Once, long ago, a peaceful and prosperous human kingdom reigned in Angor. Then came the Armageddon, the Hammer of War, a chieftain who united a race and conquered a continent. Now his children battle over the bones of the ancient kingdom. The trappings of civility are shunned in favor of ancient customs and oral traditions, and most would rather die than be tamed under the yoke of a government.
Beneath this savage demeanor, however, lies a people steeped in spirituality. The proud angori spend a lifetime walking in the footsteps of their great ancestor. It is not simply their nature, but a chosen way of life. For to brave the hazards of the world, to wear the trophies of your conquests, to kneel to no man and triumph over your rivals, is to be worthy of standing in Arimir's company.
Gor'ek is the primary language of Angor. Many angori speak an imperfect smattering of Cirth, as well. The more isolated tribes, however, speak only Gor'ek. Some, particularly the Scargrim, speak unique languages that are completely unknown to outsiders. Gor'ek has no formal alphabet, so written works are rare. In fact, carrying or producing anything in writing is considered a crime in many areas.
Angori cover the whole of Angor. An alliance of spirehorn and vorhex, often regarded as the most civilized breeds, rule the lands in and around Varalon Keep. The Dregoth maintain a strong presence in the northern mountain ranges around Perish, resisting incursions from armies beyond the Great Gate. The scargrim are the most numerous and widespread, however, roaming freely in the lands between the walls. Besides the angori are solitary sprites, bands of fae and sylvans hiding in the forest north of Varalon Keep, and packs of ferals descended from totem spirits, but none make permanent settlements or live openly for fear of the angori.
On the whole, Angor exists in a state of perpetual anarchy. There are a few exceptions, but even these establish an imperfect sort of order. Within Varalon Keep, the tribes maintain an uneasy truce thanks to the Spiral Pact. Individual spirehorn tribes are self-ruled, but abide by the decisions of the vorhex in matters concerning more than one tribe. Warring is still commonplace, but vorhex sorcerers typically put a swift and spectacular end to it. The dregoth achieve a similar sort of order within chaos by naming the strongest among them as their chief. This ruler dictates policy without question, but only remains in power so long as he remains undefeated. As such, dregoth politics tend to shift frequently, and more often resemble the utter anarchy that dominates scargrim tribes.
Despite their conflicts, angori are united in their reverence for Arimir. Many of his ancient battlefields are considered holy sites, and it is customary for shamans in his service to make a pilgrimage to walk his path of conquest. Among the dregoth, this reverence is directed towards Arimir’s supposed avatar, Dargoth the Destroyer. Drathenix has a strong following, as well, particularly among the vorhex, and it is common for individual tribes to pay homage to a totem animal. Hexadus is especially reviled, though her following is common among the slavers of Neleron.
- Daralon - Daralon is one of the few ports on Angor, and the only one where most traders are willing to stop. The town is held by the spirehorn and vorhex of the Spiral Pact, who deal grudgingly with the outside world to obtain goods that would otherwise be unavailable. It is not welcoming so much as it is the only place a non-angori can hope not to be attacked on sight.
- Karalos - What once stood as a mighty kingdom of men was laid waste by Arimir’s army at the start of the Ascendant Age. Its cities now lie in ruin, its mighty wall a crumbling testament to a lost civilization. The spirehorn and vorhex tribes rule it now and are constantly in conflict with the neighboring scargrim.
- Lakamiria - Travelers heading through the center of Angor must pass through the lands of the gnolls, vicious hyena men who delight in slaughter and cruelty. Some are known to be shapeshifters who can assume the form of other races to lure in prey. The largest population of gnolls makes its home in the hollowed-out husk of the ancient city of Lakamiria.
- Neleron - On casual inspection, Neleron appears to be nothing more than an abandoned city. Beneath the surface, however, is a cleverly-hidden slaving port. The human residents are careful to conceal their presence, eliminating interlopers and even staging the occasional exodus so the local angori believe they’ve been driven off.
- New Jastrey - Where a city once stood, now there is only a crater. No one is sure what became of the city of New Jastrey. All that is known is that it met its fate at the time of the Shattering, and none of its former residents lived to tell the tale.
- Perish - Built on the remains of an empyrean monastery, Perish is now the primary stronghold of the dregoth tribes. Few ever venture there, for the dregoth are known to be even more xenophobic than other angori.
- Saito - Ages ago, Arimir claimed Saito as his own in the first step of his grand conquest. Throughout his lifetime, it served as the center of his kingdom and the seat of his power. For these reasons, the angori battle over Saito endlessly, believing the one to conquer and control it is destined to rule as Arimir did. None have succeeded for more than a few mests, and so Saito remains in a state of perpetual war.
- Snerg - As one of the largest scargrim encampments on Angor, Snerg is the staging point for many attacks against the spirehorn and vorhex of Varalon Keep. Despite being dispersed several times in the past, scargrim tribes continue to gather there because of its proximity to a large breach in the wall that surrounds the lands of the Spiral Pact.
