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Racesby Geoff Gander
Mogreth, during its second imperial period, is a polyglot empire. The dominant lizard men keep a tight rein on power; but although they are well served by frogfolk and troglodytes, the rising number of human slaves is beginning to worry the sorcerer kings.
Lizard men are the dominant race of Mogreth, having taken over that role from the now-vanished Carnifex who ruled the First Empire long ago. They occupy the most prominent positions in government, command the imperial armies, study ancient lore, and otherwise live lives of privilege in their ancient cities. Having been elevated almost to the status of gods, the lizard men view the world as a gift from the Outer Beings. Yet they cannot create great works as their predecessors did, and this knowledge drives them mad with envy and ambition. They have conveniently forgotten that it was they who were the servants in the First Empire.
Frogfolk are accorded a status second only to the lizard men. Most keep to themselves deep in the swampy deltas of eastern Mogreth, where they live with almost complete autonomy. Their connection to the Outer Beings is strong, and they possess a body of lore predating even Y’hog, which they guard jealously. Those found in cities often work in the temples, and generally occupy the religious caste.
Part of the legacy passed down from the Carnifex rulers of the First Empire was the knowledge of how to breed servitor races. The Carnifex of Y’hog had experimented on the troglodytes in order to create an almost disposable race of slave warriors. The kings of old Mogreth continued the tradition, modifying specimens they had captured in order to produce even hardier breeds. The sorcerer kings of the Second Empire are no different, and they are seeking to restore the fading glory of their realm by tampering with nature once more.
Troglodytes are used as labourers where it is thought human slaves would be considered undependable or dangerous. They forge weapons and armour, build defences, provide the backbone of Mogreth’s armies, and work as trusted domestic servants. They can be considered the common citizens of the realm.
Humans have lived in southeastern Brun for centuries, and for much of that time they have been relatively free. The sorcerer kings of Mogreth long looked upon them as lesser beings, and saw in them the potential to be beasts of burden. As the Second Empire expanded inland, the indigenous populations were enslaved, and now thousands toil in mines, in the fields, on the seas, and in the perilous swamps. Life is brutal, and many have fled further inland where, it is said, humans yet live in freedom.
Life in the cities is even worse. The great palaces and catacombs of the sorcerer kings were built by human hands, and so grandiose are these structures that the armies of Mogreth must press further inland to secure more slaves, or otherwise buy them from their neighbours. The worst fate of all, more terrible even than the great arena of Isshum, is to end up as an experiment of a bored sorcerer king.
An uneasy peace exists with the Shimmering Lands, as the dwarves and gnomes of the north craft many things that are highly prized by the sorcerer kings of Mogreth. Some dwarves have settled in the lesser cities of Mogreth to ply their trades, and have been richly rewarded. Others fill their pockets as slavers for the lizard men.
Although rare, humanoids can be found in Mogreth - all of them are slaves. Most are former members of the horde of Urzud, either captured during a failed border raid or sold into slavery by the dwarves of the Shimmering Lands. They are widely regarded as undependable and savage, and are typically assigned the most dangerous or dirtiest jobs a slave can perform, such as cleaning sewers, mining, capturing monsters and animals for the arena, and so on.