As on most worlds of the omniverse, humans are relative new-comers to the world of Aeva. And, as on most of those other worlds, the humans of Aeva have quickly adapted to their environments, or adapted their environments to themselves, to earn their place as the dominant race on the planet. Humans can be found living in nearly every climate of the world, shaping their surroundings with the force of their aggressive will.
Not possessing the elves’ spiritual connection with the living world nor the dwarves’ knowledge of the deep earth, humans are often accused by the elder races of caring little for the world in which they live. While this is quite possibly true for many humans, the ingenuity and drive of all human beings gives them capabilities to protect and defend their own territories with great zeal.
Personality. Humans of Aeva are similar to humans throughout the known omniverse. They are adaptable, cunning, and ambitious, displaying these traits in a myriad ways all over the world. The world of humans is a striking array of variety and wonder, where no two cultures have the same world-view and the view they possess may be very different from the one they show to others.
Physical Description. Human beings in Starspeaker possess no special physical characteristics.
Relations. Human beings tend to be amazed by the other races. The steadfastness of the dwarves, the cleverness of gnomes, and the optimism and luck of halflings are all found in human culture, but never as a racial characteristic. Those races with obvious magical ties are either respected or feared, depending on the human culture that is interacting with them. In Saelmaria, magic is not tolerated, so most displays of magical ability are feared—and reported to the authorities, if possible. In general, humans are prolific and continue to expand their territories. This expansion often runs them afoul of other races. And in the clash between cultures is born the negative stereotyping that most humans lay upon the other races of Aeva. Of course, as is typical for the human race, there are plenty of people who realize that those stereotypes are not altogether true—creating a difference of opinion that is all too common for humans.
Allegiances. Human beings have no particular tendency toward any specific allegiance.
Religion: Humans have been known to worship any of the gods of Aeva or even to take up worship of gods that do not exist. In Saelmaria, the only sanctioned religion is that of the Holy Triad. Elemental and nature spirits are often worshipped secretly in Saelmaria or openly in other lands. The most popular of the nature spirits is Aeva, the goddess who claims the world as her domain.
Language: Human language has been fractured into thousands of different tongues with numerous dialects of each tongue. Typically, a language is referred to by the region in which it is spoken. Additionally, Saelmaria who are even slightly educated are required learn Saelmarian, the language of the Church of the Holy Triad. For those who travel frequently, there is also the Trade Tongue, known in many places throughout the world, that can be used when conducting business—it is mostly used for things like securing a room at an inn, ordering a meal, or haggling over prices.
Names: Humans take their names from so many places, it is impossible to give specific guidelines. In Saelmaria, humans are given one or two names at birth. After reaching adulthood, the child is given a family surname. Typically, this surname is that owned by the father, but there are cases in which the mother’s name is more influential and therefore preferable to the father’s name in social situations.
Human Racial Traits: Humans have the following racial traits:
Aevan gnomes are said to be related to dwarves, although members of neither race will freely admit such a connection. Somewhat similar in appearance to their mountain-dwelling cousins, gnomes also share an affinity for the earth. However, while the dwarves are masters of mining metal and stone from the heart of the mountain, the gnomes are adept at taking the fruits of such labor and turning them into works of wonder.
Long known for their mastery of gem cutting and jewelry making, gnomes are becoming more famous for their experimentation with clockworks and machinery. These highly valued skills have even earned gnomes a place in Saelmarian society, despite their obviously close ties with the magic of Aeva. The only stipulation for such inclusion has been that gnomes are not to use their magical abilities in the lands of the Holy Saelmarian Empire. Few gnomes can resist the occasional illusion or other trick, however, and can run afoul of local authorities. Many gnomes preferred to go underground with the dwarves, rather than suppress their magical heritage. Only the drive to create works of beauty and wonder was strong enough to convince some gnomes to remain on the surface and hide their inherent magic.
Personality. Gnomish mythology claims that their race was born from the union of an earth spirit and a being of pure light. The offspring of that union were destined to take the best that the earth had to offer and bring it to the surface where gnomes could spread its beauty in the light of day. Such a positive attitude permeates gnomish life. Their playfulness and joy of living has melded with their magical nature, granting them the ability to create illusions, which they have used for generations to tease and entertain gnomes and other races alike. When they are not planning their next great invention or other work to improve the lives of others in their communities, gnomes are planning elaborate hoaxes, tricks, and traps to inflict on those who will appreciate their humor—or on anyone who happens to need a bit of humility. Depending on how self-conscious or proud a person is, the presence of gnomes in one’s community can be a boon or a bane.
