Metanarrative: Social Section
Irrum Vath is home to four distinct races: the kobolds, the elves (or the Irra, as they call themselves), the tall and burly Bajir, and the enigmatic Lymantria. Though they live together in the mountain, relations between the kobolds and the elves are somewhat strained. They both follow the same rules of law, but their natural demeanor and internal culture varies greatly. The kobolds are a communal race. They work together in most tasks, such as hunting or mining. Kobolds have lived in the mountain for thousands of years. They were sent there by the dragons to mine precious ore. When the dragons died out, the kobolds decided to stay there. Their settlements are diverse and robust. They live in a series of tunnels, with groupings living in small caves dug in the walls. Kobolds are the fastest reproducing of any of the humanoid races, as such, they are prone to overcrowding. Overcrowding is the main source of conflict among kobolds, and is often resolved when larger tribes split into several smaller ones. While overcrowding tends to lead to grievances these grievances are short-lived as they often resolve their disputes quickly through fighting. Kobolds resent their shortness and dislike taller species that taunt their small stature, even perceived slights. Their communal nature leads them to not consider nudity as shameful. The purpose of kobold clothing is either functional or ritual. Kobolds often assign their domesticated dire weasels to guard the entrances of their caves and assist them with hunting. These same weasels are used as mounts during long-distance travel. The domestication of dire weasels led to lycanthropic kobold dire weasels. Approximately 1 in 10000 kobolds are born with this lycanthropy. The Irra, however, live closer to the surface of the mountain. They live in a vast cavern in the mountain, where they build dwellings out of dirt and stone. Their ancestors were enslaved by ancient humans, who twisted and mutated their forms into what they are today. While they used to dwell in forests, they settled on Irrum Vath to be more secluded from the outside world. After the great war, humans were often attacked by other races, and so preferred to live away from other societies. While they used to eat meat, the Irra are insectivores. They eat the bugs that live in the mountain, though they mostly eat vegetation that they grow inside their cave. As their society begins to outgrow the cavern, the Irra have begun to consider expanding the cave. The Lymantria are a reclusive advanced race of artificers that live near the peak of Irrum Vath. Their reclusivity has been waning alongside the dying magic of the world, resulting in their descending from the peak to trade more often. Lymantria are nocturnal by nature and worship the moon goddess. This religious worship leads them to be attracted to light and led them to initially settle the peak of Irrum Vath to be closer to their god. Due to the Irra’s height, the kobolds are naturally somewhat resentful of them. It doesn’t help that some resentment remains from the great war. They live on different levels of the mountain, so they don’t often interact with one another, although they have clashed at times when the Irra wanted to expand their cavern. Though their relationship is often strained, the kobolds and Irra are usually eager to trade with each other. The peoples of Irrum Vath have no great disdain for outsiders to their mountain. These travelers, traders, and refugees often bring news and stories of the outside world. People from external to Irrum Vath will often bicker with each other leading to some small and occasional resentment. The most common group of outsiders that set foot in the underground lands of Irrum Vath are the Bajir, far flung descendants of the ancient humans. Upon the base of the mountain, they form tight bands of peoples, hunters, and gatherers following the lead of a small handful of chiefs and priests. Like nomads, they travel the base and the slopes of the mountain, forming small settlements in the valley only to pick up and move as the seasons shift, and the beasts of the mountain move their hunting grounds. Their hardy, primal bodies hold incredible strength and durability, and it is said that a proper Bajir hunt could last for weeks if not months. Their small numbers however make hunting dangerous, as every death becomes keenly felt by the community. And in recent years, there are those that have come from further afield, larger bands of Bajir tumbling through the valley around Irrum Vath like thunder, driving further into the land in search of hunt, and territory. For them, the mountain poses challenge and mystery, a source of strange beasts and stranger cities, whether it be for conquest or for mingling. One common thread to their stories and conversations as they talk to those who offer bounty for their hunt is that they could not stay where they came from any longer due to the conflict and chaos of their homelands. Bearing strange arms and strange notions, they make it a point of pride to slay that which the Irra consider threats to their people, and these distant hunters have fast formed a rivalry. In the aftermath of any hunt, distant shouts and revelry can be heard from far outside the mountain, and the pounding of dancing and drums sends rhythmic vibrations deep into even the territory of the Kobolds, who consider the noise a public nuisance.