Ganniards

Ganniards are an ancient and pious race, but struggle with constant conflict within their own society and without. Their culture is a feudal system of local lords who mostly ignore the King who rules from the distant capital of Farrelin.

Synopsis:

Brief History:
During the time when Ka-Kamora ruled over much of Verosia a race of humans that are believed to be related to the Parthans lived in the southeastern region of this continent. These shepherds lived primitive and hard lives. The land here is rocky and filled with low valleys and stone bluffs. The hills rise to low lying mountains and the plants of this area are thorny and tough. There are stretches of farmable land, but they lie between rough crags and border the dangerous mountains. Small villages formed in these areas, but rarely anything permanent. Ruins exist all over this land, of some ancient culture that built and worked with stone, but they are so ancient that it is unclear who these people were. One area, along the coast, where these ruins were excessive the Kamorans began to build a city, called Farrel. The people of this land mingled with the Kamorans and eventually became a distinctive race, called Ganiards.

The western edge of this land turns arid and eventually the grasses die out to become hard packed earth and finally the rolling sands of Vas-Meknor. For much of this early age these people lived as serfs to the powerful Kamorans, but they paid homage to and worshipped their own gods in secret. Occasionally the Kamorans would send an army into their land to seek out the priests of these false gods. Many small religions rose and fell, but none could take a foothold. Sometime, about one hundred years before the fall of Kal-Kamora, a group of Ganiard wise men were searching through ancient ruins recently discovered in the caverns west of Farrel. Here they discovered a series of stones inscribed with two texts. It seemed to translate an ancient language they didn’t know, but had seen in the ruins often, into Kamoran. The tablets were the Kamoran laws, and apparently the Kamorans had placed these stones here before the ancient civilization fell to ruins. After studying these texts and using them to translate other ancient tablets they decided that at one time the Ganiards had ruled this land. They had been conquered by the Kamorans and been forced to follow Kamoran law. When these laws commanded them to follow the Kal-Kamoran gods the Ganiards rose up in revolution. They lost, terribly, and the Kamorans wiped out all evidence of their existence that they could find. However, some of the Ganiard’s ancestors, apparently some sort of priests, hid these tablets in their monastery as well as all the tablets they could find that survived the destruction, even partially. Amongst these stones the wise men found that there had once been a belief in a great single god, who created all other gods and mortal races alike. Their ancestors called this one god Anuk, which is the same name of the Kamoran god of creation. One tablet related a prophecy speaking of a day when Anuk would destroy the Kal-Kamorans for breaking his laws, though it was unclear what Anuk’s laws were. Many men began worshipping Anuk in secrecy, and when the Kamorans discovered this new religion they actively sought out his believers and publicly executed them.

Nearly a hundred years later the prophecy on the tablet came true, when Kal-Kamora was destroyed in a single day by a massive sandstorm, wrought by the high priest of Ahad-Amal, who is the Kamoran sun god. The people of Gand saw it as a sign that their salvation was at hand. They were finally free and began to establish their own way of life. At first some men declared their rulership over the surrounding farms by their wealth. Others took control through force of might; however, no ruler’s reach could extend very far. Villages became independent of each other and each had their own Lord. The priests of Anuk tried to bring order to the Ganiards and hoped they would unite through religion. Slowly the belief in Anuk spread. The Lord of Farrel adopted it and he ordered that all others worship this god.
Before the belief in Anuk could unite the Ganiards the Parthans, also free of Kal-Kamora’s rule, sailed the coast of Gand, invading, and conquered Farrel, renaming it Farrelin. They then spread inland and subjugated the rest of Gand. Though the Parthans never had a strong foothold in this area, they ruled by force of wealth and technology. Ganiards didn’t have steel, and could barely support themselves on their own agriculture and livestock. The Parthans had the wealth of an Empire and an army of fully armored men wielding swords and spears. Though Parthus built temples to their gods and forced the Ganiards to worship them, the belief in Amal never died, and some even related him to Aminus or Shelin.

