Playable Races

Aug 30th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. Elves: Divided into two sub-races, Alvar and Holvar, the elves are the longest lived of all sapient races. On average they are stronger, more agile, and tougher than humans. However their endurance is less than that of even Halflings. Despite tales to the contrary, neither sub-race has fought the other in pitched battle for ten generations. In general they tend to segregate themselves, though there are several “mixing towns” that exist in their nation. Their country is ruled by Council, with representatives from any city with a population over 6,500 (13 in all). Diplomacy is handled mostly by Alvar, while internal affairs tend to be dealt with by Holvar.
  3. Alvar: Lowland elves, typically tall in stature, more heavily built than their highland cousins, shorter and more rounded ears. The best known sort of elf for their willingness to trade with just about any race, even beastmen. Their magic is focused around song and dance, and its mechanics are passed down through folklore in an unbroken chain from their earliest ancestors. Of the few half-elves ever produced the majority were from Alvar fathers. Darker skinned and haired, some are even capable of growing beards though body hair is thin if there is any at all. Coming of age involves male-female pairs venturing across the Derthalvar Desert, so named for the toll it takes on them. On average their lifespans are half a century to a century shorter than their highland cousins.
  5. Holvar: Highland elves, tall but shorter than Alvar, lightly built and nimble with long, dagger-like ears. Due to the deep forests in the highlands of Selfoss and long winter nights, their eyes tend to be larger than Alvar almost by half. They are considerably less well known than their lowland cousins, and most think of them as aloof wanderers and dark mystics. Most are fair haired with pale skin, unable to grow facial hair. Their coming of age involves male-female pairs spending three days and nights at the peak of Kroneberg, the highest peak in their land. The longest lived of the sapient races, the oldest Holvar in history lived to 936 years old. Their magic is based around lengthy rituals and the summoning of ancestral spirits to aid them, adding to many the world over viewing them as users of black spells.
  9. Halfling: The most diminutive of the sapient races, even shorter than the Dwarves. They aren't particularly strong or hardy, but are as nimble as elves and tend to be intelligent and quick-witted. The majority of Halflings work as craftsmen or administrators in governance. Their land of Havon was conquered by Man more than a thousand years ago, though the Halflings themselves were taken in well with the empire and quickly built a reputation as an industrious people. They are exempt from otherwise universal tribute, as they do not make good footmen. Halflings tend to live shorter lives than Man does, averaging around the mid-50s with the oldest in history being seventy-eight years old. Divided into Clans, many of which devote themselves to a single craft. One of two races that are incapable of using magic, relying instead on their sharp senses and reflexes to bring them through dangerous situations should they be unlucky enough to find themselves in one. Generally averse to adventure, though certain Clans ply the trades of tomb hunters and burglars as Halflings are often too light-footed to trigger many traps.
  11. Gnomes: When Olwen was conquered by Man, Gnomes were thought to simply be a different kind of Halfling and there are certainly similarities. Like Halflings, Gnomes aren't capable of using magic themselves. However the Gnomes have a strange affinity with nature spirits, which they use to perform feats that would be otherwise impossible. Gnomes are renowned for their knowledge of herblore and as healers that in many respects even surpass the elves. Outside of the Arts, Gnomes generally ply the trades of historians or linguists and most can speak several languages. Their lifespans are similar to Halflings, though their healers often outlive even humans.
  13. Man: Known by most races as “Conquering”, Man is one of two races to successfully conquer and integrate others their own society. Of the races able to use magic themselves, they have the weakest affinity even with middling mana reserves. Almost every human can use basic magic, with training, so it is common to see many middle-class people using magic for basic things like lighting fires or manifesting clean water. Any sort of higher level magic, such as the usage of combat magic, almost all requires the use of human blood as a medium. Man also possesses the most extensive trading networks, stretching from the mixing cities of Selfoss to the Goblin shanties in Orsin, and the king has even sponsored caravans to the Oni in the far east. Because of this the Kingdom has become second only to the Dwarves in wealth, much of which helps fund its military. Due to their history of conquering other nations, the two longer lived races are inherently mistrustful of Man. Their most cordial relations with species outside of their domain are, in fact, with the Orcs despite border skirmishes that happen at an alarming frequency. Their kingdom cover the majority of the larger of the Twin Continents, maintaining borders directly with the Orcs and Dwarves and their East coast with the Oni on their own island. Men are also the sole race to maintain contracts with Demonkin on an official level with the king personally contracting a guild of legal experts to keep the contracts maintained.
  15. Dwarves: The oldest race on the continent of Ranon, ruling the second largest of the countries on it from the fortress-mines of Ostrath and Gorston. Their tremendous wealth is backed by the deep mines that hold the only sources of Belli Metal and red steel. Short and thickly muscled, dwarves are some of the strongest beings in the world and have appetites to match. A common joke in the realms of man is that its impossible to tell a dwarf's sexual preference because the females look more masculine than the men. Though entirely incorrect, it likely stems from the fact that the women are just as heavily built as the men if not bearded. Most ply trades in the mines or smithies of their land, though they have a robust trading sector as well. Dwarves were the first race to encounter the Demonkin after the people of their greatest Fortress-mine, Forn Dautra, dug into the Magmatica. What ensued were the Red Wars, known to the dwarves as The Scouring War and The Containing War respectively. Due to these events, the dwarves have a bone-deep hatred of Demonkin and a long animosity with Man due to the latter's willingness to deal with their enemies along with the few wars between the races. They view the Halflings and Gnomes with pity and share cordial, if cool relations with the elves. Dwarves are the second race incapable of using magic. Though their ancient history suggests otherwise, no modern dwarf is capable of summoning a small spark of mana and the reason is unknown to all.
