Because we are friends I know I can ask you one more time to come and join me here and act as my consejero. You must appreciate the importance of what I do here, this is a chance for our people to take our place in the Five Realms.
I hope, whatever your final response, that you will join me and Dario as we celebrate the festival of flame at our new home, where the sun rises so beautifully.
Rider of Amanecéirí”
Who are the Firetouched?
A recently arrived people born of the elemental power of fire itself, the Firetouched are one of the playable species in Five Oaths. If you’re playing a Firetouched, your character could be a cunning trader, who knows the value of currying favour and alliances, but is brash enough to break a deal when they know it’s truly important. Or you could play a character who uses their inner strength to defend their new homeland against the evils that lurk there, determined to keep the hearth fires lit.
The Firetouched have been known in Tirneach for many centuries, though they might appear only by themselves or as part of a very small contingent. Some of the oldest legends speak of visitors from across the Shaper’s Sea who were suffused with fire. In the past five years, the Firetouched have arrived in the Five Realms in greater numbers, seeking opportunity in a new land. They settled first in the coastal towns and have since spread inward, generally congregating where there is commerce, revelry or intrigue to be had.
The Firetouched are known for their passion and intensity but they are also literally hotblooded. In their homeland, this means they must seek shelter from the oppressive heat of the day. This has led to the Firetouched tradition of Sombra, where they gather in shaded tents or underground rooms at midday, drinking cooled juices and wines, eating small meals, napping, and singing to wait out the midday sun. While less necessary in Tirneach, many Firetouched still observe Sombra. It is a cultural touchstone, a way to alleviate homesickness, and to develop relationships with their new neighbours.
The most famous Firetouched of legend served in the gallóglach, she was a warrior named Bravura. The recent influx of Firetouched has led to some of them joining the modern-day gallóglaigh, both because it is an exciting life and because of the higher status and other benefits that will accrue to all Firetouched through honourable service. They are making a name for themselves as having fiery tempers in combat, and wielding blazing energies in rituals and spellcasting.
Origins of the Firetouched
To many people in Tirneach, the Firetouched are an enigma. It is known that they come from across the Shaper’s Sea to the east but other than that who knows? Those who speak to them or deal with them will hear a great deal about the origin of the Firetouched, although they may question how much they can believe of what they hear. The Firetouched are quite open about their origins, but their tradition of storytelling is prone to exaggeration and metaphor, which leaves some of the straightforward-minded people of Tirneach a little dubious.
Far to the east, beyond the Eastern Reaches even, the Firetouched have lived since time immemorial, on the edge of a huge desert. They share this land with many other people, and the region is formed into many small nations constantly at odds with each other, with no great cause or belief to unite them. The Firetouched have always sought out new experiences and some of them wandered far and wide, but in recent years a series of calamities have caused them to undertake an exodus from their ancestral home. Many went further east, crossing the great desert to see what lies beyond, while others have sought out the fabled land of Tirneach.
The people of Tirneach are pragmatic, and any people who will help to stand against the Gwyllt and work for the common good will be welcomed. There are some who worry about the spreading influence of the Firetouched, remarking on the business interests they have already established throughout the Five Realms and wondering if they act in the interests of all the folk of Tirneach or just their own. To add to this paranoia, there are rumours that those who act against Firetouched interests have a tendency of disappearing, but these are dangerous times and surely the Gwyllt are just as likely to be responsible.
Playing a Firetouched
If you decide to play a Firetouched character, you will need to wear facepaint or makeup evoking the power of fire. Because of their fiery nature, the Firetouched tend not to wear heavy armour, preferring loose and airy garments (although we will remind our players to wrap up when it gets cold!).
In rules terms, Firetouched will be able to channel their inner fiery energies in combat using the Desert Born Feat. This allows them to turn their Body into Vigour, which they can use for spells or weapon blow Effects. Also, they will be able to rely on their connections with other Firetouched spread throughout the Five Realms to gather information and resources.
The Firetouched brought many exotic wares with them when they arrived in Tirneach, and this novelty has made them welcome among the high society of the Five Realms…and not so welcome among the farmers who have to cope with the weird and wonderful fauna that accompanied the Firetouched on their voyage. A Firetouched is likely to turn up almost anywhere in the Five Realms, but mostly around the population hubs. They have made great inroads with the Trade Guilds in the lowlands of Baol, though they clash with other groups like the Pilots of Béalcaoch.
The Lifespan of the Firetouched
Average life expectancy: 30-40
Maximum life expectancy: 80
Common causes of death: Performing a feat of daring, impassioned arguments escalating to violence, the cut throat world of business
How Firetouched view the other Species
Creidhe: Incredible at repair work, when you go to a new village make sure to give the local Creidhe a nice gift in case you need something fixed later.
Drakeblooded: Potentially a useful ally, or a frustrating enemy. Watch them, get leverage, then decide.
Fathach: Loyal puppet soldiers of the Vartach, too stupid to ever turn against their masters.
Humans: Ah, the sounds of humans blowing things up, it reminds me of home. Make sure to invite a few to liven up any festivity.
Krieger: I’ve lost two ships in the last year. Ships strikingly similar to them have now been reported as Krieger raiding ships. Odd coincidence, isn’t it?
Leasiar: Stagnation hardly seems something to boast about, but influence is influence.
Vartach: Eager customers for food and other goods, if you can get a Vartach as a regular customer you are set, though be careful not to insult their ego.
Wildlings: Rough or clean, they do have the most excellent stories to listen to.
Some Firetouched You Might One Day Meet…
Cipriana has recently become a Rider, for her heroic conduct as a gallóglach. While serving in the Bluehand Band, she saved the children of several Siabhal High Families from a Gwyllt creature that had cast a spell upon them, using her fiery magic to blast the creature into oblivion. In thanks for her service, she was granted her own Riding on the rugged east coast of Siabhal, which looks out over the wide Shaper’s Sea and towards the homeland of the Firetouched. She has named it Amanecéirí, a blend of her people’s language and the old tongue of Tirneach, in praise of the brilliant vista that greets her each morning
Iago has risen quite highly in the ranks of the Gilded Scale Trade Guild since his arrival in Tirneach four years ago. His keen eye for a deal and outrageous negotiating style have won him some admirers and more enemies, but the leadership of the Gilded Scale are pleased with the added revenues. One of Iago’s rivals has started to make noise about how Iago always manages to get such great bargains, and often from traders which other Firetouched have control over, but in the cutthroat world of lowlands merchants any edge is a good edge.
Rocco is a gallóglach, marching with a band called Final Silence, who are often sponsored in their missions by the Order of Necromancers. The Final Silence have earned renown for dealing with the undead wherever they emerge in great numbers, and also in seeking out and destroying singular undead, often the most dangerous of their kind. Rocco has only joined in the last six months, but has already impressed his fellow gallóglaigh with his ferocity when dealing with all kinds of undead. When he is asked about his fury he simply remarks that he has much experience in dealing with their kind.