Nights In Lankhmar
Species, Races, Peoples
Species, Races and Peoples
Starting with Peoples: We’d call these “races”, generally speaking. Asian, African, Hispanic, etc. There’s a mess of them and I’ll detail them eventually. Note that the only Race that doesn’t have a wide assortment of Peoples would be the Babavichs; they all tend to be gaunt and pallid.
Also note that the following terms and classifications are from a more-or-less human point-of-view. A troll, were it to give it any thought at all (an unlikely event), might take issue with being classified as “Scarred”.
There are four overall species on Nehwon: the Beastkin , the Eldfolk , the Newfolk and the Scarred. Generally speaking people of one species have a very difficult time producing offspring with people of another, but it does occassionally happen.
The first children of Vacha, the Beastkin are humanoids with strong animal characteristics. Once very populous, they’ve dwindled in number over the centuries as they often have short lifespans, low birth rates, and few friends amongst the other species. There’s a wide variety of Beastkin; the most common are the Ratkin (nasty, cruel and thankfully cowardly), the Wolfkin (clannish and usually savage), and the Swinekin (gregarious and the most cultured of the Beastkin overall). Many, many other types exist, but they are often few in number. Unlike the other species, Beastkin of a different race have a difficult time breeding within their species: a Swinekin/Catkin crossbreed, if such a being exists at all, would be quite unusual.
Ratkin — The only beings on Nehwon that are objectively, capital-E Evil are the demons, the malignant progeny of The Twins. In a contest for “Least Number of Redeeming Qualities”, however, Ratkin take the silver medal. Avaricious, bloodthirsty and craven, Ratkin infest places on the periphery of civilization, preying on the weak and stealing whatever they can grab. Adults range in size from three to five feet tall and (surprise!) strongly resemble rats. They usually favor enclosed areas, such as caves or sewers; they dislike, although are unhindered by, open spaces and bright light. They can craft crude items but prefer to utilize whatever they manage to steal. Think “goblins” when thinking about Ratkin.
Wolfkin — Most of the other races think Wolfkin are cut from the same cloth as the Ratkin. The Babavich have a particular loathing of the race. In truth the Wolfkin are just territorial. Territorial to a brutal, violent, merciless degree, true, but they do not go out of their way to torment and abuse other races. Wolfkin tribes roam the wilds of Nehwon, settling into a hunting ground and taking prey — rarely, but sometimes, sentient — until the territory is exhausted, then the tribe moves along. Skirmishes between Wolfkin tribes are quite common. Wolfkin look like bipedal wolves, standing between five and seven feet tall. They rarely use armor, but will arm themselves with scavenged weaponry if going to war. (Weaponry is cowardly when just hunting, or when attacking other Wolfkin.) Think “orcs, but not as overtly evil” when thinking about Wolfkin.
Swinekin — Unlike the other two main Beastkin races, the Swinekin are accepted by the other races. In particular, the Dwarves and the Swinekin get along extremely well. Resembling humanoid boars or humanoid pigs, Swinekin range from five to seven feet tall. Swinekin have settled into small communities in western Stonegarden and are the dominant race on Kova, ruling that nation. The Swinekin have a strict caste system
The Eldfolk were the second group of Vacha’s sentient creations. Unlike the earthy Beastkin, the Eldfolk are light and almost otherworldly. Indeed, they claim The Gods as their guardian and the Cloud Shores as their homeland. A millennium ago they are said to have left Nehwon for good, departing for the Cloud Shores, with only the Babavichs remaining behind. Two hundred and fifty years ago the other Eldfolk came back, found that the Newfolk had claimed their old domains, and thus started the Great War. (The Eldfolk call it The War of Reclamation.) Once they had (re)taken Cythera and the Shrouded Isles the Eldfolk sued for peace; perhaps they knew they were ultimately outmatched or perhaps they’d taken all the territory they desired. In either case, the Eldfolk and the Newfolk now live in mutual distrust but mostly without violence.
The Elders —