Races of the Flanaess
All humans conform to the full description and all restrictions given in the 5th edition PHB, with the following descriptive changes.
The Baklunish people are mostly the northwestern regions of the Flanaess in Zeif, Ull, Ekbir, and the Tiger Nomads. Somewhat like the Suel, the Baklunish tend toward magic as well. They are known for inventing new elemental spells. Their reputation for magic is due to the Rain of Colorless Fire that the Baklunish loosed upon the Suel Imperium a millennium ago.
Their skin is golden and their eyes are most commonly green or gray-green with gray and hazel less frequent. They are split into two major groups. Nomadic herdsmen and farmers and traders. The Baklunish people have golden skin and tend toward gray or green eyes and dark hair.
These are considered the original peoples of eastern Oerik. This is where the term Flanaess has come from. This group of people was originally nomads with probably no permanent cities. They were scattered throughout the Flanaess by the Suel and Oeridians a thousand years ago.
Nations and states that identify with Flan heritage are the Duchy of Tenh (which claim to be pure Flan and immensely proud of that fact), Geoff, Sterich, Rovers of the Barrens, Stonehold, and the Theocracy of the Pale. The early Flannae were peaceful nomads and traveled the land seasonally. They lived off the land and held nature in high regard. Today some of the pureblooded Flanne show many characteristics of their ancestors. They prefer the open outdoors to cities and tend to have habits such as planting a tree next to the door of their home. If that tree should die or fall sick it could mean the family should move or some sort of evil influence is about.
Most Flannae are bronze in skin tone and have dark wavy or curly hair. Their complexions can be from a lighter coppery color to deep brown and their hair is usually black but also can be dark brown or brown.
When the Oeridians came to the Flanaess from the west they eventually took what is now Furyondy, Perrenland, the Shield Lands, the Great Kingdom of North Aerdy, the United Kingdom of Ahlissa, Onnwal and Sunndi.
The Oeridians were fierce warriors and conquerors by nature. They tend to take charge and follow orders even willing to sacrifice everything for the cause they are currently involved in. They put much emphasis on combat and are always striving to better tactics by improving weapons and armor as well as inventing new types of arms, magical armor, and magical combat spells.
Oeridians are harder to distinguish from other races since their skin ranges from tan to olive and hair from honey-blonde to black. Brown and auburn are the most commonly seen colors of hair and their eyes can be of every known color, but mostly brown or gray. What makes the Oeridians notable is their choice of clothing. They like things such as plaid and checks and such.
The Purebloods. Old Oeridian blood dominates the great central plains lands and royalty. Oeridian stock tends to the practical, straightforward, and unimaginative. At least, this is true nowadays, although it was not always so -- else, the Oeridians would not have been such magnificent colonialists. Rather, those Oeridians who resist mixing with other peoples and stay pureblooded are those who tend to be distrustful of what they do not know, and consequently lacking in imagination and creativity. Nonetheless, hard work, honesty, and loyalty are the positive side of these folk.
The Rhennee is a group of people that supposedly aren't even native to Oerth. They may have come to the land from another plane although they cannot remember what it was like only that it was vastly different than the Flanaess in a place called Rhop.
They live on the waterways mostly with whole clans of families living on barges. They tend to make their living by transporting goods and people. The head of a family is a matriarch, but all other women are looked at a bit lower. The matriarch is usually a fortune teller and predictor of weather. There is no formal marriage in Rhennee society so men usually have many wives. The men tend to be proud and aggressive to a non-Rhennee male that would look favorably toward one of his women. Very rarely do Rhennee mix outside of their race.
The customs they keep tend to be a bit strange to outsiders and the Rhennee don't seem to mind. They tend to walk more along the lines of neutrality than to any good or evil, but recently some have taken up with evil cults such as Vecna and Iuz.
At first, they could be taken as Oeridians since they have much of the same physical appearance with tan to olive skin and black to dark brown hair. Their eyes are usually brown, gray or hazel. They are a small built people, males rarely averaging above 5'6", but are strong.
