In a previous Dragonmark I wrote about my general approach to adding exotic races to Eberron. Since then there’s been a fair amount of interest in a race that already has a vaguely defined role in canon Eberron: The Tiefling. While tieflings have come up in canon sources — the Venomous Demesne is mentioned in the 4E sourcebooks — as always, this is what I’d do in my personal campaign and it may contradict canon material.
The basic concept of the tiefling is a humanoid touched by infernal powers. Some interpretations present the concept of an empire whose lords bargained with dark forces; in others, tieflings are loners without a clear culture or path. As always, my goal in adding a new race is to find out what the players are looking for. If I have a player asking to be a tiefling, do they want to be part of an ancient tradition of warlocks? Would they rather play a loner who feels cursed by their infernal blood? Here’s two different approaches, each of which provides a very different story for a player to build on.
THE VENOMOUS DEMESNE
The Sarlonan nation of Ohr Kaluun was infamous for delving into dark magics. In the depths of their war labyrinths, the mage-lords of Ohr Kaluun forged pacts with infernal spirits and tapped into the powers of the planes. Over generations this twisted the blood of the nobles, producing the first tieflings. This corruption didn’t go unnoticed. Khaleshite crusaders fought bitterly against Ohr Kaluun, and fear of the demonic taint of Ohr Kaluun spreading across Sarlona was a cornerstone of the civil strife that resulted in the Sundering. The civilization of Ohr Kaluun was wiped out during the Sundering, but a small force of nobles and their retainers escaped across the sea. These refugees created a hidden enclave on the west coast of Khorvaire. Over the course of centuries, they regained a portion of their pride and power. They inspired fear in the savage creatures that lived around them, and their realm became known as the Venomous Demesne. The tiefling lords were largely content in their isolation until the Daughters of Sora Kell rose to power in the region and sought to unify the wilds into the nation of Droaam. Sora Teraza herself came to the Venomous Demesne, bypassing the mystical concealment as if it didn’t exist. She spoke to the Council of Four, and none know what she said. But in the days that followed, the noble lines sent representatives to the Great Crag and joined in the grand experiment of Droaam.
The Venomous Demesne is a tiefling community and culture. It is a small hidden city, whose population includes both humans and tieflings… though many of the humans have minor signs of infernal heritage, even if they don’t have the full racial mechanics. The Demense is ruled by an alliance of four tiefling families, and the members of these families are powerful casters delving into many paths of magic: there are warlocks, clerics, and wizards of all schools. Their powers are vast, but grounded in dark bargains made in the past. To most outsiders, their traditions seem arbitrary and cruel. The price of magic is often paid for in pain and blood. Duels are an important part of their culture – never to the death, as they are still too few in number to squander noble blood so casually, but always with a painful cost for the loser.
If you are a full-blooded tiefling of the Venomous Demense, you are a scion of a noble line – a line that made bargains with malefic powers in the past. Your people have long been extremely insular, shunning all contact with the outside world. Now that they are expanding into Droaam, some are interested in knowing more about Khorvaire and the opportunities it presents. Consider the following options…
- Your noble house is the weakest of the four lines. You are searching for allies or powers that will allow your house to gain dominance over the Venomous Demesne.
- You are a lesser heir of your house and will never achieve status in the Demesne. You are seeking personal power that will let you take control of your house. You’re especially interested in the Mourning; it reminds you of stories you’ve heard about the magics of Ohr Kaluun, and you wonder if you could unlock and master its powers.
- You have discovered a terrible secret about your ancestors and the bargains that they made… a pact that is about to come due. It may be that the cost affects you personally; that it could destroy your house; or that it is a threat to Eberron itself. Perhaps an Overlord is due to be released, or a planar incursion will occur if you can’t stop it. The Council of Four won’t listen to you – so you’re on your own.
