Everything in Vrahode is original, from the landscapes to the flora and fauna to the creation myths. The playable races are no exception, and there are six of them that you’ll get to know in this podcast today: the Toreln, the Mynoc, the Cautuuk, the Athak-uul, the Drelrhune, and the Mahorii.
Vrahode will be coming to Kickstarter most likely in quarter four of 2023. When that campaign goes live, you will not only be able to buy the core game, Vrahode: The Calteeryn Ascension, but its three expansions as well.
00:00:00 The 6 Brand-New Playable Races Of Vrahode
00:01:16 What are the Toreln?
00:08:01 What are the Mynoc?
00:11:09 What are the Cautuuk?
00:14:28 What are the Athak-uul?
00:19:24 What are the Drelrhune?
00:23:44 What are the Mahorii?
00:27:46 The best outro you’ve ever heard
Brandon Rollins: I haven’t been to the gym lately so I’m the Shapeless.
Jeff Irving: You are the Shapeless.
My name is Jeff Irving, and this is the Vrahode Tavern Podcast. I’m the creator of the Vrahode Game System. And in this podcast, we’re going to do a deep dive into the lore and gameplay of Vrahode. I’m joined by Brandon Rollins, who will be acting as stand-in for you asking many of the questions you might be curious about yourself.
Brandon, oh, what are we talking about today?
Brandon Rollins: Well, when we last left off, I was asking you about some of the creatures in Vrahode. And I realized actually, it was, that it was too deep to try and shoehorn into just one podcast. It’s just too much information. So I wanted to kind of pick up where we left off and start asking for more details on how these playable creatures live.
And I mean, like, I’ve got your website pulled up, let’s just go one by one. And you can just kind of tell me like what these guys, what their lives are like and, and, and where they live.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: Let’s just start with the…and the mispronunciations begin…Toreln.
What are the Toreln?
Jeff Irving: Oh, the Toreln, okay. Uh, yeah. Okay.
Brandon Rollins: So zero out of one…
Jeff Irving: Yeah, I know it. I know it. Toreln.
So basically when the Accourish came to Vrahode, they had these potent magics and they decided they were going to craft a variety of races from the elements, the floor of the fauna of Vrahode. And when they visited the forests, they decided to craft the Toreln. And the Toreln is basically a race that is of the trees, their magic, everything about their society is crafted from the trees.
And so as you, if you choose to play a Toreln, what you end up with is ability to protect yourself while you exist in the forests. Or if someone is going to attack you, then you have the ability to do a little bit of damage to them because of your kind of thorny barky kind of skin, or if you’re, or if you’re gonna reach out and hit somebody, then you have the ability to bend and warp wood because you’re of the forest and of the trees.
So anything ranged that you do is basically kind of gonna get a bonus because you’re bending it and warping it to your will. And so it’s, it’s, it’s reaching out to hit things in the way you hope that they will, where most people, most of the races would be like, let’s shoot it and it ends up where it ends up.
No, not the Toreln, it’s gonna end up where we want it to end up. So…
Brandon Rollins: It’s like being attacked by a Home Depot. That’s awesome.
Jeff Irving: Home Depot. Oh gosh, exactly. That’s exactly it. Okay. So, I mean, I guess what, where do we go from the Toreln.
Brandon Rollins: Well, I was, I was just wondering, like, are they the first ones that the Accourish crafted or would that be another one?
Jeff Irving: I’ll be honest with you. When I, when I set out to write the story of Vrahode, the first character that came to my heart. Was someone named Peril Turin (sp?). And he was the son of this other, this fellow named Durham Turin (sp?), who was also a Toreln. And he was this young scout, um, that, that lived in a village called Illnu (sp?).
And he served to protect the village from threats without. And so he went around the forest, the edges of the forest, and watched for threats that came from beyond that. And so, yeah, I think the around really kind of were the first race that really touched my heart. And I loved this idea of. A race that was kind of delicate almost, you know, I mean, wood is, wood is resilient, but it’s not like stone and it’s not like metal.
