New Hampshire Staff
Chaosborn, “Lawless” (Sylvanborn) -- Occupy forests in the Videan Outlands, bordering the Mists
Culture and Order
Chaosborn live in forests on the fringes of the Videan Realm. They form small, largely self-reliant communities that may be modest settlements or comprised only of a few wanderers. Both culturally and by nature, everyone picks up several skills for survival. Chaosborn are free of taboos surrounding romantic or other relations, and family bonds may extend beyond blood relations. Chaosborn are on the whole anarchists, and often gladly harbor freedom fighters. Freedom is paramount, so each person is free to do what they will so long as they do not infringe up the freedom of others.
Most Chaosborn take pleasure in creativity such as artistry, authorship, or finding new ways to accomplish tasks when a serviceable solution is already available. Trade between Chaosborn is usually conducted without currency, and coin is kept for outside interaction. Chaosborn often meet up to trade wares and offer support, but the exact location and time of these meets varies and is shared by word of mouth. Other than these occasional, informal meetings, there are no central cities, governments, or widely-recognized authorities among the Chaosborn.
Creatures that wander in from the Mists often attack the Chaosborn, and most Chaosborn have some method of defending themselves, be it fighting or escaping. Community management is handled through street justice and vigilantism. The contradiction in using violence to quell controlling behaviors of others is not lost on most individuals, but is viewed as a necessary consequence. Typically judgement is passed in their communities by consensus.
Chaosborn stories say that necromancers feel compelled to continue casting necromancy. It is therefore a common belief among the Chaosborn that Necromancy connects to Greater Command magic and therefore must be both avoided and violently deterred. Additionally, raised undead are under the complete control of the necromancer who raised them. They view this as enslavement. While there is obviously no law against necromancy among the lawless, most will not hesitate to attack and kill a necromancer.
Opinions among the Chaosborn on the neighboring Kingdom of Videa are widely varied. Some extremists feel that all royalty are slavers, and that monarchs and their nobility must die. These extremists have occasionally committed acts of violence on the neighboring Kingdom of Videa, targeting specifically nobles and legal authorities. Many others are able to coexist with the Kingdom, so long as the Kingdom keeps its laws within its own borders. Rarely, some Chaosborn live in the Kingdom, but most see the Kingdom as a community where a few try to impose their will on many. Most Chaosborn sentenced to service to the Kingdom of Videa will see that sentence escalate to a death sentence, since most Chaosborn will refuse to perform on command of law. Some will, however, pay fines if they can afford to do so.
Outcasts and wanderers of other cultures are welcome to live within the forests so long as they value freedom and impose no control over others. Chaosborn tradition holds that unfree mindsets and lifestyles bring ruin and lead to death. Selunari are the most likely to wander into the Chaosborn’s forests and fit in with their way of life.
Chaosborn do not have their own Earth Circle and usually resurrect in the Kingdom of Videa. The Kingdom is willing to clothe and supply Chaosborn for return home.
Chaosborn historians claim their race are long-removed descendants of Chaos Elementals, and most individuals believe this is true or at least possible. This heritage lead to their name as a people. The term “Mystic Wood Elf” is not the common name in Videa. While their agelessness might seem mystical and their forests might be called woods, “elves” that are not Chaosborn are unheard of or known only as a rumor by most Videans. [2.0 addition] The name Sylvanborn is nearly unheard of. Few Chaosborn have ever heard this proposed as something they might have been called long ago. They are sometimes called Lawless by outsiders who typically don’t believe the Chaosborn heritage story.
Chaosborn enjoy celebration and revelry, and have a reputation among their neighbors as doing so more often than is necessary. Chaosborn need no particular excuse to play music, dance, or simply tell stories. The solstices and equinoxes are noted with gatherings similar to trading meets, with small groups joining together for the holiday. Chaosborn celebrate an individual’s 20th birthday as their coming of age into young adulthood, after which time the influence of their parents is less expected. The 100th birthday is celebrated as full adulthood, and each century afterward is typically noted as well.
Playing a Chaosborn
Chaosborn in play are outside of their homeland, perhaps seeking excitement and adventure, perhaps shunned. Though the Lawless reject the structure of the Kingdom of Videa, few would break the laws simply to protest. They see nothing wrong with common sense and an expectation to respect others. Chaosborn within the Kingdom are well aware of the serious consequences of refusal to follow laws or pay a fine.
You might consider playing a Chaosborn if you are interested in a character who highly values freedom and individualism.