Physical Description. Gnomes are shorter than dwarves and slightly less stocky. They typically stand 2 to 3½ feet high and weight 60 to 70 pounds. Their eyes are usually dark, but can actually be the color of any gem found in the earth. Regardless of color, the eyes of a healthy gnome always sparkle like gems. Gnomish hands are small and nimble, enabling them to work with intricate pieces of machinery or to craft the most ornate jewelry. Gnomes, like dwarves, live for centuries. They reach maturity at 50 years and can live as long as 400 years. As they age, gnomes’ hair, which is typically brown, turns gray, and then white. Gnomes do not have as much facial or body hair as dwarves, and do not seem to favor a particular hairstyle. Gnomish clothing is as intricate and complicated as the machines they make. Designed to assist them with their work, their garments are tighter-fitting (to avoid catching in cogs and gears) but covered and filled with pouches, pockets, loops, and hooks for a wide variety of tools—only a few of which can be recognized by non-gnomes.
Relations. Gnomes are typically welcome in nearly every community. They have the greatest affinity for dwarves, although they often question the dwarven adherence to such strict traditional codes. Gnomes are happiest when staying with folk who appreciate their work. Therefore, they do not typically deal with elves very well. The Elves' attachment for all things natural often clashes with the gnomish desire to “improve on nature”. In general, however, gnomes get along fine with most anyone.
Allegiances. While highly intelligent, gnomes have a hard time sticking to one project for too long. Their keen minds are always flying off in a thousand directions, occasionally giving them the appearance of madness or feeblemindedness. This flighty nature gives gnomes a tendency toward chaos. However, gnomes have no particular tendency toward good or evil.
Religion. Gnomes have drifted away from their racial pantheon over the past thousand years. While there are still small numbers of gnomes who worship their racial deities, most have either chosen to worship the deities of the region in which they live, or have given up on religion altogether. In the latter case, the rise of a “cult of reason” is most likely to blame. Gnomes have begun to feel that the mind, rather than the soul, is the supreme essence of being. There are even some gnomes who are attempting to prove that resurrection magic works because it restores basic function to the body…not because it returns the soul to its shell.
Language. The gnome language is highly technical and very strict in its grammar. However, as difficult as it is to learn, those who wish to uncover the secrets of Gnome science had best put their effort into mastering it. Written Gnome borrows from old runic Terran and is almost artistic in its geometry and style. Gnomes, driven to accumulate more scientific knowledge, also make it a habit to pick up as many languages as they can from other races and cultures.
Names. Aevan Gnomes gave up their long, rambling names ages ago. These days, they favor the simplicity of human names, because it makes their scholarly works easier to cite. Additionally, some scrupulous gnomes decided that shorter names on their inventions made other people more likely to take their work seriously.
Gnome Racial Traits: Aevan gnomes have all the following racial traits:
The positive, flighty outlook of most Aevan halflings seems largely out of place considering the status they have in Saelmarian society. While they enjoy greater freedom in other places on Aeva, Saelmarian halflings are considered nuisances at best and outright pests at worst by the humans of the Saelmarian Empire.
In the view of Imperial citizens, halflings possess the wit and playfulness of gnomes without that race’s discipline and usefulness. As such, halflings are barely accepted and typically find themselves pushed to the fringes of society. In the end, most city-born halflings become street urchins, surviving by thieving or performing while their rural kin eke out a living as subsistence farmers and hunters wherever they can find land.
Personality. Despite their hardships, halflings have managed to maintain their optimism and zeal for life. They cling to family and friends, knowing they can count on little else in this world. This, however, does not prevent them from subjecting nearly anyone to their practical jokes and witty remarks, for halflings regard humor as the highest of virtues.
Halflings who are slighted, however, do not simply roll over. Lacking the Dwarven strength of arm or the keen intellect of Gnomes, these smallest of the little folk have developed the wits to survive—and to revenge. Where a gnome would content himself with a simple prank, a halfling will spend years planning and executing a series of events to exact the perfect revenge on those who have most grievously injured him. As the saying goes, “the gods took height from the halflings, but they made up for it with a long memory.” Halfling justice is never swift, but usually satisfying.
