Cultures of the Age of Empires

Copyright Peter Mork © 2016

To the north of the Te'klu empire lies Percoland. One first encounters the Hobgoblins who dwell in the caves of the southern God Mountains. Continuing into the mountains one encounters the Colleges of Dragons and the Quan.

Colleges of Dragons

The Collegiate culture is one that emphasize harmony with the Draconic Order and magic above all. Decades of infighting, competition, and outright war have produced a highly stratified, albeit efficient, society.

Lifestyle

Each College is allied with a flight of dragons. Whatever culture and traditions are maintained by the dragons is not clear; only a few dragons from each flight deign to be worshiped as gods. Each city state contains some mix of all three colleges. There is often more competition within a city state than between cities.

The College of War consists of those individuals with the least magical ability, the Semi spell-users. This College is responsible for producing most goods, combining magic and craft whenever possible. Of the colleges, they are the least likely to resort to violence—they are also the ones most often taken captive during skirmishes between city states.

The College of Magic includes the Magicians, Psychics, and Priests. Their members are known as the Draconic Order and their leaders interact directly with their dragon sponsors. These mages are responsible for agriculture and herding and are the most likely to call for war with a neighbor (perhaps at the best of a dragon).

Finally, the College of Doctors remains true to the old ways. These Hybrid casters manufacture the tools of magic (wands, runes, etc.) and keep the worms that spin silk. The various Doctors are only loosely organized; each College reflects the personality and motivations of its Dean. The other colleges pay tribute to the Doctors, in the vain hope that these bribes might influence the Doctors in some small way.

Clothing

The Collegiate wear grey woolen suits over brightly colored silk trousers and tunics. College membership is evident by the fur hats they wear (at least for official business): Warriors wear round hats with no brims, Magicians wear tapered hats with wide brims, and Doctors wear flat hats with wide brims or oversized hoods.

Marriage

Shortly after joining a College, members are assigned a spouse. This marriage is considered "blessed" by the dragons, but in practice it's how the College keeps its members in line. Extra-marital liaisons are common, despite the punishment: being gifted to a dragon. (Having this punishment actually carried out depends greatly on one's standing within the College.)

Religion

The Colleges are closely aligned with the Dragons. Each College and each city claims some Dragon is its sponsor. These chaos of these allegiances causes a great deal of strife both within and across cities. Nonetheless, the ensuing competition has honed the Colleges' magical skills.

Fears

The Collegiate fear the dragons and the fey. Both are terrible forces with little regard for human life. The Colleges mitigate the first threat by forming alliances with the dragons. They handle the second threat by avoiding the fairies whenever possible.

Refugees

Groups of humans and giants sometimes flee the brutality of the colleges. Moving generally north out of the mountains and into the forest, these refugees preserve the essence of the collegial lifestyle without the accompanying hierarchy and draconic presence. Without extensive magical libraries, refugees rely more on mundane means (tools, armor, and weapons) and less on magic.

Non-Humans

Quan

The Quan have no real concept of the past or the future. They live in the moment, driven by intense curiosity. They forgive quickly (as the matter is forgotten) or not at all (for the insult has always been). This perspective makes it easy for them to focus on the task before them, be it a meditation, crafting, or providing a service to a fellow being.

The Quan lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle in the God mountains. They have established small fortified outposts near the friendlier dragon colleges with whom the Quan trade. Bands of Quan strike out from these outposts to forage for food, ore, and other resources. The colleges have chartered some mercenary companies consisting of Quan, but these experiments usually fail miserably the first time discipline or morale is severely tested.

During the summer months the Quan typically run naked. When the weather turns cold, they drape themselves in layers of quilted fabrics. The squares of these quilts tell the stories of deeds they (or their ancestors) are doing. The lack of chronology constantly vexes anthropologists while soothing the uncomplicating Quan.

Hobgoblins

Hobgoblins live primarily in mountain caves and surface outposts. For centuries they have mined the rich iron deposits in these mountains. They tend to trade with one group of neighbors (usually iron for food) while waging war on another neighbor. These relationships shift from year to year based on the perceived value of the goods to be acquired.

Hobgoblin culture revolves around their love of metal. By the time they are an adult, a Hobgoblin will have collected heavy lamellar armor and an array of weapons. All Hobgoblins receive military training (for defense). Many augment that with cavalry training atop giant boars. Those with less aptitude in the martial arts choose a career in crafting, trading, or magic. These professions are all "worthy," unlike other support roles that are considered "lazy."

When not clad for battle, a Hobgoblin usually wears long wool pants (surface outposts help to protect lazy herders) and a wool vest. They also produce a wide variety of spiced sausages, which are gaining popularity in the Te'klu empire.

