What do you know about what happened … before?
The world of Roth is vast beyond imagining. It is home to countless lifeforms of all shapes and sizes, and has been for millions of years. Several races can be found in nearly every corner of the world, though many exist still undiscovered. For a myth to be spread across the lands, it would require a formidable tale; so imagine how powerful the Arthropod Empire was to have become a legend among all races.
Their race’s true name is insectoid, yet that does not carry as much weight as Arthropod. Travel the world and speak their name to hear stories of their malice and power. Their queen, an unknown terror who lived deep within the caverns of the world, commanded thousands of legions that swept across the world like a tide. Their intelligence was their strength; what one discovered, all discovered – the unbeatable hive mind. Skillsets could be shared nearly instantaneously from one side of the globe to the other. Their generals could command each battle as if they were there. They were unstoppable … until the day they decided to stop themselves. No one knows why (everyone has their theory), but on the first day of Winter, three centuries ago, the Empire ceased their conquering and the hive mind shut off from nearly every one of their soldiers. Alone for the first time, many of them fought one another, primal in their instincts. Only a small portion of them retained enough sense to flee, breed, and continue their race as exiles of the Empire. The handful that were not cut off set sail, seemingly without purpose, to the island of Dorado.
Dorado was a fable to most races; the island of treasure, where the Arthropod stored its fortune – an island of dinosaurs, creatures which only existed in a few places. Now, it was confirmed to be real. Over the years, several races attempted to seize the island, but failed. Survivors recall the Arthropod’s ability to return from the dead, something they did not have before the island. Disturbed by the attacks from outsiders, the remaining Arthropods used magic (an extremely rare resource) to erect a barrier that encircled the entire island. It became impenetrable. This was the case for hundreds of years, until just a few days ago.
The barrier is now passable, at least from the outside, and their island is vulnerable for the first time. The Arthropods are said to be gone, the remaining large insects they rode into battle now feral. Those who travel there often feel stronger, faster, and it’s said that they might even be able to survive death, albeit they lose memories when it happens. Death on this island does not come without cost; those who experience it often feel like a piece of themselves is missing, like an itch that cannot be scratched. The island of Dorado is up for the taking. Will you go to explore? To discover? To settle? To conquer? One thing’s certain: whatever wiped out the Arthropods is a mystery to behold.
Humans populate the majority of the world’s continents. They’re the most common race of humanoid. They’re also the most likely to war against one another; their cultural differences are often vast from land to land. Some Humans have remained tribal, ritualistic, and warriors in nature. Others have grown a love for technology and discovery, using black-powder in battle. Noble houses and Kingdoms have formed within Human society since before the reign of the Arthropod Empire, though many fell during such events.
It cannot be said that all Humans were enemies of the Empire. Many fought against it, Kingdoms rising together to hold back the tide, but there were some Kingdoms, tribes, and cultures which succumbed to slavery or collaboration. Humans have been natural enemies of the green-skinned races of the world (Orcs, Goblins, and Trolls) since both races met. That isn’t to say they always fight them, many Humans and Greenskins have befriended one another, some even bred. Their friendship with Dwarves, Halflings, and Elves is often renowned, yet their differences could not be more apparent. The Human race cannot be summarised under specific alignments; they’re a complex and versatile race. War, exploration, discovery, lands to conquer, even fun; there’s a number of reasons as to why Humans would journey to Dorado.
One of the strongest races in the world, Orcs are renowned for their prowess in battle. It isn’t down to purely brute strength like the Giants, however; their intelligence can match that of a Human. Their cultures are usually more primitive in weaponry, relying on their larger frames, cunning, and strength in battle. Since the fall of the Empire, some Orcish tribes have integrated into black-powder society, dressing more like Humans, and taking advantage of their discoveries. Most Orcs follow warchiefs or elders, but there have been examples of Orcish Kingdoms in some lands.
