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This is the text from the Birthright Conspectus, a marketing piece produced by TSR to introduce gamers to the Birthright Setting. This has not been updated to the change in the final product, or for the conversion to the BRCS 3.5 edition.
TSR WORLD CHRONICLES
A Birthright Conspectus
Imagine a world in which rulers are bound to the land by ties of blood.
Kings, prelates, wizards and guild-masters are not elected, but chosen by divine providence in a very real sense.
When a ruler dies, the very land suffers.
When a prince is born, the land blooms.
Welcome to the land of Cerilia, home of the BIRTHRIGHT Campaign Setting for the ADVANCED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS Game.
You hold in your hand an overview of the land, its people, and its history.
Open the Conspectus to begin learning about the regal world of BIRTHRIGHT: For when greatness by right is thrust upon you, it is best to be ready.
TSR has never before created an AD&D world quite like that of BIRTHRIGHT. Here you can be a king, noble, relate, guild-master, great wizard or royal herald. You are the leader of your kingdom or domain. And it is you who has the power to wage war or preserve peace. At a single command, armies march and kingdoms fall. Thus, the BIRTHRIGHT game is a mixture of strategic war gaming and role-playing.
The BIRTHRIGHT setting is distinctive in several areas. First, we developed the idea of bloodlines. Bloodlines were created when the heroes of the battle of Mount Deismaar were imbued with the essence of the gods. A character's bloodline is his heritage of divine power. The abilities granted by this heritage can be benign or malign, physical or mental, active or passive. One's bloodline also lends strength of character, and blooded persons rise to positions of power more quickly than others. But beware: this strength can be stolen!
Bloodtheft is a direct strike to the heart of a blooded individual. If it is your character who deals the killing stroke, you may then steal the power from that person's bloodline and take it for your own. But if you are the blooded individual, you may take heart that only the rarest metal in the world, bloodsilver, can sever the ties to your domain and heirs. Only a mere dozen weapons were forged from bloodsilver and these have been lost for centuries.
But do not grow too content, for we have developed many other evils for you to conquer. Look out for the awnsheghlien. No mere monsters are these. They are the Children of Azrai, the evil inheritors of a powerful bloodline. Some of them are more than two thousand years old. While they may appear similar to 'normal' monsters make no mistake that they are neither normal nor monsters; they are unique creations, embodiments of the horror present from the beginning of recorded BIRTHRIGHT history. In elvish, their name means 'blood of darkness'.
Within the BIRTHRIGHT world, there are dozens of domains spread across the continent of Cerilia. This is mostly a world of human cultures. Anuire is a domain much like medieval Europe, Khinasi is a medieval Arabian scene; Brechtür has the feel of Renaissance Germany; Rjurik is a Russian Viking world and Vosgaard is a domain of Mongol barbarians.
As in many of our worlds, you will find Dwarves, elves and Halflings, but in Cerilia they come with their own special twists. Dwarves are gray-skinned with bodies twice as dense as normal beings due to their ties to stone and mountains. Elves are not the cultured demimondes of many other worlds; rather they are embittered and prone to attack humankind. Halflings have the ability to see into the Shadow World, from whence they came.
The Shadow World is a parallel world to that of reality. Landmarks might be the same, but are often distorted. Only powerful magic or Halflings can breach the border between the worlds. The Shadow Lord is the ruler of this cold, eternally twilight realm.
Realm Magic, the most powerful kind of arcane power, is tied directly to the land. Wizards who can use this kind of magic are rare and often in positions of great power. Perhaps that will be you.
Lesser magic and true magic, while common, are still far rarer in this world than in other AD&D settings. The very rarity of magic increases its impact on the world of BIRTHRIGHT and its people. The game becomes more firmly rooted in politics and negotiation than in traditional adventuring. High political drama is the background for everyday activity here in the BIRTHRIGHT campaign world.
Even the nonhuman creatures like goblins, gnolls, orogs and giants serve as political animals in this world. Goblins have kingdoms of their own, forging their own treaties and trade agreements with their neighbours. Gnolls (humanoids with doglike features) are mainly wandering marauders and brigands. Orogs, fierce warriors who live underground and are allergic to sunlight, come out to raid villages by night; where ice giants fiercely protect their territories. And, while there are only six dragons living in all Cerilia, they are unique individuals and are greatly feared. Some of the awnsheghlien have created smaller versions of themselves to do their bidding; thus there are a few common manticores, some gorgons, and so on, but not great concentrations of them.
