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The fields and forests of Andor are home to proud and upstanding peasants and townsfolk who live their lives simply, without affectation or indulgence. The residents of Arad Doman, on the other hand, are known throughout the land for their sensual natures and scandalously revealing clothing. Someone who lives in a large, humid southern coastal city, such as Ebou Dar or Illian, looks, acts, and talks differently from a tall, stern northern person. And of course a giant Ogier or a desert warrior of the Aiel sticks out like a sore thumb anywhere in the westlands (the lands west of the Spine of the World). Though all these people are furre (except the Ogier, of course), where they come from influences what they’re like, how they think and act, and the way they develop as they grow up. A child raised in Shienar typically becomes a very different sort of adult than one from Tarabon, Tear, or Cairhien. In World of Dreams, you reflect these sorts of differences by choosing a background for your character.


“Background” is a broad term, generally referring to the region or culture from which your character arises. A character can only have one homeland, so you cannot enjoy the background benefits of both the midlands and nearby Tear, even if you decide that your character was raised in a peddler family and traveled throughout both areas as a child. You must choose the one that best fits your concept of your character.

            As you think about your background, you’ll probably also want to consider the class you have in mind, as some backgrounds lend themselves to particular classes more than others. Aiel, for example, can be wanderers, but their homeland and upbringing make them better suited to being algai’d’siswai.

            Furre characters have eleven backgrounds to choose from:

            Aiel: A fierce, seminomadic desert people who value honor above all else.

            Atha’an Miere (Sea Folk): A dark-skinned seafaring people who ply exotic seas in the most powerful ships the world over.

            Borderlander: Tough warrior folk from the kingdoms that border the Blight.

            Cairhienin: A nation founded on order and driven by the subtleties of the Great Game of Houses.

            Domani: A sensuous and exotic people famed for their fierce tempers, cunning in negotiation, and inscrutable ways.

            Ebou Dari: A passionate people famed for settling all manner of offense with the dueling knife.

            Illianer: The people of a powerful seafaring nation that values justice and stability.

            Midlander: The sturdy, stalwart folk of the central regions of the westlands, known for their practical outlook on life and modest country ways.

            Tairen: A powerful nation renowned for its horses, the absolute grip of its nobles over the people, and its tendency to war upon its neighbors.

            Tar Valoner: Citizens of the most beautiful, civilized, and learned city in the world, who live under the ever-present shadow of the White Tower.

            Taraboner: A people torn by civil strife but justly proud of a heritage and learning that dates back to the Age of Legends.


Alternatively, you can choose to play an Ogier. Information on Ogier appears after the furre backgrounds, at the end of this page. (Ogier background link here: Ogier)

            Your character’s background gives you plenty of cues as to what sort of person he or she is, how he or she feels about character of other backgrounds, and what might motivate him or her. Remember, however, that these descriptions of backgrounds apply only to the majority of people. In each background, some individuals diverge from the norm, and your character could be one of these. Don’t let a description of a background keep you from detailing your character as you like.

            Once you’ve selected your character’s background, you can move on to your class.


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Furre Characteristics


As a furre, your character is Medium-size, and his or her base speed is 30 feet. This is true of all human characters.

            Your character’s background determines some of his or her qualities, including special feats unique to that background, extra equipment, and the languages he or she speaks.


Background Feats: These special feats represent the common sorts of talents people from that region learn. Choose one of them for your character.

            Most of these special feats are described later on in this page, and so they do not appear on the Feat List. That’s because they aren’t available to most characters – you can only have them due to your specific background. A few of the background feats, however, are available to all characters, and these are described with all other standard feats in the Feat List.

            You can acquire more of your background feats later in your adventuring career. With a few exceptions, any feats available for your background that you don’t select at 1st level are still available the next time you gain the ability to select a feat.

            You may even learn feats from a new region altogether. After 1st level, each 2 ranks in Knowledge (local) you have allow you to select feats from one other background. Thus, if you have 4 ranks by the time your each 3rd level (which is when you get to add another feat – see Feat List for details), the list of feats you can choose from includes all the standard feats from the Feat List, all the background feats from your own background, and all the background feats from up to two additional backgrounds of your choice.


Background Skills: These are skills commonly acquired by people from that background. Select one skill from your background for your character. You get four ranks in that skill. These ranks are in addition to the ranks you get for your class (see Classes).

            The skills associated with your background are considered class skills for you, regardless of which class you go on to choose your character. See Skill List for information on class skills and cross-class skills.


Home Language: Although everyone in the westlands speaks the same language, which we’ll call the Common tongue for ease of reference, they all speak it a little differently. A person from Falme has a different accent than one from Arafel, and witty turns of phrase in Tear may meet with blank, and with blank, uncomprehending looks if used in Cairhien or Caemlyn. The thick Illianer accent is the most notable of all; people from other kingdoms sometimes have trouble understanding lifelong residents of Illian.

            Ogier have their own language, but any of their number who leave the stedding to work or study learn Common first, so they can communicate with furres.

            Your home language or dialect is your native tongue – the language that you speak and read. (Your character can read and write all the languages he or she speaks; most inhabitants of the land of the Wheel of Time enjoy books and reading.)


Equipment: Choose one of the packages associated with your background. For example, a Borderlander could choose to start with heavy horse, bit and bridle, military saddle, and studded leather armor, or she could instead choose a light horse, bit and bridle, riding saddle, and two healer’s balms, or instead of either she could choose a mail shirt.

            This equipment is free; you get it in addition to the starting money or equipment you’ll get after creating your character.


Restictions: Finally, some character backgrounds (specifically Aiel and Atha’an Miere) impose restrictions upon your character. These are mentioned beneath each of the backgrounds in question.

            Skill Restriction: You may not buy this listed skill at 1st level during character creation. Later, however, when you gain additional skill points by increasing your character’s level, you may buy the skill just like any other character.

            Weapon Restriction: You are restricted in the types of weapon you may use. You cannot gain experience from any encounter in which you use a restricted weapon. See background descriptions for more details.

            Required Skill: The given skill is required by your background. You must start with at least 2 ranks in this skill. Furthermore, your ranks in this skill must always exceed your level. To go up in level, you must either already have more ranks in this skill than the new level you are attaining, or you must spend points gained by the level increase on this skill to ensure that it exceeds the new level. The given skill is always a class skill for you, even if it is not normally a class skill for the class you choose.


- Aiel


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Proud, fierce, strong, and deadly, the Aiel live in the aptly named Aiel Waste, the vast rocky desert to the east of the Spine of the World. They rarely interact with people from the west – “westlanders,” in Aiel slang – except for the occasional peddler or trader. They implacably oppose the Dark One and his minions; Trollocs refer to the Waste as Djevik K’Shar, “the Dying Ground,” because very few of them who enter it ever escape with their lives. But Aiel don’t limit their disdain to Shadowspawn; they regard westlanders as weak, foolish, and generally contemptible.

            Personality: Aiel are driven by their code of honor and obligation, ji’e’toh. Virtually every aspect of Aiel life involves its own road to honor, and considerations of personal honor play a part in every major decision an Aiel makes. Most important to an Aiel’s honor is the meeting of toh, or obligation. An Aiel who owes a debt of any kind to another person must meet that obligation in full. Because an Aiel’s honor is so important, shame also plays an important part in the Aiel personality; most Aiel would rather be hurt or killed than suffer shame.

            Aiel society is divided into twelve clans. Each clan is further divided into septs, of which there are many in each clan. A given sept may have one or more holds, or settlements – some permanent, some occupied only seasonally. A hold can have as many as two or three thousand Aiel, though very few are so large.

            Algai’d’siswai – the warrior class of the Aiel – are further aligned into warrior societies. These twelve societies span the clans and septs, so that any given group of Aiel, even if they are from the same clan, may contain members of many societies. Conversely, each society has members of many – if not all – clans.

            Physical Description: Aiel are tall and broad-shouldered, with fair or red hair, and skin deeply tanned by exposure to the fierce sun of the Waste. All Aiel men, as well as all female algai’d’siswai, cut their hair short except for a “tail” that runs down the name of the neck; nonwarrior women have shoulder-length or longer hair, typically unbraided but sometimes pulled back from the face and bound with a scarf.

            All Aiel men, and female algai’d’siswai, wear a distinctive garb called the cadin’sor. It consists of a coat and breeches in gray, ochre, or brown to blend into the desert background. Each clan has a slightly different cut to its cadin’sor, though westlanders find the differences too subtle to notice. TO protect their heads and necks from the sun, Aiel wear the shoufa, a sand-colored scarflike garment wrapped around the head. When an Aiel warrior is prepared to fight and kill, she draws part of the shoufa across her lower face to veil it. Sometimes the veils are black instead of desert-colored.

            Nonwarrior women wear blouses, long skirts, and shawls, also in drab desert colors. Jewelry is common; high-ranking women often seem to drip with precious metals and gems. Aiel men do not generally wear jewelry.

            Relations: The Aiel do not get along well with non-Aiel. They kill most wetlanders found in the Waste, or at the very least send them back to the water-filled lands. Only gleemen and certain peddlers may walk the Waste unharmed and unhindered by the Aiel – in fact, the Aiel actually look forward to their presence most of the time. Tuatha’an can also enter the Waste unhindered, since the Aiel avoid them completely.

            The Aiel bear a particular hatred for the folk of Cairhien, who betrayed them two decades ago by cutting down the precious Avendoraldera tree, a gift from the Aiel. This act of desecration precipitated the Aiel War, and ever since the Aiel have had nothing but hatred and scorn for the “treekillers.”

            For that matter, the Aiel do not even get along particularly well among themselves. Clans have fought one another since time immemorial over sources of water, grazing lands for their herds, choice living space, and insults real or perceived. Indeed, the many clans and septs are linked by a spiderweb of feuds and alliances.