Skills

Available Skills

The following skills are available to the cultures from Percoland.

Skill Category Skill Note
Armor bull; Heavy Banded
Armor bull; Heavy Plate
Armor bull; Light Soft Leather
Armor bull; Medium Scale
Artistic bull; Active Acting
Artistic bull; Active Mimery
Artistic bull; Active Mimicry
Artistic bull; Active Play Instrument: Brass
Artistic bull; Active Play Instrument: Percussion
Artistic bull; Passive Drawing
Artistic bull; Passive Music
Artistic bull; Passive Painting
Artistic bull; Passive Poetry
Artistic bull; Passive Sculpting
Athletic bull; Brawn Athletic Games (Brawn)
Athletic bull; Brawn Power-striking
Athletic bull; Brawn Power-throwing
Athletic bull; Brawn Weight-lifting
Athletic bull; Endurance Athletic Games (Endurance)
Athletic bull; Endurance Rowing
Athletic bull; Gymnastics Athletic Games (Gymnastic)
Athletic bull; Gymnastics Contortions
Athletic bull; Gymnastics Juggling
Athletic bull; Gymnastics Pole-vaulting
Athletic bull; Gymnastics Rappelling
Athletic bull; Gymnastics Stilt-walking
Athletic bull; Gymnastics Surfing
Athletic bull; Gymnastics Tightrope-walking
Awareness bull; Searching Reading Tracks
Awareness bull; Searching Tracking
Awareness bull; Senses Reality Awareness
Awareness bull; Senses Spatial Location Awareness
Combat Maneuvers Mounted Combat
Combat Maneuvers Restricted Area Combat
Combat Maneuvers Reverse Stroke: Melee
Combat Maneuvers Reverse Stroke: Missile
Combat Maneuvers Seaborne Combat
Combat Maneuvers Subdual
Crafts Animal-crafts
Crafts Earth-crafts
Crafts Fletching
Crafts Food-crafts
Crafts Metal-crafts
Crafts Paper-crafts
Crafts Stone-crafts
Influence Bribery
Influence Leadership
Influence Propaganda
Influence Recruitment
Influence Teaching
Lore bull; General Philosophy
Lore bull; General Religion
Lore bull; Magical Divination Lore
Lore bull; Magical Spell Lore
Lore bull; Magical Symbol Lore
Lore bull; Magical Warding Lore
Lore bull; Obscure Dragon Lore
Lore bull; Obscure Faerie Lore
Lore bull; Obscure Outsider Lore
Lore bull; Obscure Undead Lore
Lore bull; Technical Metal Lore
Lore bull; Technical Stone Lore
Lore bull; Technical Trading Lore
Martial Arts Combat Maneuvers Reverse Stroke: Martial Arts
Outdoor bull; Animal Animal Handling Specific skills include Aerial, Aquatic, Arthropods, Carnivorous, Dangerous Herbivores, Draft, Flying Monster, Hybrid Elemental, Land Monster, Passive Herbivores, Reptile/Amphibian, Unearthly, Water Monster (see Creatures & Monsters and Fire & Ice)
Outdoor bull; Animal Animal Mastery Specific skills include Aerial, Aquatic, Arthropods, Carnivorous, Dangerous Herbivores, Draft, Flying Monster, Hybrid Elemental, Land Monster, Passive Herbivores, Reptile/Amphibian, Unearthly, Water Monster (see Creatures & Monsters and Fire & Ice)
Outdoor bull; Animal Driving
Outdoor bull; Animal Herding
Outdoor bull; Animal Riding Specific skills include Aerial, Aquatic, Arthropods, Artificial Being, Carnivorous, Construct, Dangerous Herbivores, Draft, Elemental, Flying Monster, Great Drake, Hybrid Elemental, Land Monster, Lesser Drake, Minor Drake, Passive Herbivores, Reptile/Amphibian, Unearthly, Water Monster (see Creatures & Monsters and Fire & Ice)
Power Awareness Attunement
Power Awareness Divination
Power Awareness Power Perception
Power Awareness Read Runes
Power Manipulation Channeling
Power Manipulation Mental Control (Assault)
Power Manipulation Mental Control (Defense)
Power Manipulation Spell Artistry
Power Manipulation Spell Mastery Specific skills for each spell list
Power Manipulation Spell Research
Power Manipulation Spell Trickery
Power Manipulation Targeting
Power Manipulation Transcend Armor
Resistance Divine Resistance
Resistance Impulse Resistance
Resistance Psychic Resistance
Science/Analytic bull; Basic Basic Math
Science/Analytic bull; Basic Research
Science/Analytic bull; Specialized Anthropology
Science/Analytic bull; Specialized Astronomy
Self Control Cleansing Trance
Self Control Frenzy
Self Control Spell Concentration
Self Control Stun Removal
Self Control Stunned Maneuvering
Special Attacks Shield Bash
Special Attacks Weapon Brawling
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Blood Law
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Bone Law
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Calm Spirits
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Creations
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Locating Ways
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Lore
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Muscle Law
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Nerve Law
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Organ Law
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Sacred Grounds
Spells bull; Divine Closed Lists Symbolic Ways
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Barrier Law
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Concussion's Ways
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Detection Mastery
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Light's Way
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Lofty Movements
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Nature's Law
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Purifications
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Sound's Way
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Spell Defense
Spells bull; Divine Open Lists Weather Ways
Spells bull; Dread Base Lists Seeming Defenses
Spells bull; Dread Base Lists Seeming Enhancement
Spells bull; Dread Base Lists Seeming Law
Spells bull; Dread Base Lists Seeming Mastery
Spells bull; Dread Base Lists Seeming Memories
Spells bull; Dread Base Lists Seeming Projection
Spells bull; Impulse Base Lists Feel-Taste-Smell
Spells bull; Impulse Base Lists Guises
Spells bull; Impulse Base Lists Illusion Mastery
Spells bull; Impulse Base Lists Light Molding
Spells bull; Impulse Base Lists Mind Sense Molding
Spells bull; Impulse Base Lists Sound Molding
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Dispelling Ways
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Gate Mastery
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Invisible Ways
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Living Change
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Lofty Bridge