And if, if a race is crafted from the forest, then they’re gonna be kind of delicate like that.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Like when they’re born, are they, do they start as saplings and kind of grow?
Jeff Irving: What’s, what’s crazy is they have this ritual in the Toreln society and they have a, they have a tree that exists within each village and there’s a sacred place beneath those trees called the Pav-Ah (And a male Toreln and a female Toreln, they will descend into the Pav-Ah and they will do what Toreln do. And ultimately what’s left is a seed that is germinated. And then what happens is they leave. They bury that, they bury the Toreln in, in the dirt, fill it in as part of this ritual and like three or four months later, a young Toreln is born. Isn’t that crazy?
Brandon Rollins: That is crazy. And so when, when you’re playing as one of them, what are they really good at?
Jeff Irving: What, a Toreln? Well. I’ll tell you what, they’re not gonna be. They’re not gonna be the best, um, warrior, uh, type characters. They’re they’re just not as savage or as overtly, um, used to using weaponry. So they’re great support staff. They’re great scouts.
Um, they understand the lay of the land better than most. Uh, so I would say that a Toreln as a, as a playable race are probably support like off tanks or casters. Or even healers. I mean, they make great healers. Um, so yeah, so that’s kind of what you can look at if you’re looking at a Toreln as your main hero in the game, and that’s what you, you think, “Hey, I’m gonna, I’m gonna go through the, the campaign and this is my main hero.”
Don’t shy away from the Toreln. They’re amazing. It’s an amazing race.
Brandon Rollins: Versatile, and not really, not really someone that you use as a bruiser, but are otherwise like really capable of doing a lot of different things.
Jeff Irving: No, No but just to tell you, I mean, we have 12 pregenerated heroes in the game and the two pregenerated heroes from the Toreln race are the shield, which is like… is like a paladin almost, it’s it’s the they’re able to deal out good damage, but they’re also about protecting their comrades. They, they’re, they’re very good at healing and, and off tanking and kind of being that kind of protector role. And the other one is the, the other, um, uh, pregenerated hero is Harna the female and she is more of a, of a pure cast or healer. So she’s gonna cast spells that will do some direct damage, but she’s also gonna be quite adept at making sure that none of her comrades die.
Brandon Rollins: See that’s cool. And, and that, just so everybody knows, this is something that you’ve already told me. There are pre-generated heroes, but you can also create your own custom ones as well. I just think that’s something, mentioning here.
I guess. Um, do they grow in zone 7B? I’m just curious. I’m planning in my garden for next year.
Jeff Irving: Um, well yeah, if you have the absolute proper fertilizer, It’s possible.
Brandon Rollins: I’m, I’m actually not good with fertilizer. I, um, ruined all my cucumbers this year.
Jeff Irving: Well I have two dogs that make plenty of fertilizer, if you’d like some of theirs.
Brandon Rollins: Oh trust me, I’m familiar with how much fertilizer dogs can make.
What are the Mynoc?
Brandon Rollins: So, I, I , I, I guess you’ve also got, um, on your webpage, you’ve got the Mynoc who are these kinda mushroom guys what’s life like for them? Where do they live?
Jeff Irving: Well, they they live on an island called Prahaar and it’s isolated, and they live in, in an isolated part of that called the Darkened Grove. And even though the, the Mynoc are probably the softest skinned and most delicate of the hero choices you could make. They, they live in the most hostile environment. The creatures that live in the Darkened Grove are just brutal, but they protect themselves by building their homes and villages up into the mushrooms that extend way up into the canopy. And so they, they go up there and they build these homes so that they’re not in danger of all these things running around the forest floor that are just horrible.
