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Explore Countless Worlds

Step Through the Runegate


is a campaign setting for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS 4e. The following books are on the table: Players
Handbook 1, 2, 3; Dungeon Masters Guide 1, 2; Monster Manual 1, 2, 3. Genasi and Warforged are ported from FRPG
and EPG respectively. Other supplements may be used at the DMs discretion.
Runegate is comprised of many scattered worlds (actually mini-settings) that can be traveled to via magical Runegates.
Available Races: Changeling, Deva, Dray (a.k.a. Dragonborn), Genasi, Human, Minotaur, Shifter, Tiefling, Wilden
Unavailable Races: Dwarf, Eladrin, Elf, Gnome, Githzerai, Goliath, Half-elf, Half-orc, Halfling, Drow, Kalashtar,
Shardmind, Warforged
Runegate embraces the re-imagined races of 4e. There are no classic fantasy races in this D&D world. And yeah ,
I do realize that Humans are a traditional fantasy race.
Available Classes: Any.

The Union

A thousand, thousand worlds float in the ther, separated by distances far

greater than any mundane sea.

A powerful idea binds these scattered

Collectively, they refer to themselves as the Union.

The Union is ancient and ageless, much like its deva caretakers. Its many worlds are a sprawl of grandeur and elegance.
People are what make this realm fantastic however. The Union mostly lacks the racial prejudice and segregation so
common in many other fantasy settings. The concept of a separate dray society is foreign here, for instance. While
there are indeed a few areas where dray outnumber humans, dray dont consider themselves a separate nation or
people. Nor do humans view the dray in such a way.


The pursuit of honorand the prestige it brings is a driving force behind the life of every citizen of the Union. For
many, there is no greater cause. Money and power mean nothing if they are attained at the expense of ones honor. In
its broadest sense, honor is the embodiment of all that is goodsuch as honesty, kindness, and forgiveness. Honorable
men and women keep their word when its given. They are generous, offering sustenance to those who are poor, lending
protection to those who are weak. They are faithful to their friends and loyal to their families. Men show their strength
and bravery in battle; women display their courage in the face of hardship. Both must be virtuous and free of shame.
To an outsider, the Union concept of honor may appear complex. For its people however, nothing could be simpler. Honor
is as natural and as necessary as breathing, and its badge, for better or worse, is as inescapable as death. Every action,
large or small, serves either to enhance or erode ones honor. Moreover, every deed colors the honor of an individuals
family. Honor and kinship are closely entwined. If a man or woman acts dishonorably, their offense may create a stain
upon his familys honor that will be remembered for generations to come.
Honor is closely guarded. For every insult to a persons honor, restitution must be made. If the insult is small, a simple
apology may suffice. But to steal or injure with intention, to kill without justificationthese are grave offenses. They
can ruin the honor of the offender as well as that of the offenders family. Moreover, these crimes assault the honor of
the victim and the victims family, too. The graver the offense, the greater the required restitutionand the harsher the
If, for example, a woman is caught stealing, she may lose part of her hand; at the very least, she will be forced to make
a humiliating public apology and to offer money or livestock to her victims. If a man kills another without just cause,
then the victims family has the right to demand the offenders deathor to kill him themselvesin lieu of monetary
compensation. In all likelihood, the offenders family will eliminate the offender themselves. When a crime is severe,
only the death of the dishonorable person can erase the stain upon his or her familys honor. In effect, the family must
cut out the offending part before the honor of the whole can be restored.

The family circle is continuous and unbroken, precious and irreplaceable. Even in the afterlife, a family remains intact,
proving its strength as well as its importance. Material wealth is transient, but the bonds of blood are eternal.
Each person exists within the circle of his or her immediate family, which spans all surviving generations. That family,
in turn, lies within a larger circle of cousins and uncles and aunts. Beyond that lies a third circle of relatives, one step
removed, and then a fourth, like the rings which form around a pebble tossed into a pool. These circles create a persons
identity. Man or woman, boy or girl, an individual is nothing without the group. The rights of the family therefore, must
supersede the rights of any single person within it.
The people of the Union value large families, and they welcome the birth of each child. Eventually, of course, a paternal
home can hold no more people. When space becomes scarce and a family can afford to build a new dwelling, a son will
leave his paternal home and start anew. Rarely will he leave his ancestral village or city, however.
Honor and kinship are two golden threads in the fabric of Union life. Without either, the fabric unravels.

Generosity brings honor, while stinginess spawns contempt. As a result, hospitality within the Union is unrivaled.
Ethically, a man or woman must offer food and drink to anyone who appears at their doorstep as a friend, no matter
how poor the host may be. If a guest comes to the door at night, a host must offer lodging as well as sustenance. A
wealthy host may also offer entertainment, such as the dance of a talented servant, and perhaps even a gift. The
obligationand desireto offer hospitality is as compelling as any personal need.
A host assumes responsibility for the well-being of his guests. Whether a man lives in a tent or a lavish house, his honor
depends on how well he treats those who place themselves in his care. For this reason, guests can expect safety as well
as sustenance even if they once were the hosts enemies. Arsenic and other toxins are easy enough to obtain, and
poison is a common way to eliminate foes.
Nonetheless, once foes become guests even they can eat heartily, expecting the hosts protection as well as his
friendship. In turn, the guests are expected to act as loyal friends, never overstaying their welcome, and never
overstepping the bounds of good behavior.

