Daethians are, quite simply, humans. They come in all human shapes and sizes, with the complete range of hair color, eye color, skin tones and everything else that you find among humans. They are quite readily distinguished from other humanoid races because they grow facial and body hair. No known Daethian has ever lived beyond 120 years old without the help of Age Magic.
Daethians wear tunics, trousers, dresses, cloaks and similar garments, usually in cloth or leather. The common folk dress in functional clothing, but they like the clothing of their commanders, nobles, priests and other high-ranking individuals to be elaborate or impractical. Daethians in general love wearing their wealth for all to see.
Daethian society is divided into three basic classes: military, religious, and merchant.
The military, lead by the Daethian ruler, is the dominant class. The Kyondoca is the elite guard that protects the Daethian ruler, whose capitol is located at Tor. Daethian landowners or "nobles" are considered to be a subdivision of the military. New nobles earn their land through military service. Nobles who inherited their land are expected to contribute to the war effort, supplying horses, men, arms, food, or whatever they can in addition to protecting their own region. Daethia has a standing army that fights nightly on the Border with Cinnamar, usually in conjunction with the elves of the Great Woods. The only Daethian thieves that are tolerated are spies who work for the military (and the occasional "creative" supply officer). All thieves caught within Daethian borders are subject to public flogging (unless the thief is a Krill, in which case he or she may go free as long as the victim was relieved of no more than 10% of his or her possessions).
The clergy of all religions inside Daethia's borders answer to the Daethian Ruler, be that Lord, Lady or Great Wizard. While it's possible to find worshipers of Cinnamarian gods, these religions are generally small, secretive operations and do not maintain temples. The major temples for the other gods are generally located at Tor, although the Southern Temple of the White Wolf is found in the Great Woods near the Dragon's Back Mountains. Most Daethians worship Criton or the Lord of Light, but all religions are tolerated.
Guilders are attached either to a city, military unit, landowner or religious order. Simple survival requires that Guilders have somewhere to ply their trade and has someone to protect them while they do so. Guilders are highly respected, often ranking well above members of the clergy in the Daethian scheme of things.
Daethians are among the few people who will practice magic for its own sake. They are more methodical in their study of magic than the elves, due largely in part to the school that was founded by Corin. Although the School itself no longer exists, the teaching methods have survived with esteemed Wizards throughout the country taking on students after the pattern established at Corin.
Dumnonians all have black hair and solid amber eyes that have no pupils or whites. They grow no body hair except eyebrows and what's on the top of their heads. They can subsist on far less food than the average Centurian. Dumnonians have the ability to reclaim moisture from their bodies. Their eyes are extremely sharp, adjusting easily for the glare of the desert. They can see the lifeforce around living things, even in total darkness. They are similar to half-elves in appearance, having slightly pointed ears, which they generally grow their hair long enough to cover. Their hearing is phenomenal; even whispering at a couple of dragonlengths away won't keep a secret from a Dumnonian who is intent on overhearing it. Dumnonians are uniformly bronzed in their complexions, probably from centuries of exposure to the harsh desert sun. No one has ever seen an old Dumnonian (all of their race die "young," usually in combat, and only the rare individual makes it over the age of 100), but Dumnonians in their eighties appear as Daethians in their mid-thirties. This leads scholars to suspect that the true Dumnonian lifespan is somewhere between 200 and 300 years.
Dumnonian garb tends to be a combination of functional as well as practical. They love flamboyance and fanciful garments, but no one in his or her right mind would walk out into the desert without being attired in proper desert clothing.
Only pure blood Dumnonians are permitted to Bond with the Dumnonian Bronzes. Any other race would be killed by the rigors of the Training that the Pair must undergo prior to joining a century.
Many Dumnonians belong to Guilds. The nation is self-sufficient, and Dumnonian Guilders are highly valued members of society. Dumnonian Guilders (particularly caravaneers) who travel abroad are accorded far more respect than even Dragonriders. Dumnonians may join any Guild. The caravaneers are the lifeblood of Dumnonia. They trade with all of the allies of the Light, making regular runs from the main Camp to their trading partners, then back along the front line, stopping at various base camps before returning to the main Camp.
