Humans Ethnicity in Arrhynsia | World Anvil


Notice: The management of the Arrhynsian World Encyclopedia is reviewing the following article for offensive anti-human racial slurs.

The Race that Transformed a Continent

  Humans are a people with as little wisdom as they have years of life, yet none but the elves deny the enormous impact that they have had on the history, geography, and culture of this land. In fact, their influence is so profound, that all of modern history is dated from the first step of humans upon the continent. Good or bad, and there is plenty of both, humans seem driven to make change and take on challenges.   The scope of their influence, from enlarging interracial trade, introducing Common as a trade language and advancing magic technology cannot be understated. They have mastered cooperation which allows them to achieve what would be impossible for a single individual no matter how talented and long lived, and to find pride and satisfaction in being part of a group that performs these extraordinary accomplishments. This ability, along with their relentless energy, has enabled them to accomplish more than any other race in expanding technology, advancing arcane studies and increasing the prosperity and health of their people and the other races of Arrhynsia.   It also makes them the most dangerous of races as history has proven.  

History: A Mixed Bag of Good and Bad

  Timeline of Humans in Arhynnsia   Little is known of the origins of humans except that they are not native to Arrhynsia, having come to our land from Eryia across the Ur Hilgarria. Humans settled on North Arrhynsia where there was plenty of land and room to expand.   Humans established a federation of city states and countries. Kingdoms rose and fell, but consistently, the study and use of magic was pursued across all the human kingdoms in spite of the lack of an innate genetic ability to perform magic. Thus, the discipline of wizardry came about, and it was this discipline that was the instrument of the human's undoing.   The humans, idiots that they are, in the event now known as the The Cataclysm decided to use magic to reform the very stone of the world and tame the wild chaos magic that is the Ur Hilgarria.  
"I told him! 'Linus Dalton,' I said, 'that spell is a bad idea, nothing good will come from it,' but would he listen to me? No! It was always the same with him. So I packed up the kids and moved to Sigurd's, and a good thing too, that's what I say!"
— Mary Ellen Dalton
  North Arrhynsia was destroyed, transformed into a wasteland buried below snow and ice. Hundreds of thousands died - almost ninety percent of the human population, and the land became uninhabitable. The survivors boarded ships and attempted to sail back to the mainland but found a cold shoulder from the other races when they arrived.   Eventually humans were able to settle into the Desolate Wastes south of the Draak'thor Massiff. There they established the Southern Kingdom of Eyniir, and there they live today.  

Breeding Like Rabbits - The Biology and Physiology of Humans

  The Human Species is a bipedal sentient mammal similar to dwarves and elves. Humans are short lived, lasting a mere eighty years and replicating generously, typically producing four to twelve offspring each over their lifetime. Humans are opportunistic omnivores, with a heavy reliance on meat to assure that the large human brain is adequately provided with critical fats.   Females are considered attractive if they display generous secondary sexual characteristics including wide hips and large mammary glands which indicate an ability to have and feed their infant offspring. Males are highly competitive for the opportunity to reproduce and engage in courting rituals that involve the giving of gifts indicating wealth or feats of physical strength indicative of the ability to protect the female. Males who exhibit secondary gender characteristics that indicate this prowess are attractive. In all genders, individuals exhibiting signs of sexual arousal and readiness to mate (red lips, enlarged eyes and organs, revealing clothing) are considered approachable for sexual relations.   Once selected for mating by a female, the male will typically exhaust himself attempting to provide for his mate whom he guards jealously from other males. Males will poach the females of other males given the opportunity. This behavior makes for interesting pageants of social interaction, and humans are obsessed with success stories that lead to reproduction as a reward for accomplishment. These tales are conveyed in a way that resonates with the intended audience as a successful mating strategy.  

A Catastrophe Waiting to Happen: Social and Economic Systems

  Humans are tribal and highly competitive, indicating that the land of their origin was limited in critical resources necessary to assure survival of their race. They naturally organize into biologically related groupings, which they call families, expending their effort and resources on ensuring the survival of their offspring. Humans who pursue this strategy tend to produce high functioning adults who will ensure survival and well being of their own offspring.   Family units align to form communities that provide protection from threats (typically other human tribes). These communities - villages, towns, cities, and countries, effectively acquire or protect critical resources needed to care for themselves and their young. Communities increase the opportunity for trade and facilitate the creation of certain types of resources. Humans brought currency with them from Eryia. Humans have a propensity to centralize government, which seems to flow from their short lifetimes and unfortunately quarrelsome nature which leads them into war with each other on a regular basis. While humans are not as difficult to deal with as orcs, it is of little surprise that The Lost War was initiated by humans, and that their adversaries are the orcs.  

