The taxonomy of Dungeon Crawler breaks down the characters into distinct and defined groups to aid in the understanding of the universe around the characters. These taxonomies are kept simple, breaking down in to groups called races, and then races are broken down in to groups called sub-races.
Animals are indigenous to the Material plane and have distinct anatomy. Animals make up the bulk of active life on the Material Plane, consisting of more distinct groups, such as; Mammals, Reptiles, Fish, Birds and Insects. They have no supernatural or magical abilities.
Animated are literally materials made to move at the will of the invoker controlling them. They have a barely discernable anatomy, no organs, they do not even rely on proper physics and appear as though something moving, that is not quite paying attention to all of its independent parts at the same time.
Avatars are the Light and the Darkness in their material form. They can never truly be destroyed, but can be defeated in this form, although this is highly unlikely. The form selected by the Light or Darkness is often that of something those they are trying to communicate with can relate to. Avatars often reveal themselves with glowing white or yellow eyes, and then a pure white or pure dark form.
Collectives are tiny organisms that have gathered together to act as one seemingly sentient being. They are normally inhabitants of the Material plane. They have no distinct anatomy or organs, but react as living beings.
CREATURES (see below)
Creatures are native to the Material plane and although not all of them are bipedal, most are and all are sentient with the benefit of reason. This does not mean however, that they are reasonable. A distinction between Creatures and Monsters is in how they advance. Creatures advance by learning skills and gaining Castes, while Monsters advance by maturing and developing their abilities naturally reaching greater Echelons as they do so.
The Damned are cursed Creatures twisted by invocation as a lesson none shall soon forget. They no longer are part of society, but rather live off of society, they follow different laws of the universe twisted by their now half-life they only partially resemble what they once were. There are varying degress of Damned, their only hope is being given Salvation. Red pinpoints of light can be seen in their eyes under the right conditions.
Eidolons are the spirits of the land in the Material plane, they coexist with nature and grant blessings upon those that follow their codex. The Sidhe (pronounced seed) often appear as a yellowy-green ethereal form that is a cross of animal and humanoid wreathed in thriving flora. Their eyes glow green. The Slaugh (pronounced slaw) appear as a purple ethereal forms with eyes aglow the same colour, and a hybrid animal-humanoid form wrapped in dying plant life.
Elementals are indigenous to the plane of Pandemonium. There are four distinct groups; Air, Earth, Fire and Water Elementals. It is believed that their taxonomy derived from their relation to the elements, even though fire is not an actual element. Although they are sentient, they act on the will of their controllers without fail and without concern for their own safety. There are many other denizens of the Elemental plane that have manefested with less stringent ties to the Elements. Although core Elementals have a vaguely humanoid and simple form, they do not have faces and a blue energy glows where their eyes should be.
Fae are indigenous to the Material plane, but usually reside within dimensional pockets called Faerie Groves. The purest blooded Fae are known as Court Fae or Noble Fairies and the next tier of Fae are known as the Wild Fae like the Pixies or Will O' Wisp. They are the closest thing to a mix of Creature and Eidolon known. Many creatures share a bond with Fae, the Faeblood are a step below Wild Fae like the Spriggan or Dryads, and some are known only in title of Faetraced like the Elves.
Golems are simple entities created as guardians or enforcers by powerful spell casters. They are sentient enough to carry out simple tasks, but have no desires or will of their own. They feel no pain, remorse or rage, they are unerringly loyal. Golems are made of any non-living solid matter, they have a green pin point glow where their eyes should be.
Illusions are magical energies manefested to appear as something else. They are made to act or react as what they are copying would, but lack real substance to resist much more than a casual probe.
Machines are constructed, have no sentience or will and require an operator to carry out their most basic functions, even if that operator simply has to trigger a weight, pulley or handle (like in the case of a trap or seige engine) or is required to input verbal commands for magically infused machines.
Monsters are indigenous to the Material plane. Although they may appear like Creatures, Animals or Plants, they have distinct abilities not found in nature. These mysterious traits often give them an edge over nature. Lesser monsters behave like beasts, while greater monsters can behave as civilized as the most regal of creatures. As Monsters age, they advance in Echelons, their abilities and attributes often improve or change.
