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RACE: Grakthal

Grakthal are a race of red skinned orc-like creatures.   GRAKTHAL (plural same) A race specific to Farveld. Alignment can be anything from evil to neutral, chaotic or lawful. Grakthal are red-skinned orcs, much taller and leaner, and more graceful also. They are exceptionally skilled in archery and thrown weapons, but can wield a sword well too. Grakthal’s hair is generally black or red. They live to a maximum of 120 years. Grakthal are native to Deorvold, but have spread throughout the Voldrelm. There is also a nation of tribes further north, on the Atanaaq Peninsula, that co-exist with Gargan tribes and some interbreeding has taken place. They are also slightly magical and revere the crueller side of nature. They worship the god Grak and give great reverence to accomplished warriors. They are civil toward the Callenthi, and King Turgosh even pays taxes to the Callenthi nation (a source of great contention amongst grakthal). But Turgosh’s opinion is that it is better that his people live and fight amongst themselves - for they must fight - rather than being crushed by the Callenthi.     RACIAL BONUSES: DEX +1, CON +1   Menacing: You gain proficiency in the Intimidation and Stealth skill   Darkvision: Your ancestors lived in the dark, underground. This means you can have darkvision to 120 ft.   Relentless Endurance: When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.   Berzerker: Once per turn, if you roll a crit on a melee attack, you can choose whether to add an extra damage die, or make an extra attack on a different character within reach.   Age: Grakthal have a similar lifespan and develop at the same rate as humans, generally living till about 80 or 90 years of age.     Alignment: Grakthal tend towards neutral, chaotic, and evil alignments. It is rare to find a good-aligned grakthal. The DM may allow it at their discretion.   Size: Grakthal are a little smaller than humans, usually about 5’2” to a max of 6’2”. Take a base size of 5 ft 2 inches, and roll a d12, adding an inch for every point.   Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.   Languages: You can speak, read and write Grakthal, and you can speak basic Common.     HISTORY OF THE GRAKTHAL The earliest known mention of Grakthal comes from a book dated around 33,500 MC. A Callenthi tome entitled “Description of the lands of Lower Farveld and the Western Islands” describes the plentiful, barrow-dwelling people known as worshippers of Grak or “Barrow-goblins”. This rather unflattering description is often cited by Grakthal to demonstrate exactly what esteem they believe the Callenthi truly hold them in. The truth is that Grakthal at this time were barrow-dwelling, and sometimes subterranean creatures. However, overcrowding and the expansion of their people forced them into villages above ground, and a divergence happened at that time. Grakthal tribes who were intent on remaining in their barrows were superceded by above-ground Grakthal, who began to establish small villages and settlements.   circa 28,000: Rise of the Grakthal nations / Establishment of powerful warlords: The grakthal come into their own as a race (details). Barrow-dwelling Grakthal gradually find that things become overcrowded, and so many move above ground, gradually accustoming themselves to this life. This also leads to the emergence of prominent leaders, and one in particular. Drogodoth was a large and charismatic grakthal, previously put to work by a Barrow king in excavation of tunnels, work he hated. Finally he left that community and began a settlement on the site of modern day Darkthrone. At first this proved difficult, but gradually Drogodoth began to attract similarly disenfranchised grakthal, disillusioned by the lack of vision of the Barrow Kings and eager to move grakthal into a position of power. After all, hurgin, gargan, olving, heimfolk, all of these were asserting lands for themselves, and if grakthal were not out in the open doing the same, then they would fade into history. Eventually this led to a great battle, “The Battle of The Barrows.” Inevitably, the barrow-dwelling grakthal were roundly defeated, but in reverence to Grak, the treasures within were left untouched. These were seen as part of the past and not what Drogodoth’s people were concerned with. Drogodoth’s official title is “The Great Asserter” and some consider him to be the true father of the grakthal people. Drogodoth was able to assemble an army around him which began to make forays into further areas of what was then known as the Dagovold, or “Bad Land”... this was an area not frequented by humans, hurgin or any other race (apart from the occasional nomadic gargan tribe - and the grakthal usually left them alone). The Grakthal in these areas closer to Farveld proper were also Barrow- and tunnel-dwelling, and so colonization of the above ground areas here was fairly easy for Drogodoth and his army. He installed generals and small garrisons here, and also collected more followers. Soon Drogodoth had dominion over the entire Dagovold, which he renamed “Deorvold”, or God’s Land (God being Grak this is also sometimes referred to as Grakvold, amongst grakthal. It is considered blasphemy for a non-grak to utter his name, and thus the name Deorvold was given so that Callenthi and others would not constantly sully the almighty God’s name on their disgusting pink tongues). The interesting thing is that “Deor” in Callenthi means Wild, natural, overgrown, untamed… and so this name took on a different meaning for Callenthi and humans. There was a perception that it was still a kind of badland, still uncolonised. But Drogodoth had set up outposts at several different points in the realm, which still exist to this day. Drogodoth’s ancestors continued to rule, an unbroken line of kings, right up until 12,750 MC when another Dynasty of grakthal warlords overthrew them. This new dynasty was led by Garraghosh, of a more ancient tribe of grakthal, who promised his people a return to the core values of the grakthal: worship of Grak, care for our own people, parlay with Callenthi,protection against gargan and hurgin incursions. The seat of Darkthrone was officially established as the capital,and much work was done to build it into a great grakthal city and seat of power. Garraghosh and his sons also established the priestly class and encouraged mysticism and scholarly pursuits. It was felt that the grakthal had now truly entered the modern age.   