The races that inhabit Paradigm are diverse indeed. The following races are well known all over Paradigm.
Men are the most numerous of the races. They are the most resilient of all the races, and their quick reproduction rates ensure that they will remain the dominant species on Zoka for a long time to come. Men were created by The One and strongly believe that they were given dominion over the world by the diety.
Pradamiin are the humans of the Pradamir Savannah. They rarely associate with other men and are content to leave the world alone so long as the world leaves them alone. They have very little concern for politics and the dynamics of an ordered, cultured society.
The humans native to the Calla Lowlands are less refined than those found elsewhere, being somewhat stouter and not as robust as the Imperial-, Easterling-, or Faydakeen-descended groups. Their stock is actually closer to the primitive cave-dwellers that lie on an adjacent branch of the genetic family tree of the primates than the more highly-evolved members of other cultures.
Easterlings is the collective term for the Men of the Eastern Dynasty. Easterlings are members of the oldest civilization in history, and take a great deal of pride in their culture and heritage. They are considered the most cultured of the Mannish races.
The Faydakeen are the primary Mannish group of the Al-Kabir desert. As a culture they worship death and all of it's trappings, and are considered macabre by most other races. The Faydakeen are extremely curious and philosophical, and because of this many modern sciences and medicines were invented by them.
Imperial is the common moniker for all the humans that live in the Empire, although they do have distinct regional names: Southerners inhabit the South part of the Empire, Dunlanders in the north, Kighfaltons in the central region, and Westerners along the Western coastline. The Imperials that live and work in the Eastern portion of the Empire refer to themselves as Urbanites.
Luz Halfbreeds are the humans living in the country of Luz whose family lines have mixed with beastfolk and fae over millenia to create a distinct group which is neither wholly like the other humans of the Calla Lowlands, nor given to wielding the fantastical powers held by the fae. Their heritage gives them a strong bond with and awareness of the natural world, however, and a strong affinity for lore that to others seems merely petty superstition.
The Nadaheed are a tribal, family oriented Mannish race that inhabit the Frozen North. They are considered an uncivilized and uncultured people, but they value truth and honor above all things so are considered--especially by the Elven races--to be the most goodly and dependable of the Men.
The Szurgi are a group of seafaring vagabonds comprised primarily of Faydakeen expatriates and a colourful variety of other like-minded individuals that have been absorbed into the culture over time and mingled with the core group.
The Womaw are a savage race of Men that live in a tightly knit tribal society in the Inlands of the Al-Kabir desert. They are hostile and extremely territorial and don't associate with other races. They are universally decried as evil, known to be worshippers of dark powers and enjoy sacrificing captives to their dark gods and demons.
The Elves of Paradigm are a mysterious lot, often seen of as magical by other races. The elves have been truly blessed by the Gods, as the entire species is truly immortal: they only die by violence or by choosing to leave the world. It's not well known how structured and organized the elven races are but all of them seem to hold the Amonquendi, the Courtly Elves, as their leaders. Nobody yet has been able to determine how many Elven species there are, but it is widely believed that they are as numerous as humans.
Amonquendi are the elves that are likely the most aloof and unwelcoming of all the elven races. They are a very ancient, jaded, and decadent people that have no love for the outside world or other races and are sticklers for formality and tradition; which includes speaking only Elvish. They are called the Courtly Elves in the common tongue because they seem to be the leaders, organizers, and mediators of all the other Elven races.
Eowa Elder Wood-elves are ancient, reclusive elves who reside in the cathedral-like heart of the Eowa Forest, carefully guiding the growth of the wood and caring for its health as much as their own. Their very spirits are bound to the trees, and they never go into the outside world.
Eowa Lesser Wood-elves are somewhat primitive creatures, serving as intermediaries between the primal energy of the forest's flora and fauna and beings who would encroach upon and despoil its splendour, be they outsider humans and others, or diseased and corrupted plants and animals that are a danger to the balance of things.
The Futhuquendi, or Storm Elves, live in the southwest of the Western Empire, where they make a living by fishing. They are called Storm Elves because of their tendency toward grey hair and eyes and short tempers. Elsewhere, they are sometimes called Sea Elves.