Netherworlders are broken in to four distinct groups; Outsiders, Figments, Neth and Shades. All are indigenous to the Netherworld plane; but, Outsiders are found in the portions known as Limbo, Neth are found in the portions known as Gehenna and Shades are found in the portions known as the Twilight realms. Figments are found in all locations usually closest to their catalyst. Outsiders seem to have unknown goals, while Neth usually strive to conquer and enslave, and the Shades attempt to swell their own numbers with the bodies of material beings. These beings do not share common behaviours or goals and often wage war upon one another. They do all have orange glowing or pin point eyes.
Plants are native to the Material plane. They are slow to react and require only nutrients from soil, sun and water (with certain exceptions to this rule). Fungi are included in this classification. They can not communicate with most beings, and have very little will.
Quintessence are beings from the Astral plane. They share very disctinct traits; horns, spade tipped slender tails, pointed ears, shape shifting and size shifting. Their anatomy is usually akin to a humanoid, but their physiology lacks the ability to procreate even if they appear equipped for it. Gremlins, Gargoyles, Incubi/Succubi and Genies are a few of these Astral beings. Quintessence have white glowing eyes.
There are four very disctinct groups of Souls; Demons, Fallen Angels, Mortal Souls and Angels. Souls are immortal, and although they have physical forms, they can not die, reproduce or feed (although they may devour). They do not succumb to gravity and can shut off inertia in relation to themselves. Demons have glowing yellow eyes, Angels have very light blue glowing eyes and the Fallen have blackened hollow sockets where their eyes used to be (however, they still see just fine). Demons seek to recruit mortals in to their armies, through bargains, trickery or intimidation. The Fallen seek to destroy all Mortals. Although called Mortal Souls, they are indeed still immortal, but come from the Mortals of the Material Plane. These Mortal Souls, when their physical bodies perish, are sorted in to Pure Souls and Burning Souls depending on whether they are sent to Heaven or Hell; however, a few can become lost in the afterlife and become Lost Souls. Angels seek to protect and teach mortals the path, without forcing it upon them, or giving them the answers outright.
Spirits are the essences of ill-will from the Twilight Realm. They come in many different incorporeal forms, like that of phantoms, specters, ghosts or wraiths, but always have green pin-points of light for their eyes.
Undead are the physical ill-will from the Twilight Realm. They come in many different forms, like that of skeletons, zombies, ghouls and mummies, usually wrought from the corpses of their victims, but always have green pin-points of light for their eyes.
Most taxonomies have a system of power that is decreed by age. The elder a character gets, the more powerful they become. Creatures are pretty much the only character that evolve purely on a caste system.
There are two main groups of Dwarves found in Keldorn; Gold and Ice. Both are very similar, but distinct and both share the kingdom of Mynus Dhimore. An additional few other dwarf races are believed to exist deeper in the underworld beyond the labyrinths of the minotaurs. Dwarves can summon up unnatural courage when needed.
Gold Dwarves are a boisterous lot, often friendly and free spirited. They enjoy a good drink and a good brawl and a good drunken brawl. They are short a blonde or brown haired stout humanoids with slightly pointed ears. The males often sport full braided beards and unkept hair. They live in the Icecrest Mountains, calling the dwarven region Mynus Dhimore, and occupy the mid to low levels. Their citadel capitol is Stonehold. The closest Keldornan town is called Kriegan's Pass, while a village name Stone Door rests just outside of Gal' Gorahd (the Dwarven Gate in to the mountain domain). The Gold Dwarves battle the Orcs of Gul' Matok.
Ice Dwarves are a sullen lot, they are cold, calculated and judgemental. They enjoy quiet, regiment and order. Physically Ice Dwarves are around 3'-4.5' tall, stout and the males sport thick well groomed black, white or grey beards and short hair. They have slightly pointed ears as Gold Dwarves do, but their skin is a faint blue hue. Ice Dwarves are fewer in number and do not range as far as their cousins the Gold Dwarves. Their capitol citadel is named Mythorr, and they reside from the mid levels of the mountains to the high peaks of Icecrest. They often battle Ogres that wander too far from Shihaii. Although Grim Modahn is close to the Keldornan border, it's elevation makes it very difficult to visit.
The high elves comprise of four subraces; Sea, Wood, Stone and Fire. Each is faetraced and bow to the whim of the faeries of the Faerahn. Elves are slender of build, just slightly shorter than humans ranging from 4'-5.5' tall and have long pointed ears. Elves have are so tied to magic that they all have innate spells tied to a particular element.
