The Garden of Forlorn Hope
With all due respect to Tolkien, DnD standard or RAW. This is my own game and mine own world I’m trying to not regurgitate plot and atmosphere from those books – thus, I’ve renamed a lot of races and included others with new spin for each. Do not be surprise if these races lack the trigger-points common to other works of fantasy. In counter point, I’m also not trying to reinvent the wheel or be different just to be different – there WILL be more than modicum of the same old, same old.
Despite the preponderance of Humans which occupy the current known world, many current races and race relations refuse to suffer from a human-centric point of view. In most lands, civilized or not, calling an Ogrun a half-orc is done at one’s own peril. It is generally considered to be a derogatory epithet to use any human comparison commentary regarding race – at least by non-humans. Similarly, it is also considered a major breech of social etiquette to bring up the widely held non-human belief that humans – in one manner or another – were responsible for the cataclysm.
Barring the word ‘dominant’, Humans are the abundant species that any character will come in contact with precluding trips well beyond this continent or this plane of existence. Despite the positively indecent rate of human growth, the nigh immortality of most Elves and lack of premature death, via war and the like – it would seem logical there would be more Elves than humans. Or.. it could be surmised that the Elven population might be comparable to Humanity. Bitterly (to some) this is not the case, Elves are a dying race it nearly unique for the race to be seen in more than single pairs. There is little supposition and no explanation of why this is so.
StoneFolk (dwarves) have fallen far from the fabled heights of their past, this is undoubtedly due to the loss their homelands since the Reshaping. Refusing to be backward facing, the Dwarves of Arkos have tied their future to the rising star of Humanity. As such, dwarves are the most populous of the non human races. Nearly every human settlement (village sized or larger) will contain a dwarf of house and guild – if not a family or household of the breed. Dwarven communities are distinct not by just quality, the proportion of their buildings have significant width rather than height. The ratio often makes humans slightly discomfited all too aware of the comparatively lower ceiling. Not that such buildings are shorter inside, per say, but its common for humans to feel the lack of space above their heads.
Gnomes are in much more common straits – as the lost Dwarven empire, their traditional underground dens of their past are likewise gone, but they are not nearly as accepted as Dwarves. The ‘Yutani’ that now propagate and maintain their cultural traditions are those who were out adventuring when the Great Cataclysm happened. Away from the labs and archives; this race has become sailors and traders far more comfortable journeying than with staying in any single place. A common sailor tale claims the current source of the Yutani culture exists on an Archipelago to the far east.
Once called a half breed, Half-Elves held a position of precarious balance between two mighty empires. Human and Elf. After a thousand years of marriages amongst themselves they now call themselves to be a breed apart. According to human folk tale, iKKos now hold the fey connection once attributed by humanity to Elves. iKKosi are professional traders, and travelers more at home in caravans and convoys. Of all of the humans in the current society they have most desire to take part in the more savage or tribal end of the spectrum – and thus are often welcome at the fires of the Gypsies or in the halls of the Norn.
Unique amongst the races of this ‘new’ world – the other once common half breed race born of Man, Half-Orcs have an unusually strong bond with the iKKos. Once this race bore little similarity to its human racial parent and were identified more with its monstrous one. Leaving the half breed pairing distinctly outside of civilized society of any other race. Ogrun share a ‘half-breed’ history of petty cruelty and cultural struggle with iKKos and while they are now recognized as ‘legitamate’ discrete races – they still share a kinship with one another. But their path to this plateau is fraught with its own savage mythos of Giants and Magic and War.
These races are known of much in the same way monstrous humanoids are treated of in most other published works. They are not to be used as PC races and the specifics of their society/culture/history tend to be presumed, rather than known. What is publicly known of these races is what is heard of during tales told at fire circles and inns. Stories told by veterans of border wars, by Bards holding patrons at inns in rapt attention, and by explorers and adventurers told to each other in festivals across the countryside.
Atterian – Reputed mentalists from beyond the Far East, light blue in color and hairless.
Goliath – The so called “half giants” occasionally sited in gladiatorial pits (a Blood sport) found more frequently in Frontier towns.
Kosh – A lizard-like, and “undoubtedly extinct”, ancient race that once ruled within the jungles of N’dongo; depicted in art.
Aurek – Supposedly, a savage race of shape-shifters and horse tamers among the Tarkir natives on the Sea of Grass.
Leonin – A fabled race of angelic bipedal tigers who turned away from the Vanished Gods. Now bound to this world as Demons – called Rakshasa.
Eisengrim – A culture of Wolfweres calling themselves the Imperium. Yet another fanciful tale of cultures beyond the South West ocean. Used in some tales to satirize the noble houses and foreign policy of the Central empire.
Upyrian – Common ghost story schlock. A race of ‘thinking’ dead told to scare children into good behavior.