- Valley of Glass - At the heart of Varalon Keep lies the Valley of Glass, a giant crack in the earth where high sorcery long ago laid waste to the capital city of Varalon Keep. Despite being a desolate wasteland scourged by lightning and eternal winter, it is home to the largest clan of vorhex on Orn. Their chieftain is said to be a dragon, and their emissaries enforce the Spiral Pact that maintains relative peace in the region.
- Burial Mounds - Historians have lost count of the wars that have riven the lands of Angor. Mass graves dot the countryside where countless battlefields have left thousands of corpses. Rarely, a great warrior or chieftain may be laid to rest in a more formal burial mound. Despite the efforts of shamans to cleanse these mounds, however, many are haunted places where nightfall stirs the restless dead to continue their war.
- Dragon Graveyard - Hidden somewhere in the mountains of Angor is a vast graveyard where dragons go to die. Some may be mortally wounded, others diseased, and, rarely, a dragon may even expire from extreme old age. However they pass, they lie down amidst the innumerable bones of their kind, adding their corpse to the vast ocean of bones. Many have searched for the dragon graveyard in the hopes of plundering the vast wealth of dragon hide and pale ivory that it is sure to contain, but it’s location remains a mystery.
- Lumberling - Also called “serpents that walk,” lumberlings are magical snakes who assume the forms of those they bite. The impersonation is highly imperfect, however, since lumberlings speak with a hiss and walk with a fluid gate, earning them their name. Only the person who was bitten can kill a lumberling safely; if it dies by any other hand, the original dies as well. If the lumberling manages to kill the original, however, it becomes a perfect copy and takes its victim’s place.
- Obayot - The spirehorn tell tales of the obayot, pestilential water spirits who possess people foolish enough to drink from the fetid pools in which they lurk. Those possessed by the fiendish hookworms become afflicted with insatiable hunger. Eventually, they are driven mad and resort to cannibalism, gorging themselves on raw flesh. When the obayot is sated, the host dies in agony as its stomach bursts open, birthing new obayot into the world.
- Storm Maidens - In Angor, thunderstorms are believed to be the war drums of Arimir himself signalling, or prompting, an impending battle. These drums are played by the Storm Maidens, who resemble proud angori women with dark gray wings the color of rain clouds. Legend says that the Maidens bear witness to the battle, bringing word to Arimir of noteworthy warriors. For this reason, storms are times of especially bloody conflict among the angori.
- Tattoo Magic - The vorhex are known to practice a peculiar form of tattooing that involves magical inks. These tattoos are marks of status reserved for warriors of special merit among the tribes of the Spiral Pact. Some believe that the tattoos do more than simply grant the owner strength at arms, and that they are also a means of keeping the spirehorn chieftains in check. Accusations to that effect, however, are likely to earn the speaker a swift and violent death.
- Totem Spirits - The angori believe that the firstborn of each animal species is an immortal exemplar of its race, just as Arimir is for the angori. These totem spirits are killed and reborn endlessly, making them powerful and wise beyond measure. Finding and besting them is a rite of passage among many tribes. Wearing their pelts is a mark of great respect, and often a prerequisite for someone to become chief.
- Wuumi Tribe - The forest north of Varalon Keep is said to be home to a tribe of angori warrior women. Named for the chieftainess who founded their tribe, the Wuumi are fierce, fearless, and keep men in their company only as slaves.
- “Bacca” - A large, hairy, buffalo-like creature hunted by the angori for food and sport. Their meat is tough and chewy, but their large numbers make them vital to the survival of most tribes. Bacca are often hunted by scaring them toward pits or cliffs, so the term is also used to insult someone for being stupid or clumsy.
- “Blood Run” - A ceremonial hunt carried out seasonally. Participants paint themselves for war and follow the Master of the Hunt, a masked figure who never speaks throughout the ritual. Because the participants drum and yell war cries along the way, game is typically scared off before it can be caught, but the ritual still serves to drive away evil spirits that might be have collected in or around a settlement.
- “Drengskapr” - An ages-old tradition of trial by combat used to settle most disputes among the angori. The two parties face off in a public duel and the matter is resolved in the winner’s favor. Death is common, though only required for the most serious grievances, and the winner may choose to disgrace the loser by breaking a horn instead. Interference, however, is always punishable by death.
- “Gonk” - Originally a Gor’ek insult meaning “tamed,” gonk was adopted by the slavers of Varalon, which further colored its meaning. So much as whispering the word in Angor is tanamount to suicide, since killing the speaker is considered lawful and proper within most tribes.
- "Grognak" - A friendly competition in which participants see who can throw an object closest to a target. The rules vary widely, though multiple attempts are common and obstacles may be interposed to increase the difficulty. Traditionally, the game is played with skulls, but in their absence stones are considered acceptable.