk life and limb for enter-
tainment and wagering.
Some gladiator arenas are thinly disguised execu-
tion chambers, with criminals and the poor herded to
their death for sport. But the pits of the city-state
of Katagia are more sporting than most, with well
trained combatants that often survive the match even
if they lose. You are one of those gladiators, capable
of ighting man or beast for the cheering masses and
winning or losing in crowd-pleasing fashion.
Not every arena in Katagia is a pit, but many of the
largest are, so the name sticks. Nor are all in Katagia;
enterprising promoters have taken their gladiatorial
shows on the road, and now most major cities have at
least one Katagian-style pit, as do towns within a few
weeks travel of Katagia.
Spellcasting is against the rules for combatants in
the Katagian pits, so this narrative is better for bar-
barians, ighters, rogues, and other classes with melee
prowess. Archers tend to fare poorly because they can
only loose a few arrows before the other gladiator is
upon them.
Key Identity: Atlantean, human, halling, barbar-
ian, ighter, monk, rogue.

PIT FIGHTER BENEFITS


When youre a pit ighter, you get accustomed to dirty
ighting quite early, and over time you gain an appre-
ciation for the ighting styles prevalent across the con- Killer Instinct (6th level): When an enemy
tinent of hule. Unlike the grim warriors that blanket within 5 feet of you falls prone, you can use a combat
hule from one end to the other, you can project a reaction to make a melee weapon attack against the
demeanor that gets the crowd on your sideor turn prone enemy.
heel and cultivate an air of menace. Expert Trainer (10th level): Youve started to
Your most important ability, however, is the ability attract would-be gladiators who want to ight like you
to protect yourself so that you dont die when you get do. You gain a company of followers; you can choose
clobbered in the pit. he Katagian pits keep healing berserkers or legionaries (see page 79). Choose a home
magic on hand, but its not powerful enough to raise pit where you can ind these thugs whenever you need
the dead. You can cover your vitals and cling to life them. Your trainees handle their own upkeep, and
better than most, even if they have to drag you out of they hang on your every word, doing whatever you
the pit by your heels. When your manager orders you say unless its obviously suicidal. When you reach 15th
to take a dive for betting reasons, this ability comes level, your followers improve to veterans.
in particularly handy.
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in In- PIT FIGHTERS
timidation and Performance. You know how to stage IN THE WORLD
a spectacle for the crowd, and how to get inside the Everyone loves rooting for a pit ighter, but few want
heads of your adversaries when its not just a show. to share a meal with one. People who have heard of
Will to Live (1st level): When you are required youor seen you ight irsthandtend to be a little
to make a death saving throw, you can instead heal scared of you, and they might underestimate your
hit points equal to your level plus your Constitution intelligence. For better and for worse, the world sees
modiier. you as a trained killer.
You can use Will to Live once per day.

67
Heroes of Thule
Your biggest rivals are other pit ighters, especially Atlanteans enemies on hule were so impressed that
ones in the employ of other managers. Sometimes the they started training myrmidon units of their own
two sides will collude on a match for betting reasons, and adopting at least some of the Atlantean trappings.
but in most cases, the two (or more) pit ighters are Now the phrase myrmidon means elite trooper and
genuinely trying to win . . . and the other pit ight- doesnt necessarily indicate an Atlantean heritage. You
ers take it personally when youre standing between are an elite trooper in one of hules organized militar-
them and a purse full of coin. Partnerships exist in ies (even if youre on detached duty to enable indepen-
the world of pit ighting but theyre rare and transient dent adventuring). hose who see your raised weapon
things. Rivalries, thoughthosell burn for decades. or heavy armor know theyre facing the best of the best.
Key Identity: Atlantean, human (Dhari or Kalay),
PERSONALIZING ighter.
THE PIT FIGHTER
As a pit ighter, you probably have a manager (or MYRMIDON BENEFITS
owner) who arranges matches and makes sure you Youre a warrior through and through, capable of
dont get leeced by the many factions who want a cut striding purposefully straight into danger. Fearless
of the prize money. Here are three examples of man- and cunning, youre capable of great things on the
agers, but hundreds of other managers ply the trade battleield, but teamwork and discipline are your big-
across hule at any given time. gest assets. Your mere presence as a myrmidon makes
others ight better, because you inspire them to be as
Ugrak of Katagia: Specializing in talent from the brave and disciplined as you are.
hinterlands of hule, Ugrak has a stable of gladi- In time, the myrmidon century (80100 troopers)
ators heavy on barbarians and ighters with exotic youre ailiated with may grant you an honor guard of
weapon styles. Hes harsh with all but his best lower-level myrmidons to command as you see it.
ighters, but he tends to keep his gladiators safe Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in Animal
throughout their career. Many of his gladiators Handling and Medicine. You know how to handle
retire, and thats relatively rare among Katagian pit mounts in battle, and youve learned how to deal with
ighters in general. typical battleield injuries.
Silivia: A former beast-tamer with no small amount of Inspiring Example (1st level): When you hit with
magic skill, Silivia specializes in pit ighter vs. beast a melee or ranged weapon attack, you can use a bonus
battles. She has a separate crew devoted to captur- action to inspire each ally within 30 feet of you. Until
ing dangerous monsters to set loose in the pits, and the beginning of your next turn, inspired creatures add
sometimes her gladiators help in those captures. 1d4 to attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws.
Bronak the Bald: One of Katagias wealthiest ight You can use Inspiring Example once, and then you
promoters, Bronak has nearly a hundred Katagian must rest to regain the ability.
pit ighters under contract at a given time. An Patrol Leader (6th level): You gain the ability to
entrepreneur irst and a trainer second, Bronak lets summon a raid (see Followers), which takes the form
his low-level gladiators ight against each other, ig- of soldiers from your century temporarily placed under
uring that the stronger will survive and the weaker your command to garrison your home base or patrol in
was a bad investment anyway. Bronak has multiple whatever area you are operating in. Your followers are
gladiator troupes traveling circuits throughout equivalent to guards.
southern hule at any given time, and sometimes Centurion (10th level): You become commander
Bronak grows weary of life in Katagia and leads a of your myrmidon century. Your gain a company of
troupe personally. legionaries (see page 79). At 15th level, your followers
improve to veterans. In addition, once per three years
you can call an army to your banner. You are expected
MYRMIDON to keep your century employed, either as mercenaries
hule has fewer standing armies than most fantasy or in the service of your home city; they can handle
settings; the city-states can defend their walls and routine duties while you are away.
project force a few days away from their gates, but
marching armies havent been seen on hule since the MYRMIDONS
Lomar-Droum war sixty years ago, and there havent
been truly massive legions since the Atlanteans invaded IN THE WORLD
the Inner Sea more than ive hundred years ago. Within the larger military force you associate with,
Atlantis is no more, and the Atlantean holdings youre regarded as elite, so other soldiers treat you with
on hule are dwindling, but you are part of one of respect bordering on awe, or with jealousy. he civil-
Atlantiss great gifts to hule: the Myrmidons, heavily ians of your city-state are impressed as well, even if
armored elite troops. Each myrmidon century had they only know the myrmidons from military parades,
its own ighting styles and legendary history, and the not military action.

68
Heroes of Thule
Conversely, you are hated and feared by the rank-
and-ile members of enemy armies, who would love
OCCULT SCIENTIST
he world of the hule has so much unexplained
to retreat and ight another day (if theyre frightened
phenomenaand if you have your way, it wont be
of you) or take your head as a trophy (if theyre
unexplained for long. Your theories reached further
feeling brave). hat heavy armor and that purposeful
than your mentors thought prudent, and they decried
march forward attracts attention on the battleield,
your conclusions. Youll show them.
and attention from the enemy army is what youll
heyll rue the day they mocked you, because you
certainly get.
understand the esoteric underpinnings of reality better
than even the wisest sages, and you see connections
PERSONALIZING THE where others see only isolated details. Maybe you cut
MYRMIDON corners in your research, and maybe you dont have
Many myrmidon centuries no longer adhere to the time to kowtow to the noble patrons and eminent
Atlantean standard of 100 troopers per unit; some have sages in your ield. heres no time! You have a lot to
more and others have less. he home base of your cen- discoverand a lot to prove.
tury and its typical duties determine what youre doing Wizards and warlocks are naturals for the occult
when you arent adventuring. hree examples follow. scientist background, but any character with a modicum
of intelligence and spellcasting can hear the call of occult
Century XII of Katagia: A group of myrmidons that science. Humans, Atlanteans, elves (especially urban
can trace its organizational heritage back 600 years ones), and dwarves all have their nonconformist scientists.
to when it irst set foot on hule, Century XII acts as Key Identity: Wizard, warlock, bard, cleric (espe-
an honor guard for high-ranking nobles in Katagia. cially one who favors necromantic arts).
heyre also the organization responsible for carrying
out executions ordered by the throne. his has OCCULT SCIENTIST
earned them more enemies than the average myrmi-
dons. Century XII is down to about 50 myrmidons,
BENEFITS
No two scientists are the same, and no two scientists
plus another 20 who are only marginally of useful
gain power and knowledge in the same way. But right
ighting age. heyre eager to recruit more members,
of the bat youll be uncommonly well-informed. (You
but their initiation tests are ierce.
were never the sort to stick to the instructors suggested
Silver Gauntlets of Lomar: his century is native
reading list, and you think syllabus means out-of-
to hule, but its myrmidons are no less disciplined
date and irrelevant topics to be avoided.)
for it. he Silver Gauntlets were instrumental in
As your studies sharpen your mind and you probe
Lomars victory over Droum and continue to send
the greater mysteries of the universe, youll eventually
out periodic patrols in that direction. In addition
need a specialized place to engage in research, study,
to patrolling the countryside, the Silver Gauntlets
and meditation. And what sort of occult scientist
act as a training cadre for Lomars more ordinary
would you be if you were washing out your own lasks
military units. Perhaps unusual among both myrmi-
and re-shelving your own books? You can always ind
dons and the Lomar military in general, if you can
an eager young apprentice to assist you in your work.
shake hands with the Silver Gauntlet recruiter, all
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in Arcana
debts enforceable by Lomari law are forgiven and all
and Investigation. You also learn one language of your
arrest warrants suspended. hus many try to join the
choice from the following list: High Atlantean, Dra-
Silver Gauntlets to turn around their lives, but the
conic, Elven, or Giant.
brutal tests that accompany membership have many
Scientiic Casting (1st level): When you cast a spell
scurrying back to the city to pay their bills or turn
(or use a spell-like power from a magic item or other
themselves in.
source), you can apply your careful study of the laws of
Century III of Droum: hules oldest century, this
magic to double the spells duration (to a maximum of
group can trace its history back 900 years. It has
24 hours).
exactly 100 troopers under its banners . . . but about
You can use Scientiic Casting once. You must take a
one in ive is actually an intelligent undead. (Even
rest to regain the ability.
death doesnt end their duty to serve their century
Overcome the Parameters (6th level): You require
faithfully and well.) Droums top generals know this,
less materials to craft mundane or magic items. Reduce
but neither the rank-and-ile army nor the civilian
the creation cost of such items by 20%. In addition,
populace is aware. he people see the myrmidons
you do not need to know prerequisite spells when
only when theyre parading through the city in full
crafting magic items, though if such spells require a
helmets and heavy gloves, so its relatively straight-
rare or unusual material component, those components
forward for Century III to keep its secret. he cen-
must still be acquired as part of item creation.
turys leaders are torn over whether to replace fallen
Personal Laboratory (10th level): You gain a mod-
comrades with living recruits, or to raise the fallen
erate income (see Income, under Narrative Beneits),
myrmidons as wights or other undead.
which represents retainers paid to you by powerful
69
Heroes of Thule
academics access to world-altering spellcasting, suice
it to say that occult scientists dont always limit their
rivalries to stern rebukes during periodic face-to-face
meetings. And some temples and civic oicials might
take a dim view of the experiments youre performing
near (or on) the local populace. hese are the occupa-
tional hazards that every misunderstood genius must
sufer in the search of sublime truth.

PERSONALIZING THE
OCCULT SCIENTIST
No mortal mind can fathom every facet of the mul-
tiverse (although the word mortal does suggest a
loophole for the assiduous scientist!). Here are three
possible ields for you to focus your study, but dont let
them limit you. Such limits are for lesser minds!

Ethereal Energy: You understand how others view


the Ethereal Plane, but you think it could be so
much more. he Ethereal Planeand by extension
the many worlds beyond hulecan be an energy
source, a medium of communication, and perhaps
even a living entity. You want to understand every-
thing otherworldly, building ether-powered vessels
that sail between the worlds, obelisks that transmit
eldritch energy from plane to plane, and other won-
ders undreamed of in this primitive age.
he Animator: You want to imbue everything around
you with some semblance of life, or at least motility.
A world where someone else has to open a door,
swing a sword, or build a wall is a world you live
in only reluctantly. You want swords that swing
themselves, doors that open of their own volition,
and an army of alloyed neo-golems to build the walls
nobles or panjandrums who wish to be able to consult for you. here are many ways to build the machines
with you when unnatural problems arise. In addition, that future hule will need, of courseand youll
you obtain a small domicile or run-down manor to use probably be scouring the continent for rare materi-
as your laboratory. Consult with your GM to deter- als, esoteric components, and strange power sources.
mine its layout and location; it is sturdy, but made of Uniied heory of Necromancy: Necromancers in
ordinary materials, and contains appropriate equipment hule are a copper a dozen, but you wonder whether
for alchemical, biological, or otherworldly investigation theyre just coasting on eons-old techniques. Many
and experimentation. It comes with a laboratory assis- of the restrictions of necromancy seem arbitrary to
tant (hunchback optional) who will do your bidding you and ripe for challenge. Must one die to become
but rarely leaves your laboratory. You can furnish or undead? Can one become both living and dead
expand the laboratory as you wish, and under ordi- simultaneously? What is the connection between
nary circumstances, its a reasonably safe home base necromancy and evil, and can that connection be
for you. severed? Moreso even than with most occult scientists,
the villagers are going to hate and fear you. Make sure
OCCULT SCIENTISTS you keep an eye out for torches and pitchforks.
IN THE WORLD
Most of the world doesnt give a tinkers damn about PANJANDRUM
you . . . the fools! hat ignorance fuels your explora- he power of the monarchy in each of hules cities
tions into exotic and forbidden ields of study. Over rests on a powerful class of oicials, magistrates, bu-
time, though, youll gain the grudging respect and reaucrats, and advisors armed with a bewildering array
eventually the admiration (or abject fear) of those who of titles and responsibilities. hese are the panjan-
share your interest in a particular occult discipline. drums, the administrators of the realm and enforcers
here are few grounds more fertile for growing of its laws, and you are one of these inluential oicials.
rivalries than academia, of course, and when you give
70
Heroes of Thule
Panjandrums are not selless civil servants, and highest authorities. In other cities you can use these
certainly dont live under any vow of poverty. Many powers against criminals from your home city, but you
postings or positionsfor example, the collection of need the approval of the local authorities to do so.
taxes, oversight of building or purchasing, or responsi- his ability allows you to command city guards to
bility for customs and dutiesofer vast potential for take people into custody. You command suicient
enriching yourself. Many of your fellow panjandrums followers to summon a raid when needed in your home
maneuver constantly for these prized titles, or jockey city (see Followers, under narrative beneits). Overzeal-
for positions in which they can sell their inluence or ous use of these powers can lead to a lot of trouble, and
access to the highest levels of government. Whether more senior panjandrums may release your prisoners or
you choose to live like a high prince or crusade against commute your sentences.
the excesses of your fellows is up to you. High Minister (10th level): You are appointed to
he panjandrum class is an artifact of civilization, so your home citys ruling council or top-ranking circle of
panjandrums are found only among the more civilized royal advisors. You are awarded a palace, a staf of loyal
peoples. Cities that were ruled by or tributary to Atlantis servants, and a moderate income in the form of a royal
developed large and inluential bureaucracies over the stipend, investments, or duties that you are entitled to
centuries, so most panjandrums are humans of Atlantean collect. You also gain an elite company of legionaries
or Kalay descent. Atlantis had no particular inluence (see page 79) to protect your palace and serve you. At
over Lomar, but a powerful military bureaucracy with 15th level, your followers improve to veterans.
similar authority governs in that martial city. Finally,
elven society gave rise to a diferent sort of panjandrum: PANJANDRUMS
Human or half-elf slaves or janissaries who took on more
and more of the work of administering the realm as the
IN THE WORLD
As an important oicial or authority in your home
elven nobility lost interest in overseeing their civic afairs.
city, you naturally command the respect of your fellow
Key Identity: Human (Atlantean, Kalay, Lomari),
citizens. People seeking to curry favor with the citys
half-elf, cleric, bard, ighter, monk.
rulers are prepared to do favors for you, share infor-
mation and resources, or even ofer you hefty bribes to
PANJANDRUM BENEFITS gain your assistance. People who regard your city as an
Panjandrums are well-educated and versed in the arts ally are likewise well-disposed toward you, and assist
of administration, diplomacy, and lawmaking. You you as they can. On the other hand, power breeds
wield broad powers to command your citys soldiers, to rivals and enemies. People who resent your inluence
prefer charges and order arrests, or to pass judgment on and authorityfor example, thieves guilds, high
issues within your sphere of authority. hese powers are nobles, or agents of enemy citiesfrequently work
diminished when you are away from your home, but against you.
even in foreign cities you are regarded as an important
diplomat, and the local panjandrums try to accommo-
date any reasonable request you make of them. As your
PERSONALIZING THE
career progresses, you naturally rise in rank and gain PANJANDRUM
even more inluence and respect for your position. In he exact nature of the panjandrum class varies from
time you become a royal advisor or governor charged city to city.
with responsibility for a whole district, town, leet, or
army, answerable only to the monarch of your city. Court Eunuch: Quodeth, Ikath, and other Kalay
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in Inves- cities are home to bureaucracies headed by eunuchs
tigation and Persuasion. Panjandrums are highly edu- who are considered slaves to the throne. In theory
cated and are frequently called upon to solve diicult the removal of the eunuchs ability to continue his
problems, or negotiate with important people from line means that all of his loyalty is transferred to the
many diferent stations. monarch, breaking any preexisting ties of family and
Panjandrums Command (1st level): On your social class. However, many eunuchs remain par-
turn, you can use a bonus action to allow one creature tisans who work inside the bureaucracy to advance
within 30 feet of you to move up to his or her speed the interests of their old families. Court eunuchs
as a combat reaction. he creature you command also can amass wealth and inluence to rival the most
gains temporary hit points equal to your level, which powerful princes and high nobles, and sometimes
last for 1 hour. rule their cities in all but name.
You can use this ability once, and then you must rest Katagian Scribe: he panjandrums of Katagia are
before you can use it again. dedicated to the study of many diferent sciences
Magistrate (6th level): You are empowered to arrest, and the preservation of knowledge of all kinds. Each
charge, try, and sentence criminals. You cant use these scribe specializes in a ield such as arcana, diplomacy,
powers against nobles, priests, or your fellow panjan- engineering, law, mathematics, or natural science,
drums without irst obtaining a special writ from the and oversees civic projects related to his or her ield

71
Heroes of Thule
of study. To advance in the ranks, a Katagian scribe the call when your guild needs a job done or foot
must pass rigorous examinations demonstrating his soldiers for a street war, but the rest of the time
or her mastery of many diferent ields. youre free to do as you please.
Lomari Centurion: In Lomar, all civic oicials Many thieves are content to serve as loyal rank-and-
hold military rank and are expected to be able to ile guild soldiers, taking their orders from more senior
lead warriors in the ield as well as perform their thieves and rising or falling with the guilds fortunes.
administrative functions. Most centurions are You are more ambitious than that; youre willing to
assigned to strict duties and have little ability to take orders for now, but some day you intend to be
adventure at their own discretion, but some are the one giving the orders. If that means climbing the
unattached, and trusted to act in the citys inter- guild ladder with hard work, sharp wits, and a keen
ests as they see it. eye for opportunity, well and good. If it turns out that
your advancement is blocked, then maybe youll just
QUODETHI THIEF have to strike out on your own and establish your own
guild somewhere.
Most cities in hule are plagued by highly organized he people of Quodeth are humans of Kalay
thieves guilds, but nowhere are the thieves so bold descent, although there are sizable communities of
or numerous as they are in the rich city of Quodeth. Atlanteans, Dhari, Nimothans, and a small number
You belong to one of the Quodethi guilds, whether of nonhumans present in the city. Consequently,
its a powerful guild of hundreds controlling entire the majority of Quodethi thieves are Kalays born in
quarters of the city or an upstart gang ighting for a Quodeth, but a Quodethi thief might come from any
single street to call its own. You grew up poor and race or nationality. he vast majority of guild thieves
desperate, but your guild gives you the things you are men and women of the lower classesnobles and
could never have achieved on your own: money, high-ranking priests or panjandrums have all the
power, and prestige. Youre expected to answer power and wealth they need, and dont have to turn to
street crime to improve their lots in life.
Key Identity: Human (any), rogue, ighter, bard.

QUODETHI THIEF
BENEFITS
he streets are your home. You can disappear in a
crowd or around a corner in the blink of an eye,
blending perfectly into the teeming masses of hu-
manity that throng the city streets. News and rumors
come your way like water lowing downhillif its
worth knowing, you know it. While the authorities
are not your friends, the common people of Quodeth
know who you are and what you are a part of, so they
are careful to treat you with respect.
You have dozens (sometimes hundreds) of allies in
the form of your guildbrothers and guildsisters, plus a
city full of safehouses and boltholes where you can lie
low whenever you want to drop out of sight.
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You gain training in Acro-
batics and Deception. No one can lie like a thief born
and raised in the streets, and at an early age you learned
the value of sure feet and a good sense of balance.
hief s Feint (1st level): When you make a melee
or ranged attack on your turn, you can perform a
thief s feint. You gain tactical advantage on the attack
roll, and after the attack, you can use a bonus action
to disengage.
You can use hiefs Feint once, and then you must
rest before you can use it again.
Reputation (6th level): When you make an interac-
tion skill check with criminal elements in your home
city (or other areas where you spend a lot of time), you
gain tactical advantageyouve earned a reputation
that other thieves and outlaws respect. Your bonus also
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Heroes of Thule
applies to checks made to intimidate or bluf common only drawback is that the Seven Knives demand
citizens, who are likewise aware of the fact that you your obedience. Will you seek greater autonomy, or
mean business. On the down side, the authorities will you ight your way up the ranks and take your
know your name and are generally hostile toward you. place as one of the Seven who lead the guild?
Guildmaster (10th level): You become the leader hranish Juggler: In a city ruled by black sorcery,
of your thieves guild or establish a new guild of your thieves must take steps to disguise their true activ-
own. You gain a hidden guild stronghold protected ities. You pose as a juggler or a fool, always ready
by secret entrances, deadly traps, and trained guard- with a jest or a pratfall to entertain the masses, but
beasts. You gain enough followers to provide you with behind your painted smile, you are a spy and burglar
a company of enforcers who are equivalent to bandit of peerless skill.
captains, plus a high income from your cut of the
guilds activities (see Followers and Income under nar-
rative beneits). Your thieves are initially very loyal, but
SACRED SLAYER
if you fail to provide strong leadership, you may face he temples of hule are not places where faithful
challenges from the lower ranks. priests minister to the poor and needy. Behind the
public traditions of religious festivals and public
alms, they are secretive cabals that jealously protect
QUODETHI THIEVES their power and privileges. Some of this protection is
IN THE WORLD obvious: Fortress-like temple compounds, inluential
hieves have few friends and many enemiesthe friends at court, and armies of temple soldiers. But
forces of law and order, rival guilds, even members of most temples also employ agents who are less obvious,
your own guild who are jealous of your success or who, and you are one of these. Dedicated to the service of
like you, intend to be the man or woman in charge your god, you are a bodyguard, inquisitor, spy, and
someday. In territory controlled by your guild, you when the situation requires itassassin who kills the
command the respect (and the fear) of the common enemies of your temple.
people. Outside your territory, you are regarded as a he tradition of the sacred slayer only exists in devout
thug and a villain. Your only allies are the other mem- societies, such as the cities of Akal-Amo, Ikath, Lomar,
bers of your own guild. Individually you are weak, but or Kal-Zinan. Most barbarian tribes do not possess the
together you are an army, a force that can overwhelm sheer religious fanaticism to develop any sort of similar
all but the most determined foes. institution, but there are exceptions. For example, some
tribes especially devoted to the spirits initiate their war-
PERSONALIZING THE riors into a sacred brotherhood dedicated to protecting
QUODETHI THIEF the holy places and relics of the tribe.
Key Identity: Human (Dhari, Kalay, Lomari),
Major guilds in Quodeth include the Seven Knives,
dwarf, cleric, rogue, ranger.
Red Furies, Muggers, Beggars, and Bargemasters,
but there is no reason you couldnt belong to a small
upstart guildor even a guild with similar power in SACRED SLAYER
another city of hule. BENEFITS
Your training begins with a thorough indoctrination
Red Fury Acrobat: he Red Furies are a bold in the dogma and precepts of your faith, followed by
sisterhood of burglars, pickpockets, and robbers years of study in the arts of stealth and observation.
who rule the Temple Quarter of Quodeth. hey You are deadly when you have the opportunity to
are not above blackmail or assassination when the strike with surpriseyour god demands you strike
stakes justify these tactics, but they are renowned true when you face an enemy of the faith. Because
as cat burglars. Many Red Furies are climbers and you seek to do your work in secrecy, you do not
acrobatics of amazing skill, and they roam the roof- gain any widespread reputation as you advance, but
tops and spires of Quodeth like other thieves roam your standing and authority in your temple increase
the streets and alleyways. As you might guess, all throughout your career.
Red Furies are femalemen are not welcome in Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in Reli-
this guild. gion and Stealth. he tenets of your faith guide your
Seven Knives Assassin: You are a member in good actions, and you ind that staying out of sight makes
standing of the Seven Knives, the strongest thieves your work easier.
guild in Quodeth. You have hundreds of broth- Slayers Strike (1st level): When you attack a target
ers and sisters ready to ight by your side, secret you have tactical advantage against, you can choose to
strongholds and safehouses where you can lie perform a slayers strike. If you hit, you deal maxi-
hidden as long as you need to, and a vast network mum damage with your weapon. In addition, if the
of informants, fences, and specialists who can target is a special enemy of your god (see the sidebar),
equip you for almost any escapade imaginable. he it must attempt a Constitution save (DC 8 + your

