A Tale of Heroes

The Land of Wynne

The Land of Wynne is where all of the story takes place so far, with the exception of the inter-dimensional space called “The Vast”. Much of the story also takes place in the central human city of Twynne Rivers.

Humans

We’ll begin at the bottom of the map, in the south, with the humans.

The humans in Wynne are physically like those in our world. An adult male would be about 6 feet tall, a female a little shorter.

Where other populations in the world may have a reputation of one kind or another (magic, or mining), the humans are best known for their practicality and adaptability. Even though some humans might have personal or family resentments toward another race or people, for the most part they will trade with, work with, or fight with anyone. As a result, the two largest human cities (Twynne Rivers and Portstown) are an eclectic mix of peoples. It’s common to see elves, dwarves, giants, and even pixies buying and selling in the markets right alongside of the more populous humans.

Portstown is along the southern coast, and is the main point where trade happens with human (and non-human) lands beyond Wynne. The city is cut into parts by the Wynne River, which is used to carry freight and travelers north. The giants dominate this service, using nature powers to ply the barges up and down river all the way west to their mountain home and back.

Portstown is a bustling, active city of medium size. Because of the active trade, many go there looking for work or adventure.

Northwest, up the river stream, is the city of Twynne Rivers. It carries that name because it rests in the fork of the Wynne (which flows from the west, from the mountains of the giants) and the Lesser Wynne (which flows from the Umbramoor Swamps in the northwest).

Because it’s such a central hub for travel and commerce, it’s a large and metropolitan city. Even though the people are predominantly human, there are people of almost all races here. Governed by a feudal king, there are wealthy courtiers and ministers, rich merchants, working-class craftsmen and artisans, as well as poverty-stricken beggars. Soldiers and constables try to keep order, but crime is rampant, especially in certain neighborhoods.

Human society (in both cities, and even in many small villages) is divided by guilds, factions, or churches. All three are organizations with varying goals and beliefs, all vying for status and control. Guilds are usually made up of people with a common bond, like a trade, a location, or an agreement for mutual protection. For example, there is a freighter’s guild, a smithy’s guild, etc. Each guild will have a pub or some kind of guild house.

A church is another kind of organization that operates in the cities and villages. They’re a lot like guilds and factions, but they act more in the spiritual and religious areas of life. Churches can also vie for political power.

Outside the cities, the lands are held by the feudal lords and gentry. Villages and towns dot the lands surrounding the manors and castles of these lords. The lords will often be in allegiance to one of the factions as well as the king.

The Pixies\Fairies

The homeland of these mystical folk lies in the islands to the southeast of PortsTown. There is a lot of variety among them. They can range anywhere from 1 to 3 feet high. The shorter ones will often be winged.

Many humans say to “never trust a pixie”. This is not so much because they believe the pixies to be dishonest, but more because the humans and the pixies have a history of antagonizing each other, while at the same time, trading and interacting with each other. Add to that the pixie’s cultural tendency to change their mind at a moment’s notice, compared with the human leaders’ need for order, and there are frequent conflicts.

They are often fluent users of all kinds of powers.

The Wood Elves

Immediately to the north of the Twynne Rivers countryside, you’ll find the Umbrawood Forest. This is the home to the wood elves.

A typical adult wood elf is about 4 to 5 feet high and quite muscular. Although there are a few larger settlements in the forest (most notably Umbrawood City), they tend to live in small family-based clans in tree-top villages throughout the forest. They have developed their own ways of agriculture, harvesting fruits and fungi from the trees and herding venison.

They tend to be a very magical group, favoring nature powers. They often use these powers to shape their villages, which are more like interconnected levels of tree houses. Even the sprawling Umbrawood City is made from the living trees of the forest.

There is a wood elf high council in Umbrawood City, headed by a King, but the outlying clans and villages really only follow them if all of the forest is in danger. If that happens, they are quick to form up an army and rally to fight.

The wood elves trade frequently in Twynne Rivers. As a result, the concept of the guilds and factions has begun to take hold in their city, much to the frustration of the current ruling class.

They dislike the High Elves, whom they consider to be elitist and arrogant. They have almost no contact with the Dwarves or the Felisians to the east.

