The Crown of the Stars - A Spelljammer 5e Tale
Ansalon Confederacy (AC)
The world of Krynn was forever altered when a spelljammer vessel crashed on a small farm south of Kalaman. The Alliance of the Night slavers who were following the vessel found the planet easy pickings since most people were still recovering from the War of the Lance. Krynn soon found itself engulfed in yet another war, this time against beings from the stars. The Qualinesti elves manage to sneak an ancient Warbird past the blockade hoping to summon aid. By the time the Elven Imperial Navy arrived the planet had been blockaded for almost two years. The people of Krynn learned what true oppression was as the Illithid, Neogi, and Drow descended on them. The occupation did have one positive effect it banded the people of Krynn together as no god ever had. The races set aside their hatred of each other and joined to face this new threat. The combined forces of the Knights and Dragon Armies using stolen Drow ships managed a daring attack on the Cuttle class command vessel. The destruction of the command ship coincided with the arrival of the Elven Imperial Navy. The Navy quickly drove off the rest of the Alliance of the Night fleet. In the aftermath the people of Krynn do what they always do pick up the pieces and rebuilt. The next few decades resulted in the formation of the Ansalon Confederacy. An alliance by the majority of powers on Krynn to work together and defend against any further invasions. The Confederacy is primarily controlled by four factions The Dragon Armies, The Tower of High Sorcery, Knights of Solomnia, and the Imperial League.
Draconians are a race of dragon-men created from the eggs of the good metallic dragons native to Krynn. They are first seen in the War of the Lance as shock troops for Takhisis. Since that time, a few draconians have made their way into space. Draconians serve aboard the dozen ships of the AC in various capacities, from simple foot soldiers to helmsmen. Draconians also serve on a few dozen ships outside the fleet in various capacities.
Dwarves took the Occupation very personally and were instrumental in helping drive off the invaders. Reorx has blessed his people and the Dwarven birthrate is at an all time high. Several sets of twins have been born which is relatively unheard of in dwarves. The Dwarves have expanded off world to the planet named for their patron Deity.
Dwelling in traditional dwarven manner beneath the earth, mountain dwarves divide themselves into two groups: the Hylar and Daewar. These two clans are very loyal to each other and work closely within their societies, with the Hylar generally ruling as nobles and high-ranking craftsmen, and the Daewar producing more warriors, champions and builders. They tend towards light brown skin and brightly colored eyes. They wear brown, black, gray, and white clothes, generally to match their hair.
The newest generation of Mountain dwarves have begun their expansion, moving from the ancient strongholds to establish new colonies on Krynn and off. The planet Reorx has a large population of both Mountain and Hill dwarves.
Since the dawn of dwarven history, the more adventurous of them have often colonized lands on the surface, providing their underground cousins with more productive farms and regular sources for timber. Over the years, they adapted to life in the foothills of the vast mountain kingdoms. The hill dwarves form two clans, the Neidar and the Klar, who were like brothers since time immemorial. The Neidar were more independent and ranged farther onto the surface, while the Klar remained closer to the mountain dwarves in their underground delves.
For the most part, the Cataclysm separated these two clans, trapping the Neidar in their surface lands and the Klar underground, where they often faced great hardship. Today, hill dwarves bear much ill will towards their mountain cousins. They often feel they are judged unfairly for the ruddy cheeks and tanned faces that mark them as hill dwarves. They tend be even more dour than mountain dwarves, and wear drab colors such as gray, tan, beige, brown, and black, reflecting their surroundings. They often wear their beards longer than mountain dwarves, but prefer more practical clothes.
The Occupation took its toll on the Hill dwarves but they emerged stronger for it. They developed stronger ties with their Mountain dwarf cousins as they battles against the invaders. This new era of cooperation along with the improved birth rate have let to an almost golden era for the Dwarves.
The Qualinesti Nation was founded by the Silvanesti Prince Kith-Kanan, who led a group comprised primarily of elves from the Silvanesti House Protector to found their own kingdom in the southern lands of the Abanasinian subcontinent.