Fortunately, it takes quite a bit to prompt that kind of reaction from a halfling. More often than not, slights and barbs will simply prompt a few well-chosen taunts, followed by the patter of swift little feet fading into the distance.
Physical Description. Typical Aevan halflings stand no more than 3 feet tall and weigh between 30 and 40 pounds. In most respects, they appear to be human children, with all the variations of skin, hair, and eye color found in humans. Facial hair is relatively uncommon among halflings. Halfling dress is comfortable and never flashy. Halflings appreciate jewelry and wealth, but rarely display such things on their persons.
Relations. The Saelmarian word for halfling literally means “half of a human”. Their place in society is fairly well described by that label. Despite this, halflings do not typically harbor resentment or hatred toward humans or any other race. Most suspect that their optimism is somehow a side-effect of their lucky natures. Aevan halflings say that the nature spirit, Aeva, has blessed halflings above all other races because they are so close to the ground. Whatever the reason, the halfling mindset is one which always expects the best of other races. Sometimes, that is even what they get.
Allegiances. Because the world was not made to their size, halflings have learned to adapt by not conforming to any one particular culture. Their almost chaotic neutral behavior is a survival technique that allows them to fit into any society, although they are typically looked down upon by most of those societies. Their happy-go-lucky nature makes them unsuited for the strictness of lawful allegiances, but they are not predisposed toward either good or evil.
Religion. Most halflings have turned away from their old racial gods. There are rumors of Halfling kingdoms far to the east where the old gods are still venerated, but only a small number of halflings have been devoted enough to leave Saelmaria in search of them. Most halflings have either turned to the secret worship of the nature spirits, or have accepted the teachings of the Holy Triad. In the latter case, halflings rarely follow the teachings of the Church very closely or for very long. A Triad cleric whose parish includes a large halfling population has his work cut out for him.
Language. Halflings do have a language of their own. It is a swift-spoken tongue that is nearly impossible to decipher unless one has studied it carefully. Halflings engaged in an animated conversation carry out linguistic acrobatics that would tie the tongues of most humans in a second.
Names. Halfling names are long, complicated affairs that could take more than a minute to recite in non-Halfling tongues. Halflings who live among other races will typically take on a second name to make communication with their neighbors easier.
Halfling Racial Traits: Aevan halflings have all the following racial traits:
Half-elves are among the most pathetic of the races on Aeva. They are the product of a union that many, often including the half-elf, believe should never have been. Not fully accepted by or as long-lived as their Elven lineage, they rarely stay long among their forest-dwelling relatives. Unfortunately, they are often completely shunned by their human family. In lands controlled by the Holy Triad, half-elves are as likely to find death at the end of a Crusader’s blade as they are to find someone who is willing to accept them as anything other than the lowlieste of servants. If they are taken in, they are always seen as people who must be constantly watched to make sure that they never “give in” to their Elven heritage.
Personality. As one might imagine, half-elves in Saelmaria have a negative outlook on the world. Most half-elves are sullen and morose—angry in the knowledge that the Fates have singled them out for scorn and ridicule. A few half-elves, mostly those who manage to escape slavery in the Empire, are able to accept their differences and remember that their parents’ love gave them the courage to ignore racial boundaries. Some half-elves even use that thought to give them the strength to keep fighting against those boundaries. It is these “radicals” that the Empire hates most.
Physical Description. Half-elves typically bear either the physical characteristics of their Elven heritage or they inherit the Elves' more emotional aspects. A half-elf may inherit the slighter build and increased agility of his Elven parent or he will inherit the personal magnetism and an inherent recklessness that is rarely tempered by full Elven patience. Half-elves are typically five to six feet in height and bear the slightly pointed ears that indicate their lineage. Most half-elves have the same hair, eye, and skin coloration as their human parents, but there are some instances where a half-elf will display Elven eyes or hair. Regardless of the outward physical appearance, half-elves retain some of the speed of their Elven heritage, as well as some of the magical traits that are so maligned in Saelmaria.
Relations. Half-elves typically do not relate well with anyone. As outcasts, they tend to survive as loners and shun nearly all other races. Some half-elves have found the light-heartedness of halfling company soothing, but others find their continual optimism grating. In general, half-elves do not trust anyone of any race until they have proved themselves to be loyal and trustworthy.