If it seems that the codes of conduct described so far are pursued religiously, its because they are. Honor is also a
matter of piety, of behaving in the manner deemed good and right by those who rule the heavensthose who will
determine whether you are worthy of finding paradise in the afterlife. A dishonorable man, it is said, is never worthy of
this great reward.
People in the Union find it exceedingly difficult to accept anyone who does not believe in and pay homage to some higher
power. In their mind, to believe in nothing is sin.
No Single Deity: Most people revere more than one deity, praying to different gods at different times. Commoners in
a small town might visit a temple that has three altars, where they pray to Bahamut for protection, Pelor for fertile
crops, and Moradin to aid their skill at crafting. Clerics and paladins more often serve a single deity, championing that
gods particular cause in the world. Other adventurers range across the spectrum, from paying lip service to the whole
pantheon, to fervently serving a single god, to ignoring the gods entirely as they pursue their own divine ascension.
Thats not to say that everyone worships every god. A truly good person has little use for Lolth; a law-abiding towndweller might never have heard of Gruumsh. Rather, every community and individual has a collection of deities to whom
they devote their reverence. They occasionally offer a prayer to another god, if circumstances warrantonly a fool goes

to sea without invoking Melora, and a village that doesnt normally venerate Bane might offer him prayers over a
makeshift altar if suddenly forced to warbut their personal pantheon receives the overwhelming bulk of their
A communitys collection of deities shapes how they see each individual god. A community beset by the dangers of the
surrounding wilderness, and includes Bane and Erathis among their deities, likely views Bane as more of a stabilizing
influence, and less actively evil, than a tyrannical city-state whose power-hungry leaders worship Asmodeus alongside
the Black Hand.
No Universal Churches: Runegate presumes individual communities are rarely linked into large kingdoms; so too are
the worlds religions made up of autonomous sects, without monolithic governing entities. There are no churches, in
the sense of Union-wide theological authorities that oversee all practitioners of a given faith.
Thus, a temple or sect of Bahamut in one community is differentat least in the details, and frequently in major
practicesfrom any other. It also means that followers of Bahamut arent necessarily in agreement on religious matters.
Its possible for two or more Bahamut worshipers to prove competitors, or even downright enemies.

The Dawn War pantheon is assembled from mostly preexisting elements to suit the needs of a particular
This pantheon draws in several nonhuman deities and establishes them as universal gods. These gods include Bahamut,
Corellon, Gruumsh, Lolth, Moradin, Sehanine, and Tiamat. Humans worship Moradin and Corellon as gods of their
respective portfolios, rather than as racial deities. The pantheon also includes the archdevil Asmodeus as god of
domination and tyranny.
Several of the gods are drawn from other pantheons, sometimes with new names for the gods. Bane comes from the
Forgotten Realms. From Greyhawk come Kord, Pelor, Tharizdun, and Vecna. From the Greek pantheon come Athena
(renamed Erathis) and Tyche (renamed Avandra), though both are altered. Set (renamed Zehir) comes from the
Egyptian pantheon. The Raven Queen is akin to the Norse pantheon's Hel and Greyhawk's Weejas. Runegate adds
Fharlanghn (from Greyhawk). That leaves three gods created from scratch: Ioun, Melora, and Torog.
The Dawn War deities are described in the Players Handbook (pages 20-22) and in the Dungeon Masters Guide (pages

Fharlanghn is the god of roads and patron of those who travel long distances. His
wayside shrines are common on well-used roads. Temples usually double as rest stops
for travelers in need of shelter or protection.
Fharlanghns worshippers travel the worlds, always seeking out new things. They guide
caravans, explore new territories, and record long travelogues describing journeys
beyond the horizon. They also serve as translators and diplomats. Many serve as
surveyors or engineers and help build roads, bridges, and ports. No matter what their
activities, Fharlanghans worshippers move around frequently, and anyone who visits a
shrine or temple more than once is likely to meet a different group there each time.

Life is the ultimate journey. You can't tell exactly where you'll end upand it's likely to be where you least expect. The
world is a terrifying, massive, and deadly place, and you never know when you might need a new home, so why have
one at all? It's much more exciting to see what's around the next bend in the road. Even if that bend is your last, you
can say that you've truly lived and walked Fharlanghn's Way. Death is but another stage in life's journey, and the next
existence opens up other worlds to travel. That fact doesn't mean that you shouldn't be prepared for dangers along the
way, or that you should allow your enemies to trample you into the dust of the road. Fight for your journey until your
last breath, because you haven't yet seen and experienced all that this life has to offer. Those who persist in obstructing
your way must be dealt with quickly so that you can resume your travels.
All these concepts and more are the dogma of the faith of Fharlanghn. To deliberately obstruct another's journey is the
ultimate sin in the eyes of the Dweller on the Horizon, and slavery is an abomination for this reason. Thus, members of
Fharlanghn's Way frequently converge on known slave rings and destroy them, leaving no slaver standing. Church
members also aid fellow travelers under attack. A follower of Fharlanghn might calmly teleport a merchant away from
the ring of bandits stealing his rich cargooften to the merchant's displeasure.
Fharlanghn's faithful believe that their patron constantly travels the worlds in an effort to see all creation. Because he
sees whatever his followers see, his faith readily welcomes new members, whose travels can aid the deity in his ultimate
mission. The faith teaches that one day, when his followers have shown him every place that exists, Fharlanghn will
stop to rest, and the universe will cease to grow. What exactly that event will mean, no one can say. But the church
celebrates Fharlanghn's endless travels once each year with the Day of Rest, when every member stops traveling to
revel in that single moment of life. For the rest of the year, Fharlanghn's Way exhorts its members to see the world in
the short time they have in it, and to spread this message to anyone who bothers to stop, listen, and share the road
with them for a brief time.
Members of Fharlanghn's faith tend to be collectors, picking up miscellaneous souvenirs from their travels to remind
them of places they've been and of places to which they might someday return. They also hoard odd but useful magic
items, just in case. A rope of climbing, a dozen scrolls and potions of dubious use, a decanter of endless water, an
immovable rodthese are the tools of an affiliate of Fharlanghn's faith. Members of this church have unusual views on
mundane possessions as well. They often shrug and decline items that others would consider highly valuable, so they
can focus more on objects that remind them of their journeys. That isn't to say a member would refuse a useful item
any tool that could improve the journey has value. But wealth for its own sake is pointless. Gold and treasure are heavy
and only entice others to slow one's travels.
Sibling Faiths: The relationship between Avandra and Fharlanghn are akin to real world Greco-Roman mythology.
Their faiths share many of the same commandments and traditions, interchangeably. For instance, both deities value
freedom and travel above all else. In another setting, two such similar faiths might be redundant; in Runegate however,
they merely serve to reinforce the importance of world-to-world travel. One notable difference: Avandra is good,
Fharlanghn is unaligned.

