Humans come from so many different culures that it would be impossible to sum up all their deeds and nations in anything less than a few pages. They are found on every corner of the continent (except perhaps the deep Wilderlands in the west or the remote areas of the Endless Mountains), and are possibly the most populous race in the world.
It is said that long ago the elves were a single race, but that is just a distant memory. In some ancient conflict, a great debate over the direction of their society arose, and it was split in twain. One one side were the high elves chose to practice arcane magic, revere the Seldarine, and focus on the arts in their society. On the other side were the wood elves, who chose to use the power of the earth as their magic, revere their own nature dieties, and further attune themselves with nature.
After time, futher segregation occured as some wood elves even more fanatical to the forces of nature and more disdainful of 'civilized' society went deeper into the ancient forests and became the wild elves. Similarly, the high elven nobility for a time was forbidden from marrying those of lower social status and they became the grey elves. At one point, a sect of high elves discovered the secrets of a dark powerful magic, but were cast out and fled into the deepest, darkest woodlands to practice their baleful art. They became the dark elves.
These days, the line is essentialy drawn between the high elves and wood elves, where bitter emnity persists. The dark elves are but a rumor to most other elves. Grey elves are a dying race, their bloodlines melding back with the high elves. Wild elves are as friendly to wood elves as they are between other tribes of their own kind, and vice versa.
Other elven subraces are rumored to exist. There is said to be a strange conclave of winged elves deep in the endless mountains. A race of feral shapechanger elves is said to raom the countrysides all over the world. The ghostly appiritions reported to haunt the Black Pines are said to be no spirits of the dead, but a strange race of elves. Deep under the sea is said to live a strange aquatic race of elves. Perhaps even more varieties lurk in the far corners of this world.
Dwarves inhabit nearly every mountain range in the world. The common hill dwarves are said to be said the first race (at least the first one to make their home on the surface world). Many strange incidents in history have created new subraces though. Long ago a nation of dwarves managed to be stranded in the Waelar Islands, where few mountains exist. They learned to adapt and are now a race of boisterous athletes who built stone huts across their lands, and are now known as island dwarves.
Elsewhere, another dwarven nation allied itself with the lost empire of Sleigard. The dwarves emulated their human compatriates and integrated themselves in their society. When that empire crumbled, the dwarves flad back into the mountains, but they had changed both culturaly and physicaly, and are now a race of honorable crusaders.
In the northern reaches of the Endless Mountains lies a great valley where a race of arctic dwarves live. Unfortunately, their race is often inslaved by the nearby yakfolk. Other more secretive subraces exist deep below the surface. Murderous Duergar rule much of the deep caverns of the world, though the red-haired deep dwarves hold more friendly territories and a mysterious earth-worshipping race of dwarves is said to live at greater depths than any other race. There is also said to be a strange race of primative dwarves in the mostly unexplored islands far to the East.
All recorded gnome subraces originate from four different locations in the world, and each one is stranger than the next. Most gnomes in the western lands originate from the Gnomespires, where the residents are industrious tinkerers. The gnome city-state of Blomeport at the base of the Hyperion Mountains is home to a race of gnomes with a close affinity to the air element. Deep in the Ancient Forest lives a race of nature-loving forest gnomes. Far to the East lives a strange serious-minded grey-skinned race of gnomes on the island of Lazalo.
While halflings are rather nomadic, they are rarely found in the eastern lands and have no permanent settlements. In the west however, they are rather common, particularly in human lands. Their only real kingdom is Perenia in the north, but there are large settlements of them in Fenmarch, Lithila, and Vendaria. The most remarkable group of halflings (remarkable enough for them to be considered their own subrace) are the spellkin, who long ago fled from the dark lords during the Age of Shadow into the Anceinf Forest, where they were met by the elves of Tae’Anviavar, who taught them the arcane arts. These halflings took so well to the ways of magic that it became part of their blood, and they are rather remarkable spellcasters.
