Cerilia is a small, temperate continent in the northern hemisphere on the planet Aebrynis. It has been a diverse continent for thousands of years, home to Elf, dwarves, goblins, orogs, giants, etc. For many years the land existed in a perpetual stalemate, the elves and dwarves were friends and sometimes allies, keeping to the forest and mountains respectively and fighting constant wars against their monstrous neighbours. Nothing that human eyes would consider civilization flourished, as nations rose and fell in quick succession. This all changed when the humans arrived.
The humans mostly came from Anduria (an Africa analogue), a land where only the only known race was their own. Nonetheless there were a variety of ethnic and tribal distinctions that marked them apart. The most notable divide lay between the powerful and decadent empires of the south and the nomadic tribes of the north. Each group worshipped the same pantheon of gods, but each one favoured a particular god above the others. The southern empires revered Azrai, the dark god of pride, and under his mandate they began to push northwards on a mission of conquest. Five of the tribes began an exodus to the north, fleeing into a land of faeries and monsters rather than endure the cruel oppression of their southern neighbours. These tribes were the Andu (a warlike and proud people who venerated Anduiras, the god of war), the Rjuven (a primitive group of hunters and gatherers who venerated Reynir, god of nature), the Brechtur (a tribe known for their trading, who venerated Brenna, goddess of wealth), the Masetians (a tribe of sailors and fishermen who venerated Masela, goddess of the sea) and the Vos (a tribe led by magicians and diviners, who venerated the aloof god of magic, Vorynn). Another tribe, a group of nomadic horsemen from eastern Djapar landed at roughly the same time. Called the Basarji, they venerated Basaïa, goddess of the sun, and their pantheon was otherwise remarkably similar to the Andurian one. These groups all settled, though at first not very successfully. They came into immediate conflict with the goblins, and only managed to survive with elven and dwarven aid. Still, the humans eventually pushed back their rivals and settled along the plains and coasts that they had once occupied. This wasn’t enough for the expansionist humans however, particularly the Andu and Masetians, who had settled in the heartlands and whose territory brushed up against that of the elves. Skirmishes over settlement rights led to the establishment of the Gheallie Sidhe (hunt of the elves) and the systematic extermination of human settlers found in elf lands. Soon there was all out war. Although the elves had uncanny mastery of magic and tactical warfare, they lacked the numbers and tenacity of the humans and found priestly magic incomprehensible and difficult to combat. Eventually they were forced to yield much of their lands, retreating into the deepest forests. After a few hundred years, having united Anduria, Azrai turned his gaze to Cerilia. He seduced many of the goblins with promises of power; offered the Vos, who had settled in exceptionally cruel lands and had little use for a god of magic as a patron a new deity to worship and incited feelings of hatred and revenge in the elves. This alliance of monsters, elves and Vos, together with Andu mercenaries and Andurian soldiers made ready to invade the rest of the continent. The other tribes (and the dwarves) temporarily united to combat the threat, meeting Azrai’s army on the land bridge Deismaar between Cerilia and Anduria. To start with the battle went really, really badly for the alliance. Most of the Masetian force was wiped out by storms en route and the others were just having a really hard time fighting against the sheer weight of numbers massed against them. Mid-battle however, the elves switched side, evening the odds considerably. The gods took physical form above the battlefield and fought Azrai, hoping to destroy him forever. Instead, both they and Azrai were destroyed utterly, their divine essence being cast across the battlefield, killing many and causing the land bridge to begin to shudder and sink, but imbuing others with the blood of the gods, causing the champions of the six tribes to rise as new gods. The tribes eventually returned to their homes and many of the newly blooded established themselves and lords and kings, using their divine connection to the earth to enhance their rule. This period was chaotic and trying, finally ending several hundred years later when most of the continent was united by a man named Roele, under the flag of the new Anuiran Empire. The empire expanded into the lands of the other tribes, conquering them and making them vassals. Historians debate the exact reason for the conquests, but they happened all the same. The Empire gave most places on Cerilia a common backing in law and such and lasted hundreds of years. Eventually it fell however, its last Emperor died at the hands of a terrible monster known as the Gorgon without leaving any heirs, leaving the individual local dukes and princes licence to establish their own petty nations.
ELVES Elves or Sidhelien (shee-lin) as they call themselves, are an unusual race, both sophisticated and primitive to human eyes. In art and philosophy their advances are unparalleled but they have very little else that resembles civilization. Elves hardly need to eat or sleep, subsisting off the natural ley energy of the land and so they don’t really build houses or grow crops. Nor do they, as a race, care about money, every elf is likely to be a master of a craft or three anyway, if they particularly want some bauble they just trade for it. They also have a certain number of natural advantages over humans, being by nature beautiful, immortal and having natural facility with magic. That being said they also have difficulty controlling their emotions, elves are moved to rage, joy or sadness with incredible ease, and subtlety is not something they are overly familiar with. Death is something they find incredibly traumatic, and the death of a friend thousands of years ago may still be mourned. This is part of why elves still hate humans so much. The other reason is that by building roads and cities and such humans inhibit the flow of ley energy that criss-crosses the land and which elves both feed off, go to when they die, and are born from. An elf not able to access ley energy has to eat and sleep as a human does. Elves MUST take the Beauty advantage and the two-point Elf Blood advantage. Elf Blood  – Allows the character to buy the sorcery skill. Elf Blood  – so long as the character is in the wild, they neither need to eat nor sleep. This also allows the character to buy the sorcery skill.
DWARVES Little known in most of Cerilia, dwarves keep to themselves mostly. They have vast underground empires build with sophisticated knowledge of physics and engineering and are constantly at war with the Orogs, whom they share the underground with. Occasionally dwarf made goods make their way to the surface and are much in demand. Dwarves are exceptionally dense, which makes them harder to kill, but reduces their mobility. Dwarves MUST take the Thick Skull advantage. They additionally gain a free expert dice in Weapon Skill Axe or Hammer and take an automatic 1d penalty on all challenges involving swimming, climbing or running. HALFLINGS The most recent race to arrive in Cerilia, no one is actually particularly sure where the halflings came from. Not even the halflings. There aren’t that many of them, but they live practically everywhere, aping the cultures of the people they live among. Halflings have the strange ability to sense magic much more easily than other races. Halflings MUST take the Shadow Sense advantage and CAN take the Shadow Walk advantage. Shadow Sense 1  – Works like beauty only for the Eerie skill. Shadow Walk  – The character can, at certain special locations, walk between the real world and the shadow world. HALF-ELVES When an elf and a human love each other very much sometimes you get a half-elf. Sometimes known as changelings, they are uh… like humans, only with elf blood. They have to take the 1-point advantage version of that.