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Rapid Ways
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Shield Mastery
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Spell Enhancement
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Spell Reins
Spells bull; Impulse Closed Lists Spirit Mastery
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Delving Ways
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Detecting Ways
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Elemental Shields
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Essence Hand
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Essence's Perceptions
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Lesser Illusions
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Physical Enhancement
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Rune Mastery
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Spell Wall
Spells bull; Impulse Open Lists Unbarring Ways
Spells bull; Impulse TP Lists Arachnemancy
Spells bull; Pale Base Lists Commanding Will
Spells bull; Pale Base Lists Inscriptions
Spells bull; Pale Base Lists Nomenclature Mastery
Spells bull; Pale Base Lists Physical Manipulations
Spells bull; Pale Base Lists Symbolism
Spells bull; Pale Base Lists Warding Ways
Spells bull; Psychic Base Lists Mind Attack
Spells bull; Psychic Base Lists Mind Control
Spells bull; Psychic Base Lists Mind Merge
Spells bull; Psychic Base Lists Mind Speech
Spells bull; Psychic Base Lists Presence
Spells bull; Psychic Base Lists Sense Control
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Gas Manipulation
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Liquid Manipulation
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Mind Mastery
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Mind's Door
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Movement
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Sense Mastery
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Shifting
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Solid Manipulation
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Speed
Spells bull; Psychic Closed Lists Telekinesis
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Anticipations
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Attack Avoidance
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Brilliance
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Cloaking
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Damage Resistance
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Delving
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Detections
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Illusions
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Self Healing
Spells bull; Psychic Open Lists Spell Resistance
Spells bull; Psychic TP Lists Animal Bonding
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Amplifications
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Arcane (Chaotic) Senses
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Arcane Motions
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Changes
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Containing Ways
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Hand of Chaos
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Hunter's Call
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Power Lore
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Spell Protection
Spells bull; Techno Base Lists Spell Tracker
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Arcane Healing
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Arcane Summons
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Arcane Visions
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Aura Lore
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Bladerunes
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Fire Manipulation
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Gargoyle Mastery
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Light Manipulation
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Nature Manipulation
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Power Mastery
Spells bull; Techno Closed Lists Shifting Law
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Arcane Barriers
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Arcane Forces
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Arcane Senses
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Arcane Shield
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Arcane Signs
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Detection Law
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Power Manipulations
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Realm Law
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Spell Inhibitors
Spells bull; Techno Open Lists Spell Triggers
Spells bull; Void Base Lists Blood Ways
Spells bull; Void Base Lists Bone Ways
Spells bull; Void Base Lists Cleansing
Spells bull; Void Base Lists Muscle Ways
Spells bull; Void Base Lists Organ Ways
Spells bull; Void Base Lists Surface Ways
Subterfuge bull; Mechanics Camouflage
Subterfuge bull; Mechanics Counterfeiting
Subterfuge bull; Mechanics Disguise
Subterfuge bull; Mechanics Forgery
Subterfuge bull; Stealth Picking Pockets
Technical/Trade bull; General Mapping
Technical/Trade bull; General Operating Vehicle
Technical/Trade bull; General Service
Technical/Trade bull; General Tactical Games
Technical/Trade bull; Professional Advertising
Technical/Trade bull; Professional Architecture
Technical/Trade bull; Professional Dowsing
Technical/Trade bull; Professional Law
Technical/Trade bull; Professional Mining
Technical/Trade bull; Vocational Appraisal
Technical/Trade bull; Vocational Boat Pilot
Technical/Trade bull; Vocational Hypnosis
Technical/Trade bull; Vocational Siege Engineering
Technical/Trade bull; Vocational Signaling
Urban Contacting
Urban Gossip
Urban Mingling
Urban Scrounging
Urban Streetwise
Weapon bull; Artillery, Direct Ballista
Weapon bull; Artillery, Indirect Catapult
Weapon bull; Bow Bow
Weapon bull; Chopping Axe
Weapon bull; Chopping Hammer
Weapon bull; Chopping Machete
Weapon bull; Crushing Mace
Weapon bull; Slashing Long Straight Sword
Weapon bull; Slashing Short Blade

