The only race living on the islands is a variation of Half-Orc who many familiar with typical Half-Orcs would find odd in appearance. Their hair is less noticeable and their teeth shorter. The color of their skin is just a bit paler and more of a flesh tone. The reason for this is that the human ancestry is much stronger in their bloodline. Every Nunian Half-Orc has Innate Magic. +1 str, -2 chr, Rock climber trait as part of their racial aspects. Replace Axes and Orc Weapons with Nunian Weapons. Favored Class: monk.
Language: Orcish Nunian
All are Lawful. Most are Lawful Neutral. The exact nature of their laws varies from clan to clan, but overall they are quite similar. There are only two classes available on the islands, Nunian Clerics and Nunian Monks. The majority of the population are level 3 or lower monks, with about 3 percent of the population becoming clerics.
Always Lawful Neutral. They are the only clerics without a specific Deity or set of Deities. Instead, they meditate on a force they call Ki. The domains they have access to are Water, Air, Plant, Fire and Earth.
Preferring to rely on their own bodies, these strongly non-aggressive fighters hone their devastating abilities more as a matter of honor and ability to exist within their harsh environment. Without the skills they develop, the harsh volcanic environ of the isles would surely destroy them.
Ancient Common, Ancient Orcish, Draconic
Clans are held in high regard, higher than the individual who may be a part of it. When speaking their full names, the Clan name is always put before their own.
The Nunian Isles are formed of three volcanic islands and two other land-masses. Each island bears the name of the clan that lives on it, except for the largest island that houses two of the clans. On the main island of Yagri, everything to the east of the towering volcano is held by the clan of the same name. To the west of the island is the Blilt clan. West of the main island is the second largest of the volcanic islands and home to the Altmier. Southwest of that is the smallest volcanic island, home to the Gruzak. Southeast of the main island is The second largest island and larges of the two non-volcanic islands. It houses the Notsumi clan. Last is an island to the east of the main island, also non-volcanic. This is the smallest of the islands and houses the Ownka clan. Each of the islands is incredibly steep, though the two non-volcanic islands are a bit less so.
Amid the carnage of the Wizard War, it was not uncommon for entire army units to be transported randomly away from the battlefield. At times it was strategic to do so for both your own units and the enemy if they were mercenaries or the lost of the unit they engaged was of greater value than their continued presence. One such instance involved a wizard commanding an army of Orcs against a nearby nation. When he saw that his own forces were failing and he was faced with eminent defeat, he simply spirited away the entire battlefield, enemies and allies alike, into the ocean. The calculated action led to his eventually winning of the struggle.
Unknown to anyone, the two armies managed to survive by swimming to the shores of a nearby string of islands. The inhospitable lands were steep and filled with dangers, including even several young dragons. Only those who had managed to lose their heavy metal armors and weapons made it to shore alive, so they were left largely defenseless. At first, they fought among one another just as often as they struggled against the perils of the islands. However, after a few months and many losses, both sides realized they would have to work together if any of them were going to survive.
Grudgingly they worked together to carve out a niche in the local environment. Years passed and the two groups began to intermingle. In a strange twist, the army of Orcs had included some of their women and fate had it that the majority of Orcish survivors were female, while the human army had been entirely composed of males. After it was clear that none would be returning home, the idea of an Orc woman as a potential mate became slowly less loathsome. Even then it took most a decade or more to overcome their aversion to the Orcish appearance.
When the culmination of the Wizard War shattered the flow of both magic and weather patterns, strange magic and harsh weather began to plague the already perilous islands. For two hundred years, a Hot Zone centered over the islands. During that time, their numbers managed to grow and each new generation was infused with ever more magic. The union of the harsh environment and the magical enhancements that began to grow in them allowed them to slowly adapt to their unique environment perfectly.
They were now only half-orcs, though their bloodline favored the human side heavily. Even so, they still had a strong Orcish urge in them. This, coupled with the limited space, led to courtesy and slowness to anger being a center point of their culture. Personal space and politeness were both valued highly. As more time passed, this became an ever more complex philosophy. Aspects of this philosophy led to a belief in inner power over outer power. The ‘Ki’ within one’s self that could be tapped in a number of ways. Monks, who comprised the majority of the Nunians, used it as part of their physical prowess, while the rarer Nunian Clerics used it to tap into a divine magic of the elements around them. These Clerics became the teachers and keepers of the ‘Way of Ki’, helping their clans to survive through the adaptation of their environment much as they themselves had been adapted to it.