- You have been exiled from the Demesne. This could be because of a duel you lost, a crime you committed, or a crime you WOULDN’T commit. Perhaps you were ordered to participate in a pact that would damn your soul, or to murder someone you cared about. You can never return: what destiny can you find in the outer world?
You are from a hidden city of dark wonders, and the Five Nations seem hopelessly primitive and savage to you. Where is the blood wine? Where is the music of the spheres? Imagine you’re an alien from an advanced civilization, forced to deal with savages.
The tieflings of the Venomous Demesne were mystically engineered. Their ancestors chose to become tieflings by binding dark powers to their blood. But those same dark powers can leak into the world uncalled for. During coterminous periods, planar influences can shape an unborn child; this is especially true in a manifest zone. In this way, a Tiefling can be born into a human family. This occurs most frequently in the Demon Wastes, and among the Carrion Tribes Tieflings are seen as blessed, often rising to positions of power in a tribe. Within the Five Nations such births are more often viewed with fear and concern. This is often justified. A planetouched Tiefling isn’t the result of a bargain or pact. They are touched by planar power, and this shapes them in both body and mind.
When making a planetouched tiefling, the first question is which plane you’re tied to and how that manifests physically and mentally.
- Fernia is an obvious choice, as its residents include devils and demons and many Tiefling racial abilities are tied to fire. A Fernian tiefling fits the classic appearance. Skin could be fiery red or orange, and warm to the touch. Eyes could be glowing embers, and when the tiefling grows angry the ambient temperature could rise. A Fernian tiefling would be fiery and passionate, with an innate love for seeing things destroyed by flame.
- Shavarath is also a good choice, as it is home to the majority of fiends that resemble tieflings. A tiefling tied to Shavararath might have horns of steel, and their skin could seem to be made of leather or iron, though this would be a cosmetic effect only. A fiend of Shavarath could keep the standard flame-based powers, but would have a martial nature and strong instinct for aggression, conquest, or bloodshed.
- Risia also works as the counterpoint to Fernia. A Risian tiefling would have pale white or silvery skin and hair. Their horns might actually be made of ice, staying frozen even in the warmest temperatures, and they might draw heat from their surroundings. A Risian tiefling should have resistance to cold instead of fire, and their Hellish Rebuke would inflict cold damage. Emotionally, Risian tieflings tend to be cold and distant, rarely showing emotion or compassion.
- Mabar is home to succubi, and a Mabaran tiefling takes after these fiends. A Mabaran tiefling replaces fire resistance with resistance to necrotic damage, and replaces Hellish Rebuke with Arms of Hadar. Mabaran tieflings are often extremely attractive; some have natural skin tones, while others have unnaturally dark skin. Mabaran tieflings are predators by nature and often sociopaths or narcissists.
- Sakah are tieflings of the Demon Wastes who are touched by the power of the rakshasa. Instead of the horns and tail of the typical tiefling they have feline traits – cat’s eyes, fangs, skin with tiger-stripe patterns, often in unnatural colors. Sakah can use the exact same racial traits as the traditional tiefling, though with the DM’s permission you can exchange Hellish Rebuke (at 3rd level) for the ability to use Alter Self once per day. Sakah are inherently deceptive and manipulative; like the Mabaran tieflings, they are almost exclusively sociopath who have difficulty empathizing with humans.
A critical point here: you aren’t simply touched by the plane, you are touched by its fiendish influences. The fiends of Fernia don’t simply represent fire: Fernian demons reflect the chaotic, terrifying destructive power of fire, while Fernia devils embody the use of fire as a tool for destruction and torment. A genasi is an individual tied to neutral elemental forces: as a tiefling, you are a malevolent embodiment of the planar concept. If you’re a tiefling from Shavarath, you’ve innately got a strong bond to the Mockery – you might want to follow the path of Dol Arrah, but it will definitely be a struggle as your instincts push you towards treachery and cruelty.