Starting Skills

Category or Skill Collegiate Refugee Quan Hobgoblin
Armor • Heavy 2 3
    Banded 2
    Lamellar 3
Armor • Light 1 1
    Leather Lamellar 1
    Soft Leather 1
Armor • Medium 1
    Scale 1
Artistic • Active 1
    Acting 1
Athletic • Brawn 1 1 1 1
Athletic • Endurance 1 2 2 1
    Distance Running 1
    Swimming 1 2 2
Athletic • Gymnastics 1 2 2 1
    Climbing 1 2 1 1
    Tumbling 2
Awareness • Perceptions 0 0 0 0
    Alertness 2 2 2 2
Awareness • Searching 1 1 1 1
    Observation 1 1 1 1
Awareness • Senses 2
    Reality Awareness 2
    Situational Awareness: Spellcasting 1
Body Development 0 0 0 0
    Concussion Hits 1 1 2 2
Communications: Kalyon 3 3 3
    Gibber (S) 7 7 5
    Kalyon (W) 3 3 3
    Quan (S) 7
Communications: Kish 0
    Te'klu (S) 1
Communications: Kur 3
    Hobgoblin (S) 7
    Kurian (W) 3
Crafts 0 0 0
    Animal-crafts 1
    Fletching 1
    Food-crafts 2
    Metal-crafts 1 1
    Paper-crafts 1
Influence 2
    Teaching 2
Lore • General 3 3 3 3
    Culture Lore: Own 3 3 3 3
    History 2
    Region Lore: Own 3 3 3 3
Lore • Obscure 2 3
    Dragon Lore 2 1
    Faerie Lore 2 3
Lore • Technical 1
    Metal Lore 1
Martial Arts • Striking 2
    Boxing 2
Outdoor • Animal 1 1
    Riding: Dangerous Herbivores 1
    Riding: Draft 1
Outdoor • Environmental 3 2
    Foraging 2 2
    Survival: Alpine (A) 2
    Survival: Coniferous Forest (C) 3
Power Awareness 2
    Attunement 2
    Read Runes 2
Power Manipulation 0
    Magic Ritual: Summons 2
Power Point Development 0 0
    Power Points 3 1
Resistance 0 0 0 0
    Critical Resistance 0 0 0 0
    Disease Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Divine Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Fear Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Impulse Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Poison Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Psychic Resistance 1 1 1 1
Self Control 1 3
    Meditation 3
    Spell Concentration 1
Spells • Divine Open Lists 0
    Light's Way 2
Spells • Impulse Open Lists 0
    Detecting Ways 2
Spells • Psychic Open Lists 0
    Anticipations 2
Subterfuge • Stealth 1 2 2 1
    Hiding 1 2 2 1
    Stalking 1 2 2 1
Technical/Trade • General 1 1 2 1
    Service 2
Weapon • Artillery, Direct 2
    Crossbow 2
Weapon • Bow 2 2
    Bow 2 2
Weapon • Chopping 1 1
    Axe 1
    Hammer 1
Weapon • Crushing 2 2
    Mace 2 2
Weapon • Pole Arms 1 2
    Pole Arm 2
    Spear 1
Weapon • Slashing 1 2 3
    Long Straight Sword 2 3
    Short Blade 1
Weapon • Thrown 1
    Direct Thrown 1
Hobbies 8 8 8 8
Everyman Skills Dragon Lore
Reality Awareness
Dragon Lore
Spell Concentration
Meditation Weapon Brawling
Cost [1] 54 60 67 23

[1] To determine a character’s background options, add up the racial cost and the culture cost (23–67). Convert that total into talent points or background options using Talent Law.