In the last 100 years, the Nunian Clerics have encouraged those among their people who have lived to the ripe old age of 45 and beyond to chronicle what they have done and learned in scrolls composed of specially woven strands of fibrous seaweed. Each of the clans has been amassing a fair collection of these scrolls that can be freely read by any other visiting the clan territory. Travel between the islands is now common on crafts formed entirely by their strongest Clerics in the Domain of Plants. A rare few have begun using these crafts to explore further and further from the islands. Several having found their way in the last twenty years to the mainland.
A number of cultural norms have developed based on their history. Below is a list, though not all inclusive, of a number of the social rules by which Nunian Half-Orcs live.
- Empathy, harmony, modesty and reserve are cornerstones of most actions and choices.
- Never refuse an honest gift.
- Touching another without their permission is a severe taboo. Personal space is held in the highest regard.
- Any form of strike is considered an attack.
- When embarrassed or sympathetic, they show it through attentive silence.
- Courtesy should be shown to all, even your enemy.
- Never insult or joke about others.
- Never interrupt others.
- Tell your true feelings on a subject only to the most trusted unless as part of a group decision. Even then, do so only in a way that does not cause another to loose face.
- Open/public displays of anger or other strong emotions are uncouth. Even in burning anger, you must appear calm and collected.
- Treat all living things with compassion.
- Dead allies should be cremated as soon as reasonable.
- Show respect to others of a higher position.
- The good of the group always comes before the good of the individual.
- Never take an action out of anger.
- Remove foot coverings or dirty clothing prior to entering the home of another.
- Recognize that there are two layers to what is said. The surface meaning and the deeper meaning. The deeper meaning is often not socially acceptable to say outright, but should still be respected as true. This is often called hearing one thing but seeing two.
- Give gifts often, at least where they are due.
- Always pay any debt, no matter how small, including gifts. Only do so after a bit of time has passed. To repay it immediately is to insult the person. It implies you do not trust them or want their favors.
- It is seen as weakness to ask for aid unless absolutely necessary. If aid is given, it should be treated as a major debt.
- Wood and metal are considered rare, even though exposure to mainland cultures has shown that is not the case on the mainland, they still feel like such things should not be used wastefully. Jewelry of shell and bone are fine, but metal jewelry is seen as wrong and most metal armor is seen as wasteful and unnecessary.
- Eat mostly seafood and a stewed grain similar in consistency to barley. They favor this sort of food when on the mainland, finding most other foods unappealing.
- No job is seen as being inferior or minor. One takes pride in the lowest of jobs as it helps the Clan.
- The world is a balance between different sides. Law and Chaos, Good and Evil. They often strive to be a balancing person. Given the chaotic nature of their homeland, that means they sit often as Lawful Neutral.
- Whenever you can convert someone over to your way of thinking (the side of law and good, etc) since killing something just means it gets reborn to the same nature.
- Eating is done with a set of three reeds in one hand for solid foods and a half-tube reed with a flat wall capping the low end for liquids.
- Artistry is seen in all aspects of life, even negative space or otherwise ugly things.
- Whenever you are to speak on behalf of a group, there must be a consensus on what it is you are to say.
- Those age seven or younger are treated as gods. Life after seven is harsh and they will not be sheltered from it, but they deserve all the joy possible prior to that time.
- Asking about why things are the way they are is seen as immature.
- Making eye contact is taboo, as it is seen as a direct challenge and aggressive.
- Clothing forms are generally simple, undyed cloth. Generally a loosely draped outfit is the most one wears. Many go barefoot, though some wrap their feet in a foot covering made from ray leather and a hemp-like twine. Due to the limited availability of material, modesty is often seen as unimportant. Lack of clothing is viewed as nothing of note, though overclothing one’s self is seen as a sign of greed and foolishness.
Originally, weapons made from driftwood, stone and obsidian were all the inhabitants of the isles had. Over time, they have learned to work with fibrous seaweeds, natrual reeds growing on two of the islands and later when Nunian Clerics developed, they were able to gain the use of small amounts of metal or to enhance the growth of plants on the islands for straighter wood. Below is a list of some of the weapons they have developed.