Standing tall in the bustle of Eubric's centre, is the majestic stone construction of learning renowned and respected by all; the Embassy.
Pushing aside heavy gilded doors, you find yourself in the grand entrance hall of a vast network of rooms and passages, all dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the many races of Olegaia's vast surface. In each of these many rooms, lies as much information and as many souvenirs to each living thing as possible, so that all manner of old and new walking-beasts can never be truly forgotten.
~The Embassy of Eubric~
But before you have any time to truly appreciate the grandeur and spectacle behind this great establishment, you begin to notice the the vast array of creatures moving around amongst the pillars and great statues. Men, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and creature so wild and diverse that you could have imagined. But standing guffly in the centre of the stone plaza, as though immune to the beauty of it all, stands a stocky and well-built figure. He is clad in a thick leather plating, wrapped around with an elegant and embroidered robe. Noticing your awestruck and lost expression, the man takes a heavy and direct path towards you, purposeful in his stride. When he draws near, the voice he speaks, coarse and violent in a gutteral roar, a tone in stark contrast to the words that he speaks of truth.
"Ah, Master, or is it Mis'ress? My eyes are not what they once were. But otherwise, welcome here. They call me Largh-múnd, 'The learned one', of the Lurgh-án kin; I am the beating heart of this house. What is it that brings you to this place, my palace of the past things? You, you want to see my archives, read what I have spent my days to bring? Fine, I will show you to these things, so that you may better the knowledge of others of your clan."
Turning his back on your still-amazed form, Largh-múnd leads the way into alley after corridor-way, pointing and gesturing at the many exhibits that lay out the history of every creature to have ever crossed the face of Olegaia. And what a great many things there are to see...
~The Great Archive~
Appearance: Most of the humans are of average height and weight. Their skin tone ranges from pale to dark brown depending on their natural habitat, with the most common tone being yellow. Humans can breed with most of the minority races, so individuals with mixed heritage are quite common.
History: Humans are the most populous race in Olegaia, comprising a little less than half of the planet's population. They rule nearly all the realms around the Crystalline Sea. The minority races often see them as oppressors and conquerors, for the curiosity and ambition of the humankind knows no boundaries. Because the race is so widely spread, it has attained a multitude of diverse cultures: for example, humans in Dastan live a very different life from the humans in Carthago, even though there is only a narrow sea in between the nations. Humans live approximately 60 years, although some individuals are known to have lived for over 100 years.
Appearance: Elves are lither and slightly taller than the average humans, but their most notable feature are the pointed ears. Elves usually lack facial hair, so any individuals with beards and moustaches are likely to have ancestors from other races in their bloodline. Most elves have a yellow or fair skin tone, although there are tribes with dark skin as well.
History: Most elves live in very secluded communities in far-off locations, which has prevented their numbers from growing despite their nearly infinite life expectancy. This has also resulted in diverse elven cultures that shun each other, such as the woodland elves, the dark elves and the nomad elves. However, in recent times many elves have felt drawn to the growing cities, so the race is finally starting to mingle with the rest of the world.
Appearance: Short and stout, the dwarves are physically accustomed to their lives under the ground. Both males and females have long, bushy beards, making them nigh indistinguishable from one another, although some surface-dwelling individuals have chosen to shave theirs to better fit the surrounding culture. There are clans living much deeper than common dwarves with soot-black skins and a weakness to sunlight.
History: Dwarves are natural masons, smiths and craftsmen, and they are said to be the most arduous workers in the world. Their underground cities are a marvel to behold, for the dwarves have an eye for detail and architecture. But they also have eye for precious metals and jewels, labelling the whole race greedy and selfish. For this reason they usually don't like to mingle with other races, and most clans have shut themselves inside their mountains. Dwarves usually live for half a millennium.
Appearance: Halflings are even shorter than dwarves, and are also lighter and less hairy. Their ears are also somewhat pointed, with their hair always growing in thick curls. Some say they are just short-born humans or elves, but the halflings deny that fervently.
History: Halflings lead happy and carefree lives in their own little communities. They are drawn to the simple things in life, such as agriculture and brewery, but some also work as travelling entertainers or peddlers. In some lands, halflings bear the mark of thieves and cheaters. Halflings tend to live somewhat longer than humans, usually around 80 years.