Celestian, the Star Wanderer appears as a tall, lean man of middle years. His skin is of ebony hue and
smooth. His eyes are of the same color as his skin. He is quick and absolutely silent in his movement. He seldom
speaks. His garments are of deep black, but somewhere he will always wear his symbol: seven stars (diamond,
amethyst, sapphire, emerald, topaz, jacinth, ruby) blazing with the colors of far suns.
It is said that Celestian and Fharlanghn are brothers who followed similar but different paths. While Fharlanghn
chose to wander the roads and lands of his home world, Celestian took to the Astral Sea. Celestians habits and
disposition usually keep him from close association and involvement with other gods. Those who involve themselves
with the cosmos or the sky scholars, astronomers, astrologers, dreamers, navigators make up the bulk of the
Celestian faithful. His followers and priests emulate their deity by traveling the ther.
Celestian is distantly related to the Dawn War pantheon.

The Union is an awe-inspiring realm. Everything is more exaggerated and potent here. Monsters and beasts are
ferocious and peoples passions inflamed. They find themselves pushed to grow to their full potential, encouraged to
do all within their grasp.
The reason is this: Each world is invested with a particular deitys power. When deities have business in the mortal
realm, typically they send avatars, earthly manifestations of their power. The Union is different however; rather than
walking these worlds in humanoid form, deities invest their godly power directly into the very fabric of the worlds (the
same power that would normally be invested into an avatar). Deities use the Union to raise up heroes to suit their
needs (such as Chosen see below).
All inhabitants of the Union benefit from this divine investment. Players who choose a patron deity for their PCs gain a
couple of high-octane benefits: Milestone Daily Powers and Racial Powers. With each world they travel to, players can
choose a third benny from among the following: Critical Recharge, Greater Mobility, Critical Success, Massive Damage,
High Damage. Note this choice on their character sheet. Once the PCs have completed an extended rest on another
world, benefits can be switched. These benefits are defined in the sidebar below.

Chosen: A deity can touch a mortal worshiper with a sliver of divine grace, creating a Chosen as an instrument in the
mortal world. A Chosen watches over a deitys worshippers, protects sacred sites, and works to oppose a deitys foes.
See the Chosen epic destiny, described in Divine Power. In addition to the other prerequisites: Sometime after reaching
21st level, you must visit a world favored by your chosen deity. There, in a formal ceremony, high-ranking members of
the faith perform holy rites that invest you with the power of a chosen.

The Year


In the Union, years are counted off using a pair of concurrently running cycles;
one of eleven parts, the other of nine. The eleven-part is counted and spoken first,
in the order presented below. The nine-part is counted and spoken second.
Every 99 years the cycle repeats itself, ending with a year of Darkons Memory
and starting again with a new year of Raos Fury. Each 99-year cycle is called an
So, the first year of each aeon is a year of Raos Fury. The next year is a year of
Friends Contemplation, followed by a year of Mysterys Vengeance, etc. The 98th
year of each aeon is a year of Enemys Awakening, followed by the 99th year, a
year of Darkons Memory.

Each month is named after one of the eleven deities in the Players Handbook and Fharlanghan.
The real world Gregorian calendar is an equivalent to the calendar used in Runegate. October has 31 days for instance,
so the equivalent Union month also has 31 days. The months can be named as desired (it makes no difference). For
instance, October (commonly associated with Halloween) might be known as Raven [Queen]; July (commonly the
warmest month) might be known as Pelor. Its entirely up the DM and players which month gets named what.
Day and Night: A day is 24 hours long on most worlds. On Union worlds, seven days comprise a week: Godsday,
Moonday, Waterday, Earthday, Starday, Sunday, Freeday. Godsday is commonly associated with worship, and Freeday
with rest. The remaining days are considered "work days."

Avandras Path
Members of this worlds-hopping organization regard every road as a classroom and every inn
as a laboratory. Devoted to travel for its own sake, they accumulate little lore but see much
of the worlds and beyond as well. Anything of interest to travelers is of interest to Avandras
Path. Its members (referred to as pathfinders) are renowned guides and scouts. They know,
for example, the last known location of a floating isle, the best way to cross the Midnight
Desert, and which church now rules the province of Torador.
Because its pathfinders are rarely in the same place for long, Avandras Path has little formal
organization and no central leadership. Nearly every city of any size has a pathfinder station,
where members can file reports on their travels, conduct research for future journeys, and share drinks and tales of the
road. A senior member serves as station head at each location. If a crisis affects the organization as a whole, as many
station heads as possible meet somewhere and reach a solution by consensus.
Each pathfinder must help to run a station for one month out of every year. The most senior pathfinders of a given
months working group serves as station head.
Each pathfinder who stops at a station must file a report describing his or her travels since the last station stop. The
report should include hazards, weather conditions, encounters, and any other information that might prove useful to
other travelers.
Each of the stations bears a green or gold diamond symbol. All members carve three wavy lines in each boot heel so
as to leave distinctive tracks.
Occasionally, pathfinders band together to bring to justice anyone who displays a pathfinder tattoo but isnt actually a
member. Avandras Path pays handsomely for such services out of its own coffers, but most pathfinders would take on
such tasks even without pay to protect the organizations reputation.
Joining Avandras Path: To join, a prospective member must present a station head with three gifts, all originating
from another world. The gifts should be moderately expensive and can be anything from a case of liquor, to an object
of art, to a riding horse. If the station head is pleased, the candidate is tattooed with the red star and, after a riotous
party, is accepted as a pathfinder.
In the Runegate setting, it can be assumed that all the PCs are associated with Avandras Path (from the start of
the campaign). So, this section doesn't necessarily apply to PCs. Note: Being pathfinders doesnt necessarily
preclude other party backrounds; the PCs might still be childhood friends for instance, or the group might have a
shared destiny.