Unlike the tieflings of the Venomous Demesne, planetouched tieflings aren’t a true-breeding race; they have no communities or culture. Were you abandoned by your parents who considered you a freakish mutation? Did they instead embrace you and try to help you find a place in the world? Are you a bitter lone wolf, or someone who has fought to find acceptance in public society? Were you born in the Demon Wastes and considered to be blessed… and if so, why did you ever leave? Most of all, do you consider the touch of the plane a curse or a blessing?
So the question that comes up most often is how do people in (place) react to tieflings? People in Thrane must hate them, because they’re like demons, right?
Well, sort of. The point I’ve made before is that WE look at the tiefling and see a demon: but the demons the people of Eberron know best are rakshasa, so “horns and red skin” doesn’t automatically mean “evil.” Consider the vast number of monstrous humanoids that exist in the world: if you live in Sharn you’ve encountered harpies, gargoyles, ogres, goblins, shifters, changlings, warforged, and potentially even medusa just doing everyday stuff in town. There’s a creature with living snakes for hair, and while people are definitely UNCOMFORTABLE around medusas, they are still a part of the world.
So the first question is: does the person in question actually know what a tiefling is? By default, tieflings are extremely rare. The tieflings of the Venomous Demesne have always been in hiding. Planetouched tieflings are most common in the Demon Wastes and rarely ever leave it. If you don’t know that a tiefling is connected to fiendish powers, then they are just a person with strange skin and horns. My point in the previous article wasn’t that anyone could mistake a tiefling for a minotaur, but rather that to the casual observer there’s nothing more inherently threatening about a tiefling than there is about a minotaur; both are horned humanoids, and frankly the tiefling is closer to being human. So by default a tiefling won’t produce a reaction of “BURN IT! IT’S A DEMON!” because it’s not the right sort of demon. It’s just some sort of monster, and there are lots of monsters in the world.
With that said, if you WANT the story of persecution and fear, it’s a trivial thing to say that people do know what tieflings are and why they should fear them. Looking to my explanation for planetouched tieflings, I suggested that this is a thing that happens when the destructive planes are coterminous. In this case, as rare as they are, it could be understood that tieflings care the touch of evil – that there is a fiendish taint in their blood, and that most are dangerous and destructive. In this case, I’d look at the treatment of the aberrant dragonmarked as a guideline. Like a tiefling, an aberrant didn’t choose to be cursed – but they possess a dangerous power, and superstition states that they are inclined to be evil. People may not call a priest when a tiefling shows up, but they could certainly treat the tiefling – and any who associate with them – with fear and suspicion, and want nothing to do with them. Followers of the Silver Flame or Dol Arrah could assert that through no fault of their own, the tiefling is inherently inclined to be evil; it might not be a matter of shoot-on-site, but a templar could easily be looking for an excuse to take the twisted thing down.
Now, if this is the path you use, the critical thing would be that if you have BOTH planetouched tieflings and the Venomous Demesne, people will assume the tiefling from the demense is planetouched. Because again, the Demesne has always been hidden and planetouched tieflings aren’t true-breeding; so the idea of a city of tieflings is definitely beyond anyone’s imagining.
In a previous post, I mentioned the idea that the village of Rellekor in Thrane has had a large Tiefling community for centuries. How does this tie into these two models? Recall that the Church of the Silver Flame is founded on principles of compassion. It seeks to protect the innocent from supernatural evil. A tiefling has the potential to be a supernatural threat, but it can also be innocent; a tiefling can even become a champion of the Flame.
With this in mind, Rellekor was established as a haven for planetouched tieflings. When Thrane families give birth to a tiefling (due to planar influences), they will usually turn the child over to the church, who will in turn deliver it to Rellekor. Thus, the population of Rellekor is made up of planetouched tieflings with ties to many different planes. It’s not a prison; it’s a place where tieflings can be with their own kind without dealing with the fear of others. Priests of the Flame seek to help tieflings come to terms with their planetouched nature and any gifts or powers associated with it, and help them find a path to the light… while Templars stand ready to deal with those who prove dangerous or irredeemably sociopathic. Note that most of these priests and templars are themselves tieflings.
