Fire ethnicity Ethnicity in Scarterra | World Anvil

Fire ethnicity

Fire ethnicity transcends race and species. Most mortals and many beasts that live in areas saturated with the elemental energy of fire develop at least some physical or spiritual fiery traits. A mortal or beast with lots of inherent essence of the elemental energy of fire can pass these traits to his or her offspring even if the child is born well away from any location exposed to the elemental energy of fire.     The "essence of fire" is more figurative than literal because anywhere that supports animal life needs to be somewhat warm or they will freeze to death and non-coldblooded creatures need to retain a relatively high internal body temperature. Fiery people only have an almost negligibly higher body temperature than non-fiery people. A modern thermometer could register the difference, but Scarterra doesn’t have thermometers, modern or otherwise.    

Where Can They Be Found?

    Fire elemental energy is most prevalent near Scarterra’s equator. Most but not all of Scarterra’s equatorial region is coastal so it’s very common to find people with co-dominant fiery and watery traits here.     Outside the equator, there are many pockets of fiery elemental energy in odd places creating volcanoes and deserts. This creates distinct fiery minorities in a great many places. The largest enclave of fiery elemental energy and thus fiery people in Scarterra is the Great Colassian Desert. Most desert dwellers have dominant fiery traits. Outside the desert proper in the ecotone that is the savannah, mortals tend to have co-dominant fiery and earthy traits.     Both in Scarterra and Scaraqua, fiery elemental fonts create small localized pockets of fiery individuals. They are usually pretty obvious because geothermic forces make these areas noticeably warmer than other places at the same latitude and elevation.     Fire is essential for forging metal and hardening pottery and by extension fire is metaphysically linked to all crafting actions, even those that don’t technically require fire. Craftsmen have a tendency to pass greater fiery traits on to their children than non-craftsmen.     What Scarterrans call "fire essence", Scaraquans call "sky touched." According to Scaraquans, all fire comes from the sky manifesting as the sun, moon, and stars. Scaraquans that dwell primarily in warmer waters tend to “sky touched.” This includes equatorial waters and shallow waters in general. Despite how often Scaraquans talk about “sky fire” there are a few vents on the sea floor of Scaraqua that release a lot of heat in the localized area. Especially the region known as the Boiling Sea. Scaraquans hailing from these regions develop “sky touched” traits even if they normally swim far from Sky .     Note that all Scaraquans are naturally exposed to the elemental essence of water constantly. What Scarterrans call “watery”, Scaraquans call “normal.” A “sky touched” merfolk is going to have a mix of watery and fiery traits.    

Basic Physical Traits

    Humans and demihumans with strong fiery traits tend to have orange tinted or bronze skin tones of varying shades. Hair tends to grow in difficult to comb frizzy colicky manes. Hair color tends to be varying shades of yellow, orange, or red. Children and adolescents often have highlights or accents of shocking colors like purple or blue, but this usually disappears by adulthood. Adults will sometimes dye their hair with exotic highlights to look younger.     The plurality of fiery people have grey eyes. Red, yellow, purple, and coppery eyes are known. Eye colors tend to get darker past middle age. Most fiery people have roundish noses..     Fiery people develop some of the same signs of aging of most other elemental ethnicities, loss of muscle mass, accumulation of wrinkles, etc. One thing that sets fiery people apart is that their hair and skin tends to get darker when they age whereas almost everyone gets lighter. As a result, a semi-derogatory term for older fiery people is “ash people” or “cindering people.” Arthritis and other joint issues are slightly more common among older fiery people than among the other three ethnicities but fiery people seem to be a bit more resistant to mental deterioration.    

Psychology And Stereotypes

    Mortals have free will and their personalities are shaped by life experiences as much as their birth traits, but there nevertheless tendencies and stereotypes associated with fiery people. Fiery people are said to be courageous, often recklessly so. Fiery people are often considered hotheaded and hot tempered, rarely afraid to express their emotions, especially anger.     Fiery people are often said to be touched by Khemra, and Nami, and to a lesser extent Hallisan. Mortals born under their Zodiac signs are likely to manifest slightly more physical and mental attributes of fiery people than their parent cultures.    