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Heroes of Thule
PERSONALIZING THE
SPECIAL ENEMIES OF THE DEITIES SACRED SLAYER
Sacred slayers are charged with destroying the enemies of the faith, he most important step in creating your sacred slayer
and their deadly strike is keyed to whether the target they attack is a character is simple: Which god do you serve?
special enemy of their faith. Special enemies for each of the Nine are:
Bolotanga Ghost Warrior: he Bolotanga tribe of
Asura: Cold creatures, iends, servants of Tiamat Dhar Mesh is deeply religious. You are one of the
Herum: Arcane spellcasters, Atlanteans, servants of Asura tribes ghost warriors, sworn to serve the tribes
Ishtar: Beastmen, lawful celestials and iends, servants of Nergal shamans and protect the things and places sacred
Kishar: Beastmen, monstrosities, servants of Tiamat to the spirits of nature. If someone deiles one of
Mithra: Aberrations, undead, servants of Set these places or murders a shaman, it falls to you and
Nergal: Elves, chaotic celestials and iends, servants of Ishtar your brothers to pursue the deiler to the ends of the
Set: Good creatures, servants of Mithra and Tarhun Earth if necessary to see justice done. Who is it that
Tarhun: Giants, reptiles, serpentmen, servants of Set you pursue, and what crime did they commit?
Tiamat: Aberrations, celestials, servants of all other gods Fang of Set: You were raised to be a holy assassin of
Set. From your childhood you studied the arts of
Wisdom modiier + your level bonus). On a failed stealth, combat, and poisoning. You were trained
save, you double the damage of your attack against the to follow the orders of the priests of Set without
target. hesitation, slaying whomever they told you to
You can use Slayers Strike once, and then you must slay, and standing ready to surrender your life
rest to regain it. if it should prove necessary to strike down Sets
Sacred Relic (6th level): In recognition for your foes. While the Fangs of Set are intended to be
service to the temple, you are granted custody of a holy used against those who have ofended the faith,
relic that can aid you in your duties. Choose one of the you have learned that the priests you obey often
following: +1 weapon, +1 armor, bracers of defense, cloak employ the Fangs as common mercenary killers,
of protection, ring of mind shielding, ring of protection, or hiring you out to anyone in need of an assassin
an item of the GMs discretion of similar power. and pocketing the rich fees they can charge for
While magic items are rare in hule, temples often your services. Perhaps you are still a faithful
hoard mysterious treasures acquired down through the servant of the Father of Night . . . or perhaps you
centuries. he sacred relic is not yours to dispose of, have turned apostate, and use the skills the priests
and if you no longer need it, you are expected to return taught you to enrich yourself.
it to your temple. Mithran Inquisitor: Mithras temples are among the
Planar Ally (10th level): Once during each char- richest and most powerful in most of hules cities,
acter level at 10th level and above, you can conjure but with wealth and power, corruption is sure
a celestial being, elemental, or iend even if you are to follow. Your sacred task is to protect Mithras
not normally able to cast a conjuring spell. his is priesthood from the insidious dangers that threaten
equivalent to planar ally, but the maximum CR of the the faith, both from within and without. You keep
creature you conjure is equal to one-half your char- a vigilant watch for any signs of cult activity and
acter level. (he GM may allow higher-level monsters move to stamp it out whenever it appears; you
or longer duration if the scenario warrants the special search out the agents of enemy faiths and stop their
attention of your deity.) In general, your deity only plots against Mithras temple; and you observe your
provides allies that are close to his or her alignment. fellow priests for signs of venality or corrupt inlu-
ences. It is a thankless task, but it must be done.
SACRED SLAYERS
IN THE WORLD SOOTHSAYER
To most outsiders, you appear to be one more priest Both civilized and savage huleans are highly su-
or temple guard. How people react to you is based perstitious people. hey place great importance on
primarily on how they would react to any mid-rank- omens, dreams, astrology, and other hints of what
ing priest or templar in the temple you serve. If the future may hold. hese signs and portents can
someone regards the priests of Set with suspicion, he be cryptic or frightening, but those who are trained
or she usually sees the sacred slayers in Sets service in to understand their meanings can often transform a
the same light. As long as you remain in the favor of puzzling dream or the seemingly unpredictable move-
your temple masters, you can call upon the resources ments of the stars into clear, actionable advice. You
of the temple for shelter, assistance, and the resources are a soothsayer, a speaker of truth, and it is your gift
necessary for your work. that helps both the highborn and the low to under-
stand what the future holds.

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Heroes of Thule
Many people claim to have the gift of foresight, but
only a few have any real talent. Soothsayers who truly
possess the gift are highly sought-after. Kings, great
chieftains, and high nobles keep talented soothsayers
as valued advisors, and frequently consult with them
on all sorts of decisions. You enjoy the trust and
conidence of a high-ranking patron, and need not
concern yourself with inding a place to live or selling
your talents by reading palms in the bazaar.
Soothsayers are found among many races, although
their techniques vary from culture to culture. Some
are simply born with the gift, and see truths that no
one else perceives from an early age. Others begin
with a long apprenticeship or education, studying re-
ligious texts and occult lore. Most soothsayers possess
at least a small amount of magical ability. Soothsayers
are rarely great warriors or brawny heroes, but many
such individuals are guided and advised by a sooth-
sayers counsel.
Key Identity: Human, dwarf, elf, cleric (not of
Ishtar), wizard, sorcerer, druid.

SOOTHSAYER BENEFITS
here are many seers who have no special gift of
foresight, but your gift is realyou can ind mean-
ing in dreams and signs, or foretell the fortunes of
others by casting horoscopes or reading runes. You
must irst master an arcane and complicated subject
with a long apprenticeship, learning the meaning of
diferent stars or signs; even if you had no gift at all,
your advice would still be valuable due to the depth
of your learning. he stories of your wise pronounce-
ments soon spread and bring many people in search
of counsel to your door. At the zenith of your career,
your predictions take on the weight of true prophecy,
In addition, you gain a moderate income from wealthy
and Fate itself seems to conspire to make your utter-
patrons who request your counsel (see Income, under
ances come true.
narrative beneits).
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You gain training in
Prophecy Revealed (10th level): Once during each
Insight and Religion. he best soothsayers understand
character level at 10th level and above, you gain a
that many who seek out their services already know
special insight into an important situation or challenge
the answers to the questions they ask, and need only a
you face by recognizing the signs of old prophecies
little encouragement to see the truth for themselves.
coming true or discerning the meaning of a powerful
Foretelling (1st level): You can perform a fore-
omen. If the GM determines that there is no addi-
telling for one ally within 30 feet. his requires one
tional information or special insight available, you do
minute, and you cannot foretell for yourself. Roll d20
not expend this use of the ability.
twice and record the results. You can substitute one of
these d20 rolls for a d20 roll made by the target ally
or made by an enemy attacking the target ally. he SOOTHSAYERS
target ally need not be in sight, and you do not need to IN THE WORLD
be able to take an action or even be aware of the allys Most huleans hold a deep respect for soothsayers
situationyou performed your foretelling earlier, and and listen carefully to anything you say. Unfor-
now it is unfolding. tunately, there are enough frauds and charlatans
You can create a foretelling once per day, and substi- posing as soothsayers that you cannot expect to be
tute up to two d20 rolls with each foretelling. heeded at all times, especially if you appear to be
Hear Sooth (6th level): Your reputation as a sooth- giving counsel in your own self-interest. Many so-
sayer leads powerful individuals to seek out your assis- called soothsayers make a good living by telling im-
tance. When you interact with merchants, nobles, and portant people what they want to hearand more
other potential patrons, you gain tactical advantage. than a few honest soothsayers have had their livings

75
Heroes of Thule
curtailed quite suddenly by telling a powerful client No mortal mind, no matter how strong or well-
something unpleasant. In addition, you should be defended, can withstand contact with such lore and
wary of the priests and priestesses of Ishtar. hey remain completely undamaged. Your sanity hangs by
believe that the working of Fate is in their goddesss a thread, and in fact you may have snapped already.
hands, and that attempts to see what the future But your familiarity with hings hat Should Not Be
holds are misguided at best. means that when you do encounter unearthly horror,
you are already inured to it. Nightgaunts, mi-go, elder
PERSONALIZING thingsthese present no great shock to you. Armed
with the magic and knowledge of alien races, you seek
THE SOOTHSAYER to turn their own powers against them.
Soothsayers are principally distinguished by their
Most huleans fear and dread any hint of contact
preferred method of foretelling.
with the powers beyond the Earth. here are very
few mages who have ever dared to explore the mystic
Atlantean Astrologer: he study of astrology was
traditions of distant stars, and most of those indi-
raised to a high science by the sages of Atlantis. You
viduals came to bad ends. You most likely began to
are trained in both the meticulous observations and
study this lore by discovering the notes or writings
calculations needed to work out personal horo-
of one of these individuals, which means you are a
scopes, as well as the mystic meanings of hundreds
scholar from one of the civilized realms with access
of combinations of planet conjunctions with major
to occult libraries or hidden texts. Naturally, you
and minor constellations. here are always skeptics,
must have some foundation in the mystic arts to even
but most civilized huleans pay great attention to
begin to decipher any such materials that come into
the movements of stars and planets that they believe
your possession.
are linked to their personal destinies.
Key Identity: Human (Atlantean, Kalay), elf, sor-
Sersid Dreamwalker: he great seers of the ancient
cerer, wizard.
elven realm of Sersidyen mastered the art of dream-
walkingsharing the dreams of others. You know
how to brew a soporiic dream-potion that allows STAR-LORE ADEPT
you to dimly sense the dreams of anyone who sleeps BENEFITS
in your presence, and you are trained in the meaning As might be expected, you are a master of the
of dream images and events. When the mighty are strangest and most esoteric lore imaginable. You are
troubled by recurring dark dreams, they call for a familiar with languages no human should know, and
dreamwalker to help them understand what they are know monstrous truths that would send lesser minds
being told. reeling in fear and terror. Magic derived from the lore
Nimothan Runecaster: Most people believe Nim- of star-beings can be exceptionally hard for earthly
othans to be unconcerned with anything they creatures to resist, giving you a powerful advantage
cannot physically touch or feel, but these northern over most other spellcasters. While you never develop
warriors possess their own traditions of foretelling. any wide reputation in the human world, you acquire
Runecasters use bones or stones carved with mystic knowledge of potent names and signs as your studies
runes, dropping them at random and searching for advance. By speaking or drawing these powerful
meaning in the way they fall. You possess the gift of names, you can sometimes command the aid of
runecasting, and use your talent to help guide your beings that would otherwise destroy you.
people when they encounter the supernatural. Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in
Arcana and Religion. In addition, you gain a bonus
STAR-LORE ADEPT language chosen from the following list: Benthic,
Draconic, or Mi-Go. Adepts who study the lore of
Arcane magic is rare and perilous in hule. Sorcery, alien races often need to learn how to use items or
theurgy, and wizardry are not things that should be interpret lore not meant for humans.
studied by humans. hey belong to earlier ages, when Potent Lore (1st level): You can spend a bonus
prehuman races such as serpentmen, rakshasas, genies, action on your turn to increase the level of the next
and other evil creatures dabbled in arcane power. arcane spell you cast this turn by 2. his afects all
But these grim and frightening arts pale in compar- level-based variables of the spell you are casting,
ison to the sort of magic that you dare to study. You including resisting counterspell attempts or casting
have discarded the earthly black arts in favor of alien at a higher level of efect. By calling upon the arcane
teachings millions of years older, the dark wisdom of secrets of alien races, star-lore adepts can create unex-
terrible races from beyond the stars. Perhaps you seek pectedly powerful magical efects.
the power to protect the world from such unearthly You can use Potent Lore once, and then you must
threatsor perhaps you seek to harness their power rest before you can use it again.
for your own selish purposes.

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Heroes of Thule
Mystic Signs (6th level): hrough mystic gestures
and motions, you can identify yourself as an initiate in
unearthly lore to creatures that are otherwise hostile to
humans and their ilk. You begin any interaction with
intelligent extraterrene or extraplanar creatures with an
attitude one step better than would otherwise be the
case (Hostile becomes Indiferent, Indiferent becomes
Friendly, and so on).
he Stars Are Right (10th level): Once during
each character level at 10th level and above, you can
call upon powerful alien entities to perform services
for you. his functions as planar ally, except that you
can use the spell even if you are not normally able to
cast it, and you call an extraterrene creature instead
of a planar creature. You can conjure an extraterrene
creature whose CR is no higher than one-half your
character level.

STAR-LORE ADEPTS
IN THE WORLD
Fortunately, almost no one realizes what you are really up
to. People view you as simply one more eccentric mage,
and treat you as they would treat any sorcerer or wizard
who appears to be powerful and perhaps a little unstable.
If the true nature of your power were to become widely
known, the priests of the Nine and the Guardians of the
Sign would certainly seek to destroy you.

PERSONALIZING THE
STAR-LORE ADEPT
Each star-lore adept is unique. here is no school
or tradition of elder race magic widely practiced in
hule, so each student of star-lore follows his or her Pnakotic Scholar: You possess a metallic scroll or
own path to power. tablet marked with the alien hieroglyphs of the
Pnakotic Manuscripts. Terrible secrets of power are
Cultist of the Crawling Chaos: Cults dedicated to locked in its weird symbology, and you are slowly but
the worship of the Great Old Ones are scattered surely deciphering them. It is dangerous to possess an
throughout hule. You belong to one of these artifact of this nature, since priests and panjandrums
hidden cabals that worship Nyarlathotep, the ban the study of this alien lore. Worse yet, there are
Crawling Chaos. In exchange for your adoration, creatures that can sense your fragment and take it
Nyarlathotep provides mystic revelations and se- from you if you do not guard your secret carefully.
crets of advanced science. What led you to join the Transposed Mind: You put on a clumsy act, but you
cult in the irst place? Do you still seek enlighten- are not remotely human. Your body is that of some
ment and power, or have you turned away from the unfortunate human scribe or conjuror who dabbled
Black Pharaoh? in dangerous lore, but your mind is that of an alien
he Most Ancient: You seek to win the patronage entity from the far reaches of the universe. hrough
of the mysterious being known as Tawil atUmr, some terrible experiment or unfortunate accident,
the Most Ancient, the Prolonged of Life. Over the your consciousness was transposed with the mind of
centuries the boldest and most skillful masters of your host body. You may view this as a temporary
the arcane arts have sworn allegiance to this being, inconvenience, an opportunity to study a primitive
which is an avatar or servant of Yog-Sothoth and race by living among them, or as a bitter and unwel-
a mighty sorcerer. he Most Ancient grants great come period of exile in which everything you see
power and a vastly extended lifespan to those it disgusts and repels you. he only way to remedy this
favors, but few indeed have found their way to its mistake is to train your frail human brain to cast the
silver halls and fewer still survive the experience. mighty spell needed to return your consciousness to
its rightful place.

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Heroes of Thule

TRIBAL OUTCAST TRIBAL OUTCAST


Life in the hulean wilderness is hard. A savage or BENEFITS
barbarian faces dangerous beasts, harsh weather, You possess the superb woodcraft and inely honed
and vicious enemies in the form of rival tribes. In instincts that anyone who grew up among your tribe
this deadly world, the only allies a tribal hero has are must cultivate in order to survive in hules deadly
his people, the warriors and kin with whom he has wilderness. In battle, you expect to ight aloneyou
grown up . . . but some tribal heroes dont even have excel at dueling enemies one on one, and leaving any
that. Tribal justice can be harsh, and the penalties other foes to whatever companions you happen to
for breaking taboos, disobedience, failure, or turning have at the moment. Over time, you establish a name
against your tribe are stark: Death or exile. You are for yourself, much like any other free blade or merce-
no longer welcome among your people, and you must nary. In time the day will come when you do go home
now ind your own way in the world. again, and set right the mistake or crime that led to
As an outcast, you are alone and friendless. Behind your exile in the irst place.
you lies some dark tragedy or mortal enemy; ahead, Skill Bonuses (1st level): Wandering the wilder-
an uncertain future. You have learned that the only ness has honed your outdoor skills. You are trained in
person you can rely on is yourself. You may turn Nature and Survival.
your back completely on your people and plunge into Lone Wolf s Strike (1st level): If no creatures other
experiencing civilization in every way you can, or than you are adjacent to a creature, you can use your
you might choose to honor your peoples ways even action to perform a Lonely Strike. You gain tactical
though you are no longer one of them. Either way, advantage on the attack, and if you hit, the target falls
you cant go home again. prone if it is Large or smaller.
Almost any character could begin an adventuring You can use Lone Wolfs Strike once, and then you
career as a tribal outcast. Many tribal heroes are bar- must rest to regain it.
barians or rangers, of course, but a character exiled for A New Identity (6th level): You pick up the practices
practicing magic or stealing might instead be a druid, of a new life, and while youll always have your heritage,
sorcerer, or a rogue. Every outcasts situation is unique. you have new experiences that mold you. You gain the
Key Identity: Human (Dhari, Kalay, Nimothan). 1st-level Skill Bonuses from a second narrative.

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Heroes of Thule
Triumphant Return (10th level): Your former tribe Narthan Murderer: You grew up among the Dhari
is ready for reconciliation. Whether you accept the tribes of the Nar Highlands. As a young warrior,
ofer is up to you, but as a token of sincerity, you have you fell in love with the daughter of the chiefbut
been given a tribal heirloom. Work with your GM to you had a rival. When the chief s daughter made
choose an appropriate magic item, which is yours until her choice, you and your rival quarreled. Tragically,
you return it to your tribe. Tribal heirlooms usually are she threw herself between you and your foe at the
uncommon or rare magic items. wrong moment. You lived, but your love and your
enemy died, and your tribe blamed you.
TRIBAL OUTCASTS
IN THE WORLD
To civilized folk, one barbarian is much like another.
LEGIONARIES
Legionaries are loyal, well-trained soldiers who
hey dont care if a warrior is wandering to seek his
often serve as palace guards or elite mercenary
fortune, or wandering because he was driven out of
bands. They are a cut above typical guards.
his homeland. As a result, a tribal outcast has ample
opportunity to carve out a place for himself in hules
city-states and borderlands. Nobles and merchants LEGIONARY CR 2
Medium humanoid (human) XP 450
always need skilled warriors, so it isnt hard to ind Senses average Perception 12
someone willing to pay an outcast to ight for them. Languages Low Atlantean, one other
Other outcasts who happen to fall in with unsa- BASE STATS
vory types do well as thieves or bandits, since their AC 17 (scale coat, shield)
wilderness-honed instincts prove valuable in all sorts hp 52 (8d8+16)
Speed 30 ft.
of criminal enterprises. ABILITY SCORES
Anyone who regards your tribe as their enemy Str 16 (+3), Dex 10 (+0), Con 15 (+2)
likely regards you as an enemy, too. If youre a Dhari Int 10 (+0), Wis 11 (+0), Cha 11 (+0)
warrior, any beastman you meet could care less about TRAITS
troubles youve had at homehe assumes that you Skills Intimidation +2, Perception +2
are his ancestral foe and tries to kill you. Depending Equipment scale coat, shield, warspear,
shortsword
on the nature of your crime, your own tribe might be COMBAT ACTIONS
out to kill you, too. Multiattack The legionary attacks twice with spear
or shortsword.
PERSONALIZING THE Warspear (melee or ranged weapon) Attack: +5 to
hit, reach 5 ft. or ranged 20 ft./60 ft, one target.
TRIBAL OUTCAST Hit: 1d8+3 piercing damage.
No two tribal outcasts are alike, since each individual Shortsword (melee weapon) Attack: +5 to hit,
forced to leave his or her people represents a unique reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6+3 slashing
damage.
combination of native tribe, family disapproval, or
broken taboos.

Drangir Slave: When you were only a child, your vil-


lage was attacked by slavers. Your family was killed, PATRONS AND
and you were carried of into captivity. For years
you endured brutality and toil, until one day you ENEMIES
managed to escape and make your way back to your Many diferent forces are at work across hule: Secret
homeland. here, you discovered that you were dead cults or organizations with plans to dominate the
to your people: A Drangir is supposed to choose continent, barbarian tribes that chafe at the corrupt
death rather than the humiliation of thralldom. he inluences seeping out of civilization, mighty kings
Drangir in you is ashamed that you lived . . . but a with dreams of conquest, baleful supernatural entities
dead man cannot avenge his murdered kin. that threaten to bring about the end of the human
Jomurjan Warlock: he Kalay barbarians of Jomur age, and more. During the course of your characters
fear and loathe wizardry in any form. To your adventures in hule, he or she may ind both allies
people, arcane magic is unclean, an abomination in and enemies among these greater forces. Choosing
the eyes of the Forest Gods. Yet you chose to defy which causes to ight for and which to ight against is
this taboo and bargain with evil powers for the use perhaps the single most important decision your char-
of their magic. Was your hunger for power so great acter makes in the course of his or her career.
that you chose to ignore the primitive superstitions hirteen pervasive organizations, supernatural
of your people? Or did some terrible need drive you forces, or inluential individuals are presented here
to seek out forbidden lore, understanding that it to serve as your characters allies, contacts, patrons,
would cost you everything? or enemies. his is not intended to be an exhaustive

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Heroes of Thule
list; there are many warlike tribes, dangerous barbarism, and superstition. To save it, he will impose
villains, and ancient evils that might rise to promi- civilization in the high tradition of Atlantis, even if
nence and become especially important to the story he must do so at the point of a sword. he Emperor
of your character. Some of these forces are barely can easily inance expeditions, make Katagias store
even sentient and might not even be aware of your of magic and technology available to heroes engaged
characters existencebut nevertheless they become in his work, or assign soldiers or agents to promote
fulcrums that change the course of a heros career, causes he supportsor attack those working against
and forever inluence events across a continent. his purposes.
Choosing Patrons and Enemies: Choose one
entity to be a patron, and one to be an enemy. Your THE GREAT SERPENT
GM will provide opportunities for your characters he cult of Set is older than humankind. Long before
relationships with the great powers of hule to come the irst human nomads found their way to hules
up in play. shores, the serpentmen of Neskk honored the Great
Serpent with horrible rites and obscene sacriices on
THE BEAST CHIEFTAIN steaming jungle altars. Even though the empires of
he history of hule has been the story of barbar- the serpentmen are gone, this vile cult persists. Every
ian tribes struggling to master the wilderness, and city is home to worshipers of Set; some practice their
slowly clawing their way toward civilization. Once dark faith openly in grand temples, while others
humans were little more than beasts themselves, but carry out their rituals in secret. hese worshipers
as people learned to master nature, they rose above form a vast network of spies, assassins, and zealots
the level of beasts and became the lords of the Earth. who obey any order the cults high priests give in the
he beastmena cruder and more savage breed of name of the Lord of Night.
humankindare being left behind, and they hate
what more advanced humans represent. he beastman KANG,
Ghom, khur-za-khur of Ur-Ghom, dreams of unleash-
ing an orgy of violence and unthinking rage on all
THE WHITE DEATH
A malicious spirit of hate and destruction lurks in the
of humankind. Yet Ghom is only the personiication
great glaciers of hule. Kang, the White Death, is the
of a savage, sullen spirit that lurks in the shadows of
mightiest of them all, and it is a vast and implacable
hules jungles, hating humans and all their works.
menace to all civilization. As one might expect, the
Few humans willingly serve this ierce spirit, but a
ice-spirit wants to bring endless winter and death to
fewparticularly those warriors who give themselves
all within its reach, crushing all the Earth in its gelid
over completely to animal rage brutalitybecome its
grasp. But Kang also stands for doomthe ending
unwitting agents.
of the ageand the necessary destruction that must
come before this chapter of history closes and a new
THE BLACK CIRCLE one begins. Its weapons are ill fortune and ironic
he demon-haunted city of hran is home to the most doom, and its agents are (sometimes unwitting) nem-
powerful group of mages in hule: he society known eses of the proud and mighty.
as the Black Circle. hese proud, cruel wizards are bent
on nothing less than world domination, and constantly
seek ancient artifacts, forgotten spells, and unwhole-
LAST HERO OF
some allies to bring their dark dreams to fruition. THE ELVES
Until they ind the tome or ritual that will give them Long ago, the elven empires defeated the prehuman
what they seek, they carefully husband their power, monstrosities that dominated the primeval continent
staying in the shadows and working through intrigue and helped to civilize the barbaric human tribes
and manipulation. Spies of the Black Circle operate in that shared hule with them. Now the great elven
most of hules major cities, and the wizards are not cities are in ruins, and the great warrior-heroes of
above conjuring demons and other monsters to destroy elvenkind are no more . . . except, perhaps, Orethya,
those who get in their way. the Silver Sword of Imystrahl, sometimes known as
the Last Hero of the Elves. Orethya has led a dozen
THE EMPEROR desperate quests across the centuries, challenging
the ancient enemies of elvenkind or safeguarding
OF KATAGIA dangerous legacies left behind by her people. Some
he rulers of Katagia, the Last Bastion of Atlantis, believe that she is deliberately erasing the history of
have long tried to re-create the lost empire by gath- her people, ensuring that future civilizations will not
ering Atlantean knowledge, magic, and technol- be inluenced by the arcane lore and haughty pride of
ogy within their city. he Emperor of Katagia sees their predecessors.
hule as a land in danger of being lost to darkness,

