Being the largest kingdom in Paradigm, the Western Empire boasts a diverse range of intelligent beings.
The Mannish RacesEdit
The humans of the Western Empire are exceptionally hardy and strong. The males average six feet tall and 200 pounds, with women being only slightly shorter, at five foot eight and 130 pounds.
All Imperial men are seen as haughty, arrogant, and abrasive by other cultures, regardless of whether or not the individual Westerner actually is.
Imperial Men make up the greatest number of Men of the Western Empire. Imperials live their lives in the major cities and towns, and have diverse professions, occupations, and trade skills. Southern Imperial Men have fair skins with dark brown or black hair and eyes. Northern Imperial Men have fairer skin with blonde hair and green or blue eyes. Western Imperial Men tend to be swarthy and tanned, with blonde hair and blue or green eyes, and Eastern Imperial Men tend toward much daarker skins, eyes, and hair. Whilst all Men speak their own regional dialects, they also all to a one speak Imperial Common, the trade language that encompasses all of Paradigm.
Urban Men are Men that spend their lives living within and nearby all of the major cities of the Western Empire. All in all Urban Men tend to be happier, more prosperous, and wealthier than their rural cousins.
Rural Men eschew large cities and towns and dwell is small villages, towns, and hamlets far from the frantic on-the-go lifestyles of Urban Men. They tend to be much more laid back than Urban Men, and live life at a much slower pace. Rural Men are the farmers, woodsmen, fisherfolk, and herders of the Empire.
The Fae RacesEdit
The Western Empire is home to countless Fae races, but only a very small percentage of these creatures interact with others.
Children of Laughter: The Pizkie
The Pizkie are the most common Fae found in the Western Empire. They tend to make their habitations away from human civilizations, but also many do dwell with humans just for the sheer fun of seeing what those strange giant children will do next. The Pizkie were created by Asalla, the goddess of humor and music.
They are the smallest of all the Fae species. Men stand five foot five inches tall, women range around five feet tall. They are slender by the standards of Men, with male Pizkie weighing 125 pounds and females 100 pounds. They have flawless nut brown skins, grey or green eyes, and white, silver, or grey hair often worn in cornrows and decorated with pretty baubles.
Pizkie are well loved by their creator and have been blessed with great abilities. They cannot be moved by disease or illness and they do not scar. They are truly immortal, only dying by violence or when they choose to leave the world. They have perfect balance; a pizkie cannot trip, stumble, or fall and they can run across any surface without fear of falling. They have been seen running along taught ropes, thin tree limbs, and even across water. They can see at night as if it were midday. Like all Fae pizkie do not require sleep, and suffer terrible damage and injury when they come into direct contact with cast iron.
The Erendiquel: Creatures of myth and legend to most Men because of how rarely seen they are, the Noble Elves of the Western Empire almost never venture away from their own settlements. Every so often a group of travelers or a child lost in the woods will be escorted to safety by one of these beautiful beings, but the number of Men that have seen a Noble Fae in the past century could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
The Sidhe: Popularly considered the messengers of the Fae, it is true that the Sidhe do act as sort of a postal system between the Fae races, but to call them mailmen is insulting and offensive. Unlike the Pizkie, the Sidhe are tall by Mannish standards, nearly seven feet for males and six feet for females. They are all blonde and breathtaking in their beauty.
The Masoquendi:Creatures defined by their beauty as often as they are maligned by the nickname they despise so much, the Masoquendi-or Gargoyles-are mysterious and secretive Fae that dwell on high mountain peaks, using the natural terrain to deter visitors. Long ago, the Masoquendi were very social creatures given to trade and exploration but their eerie appearance and secretive ways soon isolated them. While not considered an evil or wrong-doing race the Masoquendi are the victims of fear inspired rumors which have left them less than pleased with other societies.
Like so many other evil creatures in the world, the Harrigan were created by the vile god Dalamar in mockery of Men. Combining the traits of humans and ogres, Harrigan were once the worst enemies of the human species. They look identical to human beings, but are tremendously strong and have two rows of razor sharp teeth.
-As written by the Scribe Dune Celebdorn-
Long ago when the earth was young, ages before human kind had entered the world, there were the Fae. The Fae were creatures of beauty and moonlight, dancers under the eye of the moon. They relished the air, and the night sky, and sang praises in silver voices to the stars.
Woe their innocence! For when Dalamar came to them in fair shape they greeted him with song, and gifts, and friendship; never knowing their danger. And Dalamar danced under the moon with them, and for them. He spoke to them in words only they could understand. He used them, and lied to them, and in their innocence to them he was just another Fae. And so they were snared.