The Masoquendi, whom are also called gargoyles by those people that wish to be less than polite, are eerily beautiul female winged elves that inhabit the Jinfonth Mountains north of the Western Empire. Secretive and reclusive, these elves have white skins and eyes, with black hair, lips, and fingernails. They all have leathery wings. Because the entire species is female, nobody knows how they reproduce.
The Moraquendi, the Spriggan, are a race of underground dwelling elves with an undeserved reputation of being hostile, brutal, and cruel. Most folks leave them alone and give them a very wide berth, which they don't mind at all.
October Children is the common parlance for humans with one elvish parent. Most often, the Elvish parent of an October Child is a Pizkie. They are common in both human and pizkie settlements. They get their name from the very first half-elf, Saint Germaine, whom was born in October.
The Pizkie are a race of fae being so closely akin to elves they are thought of as elves. Please see People of the Western Empire for more information.
Salarquendi are the elves that inhabit wonderful hamlets in the Pradamir Savannah. They are a very friendly, kind, and open people whom hate evil in all forms. Other races consider them to be the most approachable of the Elven races and the easiest to associate with. In the common tongue they are called Silver Elves because of their tendency toward silver coloured hair and eyes.
Twilleth are a subterranean species scattered throughout the Al-Kabir desert and resemble Spriggan closely enough in physiology, if not temperament and outlook, that they are often mistaken for the other race and are believed to be a Spriggan offshoot. Though genealogists have studied the Twilleth no evidence yet has been unearthed linking the two species together.
The Valarquendi, the High Elves, are most noted for their talent at crafting magic items. Many people believe that these elves, wise and tall and fair, either created the Artificer's Guild ( they didn't ) or are the inspiriation for it. Most Valarquendi live in secluded groves and glades in the Western Empire.
Monster Races differ in that they are considered hostile to 'good' races such as men and elves.
Goblins were created by the evil god Dalamar in mockery of Mattimeo. These vile creatures are tiny, only about two feet tall, but love to inhabit Mannish cities, where they make a nuisance of themselves. They particularly like to prey on children, (they're much too frightened of anything capable of fighting back to attack larger targets), and are often called bogeys or bogeymen by kids.
Goblins of the Jinfonth Mountains are quite different from most goblins, being just short of four feet tall and much stockier and robust. They are, however, slower and less nimble. These goblins occupy the complex warrens of the vast underground cities of the Jinfonth Nain, which were abruptly abandoned during the reign of the lich Aerin after the malevolent leader launched devastating attacks. It is possible that these goblins are, in fact, the consequence of the Nain being twisted and warped by Aerin's machinations. Stats: dex 10, ocv/dcv 4, stun 18, body 11-12.
The Harrigan are a race created by Dalamar to destroy the human race. Some people call them half-ogres. They are tremendously strong, have two rows of sharp teeth, and hate humans with a passion.
Jagrafan are a race of humanoid wolves that are extremely inimical to humans. Though they are a cultured, civilized race they are seen as brutes and savages by most.
Ogres are nasty, thuggish monsters inhabiting the rugges mountains of the Western Empire. The average ogre is about eight feet tall, with pale skin and a piggish face. Ogres are not bright creatures, but always hungry and always on the prowl for food.
Orcs are brutal, savage humanoids that are the enemies of everything on the planet. They range from small, twisted creatures often wrongly called gblins, to huge massive black skinned and intelligent war orcs.
The Thane are a race of small anthropomorphic rats that dwell mostly in the Western Empire, where they build kingdoms in the sewer networks of large cities. Thanes are extremely jealous of the success of humans as the dominant species and seek to supplant them.
Trolls inhabit almost every nation and come in a variety of types. Some are incredibly stupid, most are dumb, but some are very intelligent and organized. There are several different kinds of trolls.
- Cave trolls live deep underground. Violent brutes with only animalistic intelligence, they are often kept as pets by Spriggan.
- Desert Trolls inhabit the Outer Rim of the Al-Kabir desert. They are very stupid, easily angered creatures.