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Heroes of Thule
LIGHT OF MITHRA fury of the Nimothan people, and whoever holds
Mithras temples are among the most inluential in the throne of Nim is efectively the king of hules
hule. Mithran priests stand at the side of many barbarians. he Reaver King gives aid and support to
monarchs, staunch defenders of royal power and those who aspire to plunder city-states, battles civi-
privilege. Many are corrupt and venal, but behind lizing inluences wherever he inds them, and inspires
the vast wealth and venal interests of Mithras lesser chieftains to launch their own wars against
temples lies an ancient power of truth and good. civilizations wickedness and dissolute ways.
Mithra checks the ambitions of evil gods who would
drag hules civilizations into an age of darkness and THE SAGE OF ATLANTIS
despair, and he stands as an important protector of On the outskirts of Katagia stands a lonely tower,
the human world against the Great Old Ones and overlooking the sea. his is the home of Hyar
their terrible servants. Mithra does not always work homel, the legendary Sage of Atlantis. A white-
through his priests, but every now and then a brave bearded old man now bent with age, Hyar homel
barbarian or plucky rogue confronting elder evils has is the last living person who was born on the island
found the Light to be on his side without ever know- of Atlantis. How this is possible, none can say, since
ing that he was serving as Mithras champion. he was already an old man when the sea claimed
Atlantis, and that was three hundred years ago. Hyar
NYARLATHOTEP homel seeks to preserve the legacy of Atlantis by
For the most part, the Great Old Ones take little sharing his scientiic and cultural advances with the
interest in the afairs of mere humans. Some sages younger races of hule. he Sage of Atlantis is an
believe they arent even aware of their own cults, excellent source of information; if Hyar homel is an
and are utterly indiferent to the fates of their most enemy, he provides crucial information to the heros
ardent supporters. Nyarlathotep, the Crawling rivals or villains the hero opposes.
Chaos, is the exception. his fearsome being is some-
times referred to as the soul or the voice of the Great SERVANTS OF RLYEH
Old Ones, the only one of their number that seems he cult of Cthulhu is ancient and widespread in
interested in humansfor good or for ill. In his hule. he city of Quodeth stands atop the ruins of a
guise as the Dark Pharaoh, Nyarlathotep spreads prehuman city countless thousands of years old where
chaos, madness, and despair, bringing moral decay Great Cthulhu was worshiped; many other secret
and destruction to human realms. But to those who temples and black shrines lie hidden in hules jun-
serve him, the Dark Pharaoh bestows gifts of unholy gles and shores. his continent-spanning cult waits
power and knowledge. for the day when the stars are right, and Cthulhu
is released from his eons-old prison to rule over the
QUEEN OF THE Earth once again. Since this day may be long in
coming, the Servants work tirelessly to speed it along
PEACOCK THRONE by hoarding terrible lore, forging alliances with unhu-
he great city of Quodeth is home to greedy merchant man races, and recruiting the poor, the destitute,
lords, corrupt panjandrums, and swaggering thieves, and the desperate to join in their blasphemous rites.
but it is also the seat of Deyane Verix Hazeda, the Cthulhus followers dream of remaking the Earth in
Queen of the Peacock hrone. She wields little power the belief that a paradise awaits.
in her own city, and is little more than a igurehead.
However, she stands for something much bigger: he
beauty and splendor of hulean civilization. No other THE SEVEN KNIVES
city captures this moment in history or is so inextri- As the largest and most powerful thieves guild in
cably interwoven with the story of hule as Quodeth, Quodeth, the Seven Knives are by extension the most
and the Queen of the Peacock hrone is the symbol of powerful thieves guild in all of hule. Not only do
the city. he Queen has little strength to arm legions they largely control the richest city in the continent,
of champions and few agents to help those who ight the Seven Knives control gangs of thugs and spies
in her causeher aid (or opposition) comes in the in every city of the Inner Sea. he Seven Knives
form of inluence and suggestion. represent what is worst about hulean civilization:
ambition, greed, corruption, vice, and decadence. But
they also stand for the ability of the weak to band
THE REAVER KING together and defy the powerful, and the triumph of
he barbarian tribes of hule regard civilization talent and hard work over low birth and poverty. he
as weak, decadent, and corrupt. Many barbarians Seven Knives control the most extensive spy network
eschew civilizations vices, but others see the need to in hule, and can help their friends by providing
sweep it away altogether and make a clean start of rumors, resources, or agents to help in causes they
things. he Reaver King of Nim is one such chief- care aboutfor a price, of course.
tain. he city of Nim is heir to the strength and
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Heroes of Thule

EQUIPMENT NEW ARMOR


hule is a violent land. he great majority of adult While some types of armor are not available in hule,
huleans go about their business armed, if only with the civilizations of the continent have developed some
a stout club or a good-sized daggerand they know new varieties of armor. In general, hulean armors
how to use whatever weapon they carry. Savages or tend to leave more of the wearers skin uncovered than
barbarians must be ready for dangerous beasts or suits found in more advanced settings. he diferences
enemy tribes at all times, and city-dwellers face the are purely cosmetic.
threat of thieves, assassins, or potentially lethal duels Bronze Cuirass: he inest armor that is normally
even in the heart of the best-defended cities. available in hule is the bronze cuirass, sometimes
Because hules peoples range from savages armed called bronze plate armor. It consists of a snug-itting
with nothing more than Stone Age technology to citi- sculpted bronze breastplate to cover the torso, a leather
zens of ancient civilizations, hules warriors make use skirt or kilt with bronze studs, heavy bronze greaves,
of arms and armor not often found in other fantasy shoulder pieces, and a bronze helmet (usually open-
settings. Likewise, the sophisticated armor-making faced). It is itted carefully to the wearer and allows
of high medieval cultures (and the weapons devel- excellent mobility, although for best efect it should
oped to defeat such armor) are generally absent from be used with a heavy shield. When combined with a
hule. he knight in full plate armor on a heavy heavy shield, the wearer presents his or her enemies
warhorse simply doesnt exist in huleno one makes with a wall of bronze from head to toe.
fully articulated plate armor, the stirrup hasnt been Leather Cuirass: A leather cuirass consists of a
invented yet, the couched lance is impossible without molded breastplate of stif leather, often sculpted with
the stirrup, and the warhorse itself is a rarity in the natural-appearing musculature and decorated with
primeval continent. he knight of hule is a heavy gold or silver personal emblems. A short skirt made
footsoldier in a bronze breastplate and helm, armed of weighted straps covers the wearer to the mid-thigh,
with spear and sword. and a light helmet of boiled leather is included. It
protects better than studded leather armor but ofers
somewhat less mobility.

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Heroes of Thule
Table 23: New Armor
Armor Cost Armor Class Strength Stealth Weight
Light Armor
Leather Cuirass 100 gp 13 + Dex modiier (max 2) 15 lbs.
Medium Armor
Mail Cuirass 600 gp 15 + Dex modiier (max 2) Str 13 Penalty 40 lbs.
Bronze Cuirass 900 gp 16 + Dex modiier (max 2) Str 13 Penalty 50 lbs.
Heavy Armor
Scale Coat 40 gp 15 Str 13 Penalty 35 lbs.

Mail Cuirass: This is essentially a reinforced to trip opponents. When you attack with a khopesh,
chain shirt. The mail is sewn into sturdy leather you can choose to make a tripping attack. You have
panels and then shaped carefully to the wear- tactical disadvantage for the attack, but if you hit,
ers torso, providing a better fit and better you knock your target prone. You can only trip
mobility than regular chainmail and better pro- bipedal foes of Large size or smaller using a khopesh
tection than a chain shirt. Like the leather cuirass, this way.
a mail cuirass usually includes a skirt of weighted Mace-Axe: his weapon features a mace-like head
leather straps studded with bronze or iron to pro- with a single axe blade on one side. It is heavy and
vide some basic coverage to mid-thigh, as well as a hard to wield, but delivers a powerful blow. You can
light bronze helm. choose to deal bludgeoning or slashing damage with a
Scale Coat: he scale coat is a simple form of scale mace-axe.
mail that dispenses with sleeves and leggings, making Warspear: his is a short, broad-headed stabbing
it relatively simple to manufacture. Heavy scales sewn spear mostly intended for melee combat. It is too short
to a thick coat provide good protection for the torso to brace against a charge, and can only be thrown a
and the upper legs, while greaves protect the lower short distance. Warspears are popular among hules
legs and shoulder-pieces or vambraces help protect the jungle tribes.
arms. he scale coat is usually worn with a bronze or
iron helmet. It is the heaviest armor commonly avail- UNAVAILABLE ARMS
able in hule, and many city guards or soldiers wear
armor of this type.
AND ARMOR
Some more advanced weapons and types of armor
simply havent been invented yet in the age of hule.
NEW WEAPONS Check with your Gamemaster before you select any
he warriors of hule wield a great variety of weapons of the items listed below for your character.
from many diferent cultural traditions, including a
few that are quite rare in other settings. Restricted Weapons: Hand crossbow, rapier.
Chakram: An aerodynamic throwing-ring with Armor: Half-plate, plate, splint.
an edge of sharpened metal, the chakram is hard to Mounts and Vehicles: Camel, draft horse, sailing
master but deadly in trained hands. ship, warhorse
Khopesh: his sickle-shaped blade is heavy and Other: Ball bearings, magnifying glass, piton, spyglass.
awkward, but its extreme curve allows the wielder

Table 24: New Weapons


Weapon Cost Damage Weight Properties
Martial Melee Weapons
Khopesh 20 gp 2d4 slashing 5 lbs. Heavy, special
Mace-axe 15 gp 1d8 slashing 7 lbs. Heavy, versatile (1d10), special
Warspear 8 gp 1d8 piercing 4 lbs. Heavy, thrown (range 20/60)
Martial Ranged Weapon
Chakram 20 gp 1d6 slashing 2 lbs. Thrown (range 30/120)

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Atlas of Thule

3: Atlas of Thule
No map can contain all of hules mysteries, nor can any tome catalog all its splendors.
he perils of the Lost City of Tentakron or the secrets of Kal-Zinan have obsessed scholars
for ages. But one thing is clear: hule has enough dangers and treasures for several
lifetimes of adventures. he explorer who sees even a tenth of the glittering city-states, fell
dungeons, natural wonders, and ancient ruins herein will be forever lauded in the annals
of civilization. For that is one of hules most curious aspects: those in the east know little of
what lies to the west, and those in the north are ignorant of the south. Only by crisscrossing
this vast and awe-inspiring land, from the Claws of Imystrahl to the housand Teeth, from
the Highlands of Nar to the Lands of the Long Shadow, can one begin to comprehend the
enormity and strangeness of hule.
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Atlas of Thule

T
he primeval continent is a land of a thousand no harbors to speak of. here simply is no place to land
diferent moods. Its character changes dras- west of Katagia or south of Orech, so anyone who needs
tically from one valley to the next, revealing to go deep into the Shields of Sunset is going to have to
new wonders or presenting the traveler with unexpected walk most of the way. Secondly, the coasts are poorly
obstacles and dangers. Jungles, glaciers, mountains, charted and subject to dangerous weather from time to
volcanoes, sweltering swamps and inland seas . . . hule timethe housand Teeth are littered with the wreck-
ofers a bewildering variety of terrain and climate. In a age of unlucky ships. Finally, corsairs are thick in the
few dozen miles, adventurers might go from a noxious waters of hule, and eagerly prey on any unprepared
marsh where prehistoric beasts bellow and roar to cool, galley that comes their way.
lofty hills dotted with the ruins of forgotten kingdoms, If a sea or river wont serve, the next best option is
and then press on to endless plains of windswept tundra to join up with friendly nomads heading in the right
where ierce barbarians roam. direction and travel in their company. Many barbarian
While hule as a whole is diicult to categorize, tribes wander endlessly across the territory they claim.
sages studying the maps drawn by Atlantean explorers Not only is it safer to travel with large numbers of ierce
generally divide the continent into six great regions: and well-armed friends, it is a lot more comfortable
he Claws of Imystrahl, Dhar Mesh, Kalayan the than foraging in the wilderness for yourself. A bar-
Golden, the Lands of the Long Shadow, the Nar High- barian camp may not be quite the same as a palace in
lands, andthe housand Teeth. he nearby islands of Katagia, but it ofers a tent over ones head, hot meals,
Hellumar and Nimoth form a seventh region, because entertainment of diferent sorts, and the simple pleasure
they are geologically and culturally similar to hule, of company. Many tribes can be quite generous to their
and they share hules history. he borders between friends, ofering food and shelter without question for
these regions are often hard to discernfor instance, as long as needed. Of course, nomads tend to wander
is the city of hran more properly included in Dhar where they will, not necessarily where you want them
Mesh or the housand Teeth? In which region does to go . . . and winning the friendship of a barbarian
a nomadic tribe dwell? Still, diversity is the common tribe is often a diicult undertaking requiring years of
characteristic of hule, so it is not surprising that each fair trading, shared dangers, and the giving of rich gifts.
region harbors within it many examples of the won- he last form of travel worth noting is to join a
drous variety to be found in the continent as a whole. merchant caravan heading in the right direction. Land-
Each region represents an area in which the people bound trade in hule is relatively rare, but the so-called
and the lands are more closely linked to each other jungle traders who link the richer and more advanced
than to neighboring lands. Barbarian tribes can be barbarian tribes to the markets of the great cities must
found all over hule, but barbarians of Dhar Mesh are venture regularly into the deep forests. If you have any
a distinct culture group when compared to the barbar- delusions about an easy ride in a wagon full of pillows,
ians of the housand Teeth. he Dhar Mesh barbar- set them aside nowthe typical caravan consists of
ians are tangled up in complicated webs of feuds and heavily laden musk oxen, elk, or mules, led by drovers
friendships with each other, but naturally have little on foot. In the warmer climes where most hulean
to do with tribes found in other lands. hanks to the beasts of burden dont do well, a traveler wishing to join
diiculty of travel in hule, few individuals or events a caravan might have to pay for the privilege by agree-
have the power to afect people in multiple regions. ing to serve as a porter, and carrying the traders wares.

TRAVEL IN THULE CLAWS OF


IMYSTRAHL
he swiftest and easiest way to travel from one place to
another in hule is by ship. hule has almost no good
roads to speak of, but the seas, lakes, and rivers of hule Civilization lourishes in the Claws of Imystrahl more
serve as highways of a sort. he River Quosa connects than any other part of hule. Elves scheme from their
the Kalayan Sea with the waters ringing the island con- alabaster towers, mercantile humans ply their trade
tinent, linking dozens of isolated ports that otherwise through an elaborate network of jords and rivers, and
would never trade with each other. It is only a couple the surviving Atlanteans ight to preserve a reasonable
of hundred miles overland from Ikath to Orech, and facsimile of now-sunken Atlantis. Despite that, the
ten times that distance by seabut most of the time, Claws of Imystrahl are by no means urbanthe region
the traveler making that trip by sea will reach Orech is home to untamed jungles and forbidding mountains
days before the one who sets out overland, and probably equal to any in the continent. here are plenty of bloody-
enjoys a safer and easier journey in the process. handed reavers, savage beastmen, and sinister cults to go
he drawbacks of traveling by ship or boat are obvi- around. he region has more than its share of ancient
ous. First of all, there may not be a body of water that ruins, dark dungeons, and other prime adventure sites.
leads in the direction you want to go, or a place where Whether you dare to ascend the Ten housand Steps
you can land when you get there. Much of hules outer or delve into the Echoscream Caverns, the Claws of
coastline consists of extremely rugged mountains with Imystrahl have both perils and plunder in abundance.
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Atlas of Thule
he Claws of Imystrahl have the continents mildest quickly overtook the citys other luxuries and diversions.
climate, and coastal routes tend to have winds and Nyarlathoteps greater purpose for taking control of a
weather kind to sailors. But the continents mildest city of dreaming, sorcerous elves can only be guessed at.
climate is relative; it just means that the humidity For now, new temples (the only new buildings within
in the jungles is slightly less oppressive, and climbers Imystrahl in almost 2,000 years) devoted to Nyarlatho-
onthe high glaciers can survive for ten minutes in the tep have sprung up across the city, and strange, winged
elements, not just ive. he Claws are hules breadbas- creatures ly from marble tower to alabaster spire, con-
ket, exporting grains over the Starcrown Mountains suming the dreams of the sleeping elves.
and to the Golden Sea, where it reaches the rest of Not every resident of the city is addicted to the Black
hule. he city-states of the Claws also export in- Milk. A caste of half-elves, prized because they have
ished goods, and like everywhere in hule, the coastal elven blood yet do not succumb to the Black Milk,
regions export ish to inland communities. keeps much of the city running. hough technically
War has touched the Claws of Imystrahl throughout slaves, they wield signiicant inluence on their drowsy,
its known history, even if armies sandals havent trod decadent masters. Humans and people of other races are
the region much lately. he elves of Imystrahl were ag- generally slaves or untouchables, when they can even
gressive and ambitious 5,000 years ago, warring against gain access to the city in the irst place. he red-plumed
the serpentmen and expelling the rakshasas from the guards of Imystrahls famed Bonedust Gatehalf-elven
continent entirely. More recently, the Atlanteans used warriors of great reputedemand a truly compelling
the Claws of Imystrahl as their beachhead when they reason or a truly signiicant bribe to allow travelers
invaded hule, eventually moving eastward to seize beyond Imystrahls gates.
Quodeth and then Ikath across the Golden Sea. Time Imystrahl is a city-state in steep decline, but that makes
and misfortune caused the Atlanteans to give back most it all the more interesting for adventurers. If one needs a
of those gains even before Atlantis itself sunk, but many sage with obscure knowledge about hules distant past, a
in the Claws of Imystrahl long for a resurgence of At- rare reagent for a magic ritual, or a long-forgotten portal
lantean culture and ambitionand not coincidentally a to a far-of corner of the map, Imystrahl is the place to go
full-ledged New Atlantis to govern it all. . . . but beware entanglement in Nyarlathoteps schemes,
and know that a cruel elven sorcerer is doubly dangerous
when roused from dreamy sleep to black anger.
The Claws of Imystrahl are a good place to base your campaignor
even just part of itif youre interested in the theme of civilization THE RISE AND FALL
vs. wilderness and how those diametrically opposed forces play out.
In this region, youll ind communities trying to build civilization out
OF IMYSTRAHL
Elves came to hule via world-gates more than 5,000
of the wilderness (New Trius and Bren), a culture trying to stay intact
years ago. hey were a more powerful, ambitious people
after an unthinkable disaster (Nith), and a society in drug-addled
back then. he elven nations of Imystrahl and Sersidyen
retreat from the world outside (Imystrahl).
went to war against the serpentmen and rakshasas that
dominated the continent, and over the centuries, the elves
ground out advance after costly advance. he rakshasas

IMYSTRAHL, CITY OF
retreated to Hellumar and the serpentmen lost their great
fortress of Bhnaal Pruth. As the elven numbers dimin-
THE BLACK LOTUS ished through attrition, they bolstered their ranks with
Imystrahl, the city-state that gives the region its name, is humanssometimes slaves, sometimes mercenaries,
hules oldest realm, and by far its most decadent (and sometimes junior partners in alliances of convenience.
on this continent, thats saying something). he elves of he humans learned well from their elven masters,
Imystrahl are cruel, capricious, and dissolute, looking and in time they rebelled. he armies of Quodeth con-
inward in search of rareied pleasures and interacting quered Sersidyen completely, and the elves of Imystrahl
with the outside world as little as possible. he noble retreated to hules southern coast. Elven dreams of
elves in Imystrahls highest castes dont just spurn the empire diminished further when the Atlanteans arrived
world outside the citys wallsthey spend as little time in 307 AR, sweeping elven leets from the seas and
as possible in the conscious world, preferring their sacking the city of Imystrahl itself. he elves repulsed
own drug-addled dreams as they consume the narcotic the Atlantean raiders, but at great cost: the city lay in
known as the Black Milk. ruins, and elven armies elsewhere in hule made their
Ordinarily, elves dont sleep or dream in the tra- way home to Imystrahl.
ditional sense, but Imystrahls decadence has turned Over time, the elves rebuilt, never forgetting the blow
this on its head. he noble families of Imystrahl sleep struck by the Atlanteans and occasionally using their
upward of 18 hours a day, dreaming vividly all the magic to thwart Atlantiss colonial ambitions in south-
while. Agents of the sinister being known as Nyarla- ern hule. he elves rejoiced in 1906 AR when Atlantis
thotep introduced the Black Milk to Imystrahl, and it sank beneath the waves, and many would love to see the
last survivors of the Atlantean race leave hule for good.
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Atlas of Thule
About 40 years ago, Imystrahl found a new decadence,
one that would reshape (and perhaps doom) their society:
the Black Milk. Introduced by Suric Dyamath, self-de-
scribed harbinger of Nyarlathotep, this narcotic extract
from jungle lowers has the city in its grip. Higher-caste
elves spend their days in slumber, dreaming strange
dreams. Meanwhile, the city crumbles around them,
strange monsters lit from rooftop to rooftop, and Nyar-
lathoteps servants have functional control of the city.

CITY DESCRIPTION
At its height centuries ago, Imystrahl was an inspiring
metropolis of marble and alabaster, delicate white spires
rising above the deep blue harbor waters. Now the marble
is crumbling, much of the alabaster has been stripped to
pay for Black Milk, and a layer of soot means the city has
literally lost its luster. Stone walls surround the city in all
landward directions, and a series of breakwaters protects
the harbor from both weather and seaward raids.
Inside the city walls, Imystrahl is a warren of struc-
tures constructed at odd angles, streets that dead-end
without warning, and tall buildings that often blot out
the sun. For the visitor, its a remarkably easy city to
get turned around and lost within. Because the elves
care for little other than their own narcotic dreams,
all manner of monsters lurk in the dark alleys and
shadowed balconies of the citysome summoned spe-
ciically by Nyarlathoteps agents to feed on the fevered
dreams of the elven nobles.
he city is also eerily quiet, because much of the
city is sleeping, day or night. he fastest way to draw
attention from the city watch (well-armed and brutal
half-elves) or house guards (mercenaries in the employ
of a high-ranking house) is to make a lot of noise.
Bonedust Gate: he main land entrance to are in the thrall of the Black Milk, though they arent
Imystrahl, Bonedust Gate is a fortress embedded within entirely crippled by it: they still rouse from their slumber
the city walls. It takes its name from the ine white to continue their studies in its and starts.
powder on the inbound roadthe powdered bones of he sages of Zaal can be information sources, patrons,
millennia-old enemies of the elves. Its hard for ordinary or antagonists for the PCs, and the interior of the spire
travelers to get past the surly guards at the gate, unless can certainly be an adventure site in its own right.
they have black lotus to trade or enough gold to bribe Among the sages current obsessions: inding and restor-
the guards (the bribe amount is variable, but 10100 gp ing the World Gate believed to lie somewhere under-
for a small party is a good starting point). neath Imystrahl, how to use Black Milk to open a path
Western Dock: Any ship not obviously Atlantean or to the Dream Dimension, and unearthing some lost
hostile can dock at the westernmost pier in Imystrahls arsenals from the long-gone elven empire of Sersidyen.
harbor, but getting beyond that pier and onto solid Gyrann Prison: Many of the wretches in the dun-
ground requires rare lowers or gold, just as for the Bon- geonlike prison underneath Imystrahl are common
edust Gate above. his dock is Imystrahls primary point elven and half-elven prisoners, plus a few dissidents
of contact with the outside world, though its mostly trade troubled by the growing inluence of Nyarlathotep.
goods, not passengers, that embark and disembark here. One wing, though, is composed of noble political
Spire of Zaal: Among the more wakeful of the elven prisonerselves who lost political struggles and are now
nobility are the arcane sages of Zaal, who study ancient restricted to small but comfortable cells underneath the
elven scrolls and argue esoteric points of magic theory city. he political prisoners get gifts, including Black
from within the walls of this slim spire near the center Milk, from their families. One prisoner, Dzorik Trenaal,
of the city. A product of centuries of magic, the Spire of is a botanist trying to grow the black lotus hydropon-
Zaal is far larger on the inside than it appears from the ically underground. If Dzorik succeeds, hell win his
outside, and even the sages dont know where every hall- freedom . . . and cut of one of the few remaining rea-
way leads (not that theyd admit this, though). he sages sons for Imystrahl to contact the outside world.