Appearance: The shortest of the diminutive races, gnomes are also known for their rotund bodies and high-pitched voices. Male gnomes begin to grow their bushy beards from a very early age, as they believe it brings them good luck. It is said that cutting off a gnome's beard transfers all that good luck to the cutter.
History: Gnomes are masterful tinkerers, gathering the junk thrown away by the "Tall Ones" and building their homes and tools out of them. Gnomes tend to dwell under major cities in tunnels and sewers, where they feel safe from the outside world. Some have founded their own villages under hills or in caves. Gnomes only live for about 50 years.
Appearance: The most populous of the "greenskinned" races, orcs have a pale green skin, red eyes and sharp fangs. They are somewhat taller and more muscular than humans.
History: For a long time, Baltarok, the land of the orc-kin, was a harsh wasteland where only the toughest could survive. Orcs lived in savage tribes locked in a constant war, until their gazes were turned to the fertile kingdoms in the east.They began to raid and pillage the lands, and gained an ill reputation. After a failed attempt to claim the human kingdoms as their own, many orcs were enslaved and used for hard labour. However, some orcs escaped and brought their knowledge of craftsmanship to Baltarok. Now new cities are rising on the edges of the barren desert, and orcs are moving away from their days as brutal barbarians.
Appearance: The goblins are shorter and skinnier than orcs, and they have pointy ears and yellow eyes. Aside from the greenskinned kind, there are also brown and fairskinned goblins. The offspring of a goblin and an orc are known as hobgoblins, while the much rarer crossing of a goblin and an ogre is called an ogroblin.
History: Goblins have always lived alongside orcs, although less numerous. The orcish tribes previously used goblins for mundane chores as well as espionage, but nowadays the goblins live as equals to the orcs.
Appearance: Far taller and more imposing than their goblin parentage, but leaner than orcs, the hobgoblins share many traits of their fellow green-skins. Their skin ranges in tones from earthy brown to bright green, and most notable of their features are large, cloudy eyes, typical of cave-dwelling goblins; and also profoundly long ears. These and many other features make hobgoblins adept at both underground and open living.
History: Hobgoblins are stronger than goblins and faster than orcs, making them well-rounded combatants. They do not stand high in the hierarchy of the greenskins, so the orcish tribes usually treat them as cannonfodder in their wars.
Appearance: Even smaller than goblins, gremlins are comparable to gnomes. They have long ears and a flat face.
History: Gremlins usually live in throngs in underground nests. They are dumb, almost bestial, and in their scavenge for nourishment they tend to break everything in their sight. That's why they are rarely seen (or wanted) inside cities. Their lifespan is as short as their stature.
Appearance: Despite their bestial appearance resembling gorillas, Metasimians are not "weregorillas" like some think. In fact, referring to them as apes is a great insult. Metasimians usually have black fur, but grey and brown variations are known to exist. Those few born with white fur are considered to be blessed by the Metasimian god Orang Pendek.
History: Metasimians originate from the humid jungles of the Mistlands in the continent of Mistaria. Most of them live in primitive tribes, but they are surprisingly intelligent, adapting to life outside their forest fairly quickly. They live somewhat longer than humans on average.
Appearance: As a contrast to the greenskinned races living to the west of the Crystalline Sea, the blue-skinned aoi originate from the far east. The tone of their skin varies from dark blue to light turquoise. All of them have dark hair.
History: There are precious few of the Aoi left, most of them remaining in Xu, the cradle of their ancient culture. The aoi are said to be the oldest race on Olegaia, with their history records reaching over a ten thousand years into the past. Despite their highly-developed culture, the aoi have always been prone to war, most likely due to their pride. This and the fact that they cannot breed with any other race has decreased their numbers dramatically. Nowadays there are only less than a thousand of them left. The members of the aoi can live for several hundred years.
Appearance: An all-female race, nôrns are discernible for their skin and hair, which are both monochromatically the color of hay. Most of them have blue eyes.
