Under Feet of Clay
The strange, horned people from the east, the Tieflings of Calopius are almost universally slaves. Originally taken as prisoners of war in border skirmishes or naval combats with the Barbarian Lands, populations of Tiefling slaves and laborers can be found in every city. Some are taught to read and manage the household, but most live their whole lives as little more than property to be exploited. Famous for their rage, many are sold to arena masters as spectacle shows. As such, Half-Orcs and Tieflings often forge close bonds in the arena.
As outsiders to Calopius, most Tieflings have to pick up the language as part of their acculturation process. Rarely to they embrace the religion, instead holding to a foreign cult centered on the worship of fire, light, and shadows. Though most Calopenes care to learn it, Tieflings primarily speak among themselves in a tongue known as Abyssal. Claiming descent from powerful creatures from the primordial earth, Tieflings are savage, cruel, and proud. Decorating themselves with tattoos, brands, and piercings, their bodies are testaments to the challenges they have faced. Even in slavery an captivity, Tieflings remain proud, claiming slights against their honor as justification for violence.
To a Tiefling, life is about balance and emotion. Abyssal teachings claim there are three beasts within each person: a beast of light, a beast of blood, and a beast of darkness. The beast of light strives for honor and truth, but ultimately leads to sacrifice. The beast of blood seeks to indulge the body in all its desires, but leads to contentment and sloth. The beast of darkness seeks to consume and control, but leads to the destruction of what is close. As such, Tiefling religion centers of the bloody flame as the perfect balance of the three. A flame is lit, and the palm slit to feed the embers with the life force within. The body feeds the light, while the dark smoke hovers above, choking those who would harm the light.
With no real power in Calopius, the Tieflings indulge the beast of the blood more often, using the rage within them to frightening ability. Mastering strange magic from another land, Tieflings weave tales of lost cities of beings called genies, desert storms with waves of sand rather than water, and great sparrows as tall as a horse. A rare few Tieflings earn house service rather than arena spectacle, and these well-dressed servants are the closest to nobility they know in this land. Often taught to read and permitted to study, they serve as personal tutors to a family’s children and are even permitted to indulge in some magical study.
Classes: Tieflings in the area are primarily barbarians and bloodragers, arts they have passed on to their brothers-in-arms, the Half-Orcs. Some prefer to use their time in the arena to test their bloody magic. Sorcerers of the Abyssal and Inernal bloodline are both common, while some hold onto clerical traditions of darkness, flame, blood, and battle. When permitted to live within civilization, they prefer the wizardly arts, often focusing on evocation, transmutation, or illusion magic. They speak of powerful summoners who bind genies and other similar creatures to the east, but such binders are either unknown or undiscovered in Calopius. The occult is fascination of the Tieflings, who will dabble in communing with spirits or manipulating psychic energy.
Common Male Names: Baru, Dellisar, Maldrek, Molos, Sarvin, Shoremoth, Temerith, Venamorel, Voren, Zoren
Common Female Names: Allizsah, Indranna, Kasidra, Kilarra, Mellisan, Mordren, Nisha
Example Adventure Hooks:
Indranna learned the Path of the Flame from her father, who was a priest of their religion before his death in the arena. Now forced to fight as well, she wields a scimitar and black fire against her foes. Wearing what armor she can, she dances across the battlefield, turning the circle of white, red, and black in her mind with each motion. As she harmonizes to the will of the Flame, her spells grow more potent, though her battles are always complete before she can reach her peak. She still waits for an opponent powerful enough to allow her to discover the secret her father would not reveal to her.
Maldrek was born lucky. As the son of a house-slave, he was taught to read growing up, and learned the art of conjuration from his mother. One of the youngest tutors in the city, he has a flair for his magical art and speak an elegant and poetic Calopene. However, he feels caught between two worlds. His fellow Tieflings see him as spoiled and pompous, while the society of humans looks down on him as inferior. Desperate to prove himself to both, he knows only the arcane mysteries hold the path he can use to transcend his tenuous position.
Zoren lives for battle. A hulking brute, the very sight of blood sends him into a gleeful rage, tearing apart foes with his single-edged cleaver. Known merely as the Beast to spectacle-goers, it was a day of terror when he hurled a lion into the stands and then leapt out of the area into the crowd. Chased by guards, he made his way to the wilderness, where he now looks for his next great battle.