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Atlas of Thule
Imystrahl (Small City, pop. 17,200) the citys small but well-trained army into the
City of the Black Lotus, the Sleeping Spires, the ield to keep nearby settlements in line.
White Teeth Secrets: Prath and Suric, ostensibly the leaders
of Nyarlathoteps followers in Imystrahl, under-
Imystrahl, home to cruel and decadent elves,
stand only the irst phase in plans of the Crawl-
is an important trade hub along Thules south-
ing Chaos. Now that the elves are dreaming,
ern coast. The city is falling under the sway of
those dreams can feed an apocalyptic horror
the Black Milk, an opiate supplied by servants of
growing within one of the citys towers.
Nyarlathotep, and the elves are increasingly too
The sages of Zaal are closer than they realize
busy dreaming apocalyptic dreams to care about
to inding and repairing the World Gate in the
the outside world.
catacombs beneath the city. Once they do,
Authority: Vaas Kuruthim is the titular master
theyll have access to the ancestral home of the
of the city, but he hasnt been seen awake in
elveswhatever shape it might be in after 5,000
almost a year, and the Kuruthim family in gen-
yearsand a few other nodes in a network of
eral rarely leaves their noble manor. Day-to-day
portals that once stretched across Thule.
city operations fall to Crothia Zearein, tyrant
general of Imystrahls standing army, who has
resisted the lure of the Black Milk so far.
NPCs: Three quarters of Imystrahls residents are
WINDLASH REACH
Imystrahls inluence to the east extends only as far as the
elves, and most of the rest are half-elves and a
smattering of other races.
town of Twinharbor, a human town living in perpetual
Thryn Seklekir is a half-elf captain of the guard fear that the elves will use dark magic on them. he
who tries to look outward on Imystrahls rest of the coast consists of deep harbors that are diicult
behalf, visiting nearby towns and sometimes to reach by land, with thick jungle extending almost to
hiring adventurers to surreptitiously advance the waters edge.
Imystrahls interests in the region. When hes Ethebrae: his seaside town controls nearby Fort Jalri
in Imystrahl, he takes an interest in unusual and towns along the road as far as Kiridia to the north-
travelers and seeks news of the wider world. east and Shenemi to the west. Sahuagin raids along the
After he develops a relationship with the PCs, coast are a perpetual problem, and Ethebraes city fathers
Thryn can turn heel, falling under the sway of have heard rumors of an underwater city of sharks in
Nyarlathoteps followers. Then he becomes an
the deep waters to the south.
obstructive force, trying to harass the PCs and
eventually forbid them from Imystrahl.
Doomspire: he creation of Daor Mu, a sorcerer from
Hayerik Muord is a canny elven trader who plies Ren Shaar, the Doomspire is a spiked tower of black
legitimate goods on the Western Dock and basalt rising out of the green jungle. Daor Mu provides
black lotus at Bonedust Gateand takes pains hospitality and advice for anyone who can brave the
to keep the two businesses separate. So far, dangerous climb to her fortress. Visitors may also meet
shes been able to sell Black Milk within the Daor Mus son, a being of iendish heritage and barely
city while keeping the followers of Nyarla- controlled magical power. Daor Mu built the Doomspire
thotep at bay, but she worries that eventually far from civilization because she feared her childs power
shell draw unwanted attention. would run rampant someday.
Prath Napratam and Suric Dyamath are the Heartfugue Labyrinth: Nestled in the Windlash
agents of Nyarlathotep responsible for getting
Mountain foothills, this underground labyrinth was a
as many elves dreaming as possible. Suric
understands the alchemical process required
creation of the rakhsasas. In the intervening centuries
to turn turn black lotus into Black Milk, and since the tiger-men left hule, Heartfugue has been home
Prath distributes it throughout the city. to vampire clans, mad wizards, and most recently a cult
Trade: The only import Imystrahl cares about is of the Great Old One, Yga-Ygo. No matter where you are
black lotus from the northern jungle, though within the labyrinth, you can hear your own heart beating.
the city cant feed itself and imports ish and Lair of the Anatomist: Atop a high clif in the Wind-
farmed goods, mostly by sea, from the rest of lash Mountains is a crumbling tower that emits lashes
the region. They export antiques, which is a of light at irregular intervals. he light is a lurebait
kind way of saying that theyre stripping their set by an insane wizard known only as the Anatomist. A
own homes bare to pay for more Black Milk. An false loor in the tower base drops victims into a series of
ordinary city would bankrupt itself in a matter
chambers that mimic parts of a living body: the brainlike
of weeks at this rate, but Imystrahl had millennia
to gather wealth and craft ine goods.
arrival chamber, chambers of wind that act like lungs,
Concerns: A few forward-thinking elves are acid-illed chambers that mimic a tumerous stomach and
worried about the Black Milk and the inluence connective tissue, moving teeth that chomp anyone who
of Nyarlathotep, but they have dificulty rousing passes, then inally a smooth, increasingly sloped tube
their fellows from slumber long enough to tell that expels the victims hundreds of feet above the clif
them so. A broader concern among the elves base. he anatomist has various trained oozes and other
(when theyre awake) is that trouble stays far horrors patrolling his lair, and he takes great delight in
from Imystrahls walls, so they sometimes order the terror of those he traps.

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Atlas of Thule
NITH RURITAIN AND
Nith and the surrounding communities (from Seyrik
in the west to Putrann in the east) are a nascent
THE ASPTOOTHS
he coastal city of Ruritain, one of the irst settlements
city-state of Atlanteans trying to rebuild their home
built by the Atlanteans, is under perpetual siege from the
continents culture, creating a new Atlantis on hule.
surrounding wilderness. he jungles west of the Asptooth
Ruled by Vethni Ural, an Atlantean noble who can
mountains seem to breed monsters faster than Ruritains
trace her lineage to Atlantiss monarchs, Nith sees itself
forces can cut them down, and everything north of
as the shining relection of Atlantis, even as the rest
the Fortress of Jutana and south of Tervidium is lost to
of the region regards that as delusions of grandeur.
civilization.
Vethni is a competent queen of Atlantis, earning
he Asptooths (locals know that only outsiders use
the grudging respect of rivals across the Claws of
the term Aspteeth) arent particularly tall mountains,
Imystrahl. New ships of Atlantean design are lying
but theyre among the continents steepest; the mountain
Niths seahorse-emblazoned lag as they ply the waters
range is an impenetrable wall to east-west land travel.
of Devilsun Bay, and Niths small but well equipped
Ruritain: his small city-state exerts control along
army is keeping the roads and rivers safer than usual.
the peninsulas eastern coast, but the other towns are
Vethni is a complete fraud, however. Shes not
besieged by monsters coming from the mountains
even an Atlantean but a doppelganger with enough
and dissatisied with Ruritains promises of protection.
enchantment magic and gumption to pull of an
Almost everyone who comes to Ruritain does so by sea.
immense con. When she irst adopted the Vethni per-
Ruritains troops try to clear-cut the jungles by day and
sonality, the doppelganger just wanted to enrich herself
wearily guard the walls of their city by night.
at the expense of starry-eyed Atlanteans. But now she
Tower of the Severed Tongues: his fortress, orig-
inds herself wielding real power, and Vethni is starting
inally of elven construction, is now home to Esperain,
to care about Niths welfare, almost in spite of herself.
a warlock who has fallen in love with Shub-Niggurath.
Beyond the Claws of Imystrahl, Nith is best known
Esperains magic is twisting the already dangerous deni-
for its shipwrights. he port of Wenkrail to the south-
zens of the Asptooth mountains into civilization-hating
east is largely a gloriied naval yard. he squat, sturdy
horrors, and he hopes to make the entire peninsula into a
war galleys that form the remnant of the Atlantean
gift for Shub-Niggurath.
navies sail from here, though many are showing their
Tervidium: his town cooperates with Ruritain
age and arent seaworthy enough to leave Wenkrails
on matters of trade, though Tervidium is increasingly
docks. hules inest naval architects work here, learn-
worried about the dangerous jungle to the south and
ing all they can from the battered hulks of Atlantiss
wonders whether a closer alliance with Katagia might
inest ships.
bring more protection.
Devilsun Bay: his is hules largest network of
Ruins of Nahyra-Tor: Until last year, this was a thriv-
jords, easily navigable and more protected from bad
ing town, and it still appears as a useful harbor on most
weather than the rest of the continents coastal waters.
maps. But the jungle has swallowed it whole, and it looks
he bays navigable waters are under Nithian control,
like civilization left there decades ago. Infested with
but they cant be everywhere at once, and opportunis-
beastmen, the ruins may still hold treasures for anyone
tic pirates sail from dozens of hidden harbors along
willing to reclaim it.
the coast.
he Impossible Obelisk: Occasionally visible in the
mountains north of Nith, this towering obelisk marks PEARL AND
a dungeon inhabited by Tessali the Mind-Mage, an
inscrutable, inhuman sorcerer described in Chapter 4. DRAKE CHANNELS
Peretahn Tower: his clifside fortress is home to he Pearl Channel (to the west) and Drake Chan-
Sir Helleruk, a self-styled noble with a small leet of nel (to the east) allow maritime access deep into
war-galleys. Helleruk uses Peretahn Tower and his hules interioralmost to the base of the Starcrown
leet to make life miserable for merchants and travelers Mountains.
entering Devilsun Bay, demanding tolls and tribute For the adventurer, three linked dungeons provide
by seaand by land (along the Kiridia-Arbrell road). limitless opportunityand peril. First, Torchbane
Travelers and Katagian merchants loathe Helleruk, but Tunnel was originally the creation of a dwarf clan exiled
Peretahn Tower is diicult to assault by land or sea. from Kal-Zinan. he tunnel is wide and gently sloped
Ruby Orchid Isle: he largest island within Dev- enough for large trade caravans to pass through
ilsun Bay, Ruby Orchid Isle is home to the Grand though not without risk. Side tunnels and natural
Banyan of Ukru-Prah, an ancient treant revered by caverns abound in the 20-mile tunnel, and some hold
druids for its oracular wisdom. To the southeast is the monsters, raiders, or other underground dangers.
Temple of Shahl, recently excavated and expanded by Second, Alabaster Citadel is the castle that guards
cultists of Tsathoggua. he druids and cultists now entrance to Torchbane Tunneland now a shrine to
ight a guerrilla war for control of the isle. Mithra. Its under almost constant attack from the lower

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Atlas of Thule
jungle tribes, monsters from the surrounding moun-
tains, and bandits whod like to charge a toll to pass
BREN
A waypoint on the sea routes between the Claws of
through the tunnel.
Imystrahl and the city-state of Marg to the east, Bren is
Finally, for the truly brave, Echoscream Caverns are
under siege by beastmen and other monsters coming out
another creation of the exiled dwarves, natural caverns
of the wilderness. Adventurers going east by land from
containing the ruins of a small city. A keening wail can
Katagia and Ren Shaar get the deinite sense that civiliza-
be heard at all timesa scream said to drive those who
tion is slipping away; the roads worsen, friendly travelers
hear it mad.
are rare, and settlements are fewer and further in between.
Ren Shaar: Originally of Atlantean construction,
he town of Bren relies on its island location to keep
Ren Shaar has changed hands dozens of times in its
the hostile denizens of the wilderness at bay, with guard
history, and today its human-majority populace claims
towers on the shore every quarter mile. he ferry cross-
independence while worrying about Katagia to the west,
ings to the mainland are particularly well-guarded, but
Lomar to the north, and Marg to the east. Ren Shaars
the Wilds of Dotra beyond are infested with monsters.
economic importance is easy to see; it connects the
Chenedor: his town has a secret: the adult women
southern coast to hules interior through a Torchbane
are in a fertility cult devoted to Shub-Niggurath.
Tunnel beneath the Starcrown Mountains. Its position
he towns men are largely unaware of this, though
on low river plains makes it diicult to defend, however.
some suspect smaller-scale reasons for nighttime
Marikan: his town is blessed with some of the
sneaking-around such as inidelity. he women gather
best agricultural land for leagues around: the Sendriak
weekly at midnight, performing rituals to keep their
Plains. Marikan is also the only place in the region
cult secret and curse suspicious males. No babies have
that breeds horses on a large scale. he town controls
been born in Chenedor for a year, because the women
Yauren Tower to the west and until recently controlled
are hoping that theyll earn enough favor from the Great
the Iron Spire as well. A rag-tag pirate leet, the Chi-
Old One to become pregnant with inhuman children.
cane Corsairs, recently seized the Iron Fortress and the
Khoori Vaults: his immense cave network is large
adjacent harbor from Marikans town guard, sinking
enough to have its own subterranean ecology, and no
Marikans three war galleys and driving the soldiers into
one has claimed to have fully explored it. Its described
the Poltangan Wilds. he soldiers died at the hands of
in more detail in Chapter 4.
beastmen in the islands interior, and now the beastmen
Bonemarsh Peninsula: An Atlantean necromancer,
are gathering for an assault on the Iron Spire and a
Gurian Creed, attempted a coup in the towns across the
pirates-versus-beastmen battle.
peninsula as soon as news reached hule of Atlantiss
Temple of the Eight Eyes: Ragesea Island is famous
sinking. he coup was unsuccessfulthough it added
for perpetually birthing rain squalls, so sailors give the
to the chaos across the regionand Creed lost control
island a wide berth. Giant spiders hunt throughout the
of his undead minions. he ruined cities across the
misty jungle, and a barbaric cult worships them as gods.
peninsula are still infested with undead, though they
he temple, visible from the sea on a rare clear day, holds
undoubtedly contain Atlantean riches as well.
riches from Imystrahls elvesback centuries ago when
they were ambitious conquerors.
New Trius: New Trius, built on the ruins on an MARG THE CRIMSON,
Atlantean settlement that burned to the ground in the
chaos when Atlantis sank beneath the waves, is a human CITY OF SLAVERS
town that aspires to become a city-state. A brother-sis- A city built on the slave trade, Marg is one of hules
ter duo, Krihen and Sesteria Canatris, rule the town. richest city-statesand one of its most wicked. Here the
heyre building galleys in the towns shipyard and coin of the realm is human misery, with slaves sufering
marching columns of troops between New Trius and under the lash until theyre shipped out across the rest
two fortresses: Castle Pherea and Anasare Tower. heir of hule. Many enlightened nobles in other city-states
resources and manpower dont match their ambitions, openly detest Margs slaves, even as they discreetly
however, so the Canatris siblings will make almost any choose not to inquire where their house-slaves have
deal that advances New Triuss expansion. come from. Marg is the city no one likes, but its also the
Reefhook Island: his hook-shaped island is famous city everyone secretly trades with.
in regional folklore for Zoltaraks Shrine, sacred to Many slaves spend only a few months in Marg, but for
Ishtars followers. A sprawling, white-walled manor on a them each day is a lifetime of anguish and pain. Margs
tropical beach, the shrine promises a thousand plea- slavers scour hule for barbarians, unwary travelers, and
sures to the faithful who risk the long sea-voyage. he other victims to imprison. he newly enslaved come to
shrine has a secret of its own, howeverthe priests have Marg, where theyre trained (often cruelly) in a useful
fallen under the sway of the Great Old One, Yga-Ygo. skill, bought and sold (often several times), then shipped
Travelers who reach the shrine are slowly corrupted with of to their new masters (often far from the slaves original
ever more debased pleasures before the truth is revealed homes). he life of a slave in Marg is nasty and brutish,
to them. Some pilgrims never return from Zoltaraks but rarely short. he slavers care enough about proits to
Shrine, and others return . . . changed. keep their slaves alive and sufering as long as possible.
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Atlas of Thule

THE ATLANTEAN SHAME clientele to include more nobles from the human
Marg grew into a city from a collection of human city-states that grew in strength as the Atlanteans
merchant warehouses on the fringe of Atlantiss colony retreated to Katagia. Nearly every city-state buys
on huleunassuming until an Atlantean exile, Va- slaves from Marg, though some are more open about
nadar the Crimson Prince, seized the city in 1114 AR. it than others. Marg doesnt count any city-states as
he Atlantean settlers needed cheap laborcheaper rivals because all of them want the supply of slaves to
than shipping help all the way from Atlantis, at any continue unabated . . . but that doesnt mean Marg
rate. Under Vanadars guidance, human merchant has no enemies. Followers of Asura want to see Marg
companies such as Devrith, Calumnis, and Qurothaq burned to the ground, and many a barbarian tribe
started providing indentured servants to the new has long memories and would love to sack the city to
arrivals on hule. As Atlantean conquests expanded, avenge their kidnapped kin. Among many Kalayan,
the period of indenture grew longer, and eventually Dhari, and Nar tribes, nothing unites a barbarian
Margs merchants started kidnapping entire tribes horde faster than a promise to burn the city of slavers
from the nearby wilderness. to the ground.
Dealing with Marg was considered uncouth by the
Atlantean elites, both because of the exile Vanadars CITY DESCRIPTION
presence and because of the slave trade; Atlantean phi- Marg is a city of squat, stone buildings, many taking
losopher and historian Graela Tuur called Margs very up entire city blocks. he irst structures in the city
existence the Atlantean shame. But as the Atlante- were warehouses along the river, and the city spread
ans pushed north and east from Katagia and Devilsun out from the riverbanks based on the whims of the
Bay, someone had to till the earth on Atlantean plan- slaver princes, not any sort of central planning.
tations and carry supplies to the advancing Atlantean he swampy ground near the city breeds mos-
armies. Marg grew rich on Atlantean ambitions as it quitoes and other insects, which gather in immense
supplied those someones. clouds to become an actual danger, not just an
he slaver princes of Marg, gathered into a Crim- annoyance. To keep the insects at bay, Marg relies
son Council of eleven wealthy captains, took the on the smoke from pyres built at strategic points
chaos of Atlantiss downfall in stride, expanding their throughout the city. (Slave labor brings a steady

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Atlas of Thule
supply of fuel to the pyres, of course.) hose pyres put Marg the Crimson (Large City, pop. 34,500;
the entire city under a pall of smoke that keeps the 60 percent of whom are slaves)
mosquitoes away, and they give everything in the city City of Slavers, The Atlantean Shame, Land of Smoke
a reddish cast. Some wonder whether the smoke is and Sorrow
worse than the mosquitoes, but once theyve seen the This city is essentially a massive slave encamp-
insect swarms darken the skies outside the city, they ment where powerful families bring newly acquired
happily accept the discomfort of smoke inhalation. slaves for training, discipline, and resale.
Devrith Ward: Home to Margs oldest and richest Authority: Kaz Vurin is the citys igurehead ruler, but
merchant family, this district has a pyramidal fortress the real power lies with the Crimson Council, the
at its heart. he Devrith elders havent left their eleven leaders of the largest slaver operations. The
pyramid in years, using magic to direct their slaver four most prominent among them are Gerritt Calum-
expeditions out in the ield, negotiate deals with far- nis, Bran Devrith, Serini Qurothaq, and Vuth Zoser.
NPCs: Marg is more than 85 percent human, with the
of nobles, and scheme against rival slaver operations.
rest being mostly Atlanteans whose families fell in
Freehold Palace: his ironically named fortress is
with the slave trade centuries ago.
home to the igurehead ruler of Marg, Kaz Vurin, a Gerritt Calumnis is the urbane leader of the Cal-
distant descendant of Vanadar, the Crimson Prince. umnis family. Gerritt sees slavery as the family
his opulent castle has every luxury provided by the business, and he doesnt lose any sleep over the
Crimson Council, because the slaver captains want human misery he presides over. Hes pragmatic
Vurin too busy living in decadence to take an active and hard-hearted, though unfailingly polite. Ger-
role in leadership. heir scheme works; Kaz Vurin ritt is also an accomplished warlock, though few
is disinterested in anything other than the novelties have ever seen him demonstrate his powers.
and riches brought as tribute by the slaver leets. Sankra Rumani is the high priestess of Asura in
His 16-year-old niece, Neira Vurin, is much more Margand consequently Margs most wanted
criminal. Shes frequently morose, because her
interested in making Marg into something more than
small network of allies is only an annoyance to
one big slave camp, but she wields no actual power .
the slavers, not a true threat. Having to choose a
. . yet. tiny fraction of slaves to liberate breaks Sankras
Hidden Harbor of Asura: Asuras priests want to heart, and shell listen eagerly to anyone with a
unshackle as many slaves as they can, but they must scheme for hurting the slaver families.
work in secretto aid a slave in escape or to ease a Gree the Sage is ostensibly an instructor at Margs
slaves conditioning is punishable by death. When College of Scribes, but hes fallen under the sway
Asuras agents free slaves within Marg, the fugitives of the Great Old One Yog-Sothoth. Under direc-
head through jungle trails to a well-hidden cavern tions only Gree understands, he has assembled
in the high clifs west of the city, a cave big enough a mystery cult within the college and is using
to anchor a galley within. Illusion magic covers the enchantment magic to direct the construction
of new pyres in a speciic constellation across
entrance, and so far Margs authorities dont know
the city. When the network of pyres is complete,
how fugitives are escaping their grasp. heyd pay
Gree believes Yog-Sothoth will reward Marg with
dearly to ind out where Asuras hidden harbor is, and The Great Scintillation.
Asuras priests would pay dearly to keep it a secret. Trade: Margs primaryand soleexport is slaves:
Catacombs of Qurothaq: Even by Margs stan- everything from unskilled laborers to concubines
dards, the cruelty and torture delivered upon slaves to learned scribes to future ritual sacriices. It
in this dungeon are legendary. he Qurothaq family imports food and luxuries from across Thule, all to
sells slaves of all ordinary sorts, but they also ofer keep the slaves fed and the masters happy.
slaves intended for use in dark rituals, slaves trans- Concerns: Margs slaver captains have three primary
formed into something beyond human, and slaves concerns: keeping the slave trade burgeoning across
who were once important people before they needed Thule, uprooting the Asuran priests hiding within
the city, and gaining the upper hand in conlicts with
to disappear and were sent to Marg in chains.
rival slavers. Marg cares little for what happens in
College of Scribes: Marg educates many of its
Thule as long as the slave trade continues; the affairs
slaves, simply because an obedient scribe or seneschal of other city-states are of only mild interest.
fetches a higher price than an ordinary laborer. A Secrets: Kaz Vurins niece, Neira, will become Margs
cluster of towers near the citys northern wall is home titular leader if Kaz dies, and shes expressed a dis-
to the College of Scribes, where brighter slaves learn taste for slavery that Margs true leaders ind worri-
to read, write, and perform simple bookkeeping for some. Gerritt Calumnis had Neiras galley diverted to
courts and merchants across hule. he instructors, the Ruins of Ghuri several weeks ago. Gerritt hasnt
almost all free citizens, live comfortable lives and are decided whether to simply kill Neira or use magic
free to pursue their own academic interests when they to make her a more pliable igurehead. Her galley is
arent teaching slaves. he college is thus an unlikely now several days overdue, and both Kaz Vurin and
Sankra Rumani are worried about Neiras fate.
but thriving center of academic learning in Marg.

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DHAR MESH speed, replacing the jungles, lakes, and plantations in a
matter of a few decades. Between the chaotic collapse of
he deepest, darkest jungles in hule lie in the land of Ghedrars kingdom and the appearance of the swamp,
Dhar Mesh. An unbroken canopy of leaves stretches many of Phoors denizens led, and now the swamps of
from the Starcrown mountains in the south to the Phoor have claimed many ruined cities and fortresses.
northern coastline and the Sea of Mists. hat canopy Many who travel the Swamps of Phoor do so on the
of leaves covers everything from ancient ruins to Trail of the Left Hand, an X-shaped trail that winds its
bloodthirsty headhunters to homicidal treants to glit- way through much of the swamp, though parts of the
tering jewels strewn across a riverbank. trail are periodically looded or overgrown. Stone cairns
Civilized outposts are few and far between in Dhar mark the trail every quarter mile or so, and the beast-
Mesh, and even those bastions of civilization have men leave dismembered left hands of their victims as
an element of urban jungle to them. Ikath is a city of grisly trail markers, many of which remain after being
serpents where the unwary are separated from their reduced to bones.
coins and their lives, a place of both pleasure and peril. he only other path through part of the swamps is
hran is a city of fear, living under the watchful eye Kal Keors Follyand it doesnt go far. Kal Keor the
of the powerful wizards of the Black Circle. Between Terrible tried to construct a road through Phoor in
those cities is a tenuous network of villages and trade 2013 AR to improve his supply lines as he marched
outposts, all living under the threat of barbarian raids, eastward. he road sank into the swamp despite the for-
beastman attack, or even more frightening monsters tune in road materials and captive slaves he sacriiced to
from the jungle. make it happen. he Jandar horde ultimately detoured
Yet for all its dangers, Dhar Mesh is a region of op- north and south around the swamp.
portunity for the adventurer. In the Claws of Imystrahl At the center of the swamps is the Skull Moundas
or along the Kalayan Sea, an ancient fortress would close to a home as the headhunters of the Kyr tribe
invariably have been reinhabited and rebuilt a dozen have. he Kyr tribe is always on the move, but they
times over the centuries, often with little remaining rarely stray more than a few weeks travel from this
from the original builders. But the jungles and swamps 50-foot high pile of skulls, the results of generations of
of Dhar Mesh hold ruins untouched from the days of headhunting. Camp followers and hangers-on are often
the Atlantean pioneers, Ghedrar the Necromancer, in residence in huts nearby, making this a useful way-
the elven empires, or even the ancient rakshasa and point for travelersbut only if they dont have reason
serpent-men kingdoms. hose ruins hold ancient trea- to fear the Kyr tribe.
sures, powerful magic items from a bygone age . . . and Rivek: A ruined fortress named after the Atlantean
horrors that present-day hule has long since relegated family who built it during an early wave of Atlantiss
to the stuf of nightmares. expansion, this castle was razed by Nemruths army
because the Riveks had fallen out of favor with the
SWAMPS OF PHOOR Atlantean court. Its catacombs are looded but contain
hules largest contiguous swamp, Phoor is a nearly vaults of treasure brought here from Atlantis itself.
trackless wilderness. Most settlements lie on the Vault of Khoredir: One of Ghedrars trusted lieuten-
swamps periphery, and the interior is left to monsters, ants, the vampire Khoredir retreated here after Ghedrar
beastmen, and vicious headhunters (including the disappeared. his black castle has sunk thirty feet into
notorious Kyr tribe). the swamp, but Khoredir and his retinue slumber in the
Phoor wasnt always a swamp; as recently as 500 upper towers, only awakening to feed on intruders
years ago it was a hospitable lowland river valley. Much who then become part of Khoredirs honor guard.
of Phoor belonged to Ghedrar the Necromancer, a Chalangh: his stilt-supported village is made up of
tyrant who ruled central hule for more than 400 exiles from Ikath who do their best to live in harmony
years. Shortly after the Atlantean general Nemruth with the swamp and avoid antagonizing the headhunt-
overthrew Ghedrar in 1673, Phoor started to sink; no ers or beastmen. Its residents share a secret: they all
one realized that Ghedrars magic was literally sup- have serpentman heritage to greater or lesser degree.
porting the region. he swamp grew with unnatural he more obviously snakelike denizens hide when vis-
itors come, because everyone in Chalangh worries that
enemies in Ikath have sought them out.
If youre looking for a place to put a vine-covered ancient ruin for Gyrenalem: his fortress of the Sersidyen elves lies
the PCs to explore, or a path for a dificult wilderness expedition, mostly intact within the swamps of Phoor, protected by
Dhar Mesh is a good choice. Much of the region is untrammeled by illusion magic and a small army of magical constructs
present-day explorers, and many of its wonders and perils have never and undead elves. Even the swamp itself hasnt intruded
been seen by human eyes. Many a treasure map sold in the market- into Gyrenalem, with only a few underground cham-
places of Quodeth has X marking a spot somewhere in Dhar Mesh bers looded. In the central citadel is an elven world
. . . whether the map is genuine or a forgery. portal that, if reactivated with the right ritual, would
enable instantaneous travel to Imystrahl, other elven
ruins around hule, and the home world of the elves.
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Plondhuk: his halling town on the edge of the Claiming a severed head (generally with a scimitar
swamp is perpetually sinking into the mire, at the or axe) is just the beginning for a member of the Kyr
rate of several feet per year. he residents are adapting tribe. Some heads are boiled, dried with hot rocks and
by building upward, and the town is a patchwork of sand, then rubbed down with ash; this shrinks them
diferent architectural styles, emergency catwalks, and but preserves them for later use. Whether fresh or pre-
buildings leaning at odd angles. Plondhuk welcomes served, most heads are used in divination rituals, pass-
peaceful travelers, especially if they have goods to trade, ing on dark wisdom to the Kyr shamanseverything
but they live under perpetual fear that the Kyr head- from where to hunt to which tribe members should
hunters will attack their town. lead a war party to whether visitors to a Kyr encamp-
Borenik: his stilt-village within the swamps is ment can be trusted. A given member of the Kyr tribe
utterly deserted, with half-eaten meals sitting on plates has 1d4 shrunken heads available at any given time
and no signs of violence anywhere. Investigation reveals and can say with pride where each was collected.
that the entire population was ensorcelled by minions he Kyr tribe has three primary enemies: the
of Great Cthulhu, and the brainwashed denizens of beastmen that also call the Swamps of Phoor home,
Borenik are gibbering and capering before a black other human barbarian tribes in the region, and the
menhir a few miles away. encroaching forces of civilization. In recent years, some
travelers from Ikath have befriended the Kyr tribe,
KYR HEADHUNTERS bribing them with magic weapons and exotic heads.
he Ikathis (who work for the Forked Tongue) can
he Kyr are the largest and most wicked of the tribes often convince the Kyrs to send a war party out of the
collectively known as the Headhunters of Phoor. As swamps to seek rare heads elsewhere in Dhar Mesh.
you might expect, the tribe cares about one thing:
taking heads. hey want heads not just as battle The Kyr (Small Tribe, pop. 800)
trophies, but to fuel dark rituals that add to the tribes The Headhunters, the Shrinkers
fearsome reputation. Based near the Skull Mound
The Kyr tribe moves throughout the Swamps of
within the Swamps of Phoor, the Kyr are known and Phoor with impunity; even the beastmen are cun-
feared throughout Dhar Mesh. ning enough to avoid taking them on directly.