Character Benefits: The most significant benefit of membership in Avandras Path is access to reports of previous
travelers. A pathfinder stations information about hazards, monsters, and current events isnt always up to date o
course, but it is highly reliable.
Pathfinders can use the accommodations at the station free of charge. Many stations operate general stores that sell
adventuring gear to members for a bit less than the going rate. Also, horses are half price. In addition, merchants and
innkeepers along important trade routes (some near Runegates) often offer discounts to travelers with the tattoo.
Obviously, they are hoping for good reviews on the next set of pathfinder reports.
[Avandra's Path is ported from Complete Adventurer, pages 175-177 a.k.a. The League of Boot and Trail.]

The Twisted Rune

The Twisted Rune is a thieves guild that uses Runegate travel to stay a step ahead of local law enforcement. It usually
falls to solars to bring these worlds-hopping criminals to justice. The guild has loosely connected branches on many
different worlds. A local guildmaster heads up each branch; together, they form a ruling council.
Members of the Twisted Rune enjoy several benefits of guild membership: training, equipment, information, fencing,
and specialist help, for instance. Responsibilities include: guild dues, secrecy, and providing information.
Like all thieves guilds, the Twisted Rune engage in pick pocketing, burglary, robbery, street theft, street gambling, and
mugging. It specializes in smuggling (secretly moving items and people from one world to another). As a cover, the
guild is also involved in legit transportation.
Thieves' Guild: In many cities, thieves are just as organized as any other profession. They don't usually bother with
formal apprenticeships, masterworks and so forth, but they protect their monopoly on criminal activity every bit as
jealously, and much more violently, than any legal guild. In most places, Thieves' Guild refers to the local organization,
not a guild in the usual sense.
A well-organized Thieves' Guild controls all criminal activity in its territory: illegal gambling, slavery, smuggling,
blackmail, prostitution, protection and, of course, theft. The organization looks after its members, protecting them from
the authorities and rivals. The guild pays the city guards to look the other way at appropriate times, bribes government
officials, and arranges the release of incarcerated members. The leader of the guild may be the head of a dominant
crime family, a bully who fought his way to power, or even a real Guildmaster, chosen by his peers for his skill and
In some places, each type of criminal activity will be dominated by a single family or mob; in other places, the turf will
be physically divided up. In either case, messy gang wars can erupt. The outcome may be a single Thieves' Guild, or a
town temporarily cleansed of riff-raff.
Anywhere thieves are at all organized, amateur competition (e.g., from traveling adventurers) will be viewed
unfavorably. On the other hand, joining up (at the lower levels) is often simple and informal. However, the average gang
will demand some 25% of the take from any criminal activity in the area more if the gang provides support and

The Court of Stars is the governing body of the Union. The emperor or 'aeon' (a deva from circle of the
Union) is served by the prime herald (an ori deva) and the prime counselor (an akasha deva). Solars are the most
widely recognized representatives of the court.

The Remnants - Many realms have made up the Union throughout its long history. Three are counted among
the greatest. Arkhosia and Bael Turath, the dray and tiefling realms, faded long ago, before the first Runegates even
existed. The human realm of Nerath dwindled away only a century ago.
They fell into history but the scattered remnants of these realms are still active within the Union today. Individually,
they arent worthy of much notice, but together they still hold some sway in the politics of the Union. Collectively, they
are known as the Remnants.
There are factions within factions (even within each remnant itself); no single faction is much of an actual threat. Ageold conflicts have become modern day squabbles. By necessity, the collective energy of the Remnants is turned inward,
toward defense; much bigger threats lurk outside the proverbial gate.
[Check out the section on Fallen Empires, from Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters (pages 20 and 21).]

Non-Union Worlds:

Some worlds are not affiliated with the Union; some affiliate with non-Union power groups,

while others are truly independent. Just like their Union counterparts, most of these worlds have Runegates.

Solars are warrior-diplomats called by the aeon to serve as her

Members of the order are addressed with the
honorific sol before their name. They hail from all races.
Solars adhere to the virtues of fealty, courtesy, honesty, valor, and
honor. Humility, generosity, and industry are other virtues commonly
adhered to. Most also follow all edicts passed down from faith and
Oath of Allegiance: A newly named solar traditionally swears loyalty
to the aeon, as part of a formal ceremony. The wording varies by
individual but always includes the solars name and homeland, the
aeons name, virtues (mentioned by name) and the source of edicts (such as the aeon, faith, and family).
For example: I, Torel of Ravengard, do hereby pledge loyalty to Her Majesty Aeon Nethra, maintaining my devotion
against all persons without deception or forethought. Further, I vow to promote and uphold the principles of fealty,
courtesy, honesty, valor, and honor. I vow to solemnly and faithfully follow the edicts of my empress, my faith, and
my family. I take this pledge freely, without coercion or expectation of reward, sworn by my hand on the Scepter of
Stars and in blessed memory of those who have given their lives to this noble cause.
Signs of Authority: As Hands of the Aeon, their reputation precedes them. Solars wear badges, typically as cloak
pins. The insignia varies by world but is typically some variation of a sun or star (much like many real world police
badges are variations of a shield or star). The suns rays signify the aeons power and strength, spread out among many
worlds, and her benevolent protection and succor.
Solars are immune to arrest and prosecution. Theyre always free to wear their chosen weapons; local restrictions never
apply to them.
Motto: Eas Unum Aeon (By the Emperors Hand).
[The Martial Archtype epic destiny (described on page 156 of Martial Power) is more widely known as the Solar in this
setting. The name is indicative of their reputation as warriors, not that solars actually epic level.]

