Land of Altriere
The following races are playable in The Grand Hierarchy of Altriere campaign. Each race also comes with a short description detailing how they fit into the country’s cultures and their origins to help players choose which race they may want to play as, since not all races are viewed the same way as they might be in other campaigns! Custom races will also get their own pages for statistics.
Halflings are almost as common as humans in Altriere, and are the country’s most numerous race of merchants and traders. However, they are also infamous for being very quick and speak, move, and think very rapidly due to a high metabolism. They are also commonly adventurers, and many halflings try to make their fortunes through exploring dungeons and raiding monster hideouts. Halflings have a general curiosity, and this often leads them into trouble they can’t get out of by themselves, however. A common saying among Altrierians is “Acting like a halfling tends to get you a spike in your foot” in order to discourage excess curiosity or as an alternate way to say “Don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong”.
Dragonborn hail mostly from the desert county of Rin-Kar to the east, next to the Rincalan Mountains, and are known for being hardy, strong, and charismatic. Many of the civilizations of Rin-Kar are known for having dragonborn-heavy militia and guardsman. In fact, many militant organizations of Altriere can count on having one or two dragonborn officers amidst their ranks, as they are commonly excellent leaders and warriors due to the number of beastly threats found in the wastelands of Rin-Kar. The dragonborn of Altriere also generally have the ability to breathe fire, but it isn’t exactly rare for other breath types to appear amongst their kind.
Born from the arcane experiments during the Alfar’s war with the humans who would form Altriere, tieflings are descended from the humans who were the Alfar’s main experiments by having their blood artificially mixed with those of demons and devils. As a result, tieflings in general have a resentment towards all elven races and find it hard to work with them. It often takes a strong reason for them to work with elves, eladrin, alfar, and especially the dolfar (shadow elves). Tieflings, however, have found an innate ability to use arcane magic and excel in all its forms, from sorcery to arcane pacts and wizardry. A tiefling in Altriere is bound to have some connection or ability to use arcane magic. Even so, they rarely join institutes or become war wizards for an army, as there is a mutual distrust between them and the general populace, stemming from their devilish or demonic heritage.
The original settlers of what is now Altriere, the alfar were once a savage race who played with arcane magic as if it were a toy. Now, after hundreds of years of seclusion, they have emerged as an entirely new race, having turned to the gods after their brutal defeat at human hands. During this process, they became closer to divine energy than almost any other race, and have become a mostly-righteous race, having long forgiven the human race for their defeat. Emerging from their enlightening seclusion no more than 100 years ago, the alfar introduced themselves as immigrants from a far country, as any records of the Formation War so many years ago have been lost. Alfar are almost always a pious race, with the general populace of alfar revering the gods as a whole. However, it isn’t uncommon for alfar to dedicate themselves to a particular deity and revile that deity’s enemies. Wise and charismatic, alfar make excellent leaders, especially clerics.
Drow are an underground race living in the Underdark, a series of tunnels and caverns winding far beneath the surface of Altriere. However, a number of drow came to the surface to escape their brutal lifestyles and, over time, became the Dolfar, or Shadow Elves. Shadow Elves are paler than their subterranean coutnerparts and are easy to distinguish from drow. Even so, many are still subject to some form of prejudice, whether light or heavy. Even so, they are a fairly numerous race, although they are still uncommon among the elven subraces, only more common than the newly-emerged Alfar. Many Dolfar reside in the southwestern county of Gardhil, also known as the Misfit County due to the number of uncommonly- and rarely-civilized races that reside there.
Like elves, shifters are fairly reclusive and dislike leaving their woodland homes, for fear of the prejudice that once plagued their peoples’ ancestors, stemming from their lycan bloodlines. However, they are not as rare as elves in Altriere, and numerous shifters are born into cities and villages where they treat their civilized surroundings as a more unique form of forest or jungle due to their natural predatory instincts. Depending on how thinned a shifter’s lycanthrope bloodline is, they occasionally develop lupine or feline features, such as slitted eyes or even as far as animal ears and a tail. Because a stronger bloodline begets more of these animal-like appearances, it’s common for people to prejudice more harshly against shifters with more animalistic traits.
Half-Orcs and Orcs
Unlike in many other countries in Xiril, the number of orcs that have fallen under the mantle of civilization cannot be counted on one’s two hands. Even so, they are still fairly rare to be found amidst the law-abiding citizens such as humans and eladrin. Many orcs still fall under the “savage” races and live in tribes and war bands in the countryside, raiding whomever they please. Half-orcs are commonly the result of civilized orcs and humans mating together, although it isn’t unheard of for half-orcs to have a more wild lineage. Orcs and half-orcs, both civilized and savage, are more commonly found in the Misfit County of Gardhil.
Much like the more-dominant orcs, a few goblins left their tribes to join under the banner of Altriere. While originally the goblins followed the expanding country out of fear, many civilized goblins nowadays are highly loyal to Altriere and it isn’t uncommon to find goblins working as part of the country’s covert intelligence department as spies or informants or as military scouts, as their natural skills at stealth and scouting are generally unrivaled. Even so, there are always the few goblins who are unfortunate enough not to gain a station in the military. These goblins commonly descend into a life of crime and are commonly seen as no better than their wild counterparts. Like orcs, half-orcs, and dolfar, goblins are commonly found in Gardhil.
Half-ghosts are a unique race to Altriere and randomly started appearing amidst the country’s population about 200 years ago, with no explanation or history. Even the half-ghosts themselves don’t know why or how they suddenly became on of Altriere’s common races, but it isn’t uncommon for a human couple to have a half-ghost child. Due to this fact, as well as the half-ghosts’ ability to reproduce themselves, half-ghosts have become one of Altriere’s most populous races in only 200 years, falling behind only humans and halflings. As a race, half-ghosts have their souls split in two (hence the name), with one half outside its physical shell, although it can remain inside the body as well. They are commonly lithe and physically resilient, with a very eerie and ghostly appearance. Pale skin and hair dominate the races’ appearances, and many take up the adventuring or militant lifestyle, utilizing their physical agility and toughness. Due to their resilient nature, half-ghosts can be found just about anywhere.
Feykin are the by-product of fey and human relationships over the course of many generations, and have only recently begun springing up among bloodlines whose ancestors count an eladrin, elf, drow/dolfar, nymph, or dryad. Feykin themselves are naturally elegant, attractive, and cunning, although they generally find life a big game and sometimes have trouble taking matters seriously. With their natural connection to arcane magic, feykin enjoy studying the arts of a wizard and prefer illusion magic over blasts and bursts of fire and ice. More militant feykin enjoy leading a group of adventurers or soldiers and being the center of attention when their allies need their help most. Feykin enjoy the hustle and bustle of the biggest cities where they can get the most out of their attractiveness and intelligence, making them most common in the county of Altrien, although at least a few Feykin can be found just about anywhere.
More to come…