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Atlas of Thule
Authority: Chief Butho rules the Kyr tribe, beyond, and the undead lurk in the citys shadows at
though he spends most of his time keeping night. Ikath is a cheerfully amoral place concerned only
his more ambitious underlings in line and has with its own welfare and continued enrichment.
little patience for long-term thinking. The head
shaman, Vilia, handles anything requiring sub-
tlety and anything involving magic. SERPENTS, MUMMIES,
NPCs: The Kyr tribe is human, though some have AND ATLANTEANS
sloped brows and stooped posture that sug- An archeologist looking at Ikath would see the city as a
gests long-ago interbreeding with beastmen. layer cake, with each civilization building on the ruins
Chief Butho is a man of action, capable of severing
of those that came before. Ikath was founded by the
even an armored head with a single blow from
serpentmen of the Empire of Nessk, who used humans
his greataxe. An imposing, tattooed presence,
he projects an aura of fear but is more cunning only as servants. A series of elven attacks caused the
about tribal politics than he lets on. serpentmen to retreat from Ikath, leaving humans in
Chaara is a garrulous member of the tribe who possession of the city because the elves of Imystrahl
scouts ahead of the main war parties. He and Sersidyen wanted nothing to do with it. After the
fancies himself something of a merchant, and Empire of Nessk was shattered, some serpentment
hell sometimes bargain with travelersespe- returned to Ikath, keeping a low proile and intermin-
cially ones who look too tough for the war gling with the humans.
partyto acquire heads on the tribes behalf. In 1215 AR, Ghedrar the Necromancer rose to power
Vilia is the most powerful of the Kyrs shamans, in Ikath, transforming the city-state into the capital
accomplished in both divine and arcane
of an undead empire that expanded across Dhar Mesh
magic. She taught many of the key rituals to
and central hule. Once again, the living humans
the rest of the tribe and probably knows more
about divination rituals than anyone between became subordinate to Ikaths monstrous masters, this
Thran and Ikath. time Ghedrar and the undead in his service. Ghedrars
Trade: The Kyr tribe is self-suficient and accus- mummiied armies kept the peace in Ikath for almost
tomed to living off the land, but theyre always ive centuries, until the Atlantean general Nemruth
interested in magic weapons and tools, plus invaded the city by sea in 1673 AR. he Atlanteans de-
heads from creatures theyd have dificulty feated Ghedrar, who disappeared at the battles climax
obtaining themselves. and remains hidden in the city to this day.
Concerns: Butho is in his mid 40s and starting he Atlanteans installed a series of puppet
to worry about wholl lead the Kyrs when hes governorsonce again reducing the humans to
gonethough he worries even more about
servitudebut their ownership of Ikath didnt last
keeping those would-be leaders in check for the
long. Distracted by the war with Lemuria and then the
time being.
Secrets: The Forked Tongue syndicate has started sinking of Atlantis, the Atlantean leadership departed
using the Kyr tribe as particularly frightening in 1908 AR, and the city has been in human hands ever
muscle throughout the Dhar Mesh region, since . . . at least in theory.
though Chief Butho doesnt know how frequent
this practice is, nor how far aield the hired CITY DESCRIPTION
headhunters are going.
he City of Serpents is a mix of curved stone architecture
Vilia has a secret fear: she learned many of
(some dating back to the Empire of Nessk) and the more
the rituals in her youth from a strange traveling
wizard in the service of the Great Old One, angular designs of the Atlanteans. Moreso than most hu-
Nyarlathotep. She worries that the rituals are lean cities, Ikath is a city of wards, each efectively its own
somehow tainted, or that Nyarlathotep will urban microcosm. Many citizens of Ikath travel from ward
someday demand some service of the Kyr in to ward, but few of them need to; each ward has its own
return. temples, marketplaces, and residential neighborhoods.
Jade Temple of Set: he grandest temple to Set on
IKATH, CITY the continent, the Jade Temple was originally made
entirely of jade, but major portions of the temple were
OF SERPENTS destroyed when Nemruth attacked the city in 1673 AR.
Ikath is the pinnacle of hulean civilization at its most (he Atlanteans have always been deeply suspicious
seductive, its most vibrant, and its most corrupt. A cos- of Set worship.) Even so, the dark green walls of the
mopolitan city on the shores of the Golden Sea, Ikath temple are a marvel, especially when the noonday sun
welcomes nearly everyonethough few leave the City seems to make the entire temple glow.
of Serpents with as many coins as they arrived with. Serpentine Ward: his district is named both
Almost anything can be had for a price in Ikath, in- for its shape (it follows the left bank of the Khadoor
cluding authorities willing to look the other way. hieves, River) and its denizens: serpentmen. In most places,
dark magicians, cultists, and schemers call the City of serpentmen are regarded as enemies of civilization,
Serpents home. Serpentmen openly walk (and slither) but in Ikath, theyre merely strange neighbors. Few
through the streets of their own district and sometimes serpentmen dare to walk the streets of Ikath beyond the
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Serpentine Ward, but within this district, they outnum-
ber humans and live in relative peace. If youre looking for an urban jungle as a counterpoint to the actual
Honors Mill: his bawdy taphouse sits well outside jungles across Thule, Ikath is the place for your game. It doesnt have
city walls, on the outskirts of the great forest of Dhar the inward-turning corruption of Imystrahl or the relentless com-
Mesh. It is a mirth-illed place, well kept, that caters to merce of Quodeth, but it occupies a middle ground where it thrives
the woodcutters and trappers who work the forest verge as a city-state even as its divided leadership and pervasive corrup-
nearby. he proprietors are a retired band of freebooters tion keep it from having grander ambitions.
who call themselves simple lumberjacks. he groups
motto, Honor still lives, is burned into the beam above Despite his serpentman heritage, he holds
the hearth. the followers of Set at arms length; he cares
Atlantean Ward: his small district features the about wealth and power, not worship.
Governors Palace (constructed shortly after Nemruth Ghedrar was in the process of becoming a lich
seized the city) and Ikaths famed Quill Street, a col- when the Atlanteans invaded, and his trans-
lection of bookshops, fortune-tellers, and sages-for-hire. formation was interrupted. He can manifest
Dancers Ward: Ikaths most notorious red-light corporeally for only two hours per day, so
district (in a city with no less than ive wards devoted to he relies on undead underlings to extend his
adult entertainment), the Dancers Ward has every- power from well-guarded chambers in the
thing from boisterous taverns to narcotic purveyors to storm sewers under the city. He seeks a ritual
that will complete his transformation into a
gambling dens to houses of prostitution. he district is
true lich, then a return to powerirst in Ikath,
largely lawless by night, with the only order provided by then across Dhar Mesh.
muscle hired by district businesses. One more job, and Trade: Ikath is the center of the ivory and gem
then Im retiring to the Dancers Ward is the retire- trade across Thule, and it also does a burgeon-
ment plan for many an adventurer. ing business in anything else extracted from the
surrounding jungle: beast hides, rare botanical
Ikath (Large City, pop. 29,800) reagents, and produce from the orchards and
City of Serpents, Gateway to the West, the Rotten Fruit plantations that surround the citys walls. But its
Ikath is a sprawling city built on the ruined ambi- biggest business is entertainment in all its rar-
tions of serpentmen, undead, and Atlanteans. For eied forms. Many Thuleans come to Ikath seek-
now, its a lawless pleasure-dome of a city, but its ing pleasure, and few go away disappointed . . .
only a matter of time before someone claims the or with any coins in their purse.
City of Serpents anew. Concerns: Travel by sea to Ikath is generally safe
Authority: Kenner Yauth is Lord-Monarch and and pirate-free, mostly because the weather is
titular leader for the city, though in practice his mild and there are few places along the coast-
reach extends only as far as his undermanned, line for pirates to hide. But Ikath doesnt have
underequipped city guard. Three other ig- more than a token navy, and ambitious neigh-
ures wield just as much power, Dyar Presk, bors could easily shut the city down by sea.
high priest of Set; Marden, boss of the Forked Some of the citys merchant princes are consid-
Tongue crime syndicate; and Ghedrar, still cling- ering founding a private leet to keep the sea
ing to unlife in the catacombs beneath the city. routes safe.
NPCs: Ikath is about 65 percent human. About Set worshipers can practice their faith openly
15 percent of the population is serpentmen, 10 in Ikath, but some want more than thatthey
percent are Atlantean, and the remaining 10 want Ikath as the center of a Set-based theoc-
percent are a mix of other races. racy. So far Dyar Presk has demurred, but hed
Yendar Kol is panjandrum to the lord-monarch take advantage of any weakness on the part of
and handles many of Ikaths day-to-day Lord-Monarch Yauth or Marden to create a new
affairs. If the PCs have diplomatic deal- kingdom encoiled in Set worship. (Presks ambi-
ings with Ikathor if they get arrested for tion is key to the campaign arc in chapter 4.)
high-proile crimes in the citytheyll meet Marden is trying to expand the Forked
with Yendar the Pragmatic, whos well aware Tongue Syndicate into a regional crime cartel,
of the need to appease the Temple of Set and controlling legal and illegal trade across Dhar
the criminal syndicates to keep Ikath running. Mesh and as far as Renekrit, Nim, and Droum.
Note that if youre using the Shadow of the Hes using the headhunters of Kyr to intimidate
Great Serpent campaign arc in chapter 4, his way into new territories, but the expansion is
Yendar is murdered and replaced by Xarvix. going slower than expected.
Marden, a mixed-blood Ikathi with both human Secrets: Ikaths biggest secret is the one that
and serpentman heritage, has been the boss lives in the storm sewers under the city: Ghe-
of the Forked Tongue crime syndicate for drar himself. Only a few of his trusted lieuten-
more than a decadelonger than any prede- ants (mostly death knights and vampires) know
cessor within memory. He runs everything his real identity, with the rank-and-ile mem-
from protection rackets to narcotics traf- bers of his secret society knowing their leader
icking to outright theft and assassination. only as the Sunset Lord, so named for the few
hours hes available.
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Atlas of Thule
LAKE HAAL he other power brokers across hule are likewise
fearful of, or at least troubled by, hran. No one knows
he second-largest body of water within hule (the
what the ultimate aim of the Black Circle iswhether
Golden Sea is irst), Lake Haal is unlike its larger
they seek temporal power, or whether they want hran
sibling. heres little maritime traic on Lake Haal be-
only as a base for their eldritch wizardry. (Everyone
cause krakens and sea serpents infest the lake, dragging
assumes they seek to dominate hule, but the form of
traditional galleys to a watery doom. Flat-bottomed
that domination is in dispute.)
sailboats dont seem to attract the ire of the sea monsters,
hran hasnt menaced its neighbors . . . yet. It
so travel across the lake is possible. Many in the coastal
doesnt project its power across Dhar Mesh . . . yet. But
communities would rather take the risk of hunting in
many in western hule wonder when the second arcane
the surrounding jungle than ishing in Lake Haal.
slipper will drop and hran will become something
Yathmokinoop: his underwater city is home to
even more terrifying than it already is.
skum, ishlike monstrous humanoids that rise from the
lake to raid coastal communities and carry of kidnap
victims. hose victims are taken to be sacriiced at an AN EXCHANGE OF TYRANTS
altar to Great Cthulhu in the center of Yathmokinoop. Situated in a position of both economic and strategic
he skum sacriices power a ritual that lets them com- importancethe point where the River Dynanni
mand and ride the lakes kraken. reaches Lake Haalhran has long been a trade hub
Tendroan: For travelers who want to avoid Black and the gateway between Dhar Mesh and the Highlands
Circle entanglements, Tendroan is a key waypoint of Nar. From its founding in roughly 500 AR, hran
connecting Lake Haal to the River Dynanni and the was a bustling town, but it grew into a proper city when
Highlands of Nar. he town is as much an armed camp merchants and settlers from the then-Atlantean colony
as it is a settlement. Its people simultaneously worry about of Orech reached hran in 650 AR, bringing Atlantiss
assaults from Yathmokinoop and incursions from hran. culture and learning with them.
Marraki: Nestled on the eastern shore of the lake, A series of unremarkable local lords ruled the city
the town of Marraki uses slash and burn agricultural to until Ghedrar the Necromancers mummiied army
grow khava beans that can be brewed into a stimulating arrived in 1218 AR, seizing hran after a brief siege.
drink popular in Ikath, Lomar, Droum, and Nim. After When Ghedrars kingdom collapsed in 1673, hran
three growing seasons, the town is thriving, but the local threw out its undead overlords and again enjoyed inde-
priestess of Kishar has noticed that the jungle is growing pendence for centuries. he peaceful years ended when
back faster each timenow unnaturally fast. the restive clans of the Nar Highlands united under a
Vohdani Towers: hese spires a few miles from Lake single banner in 2011 AR, that of Kal Keor the Terrible.
Haal are 30,000 years old, built with serpentman magic hran was his irst major conquest, butthe Jandar horde
just as the irst humans were reaching hules shores. didnt remain there long, striking out eastward within
heyve been occupied and reoccupied countless times the year. Kal Keor left behind one of his sons, a petulant
since, but some inner vaults contain strange wonders child named Kal Menna, and the citys residents suf-
from the Empire of Nesskfor PCs who can overcome fered greatly under his capricious, cruel rule.
the radical druids, militant serpentmen, and cultists of No one celebrated with more fervor than hran when
Hastur that currently war over the towers. Kal Keor was assassinated by sorcery in 2035. (Kal
Madraal Nessk: For a time this ruined city on Menna was thrown from the palace balconies, then
the Othnan Peninsula was the ancient capital of the resurrected speciically so he could be thrown from the
serpentman empire, but that was centuries ago. Now it balcony again). hrans merchant princes took over the
is a place of dark magic and timeless curses, home to a city in caretaker fashion, ruling as a council. But their
savage tribe of troglodytes awaiting the day when the dominion was short lived.
serpentmen return to reclaim Nessks ancient glories. If In 2040 AR, the wizard Bayod Naz revealed the
youre using the campaign arc in chapter 4, Dyar Presk existence of the Black Circle and declared the Circle
makes his inal stand amid these ruins. rulers over hran. Caught by surprise, the merchant
princes capitulated (especially after a few princes were
strangled by unseen arcane hands). At irst, the people of
THRAN, CITY OF hran were ecstatic; many assumed that the Black Circle
THE BLACK CIRCLE was behind Kal Keors assassination. But over time, the
Its impossible to talk about the city-state of hran with- Black Circles ruthless tactics and inscrutable motives
out talking about the Black Circle, the secretive council have left hrans populace as fearful as they come.
of powerful wizards who have ruled the city for almost
200 years. he Black Circle has reshaped the city to suit CITY DESCRIPTION
their esoteric needs. he hran of today is more orderly As beits its moniker, many of hrans major buildings
than any in hule, but its people live in fear that theyll are constructed of black granite, pulled from the earth
be obliterated by the Black Circle for a minor transgres- itself by the power of the Black Circle. Many of the
sion, or no discernable misbehavior at all. city streets are laid out in a hub-and-spoke pattern,
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Atlas of Thule

with a ten-story wizard tower at the center of the street Highlanders Quarter: Originally intended as a
networkof limits to the general populace. separate district for visitors from the Highlands of Nar
Visitors to the city notice how citizens tend to scurry (and the horse manure they left in their wake), this
from place to place, and even the outdoor marketplaces part of the city is the only place where visitors can con-
have only subdued conversations, not the shouts of duct business without undue scrutiny from the Black
competing vendors. City residents make a point of not Circlemeaning magical surveillance is frequent, but
noticing the distorted haze in the air that indicates the not omnipresent.
Black Circle is scrying on an area. Remarking on the
surveillance only increases the likelihood that theyll Thran (Small City, pop. 18,500)
draw unwanted arcane attention, they igure. City of the Black Circle, Nars Doorstep, Pearl of Haal
Tower of the Chimerae: One of the tallest towers in (little used anymore)
hran, this ediice is home to Yiliina Syrth, one of the Thrans citizens live their lives in fear of the
more ambitious masters of the Black Circle. he upper inscrutable and rarely-seen Black Circle of wiz-
loors are crowded with dozens of leering gargoyle-like ards that rule the city. The Black Guard patrols the
statues, most sculpted in the image of tormented streets and ruthlessly crushes dissent, while a net-
humans whose bodies have been partially replaced work of informants, spies, and scrying apprentices
ensures that little happens in the Thran that the
with animal or monster parts.
masters of the Black Circle dont know about.
he Ebon Orb: his castle-sized marble sphere is Authority: High Master Nefron Vir is the current
where the Black Circle deliberates and performs their high master of the Black Circle, a position he
arcane rituals. It hovers above the city and has no ob- acquired by violently usurping the last high
vious entrance; the masters of the Black Circle teleport master, and a position hell keep until someone
to and from the Ebon Orb. violently usurps him. So far hes proven adept at
Tower of the Helix: his tower is currently vacant; keeping would-be high masters at bay, but as he
the master who lived there went insane after an advances into his eighth decade, he knows its
extraterrene ritual gone awry and was put down by only a matter of time before hes replaced.
the rest of the Black Circle. heres an open invitation NPCs: Thrans population is overwhelmingly
from the Black Circle to their promising apprentices: human, with a small percentage of Atlanteans. A
clan of hallings has some prominence in the city,
clear out the Tower of the Helix, and youll ascend to
serving various members of the Black Circle as
take the vacant place as a master of the Black Circle.
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alchemists and laboratory servants. Due to the Loyalty to the Black Circle isnt as complete as
Black Circles dabbling in iendish magic, a small Nefron Vir thinks, either. Two of the masters are
but measurable segment of Thrans population thralls to Yog-Sothoth, who has promised them
has demonic blood running through their veins. limitless extraterrene insights at an as-yet-un-
Yiliina Syrth is a transmuter and the most out- speciied price.
ward-looking wizard in the Black Circle. She

KHAVA COAST
sees the rivalries among the masters as a zero-
sum game and seeks to accumulate power
beyond Thran, perhaps even leaving the city Named for the khava bean grown in plantations there,
someday to rule elsewhere. She keeps her the northwestern coast of the Golden Sea is a line of
ultimate ambition a secret even as she greedily green jungle that stretches from the Lands of the Long
seeks artifacts, rare spells, and other treasures Shadow to the walls of Ikath.
from across Thule to increase her power. Renekrit: his town, currently the central source of
Perek-Who-Limps is an accomplished illusionist the khava trade, is rapidly expanding as the jungle is
and high-ranking apprentice . . . though he
cleared for plantations and more residences. Residents
shamefacedly admits hes between masters at
the moment. (Its rare to be between mas-
hope that in time their town will grow to become a city-
ters and still alive.) Pereks personal charisma state to rival Ikath, Nim, and Droumall of which have
makes him a useful contact for adventurers agents in the city plotting its downfall or subversion.
seeking an audience with the Black Circle. Sere Monga: he citadel of the arch-sorceress
Perek is a motivated go-between; he hopes Monga, this fortress is guarded by ghosts and other
to prove his worth to a new master by making incorporeal undead who ignore the elaborate bram-
useful introductions for adventurers who can ble-mazes that surround the central tower. Monga is
get things done beyond Thrans walls. cruel enough to toy with travelers who arrive unin-
Tsammar is the guard-captain and commander of vited, but shes also wise enough to parley with intrud-
the Black Guard. Ostensibly that means man- ers who could actually threaten her.
aging the city patrols and keeping the highland
he Stained Shrine: his ancient statue to Herum
tribes and jungle barbarians at bay, but Tsam-
mar spends more effort on the covert side of
is revered by beastmen tribes, who often leave carcasses
the ledger. The Black Circles spies are every- piled at the ape-gods feet when theyre passing by,
where in Thule, and while some report directly leaving the stains that give the shrine its name. he
to various masters, many are part of the Black animals for miles around seem more feral and apt to
Guard hierarchy and report to Tsammar. attack, and even domesticated animals revert to a wild
Trade: Thran doesnt trade much with other city- state if exposed to the Stained Shrine for long. Ritu-
states . . . overtly at least. Various masters use als involving animal transformation or control have
adventurers and summoned minions to scour unrivaled potency if performed under the auspices of
Thule for rare magical treasures which are then Herum at the Stained Shrine.
brought back to Thran, but the city neither
imports nor exports much. When the ields sur-
rounding the city have a bumper crop of grains BOLOTANGA
or fruits, the Black Circle sends out a leet of
black-sailed trade galleys across Lake Haal (using WINDRUNNERS
magic to protect them from kraken attacks), he Bolotangas are a highly traditional and warlike
down the Tancreel River, and eastward along the Dhari tribe. he two pillars of tribal custom are ven-
coast to Nim. eration of the Forest Gods, and unending war against
Concerns: The Black Circle wants anything of other tribes, races, city-states, and anything else thatll
magical power; even a rumor is enough to get stand against the Bolotangas on the battleield. In the
one or masters mounting an expedition to a Bolotanga view, they are the only people in the world
far-off ruin or dungeon. Thrans other concern is
who give proper reverence to the countless spirits of the
its own security; sitting at the border between
the Highlands of Nar and the jungles of Dhar
forest and the elements. All other peoples are enemies
Mesh leaves it vulnerable to attacks from both until they too learn to revere the spirits of nature.
jungle barbarians and highland clans. Throughout Unlike most tribes whose oral traditions extend back
history those threats have often become a terri- only a few generation before dovetailing with folklore,
fying reality for Thran, but after the Black Circle the Bolotangas can cite their history back for centuries.
demonstrated its ability and willingness to oblit- he Bolotanga tribe marched with the Jandar horde
erate massed attackers in the 2040s and 2050s, when Kal Keor the Terrible sacked Ikath and Droum,
the tribes usually give Thran a wide berth. deciding that the will of the forest was better served
Secrets: The Black Circle is able to present a uniied by the destruction of cities than war against a hundred
front to the outside world, but internecine duels united Nar tribes. Even further back, the Bolotangas
among the masters are not uncommon, and
sufered ruinous casualties in a guerrilla war against
sometimes such conlicts spill out beyond the
Ebon Orb to include each wizards network of
the undead armies of Ghedrar the Necromancer, yet
apprentices, summoned minions, and servants. remained unbowed.

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Today the Bolotangas make war against the beast-
men that infest northern Dhar Mesh, occasionally
raiding as far as Nim to the north and Ikath to the
south. heyve steered clear of the headhunters of Kyr
for the time being, but both tribes would very much
like to take the measure of the other in battle.

