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Peolin's Guide to the Peoples of Bedwyr

The Races of Bedwyr

Despite the small size of our lovely Bedwyr, a surprising number of folk can cram themselves in what seems like every little nook and cranny! I have traveled to every house, hole, and crevice that these folks call home in hopes to give a brief, accurate, and unbiased report of the races of Bedwyr, so that our Lady Vivianne may better understand the lands that rightfully belong to her.   This version of the text shall be written in Peasant's Common for accessibility, but copies of this text in the Lady's Common are available in my palace office. My scribe will read sections of this parchment outside the palace, in the interest of our Illiterate citizens.

Humans

Humans are the most plentiful people of Bedwyr, they can be found in almost every settlement throughout the land. They also have short and uneventful lives that drive their relentless and obsessive need for innovation. I, Unfortunately, owe half my ethnicity to humanity, so I suppose I have some insight into their communities.   Human culture is paradoxical, both civil and disobedient, harmonious and discordant. They don't often have high ranks in politics, and their traditions vary vastly in each city. They are also the least magically inclined folk of Bedwyr, although the current Archwizard of Lockviena happens to be a human. They are responsible for most war and most inventions in Bedwyr. While one might think orcs dominate war, and gnomes invention, Humans specialize in quantity. An Orc tribe might spend months planning the perfect raid, and a Gnome workshop could spend years making the perfect carriage, but a single Human might spend a night making a slightly better scythe then move onto the next invention.   My time with humans was one of much discomfort. They laugh far too often for my taste, though some in the court find this to be "charming". Despite our differences, Human families I spent time with took me in readily with great enthusiasm, and were ready to tell me tall tales well past any reasonable hour.   In conclusion, humans are the oddest folk in Bedwyr. They are hard to write much about, yet are far more interesting than what first meets the eye. I may have to spend more time with them for future editions of this book.

Elves

The beauty and intelligence of the Elves is not rivaled by any other folk that inhabits this world. Regrettably, there are not many Elves that inhabit Bedwyr. While their numbers are few, Elvish lives are long. In the 1,376 years of historical records, there have been no recordings of an Elf dying of old age. The elves refer to themselves as the "Elevani"   While the average citizen of Lockviena might only be aware of the Ael family, the lineage to which our Lady is a descendant, there are actually 5 known Elven families. Before I cover the Elvish families, a clarification is in order. The word "family" inaccurately describes elvish lineages, the reality is far more mystical.   An Elvish family is more accurately called a "Tya'litch", an elvish word meaning "Close Group". Elves are incapable of producing children by conventional methods and have no control over the production of an heir. An Elf can be born by any humanoid parents. That means, for example, two humans mating can result in an elf child being born. The mystic nature of Elvish birth does not end there, however. Elvish children will begin to have visions of their ancestor's memories. When an Elvish child finally can determine their Tya'litch, they often set out on a great journey to unite with their new family. While the Elf continues to live with their Tya'litch, it is not uncommon for them to stay in contact with their birth family.   The five Elven families are as follows: Ael (Ay-el)(High Lake Elf), Loss (Low-se)(Dark Elf), Gaer (Gay-er)(Sea Elf), Nim (Wood Elf), and Orod (ore-odd)(Mountain Elf).   House Ael resides in the court of Lockviena. House Loss, the most populous house, formerly oversaw Vronta and now is planning to establish a court in the Evershade Desert. House Gaer rules over the waves from their throne in Uquanil. House Nim is nomadic but no less powerful than the other families. Finally, House Orod watches over the Blackrock mountains in the mountaintop city of Dawri.   I, as a member of Lockviena's court, spend a lot of my time with House Ael. From my experience with this house alone, I can assure you that I will be returning with an entire edition detailing the endless complexities of Elven politics and culture. There is a reason I hold them in mythical regards, I have seen the feats of knowledge and magic they are capable of, it is truly a shame that they are wrapped up in conflicts against each other. Lady Vivienne did permit me to speak with all Houses, however, and they treated me with respect and kindness but did not cease the cold stares that one who has slighted an Elf is very familiar with.

Half-Elves

The Half-Elves occupy an interesting position in Bedwyr. While Elves cannot create Elvish children, children they create with other folk are born as Half-Elves. Elves don't often decide to have children with other folks, as Half-Elves only live around 350 years, meaning their parents will vastly outlive their own children. Half-Elves, while respected, are also not typically accepted into their respective Tya'litch. Their culture generally matches whatever people they found themself surrounded in, as there isn't really much union amongst Half-Elves.   As a Half-Elf, my existence is regrettable. I do not understand humans, and I could not hope to meet the standards that Elves hold for their Tya'litch. For this account, I took on the burden of communicating with my siblings. They view their existence as "the best of both worlds", and this sentiment is present in a large amount of the folk I interviewed. Some, however, share my worldview. Regardless of our perspective, Half-Elves do not have much sense of community, so there is not much "culture" to be defined.

