The Kingdom of Rhothkar
A fantasy Role Playing setting that isn't just a bar.
So let's chill in a castle instead.
So, what is the setting?
This verdant land is located on a peninsula several hundred miles wide and nearly one thousand miles long, though Rhothkar itself composes only the coastal tip on the end and shares this peninsula with several other nations. White and yellow sandy beaches give way to rocky alcoves and a wide delta at the mouth of Glory (working name) River, named for the miracle of its discovery by the first settlers of this mountainous land. At the delta is the booming logging and mining town of Freeport.
The paved Main Street gives way to a packed cart track as it passes into the mountains and becomes Kingsroad, the highway necessary to travel if one is to get to Castle Rhothkar. Cradled high in the mountains on Glory River, it is ornate, defendable, and is the home of King Coda, the ruler of Rhothkar.
Right now, the kingdom is experiencing some problems. There isn't a lot of farming land in Rhothkar to begin with, and the soil is starting to produce smaller and weaker vegetables. On top of all that, the fishermen are bringing back smaller catches. There is a threat of famine.
Everyone is on the lookout for mephras, which are super-human beings with godlike powers. King Coda has put a lot of time and effort in figuring out how to identify and destroy them, and has assembled a gathering of all the heroes and ambassadors he can summon from around the world to assist in facing the threat. The Summit meets frequently to exchange information about mephras and plan investigations at Castle Rhothkar. It has also become an impromptu forum for international cooperation, focusing the world's geopolitical spotlight right on the little kingdom.
So how do I make a character that fits in to this setting?
Awesome! That means a lot to me; you have no idea.
Now, as far as the setting and characters go, I've tried to make this flexible enough to accept whatever character you want to throw into this setting and enjoy yourself, as long as your character isn't too superhuman. That said, if you really want to make a character that would be a natural for this environment, follow this guide below. Warning: It's about to get REALLY wordy.
Of course, you could just read the rest to get an idea of what's going on, too:
First, you should pick a species. You are not limited to the options that I am presenting, but they would be the best fit if you want to make a character who would make sense in this environment. Presently, there are four species in Rhothkar, and each are based on typical fantasy ideas with the occasional difference spliced in.
Humans are the most abundant in Rhothkar. They typically range from five to seven feet tall and weigh from one hundred to three hundred pounds. With very rare exceptions, humans do not posess magical powers. With very rare exceptions, the humans of Rhothkar were born and raised in Rhothkar, making them natives to this land and naturally fluent in the Common Tongue. Most humans can read and write, and it can be assumed that they are familiar with how to ride horses and mules. Humans typically have a skin color that ranges from very white to various shades of copper and brown to completely black, and their hair color usually ranges from platinum blonde to orange to brown and to black. Their eyes are typically brown or blue, though there are some green eyed humans as well.
Many Rhothkarian humans, especially those who have been raised in rural areas, are not familiar with the other races, though they are aware that they exist.
Humans have strong oral traditions and have many legends regarding the world. They are seen by the other races as brave, beautiful, compassionate, musical, lusty, honest, and intimidating. In interspecies cooperation, they are natural leaders and tend to convince their friends of their grandiose ideals, even if they are not sure how to achieve them.
Human names vary greatly, but they are typically named in the memory of cherished relatives.
Humans typically live for fifty to one hundred years and commonly die of disease. Humans who are hygienic and eat well tend to live longer, so most elderly humans are very wealthy.
Notable humans include King Coda Brightstar (ruler), Sir Thass Fisher (first knight), and Thom Sneed (betrayer).
Dwarves are the second most abundant race in Rhothkar. They typically range from three to five feet tall and also weigh from one hundred to three hundred pounds. With very rare exceptions, dwarves do not posess magical powers. Most of the Dwarves of Rhothkar are natives of Dew Dale (or Dew Dale), an even more mountainous kingdom further into the peninsula, comprising of almost all of Rhothkar's eastern border. The dwarves find the Common Tongue easier than others, but they are typically not native speakers. They typically speak and think in Dalish, their native tongue, but will speak Common in the presence of humans. Some dwarves can read and write, and with the invention of the printing press, it is starting to become more common. Dwarves typically have skin color that ranges from very white to various shades of copper or gray to brown or to dark stone, and their hair color usually ranges from red to gray or to black, though through albinoism it is possible to find a white- or blonde-haired dwarf. Dwarvish eyes can be any color, though the most common eye colors tend to be dark.
Typically, dwarves have problems learning to swim due to their dense body structures.
Most dwarves of Rhothkar are familiar with humans, but not familiar with the other races, though they are aware that they exist.
Dwarves have the most recorded history of all of the species, dating back for thousands of years. Their tales are traditionally written in the forms of epic, rhyming poetry. Despite most dwarves being unable to read, they keep great libraries in their underground vaults and believe that there is power in the written word. They are seen by the other races as strong, stubborn, prideful, studious, patient, and hard-working.
Dwarven names are typically based on the first observations of their differences from the rest of their litter shortly after birth.
Dwarves typically live for fifty to three hundred years and commonly die of heart failure. Dwarves who keep active and have a positive attitude tend to live longer, lending to a common stereotype of the happy dwarven grandmother.
Notable dwarves include Two Tears (hero), Long Toes (author), and Fat One (merchant).
