Humans

These were the stories of a restless people who long ago took to the seas and rivers in longboats, first to pillage and terrorize, then to settle. Yet there was an energy, a love of adventure, that sang from every page. Long into the night Liriel read, lighting candle after precious candle.

She’d never given much thought to humans, but these stories fascinated her. In these yellowed pages were tales of bold heroes, strange and fierce animals, mighty primitive gods, and a magic that was part and fabric of that distant land.

In the reckonings of most worlds, humans are the youngest of the common races, late to arrive on the world scene and short-lived in comparison to dwarves, elves, and dragons. Perhaps it is because of their shorter lives that they strive to achieve as much as they can in the years they are given. Or maybe they feel they have something to prove to the elder races, and that’s why they build their mighty empires on the foundation of conquest and trade. Whatever drives them, humans are the innovators, the achievers, and the pioneers of the worlds. Continue reading “Humans”

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Half-Orc

he warchief Mhurren roused himself from his sleeping-furs and his women and pulled a short hauberk of heavy steel rings over his thick, well-muscled torso. He usually rose before most of his warriors, since he had a strong streak of human blood in him, and he found the daylight less bothersome than most of his tribe did. Among the Bloody Skulls, a warrior was judged by his strength, his fierceness, and his wits. Human ancestry was no blemish against a warrior—provided he was every bit as strong, enduring, and bloodthirsty as his full-blooded kin. Half-orcs who were weaker than their orc comrades didn’t last long among the Bloody Skulls or any other orc tribe for that matter. But it was often true that a bit of human blood gave a warrior just the right mix of cunning, ambition, and self-discipline to go far indeed, as Mhurren had. He was master of a tribe that could muster two thousand spears, and the strongest chief in Thar.

Whether united under the leadership of a mighty warlock or having fought to a standstill after years of conflict, orc and human tribes sometimes form alliances, joining forces into a larger horde to the terror of civilized lands nearby. When these alliances are sealed by marriages, half-orcs are born. Some half-orcs rise to become proud chiefs of orc tribes, their human blood giving them an edge over their full-blooded orc rivals. Some venture into the world to prove their worth among humans and other more civilized races. Many of these become adventurers, achieving greatness for their mighty deeds and notoriety for their barbaric customs and savage fury.

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Goliath

At the highest mountain peaks — far above the slopes where trees grow and where the air is thin and the frigid winds howl — dwell the reclusive goliaths. Few folk can claim to have seen a goliath, and fewer still can claim friendship with them. Goliaths wander a bleak realm of rock, wind, and cold. Their bodies look as if they are carved from mountain stone and give them great physical power. Their spirits take after the wandering wind, making them nomads who wander from peak to peak. Their hearts are infused with the cold regard of their frigid realm, leaving each goliath with the responsibility to earn a place in the tribe or die trying.

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Half-elf

Flint squinted into the setting sun. He thought he saw the figure of a man striding up the path. Standing, Flint drew back into the shadow of a tall pine to see better. The man’s walk was marked by an easy grace—an elvish grace, Flint would have said; yet the man’s body had the thickness and tight muscles of a human, while the facial hair was definitely humankind’s. All the dwarf could see of the man’s face beneath a green hood was tan skin and a brownish-red beard. A longbow was slung over one shoulder and a sword hung at his left side. He was dressed in soft leather, carefully tooled in the intricate designs the elves loved. But no elf in the world of Krynn could grow a beard
. . . no elf, but . . .

“Tanis?” said Flint hesitantly as the man neared.

“The same.” The newcomer’s bearded face split in a wide grin. He held open his arms and, before the dwarf could stop him, engulfed Flint in a hug that lifted him off the ground. The dwarf clasped his old friend close for a brief instant, then, remembering his dignity, squirmed and freed himself from the half-elf’s embrace.

Walking in two worlds but truly belonging to neither, half-elves combine what some say are the best qualities of their elf and human parents: human curiosity, inventiveness, and ambition tempered by the refined senses, love of nature, and artistic tastes of the elves. Some half-elves live among humans, set apart by their emotional and physical differences, watching friends and loved ones age while time barely touches them. Others live with the elves, growing restless as they reach adulthood in the timeless elven realms, while their peers continue to live as children. Many half-elves, unable to fit into either society, choose lives of solitary wandering or join with other misfits and outcasts in the adventuring life. Continue reading “Half-elf”

Tiefling

“But you do see the way people look at you, devil’s child.”