Dragonborn

Dragonborn and Elves share a similar characteristic, they can be born from any pair of folk. Unlike Elves, the Dragonborn can procreate successfully. When a Dragonborn is spontaneously born, it is speculated that it is caused by the sheer magical presence of a dragon nearby. Dragonborn typically join up with various nomadic tribes, and within those tribes, they tend to associate with those of the same color. Furthermore, chromatic and metallic dragons don't tend to get along, although Dragonborn culture has been moving away from this trend.   During My time with the Dragonborn, I had several of my misconceptions scattered. While they are rather naturalistic and, they are excellent at building wooden and stone structures. Their architecture utilizes druidic magic in ways I never thought possible. While I was fascinated with their architecture, their idea of cuisine is rather, to put it nicely, disgusting.   It is my personal theory that the Dragonborn might become a more significant faction in the coming decades. Their travels have resulted in them building minor settlements in convenient locations. Their construction is immaculate, and I speculate that traders would gladly pay vast sums to stay in the safety of their stone encampments. If the Dragonborn were more willing to work with Elvish courts, I think they could truly make something beautiful.

Dwarves

The Dwarves of Bedwyr inhabit the Blackrock mountains, some clans live in cohabitation with other folks in the great city of Dawri, some live in vast mountainside strongholds, and some few clans roam as nomads in the deep cave systems of Blackrock, known as the "Underdark". I had great troubles getting the dwarfs, or the "Aziyem" as they prefer to be known, to be cooperative with my studies. Their language is as rough as their attitude. Even my translator, Ehvel, had a hard time understanding them when they finally began to trust us. In addition, Aziyemi strongholds are not available on maps, and the means of entry are heavily guarded secrets.   Despite their lack of desire to cooperate, they were more than happy to show us their creations. We were guided to the great forges of Fumilnarie, their blacksmithing citadel in the heart of the dormant Brukanawn Volcano. Weapons, armors, and tools of extreme quality are crafted in these forges, and it doubles as a sort of temple for the Aziyem.   Another interesting thing of note about the Aziyem language, their sentences are read from right to left, and lack punctuation. I am quite a fan of the rough runes that compose Aziyemi text, although the process of translation has been tedious and frustrating.  

Gnomes

During my travels to the Dwarvish stronghold of Nahihierralriasyrie, I was lucky enough to encounter a Gnomish Workmaster doing field research. He lead me to his workshop, Sprighallow, where I interviewed him and his workshop about Gnomish culture.   Gnomes operate in what are known as "Workshops." These workshops are usually comprised of one to three families, and each has its own unique field of study. The workshop I visited, Sprighallow, specializes in nature-based experimentation. Right now they are working on some medicinal salves made from easy-to-find forest-based ingredients. Usually once or twice a year, a workshop will meet with multiple other workshops to discuss inventions and ideas, and it gives a chance for gnomes to change what workshop they are with.  

Halflings

Halflings occupy a quaint position in the world. They typically live in farming communities outside of cities, these groups are often tight-knit. Despite the seemingly shy nature of their existence, some of the bravest heroes in Bedwyr's history are of the Halfling lineage.   I spent my time researching Halflings visiting communities along the road from Lockviena to Soldanas and learned that Halflings are quite enamored by storytelling. These stories often revolve around the beasts and monsters of Bedwyr, and although largely fantastical, they tend to be based on reality. My bodyguard, Kellan, is writing the Bestiary "Bedwyr's Beasts and Monsters", and he found these stories to be incredibly enlightening.  

Half-Barks

Half-Barks are one of the rarest folk you might encounter in Bedwyr. Their existence comes from the temporary alliance between the Darkwoods and the Elevani some hundred years ago. Typically the Darkwood parent of a Half-Bark is the humanoid creature known in Elvish as the "Julorken" but is more commonly known as the "Orc" in naturalism and the "Bloodbark" in the common tongue.   While most don't discriminate against the Half-Bark folk, their resemblance to creatures of the Darkwoods tends to invoke fright initially. Half-Barks typically look like the heritage from their non-Darkwood parent, but with a dark green tint to their skin and plant-ish features around the face. Folk with Bloodbark lineage tend to have enlarged lower canines.   Despite general stereotypes about the folk of the Darkwood, Half-Barks are not predisposed to malice. In fact, Lady Vivianne thinks that the Half-Bark are the key to diplomacy with the Darkwoods, and is seeking a Half-Bark for the court.  

Tieflings and Aasimar

The plane-touched are likely the rarest folk one could encounter in civilization. When a being from another plane manages to cross the great mist and subsequently does deals with mortals, Tiefling or Aasimar blood is integrated into their family.   While they owe their heritage to evil beings, Tieflings are not predisposed to evil. However, Tieflings are granted magical talents that lean towards the macabre. Because of this, most view Tieflings with disdain.   Most Aasimar are not necessarily predisposed to good, although some in history have been cursed with an inherent connection to the outside "divine". Even without a connection to the outside, Life as an Aasimar is quite extraordinary. Some Aasimar have been hunted and used for Darkwoods rituals, while others have been treated as minor deities and become the center of a minor cult. The most notable Aasimar alive today is the bandit Brew, who leads the religious bandit cult known as the "Plane-Bringers" along with his Tiefling husband, Lost.   Both Tieflings and Aasimar are oddities in Bedwyr, as connections with outside deities are very rare.
Type
Guide, Generic
Medium
Paper

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