The Six Peoples of Dema
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We're excited to be less than a week out from launch day! For easy reference, here is a short piece giving you the rundown on the six main sentient species of Dema. Take a look at the bottom of our About page to explore the full world map these cultures inhabit, and read about each named location here.
"If the day calls for glory, it is a good day."
Massive, boisterous, and spoiling for a fight. Known as Varakwai among themselves, their cultures embody the element Fire.
Larger Wakewalkers stand in excess of seven feet tall, and use this blue-skinned bulk to survive the pressures of living in the treacherous Midnight Isles. They are known for their strength and hardy constitutions, as well as being famous for ambition and passion. All Wakewalkers are born biologically male until reaching puberty, where there is then a random half chance of staying or switching sexes.
The clans of Wakewalkers are divided into three main groups. Clan Kahr uses Eldertech diving suits to hunt titanic sea creatures called Deep Ones. Clan Hiremai Wakewalkers are isolated on their home island, and structure life around worship of an ancient entity known as the Terminarch. Clan Jana’haki is comprised of the outcasts and deviants of all Wakewalker clans, and its members thrive as bloodthirsty pirates and mercenaries. It is uncommon to see Wakewalkers in foreign regions.
"Conquer your vices, and you will conquer death."
Lithe, aloof, disciplined to a fault. Known as Eltayans among themselves, their cultures embody the element Water.
Archivists are proud and deeply spiritual seekers of Eldertech. Their warriors are famous for their mastery of hand-to-hand combat. Archivists can slow or quicken their metabolisms at will. This allows them to increase the force of strikes, or hibernate long stretches of time without needing food or water.
The frigid realm of the three Archivist city-states is collectively known as the Athenaeum. The Archivists of Etherea are pious missionaries with the highest population. Those of Luminos study Eldertech with advanced methods, seeking to unravel how the world works. The stalwart Archivists of Aegis train with rigor and self-mastery to field one of the most powerful military forces. It is very common to see Archivists in foreign regions.
"Chase the arrow of destiny beyond the far horizon."
Vibrant, passionate, eccentric in all things. Known as Usundi among themselves, their cultures embody the element Air.
Featherfolk are the birdlike inhabitants of the Gilded States. Their dexterous, human-sized females are notably larger than the squat, brightly colored males. They are independent thinkers that chafe under too much structure or rigidity. They are known for their welcoming demeanor, but also a huge capacity for disagreement and questioning of the status-quo.
Inhabitants of The Auric live in a cutthroat, trade-focused sultanate with a large slave population. Featherfolk in the arid sands of Sunbleak or the wasteland of The Red Desert adventure into long-buried tombs and temples in search of riches and Eldertech. Hollowfalls is the seat of debate and scholarly pursuits, secure in its position closest to the sun. The jungles of Panacea are host to radical religious sects, miracle ingredients, and overgrown ruins of lost civilizations. It is common to see Featherfolk in foreign regions.
"Guardians of the underworld, the shattered reforged."
Multi-formed, enigmatic, and diligent in their efforts. Known as Qet among themselves, their cultures embody the element Earth.
Sharing some traits with plants and fungus, the nongendered Sporespawn are grown to have varying features according to the needs of their society. Their bioforms can have tools for appendages, multiple arms or legs, and a large range of physiques. Once a single linked hive mind, the Sporespawn are now fractured and facing threats from all sides in the Hive Halls. The most notable threat is the ravenous mechanical golems gaining ground by the hour.
Tohol is the home of The Everborn, who strives to return all Sporespawn into 'her' consciousness. Ikhish is a strongly independent Hall and the sight of many technological advances. Unrul is in the grips of an authoritarian leader that demands submission in the wake of a deadly plague. It is uncommon to see Sporespawn in foreign regions.
"Together, we triumph. Unconquered, unbroken."
Dependable, coordinated, loyal to the cause. Known as Homa among themselves, their cultures embody the element Aether.
By default, humans are outclassed in some way by all the other peoples of Dema. This had led most important humans to become specialists and group-oriented. They excel in complex problem solving. While many adventurers and communities of independent men and women exist, the curiosity and industry of most humans has been honed to a brutal edge by the Solar Hegemony, the oppressive and expansionist nation of the Daylands.
While unified in the iron grip of their Emperors, the cities of the Hegemony still possess distinctions. Humans of Scintilla have the prowess and organization to be the heads of state, and are at the seat of their sun-worshiping faith, the Church of Sola. Deonar has a long seafaring tradition and the feudal legacy of its warrior-caste. Abresia bears strong yields of crops and resources, though it is all built on the labor of slaves too broken to resist. For much of the cosmopolitan city of Mundi's history, humans have been at the most prominent positions of control. It is very common to see humans in foreign regions.
"Charge forth on hooves of shadow and thunder."
Proud, hardy, fiercely independent. Known as Monturyns among themselves, their cultures embody the element Void.
To speak of the Nightriders is to know the spirit of the steppes and hills of the Nightlands. The gray toned, athletic Nightriders are suited to life in the saddle, and are otherwise skilled survivalists. Competition and honor are hallmarks of each tribe. Leaders are chosen based on merit. Nightriders have excellent low-light vision, and a reserve of stamina that keeps them alert and engaged longer than other peoples.
The Dawnraider tribesmen are masters of heavy cavalry and warred with the Daylands for generations. Urbanized, the Hardhooves inhabit their great stone city of Yaras, which is famous for the elite prowess of The Ten Hundred. The Cairnkeepers of Tallon are expert miners and craftsmen just as suited to sabrewolf riding in the darkest, coldest part of Dema. The Freesteeds live the most nomadic existence, using their expert skills with the bow to hunt the great herds of the plains. It is common to see Nightriders in foreign regions.
We can't wait to see how you expand on the hundreds of pages of game mechanics and lore that will be in the 5e Conversion Book. Make these cultures and sentients your own in the stories you tell!
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