No longer did the Fae dance for the joy of the moonlight, they danced for him. No longer did their voices of silk and honey flow forth in honor of the moon, but only for him. And when the other gods came to chain and bind Dalamar and banish him from the world the fae took up arms and fought for him.
So they were cursed by the World Tree, cursed to never again know the joy of daylight or have the company of their fellow races. Their skins became as night, their hair became as the moonlight, and their eyes burned with the rage and hate they felt for the world.
So it was that the Fae, once the most beautiful of all the World Tree's creations became the Spriggan, the embodiment of hate; they that wish to cloak the Earth in a forever darkness and rule it as their lords and masters until the day that they can once again see Dalamar return. The they will worship at his feet, rejoice in the screams of the tortured, and bathe in the blood of the innocent.
The Small FolkEdit
Without a doubt the most beautiful creatures found within the Western Empire are the Mattimeo, colloquially called Matti, halflings, or the wee people by other races. With cherubic faces and perfect body symmetry the Mattimeo are the smallest of the cultures. They have fine, slightly stocky builds with good muscle tone and minimal body fat. Males stand 3' 5" tall and females stand 3' 0" tall. Both sexes range from 50 to 55 pounds. Mattimeo have olive toned skins with hair color ranging from light blonde to black. They have flawless complexions and universally have amber colored eyes which shine faintly in the dark. They never wear shoes, as the soles of their feet are tough and durable, equivalent to treated leather.
Mattimeo are extremely resilient to the effects of magic, poisons, and disease. They are more resilient to the effects of hostile environments then most other species and they are all but immune to fear. They can become nervous or uneasy as most other species can but they are extremely resilient to magical or psionic forms of fear inducement. They have superb hearing and can see in even total darkness as if it were the afternoon.
The Mattimeo are famous around the continent for their food. As a species they have a rich and wonderful tradition in the culinary arts. Every Mattimeo learns to cook, and their ability to transform simple, fresh ingredients into solid warm comfort food puts them in high demand as chefs and professional cooks. The Mattimeo are more then happy to share their culinary mastery with everyone, and it is often said that there is no home cooking more satisfying then Mattimeo home cooking.
When not living in human or elvish settlements the Mattimeo live in beautiful pastoral areas, where they build underground dwellings called smioles. They are a very industrious people, spending their days in horticulture, farming, and spending time together. They like to spend their evenings being lazy, smoking pipes and regaling each other with fantastic tales of chivalry and heroics. They often marry humans or elves, though sadly such unions cannot produce offspring.
Because of their sheer physical beauty, Mattimeo are celebrated as models for artists and poets.
Solid, strong, worth of respect, and fierce are only a few of the words used to describe the Nain, or the dwarves of the Western Empire. The Nain have a tremendously long history, being one of the oldest races in existence.
Nain are stocky and compact, with solid bodies and notable muscle masses. Males stand five feet tall and weight 150 pounds, women stand 4' 5" tall and weigh 130 pounds. They have Ruddy complexions, with red, brown or black hair and dark eyes. They are well known for having tremendous endurance, capable of remaining active for five days before needing sleep, and even then require only six hours.
Nain clothing is always utilitarian, with little thought given to using clothing as a means of looking appealing. Men prefer thick trousers, shirts, and jackets with heavy soled boots. They are fond of colorful hats and hoods. Female Nain tend to dress the same way, but sometimes don more feminine dresses and skirts if the occasion calls for it.
Nain build their utilitarian but beautiful societies in narrow gulleys or ravines, carving structures and dwellings right into the rock face of each cliff and spanning the distances with beautifully wrought stone overpasses or stairs. Contrary to popular belief they do not build vast underground cities shining with gold and jewels, nor do they have an aversion to water or swimming. (They also tend to get grumpy when such subjects are brought up.)
The Lucied are a rare race of wise speaking wolves that make their secluded homes in the plains and foothills of the Western Empire. They normally avoid contact with other races but are very well known as great seers, soothsayers, and advisers. Often, Lucied will be sought out by leaders, generals, and kings for the wisdom they offer.
Lucied live in small family communes of 6 to 60 individuals, which are called packs by the laymen but secund in their own language. They are a peaceful and passive people, content to spend their lives laying on the grass and watching the world go by. Lucied are always welcomed when they enter a city, and accorded great respect.
The average Lucied stands four and a half feet high at the shoulder and seven feet long nose to tail. They weigh about 300 pounds and their fur tends to be a uniform black with a 'starburst' of red fur on their chests. They have startlingly blue, human-like eyes and the average lifespan of these fantastic creatures is 2000 years.
The greatest Lucied in history, and the one most sought after, is the 'king' of the race named Howls-At-Dawn.