Qualinesti society has little of the strictness characteristic of the Silvanesti, and in fact there is a democratic element. Though the Speaker of the Suns—a descendant of Kith-Kanan—holds the highest title, the people are also represented by a house of Senators. Individuality is prized among the Qualinesti, though tradition must be observed, especially by those of high birth.
Compared to their Silvanesti cousins, the Qualinesti are short. They tend towards darker skin tones, with eyes of blue or brown and hair ranging from honey-brown to blonde. They have strong, pleasant voices and a friendly, open manner. They prefer long dresses for women and woven trousers and jerkins for men, and both sexes tend to wear earth tones.
While not an official member of the Ansalon Confederacy the Qualinesti supply the best materials for ship building as well as skilled crafts men. They feel it is their responsibility to help support the AC and individual elves are not discouraged from enlisting with the fleet.
The Silvanesti consider themselves the noblest and highest of the elven races, with the purest lineage and the proudest history. Named for their legendary founder Silvanos, the Silvanesti inhabit a large, insular nation in the forests of Southeastern Ansalon.
As a whole, Silvanesti place little trust in outsiders, and consider intermarriage— even with other elven races— to be inappropriate, if not wicked. They have strained relations with every other race on the face of Krynn, and little or no tolerance for those they consider their inferiors. During their occupation of Southern Ergoth during the War of the Lance, they even went so far as to enslave a race of fellow elves, the Kagonesti. This racism is perpetuated by their lack of communication with other races, for Silvanesti keep to themselves save in the most desperate times. Despite their arrogance, they are considered one of the most advanced and learned peoples in Ansalon. Silvanesti are strictly divided into an unyielding caste system, known as the Houses. At the top of the system is House Royal, from which their nobles— including Speaker of the Stars, their monarch— descend. Beneath this house are crafts guilds, such as House Gardener, House Protector and House Woodshaper. Beneath all these is House Servitor, which consists of base workers and servants (and into to which the Kagonesti were lumped).
Silvanesti have light-brown to blonde or even white hair. Black hair, however, is considered the mark of House Royal. These elves prefer loose, flowing robes and capes in shades of green or other forest colors that compliment their hazel eyes. Their fair-skins are matched by voices of great delicacy and melody, and they move with inimitable grace.
The Silvanesti have become even more with drawn after the Occupation. They have refused every offer to join the AC and offer nothing in the way of support.
Often referring to themselves as the “true elves” that have stayed closer to the ways of the original elven race, the Kagonesti are a passionate and wild people with short tempers and a fierce, abiding pride.
Unlike the other elves, the Kagonesti do not build cities, instead settling in villages of impermanent wood and hide buildings. They live in tribes composed of family groups, and are led by chiefs.
Kagonesti believe all things have a living spirit with in them, and because of this they show great respect to nature.
Though they are no larger in height than other elves, the Kagonesti tend to be much more muscular in build and fierce in appearance. Their dark hair and hazel eyes match the colors of the wilderness, and they tattoo or paint their skin to camouflage themselves as well as for spiritual purposes. Only in age does their hair whiten into the silver often seen among the Silvanesti.
Almost all Kagonesti clothing is made of leather, and they adorn themselves and their clothes with feathers, paints, turquoise, and silver.
The Kagonesti were one of the first races to fight off their oppressors during the occupation. They were one of the founders of the Resistance which eventually led to the formation of the Ansalon Confederacy. They are a voting member and have shown a real excitement for wildspace. Most AC exploration ships take a contingent of Kagonesti Seekers.
Gnomes are one of the least understood races upon Krynn. Ever since their creation, tinker gnomes have been cursed to invent complicated and usually useless things.
All tinker gnomes talk very rapidly, and find it bothersome that members of other races can’t keep up with their normal pace of speech. Gnomes are rarely subtle, always ready to get down to the meat of things. They obsess over their inventions and for this reason they are often omit normal courtesies. Tinker gnomes put tremendous amounts of time and energy into their machines, which are constantly being improved upon (and blowing up).