Most Orcs fought the Arthropods relentlessly. Their numbers were nearly equal to the Humans before the Empire; they lost nearly half their people to the war. Very few collaborated; many were taken into slavery and used for heavy lifting – it was far easier to tame a broken orc than an angry giant. Their love for Goblins and Trolls is not uncommon, yet they often bicker and fight with their fellow greenskins just as much as they ally with them. Some might travel to Dorado for war – even revenge, and others might just be seeking a place to settle.
Often considered the most beautiful of the races, Elves are known for their love for nature and the land around them. They try to avoid conflict more than most other races. It is rare to find a gun in the hands of an Elf, though in the modern day, it is not unheard of. They usually live in dense forestry, hiding their civilizations away from the rest of the world. They have no love for cursed creatures, specifically undead, and are often seen as stubborn and arrogant beings. Elves who live in Humanity’s civilizations are often either wealthy, and part of a noble house, or extremely poor, street beggars. Rarely does an Elf find itself inbetween. There are variations of Elves, most notably the Dark Elf (differentiated by their dark blue or nearly black complexion).
They managed to avoid conflict with the Empire for a long time; the Arthropods did not have need for wood beyond making siege weapons. When they did disturb the wild, Elves and Dryads often formed an alliance to attack the Empire’s drones. When it happened one too many times, the Arthropod Queen began ordering for woodlands to be burned upon sight. This is when the Elves truly entered the fray, and became one of the major reasons the Arthropods did not conquer the entirety of Roth. They see themselves as higher beings, and in most cases they’re correct. Their numbers are rarer than Humans, Orcs, and Dwarves, but in recent years they have been more open to society. Perhaps those who travel to Dorado do so out of an obligation to preserve the island’s magic, or perhaps it’s because they’re simply curious. One thing that can be said, however, is if Elves are interested, something must first be fascinating.
If there’s one thing common among all Dwarvish clans, it’s that they’re as stubborn as they are hairy. A stocky race that should never be underestimated, Dwarves are the natural miners of the world. Many do not enjoy journeying outside (aside from Hill Dwarves, but even they often feel uncomfortable) for fear of falling into the sky. They nearly all have beards, even the women often grow them, and they flaunt them for the world to see. Hill Dwarves are usually taller, and Dark Dwarves blacker of skin.They’re often a superstitious people. Greed is also commonplace among their clans. Dwarves are usually ruled by kings or councils, yet their true power comes from their guilds. These guilds are responsible for nearly all trade outside of their own race, and make up a huge portion of their armies.
They’re natural inventors and tinkerers; the golem design was theirs. They’re untrusting of races whose culture differs greatly to theirs – Elves, Orcs, Goblins, etc. When the Empire came, they were the first to find out. The Arthropod burrowed into their tunnels and stole many of their supplies. The Dwarves were one of the first races to stand against the Empire and remained a formidable pain in their thorax till their last days. Dwarves would likely be travelling to Dorado for the wealth and untapped resources, though not all Dwarves have these motives.
Mischievous, vicious, and untrustworthy creatures that often live within caves, disturbing the Dwarves as nomadic squatters. They’re clever; most of their intelligence comes from stealing Dwarvish designs. Never to be underestimated for their size, Goblins share the Orc’s love for battle and seek it out, even when it’s to their demise. They have the fight or flight instinct, picking their battles carefully. Most other races do not enjoy the company of Goblins, and those they ally with usually do so out of necessity.
A large percentage of Goblins helped the Arthropods in the later stages of the war. Other races believe the Goblins were always loyal, but this is not the case. They were the first target of the Queen’s onslaught. Their homes and clans were slaughtered before anyone knew the Empire’s wrath. They did not seek outside help, believing they could band together and fight this enemy alone. It did not work out well for them. Those who did not join the Empire, fled underground, forming new civilizations there for the next few hundred years. They did not falter, however, and they still see themselves as formidable as ever. They always seek to take undiscovered land, with hopes they can rebuild themselves to their former, pesky, glory – so it is no surprise that they now travel to Dorado.