Bolotangas (Large Tribe, pop. 1,200,


including camp followers)
The Windrunners, The Ghost Warriors
The Bolotanga tribe is more settled than many
barbarian tribes, living in a network of villages
throughout northern Dhar Mesh. But theyre far
from civilized; their villages can be disassembled
within a day and rebuilt elsewhere in the jungle.
Authority: Matro is the current Horn-Lord of the
Bolotangas, so named for the antlered head-
dress that serves as his badge of ofice. His three
daughters, all intrepid warriors themselves, advise
him and assist with the day-to-day leadership of
the tribe. Below Matros children are the chieftains
of the Bolotanga villages, each of whom person-
ally leads at least a hundred capable warriors.
NPCs: The Bolotanga tribe is 90 percent human.
Nonhumans are welcome as long as they share
the tribes reverence for nature and willingness
to ight for their beliefs, but only humans born to
the Bolotanga can ever hold leadership positions
in the tribe, and the children of nonhuman mem-
bers arent considered Bolotangas.
Kyriah Bolotanga is Matros youngest and iercest
daughter, determined to prove herself against
any outsider she encounters. She loves the
Bolotangas, her black tiger companion, and her
own cleverness in that order. leaders in the past. Any would-be suitor for
Zenerek is a camp follower, healer, and sutler for Matros daughters must navigate a gauntlet of
the Bolotangas, and his family is as close to daughterly suspicion about his real motivesin
honorary Bolotangas as anyone. A dwarven addition to the tests that the deeply suspicious
exile from Kal-Zinan, Zenerek knows the secret Matro devises.
of steel and has been secretly supplying the Secrets: Some of the camp followers who serve
Bolotangas with high-quality weapons when the Bolotangas are in the pay of the Forked
he can get his hands on pure enough ore. Tongue crime syndicate, based in Ikath. The
Lellerek the Swift is a hunter and advance scout for Forked Tongue would very much like to have
the Bolotangas. An accomplished trophy-taker, the Bolotangas as the muscle for a regionwide
he delights in slipping unseen into enemy protection racket that would earn tribute from
encampments and slaying worthy foes in the every trade caravan in the region, based on the
midst of their fellows. Bolotangas savage reputation. But the Forked
Trade: In the past, the Bolotangas sold their ser- Tongue spies know that Matro would never
vices as mercenaries, but Matro is reluctant to do knowingly enter into such an arrangement.
so. In recent generations, the tribe has become
more traditional, drawing away from others who
dont share their complex beliefs even when the NORTHERN MOORS
opportunity for loot and glory arises. At least a he Northern Moors are as swampy as Phoor to the
few times a year, however, envoys from a city- south, but they arent covered by a dense tree canopy.
state try to entice the Bolotangas to ight on their Most of the northern moors are low marshland, with
behalf. They come home disappointed if they only the occasional hill or copse of trees to block the
come home at all.
view. Almost everyone gives the moors a wide berth,
Concerns: Many of the best warriors among the
Bolotangas have been wooing Matros daugh-
more because theyre useless for agriculture or indus-
ters, iguring a marriage improves their odds try than because theyre dangerous. he moors arent
of becoming the next Horn-Lord. The daugh- without perils of their own, especially at night, and the
ters want the leadership of the Bolotangas for region has an abundance of ancient ruins left behind
themselves, however; the tribe has had female by the rakshasa empires of millennia ago.
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Path of the Dark Teeth: his well-worn path leads imaginingeither the Great Old One Shub-Niggurath,
south from Zirinashur across the moors, and is marked or a powerful avatar of it. Known as the Black Goat
by black obelisks about 10 feet tall every quarter mile. with a housand Young, Shub-Niggurath is birthing
It takes 24 hours of walking to traverse the path by horrid, twisted versions of jungle creatures, and each
foot, and local folklore contends that doing so will birth is more powerful than the last. Druids across
grant great wisdom to the traveler at the end of the hule are marshaling their allies in anticipation of an
journey. attack on Shub-Niggurath, but can they muster enough
he folklore is right, but it leaves out a key fact. help, and will it arrive before the Black Goats children
Anyone walking the path in either direction attracts are too numerous and too powerful to be stopped?
every hostile monster for miles around, with creatures
acting rabid in their desire to kill or drive of the
walker. he denizens of the moors attack in waves as
FORESTS OF GRONAK
the walker approaches the journeys end. hose who Nestled in a rain shadow north of the Starcrown
survive receive a vision granted from the magic of the Mountains, the Forests of Gronak are one of
path itself (something equivalent to the highest-level southern hules few coniferous forests. he im-
divination that a spellcaster of the walkers level mense trees that grow here are greatly prized for
couldmanage). both buildings and ships, but getting them out of
Haun Griel: his town on the edge of the North- Dhar Mesh is a problem. Five centuries ago it was
ern Moors has a secret: the residents are all cattle for possible to loat timber down the River Phoor, but
Wakira Chunash, the noble who lives in the towns now theres an impassible swamp in the way. he
central manorand a vampire. Wakira and her logs must be taken overlandeither a short but
retinue of vampire spawn feed on the townspeople punishing route south over the Starcrowns or the
when no outsiders are looking, and the people of Haun longer overland route west through southern Nar to
Griel are forbidden to leave the town or tell anyone the Katagia.
truth. he people of Haun Griel live in perpetual fear, he black lotus is another reason to go to the
but the bolder among them may plead for help should forest, for the lowers grow in abundance there and
they meet travelers who look like they could defeat a can be transported over the Starcrown Mountains to
vampire. Imystrahl, where theyre highly prized. In the town of
Oruchalee: his town built on stilts on the tidal Andra, the leaders have started clearing jungle around
lats where the Lower Dwarkangra River meets the the town to make a plantation where the lotus can
Sea of Mists loods twice daily. he buildings are all be cultivated. he jungles monstrous denizens dont
elevated or loat, so the locals barely notice. At low tide appreciate the clear-cutting, however.
many of the towns bravest venture out into the muddy Ruins of Stelen: An Atlantean outpost aban-
lats to shuck oysters in search of pearls, but doing so doned when Atlantis sank, these ruins are now home
is risky. he shape of the Oruchalee bay forms a tidal to beastmen who found a trove of Atlantean army
funnel, and when the tide rises, it hits the outer mud- uniforms. Now they wear them in unintentional
lats as a wall of onrushing water. mockery of the long-departed army of Atlantis.
he White Columns: hese ruins are all that Nahanohd: his town, long a center for logging,
remains of a rakshasa fortress from centuries ago . . has drawn the attention of hostile treants that want
. all that remains aboveground, at any rate. heres a to smash it to splinters. he town leaders have staved
multi-level dungeon below the White Columns with of a treant attack for more than two decades by
all sorts of monsters held in stasis by the now-departed constructing ever more elaborate gardens around the
rakshasas. If adventurers breach the wards protecting town to appease the treants. Younger residents of the
the entrance, the rakshasas of Hellumar notice and town wonder whether the all-consuming gardening
send a force to reclaim the treasures of the dungeon. efort is worth itand indeed whether the treants are
still out there.
Jeroo: he residents of this town have recently
THE TAINTED started a mystery cult devoted to worship of a disem-
MENHIR bodied iron golem head, which they keep on a pedes-
tal in the center of town. he city fathers knowbut
Deep in the jungles of Dhar Mesh is one of the Guardian
wont willingly admitthat the strange noises heard
Menhirs erected by the irst druids almost 10,000 years
in the surrounding forest is the still-animate body of
ago. he druids use the Guardian Menhirs to gather the
the iron golem, mindlessly searching for its head.
natural energy of the region and tap into it remotely for na-
Tower of Glass: A symbol of a time when the elves
ture-airming rituals. But the Dhar Mesh menhir is a cor-
ruled much more of hule, the lower reaches of this
ruptive threatone that recently sent a shockwave through
tower are made of smoky glass as strong as steel, while
the ley lines that connect all the Guardian Menhirs.
the upper loors have walls of stained glass the equal
Less than a quarter-mile from the Guardian Menhir
of any cathedral. he entire tower loats 50 feet above
is the bloated, pregnant form of a horror beyond
the jungle canopy.
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Xeriats Tomb: One of the irst Atlantean explorers
to strike north over the Starcrown Mountains, Xeriat
AKAL-AMO, CITY
was a wizard obsessed with alchemy. He developed a OF TEMPLES
wasting disease that limited his ability to travel in his he primary outpost of hulean civilization beyond
waning years, so his encampment eventually became the continent itself, Akal-Amo is an ancient city that
his inal home . . . and then his tomb. Xeriat himself is claims the gods themselves once trod its copper-cob-
buried within a spiraling catacomb beneath the jungle bled streets. Each of the nine primary deities has a
loor, one of his last discoveries. major temple in this city, with worship and ritual the
First Temple of Set: Reputed to be the place where primary activities. But nine competing faiths means
serpentmen irst encountered humans and enslaved everyone has eight reasons to quarrel, and the city
them, this primitive stone refuge is infested with often teeters on the edge of a religious clash.
serpentmen and various snakelike monsters. All here Every faiths tradition tells the story somewhat
worship Set, even if they have no connection with the diferently, but they agree that millennia ago, Akal-
organized religion found in Ikath and elsewhere. Amo was the literal home of the gods, with each of the
he site of the temple is guarded by a tribe of degen- Nine dwelling within the buildings that now serve as
erate troglodytesperhaps the descendants of primitive their temples. hey argued, they schemed against each
humans who bred with their serpentine masters. Scores other, but they were able to live in proximity to each
of the creatures dwell in squalid mud huts nearby, other as a fractious, dysfunctional family of sorts. hen
slaying any who ind their way to this place unless they something happened . . . some say a schism within the
know the secret signs of the snake-god. Beneath the Nine, while others (including the Guardians of the
temple stretch huge, cavern-like catacombs, reputed Nine) tell of a titanic struggle against the Great Old
to conceal sacred treasures and burial chambers of Ones. Whatever happened, the Nine do not openly
serpentine high priests dead for thousands of years. No manifest within their temples anymore.
human devotees of Set have journeyed to this place in Today, each faith maintains a grand temple and hun-
many long years, but someone or something is engaged dreds of priests in Akal-Amo. Back on hule, the faith-
in strange sorcery in the catacombs below: In recent ful are encouraged to take the long sea-voyage to the
months, a sinister purple crystal has emerged from a City of Temples, either as a pilgrimage or for priestly
crater in the ground not far from the troglodyte village, training. For those who worship Kishar, Herum, and
and is growing taller by a few inches a day. Tiamat, the city is of particular importance, simply
because dedicated temples to their gods are more rare
HELLUMAR on the continent.

AND NIMOTH VACANT HOME OF


he northern islands of Hellumar and Nimoth are two THE GODS
of the three lands that have most inluenced present-day he fortunes of hules major religions are relected in
hule. (he third is Atlantis, which sank beneath the the ebb and low of power on the streets of Akal-Amo.
waves about 200 years ago.) Hellumar is now the home Currently Ishtar and Set have the most priests in the
of exiles, most notably the rakshasas who once had an streets, with Mithra, Nergal, and Tarhun occupying a
empire that dominated hule. Nimoth, on the other loose second tier and the other gods less represented.
hand, is where exiles came from, in particular the A shaky peace exists throughout the city, though
Nimothan humans who settled northern hule when shouting matches, insults, and istights are common.
growing glaciers left the island a frozen wasteland. You cant expect priests of Mithra and Tiamat to share
hough the two islands are very diferent, they share a table in a common house, after all.
one aspect in common: a fundamental hostility to heres a small nonreligious population in Akal-
life, human and otherwise. hule may be a dangerous Amo; someone has to feed and clothe all those priests,
place, but the continent teems with life. Not so Hel- after all. Akal-Amos harbor is a safe port when the
lumar and Nimoth. Whether scorched by apocalyptic Sea of Mists brews storms, so trade ships call upon the
magic or locked in a lifeless polar embrace, these two City of Temples from time to time as well. But most
islands expunge life. Only the brave and well-prepared of the traic is passengers: pilgrims and newly robed
should venture beyond these islands shores. priests. Few venture beyond the citys walls. As the
priests reason, once youre in the greatest temple of
your religion, why would you journey onward?
When youre building a Thule campaign, Hellumar and Nimoth
are useful because theyre distant, hostile lands. What happens
on these islands tends to stay on these islands . . . unless the
CITY DESCRIPTION
rakshasas get restive, or something cold and implacable gathers Akal-Amos layout is elementally simple. he city
in the dark to the northeast. consists of eleven clusters of buildings, each sur-
rounding a great temple, each strung along a road
that winds back and forth up the steep slopes of
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Atlas of Thule

Mount Amo. he architecture of each temple relects Akal-Amoa fact that Mithras priests point out with
the god it is dedicated to: Asuras windowed spires some frequency. One wing is perpetually under construc-
all face east to capture the dawn, while Nergal has tion, and the priests of Mithra suspect that the sun-gods
a squat mausoleum of a building with extensive rivals are surreptitiously sabotaging the building.
catacombs. In addition to temples representing the he Hunters Hall: his temple was once dedicated
Nine Powers worshiped in hule today, two ruined to Inar, god of the hunt. Pilgrims who cant aford
structures dedicated to deities now forgotten stand better lodging often camp in its rubble-strewn colon-
amid their prouder neighbors. nades, which are home to many robbers and beggars.
Akal-Amos harbor is one the biggest sources of Herums Shrine of the Beast: Carved out of the
strife, because the nine faiths cant agree on a scheme natural rock of a clif, the temple to Herum is a series of
for sharing the four stone piers that have jutted out tiers and balconies, with progressively greater devotion
into the bay for millennia. Arguments on the pier esca- to Herum required the further one ascends.
late into full-blown riots, with one group of pilgrims or Ishtars Temple of the Most Fortunate: his
another pushed into the water by their rivals. domed structure is as much an art museum and
he road that winds upward from the harbor is concert hall as it is a temple. Everyone in Akal-Amo
paved with curious copper-colored stone blocks, now prefers their own temple, but most would name Ishtars
worn smooth by centuries of foot traic. In order as temple their second-favorite.
the traveler ascends the road are the following temples: Sets House of the Eclipse: his sprawling collec-
Kishars Temple of Seasons: his cathedral-like tion of buildings looks as serpentine as the god its de-
structure features stained glass in each of its four voted to. Eerily quiet by day, the temple emits laughter,
sectionsone each for spring, summer, autumn, and chanting, and dirgelike music throughout the night.
winter. At any given time, three quarters of the temple Tarhuns Hall of the Stormriders: Built like a
is essentially vacant. high-ceilinged longhouse, Tarhuns temple includes
Nergals Hall of Eternity: Nergals low, square multiple festhalls and its own arena where the faithful
buildings are really just entrances to the labyrinthine can test their strength against each other.
catacombs beneath the city. he honored dead of Ner- House of the Silver Lady: his abandoned temple
gals faithful rest here, but many have taken on unlife was once dedicated to Selene, the goddess of the moon.
and are considerably less restful. Her worship faded out centuries ago. It now serves as
Mithras Skytemple: his alabaster temple, built with something of a market square in the middle portion of
crenellations and walls like a castles, is the largest in Akal-Amo.
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Atlas of Thule
Tiamats Temple of the Five Furies: his star- Secrets: Ishtars priesthood is convinced that the
shaped building features draconic imagery throughout goddess herself is walking the streets of Akal-
its architecture. In a place like hule where chromatic Amo, disguised as an acolyte. They havent
dragons are rare, the dragons inspire both fear and breathed a word of this to the other faiths,
because if theres a way for a god to physically
wonder.
manifest in the world again, they would rather
Asuras Firstlight Temple: A collection of east-
that the other faiths not ind out about it.
ward-facing towers, Asuras temple stands at the end A cabal devoted to Hastur has reached
of the winding road. he gong from the highest tower across the Sea of Mists to iniltrate the priests
serves as a call to prayer and timekeeping reminder to of Herum. Many of the new rites in their temple
all faiths in Akal-Amo, not just Asuras. are actually furthering the designs of the King in
Yellow, not the Ape-God.
Akal-Amo (Small City, pop. 6,900)
City of Temples, Where Gods Once Trod, The Copper
Streets FIRES OF HELLUMAR
Akal-Amo is a city devoted to devotionwor- he twin mountain ranges on Hellumars southwest
ship of the nine primary deities of Thule. peninsulas are steep and actively volcanic. heir glow
Authority: When they can agree on anything, a at night is suicient for sailors in the western Sea of
council of the nine high priests is the ultimate Mists to navigate by. By day the smoke, ash, and ire
authority in Akal-Amo. As a practical matter, makes the land arid and the air almost poisonous.
the faiths do their best to keep to themselves; Hardy indeed is the life that clings to the shores of the
its in no ones best interest to send the City of ires of Hellumar.
Temples spiraling into chaos. he biggest town in the region is Drang, situated
NPCs: Akal-Amos population mirrors that of between the volcanoes to the west and the glaciers
Thule itself: predominantly human, with just
to the east, which means its too hot half the time
enough Atlanteans, elves, and dwarves to make
and too cold the other. he Drangir tribe (described
it interesting.
Breke the Druid is a rarity in Akal-Amo: someone below) calls this harbor home, and their battered long-
who worships none of the Nine. A fervent ships sail from here every spring on missions of battle
follower of the Forest Gods, Breke divides his and plunder.
time between trying to raise funds for a small Beelakhan: his outpost on a rocky peninsula is
shrine to the Forest Gods within the city walls rebuilt from rubble every morning by a powerful earth
and undertaking long journeys into Hellumars and ire elementals, but then destroyed every night by
forbidding interior. If the PCs are looking to waves and storms created by water and air elementals.
travel inland, Breke is known throughout the he elementalist who irst summoned these monsters
city as the best guide, despite his out-of-date planned to construct a fortress away from the prying
religious beliefs.
eyes of civilization, but she lost control of her sum-
Fennerek is a sea-captain who sails her passen-
moned creatures and perished when they began to
ger galley, Spys Demise, between the Thule
mainland (generally Nim and Orech) and ight among themselves.
Akal-Amo. She has remarkably lexible reli- Old hag: Explorers who reach this ruined town
gious convictions. ind a mystery: every building reduced to rubble, and
Thoa-Waan is the high priest of Nergal and the shards of giant eggs gathered in the town square.
equally accomplished as a cleric and necro- Few remain long enough to discover whether whatever
mancer. He believes that he can create an hatched is still around . . .
undead host of unsurpassed power if he can Seirena: his town has a deep, well protected
obtain the bodies of nine high priests (one harbor and a clan of hallings who dwell in an elabo-
from each faith) who died within Akal-Amo. rate set of clif dwellings above the port. he hallings
Through deceit and murder, Thoa-Waan has
are beset by demons and other monsters coming from
acquired ive bodies. He plans three more
the volcanoes, and theyll be exceedingly grateful if
murders and will make himself the ninth high
priest to die in Akal-Amo. traveling adventures can ofer them some relief.
Trade: The nine temples are responsible for Jubilia: his shoreline village is a bucolic, peace-
feeding their faithful, so supply ships from the ful placeexcept that all the residents are obviously
mainland arrive daily. Akal-Amos only export is devils. he devils have been ensorcelled by a mischie-
religion itself. vous enchanter who lives in a cottage on the edge of
Concerns: Pilgrims and priests bring their grudges town, and theyll deny that theyre actually devils even
and prejudices with them when they come to with presented with obvious evidence (like a mirror).
Akal-Amo, and just because the citys never Violence results if visitors dispel the enchantments.
descended into a religious war doesnt mean
its never going to. The high priests have pulled
their followers back from the brink of open
conlict before, but it may be inevitable that the
copper-cobbled streets will run red with blood.
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Atlas of Thule
DRANGIR REAVERS Concerns: The stay in Hellumar or move to
Thule question is just a ireplace argument for
he Drangirs are the quintessential tribe of raiding now, but if more longboat captains see things
barbarians, equally at home on land or sea. As soon Jankos way, it could split the tribe. For his part,
as the ice breaks around their Hellumarian harbors, Orik is growing a little concerned about repri-
they set forth for hule in their longboats. Some make sals from his victims; over recent years the
quick raids along the housand Teeth and are back in Drangirs have assembled a long list of enemies.
Drang in less than two weeks. Others reach hule and Secrets: A Drangir cleric of Tarhun has a sea-chart
head inland, carving a path through mountains and that purports to show the resting place of a
sunken leet of Nimothan winged longboats.
jungle alike, remaining in the south throughout the
If they could be raised from the sea-bed and
summer and well into fall.
restored, the Drangir could raid year-roundand
Almost everyone on the shores of the Sea of Mists from the skies.
has reason to fear the dark furs and bloody axes of the The rakshasas of the Striped Empire have
Drangirs. heyve toppled tyrants, sacked cities, over- used illusion magic to iniltrate Drang each year,
thrown kingdoms, and sent ships full of treasure back and they are making plans to assault Drang
to their home in Hellumar. But hule has its revenge in midwinter, seizing the entire Drangir leet,
against the Drangir in unusual waysmany a fear- which theyll use in the spring to return to Thule.
some Drangir barbarian has fallen prey to the many For now, its just a contingency plan for the rak-
vices of Ikath, the madness of Orech, or the mellowing shasas, but if the Striped Empire grows in power
inluence of civilization in Nim. it could become very real indeed.