Templars are solars who are spellcasters. Many clerics and wizards of this branch are devotees of Ayailla. Many
templars are multiclass/hybrid cleric/wizards.

Seraphs are elite solars who guard the aeon.

Ayailla, the goddess of light, is best known as the patron deity of the
order of solars. Called the Bright Eagle or the Brilliant Mistress, she is the
steward of celestial radiance, and she watches over the good creatures of
the sky. Ayailla is depicted either as a phoenix bathed in brilliant light or as
a beautiful red skinned woman with large, feathered wings.
Ayailla claims among her worshipers, giant eagles, giant owls, pegasi,
lammasus, cloud and storm giants, and good dragons. Her symbol is a
phoenix, and the domains she is associated with are Glory, Good, and Sun.
She is neutral good and her favored weapon is the spear.
Clerics of Ayailla are bearers of her celestial light. Some take that mission
literally, such as clerics who use celestial radiance to combat plagues of
undead. Others interpret their mission more metaphorically, working to
illuminate and educate people, teaching everything from basic literacy to
abstract philosophy. Ayaillas temples are most commonly found in the
cloud-castles of good giants or in subterranean strongholds, where they are
beacons of light in the darkness.

Ayailla is an exalted god described in the Book of Exalted Deeds: Next to Heironeous, Pelor, Ehlonna, and Kord, the
deities presented here are relatively insignificantdemigods with limited portfolios and small followings. Nevertheless,
they exemplify some of the finest aspects of the good alignment, from joy and pleasure to martyrdom and the fiery
radiance that sears evil.
While few people claim these deities as their sole patron, many offer occasional prayers or small sacrifices to them.

Runegate mostly lacks the racial prejudice and segregation so common in many other fantasy settings. The concept of
a separate dray society for instance, is foreign here. While there are indeed a few areas where dray outnumber
humans, dray dont consider themselves a separate nation or people. Nor do humans view the dray in such a way.

Changelings are inoffensive and peaceful by nature, and they have few
concerns about political and social affairs. Their mercurial nature breeds
distrust and suspicion in other races. People are intent on seeing the
worst in changelings; they assume the race uses its shapechanging
ability for malicious ends. Some changelings do use their talents for evil,
but such individuals exist in no greater numbers than in other races.
In a way changelings are parasitic in their relationships with other races.
Rather than constructing grand civilizations and sweeping edifices
devoted to their people, changelings are content to treat the works of
other races as their own. Their willingness to identify with a variety of
societal structures is vital to maintaining their false identities. For most
changelings, the arts, customs and practices they uphold are more than
tools to reinforce their identities. These aspects of society and culture
are a part of their beliefs and values, just as they are for other members
of their adopted communities.
Changelings wear many masks, concealing their true identities behind
false faces. As shapechangers, changelings can appear to be members
of any humanoid race, playing the part of a dray one day and a human the next. This propensity for disguise leads
people to distrust changelings, so most keep their true nature hidden.
Although changelings can adopt any persona, most rely on few established guises, each with a developed history and a
network of friends and acquaintances. These guises provide a changeling with backup identities should one persona
become compromised. A changeling who travels frequently might change identities from town to town, swapping
genders, appearances, and voices to help blend in within each new community.
In true form, a changeling has a startling yet vague appearance. A changeling's skin is uniformly pale with white, or
light gray tones. Its oversized eyes are often sunken in dark rings, between which lies a subtle nose. Changelings are
slender, bordering on frail. Their hair tends to have light coloring with hints of blue, green and even pink; pale silver is
the most common hair color, followed by platinum and blonde. Aside from the hair on their heads, changelings have
little to no hair.
Changelings reach maturity at about fifteen years of age, and they live about as long as humans do.
[For an overview of changelings, check out Races of Eberron, a v3.5 supplement.]

Devas are separated by time, space, and the fickleness of memory. A
deva might die only to reincarnate worlds away from the place of death.
Nevertheless, devas have a shared ancestral memory all the way back
to their original incarnations as angels.
Devas are refined and polite. They follow the highest moral standards,
but they are not afraid of violence. They believe that the pursuit of
good is an eternal war with the forces of evil, embodied in rakshasas,
demons, and devils.
Because they remember, at least dimly, a in the Astral Sea spent in
close company with the gods, most devas are devout worshipers of the
gods of good, especially Bahamut but also Moradin and Pelor. Devas
seek to achieve a personal connection with the gods rather than
approach them through temples and priests. They worship at meals in
their homes, setting an empty place for the absent gods, and strive
through meditation and prayer to become more like the gods they
serve. Deva adventurers are commonly avengers, clerics, and invokers,
who savor the experience of divine power flowing through them without
any intermediary.
Deva numbers are so small that a deva can spend entire lifetimes
without ever meeting another of his or her kind (outside of their
immediate circle at least). All devas remember elements of the life they
had before their incarnation in flesh and the beginning of their cycle of
rebirth, and they share some common cultural elements of dress, religion, and habits. Devas favor flowing clothes of
fine silks, polished metal armor with wing-like shoulder ornaments, and headdresses or helmets that suggest crowns or
halos. In other ways, they prefer to live simply, without extravagance.
In appearance, devas are very similar to humans, but with an unearthly beauty and an uncanny stillness about them.
They are almost as tall as dray, but much more slender. Devas coloration distinguishes them most strongly from
humans. All devas have patterns of light and dark colors on their skin. The light portions are chalk white or pale gray,
and the dark areas range from blue or purple to dark gray or black. In any individual deva, either light or dark can be
dominant, with the opposite shade appearing in simple, elegant patterns on the face, chest, and shoulders. A devas
hair is typically the same color as these skin patterns. When sitting or standing at rest, devas remain almost perfectly
still, except for the occasional blink of the eyes. They dont fidget or twitch, and their eyes move only when they are
actively examining something.
Devas do not have children. When a deva dies, his or her spirit is reincarnated in a new, adult body that appears in
some sacred place, such as a mountain peak, a riverbank, or a desert oasis. The new deva retains enough memory of
past lives to speak and understand multiple languages and offer the proper prayers and sacrifices to the gods of good.
[Check out the 'Deva Circles' article, a bit of flavor for deva PCs and the setting in general.]