            Lands: The Aiel Waste, sometimes called the Three-fold Land, is a harsh and unforgiving desert where shade is scarce and water is scarcer. The southern reaches – the Termool, or ”Waterless Sands” – lack water altogether. Aiel society is spread thin over this harsh land. Holds are found in caves, cliffs, and canyons, often carved deep into the rock to provide as much protection from the Waste’s heat as possible. Rugs, wall hangings, tables, shelves, mats, and carpets decorate the inside of an Aiel home, creating surprisingly comfortable niches in the midst of the harshest landscape in the world south of the Blight.

            Language: The Aiel speak a version of Common heavily laced with words of the Old Tongue (the language spoken during the Age of Legends). Additionally, each clan and warrior society has its own form of hand-speech, a language consisting of gestures and hand-shapes that signify particular words and actions. Versions of hand-speech range from simple battle codes to the elaborate language of the Maidens of the Spear, which allow them to conduct entire conversations without uttering a word.

            Adventurers: The harsh conditions of the Waste forge strong folk, well prepared for the rigors of adventuring. An Aiel who chooses to leave the Three-fold Land probably does so in response to orders from her clan chief or Wise Ones (though they may not explain that command to her), as the pawn of some prophecy, or out of an extreme curiosity about the world to the west. Few Aiel leave their homeland under ordinary circumstances.


            Background Feats: Blooded, Bullheaded, Disciplined, Stealthy, Survivor.

            Background Skills: Hide, Move Silently, Spot, Wilderness Lores.

            Home Language: Common (Aiel).

            Equipment:      1) Tent; cadin’sor; buckler; waterskin; 2 healer’s balms.

                                    2) Jewelry (60 mk).

                                    3) Shortbow, Aiel; 20 arrows; buckler.

            Restrictions:     Skill Restriction: Ride.

                                    Weapon Restriction: sword.


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- Atha’an Miere (Sea Folk)


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Exotic, mysterious, alluring, and sometimes deadly, the Atha’an Miere, or Sea Folk, rule the waves. Born and raised on ships, they rarely leave their oceangoing homes, disliking the feel of unmoving land beneath their feet. While most land-based merchants won’t dare sail beyond the sight of shore, the Atha’an Miere go places no one else will, and thus control and exploit trade routes and resources no one else can.

            Personality: Atha’an Miere take their dangerous ocean-borne life seriously. Ship’s business, particularly during times of crisis such as storms, requires intense focus. And if threatened or attacked in any way, an Atha’an Miere responds in kind, using his dagger and sword to protect himself and his shipmates.

            But when work concludes and no dangers threaten, Atha’an Miere ships ring with the sounds of laughter and music. At these times, fine food and drink, songs, games, and the company of friends are what an Atha’an Miere revels in.

            Atha’an Miere are scrupulously honest. They bargain hard and well, but no westlander trader or sea captain can claim to have been cheated or sold goods of dubious quality. And when the Atha’an Mierer reach an agreement with someone, they will sail through storm and fire to keep their side of the deal.

            Discipline and unhesitating loyalty are critical on any ship facing the rigors of the sea, and the Atha’an Miere value both. Every Atha’an Miere knows her place within her crew and clan, and she obeys the orders of those above her without question.

            The Atha’an Miere organize themselves into clans, each clan led by a Wavemistress. One Wavemistress, chosen by the others, becomes Mistress of the Ships, the Atha’an Miere “Queen”. Each clan controls various docks and harbors in the Isles, some trade routes, and a fleet of ships. A Sailmistress controls each ship, appointing a Windfinder (navigator and weather interpreter, often a channeler who can control wind and waves) and a Cargomaster (a man in charge of all trade and defense matters). The rank of the rest of a crew depends upon experience, birth, and other factors.

            The Atha’an Miere have unusual naming customs. Women do not take any form of their husband’s name upon marriage. Boys take their father’s surname, and girls take their mother’s surname. Later, a “salt name” is give, such as “Running Wave” or “Wild Winds,” which typifies the person in some way. Thus Caire, daughter of Juaire din Gelyn and Mared din Coine, given the salt name “Running Wave,” then would be named Caire din Gelyn Running Wave.

            Physical Description: Land folk regard the Atha’an Miere, particularly the women, as beautiful, tempting, sexy, and exotic. They have a much darker skin tone than even the Ebou Dari; it’s the color of dark wood or chocolate. Their eyes and hair are likewise dark, and both genders typically wear their hair short. They carry themselves with a poise and grace born of a lifetime of walking on a moving deck.

            Atha’an Miere men and women wear breeches of dark oiled cloth, belted with a brightly colored sash that usually holds at least a dagger, and sometimes a longer blade as well. They go bare-chested, though in sight of land, Atha’an Miere women wear loose white blouses. The quality of an Atha’an Miere’s clothing indicates his wealth and statues among his people. Aboard their ships, Atha’an Miere typically go barefoot, giving their feet a hard, leathery quality.

            The Atha’an Miere love jewelry. Both genders wear necklaces, bracelets, and multiple earrings, preferring gold over silver. Most women also have the left sides of their noses pierced, with a delicately worked gold chain running from the nose-ring to the left earrings. Tiny, exquisite medallions dangle from the nose-chain, indicating by their number and quality the wearer’s clan, sept, and rank.

            Relations: The Atha’an Miere maintain extensive trading relations with every coastal nation. They willingly trade with anyone who deals fairly and honestly. They gladly offer the gift of passage aboard their ships to landsmen offering correspondingly valuable gifts in return (except Aes Sedai, whom they rarely allow to board their ships).

            But the Sea Fold also value their privacy, keeping their homeland and many other details of their culture hidden and dealing harshly with any attempt to penetrate their veil of secrecy. They remain very close-mouthed about their lands and customs around landsmen.

            For the most part, the Atha’an Miere clans get along well together, finding ways to settle their minor differences and thus present a united front to the rest of the world. But occasional political or social feuds do arise, leading to trade disputes and other difficulties until the Mistress of the Ships resolves the matter.

            Lands: The Atha’an Miere control an archipelago far to the south of the Sea of Storms, known to landsmen as the Isles of the Sea Folk. They are warm, sunny places filled with brightly colored trees, plants, and creatures unknown on the mainland Another people, the Amayar, also live there; they manufacture the fine, delicate porcelain so beloved by mainland nobles.

            Adventurers: Atha’an Miere rarely become adventurers, since doing so requires them to leave their beloved ships and islands behind. However, if forced off his ship by circumstance or some strange desire, an Atha’an Miere can make an excellent adventurer. While his seafaring skills won’t help him much on land, his negotiation and fighting skills, not to mention his general agilty, will serve him admirably in many dangerous situations.


            Background Feats: Disciplined, Mercantile Background, Sea Legs, Silver Palm, Smooth Talk.

            Background Skills: Intuit Direction, Profession (Sailor), Swim, Use Rope.

            Home Language: Common (Atha’an Miere).

            Equipment:      1) Raper; hourglass.

                                    2) 2 healer balms; lantern, hooded; rope, silk (50 ft.).

                                    3) Jewelry (100 mk).

            Restrictions: Required Skill: Profession (sailor).


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- Borderlander


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In the far north, four kingdoms keep watch on the Blight, preventing its creatures from pouring forth to ravage the entire known world. Known to all as the Borderlands, this region includes Saldaea, Kandor, Arafel, and Shienar. A fifth kingdom, proud and strong Malkier, once stood against the Shadow with them; it fell to the Blight only a generation ago. But even with the loss of this great companion kingdom heavy on their hearts, Borderlanders remain stron, ready to oppose the Dark One and his minions to their dying breath. Although customs and garb vary from kingdom to kingdom, a powerful code of honor and fierce determination to triumph in their battle against evil unite the Borderlands.

            Personality: Borderlanders have a reputation as hard-bitten, fearsome warriors of dour mien and stern, unforgiving personality. To a certain extend, this is true; living life on the defensive, so close to the Shadow, tends to affect people. The burdens of protecting the southern lands and holding back the Blight is a heavy one, and many Borderlanders feel it every day of their lives. Shienarans, in particular, have become accustomed to a life of constant battle, for their kingdom lies nearest to Tarwin’s Gap, through which the Trolloc hordes most often descend upon mankind.

            However, there’s more to the Borderlander than a fatalistic personality shaped by war and struggle. The Shienarans have a saying – “Peace, Beauty, Life” – that summarizes Borderlander attitudes well. Because they know so many battles, Borderlanders greatly value life’s few moments of peace. Living as they do so close to the ugliness of the Blight, Borderlanders appreciate beauty all the more – the beauty of a sunset, a child, a woman, a warrior, or a flower. With death ever present, Borderlanders enjoy life as much as possible while they still have it. From the luxurious Shienaran baths to the blood-boiling sensuality of a Saldaean woman’s sa’sara dance, Borderlanders experience life to the fullest.

            Of course, the struggle against the Shadow cannot be the only face of Borderlander life. The Kandori and Saldaeans, in particular, are known as skilled merchants. Carrying furs, fine woods, ice peppers, and other commodities, they journey south down roads and rivers to trade at a profit and then return home with needed goods.

            Physical Description: Although they have many beliefs and customs in common, Borderlanders display different physical characteristics and garb from kingdom to kingdom.

            In Shienar, men and women alike are tall and usually have dark hair and eyes. Both wear their hair long, but men tie it up in a topknot and shave other parts of their heads. Shienaran warriors traditionally wear a distinctive variety of brigandine armor and usually carry two longswords worn on the back, plus another weapon (such as a short sword, axe, mace, or heavy dagger) at the belt. When not garbed for battle, men wear boots, breeches, and distinctive robelike tunic (or sometimes just a robe); women wear elaborate robes and gowns tied at the waist.