  17. Orcs: Orcs, or Oroksein, are rulers of the third and smallest country on Ranon: Orsin. Rather than a unified force under a single banner, it is composed of four large War Tribes and larger numbers of vassals under them. In times of crisis or great conquest they do come together under a single leader who is always named, or perhaps titled, Calamity. This has led to, in the realms of Men, groups of orcs being referred to themselves as “calamities” whether it is a raiding party or a large assault. Despite some beliefs to the contrary, the orcs have only fought one proper war against Man; that is as one tribe under a Calamity. Border raids are occasional, a side effect of the disparate nature of command in their lands, but it is rare that is escalates beyond small incidents. To the surprise of the dwarves, who hold a longstanding enmity with the orcs for their own skirmishes, Man maintains good relations with the major War Tribes and even trading relations with many of the smaller ones. Unlike the elves, with highly distinct differences between the Alvar and Holvar, the differences between War Tribes are comparatively small. Near all orcs share the same pantheon of gods, with rites that an uninformed outsider wouldn't be able to tell apart. The magic of orcs is shamanistic in nature, relying a great deal on herbal remedies for healing and bodily effects, and blood sacrifice to lay things like curses on enemies or summoning the power of their spirits or gods. Though they do little innovating, they readily adopt new technologies when they acquire them, especially if they have a passionate chief. Orcs are next in stature only to Oni, being on average seven feet tall. Their faces are distinctive, with the males having two jutting tusks from their lower jaw and the females having a thickly ridged brow, but otherwise resembling gigantic Men. In general the tribes hold no special enmity or relations with other races, being willing to trade and fight with almost anyone in equal measure.
  19. Goblins: A race long conquered by the Orcs, they fulfill a similar but far more specialized niche of administration like the Halfings in the Kingdom of Men. While not enjoying the same measure of treatment as Halfings and Gnomes, they are hardly ill treated in their own right. They are a clever race, skilled in craft and machining as much as with a pen. The uneducated among them tend towards being farmers or work in the rear line positions with the standing armies of the War Tribes. Their conquest predates the expansion era of Men and has even passed from the memories of the elves, so long it has been. The Goblins have stories of their own time before the integration, but it is thought to be heavily tainted by the influence of the orcs themselves and can hardly be taken as abject fact. Goblin shamans have adopted the system of the orcs and are sought out more often if a healer is required than orcs themselves.
  21. Demonkin: The first recorded stories of this race come from the elves, despite no current sightings of the Demonkin in recent history. As the tales go, the elves fought a great war, their first unified front, again them and drove them first below ground and then from the continent as a whole. From this though it can be thought that they are a truly ancient kind. They disappear from the historical record, until the Red Wars against the dwarves. Aside from the extensive Magmatica, the true breadth of which no one knows, the only place Demonkin reside that they also rule is the Fortress-mine of Forn Dautra. This exclave also demarcates the northernmost point of the borders of Men. By nature Demonkin are incorporeal entities and must sign contracts in order to gain a physical form. They are happy to sign a contract with just about any being, and often a term of possession is stipulated in exchange for any number of things. Those possessed retain much of their appearance, but grow a crown of horns around their heads. Length depends on the power of the Demonkin, with the Devil's own horns extending an astounding eighteen inches. Forn Dautra, and by extension the dominion of the Demonkin, is the sole place to get Black Ore: a powerful and expensive reagent for alchemy and magic. The magical potential of Demonkin is only restricted by that of their host, as Demonkin are beings of almost pure mana. Warlocks of Men, for instance, are incredibly powerful in the spells they use but limited by the supply of their own blood. An elven Demonkin, incredibly rare in their own right, would only be limited by the capacity of mana that can flow through their body itself. Demonkin are capable of breeding, but their offspring are no different to the same of whatever race they possess. The Demonkin themselves are beings spontaneously generated in the depths of the Magmatica by overdense pockets of Black Mana.
  23. Oni: A mysterious race from the Great Island east of Ranon. The most massive of all races, Oni were first thought to be the Giants of ancient fable by the Men that first encountered them. The most recent race contacted, little is known about them and their society but for a few things. Their Great Island is ruled by a king, called the Yama, but the lords are left mostly to their own bidding. They are thought to be deeply religious, and the few Oni that own land and live in the Kingdom of Men decorate their homes with shrines to strange gods. The stature of an Oni is second to no other, averaging eight feet in height at the crown of their heads. Rising from their foreheads, or sometimes above their ears, is a pair of curving horns that further add to their stature. They are often seen carrying a large, iron-studded cudgel and a short (for them) sword at the side. According to many that come to the shores of Ranon, they are young and come to prove themselves as great warriors and take home wealth and honour for their houses. Oni are well respected mercenaries and adventurers, but are rare in appearance on the mainland; usually serving under a noble house or on a lord contract for delving.
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