Other Races in the Free Kingdoms
- Consult your Dungeon Master before playing these races in the Free Kingdoms. They are extremely rare compared to the Six Races.
- Aaracokra (air-ah-caulk-ra) were created by the arch-wizards of Alphos to guard the Skymotes that float above the Heartlands. When the Elveswar began, they were quickly abandoned. Now, the aarakocra remember their connection to the Wise Folk only vaguely, and their people are only a few centuries old. Likewise, they are frail arcane creation with exceedingly short lifespans (~30 years), and have become a people desperately in search of a culture of their own. All that can be said for them is an extreme claustrophobia and a love of flying. They are uncomfortable on land, and as a result, rarely venture away from their homes above the ground without compelling reason.
- Firbolgs (“fey giants”) and gnomes share the task of being intermediaries from the The Court of Fey to the material world. The fact that there are two species dedicated to this speaks to a strange creation-myth of an ancient people bisected into two races. Now, they maintain the places in the material world where liminal spaces to the The Court of Fey exist, and dwell in small enclaves in the The Forest of Veils, guarded by mist and watched by trees. They are reclusive sorts, who rarely find themselves beyond the boundaries of the forest, unless taken by wanderlust, cast out as exiles, or questing in-service of a fey master. Firbolgs, as the warriors and security-seekers, tend to be more conservative and wary, while gnomes are quiet observers who approach life with curiosity.
- This curiosity once led a sub-culture of gnomes out of the The Forest of Veils and into the wider world. They were responsible for founding the city of Glimm in the Giantshield Mountains, forming a scholarly culture. They were famously gifted with tinkers' tools, and augmented their mechanical constructions with magic, until they were wiped out by a strange disease. Superstitions persist that if a gnome or firbolg strays too far from the ways of the fey, they will be consumed by this wasting sickness.
- The goliath, as the predestined guardians of the Stone Teeth cannot be stirred form their purpose easily. But if one does, it is for a truly great undertaking.
- The crow-faced kenku speak to the cruelty to the wizards of old Alphos. The word "kenku" comes from an archaic words the elves used for "thief", and polymorphing criminals into animals during their sentence was a common punishment. However, particularly cruel wizards experimented with permanently transforming criminals into these wretched, bird-like humanoids, and their lineage has since persisted over time. The crow-folk dwell in small groups in the dark corners of Ralindor, and perhaps other large cities. They can uncannily mimic sounds, but are unable to properly speak on their own, and have been denied a place in society, leaving most to be criminals and beggars, but some might take up the adventuring life.
- The Kin, disparagingly referred to as "mongrel-men", live in the sewers and catacombs beneath Ralindor. The Kin are the result of insane magical experiments during the Age of Alphos to cross-breed dozens of species, and their bodies feature many traits across different races, leading to an ungainly appearance. They are seldom welcome in polite society, where they are shunned and abused, leading them to be skittish and wary of false promises, but a member of the Kin might work up the courage to venture into the light, in search of better things. Despite their harsh circumstances -- or perhaps because of them -- the Kin are accepting of other races, treating everyone as equals, regardless of parentage or social status. Deep down, they are peaceful recluses who know better than anyone the value of beauty and kindness. The Kin are only known to live in the underground sewers and catacombs beneath the Free City of Ralindor, but other groups of them could exist elsewhere.
- While they far from allies of men, the reptilian kobolds lack the same cosmic evil of goblins; a rare individual might break the mold and take up the life of the questing beast. Kobolds place a premium on cooperation, togetherness, and group survival -- usually, this concerns their tribe, but when separated from these bonds, they could form strong bonds with anyone they ally with. A kobold adventurer might view his companions as a surrogate tribe.
- The same goes for the lizard-men of the Gray Mire , whose alien mindset mostly prevents them from being entirely good or evil. They are survival-minded and more primitive than other races, but they coexist alongside, and are familiar with the Swampers of the Gray Mire.
- During the Age of Alphos, elven diviners predicted the downfall of the Empire, causing many elves to flee underground, to the Lands Below, where they turned to the worship of demons to survive, becoming the Night Elves. The vast majority of Night Elves are unspeakably cruel and treacherous.
- The Planes-Touched is an umbrella-term for humans that have had their lineage influenced by the outer planes of existence. Humans seem highly receptive to magical influence, and thus planes-touched individuals are born through humans interacting with magical forces. However, they are too rare to have a culture of their own. In fact, they act like and resemble humans almost identically, save a few clearly-magical features.
- Aasimar and tieflings, those distantly related to celestial or infernal creatures, and aside from a few-odd physical features (small horns, glowing eyes, etc.), are excellent at blending in among men. Aasimar are descended from the angels of Celestia or even gods of good (think virgin-births), and almost always exist for some divine purpose. Conversely, the misbegotten tieflings trace their ancestry to the demons and devils who battle over the Lower Planes, and have difficulty escaping their monstrous reputation. They congregate in the Fell Brotherhood.
- Changelings are either born directly to fey parents, such as a dryad or satyr, or through association. Even living in a place near a liminal space leading to the Court of Fey is thought to bring about a changeling-birth. Changelings seem exceedingly rare, but this is because of their talent for trickery and ability to shape-shift into other people; they typically prefer these disguises, and often feel at-odds with their fey heritage.
- Genasi are the rarest of the planes-touched. They are to the Roiling Chaos what tieflings are to the Lower Planes, born as a result of an ancestral connection to powerful elemental magic. Unlike other planes-touched, the genasi have a clearly alien appearance (e.g. earth genasi have skin that resembles mottled stone, and fire genasi may have flames where their hair should be, etc.), and as such, they keep to themselves. Most genasi hail from Stygia, from now-prominent families that forged pacts with powerful genies long ago. Entire Stygian noble lines are made up of genasi of the same type, and many of the Ruby Sultans are genasi themselves.
Legends & Lore: The Twinsouls (or the Gnomish Creation Myth): The towering firbolgs and diminutive gnomes were once a singular people, chosen by the fey lords and the faerie queens to serve as scouts to the material world and emissaries to its people. The name of their people has been erased from history, but the Sylvan tongue refers to them as having “twin-souls”, blessed with the might of firbolgs, and the gnomes’ talent for magic. Such power and wisdom brought with it haughtiness, and eventually a belief that they were better than their fey roots. So, their creators split them into two distinct parts; the gnomes retained more magic than the firbolgs, but none of their strength or talent for bravery, and both were humbled for it. Now, for every gnome born, there is a firbolg, and when asked about their reclusive nature or why every gnome counts at least one firbolg as a close companion, they typically refer to this story.
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