            Arafellins, on the other hand, are of but average height. With pale skin and fair hair, their large eyes dominate their often delicate-looking faces (other Borderlanders say, “The eyes of an Arafellin can see danger a league away”). Men wear their hair in two long braids (either down the back or on the sides of the head) and often decorate their braids with a silver bell or other trinket on the end. Women also wear their hair long but do not braid it. Arafellin warriors, renowned for their skills as swordsmen, typically wear two longswords on their backs in a distinctive cross pattern that allows one hilt to rise above each shoulder. When not prepared for battle, both men and women favor long coats similar to those worn by midlanders but cut in a different style (and, in winter, made of thick furs to keep the wearer warm).

            Kandori are tall, though not as tall as Shienarans. Unlike Arafellins, the men favor short coats to go with their breeches and long-sleeved shirts, while women wear simple dresses and gowns often decorated with elaborate embroidery (which they work on during long winter days when cold weather keeps them inside). The men often sport distinctively forked beards, usually well trimmed and groomed. Those of guild rank wear from one to three silver chains on their coats. Kandori of both genders like to wear jewelry, particularly earrings; the more successful or wealthy a Kandori, the more ostentatious his earrings.

            Saldaeans are known for their characteristically tilted almond-shaped eyes, and for their boldness. Many people from the south regard Saldaeans eyes as particularly alluring, exotic, and beautiful; in some circles, having a Saldaean spouse confers social prestige. Saldaean men, famed for their equestrian skills, often prefer lighter armor and usually only carry one sword worn at the hip, balanced on the other hip by a dagger. When not riding to war, they favor heavy breeches, light shirts, and heavy calf-length coats cut for riding and decorated with colors and patterns that indicate the wearer’s family, military unit, or other allegiance. Saldaean women, who learn to fight with knives and other small weapons and often accompany their husbands to battle, wear long-sleeved, high-necked dresses. Embroidery in colored or metallic threads, and sometimes other small decorations, adorn the dress.

            Relations: To southerners, Borderlanders sometimes seem harsh, blunt, and unrefined. Borderlanders, on the other hand, often see southerners as weak, indulgent, and willing to let someone else do their “dirty work” for them. Fortunately, most southerners appreciate the importance f the Borderlander’s constant vigilance.

            Among themselves, Borderlanders get along very well. Though people from different kingdoms may tease each other good-naturedly or compete fiercely at various sports or contests deep down they’re all in the same basket together, taking on a task that southerners would shrink from.

            Lands: The Borderlands are filled with odd contrasts. Located far to the north, the winters are often so cold that sap freezes in the trees, splitting and snapping them. Yet, located as it is just south of the Blight, the land often has extremely hot summers, as the oppressive heat of the Dark One’s domain rolls over the Mountains of Dhoom and lays on the Borderlands like a thick blanket. The northern kingdoms have thick forests, sometimes running right up to the barren plains of the Blight. Many non-natives find these dichotomies disturbing, but the Borderlanders take them in stride.

            Along the entire edge of the Blight stand watchtowers, keeping an eagle eye on the encroachments of the Dark One. These watchtowers use mirrors and fires to communicate with each other quickly, thus allowing a king or noble to summon all the armies of the north if he detects a Trolloc invasion.

            Most of the Borderlands kingdoms are small. Saldaea, stretching from the Plain of Lances to the western coasts of the World’s End, is not; it’s so large that the Queen owns estates larger than the entire realm of Mayene. This abundance of land, much of which lies south of the other Borderlands kingdoms, allows the Saldaeans to raise more crops and herds than the other three kingdoms combined.

            Adventurers: For many Borderlanders, daily life is an adventure. Many women and virtually all men receive training with weapons, and skilled horsemanship is a point of pride. These skills translate well to the adventuring life. Any party with a strong armsman or wily wanderer from the Borderlands is already a few steps closer to success in any quest it undertakes.


            Background Feats: Blooded, Saddleback, Shadowspawn Hunter, Stealthy, Strong Soul.

            Background Skills: Knowledge (Blight), Listen, Move Silently, Ride.

            Home Language: Common (Borderlands)

            Equipment:      1) Horse, heavy; bit and bridle; saddle, military; studded leather armor.

                                    2) Horse, light; bit and bridle; saddle, riding; 2 healer’s balms.

                                    3) Mail shirt.


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- Cairhienin


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The people of Cairhien are justly proud of their rich society, mighty nobles, and precise, flawlessly laid out city of the Topless Towers. But in the past twenty years, the Cairhienin have fallen far from the height of power and prestige they once enjoyed. The foolish decision of King Laman to destroy Avendoraldera, a descendant of the Tree of Life long ago presented to the Cairhienin people by the Aiel, precipitated the devastation of the Aiel War. Furthermore, the war forever closed the Silk Path through the Waste, cutting off the lucrative trade monopoly that had built Cairhien’s power and wealth. In the two decades since the war, refugees from the countryside have crowded the cities, leaving Cairhien’s productive farmlands to lie fallow. And throughout these difficulties, the so-called “Great Game” of political maneuvering has held Cairhien’s nobles in its obsessive grip, leaving the people to suffer in poverty and misery.

            Personality: The most notable quality of the Cairhienin personality is the desire for order, planning, and control. The Cairhienin, particularly the members of the upper classes, rarely exhibit spontaneity or do anything without extensive planning. As the straight lines of their city streets, palace walls, and works of art show, they prefer to impose their rigid desire for orderliness and restraint on the chaos of the natural and political world around them. A Cairhienin likes nothing better than taking an untidy, disorderly situation or place and bringing it under control – her control.

            But the Cairhienin predilection for planning and authority also has its downside. Cairhienin, especially noble Cairhienin, can’t resist an opportunity to engage in scheming, manipulative, clever behavior, particularly in the political arena. Constant plotting and planning for personal gain is the rule of the day, as Cairhienin struggle to turn any event, situation, or asset into a triumph over their enemies (of which they invariably have many).

            Physical Description: Cairhienin have fair skin, with dark eyes and hair. Much to their aggravation, they are shorter, on the average, than midlanders or southcoasters; many a Cairhienin noble has gritted his teeth in frustration at having to look up to someone he regarded as his social inferior.

            Cairhienin noblemen usually wear their hair cut long and carefully styled, with flat or bell-shaped velvet caps to hold it in place. However, in recent times, many have begun to copy the fashion of the common soldier – either letting the hair grow long in back and shaving and powdering the scalp in front or adopting a simple bowl cut. Noblewomen, on the other hand, have stuck to their traditional practice of growing their hair long and having it styled into elaborate, carefully designed towers on top of their heads.

            Every Cairhienin noblewoman has a servant on her personal staff whose job it is to conceive and execute ever newer, more exotic hairstyles to inspire the jealousy of her courtly competitors.

            Cairhienin nobles dress in silks and satins of dark colors, such as black, dark blue, and forest green, which contrast nicely with the pale Cairhienin skin. To offset the dark colors, clothes have horizontal slashes of color across the chest and body. The more slashes an outfit has, the higher the social and political rank of the person wearing it.

            Both men and women also wear dark lace at cuff and collar. Noblemen wear silk shirts and breeches covered by thigh-length coats. Noblewomen’s dresses have broad hoop skirts which often make it difficult to walk and impossible to run. The common folk, while not so much the slave to conventions of fashion, also prefer sober colors – except for the inhabitants of the Foregate area surrounding the capital city. There, skirts, shirts, coats, and shawls feature bold primary colors – often contrasting or clashing ones, as if in defiance of the carefully selected complementary colors worn by the city’s more respectable inhabitants.

            Relations: Cairhien maintains mixed relations with neighboring Tear and Andor. Both are important trading partners, but both are also rivals.

            The noble houses of Cairhien and Andor have often intermarried, but this has done little to foster a close relationship between the nations. Fortunately, the Great Game keeps Cairhien’s nobles preoccupied with internal affairs, circumventing any potential flare-up between that nation and her neighbors.

            Relations with the Aiel are much worse. The Cairhien loathe the savages that destroyed and looted their nation – seemingly without cause – some twenty years ago. Aiel, on the other hand, view all Cairhienin as beneath contempt. Where once there was friendship, with Cairhienin merchants entering and crossing the Waste to trade with distant Shara, now no Cairhienin dares cross Jangai Pass into Aiel territory.

            Social and political relations among the Cairhienin are governed by the conventions of Daes Dae’mar – the “Great Game of Houses” of scheming machinations, court warfare, and general intrigue.

            The members of the noble houses, who learn the Great Game at their mother’s knees, interpret every little action, reaction, and event in light of this institution. Failing to attend a banquet, being seen talking with a political rival, taking an afternoon walk near a particular palace, buying a new horse from a prominent merchant – are all subjects to the inevitable interpretations by seasoned practitioners of Daes Dae’mar. The Great Game sometimes plays itself out in the physical arena, with assassination attempts, ambushes, and raids between noble houses.

            The Great Game holds less sway among the lower classes, but even there, in the guilds and consortiums of the merchants and tradesmen, it influences society more than in other kingdoms. Shopkeepers and peasants alike seek to trick or scheme their way to greater wealth, better jobs, or nicer places to live. Manipulation and scheming are facts of life on all levels of Cairhienin society.

            In fact, the Cairhienin have even exported the Game of Houses. Where once it was a social institution peculiar to them, it has slowly spread throughout the southern lands until nobles in places such as Tear and Illian practice it themselves – though nowhere near as masterfully (or obsessively) as the Cairhienin. Andor, as yet, has not really adopted the Game. The Cairhienin sometimes find it difficult to deal with persons from other kingdoms who don’t spend all their time engaged in intrigue, and visitors to Cairhien may end up caught in a Dae Dae’mar web without knowing it – or knowing what to do.