The tribes of orcs are generaly split into two parts: the orcs of the West and the orcs of the East. Those in the west are dull of wit but remarkably strong. Those in the east are slightly smarter and less strong, but compared to most other races, they are still dumb brutes. While the orcs of the west have green skin and slightly porcine features, the orcs of the east have grey skin and have decidedly more lupine features.
In the west, the orcs have long been a threat to the many civilized kingdoms, and became particularly prevalent in the Age of Shadow, where they were frequently used and bred as troops. These days, they are still rather common in Lorgoth and the western Coldspires.
The orcs of the East are often used as mercenaries by those with evil intent, though they are sometimes independant-minded enough to establish their own places of power such as the now-scattered kingdom of Chokun and the floating fortress of Margul. They are frequently found in the employ of the ogre magi of Xan-Chu.
Goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears can be found in nearly every wilderness where easy prey can be found. For the most part, the tribes of goblins and bugbears are very similar, but much variation occurs between hobgoblin tribes. One strange race of green-skinned hobgoblins living in the black pines worships the dark nature god, Shunta Warak’in. Another red-skinned race lives around a volcanic area in the western gnomespires and is said to have blood of fire. Yet another tribe of hobgoblins serves the Xan-Chu and many of them have been trained as weilders of the ogre magi’s black powder weapons.
Much like orcs, ogres fall into one of two types: the hulking, dumb ogres of the west, and the more intelligent, better organised “ogre magi” of the east. The ogres of the west are only as much of a nuisance as orcs, albiet much tougher (though thankfuly a bit rarer). The ogres of the east, however combine both great physical strength with great magical and mental power. During the later days of the Age of Shadow, ogre magi from the eastern reaches of the Endless Mountains started to become more than a nuisance to the borderlands of Shen and slowly becan to capture cities, one by one. Now the Xan-Chu ogre empire sits atop the ruins of what was once northwestern Shen. The ogre magi often use their stupider western brethren as minions. Rumor has it that the original breed of western ogres was once more intelligent and ever stronger than what they are today, and the current ogres were a race bred as menial workers by some dark warlord or perhaps the ogre magi.
There are many different breeds of lizardfolk to be found across the known world. Popular lore has it that they came from a land far to the east which would explain their greater variety and numbers in the far islands. The most common variety of lizardfolk is the marsh-dwelling vaguely iguanalike race that lives in many swamplands in the western lands, most notably in the flooded wood. The rakshasa lord of the Iremarsh is said to have bred a race of powerful black-scaled lizardfolk. The most common variety of lizardfolk in the far islands are the iguanids, who are often either proficient swimmers or climbers, depending on the environs they live in. Also in the far islands are the Geckonids (called Gek by the local human population), a friendly and colorful race who live on the Isle of Orchids. On the isle of Kodoma live the large and thuroughly evil Varanids. In the sands of the Bedu-Wadi live a skinklike race. Also rumored to exist in the Gondek jungle are crocodile-like creatures and a small, stealthy race of lizardfolk.
Distant relatives of the many varieties of lizardfolk are the troglodytes, whose xenophobic attitudes and powerful musk make many thankful that they stick to caverns deep below the surface lands. They do however have mastery over the art of fashioning weapons from stone.
An even more distant race of reptilian creatures are the kobolds. Their radical differences from most lizardfolk races lead many to speculate that they are in fact not related, but some sort of perversion of dragonkind. In the Fire Peaks in the Wilderlands of the West are a nation of red-scaled kobolds who were once ruled by a powerful red dragon. The normal brown-scaled variety of kobold are found nearly everywhere else.
The original minotaur race was said to have been created by some Pre-Tibernian lord in ages past. They now live in great caver-like settlements deep under the surface world. They are a thurougly evil race of beasts, but one strange faction of minotaurs once journeyed to the surface world and emerged in a great valley deep in the Endless Mountains. There, they turned to the path of good and learned the ways of eastern martial arts. This moon-worshipping race with a great musical culture is now known as the Loouhron.
Another minotaur-like race, the yak folk have a powerful fortress in the northern Endless Mountains from which they both maraud their distant Loouhron cousins and enslave the nearby arctic dwarves.
This page © 2005 Dan Woodward