Races

Encyclopedia Speciae

Eos is a world upon which life thrives. Be it in the verdant forests or the bleak deserts or even in the shadowy corners of the Underdark, living creatures have always found a way to survive. Many such creatures are sentient, civilization-building people. Here you will find a documented account of many of such races with information pertaining to their regional locations, cultural habits, and where possible, history.

Dragonborn

“Strength above fear, honor before self” is one of the oldest axioms found in ancient dragonborn writings, and though the saying has shortened over time simply to “strength and honor,” there is perhaps no greater description of this race of people. They are a proud, driven, and usually noble race with strong ties to their draconic ancestry and a bond to their homeland that is unrivaled by any other species. Honor is foremost in the life of a dragonborn, be it personal, familial, clan, or country. Many follow a strict code of conduct that varies from group to group, and which many other races may find occasionally brutal or even dishonorable to their standards. They are perfectionists, honing their chosen skills and actions to mastery or else consider the endeavor a complete failure.

The dragonborn arose in power on the continent of Karoa, presumably around -3600 IC. During this time, the great dragons of the region ruled supreme, and the dragonborn became citizens of the draconic nations. The dragonborn rapidly grew in knowledge and personal power with the teaching and presence of the ancient dragons, and began developing their own culture apart from the dragons. Some of the draconic masters were intrigued by this development, and others sought to crush the freedoms the dragonborn were developing, and so the bloody and terrible War of Wyrms erupted across the continent around -2800 IC. The free-thinkers won out in the end, but at a terrible cost of lives, both dragonborn and dragon alike. The remaining great wyrms decided it was best to truly free the dragonborn people and allow them to decide their own fates.

It was at this time that a charismatic and powerful veteran from the War of Wyrms came to prominence. His name is known to history as Phaexon, first emperor of Naqarut. With his rise to power, so too did the first and greatest nation of dragonborn. Naqarut began as a humble kingdom in a lush river valley that has long been swallowed by the Dragonwaste, in a city called Saloman Oros. With the ruthless leadership of Phaexon, the small nation rapidly expanded, conquering and annexing its surrounding new kingdoms and bringing an iron rule to those lands. It took the veteran king only a few years to forcefully take control of the entire western half of Karoa. Despite his extreme personal power and paranoia, Phaexon’s political cruelty led to his eventual assassination.

In many historical accounts, such an event would lead to a new nation’s downfall, though fortunately one of Phaexon’s advisers, the cunning Higavyx, managed to establish himself as the new power before the loosely-bound empire crumbled apart. Rather than ruling with fear and raw power, Higavyx ruled the vast territory with political acumen and religious unification with the Celestial Order. It was his forty-year rule that solidified Naqarut into the mighty empire it is known to have been, and following his death it continued to grow and thrive. By -2700 IC, Naqarut had grown to become the singular superpower on Eos.

With the unification of religion and politics with the Divine Emperor, civil unrest was virtually unheard of within Naqarut, and so the empire enjoyed 1200 years of prosperity and peace, eventually making contact with other distant lands and people. It was contact with the empire of Dzolgat that proved disastrous for Naqarut, as the tieflings saw in Karoa a land rich with resources and fresh flesh for their breeding programs. The world’s first intercontinental war began in -1487 IC and raged for nearly a century. With the fiendish magic of the tieflings and the assistance of dragons for the dragonborn, the Shattering War was bloody and crippling for both sides. In a desperate last effort to crush their opposition, the tieflings unleashed the demon lord Hogathyz’mbir on Naqarut, and the fiend quickly laid waste to the lush continent, producing a powerful evil that slowly began turning the grasses and trees to dust. While several great wyrms gave their lives to seal Hogathyz’mbir in Devilcurse Crater, the damage was done and the Dragonwaste was born.

The Shattering War ended in -1379 with both sides licking their wounds, but intact. It was not long before a hidden enemy to the dragonborn emerged from the dark Bloodvenom Jungle: the yuan-ti of Xocolan. They struck while Naqarut was weak, and easily sacked Solamon Oros and several other major cities, killing the Divine Emperor and breaking the empire completely. While the remaining dragonborn managed to drive the yuan-ti back into their jungle, their nation was destroyed and their people scattered. Over the next two millennia, the children of Naqarut struggled to find a new place on their beloved continent, moving ever closer to the north and south coasts as the Dragonwaste continued its steady expansion. Eventually they migrated to Seabreak Island, once the home solely to the lizardfolk outcast by the yuan-ti. Appealing their case to the tribal witch doctors, they were welcomed as distant relations and allowed to occupy the verdant, volcanic islands as scaled brothers with a common enemy. Since that integration, the two races have had their differences but maintained peace, and the three large populations of dragonborn ever look towards the Bloodvenom Jungle and the looming ziggurats of Xocolan with vengeance burning in their hearts.