So listen carefully, for armies are marching into battle as we speak. The banners of noble houses flutter raggedly before the onslaught; some will fall, never to rise again, while others will weather the storm. And somewhere on a muddy battlefield, a common man becomes a hero - and a hero becomes a king.
It could be you.
Open the conspectus for a deeper look at the people and cultures of Cerilia.
Here is a deeper look at the peoples that inhabit Cerilia. Humankind comprises five distinct cultures, and the ancient races of the elves and dwarves continue to thrive amidst wars, intrigues, and abominations.
I am Robert Duerlin, vassal to Darien Avan, regent of Avanil. Though my forebears became coopers, I chose to join the forces of Avanil. I vowed to protect the freedoms my lord won for our people. We must remain vigilant against incursions from the north. Will you lend your strength to our cause?
I am named Audric Skapingson, son of Bjorn and grandson of Heore. Our clan has warred for generations from Stjordvik. We have lost many hunting parties to ravenous beasts and flesh freezing blizzards. The only safety is in the clan and its numbers. Will you join us to survive, or die alone?
I, Johannes Kirsch, merchant of fine silks and spices, am a member of the Furveldt Trepkin guild. My workers look to me for their best interest, knowing they can no longer depend on Baron Berhagen, Ludwig Schaeffen. It seems our good baron is beset by the brigands of Kelda Auslawsen, the murderess of the Krakennauricht. He has charged me with infiltrating her ranks to weaken her forces. Now I must act to preserve my interest. Will you sign on with me, I can make it worth your while?
Kasimir Petrenko, I am called, and many are those who fear my name. I place no trust in others except those I call my friends. So if you travel in the Land of Darkness, heed my words; the Ice Lady and the Terror God speak to our leaders, who have long abandoned the gods of magic and moon. We are a people as cruel as the humanoids we hunt, but we are not without honor.
They call me Salim el-Mesir. I am of the ajazada, a nephew of the regent Yousef ibn-Reghil el-Mesir, most powerful and mighty mage in the whole of the Zhainge Valley, and brother to Adan, High Captain of the emir's forces. We are descended from one of the heroes of the battle of Mount Deismaar. I am sworn to protect my family from the forces of Aftane, and to avenge the murder of my aunt by their evil Brotherhood of Khet. I have need of great magic to achieve my ends. Who amongst you can aid me?
I am Muldon Stonesmith of Baruk-Azhik. My people are descended of the mountains and rock, and that is where we make our homes. The anvils of Baruk-Azhik ring loudly today, and it is with the warmth of our forge that I invite you to visit our domain. We seek aid in fighting the treacherous orogs under the mountain, and we could do much with mettle such as yours.
I am called Rhuobhe Manslayer, and it is a badge of honor among the Sidhelien to be counted in my host. You are human, and therefore an invader and a thief: The land of Cerilia does not belong to you, and the day the elves spill the last drop of human blood of human blood on this continent will be the brightest day in fifteen centuries. It is best that you do not enter my realm ? but I shall name an arrow for you just in case. Beware, human!
We are the awnsheghlien, the so-called abominations of Cerilia. We were created at Deismaar when bathed in the essence of Azrai, the god of shadow. Though Azrai was destroyed that day, our creation was a glorious victory for him nonetheless. We now have spread across the land, gathering our power about us; and the day will come soon when we shall rise to rule all Cerilia!
The continent of Cerilia was once inhabited only by dwarves, elves, and savage humanoids - and then came the Flight From The Shadow. Seeking to escape their evil overlords, the five tribes of humans crossed the land bridge from Aduria to Cerilia, where they met another tribe from across the sea. These charts show the geographic influence of each human culture through time.
Open the conspectus once more to see an overview of the geography of Cerilia - and some of the most powerful abominations that overshadow the land.
, 02-22-2009 at 09:39 PM|
Last edited by , 06-05-2013 at 03:59 AM
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