War of Fire and Ice
Races of Neradia
Here we discusses the various intelligible races of lands of Neradia:
Peoples of Neradia
Humans are the most populous and politically powerful race. It was the rise of humanity that finally beat back the Winter’s Dark and now is the Age of Man. Human culture varies widely from region to region, ranging from the rough barbaric tribes of the frozen north to the decadent civilizations of the southern seas. Races such “Goliaths” are actually lost pockets of humanity.
Men are the dominant race and form the majority of society. There are there are many races of Men: Suspicious Dassens, grim Ragesians, friendlt Dalesmen, dour Vanir, Pike wielding Gundermen, erudite Numidians, dusky Stygians and flamboyant Zingarans. Then there are the island natives of Pant’Tang, whose blood is said to have mingled with demons and whose elaborate tattoos describe such unions…
Eladrin are often called “Eldar”. They are most common in the dimension of Faerie and in the corrupt city of Asgulan where a handful of families form the decadent aristocracy of that city. The Eldar are feared and respected across the lands. Other fey races fall into the “Eldar” category. They tend to have pale features, white hair, and file their teeth.
Elves are a very reclusive people, residing in deep forests with little formal contact with society. Elves are forest dwelling descendents of the Eldar race who have tied themselves closely with the natural world, with the goddesses Rhiannon and Demeter. Some Eldar would might hint that Elves have human blood mixed in, but this in untrue, although half-elves are not uncommon. Dark Elves, or Drow, are cursed from ancient times to reside far below the earth’s surface. They were never conquered by the hosts of the Winter Imperium, but they did make trade, which they occasionally do with the surface world to this day.
Dwarves have fallen far from the glories of yesteryear, and yet they soldier on grim and determined and full of pride, for Moradin All-Father is a strong god, and the dwarves, if few in number, still have the strength of arms to make a sword and stab and orc.
Dwarves are the most well respected of the non-human races, and they are treated with great respect for their senority and knowledge. Their culture revolves around duty and responsibility. They are very serious or else very drunk. They often smear their bodies in bear grease, for they like the musk. Other races are not so sure.
Halflings are often called Hobbits, a mysterious race of short people who prefer horticulture to war. While they have perfected the cultivation of pipeweed, they still aspire to the brewing standards of dwarves and elves. Hobbit communities often look to more warlike races for protection. The youth often enjoy scaring themselves by engaging in wild adventures such as climbing high peaks, boating wild rapids, and exploring ancient tombs.
Halflings are the unremarked fifth race, at once non-existant and ubiquitous. “Hobbits” as they like to be called are considered by some scholars to be the fathers of domestic civilization. They are well beloved of Demeter.
Gnomes While it is well-known that the Gnomes of Neradia make their homes in the woodlands and forests, few can truthfully say they’ve ever seen an actual gnome community. Whimsical but secretive—despite their seemingly good natures—gnomes rarely speak of their homes. Even when they do, their details rarely weather re-tellings, leading many to speculate that a great treasure, gate-ways to the fey court, or some other secret lies hidden. They always wear red hats. These are the wee folk of the forest. They are rarely if ever seen in human settlements, but often reside close by, inter-space between this world and the Faerie land. Gnomes are friendly, if capricious. They wear red conical hats and grow elaborate beards. They are known to be friends of woodland creatures and inveterate brewers of magical tonics and liqueurs.
Kenku are a nuisance in civilized areas. They are drawn to centers of production and trade, where they lurk on the margins and pocket shiny nick-nacks when nobody is looking. They are more unscrupulous than, although they often are employed by evil wizards and the like. They can be vicious in a fight, flocking to battle in a whirl of feathers and blades.
Half-Orcs are considered travesties of war, although they have gained grudging acceptance in the lands bordering the aggressive Empire of Ragesia.
Often referred to in very degrading and hateful terms, such as “Mul”, half-orcs are rarely welcome in any settlement, although they occasionally find a place in mercenary units and as such are able to hide behind a uniform.
Goliaths are said to be the result of ancient sorcerous cross-breeding of Dwarves and Humans.
Tieflings, or beastmen were the aristocracy of the Empire of Winter’s Dark. They are now spoken of with epithets like “devil child” “demon spawn” “marked by the beast” “touched by chaos” and so forth. Their mutations are subtle and sinister, but not immediately obvious: a forked tongue, reddish skin, black eyes, pointed teeth, a six fingered hand, a hoof instead of a foot, or a vestigial horns. Any number of these features may or may not be present, but they only rarely have tails. Most of these unfortunate devil spawn keep their heritage a secret as any normal community would raise their pitchforks and start a fire upon recognition.
Dragonborn are treated cruelly and inhumanely in the Grey Citadel, but they are actually civilized relatives of the common swamp dwelling lizardman, often called Draconians. They have tails. Dragonborn hail from a jungle far far to the east where they live in a culture of enlightenment, meditating and refining their calligraphy and poetic skill. Occasionally a dragonborn will feel the call of the Sword and put down the brush. i Vornheim, Dragonmen are used as slaves and often hunted for their hides.
(Dragonborn reproduce asexually, through a process that resembles an elaborate Chinese tea ceremony.)
Minotaurs are relatively rare, but said to be a common, if fallen race in some far off lands, for it is said their King Midas made a dark deal with Danzig during the Winter Dark wars, and was betrayed.
Goblins, Bugbears, Kobolds, Orcs, etc are all considered savage peoples, incapable of civilized interaction. These creatures prospered during the Winter’s Dark, but as slave masters and despots. There is no trade with the Goblin tribes, for they do not produce anything of their own, only sorrow.
Gnolls, shifters, and their ilk are often called Beastmen. These are the true children of Danzig. A shattered, depraved society, the beastmen now travel the wilder wastes in ravening pacts and are only occasionally corralled by some priest or sorcerer to follow a common cause, but when they do, woah betide those who stand in the way.