Dwarves

Old as the mountains and sturdy as bedrock, dwarves have been a part of Eos longer than any can remember. Dwarves are known for their strong work ethic, loyalty to friends, ability to hold grudges through generations, unswerving stubbornness, and love for craft and artifice. They are intensely loyal to family and clan, usually willing to sacrifice their own lives for the honor and protection of their respective groups, and it is well known that an injury to one is an injury to all as far as dwarves are concerned. While usually outwardly gruff and stern, a dwarf is likely to laugh loudest and become incredibly jovial when around close friends or when a few ales have been emptied. They are generally considered a spiritual race, having strong inclinations to the worship of deities, primarily Tolmek, though some are known to venture into primal spiritualism and many converted to Aionicism when the church was born. Having a past shrouded in ancient mysteries has led them to become a very curious race when history is concerned, and they are often at the fore of expeditions to uncover new ruins and artifacts.

The ancient history of dwarves is largely unknown, as it is unclear when exactly what is today known as a “dwarf” first came into being. It is known that a race of proto-dwarves known as the “dverg” existed at one point as slaves to the titans, and that during the Deitomachy the dverg were shattered as a race into several different groups. While some of the dverg went on to evolve into the Azers, Galeb Duhr, and other people influenced by the raw elemental power of the titans and their Primordial masters, at least one group escaped the elemental taint and was left alone deep in the bowls of Eos. There in the Underdark, the dverg underwent a change that took many thousands of years, eventually becoming true dwarves.

The dwarves built vast kingdoms under the earth, carving from the Underdark precious stones and ores and learning to work stone and metal with unmatched skill. Official estimates vary, but it is believed that the dwarven nations spanned the entirety of Galotte’s Underdark, and may have stretched towards other continents as well. Familial clans began to rise to prominence as an early form of governance, eventually producing thanes that mediated disputes between these clans. Sometime around -2000 IC, explorers began finding ways to the surface. Initially wary of this new world, the dwarves approached further exploration with caution, and did not make contact with humans until nearly two centuries later. Upon successful communication and an establishment of goodwill with the human empire of Dhejarm, the dwarves began to move their settlements closer and closer to the surface to encourage trade, learning, and exploration.

While many clans welcomed the new allies found in humans and eventually elves, some were cautious to the point of paranoia. This faction eventually produced a leader, Duerg Blackforge. In -1725, Blackforge overthrew his thane and took the crown for himself, declaring that the clans under his authority were enemies to the surface world and that his race should war with and conquer the soft-skinned, light-dwelling races. A civil war broke out, with Blackforge leading a separatist faction and the newly-formed Dawnstone clan at the fore of the other side. As a matter of pride, the dwarves did not allow their human or elven allies to aid them during the War of Broken Hammers, and eventually the dwarves siding with the Dawnstone clan found victory. In -1717 the Blackforge Accord was made, decreeing that those clans who had sided with the separatists during the civil war were relegated to the deepest reaches of the Underdark and prohibited from returning to the cities closer to the surface; in effect, this was the greatest insult manageable by the victors, as to dwarves exile is far worse than death. Thus the separation between dwarves and duergar began, and the blood hatred between the two cousin races has never faded.

Following the War of Broken Hammers, a great number of city-states began to rise all over the surfaces of Galotte’s mountains, and dwarves slowly began to lose their abilities to see perfectly in the dark. Their homes deep in the earth were slowly abandoned as they began to favor the fertile surface, and their population began to explode. Trade flourished with the human nations, and together the two races began developing newer and better methods of architecture, metalworking, and other crafts. As the population of dwarves grew so too did the size of their cities, and eventually it was agreed upon by the thanes of each city that some form of central leadership was necessary to maintain order. In 402 IC, the loose alliances between city-states and their thanes were unified into the Confederation of Iron, with Thronehammer as its capital and Norik Silverbeard as its first High King.