Drangir Tribe (Large Tribe, pop. 3,000, THE BRACKISH MIRE


including raiders at sea) his swamp in Hellumars interior is a mystery. he
The Northern Terror, the Last True Nimothans,
water seems to seep upward from undergroundand
Hearts of Ice
its salt water. Even though its more than 50 miles from
Nimothans through and through, the Drangir the coast, the reeds and grasses resemble what youd
tribe raids the length of the Sea of Mists every
ind on the shore. But traveling across the Brackish
year, burning and looting as they go.
Mire is no day at the beach; quicksand is common, as
Authority: Orik the Gargant is the chieftain of the
tribe, but practical authority begins and ends are glowing clouds of poisonous swamp gas. he local
with the longboat captains, who are chosen by predators are as ierce as any youll ind in Hellumar.
Orik every spring. Those captainsroughly ifty At the center of the Brackish Mire is the ancient
of whom set sail each yearretain their author- battleield of Mereriedel, where ancient elves of Sersi-
ity whether on land or sea. Orik himself leads a dyen, on a vengeful crusade against the rakshasas, were
raiding leet every spring, but hes usually back overwhelmed by rakshasas and their demon servitors.
in the town of Drang by the start of summer. he bones of the elves glow white in the moonlight,
NPCs: All the Drangirs are Nimothan humans. and many haunt the mire as incorporeal undead.
Gurada the Clench is a longboat captain known Half-buried in the muck is the elves supply train, full
for her black temper and her ruined left hand,
of ancient magic and weapons the elves never got the
left in a permanent ist after her brief capture
chance to use.
and torture by slavers as a child. Shes spent
her entire life wreaking personal revenge on Bok Tooma: For centuries, the barbarians of this
every slaver ship she encounters. village solemnly cared for and venerated a Guardian
Borsek is a Nimothan merchant who helps Menhir constructed by the druids millennia ago.
supply the longboats each springbeing But last year they disappeared, and the village lies
handsomely repaid when the longboats empty and forlorn. he druids havent checked on
return full of treasure. Though not technically the menhir or the village in some time, and theyll be
a Drangir, he has the ear of Orik the Gargant quite concerned when they realize that Bok Tooma
and sometimes accepts payment in exchange lies empty.
for suggesting targets for the Drangir raids. Ughrana: he barbarians of this tribe are adept at
Janko Vuth is a longboat captain whod very
taming dinosaurs to perform all sorts of tasksevery-
much like to lead the Drangirs, and he argues
thing from steeds to dray animals to childrens pets. In
with Orik the Gargant on one key point: Janko
believes that the Drangirs should move to exchange for inished goods from the civilized world,
Thules northern shore permanently. theyll part with trained mounts for PCs who want
Trade: The Drangirs rely entirely on summer plun- something exotic to travel hule with.
der to keep the tribe fed and equipped through- Mefanoo: he westernmost outpost of the raksha-
out the year; they export looted goods and sas, this palatial tower leans to one sidethe conse-
import everything else, in other words. They quence of unstable ground. he rakshasas use scrying
engage in some ice ishing and seal hunting in magic to watch the approaches to their tower, but
the winter months, but thats more to stave off they dont go deeper into the Brackish Mire without a
boredom than anything else. good reason.
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Atlas of Thule
Juramatang: his castle is the lair of a rakshasa
This region is a good choice for when you want a prehistoric Lost necromancer, Juram, who believes that the rak-
World where the PCs can go dinosaur hunting. (Much of Thule is shasas numbers are too few to allow any to travel
good for that, but the Brackish Mire is quintessentially prehistoric.) to the afterlifenot when Juram can add them to
Because its inhospitable, poor in resources, and dificult to travel his legion of undead rakshasas. If a rakshasa dies
through, even the ancient empires of the world bypassed the Brack- anywhere within the Striped Empireor sometimes
ish Mire. The secrets it holds are so old that no one knows to seek beyondJuram will be there to collect the body and
them out. begin his dark rituals.
Cheledangir: his towering fortress has two
masters: the Atlantean wizard Merkhidia and the
JHI ANOOL, THE rakshasa warlock Pondar. hey are relentlessly
STRIPED EMPIRE researching something other sages regard as an im-
possibility: time travel. he duo believes theyre close
Almost 4,000 years ago, the elven legions drove the
to a breakthrough, but they need magic that comes
rakshasas out of hule and into Hellumarand the
from the time period they want to visit. Merkhidia
rakshasas are still seething about it. he remnants
and Pondar are starting to argue; Merkhidia wants to
of the rakshasa empire of Jhi Anool live in scattered
use time travel to undo the sinking of Atlantis, while
settlements and citadels in the glacial valley east of
Pondar wants to reverse the rakshasas fortunes in
the Brackish Mire. heir Striped (pronounced
their war against the elves.
as two syllables by the rakshasa) Empire dreams of
he Crater of Raal: Until one night ten years ago,
reclaiming hule and crushing dissent under their
this was a palatial citadel of the rakshasa astronomer
backward-facing claws.
Koor Biri. hen a falling star obliterated the cita-
he rakshasas have a long way to go, however.
del and everything else for miles around, leaving a
hough individually powerful and possessed of
crater a half-mile across and strange, glowing shards
ancient magic, they dont have the numbers to claim
scattered across the valley. In his last letters to other
hule directly. So they scheme from within their ele-
rakshasa sages, Koor Biri spoke of an experiment to
gant towers, using subterfuge and cats-paws to keep
harness the heavens, and now more than a few of
the continent divided against itself. he rakshasas
hules arcane masters want to know if Biris exper-
plans are sometimes at odds with each other, so the
iment can be repeated . . . and aimed. he answers,
Striped Empire cannot claim progress toward their
of course, lie below the smoke that covers the
goal yet. But the tiger-men are patient, and they look
crater loor.
forward to someday ruling hule againif only
by proxy.
he capital of the Striped Empire is Maj Keili, THE CURSED GRAY
which claims to be welcoming to visitors, and indeed North of the Brackish Mire lies a vast plain of rolling
the few who travel here are extended every courtesy. hills and gray tundra stretching as far as the eye can
But travelers soon learn that hospitality has its price: see. his region is cursed, and its been cursed for so
the rakshasas want agents to act in hule on their long that sages cannot agree on the source of the curse
behalf. At irst, PCs who come here will hear ear- or its nature. In the middle of the Cursed Gray is the
nest entreaties and ofered bargains. If they decline, Lost City of Tentakron, but the almost featureless
though, the rakshasas will resort to coercion or magi- plain contains other strangeness as well.
cal enchantment to get the PCs to do their bidding. he only settlement within the Cursed Gray that
he Striped Empire is not without its dissidents can remotely be considered ordinary is the village of
among the rakshasa, he warlord Cluvatham, for Quen Quiir, home to the Quen tribe of barbarians.
example, believes that the rakshasas cannot re- Born blind, they hunt and gather as best they can,
claim hule on their own, but they can do so if sharpening other senses to compensate for their blind-
they ally themselves with demon hordes as they did ness. hey have no idea that their skins are covered
4,000 years ago. From his lair at Moor-Lahn he with elaborate, tattooed glyphs that change and grow
plots ever-grander pacts with demons from beyond over time.
this world. he Grasping Earth: Some long-ago army was
Another set of dissidents can be found at the mon- caught in the ield when this land was accursed, and
astery of Po Hokuur, where the rakshasa believe that they never escaped. Under this gray plain they lie,
ambitions of empire are folly, and that the rakshasas except for their rotting arms, which grasp at the sky
cannot return to prominence (in Hellumar, hule, or and cling to anything solid they touch. Not truly alive
anywhere) until their souls are puriied. Needless to or even undead, the arms can burst from the earth
say, this doesnt endear them to the rest of the Striped without warning.
Empire. he monks of Po Hokuur take the hostility he Perpetual Cyclone: A powerful tornado follows
as a test of their patience as they continue to meditate a circuitous but repeated path across this part of the
and train within their ivory walls. Cursed Gray. he Quen Quiir believe that anyone who
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can stand upright as the cyclone passes by will gain hang in midair exactly where they were before the rest
control of the cyclone and can set it on a new path. of the city was vaporized.
Pavilion of Kahroo: his stone platform atop a Over the millennia, a few brave explorers have tried
low hill is the home a powerful efreet named Kahroo. to pry loose Tentakrons secrets, only to discover one
he efreet stands atop the pavilion impassively until a of the most chilling secrets of all: those who would
group of at least ive stand before him, at which point otherwise die within the city are instead trapped in
he kills four of them and grants a wish to the ifth. he stasis, where they remain until disturbed by future
pavilion is well known in folklore, and pilgrims oc- intruders. hose who ascend to Tentakrons strange
casionally try to cross the Cursed Gray and take their buildings must contend not only with the citys
chances with the efreet. defenses, but the newly awakened explorers whove
come before them.
LOST CITY OF Domicile Towers: hese huge buildings are like
grand apartments on a scale unlike any found in even
TENTAKRON the most densely populated city-states in hule. Each
If youd like your campaign to take a turn toward has more than a thousand rooms, all connected with
science iction, the Lost City of Tentakron ofers mazelike hallways and spiral staircases that wind and
the chance to explore mysterious machines, magical unwind of their own volition.
constructs, and a hybrid of technology and magic. Hall of Craft Ruins: he walls of this structure
Believed to be made by the Hyperboreans, tall have largely collapsed, but the giant machines are still
humanoids who supposedly live far to the north, intact and still semi-functional, emitting blasts of
Tentakron has been a ruin for millennia. No explorers energy and extruding strange substances at irregular
have returned with treasures from the city, but many intervals.
remain trapped in stasis within. Temple Ruins: he building has been blasted away
Tentakron was once a city atop a plateau in the to the point that its impossible to tell what god or gods
middle of the Cursed Gray, but then some cataclysm were worshipped here, but a detect magic spell reveals
destroyed most of the city, leaving a great crater in its overwhelming divine magic throughout the area. A
wake. A few of the buildings were protected by shields group of rakshasa explorers has been trapped in stasis
of such potency that they survived the blast and now here for centuries.

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Ruined Statue: he statue is gone, but two paw- and illusionist named Scariabus lives here, composing a
like feet remain. he rakshasas believe that the statue musical work called he Final Ecstasy that he hopes will
depicts a feline ancestor race. ind favor with Hastur by driving everyone within a
Orrery: his elaborate mechanism tracks the path of hundred leagues mad.
planets and stars, but anyone with a passing knowledge Viondor: Carved from stone amid the icy coastal
of astronomy can tell that they dont correspond to the mountains, this stronghold contains many Atlantean
planets and stars found in hules skynot even close. relics, but its guarded by the magical automatons built
Library Ruins: he ground is covered with ine by a long-dead Atlantean wizard exiled here.
parchmentas if thousands of books had their pages Dragons Graveyard: Traditional chromatic dragons
ripped out one by one. he pages themselves are still are exceedingly rare in hule, but they were once
legible, however, though written in a script unknown to more common. his stretch of tundra is littered with
any hulean sage. Trapped in stasis here is the Atlan- the intact skeletons of scores of dragons. Sages argue
tean explorer Hekronothes and his well-armed retinue. about what drew them here to die, while necromancers
Barracks: his intact building has weapons and wonder what undead, draconic horrors could be sum-
armor used by the denizens of Tentakron, and its well moned into existence here.
guarded by golemlike constructs that adapt to the Neratat: his coastal village is inhabited by faeries who
enemies they face. are hospitable to travelers and sailors seeking refuge from
Grand Pavilion: his building is immense, but its Boreal Sea storms. hey have one quirk, howeverthey
even bigger on the inside, with vast chambers that seem to use teeth as currency. A tooth is more valuable when ex-
simulate diferent worlds, each with phantasmal weather tracted from a living humanoid, and almost priceless when
and the convincing illusion that one is actually outside. extracted from a humanoid who gives it up willingly.
Hall of Serpentus: he twisting hallways of this Skuth Andar, City of Clocks: his town used to be
building double back on themselves in loops. Gravity much more populous, when it was regarded as one of
is a decidedly local phenomenon, and explorers can the wonders of Nimothan culture. An elaborate system
ind themselves walking on the ceiling of a passageway of water-wheels drew energy from the Kamber River
where they previously trod on the loor. A cabal of to power Skuth Andars workshops and noble manors.
sorcerous serpentmen are trapped in stasis here; they Visitors would delight at the complex clocks and
believe that this hall is proof that Tentakron was the moving statues in the city square. When the glaciers
mythical irst nest of their people. advanced southward, the rivers low slowedthen
stopped when it froze solid. he remaining residents
NIMOTH have tried all sorts of mechanical and magical schemes
to get the river lowing again, but to no avail so far.
he island of Nimoth is almost entirely covered with he Frozen Fall: his hundred-foot-tall frozen
glaciers, with just a small band of tundra and a habit- waterfall is notable for its transcendant beauty in the
able coastline remaining. he glaciers descended from sunlightand for the three storm giants obviously
the north about 200 years ago, enguling the Nimo- trapped within it. Nimothan folklore contends that
than civilization and forcing it to migrate to northern the trio of giants will emerge from the waterfall only to
hule. he glacier movement across Nimoth was pledge fealty to an authentic Nimothan monarch.
unnaturally rapid, but magical investigations havent Iribesk: his coastal community was famously
uncovered a malign intellect like that of Kang the Pale home of the Nimothan skald known as Gorrek the
to the south. Whether the Nimothan glacier isnt sen- hroat. Gorrek predicted the coming of the glaciers
tient, isnt sentient yet, or is able to hide its true nature for years and was ignored by his people, but then they
so far is unknown. turned on him, blaming Gorrek for the glaciation. His
Beneath the glacier lies the former kingdom of spirit still haunts this quiet village, though the resi-
Nimoth, ground to dust by the glaciers weight. But dents speak of him only reluctantly. Gorrek possesses
some lout the conventional wisdom about Nimoths much wisdom about Nimoth of long ago, but he wants
demise and believe that parts of Nimoths capital, revenge in exchange for his counsel.
Beothoe, remain intact under the ice. A crew of Haut Horik: A group of druids tends the clifs near
Nimothan refugees and hired dwarves, the Beothoe this forbidding shore. hey hope to someday construct a
Project, believes that magic preserved at least part of new Guardian Menhir here to replace the ancient one now
the city, and theyre trying to bore through the ice buried under the glacier, but some of the secrets of menhir
with a massive drill to reach Beothoe. he efort to cut construction have been lost over the millennia, so the
through the ice progresses in its and starts because druids are experimenting with rituals to inish the menhir.
the crew has to contend with the ice refreezing, Shrine of the Twice-Paid: his sea-cave, sacred to
monster attacks from Nimoths interior, and barbarian Tiamat, promises the Mother of Dragons blessing to
raids from the sea. anyone seeking revenge. To obtain the blessing, however,
he Sonorous Caves: his elaborate network of ice the supplicant must defeat a monster chained inside the
caves has magically resonant acoustics capable of am- cave, then replace the slain monster with a new monster
plifying ritual magic performed here. A powerful bard (magically bound or transported here in chains).
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HIGHLANDS OF NAR Cairn of Kal Keor: After Kal Keor the Terribles
death in 2035 AR, his courtiers brought him back here
More than any other part of hule, the Highlands of so he could rest in Nar for eternity, as he requested.
Nar represent a break with the dominance of jungles For the last 200 years, the Kal Keori tribe has set an
and glaciers. While the region has forests (the Gloam- honor guard around this massive pile of stones; it
wood) and mountains (the Shields of Sunset), most seems every two-copper necromancer in hule has
of Nar is broad, rolling plainsthe continents only designs on Kal Keors bones.
wide-open land. he Bonires of Reth: Magical creations of the
he region is known as a birthplace of conquerors, now-extinct Reth tribe, these bonires serve as nav-
most notably Kal Keor the Terrible, who united the igation aids so the clans of Nar can travel by night.
clans of Nar into the Jandar Horde, then marched west, hey also serve as impromptu meeting places and
sacking multiple city-states and founding a short-lived good encampments for nomadic tribes. By custom, the
empire before being assassinated by sorcery in 2035 bonires are a place of peace to the tribes of Narbut
AR. Many of the clans of Nar claim Kal Keor as an some clans will break that custom given a good reason
ancestor, most notably the Kal Keori (described below). to do so.
Along the northern and southern coasts of Nar are Melenoss Plateau: Atop this broad plateau once
two unusual city-states: Katagia, Last Bastion of Atlan- stood Castle Melenos, the creation of an Atlantean
tis, and Orech, City of Mazes. Each city has a particu- noble who tried to settle there. Beset by monster attacks
lar obsession. Katagia will stop at nothing to return to and barbarian raids, Melenos returned to Atlantis in
the glory days when Atlantis was a center of learning shame, and his castle fell into ruin. Among many of
and culture. Orech, fallen deeply under control of Nars tribes, it is a rite of passage to send youths up the
Hastur, is a city that literally drives its denizens mad in plateau to survive a night in the ruins, bringing back a
service to the King in Yellow. gray granite stone as proof they did so.
At the center of the Highlands of Nar are the Jandar Shrine of the Widest Sky: his small temple to
plains, named for the broad, glittering River Jandar that Mithra is a pilgrimage destination; the clerics here use
lows from the foothills of the western mountains along weather magic to ensure that clouds never block the
the length of Nar, emptying into Lake Haal near the sun overhead. Warriors dedicated to Mithra often pray
city-state of hran. For most of its journey, the Jandar at the shrine before heading out into the surrounding
acts as both the metaphoric spine and circulatory system grassland, where herds of wild horses roam. From time
for the region. Every tribesman hunting game knows in to time, horses of exceptional quality seem to seek out
which direction the river lies almost instinctively, and pious and true champions of Mithra, and serve them
vast herds of mammoths and bison spend their entire loyally thereafter.
lives within a day or two of the Jandar.
he rivers low varies greatly by season, rising when
spring snowmelt makes the river lood, then tapering THE NARTHANS
of throughout the summer and slowing to a trickle by he mammoth hunters of the Narthan tribe are
winter. he variable low makes the river less useful for among hules bravest, attacking creatures a hundred
both travel and irrigation. Kal Keor himself hired sages times their weight with only spears and axes. Con-
to study how waterworks could tame the Jandar River, summate hunter-gatherers, the Narthans use mam-
but he died and his empire fell apart before those plans moth hides, mammoth fur, mammoth bones, and
could come to fruition. mammoth tusks in their tools, art, and structures.
At any one given time, dozens of wandering And the mammoths are not just prey to be hunted;
barbarian tribes follow the great herds, making war some Narthans tame the mammoths to use as dray
against each other and sometimes roaming as far as animals or war-mounts.
Dhar Mesh or the Claws of Imystrahl. he two most he Narthan tribe has trod the plains of Nar for cen-
powerful are the Narthans and the Kal Keori, though turies; the eldest among them claim that the name of
a third tribe, the Mudrak, has emerged from the the region is taken from the name of their tribe. While
Gloamwood and ravaged the northeastern reaches of few Narthans can claim Kal Keor in their lineage, Kal
the Jandar Plains. Keors second wife was a Narthan, and present-day
Narhame: he home settlement of the Narthan Narthans regard the long-ago conquests of the Jandar
tribe, Narhame swells to the size of a large town when Horde with some pride.
the mammoth migrations are nearby, but its only a Most Narthans are content to spend their lives criss-
village once the mammoths move on. he Narthan crossing the Highlands of Nar, following the herds of
are hunter-gatherers at heart, but they use metal tools mammoths wherever they go. Its a large tribe, though,
and weapons, and its impractical to bring a black- and some clans among the Narthan arent above raid-
smiths forge from camp to camp. he tribes artisans ing civilized settlements, making war on other tribes,
and crafters remain in Narhame when most of the and even exploring the jungles of Dhar Mesh.
tribe moves on.

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The Narthans (Large Tribe, pop. 4,500)
The Mammoth Hunters, Tribe of the Tusk, Yairas Brood Nar is almost the only place in Thule where horses or common (or,
The Narthan tribe is the archetypical tribe for the indeed, useful). If youre looking for vistas that stretch miles to the
region, distinguished mostly by their numbers and horizon, conquering hordes, cultured Atlanteans, or an insane asylum
their heritage in the region. the size of a city, then Nar is the place for you.
Authority: Chief Rohei is the direct descendant of
Yaira, Kal Keors second wife and one of his clos-
est advisors. Hes been the chief for less than THE KAL KEORI
a year and is still trying to consolidate support he Kal Keori are a dark mirror of the Narthan tribe
among the various clan heads (many of whom
more warlike, more bloodthirsty, and more vulnerable
are his aunts and uncles, which makes that effort
require some delicacy on Roheis part).
to internal dissent. hey hunt and gather across the
NPCs: The Narthan tribe is almost entirely human, Jandar Plains and the Highlands of Nar just as the
but there a few families of half-elves, descen- Narthans do, but theyre more apt to raid civilized
dants of a wandering clan that allied with the settlements on the fringes of Nar or make war on the
Narthans centuries ago. other highland tribes.
Dendor is a clan leader among the Narthans, he tribe believes that they are the only true de-
known as The Frowning One even to his own scendants of Kal Keor the Terrible and the only ones
family. Moreso than most, he worries about capable of uniting the tribes under the banner of an-
the threats that other tribes and outside inlu- other Jandar Horde. he other tribes are unwilling to
ences pose to the Narthan way of life. Con- follow the Kal Keori very far, however, which just adds
versely, hes a loyal ally and friend to anyone
to the resentment on all sides.
who has the interests of the Narthans at heart.
Zahiri is the best Narthan blacksmith, and in his
he Kal Keori spend their days hunting and raiding,
old age hes become obsessed with the dwar- but at night, they sit before their campires and dream
ven secret of making steel. Hell pay a steep of sacking the city-state of hran on the edge of Dhar
price for examples of dwarven metallurgy, Mesh. Rightly or wrongly, they blame the Black Circle
and he daydreams about somehow convinc- for Kal Keors assassination, and the Kal Keori have
ing a dwarf to share those secrets with him. elaborate dreams of revenge should they ever get their
Joskala was once one of the Narthans greatest hands on a black-robed wizard. So far they lack the
mammoth hunters, but shes decided that power to withstand hrans arcane magic. But with
the great beasts no longer pose a suficient enough allies, their long wait for vengeance might
challenge. She sneaks away from the other inally end.
Narthans whenever she can to hunt more
dangerous game, including monsters and
well-armed travelers. PCs who attract Joskalas
The Kal Keori (Large Tribe, pop. 3,800)
Keepers of the Pillaging Flame, the Pallbearers, Spear-
attention may ind themselves ighting a guer-
point of the Horde
rilla war against an elusive huntress as they
cross the Jandar Plains. Direct descendents of Kal Keor the Terrible,
Trade: The Narthans are largely self-suficient, but the Kal Keori hope to gather the tribes into a new
they trade extra mammoth tusks to the civilized Jandar Horde and sack the city-states to the east.
world in exchange for inished jewelry and iron Authority: The Great Kal leads the tribe, taking
tools and armor. the hereditary title and spurning any former
Concerns: The Narthans biggest concern is more names. The current Great Kal is an immense,
frequent incursions from the Kal Keoriand bearded man in his late 40s who is beginning
more insulting behavior from them when the to despair that the Jandar Horde will never be
two tribes gather at the same bonires. At this re-formed in his lifetime. Hes willing to con-
point, it wont take much for the hostility to sider increasingly risky schemes if theyll ensure
erupt into all-out war. that his lifes dream doesnt slip away.
Recently Joskala and some other scouts have NPCs: The Kal Keori are entirely human, and
seen giants watching the mammoth herds from they look down on any nonhumans, who by
atop nearby hills. Where did the giants come deinition dont have the blood of Kal Keor the
from? And are they guarding the mammoths, or Terrible running through their veins.
hunting them as well? Kal Sirin is the tribes most inluential shaman
Secrets: While Tarhun is the de facto patron deity of and a trusted conidante (and lover) of the
the Narthans, Chief Rohei and some of the other Great Kal. Sirin is greedy when it comes to
leaders have begun making sacriices to Nergal in eldritch knowledge and will make any bargain
secret, bid to do so by a pride of black lions that that gives the Kal Keori a magical edge.
appeared in the savannah as they were hunting Motroh is one of the honor guard at the Cairn of
one afternoon. Rohei was deeply shaken by the Kal Keor, though he often wanders aield to
black lions, whom he regards as a bad omen, and hunt or to keep an eye on nearby travelers. The
he prays to Nergal in hopes that the God of the youngest of the honor guard, he often gets per-
Underworld will leave the Narthans in peace. mission to act as a guide for travelers; Motro
and his chieftain split the pay for this service.
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Kal Inna leads one of Kal Keoris more warlike
clans, using illusion magic to hide from the
rest of the tribe the fact that shes a succubus.
For the last two years, Inna has been using
a combination of seduction and blackmail
to get chieftains of other tribes to fall in line
with the Kal Keori. So far shes accomplished
more than the Great Kal has using more direct
means. Some other clan leaders wonder
why Kal Inna spurns amorous advances from
within the tribe.
Trade: The Kal Keori bring animal hides, tusks, and
looted goods to Katagia and occasionally Orech
in exchange for the products of civilization. The
Keori chieftains warn their envoys ahead of time
to resist the charms of urban life, but sometimes
those envoys never come back.
Concerns: The Great Kal is making headway with
the other tribes suddenlysuccess he attributes
to his personal charisma, not Innas seduction
and blackmail. The day will come when his
personal magnetism fails him and he cant
understand why.
Secrets: Innas true nature is the biggest secret,
but Kal Sirin has a secret of her own. Sirin has
been exchanging ritual reagents and magic
items with agents of the Black Circle, the tribes
sworn enemies. Sirin is conident that the
Black Circle is being played for fools in these
exchanges, but the Black Circle is equally coni-
dent that Sirin is the one being duped.