(a.k.a. Dragonborn)
To a dray, honor is more important than life itself. First and foremost,
honor is tied to battlefield conduct. Adversaries should be treated with
courtesy and respect, even if they are bitter enemies. Caution and
discretion are key to a warriors survival, but fear is a disease and
cowardice is a moral failing. The drive to behave honorably extends into
the rest of a drays life: Breaking an oath is the height of dishonor, and
attention to honesty extends to every word. A commitment made must
be carried out. Ultimately, a dray takes responsibility for his or her actions
and their consequences.
A continual drive for self-improvement reveals an additional aspect of
dray honor. Dray value skill and excellence in all endeavors. They hate to
fail, and they push themselves to extreme efforts before they give up on
something. A dray holds mastery of a particular skill as a lifetime goal.
Members of other races who share the same commitment find it easy to
earn the respect of a dray.
The dray dedication to honor and excellence sometimes leads others to
view dray as arrogant and proud. Most dray share a great pride in their
races past and present accomplishments, but they are also quick to
admire the accomplishments of others. Even though the tiefling empire
of Bael Turath was the enemy of the ancient dray empire of Arkhosia,
dray recognize tieflings as worthy companions or opponents, admiring
their strength and tenacity as friends or enemies.

Dray seek adventure for the chance to prove their worth, win renown,
and perhaps become champions about whom stories will be told for generations. To win everlasting glory through mighty
deeds, daring exploits, and supreme skillthat is the dray dream.
Dray resemble humanoid dragons. Theyre covered in scaly hide, but they dont have tails. They are tall and strongly
built, often standing close to 6 feet in height and weighing 300 pounds or more. Their hands and feet are strong,
talon-like claws with three fingers and a thumb on each hand. A drays head features a blunt snout, a strong brow, and
distinctive frills at the cheek and ear. Behind the brow, a crest of hornlike scales of various lengths resembles thick, ropy
hair. Their eyes are shades of red or gold.
A typical drays scales can be scarlet, gold, rust, ocher, bronze, or brown. Rarely do an individuals scales match the hue
of a chromatic or metallic dragon, and scale color gives no indication of the type of breath weapon a dray uses. Most
dray have very fine scales over most of their body, giving their skin a leathery texture, with regions of larger scales on
the forearms, lower legs and feet, shoulders, and thighs.
Young dray grow faster than human children do. They walk hours after hatching, reach the size and development of a
10-year-old human child by the age of 3 and reach adulthood by 15. They live about as long as humans do.

Living manifestations of the Elemental Chaos, beings of raw power and
ordained rebellion.
In Runegate, genasi are to the elemental chaos what devas are to the
astral sea. Once, they were archons (similar to how devas were once
angels). Archons are unaligned (like angels), not chaotic evil (as listed
in the MM).

Humans are decisive and sometimes rash. They explore the darkest reaches of the world in search of knowledge and
power. They hurl themselves into danger, dealing with consequences as they arise. They act first and ponder later,
trusting their will to prevail and their native resourcefulness to see them through perilous situations.
Humans always look to the horizon, seeking to expand their influence and their territory. They chase power and want
to change the world, for good or for ill. Their settlements are among the brightest lights in a dark and untamed world,
and humans constantly seek to explore new lands and settle new frontiers.
Their self-reliance and bravery inclines humans toward martial classes such as fighter, warlord, and rogue. They often
prefer to find hidden reserves of strength in themselves rather than trust to the magic of wizards or clerics.
That said, humans tend to be a pious race, worshiping the whole pantheon of gods. Their myths name no god as the
creator of the race. Some tales say the gods worked together to create them, infusing them with the best qualities of
each race that had come before. Other tales say that humans were the creation of a god whose name is no longer
known, a god killed in the war against the primordials or perhaps assassinated by another deity (Asmodeus and Zehir
are often accused of the deed).
Humans come in a wide variety of heights, weights, and colors. Some humans have black or dark brown skin, others
are as pale as snow, and they cover the whole range of tans and browns in between. Their hair is black, brown, or a
range of blonds and reds. Their eyes are most often brown, blue, or hazel.
Human attire varies wildly, depending on the environment and society in which they live. Their clothing can be simple,
ostentatious, or anything in between. Its not unusual for several distinct human cultures to live side by side in a
particular area and mingle; so human armor, weaponry, and other items incorporate a variety of designs and motifs.
Humans average life spans of about 75 years, though some venerable members of the race live as long as 90 or more

Standing between seven and eight feet tall and often weighing over
three hundred pounds, minotaurs are creatures of legend with the body
of a man and the head of a bull.
Many people assume minotaurs are belligerent and quick to anger, so
people watch themselves around unfamiliar minotaurs. Shopkeepers
might surreptitiously hide valuable or fragile goods when a minotaur
comes in, and people slowly clear out of a tavern, assuming a fight will
break out soon.
In this setting, minotaurs have no special connection to Baphomet;
they are much more likely to venerate Kord, god of strength.

In Runegate, monstrous minotaurs (those with more bovine features such as hooves rather than feet and hide rather
than skin) are an uncommon, less widespread variation.

