The War for Thamatra
Concerning Humans in Thamatra
Humans in Thamatra are descendants from the T’ran, a long-lived Elderkin race who was highly advanced and very influential during the Elder Times before the Dagor Morvala. Although the T’ran were lost during the Dark Years, the humans have retained the ingenuity and curiosity of their predecessors, although some of the more desirable traits of honor and trustworthiness tend to have been compromised in most human breeds.
Humans are a prolific and wide spread race. The major human centers of influence range from the Vilarian Highlands in the far north to the coastal plains of the southern continent of Knarr, usually in small kingdoms or organized city-states throughout their range. Unlike the elves and dwarves, the humans have not formed a large, centralized goverment to unify their people, but instead tend to be willing to tend to their local concerns, and to have separate dealing with the Other Peoples in their vicinity. Humans are known to have some willingness to live and work with other races, exchanging cultures, ideas, and know-how, usually with new and unexpected results. They are an extremely curious race. They are also an emotional race. These two factors tend to make them unintentionally dangerous.
Humans range in height from 5ft to 7ft tall, with the norm being between 5-1/2 to 6ft. They can be from slender to heavy build (typically between 60 to 350lbs.), and have complexions ranging from fair to dark. The facial shapes vary, but tend to be roundish heads with defined brows, cheek and jaw lines. Most human adult males have facial hair; the females typically do not. Variations between height and complexion tend to be breed specific, and are influenced by enviroment. Clothing, weapons and customs also vary between breeds and enviroments.
Humans are short-lived, usually limited to a maximum of 120 years. Although there are variances between the breeds, humans are in general more susceptible to a variety of diseases, weather exposures, spiritual or magical phenomena, and poisons, and are prime targets for maladies such as lycanthropy and vampirism. They have normal senses in most cases, but have a high aptitiude for physical and magical disiplines, and in stealth and psyonic skills in exceptional individuals.
Humans are both fragile and robust. In their natural state (naked and hungry), they are quite vulnerable to the forces of Nature, espically cold, heat, famine and disease. However, they are very capable of living in almost any habitat, provided they have the means to adapt to the conditions present (i.e. water, fire, clothing). This adaptive ingenuity, combined with the human tendency to cooperate with each other in groups, has allowed them to settle in the far reaches of the world, ranging from the ice fields of the far polar regions to the jungles and deserts of the equatorial zones.
Humans are omniverous. In their more primitive cultures they tend to be opportunistic carnivores. In the more civilized cultures, humans tend to be agarian, farming lands and raising livestock to feed their cities and an ever-growing populace. Unless it is restricted by a religious conviction, meat is the preferred source of protein in most humans. The meat doesn’t necessarily have to be beastflesh – humans are known to be cannibalistic in certain conditions, and other races may also be on the menu.
Humans tend to organize themselves based on spiritual and family lines, and on alliances between these groups. In the nomadic humans, these ties express themselves in units of families, clans and tribes, sometimes with defense and trade alliances within the tribe, and with other tribes within the region (a good example is the Vilarian barbarians, espically the nomadic Horseclans). In more settled human societies, these ties are expressed in groupings of Houses, usually consisting of several clan-families who have sworn allegance to the defense of the House to which they belong, in exchange for land rights, trade goods and other items of mutual benefit. These Houses tend to become the ruling class in the larger of the human settlements, oftentimes establishing family dynasties within their spheres of influence. Those humans who are not able to secure an alliance with a House or clan are usually disenfranchised from local affairs, and oftentimes create the bulk of the urban poor in the cities.
Humans have an uncanny way of learning things from other races easily, typically by mimicing the actions of others. Because of this, humans tend to miss the meanings behind the actions and methods of the other races, focusing on the outcomes rather than the incidental consequences of their actions. This trait is prevalent in most dealings with humans. Most elves and dwarves have learned to moderate the flow of knowledge and techniques to their human students, in an attempt to avert repeating the disasters of the Past. This moderation isn’t always recieved well by the humans.
