Jan 27, 2012

Species of the Dawnlands: Mankind

Though inhabitants of the Dawnlands do not think in modern scientific terms, from such a perspective are four main sentient species in the Dawnlands. Each population in turn is divided in races, which differ physically from one another.

The first is the orc-human-elf-gnoll ring species. This species is referred to as "Mankind", with "Human" being the name of a specific subpopulation rather than a synonym (In the Kaddish and Kadiz languages of the Dawnlands, the word for "human" is "Kad"). Each of the populations listed is interfertile with the adjacent populations, but not with the others. Orcs and humans produce half-orcs, humans and elves produce half-elves, elves and gnolls produce half-gnolls. Hybrids are interfertile with all populations adjacent to both parent types (i.e. the entire species), and most of the "human" and "elf" populations have small amounts of all populations in them.

Orcs are divided into two types, green-skinned and grey-skinned. Grey-skinned orcs are mostly found in the northern reaches of the Dawnlands as part of the Mountain People or serving the Hobgoblin barrow-kings. They have yellow or red eyes, and are comparable in size to a tall Man of the Dawn, with small tusks. Green-skinned orcs are mostly found on the southern plains, as part of the Hill People culture and have yellow eyes. Green-skinned orcs tend to be much taller and heavier than a human or elf, with more prominent tusks.

There are varieties of humans known in the Dawnlands, though only two are "native" to the area.

The Men of the Dusk are found amongst the Hill People, the Kaddish, the Kadiz nomads, amongst the Mountain People, and as helots in the villages surrounding Dwer Tor. They have pointed noses, light-coloured eyes and fair, straight hair. Their skin tone ranges from pale to a grey-blue not found in the real world. They are of average height, comparable to an elf. They are humans who are not descended from the Dawnmen. To a modern person, they would mostly look "European". The Men of the Dusk have interbred extensively with elves, and orcs, and many shown signs of that heritage.

The Men of the Dawn form the bulk of the Kadiz and Kaddish human populations. They have swarthy brown or black hair and skin that ranges from sallow to pale with yellow undertones. They have both snub and pointed noses, and a small number have epicanthal folds. Their eyes are mostly brown. Men of the Dawn tend to be taller than Men of the Dusk. The real world population they most resemble are Central-Asian Turks.

The Men from Across the Desert have jet-black skin with jet-black irises. They have curly hair and pointed noses. Their hair is either black or white naturally, but is often dyed. They are taller than elves, comparable to Men of the Dawn. They come from across the desert from the city-state of Rhuap using secret routes known only to them, and they do not permit travelers to return with them. They do not breed with elves, and so none of them show elvish features.

The Salt Men have skin that ranges from a dull golden colour to light brown, flat noses, red or yellow hair, and grey, green or blue eyes. They tend to be shorter than elves, very slightly. They come from across the sea, from places they call "Krosmil" and "Haran" to trade with Dwer Tor. They have elves and orcs in those places, but do not bring them on their ships.

The Men of the Three Towns have skin from copper-red-brown to deep chesnut brown, pointed noses, hair of all colours, and eyes of all colours. They tend to be of comparable height to an elf. They come from far to the south, beyond the Kingdom of the Fallen Star, from Ilac, the City of Blue Roofs; Moryek, the City of Clocks; and Lassan, the City of Gods. No one has traded with them since the fall of the Kingdom of High Kaddish, and only a few individuals are known in the Dawnlands.

The Burnt are a true-breeding creation of the Kaddish using human and elf stock. They have black skin with undertones of red, blue and purple. They have bright white hair, and red, blue or purple eyes. They have an arbitrary mix of human and elvish facial features. They are found only amongst the Kaddish, who created them.

Elves are found amongst the same communities as the Men of the Dusk. Elves' skin is either brown with green lines, patches and freckles, or pale with green and brown lines, patches and freckles. Their skin tans to green in either case, so skin with very little green is highly prized as a sign of beauty. They have dark hair, either brown or black. Elves have pointed ears and more angular features than any human. They tend to be slightly shorter and leaner than Men of the Dawn, and of the same height as Men of the Dusk.

Gnolls come in three types. There are yellow-furred, red-furred, and blue-furred.

Yellow-furred gnolls are the most common, and are found as part of the Hill People frequently. They are as large as a green-skinned orc, with dark noses and pale green eyes without irises. Many have patches of red or black spots on their coats. 

Some yellow-furred gnolls have red-furred children, who have yellow or red eyes, and spots that are orange or brown. This is caused by recessive genes in their population. Red-furred gnoll children are considered lucky, and they will be pushed to become prophets, priests and shamans.

Blue-furred gnolls are actually mottled a black or grey colour, but the mottling produces a grullo colour. They have pale noses and skin, and an extra finger and toe compared to yellow-skinned gnolls. They are larger than the yellow-furred kind. They are much less common, and are found deep in the desert. Their tribes were not part of the Hill People originally, but have since made common cause with them.

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