People of Thrane thus have some concept of tieflings, but bear in mind that part of the point of Rellekor is to keep tieflings from mingling with the general population. The basic attitude is thus that tieflings are dangerous, much like people with aberrant dragonmarks.
If you want to play a tiefling devoted to the Silver Flame, it makes sense that you would have been raised and trained in Rellekor. Otherwise, it can be an interesting location to visit. There are a number of tiefling sages and priests with great wisdom in this place, and it’s also a center for study of the planes tied to the tieflings; if you need insight into Mabar, speak to the Mabarn tiefling monks of Rellekor.
I’m going to leave things there, but hopefully that’s given you some ideas if you’re looking to bring tieflings into your campaign!
Love all of this material, and I’ve always been glad at how well the Venemois Demesne slots into the setting without disrupting prior material from 3.5.
Is there any chance we could see a somewhat less-thoroug look at how Aasimar might look in Eberron?
I have a player who’s an aasimar paladin from Thrane. We basically went with the “Planetouched” version. As far as anyone knows, he’s human. He’s just been born with abilities that mark him apart as especially blessed. So when he bursts into angelic light, it’s not because he’s an aasimar, but because he’s a holy warrior blessed by the Silver Flame.
As for a Venomous Desmense kind of aasimar community, I’d not include it. Part of the tone of Eberron is a sense of great evils and mortal heroes. A community of aasimar would invite the question as to why they aren’t more active. The Shulassakar fill the role better, with their superiority complex and monstrous appearance.
I just say that I can see some sort of sect of mabar-tiefling druids in Eldeen Reaches, where there is a strong manifest zone
Ooh! Or arcane spellcasters. They could use Dark Sun-style defiling magic, and the Ashbound sect may have been created in part as a reaction to them. Or both, and the tiefling druids, horrified by the depredations of their brethren, were among the founders of the Ashbound.
A Maber-tiefling druid could easily be drawn to the darker segments of the Children of Winter.
Although the sect likely to be the most welcoming of them would be the Greensingers. What would a Mabar-tiefling Greensinger character be like? I’m having trouble wrapping my head around anything other than a bad emo poet or a depressed Iron Fist.
A Mabaran tiefling would DEFINITELY be a great fit for the Children of Winter, and the CoW have close ties to the Gloaming, so it’s quite reasonable to posit a few Mabaran tieflings among them.
Bear in mind that the CoW have a positive side as well. The CoW embrace death as part of the natural cycle, but that also means they despise and seek to destroy anything that violates that cycle – notably undead. So one reason they hold the Gloaming is to contain its unnatural darkness and to destroy any undead that are spawned by it. So the Mabaran tiefling druid might be touched by the darkness, but as part of the CoW they would also be fighting against it.
As for a Mabaran tiefling Greensinger, bad emo poet sounds about right to me.
I guest that there is no answer, since we are speaking out of Canon. But my idea was more of a brand new sect. Maybe with displacer beast as animal totem, or maybe some shadow animal
What explains the Red Owl’s rise to prominence as the visible leader of the Swords of Liberty?
What explains the Red Owl’s rise to prominence as the visible leader of the Swords of Liberty?
Two things I’m not sure about. First, as far as I know – based on pages 64-65 of Five Nations, specifically the picture on page 65 – Red Owl isn’t a tiefling. Did I miss this in some other source? Second, the Red Owl isn’t the visible leader of the entire SoL; she’s the hidden leader of the SoL cell that operates out of Xandrar. From 5N: “rumors persist that she once adventured
with Red Owl, the legendary leader of the area’s Swords of Liberty cell.”
I LIKE the idea of the Red Owl as a Shavarath tiefling, whose strategic brilliance has proved sufficient to get allies to set aside any concerns about her appearance. This fits with the idea of a Shavarath tiefling being driven to war and violence, and her having found a way to use those instincts in a “positive” manner. But to the best of my knowledge, by canon sources she is human.