For many centuries this is how things were, the Ganiards lived as subjects once more to Parthan rule, and though they still believed in their god Anuk, they were forced to worship Parthan gods. Then the Ronans appeared in the lands north of Gand. They occasionally crossed the sea and traded with the Ganiards at Farrelin, but the Parthans did not like them and treated them badly so the Ronans came rarely. When the Ronans finally spread to the other side of Verosia and met the border of Parthus a war broke out. The Parthan-Ronan War led to the end of Parthus, and Rona moved in to occupy. Parthan gods were demonized and those worshipping them were put death. The Ganiards burned the Parthan temples, but feared raising temples to Anuk. Then the Ronan Emperor Urthain was killed, and the Crusades ended. The new Triumverate of Rona declared that no religion that did not openly oppose the beliefs of the Church of Rona would be illegal. So it was that the Ganiards finally began to worship Anuk openly again.

As Rona increased maritime trade, and completed its Great Road to connect all of Verosia, the influence of the Ronan Church grew. Farrelin had become a thriving port city to the south, where merchants could stop over on journeys to Kamora. The King of Rona named the Lord of Farrelin a Duke and gave him control over all of their land, but in exchange the Duke had to promote the Ronan Church. Many people by this time had heard the words of Ronan Priests and saw that their two religions held much in common. The Duke praised Thamor for defeating Memnik and the people remembered little of the teachings of Anuk. Hence most of Gand turned to the Ronan Church and the Priesthood of Anuk became a fringe religion. The great temples of Anuk were turned into Ronan Churches and only those who lived in the country still worshipped the old god. Eventually the Knights of Thamor took a foothold here and spread over the land.

Because Gand was still hard to traverse the Duke had very little influence outside of Farrelin. Each local Lord rose in power and eventually ran things their own way. Only the Knights of Thamor brought justice with them to these Fiefdoms. Hence, to the people, the Knights of Thamor were good, but to the Lords they were the enemy. When the Great War began the Arch-Primi of Parthus gathered the Lords of Gand under his influence. They turned on their own Duke and betrayed the Throne of Rona. Gand went to war on the side of Parthus; however, within Gand was total anarchy. The Knights of Thamor were fighting the Lords and their armies, and the Duke had no control at all. Eventually the Knights proved victorious, with the help of the common people. The Lords were defeated and the Duke took back control of Gand. However, by the time this came about Rona had already gone through terrible changes. Moar and Sora had declared their own independence and the new King of Rona was not willing to allow Gand to return to the Kingdom. Hence the new Duke named himself King and appointed new Lords from the Knights of Thamor and the local rulers who had aided them. The General of the Holy Crown in Gand did not agree with William Gilcrest-Greyven’s claim to the Holy Crown and sided with Rona. Hence Rona and Gand were once again allies, though not the same kingdom.

In Gand the Order of Thamor has some great influence, but it is truly the Lords who rule their own Fiefdoms. The Duke only rules through their willingness to agree with what he commands, and the Knights of Thamor try their best to serve as justice in a land difficult to traverse. The people of Gand generally worship the Church of Rona but the belief in Anuk is strong, and some worship both, believing Anuk is Aminus.

Appearances and Physique:
Ganiards are of average Verosian height. Their hair is usually black, brown or blonde and they have a dark tanned skin tone. Their eyes vary from lights to darks. They have slightly broad noses and thick full lips. Their eyebrows are thick and the men have dark body hair. Ganiards appear a cross between Kamorans and Parthans with some Ronan mixed in. Their women are considered exceptionally beautiful to all other human races, and their men are exceptionally masculine in appearance.

Diaspora:
Ganiards are the major population in all of Gand, and though they are found all over the world they are a small minority in all but their own land. There is a fair population in Sora, where many made the long journey to find new farmlands. Ganiards also often travel to Kamora. Beyond these realms, though, they are not very common. There are many Ganiards that travel the seas. Farrelin is a massive port city and the Ganiards love to sail. Despite this they rarely settle outside of their own lands. It is not uncommon to find Ganiard vagabonds roaming the harbor districts of ports all over Verosia, but they almost never call that place home. They stay until they find work on another sailing vessel, and almost always return home.

