The borders of Scardova are often unforgiving. Whether it be along the Northern Wastes, or the Troll Warrens to the west, or the snowy peaks of the southeast, these lands are harsh and difficult. Still, some small bands of settlers live in these regions—brave pioneers who seek the freedom from the bounds of civilization. It is here that Barbarians tend to thrive, protecting small settlements while living at the outskirts of the Realm. Few tend to find their way into any organization such as the Shields, but it not unheard of, as the Shields sometimes find themselves needed at the edges of Scardova.
The Chaplains are the spiritual leaders of Scardova, warrior-priests that minister to the spiritual well-being of their group, instilling in them the values and beliefs of the Church along with promoting the worship of Alm. In battle, the Chaplains will be at the forefront, rousing their comrades through their Battle-Hymns and inspirational speeches.
While many residents of Scardova from all races and walks of life join the priesthood, only a few will become Clerics of Alm. Such individuals are rewarded by their leadership and tremendous faith with the ability to use prayers to further the goals of the Church. Many Clerics lead a group of Shields or serve as skilled healers in a Patrol.
Deep in the southern forests lies a sacred grove, which is home to a Druidic order of Elves. At first this order was few in number, but as they have continued to tend the forest lands and aid the people who dwell there, more have been drawn into their fold. Now, the southern lands produce Druids from nearly all races, some of whom leave the forests and join the Shields as a means of protecting the realm.
While most residents of Scardova serve a few years in their town militia, and so have a basic grasp of battlefield tactics and weapons, fighters are the true masters of combat. Most fighters realize their potential while serving in the Shields or as Inquisitorial guards.
Just off the northern coast by the village of Harlow is a small, craggy island, atop which sits the Temple of the Rising Storm. The precarious location of this temple ensures it is constantly battered by heavy winds and rains, which serves as the crucible in which the Monks of the temple perfect their martial techniques. Many who train here eventually set out into the realm to test themselves against the many perils throughout the land. Some of these Monks even join the Shields as a means of finding adequate challenges.
Many warriors or martially inclined individuals pursue the holy path of the Paladin. Alm was the first, and many feel that becoming a Paladin is a way to walk in the footsteps of their deity. Scardova has a large number of Paladins serving in the Shields. Most fight with a sword and heavy shield while wearing Plate armor, mirroring the image of Alm.
Most skilled woodsmen hail from the forests of southern Scardova. These Humans, Elves, and Half-Elves are the wardens of the forests and scouts for the Shields, acting as lookouts for possible trouble.
Skilled men and women are always in demand throughout Scardova, and so many rogues find all sorts of roles to fill. Some work as spies, information gatherers, or bounty hunters for the Inquisition. Some serve as scouts for local militias. Others still join groups of Shields or serve as dungeon delvers for the Keepers who are searching for relics or ancient lore.
Most of the citizens of Scardova fear those who would wield arcane power, for such individuals risk destruction of themselves and those around them. Citizens call such people witches or arcanists, and few outside the Inquisition know the distinction between Sorcerers, Warlocks, or Wizards. Fortunately, not enough arcane lore exists in Scardova for someone to become a Wizard easily, but Sorcerers and Warlocks do exist, who the Inquisition works tirelessly to hunt down and destroy.
Every now and again, the old blood from the time of the Magi manifests in someone, usually in the mid- to late teenage years. Strange things begin to happen near this person, and before long s/he discovers they possess some innate arcane ability. Church law on such matters is clear: anyone thought to manifest such abilities are to be turned over to the Inquisition immediately for investigation. Sometimes the Inquisition releases these individuals because they are deemed to not be a risk, but more often than not these folks are never seen again. Most believe these individuals are sacrificed for the good of all, since allowing people to use their abilities would be a great danger to Scardova. Such business doesn’t sit well with most folks, but many understand the alternative is far worse.
The Hollows is a place which offers power to the weak-willed and desperate. Sometimes residents of Scardova, for a variety of reasons ranging from personal gain to simple revenge, make pacts with demonic powers for arcane abilities. Such individuals are extraordinarily dangerous, for they often do not comprehend their bargains. Some use their powers and want more, making darker and more evil deals with malevolent creatures. Others end up possessed by the very demons or devils who gave them power. Possessed individuals either end of wreaking havoc upon the land, or take a more subtle approach and weave intricate plots designed to bring about the downfall of family members and individuals close to the possessed.
Books which contain arcane knowledge or even mention of them are heretical material. Legend says that such books were left in the lands of the Magi, and so no such books exist in Scardova. While generally true, heretical books periodically show up across the land. Why is the source of much speculation amongst the Inquisition. Whether they were part of the long lost civilization upon which Scardova rests, or whether creatures from the Hallows leave them for the unsuspecting to find is unknown. Nevertheless, every so often someone obtains enough arcane knowledge to gain some measure of power and threaten their community.