Nope, you didn’t miss anything. Years ago — must have been 2008 or so — I took the fragment of available information and the one provocative image and ran with it, leaving canon far behind. After enough time passed I convinced myself she’d always been a Tiefling (one that could pass for Human or Half-Elf, but still). My bad.
In my campaign Red Owl was indeed a Shavarath Tiefling with extraordinary charisma and leadership skills (possibly enhanced by a possessing devil), who died leading a Swords of Liberty army trying to exterminate New Cyre in the growing unrest following King Boranel’s sudden death.
Funny you should mention Risian teiflings. I was reading the small note that described the accounts of devil ruled cities in the ice of the Frostfell. Towers of frozen bone and all that. Made me create( I’m the tactile fan after all…) a small figure of a Tiefling female with horns of ice. I pictured them on the blue side myself, but I can definitely be inspired to craft the pale kind too. Would Risian Tieflings be a good foundation for Frostfell reclusive inhabitants?
Would Risian Tieflings be a good foundation for Frostfell reclusive inhabitants?
Sure, why not?
Am I dreaming, or did you say in an earlier article that there were Ohr Kaluhn tieflings among the Sarlonan refugees who fled to the Shadow Marches, and that there are tiefling (or tiefling and human) Marcher clans and/or tribes?
I think you’re dreaming. If you look at a map of Sarlona and imagine refugees taking a fairly straight path across the sea, most of the refugees who settled the Shadow Marches would have come from Corvagura. The refugees from Ohr Kaluun primarily went to the Demon Wastes, with the most organized and powerful force of refugees hitting further south and establishing the Venomous Demesne.
You certainly COULD have some washed far ashore and ending up down south, but I personally think of Ohr Kaluun’s legacy as being in the Wastes and the Demesne.
It wasn’t you, it was in the 4e Player’s Guide.
I didn’t work on the 4E EPG, and it contains other statements I disagree with, such as “most of Eberron’s gnolls are the ravenous,demon-worshiping creatures of campfire stories”. Whoever wrote the tiefling description also misinterpreted an important element, saying “When the Inspired sought to wipe out unauthorized magic from Sarlona, Ohr Kaluun fell, but not before many tieflings fled to other lands.”
The fall of Ohr Kaluun predates the Inspired. Ohr Kaluun was one of the lynchpins of the Sundering – civil strife stirred up by the Quori to throw Sarlona into chaos and war. They exposed the dark practices of Ohr Kaluun which led to conflict with Khalesh and Nulakesh, and in the process exposed the Shulassakar nobles of Khalesh triggering others to strike against them, and so on and so on. The Inspired were the heroes who rose up DURING that terrible conflict and helped bring it to an end; the people saw them as divinely inspired saviors and thus embraced their rule. So it wasn’t the Inspired who destroyed Ohr Kaluun, at least not directly; it was EVERYONE ELSE. Not to mention that the Quori surely also exploited internal feuds within Ohr Kaluun, which had a lot of them.
You can go with the 4E EPG approach if you want. To me, making tieflings widespread doesn’t actually make them more interesting. If they’ve had significant true-breeding populations in rural Aundair and the Eldeen Reaches since the Sundering – well over a thousand years – then they really do just become one more monstrous race, with little mystery or reason to stand out alongside goblins and orcs and gnolls. My approach in this article makes the Venomous Demesne the lone tiefling COMMUNITY, and by making it a hidden community a) explains its lack of impact on history overall and b) preserves the mystery of the tiefling in the wider world. Meanwhile, planetouched tieflings allow them to appear anywhere and to have a justified negative reputation, as they are seen as being touched by darkness. The Demon Wastes falls between, as a place where changelings aren’t a true-breeding race but have a role in the culture.
