Kin of Man
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The Kin of Man
Legend has it that the teeming underclasses of the ancient Phaetian Empire had great difficulty surviving in the absence of their masters, in the wake of the Year of Daemons. What these people, or the Phaetians themselves, looked like is a mystery. What is known is that their descendants spread throughout the lands west of Twilight’s Edge and, in at least one case, below the earth, to become the diverse peoples known as the Kin of Man, today.
Humans are those Kin of Man who live in the open spaces of Elidh: plains, hills, grasslands, coasts, marsh, and deserts. Some apocrypha describe Humans as the descendants of the common laborers of the Phaetian slave classes. The “Toiler” epithet refers generally to the city-dwellers, who are just beginning to experiment with true Feudalism, to the horror of most of the other Kin of Man, thanks to its overt similarity to a combination of a Domen slave cartel with the serfdom of Prelari helots.
Foss are small, nearly hairless troglodytes, peaceful, shy tinkerers and laborers in the depths of the underworld. They are supernaturally good climbers who can practically walk on walls and see in the dark. Wisdom, profession, and skill are all they respect, though they are uncommonly friendly toward strangers. Some believe them to be the descendents of the skilled slave-artisans of the Phaetian Empire. Those who want to disparage a Foss use the term “Delver”, for they delve into the earth like no other race.
Baccari are athletic, intemperate, short-lived tree-dwellers with little time for consequences. Fun and new experiences, from sensual pursuits to the thrill of danger, fill their days. They are serious about exactly one thing: their agreement with the ancient wood spirits to protect the Verdance and other deep forests in exchange for the right to settle. Those who want to disparage a Baccar call him a “Trickster”, for his people’s mischevious nature.
Domen are refined and cold, slavers and sorcerers of the 1st order, supposedly the descendents of Phaetine servants favored enough to know basic Sorcery or Low Alchemy. Their strange voices, extra fingers, and unnaturally-colored hair and eyes only serve to reinforce the alien austerity of their pale, thin physique. Once they served mighty warlocks, now they buy and sell each other, literally or figuratively. Calling a Domen a “Slaver” is a terrible insult, effectively equating them to the inhuman warlocks who ruled in the distant past.
Prelari are a stout breed of Man with a strongly fundamentalist culture of religious militarism. Their facial hair tends to grow into their scalp and upper back hair to form a proud “mane” in males, and what they lack in height they make up for in strength and resilience. Their culture has many superficial similarities to that of real-world ancient Sparta. Legends say that they have some unusual connection with the Thelonians beyond their status as preferred helots. The epithet most commonly used for a Prelari is “Warlord”, though they do not consider it an insult.
Thelonians are wanderers possessed of a childlike innocence, who fight bare-handed and never take a life, even to save their own. Their bushy eyebrows and knowing stare mark them as adults even to those who have never seen them fight. Most willingly endure slavery at the hands of Prelari kings as helots, or wander throughout the land, seeking their purpose in life. Their only real, free settlement is the near-mythical Tangti-Le, City of Light. Since few non-Prelari ever meet settled Thelonians, they are commonly known as “Wanderers”.