History: Nôrns hail from the land of Nôrnia in the far north, close to the Norse continent of Vártland. Their myths tell that they are daughters of Helvetia, the goddess of afterlife, placed on Olegaia to guard her treasures. The nôrns are exceptionally talented in magic and spiritualism. Lately many of them were killed or driven from their homeland by vikings. This only added to their natural disdain towards men of other races. The nôrns have an endless lifespan unless they are killed, and they can only become pregnant by the will of their goddess.
Appearance: Merfolk are humanoids with features of aquatic creatures, including the tails or heads of a fish, claws of a crab or tentacles of an octopus. Each variation has their own tribal name, such as Sharkling, Teuthisal, Sargassan, Nautican, Sphyrnan and Octopial.
History: The merfolk share a similar origin to the werefolk, with their ancestors being shapeshifters who grew accustomed to changing into fish and aquatic animals. Most of the merfolk live in their own cities at the bottom of the seas, where they can dwell undisturbed. Some of them can breath out of water, but even then they usually prefer to linger near the oceans, working as sailors or fishermen.
Appearance: Giants come in various sizes, but they are all at least twice as tall as humans. The tallest giants were said to grow as tall as the trees. Besides their magnified features, they look like humans.
History: Long ago the giants ruled the High Kingdoms, with the city of Duplovia as the center of their culture. But then the humans from the Low Kingdoms came and vanquished nearly all of them, building a new city on top of the ruins of Duplovia. The remnants fled to the mountains, where they keep to themselves, for humans still regard them as a threat due to their size. It is unknown how long a giant can live.
Appearance: Twice as tall as their orcish cousins, the ogres come in two different breeds: green and brown. Ogres often have horns and spikes growing out of their skin. They are strong and sturdy, yet surprisingly calm and wise.
History: Ogres have a peculiar origin: they were once orcs who were transformed by a sorcerer as his private army. However, the ogres turned on the wicked mage and killed him instead. The army split into two, others travelling south and others staying in the north of Baltarok. The southern ogres developed a brown skintone. Because of their magically enhanced nature, ogres have a much longer lifespan than orcs.
Appearance: Trolls are unintelligent, crude, hulking creatures with deformed features. They have pale blue or green skin, and are distantly related to orcs.
History: Because of their violent, bestial nature, trolls live either alone or in small packs in secluded places such as caves, hills or deep forests. A few rare individuals have been sighted living under large cities as well.
Appearance: The prefix of "were" is attached to two types of creatures: humanoids born with bestial features and humanoids turned into beasts later in their lives. There are a multitude of werefolk in Olegaia, ranging from werewolves to werepanthers, werehyenas to werehounds, wererats to werebats. [color=#282828]An infected person who becomes a wereperson may gain additional strength and copious hair in their normal shape, but can only reveal their true form when under the light of the full moon. However, the mentally strongest infected werepeople may learn to enact the transformation at will.
History: The origins of all werefolk lies in ancient shapeshifting magic. Originally all shapeshifters could change their form at will, but over the ages the magic changed, and most of the shifters got accustomed to a certain form. Some could only change their appearance partially, while others could turn into an animal completely. Thus were born the various tribes of werefolk. The magic can be transferred by blood, so all children of werefolk were born with the same talent as their parents. Blood infusion or biting can also change a normal non-wereperson into one, but it is a risky process that often leads to death.
Appearance: Vampires are a special breed of undead, recognizable for their pallid skin, bloodied eyes and sharp fangs. They possess great strength, and have be known to shapeshift into bats and other dark creatures.
History: According to the legends, the first vampires were created when a group of Zootists yearning to live forever made a pact with a certain demon. The demon turned the cultists into blood-craving servants of the night, who could turn others into vampires as well by feeding them their own blood. Vampires can only be killed by either exposing them to direct sunlight or chopping them to small-enough pieces.
Appearance: Zombies are living dead resurrected from their grave in a varied state of decay. Most zombies are braindead, but some have maintained a sliver of sanity.
History: Created by necromancers as mindless slaves, zombies are magically bound to whoever raised them. They yearn to feel alive again, and they are constantly tormented by an insatiable hunger. That's why they sometimes feed on living humans. Killing a zombie is as easy as destroying its brain.
Edited by Sandy, 08 December 2013 - 02:48 PM.