- Hill trolls live in the mountains of the Western Empire. They aren't very bright, but they're certainly smarter than stone trolls.
- Oni are a type of troll found in the Eastern Dynasty. Not only are they very intelligent, they are extremely honourable.
- Jotenhiem are trolls found throughout the Frozen North. Like Oni, they are intelligent, hospitable, and honourable creatures.
- Stone trolls are the most common type of troll in the Western Empire. Like their namesake they are sturdy and hard to break, but they are likewise as dumb as rocks.
The Unliving that occupy the Grim Fen in the southern Calla Lowlands are an enigmatic terror which arose shortly after the fall of Aerin and the associated vast changes to the landscape and shores of the Ilætî Sea. The inhabitants of the Fenwall Kingdom discovered that the application of fire is particularly effective against the Unliving, and that they seem to lack higher cognitive functions and ability to engage in complex activities such as climbing or swimming. Unliving don't appear to need air to move around, and will mindlessly march across the bottom of a lake to get to the other side. It is not known what mechanism motivates these creatures, as they are neither alive nor necromantically-driven corpses; their waxy skin resists decay, and their limbs, when severed, exhibit a degree of motion until burned.
Of Beast-folk and Other SupernaturalsEdit
An unusual property of the Qi energy woven throughout the lands of Paradigm is the large number of interesting hybrid species such as the lowly chickenfrog and the mosquitofinch. A significant implication of this phenomenon is the fact that human-and-beast and other mixtures do exist and have their own cultures when they come together in groups. Some are mentioned above, as the rejection by major societies drives them to extreme hatred. Others are either neutral, or friendly to man and elf.
Feresi are a race of anthropomorphic mice standing no taller than three feet, whom inhabit the Inlands of the Al-Kabir desert. Like the Kraati, they reside in caves where they build complex and confusing warrens within the walls. These twisting caverns serve to deter enemies, especially the Womaw whom like to hunt them for sport. The Feresi are gentle and peaceful people, shy of strangers but hospitable once the stranger proves he means no harm to the community. They are likely related to the Kraati-whom often share Feresi communities- but as of yet no scientific evidence linking the two races has been discovered.
Huul are giant wasps with lizardlike features that live along the jagged cliffs of the southern Jinfonth Mountains in mud hives cemented high on the rock or around the thick trunks of enormous mushrooms the size of trees. They craft delicate jewellery and compose simple-yet-deeply-moving poetry, and raid Seh-Mirin communities in the desert to the south to retrieve enslaved Kraati.
Kraati of the Al-Kabir are large, anthropomorphic kangaroo rats that normally live in extended family groups in shallow caves deep in the southern desert. Agile and swift, they can be found in large desert cities working as courtesans, dancers, messengers...and assassins. Hoop-like ringblades are a distinctive weapon wielded by the most skilled of these diminuitive creatures.
Kraati of the Daraq desert are smaller and far less intelligent than their Al-Kabir cousins, and are kept as pets and menial servants by the Seh-Mirin. Whether their lack of development is inherent or forced upon them by their Seh-Mirin keepers (who consider them subsentient creatures barely superior to livestock) is probably a matter that would be hotly contested by Al-Kabir Kraati.
The Seh-Mirin are towering catfolk who live deep in the Daraq desert between the Western Empire and the Jinfonth Mountains. Theirs is an austere culture that prizes survival over all else. They wield great slotted blades that make music when moved through the air at different speeds.
Vodyanoi are a race of anthropomorphic sharks whom dwell in the deep waters off of the coasts of the Al-Kabir desert and Pradamir Savannah. Savage and cruel, the Vodyanoi normally keep to themselves but have been known to raid coastal communities to round up humans as slaves and food. They are a very intelligent species with a fully realized, complex society which includes persuing arts and sciences, studying mathematics, and researching Qi and its applications.
Yodoni are a recently discovered race of intelligent bear men living in the Northern Wastes. By all accounts they stand six to seven feet tall, with burly human bodies and bear heads. They are an extremely reclusive people but the few Men of the North that have met and traded with them universally agree that the Yodoni are a kind and gentle people.