Shadows of Erasc
Races and Culture
This page is a quick primer on the race relations that move Erasc. These relationships have become increasingly important as nations have solidified and have come to have their own armies, goals and rivalries. That being said, the traits listed below for each of the races are generalizations only. Like many stereotypes they may have a substantial grain of truth for many of that race, but it hardly means that every Dragonborn is honorable or that every Dwarf is stolid and grumpy.
Dragonborn: The Dragonborn are a people without a home. Their ancient lands, called Drek’Thaman, are said to lie to the North of the Wall of Ages. This loss of homeland pains them as a race, and it is seldom that one sits down to drink with a Dragonborn and does not hear something of the wonders of this lost nation, despite the fact that it had fallen when the grandsires of any modern Dragonkin were whelps. Despite the loss of their lands, there is still a predominant culture of honor that is maintained for the orphans of Drek’Thaman. This desire to serve with honor and loss of anyone to serve has led most Dragonborn to take up the role of mercenaries (albeit ones very specific about the work they will take). They are frequently found as guards and members of militia throughout the civilized world. They are most common in the Borderlands to the North and in the Human lands of Haldor. They tend to get along well with Humans and Eladrin, but their strongest relationship is to Hammerfast, the nation of the Dwarves. This is hardly a surprise given the strong component of honor in both cultures. Dragonborn get along poorly with many Tieflings and Halflings, seeing both as too willing to compromise honor for profit. Those who admire the Dragonborn see the as honorable consummate warriors. Those who do not see them as hidebound, easily manipulated and temperamental when perceiving a sleight of their honor. Most Dragonborn revere Aderam, Nelmindos or Timurgh.
Dwarves: The Dwarves have a long a storied history, one they will tell you about at great length given the opportunity. The story goes that in the early days, the first creations of the great Demiurge, the consummate builder, was the building of the Dwarves from the very rock of Erasc. Whether true or not, it is the keystone of the Dwarven culture’s dedication to their mountains and their consummate craftsmanship. The Dwarven nations live in the nation of Hammerfast, which lies to the East of the Human nations, to the North of the Elven nation of Synira. The Dwarves are divided into Clans, who each have their own specialties in crafting. They are ruled by The High King Ragabash Proudbeard, though he was elected by and is answerable to the Clan Leaders. The Clan is the most important unit of Dwarven society and a Clanless Dwarf is seen as incomplete. The Clans have their own rivalries and will even go to war at times, though this war is a contracted affair run by specific rules, with specific winning conditions. The Dwarves get along well with the Human nation of Haldor and many Dragonborn. Their relationship with other races tends to be strained at best, but their relationship to Eladrin and Elves is especially rocky due to these races’ assertions of being the firstborn of the Gods as well as their perceived flightiness. Admirers of the Dwarves praise their toughness, their resolve and their peerless craftsmanship. Their critics will point out their stubbornness, tactlessness and their tendency to dwell in the past rather than the present. Dwarves most often worship Melora or Aderam, but almost universally see The Demiurge as their patron.
Eladrin: The Eladrin are the nobility of the Fey nation of Synira, located far in the temperate south. They claim their birthright by a deep and profound connection to the underlying magic of the world. With it, they shape powerful rituals and tame the very land to their whim. Within their courts are consummate swordsmen, masterful generals, treacherous courtesans and far more besides. They are ruled by the Summer Queen Elyssandra. She has ruled over 500 years and still bears the flawless beauty of her race. It is said (never within Synira and never loudly) that her timelessness for even one of a timeless race stems from a pact with ancient Fey powers which may undermine the very fabric of civilization. The Eladrin deal well with Halflings and Tieflings who can supply them with objects of beauty or knowledge. They get along poorly with Humans and Dwarves who tend to find them haughty and self-important. Their relationship with the Elves is both one of understanding and one which is becoming increasingly fractious as more and more Elves chafe under the “Nobility” of the Eladrin. The positive side of the Eladrin is found in the beauty of their works, their rich body of knowledge and their measured long-view approach. Taken to their extremes, these become a superficial concern with the aesthetic, an unhealthy focus on knowledge that might be better left unknown and apathy and stagnation in the face of a lifespan of many centuries.The Eladrin treasure beauty and knowledge above all things, and thus most often worship Sune and Ioun though they are frequently adherents of Nelmindos as well.
Elves: The Elves are the craftsmen, merchants and common folk of Synira. They are known to be emotional, especially in relation to nature. This has led to a widespread disease or perhaps it is just an unmitigated sadness at the loss of the wild places, which has been called The Melancholy. Elves have been committing suicide or just wasting away. Many of those that don’t fall immediately prey to this ailment have headed North to the Borderlands in droves to try to find a cure in the remaining wild places. The Elves that remain are somewhat offput at the lack of action by the Eladrin nobles. The Elves get along well with Halflings, and some Humans. They tend to get along less well with Dragonborn, Dwarves and Tieflings who they see as unreasonably serious about unimportant matter. The positive traits of Elves are seen as a strong spirituality, a oneness with nature and a genuineness of emotion. Some see them instead as over contemplative, more concerned with trees than thinking beings and crippled by lack of control of their emotions.
Half-Elves: Half-elves are solely from unions of Elves and Humans. No documented cases of Eladrin breeding successfully with Humans exist. Most Half-Elves end up with their Human parent both for political as well pragmatic reasons. No Elven parent wants to watch their child grow old and die as they do not even seem to age. Also, Eladrin see these individuals as evidence of indiscretions of their subjects and a Half-Elf living in Synira can expect an unpleasant life, overall. Many still experience their share of discrimination in the more liberal human nations. There is no real Half-Elf culture. Many of them merely use the human culture that they were raised in. Some still retain some Elven traditions, but this is rare. The strengths and weaknesses of Half-Elves stem from their dual parentage which both gives them their exotic nature, variety, and their persecution complex. Half-Elves tend to worship the God that most reflects their profession or beliefs.
Humans: Humans have come to