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A dying race, Atlanteans were once the most advanced and powerful people to be found anywhere on the Earth. The great empire of Atlantis was fabulously rich, and Atlantean magic and technology made the island empire a realm of marvels in an otherwise brutal and primitive age. But a little more than three hundred years ago, Atlantis was destroyed in a terrible cataclysm. Nine out of ten Atlanteans were erased from existence in a single day, breaking the worldwide dominance of the Atlantean race.

While the vast majority of Atlanteans died with their empire, some survived the destruction. The Atlanteans were a race of far-traveling mariners, and thousands of sailors and merchants were far from Atlantis on the day of doom. They were also conquer- ors and colonizers who controlled vast domains on the continents surrounding the Atlantean Ocean, and thousands more Atlanteans lived in these overseas possessions. The Atlanteans of the current day are descended from these travelers and colonists.

Atlanteans have lost much of their vast lore and advanced technology, but they are still a powerful force for good or evil in the world. Proud, audacious, self-reliant, and industrious, they work to preserve the fading glory of Atlantis and recover what they can of its lost sciences and arts. Some Atlanteans use this lore to guide (or dominate) the less-advanced peoples around them, hoping to rebuild Atlantis in a new home. Others recognize that the time of Atlantis has passed, and work to pass its knowledge to younger civilizations where it may do great good.

Physical Qualities

Atlanteans are fully human, and possess a human range of builds, body types, and features. They form a distinct ethnicity, and can be identified as Atlantean at a glance. They are a tall and handsome people in general, and many Atlanteans are natural athletes. Their skin color ranges from a light copper hue to a deep bronze, their hair is usually dark brown or raven-black, and their features tend to be fine. Their most notable features are light-colored eyes in hues that are rare among other humans: gray, green, an icy pale blue, or even a bright gold. The contrast between the light-colored eyes and the copper or bronze com- plexion is often quite striking.

Because Atlanteans are declining in numbers, more and more have married into the general population of Thule. Classic Atlantean features are becoming hard to find, although the wealthiest and most powerful families are more likely to preserve the old bloodlines.

Attitudes and Beliefs

Atlanteans value knowledge and learning above all things. Even the most martially inclined Atlantean is not just a muscle-bound soldier—he or she is a student of combat and strategy, drawing upon centuries of martial philosophy. Atlanteans believe that every human endeavor can be studied, critiqued, and advanced through the application of logic and scholarship. The history of Atlantis was a triumph of progress in science, magic, war, and the arts, and now that Atlantis is no more, the surviving Atlanteans strive to preserve and spread this philosophy to the other peoples of the world.

Because Atlanteans ruled over much of the Earth for so long, they see themselves as more intelligent and capable than other people. They are the “kings of men” in the parlance of the old empire, and they naturally see themselves as leaders. Atlanteans are proud, confident, and strong-willed, and often expect some amount of deference from people who do not share their education or incisiveness. At best, this attitude comes across as haughty or patronizing. At its worst, it is a belief system of racial superiority that empowers Atlanteans to dominate weaker peoples. However, many Atlanteans believe that the advan- tages they enjoy also carry an obligation to work to make the world a better place; more Atlanteans are compassionate teachers than arrogant conquerors.

Atlanteans are not especially pious. Their cultural heritage of scientific learning and technological advancement makes it easier for them to have faith in their own abilities instead of seeking divine patrons to protect them. Many people believe that the tragic fate of Atlantis was the gods’ punishment for this hubris, although few Atlanteans would agree. Those Atlante- ans who are religious usually regard Asura, Mithra, Nergal, and Tiamat as the most important deities, and venerate them above all others. Asura in particular was viewed as the patroness and protector of Atlantis, and even though Atlantis is gone, her people still look to the dawn for inspiration.

Atlantean Communities

The nation of Atlantis is now gone, and there are very few places in the world where Atlanteans live in their own isolated communities. In this new age, Atlanteans are most often found as minority pop- ulations within the cities or lands of other human peoples. Over the long centuries of Atlantis’s preem- inence, Atlanteans living overseas naturally enjoyed significant advantages of wealth and political power in the empire’s various colonies. These advantages are not what they once were, but they still exist—Atlan- tean families are often titled nobles, successful mer- chants, or powerful politicians or military leaders.

Atlanteans are especially common in the city-states of Katagia, Marg, Orech, and Quodeth.

Roleplaying an Atlantean

When you play an Atlantean character, you are playing someone who is richer, more influential, and better-educated than most of the people he or she meets. Whether you regard these advantages as your birthright or as privileges you must earn through your own deeds is up to you.

  • Seek knowledge for its own sake. Your people are the living examples of the maxim that knowledge is power. Most Atlanteans cultivate a keen interest in many different things—ancient history, the natural sciences, war and strategy, commerce, philosophy, the arts, almost any field of study imaginable. Be intensely curious about the world around you, and seek out opportunities to explore ancient mysteries or discover new things.
  • Lead by example. Atlanteans are supremely self-confident. While you are certainly capable of reasoning with people to get them to see why your ideas are best, it has long been a cornerstone of the Atlantean makeup to demonstrate the merit of an argument by living it. When you know you’re right, it’s time to act, and trust that the success of your actions will argue your point for you. Others will follow when they see you succeed.
  • There is always a better way. Your people’s dedication to study and progress has demonstrated time and time again that there is always room for improve- ment. When faced with an unappetizing choice, you are convinced that a better choice can be found if only you are perceptive enough to find it (or decisive enough to seize it). Question why something is done the way it is done, and look for a better way to do it.

Atlantean Racial Traits

+2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom: Atlanteans are naturally inclined toward an unusual combination of athleticism and scholarship. They generally have too much self-confidence for their own good, and rarely pause to reflect on how their actions might be perceived by others.

Medium: Atlanteans are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Normal Speed:: Atlanteans have a base speed of 30 feet.

Broad Education: All skills are considered class skills for Atlantean characters (so Atlantean characters gain the class skill bonus for any skill to which they assign at least 1 skill rank). In addition, Atlanteans begin play with one additional bonus language. Atlanteans are raised with a love of learning and are encouraged to study any subject that catches their interest.

Headstrong:: Atlanteans gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against fear and compulsion effects. Atlanteans are willful and are used to having their way; when con- fronted with spells or effects that threaten to master the will with a direct attack, they are difficult to break.

Wealthy:: Atlantean characters begin play with an additional 375 gp in starting wealth, and may use this additional wealth to buy masterwork armor, master- work weapons, potions or scrolls of 1st-level spells, or a wand with a 1st-level spell (CL 1, 25 charges). Atlanteans come from wealthy families with a number of heirlooms, including minor magical items that are otherwise scarce in Thule.

Languages: Atlanteans begin play speaking Low Atlan- tean (the common tongue), High Atlantean, and one bonus language in addition to any bonus languages gained from a high Intelligence score. For their bonus languages, Atlantean characters can choose any common or uncommon languages they want, but not rare or secret languages (see Languages in Chapter 1).