Culture:
Ganiards are well known for their peity. Whether it is belief in the ancient god Anuk or the more common Ronan Church, Ganiards are deeply religious. Due to this all children are raised with at least a basic knowledge of their theology. Most Ganiards believe themselves to be the chosen “Children of Anuk”. This deep faith grants them courage when it is most needed. They see Thamor as a servant of Anuk, therefore the two faiths are uniquely combined. Though most ancient Temples of Anuk were reconstructed to be Ronan Churches during the Empire of Urthaine, now those churches have reopened their shrines to this creator figure, and worship both faiths devotedly. Though the General of the Holy Crown in Gand does not propagate this belief he also does not condone it. Ronans have long believed that Aminus is the creator deity, and the Church is willing to accept this variation on their faith so long as Thamor has supremacy in law and divinity.

Gand boasts a very unique architecture. Heavily influenced by the ruins that litter the countryside, their buildings have a particularly Kal-Kamoran feel to them. Most Ronan Churches were actually Temples of Anuk in ancient times, and so they are very bizarre in comparison to a classical church design. However, most new structures are a mixture of modern Ronan design with that Ganiard flare. Particularly Ganiard design means smooth blocked stones of tan or white, or stucco covering stonework. There is always a heavy use of arches, pillars and domes. Windows are often round and most doors are arched pinewoods. They prefer steep curves to sharp corners and like to crest rectangular buildings with arched stonework. Roofs are usually clay tile, sometimes curved and sometimes flat, but always stacked. The Ronans have built many of their traditional castles here, with heavy stonework and more boxy designs, however even they were influenced to give their work the same look and feel of the surrounding architecture.

Ganiards consider education secondary to agriculture and religion. There is no official organized educational system. The wealthy pay private tutors to educate their children and the poor are either educated by their families or through the church. The Ronan Church has made an effort to teach everyone at least the basics of reading and writing, and particularly history, though of their own design.

The Ganniard government is one of Fiefdoms, with Lords ruling each Fief and answering only to the King. Women have practically no power in Ganniard society. They are rarely educated, and are expected to be home keepers and provide support to their husbands. They are, however, very influential as the wives of important men. They can speak for their husbands, and do business for them. When a woman is widowed, if she does not have a son or son-in-law to take control of the family estate, then she takes control. However, she is expected to marry within five years of her husbands passing, or she will forfeit her estate to the next male family member or the adjacent estate. The power of each Lord is incredible in his lands. Everyone in his land pays him high taxes and has little to no say in his governing. They must bring all disputes to him and must obey all laws he passes. Each Lord is required to maintain his own forces. Though Farrelin has its own army, the Lords each have their own soldiers, who dress and are armed differently. Some are forced into service by their Lord, while other Lords choose to hire mercenaries with little to no ties to the land to serve as law enforcement. The Knights of Thamor are the only real rule of justice in Gand. They ride the country side administering law as they find need, and often they are approached by the denizens of local fiefs for aid against unrighteous leaders. The Knights must follow the laws of the land though, even if it does not seem just, and so they are limited in their ability to act.

Attire and Style:
Ganiard dress is vastly different between its social casts. The poorer serfs and vassals dress in long shirts of wool over wool pants and skirts. Short boots were preferred and belts are made of leather and tied rather than buckled. Wide brimmed hats are preferred, and putting a large feather in them is a preferred adornment. Men and women of the lower classes rarely have jewelry, as they are often over taxed and must sell such belongings. Copper and bronze jewelry is very common, with precious stones, but few gems. As such, they tend to decorate such metals intricately, with elaborate patterns and hunting or farming scenes appropriate with their life styles. The women wear dresses that constrict the waist and accentuate cleavage. Clothing for dress rather than work is double layered, with a brighter color beneath. They light to accentuate shoulders and forearms by overstuffing these areas with light weight cloth. Clothing is usually dark brown or black on the outside with a tan or white inner layer.

