Rune Stryders The ORIGINAL Fantasy Mecha Roleplaying Game

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The World of Rune Stryders

The world is split into two camps, roughly divided between north and south. The Peoples of the Divaros, Myndwar, and Zokili, collectively known as the Confederated Nations, primarily control the northern lands. In the scattered lands to the south, large parts are held by the Kantarin, Sivatagi and Draslander, known as the Outcast Nations, so called because their inhabitants were long ago driven from their homelands into lands then deemed uninhabitable.

The actual truth of the matter is that things are not nearly as clear-cut. Political machinations, roguery, spying, assassination, and unofficial military strikes against neighboring countries mean that the Confederated Nations are not nearly as united as their lofty name might suggest. And the Outcast Nations are hardly mere victims and refugees, representing a political, economic, and military force with which to be reckoned, both individually and collectively.

The Confederated Nations

The Divaros are a proud people, and with good reason. They are the most numerous inhabitants of Rhun, having won their place atop the food chain through clever politicking and, when necessary, open warfare. They are steely-eyed, muscular and narrow-jawed, often cold and harsh in nature and attitude yet quick to defend their families, countries, and beliefs. They are imperialistic, driven and hard, and their walled cities and powerful armies are a testament to their capabilities.

The Myndwar are centrists in almost every way that can be imagined, and it is this sense of precarious balance that defines them as a people. Geographically, they mostly live in and control The Spine, a central mountain range that splits the continent in two. Physically, they are also in the middle, taller than their close cousins the Zokili, but not nearly as tall as the Divaros. Politically, spiritually, emotionally ­ in all these things they consciously place themselves right in the center, believing that only through balance can their goals be achieved.

The last mistake many large folk make is underestimating the capabilities of their smaller cousins, the Zokili. These slight, apparently peaceable people who reside in the hills and plateaus along the continent's coastlines appear to be simple folk, more concerned with making windmills and waterwheels than waging war. But the same skills that give the Zokili their flair for technology give them great skill in warfare, especially when it comes to defending their homeland. Of all the countries on the continent, only the Zokili can boast of never having been subject to invasion by the same force twice. This is because the invading force has not been simply driven out, but hunted down and destroyed, to a man. Zokili take no prisoners.

The Outcast Nations

Official Kantarin history does not record when exactly the Druid Kantar led his followers out of the lands of the Divaros and into the rain forests that would one day carry his name. But then, Kantarin history does not record much of anything at all. Kantarin society acknowledges the present, remembers the past and looks to the future, but they have never seen a need to commit any of their nation's memories or history to written record. As such, much of what is known about them comes from one of two camps, both equally biased for their own reasons. One includes the historians of other cultures, who have a tendency to portray the Kantarin people as backwards savages incapable of ever living in an organized society. The other group is that of the Kantarin people themselves, who are not usually forthcoming with those who ask too many questions.

Centuries ago, the Sivatagi lived in the high, grassy plains of the north, gradually adopting the customs, and then the rule, of the Divaros, who swept through the area and claimed it all for themselves. Lacking a central government or an army, the Sivatagi were gradually moved aside as the Divaros had their way. Perhaps they should have learned from the lesson of the Kantarin, who had years since been pushed aside and forced to flee into inhospitable jungles. They chose instead to stand up for their people and fight back. Some gained the support of other nations, as well as many among the Divaros themselves. But to no avail; the greater strength of the Divaros nation won out, and the Sivatagi were forced to flee across the mountains, marching onward until they came to the great eastern desert. There they settled, at first living on the fringes of the wasteland where green still touched the earth, and then gradually spreading out over its entire expanse, from The Spine to the ocean.

Draslanders are cast-offs, leftovers, the unwanted offspring of ancestors who were defeated by the Divaros long ago, pushed out of habitable lands to certain death in the poisonous swamps that ring the Inner Sea. But some faint flicker of inner courage kept those early Draslanders from perishing, and they quietly and slowly built themselves up from a rag-tag collection of invalids and mutants into a powerful force. Though short of stature and relatively weak, the Draslanders are strong of heart and health, and possess raw cunning that no other race can match. Pushed from civilization into brutal, animal savagery, they took the best qualities of both existences and forged a new life for themselves in the mud and the muck.

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