Their skin is super soft and delicate. And that’s why whenever you play a Mynoc hero, they do not use cutting weapons. They’re afraid of, they’re afraid to sharpen their own weapon because they’re going, their skin is like pulpy and it’s very soft. So they tend to be more of the caster classes. They are powerful in magic. They can use, they can bring a ton of magic to bear that a lot of the other races won’t or can’t, but don’t give a, don’t give ’em a sword. They don’t want that.
They don’t wanna be near a sword.
Brandon Rollins: Well, I mean, it makes sense because their whole it’s their whole physiology. They’re so soft that they have to stay far away from battle. They gotta use their magic abilities. And it sounds like they’re pretty smart too. Like they have the ability to build structures, to keep them out of harm’s way.
Jeff Irving: Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: Um, now when you say they live in a tough environment, do they have the kind of culture that you would see of people who live in tough environments? Like, um, you know, like way up in the rural reaches of Alaska or something, how people are just really good at living in the cold.
Do they have something comparable?
Jeff Irving: Let’s, let’s just say that the, the Eskimos of Alaska, the, the amazing thing about the Eskimos of Alaska is they have 23 words to describe snow.
Well, here in North America, we have what, maybe two or three, you know, it’s like, oh, that’s a, that’s a dry snow. That’s, that’s snow packs. Well, the Mynoc have that many words to describe mushrooms and things that happen in the forest.
And so they’re very accustomed to living in the world that they do. And they also, because their skin is so soft, they have found lots of ways to defend themselves and elevate themselves above what happens on the forest floor. So.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. So their whole language system is based around the kind of things they encounter as well. Like they’re, they have different vocabulary for it. That’s really interesting. That’s the anthropology part you were talking about in the, uh, I think an…
Jeff Irving: isn’t it?
Brandon Rollins: …episode.
What are the Cautuuk?
Brandon Rollins: That’s cool. So I think also you’ve got the, um, the Cautuuk listed here. How am I doing on pronunciation?
Jeff Irving: The Cautuuk. Okay.
Brandon Rollins: I’m giving myself that one, two for three, two for three.
Jeff Irving: You know what you have, I’m giving you plenty of grace. The Cautuuk, the Cautuuk took are, um, they’re plains dwellers, and they were crafted and designed around the Native American culture. So if you, if, even though you don’t see teepees in Vrahode, they’re very nomadic or seminomadic in that they travel around the great Plains of Renduur, which is the main island.
Um, and, and, and they’re not, they’re not, setting up these really big elaborate settlements or villages, they tend to kind of set up camp and then break it down and move on it. It has a lot to do with food sources. It has a lot to do with weather. Um, but ultimately they end up, they have a place of worship that they call…
um, let me pull it up here for you, in the map. Let’s see, art stuff, map art. Okay. So there’s a place in the Plains of Renduur of called the Hills of the Living Spring. And this is kind of a pilgrimage for the Cautuuk. They travel there, they worship nature spirits there, and a lot of their culture kind of. It, they coalesce there.
So there’s different tribes among Cautuuk. Not all of them agree all the time, but when they agree, everybody shows up to the Hills of the Living Spring and they have a great meeting every year, which in, in Vrahode we don’t have years, we have what are called spans. And so every span the Cautuuk tribes will travel the great distances.
And I mean, the, the plains of Renduur. I mean, they’re, they’re immense, but they’ll travel to the Hills of the Living Spring to have this meeting among the tribes to talk about what’s happened, who’s died. Who’s who’s been advanced? Who’s the new chief and what new threats. And so that’s kind of the Cautuuk society.
Brandon Rollins: So are they, it sounds like if they’re meeting on a, on a regular basis that they’re kind of spread out, not so far that they can’t meet, but that they, that they don’t just all live next door to one another.
Jeff Irving: They do not. They do not. They are like almost like Indian tribes. You’ve got the Sioux and you’ve got the, you know, you got the Apache, you’ve got the Commanche. You’ve got the Navajo. You’ve got the Sioux. You got, I mean, yes. So they’re very much an antecedent to Native American.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. So would you say that they’re kind of, um… or, or let me, let me think of a different question. Do they ever come into conflict with one another or are they all generally pretty good at getting along?