Sea Elves are a coastal elf with a light blue skin. Often the mood of a Sea Elf is contradictory to the environment they are in, they can be happy during a mourning period or sad during a wedding. They are slaves to their emotions, and can be inappropriate at times, but at least they are smart enough to keep it under wraps at the wrong time. Sea Elves vary their combat tactics depending on their moods, keeping in mind their desired results. Although not arbitrary like the Chaos Elves, they are prone to a wide range of heavy emotions that can require subduing, or no emotion that requires inspiring. The skin of a Sea Elf is a light blue in colour, their eyes are widely varying shades of blue and green, while their hair is white or black in colour.
Wood Elves are a whimsical lot that dwell in inland forests. Probably the most commonly encountered, the Wood Elf is also the most flighty. Although they tend to be flighty; after getting to know someone closely, they move on their next new friend, only to return on a whim. In combat they prefer to keep moving rather than to fight toe to toe, and when they do fight it is almost always from a distance. Wood Elves originate from the Sylvan Wood, but also reside in the Grove. Green eyes and blonde or white hair and fair skin are Wood Elf traits.
Stone Elves are a sullen people that dwell in the mountains. They are slow to anger or to act out of emotion. The Stone Elves are the embodiment of patience. They do not give way to emotions easily, if ever, they acknowledge futility and resist giving in to despair. They prefer to be alone with their thoughts, instead of socializing. It is said that when they work, the work is done efficiently, perfectly and quickly without waste of time or effort, because they think it all out before doing the work. Stone Elves do not like to fight, but when they do it they are never hasty, and are as efficient as when they work. They perceive little difference between the two. Stone Elves originate from the Frost Peak Mountains, some reside within the Grove or traverse across the Faerahn. An interesting feature of the Stone Elf is their light grey skin, they have dark eyes and black or white hair.
Fire Elves are the quickest to act out of emotion. Of all of the High Elves the Fire Elves are the most militant. Their competitive natures and strategic flexing can often prove trouble to themselves and their allies. Of course in comparison to their darker brethren the Chaos Elves, they pale like the moon to the sun. Fire Elves fight with a heated passion in the heart of battle, whereas Chaos Elves tend act without reason. Their specialty in life seems to be combat, they like to plan out and execute strategies like a chess player whether face to face or in large scale conflict. Fire Elves, despite their lithe frames, have no fear of running in to battle using skill and speed instead of brute force and relish in doing so. They originate from the Burning Peaks, some reside within the Grove. Their eyes are generally brown or blue, and their red or blonde hair hangs over their fair skin.
Although giants are mostly found in Pandemonium or the Netherworld, they also have settlements in the mortal world. It is unclear if they had migrated from one to the other, or existed on both, but their close ties to the elements allows them to live in their plane and the mortal plane comfortably. The four giants from Pandemonium are; fire, frost, stone and storm. Giants tend to form strongholds or keeps, not villages or towns.
Fire Giants are the wickedest and stand around 23' tall. They command fire and resist it. They often reside in deserts, volcanic regions or very hot and dry climates. Their skin is blackened while their hair is fiery red if they have hair at all (regrown from being away from open flame). They wear resistant scale, metal armour or nothing, if they have clothing it is often burnt and tattered from flame. These are the most coordinated group of giant, residing in one large structure like a fortress, or in huts and behave like a band of thieves and brigands.
Frost Giants are the most unpredictable and stand around 24' tall. They resist the cold. Often they will reside in frozen wastelands or cold regions, only raiding warmer climates when they must. Their skin is pale to light blue and their hair is white. They dress in furs, and use steel, bone and silver for their armour. Frost Giants live in families in log houses, but all work together like hunting packs and may have a fort or great lodge where they congregate.
Stone Giants are the most common and stand around 25' tall. They are expert hurlers of stones. They often reside in the woods and caves. Their skin is light brown or grey, their features are chiseled and their hair is grey, black or green. They dress in simple hides or cloth, often leaving their thick skin bare. Stone Giants tend to stick to themselves or roam in a small band of 2-3 when they wander around.
Storm Giants are the smallest only standing 18' tall, but their command of wind, lightning and being able to fly at will easily make up for the lack of physical stature (comparitively). They often reside on the coast or in floating castles. Their skin is varying shades of green and their hair is black or white. They wear togas, draped cloth and ornate bronze or gold. Storm Giants tend to be solitaire or found in pairs at the most. It is very unusual for them to join in large groups.