If Orcs are the counter to Humans, and Goblins to Dwarves, consider Trolls the Elves of their world. They’re tall and nimble, as opposed to strong. They’re often skilled, using bows, and spend a lot of time in dense forests. They clash often with Elves, fighting over small portions of land. Their love for nature differs from Elves in that they believe they shouldn’t shepherd the world, but instead allow it to do its own balancing. They have previously formed alliances with the Orcs, and through proxy, the Goblins, but they mostly stick to themselves. Their tribes war among one another enough that Trolls are rarely a problem for any who do not enter their forests. It’s rare for a band of Trolls to raid outside territories, but it is not unheard of.
They were one of the only races to attack the Empire before they were attacked. Their survival of the fittest instinct made them realize how vulnerable they would be if they did not intervene alongside other races. Their pride does not often blind them. Trolls are quick to become aggressive; their culture often has no room for sensitive types. In times of old, Trolls had their own empires, and conquered lands themselves – perhaps that is why they, too, travel to Dorado – or maybe it’s just their instincts telling them the war is not yet over.
Often seen as the most innocent of races, Halflings are a wonder to behold. Most live simple lives, sticking to themselves in small communities and only trading with outside races whenever merchants are near their homes. They’re stalwart, despite their size, and perhaps it is because of their childlike appearance that they are rarely raided. Goblins do not care how innocent you are, however, and are often the natural enemy of the Halfling.
The Empire rarely reached lands where Halflings resided. Few tales of their clashes exist, and those that do are told with a somber tone – a slaughter against the Halflings. Fortunately, they avoided most of the war by not being a threat. The Empire thought it a waste of resources to attack their settlements. Only after most of the Insectoids became feral did they disturb the Halflings. Despite their size and lack of war stories, Halflings are natural explorers. They love discovery and revel in adventure – hence why some can now be found upon Dorado.
What they lack in brains, they make up for in brutish strength. They are one of the world’s oldest races and have not advanced much in the last few million years. Simpletons by nature, Giants usually stick to themselves, rarely roaming in groups. Hordes of them meet once a year to mate (earthquakes have been said to have been caused by this display). Though simple, they do hold some traditions. They enjoy kidnapping small races – Goblins, Halflings, Dwarves, etc – and seeing who can throw them the furthest. All giants know the name of Tarmuck the Pult, he who threw a Halfling over a cloud. Their loyalty can be won if their life is saved, and some Giants have gained enough intelligence to learn the power that coin has in the world, joining merchants as bodyguards for shinies.
They rarely have opinions on other races, but mostly because they’re not smart enough to form them past “Big. Small. Green. Mean.” When the Empire invaded, they sought to enslave Giants early. Due to their lack of society, the Giants did not last long against such invaders. For every hundred each one crushed, another hundred would come. Eventually, the vast majority of Giants were shackled – and through those hundreds of years, had their growth stunted. Though they are not the goliaths of their past, they still stand well over ten feet and command unbeatable strength. Giants have since returned to their old activities of throwing small things, hunting game with clubs, and building wherever they see fit – even if it’s in the middle of a farm. If there are giants on Dorado, it is likely they came as bodyguards through coin, or life debts. If not, a giant travelling all the way to the island is a mystery in itself – one you probably will never find out as they’re usually too stupid to remember much past their last meal.
When the hive mind collapsed, the majority of the Insectoid race turned feral. Those who did not fled deep under the ground and reformed small, weak societies. They discovered new ways to mate and preserve their kind, but they were never the same again. Their intelligence had lessened immensely (to equal that of a Human’s), and they had to learn how to fend for themselves. They waited deep in the caverns with hope that they could one day rebuild even a portion of their former glory.