Jeff Irving: Generally. Yes, but actually within the early campaign, we learn about some of the friction that happens between the tribes. But because the first, the core box of the game series is about Calteeryn which is this kind of prophesied figure.
Um, we’re learning how to navigate these cultures and that even though there’s some friction within the tribes, the races are still fairly cohesive.
What are the Athak-uul?
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. So I’m, I’m thinking. So the next one that you’ve got on here is the Athak-uul. And live, I think it’s, they live deep in caves. Is that right?
Jeff Irving: Yeah. Yeah, the Athak-uul are I, I’m I gotta tell you, I am more excited to sit down with backers and fans and play an Athak-uul Shadow more than any, more than any race, more than any role. I wanna play an Athak-uul Shadow because they’re just such a cool little, ugly… I mean, their magic is based on blood.
I mean, and Shadow, you know, they’ll sacrifice their blood and, and things to, to, to craft magic. And it’s just, so they’re basically kind of this unsavory little creatures. Um, I think they’re, I think they’re primarily matrilineal. In other words, the mother descent pattern is what dictates these houses and this, this kind of intricate culture under the ground, but they have, they have, so, I mean, they have shadow mastery, which is this ability to mitigate, um, when they’re inside, when they’re indoor spaces, whether it’s dark, they can mitigate damage because they’re used to living in that darkness. Or they can actually, if someone hits them with a blade and cuts them because their magic is blood based, they actually reduce fatigue when they’re hit by a blade. And, they’re, and they’re made to bleed.
Brandon Rollins: So they are, they are the legitimate, bad guy who, when you, well, maybe not bad guy, but they’re the legitimate character who, when you strike them, they become stronger. That’s the…
Jeff Irving: Yes, exactly. And so they’re, they’re a they’re a quintessential part of why. We made the Vrahode Game System, because it’s like in what world, in what D&D world or in what Tolkein world would the Athak-uul be heroes?
None they’re worse than Gollum. I mean, Gollum is like, [Gollum noises], no, the Athak-uul they’re, they’re darker than that, you know? And, and they, they even have an ability that they can add because they love blood so much that when they attack you, they can add a bleed effect to their, their attacks to, to create more blood, to fuel their magic. So they’re, they’re a really cool little kind of insidious, uh, they’re not super strong or powerful, but they, they have really, really cool skills that I can’t wait to…
Brandon Rollins: Are the other playables kind of afraid of ’em because of what they are?
Jeff Irving: Well, here’s the deal, the Athak-uul, you know, their society so well, and they know that their own people are mistrustful and not to be trusted, that when they’re involved in a group of Overlanders, the Toreln, the Cautuuk, the Drelrhune. They’re actually very loyal. And they’re actually very heroic. And so what you expect from the Athak-uul, you do not get, you get much, much more.
Brandon Rollins: it’s interesting cuz then like, I mean, this is a total left field example, but like in Star Trek, like the Vulcans, everybody knows ’em as being the logical ones, right. That’s their whole thing. They’re like “logic, logic, logic, no emotions.” But it’s like when you actually watch a couple of the episodes and really get deeper into that and what that means, it’s like, they’re actually super emotional.
That’s why they do the logic thing because they can’t handle their emotions. And it like, yeah. for anybody who’s not like watched a lot, like…
Jeff Irving: Let’s not forget, though. That Spock is half human.
Brandon Rollins: Well, exactly. There’s that too. There’s that too. Well. And, and so much of his, um, I guess to use a very 2020s word “trauma.” His emotional trauma.
Well, it’s, it’s a good way of describing what he’s got though, comes from this kind of like balancing suppression of emotions and, and the different things that are expected of him because he is both human and Vulcan.