Those black eyes, cold as a winter storm, were staring right into her heart and the sudden seriousness in his voice jolted her.

“What is it they say?” he asked. “One’s a curiosity, two’s a conspiracy—”

“Three’s a curse,” she finished. “You think I haven’t heard that rubbish before?”

“I know you have.” When she glared at him, he added, “It’s not as if I’m plumbing the depths of your mind, dear girl. That is the burden of every tiefling. Some break under it, some make it the millstone around their neck, some revel in it.” He tilted his head again, scrutinizing her, with that wicked glint in his eyes. “You fight it, don’t you? Like a little wildcat, I wager. Every little jab and comment just sharpens your claws.”

To be greeted with stares and whispers, to suffer violence and insult on the street, to see mistrust and fear in every eye: this is the lot of the tiefling. And to twist the knife, tieflings know that this is because a pact struck generations ago infused the essence of Asmodeus—overlord of the Nine Hells—into their bloodline. Their appearance and their nature are not their fault but the result of an ancient sin, for which they and their children and their children’s children will always be held accountable.

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Halfling

egis the halfling, the only one of his kind for hundreds of miles in any direction, locked his fingers behind his head and leaned back against the mossy blanket of the tree trunk. Regis was short, even by the standards of his diminutive race, with the fluff of his curly brown locks barely cresting the three-foot mark, but his belly was amply thickened by his love of a good meal, or several, as the opportunities presented themselves. The crooked stick that served as his fishing pole rose up above him, clenched between two of his toes, and hung out over the quiet lake, mirrored perfectly in the glassy surface of Maer Dualdon.

The comforts of home are the goals of most halflings’ lives: a place to settle in peace and quiet, far from marauding monsters and clashing armies; a blazing fire and a generous meal; fine drink and fine conversation. Though some halflings live out their days in remote agricultural communities, others form nomadic bands that travel constantly, lured by the open road and the wide horizon to discover the wonders of new lands and peoples. But even these wanderers love peace, food, hearth, and home, though home might be a wagon jostling along a dirt road or a raft floating downriver.

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Gnomes

kinny and flaxen-haired, his skin walnut brown and his eyes a startling turquoise, Burgell stood half as tall as Aeron and had to climb up on a stool to look out the peephole. Like most habitations in Oeble, that particular tenement had been built for humans, and smaller residents coped with the resulting awkwardness as best they could.

But at least the relative largeness of the apartment gave Burgell room to pack in all his gnome-sized gear. The front room was his workshop, and it contained a bewildering miscellany of tools: hammers, chisels, saws, lockpicks, tinted lenses, jeweler’s loupes, and jars of powdered and shredded ingredients for casting spells. A fat gray cat, the mage’s familiar, lay curled atop a grimoire. It opened its eyes, gave Aeron a disdainful yellow stare, then appeared to go back to sleep.

A constant hum of busy activity pervades the warrens and neighborhoods where gnomes form their close-knit communities. Louder sounds punctuate the hum: a crunch of grinding gears here, a minor explosion there, a yelp of surprise or triumph, and especially bursts of laughter. Gnomes take delight in life, enjoying every moment of invention, exploration, investigation, creation, and play.

While this peculiar race has not a singular place they call home, they are often found in bristling cities and high energy communities. These small folk have a particular love for creating new inventions and advancing the technological era. For this reason, the highest placed engineers and inventors in any dominion are often these busybodies, looking to make a mark on the world with their, sometimes overthought and ridiculous, inventions.

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Elves

“I have never imagined such beauty existed,”  Goldmoon said softly. The day’s march had been difficult, but the reward at the end was beyond their dreams.The companions stood on a high cliff over the fabled city of Qualinost.

Four slender spires rose from the city’s corners like glistening spindles, their brilliant white stone marbled with shining silver. Graceful arches, swooping from spire to spire, soared through the air. Crafted by ancient dwarven metalsmiths, they were strong enough to hold the weight of an army, yet they appeared so delicate that a bird lighting on them might overthrow the balance. These glistening arches were the city’s only boundaries; there was no wall around Qualinost. The elven city opened its arms lovingly to the wilderness.

Elves are a magical people of otherworldly grace, living in the world but not entirely part of it. They live in places of ethereal beauty, in the midst of ancient forests or in silvery spires glittering with faerie light, where soft music drifts through the air and gentle fragrances waft on the breeze. Elves love nature and magic, art and artistry, music and poetry, and the good things of the world.