Allegiances. Like their human parents, half-elves do not favor any particular allegiances. Additionally, half-elves form allegiances with great difficulty. However, once forged, such bonds are nearly impossible to break.
Religion. Half-elves are just as likely to be atheists as they are to worship any particular god. Some do take to worshipping the Elven pantheon in the hopes of retaining some of their heritage. In Saelmaria, many half-elf servants convert to worship of the Holy Triad, but they do so more out of fear of the Church than out of reverence for its teachings.
Language. Half-elves do not have a language of their own. They learn the language of the culture in which they live.
Names. Similarly, half-elves take names that help them blend into the society in which they live.
Half-Elf Racial Traits: Aevan half-elves have the following racial traits:
Aevan dwarves are powerful warriors and craftsmen, possessed of great wisdom. Their knowledge of the earth’s secrets and capacity for hard work have made them the preeminent miners of Aeva’s riches. They are known for their fine treasures crafted with almost preternatural skill. The dwarves of Niveria rarely leave the confines of Dwarfhold, preferring to live life under the weighty blanket of the earth.
Personality. Dwarves have a rather reclusive nature. Difficult to provoke unless their homes or loved-ones are directly threatened, dwarves are best known for their stubborn haughtiness. Clinging to age-old traditions, most dwarves feel that their ways are beyond question. If a dwarf decides to do something, he will follow that course of action to completion unless forced to change by a great force. Those who disagree with or dare to question a dwarf’s judgment are likely to encounter the legendary dwarven rage. At the very least, they will suffer the grumbling derision of an offended dwarf.
Physical Description. Dwarves are short in stature, with broad barrel chests. Their skin is typically light brown with ample body hair that is typically black, but can be gray or brown. Their narrow, but almond-shaped, eyes are dark brown, almost black. Dwarves usually wear their hair long, growing long beards that are braided as much as their other tresses. Dwarves who work in the mines regularly or who venture to the surface will often crop their long hair in order to prevent it from getting in the way. However, any dwarf who does this will be anxious to grow back his hair upon returning to life below the mountains. Like their cousins on other worlds, Aevan dwarves reach adulthood at age 50 and can live longer than 400 years.
Relations. Dwarves have little patience with humans, whose short life spans and ambitious natures leave them with little regard for tradition. Similarly, halflings, with their constant optimism and complete disregard for law, are barely tolerated by any self-respecting dwarf. Unfortunately, their dislike for halflings makes dwarves the perfect targets for halfling games. Gnomes, the distant earth-cousins of dwarves, seem to have a stronger affinity for their stuffier kin. The affinity is usually reciprocated, despite the chaos that is Gnomish thought and action, but dwarves draw clear distinctions between respect for a Gnome and full acceptance of their culture. Dwarves highly respect Elven culture for its long traditions, even if they do not fully understand their desire to live under the open sky in the midst of vast green forests. In general, dwarves look at the other races as untrustworthy, preferring to keep to their own kind. This is especially true among the dwarves of Dwarfhold in Saelmaria. Since the rise of the Saelmarian Empire, the dwarves have gone to great lengths to ensure that their society is not infiltrated and "corrupted" by the rabid intolerance of the Holy Triad.
Allegiances. Dwarven culture is founded upon tradition. As such, dwarves tend to gravitate toward lawful allegiances. However, they do not have a greater tendency to follow either good or evil.
Religion. Dwarves worship their own pantheon of gods, but also venerate numerous earth spirits. (The Dwarven Pantheon of Aeva is similar to that of other worlds. However, Aevan Dwarves know their gods by different names, and typically recognize different aspects of those gods. More to come later.)
Language. The Dwarven tongue is an ancient derivative of Terran. Its written form is ideographic in nature, taking the old Dwarven runic carvings and expanding on it by combining elements of Earth Draconic writing. The result is a highly descriptive form of writing that is very difficult to learn.
Names. (Aevan Dwarves do not have the same Norse-like names of other game settings. Their culture has evolved differently. More information will be provided later.)