The Arachins (Spider-folk)

Umbrawood Forest is home to many strange creatures. One of these is the race of the Arachins, or the Spider-Folk. In the distant past, they were the dominant life in the forest, but have since been slowly crowded out by the wood elves. In appearance they look like larger versions of common jumping spiders. From the ground to the top their heads, they stand 3 to 4 feet high, and can have a leg-span of as much as 6 feet.

Little is known about them. Because they can’t form the sounds of humanoid speech, they don’t interact with bipedal races. They are brilliantly intelligent, however. They have their own society with its own hierarchy, even though they mostly live solitary lives, living off small animals of the forest.

Most humans fear them, but, in reality, they are reasonable creatures, some good, others bad.

The Khelnar

In the Umbramire swamp, to the west of the forest, many dark creatures live. This includes a race of intelligent lizard-like people known as the Khelnar.

They spawn in the murky depths of the swamp, going through a tadpole-like process of metamorphosis into an adult.

The Giants

Further to the west of Twynne Rivers, the forest, and the swamp, at the end of the Wynne River is the mountain range home of the Giants.

These are tall, strong, and stocky humanoids, who stand anywhere from 7 to 12 feet high. They are not known for their speed or dexterity. Many of them, however, have made a study of nature powers, particularly stone and water. With the skill in water powers, they have made a trade shipping things and people up and down the rivers of Wynne.

They tend to dislike human society and pay little interest to the manipulations of the guilds, factions, and churches of the big cities.

The Western Dwarves

The dwarves are short, yet strong. They typically stand 3 to 4 feet high, yet could easily defeat many humans in tests of strength or endurance.

They live in cities dug into the sides of mountains, as an extension of their mining. They are skilled artificers, and their armor and weapons are prized throughout Wynne. They trade freely with the humans and other races in Twynne Rivers, using the giant barges as transport. They rarely put their efforts or attentions to learning to use powers.

The High Elves

The high elves are similar in height and appearance to the wood elves except they are thinner, with paler skin and more delicate features. They live in the mountains to the north of the forest, primarily in a city built onto the side of a semi-active volcano named Emberfire.

The High Elves claim that they are the race from which all other elves have descended (there are tales of desert dwellers as well as sea elves and even winged cloud elves). This leads them to a certain elitism, even racism, believing that they are superior to the other races. At times in the history of Wynne they have dominated or even ruled the land. For now, they are isolated on their mountaintop, believing all others are beneath them.

They are powerful mages, studying and mastering all kinds of powers. Their armies are fierce, being reinforced with striking powers and driven by pride. In spite of their arrogance and isolation, they have a vast intelligence and communications network throughout Wynne using crystal artifacts (Oculi Creator) infused with blue mental powers.

The Eastern Dwarves

The eastern Dwarves live in a vast intermountain complex\city in the mountains on the eastern edge of Wynne. Physically, they look like their western counterparts, but they have also chosen to isolate themselves from interaction with the rest of the world. They will sell precious and practical metals, as well as gems, but this is done by the rare caravan to Twynne Rivers. Foreign merchants are never allowed into their city.

The Felisians

The Felisians are a tribal and nomadic race of cat-like people who inhabit the plains in between the Umbrawood Forest and the Dwarven mountains. When standing on their two back legs, they are as tall as a human, at about 6 feet. The males are maned and muscular. They all have retractable claws with opposable thumbs.

Their traditional blade weapon, called the claw, is a metal grip that also attaches to the wrist, with one or two long blades extending like short or long swords out over the back of the hand.

They are both fierce fighters and noble friends, but no other race has made any effort to contact them or trade with them, perhaps because they think the cats are “wild” or “uncivilized”.

The Dragons

Dragons once ruled all of Wynne, in fact most of the world. They are now few. When not killed outright, they live hundreds of years, growing to lengths of up to 40 feet or more. Dragons are almost always winged, and have the ability to breathe or spit some kind of horrible destruction from their mouths (like fire, acid, frost, etc…). Many of the older dragons are also powerful mages of varying types.

Dragons live reclusively, in mountains, deep swamps or forests, or sometimes in abandoned castle ruins.

In recent generations, there have been more stories of encounters with younger dragons. Some of the older historians and loremasters speculate that more dragons are hatching, and could be preparing for a return to power.