Centuries passed by the dwarves without any major upheavals, and their culture grew and flourished. Several minor wars with goblins, duergar, orcs, and giants mar this otherwise peaceful period in dwarven history, but none of them posed any significant threat to the order and stability of the Confederation. The year 1470 changed this, however, when Narek Spearbreaker rose to power among the orcs and led a unified horde down into the lands of Ilserath. The Kohl Khan Horde was the greatest threat to civilization ever seen on Galotte, and the dwarves were quickly brought into the war against the brutal would-be conquerors. Songs are sung about the war to this day, and so this Encyclopedia will not venture into retelling how the alliance of civilized races barely managed to push back the savage orcs and secure victory, though it should be stated that without the aid of the steadfast dwarves, victory would have been nearly impossible.

Today dwarves exist much as they have for the last several hundred years, residing in their mountain cities, occasionally warring with old enemies, and keeping communications strong with old allies. The Confederation remains a strong unifying force for the dwarven clans, and while the Goldbraid and Frostrage clans of Khom Gorl split from the whole in 1533 IC due to ideological disagreements, the division was bloodless and largely viewed as a good option for all parties.

Humans

A most prolific, prosperous, and prestigious race of people found primarily on the continent of Galotte in its numerous kingdoms and regions. Renown for their adaptability, variance in capabilities, and unquenchable ambition, humans quickly rose to become the most widespread and numerous race on their continent. Their very early history is somewhat foggy, as even the earliest mention of them by ancient eladrin scholars declares ignorance as to how long humans had been a part of Galotte, and these writings predate any human-made documentation by centuries. Whether humans arose on Galotte or elsewhere and migrated is up to scholarly debate, though no solid evidence to support either side has ever been presented. What is known is that the earliest discovered human writings on Galotte are dated to around -3200 GC, more than 4500 years ago.

Though the oldest human writings date the race’s ascendancy to civilization four and a half millennia past, the oldest known state is the ancient city known as Dorr in present-day Aglaeas, which was presumably founded sometime around -3100 GC. The actual history of this early city is very vague, as the few records that exist of it are primarily agricultural accounts. Despite numerous archaeological expeditions into the Aglaean desert by the Royal Archaeology Society, very little of this inaugural human city has been found, and it is thought that its reign was short-lived.

After the rise and fall of Dorr, a great many other city-states began to dot the expanse of Galotte as a great many kings and princes began to accumulate power and influence and create a true aristocracy. By -2500 IC, no fewer than two dozen human kingdoms had risen and fallen across the continent. During this time, wars were fought for dominance of the land and its resources. The first true human empire arose around -2300 IC, and it was called Haelgadria. The span of this nation was relatively small compared to the empires that followed, though it was important as the first held by the race of humans. It was during the reign of Haelgadria that the humans first met the elves occupying the forests of Galotte, and initial hostilities between the two people were brutal. After the fall of Haelgadria around -2050 IC, tensions between the two races eased, and trade and active communication became possible.

Around -1800 IC, the empire of Dhejarm rose to power, and it was soon after this that the dwarves began emerging from their subterranean homes to explore the surface lands and the two races met. Unlike the initial meetings with elves, the first contact between the cautious dwarves and curious humans went fairly well, and the millennia-spanning friendship between the two races began. With allies in both dwarves and elves, the human nations thrived, though due to their territorial inclinations, war between human civilizations was common and only the few major empires held any period of relative peace over the next two thousand years.

In 1036 IC, the Ilserath Empire was founded, and so began humanity’s true rise to grandeur in the world around them. Ilserath was to date the greatest civilization in the history of the human race. Its borders stretched from the Sea of Ghosts to the Great Sea, and most cities on Galotte flew the scarlet, black, and gold of Ilserath. Active, long-distant trade with the continents of Tazarin and Karoa were established and maintained, and ancient relics of Galotte’s past were uncovered with the discovery of the first Emkari ruins, leading to technological advances beyond anywhere else in the world. Despite the glory and power of Ilserath, the empire fell in 1482 IC after a brutal war with the orcs of the Kohl Khan Horde, and after several small civil wars the once-mighty empire has fallen into numerous smaller kingdoms and city-states.

If the history of humanity tells us anything, it is that ambition and resourcefulness are in that race’s blood. A new great nation is surely somewhere in the future, and perhaps one of the current states carries the seeds of tomorrow’s great empire.

Races

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