Goblins divide themselves by tribes or clans rather than by subraces. Standing in at 3' tall, the Goblin is usually nothing to be feared, and they know this. They are cowardly, fast and annoying. They view each other as expendible, as many of the other horde races do. A goblins life is often short and frought with danger. They will band together or with other stronger races to better their odds. Goblins reside anywhere, but have several villages in the Forest of Shadows and also inhabit many caves at the foot of the Barren Mountains below Sorrowheart (the greatest of Harpy citadels).
Harpies are deadly and often cunning opponents, fortunately their numbers are small due to the amount of young rival deaths in their communities. Harpies tend to stay in flocks until they become venerable and then strike out on their own amongst the "lesser" races, preferring to regain a higher status in a new pecking order. Many prefer the art of enchantment magic, and a few develope an ear splitting shriek upon reaching adult hood. Harpies tear their enemies apart and feast on their flesh. All Harpies, oddly enough, appear to be female, they are rumoured to be able to mate with most creatures and bare Harpy offspring. Harpies are humanoid from the waste up with large black wings, clawed hands, raven from the waist down, their eyes and hair range widely in colour, and their ears are long and pointed.
A mystery of Ara, no one knows from where Hobgoblins came or why. Some of the stories that have come forth through the ages have been rather strange. One claims that they are a crossbreed of Dark Elves and Goblins. Another claims they were actually a sub-race of Elves like the Shadow Elves or Mystic Elves, but they worshipped the darkness and as a result were perverted in to this strange and completely new race. Some say they are the twisted spirits of dark Dwarves that used to live deep in the earth. They may even be failed experiments by some ancient Sorcerer on Goblins. No one knows for certain except for maybe the Hobgoblins and they rarely speak with outsiders or to each other for that matter. Hobgoblins are lithe, have charcoal skin, long sharp narrow teeth revealed in a perpetual snarl or grin, small black eyes and pointed ears.
Azrahdii live west of Keldorn and carry many different philosophies than the Keldornans. The major difference is that they are permitted to use and teach Sorcery. Also, they do not believe in wasting, so they are permitted to kill intruders and raise them as undead servants. The Azrahdii are a desert folk and much of their trade is necessary to keep them afloat.
Keldornans are a people that are only a few generations removed from being barbarians themselves, they are new to citadels and lordships. They like things simple, and are overall a good people. Having faced and defeated the Blacktusk Horde, they were left with only one chieftain that united them all under one banner. King Keldorn then ruled until dying of old age and his family has passed down the crown from one to the next until this day where it still rests in the hands of a King Keldorn.
The Gypsies travel the world bringing trade from far away lands. They often camp outside of the city limits or are permitted in to a camp area within the borders for safety. Mysticism, exotics, news and rumour are often brought with them, making for very active and stressful visits. Gypsies often have a very ecclectic appearance as they often mix with the folk they visit, and pick up stragglers that wish to see the world.
The mountain Barbarians from the Frost Peaks are a hardy semi-nomadic people. Trapped in a harsh climate with the likes of Ogres and Stone Elves, they often travel down to the Deep Marsh, Forest of Tears and Keldornan Grasslands to gather food or trade before returning to their hutts. Their strength and familiarity with the lands often leads to odd jobs as scouts, hired labour or brute force.
Kobolds stand around 2-3' tall, and are clever. This race of troublesome creatures are experts at digging holes and laying traps for the unwary. They are usually only dangerous to small groups and even then they must be in large numbers. Their tactics often consist of setting traps, as they may not be highly intelligent they are, however, crafty. Kobolds have furry bodies with exposed hands and feet, wide pointed ears and a naked tail. They are akin to rats. Their fur is usually, brown, grey, black or white and sometimes mixed. They use Dire Bats or Giant Rats as steeds to do battle. Hurk Abla is a large Kobold Burrow in the southern Keldornan Grasslands where the Kobolds rule supreme. It is said the burrows go deep and far, some say as far as the mines beneath the Barren Mountains.
Minotaurs stand around 9' tall, these fierce hunters and warriors rule the underworld through fear. Their warlocks and sorcerers reach levels of power that few can match. Many Minotaurs choose to take the path of the infernal to gain an edge against their enemies. Their strongholds are places of violence and tyranny, and only the most fiercesome standout. Occassionally a Minotaur may find their life unbearable and they may wander off on their own to try to avoid the evil below. Should they survive their enemies and dangers of the underdark, they may make it to the surface alive and sane. These Minotaurs find themselves working as mercenaries or hired muscle, still often much more violent than general society, they are treated as monsters. They often get sold in to slavery or servitude. Tiragorhd is their main citadel found deep within the labyrinth.