No one knows what the ancient homeland of the Suel was like. It was destroyed by the Rain of Colorless Fire turning it into the desert called the Sea of Dust. They say there is treasure of the ancient cities of the Suel there, but the climate is not very nice.
The barbarians to the north, Ice, Frost, and Snow are examples of perfect Suel blood. They are also located in the Duchy of Urnst, islands off the coast of the Flannaess, and the Scarlet Brotherhood on the Tilvanot Peninsula.
The Suel have strong family ties as well as a strong bond for ancestral heritage. They are pale-skinned and tend toward blue eyes and blond, white or red hair. They are short-tempered and opinionated to the point that there is a popular saying the Flanaess that says, "when all the Suloise has left the table," meaning nothing will get accomplished until everyone has an open mind with the matter at hand.
They tend to be very dexterous and most tend toward magic. The Suel has a long line of wizardry and production of powerful magic finally producing the Invoked Devastation that destroyed the Baklunish Empire from the Suel Imperium. These are the fairest skin of all the races of the Flanaess, almost being albino. Their eyes can be from pale blue and violet through deep blue and sometimes gray. Their hair ranges in the strawberry blondes, yellows and platinum.
Humans from mixed racial backgrounds conform to the standard humans from the 5th edition PHB, with notable exceptions as listed below.
Oeridian-Suel. This folk tends toward evil alignments more predominantly than purebloods. An aptitude for magic runs strongly in certain families, especially for more subtle, arcane, and evil (necromantic) magics. Oeridian-Suel people are often cunning, sly, and distrusted by others. This is far less true of the Suel-Oeridian mix which dominates the lands of the Sea Barons. A certain degree of cruelty and cowardice is found there, but these folk are more straightforward and less magically adept.
Oeridian-Flan. Because this mix is found to the north and east, which has always been frontier territory, the Oeridian-Flan people tend to be self-reliant, more Chaotic than others, and rugged, hardy, and adventurous. Customs, such as festival rituals, greetings, burial practices, and even religious and superstitious beliefs, show clearly the affinity with the barbarians of the north, even if most Oeridian-Flan folk are settled and "civilized" these days. A rougher, less "cultured," and more forthright people, Oeridian-Flan people are inclined to resent others in Aerdy, feeling that many are milksops, living an easy life in the rich central lands, and have some contempt for them.
Conversely, the only demi-human race of any real note within Aerdi are elves, because of their presence in the Adri and Grandwood forests. There are a handful of evil half-elves serving Aerdi noblemen, but they are rarities. These areas always have been important because of their resources, and elves play a dominant role in dealing with woodsmen and Aerdi merchants who come to trade in the fruits of the forests.
The elven presence is important because of the way elves have become a bastion of resistance to the changes in Aerdi under the House of Naelax; while the wood elves (and fewer high and gray elves) have adhered to the values of Good, they have even more strongly tended to emphasize the value of Chaos and self-determination.
There is little doubt that resistance to Ivid's oppression, and those of his forefathers', have been made easier because elves retreated into seclusion and self-sufficiency rather than moving to aid those who opposed the overkings more directly. Times are changing, and the druids and rangers of the east find many allies among the elves now. In the Grandwood and Lone Heath, in particular, the alliances of elves with humans are vital to the defense of homelands. Still, many such as the Sentinels of the Adri, or the grugach, remain aloof and uncaring of the fate of humanity.
The other demi-human races are not of importance in nation-wide terms, though a few pockets of dwarves, gnomes, and halflings are of note in specific areas.
Elves (The Olvenfolk)
Elves had inhabited the Flanaess long before the Baklunish-Suloise wars and the subsequent intrusion of Oerid and Suel peoples. The newcomers forced the elves to retreat from the plains into their forest strongholds, and they have remained there ever since. High elves and Sylvan elves primarily inhabit the areas around Highfolk, although other elven subraces do exist in other areas of the Flanaess.
Grey Elves (High Elves). These elves are often reclusive, keeping to themselves within the Kingdoms of Celene and Sunndi. There are a few that still extend themselves into the affairs of humankind. Most are magically adept but many have become warriors due to conflicts with the Scarlet Brotherhood and the Great Kingdom. In nearly every other way, gray elves match the high elf from the 5th edition PHB, with the following descriptive changes. Grey elves have pale skin, silver hair, and amber eyes, or golden hair and violet eyes. They are slight of build and stand about five feet tall on average.