And, but anyway, these guys getting back into the story of Vrahode, it’s interesting that they have developed this kind of this, um, public facade, because it’s necessary. And making sure that they just present themselves well to society and like function the way that they ought to around others.
Jeff Irving: I, I think most, I think most Athak-uul um, men and women, I think they seek the comfort of Overland companions. I really do. I feel like they hate their own people. They know they’re not worth a darn. And they know that all they’re waiting for is to backstab each other. And so when they escape the Underlands, even though they’re not well suited for it, in the Overlands, they find that trust, they find that people actually treat them like they deserve to be treated and don’t screw ’em over.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah.
Jeff Irving: Yeah.
What are the Drelrhune?
Brandon Rollins: So I guess the next one you got on here is the. All right… here we go. Um, the Drelrhune.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, the Drelrhune. The, yeah, the Drelrhune are one of three reptilian races we have in the world. And I love reptilian races. I always loved lizard men in D&D and felt they were underserved and they were just kind of relegated to this, oh, this is the first thing you’re gonna kill a lizard man.
And I thought, what about making in an anthropological sense, making this kind complex multi reptilian race society that kind of exists. Some of them get along, some of them don’t, but they essentially cover the world, except for the icy regions, which reptiles never do good in cold climates, right? They just don’t.
So we’ve got, we’ve got the Drelrhune, which are essentially swamp, uh, swamp dwelling, reptiles. They are happiest there. They love fresh water. They build their villages in the fresh water. But they can be on the sea, but they have cousins that are better suited to the sea, which are the Sahrhune. And then, the thing about reptiles is they love heat because heat means activity.
Heat means energy. Heat means that they are at their, at their best. And so then they have this cousin, the distant cousin called the Ju’Airne and the Ju’Airne live in deserts. So you have these three societies, but as far as the playable race, the Drelrhune, their magic is about water. They need to keep water close. They need to, uh, build their villages there, but they’re the masters of that. And so, um, the other thing that the Drelrhune really thrive at is… they’re not big fans of weapons. They kind of like to do things with hands and fists. And so they tend to be more of martial artists. They, you know, they, they thrive without, uh, swords or shields, but with fists and feet,
Brandon Rollins: That’s cool. Now, when they get into the landlocked regions of Vrahode or especially the icy regions of Vrahode, do they start to suffer as a result of being from their element?
Jeff Irving: They do. They, they very much do. Every race in the game. Every race in the game series has its sweet spot. You know, it’s place where it’s it’s, it’s thriving. And let me tell you the Drelrhune. They are not, the Drelrhune are not gonna be happy in the deserts. They’re not gonna be happy in the icy areas.
They’re gonna be happiest in any region that has water, but there’s a lot of regions with water in this world. You’ve got coastal, you’ve got river, you’ve got marsh. Um, you’ve got just straight out ocean. And so any place that they can touch their primary source of magic, that being water, they’re going to be the masters. Anytime they’re away from water, they’re gonna be diminished for sure.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah.
Jeff Irving: And what you get. I think what you get with the Drelrhune is you get, you get mitigation, of course, in areas with water. They cast this, they have this spell called water noose or watery noose that allows them to kind of wrap around a target’s neck and kind of strangle them in water, in battle so that kind of hurts them and they also, um, they’re resistant to poison. And so that’s really nice when, when you have a race that can almost cleanse themself with water magically and kind of get rid of poison. That’s powerful.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. certainly. Uh, it seems like they’d be good to have on the team.
Jeff Irving: Oh, heck yes.
Brandon Rollins: Especially like they’re a melee one too. I mean, it’s like, there’s not that many. Well, I suppose, I suppose the Athak-uul would also be very good in melee because they’re so much driven by the, the shedding of blood, but it’s like, it they’re, maybe they would act as a bruiser.