Humans see the other races thru a somewhat varied perspective. On one hand, the humans see the other races as trade partners and teachers, sharing goods and lore for a common society; on the other hand, humans can see the other races as competition and somewhat prone to “holding the humans back” in their development of culture and technologies. Overall the attitude is generally tolerant of the other races in human kingdoms, although not necessarily in all human-dominated lands. In the Southern Kingdoms, for example, with a high human populace, the other races are typically seen as inferior primitives or aggressive threats, and are either to be tamed or neutralized. However, in Borderland kingdoms like Brendanmoor, which has a higher percentage of non-humans in their population, the other races are seen as allies and partners.
Humans can be of any profession provided they have the attributes for the class. Most adventuring humans are fighters, clerics, or thieves, with some mages. In human cultures, the more rural areas tend to produce fighter type and craftspersons; the more urban areas tend to produce clerics and mages (and thieves), as well as specialized craftsfolk and merchants. Most humans are actively engaged in some form of trade or skill at an early age, usually in the teenage years.
The Human breeds in Thamatra are: Common, Northmen, Barbarian (Vilarian plainsmen), Westmen, Southron, Azhad, plus haflings and half-elves. Humans are uniquely interracially fertile, capable of interbreeding with many other races, including Elvenkin, Goblinkin and Trollkin species, although not typically with Durinkin. Humans also may interbreed with Beastkin and Spiritkin species under certain circumstances – these hybirds are unpredictable, and tend to be dangerous.
And, now; the Humans:
Common – These are the most populous of the human breeds, being quite adaptable to all regions between the temperate zone boundaries they prefer to inhabit. They are usually between 5 to 6 ft tall, of medium build (100-200lbs), with bronze to fair skin. Most commons have dark hair and eyes. They have average intelligence and skill levels, with some exceptional individuals. Psyonics are rare, but not unheard of.
Northmen – Northmen are generally the humans who occupy the Northern continent, particularly the north central and far northwest regions. They are usually between 6 to 7ft tall, of stocky build (200lbs+), with fair skin and light hair, usually brown and blonde. They are typically of average intelligence, and have a high skill level in crafts and manufacturing. They are above average fighters. Psyonics are rare, but not unheard of.
Barbarian (Vilarian plainsmen) – The barbarian nomads of the Vilarian highlands are known to be fierce fighters. Their large and stocky builds (over 6ft and over 250lbs) are well adapted to the rough enviroments of the plains. They are of bronze to fair skin, with light brown to blonde hair and blue-grey eyes. They are of above average intelligence and skill level, and are superior horsemen and warriors. Psyonics are uncommon, but most have some form of psyonic link with certain animals, particularly the large horses they use.
Westmen – These red-haired, fair-skinned humans are seafolk from across the Western Sea, with settlements along the coastal waterways and river valleys of the Northern Continent. They are of slight build (5 to 5-1/2ft tall and under 150lbs), but of surprising strength and constitutions, and possess exceptional intelligence and skills. Many Westmen who leave the sealife become mages, clerics and rangers. Psyonics are more common with Westmen than with most other humans.
Southron – These humans are predominate in the equatorial zones of the Southern Kingdoms, where they have built a cultured society thru brutality and conquest. They are of dark skin and large build (6ft tall and over 200lbs), and are well suited to the harsh enviroments they live in. They are of average to above average intelligence and skill level, with strong constitutions. They are fierce fighters, and exceptional individuals may become mages. Psyonics are uncommon, but may be present in exceptional individuals.
Azhad – The Azhad is a nomadic human breed that dwells in the vast Tek Deserts and the highlands of the Wyrmrim Mountains. They are of medium build and strength (5-6ft, under 200lbs), with bronze skin, reddish-brown hair and blue-green eyes. They have average to above average intelligence and skills, and are masters of stealth. Exceptional individuals may become mages or other specialists. Psyonics are common in the females, but rare in the males.