Sylvan Elves (Wood Elves). These elves tend to be even more reclusive than the gray elves, even avoiding other elves when possible. They also make their home in the Kingdom of Celene and Ulek, and also in most of the ancient forests of the Flanaess. In nearly every other way, sylvan elves match the wood elf from the 5th edition PHB, with the following descriptive changes. Sylvan elves are similar to high elves, except most have much darker skin tones and some have copper-ish hair colors. They dress in browns and greens.
Grugach Elves (Wood Elves). These elves are a wild elf that is smaller and thinner than a typical elf, and very fair. Despite their small stature, they are very strong and characteristically wide at the shoulders. When not in their tribal bands, they dress in leather armor decorated with the shapes of leaves or of the animals of the deep forest.
Valley Elves (High Elves). Whether a separate race of elvenkind or simply an offshoot of gray elves, the elves of the Valley of the Mage have distinctive features and characteristics. In the World of Greyhawk, they are found only in the immediate vicinity of the Valley of the Mage. They are known as valley elves to most races, but other elves use a derogatory term implying the status of slaves or created things rather than servants or allies. Valley elves are as tall as most humans but thin with sharp and pointed features. Their hair is pale yellow in the summer, darkening to rich gold in the winter months. They dress in blues and greens, usually in garments that are loose and flowing. When necessary, valley elves can pass as humans.
Half-Elf. Half-elves conform to the standards given in the 5th edition PHB.
Dwarves (The Dwurfolk)
Dwarves are a steadfast people that inhabit the underground reaches of hills and mountains of the Flanaess. Although they keep to themselves for the most part, dwarves have ever been loyal allies against giant and humanoid invasions no matter where they live. Near Bissel, dwarves are mainly found in the Lortmil Mountains and their lesser cousins, the Lorridges.
Dwarves live very long lives, though not quite as long as elves. They prefer to live underground in vast caverns or tunnel systems where they mine precious metals and gems. Dwarves have a reputation for being taciturn and grumpy, but make excellent allies in any type of battle or warfare. They mostly consider any non-dwarven folk as "outsiders", and don't like to get involved with any conflicts and politics aside from their own.
All dwarves are about four feet tall, broad-shouldered and muscular, with tanned reddish or brownish skin, and brown or black eyes. Males and females can both wear beards, but most females are known to be smooth-faced. They stand about 4 feet tall, are always bearded, and have earthy skin tones.
Hill Dwarves. These dwarves are the most common and most populous type of dwarf in the Flanaess. They are very cooperative with other races (when they feel like it's worth their time), and are especially valuable in conflicts with giants and humanoids. In nearly every other way, the Flanaess hill dwarves match the description of dwarves from the 5th edition PHB, with the following descriptive changes.
Mountain Dwarves. These dwarves are less common, taller, and paler than their cousins. They tend to stay secluded deep within the mountains, sharing secrets and stories of the deep delves that others only dream of as legend. In nearly every other way, the Flanaess mountain dwarves match the description of dwarves from the 5th edition PHB.
Gnomes (The Noniz)
Gnomes prefer a more open country than their cousins the dwarves, being found in the hills and forests of the land. They do make their homes underground for the most part, but do not delve as deep as the dwarves, nor remain underground for the better part of their days. As with the dwarves, gnomes near Bissel are found in the Lorridges and the Northern Lorridges, the latter being allied with Highfolk. In nearly every other way, the Flanaess gnomes match the description of gnomes from the 5th edition PHB. Gnomes are smaller and slighter than dwarves and have wood-colored skin (light ash to dark oaken tones).
Halflings (The Hobniz)
Halflings live in the gentle grassland hills of the Sheldomar valley, keeping mainly to themselves unless disturbed. A race of halflings live amongst the elves of Highfolk and are commonly seen in that area. The more common halflings are mostly located near the Lorridges in Bissel, where they have established small burrow communities. In nearly every other way, the Flanaess halflings match the description of halflings from the 5th edition PHB. Halflings stand only half as high as humans, and sport a light covering of hair over most of their feet. They have tanned skin and tend towards dark hair and eyes.
