Pillars of Nobility
Races of the Pillars
These people were able to climb the world’s mountains and get above the cloudline. Fifteen years after the Great Migration, they have managed to create new cities called the Pillars.
Humans make up the bulk of the civilized world’s population. They hold leadership positions across the Pillars and are as different in temperament and appearance as can be. Humans were once found across the continent, and many suspect that there might be survivors of the Harrowing not yet discovered by the people of the Pillars.
Dwarves are small, stout people of the earth. Burly and bearded, dwarves are a down-to-earth people that have little tolerance for fancy and frivolousness. Though they make homes in all pillars, they are concentrated in the Obsidian and Deepforge communities. Dwarves are deeply devoted to the traditions of their families, clans, and communitites, and many never forsook the belief in the Old Gods. They are known as adept craftsmen, merchants, and warriors. Dwarven communities often exist at least partially underground, and thus they come into conflict with their hated enemies, goblins who live deep in the mountains.
Shorter and slender than the average human, high elves (or eladrin as they are sometimes called) were known as scholars and merchants living mostly on the southeastern coast of Jana. Their cultural histories say that they are one of the oldest civilized races, and combined with a longer-than-normal lifespan, high elves find it easy to take a long-term view of world events. Many thus find high elves to be haughty or narcissistic, especially in the wake of the Harrowing and Great Migration. Many prominent followers of the Ur-Philosophy are high elves, further exacerbating the stereotypes.
Most eladrin live not on the Material Plane, but in the Feywild. There, great empires span across the continents and high elves strive towards peace and perfection in all things. During the Harrowing, however, the connections between the planes that had helped to define the eladrin were suddenly cut off, leaving a gnawing emptiness inside all eladrin left on Jana. Since the schism, many high elves have struggled with depression, listlessness, and a significant number have taken their own lives. Those that remain, though, are dedicated to reforging a new identity in a new reality.
High elves are also natural magicians, and many have taken great lengths to protect the few artifacts and arcane resources available to the Pillar communities. They live predominantly in both Viridian Pillar and Starfall Pillar – both communities known as centers of arcane learning. These two elven-dominated Pillars enjoy generally good diplomatic terms with the rest of the civilized world, although old jealousies and disagreements with dragonborn have been forced into the open now that the two races live in such close proximity.
Before the Great Migration, the nomadic Halfling clans slowly circled the Lowlands, earning a living as merchants and entertainers and transporting goods from town to town. Those families that fled up the mountains with the other civilized peoples have had to learn a new, sedentary way of life. While Halflings are still likely to use their jolly disposition and natural people skills to make their way as bards, shopkeepers, and teachers, many struggle to overcome their wanderlust. Some Halflings work with the few regular caravans that travel between the pillars.
The dragonborn are relative newcomers to the continent. Approximately sixty years ago, a fleet of their galleons arrived off the southern coasts, bringing tales of a homeland ravaged by disease and civil war. The refugees negotiated an agreement with Jena’s inhabitants and the dragonborn soon began settling the jungle islands off the coast, creating a new kingdom known as Autun. Only with the discovery of their southern brethren did the people of the pillars learn that some dragonborn had survived the Great Migration.
Dragonborn are a naturally noble people. They value independence and power, and they often stick to strong internal moral codes. The dragonborn of the pillars also advocate fighting back against the darkness living in the Lowlands, and many have either organized or joined excursions below the cloudlayer. Some even speak of returning to Dragona, their original homeland.
During the Great Migration, people lost contact with many of the Lowland’s native races.
Unlike many High Elves of the south, most wood elves of the northwestern forests refused to climb into the mountains during the Great Migration. While a few did join the humans, halflings, and dwarves as they ascended above the cloudlayer, the once-vibrant communities of glade watchers are now considered lost. Unlike the scouts of Everstrong, no one of the eastern Pillars has dared venture beyond the mountains and lived to tell the tale. Whether the wood elves somehow survived the Harrowing has yet to be seen.
Pillar historians are about unclear whether the orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins that lived and raided at the edges of civilization were part of the Harrowing or succumbed to it. While goblinoid attacks became more brazen and effective at the start of the troubled times (especially in Talos), some scholars note that this easily could have been because of a growing force pushing the goblins from behind. It is clear that some goblinoids survived the Harrowing; not only do battles between dwarves and cave dwellers continue in and around Bloodforge Pillar, but Everstrong scouts have reported orcish activity in the foothills of eastern Talos. What remains to be seen is whether these encounters mean the goblinoids have conquered the Lowlands or are acting on behalf of more powerful agents.
The wild, wooded foothills of western Jana used to be home to the reclusive goliath clans. During the Harrowing, however, trade with them through Talos and Spikepine Fortress was instantly cut off. Some argued that the proud and warlike goliaths would be unlikely candidates to completely die off, but nothing has been seen of them since the fall of Talos.
Scouts from the Talosian Pillars at Slateshield and Everstrong have twice attempted to reach the ruins of Old Renfyr City. Each time, a long survivor struggled to finish the climb back above the cloudlayer, babbling madly about an everburning city and a race of hell-touched humans calling themselves Tieflings. The surviving scouts have yet to outlive their wounds by more than a few days, but the rumors abound about a new race despoiling old Renfyrian lands.