Ogres divide themselves by tribes or clans rather than by subraces. Ogres stand around 12' tall, they are dim-witted, lazy, clumsy, unclean and brutish. It is believed that Ogres are really just enlarged Orcs, like Giants are enlarged humans. They have a yellow skin hue, a huge underbite with two enlarged teeth (usually 2) jutting upwards and a sloping brow. Ogres are plentiful enough that they can be a nuissance, there are many more Ogres than there are Giants.
Orcs divide themselves by tribes or clans rather than by subraces. Orcs stand around 6-7' tall and are fierce, but simple. They can be confused or cowed easily. They are plentiful and use their numbers and strength to swarm their enemies. Usually they war with the dwarves as their borders cross. Gorgala is their main citadel, but they have many strongholds and fortresses both underground and above on the Icrecrest Mountians.
Depending on the breed of Troglodyte, they can stand around 6-7' tall (Jungle Troglodyte). There are several other breeds of varying kinds of Troglodyte; Deep, Desert, Jungle and Water being the main ones.
Deep Trogs are small, standing only 3-4' tall. They are exceptionally agile and lithe, they live deep underground using the worlds heat to keep them warm. These semi-advanced archaic creatures rob, enslave and back-stab those unfortunate enough to encounter them. They have padded feet with claws for climbing rocks or trees. These Reptans appear black, bright blue or pale white in colour with red, blue or black eyes.
Desert Trogs adapted to their surroundings, these Reptans will burrow beneath the sand and wait to ambush any unsuspecting travelers. Their homeland is in the Wastelands. Invaded by the Dreadlanders they have come in to the service of a cruel master, the DreadLord. These Reptans are a dusty brown to grey or orange colour with brown to black eyes.
Jungle Trogs carry poisonous weapons and are generally hostile, survival of the fittest is the creed amongst their clans and even their larger more advanced cult societies. They are also found in caves (and are sometimes called Cave Troglodytes) and deserts, prefering warmer climates. These Reptans are a brownish green colour with bright markings depending on their clans, they have fleshy spines along their heads, backs and tails, and their eyes are bright green or yellow.
Water Trogs are advanced and intelligent. These Reptans tend towards a neutral alignment, making trade possible and hiring as mercenaries possible. This makes them both dangerous and useful at once. These lizardfolk are able to traverse small bodies of water by running across its surface, but are also adept swimmers. These Reptans are an aqua marine colour with light to dark blue eyes, they have a head, back, forearm and two in-tandum tail crests and long slender tails.
Trolls divide themsleves by tribes or clans as well as subraces. The most common Troll is the Hedge Troll standing around 9' tall. Also called the Horde Troll this troll is green skinned with patches of hair. They appear like large gangly hairy versions of Goblins. They heal wounds from normal weapons very rapidly, which makes them quite deadly opponents. The elves with their innate magic help keep the Trolls numbers limited. They can often be very cruel, cunning, risk-taking riddlers. When they are younger they prefer to use their claws, but as they age they begin to use weapons and armour, making them trully formidable opponents in battle. Although they do not have citadels, they do have dens, the largest of which is called Trollsridge Haven. They also have dens in the Deep Marsh called Twistedroot Dhurg and Blackwater Dhurg. All three locations are avoided at all costs. It is believed that the lost sword of Keldorn lies in the Trollsridge lair along with a very ancient dragon.
There are two very distinct Vodyanoi subraces, the one standing 6' tall with mottled brown or grey are the Pond Vodyanoi. The other 4'-5' tall brightly coloured subrace is the Leaf Vodyanoi. A strange trait of the Vod is their nature beards, they are stringy and thin, but natural and can get lengthy as they age.
Leaf Vod are small, greedy and always trying to get the upper hand. They use blow darts or ranged attacks with a sleeping toxin, then rob their victims. Their attacks are usually non-lethal, but it's very annoying to have to buy some of your equipment back. Try to take it by force and you'll find yourself waking up miles from where you were without shoes. They are not dishonest though and can be traded with within reason. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the Leaf Vod are nomadic and do not have villages or towns.
Pond Vod are thuggish brutes. They do not remotely share the attitudes of the Leaf Vod at all. They serve their shadowy dark idols and their chieftains without humour. They reside in the Great Blue Lake ruling from their citadel of Bolgola.