As the years passed, they split off into many different hives. Other races hunted them in the early days, but once realizing the Empire would not return, they were seen as little more than vermin. Some even managed to find themselves a place in society, trading secrets, tales, and wares of past conflicts. Others sought to raid and kill wherever they could, hoping the Queen would recall them one day. Portions of the race sought redemption for the lost Empire. One thing they all shared, however, was the same question that passed throughout every generation – why were we left behind? That might be the reason some travel to Dorado today. The unchosen seek answers to questions from centuries passed.
No one is quite sure where the Worms came from, but it is certain that it was not from this world. During the Arthropod war, they descended from the sky, crashing into the ground. As soon as their skin touched soil, they dug into it, burrowing themselves deep into the surface. This happened across several continents. At first, they were rarely sighted, and when they were, it was usually to kidnap innocents. Tale spread of their off-world Worm Empire, and they sacrificed men, women, and children to a prophet they referred to as Jerry. They were wormlings, lesser beings of their race, sent to conquer distant worlds. They’re religious zealots to their leader and worm god.
When they heard of the Arthropod Empire, they thought little of it. They mustered their own forces and brought the fight to them. Some of the greatest battles were between the Worms, standing alone, and the Insectoid people. It’s said the Worms rode great basilisks and sandworms into battle. After the war ended, they went back to their rituals. It’s said that they hope to summon the great worm to Roth so that they may move on to distant worlds. Maybe they seek the power in Dorado, not its wealth, with belief it will aid in that cause.
It is said Elves were all once Dryads long ago, only changing after learning to breed. These beings seemingly do not age, but spend millenia after millenia in slumber. They do not procreate, but do find a loved one to spend their eternal life with. They’re not invulnerable to death – they can be killed. In ages past, killing a Dryad could put unto yourself a curse. They’re lovers of nature and usually calculated and wise. They are vegetarians and kill only when necessary.
One such necessity emerged when the Empire invaded their lands. Dryads across the world awoke and helped hold back the swarm. They would provide tactical advice they had learned throughout their long lives. Though ancient, Dryads actually spend about as much time awake as a Human, choosing only to awaken for a few months at a time before sleeping for thousands of years. It would usually be rare to meet a Dryad, but with the island of Dorado now being accessible, more have awoken again. Some see this as a beacon of hope, others as a terrible omen of what stirs there.
The ability to change into an animal was never a gift, but instead a curse. An ancient civilization of mankind lived adjacent to a tall woodland, home to some of the first beings in Roth. The Dryads there were not of body anymore, ascending into trees that stood nearly as tall as the sky. This ancient city of Humans cared little for beings, deciding their need for wood and hunting was far greater. This did not sit well with the Dryads – they watched in contempt. They finally acted when the Humans cut down the greatest of their kind. A curse spread among half the men and women of the city. Many of them began changing into bipedal versions of animals, losing themselves to feral instincts – wolves, cats, rats, birds, etc. The city erupted into chaos; the Humans were slaughtered before the creatures began turning on one another until, finally, many of them retreated well away into foreign lands.
To this day, werebeasts are uncommon, but dangerous. Some cultures remain in their animal forms, having mastered their animalistic side – though their cravings for attacking mankind are still there, just repressed. Some are not even aware of their curse, having it passed through generations of breeding. In many lands, they’re still hunted. In some, they’re integrated into society. Werecats are the most common to be seen in society, along with werebirds, especially in the world of trade. Werewolves are the opposite – very few have overcome their thirst for flesh. Some werebeasts are able to change from Human and back again. It’s a painful experience, and it is harder to control the beast within whilst in Human form.
When the Empire’s war began, those integrated into society fought alongside their allies. Most werebeasts just remained as savage as ever, excitedly participating in battle with means only to find their next meal. Why are they now heading to Dorado? Some out of their own volition surely, yet there will be those who go only to follow their prey.
