Member Peoples


Caravans helped bind the early Commonwealth together, and where the carriers of its trade. Originally peopled by Halflings and Gnolls, other races and groups have taken to caravan culture. And caravan culture has changed, in part by taking to the sea.

Population: 1.5M

Common Languages: Autumn Caravneer, Heartland Gnoll, Weal, Royal, Cqik, more

Common Races: Halfling (55%), Gnoll (30%), Ratfolk (10%), more


The Wester Traders are a

Population: 30M

Common Languages: local or traditional languages

Common Races: highly diverse; Elves 12%, Gnolls 7%, Herders 5%, Shifters 5%, Humans 5%, more

Merchant Voyagers

The Merchant Voyagers are an example member-tribe — or, more exactly, society of member-tribes. Obviously, many other tribes have — and have not — signed the Charter and joined the Commonwealth.

The Merchant Voyagers are a group of Wood Elf, Human, and Shifter tribes who herd and hunt in a patch of the unclaimed land west of the Worldspine. By CY 570, all of the Voyager-speaking tribes had signed the Charter, and where Commonwealth members; thoughout the last several centuries, the Voyagers, unlike many other tribes, have exchanged heavily with the wider Commonwealth.

Population: 2.5M

Common Languages: Voyager (Benath)

Common Races: Wood Elves, Humans, Shifters

The Merchant Voyagers consist of a group of Elven, Human, and Shifter tribes who herd and hunt in a patch of the tribal lands west of the Worldspine — that is, west of the Worldspine and northeast of Herd-and-Pack province. Though several different races, these tribes share a language and culture — which they call Benath, which loosely means "traders." (The name "Traders," transliterated to Commonwealth Standard, would not name one culture very well; instead, they where given the Common Name "Merchant Voyagers.")

"Merchant Voyager" doesn't render very well in English. In Common, it's a contraction of "Merchant" and a suffix that connotes travel, exploration, or adventure — somewhat like "Trade-onaut".

The Merchant-Voyager tribes are semi-nomadic: they have constructed a number of small cities, where the young and old reside, surrounded by planted fields; however, most of the young and able-bodied travel as nomadic herders, hunters, and traders. Merchant-Voyager culture encourages trade, study, openness, and a kind of pragmatism — a Benath word that often gets rendered to "practicality" or "pragmatism," but describes a realist, almost-consequentialist streak in their law and philosophy. Being open, curious, and trade-minded, they welcomed early Commonwealth explorers and traders. Finding the Commonwealth to be a fair and beneficial trade-parters, they where quick to seek closer relations; the first Merchant-Voyager tribe signed the Charter less than a decade after they where first encountered.

How are Merchant Voyageres different from the Herd-and-Pack Province? Herd-and-Pack is a province, because its people assembled an alliance that ruled a territory. By contrast, the Merchant Voyagers are semi-nomadic, ranging over a territory that they shared with other tribal cultures. They also didn't form an alliance; though they share a culture and language — and typically view themselves as members of a shared culture, and cooperate with one-another — they never formed a permanent alliance or shared government.

While many Merchant Voyagers have remained in their traditional lands and continue to practice their traditional lifestyles, with each generation, some portion of them leave to travel the wider Commonwealth. Small Merchant Voyager enclaves can be found throughout Westward, Heartland, and Haven Provinces — in fact, much of the Wood Elf blood in Ash Elves comes from early Merchant Voyagers who settled on Islandhome (who also inherited a portion of the Merchant Voyagers' open and materialist outlook).

Fire: Fun fact, I'm a Merchant-Voyager. My parents left my people's homeland when I was two, went through the northern pass through the Worldspine, and settled in Stormsword's Rest on the other side.

Track: Yeah, that makes sense; of course you're from the materialist tribe.

Chandra: That must have been tough, with a two-year-old.

Fire: It was, but it helps that we're shifters; it's an easier trip if your two-year-old can turn into a snowshoe rabbit.

Chandra: Unless he decides to run off, I suppose.

Fire: Hah! Well, I didn't, so here I am, a professor in your lovely city.

Major City: Shifter's Market

Shifter's Market is a typical Merchant Voyager city — if slightly larger than most. It is well and literally named; it consists of a few artisan-districts and market sqaures, surrounded by campgrounds.

Population: 13K

Common Languages: Merchant Voyager

Common Races: Shifters (70%), Wood Elves (10), Humans (10%)

Location: tribal lands west of the Worldspine, northeast of Herd-and-Pack

Industries: Trade, Tanning, Carpentry, Brewing, Agriculture

Shifter's Market is typical of Merchant-Voyager cities, if somewhat larger than most, constructed by a Shifter tribe of Merchant Voyagers.

At the center of Shifter's Market, there are a number of irregular districts, each laid out in a rough grid, branching off of the city's two main streets — one running roughly north-south, and the other roughly east-west. Districts include homes for local farmers; market-squares surrounded by trader's homes; administrators; and artisens. These distracts are space-out, and the ground between them is open; they are surrounded by the low Inner Wall.

The space between the inner and outer walls is open; it is used to house any of the tribe's nomadic herders, hunters, and traders who return home, as well as any visiting traders and caravans. Surrounding this large open space is the larger Outer Wall, a thick structure of hewn-stone some six strides high and an impressive twenty strides thick. (The outer walls where constructed in stages, as the existing walls where modernized and reinforced; it took generations to arrive at the current construction.)

The Clay Men

The Clay Men are one of the most unusual races in the Commonwealth, with one of the most unusual cultures: |they are extremely long-lived and very few in number; live deep underground, in far-isolated and well-fortified caverns; they do not farm, as they require little food; much of their cities are lightless, as they are blind; and they know more of the Leapers and Deep Explorer than any other race.

Population: 630,000M

Common Languages: Clay

Common Races: Clay Men