Tartarus: Wrath of the Titans
A heavy mist hangs over a field of battle, corpses strewn about like driftwood. From the distance a horse whinnies to break the silence. It plods forward at the urging of its rider, hooves thundering into the mud in a slow drum beat. One survivor gasps for air as he holds his bleeding stomach. He looks up just in time to see a giant of a man loom over him, drawing his axe. With one merciless blow, the Carpathian ensures he is the last warrior standing.
Hailing from distant kingdoms far to the north and east, Carpathians are renowned for their horsemanship and lust for battle. They are solidly built and average over six feet tall, with fair to olive complexion and hair of any color. Carpathians adorn themselves with animal furs, horns and trinkets garnered from defeated enemies. While they are generally considered brutal barbarians to the Greeks, those who bother to know them find they are more often loyal and honorable nomads.
A CEASELESS WIND
One thing can be said of Carpathians with certainty: they cannot remain still. Whether migrating an entire clan across countries or pacing restlessly in a tavern, movement is essential to their nomadic lifestyle. Their constant travels often bring them at odds with other cultures – odds which tend to end in violence. Carpathians are no strangers to war, and are even said to seek it at every opportunity. In truth they find glory and honor in battle, and consider dying of old age a coward’s death.
With the exception of a female-dominant sect known as “Amazons,” female Carpathians are generally considered inferior to men and relegated to maternal duties. Warrior women are not unheard of, but must struggle to earn respect among their peers. Even among men, respect is most often a spoil of war, and something that can only be garnered on the battlefield.
FOLLOW THE BLOOD
When asked where a Carpathian is headed while in foreign land, he will often simply say he is “following the blood.” In essence, they go where they feel they can prove their worth in battle. Carpathians either venture forth as solitary warriors or accompany others as guards, mercenaries or scouts. While they are not known for their magical expertise, their sorcerers are greatly respected among their people – and using magic to influence a war is considered as valid a weapon as a sword.
While Carpathians have their traditional gods and spirits of nature which they follow, they believe that every land has its resident deities. While in Greece, they respect and quite often worship the Greek pantheon as their own. Otherwise, they follow the Persian pantheon if religious.
A TOKEN OF WORTH
Carpathians, despite their violent image, hold no particular dislike for any other culture. Rather, they believe everyone must prove their worth to be considered worthy of respect. If not, not even the mightiest king receives so much as a sideways glance from atop the horsemen’s steeds.
- Africans. “The dark-skinned ones are strong, considering their thin bodies. Do not let their appearances fool you, for in each one beats the heart of a hunter.”
- Egyptians. “To see their great pyramids is to view but stone and wasted time. They suckle at the teat of a river, too afraid to move their people to further glories.”
- Greeks. “Let the talkers of Athens talk. White-robed cowards. But those Spartans? Now there’s a foe worth facing. Give me a shot at one of them any day.”
- Persians. “Desert riders. They are blood-brothers, yet do not know it. They ride and fight as we do, yet believe they are our betters. We shall put that claim to the test.”
- Phoenicians. “I have heard of these sailors. Pirates and sea traders, most of them. They are quiet enough to have around. Just mind your coin bag.”
Carpathian names consist of a first name and a clan name, which is derived from the family surname of the ruling chieftain at that time. By doing so, they are often able to determine when and where another Carpathian was born by name alone.
- Male Names: Beyla, Branislav, Damik, Dusan, Fadey, Jalen, Kolia, Miro, Niko, Oleg, Troian, Zelj, Zlata
- Female Names: Ani, Bela, Bohdan, Casimir, Chessa, Divna, Dragan, Elina, Grete, Iryna, Jola, Lizveth, Nijo, Olya, Zeli
- Clan Names: Burian, Donat, Gavril, Kole, Muncel, Sveta, Vasska, Zan, Zorin
Your Carpathian character is tough and rugged, owing growing to a hardened society.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength Score increases by 2.
Alignment. Most Carpathians tend to be Chaotic by nature. While they maintain personal codes and views on honor, they simply could not care less about the laws of other nations.
Size. Carpathians stand between 6’ 0" and 6’8" on average and weigh in at about 200 lbs.
Tough as Mountains. Your hit point maximum increased by 1, and by 1 every time you gain a level
Languages. You can speak , read and write Carpathian. If you are proficient in History, you are also fluent in Persian.
Subculture. Two main subcultures populate the campaign, more of a general distinction than a specific tribe or clan: Cimmerian and Scythian. Choose one of these subcultures.
As a Cimmerian, you hail from the arid wastes of Central Asia. Your people are known as rugged and serious folk, as likely to punch a stranger as you are to shake their hand.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Iron Grip. You are able to wield a two-handed weapon in one hand without incurring a penalty for doing so. Your strength bonus to damage in this case is considered one-handed.
As a Scythian you’ve grown accustomed traveling and fighting on horseback, and are rarely seen without your trusty steed.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Gift of a Horse. You are considered proficient in Handle Animal checks when dealing with horses, and you begin play with a riding horse.