Shifters are strongly influenced by their animal natures. They think
and act like predators, conceiving of most activities in terms of
hunting and prey. Longtooth shifters are drawn to a pack of
companions, whether thats a family group or an adventuring party.
They work well as part of a team in combat, coordinating their attacks
with their allies and coming to the aid of beleaguered friends. Theyre
drawn to the leader and defender roles, and they make excellent
clerics, fighters, paladins, and wardens.
Razorclaw shifters are more independent, self-reliant, and adaptable.
Theyre no less devoted to their adventuring companions, but they
trust their allies to take care of themselves, and they strive to carry
their own weight in the group. Theyre more inclined to be strikers or
controllers, and they favor classes such as avenger, druid, ranger,
and rogue.
Historically, most shifters are nomadic, dwelling in plains and forests
far removed from cities and towns. Since the fall of Nerath, however,
the increasing dangers of the wilds have driven many shifters into
closer proximity to urban communities. Some shifters have adapted smoothly to this change, carving niches for
themselves as trappers, hunters, fishers, trackers, guides, or military scouts. Others have a much harder time fitting in.
Shifters who feel alienated from the plains and forests they love sometimes take up the adventuring life as a way of
escaping the confines of city walls and returning to nature. Some shifters, though, turn to a life of crime, preying on the
residents of their new homes like the hunters they are.
In broad strokes, shifters resemble humans with animalistic features. Their bodies are lithe and strong, and they often
move in a crouched posture, springing and leaping along the ground. Their faces have a bestial cast, with wide, f lat
noses, large eyes and heavy eyebrows, pointed ears, and long sideburns. The hair of their heads is thick and worn long.
Shifter skin and hair are usually some shade of brown.
Longtooth shifters claim werewolves as ancestors and have a vaguely canine cast to their features that becomes much
more pronounced when they use their longtooth shifting power. Razorclaw shifters are descended from weretigers and
are more catlike, particularly when using razorclaw shifting. Shifters live about as long as humans.
[For an overview of shifters, check out Races of Eberron, a v3.5 supplement.]

Hundreds of years ago, the leaders of the human empire of Bael
Turath made pacts with devils to solidify their hold over its
enormous territory. Those humans became the first tieflings, and
they governed their empire in the name of their infernal masters.
In time, Bael Turath came into conflict with Arkhosia, the ancient
empire of the dray, and decades of warfare left both empires in
ruins. Bael Turaths grand capital was thrown down in ruin.
Tieflings are the heirs of the surviving noble dynasties that ruled
the empire. Their bloodline is tainted by their diabolical connections,
passing to their descendants through all generations. In many ways,
they are human; they can have children with humans, for example,
but their offspring are always tieflings. Centuries of other races
distrust and outright hatred have made tieflings self-reliant and
often too willing to live up to the stereotypes imposed on them.
Tieflings know that they have to make their own way in the world
and that they have to be strong to survive, and they are not quick
to trust anyone who claims to be a friend. However, when a tieflings
companions demonstrate that they trust him or her, the tiefling
quickly learns to extend the same trust to them. And once a tiefling
gives someone trust and loyalty, the tiefling is a firm friend and ally
for life.
Although the nobles of Bael Turath subjugated themselves to devils,
most present-day tieflings give little thought to gods or patrons,
preferring to look out for themselves. Therefore, they do not often follow the path of the divine; tiefling clerics or
paladins are rare.
Tieflings are not numerous. Sometimes a tiefling merchant clan that is descended from a Bael Turath dynasty settles
as a group in a land where wealth can purchase safety and comfort. But most tieflings are born outside such hidden
dynasties and grow up in the roughest quarters of human cities and towns. These tieflings often become swindlers,
thieves, or crime lords, who carve out a niche for themselves amid the squalor of their surroundings.
Tieflings appearance testifies to their infernal bloodline. They have large horns; thick, nonprehensile tails that range in
length from 4 to 5 feet; sharply pointed teeth; and eyes that are solid orbs of black, red, white, silver, or gold. Their
skin color covers the whole human range and also extends to reds, from a ruddy tan to a brick red. Their hair, cascading
down from behind their horns, is as likely to be dark blue, red, or purple as more common human colors. Tieflings favor
dark colors and reds, leathers and glossy furs, small spikes and buckles. Tiefling-crafted arms and armor often have an
archaic style, harkening back to the glory of their long-vanished empire.

Wilden emerge from the unspoiled reaches, ancient bogs, and primeval forests of the
Wild. Awakened to fight the growing corruption plaguing the land, they strive to
restore the natural order.

Unavailable Races
Dwarf, Eladrin, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-orc, Halfling, Gnome, Goliath, Githzerai, Shardmind, Drow, Kalashtar, Warforged.

Performing a Ritual
To perform a ritual that you have mastered, you spend a certain amount of time (specified in the ritual description)
performing various actions appropriate to the ritual. The actions might include reading long passages out of the ritual
book, scribing complex diagrams on the ground, burning special incense or sprinkling mystic reagents at appropriate
times, or performing a long set of meticulous gestures. The specific activities required arent described in most ritual
descriptions; theyre left to your imagination. [From page 298 of the PHB]
In the Runegate setting, performing a ritual typically involves scribing runes; that is, drawing or etching them on the
ground, on a wall, or some other surface.