A Pantheon of Youth: Spiritual and Philosophical Leanings

  Humans are inclined towards the mystical and the instinctual practice of religion, a definitive indicator of sentience. Religious observation of humans focuses on the worship of their five gods Gemar, God of Death, Melandru Goddess of Nature, Dwayna, Goddess of healing air and water, Guldari, God of War and Honor , and Isvaida, goddess of beauty and illusion. These Ascended are the most recent of the gods. It is noteworthy that not all the human gods are positive role models. Isvaida, for example, is a highly deceptive goddess, Melandru is ruthless, as is Gemar, and Guldari seems at times to be, if not indifferent to, at least ignorant of the morality of the war that he embraces.  
"Mean isn't funny, Nasty isn't cute, Cruel isn't sticking up for yourself. Mean is mean, Nasty is nasty, Cruel is cruel, and a goddess who does any of it is downright ugly no matter what she looks like on the outside." - Melandru to Isvaida
  Human gods interact tangibly and regularly with their worshipers who are typically religiously observant. Continued mindful religious practice demonstrably modifies human behavior in a typically significant and positive way. The human gods and their priests maintain oversight of most cultural rites including presiding over birth, coming of age, marriage, and death rites. While humans typically will follow a god based on cultural or professional relevance, is not unusual for humans to worship more than one deity. Death ites for example are almost universally conducted under the auspices of Gemar, while it is very typical for inter-human conflicts to be conducted while opposing armies both seek the blessing of Guldari and ask for victory.

Human Northern Kingdom

Arrhynsia During the Period of the Human Northern Kingdom
Humans settled in Arrhynsia after the Shattering and spread across the North continent settling wild areas and building cities and towns wherever they went.

The Cataclysm


North Arrhynsia Before and After Humans:


Human Female with Child

  Note: feline individual in bottom right is a pet, not a sentient being.

Criminal Acts, Criminal Justice and Criminal Elements

    Unsurprisingly, humans engage in anti-social behaviors.   Criminal acts among humans disrupt the society or the power structure that governs it. Humans have made the following acts criminally illegal at multiple different times in their history:  
  • aggression against other members of the species resulting in injury and death,
  • negligence resulting in injury, death, or loss of property,
  • misappropriating possessions or resources,
  • misappropriating mates,
  • misrepresentation of facts in legal matters,
  • failure to provide adequate care for dependents,
  • failure to pay taxes,
  • failure to comply with government direction,
  • questioning the veracity or being critical of the government,
  • thinking or believing independently of government sanctioned thoughts.
Unlike other species, humans usually imprison or exile their criminal element rather than kill them. This was the source of multiple small waves of humans to the Arrynsian main continent until the Cataclysm.   Criminal organizations developed amongst humans when the government prohibited or overtaxed a good or service desired by the people. Humans have these organizations on both a local scale and in association with international/interracial criminal organizations, most notably the Fair Dealers.

Human "Culture"

    For humans, stories of heroism, responsibility and fortitude in the face of opposition, tragedy or malevolence are ingrained in their culture with reproductive opportunities offered as rewards. Even the stories of their gods teach these themes. Traveling bards convey these stories across communities ensuring cultural (and genetic) continuity.   Since humans are short lived, reproduction is a underlying theme that guides many cultural conventions. Dress is a key indicator of status both in socio-economic terms and in availability. Both males and females tend to dress as expensively as they can in clothes that emphasize their best secondary sexual characteristics while they are looking for a mate. Once they have acquired a mate or passed breedable age, they dress for comfort. Deliberately wasteful customs are prevalent amongst wealthy classes as this indicates the ability to tolerate economic loss and still sustain offspring.   Secondary concerns related to biological imperatives that are not sex and reproduction also have elaborate rituals. These include such items as management of conflict and dominance (a primary concern for short tempered, argumentative humans), and acquisition of food and shelter. Interestingly, one of the major cultural themes is the promotion of innovation and cooperation which humans have learned assist with survival of the species.   Humans are endlessly creative, possibly due to an overly active and undisciplined brain. Most of their endeavors in static and performing arts deal with topics that dominate stories and etiquette. Songs written by musicians and bards, plays and dance all focus on stories on classic themes with modern twists. Master painters and sculptors capture stories in art, although there is a recent trend in human art called abstract modern art which features unrecognizable subjects, a trend that indicates that human thought patterns are breaking down into nonsense, or that the artists are losing fundamental pattern recognition skills. This is very unfortunate, as a significant percent of Arrhynsia's finest art has been created by humans.

Cover image: by metamorworks
  • 30001 AH

    First Landing

    Led by Julius Grey, Humans Land in Portsend at the Northwest tip of the Draak'thor Massiff in what is now known at the First Wave.

  • 30001 AH

    Humans Arrive in Arrhynsia
    Discovery, Exploration

    The continent will never be the same.

    Human Species
  • 30025 AH

    Humans settle North Arrhynsia
    Population Migration / Travel

    Humans resettle their population from Portsend just across the Halphon Straights at Sigurd's Craw.