Unlike the Lycanthrope, the origins of the Vampire are unknown. They were once Human, but that time has long passed. Now, they hide themselves in day to day society. They can survive in the sunlight, yet it is extremely uncomfortable without covering up. Prolonged sunlight will weaken and, in some cases, kill the Vampire. They thirst for the blood of any humanoid they can, often enjoying exotic races they have never come across (some to their own demise as the blood poisons them). Most Vampires keep their existence a secret. In all but a few lands are they hidden among Humans, hunted and feared. Their long lives allow them to amass wealth, often leading to most Vampires being in high society. They cannot procreate, but they can turn a willing person into their kind, though the process is excruciating.
They’re as cunning as they are dangerous. In a few lands in the past, the Vampires reigned over Undead as kings or lords. They’re the inventors of necromancy, and with such, managed to keep themselves safe with large undead armies at their beck and call. It is unsure whether the Vampires in hiding aided against the Empire, but it is certain that those who controlled the Undead did not. They helped the Empire conquer, making deals that they would be left alone if they did so. In the later part of the war, the Vampires were betrayed by the Arthropod Queen, but they were equally as cunning and had prepared for it, surviving future battles. After the Empire fell, other races rose together to wipe out these Vampire Kings, and when they believed them all dead, the Undead were freed from servitude.
No good can come of a Vampire heading to Dorado. Perhaps they go out of curiosity, but more likely they have a deeper, conniving purpose that time will surely tell.
Walking tragedies and reminders of their former selves, Undead have an unnatural instinct of survival. From the outside, it would be easy to look down upon them with pity, wondering why beings like this, even with free will, still wish to survive. For years, they were simply servants to their Vampire masters, cannon fodder to be sent into war. They fought alongside the Arthropods. Most of them do not remember this, but some retain the memories, watching their own body strike down those they once fought alongside.
Now, many roam free. Some have tried to build civilizations similar to the ones they lived in when they were alive, yet they are endlessly disturbed. There are those who still cannibalize to keep their muscles functioning, but many undead have turned to hunting beasts, not humanoids. They’re usually never welcome in any other race’s society, and often hunted by those who see them as unholy. The unlife of an undead is a sour world, yet one they cling to. Some Undead might see Dorado as a safe haven to hide, others might seek to join the former Empire knowing only that purpose; but there will always be those Undead who head there for one thing – the flesh of the living.
The intelligence of a golem wavers from construct to construct. They are not beings of flesh, but instead creations of clay, metal, stone, or anything a tinkerer can get their hands on. Dwarvish in design, the golem has since been mastered to a point where many have been provided free will. Dwarves often design personalities for golems as experiments. They can be used as guardians, warriors, manual labourers, or even coat racks.
Those with free will almost always end back up in servitude of someone or other eventually. Ambitions are not a common thing among golems. During the Empire’s war, they were a vital defence against the swarm. The Dwarves were commended for their constructs and hired to build as many as possible by most cities across the globe. Golems travelling to Dorado will likely be accompanying someone. If one manages to wander there, it’s probably because it’s bored or lost and accidently walked into the sea, and kept walking until it hit land.
Once, they lived under the sea and were undisturbed by the races of the world. As ages passed, they began emerging from the waters and settling on the shore. They’re a versatile race, believing the sea is the greatest place in the world and building their civilizations alongside it. They adore boats and ships, many live upon them, spending half their time on the boat and half in the water. They’re warriors at heart and enjoy warfare. Their underwater kingdoms were vast and it is said most of their race still lives at the bottom of the sea depths.
The Empire did not clash with the Merfolk. They travelled overwaters only when they had to, avoiding sea creatures whenever they could. Arthropods did not do well underwater. The Merfolk have likely found themself on Dorado by sheer chance, yet they will not give up new land easily. Maybe they noticed the barrier was finally gone and saw coastal lands they wished to settle upon, or perhaps they’ve been watching the whole time, waiting for an opportunity to discover the mysteries of the land.
It is rare to find a pygmy who speaks the common tongue. They’re usually excitable and unpredictable little creatures that will just as likely dance with you as they would roast you over a fire. No one knows a bloody thing about them past the fact they like to host big bonfires, travel around in tribes, and remain inconsistent in their ambitions and goals. They’re brave, but likely because they’re foolish, and naturally inquisitive. They never remove their masks so it is unsure what they look like beneath – it’s said that if you were to look one in the eyes, you would go blind.
