Races of Akurnia
Races of Akurnia
Physically, the Races match the descriptions found in the Players Handbook unless otherwise noted.
Humans are a bold, yet short-lived race. They constantly strive to find their place in Akurnia, either by gaining power or wealth. The great human empires of old grew large quickly through war and conquest, but often fell equally as fast. None of the great Nations of Humanity stood nearly as long as the ancient mountain kingdoms of the Dwarves or the sophisticated Eldarin Nations. Their civilizations are a combination of their own ingenuity and inspirations from the other races. Those regions closer to mountains often contain human civilizations with characteristics or customs from Dwarves. The same can be said for humans living near forests of Elves, or close to the Eldarin.
It is said that humans were the result of experimentation of an ancient deity, whose name is now lost to the ages. Whether or not they share ancestry with other races on Akurnia is left to myth and speculation. Humans in many places prefer to believe they are the offspring of a powerful god, and often use this to fuel their desires as well as justify their cruelty or power. The truth in that is lost, but what is sure is that humans are the most adaptable race in Akurnia, able and willing to live anywhere.
They are a short, stocky breed, built strong and fairly long-lived. They can grow as old as 500 years, though not many die of old age. In most dwarven cultures, it is considered cowardice and a disgrace to die such a death. They prefer to die in battle, or in honorable combat among their brethren. They often hold grand tournaments of martial might in their mountain fortresses, or dwarfholds. Seldom are non-dwarves allowed to witness, much less compete, in these events. Many a dwarf takes to the arenas when they grow too old, hoping to die in battle with honor. Those that die in the games are given a hero’s farewell, and their names are recorded in stone.
Dwarves pride themselves on their abilities in combat, and to this end Dwarven armies are some of the finest in Akurnia. They are excellent craftsmen as well, making weapons and armor the equal of their warriors’ skill to use them. They are an ancient race, second only to the fey-blooded. Their origins are unknown, but many dwarves believe they sprung from the earth in a great creation event during a battle between their chief God Dorun, and the monstrous God of the Orcs known as Kruug.
At one time, Elves and the Eldarin were one race. Both were born of Feynori, the Goddess of Fey and natural magic in Akurnia. Over time though, the two evolved into distinct races, with cultures and beliefs all their own. The Elves embraced their Fey blood and sought to live at peace with the Natural world, harnessing the magic around them to live at one with the world. The Eldarin were more driven, and left the Elven lands to build great kingdoms. Elves in Akurnia are often elusive, and quite aloof. They are a long lived race, leading some to believe they are in fact immortals. This is untrue, and the oldest known Elf was recorded to have lived to the age of 1271. The Elves guard the secrets of their mortality closely, and many scholars on the matter theorize that all Elves (and most Fey) eventually become one with the natural magical essence of the world, and dissolve into it rather than die.
Elves are capable in combat, but prefer guerilla tactics generally speaking. They fit well into the roles of the Ranger, Rogue, or even Wizard in most adventuring groups. They make capable front liners as well, but their natural physiology leads them away from this path more often than not. Elves normally make their homes in forests, but many live in other environs. Where ever they make their homes, they live with the land rather than on it or in it.
Once elves, the eldarin became their own people long ago, centuries before the Dark Wars. The name eldarin is thought by many to mean “Magical Elf”. They embrace magic in all forms, rather than just harnessing the magic that is naturally around them. They are the ones that developed the techniques to concentrate that power, allowing for more complicated spells and vastly superior rituals. Most major rituals can be traced to some eldarin spell or ritual, and many spells are named after great eldarin wizards. Eldarin civilizations are often powered by magic. Magic objects are created for convenience, and are considered a luxury anywhere outside their lands. Many magical artifacts were also created by, and are kept by, the eldarin. They are seen by many as the keepers of knowledge and magic.
Eldarin make excellent spellcasters. Many excel as rogues as well, but most still are fascinated by Magic. Their abilities make for interesting frontline type warriors, but they are rare even in eldarin military forces.
Many believe them to be descendants of half-elves from ages past. They often look similar to a Half-elf that is short and slightly stockier. They make their homes along riverbanks or the hills near them, preferring a quiet life. With some exceptions, they largely stayed out of the Dark Wars, as much as possible. Sulfur’s forces controlled their lands posted dragonborn to watch them and take a share of their goods, but they were largely left alone, until the alliances forced Sulfur out. Dragonborn warriors were given the order to slay them all and burn their villages and crops, rather than let the alliances benefit from them. Only those saved by the alliances before they could be killed survived the war.
Due to this, Halflings are quite rare. There are only a handful of settlements left in all of Akurnia. The largest of these is found on a forested island off the southwestern coast of Oryll. The island is called Hobli, and was left almost completely alone during the dark wars. Other nations are unsure whether or not the Halflings on Hobli consider themselves a nation, but their lands are big enough and they are the sole inhabitants of the lush island. They are a pleasant-minded people, and adventuring Halflings make great rogues or even rangers.