            Lands: The Cairhienin once controlled a vast portion of the westlands, from Shienar to Haddon Mirk. Today, after many political changes and reversals, they hold but a tiny part of those lands: roughly speaking, the lands drained by the River Gaelin, from the River Erinin to the Spine of the World. The Jangai Pass leads straight through the mountains into the Aiel Waste.

            Most of Cairhien consists of rolling fields and meadows, light woods, and riverine plains. Fertile farmland, it could provide enough food to feed the Cairhienin, with plenty left over to export, if the disasters of the past two decades had not driven people off farms and into cities and towns. As a result, much of Cairhien lies empty and abandoned, with only birds and beasts to call it home.

            Adventurers: The desire for power and to impose order on the world drives some Cairhienin to become adventurers. Many nobles involve themselves in military or adventuring careers as a way of earning prestige – an asset in the Great Game. Other Cairhienin find themselves wanting to escape the manipulative atmosphere of Cairhienin society, preferring instead the simpler, surer way of sword, weave, or personal skill.


            Background Feats: Cosmopolitan, Militia, Silver Palm, Smooth Talk, Street Smart.

            Background Skills: Diplomacy, Forgery, Innuendo, Sense Motive.

            Home Language: Common (Cairhien).

            Equipment:      1) Saddle, military; longsword; mirror, small steel.

                                    2) Hourglass, 2 healer’s balms.

                                    3) Noble’s outfit; signet ring.


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- Domani


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Located far to the west, between the Mountains of Mist and the Aryth Ocean, Arad Doman is one of the most unusual kingdoms of the westlands, with customs and mannerisms that most other people find odd, even baffling – and sometimes offensive. Although locked in ongoing war with Tarabon and struggling with internal strife, the Domani still value the pursuits of trade, politics, and pleasure.

            Personality: The Domani have a well-deserved reputation for hedonism. They enjoy pleasure for its own sake: falconry, luxurious hot baths, the company of lovers, gambling, sports, combat, and political conspiracy. They also know how to turn an appetite for pleasure to their advantage, and are known as cunning and manipulative bargainers.

            The seductive wiles of Domani women are legendary. Mothers teach daughters the ancient Domani arts of seduction from a young age – the one hundred and seven types of kisses, the ninety-three different ways to touch a man’s face, and so forth. Women learn to use beauty, movement, body language, and dress to best advantage – and have a good time doing it. Few men can say no to a Domani woman once she turns her attention to him, which is one reason why Domani merchants – almost always women – achieve such success in trades.

            Domani men are also skilled at charm and seduction, but they don’t enjoy the reputation of Domani women. Instead, the reputation of Domani menfolk is based on their ferocious tempers. According to an old saying, dealing with a male Domani is like trying to ride a skittish horse – everything may go just fine, or you may find the least mistake provokes a frenzy of bucking and snorting. Some say this temper comes from having to put up with Domani women, while others attribute it to eating with the sursa, a utensil resembling two thin, polished sticks, which Domani use to pick up the bits and slivers of their food. (Most westlanders find sursa foolish, and Domani cuisine odd-looking and overly spicy.)

            Physical Description: Domani are of average height. They display a wide range of skin tones, from the pale skin common elsewhere in the westlands to an unusual coppery-colored shade that some men find exotic and alluring on women. Eye and hair colors likewise vary, and Domani of both genders often use dye to change the shade of their hair. Hairstyles come and go like summer thunderstorms.

            Domani men favor shirts and breeches (of silk or other fine fabrics, if possible), covered by short coats that barely reach below the waist. Among nobles and the wealthy, the coats often feature puffed sleeves with slashes of colors, embroidered house crests, and the like; the wealthy take pleasure in fine clothes as in all other luxuries and vices. They trim their mustaches to make them distinctively long and thin.

            Women’s clothing is another story altogether. Although Domani dresses cover the body from neck to ankle, they are typically made to cling to every curve, giving an impression of nudity while actually exposing little. Sheer materials are common. Other styles include deeply plunging necklines, or panels cut out of strategic areas. Clothing of this sort would be considered scandalous – even obscene – in many westland societies, but it is common among Domani women.

            In Arad Doman, both men and women wear jewelry, as much as comports with good taste and they can afford. Often they engrave these pieces with house crests, symbols, or coats of arms. The men wear unusual-looking earrings.

            Relations: Arad Doman is fairly isolated, equidistant but geographically separated from Tarabon, Saldaea, and Andor. All three of these nations – along with the Sea Folk – are important trading partners. Domani tend to look favorably on nearly all foreigners, although they have little patience for those who balk at their exotic clothing or lifestyles.

            The major exception is Tarabon, located directly south of Arad Doman on the other side of the Almoth Plain. For three centuries, the two kingdoms have disputed ownership of the plain, an area of rich meadows and fertile land. Recently, as it has so many times in the past, this dispute has led to outright warfare – and as usual with all the fighting going on, neither realm has actually put any effort into settling or developing the Almoth region.

            Lands: Arad Doman controls the land north of the River Akuum, west of the Mountains of Mist, east of the Aryth Ocean, and south of one of the major tributaries of the River Arinelle. Almost uniformly flat (except near the mountains), with occasional low hills and small forests, it provides both resources for craftsmen and much arable farmland. This wealth of natural resources has in turn led to other types of wealth for nobles and traders. As noted above, the Domani also claim the Almoth Plain but have never managed to exert effective control over it.

            Adventurers: Adventuring is not to most Domanis’ taste. After all, adventures are hot, sweaty, backbreaking work, and dangerous to boot. Why not just stay home and enjoy yourself? But a few Domani take pleasure in exploring the world, risking their lives in pursuit of noble goals, or seeking the answers to deep, dark mysteries. For these people, a career as an adventurer suits them perfectly.


            Background Feats: Cosmopolitan, Militia, Seductive, Street Smart.

            Background Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Perform.

            Home Language: Common (Arad Doman).

            Equipment:      1) Jeweled signet ring (70 mk).

                                    2) Courtier’s outfit; wine, fine (2 bottles).

                                    3) Musical instrument, masterwork.


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- Ebou Dari


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 Residents of the chaotic, canal-filled capital of the kingdom of Altara, the Ebou Dari are merchants, seamen, and craftsmen of great skill. Other westlanders know them even better for their penchant for dueling. Anyone who visits Ebou Dar had best take the time to learn their ways and customs, for the last thing a visitor wants to do is accidentally offend an Ebou Dari and get involved in a deadly duel.

            Personality: In general, the Ebou Dari are polite, friendly, and easygoing. Their culture includes an elaborate code of manners, conduct, and etiquette – not surprising, in a society that uses duels to resolve disputes. Every Ebou Dari child learns how to respond to questions without giving offense, how to pay respect to his betters, and how to use the proper forms of address for nobles, craftsmen, and commoners alike. At times, Ebou Dari social relations seem like an elaborate dance, with each person responding as he’s supposed to at just the right time.

            But that’s not to say the Ebou Dari are timid or meek; indeed, the opposite holds true. When an Ebou Dari perceives an insult, he reacts instantly, challenging the offender to a duel in accordance with ancient custom. Anyone who refuses to give satisfaction on the dueling ground exposes himself to the scorn of all Ebou Dari, and often to a rash of reprisals as well.

            By Ebou Dari law and custom, any offended person can challenge the insulter to a duel. Legally sanctioned duels take place on special dueling grounds at prearranged times (though many Ebou Dari disregard such formalities, preferring to settle a difference right away). Ebou Dari can challenge and fight any other; a commoner has every right to duel with a noble (though few do) and suffers no consequences for wounding or killing him. Duels are legally conclusive and rarely give rise to grudges or blood feuds.

            Ebou Dari regard scars as a sort of beauty mark and as a sign of maturity and responsibility. Ebou Dari law presumes that any woman is justified in killing a man, unless proven otherwise.

            Physical Description: The typical Ebou Dari (or Altaran in general, for that matter) has a dark, olivine complexion, with brown or black hair and dark eyes. Light-colored hair occurs rarely, though the merciless summer sun sometimes lightens an Ebou Dari’s dark hair a little. Compared to other westlanders, Ebou Dari are shorter and less broad-shouldered.

            To complement their olive skin tones, most Ebou Dari favor clothing in light hues, such as white, tan, and pale yellow. Women favor snug-bodied dresses with long skirts cut to show the brightly colored petticoats underneath. Common women raise their skirts above one knee only, while noblewomen raise them less high, but straight across both legs. Commoners’ gowns have deep, narrow necklines, while noble ladies prefer a round or oval cutout in the bodice. Either arrangement allows a woman to display her marriage knife (see below) to best effect – or, by not showing one, to advertise her unmarried status.

            Ebou Dari men wear long, elaborately sewn and embroidered vests, often without shirts. When worn, shirts are usually white or pale in color, with wide sleeves. A common addition for the noblemen is a small silk jacket, slung about the shoulders like a cape and held on with a golden or silver chain. Both genders wear jewelry, including rings and hoop earrings.

            The most distinctive item of Ebou Dari apparel, and the mark by which one can identify an Ebou Dari when he’s away from home, is the dagger. Men, and many women, wear curved daggers of distinctive shape and decoration in their belt or sash; a nobleman might add a narrow-bladed longsword as well. Every married woman wears a special dagger called a marriage knife, hanging between her breasts from a choker. The marriage knife is a gift from the woman’s husband, who gives it to her on their wedding day with a solemn instruction to stab him with it should he ever displease her. A woman’s marriage knife tends to be altered throughout her life, decorated with jewels and enamel that say much about the wearer: how many children she has (and how they died, if appropriate), for example, or if she is a widow (and wheter she wants to remarry). Whether it’s a commoner’s blade of brass and beads, or an expensive noblewoman’s dagger set with gold and gems, every Ebou Dari respects the marriage knife – and the injuries an enraged woman can inflict with it.

