The OnceBorn & Other Lost Ones

ho is on the Lord's side? And who may come to Him? Well, no discussion of the world and it's creatures would be complete without first examining the OnceBorn. In the mists of the Glade, the four races of Man were the OverLord's own special creation. These creatures are the OnceBorn; the foolish, wandering ones so often taken in by Shaitan's fine "gifts." First and foremost, we labor to reach these lost ones. It should be noted that while we are to proclaim to all the world, it is the deepest crime to kill any of our fellow Men (or women!) They are to be won over to the OverLord and Rescued from the Dragons. If they hinder you, they may be fought and subdued...but killing them is a Crime before the OverLord!

NPC Men as opponents may be used with a set BA and PV, as shown, or may be "random rolled" with variable hit points and skills. Every OnceBorn does have a ST, AG and EN rating used to figure combat and other activities, and some have special racial abilities exactly similar to Raider scores. In any event, regardless of adjustments, ST, AG, and EN never fall lower than 1. All of the Races (except elves) will take service as a hired sword-slinger (DragonSoldier) in the lands where the Dragons operate in the open, or may train to be a soldier/warrior for their own people.

In rare cases, a NPC who is converted to the TwiceBorn may be rolled as a PC and brought into the game. (See the New Player Races page for stats on playing the other races as characters.) Usually the AG and ST stay the same and the Primes (Gifts of the Spirit) are rolled up. Such a player may begin the game with special knowledge of normally hidden parts of the campaign. Elves,dwarves and gnomes may be rolled at the beginning of a game, but the very existence of the morlocks, darklings and deep gnomes is a game secret, and no one may run a Player Character from these races until they are discovered within the natural progression of the campaign.

Cross-breeding is rare among DragonSlaves, but we are very open-minded in the Liberated Land. Elf/Human combinations are most common, and frequent gnome/dwarf combinations do occur. The rare elf/dwarf also happens. Legislating this particularly taxing task is left for the adventurous GM.

The OnceBorn

Dwarves (Red Dwarves)
APPEARING: d8 in a work party 
BA: 5 (or as Agility) 
   &nbsp6 if Warrior, or (AG +1)
FOR ST: Roll d4+6
FOR AG: Roll d6-1 
FOR EN: Roll d8+3 
FOR HITS: 30 (or 4d8+6) 
    KN of 6 (See Below)
    WM at -4
    TA (Tinker Ability) at d4
DAMAGE: d10 War Hammer 

he dwarves fare poorly under Dragon rule in the occupied lands. Their skills and true love lies in the construction and ownership of fine gems and metals...but the Dragons hoard such things, and only allow the dwarves limited access to such baubles. (An woe be the name of the dwarf who "accidentally" pockets a few gems for himself!) Most dwarves in the occupied lands are forced to be farmers and live above the earth, for Flame sake! No wonder that they have a reputation for being surly!

When generally encountered, dwarves are in a work party on some task for a greedy Dragon master. They are commonly about 3" in height, and a dirty beige if found in the depths of the mines, but most you meet these days shamedly sport a permanent pink shading from hard work in the sun. ("Burnneck!" is the vilest curse to a dwarf.) Dwarven society in the DragonLands is stoutly patriarchal... women fighters exist, but must be prepared for a constant ribbing from their male counter-parts. 

Regular Onceborn dwarves fight at a base BA of 5 if using the familiar "Dwarven Hammer", but with any other form of weapon they attack at BA 1. The hammer may be employed as a missile weapon and thrown. Defense rolls are always at AG or 5. Dwarves pressed into the military will have platemail of poor (read "Human") workmanship and additional arms training, and fight at BA6. They will always prefer to use a War Hammer over all other weapons, however.

Their hearty constitutions allow them powerful ST and EN bonuses, but there is a drawback...all WM checks are made at -4. If the end WM rating is 0 or lower, the dwarf will SINK LIKE A STONE in any body of water. Their dense, compact bodies sink rapidly in any liquid, leading to the almost phobic fear of ponds, rivers and oceans found in the dwarves. 

