Races

Goblins

Goblins rule the world. Their meteoric rise from petty tricksters and deviant wee folk to the economic masters of Eem, came swiftly after the collapse of the Middle-Kingdoms and the dawning of the Dungeon Era. Their fastidious nature and cruel drive to lord over all those deemed “lesser deviants,” (namely boggarts, boggles, and wugs) filled the ravenous power vacuum, primarily in the Mucklands where the once great forests and woodlands laid ripe for mass lumbering. From lumbering came profit, profit bore investments, and investments sprung multi-county industrial mega outfits hellbent on tunneling a new world beneath the old one.

Characterized by long, sharp noses, and green to yellowish skin, they are, by all scientific accounts, boggarts. However, being the smallest subset, and of an extremely prideful temperament, Goblins despise such associations and maintain themselves to be of a superior breed.

Individually, Goblin children advance mentally and physically at a rapid rate. Ancient books of anthropology surmise that this is because Goblins are not expected to live for very long, usually being on the wrong end of an Ettin’s foot, or some such. But ever since the Dungeon Era began, Goblin life expectancy has sextupled, and cultural expectations have risen accordingly. If a Goblin toddler has not captured and subjugated a pixie slave, he or she is labelled a simpleton, and sent to work in corkscrew-saber factories. Additionally, offspring are encouraged to leave their parents’ hollows at the ripe old age of 11, and enter the workforce immediately. Following in the footsteps of one’s mother or father is generally frowned upon, as it’s more respectable to cast out and hatch one’s own ponzi scheme, or what have you.

As one would expect, a Goblin’s cruelty provides the perfect formula to excel in bureaucracy. Many sharp-toothed clerks would rather embalm their enemies in red tape and ink than draw their swords and fight. However, this does not necessarily make them cowards. On the contrary. Goblins with grudges bide their time, and they never forget. In fact, legend has it that long ago a Goblin wax collector’s fetid harvest was burgled by Trolls–and though the Trolls were bigger, badder, and smarter than the Goblin–some years later, each Troll vanished, never to be heard from again after answering a scam letter that promised a gnomish hot spring and delivered a Slarmeel tar pit.

Gnomes

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Gnomes are small in stature and quite ordinary in their domestic life, but harbor great power. Despite appearances, they possess incredible strength, ability, and magic which make them exemplary forest wardens. But because Gnomes are remarkably unassuming, friendly Folk, they spend most of their simple days helping the denizens of forests and glens.

You’re most likely to find a gnome tending a garden, planting a tree, or helping a fawn out of a trapjaw–but on the rare occasion that a gnome’s dwimmercraft is called upon, not even the boldest fiend would dare cross paths with these wee guardians of nature.
Gnome society revolves around a reverence for the quiet, ordinary things that most folk take for granted while dreaming of riches or adventure. To gnomes, these things are simply causes and effects that exist in the moments between hot tea, freshly baked bread, and the pleasures of tilling soil. Wealth has very little meaning for gnomes, though they are often wildly wealthy due to their prolonged lives. And as for adventure, it is nothing to be sought after, and only something to chronicle in the lives of other Folk. If there is one thing most important to Gnomish culture, it is to keep the histories and tales of Eem alive: the songs, the stories, the legends of all the world’s many people, which others forget in time.

While there are a handful of Gnomish cities and communities sprinkled throughout the Dingledell and Eem at large–Mirth being the biggest of them all–a great number of Gnomes are hermits. Rather than settle down with a husband or wife to start a family, many Gnomes are by nature compelled to retreat to the wilderness alone, building solitary homes for themselves so they can tend to and protect the land. This keeps the Gnome population down, as they will live out lives spanning hundreds of years without ever producing offspring.

Folk

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There is little denying that the Middle-Kingdoms of Eem have been inherited by rapscallions, scallywags, brutes, knaves, hooligans, hoods, and fiends. Bandits loot caravans along the Tyrant’s Highway, beasts haunt the northern hills and moors, and green-skinned, snaggle toothed denizens of the dark enjoy nearly unchallenged bureaucratic dominion. Yet though the Dungeon Era has hewn an immovable block from the monolith of history, the embers of a kinder age have not yet been entirely extinguished.

Pockets of Folk still dwell in the eastern valleys, wooded glens, and rolling hillsides. They humbly practice age-old trades of smithing and masonry, living peacefully off the land as their fore-bearers had in generations past. Hamlets speckle the Knolls of Wade, from the weaving rills of Hedgewater Mabel to the twifflemoot fields of Buttonhollow, stretching all the way to the west sea at Harp’s Edge, where merchants and privateers still dare the treacherous straits of Theraf.

On rare occasions, gnomes and fairies stray from Dingledell to sew ribbons of lavender and marigolds around the sickly limbs of trees in the Grimly Wood. Their faint songs and fiddle strings can be heard on moonlit nights and starry mornings throughout even the least traveled woods. And though the traces of their goodwill is often eroded by foul creatures slinking and croaking from their black and muddy hovels, a gnome can never be discouraged, and will for a hundred years return to plant and sing.

Indeed, the world of Eem has seen better times. But, those better times will not be soon forgotten, so long as folk continue to weave their songs.