            Relations: Ebou Dar is a trading city that sees ships from ports all around the westlands. As a kingdom, Altara is highly decentralized – the Queen rules the city, but has little sway over the outlying lands and nobility. Because of this, Altara has not built itself into a major power diplomatically or militarily and has few direct ties to its neighbors. As a trading city, however, Ebou Dar constantly welcomes and influx of foreign visitors.

            Foreigners are given some leeway in matters of conduct because of their presumed ignorance, but that only extends so far; no Ebou Dari would forgive a major insult (no matter how innocent), and a deliberate insult, big or small, can never be overlooked.

            Land: The city of Ebou Dar straddles the mouth of the River Eldar. The better part of the city lies on the western side. The city sits on low-lying, often swampy ground, and in places contains almost as many canals and bridges as it does roads. The humidity and heat cause visitors to wilt, but the Ebou Dari are extremely industrious in both business and their many feast days and festivals. Most of the buildings in the city are made of white or pale tone, or painted in light shades, to reflect as much heat away from the interior as possible.

            The eastern half of the city, called the Rahad, is a filthy warren that houses the Ebou Dari lower class. In the Rahad, duels occur in the street every hour, and many people eschew a formal fight for the simpler expedient of knifing an enemy in the back.

            The Altaran backcountry does not adhere as closely to Ebou Dari custom as the city does. In fact, Altarans from some areas of the kingdom are better represented by the Midlander background than the Ebou Dari.

            Adventurers: With social and commercial intrigues, strange visitors from foreign lands, and constant duels, most Ebou Dari need not travel in search of excitement. But a few seek their fortune elsewhere. Their skill with the knife often serves them well and leads them into an adventuring career – usually as wanderers of one stripe or another, but sometimes as armsmen or woodsmen who know how to move and hunt in marshland. Additionally, there is a large wilder population in Altara; it has become a traditional haven for channelers not wanting to join the White Tower.


            Background Feats: Cosmopolitan, Duelist, Gambler, Mercantile Background, Street Smart.

            Background Skills: Appraise, Balance, Hide, Open Lock.

            Home Language: Common (Ebou Dar).

            Equipment:      1) Jeweled dagger or marriage knife (60 mk).

                                    2) Disguise kit; grappling hook; rope, hemp (50 ft.).

                                    3) Thieves’ tools, masterwork.


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- Illianer


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Illian is a powerful nation on the Sea of Storms, made wealthy by centuries of trade with the Sea Folk, the other coastal nations of the westlands, and even the distant land of Shara, with whom few other nations can trade. Illian’s people take pride in a heritage that defies tyranny and supports an ordered, civilized society.

            Personality: Illian’s society and history are defined by its distaste for tyranny. Although officially ruled by a King, Illian in fact has three ruling bodies: the King, the Council of Nine, and the Assemblage. The Council is made up of noblemen who technically advise the King on matters of state. The Assemblage is a body of merchants and shipowners that advises both King and Council – one of only a few powerful political bodies of commoners anywhere in the westlands. The splitting of power between these three groups creates a set of checks and balances, preventing any from achieving tyrannical rule.

            Another example of Illian’s abhorrence of tyranny appeared during the recent Whitecloak War. The Children of the Light invaded Illian’s neighbor, Altara, and appeared likely to take over the weaker nation. Illian came to Altara’s aid, risking its own army but eventually driving the Whitecloaks back. After the war, when Illian might easily have asserted its own force over Altara, the Illianers returned Altara’s rightful rulers to their positions and withdrew from the neighboring nation.

            Although they despise tyranny, Illianers have no distate for the pomp and circumstance that often accompanies nobility. Wealthy merchants and petty noblemen alike enjoy the luxuries wealth brings them. When the city was first built, the Council elected to build its Great Hall across the Square of Tammaz from the King’s Palace. Allowed a building of any design, so long as it was no bigger than the Palace, the Council built a structure identical in all ways to the beautiful, colonnaded Palace except one: It was two feet smaller in each dimension.

            Illian is the traditional starting point for the Great Hunt of the Horn, which was recently launched with a grand ceremony. Thousands from around the westlands gathered in the square of Tammaz to receive the blessing and set out in search of the Horn of Valere.

            Physical Description: Illianers tend to be a bit above average in height and build. They are of moderate complexion, often with dark hair and eyes. Men both common and noble favor a distinctive beard that leaves the upper lip bare. Tairens call this style “blackfish,” since it reminds them of the facial scale patterns of a type of fish caught off southern shores.

            Noblemen wear boots decorated with gold and silver, pants and light silk shirts, and calf-length coats with characteristic upturned collars. Commoners wear pants, shirts, and similar coats, though made of fabrics much less fine and with less embroidery. Illianer women wear long dresses with low-cut necklines. Among noblewomen, skirt hems are often high, to display beautiful slippers decorated with gold and silver. Women of both classes wear wide-brimmed hats tied around the head with scarves to keep off the sun.

            Relations: Illian is a major trading nation and an exporter of textiles, leather goods, olive oil, and fish. The nation maintains close relations with Murandy and Altara but has a distinctly chilly relationship with Tear, a nation that has attacked it on several occasions over past years. Illian does not even trade with Tear, and ships of the two nations are not welcome in each other’s ports. Likewise, Illian does not share a friendly relationship with Amadicia, the home nation of the Whitecloaks.

            Lands: Illian occupies a lowland region centered on the lower River Manetherendrelle; the capital, the city of Illian proper, lies on the Manetherendrelle delta just shy of the Sea of Storms. Much of Illian is covered with the lush southern forests typical to the region. Other areas, especially around the Manetherendrelle delta, are swampy. In fact, the city of Illian, unlike nearly every other major city, is not walled – it is protected from attacks by miles of difficult marsh and connected to drier land by a pair of causeways.

             Adventurers: Illian produces proud nobles, top-notch armsmen, and its share of roguish wanderers. Wilders are as common in Illian as they are elsewhere in the westlands, and a fair share of initiates originate there as well. The villages of rural Illian also produce woodsman of fine caliber. Any of these adventuring types might leave their homes for greater opportunities elsewhere, to explore, or perhaps as Hunters of the Horn.


            Background Feats: Cosopolitan, Mercantile Background, Militia, Silver Palm, Street Smart.

            Background Skills: Craft (any one), Intimidate, Knowledge (any one), Search.

            Home Language: Common (Illian).

            Equipment:      1) Courtier’s outfit; crossbow, light.

                                    2) Sword, short; rations, trail (20 days); 2 healer’s balms.

                                    3) Trade goods (choose from Table 7-3)


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- Midlander


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Midlanders come from the kingdoms, cities, and towns at the heart of the westlands: Andor, Murandy, Far Madding, Ghealdan, and the scattered villages along the fringes of the Caralain Grass and the River Manetherendrelle and its tributaries. This includes the Two Rivers region, Emond’s Field, and Baerlon. Characters from Amadicia and the northern backcountry of Altara, Illian, and Tear could also claim the Midlander background.

            Personality: Midlanders tend to be solid, dependable, adaptable, hard-working people. Even in the isolated parts of the midlands, such as the Two Rivers or the Hills of Kintara, they are open and friendly, willing to help a stranger in need. (The suspicious, even xenophobic, Murandians are an exception to this rule.) But woe unto the person who betrays their friendliness or attempts to oppress or abuse them. Although slow to anger, once they are roused, midlanders fight until they achieve the victory they seek. For many of the, the ancient blood of Manetheren runs in their veins, providing a certain sheen of nobility to the personality and manners of even the lowest-born peasant.

            Compared to the Domani, the Ebou Dari, or the inhabitants of some of the southern cities, midlanders seem conservative – even prudish – in their tastes. They dislike gaudiness, ostentation, arrogance, and the display of wealth – even in their nobles, who sometimes appear rather restrained or refined next to their Cairhienin or Tairen counterparts.

            Physical Description: Midlanders are of average height, and weight, though extreme variations are not uncommon. Dark hair and eyes are the norm, though fair complexions and hair are also seen. The typical image of a midlander man is sturdy and hale, but with an aura of quiet dependability rather than an aggressive or dangerous demeanor. Women generally have powerful personalities to accompany backs made strong though farm work or hones household chores.

            Midlanders usually dress moderately. Women wear dresses with high or square-cut necks. Skirts reach to the ankles or below. They belt their dresses at the waist and sometimes embroider them with light decorations. Wools are common, though noblewomen often enjoy silks embroidered in metallic threads. Men wear simple trousers and shirts, with knee-length, long sleeved coats (during the summer and in the more southern regions, shorter coats are common). Turned-back cuffs and upstanding collars distinguish the midlander coat from similar garments worn elsewhere. Like their wives, noblemen prefer silk and metallic threads for their chores. Cloaks are common overgarments for rainy or cold weather.

            Relations: Positioned at the center of the westlands, the midlands are the crossroads of trade and travel for the inhabitants of the entire land. Though many midlands villages are somewhat isolated, others receive frequent traffic from far-off lands. Travelers find more inns and taverns along the highroads of the midlands than anywhere else in the westlands, and find that they are generally welcomed – though exotic customs or scandalous dress may be looked upon with suspicion.

            Except in Murandy, where suspicion of outsiders (particularly Andorans) governs relations both political and social, most midlanders get along well with strangers. Though slow to give their complete trust, they seem able to quickly size a person up and decide just how far they can trust him. One you earn a midlander’s friendship, you usually have it for life – unless you abuse it.