These faerylike folk are often found in the three main forest of this world, whereas the Woodelves live in the Málos Fanwa, The Eryn Tawa and the swamps of the Marsla Lukor. The Elves of the High-elf subspecies are more commonly found in the south-western Island of Lieraad and in the small kingdom of Uraad.

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Dwarves

Yer late, elf!” came the rough edge of a familiar voice. Bruenor Battlehammer walked up the back of his dead foe, disregarding the fact that the heavy monster lay on top of his elven friend. In spite of the added discomfort, the dwarf’s long, pointed, often-broken nose and gray-streaked though still-fiery red beard came as a welcome sight to Drizzt. “Knew I’d find ye in trouble if I came out an’ looked for ye!”

Kingdoms rich in ancient grandeur, halls carved into the roots of mountains, the echoing of picks and hammers in deep mines and blazing forges, a commitment to clan and tradition, and a burning hatred of goblins and orcs—these common threads unite all dwarves.

In the northern parts of these lands the treacherous mountains of earthly riches are found, these mountains are home to the stonekin. The races that consider themselves among this particular group can also be referred to as dwarves. The dwarves have often settled down inside caves, building their famed cities of stone. While some dwarves are less conclusive than others. They will find their mind is more at ease, the closer they are to the earth. Still, some dwarves find themselves seeking for adventure or new opportunities to earn fame for their clans.

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Dragonborns

Her father stood on the first of the three stairs that led down from the portal, unmoving. The scales of his face had grown paler around the edges, but Clanless Mehen still looked as if he could wrestle down a dire bear himself. His familiar well-worn armor was gone, replaced by violet-tinted scale armor with bright silvery tracings. There was a blazon on his arm as well, the mark of some foreign house. The sword at his back was the same, though, the one he had carried since even before he had found the twins left in swaddling at the gates of Arush Vayem.

For all her life, Farideh had known that reading her father’s face was a skill she’d been fortunate to learn. A human who couldn’t spot the shift of her eyes or Havilar’s would certainly see only the indifference of a dragon in Clanless Mehen’s face. But the shift of scales, the arch of a ridge, the set of his eyes, the gape of his teeth—her father’s face spoke volumes.

But every scale of it, this time, seemed completely still—the indifference of a dragon, even to Farideh.

Born of dragons, as their name proclaims, the dragonborn walk proudly through a world that greets them with fearful incomprehension. Shaped by draconic gods or the dragons themselves, dragonborn originally hatched from dragon eggs as a unique race, combining the best attributes of dragons and humanoids. Some dragonborn are faithful servants to true dragons, others form the ranks of soldiers in great wars, and still others find themselves adrift, with no clear calling in life.

Dragonborns are often found near the nest of one of the six great dragons of the world. Furthermore, they often are seen as guardians and protectors of the lore and knowledge of the continent. Having an insatiable thirst to fill their famous libraries with new books and scrolls. Their draconic ancestry brings also some great downfalls with them. They are often considered very proud people and they tend to prefer to be wrong about something rather than to swallow their pride and admit they made a mistake. They are easily entranced by pretty jewellery and shiny objects. Some stories tell of dragonborns that are crazy hoarders with almost as big of a pile of shiny objects as any dragon would have. This folk is highly-respected and are often asked as the neutral party to asses any conflict.

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The Aasimar

I saw her, wreathed in wings of pure light, her eyes blazing with the fury of the gods. The bone devils stopped in their tracks, shielding their faces. Her blade, now a brand of light, swept once, twice, three times. The Devils head hit the ground, one after another. And thus we learned an aasimar traveled in our ragtag band.

-Geldon Parl, Of the Tiranny of Dragons

Aasimar bear within their souls the light of the heavens. They are humans decended with a touch of power of Mount Celestia. The divine realm of many lawful good deities. Aasimar are borned champions of the gods, their births hailed as blessed events. They are people of otherwordly visages. With lumnious features that reveal their celestial heritage.

Carrying godly blood inside them, an Aasimar is a very rare occurrence in the world. The Aasimars that descended from a particular Deity often carry their mark or a physical similarity. Because of the rarity of their existence, they often are regarded with enormous praise to those that know of their ancestors. Unfortunately, not all Aasimars like this praise. Though they are very charismatic beings and because of their bloodline are often very wise people with a knack for religious knowledge. The lifespan of such a being is often considered very long, some records tell us that some of these beings can get as old as over the thousands of years. The last known Aasimar is noted to be currently living in Markandûhl. However, if this is true has yet to be determined.

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