SHIELDS OF SUNSET
So named because much of hule sees the sun set
behind these jagged peaks, the Shields of Sunset keep
the weather somewhat pleasant across the Highlands
of Nar. he mountains collect much of the snow and
rain that then feeds into the Jandar River, reducing
precipitation for a hundred leagues to the east.
Early Atlantean settlers tried in vain to ind a pass
through the Shields of Sunset that was gentle enough
to accommodate a wagon train; eventually they gave
up and sailed farther down the coast to Katagia and
later Orech. Even today the mountains serve as an
efective barrier for all but the most adept climbers. Its
possible to live a lifetime on the west side of the Shields
and never see the east, or vice versa; most born in the
town of Ragadusa never see the ocean thats only 30
miles away.
Settlements are rare in the region; bad weather on
the shore and heavy precipitation in the mountains
keeps all but the hardiest folk away. But underground
its a diferent story; the Shields of Sunset are rid-
dled with natural caverns and carefully constructed
dungeons. No one cares about the storms when theyre
protected by hundreds of feet of stone.
Catacombs of Aniretak: Once a temple com-
plex with a golden pyramid stood here, but now
only rubble (and lingering divine magic) remains.
Constructed by Atlanteans who had fallen under
the thrall of the Great Old One Nyarlathotep, the
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catacombs are still intact and contain the inal resting from Katagias navy as he evades their tax collectors
place of hundreds of Atlanteans, including wealthy and cargo inspectors. Larren also does a brisk side busi-
scions of the empire buried with their wealth. Cultists nesses helping fugitives travel along hules southern
of the Crawling Chaos have been moving the rubble, coastno questions asked.
and theyve almost broken through to the catacombs
themselves. he excavation crews can hear something
digging its way upward to them as well, which ills
KATAGIA, LAST
the cultists with glee. BASTION OF ATLANTIS
Urashima: his city of the sea-elves exists entirely Its been three centuries since Atlantis sunk beneath
underwater and ignores the afairs of hule as much as the waves, and Katagia is still coming to terms with
possible. It does have a functioning World Gate, how- that disaster and what it means to Atlanteans when
ever, so huleans could ind themselves in Urashima Atlantis is no more. Once the capital of Atlantiss
by passing through the gate underneath Imystrahl or colonies in hule, Katagia is determined to reclaim the
using one of the other World Gates found in elven glories of the Shining Empire. he diiculty is that few
ruins across hule. he Atlanteans in particular would Katagians can agree on how to accomplish that.
be fascinated with the elves of Urashima and would Some Katagians are determinedsome say too de-
pay any price for Urashimas help in visiting now-sub- terminedto live life as if Atlantis still ruled. Others
merged Atlantis. lash out at anything non-Atlantean, blaming the rest
Source of the Wind: his shrine to the Great Old of the world for the loss of their home. And some are
One known as Ithaqua the Wind-Walker sits atop the trying to take the best of hule under the Katagian
Shields highest peak. Every thirty days, a robed igure banner, combining the strengths of their new conti-
with white fur appears at the shrine and begins walking nent with the traditions and learning of the old.
eastward, eventually disappearing into the mountains
eastern foothills. Sometimes the robed igure speaks a FROM COLONY TO CAPITAL
cryptic prophecy to any thralls of Ithaqua assembled
he Atlanteans landed on the southern shores of hule
at the shrine, but once the igure starts downhill, it
in 307 AR, only three centuries after Emperor Evenor
ignores anything that doesnt block its path.
founded the empire. Despite the forbidding terrain
and the even more forbidding natives, the Atlantean
HRUNIAK COAST colonists made steady progress, founding Katagia in
he southern coast of hule, extending as far as the Claws 495 AR and eventually reaching the Golden Sea in
of Imystrahl, was the irst landing point for Atlantean col- 1673 AR. But a costly war with Lemuria distracted
onists. Earlier explorers landed in the westward stretch of Atlantis, and hules natives started to chip away at
the coast, while later explorers headed east to ind better the colonies borders.
harbors. he Hruniak Coast has few deep-water harbors he Atlantean colonies on hule fell into chaos in
before Katagia or the Windlash Reach beyond Imystrahl. 1906 AR when Atlantis sank beneath the waves, with
But in good weather, or for a desperate captain, many of most native Atlanteans leeing for the relatively safety
the small bays here will do in a pinch. of Katagia. Native huleans reclaimed most of the
Tevakhin: After an apprentice wizards mishap, this Atlantean conquests, but the banners of Atlantis still
ishing town fell under an unusual curse. he buildings lew above Katagiaand they still ly there today, even
themselves are animate and occasionally consume resi- if the rest of the continent is only dimly aware that
dents or visitors, their doors turning into mouths with Atlantis once existed.
eldritch teeth. Lifting the curse requires performing a
reversal of a botched animation ritualthe formula for CITY DESCRIPTION
which lies within the towns great hall. Would-be sav- Katagias dominant feature are its wallsnot just the
iors of the town will have to be intentionally chewed up stone battlements that surround the city, but the many
and swallowed by the building to get at the ritual scroll. internal walls that separate neighborhood from neigh-
Palla Jark: his ruined fortress, built by the Atlan- borhood. he product of overzealous military planners
teans, was destroyed by beastmen more than a thou- when the Atlantean colony on hule was expanding
sand years agoshortly after the Atlanteans sacked the rapidly, the walls sometimes bisect a city block and in a
elven city of Imystrahl. he beastmen never discovered few memorable instances run right through the middle
the underground vaults containing treasures looted of a building. he walls, built and rebuilt in a variety
from Imystrahl and bound for Atlantis. he ghosts of of architectural styles, give the city an insular feel and
the Atlanteans still want to keep their treasure safe for contribute to one of the citys nicknames: the Honey-
the Shining Empire, and theyll attack anyone who comb. A visitor to Katagia experiences the city only
tries to breach the vaults. a few blocks at a time, making the city seem much
Larrans Cove: his well-hidden sea-cave is big smaller than it actually is.
enough to hold several galleys, yet almost invisible he Bronze Locks: Named for the once-shiny
from ofshore. he smuggler Larran uses it as a refuge ittings now turned green with age, the Bronze Dam
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Atlas of Thule
was originally built to regulate the Tambur Rivers low territorial ambitions, and the New Katagians, a
into Devilsun Bay but quickly became a means for coalition of familiesmany human, not Atlan-
Katagia to extract tolls from merchant traic heading teanwho want Katagia to become a stable
up and down the river. Today the Bronze Locks are a Thulean city-state without all the trappings of
Atlantis.
prize for whichever faction is ascendant in Katagian
NPCs: About two-thirds of Katagias population
politics; the tolls from river traic fund all sorts of
is Atlantean, with the remaining third divided in
factional ambitions. half between humans and everyone else.
he Tidal Wards: he three southernmost wards in Krufa Saursane is one of Denochs trusted
Katagia have sunk beneath sea level, so residents get from nephews and a committed Atlantean suprem-
place to place via canals rather than streets. Most base- acist, although he holds no particular animus
ments are looded, and the loathsome ish-men known as toward individuals of other races. Hes always
skum have started moving in, creating their own secret plotting against the other factions and rival
settlement underneath the looded parts of Katagia. city-states, and he fancies himself a spymas-
Blackfalcon Tower: Home of the Saursane family, ter, hiring cats-paws like the PCs for all sorts
one of the political factions grasping for power in of missions.
Beritt the Withered is one of the Sea-Barons,
Katagia, the tower is the tallest and most imposing in
accomplished in weather magic. Too old for
the city. Made entirely of black granite shipped from
long sea voyages, she manages her trading
Atlantis at ruinous cost, the tower has upper reaches companys affairs from Katagia. If something
forbidden to all but family members and a dungeon happens in a far-off part of Thule, Beritt is
below where the Saursanes dispose of their enemies. often the irst Katagian to hear of it.
he Winged Tower: Asuras greatest temple on Vrokath is a noble scion of Katagia and one
hule, the Winged Tower is so named for the trained of the more radical irebrands among the
wyverns that roost among its balconies and buttresses. Diluvials. He wants Atlantis to return to its
he great brazier atop the towerlit at all times, no rightful place in the worldno matter that
matter the weatheris visible throughout the city and the continent rests on the ocean loor. Hes
even to ships at sea. If the lame were to be extin- begun to make inquiries about a powerful
ritual connected to Great Cthulhu that could
guished, the bad omen would ripple throughout Asuras
raise Atlantis above the waves, sinking Thule
faith across the continent.
in its place.
he Grand Orrery: Located in a walled-of section Trade: Katagias artisans are some of the inest on
of central Katagia, this artifact was built ive centuries the continent, especially when it comes to art,
ago to show how moons and constellations cross the sky. sculpture, and other luxury goods. The sculp-
Its in constant motion, though it no longer corresponds tors, jewelers, painters, and clothiers of Katagia
to the actual sky and no one seems to know how to keep Atlantean styles and techniques alive, and
recalibrate it, or what would happen if the orrery worked the rest of Thule pays dearly for such crafts-
properly once again. As a matter of civic pride, most manship. Katagia imports some food and raw
Katagians would very much like to get the orrery work- materials from upriver, and the various factions
ing again, and they still use its gleaming copper arms are always seeking conscripts for their private
armies.
and spheres as a meeting place and chaotic bazaar.
Concerns: Recently the priests of Tarhun have
been struggling with traditional ight trainers for
Katagia (Small City, pop. 22,500) control of the gladiatorial pit ights of Kata-
Last Bastion of Atlantis, the Twitching Limb, the gia; the priests have always blessed the duels
Honeycomb and healed the gladiators, but now they want a
The only city to still consider itself Atlantean greater say in how the ights are runand per-
after Atlantis sank beneath the waves, Katagia is haps a share of the proits.
torn between those who want to restore Atlantiss The New Katagians are reaching out to the
glory and those who want to build a new civiliza- human towns of Putrann, Garrit, and Hakrim
tion here on Thule. to the east, inquiring about the possibility of a
Authority: Lord Protector Denoch Saursane heads mutual defense pact.
the political faction that is (temporarily at least) Secrets: Beritt the Withered isnt well-informed
ascendant in Katagia; the Saursanes represent just because she gets reports from her sea-cap-
a conservative faction that wants to protect tains; shes also in possession of artifacts called
Atlanteans and preserve Atlantean culture at the Ebon Scrolls that multiply the potency of her
any cost. Denochs efforts are often thwarted divination magic. Krufa Saursane knows Beritt
by the Diluvials, a collection of activist families has the Ebon Scrolls, and hes scheming to take
that want to declare a formal Atlantean mon- them from her.
arch, found a new dynasty, and raise an army Unbeknown to any of the four factions, the
to conquer the Claws of Imystrahl and even- skum underneath the Tidal Wards are in contact
tually Thule. Also inluential are the Sea-Bar- with Great Cthulhu, and they plan to eventually
ons, a cabal of merchant princes who want to seize the city, repair the Grand Orrery, and use
rebuild a powerful Atlantean leet but dont hold it to foretell Cthulhus return.
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DOLDRIC COAST tower lies so deep within the forestand the beast-
men attacks are so frequentthat the family has had
he northwestern coast of hule is diicult to
almost no contact with the outside world. Incred-
navigatethe winds tend to be light and capricious,
ibly, they dont realize that Atlantis sank beneath
deserting the sails without warning. Many trade
the waves, and theyll react with anger and disbelief
routes tack deeper into the Sea of Mists, where the
if someone suggests it. Decades of inbreeding has
weather might be worse, but at least its more con-
inlicted eccentricities and outright madness on the
sistent. he strip of coastal jungle is among hules
Caritains, and theyre paranoid about the continued
least-traveled places. Infested with beastmen, debased
survival of their bloodline.
serpentmen, and other dangers, the Doldric Coast
Lyrisaan: his treehouse village of the wood elves
is land that neither city-states nor ancient empires
is home to the only force capable of standing up to
seemed to want.
the Mudrak tribesmenand even the Lyrisaan elves
he Doldric Coasts biggest landmarkother
engage in hit-and-run tactics, not straightforward
than the city-state of Orech described belowis
battle. Accomplished climbers, the Lyrisaan can
the Gloamwood, the largest woodland west of Dhar
travel for miles through the Gloamwood without
Mesh. his deciduous forest is teeming with beast-
touching the ground, leaping and clambering from
men and other monsters, and even the highland
tree to tree.
tribes avoid it if possible. An unnatural pall covers the
Nathor: his ishing village is deserted, but corpses
forest by day, making it diicult to for humans to see
are strewn thoughout the streets, each drained of
without torches or other illumination. But by night,
blood. Some victims barricaded themselves inside
irelies the size of songbirds emerge, and its lighter
their huts, but it apparently did them no good. A
among the boughs of the Gloamwood than it would
band of adventurers that stumbles across this terrible
be during the day. At the center of the Gloamwood is
scene might assume vampires are responsible, but the
the Valley of Jaws, named for the stone outcroppings
true culprit is a massive lock of stirges that arise out
on the surrounding ridges. his valley is the ancestral
of the surrounding jungle each day at dusk.
home to the Mudrak tribe (see below), although the
Maunucha: Once a castle on the coastline, now
tribe is out raiding and absent half the time.
only rubble remains. If seen from the air or the top
Meredi Tower: his humble keep has stood amid
of the rising foothills to the southeast, its apparent
the trees of the Gloamwood for 400 years, built
that a giant footsome hundred feet acrossstepped
bythe Caritains, a family of noble Atlanteans. he
on the castle. Looking to the south reveals a second
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Atlas of Thule
footprint in the jungle almost a quarter-mile away, or have parentage so indeterminate that they
and there may be others deeper in the jungle. themselves have no idea what race they are.
Birieyka: his primary authority in this town is Nyu Narr is a shaman who inculcates the rest of
Gurisel, a cleric of Ishtar who is trying to civilize the tribe into the ways of Herum and the one
that performs the Unnaming Ritual for new
the beastmen in the jungle south of town. Shes
tribe members.
convinced some to wear fancy human clothes, pray at
Tucodede is a warband leader who tries to
the shrine, and otherwise behave properly, but the befriend visitors and new tribe members. He
beastmen are getting restive. he other townspeople is enthusiastic, even pushy, about the Mudrak
are increasingly nervous despite Gurisels promises breeding with each other for the good of the
that theyre completely safe. tribe.
Alhaingalar: his ruin, described in more detail in Ganda is a shaman who professes afiliation with
Chapter 4, has sorcerous lowers lourishing on vines Herum but is actually a thrall of Shub-Niggu-
that cover every ediice in the city, plus monsters rath, the Black Goat with a Thousand Young.
from the surrounding jungle that devour any who try Shes distrustful of outsiders; Shub-Niggurath
to plunder the citys ancient secrets. has warned her in dreams that they could spell
the downfall of the Mudrak.
Trade: The Mudrak are entirely self-suficient,
THE MUDRAK which is goodno one would willingly trade
he ultimate tribe of outcasts, the Mudrak throw with them anyway.
themselves headlong into battle, equally fearless and Concerns: The Mudrak have made many enemies
among the tribes of the Highlands of Nar, and its
suicidal. hey live in the Gloamwood but frequently
only a matter of time before one or more come
travel throughout the northeastern parts of the Nar into the Gloamwood looking for payback.
Highlands, hunting and making war on anything Secrets: Aside from Gandas true afiliation, the
they come across. biggest secret the Mudraks possess is the
he Mudrak represent something that almost never Ritual of Unnaming. Many other power groups
occurs in hule: interbreeding between humans and in Thule, from the Forked Tongue crimelords in
beastmen. heir mixed blood means theyll never be Ikath to the slave-freeing priests of Asura, would
accepted in most human societies, while beastmen love to give people the magical equivalent of a
smell the stink of man on them and attack without clean slate.
other provocation. he only friends the Mudraks have
are each other; they believe Herum put them on this
world to oppose all other thinking peoples.
ORECH, CITY
he Mudrak accept members of all races and even OF MAZES
have some intelligent monsters at their campires, but Orech is at once the safest city in hulestreet crime
accept doesnt mean welcome. Anyone captured is relatively rareand its most dangerous. Anyone
by the Mudrak is stripped and tortured. hose who who remains within the city walls for more than a
show some resilience and dignity during the torture few weeks puts sanity at risk. he residents of Orech
are asked, Join or die? hose who join the Mudrak are all insane in one way or another, every last one of
are subjected to a ritual that magically erases their them. For some, the insanity manifests as harmless
old, civilized identityto the point where divination eccentricities or minor compulsions; for example,
magic and scrying can no longer detect them. hen many Orechians are obsessed with geometric pat-
they receive a new Mudrak name and are expected to terns, and lose themselves for hours in contemplating
ight and pillage with the rest of the tribe. meaningless designs without even realizing it. Other
citizens have only a casual relationship with reality;
The Mudrak (Large Tribe, pop. 2,700) the homicidal, the schizophrenic, and the maniacal
Mongrels, the Nameless, the Blood-Mad walk the streets of Orech on a daily basis. Only the
The Mudrak Tribe, a mix of humans, beastmen, Yellow Priests seem immune to the citys unusual
and cross-breeds, lives in the Gloamwood but is curse, and they exert a strangely calming inluence on
known for its savage raids throughout the High- their fellow citizens. In their presence, no one seems
lands of Nar. to care about bizarre behaviors.
Authority: Ondotahl claims authority over the Perhaps the strangest element of Orechs curse is
Mudrak by right of being the Chosen of Herum, that those who have succumbed to the citys insanity
a title he earned by outwrestling a girallon deep
are incapable of noticing the oddities that are obvious
within the Gloamwood. He cares about one
to the visitor. City guards might dress as clowns or el-
thing: where the Mudrak will ight next.
NPCs: About a quarter of the Mudraks are mostly derly people may hurl themselves from high windows,
human, about a quarter are mostly beastmen, but the Orechians react as if such occurrences are
and the remaining half are other races, monsters, ordinary. hen again, in Orech they are.

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Atlas of Thule
DESCENT INTO MADNESS Hall of Arts: his combination library, museum,
An Atlantean colony founded in 616 AR, Orech and theater housed many treasures of Atlantean cul-
represented a second path to the riches of huleone ture, but the chaos of 1744 AR and the experiments
explorers hoped could be easier than the journeys of the Yellow Priests since have left the collections
overland from Katagia and points south. he City of disorganized and incomplete. he people of Orech put
New Splendors rose in prominence as Atlantiss for- on dramas here almost every day; residents enjoy them
tunes on hule increased, but at the height of Orechs greatly but visitors ind them confusing and often
splendor, disaster struck. A plague of madness in 1744 disturbing.
AR struck the citys citizens without warning, and
angry mobs turned on each other and the city they Orech (Small City, pop. 14,100)
City of Mazes, Where Madmen Dwell, City of New
once loved.
Splendors (little-used anymore)
he Yellow Priests of Hastur were there to restore
a semblance of calm to the city, a calm the people of The city of Orech, controlled by the Yellow
Priests of Hastur, literally drives mad anyone who
Orech welcomed. Assuming control over the city, the
stays there for more than a few weeks.
priests restored commerce and public safety. Most Ore- Authority: The nameless Yellow Priests rule this
chians were too grateful to think overmuch about what city, and no one has the cognition or motivation
started the plague in the irst place or why the Yellow to challenge their rule.
Priests were so ready to cure it. After a few weeks of NPCs: The city is a roughly even mix of human
normality, even the curious and suspicious stopped and Atlantean, with most of the humans arriving
caring about the plague of madness and got back to at the invitation of the Yellow Priests in the last
working and living . . . but with a new outlook. few centuries.
he plague of madness never left Orech. It seeped Kiri Yeng is a merchant ship-captain who regu-
into the citys stones and now drives everyone who re- larly visits Orech, trading food and building
mains there mad. he Yellow Priests simply devised an materials for treasures looted from the Hall
of Arts. She knows the layout of the building
outlet for the madness, crafting an elaborate spell that
well, but shes nervous about staying in the
infected many people with an obsession for patterns city more than a few days.
and mazes; with one mild form of madness they save a Boroyawp is a bard who wanders the city, impro-
good portion of the citizenry from far more destructive vising songs on the spot about the people he
illnesses. Of course, the result is a city whose architec- encounters. Some of his songs suggest that
ture is a map of obsession. though mad, he possesses oracular wisdom.
Trade: Under the watchful eye of the Yellow
CITY DESCRIPTION Priests, surveyors from Orech exchange the
citys treasures (Atlantean antiquities and in-
Orech is known as the City of Mazes for good reason. ished goods from the citys workshops) for food
For centuries, many of its citizens have been obsessed and building materials (to complete the temple
with building structures and laying out streets that and feed the general populations mania for
match the endlessly repeating images trapped in their maze-making).
minds. Homes, palaces, workshops, markets, all of Concerns: When the Yellow Priests took over, the
them have been subdivided into warrens of geometri- onset of madness was three weeks long. But
cally perfect (and often impractical) layouts. It is rare as the priests make progress on the temple,
to ind a passageway or street that runs more than madness comes quicker to those in Orech.
thirty or forty feet in a straight line before turning The conventional wisdom among merchants is
at a precise right angle. Whole city blocks are en- dont stay in Orech for more than a week. But
the day is coming when that will no longer be
closed within ever-narrowing mazes. Visitors ind the
good advice.
place almost impossible to navigate, and even native Secrets: The progress on the Temple of Hastur
Orechians have a diicult time outside of their home depends on events elsewhere in Thulein many
neighborhoods. ways the temple structure is a blueprint repre-
Temple of Hastur: Under construction in the city senting Hasturs machinations across the con-
center, this labyrinthine building has had laborers tinent. The more Hasturs efforts are disrupted,
scurrying over it for decades. No one knows when itll the more Orechs temple will need rebuilding.
be inished, nor why the workers seem to tear down
structures as often as they put them up.
Grand Harbor: Built by the Atlanteans, the citys
harbor has a high seawall and a throng of piers for ship
traic of all kinds. Orech doesnt have a navy to speak
of, but pirates have heard the folktales about the city
and give it a wide berth.

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Atlas of Thule
KALAYAN Ammur Barbarians (Small Tribe, pop. 6,700)
The Hill-People, the Stone-Carvers, the Eagle People
THE GOLDEN The Ammurans are a clannish barbarian tribe
he heart of hule is Kalayan the Golden, an inland that lives in well-defended hilltop holds among
the eastern foothills of the Starcrown Mountains.
sea that ills the central basin of the continent. he
Authority: Each hold or village has its own head-
Kalayan Sea and the lands surrounding it are home
man. There is no central authority in Ammurath.
to great cities, deep jungles, steaming volcanoes, NPCs: Ammurans are humans of Dhari descent.
windswept tundra, and ierce barbarian tribes. In this They are suspicious of strangers in their lands,
great crossroads many of the cultures of hule meet but can be irm friends and generous hosts to
sometimes in peaceful trade, and sometimes in those who win their respect.
bloody warfare. Over the centuries, each of the races Belanthe the Beautiful is sometimes called the
of hule has settled the shores of the Kalayan Sea or Princess of Ammurath. She is the daughter
voyaged over its wide expanse. Scores of villages, out- of a powerful and inluential clan-chief named
posts, towns, strongholds, and cities have taken root Argul Longrunner. She will bring her fathers
and lourished for a time in these warm and fertile clan and its many allies into any marriage, so
most Ammuran chiefs and hetmans are trying
lands. Many of these settlements are forgotten ruins
to present their own sons or brothers as suitors.
now, but others still thrive.
Belanthe, however, has no interest in marriage.
here is a good deal of debate among sages about Hetman Rarno Redspear is an old, traditional vil-
which of hules realms and cities are Inner Sea lands, lage leader who has his warriors kill or chase
and which belong to the neighboring regions of the off all non-Ammurans wandering into his ter-
continent. he best deinition includes the southern ritory. He wants nothing to do with civilized
coast of the Kalayan Sea from Ikath eastward to the folk or their wicked ways.
lands claimed by the Riders of Hurgan. Everything Warthar Snowcloak is an old, widely respected
between the Starcrown Mountains and the Kalayan druid who is at least ninety years old but still hale
Sea is included in this broad expanse, along with the and vigorous. He is one of the Guardians of the
Quosa Vale and the southern slopes of the Zinandar Twelve Stones, and watches over a stone circle
that stands on a high hilltop deep in Ammurath.
Mountains. hese are the richest and most populous
Trade: The Ammurans are mostly herdsmen and
lands of hule, although vast reaches still consist of
subsistence farmers, keeping locks of sheep
unexplored mountains and jungles. and goats and raising corn and potatoes. They
trade wool, meat, and cheese to the nearby
AMMURATH civilized people in exchange for textiles, beads,
earthenware, and jewelry.
he homeland of the Ammur barbarians, Ammurath Concerns: Settlers from Lomar and Quodeth
lies in the eastern foothills of the Starcrown Moun- are encroaching on the frontiers of Ammu-
tains. he Ammurans are a proud, warlike Dhari rath. Some clans are becoming very friendly
tribe who live in well-fortiied hill-villages, using with the newcomers and adopting more of the
simple but efective ieldstone walls to guard their trappings of civilization, leading to tensions
holds and high pastures. hey are a relatively ad- with more traditional clans. Old serpentman
vanced people with metalworking, agriculture, count- ruins are common in Ammurath, and many of
ing and igures, and a strong oral tradition of tribal these places still harbor cursed treasures and
law; the chief diferences between the Ammurans and dark magic.
their more civilized neighbors are the Ammurans
lack of a written language and their veneration of CORSAIRS OF THE
nature spirits rather than the gods of civilization.
Located more or less between Lomar, Quodeth, GOLDEN SEA
and Marg, the Ammurans are frequently wooed by A terrible scourge threatens the Kalayan Sea and all the
one city-state or another to take sides in their wars. lands adjacent to it: piracy, bold and bloody-handed.
he barbarians have little reason to like any of them: Dozens of corsair galleys prowl the waters of the inland
Lomar has tried to conquer Ammurath on two occa- sea, hunting down careless merchant ships and launch-
sions, Quodeths naked mercantilism strikes Ammu- ing one violent raid after another against any poorly
rans as dishonest, and Margs slave trading outrages defended village or town within an easy march of the
them. Despite this distrust for the ways of civilized seashore. Worse yet, these vile sea-reavers are largely
lands, hundreds of Ammuran warriors take service united in a great league known as the Golden Broth-
as mercenaries in the various armies of the nearby erhood or the Corsairs of the Golden Sea. Instead of
cities, and pride themselves on giving good service for single ships hunting down prey they can take on alone,
their coin. the Golden Sea corsairs operate in lotillas, with several
ships sailing together and cooperating to capture even
well-protected merchant galleys or landing hundreds of
corsairs at once to attack targets on shore.
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Atlas of Thule

While the corsairs generally prey on anything they Nightdrake: Distinguished by its black sails and
can catch, they sometimes hire themselves out to black-painted hull, the Nightdrake is a swift xebec
warring cities as seagoing mercenaries. More than under the command of the charismatic captain known
once they have joined with Lomar or Ikath to threaten as Lady Midnight. Most ships do not sail at night, but
Quodeths naval superiority in the Kalayan Sea, only Lady Midnight carefully trains her crew to sail and
to prove ickle and unreliable when battle loomed ight in conditions when no other captain would dare
close. Many turn smuggler and seek to slip valuable raise anchor.
cargo into dangerous places if worthwhile targets for he Slayer Fleet: A lotilla of four pirate galleys that
piracy are hard to ind. operate together, the Slayer Fleet is under the command
Life in a corsair crew is dangerous, but frequently of the brutal warlord Dreth the Slayer. No other corsair
rewarded with shares of rich prizes. he Golden captain in the Kalayan Sea commands such a powerful
Brotherhood is surprisingly democratic, and captains force, but with four ships to divide the loot, no individ-
who abuse their crews or make stupid blunders rarely ual sailor ever sees anything more than a token share of
hold their positions for longcorsair crewmen vote the leets plunder. As a result, Dreth resorts to brutal
with their feet, and go join the crews of more success- discipline to keep his crews in line. Only the most
ful captains. he corsairs have several anchorages and desperate men willingly sail with the Slayer.
secret harbors scattered around the Kalayan Sea, but
their major base for now is the outlaw city of Rime, on
the shore of the Lands of the Long Shadow.
Some of the more notable corsairs include: Want to run a pirate-themed game? The Kalayan
Jade Viper: A powerful trireme based in Ikath, the Sea is the perfect place to do it. There is an
Jade Viper is commanded by an intimidating sorcer- excellent mix of rich cities such as Droum or Ikath
er-captain called Hyardeth the Viper. He is a ruthless providing merchant shipping to prey on, a irst-rate
mercenary who often sails as a privateer under a royal pirate haven in the city of Rime, and plenty of mys-
commission from Ikath. Hyardeth is not ailiated terious islands, jungle-covered coasts, and ancient
with the Golden Brotherhood and preys on his fellow ruins to explore. Plus, the Corsairs of the Golden
pirates as well as any non-Ikathan merchant ship that Sea offer an excellent selection of rivals or allies for
crosses his path. player character pirates to deal with.

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Atlas of Thule
GHAN PENINSULA HURHUN
his wide, jungle-covered peninsula forms a large Formerly a large and prosperous city at the eastern end
portion of the southern shore of the Kalayan Sea. It of the Kalayan Sea, Hurhun became embroiled in a
is home to some of the densest and most dangerous series of bitter wars with the city of Lomar that culmi-
jungle east of the great expanse of Dhar Mesh. he nated in the defeat of Hurhun in 2087 AR, about 120
great city of Lomar lies at the western end of the Ghan, years ago. he Lomari sacked Hurhun, carried its people
while at the eastern end the small trading town of of in chains, and put the defeated city to the torch;
Ghanport sits at the mouth of the Ghan River. Be- Hurhun is now a sprawling ruin where few people go.
tween these two outposts of civilization lie a hundred Only a handful of scavengers and outlaws lurk in the
miles of virtually impassable wilderness roamed by citys deserted streets. hese ragged survivors avoid the
hungry beasts and savage tribes. Bold jungle traders citys lower districts, since man-eating monsters such as
maintain tenuous lines of communi