            Lands: In the minds of most people, the boundaries of the midlands are, roughly, the Mountains of Mist to the west, the River Erinin to the east, the River Arinelle and the Black Hills to the north, and the Hills of Kintara to the south. This area displays a wide geographic diversity. The northern plains and riverlands, including the Caralain Grass, are flat and open, with few forests or hills to break the monotony of the endless, rolling fields. Not many people live here – there are no roads, cities, or towns, just a few villages and the occasional lonesome farmhouse. On the other hand, the central regions, primarily the lands controlled by Andor, are among the most heavily populated in the entire westlands. Large, prosperous towns and cities – such as Caemlyn, Four Kings, Whitebridge, and Baerlon – dot the land, providing respite for travelers and havens for craftsmen and merchants. Large tracts of forest break up the fields and offer good hunting for nobles and woodsmen. The forests peter out toward the south, where the lands become somewhat lower (except near the Hills of Kintara) and, sometimes, swampier. Cities are rare, but both Lugard and Far Madding serve as centers of commerce.

            Adventurers: Their strength of character and will, devotion to the Light, and openness to learning about the world around them stand midlanders in good stead on those rare occasions when they leave their homeland to become adventurers. Though most midlanders don’t care overmuch for wealth, fame, or glory, they understand the importance of doing the right thing and preserving the good, and they remain ever willing to contend with evil and darkness.


            Background Feats: Bullheaded, Luck of Heroes, Militia, Strong Soul.

            Background Skills: Handle Animal, Heal, Ride, Wilderness Lore.

            Home Language: Common (Midlands).

            Equipment:      1) Horse, light; healer’s kit.

                                    2) Spear, boar; longsword; leather armor; shield, small, steel; tent.

                                    3) Longbow, Two Rivers.


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- Tairen


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Lying along the southern coast of the westlands just west of the Spine of the World, Tear is home to the greatest seaport on the Sea of Storms. Located on the River Erinin and guarded by the huge and implacable fortress called the Stone of Tear, the city of Tear is the capital of this proud nation and the home of the High Lords that rule it.

            Personality: The Tairen people run the gamut of personalities, though all but the poorest and weakest seem possessed of a certain self-confidence and self-esteem that guides them through life. Many, particularly among the nobility, have an air of assurance about them that borders on arrogance. A Tairen smith will tell you, in a voice rich with conviction, that he can easily do the work you ask, so quickly and so well that you’ll never forget him. A Tairen lord speaks with a conviction born from generations of unquestioned rule, knowing that his authority over the commoner is absolute.

            Indeed, the division between noble and commoner is nowhere so pronounced as in Tear. Confident though a workman or craftsman may be, he knows full well that he must respect and bow to any of the multitude of nobles that live in his kingdom. Tairen High Lords rarely bother to enforce their will in the poorer quarters – provided that the commoners maintain a sufficient level of respect for the authority and dignity of the upper classes – but wherever they go, they enjoy an unquestioned right to exploit and even abuse the common folk at their whim.

            This belief among the Tairen nobility, that they have the inherent right to take whatever they desire, extends not just to the domains of Tear proper. Tear has often warred with Illian and Cairhien and claims control over Mayene, its tiny neighbor to the east.

            Tear sees itself as something of a protector – not only of its own nation, but of the entire world – from the prophesied ravages of the Dragon Reborn and the dangers of the One Power. Channeling is forbidden in Tear, although the presence of Aes Sedai, and others who can channel, is not. In addition, over scores of generations, the Tairen High Lords have locked away, deep in the bowels of the impregnable Stone of Tear, all the angreal, sa’angreal, and ter’angreal they have managed to gather, to keep them out of the hands of any who might use them. Owning a copy of the Prophecies of the Dragon is illegal – not surprising, since one of the prophecies is the fall of the Stone of Tear.

            Physical Description: Tairen men and women are of average height and build, though more than a few grow up taller and stronger than normal. The skin of most Tairens is paler than that of the Ebou Dari, but duskier than that of a midlander or Cairhienin.

            Nobles and commoners wear very different clothing, the better to distinguish the nobility from the ruck. Tairen lords favor elaborately decorated, colorful short coats with puffed and padded sleeves, slashes of carefully chosen contrasting colors, brocades, and the like; they wear their equally vividly colored breeches tight, to display their tightly muscled legs to appreciative female eyes. Common men settle for drab, baggy breeches, bright sashes, long coats that fit tightly around the chest and arms but flare out below the waist, and cloth caps or wide conical straw hats; if they work outdoors most of the day, they often go bare-chested. Tairen noblewomen prefer long silk gowns that bare the shoulders and display the bosom to best effect, with lace ruffs and tiny caps in matching colors as decorative accessories; they carry smelling salts, with which to mask the omnipresent foul odors of parts of Tear when necessary. Common women’s dresses, made of much coarser material and adorned only with light-colored aprons (and sometimes a matching straw hat), have chin-high collars and hems below the ankle.

            Relations: Relations between Tear and its neighbors are anything but cordial. Tairens despise Illianers, with whom they have fought and quarreled for more years than anyone now alive can remember. Similarly, Tairen nobles have long had designs upon Mayene, forcing the First of Mayene (as that tiny nation’s ruler is known) into a constant game of political and economic maneuvering to maintain her realm’s freedom. Cairhien has also been subject to Tear’s aggression. However, Tear maintains solid relationships and strong ties of trade with kingdoms elsewhere. Its position at the junction on the River Erinin and the sea makes Tear a mecca for traders from all over.

            Lands: Tear is a land of low-lying hills and light woodlands, bordered to the north by the deep forest of the Haddon Mirk, to the east by the foothills of the Spine of the World, and to the west by the open and sparsely settled Plains of Maredo. It is renowned for its horses, which are bred on sprawling estates owned by Tear’s nobility.

            The Tairen countryside is fairly densely populated, but has few large towns – Tairen High Lords levy taxes on settlements, despite the prime location for fishing and trade, protecting the seaport monopoly enjoyed by the capital. Only the town of Godan, on the Bay of Remara at the far eastern end of Tear, has been allowed to grow to any size, primarily because of its strategic location in regards to Mayene.

            Adventurers: Tairens make fine adventurers. The nation produces fine armsmen, nobles, and wanderers. Also, channelers from Tear often slip out of the country so that they might practice their talents without fear of prosecution. Tairen adventurers often see themselves as natural leaders.


            Background Feats: Gambler, Mercantile Background, Militia, Saddleback.

            Background Skills: Profession (any one), Ride, Search, Sense Motive.

            Home Language: Common (Tairen).

            Equipment:      1) Horse, light; bit and bridle; saddle, riding; courtier’s outfit.

                                    2) 35 mk; dice or deck of playing cards.

                                    3) Mail shirt.


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- Tar Valoner


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Located on the River Erinin at the foot of the Dragonmount, halfway between Cairhien and the Borderlands, Tar Valon is a unique cosmopolitan center and trade hub. Although its people share many characteristics of the midlands, they add to the mix an urbane quality, a worldly sensitivity born of the trade that flows through the island city, the sense of grandeur among its beautiful towers and Ogier-wrought structures, and the presence of the White Tower – the headquarters and home of the Aes Sedai.

            Personality: Tar Valoners are much like the people of the midlands: practical, forthright, hard-working, and adaptable. What they add beyond that is a broader sense of the world – an acceptance of its many and varied cultures, an educated outlook, and an intense pride in their city and its place at the center of the known world.

            Tar Valoners have great faith in the White Tower, knowing it to be a center of diplomacy and a mighty force that protects them from even the thought of attack. Aes Sedai, as well as novices and Accepted in training, can often be seen on the streets. Though they are uniformly respected, they are not greeted with the same trepidation or even suspicion that Aes Sedai often face in other lands.

            The citizens of Tar Valon are also justly proud of the city’s great beauty. Built almost entirely by Ogier, Tar Valon is indisputably the most awe-inspiring city in the known world. Striking buildings of white marble sit in the shadows of lofty towers, often with bridges running between them dozens of stories above the streets. Tall white walls surround the island, which is entered via six graceful arched bridges. Over all this stands the White Tower itself, ever a reminder of the might and beauty of Tar Valon.

            Many of the city’s inhabitants are not native to Tar Valon – over the years, thousands of individuals have been drawn to the city by business, politics, or diplomacy, and many of them have remained to make the city their home. No matter where they come from, however, residents quickly adopt the traditions of Tar Valon and the pride the citizens have for their great city.

            Physical Description: Though somewhat more urbane, sophisticated, and wealthier than the typical midlander, Tar Valoners display the same physical characteristics, style of dress, and stolid, no-nonsense demeanor as their counterparts in Andor and Ghealdan. They tend to be average in height and build, with fair hair and complexions, though variation is not uncommon.

            Moderate dress is the norm, though quality fabrics and intricate embroidery are preferred by those who can afford to show their wealth and taste. Women wear dresses with modest necklines and skirts that reach near the ankles. Men wear simple trousers and shirts, with short coats in the summer and long coats, often with cloaks in addition, during the cooler months. Tar Valoners tend to be accepting of the ways of others, however, and it’s not unusual for a native of the city to don dress that mimics or picks up elements of the clothing of other regions.

            Relations: Tar Valon is the diplomatic center of the world. Although Aes Sedai are sometimes viewed with suspicion, the wisdom, authority, and impartiality of the White Tower is generally respected across the westlands. This respect draws diplomats and august visitors to the city from around the world.

            A few nations – specifically Amadicia and Tear – look on the White Tower with suspicion or even hatred. These nations are far away, however and despite some bluff and bluster have never seriously threatened Tar Valon or its interests. On the other hand, other countries, especially Andor, have traditionally had very close ties with Tar Valon. Most nations view the city with general respect.

            Its location – halfway between Cairhien and the Borderlands along the River Erinin, and at the juncture of nearly all major roads between the Borderlands and the kingdoms to the south – north and south harbors see ships from all along the Erinin and across the seas, while trade caravans from Andor, Cairhien, and the Borderlands cross her bridges. Tar Valon’s trade ties with the outside world are strong.

