Lights in the Darkness
Peoples and Cultures
Before the collapse of the Alfarn Hegemony, Geating ships were a common sight in the Mornlands, bearing trade goods to the ports of the Hegemony, the Weallack kingdoms of Illanmoria, and the Ellesene emporia scattered throughout Morn Sound. When the Light Alfar disappeared, colonists and warriors took the place of trade goods, and within a generation Geating kings ruled where once Alfarn despots controlled all.
In several respects, Geating dominion was superior. Their slaves had rights and legal protections; many even bought their freedom. Moreover, without a tradition of arcane spell use, they lacked the sophisticated instruments of control wielded by their predecessors. Though many Geatings followed heathen religions, few immersed themselves in the infernal and other depravities common amongst the Light Alfar.
Barely a century ago, the Dreamans, exploiting Geating disunity and wielding powerful spells, conquered much of the Mornlands. Overnight, Geating culture was transformed. Whereas the Geatings tolerated religious diversity, the conqueror forcibly converted all to the Makerite faith. Slavery, though formally outlawed, was replaced by a system of hereditary feudal bonds. Geating efforts to rebel were brutally repressed.
However, since the Crusade, the Geatings have enjoyed a political resurgence. First, the War of Wands dramatically fractured the Dreaman nobility. Almost as significantly, the Great Reaving broke the coffers of the surving Dreaman polities. It was inevitable that the Geatings would reestablish themselves, particularly on the periphery.
Today, Geatings are found throughout the Mornlands at all social strata. Most Geating adventurers are warriors or rogues; arcane spell casters are almost unknown among the Geatings. Geating armies favor heavy infantry armed with arming swords, round shields, and long axes. The Geatings make some use of archers (typically armed with shortbows) while Geating cavalry is employed almost exclusively for reconnaissance and security.
Note: The Mornlands are generally presented from a Geating point of view.
Male Geatish Names: Leofstan (Anglo-Saxon)
Female Geatish Names:
Although sharing a common ethnic background with the Geatings, the Dreamans are a people apart. Thanks to foreign influences, they adopted the Makerite faith long ago, and many Dreamans gifted with arcane talent learned the art of dweomercraft.
Today, Dreamans are found throughout the Mornlands and are disproportionately represented amongst the nobility, wealthy merchants, and powerful clergy. Most Dreaman adventurers are warriors or clergy; most arcane spellcasters in the Mornlands are Dreaman. Dreaman armies employ light crossbowmen, spearmen, and heavy cavalry. Although the Dreamans make little use of cavalry in the reconnaissance role, they are the only Mannish people in the Mornlands to employ horse archers.
Male Dreaman Names: (Anglo-Norman)
Female Dreaman Names: Hélène
To many, the Brimmen are largely indistinguishable from the Geatings thanks to their common ethnic backgrounds and similar languages. Only a greater frequency of red hair and gray eyes mark the Brimmen apart to casual observers. A sea people from the North, the Brimmen arrived in the Mornlands in force less than two centuries ago. Initially making deep inroads in several Geating and Weallack territories, the Brimmen were eventually thrown back when their numbers failed.
Today, the Brimmen dominate only a few dozen islands in the Eastgar Sea and a small enclave in Illanmoria, although their influence may be found in many coastal areas in the Mornlands. Most Brimman adventurers are fighters, barbarians, or thieves. When serving in mercenary companies, Brimmen typically fight as heavy infantry or berserkers and favor great axes, arming swords, and shields.
Brimman Names: (Norse)
While it seems likely that the Weallacks are the oldest Mannish race living in the Mornlands today, the Ellasenes have the oldest recorded presence. Throughout the Alfarn Hegemony era, the Ellasenes maintained trading emporia at the great ports of the Mornlands.
Today, the Ellasenes can be found in every great coastal city of the Mornlands and many of the largest towns as well. The vast majority of Ellasenes are merchants; many also conduct various banking services. Most Ellesene adventurers are clergy or thieves. There are no Ellasene armies.
Ellasene Names: (Greek)
When the Alfar came to the Mornlands, they found Weallack clans living in the ruins of ancient Tarchuny, scratching out a meager existence hardly fit for Beastmen. So it was, perhaps, that made the Alfar treat them as little better than common animals to be enslaved or used for infernal experiments. The Weallacks survived but only in Illanmoria and on the outskirts of the Mornlands. It was during the era of the Alfarn Hegemony that the Weallocks adopted the Makerite faith, first in Illanmoria but later on the continent as well thanks to the work of brave missionaries.
When the Alfarn Hegemony collapsed, there were a few Weallack clans that attempted to fill the vacuum. They were soon swept aside, however, by well-armed Geatings fighting for dark gods of death and war. Only in Illanmoria did the Weallacks resist the Geatings, and even there the Weallacks suffered grievous loss.
Today, Weallacks are common only in Illanmoria and along the southern outskirts of the Mornlands. Weallack mercenary heavy infantry bearing long swords and bucklers occasionally fight for Dreaman lords. Weallack adventurers come in every stripe, although arcane spellcasters are almost unknown.
Names: (Mostly Irish; some Welsh, Scottish, and Cornish)
In millennia past, the warrior-prophet Baruch received the Tablets of Wisdom from the Iron Prophets.
Today, the Baruchites can be found in only a few small enclaves in the great cities of the Mornlands. All Baruchites are expected to work at a trade (to make). Almost all Baruchite adventurers are warriors or clergy; most Baruchites agree that the Covenant of Baruch prohibits the learning of dweomercraft, and almost all axiomars are Baruchite.
Baruchite Names: (Jewish)
Slaves of the Alfar for many long centuries, the Dwergar’s origins are lost to history. Used for manual labor underground, the Dwergar are as comfortable in tunnels and caves as they are in the light of the sun. Escaped Dwergar established their first vaults at least six centuries ago. Since the Light Alfar disappeared, Dwergarin colonies have appeared in many remote mountain and hill areas, in part a reflection of their desire for good defensive terrain and in part to stay close to the mines they were bred to love. As a rule, Dwergar are fanatic followers of the Maker.
Dwergar look like ACKS Dwarves but use the same aging table as normal Men.
Dwergar Names: (Polish)
Until the disappearance of the Light Alfar more than four centuries ago, the Alfarn Hegemony was the dominant civilization in the Mornlands. Technologically advanced and supernaturally powerful, none could withstand its might. Holding in thrall many lesser folk and controlling all the lands between the Eastgar Sea and the Daygrim Mountains, the Alfar were beautiful and terrible, cultured and decadent. Today, the Hegemony is best remembered for its treatment of Men: at best enslaved, at worst subjected to magical experimentation. The Alfar have always rejected Mannish religion, choosing instead to give homage only to their accomplishments.
Some four centuries ago, the Light Alfar disappeared overnight, leaving the Dark Alfar without the protection provided by their more powerful kin. Today, the [Dark] Alfar occupy only a small, mysterious land on the western shores of the Morn Sound. Although uncommon, Alfarn wanderers are found throughout the Mornlands seeking tools and lore that will permit their people to learn the fate of the Light Alfar and regain some semblance of their former glory. It is generally accepted that the Alfar no longer hunt Men for sport.
Alfar look like Warhammer 40K Eldar but use the same aging table as Gnomes in the ACKS rulebook.
Names: (Turkish without any foreign influences)