Yeah, I haven’t exactly run with them as a tiefling community with any kind of cultural connection to Ohr Kaluun. I have treated it is a recessive trait in some human Marcher clans who have no record of their past prior to coming to the Shadow Marches. Except that their brand of Dragon Below Cult focuses on fiends. This distinguishes them from the orc/half-orc Dragon Below clans which, as we have discussed before, have a genetic predisposition toward daelkyr Dragon Below Cults.
Its too late for me to change it anyway, since my players have encountered these clans, which means it is now effectively canon for my Eberron.
Besides, the important thing is that Scott Henry confirmed that I’m not losing my mind, after all.
Excellent as always, Keith. This may be off topic, but what, if any, is the relationship between the Venemous Demesne and the Heirs of Ohr Kaluun? Given how isolated the Venemous Demesne is, the tie flings there are probably not even aware of the Heirs’ existence. But if the Demesne is or were aware, would they view them as comrades or as upstarts unworthy of the heritage of Ohr Kaluun?
For the Heirs’ part, I could see them taking great interest in the Venemous Demesne.
As noted on page 63 of Secrets of Sarlona, the Heirs of Ohr Kaluun (HoOK) are like the Cults of the Dragon Below… it’s a blanket name used to describe any individual or cabal that seeks to unearth the secrets of Ohr Kaluun or other forms of dark magic. So there could easily be a cell of the HoOK that’s made up of tieflings from the Venomous Demesne who are trying to reclaim their ancient heritage… but you can have another cell that’s made up of sociopathic skulks and another who’s a lone Syrkarn sorcerer who’s bonded with a Kaluunite artifact, and all three would be classified as “Heirs of Ohr Kaluun” – and any of those three might try to wipe out the other two, either for being “unworthy” or just to claim their treasures.
Thanks for the reply! I’m not sure why I thought of the Heirs as an organization. Maybe because I thought of them like the Order of the Emerald Claw; the one guys in Sarlona you know are always bad news.
Your writings on the Venemous Demesne make me look froward to the day the DM’s Guild lets you run free.
Maybe because I thought of them like the Order of the Emerald Claw; the one guys in Sarlona you know are always bad news.
That’s still true. Essentially the idea is that the magic of Ohr Kaluun is DANGEROUS and inherently tied to dealing with MALEFIC POWERS – so anyone who is trying to mess with it IS bad news. Even if they have good intentions, which would be rare, the idea is that it’s a foolish risk: power will corrupt, or fiends will be released.
That may raise a question: technically most of people in the Order are just nationalist that fought for their country and then became illegal for no apparent reason. So could we have good group member of the order of the emerald claw? They don’t know anything of kaius nature or vol’s plan. They are puppets wanting to do something for their ideal, maybe against kaius tyranny. They could later discover some during the campaign
You seem to forget in a long ago during 3.5 rules you wrote a response about tieflings and you had wrote up this, so it seems there actually are some Tieflings who are in Thrane who are just fine with the Silver Flame:
Most tieflings arose from the corrupted bloodlines of the nation of Ohr Kaluun in Sarlona. This culture was steeped in arcane lore and obsessed with eldritch knowledge and power, leading its citizens to enter into pacts with devils. When the Inspired conquered Sarlona, Ohr Kaluun fell, but not before many tieflings fled to other lands.
There are lines of tieflings in Khorvaire that does not trace its origins to Ohr Kaluun. The Thrane village of Rellekor has had a large population of tieflings for centuries. Tiefling children are occasionally born when Baator is coterminous to Eberron; such children, if they are not killed at birth, have difficult lives ahead of them.
Many tieflings who fled Ohr Kaluun went to Khorvaire. The largest population of tieflings founded the Demon Wastes, but tiefling populations also survive in the Shadow Marches, Droaam, the Eldeen Reaches, and even rural parts of Aundair.
There is a tiny village in western Thrane, Rellekor, where most of the residents are tieflings. Their local priest claims the people of this village are touched by the demon bound in the Silver Flame. Nonetheless these tieflings are devout followers of the Flame, and during the Last War several “silver warlocks” from this village joined the rakes of their national army.