            Lands: Tar Valon sits on an island in the middle of the River Erinin, in a region not claimed by any other kingdom. Technically, Tar Valon is limited to the city that crowds the island itself, but a number of nearby villages and settlements come under its influence.

            Adventurers: A worldly attitude and exposure to visitors from around the world prepare Tar Valoners for a life of adventure. Obviously, many Aes Sedai set out for parts unknown from the city. But Tar Valon also breeds excellent armsmen and wanderers as well.


            Background Feats: Cosmopolitan, Education, Militia, Smooth Talk.

            Background Skills: Concentration, Craft (any one), Knowledge (any one), Profession (any one).

            Home Language: Common (Midlands).

            Equipment:      1) Sword, Warder’s; studded leather armor.

                                    2) Crossbow, light; lantern, hooded; mirror, small, steel.

                                    3) 65 mk.


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- Taraboner


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Subjects of one of the oldest monarchies in the westlands, Taraboners are an ancient people who take pride in their traditions, culture, and customs. Though locked in a war with Arad Doman over possession of the Almoth Plain, and suffering from other forms of societal turmoil, Taraboners somehow find a way to carry on with their lives and preserve what they truly hold dear.

            Personality: Among other inhabitants of the westlands, Taraboners are not known so much for their personality traits as for their custom of concealing their faces. Taraboners regard it as impolite to expose their faces, even in private, except when eating or drinking. They wear veils, men and women alike – sometimes heavy, but often thin and gauzy. When they feel the need for greater privacy, they wear masks. A number of Taraboner holidays revolve around masked festivals, balls, or competitions.

            Taraboners are generally proud of their heritage. Their lords and rulers trace their descent from the heroes of the Age of Legends, and many of the buildings in Tanchico, the capital city, are believed (falsely) to date from that period as well. Their kingdom’s banner and symbol, the Golden Tree, reminds one and all of the Taraboner claim that their kingdoms once possessed a sapling of Avendesora, the Tree of Life.

            Although they pale in comparison to their Domani neighbors, Taraboners have a reputation for hedonism and immodesty. The many entertainments featured in the “circles,” or enormous arenas, on each of the peninsulas of Tanchico are boisterous by the standards of many other nations but remain quite popular with Taraboners. Horse races, nonlethal gladiatorial competitions, illumination displays, athletic competitions, and many other events take place in the circles every month, providing a nonstop source of entertainment for the Taraboner people.

            Lastly, Taraboners are reputed to enjoy political and social intrigue. Their unusually complex government, with a King, a Panarch, and an Assembly of Lords all jockeying for power, encourages behind-the-scenes political maneuvering and conspiracies. The maneuvers may not be as subtle as the Cairhienin Game of Houses, but they’re just as effective.

            Physical Description: Taraboners are of average height, though they tend toward a bulky build. They have complexions darker than Domani, midlanders, and most other inhabitants of the westlands, though not as dark as those of the Ebou Dari.

            Under their veils, Taraboner men usually wear thick, bushy mustaches, and on their heads they wear distinctive cylindrical caps of dark felt or leather. Noblemen and commoners alike wear white baggy trousers (sometimes embroidered), baggy shirts with embroidered panels across the chest, and thigh-length coats with embroidered scrollwork on the shoulders. The wealthier the man, the more elaborate his clothes (and their embroidery), and the finer the materials they are made from.

            Taraboner women prefer dress that, while not as revealing as Domani styles, still leaves little to the imagination: thin woolen or silk dresses cut to accentuate and cling to the figure. Gowns come in a variety of bright colors that complement the wearer’s skin tone.

            Relations: Taraboners get along well with everyone except Domani. They have quarreled and fought with their northern neighbors regarding the Almoth Plain for three hundred years, and in that length of time grudges and hatreds have grown beyond all reason. No Domani would openly come to Tarabon for fear of his life, but traders and visitors from the rest of the westlands arrive in the harbor of Tanchico practically every day.

            Among themselves, Taraboners govern their conduct with a fairly rigorous social code. They do not reveal their faces to anyone (even in private) except their families, and they use elaborate forms of address for all but the most informal occasions.

            Lands: Located in the southwestern corner of the westlands, Tarabon nestles between the Mountains of Mist, and the Aryth Ocean, and the much-disputed Almoth Plain. Except near the mountains and in the Shadow Hills along the coast, its lands tend to be flat and relatively featureless, with only the occasional line of low hills or small, scrubby forest to break the monotony. Although the climate in the upper elevations can be quite pleasant, throughout the rest of the kingdom the heat and humidity often become oppressive. For this reason, most Taraboners prefer to live along the coast, where cool sea breezes help to alleviate the heat.

            Tanchico is one of the largest and oldest cities in the westlands. Due to general neglect, however, it often shows its age. Built on three peninsulas that thrust eastweard into a large natural bay, it attracts commerce from across the known world. Though many say that the craftsmen of Tarabon lack the skill they once possessed, the market for Taraboner rugs, ceramics, woven goods, fireworks, dyes, and papers remain strong.

            Adventurers: Taraboners are well suited to the life of an adventurer. They are stron-willed, versatile, and quick-thinking. Merchant wanderers, strong armsmen, and powerful channelers, among others, could all come from Tarabon.


            Background Feats: Artist, Living History, Mercantile Background.

            Background Skills: Appraise, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock.

            Home Language: Common (Tarabon).

            Equipment:      1) Thieve’s tools; lantern, hooded; crowbar; mirror, small, steel.

                                    2) Artisan’s tools, masterwork.

                                    3) Illuminator’s rocket.


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- Ogier


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Ogier (pronounced “OH-gear”) are a race of nonfurre creatures whose existence predates the Age of Legends. Substantially larger than humans and known for their artistic temperaments (many of the westlands’ most beautiful cities were originally built by Ogier stonemasons), Ogier are peaceful creatures who live in isolated communities and have little contact with furres. As a result of this remoteness, many westlanders consider Ogier little more than legends or children’s tales.

            Personality: Thanks to their long lifespans – about five times that of furres – Ogier tend to be slow, deliberate, and careful. They think long and hard before taking any serious action and often discuss and debate it with their fellows. Their cautious movements only heighten furre perceptions that Ogier are ponderous and slow to act. What most humans don’t realize is that, to Ogier, people and their structures are small and delicate, and Ogier slowness is often a reasonable caution with furre property and safety.

            Ogier are well known for never breaking oaths or promises. Furres say “Ogier’s oath” when describing just how serious they are about keeping their own promises. Indeed, this honesty is just one indication of the courtesy of Ogier society – Ogier are generally polite and kind to a fault.

            Physical Description: Ogier have the same body type as furres, but the resemblance ends there. With an average height of eight to ten feet, and proportionately broad shoulders to match, Ogier tower over their furre counterparts. They also have unusual faces, with broad flat noses, bushy drooping eyebrows, and long tufted ears that twitch and turn whenever they are nervous, alert, or disturbed.

            Ogier prefer fine, heavily embroidered clothing. The density of flowers and floral patterns on a Ogier woman’s dress usually indicates her station among her people – the more elaborate the embroidery, the higher her rank. A young girl’s dress may only have embroidery along the hem, whereas a female Elder’s dress displays delicately sewn flowers and leaves from hem to neck. Both genders have long hair (long enough to cover their ears), but females wear theirs longer than males. Females also like to adorn themselves with necklaces and bracelets (usually with a botanical motif), but never wear earrings.

            Unlike other types of intelligent nonhumans (Trollocs, for instance), Ogier are not constructs – that is, they were not artificially created.

            Relations: Ogier have relatively little contact with furres. Sometimes groups of Ogier stonemasons journey to the great cities to build, or to repair older Ogier construction, but the days when every major inn needed an Ogier-sized room to accommodate frequent travelers from the stedding are long gone. This reflects no hostility or ill will between Ogier and furres, just a tendency in recent generations for Ogier to become more withdrawn from furre society. To most furres, Ogier are the subject of stories and legends, not a facet of everyday life.

            Within their stedding, Ogier are led by Councils of Elders, composed of the oldest, wisest Ogier in the stedding. Females dominate Ogier culture and usually serve as the Head of most Councils. Female Ogier usually arrange their son’s marriages after careful consultation with the potential bride and her mother – but without telling the groom anything. He finds out when he comes home and his mother tells him he’s engaged.

            Lands: Ogier reside in stedding – small, well-hidden enclaves scattered throughout the westlands. Forty-one occupied stedding exist from the shores of the Aryth Ocean to the Spine of the World. Examples include Stedding Tsofu, in Cairhien, Stedding Shangtai, in the Spine, Stedding Jongai in Saldaea, and Stedding Chinden in the Mountains of Mist. The Ogier typically prefer mountainous or hilly regions for their stedding.

            Stedding are special places with a unique nature. The air within a stedding always seems fresh and sweet, trees and plants grow to huge heights and live for ages and a feeling of peace seems to pervade everything. More important, channelers cannot touch, use, or even sense the One Power while within a stedding, nor can persons in Tel’aran’rhiod enter a stedding in the dream world. Trollocs and Myrddraal will not enter a stedding unless forced to do so. It’s not known how the stedding came to be, or exactly what their properties are, but they have been in existence since the Breaking of the World. There are known to be some stedding unoccupied by Ogier but that retain their mystical properties. In some cases, the Ogier who lived there died out; in others, the stedding might never have been occupied.

            Ogier who remain outside the stedding for too long begin to suffer from “the Longing,” an intense desire to return home. If they do not give in to this desire, they eventually sicken and die. (In game terms, an Ogier character must send at least one week in any stedding per year or lose 1 point of Constitution for every month beyond that he remains away. If his Constitution reaches 0, he dies. Prior to that point, he recovers 1 point of lost Constitution for each day spent in the stedding.)