Goblins are the third most abundant race in Rhothkar, but they are very rare. They typically range from three to five feet tall and weigh from fifty to one hundred and fifty pounds. They are fair creatures, but have pointed teeth and pointed ears. With very rare exceptions, goblins do not posess magical powers. Most of the goblins of Rhothkar are visitors of the nation of Mericea, which is located on several islands far out to sea off the coast of the peninsula, though there are some who belong to nomadic tribes that wander the mountainous regions near Allasar, the other kingdom that borders Rhothkar on the inland. Goblins speak many different languages depending on their tribe, or in the case of the Mericeans, it can depend on their ship as well. Languages come easy to goblins, though it is very rare to find one who speaks the Common Tongue without a heavy accent. With a few notable exceptions, Goblins do not care to learn how to write, but most are able to read. Goblins typically have green skin of every shade, though they have also been known to have blue skin. Goblin blood is also green. They usually have red to black hair, though as is the case with the dwarves, albinoism can cause very rare goblins to have white hair. Their eyes are most commonly red or green, though white and black and not uncommon, but it is possible that goblins can have eyes of any color.
Goblins are very intelligent and tend to find most tasks to be easy, but have problems finding the motivation to do them.
Goblins are familiar with all other races.
Goblins are typically seen by the other races as intelligent, graceful, self-serving, mysterious, and scary. They tend to have free spirits and do not see the rules the same way that others do.
Goblin first names are typically stars or constellations in the goblin sky, and they earn their second name later in life when they choose or are chosen for their life's profession.
Goblins typically live for thirty to eighty years and commonly succumb to Wilt, a degenerative sickness that causes hair loss, internal bleeding, and eventually death. The causes of Wilt are mysterious, but goblins who stay around humans tend to live longer, and humans who spend too much time around goblins may eventually show signs of Wilt.
Notable goblins include Rixis Olivebranch (ambassador), Silvra Whipstaff (ship captain), and Xixi Horseshoe (blacksmith)
Sylvans are the name given to a group of minor races of similar appearance that are rare in Rhothkar. Most Sylvans are actually half-goblins born from human mothers and are a relatively new occurance. Sylvans not from Rhothkar are typically spellcasters from the continent of Minthera (these Sylvans are sometimes known as "Elves"). Though they can use magic, their distance from their homeland has weakened their powers. They are able to cast rudimentary spells, create basic enchantments, and sense the presence of magic. Weakened as they are, their powers cause suspicion in the eyes of the Rhothkarian locals who are still reeling from the magical warfare brought by the mephras. Most Elves are cautious when using magic in Rhothkar for fear of offending the natives. Sylvans stands between two and seven feet in height, and weight between thirty and one hundred and fifty pounds. They have slim builds. Half-goblin Sylvans have pointed teeth, and they all have pointed ears. They bleed red. Their hair colors are typically fair, though some dark-haired sylvans are known to exist. They typically have dark colored eyes, though some lighter colored eyes have been known to exist.
Sylvans reach maturity slower than the other races. It typically takes them twice as long to age as the other races. It is suspected that if there was a cure for Fade (the disease that they usually die from shortly after coming of age), they might be able to live for a very long time. Because of this, most Elves are actually very young.
Sylvans are able to remember things very clearly, though they seem to lack the propensity of their goblin relatives for seeing a puzzle (or a law) from very possible angle. Old Sylvans are considered to be very wise.
There are no typical Sylvan names, since they come from so many varried cultures. Minthera Elves are typically named with words of peace and beauty.
Sylvans typically live from thirty to one hundred years and commonly succumb to Fade. A disease similar to Wilt, Fade causes blindness, skin molting, mental instability, and eventually death. As with Wilt, Elves who spend time around humans tend to live longer, and humans who spend time around elves tend to eventually see the effects of Fade. Elves who spend too much time around goblins will not live as long, and will show the effects of Wilt and Fade at the same time. This condition is called Rot, and it is untreatable. Those afflicted with Rot are treated with a great amount of sympathy.
Mephras (also known as "landwalkers") are the rarest creatures, and only one is known to reside in Rhothkar. They are typically humanlike in their appearance, though they often have a strong sense of presence about them. Without exception, they are all magical, and posess godlike (but unique) powers. They can speak many languages, and most of those languages are long dead. They are all proficient at reading and writing.
Mephras cannot reproduce because male mephras are all sterile. It is rumored that the royal family of Rhothkar has mephra blood in its lineage, however.
Mephras are typically seen by the other races as terrifying.
Mephra names are typically the virtues or ideals they represent, though some are in languages unfamiliar to those native to Rhothkar.
Mephras are immortal, and they are typically over one hundred million years old. Most of this time has been spent in isolation, because mephras have little in common with each other other than being mephras and they have little to fear except each other.
Notable mephras include Blessed Integrity (hero), Tasa-Arvo (hero, deceased) and Verraton (villain, deceased).
With rare exceptions, mephras are evil and are meant to be antagonists and enemies.
Second, you should read over this short timeline of major events that your character may or may not have been a part of so that they can share some common experiences with other characters:
* An Elf from a foreign land unknown to Rhothkar has answered the call against the mephras and is joining in The Summit.
* After having his home destroyed by the mephras, a Rhothkarian youth joined with the heroes to fight in the battle of Grave Rock. Now a veteran in the war against the mephras, he is a trained sword who stands ready to fight again to defend his King and what little he has left.
* A minion of Verraton escaped the battle of Grave Rock unnoticed. Masking his true intentions, he joins the Rothkarians in their campaign. He is friendly, skilled, and well-liked, but nobody knows that he is secretly searching for a way to brutally murder the ones who killed his masters.
* A goblin afflicted with Wilt seeks an audience with Blessed Integrity with the hopes that she will save his life. In return, he has information on the mephras and is unusually gifted in the art of burglary.