The nobility dress quite differently. Clothing is heavily adorned with elaborate stitch work. Men prefer tight pants and doublets. Their clothing is tighter and stiffer, while being more and more puffed out with padding and slashings, giving it a dual visual message. Women mimic the men in a tight upper torso, but prefer broad lower torsos and sleeves, which is attained by stuffing and hoops. They especially are found of over-cinched corsets that push the cleavage in and up, so as to create a cone shaped torso. Ganniard nobles prefer reds and golds, or blacks and blues. They double or triple layer their clothing, fading to lighter colors within, usually white. The wealthy in Gand adorn themselves heavily in gold jewelry, usually mined from their high hills in the west. Clothing is often studded in gold and gems, as well as heavy amulets, rings and chokers. Brooches are a particularly fashionable statement, dangling from mid-chest to stomach. Men of nobility prefer narrower hats, but also with large plooms, though usually very rare and ornate.

Ironically, the Ganiard love of overly fancy dress has led to some outrageous armor designs. Particularly royal guards at the King’s Palace in Farrellin dress in gold and red wool doublets with stuffed shoulders and kilts over their armor. In fact, some armor has been sacrificed to make the appearance possible, giving credence to the jokes that Ganniard guards spend more time getting dressed than they do guarding.

Ganniards prefer to wear their hair long. Tattoos are considered a sign of evil, and only used by cults and worshipers of evil deities such as Memnik. This is probably a carry over from the time when the Kamorans ruled over them. Women do wear face paint, and it isn’t uncommon for some men to wear a bit, such as black eyeliner. Bathing is mostly a habit of the upper class, but even then they bath only once or twice every ten days.

Religion and Supernatural Beliefs:

Ganniards at War:

Intercultural Relations:

Attributes:

Human Racial Traits

All humans have the following standard abilities:

  • Medium Size: As Medium-size creatures, humans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Human base speed is 30 feet.
  • 1 extra feat at 1st level, because humans are quick to master specialized tasks and varied in their talents.
  • Attribute Bonus: Humans are quick to adapt to their environment. Due to this each sub-race of humans has a list of special, “human only” attribute modifiers from which they may choose two. These traits may only be taken at character creation and only those that are listed for that sub-race may be chosen. The characters may also optionally use their bonus human feat to buy another one of the attribute modifiers for their sub-race (though not more than two of the same modifier).
  • 4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level, since humans are versatile and capable. (The 4 skill points at first level are added on as a bonus, not multiplied in; see PHB Chapter 4: Skills).
  • Racial Feats: Each race of humans has a list of feats specific to their race that they and they alone have access to. Some are restricted to be being bought using the free human feat upon character creation, while others may be bought with later feats.
  • Racial Skills: Each sub-race of humans has a list of skills specific to their race that they may take as “class-skills” despite whatever class the character takes. If a character did not develop in his own culture he may still take these skills as if they are “class-skills” when he is exposed to them, as it is part of his natural tendencies.
  • Automatic Languages: See PHB P. 12.

Each individual sub-race of humans also has its own special abilities

Ganniards:

  • Ganniard Attribute Modifiers: The following attribute modifiers are specific to Ganniards and one may be taken for free at character creation. The free feat gained for being human may also be used to buy another modifier (though not the same one), but only with this free feat:
    • Attractive (+1 Charisma),
    • Strong-Willed (+1 to Wisdom)
  • Racial Feats: The following is a list of feats from which characters of this sub-race may purchase with feat. Those that are marked with a * can only be bought with the free human feat at character creation:
    • “Child of Amal” (+4 moral saving throw bonus when faith is relevant).
  • Racial Skills: Ganniards have access to the following racial skills: Knowledge (Religions-Ronan, and Histories-Ronan,Ganniard), Profession
  • Languages:
    • Automatic Languages: Verosian.
    • Bonus Languages: The Gods’ Tongue, Kamoran, Mikanian, Bamorian, Old Parthan, Folkish & Darktongue.
  • Favored Class: A Ganniard’s favored class can be any except Druid. Ganniards are not particularly better at or prejudiced against any one class; however, they have never been exposed to the Druidic Religion and their ancient beliefs do not make it likely they would associate with this religion. When determining if a multi-class human suffers an XP penalty, his highest-level class (that is not one of the above) does not count (see PHB P.56).

LINKS
Gand
Verosians
Duneimen
The Ronan Pantheon
Anuk

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License