Dwarven Racial Traits: Aevan Dwarves have the following racial traits:
Elves of Aeva are the second-oldest race on Aeva (dragons being older than the elves) and, according to some, elves are the embodiment of the world’s magic. They are a mystical race, known for their poetry, dance, song, lore, and magical arts. Elves favor things of natural and simply beauty. Viewed as living evidence of arcane lore, the once-revered elves have been driven from the lands controlled by the Holy Triad, forced to abandon many of their ancestral homes in the empire of Faenar. In the lands where they now live, they continue to keep the traditions they have for thousands of years.
Elves are fleet-footed and can be elusive when they do not wish to be found. They are legendary masters of the wood, moving unseen and unheard through the forest without leaving a sign of their passage. Elven cities are fabulous mergers of natural form and intentional design. It is said that a human can walk through an Elven city and never know it is there. Such a perfect melding with nature’s beauty makes the discovery of Elven ruins in ancient Faenar very difficult for non-Elven adventurers.
Personality. Elves value nature above all things. They consider themselves the true children of Aeva, sharing that title with dragons alone. In that capacity, Elves see themselves as protectors of nature and spend much of their time contemplating the plight of their environs. Despite the pain they feel at the wanton destruction of nature, the Fey People are somewhat slow to anger. Long ago, they seem to have adopted the characteristics of their earthly mother, and have perfected patience to an incredibly high art. Though resolute and steady as stone, the Elves are more likely to let an insult pass them by than to demand satisfaction. Elves feel that there is a time and a place for all things, and they have seemingly strange standards for what the proper times and places are. Despite their patience, Elves can be reckless, especially when they are young. This may be due to their ancient elemental natures, although there is little agreement among scholars. It may be that the Elves revere patience so highly and developed it to overcome some racial flaw. When an Elf loses his or her patience, the results can be devastating—and not always in the Elf’s favor. Regardless, Elves are still known as great warriors and protectors of the forest. When someone does manage to drive an elf to the end of his patience, there is little anyone can do but stand back and watch the full fury of nature take its course.
Physical Description. Aevan Elves are short and slim, standing no more than 5½ feet tall and weighing no more than 135 pounds. Their skin is usually milky-white but often shows tinges of green or brown, the colors of the forest. Elves have little to no facial or body hair, but the hair on their heads tends to be soft and shiny, colored in any shade found in their forest homes. Elven eyes are almond-shaped like those of dwarves, but tend to be larger and more expressive than their mountain-dwelling counterparts. Aevan elves reach maturity at the age of about 110 and have incredibly long life spans. Rumored to live forever, elves actually do not typically stay among their kin past the age of 1000 years. After a millennium of existence, elves change their form and merge with their forest homes to become protective spirits, watching over their descendants for all time. This racial trait is yet another reason the elves were so devastated at having to leave the jungles of Faenar—they were forced to leave generations of loved ones behind.
Relations. Elves have a difficult time relating to most races. Humans and dwarves are their least favorite of the “younger” races, because of their rabid desire to plow down forests or dig out huge mines. Elven society teaches the nobility of melding with Aeva and finding all that one needs without harming nature in the process. Of course, the magical nature of Elves allows them to do this more easily, which means they are anathema to the principles of Saelmarian society. Since the Elf and Dragon War (which the Elves call the War of Human Aggression), Elves hate all things Saelmarian. They are wise enough to know that not all humans are evil or dangerous, but they also know that humans cannot be trusted completely. The other races are tolerated, but the Elven sense of nobility often causes them to look down on their demi-human cousins as they would on a younger sibling. The Elves tend to adopt a condescending attitude when dealing with the other “younger” races.
Allegiances. Elves see nature as a neutral force and do their best to emulate her. As such, Elves tend toward neutrality in allegiances, both according to good and evil and to law and chaos. Elves feel that nature is neither good nor evil. They also know that, while nature does follow some laws, there are many times when Aeva can be chaotic, as well. All of these things are part of the natural order, which Elves feel bound to protect.
Religion. The Aevan Elves venerate Aeva, Goddess of Nature, above all other deities. They recognize the influence of the ancient Elvin Pantheon, but also know that it is from Aeva that they receive the life-giving resources of the earth. Elves also venerate numerous other elemental and nature spirits.
Language. Elves speak their own racial language, which is a fluid, musical tongue derived from the ancient language of wood dragons. Similarly, Elven writing is adapted from Wood Draconic, but possesses a beauty all its own. Most Elves also speak Sylvan, the language of the forest. Those who are able also learn other elemental languages or the languages of other races.