Funnily enough, they were the very first race to ever fight the Insectoids before the Empire was ever formed. It’s said that they even came close to the Queen’s lair when she was a larvae, but got bored when they saw it and left – though this rumour has no evidence backing it up. When the Empire rose, no one saw a Pygmy throughout the entirety of the war. They’re also extremely good at hiding, apparently. Perhaps they’re travelling to Dorado to seek treasures or maybe they know more than they’re letting on. Oh, and Pygmy rituals usually involve a sacrifice – usually something fluffy.
The reptile people of the world usually have Empires of their own, living in great deserts, building pyramids to their many gods. Lands with dinosaurs upon them are extremely rare, but they are sought after by the Scalish, as the dinosaurs are often revered as great war mounts or gods in mortal form. They’re strong willed, and powerful combatants. The Scalish are not without technology, using black-powder weapons to compete for land. Many wars have happened between the races of the world and these reptiles.
When the Arthropod Empire reached their deserts, they stood their ground alone. The greatest dinosaur riders in the world, they held it, too. For a time. The swarm couldn’t be beaten, but it could be halted. Eventually, the Empire left the Scalish alone, hoping to invade them after they had defeated all else. Meanwhile, the Scalish were preparing an invasion of their own – planning to take the fight to the Queen herself, which could very well be the reason that they are heading there now.
In distant worlds, there are Frog people conquering worlds, mounting them for all to see. On Roth, the amphibian creatures aren’t anywhere near as dangerous. Amphibites are dangerous only to those who eat them. They’re not incredibly intelligent, often mumble, and are usually captured to be paraded as pets. Though they are capable of fighting when necessary, in most cases they just can’t be bothered to. If one is forced to fight, beware to the challenger, do not underestimate the survival instinct in these beings.
They mostly do not enjoy their own company, building shacks and curiously visiting other races – often to a point where many wish they’d be left alone by them. Nature played a cruel joke when it gave them the ability to speak and understand language. Very few can stomach their flesh, they’re coloured like poisonous frogs, a warning to predators looking to eat them.
Yet despite all of this, no one quite realizes how afraid Arthropods are of them. If only people had discovered these beings sooner. One of nature’s only natural predators of Insectoids are the Amphibites. Though Insectoids might fight one, they would sooner flee if they can, fighting only for survival. The Empire avoided Amphibite lands at all costs, not wishing to be eaten. Amphibites have likely accidently found the island of Dorado – but some believe they have a far deeper, more sinister culture. Could it be true? Could the Amphibite have a much darker, unknown ambition?
Ever wondered what would happen if a vegetable had a personality? Well, there are a few examples in Roth. The Potatine was a rare find by lucky farmers, a creature grown from potatoes. A Potatine was a short, round, creature of few words. They brought luck to their farmers and were worth a fortune for their rarity. For a time, there was peace in the vegetable world. Then the Flobbles came. Flobbles are grown like vegetables, a far rarer being, and a nightmare for farmers. When a Flobble is grown, they relentlessly attack other vegetables. They hate vegetables and committed genocide against the Potatine people.
This sounds ridiculous to people outside of farming lands, but to the world of agriculture, they’re as evil as the Arthropods. To everyone else, they’re as annoying as they are funny. Inquisitive, weird, purple creatures that show up when you least expect them to. They are known to most of the world, and children usually love them. In fact, their natural instinct is to make children laugh as the majority of the Flobble race is grown by children, against their parents wishes, planting as many seeds into the garden as possible and wishing for a Flobble. As I said, if they’re on Dorado, it’s because they always manage to show up somewhere.
The world of Roth is huge. These may be the most common races from continent to continent, but there are many more races that have yet to be discovered. You do not have to create one from this list, if you want to make your own, go for it!