All dwarves have a special "Tinker Ability" or TA, which ranges from 1 to 4. This represents their natural Strengths in fixing/creating complex clockwork machinery. (Player Character dwarves may have TA as high as 15.) All dwarves have a KN6 in stone construction, mining, weapons & armor smithing, and blacksmithing. (Although dwarves are instinctively good judges of gems & gold and precious metals, they leave the working of such stuff to the gnomes. If you want fancy scrollwork on your dwarven sword, they call in a gnome sub-contractor.)

Dwarves are loosely organized into clans, and there are annual meetings of sub-clans to discuss business (if permitted by the Dragons.) Every ten years a meeting of entire clans occurs in a place called Ulderholm, but non-dwarves are never invited, so the location of this dwarven ancestral town is unknown.

Dwarven eyes are usually brown or black with an occasional brilliant blue, but such dwarves are shunned, said chidingly to "have a little bit of elf in the family". Most would tend to wear sensible, durable clothing in earthtones if available.

Elves (Green Elves)
APPEARING: d8 in Woods Patrol
BA: 6 (or as Agility)+1 if Bow
    NEVER serves as DragonSoldier
FOR ST: Roll d6-1
FOR AG: Roll d4+6
FOR EN: Roll d8-1
FOR HITS: 18 (or 3d8)
    KN at 6 (Woodlore)
    CA at 3 (all animals)
    TE at 3 (in forests)
DAMAGE: d6 Bow or d8 Sword

specially in the DragonLands, the age old enmity between Dragons and elves stands true. Elves may be found as DragonSlaves, elves may be found as OnceBorn who don't know the OverLord, and elves may even be unknowing pawns in the vast, murky power plays of the Scaley Ones, but no elf will willingly serve a Dragon. Whereas other Men will hire out to serve the Dragons in the lands where they are seen, elves are the eternal enemy of the Dragons, and will not consent to help them in any way, preferring torture or death to aiding the Dark Ones or their plans.

The battle goes back into the mists of time. To the OnceBorn elves, the Dragons were the ones who caused the split of all Elvenkind into the Green and the Dark, and scattered them from the Glade. Most of the young elves today discount the story of the Scattering as a legend, but still hate the Dragons nonetheless. This "casting out" is really enough of a reason to despise the Dragonkind, but the TwiceBorn lay a far deeper curse at the clawed feet of Shaitan's Brood. For thousands of years, the Dragons told the bitterest lie of all to the elves: that the forest ones had no souls and could not hope to obtain salvation through the OverLord. For the memory of all of their kind who died apart from the OverLord, the green elves have eternal distrust and hatred for the Dragons.

In particularly oppressed parts of Talania, the elves are forced to live in squalid towns, far from the green forests they love so well. Extensive hidden networks of rebels are said to fight the Dragons' rule, but are so disorganized that they usually end up fighting each other. (And the Dragons laugh.) TwiceBorn elves are ever on the lookout for these poor brothers, and boy, do they want to spread the Good News!

Elves fight at a BA of 6 if using bow. If any other weapon is used, they fight as a attack BA of 1 (while defense rolls remain at remains at 6 or Agility.) They have KN of 6 on all woodlore, and a Track Enemy of 3 in woodland situations. All NPC elves also hold a 3 rating in Converse with Animals. (And remember, that's animals, normal or giant, not the monsters that the Dragons create.) There is a 5% chance that any individual elf will know the "Elven Neck Pinch"; on a successful "hit" with an open hand, an enemy so touched will pass out for 2d10 minutes with no harmful effects. (The chance to know this is 25% in PC elves, but it cannot be taught, and is only checked for once.) 

Elves stand at about 5 to 5-1/2 feet tall, with green or violet eyes and sandy or blond hair. They appear to be frail humans with pointed ears. Elves are masters at the "waif look"...their grace and beauty mean a lower ST score, but a higher AG. Given the choice, they prefer pastel colors of dress. 

APPEARING: d8 in a work party
BA: 4 (or as Agility)
   &nbsp5 if Warrior (or AG +1)
FOR ST: Roll d4+6
FOR AG: Roll d4+6
FOR EN: Roll d8+3
FOR HITS: 25 (or 4d8+3)
    KN of 6 (See Below)
    LIS at 5
    CA at 3
    WM at -4 
DAMAGE: 1-5 Handaxe, d10 BattleAxe if Warrior 

hese large-nosed cousins to the dwarves are known for their abilities in humor and acting, preferring music and jest in what little free time life and the Dragons give them. Gnomes in the DragonLands lean towards practical jokes and somewhat boorish "barnyard" humor, but in the Liberated Lands they are some of the finest musicians and playwrights. Their bards are second only to the elves, and they love a good joke. The Dragons are rumored to occasionally keep gnomish bards and jesters. (Elves might be more entertaining, but we know how the Dragons get along with them.)