Names. Elven names are difficult for other races to pronounce. They are typically comprised of a reference to some natural feature or event, followed by a middle name selected by an Elder, which is followed by the surnames of both parents.
Elvin Racial Traits: Aevan Elves have all the following racial traits:
Half-orcs are the product of a union between a human and an orc of the Tendarian Steppes. (Regardless of where the orcs travel, they all originate on the steppes.) While not seen as pariahs by humans, half-orcs are little understood and are often mistaken for deformed humans because of their “almost human” features. Half-orcs are definitely a combination of their parents’ qualities. Depending on which of their parents’ influences held sway, they display a wide variety of physical, mental and emotional traits.
Personality. Half-orc personalities largely depend on the environment in which they grow up. If raised among humans, they tend to be more “civilized” and prone to the ambitions and excesses of their human half. If raised among orcs, they tend to keep to the traditions of their noble, but barbaric lineage—still prone to ambitions and excesses, but of a different type. Regardless of which culture they experienced as they grew, most half-orcs share a common characteristic—the constant need to prove themselves.
Despite the fact that they are accepted as much as any person in nearly every community on Aeva, half-orcs’ mixed heritage robs them of a “purity” of the blood regardless of where they live. Their orcish appearance and great strength make them stand out as strange and brutish among humans, while their human “frailties” and tendency for greater thought make them seem weak and unsuited to life in the open air of the Tendarian Steppes. As such, a half-orc must do more than would be required of a human or an orc in the same circumstances. Even if their tribes or villages do not openly voice the requirement, half-orcs tend to place the requirements on themselves…a case of deep-rooted perfectionism in an attempt to overshadow real or imagined inadequacies.
The end result is a need for constant challenges and constant success. Most half-orcs hate failure and despise seeing it in themselves or in others. They have little patience for those who refuse to help themselves. In fairness, however, half-orcs are not without compassion. They simply feel that true compassion lies in teaching others to help themselves—even if that means cracking a skull or two in the process. They also have little patience for their own failings, often proving harder on themselves than others.
Physical Description. Half-orcs are as tall as humans and not quite as muscular as orcs. Depending on the strength of their disparate lineages, they will possess more or less of their orcish appearance. Half-orcs retain the physical strength of their orcish heritage, but typically lose some of the dexterity that is the birthright of the steppes orcs. All half-orcs tend to have deep eye-sockets and sloping foreheads. Their ears tend to be a bit pointed, even if they are not as long as those of their orc parent. Half-orc hair tends to be thinner than that of an orc, and can actually show variations in color from the typical black…just as their skin is not always grayish in tone. Half-orc eyes almost always bear a tinge of red. As most half-orcs are the children of a steppes orc and a human of the region, the red is often mixed with brown (the common human eye color there) which looks blood red in the right lighting. Half-orcs may or may not possess numerous battle scars, depending on the environment they grew up in.
Relations. As with everything else, a half-orc’s relation with other races is highly individual and largely dependent on background. They will either lean toward the unpredictable views of their human family or toward the closed, haughty viewpoint of their steppe-born cousins.
Allegiances. Like their human parents, half-orcs have no particular tendency toward a specific allegiance.
Religion. Half-orcs typically adopt the religion of their family, although it is not uncommon for a child to suddenly “discover” the religion of his other parent and choose to follow that deity instead.
Language. Half-orcs learn the languages available to the culture in which they are raised.
Names. Half-orcs are named by one or both parents. Their names are therefore amalgams of human and orc cultural traditions that follow no particular rules except what the parents feel are appropriate.
Half-Orc Racial Traits: Aevan half-orcs have the following racial traits:
Orcs are the masters of the open steppe—great horse-lords who consider everything under the sky to be theirs by right. They are known for their singular riding skills, their ferocious tenacity in combat, their boundless courage, and their deep sense of tribal honor. They are a nomadic, restless people, always on the move and always hungry for the glory and treasure to be found in their next conquest.
Personality. Orcs tend to be restless in nature and are never happy with long periods of inaction. They can be quick to anger, and are often governed more by the wild passions in their blood than they are by any reasonable thought. Orcs are very competitive, and they have an instinctual sense of personal honor that pushes them to outdo everybody else they encounter. Orcs are also extremely loyal, especially to their respective tribes. They will refuse to abandon comrades, even under the most hopeless of circumstances. Orcs are a proud race, and for this reason are often boastful or arrogant, especially when in the company of outsiders. Because they are so proud, orcs hate nothing more than suffering any kind of defeat.