Am I, am I understanding this right? Like they’re right up…
Jeff Irving: I and think, I think if I was, if I was putting a party together and I wanted the perfect off tank, in other words, I’ve got a tank, I’ve got a guy that can wear all the armor. That’s gonna be right up front, beating the crap outta stuff face to face. It wouldn’t be a Drelrhune, but if I wanted someone next to them, it would be a Drelrhune.
Brandon Rollins: Oh, yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. I want him to be that off tank.
What are the Mahorii?
Brandon Rollins: So the, last one that we’ve got is the and, and then we’ll, we’ll cover this and I think on the next one, we’ll talk about, um, friendly races of Vrahode is, um, the Mahorii. So what’s their story?
Jeff Irving: Yeah. Well, the Mahorii are probably the most reclusive and misunderstood race of the six playable races. They have their own island that is very remote. Um, I consider it much like Hawaii. It’s just, it’s, they’re not part of the mainland.
They do their own thing. They, They, don’t interact much with other races and, um, they’re very diminutive. They’re they’re they’re tiny little, three, four foot tall humanoids, but they have such an affinity and a kinship with the top tier predators of their own island of Duwora that they can actually embody those behaviors in combat. And so what it does is it gives you this, this small creature that is, I mean, I think by all intents and purposes, kind of elf like, I mean, they have pointed ears in a long tail and they look kind of bestial and primitive, but they study these, these top tier predators so closely.
That they can copy them in battle. And so to discount them as a viable, um, main tank or as a viable off tank, or even, I mean, I think you would be dismissing an amazing race because they’re just really cool. Um, the female, um, pregenerated hero is, um, called Corive and she is a Syrin and she has the ability to sing and to have her singing modify the conditions of battle.
And then the male Mahorii uh, uh, is, uh, Warden. So he has the ability to take control. He’s basically a pet class. He can take control of a beast and keep it under his command. And he’s also an amazing archer. So he’s got the ability to kind of stay outta the fray, use his bow, control his beast and battle.
Um, like a hunter in World of Warcraft, he’s kind of like that he stays up, he stays back a little bit, but he’s got such a kinship with these beasts that he can control them and battle that’s. That’s kind of cool.
Brandon Rollins: That’s cool. And so you said like the, the one that you’re looking most forward to playing is the Athak-uul. For sure.
Jeff Irving: Oh, the Shadow. Yeah, the Shadow is like a rogue. And when we go into a dungeon, they, they, they come into their own when we’re under in the, under, under lands, which is a, a big chunk of the game. And when you’re down there, one, they don’t have any minuses to their vision because they’re used to living in dark conditions and they have an ability that, that comes with them as a new hero, uh, called inner workings. And the inner workings ability gives them this huge plus to their focus, to their roles when they’re trying to unlock doors and chests and to disarm traps and to keep our travel in the Underlands, which are horrific and chaotic, safe. And so I can’t wait to play one of them because I get to kind of keep the party safe with my abilities. That’s really cool.
Brandon Rollins: That is gonna be cool. I’m gonna need a little more time to figure out which one I wanna play as. We’ll, we’ll get to the pregenerated heroes at a future episode, and I’m sure I’ll be able to decision at some point before the prototype arrives. So, um, yeah, I’ll just keep doing some research and figure out who I wanna play as. This is exciting.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, it’s gonna be so fun. I can’t wait.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. So there are, I mean, there’s more friendly and neutral races that we can go over. I say, let’s save them for the next episode. And why don’t you take us out on this one?
The best outro you’ve ever heard
Jeff Irving: Okay.
Thank you for listening to the Vrahode Tavern Podcast. If you enjoyed this show, take a moment to subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. If you’re on Apple Podcasts, please leave a five star review. It helps more than you know. You can learn more about Vrahode on vrahode.com. That’s V R A H O D E .COM, link in the show notes.
And you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’re @Vrahode. Thank you again for listening. We have, really appreciate it. Keep an eye out for our next episode in two weeks.