            Language: Ogier speak their own language, which they keep secret from humans, though many learn Common or the Old Tongue as well.

            Adventurers: Few Ogier become adventurers. They prefer the quite, comfort, and slow pace of stedding life, which allows them to study and practice their crafts in peace. However, not all Ogier fit so easily in the societal mold. Some possess a curiosity, a desire to see and experience the world beyond the stedding, which may drive them to become adventurers. As adventurers, their copious knowledge of history and esoterica, combined with their great size and strength, make them valuable companions.

            Adventurers often break stereotypes, and Ogier adventurers are no exception. An Ogier who leaves his stedding to journey in human lands often thinks and acts more hastily than normal Ogier and takes risks most would never take. In essence, he is a sort of Ogier rebel, one who prefers to experience things directly instead of just reading about them in books.

            Ogier Background Traits: Not being furre, Ogier characters do not receive any free bonus feats, skills, or other benefits that furre characters get from their backgrounds. However, they may choose to buy one of the following background feats whenever they have a normal feat slot available: Artistic, Education, Living History, or Smooth Talk. In addition, Ogier characters gain the following traits:

            - +4 Strength, -4 Dexterity. Ogier possess great strength and resilience, but their large hands and general size sometimes make them clumsy.

            - Large size: As Large creatures, Ogier have a natural reach of 10 feet but are slightly easier for Medium-size creatures to hit in combat (-1 size modifier to Defense).

            - Ogier base speed is 40 feet.

            - Low-light Vision: Ogier can see twice as far as humans in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination.

            - Ogier automatically receive 4 ranks in one Knowledge or Profession skill, or Decipher Script. The chosen skill is automatically a class skill for the character. Common Knowledge skills include arcane, architecture and engineering, geography, history, local, and nature; common Professions include architect, engineer, gardener, and stonemason.

            - +2 background bonus on Fortitude saves.

            - +2 background bonus on Listen checks. The large ears of Ogier allow them to hear better than humans do.

            - +2 background bonus on Craft checks related to working stone or constructing buildings.

            - Skill and Feat Restrictions: Ride, Armor Proficiency (light), Armor Proficiency (medium), Armor Proficiency (heavy), Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency. Ogier do not normally ride horses and cannot purchase ranks in the Ride skill at character creation. Ogier do not train with weapons and cannot have any armor proficiency feats or any weapon proficiency feats (except for simple weapons) at character creation, even if such proficiencies would normally be granted by their class. These skills and feats can be gained normally as the Ogier character advances in level.

            - Nonchannelers: Ogier do not possess the ability to channel. They cannot gain any levels in any channeler class.

            - Home Language: Ogier, Common (choose dialect); not all Ogier speak Common, but all adventuring Ogier do.


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Background Feats


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            List of background feats:

                - Artist

                - Militia

                - Blooded

                - Saddleback

                - Bullheaded

                - Sea Legs

                - Cosmopolitan

                - Seductive

                - Disciplined

                - Shadowspawn Hunter

                - Duelist

                - Silver Palm

                - Education

                - Smooth Talk

                - Gambler

                - Stealthy

                - Living History

                - Street Smart

                - Luck of Heroes

                - Strong Soul

                - Mercantile Background

                - Survivor


The following feats are available only to characters of certain background, as specified in the feat description. For more information on feats and how they are acquired, see the Feats page.


            - Artist

You come from a culture in which the arts, philosophy, and music have a prominent place in society.

            Background: Taraboner, Ogier.

            Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all Perform checks and to checks for one Craft skill that involves art (your choice), such as calligraphy, painting, sculpture, or embroidery.


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            - Blooded

You know what it means to fight for your life, and the value of quick wits and quicker reactions when blades are bared and deadly weaves fly. Enemies find it difficult to catch you off guard.

            Background: Aiel, Borderlander.

            Benefit: You get a +2 bonus on initiative checks and a +2 bonus on Spot checks.


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            - Bullheaded

The stubbornness and determination of your kind is legendary. You are exceptionally headstrong and difficult to sway from your intended course.

            Background: Aiel, Midlander.

            Benefit: You receive a +1 bonus on Will saves and a +2 bonus on Intimidate checks.


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            - Cosmopolitan

Your exposure to the thousand forking paths of the city has taught you things you ordinarily would never have uncovered.

            Background: Cairhienin, Domani, Ebou Dari, Illianer, Tar Valoner.

            Benefit: Choose a nonexclusive skill you do not have as a class skill. You gain a +2 bonus on all checks with that skill, and that skill is always considered a class skill for you.

            Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new skill.


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            - Disciplined

Your people are admired for their single-minded determination and clarity of purpose. You are difficult to distract by weave or blow.

            Background: Aiel, Atha’an Miere.

            Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on Will saves and a +2 bonus on Concentration checks.


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            - Duelist

Among your people, bloody duels are a common way of settling disputes or avenging insults. You have had to develop a quick wit, a quick knife, or both to survive.

            Background: Ebou Dari.

            Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks and a +2 bonus on intimidate checks.


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            - Education

Some lands hold the pen in higher regard that the sword. In your youth you received the benefit of several years of more or less formal schooling.

            Background: Tar Valoner, Ogier.

            Benefit: All Knowledge skills are class skills for you. You get a +1 bonus on all skill checks with any two Knowledge skills of your choosing.

            Special: You may only take this feat as a 1st-level character.


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            - Gambler

Dice, cards, or horse races – whatever the game of chance, your people have a love for it.

            Background: Ebou Dari, Tairen.

            Benefit: Profession (gambler) is a class skill for you. You gain a +2 bonus on Profession (gambler) checks and a +2 bonus on Sense Motive checks.


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            - Living History

The past is not merely a collection of stories to your people. It is a part of the present, a lesson you carry with you carry in everything you do.

            Background: Taraboner, Ogier.

            Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on all Knowledge checks.


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            - Luck of Heroes

Your land is known for producing heroes. Though resilience, determination, and pluck, your people survive when no one expects them to come through.

            Background: Midlander.

            Benefit: You receive a +1 luck bonus on all saving throws.


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            - Mercantile Background

Powerful merchants and tradesmen control the wealth and commerce of much of the westlands. You come from a family that excels at a particular trade and knows well the value of any kind of trade good or commodity.

            Background: Atha’an Miere, Ebou Dari, Illianer, Taraboner, Tairen.

            Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all Appraise checks and a +2 bonus on checks for the Craft or Profession skill of your choice.


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            - Militia

You served in Andor’s Queen’s Guard, the Companions of Illian, Tear’s Defenders of the Stone, the Tower Guard in Tar Valon, or some similar military unit or local militia. There, you trained with weapons suitable for use on the battlefield.

            Background: Cairhienin, Domani, Illianer, Midlander, Tar Valoner, Tairen.

            Benefit: You get Martial Weapon Proficiency (crossbow) and Martial Weapon Proficiency (pike or halberd) as bonus feats.


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            - Saddleback

Your people are as comfortable riding as walking.

            Background: Borderlander, Tairen.

            Benefit: You receive a +3 bonus on Ride checks.


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            - Sea Legs

The heaving decks of a ship are like a home to you, and you are as comfortable on or in the water as others are on land.

            Background: Atha’an Miere.

            Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Balance and Swim checks.


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            - Seductive

The people of your land are skilled at applying sensual suggestions to turn negotiations to their favor.

            Backgroud: Domani.

            Benefit: You gain a +3 bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks when dealing with members of the opposite sex.


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            - Shadowspawn Hunter

Along the Blight, many warriors learn ways to fight effectively against creatures of the Dark. You have served long in defending the Borderlands from the encroachment of the Blight’s horrors.

            Background: Borderlander.

            Benefit: When fighting Trollocs, you gain a +1 competence bonus on damage rolls for melee attacks and for ranged attacks at up to 30 feet. In addition, you act as if you had the Improved Critical feat for the weapon you are using. This benefit does not stack with the Improved Critical feat.

            Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. The second time ou take the feat you may add one of the following types of Shadowspawn: Draghkar, or Myrddraal. The third and each additional time, you may choose another from that list or from among the following: Draghkar or Gray Man.


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            - Silver Palm

Your culture is based on haggling and the art of the deal.

            Background: Atha’an Miere, Cairhienin, Illianer.

            Benefit: You get a +2 bonus on Appraise and Bluff checks.


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            - Smooth Talk

Your people are accustomed to dealing with strangers and foreigners without needing to draw weapons to make their point.

            Background: Atha’an Miere, Cairhienin, Tar Valoner, Ogier.

            Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks.


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            - Stealthy

Your people are known for their stealthiness.

            Background: Aiel, Borderlander.

            Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks.


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            - Street Smart

You have learned how to keep informed, ask questions, and interact with the underworld without raising suspicion.

            Background: Cairhienin, Domani, Ebou Dari, Illianer.

            Benefit: You get a +2 bonus on Bluff and Gather Information checks.


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            - Strong Soul

The souls of your people are hard to separate from their bodies.

            Background: Borderlander, Midlander.

            Benefit: You get a +1 bonus on Fortitude and Will saves and an additional +1 bonus on saving throws against energy draining and death effects.


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            - Survivor

Your people thrive in a region that others find uninhabitable. This gives you a savvy and strength of will that you can take to any difficult environment.

            Background: Aiel.

            Benefit: You get a +1 bonus on Fortitude saves and a +2 bonus on Wilderness Lore checks.


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©2001 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a division of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved. Wheel of Time © and ™ Robert Jordan. Wheel of Time is trademark of Robert Jordan. All characters, character names, and descriptions therefore are trademarks and/or copyrights of Robert Jordan.