Mixed Race Fiery People

    A majority of the time, "mixed element" mortals meet in the middle. Mixed race fiery people tend to cast a reddish or orangish tint on the base hair and skin colors of the other elements they are mixed with. Eye colors of mixed fiery people tend to skew towards darker shades.     There are many islands near the equator and these regions tend to have a lot of humans who have co-dominant or nearly co-dominant fire and water traits. This ethnic cross is sometimes nicknamed “steamy.” Both watery and fiery people are said to be ruled by their emotions and impulses and fairly or unfairly, steamy people have a reputation for promiscuity.    
About one-in-four instances, the reddish coloration of fiery people and the bluish coloration of watery people results in mortals with purple skin and/or purple hair. Many outsiders consider purple people, especially women to be exotically beautiful, but in regions where purple people are relatively common, they are not treated that differently from every other fiery/watery person.
by me with Hero Forge
by Eron12 with Hero Forge
by Eron12 on Hero Forge
Fiery/earthy hybrids pop up commonly in the two Colassias. In West Colassia, they are fairly commonly seen in the semi-warm south central band of land and in East Colassia they are commonly found in or near the savannah region. Elsewhere, this ethnic combination is less common, often being limited to areas near volcanoes. Fiery/earthy people are considered hearty and strong and are often disproportionately represented among the greatest craftsmen and builder combining a fiery person’s passion and creativity with an earthy person’s focus and drive. Many dwarves have primary earthy traits with strong secondary fiery traits and they consider this closely linked to their great ability to work with metal and stone.
    It is very rare to find any mortal with heavy fiery and heavy airy traits. When it does occur, it is usually the result of an unlikely mating of a fiery and airy person, but it could occur at a rarified site such as a volcano in a cold region or an air pocket or magic font in a hot region. These individuals are too rare to stereotype.    

Who Are They?

    humans with overwhelming dominant fiery traits are rare but humans with mixed fiery traits are fairly common. The deserts of the Island of Khemarok and the massive Great Colassian Desert house a fair bit few fiery people and mixed fiery/earthy people. The equatorial zone of Scarterra has a lots of mixed fiery/watery humans.     A plurality if not a majority of grey elves have mixed fiery and watery traits, while a sizeable minority have mixed earthy and fiery traits and small minority with exclusive or near exclusive fiery traits. Among other elf ethnicities, fiery traits are fairly rare, not counting the obvious exception of the volcanic wood elf minority. A few dark elves in the south of Kahdisteria have secondary or tertiary fiery traits.     Most dwarves have visible if not highly pronounced secondary fiery traits. A small number of them have primary fiery traits. The Mondarian dwarves, ever the oddballs of the dwarf race usually have three codominant traits: water, earth, and fire.     Fiery gnomes are relatively uncommon. A few gnomes living in warm areas develop fiery traits but most gnomes have an innate metaphysical bias towards water and earth keeping the proverbial fiery traits at bay.     Fiery orcs are rare, but a few orcs are pressing south, so their numbers are growing. Fiery orcs develop reddish skin which is usually dark red because it’s diluted with the greys of airy orcs or the black tones of earthy orcs.

Fiery Beasts

by Me with Midjourney
  Beasts with heavy fire traits can survive on less water than most other beasts and can certainly tolerate high temperatures. Beyond the obvious, fiery beasts are often stubborn and tenacious and above all are survivors. They can tough through pain, discomfort and other challenges not directly related to heat or a lack of water though not toos surprisingly, fiery creatures don't fare well in cold enviroments.   Various shades or orange, red, or yellow are the norm for the fur and feathers of most fiery animals. Unsurprisingly, they tend to have thinner coats and less warming down feathers than other beasts.   Fiery domesticated animals are often viewed as undesireable because of their famous stubborness and tenacity. They are more likely to bite, kick, or scratch at their supposed "owners". On the plus side, fiery livestock require less upkeep and are better at fending off predators and natural hazards than most other elemental breeds.   Mortals living in hot areas, have little choice but to keep fiery livestock since other livestock won't last long in these locations, but breeders rarely choose to take fiery livestock to sell in other regions though a few ranchers, traders, and traveling merchants believe fiery animals make superior beasts of burden. More than a few breeders believe co-dominant fiery and earthy traits make very strong and resilient, but still manageable steeds and beasts of burden. Most domesticted camels fit this general mode.
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Cover image: Commissioned Scarterra Fire couple by Diana Rahfoth


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