In Lands of Yore the category people replaces race. All Player Characters are humans of one sort or another. Creatures like elves and halflings are unheard of — which is not to say that those sorts of things categorically do not exist. They’re just unknown in the region of the world where our story begins. Dwarfs (as opposed to dwarves), on the other hand, figure into the local mythology. They’re believed to be an extinct elder race, perhaps a deformed cousin of giantkind.

When we use the term “peoples” we’re talking about the various groups which make up mankind. The following list does not cover all the world’s peoples — only those found in the Rúksea Region. This is a brief introduction. Each group will be covered in depth elsewhere.

Dyaths (adj. Dyathic or Dyathine) comprise the largest segment of men living in the region (somewhere between 75-80% of the total population). Historically speaking, they are relatively “new” to the area in comparison to the other peoples listed here. Physically, the Dyath tends to be tall (average 6 ft m/5.8 ft f) with a ruddy-brown complexion and somewhat aquiline facial features. Hair is typically straight and black (dark red is a recessive trait), while eyes are often of a light hue (blue or hazel). They are long-lived: the normal lifespan for a Dyath is between 90 and 110 years, with health generally beginning to decline as late as 65 years. Dyathic culture stresses the importance of skills and crafts. Linguistics, complex mathematics and coin-based economics are all Dyathic innovations. [+1 CON]

Parse-speaking peoples include the Parawegians, the Cannartians, and the Orsines. They are sometimes collectively called the people of the isles, though they themselves would never use this term. As one of the oldest extant groups in the region, they consider themselves the true lords of the Rúksea and regard the Dyaths as interlopers and, on occasion, enemies. The typical parse-speaker is short (average 5.5 ft m/5.3 ft f) and muscular with a pale complexion and prominent forehead. Their hair is usually fair and curly, while eyes tend to be green or brown. Barring ill-health, a parse-speaker may live up to 80 years, though he begins to decline around 50. Parse culture emphasizes the value of family and blood ties. Smithing is perhaps the most respectable trade among their people, though boating is a close second. [+1 STR]

The people of Lorc are an ancient breed. Sometimes called the Locúthi, it has been hypothesized that they may be the last remnant of the once-prosperous civilization that inhabited the area now known as the Lost Kingdoms. Lorc and its people are universally regarded as strange by the other peoples of the Rúksea. “All madness is sown in Lorc” is a common saying among the Dyaths. Most persons native to Lorc tend to be small (average 5.3 ft m/5 ft f) and frail with a swarthy, almost earthy complexion. Their fingers and hands are noticeably long. Hair is often brown or black and quite thin, with the hairline near the mid-line of the top of the skull. Eye color is almost universally a vivid blue. Often a man or woman of Lorc will live into his or her 90s with almost no decline in health or mental acuity. Lorc culture is fixated on death and death-rites. Notably, a prince of Lorc will often “rule” for a number of years after his death, being treated as if he were alive despite the obvious decomposition of his body. [+1 INT]

The Harkains are a mixed lot of tribes who originated in the steppelands beyond the Azure Mountains. They speak a guttural language known as Hårca and are generally considered “barbarians” by the Dyaths. They have been steadily migrating into the region for three-hundred years, though their numbers are still quite small. The average Harkain is tall (average 6 ft m/5.8 ft f) and thinly muscled with a dark and ruddy complexion. Their skulls are ovoid and tapered, giving them something of an exotic appearance. Hair is typically black and nappy and often cut short. Eyes range from vivid amber to pale brown. Most Harkains live for 80 years with health declining around age 70. Harkain culture is too varied to generalize, though all subgroups tend to be transitory. Harkains find it strange that other peoples should want to stay in one place for very long. [+1 DEX]

The Half-men are controversial. Most Dyaths do not consider them members of the family of Man at all and regard them as beasts. When the Dyaths came to the region they killed off the Half-men by the tens-of-thousands, eventually pushing them back to the Sardimocks in the west and the forestland of Dispara in the east. Half-men are communal creatures who use a crude, whistling language to communicate. A typical Half-man will be somewhat short (average 5.4 ft m/4.8 ft f) but thickly muscled with a thick coat of hair or fur covering most of the body. Their jaws and teeth are pronounced and lend them a bestial appearance. They tend to be black or gray, though there have been some reports of white-haired Half-men living in higher elevations. The lifespan of a Half-man tends to be about 60 years. Half-man culture is something of a mystery. They remain hidden and hostile to outsiders who enter their lands. Given their cannibalistic nature, few outsiders actively seek them out. [+2 STR]

SUMMARY

  • The Dyaths are the default humans and the most populous.
  • The Parse-speakers are a proud people of the sea.
  • The people of Lorc are an ancient, morbid race.
  • The Harkains are nomads.
  • The Half-men are a mysterious tree-dwelling people.
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