Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
The Dwarvish name for these folk is “centaur.” These half-horse, half-human people are boisterous, arrogant, and boorish, yet many find them likable nonetheless. They live in both Palastan and Rhoth. Many aram have found their way into human communities—but usually as individuals rather than in groups.
Although quite rare elsewhere in the Empire, centaurs—or, as they call themselves, aram—live in great numbers in Palastan, and thus in Ptolus. They have earned the respect of the humanoid folks of the region thanks to their forthright and open manner and because of their help against Ghul and other enemies of the past.
Personality: Aram are boisterous, arrogant, and boorish, yet many find them likable nonetheless. Centaurs sometimes refer to humanoids derisively as “sitters.” The biggest difference they see between themselves and most other people is that others are content—or even happy—to sit for long periods of time in the same place. Aram cannot stand to remain in one place for long unless they are eating or sleeping. In their herds, it is the sick, the old, and the infirm who perform tasks that require stationary work, like sewing garments or making tools. In the city, they simply rely on others to do such things.
Physical Description: These half-horse, half-human appearing people stand almost seven feet tall. While those who live on the plains prefer to wear minimal clothing and travel with as little gear as needed, city dwellers have adopted the clothing and equipment of their humanoid neighbors.
Relations: Aram probably don’t look as positively upon humanoid races as those races look upon them. Still, the centaurs have seen that humans, dwarves, elves, and the rest clearly dominate the lands, and so they have made their peace with them and many willingly live among them. There has never been open conflict between the aram and any of the major humanoid races, although there once were great wars between centaurs and orcs and, less frequently, battles between centaurs and lizardfolk. These are all events of the distant past.
Alignment: Centaurs are usually neutral good.
Centaur Lands: Aram once roamed the plains to the south and west of Ptolus in huge, nomadic herds. Today, however, the herds have dwindled. Aram in Ptolus find work in physical roles, hauling loads in warehouses or for other businesses. Some work as imposing bodyguards or hired muscle. Still others serve as messengers or even pull small carts for hire, hauling goods or people. They almost never have jobs as merchants, clerks, artisans, or other employment that would require them to remain stationary for long periods.
Religion: Again we see a difference between city dwellers and herd aram. While Ptolusites tend to honor a variety of deities, most tribal centaurs revere an aspect of Melann, a nature goddess. Some aram also pay homage to Rajek the Wanderer, a god of luck, protection, and travel, or Torskal, aram god of just vengeance.
Language: Although they have a fairly complex spoken language, the aram long ago developed a written language that focuses on brevity. Few centaurs have the patience to either read or write a book, so they have their own set of simple symbols for conveying general ideas. Other than that, however, aram rarely know how to read the languages they speak (generally Elvish, Sylvan, and Common). Most centaurs living in Ptolus learn to read enough Common to get by—enough to understand signs, for example, and things of a very general nature.
Names: Aram go by a single name only, with no tradition of surname use. Tribal centaurs may refer to themselves by their name and tribe name: “Carak of the Redhooves,” for instance.
Aram Male Names: Carak, Norris, Reddik
Aram Female Names: Esthana, Narenth, Susail
Adventurers: The aram respect those who bravely face danger to accomplish great deeds. In fact, their culture values heroes greatly. Centaur adventurers seek adventure for its own sake. They want to undertake mighty quests and perform acts of great heroism; treasure and other rewards are secondary.