Gnomes rarely provide sufficient explanation of any topic unless pinned down with direct questions. This occurs because they assume a gnomish degree of general knowledge. An uncurious visitor may be led past ten wonders of Mount Nevermind, being told, “Don’t step on that”, “Mind the gap”, and “Duck.” Gnomes have 34 ways to say “Look out,” each detailing a direction and intensity of dangers.
Most gnomes are about three feet tall and weigh 45-50 lbs. They have brown skin the color of wood with white hair and blue or violet eyes. Gnomes have round ears and large noses. They tend to dress in outlandish garb, preferring function over style. They often wear leather aprons with many pockets bristling with tools, notes, papers, pencils, and various other gadgets.
They have no affiliation with the AC but this appears to be at the ACs request much to the dismay of the Gnomes. Many tinkers were carried off as slaves to be sold as oddities by the Neogi. There is a rumor of a gnomish run Deathspider that has been heavily modified by the gnomes.
Humans dominate modern Ansalon in terms of political power and sheer population. Many of the most powerful nations, organisations, and orders are predominantly human. Human diversity, adaptiveness, and perseverance have allowed them to ascend over more “powerful” races such as ogres, minotaurs, and elves.
Humans are courageous, flexible, and energetic people. They are possibly the proudest folk of Ansalon, placing great importance in their traditions and cultures. Humans will defend their way of life from change, and brook no disrespect from outsiders. At the same time, humans are flexible and adaptable, and will rapidly accept innovations and new discoveries that improve their lives. It is simply a matter of making them aware of these improvements.
The flexibility of humans, coupled with their short lifespans and energy, sometimes makes them seem overly ambitious to the other races of Ansalon. Certainly humans are more focused on the immediate future than either gnomes or minotaurs, and pay less attention to the past than elves or dwarves. Although nonhumans sometimes sneer at humans as being grasping, their drive has accomplished much in the world.
Humans vary enormously in appearance, with physical traits that depend upon the region of Ansalon from which their ancestry can be traced. The origin of the different cultures of humanity has been lost to the mists of time, but may be linked to the spread of ancient tribes or the different families of slaves kept and bred by ancient ogres. Humans in modern Ansalon are known for the regions that they are traditionally associated with, although since the Cataclysm refugee migrations, wars and exploration of Ansalon’s altered geography have allowed humans of different cultures to spread throughout the continent.
Abanasinians are probably descended from an intermingling of Solamnians and Plainsfolk, sharing qualities of both groups. They are tall, with light skin tones and straight or curly hair that grows black, brown, or red. Blonde hair is quite rare and considered remarkable. Abanasinians can be quite muscular if they follow a vigorous lifestyle, although less active individuals can be a little plump.
Ergothians are widespread, found not only in Ergoth but also in Ackal, Saifhum, Sikk’et Hul, and many Blood Sea ports. Their rich skin tones range from light brown to glowing black, and grow tightly curled black hair that is usually closely cropped, with little or no body hair. Ergothians are famous for their dark, flashing, romantic eyes.
Icefolk of the frigid south have red or light brown hair, blue eyes, and pallid skin with faces that are weathered and reddened by constant exposure to strong winds. They are of medium height, and men are considered very hairy by most standards.
Kalinese humans live in eastern Ansalon, including the Blood Sea ports, Balifor, and the Dairly Plains. They are slightly shorter than the average Ansalonian, with dark hair and weathered skin tones.
The Khur tribes are a unique, distinct cultural group in Ansalon. They have bronzed skin and curly black hair, and are somewhat shorter than the typical human. Khurrish men possess distinctive aquiline features and look quite fierce, while Khurrish women are exotic and among the most beautiful in Krynn. Exposure to the deserts weathers Khurrish skin, giving it the texture of leather by late middle age.
The Nerakese humans of central Ansalon include the mountainfolk that live in the Taman Busuk as well as the herders of Estwilde. They are rugged in appearance, with dark curly hair, weathered dark skin, and deep-set dark eyes. Nerakese men grow facial hair quite profusely, but are considered somewhat handsome by human standards—depending, of course, on their state of dress and hygiene. They are of average height.