Half-Ocs conform to the standards from the 5th edition PHB.
An increasing number of humanoid mercenaries have been employed within Aerdy. Originally, their use was confined to the Naelax lands, and especially in the North Province, where Bone March humanoids are used as troops. Ivid himself introduced the fierce Euroz into Rauxes as an elite guard. Recruiting humanoids from the Bone March has become an increasingly common practice outside of the southern lands; some are also recruited from the small enclaves in the Grandwood.
The advantage to the rulers who paid such armies was an instant manpower boost. While the new armies had to be paid, the full productive capacity of the land could still be maintained. Men who might at other times have been recruited forcibly into poorly-equipped peasant levies with wretched morale and training could stick with what they were good at -- growing food and making goods -- while the orcish militia arrived with fair equipment, fair discipline, and real eagerness for the fray.
Gnolls are big, nocturnal, hyena-headed scavengers who band together very loosely. Their packs are riddled with infighting and treachery. Filthy and vile, gnolls are also strong and roam widely through every clime, threatening outlying areas. They take slaves but always look for more, as gnolls tend to eat them. Some of their largest and most feared warbands include the Scarsavage, Gashclaw, Lowgorge, Foulpelt, Retchtongue, and Battlehowl. Many gnolls dwell in the Pomarj and in Bone March.
Hobgoblins (High Jebline)
Hobgoblins are larger and more disciplined than orcs. Their tribes always fight to determine dominance, but once this order has been established the tribes frequently work together. Some of the most successful tribes are the Rippers, the Leg Breakers, the Skull Smashers, the Flesh Renders, the Marrow Suckers, the Flayers, and the Slow Killers. A great many hobgoblins live in the western part of the Empire of Iuz, and some in Bone March.
Evil orcs are all too common across the Flanaess. Undisciplined, bestial, and savage, orcs have severe tribal rivalries and do not cooperate unless controlled by a very strong leader. Major tribes include the Vile Rune, the Bloody Head, the Death Moon, the Broken Bone, the Evil Eye, the Leprous Hand, the Rotting Eye, and the Dripping Blade. Orcs are frequently encountered as mercenaries in the Empire of Iuz, Pomarj, Bone March, and across the North Kingdom. Orc-ogre crossbreeds are particularly dangerous and are known in several areas.
Half-orcs. The children of orcs and humans are usually born under unhappy circumstances in border areas between orc and human cultures. Dark of mood and nature, many half-orcs achieve renown despite their rejection by their parents' folk and many others. In this regard, they are similar to the much rarer half-ogres.
Goblins are insidious nighttime raiders averaging 4 feet in height. More powerful creatures usually dominate them, though all goblins swear fealty to the name of the local goblin king. The names of their best-known tribes include Night Terror, Death Feast, Black Agony, Poison Wound, Bitter Ruin, and Dire Oath. Goblins are scattered across the Flanaess in hundreds of places.
The kobolds are small, vicious, reptilian scavengers, picked on by every larger race. Their most numerous tribes include the Torturers, the Impalers, the Gougers, the Cripplers, and the Mutilators. Like goblins, they are found in many places.
Certain huge, wicked races gather only in loose bands that are highly unstable, though often large in size. Members of these races are strong and fierce, and some prefer to ally with or dominate other wicked folk rather than associate with their own savage kindred.
The most vicious of these beings are the trolls, called truknt. Trolls are without fear and often band together with the eiger, as ogres are known; trolls can also be found as guardians in gnoll dens. Stupid, huge, murderous ogres readily join orcs or gnolls to raid and plunder. Buchveer, the hairy goblinoid bugbears, assume mastery of smaller goblin communities whenever it suits them.
Beyond these groups are centaurs, sprites, giants, dragons, lizardfolk, bullywugs, and uncounted other nonhumans on the fringes of civilization. Most do humanity no good, though some ignore the civilized world in the main and a few, such as centaurs, are sometimes allies.