Players Handbook
Clerics are battle leaders who are invested with divine power. They blast foes
with magical prayers, bolster and heal companions, and lead the way to victory
with a mace in one hand and a holy symbol in the other. Clerics run the gamut
from humble servants of the common folk to ruthless enforcers of evil gods.
Fighters are determined combat adepts trained to protect the other members
of their adventuring groups. Fighters define the front line by bashing and
slicing foes into submission while reflecting enemy attacks through the use of
heavy armor. Fighters draw weapons for gold, for glory, for duty, and for the
mere joy of unrestrained martial exercise.
Paladins are indomitable warriors whove pledged their prowess to something
greater than themselves. Paladins smite enemies with divine authority, bolster
the courage of nearby companions, and radiate as if a beacon of
inextinguishable hope. Paladins are transfigured on the field of battle,
exemplars of divine ethos in action.
Rangers are watchful warriors who roam past the horizon to safeguard a
region, a principle, or a way of life. Masters of bow and blade, rangers excel at
hit-and run assaults and can quickly and silently eliminate foes. Rangers lay superb ambushes and excel at avoiding
Rogues are cunning and elusive adversaries. Rogues slip into and out of shadows on a whim, pass anywhere across
the field of battle without fear of reprisal, and appear suddenly only to drive home a lethal blade.
Warlocks channel arcane might wrested from primeval entities. They commune with infernal entities and fey spirits,
scour enemies with potent blasts of eldritch power, and bedevil foes with hexing curses. Armed with esoteric secrets
and dangerous lore, warlocks are clever and resourceful foes.
Warlords are accomplished and competent battle leaders. Warlords stand on the front line issuing commands and
bolstering their allies while leading the battle with weapon in hand. Warlords know how to rally a team to win a fight.
Wizards are scions of arcane magic. Wizards tap the true power that permeates the cosmos, research esoteric rituals
that can alter time and space, and hurl balls of fire that incinerate massed foes. Wizards wield spells the way warriors
brandish swords.
Spellrunes (reflavored spellbook): Some wizards store spells as engravings on (the equivalent of) sling bullets. Instead
of packing a spellbook while adventuring, the wizard simply carries 'spellrunes' (in a belt pouch or as a necklace).
A spellrune stores a surprising amount of information in a relatively small space. Each spellrune holds a single spell (just
like a normal spellbook page).

Players Handbook 2
In secret temples far from bustling cities and priestly hierarchies, orders
of esoteric warriors train their initiates in ancient traditions now forgotten
or forbidden by most religious organizations. The champions of these
orders are avengersdeadly weapons in the hands of their gods, imbued
with divine power through secret rites of initiation. In battle, avengers
swear to execute divine vengeance, entering a mental state that gives
them unerring focus on a single enemy.
Barbarians are savage warriors who deal out powerful blows from their
mighty weapons. They charge from foe to foe and seldom feel the pain of
an enemys strike. For barbarians foes, the moments of greatest terror
come when barbarians call upon primal forces to lend power to their
raging spirits. These rages, although temporary, give a barbarian
incredible powers, a combination of skill, willpower, and a legacy of
ancient tribal rituals.
Bards are artists first and foremost, and they practice magic just as they
practice song, drama, or poetry. They have a clear sense of how people
perceive reality, so they master charm magic and some illusions. Sagas
of great heroes are part of a bards repertoire,and most bards follow the
example of many fables and become skilled in a variety of fields. A bards artistic ability, knowledge of lore, and arcane
might are widely respected, particularly among the worlds rulers.
Secretive and enigmatic, druids call the wilderness their home. They are capable of running with a wolf pack, speaking
with the most ancient trees, and watching thunderstorms from atop the clouds themselves. They regard challenges as
tests, both of their fitness and of their connection with the wild places of the world. And though many druids project an
outward calm, they have the cunning of the beast and the fury of the storm.
At the dawn of time, the gods who inhabited the Astral Sea warred with the primordials of the Elemental Chaos, the
mighty beings who shaped the world out of formless void. The greatest of the gods mortal agents in that war were
invokers, imbued with a fragment of the gods own might to fight alongside them. No other mortal servant of the gods
can claim the same kind of power.
Shamans are inspiring and dangerous battle leaders. They command powerful spirit guides, and through them lead
their allies. These nature spirits bolster their allies attacks and offer protection and healing when needed.
Wielding raw, barely contained magical power, sorcerers channel bursts and blasts of arcane energy through their
bodies. They gain their power not through rigorous study of esoteric tomes, but by harnessing magic in their blood,
waiting to be tapped and shaped. If wizards wield magic as fighters wield swords, a sorcerers magic is the arcing
greataxe of a raging barbarian.
As mountains stand fast against the buffeting wind and trees bend but do not break in the storm, wardens are stalwart
protectors who draw on the primal spirits of nature to defend the natural world from those who would corrupt or destroy
it. Some wardens use the power of earth and stone to shield their allies from harm, whereas others summon the primal
strength within themselves to increase their ferocity and tenacity.

Players Handbook 3
Runepriests are divine leaders who use the mystical runes of the gods
to form prayers of warding or destruction.
Seekers are controllers who call on nature spirits to imbue arrows or
other projectiles with primal power.
Players Handbook 3 introduces the psionic power source. For my
purposes, psionics are supplemental to the Runegate setting,
something to be introduced later perhaps, as the campaign progresses.
For now, psionic races and classes are omitted. Individual groups can
make their own decision on the matter o course.

In addition to spellrunes (the reflavored spellbook described above), spellcasters sometimes record their rituals on
stone tablets (variant ritual books, described on page 211 of PHB2).

Monster Manual
There are no goblins, ogres, or orcs in this setting. Runegate aims for a more re-imagined feel (similar to how there
are no classic fantasy races here).

Stories say that stars sometimes fall from the sky. When they touch the earth, the aether in them
coalesces into runestones.
In the Runegate setting ritual scrolls most often take the form of Runestones. They vanish in
a puff of magic once their magic is expended (legends say they return to the stars). Runestones
can be found as treasure, bought, or created by the PCs (just like ritual scrolls).
Runestones are the size of small cobblestones, though a bit lighter.

Travel Journals of the Gods

In their ceaseless travels throughout the worlds, the sibling deities Avandra and Fharlanghn have carried countless
journals. Well, more accurately a loose, haphazard collection of quick-n-dirty notes, illustrations, and map fragments.
So *loose* in fact, that entries inevitably fall out and scatter to the aether.
In their adventures, the PCs might recover these lost entries as treasure. In addition to their mundane significance (as
a map for instance), lost entries can be used just like ritual scrolls. Their magic is expended after one use; then the
entries vanish in a puff of magic (legends say that Avandra and Fharlanghn reclaim them). Just like ritual scrolls, lost
entries can be found or bought (although theyre unique items, so they cant be created by the PCs).