When generally encountered, gnomes are usually in a work party on some task for a greedy Dragon master. They are commonly about 2" in height, and as wooden a brown as you might find in the hilly farms they love so well. If left to themselves, they will dig lavish burrows deep into the hillsides, where the climate is fair year round. A gnome's social stature is determined by the number of rooms in his burrow. Gnomes mate for life, and are devoted spouses. In fact, seemingly their only drawback is their love of the arts, and occasionally a gnome may let his home fall into disrepair or his crops rot in the field if attached to a particularly interesting project. 

OnceBorn gnomes fight at a base BA of 4 if using their gnomish handaxe, but with any other form of weapon they attack at BA 1. (However, they may fight at BA 4 if using farming tools; GM to determine damage.) The handaxe may be employed as a missile weapon and thrown. Defense rolls are always at AG or 4. Dwarves pressed into the military will have chainmail of fair workmanship and additional arms training, and fight at BA5. Gnomish soldiers will also be able to fight with a larger d10 battle axe, also throwable. Their hearty constitutions provide high ST and EN scores, but there is a drawback...akin to dwarves, all WM checks are made at -3. If the end WM rating is 0 or lower, the dwarf will SINK LIKE A STONE in any body of water. They fear running or deep water as do their cousins the dwarves. 

All gnomes have extremely keen ears, scoring a LIS of 5, and most play one or more instruments. They have KN of 6 on construction of any type, wood or stone, and on fine metalwork and jewelry making. (They leave the grunt work of weapons and blacksmithing to their cousins the dwarves.) They also love living things, and score CA of 2. 

All gnomes carry a bright red pointed cap (reversible to black for nightwork, but few outside of the gnomes know that.) They prefer sensible earth-toned clothes, but enjoy a splash of color in a brightly colored overcloak, often with intricate embroidery in woodland designs. (Both male and female gnomes enjoy this pastime, and anyone who jokes about that is going to have a rough time coming from this gnome!) Eyes are usually in bluish tones, from grey to brilliant baby blue. Hair varies from white to gray. 

APPEARING: d10 in a Work Gang
BA: 5 (or as Agility)
   &nbsp6 (or AG +1) if DragonSoldier
     or Warrior
FOR ST: Roll d10
FOR AG: Roll d10
FOR HITS: 20 (or 3d8)
FOR EN: Roll d8 (Usually poorly fed)
DAMAGE: d6 Bow or d8 Sword

umans tend to be the most prolific of the races of Men, and are usually the first to get into line for the smooth lies and horrible gifts of the dragons. If Hits are random-rolled, low Hit NPC's may be women and children. Women, except for female DragonSoldiers (professional fighters) will fight on a -1 to BA attack and defense. Children (HP 1-4) will fight, if cornered, at a BA of 2.

Humans tend to be better all around workers, and are more capable of getting complicated projects done. They make good managers and overseers, and that is why they are often enforcers for the Dragons. What can be said about humans that the OverLord has not said better?

Other Lost Ones

n these dark DragonLands you will sometimes encounter sad creatures who are "fence sitters" in the battle between Light and Dark. These "lukewarm ones", for one reason or another, either deny the battle, or see themselves apart from it. (Perhaps your witness can pursude them!) More data is yet to be found, but here's all that is known on Talania's most prominant group of "moderates"...the Centuars.

No. Appearing: d6
Size: 8' 
Battle Ability: 6
Vitality: 28
Enchantment: Blind SCIENCE!
Strength Attacked: BT
Strength Damaged: FA
Passed by: Lecture
Physical Attacks: d8 Sword or d6+2 bow

entaurs are the scientists of Urth. The race prides itself on clear, logical thinking and practical solutions to all problems. (A common Centaur oath is, "Show me the data!") Sadly, this intellectual excellence leads to their racial sin enchantment of "Blind Science." Once, the entire race knew the OverLord well (after all, who can look at a rainbow and not see the evidence of the OverLord's own hand?) But over time, they listened to the Dragons' scaly lies of Blind Science. To most Centaurs, the OLMN is a easily cast off myth, having no place in their logical, scientific world. ("Salvation? It makes no sense! Why should this mythical OLMN give all and expect nothing in return?") Most Centaurs even dismiss the Dragons as a foolish myth (until confronted by one, usually!) 

