Elves are the Elder race. They are as old as the trees and the rivers they love so dearly. Ever since time has been recorded, the Elves have been there, singing and tending to the forest animals. Nowadays the Elves are few in number, their folk slowly dwindling as the groves they live in are hewn down. They do not begrudge this, though, but see it as the passing of man age, the time of Humans. The Elves seen in cities are the very young, high-spirited and short on experience. They seem almost like children -- excitable and inquisitive, even though some of them may be older than entire human lineages. Physically, Elves are quite tall, the same height as humans, but seem much taller due to their slimness. They are extremely magical creatures, and many are pacifistic -- unless there is some cause for action. In that case, they make savage fighters, both with spell and sword. Elves make great Mages, Warlocks and Gypsies, due to their quick wits and grace. They can see well in the dark, and have increased power in spellcasting professions.
Half-Orcs are almost exclusively the result of an Orc raid on a Human village. They are not terrible-looking, having only the squinty eyes, pronounced canines and coarse hair of an orc, but the innate Orcish poor temper is passed on to these offspring. They are much better behaved than Orcs, and do not have the homicidal hatred for the other races that Orcs do (unless they have been raised by Orcs, and then you will see them only as your foes). They are somewhat dull-witted, and are not terribly patient but they are tough as nails and are relentless in battle. Having a trustworthy Half-Orc companion is like having your own personal army. They excel in all things martial, especially in the Witchunter class, where their instinctive fear of magic can be used to advantage. Half-Orcs are almost universally mistrusted, which is quite unfortunate since they are not horrible by nature, and so must continually prove their worth. Many Half-Orcs seek mercenary service, where no questions are asked and where their strength is in demand.
Goblins have a decidedly mixed reputation. First off, they average about five feet tall, have pale green or grey skin, and save for the fine, luxuriant hair on their heads they have little or no body hair. They are almost always smiling, in that white, sharp-toothed grin of theirs, and more often than not you cannot tell whether or not they are eyeing you like a side of meat. Despite their unsettling near-savagery they have a disarming charm which almost offsets their strange appearance. Almost. Goblins are thin and wiry, small and compact but very tough for their size. They are extremely intelligent, and are exceedingly agile -- they are well-suited for any Mage or Thief class, though are in their element in the Gypsy class. Goblins are fond of bartering, and will sit for hours to haggle down the price of a loaf of bread by one copper coin. Many wealthy merchants hire a Goblin to deal with others of his kind, and the sight of two goblins in a haggling contest is a sight to see! They are stealthy, and have night vision.
Half-Ogres are the offspring of an Orc and an Ogre. No-one really knows, or wants to know how this comes about. They are about seven feet tall, and are quite hairless. Their bodies are nearly all muscle, and their strength is unmatched for creatures their size. Unfortunately, they have all the cunning and tact of a six-year-old-human, and the coordination of a drunk. Half-Ogres have a rash temper, but are easily distracted, and so if you are careful it is possible to avoid conflict with one. Many store-owners have Half-Ogre workers, for they can work tirelessly and can lift hundred-pound barrels with ease. They have neither the near-berserk fury of Ogres, nor the animal intelligence of Orcs, but have a simple kind of personality which is almost pitiable. They are not truly evil, but are frequently exploited due to their stupidity. Half-Ogres are almost exclusively Warriors. Due to their lack of focus, they cannot learn Kai skills, but can learn powers. All are quite resistant to hostile magic. A powerful, but extremely slow race.
Imagine a cross between a snake and a lizard, standing on two feet like a human and with predatory intelligence, and what you have is the Kang. They are a mysterious folk that live in the depths of secluded swamps and jungles, and are rarely seen in mannish cities. When they do venture forth it is to see the odd splendour of the outside world, and so the specimens encountered outside of their homes are usually more intelligent and friendly than their exotic swamp neighbours. Kang are tall, many nearing seven feet in height, and are broadly muscled. Their scaly skin is much thicker than human skin, and is a different colour for each tribe. They have a strange loping walk, and are not very flexible, which is odd since they are snake-like. Kang apparently worship a deity of Peace and Healing, and many of them are Paladins, on some personal crusade to extinguish all evil in the land. They are fierce fighters, and excel as Clerics, Warriors and Witchunters. Kang are apparently immune to, or at least resistant to, all known poisons.
The feral folk known as the Nekojin hail from the far east, past the Dwarven stronghold of Khazarad, where the burning desert wastes lay. They are a cat-like race, with long tufted ears and large oval eyes that glitter with a predatory intelligence. Nekojin stand about five feet tall on average, but weigh only slightly more than half a human's weight. Blindingly quick, they have a natural charm and speed that often over-whelms all who meet them. Though they are not well-suited for scholarly pursuits, they are natural stalkers and excel in any stealthy profession. Hailing from the desert, they resist heat and fire, but are vulnerable to cold attacks. Nekojin are ferocious, proud, extravagant, and extremely competitive. They love to show off and are quite friendly when the mood suits them. All Nekojin are very stealthy, can see well in the dark, and have a natural tracking ability.