    More reading
    Additional timelines
  • 30057 AH

    Establishment of Cairne

    Northeast of Sigurd's Craw, humans expand into the central region of North Arrhynsia following the Gilt River and establish their largest city that would eventually become the center of the human empire.

    Additional timelines
  • 30124 AH

    Establishment of Magetown
    Construction beginning/end

    The Capital of Wizardry, Magetown was the birthplace of modern human magic, and effectively improved the lives of all citizens of Arrhynsia.

    Additional timelines
  • 30189 AH

    War of the Mages
    Military: War

    Not a war of Mages at all, but a war in which magical tools of war such as fire launchers, force sheilds, elemental walls and other magical items were first employed on a widespread basis and made a significant impact on the outcome of the war.

    Additional timelines
  • 30376 AH

    The Wave of Trouble
    Population Migration / Travel

    Humans adopt a policy of exiling human criminals creating havoc in the rest of Arrhynsia during the Second Wave.

    Additional timelines
  • 30663 AH

    Conquest and Reign of Julius Forthright III
    Life, Career

    Julius Forthright III formed an alliance with the Mageling familiy, his contemporaries who controlled the University of Arcane Studies and Mageville, then brought the human city states into order at the point of a sword, establishing Cairne and the Forthright family as the rulers of the First Human Empire.

    Additional timelines
  • 30788 AH

    The Wave of Sorrow
    Population Migration / Travel

    Humans driven from their homes by Luthreian the Mad migrate back to the Arrhynsian mainland as political refugees during the Third Wave.

    Additional timelines
  • 30821 AH

    The Telma War
    Military: War

    A War begin in love, foundered in betrayal, and fueled by unreasoning hate, the Telma War was the bloodiest war in the history of North Arrhynsia and the cause of the Fourth Wave.

    Additional timelines
  • 30900 AH

    The Cataclysm
    Disaster / Destruction

    Human wizards attempt to terraform their land, and turn it from a verdant paradise into the frozen Northern Wastes, initiating the Fifth Wave.

  • 30950 AH

    Humans Establish the Southern Kingdom

    After 50 years of searching and fighting for a new home, humans are pushed to the desert lands south of the Draakthor Massiff to make their future as best they can.

  • 31000 AH

    Land of the Short Arises

    The short unite to form a coalition government to defend their land and homes against incursions by the humans from the Southern Kingdom

  • 31527 AH

    31538 AH

    The Great Spell Plague
    Plague / Epidemic

    over 35% of all people living at the time died by a magically enhanced plague

  • 31943 AH

    31967 AH

    The Short Spell Plague
    Plague / Epidemic

    The current hostile relationship between the Land of the Short and the Southern Kingdom is due in no small part to the attempt of humans to exploit the suffering of the haflings in the Short Spell Plague and the suspicions of many that humans created it

  • 32025 AH


    The Lost War
    Military action

    A tribal squabble over a little orcish raiding throws the entire universe into peril, and unites a race of warmongering brutes into a genocidal horde with revenge on their mind.

  • 33018 AH

    19 /6 14:00

    The War of the Eternals
    Gathering / Conference

    The War of the Eternals was an effort of the celestials to wipe out the detestable practices of the Dark Mages. It became a pivot in the development of the underlying techology engine of the economy of the continent.


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Sep 26, 2022 08:14

Absolutely love this article which feels like an outside documentary looking in.

Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
not Ruleplaying
not Rollplaying
Sep 28, 2022 01:41 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

Thank You! Totally the attitude I was looking for. The world has different "authors" and I try to let them descend on me and speak in their voice when I write for them. The summer camp article Egiten Aizuain I did was an NPR interview - fun but a totally and completely different style. I think of WA as the "internet" of my world! All kinds of people and perspectives.

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Sep 26, 2022 16:33 by Cassie Storyweaver

I easily kept reading through to the very end. That your narrator - apparently an elf - describes humans so clinically, like a zoologist - is delightful: seeing everything thru the lense of evolution and survival of the species. The leavening of snooty critique keeps it from being dry. Loved reading it!

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Sep 28, 2022 01:34 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

Exactly what I was looking to accomplish! Thanks!

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Sep 28, 2022 15:08

This was an amusing article. I think it's ripe for using quotes to break up paragraphs and divide the topics the narrator talks about.

Sep 30, 2022 00:11 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

Thanks! I'll take a gander through it and see where they would be most effective! Appreciate the feedback!

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Sep 29, 2022 13:16

I like the outside perspective to humans :D But I'd love to see even more in-word perspective, insted of things that apply to humans everywhere. For example, you write how humans use clothes to attract mates, but it would be cool to see an example of an in-world item of clothing there.

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Sep 30, 2022 00:10 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

That's a good insight! Thanks, I'll look for that opportunity and refine!

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