Plainsfolk are found in lands that, prior to the Cataclysm, belonged to the south-central plains of Ansalon—Abanasinia, Blödehelm, the New Coast, and the Plains of Dust. Plainsfolk can be quite tall and slender, and have deeply golden skin, black hair, and black or brown eyes.
Solamnians dwell in Solamnia, Nordmaar, the Whitestone lands of Sancrist Isle, and other Sirrion Sea islands. Solamnians are quite tall and pale-skinned, although in northern climes they tan quite well. Solamnians are memorable for their clear blue or black eyes, and wear straight hair that might be brown, black, or sometimes blonde.
Although humans are most comfortable when surrounded by others of their own kind, most humans quickly come to accept members of other races—even such “unfriendly”; races as goblins, minotaurs, and elves. Humans fear what they do not understand, but form easy friendships with those that they come to know and appreciate. At a pinch, a human is able to deal with those unlike himself better than any nonhuman race in Ansalon.
The various nations and people give what aid they can in the way of goods or services to the AC fleet. Many of them suffered harshly during the Occupation. The council of Nations has a representative from every culture that wishes a voice.
Kender are naturally attracted to spelljamming. Their natural wanderlust and insatiable curiosity drives them to seek new adventures, and what better adventure than traveling to the stars? That is what they thought anyway till it was discovered that Kender brains had an intoxicating effect on the Illithid. During the occupation of Krynn the Kender population was driven to the edge of extinction as they were harvested and sold as delicacies.
Minotaurs are an honor-bound race. They believe strongly in preserving their honor and emerging victorious in the struggle for dominance in Krynn. Their brutish heads belie the keen minds within; many are smarter than the average human.
Above all else, minotaurs value their honor. Without honor, they have no life. They live by a rigid code of honor, developed over the years in response to many hardships. This code embodies the minotaur way of life. Thus, minotaurs allow no exceptions to the code of honor. A minotaur will honor his word, no matter how painful the consequences might be. Only in cases where the security of the entire race hangs in the balance will a typical minotaur even consider breaking his word. Naturally, minotaurs do not lightly pledge such oaths.
Even the brigand minotaurs of Kothas and Mithas retain some sense of honor. (Ansalonian minotaurs are more vicious and backstabbing than their Taladan counterparts because they have suffered more under taskmasters.) Anyone who questions the honor of even an outlaw minotaur will likely get a Gaffhook in the throat.
Minotaurs adhere strictly to the rule of might: Might makes right. They believe that any problems they have can be solved with strength, cunning, and skill. The rule of might finds clear expression in the arena, where all minotaur legal cases are settled. If a defendant can keep himself alive in the arena against the champions of the minotaurs, he has proven himself innocent.
These huge bull-headed humanoids stand at a hulking 7’ tall. Their torsos and limbs are humanoid: rippling chests and humanlike arms, legs, and hands. Their feet, however, end in a cleft hoof. Their whole bodies are covered with a layer of short hair. Their fur ranges in color from a whitish blonde to glossy black, although most minotaurs have only one color of fur. Only after they reach the age of 110 do they start to show signs of mottling. Minotaurs live up to 150 years – more than either the bovines or humans who forms they share.
On Ansalon, minotaurs live in a sea-based culture on the two islands of Mithas and Kothas. Built on the rule of might, these lands are led by an emperor in Nethosak, capital of Mithas. The emperor’s advisors are the Supreme Circle, a body of the eight most vicious and powerful minotaurs in the all of the land. Each member of the Circle has won his or her post by personal combat in the circus. They each serve a life term, which they defend by combat. Life terms usually last five to six years.
The Emperor gave his personal word to do all he can to reap vengeance from the invaders. Every Emperor since has given his word as well. The Empire provides much of the military and financial backing for the AC. Their dominance of the AC is held in check by the Towers of High Sorcery and the Knights of Solamnia.