The youngest of all races, they were born of Dragons’ blood and dark magics in the Ritual of Spawning. They were enslaved by Sulfur and his dragon allies, and through magic their wills were his. Only since the Great Bang have they become free to do as they wish. Many struggle to find their place in Akurnia, and many more are troubled by the fact that they were created through a ritual. Some seek to follow in Sulfur’s footsteps and create a world ruled by dragonkind. These Dragonborn stayed in their ancestral home, building a new empire as a haven for their kin and place to cultivate their own society. Most of them do not wish to take over Akurnia, and want only to have their own Kingdom of dragonkind instead. There are those few however, that do have dark dreams of conquest lingering from the seeds Sulfur planted in their minds when they were created.
Dragonborn make fierce warriors and fine paladins. They take to these roles exceptionally well. Users of the Arcane are the rarest among Dragonborn, and stealth is often looked on poorly by them. Many follow the God of War, Girroth. Others follow the Dragongods. Other races are not yet sure how to adjust to this new race, and they are feared and spurned in most places of Akurnia.
Created by a pact between a mortal Human (Rokan Darkhammer) and the demon Kaos, tieflings resemble a cross between demons and humans. They are less hated than Dragonborn, but are largely not accepted outside their homeland of Hurdashi. Tieflings are a rare sight outside their lands, and most that leave due so for adventure or a one-time chance to see the rest of the world before returning to Hurdashi to live out their lives uneventfully. Tieflings in the world often either hide their features when possible, or take such pride in their blood that they are rude and offensive. While some of their kind will merely feel ashamed of their past if insulted, many grow angry and volatile.
Tieflings make excellent Warlocks. They are also fine rogues and warlords, but neither is as common as the warlock in adventuring parties. Other professions are rare for adventuring Tieflings, and many people are surprised if one does not have any warlockery skills at all.
Half-elves are the offspring of human and elf pairings. Though a unique race in many ways, the Half-elves have no true kingdoms of their own. They are mostly found in small communities of their kin, or more commonly living amongst either humans or elves as they prefer. They fit well into either society, and are usually accepted by all the races. Only the Eldarin sometimes look on them poorly, seeing them as a thinning of ancient fey-bloodlines. Most Eldarin are quite civil with them though, and problems seldom arise, aside from the occasional rude comment.
Half-Elves can excel at any role in a party of adventurers, and all professions are common among them.
There are other humanoid races, but they are generally not playable as character races. Such races include Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Gnolls, and Ogres. These races are usually seen as being opposed to civilizations outside their own, and are also viewed as not having evolved as much as the other races. Among these races, Orcs are the closest to behaving like the other races of Man.
Orcs are warlike, and live in a rigid and brutal society based on the idea that strength is superior to all things. To an Orc, strength and power justifies any action. The strongest Orc is the “right” Orc in any confrontation. The root of most rivalries and wars between Orcish clans can be traced to this idea in some form. Orcs can be found anywhere, often living in networks of caves or small camp-villages and fortifications. They are also known to inhabit ruins of human (or other races) structures or cities that were left from war or abandoned long ago. Orcs speak their own language, which is close to elvish with a hint of dwarven influence. Many Orcs also speak common, and it is not too awfully uncommon for an orc or two to be seen in human lands.
Goblins are small in stature, and too mischievous to achieve much of note as a race. They generally delight in playing malicious pranks. They are sneaky and as a rule, are always lying. They live in small clans or tribes generally in deep mountainous areas or any foothill regions with caves. Goblins are often enslaved by Orcs or Hobgoblins, and occasionally by powerful evil wizards.
Hobgoblins are a much larger variety of the Goblin race. Most theorize they probably truly came into their own early in the Dark Wars when Sulfur enslaved most Goblins and Orcs. Similar in size to Orcs, Hobgoblins are strong and serious natured. Unlike their smaller cousins, they are not only interested in pranks and fun. They are much more militaristic, even crafting some of their own weapons and armor. Many Hobgoblins are leaders of Goblin tribes, or warriors in some mercenary bands. They usually live with or near Goblins.
Gnolls are a tribal race of hyena-men. They are vicious warriors but lack the intelligence for strategy. They are often used by others as guards are soldiers, because they can be reliably trained to take orders and seldom revolt against their masters. Gnolls themselves live in small tribes, usually in deserted pieces of land or desert areas. They are cruel by nature, enjoying the hunt and the kill equally. They are known to feast on their opponents after a victory.
Ogres are large, ugly humanoids that are thought to have some giant blood in their ancestry. They are usually strong, and although they can speak broken common or giant, they are remarkably stupid. They live in small tribes of a few families, or solitary. Rarely, an ogre could develop human-like intelligence, and be capable of wielding the arcane. It is not known what causes this to occur, but these ogres are usually much more frail and shorter than their peers. If an Ogre-mage exists in a tribe, it is almost always the leader (unless another Ogre-mage already holds that title). Others of their kind fear them, and follow them for this reason.