GRAND TEMPLE OF GRAK   Underground, in a vast cave system near Darkthrone, a huge cavern lies which contains an underground temple, like the stone in Mecca. Once a year, on the blood moon, thousands upon thousands of grakthal descend on this, the Grand Temple of Grak. It contains holy relics such as the Spear of Grak, and on the main altar is a ruby skull, expertly carved in the likeness of Grak himself. Beneath the altar is buried the earthly remains of Takkos, the earthly incarnation of Grak, thousands of years old. The entrance to this complex is within a small forest about 10 miles from Darkthrone, and is patrolled day and night to stop vandals.   CURRENT NOTABLE GRAKTHAL LEADERS Players wanting to play a grakthal PC may wish to choose alignment with one of the following warlords, or they may choose to be aligned to King Turgosh (the grakthal King in Jagged Crown). They may also decide to be independent, following their own moral or amoral creed.   King Turgosh: Turgosh is descended from ancient Grakthal rulers and commands a huge army and palace in Darkthrone, on the far western reaches of the Deorvold. He is by far the most powerful Grakthal in the Voldrelm and has a large family, including many male heirs who are all vying to succeed him as King. However, many Grakthal feel that a life of luxury has weakened Turgosh, and his dealings with the Callenthi Emperor have left a sour taste in the mouth of many Grakthal. For instance, the Grakthal nation now pays taxes to the government of Farveld, in return for trade routes, naval protection and other things. Some Grakthal simply cannot stomach this and so have attached themselves to one of the other warlords who govern various parts of the Deorvold.   Urthangeld: Rules the lands around Everrot Wood, and the wood itself. He maintains a massive keep there, and a town, collectively called Redfort. A vicious, brutal warlord, Urthangeld harks back to an age before the Grakthal became “fancy” and started to become leaner and more slender. He is in his 50s, is built like a muscular human, but his brutality and ruthlessness are what sets him apart. He has designs on Darkthrone, and his supporters, loyal to the core, believe he will take it. He tends to attract those Grakthal who have a hatred of order and anything resembling good. His rival King Turgosh has been know to negotiate with the human king Soliestas, no less! In Urthangeld’s eyes, he is a disgrace to all Grakthal. Urthangeld’s master plan is to destroy Turgosh and commandeer his armies, and then attempt to take Cylestol, dethroning Soliestas and ruling human and Grakthal alike. Ambitious yes. But he feels, if he can command the armies of Deorvold, then it is fully within his grasp. He has a tenuous, yet false, friendship with Turgosh who has appointed him his “Warlord-Representative” in Southern Deorvold. Urthangeld accepted this position as a means to an end of getting close to King Turgosh and eventually killing him. Ultimately King Turgosh’s spies keep him well informed of Urthangeld’s affairs, and Turgosh could kill him. But he would then risk turning a large portion of the population against the Darkthrone. Urthangeld’s soldiers wear a red crow on their shields and armour… This represents a crow who has feasted on the blood of the dead.   Aguzak Less brutal and more cunning, Aguzak is a minor warlord in North-eastern Deorvold, near the Dragon’s Hump. His boatmen attack frigates and other vessels and operate a piracy ring, amassing riches with which Aguzak buys the co-operation of easily corruptible humans in nearby Andredia, a largish city. He is incredibly charismatic and pale-red skinned for a grakthal, which seems to not put the humans off so much. His features a little more subtle, some say he is half-grakthal, not full blooded. He has no immediate designs on any particular Lord or King, rather he wants to bide his time, amass his wealth and become expert at political machinations. Neither Urthangeld nor Turgosh pay him any mind.   Soulchewer Not his real name (no-one knows this), this despicable Grakthal is the head of an army of insane bezerkers, with one goal and one goal only: raise hell. He attracts the psychopathic, the outcasts, barbarians (some humans), murderers and thieves. His band of brigands roams the lands of middle Deorvold and sometimes ventures into Farveld proper, always managing to miss other human and Grakthal patrols. He has not pissed off Aguzak or Turgosh yet and so has not had armies sent against him, but they have noticed him. There is a standing offer from Urthangeld; in return for his own keep and parcel of land, Urthangeld proposes that Soulchewer march on Darkthrone and weaken King Turgosh’s armies.   Gunbhuto A roaming warlord who is in the process of amassing quite a large following. Not much is known about him other than that he has no base, wanders the inner Deorvold with his followers, and that he has few principles to his credo other than to survive and live free. It remains to be seen how long he will last.       SOCIETY AND ATTITUDES Grakthal society is based on one-upmanship. Although elders are respected, a grakthal will not let elders stand in the way of career. Might in battle is respected above all else. The Grakthal have little use for concepts such as romantic love. Lust, they understand. Procreation, they understand. They do have affection for their families but the primary concern is conquest and the superiority of the Grakthal race.   HOMELANDS The first Grakthal were nomadic, and they still roam extensively throughout the Voldrelm, although they have settled throughout the Deorvold. These are known as wildlands as the Grakthal, contained within the Deorvold, constantly war amongst themselves.   KING The Grakthal have a king in their capital Jagged Crown, but his laws are loose and not always followed.   GENERAL ALIGNMENT: Neutral Evil   A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has. The criminal who robs and murders to get what she wants is neutral evil. Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies. The common phrase for neutral evil is "true evil." Neutral evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents pure evil without honor and without variation.

Lifespan
70 years
Average Height
1.6-2 metres

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