The origins of humanity are shrouded in obscurity. This may seem a ludicrous statement, but the fact is there -- humans just mysteriously appeared one day. Theories on this event are numerous. Some say the Elves found humanity's ancestors roaming in the woods, and nurtured them over the ages until they were mature enough to survive as a sentient species. Another hypothesis is that humans are from a distant star, and that one day a great sky-craft collided with this land and created the barren wasteland to the east. Whatever the solution is, the Elves will not, or cannot say. In any case humans have flourished in the past four hundred years, and now their domain is such that they are the most numerous people in the realm. Human males average just under six feet tall, and females about five and a half. They have no extra special abilities or aptitudes save for their versatility and drive. They do equally well in any class, but are nicely suited for the Ranger and Druid classes, which require well developed statistics all around.
Gnomes are distant cousins of the Dwarves. They are about the same heightas Dwarves, but are considerably slimmer. Long ago a tribe of Dwarves made ts home on the surface, far from the ancient homeland. Over the centuries this tribe changed, becoming less dependent on their muscles and more on their wits. As this progressed, the natural technological ability of the Dwarves was changed into something more refined than metallurgy or mining: machinery. Where an Elf sees a waterfall and reflects on its natural beauty, and a Dwarf sees only the precious stones being smoothed in its waters, a Gnome plots water-wheels and dams. Gnomes are cunning and inventive, always thinking up new plots and trying to devise more and more efficient ways to do things. They make proficient Mages and Thieves, because they have natural cunning and curiosity. Gnomes can see well in the dark due to their Dwarven ancestry, as well as having an inborn facility with locks and a slightly increased resistance to hostile magics.
Little is known about this shy, reclusive folk. Physically, they average around three feet high, about half the height of a human (hence the name) and are therefore quite weak. They are surprisingly tough and incredibly agile -- halfling quickness is deceptive, and some adventurers get more than they bargain for when they tangle with a Halfling. They are fond of good company and good drink, and are very soft-hearted overall. But when a Halfling is cornered, or his home (or food and drink!) is threatened, they will fight with a ferocity that would startle any but the most seasoned of adventurers. Halflings do not take too well to magic, and seldom is a Halfling seen who can demonstrate magical powers of any sort. Show a Halfling a good beer, a comfortable seat, and pleasant company, and you will have a friend for life! They make incredible Thieves, due to their innate agility and stealth.
Half-Elves are the offspring of a Human and an Elf. Most are born from Human raids into Elven lands -- Humans can sometimes be despicable -- but some are the result of an Elf and Human partnership. This is a rare occasion, for though Elves are very beautiful to Humans, they are aloof, and rarely mix with others. This dubious background makes many Half-Elves bitter and so they remain loners, not wanting to be part of any culture (and in their minds, not welcome). These are usually ferocious and un-trusting, but make good allies if you can gain their respect. They look much like humans, except they are slimmer and more attractive, with slightly Elven features. They mix the good qualities of both races, and are quite versatile. Half-Elves have the same increased magical power as their Elven cousins, and often choose the path of the Ranger or Druid, due to their preference for solitude.
Dark-Elves are not actually a seperate race, but are in fact a fanatic sect of Elves who believe that the other races of the realm are destroying the ancient homelands of the Elves, and must be stopped for this. They are the enemy of all other races (save Elves), and will wage war with anyone who threatens the forests and their homes. Dark-Elves do not accept the traditional Elven belief that this is the natual course of time, and are determined to stop it. Consequently, they are driven from any already-populated area, and so make their homes far from the wooded groves they love. Most live in the mountains, or in caves, and thus have a much more pallid complexion than their sylvan brethren. Due to their harsher lives they are tougher and less friendly between themselves. Any Dark-Elf seen outside of a stronghold is one who does not agree with the intolerant views of his people -- an outcast. Dark-Elves are more skilled in combat than the Elves, but are less powerful magically, making them ideally suited to be Warlocks, Gypsies or Ninjas.
Also known simply as 'Gaunts', this mysterious and reclusive folk are by far the least fathomable of the known races. Physically, they are immediately recognizable-- they stand seven feet tall on average, but are incredibly thin. They have long limbs and an elongated face, with large eyes that radiate a pale glow. Gaunts dwell in the most remote areas of the realm, and rarely mix with other folk. When they do, it is most often to hire someone to obtain rare materials, which (it is rumored) they use for highly magical purposes. As a race they are incredibly brilliant, with a masterful grasp of all things arcane and forgotten. They are also quite devious, and show little emotion -- a combination which makes folk fearful and suspicious of their motives. Outsiders never see their concealed homes. Gaunts' eyes are extremely magical, allowing them perfect vision in total darkness, as well as a heightened perception. Rumours abound about a secret ritual that allows them, after attaining a certain level of power, to see hidden people.
Dwarves are the second oldest race known today. The Elves, of course, are the first. Dwarves average about four and a half feet in height, and tip the scales at around two hundred pounds each. They are a solitary folk, and do not easily welcome strange people -- but do not mistake this for hostility. Once you have gained a Dwarf's friendship, that bond will last to the death (or betrayal). They are cautious and slow to anger, but once their wrath is roused they are terrible enemies. Dwarves love and craft precious gems and metals of all sorts, and are great worksmiths. They manufacture worthy and elaborate suits of mail, and craft gleaming axes with blades of true-silver. These items seldom leave the underground homes of the Dwarves, but there are stories of heroes who have done some great service and have received such a gift. Dwarves make excellent Clerics, Paladins and Warriors. Their stubborn nature and strong willpower give them good defense against magic. Overall, Dwarves are a resilient folk who should not lightly be trifled with.