The World of Andrus is primal. This setting is high fantasy with all the trappings barring one; there are no humans.
This world’s primary cultures share the trait of cold blood. Serpent and reptile cultures have been most influential on history throughout Andrus. This is a quick primer for the main cultures of Andrus and the influences they have exerted on the world around them.
Two progenitor cultures, the Naga and Medusa, established ancient civilizations by which the rest of the world has been influenced.
The Naga rose to power with the help of their Serpent folk followers. Their empire spanned the continent of Upper Andrus and those lands were subjugated for thousands of years. Through their twisted manipulation of both Lizardfolk and Vishkanya they developed the blindly loyal servitor race known as Nagaji. The Naga are generally ageless monsters and continue to grow as they age. The greatest among them, the Royal Naga, are truly immortal. Luckily none of these monstrosities have been seen for the last few millennia. Their aberrant dark magic spawned some of the most recognized monsters that inhabit and hunt the upper continent. For example, their experimentation is responsible for draconic variations such as Behir, Wyvern and Tatzlwyrms. The original Serpent folk servants have all but vanished and all that remains of the great Naga Empire are ruins, a few degenerate Naga warlords and the hardy Nagaji.
Medusa typically possess oracular powers of varying degrees. Their culture has flourished under their benevolent rule on the continent of Lower Andrus specifically along the north eastern coast. There are two variations of Medusa, the more common lesser Medusa and the rarer Matriarchs. Lesser Medusa are strikingly beautiful female humanoids with serpentine hair and a gaze that can petrify. Medusa Matriarchs possess large or huge serpentine bodies with a scale covered monstrous humanoid upper torso, serpentine hair and a more powerful petrifying gaze. Medusa govern their portion of Lower Andrus from the Shining Kingdom. The vast majority of the population is Vishkanya with a regular flow of commerce from the Lizardfolk tribe lands.
The most prolific culture in Andrus is the Lizardfolk of Lower Andrus. They developed settlements in parallel to both the Naga and Medusa but only recently approached the level of magical and social refinement needed to become what most would consider civilized. This culture has managed to adapt to various climates in order to settle in areas of Andrus that are less than hospitable to their cold blooded heritage. They started establishing larger settlements and evolving past their tribal squabbles to develop agriculture and resource refinement. Lizardfolk ships are the most advanced of all the cultures and have enabled them to expand from Lower Andrus to settlements on Upper Andrus. While still wary of outsiders the Lizardfolk now understand the value of developing trade relations with other cultures.
The most recent inhabitants of Andrus, the Fae, have been settling across Upper Andrus over last thousand years. This culture is actually four tribes of plane touched humanoids. The Fae are actually descended from a single culture that was indentured to lords of the elemental planes for generations. Over the millennia of servitude they absorbed the energies of the elemental planes and changed fundamentally from their origins. Now there are four specific tribes.
The Tallor Fae are scions of flame. Their heritage is destruction tempered with patience and longevity. Tallor tend to be tall, alabaster or ashen skinned with flowing golden or red hair and flickering embers for eyes. This tribe of the Fae was nearly wiped out by a magical phage of unknown origins not long after their arrival on Andrus so they are a rare encounter. Their homeland on Andrus is now referred to as the Blood Wood due to the year round crimson leaves on trees wrapped in smooth pale bark.
The Talath Fae are scions of earth. Their heritage is craft coupled with loyalty and stability. Talath tend to be stockier with skin dark like granite or even obsidian. Hair is usually dark and short cropped for both male and females. Eyes often appear to be glimmering gemstones of nearly endless colors. The Talath call the mountains of the northern reaches of Upper Andrus their home and delve deep into the dirt and stone to extract gems and ore for their crafts.
The Maenal Fae are scions of air. Their heritage is freedom coupled with an insatiable curiosity and constant need for movement. Maenal tend to be smaller in stature and deceivingly frail in appearance. Their skin is usually pale with strange swirls of blue giving the impression of movement. Hair is usually white or silver in color while eyes run the gamut from cloud white, blue sky or stormy grey a few rare members of this tribe actually develop wings as part of their heritage. Maenal Fae call the windswept bluffs of south western Upper Andrus their home.
The Gaer Fae are scions of water. Their heritage is adaptability coupled with a general kindness and determination. Gaer tend to be fairly average height and lithe. Their skin, often covered in fine scales like a fish, ranges in tone from greens and blues to mottled browns. Hair is often tied back and dark in color. Eyes usually shimmer like an ocean or lake at sundown or under a full moon. The Gaer Fae call the wetlands found across Upper Andrus their home. They ply their skills as fishermen and trappers to trade. These folk are the most likely to encounter Lizardfolk and the other scalykind as they settle and open trade routes.
There is another lesser known tribe of Fae, the Khemir. These are corrupted scions of shadow. Their heritage is usually hatred coupled with a thirst for power. They are the result of any member of one of the other tribes renouncing their native heritage and falling to the temptations of the Shadow. Khemir tend to fit the description of their tribe of origin except colors are washed out and monochromatic. Shadow clings to the Khemir as part of their corruption. There are no known settlements of Khemir Fae as they tend to live short violent lives in the service of their corrupted heritage.
Some of the other cultures inhabiting Andrus include the Bast’et Prides of Upper Andrus, the Tauran Clanholds over the northern mountains of Upper Andrus, the Kobold Warrens of the south western reaches of Lower Andrus, the strange Waer Mystics that wander the entire world with no known stronghold or origin and the wasteland of the Ghoul Horde infesting the south eastern mountain range of Lower Andrus.
By vashnaar|2020-10-15T02:33:24+00:00September 20, 2020|Settings|Comments Off on Cultures of Andrus
Been gaming for over 35 years since discovering the original Red Box Basic D&D around the age of 8. Been playing ever since through all iterations of D&D and every other table top system we could afford.