Some tieflings follow in the traditions of their ancestors and worship devils, while others join Khyber cults or pay homage to the Dark Six. Tieflings who rebel against their past often revere the Sovereign Host or the Silver Flame, or follow various druidic sects.
You seem to forget in a long ago during 3.5 rules you wrote a response about tieflings and you had wrote up this…
This has to be 4E since it mentions Baator (which wasn’t part of the setting until 4E) and since it treats tieflings as a true-breeding race, which AFAIK was introduced in 4E. The Tiefling Lands section is primarily a cut-and-paste of the 4E EPG. More notably, while it’s 4E it predates my article in Dragon 408 about the role of Baator in Eberron, which technically IS canon; this established Baator as a demiplane, which thus doesn’t have coterminous phases. By that article, Baator’s fiends have only recently been released and its influence is only recently becoming relevant.
4E changed up a bunch of things, and I suspect I wrote this as an immediate reaction to that. As I said, I later found a place for Baator in Eberron that I am much happier with. And personally I find the idea of tieflings tied to the planes I’ve listed in this article as more compelling than tying them to Baator. But in any case, things I post on my sites aren’t canon – so use whichever ideas you prefer!
Do you still like the idea of Rellekor? I think it can suggest a lot of things. Maybe it could be used for hellbreed too. Why are they borning only in Rellekor? Since when?
I’ve just added my revised thoughts on Rellekor to the main article.
A Tiefling Reservation? Established by a “benevolent” theocratic government dominated by humans? Run by Cardinal Krozen? Who may or may not be influenced by the Shadow in the Flame? What could go wrong with THAT scenario? The story possibilities are awesome!
Where would you put it on the map?
What could go wrong with THAT scenario? The story possibilities are awesome!
Then my work here is done!
Where would you put it on the map?
It’s on the 4E map of Thrane – between the Imistil Forest and Tellyn.
I think this new Rellekor is far less charming than the original one. Still cool, but it misses the mistery. “Local priest thinks that tieflings are touched by demons trapped by the Silver Church”. Is that true? Is it a way for an Overlord to escape? Is it a way to redeem some demon, as we talk in a previous post? Why tieflings a borning ongly in Rellekor? Maybe the anser to such question could lead a whole campaign.
I think this new Rellekor is far less charming than the original one.
Anything I put here is just what I’d do in my campaign, so you’re certainly welcome to ignore it!
Why tieflings a borning ongly in Rellekor?
For me, the bigger question is Why would anyone stay in this village once it’s clear that all children will be tieflings? Generally speaking, manifest zones in which villages or cities are built have a positive effect. No one’s going to establish a village in the Gloaming when there’s perfectly good NON-cursed land right nearby. For me, the idea is that if planetouched tieflings can be born into any community it makes sense that an organization like the Church of the Silver Flame would have come up with a way to deal with them – and I prefer “create a reservation” to “hunt them down and kill them”, since as noted many times, the foundation of the Silver Flame is compassion.
With that said, you still have the point that the Church has established it and placed it in a specific location. Why? You could easily follow your idea that it’s above the prison of an overlord and the Church hopes that by placing devout tieflings there they will affect the Overlord. Alternately, you can have concerns about a Whispering Flame cell springing up – either justified, or paranoid persecution of an innocent community. Can the players get to the bottom of it?
Interesting question. Possibly it’s not that EVERY childern will be a tiefling. Just SOME tiefling will born here. Maybe the city is in a very strategic position. And people don’t want to leave the haouse of their fathers sometime… even if the fathers did a mistake. In Italy we have a strong example: the city of L’Aquile was in a strong strategic position some centuries ago. Now its position is not that important anymore. Still, the city is in a position terribly subjec to earthquakes. Maybe there is no reason to stay there anymore. But they do. even if every some years some houses crumble and people die.