The simple pleasures in life are all an orc wants or needs. Fighting, riding, feasting, drinking, boasting, singing, and wild dancing are the usual pastimes of any orc tribesman. For this reason, Orcs tend to feel uncomfortable and out of place in a city or other civilized environment. As a people, orcs are most at home on the endless expanse of the open steppe. They are attuned to nature, and love the freedom of a world without walls to close them in.
Physical Description. Aevan orcs are as tall as humans, but a little heavier and more muscular. They vary somewhat in appearance, but most have gray skin, a sloping forehead, a jutting jaw, prominent teeth and coarse hair. They have reddish eyes and lupine ears, and most dress in the primitive style of plainsmen. Unlike the standard orcs of other worlds, however, Aevan orcs have good posture and carry themselves with their own brand of nobility. They often look like the savage barbarians they are, but they possess strength of character that cannot be dismissed. Despite their muscular frames, orcs have a natural dexterity about them, and their movements are always confident and sure. When they are in the saddle, they seem to meld with their steed, taking on an almost supernatural grace as they speed across the terrain.
Orcs regard battle scars as tokens of pride due to their warrior heritage, so most orc males who have come of age display at least one prominent scar. To an orc, an individual’s worth is proven in battle, and so it is natural that the most powerful among them often have many scars on display.
Relations. Orcs do not tend to get along with outside races. They are something of a closed society, believing that most other beings are not worthy of association with the mighty orc tribes, except as servants. Still, if an individual of another race can impress an orc with his martial prowess, natural strength, riding skills, courage, or loyalty he may eventually come to be regarded as an equal and a friend.
Orcs have a special dislike of dwarves because they are so different. Orcs cannot understand how dwarves can stand to live buried underground beneath tons of rock. Many orcs believe that dwarves are cowardly in nature and view them as little more than vermin that scurry underground to hide from danger. This attitude, of course, can make it extremely difficult for an orc to get along with a dwarf in a group situation.
Orcs move through life as if they own all they survey, and they are usually arrogant and extremely martial in attitude. Because of that, it takes patience for others of any race to deal with them for any length of time. Orcs who spend a large amount of time away from their tribe and in the civilized world often eventually soften their views and adapt to accept other viewpoints, but their inborn pride never wanes. Most orcs who manage to gain acceptance in other cultures do so by displays of courage and loyalty, which are usually enough to win the admiration of others, despite the orcish attitudes that cause so many clashes.
Allegiances. Orcs tend to be almost universally chaotic in nature because the lifestyle they prefer is wild, free, and without boundaries. However, lawful allegiances may sometimes be found in orcs who prefer to live rigidly by tribal laws, or who follow a personal code of honor almost as stringent as that of any paladin. They do not favor good or evil, and are as varied as humans in that regard.
Religion. Having long ago turned away from their racial deities, orcs have developed a superstitious belief system built on appeasing various ancestral and nature spirits in order to gain favor in battle, on the hunt, or during nearly every other activity of daily life and survival. In more civilized areas, some orcs will take to worshipping a particular deity, while others find devotion to such concepts overly confining and downright ridiculous.
Language. Orc (the Aevan form has a written counterpart which is runic in nature and rarely encountered by those outside of orc lands). Many orcs know a broken form of the Terran tongue, but speak it awkwardly and with a thick accent.
Names. The orc language is guttural in nature, and that is reflected in their names. Orcs prefer short, strong sounding names, and are usually named after virtues, elements, or places. Those names are then combined with a tribal or clan name. An orc without a tribal/clan name is looked upon as an outcast and is almost entirely unacceptable in orc society.
Orc Racial Traits: Aevan orcs have the following racial traits:
Aeva is a host to other races that the GM may wish to include as PC races. Almost any of the races from the Monster Manual can be adapted as PC races, but it is important to remember the region in which the campaign will be located. For example, the Saelmarian Empire will not be a friendly place for any character who possesses any Outsider lineage. For this reason, players who choose to play tieflings, aasimars, genasi, or any other plane-touched races will either have to hide their natures or will face severe difficulties.