OnceBorn Centaur scientists will not part with any device or knowledge, viewing non-Centaurs as well-meaning dolts that cannot hope to scale the mount of Science and use its gifts. Anyone striking up more than a passing conversation with them will have to make a BT roll vs. DLd8 or be infected with Blind Science, with damage points going against Faith. An infected individual will begin to be simply in LOVE with his/her own brilliance, and will begin to view their own views as the only worthwhile ones to have. They will begin making elaborate sketches of outlandish and useless machines on table napkins, and will start shouting "Eureka!" out of the blue. Scripture which recognizes the OLMN's wisdom and sovereignty over all things will bring them round. Even beating the Enchantment leaves a Raider dazed and confused for d8*2 minutes, and subtracts -3 from attacks or mental reasoning of any kind. This attack form is only checked at the start of a conversation, however, and after the initial effect, it is possible to converse with them reasonably.

It is a difficult task to bring the Good News to a perfectly logical Centaur, who pride themselves on their reasonable thinking. The race has generally decided that naught but Nature exists. Oddly, the fact that one of their own kind, the sagely Issac Newtron, decreed that every Effect must have a Cause seems not to trouble them, nor that the evidence shows a world of Order rising out of Chaos in opposition to the Law of Entropy. Bring these arguments up, and the Centaur involved will snort that you are off the subject and walk away! When presented with clear evidence, though, many will come to God. 

While not true Men from the Glade, these creatures may overcome their racial tendencies, and may be made Twiceborn. There are pockets of TwiceBorn Centaurs here and there, and their love of physics and knowledge is tempered by their honor of the Great Engineer, the OverLord, who made all things, knows all things, and passes some small bit of his wisdom on to those who listen. The chief difference twixt these TwiceBorn Centuars and their fallen kin is that there are things that these reformed Cenaturs will NOT explore, and things they refuse to pass along to the other races. "There are Things that Centaurs are Not Meant to Know," they say, with the capitalizations included! They may elect to share devices or knowledge with a party of LightRaiders, if the OverLord bids them. Usually, they will volunteer what a party needs; very rarely will they give up an item at the party's request. ("If the OverLord wanted you to have that, he would have told us!") Still, they are good-natured and enthusiastic about knowledge. VERY few go adventureing, preferring their own quiet research, but some such fighters are known to aid when a particularly sinister Evil rises in the land!

Centaurs LOVE clockwork machines of all kinds, and some simple but useful Centaur-built devices may be available in town...wrist watches, pneumatic grappling hooks, that kind of thing. The dwarven clockworks are usually better crafted, but for pure theoretical cutting-edge stuff, count on Centaur Labs! Any such device given to a party has a 10% chance of malfunction per use, with usually humrous rather than deadly results. The chance for items bought in the DragonLands from non-LightRaider sources rises to a full 40% malfunction roll, with more dangerous results, often destroying the device. (Hey, you don't know WHO built that thing, even if it carries a CL seal!)

There are several well-known Centaurs of note: A roving reseacher named "Dolby" is a field agent for the TwiceBorn Centaurs, and has been known to take up a sword and protractor for the OverLord on occasion. Other known Centaurs include Thomas (Eddy's son) and Albert Hind-stein. One famous OnceBorn Centaur is a red-haired foal named "Skhully", who has managed to dispute every well-phrased theological argument ever presented to her, and still is a disbeliever to this day. Many LightRaiders actually enjoy encounters with this wiley lass, for it gives them a chance to test their mettle against a well-meaning but clueless "secular Centarist". 

Centaurs are physically similar to the classic man-horse of human myth. A fully grown adult stands about seven feet high and fully horse-sized in the equine body. Males are generally bearded, but this may follow anything from a brief goatee to a full beard. Females tend to be slightly smaller, and cover their breasts with simple shawls, woven from fine cloth they purchase from other races. 

Onward, for the OverLord!


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