There are no known Dumnonian nobles. Bards tell stories about such figures who owned magnificent castles along the mythical Dumnonian coast, but that was long ago before the Dumnonians pulled back into the deep desert. All land in Dumnonia belongs to the whole nation. Dumnonians are not allowed to own land in Daethia. In Rashtar, the land belongs to the tribes. So unless there's a Dumnonian who built a castle in the Northern Wastes or who is trying to carve out an estate on the Other Continent, you won't find a Dumnonian noble.
Dumnonian Priests and Priestesses, however, are a copper a dozen. The Dumnonians are a highly religious people, honoring all religions--even the ones they don't like. It's not uncommon to find out that a Dumnonian is a Priest or Priestess of one religion or another in addition to his or her obvious profession. The favored religion is the worship of the Mother, but there are Dumnonian clerics for every known religion.
Thieves are extremely rare within Dumnonia's borders. The strict laws against theft generally lead most thieves to decide to ply their trade elsewhere. A Krill might attach to a caravan that spends a lot of time in Dumnonia, but the wise Krill does not steal while there. Teaching a Dumnonian to steal will result in the teacher's hand being cut off and a severe flogging for the Dumnonian. So a thief of the Dumnonian race is virtually unheard of (although the occasional supply officer treads a very thin line between being called a brilliant support person and being called a thief).
Most Dumnonian warriors (and it's rumored most of the support personnel) can work a little magic. This is largely apprentice-level stuff. An extremely rare individual might make Mage in addition to his or her chosen profession. There has only been one Dumnonian Wizard: Dana of Corin. The Dumnonians are too busy trying to stay alive to produce any higher level Wizards. And no one knows of a Dumnonian who only practices magic. While magic is helpful, useful, and so forth, Dumnonians have a strong sense of self-preservation that leads them to acquire another skill first, one that is more likely to keep them alive.
Dumnonian warriors are the backbone of the society. The bulk of the population learns to fight at least a little bit. Many go on to become Raiders. A few survive to become Warriors, receiving a warband or a Dragon as a reward for their efforts. There is no Dumnonian infantry or other ground military units. All non-Dragonrider Dumnonian Warriors either conduct solo raids or work as guards for caravaneers and other Guilders.
Dumnonia is ruled by a king or queen who is usually Bonded to a Bronze Dragon. The ruler must be of Dumnonian stock and is elected by the Dragons. The ruler is responsible for the care of the Hatchlings, the forming of Bonds, the provision of food for Feasts, and the coordination of attacks by the Dragonlords.
The Dragonlords are the commanders of the centuries of Bonded Pairs, and they have the responsibility of raising the Fledglings. Each century consists of roughly one hundred sets of Bond Partners. Striplings are assigned to Riders by the Dragonlords. Support personnel are attached to either the main Camp or to the base camp of one of the Dragonlords. They are responsible for making sure that the military units are kept well supplied at all times. Guilders, clergy, and Healers are attached to the main Camp, but have been known to travel to a base camp at the request of a Dragonlord.
Elves actually come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are more etherial than humans, and they have solid-colored eyes, with no pupils or whites. Elven eye colors include amber, emerald, amethyst, sapphire, and silver with variations on those shades. Elves have the sharpest eyesight of any race on Centuria, able to see at night as easily as in the daylight, the color of their eyes darkening as needed to filter glare. They can see the lifeforce of all living creatures even when there is no light at all. Like Dumnonians, elves grow no facial or body hair other than their eyebrows and the hair on their head. Unlike Dumnonians, elves grow hair in a fascinating area of colors. Pretty much, if the color is in the spectrum, an elf can wind up with that color for hair. Elven hair-styles are intricate, and jewelry, beads and other items are often woven into their tresses. The elves have sharply pointed ears that are a dead give-away as to their race. No other race has ears quite like them. No other race has the elven sense of hearing, either. It's rumored that an elf can hear an enemy crawling through grass on the far side of a battlefield. The elves display skin tones ranging from black to white, but lighter tones predominate. The tallest elves rank highest in their society. Shorter elves are viewed as eternal children and are never expected to be serious. The smallest elves are thought to be little better than brownies or leprechauns. Some scholars have speculated that the fairies, pixies, and other diminutive woodland folk may be related to the elves, but the elves themselves are violently offended by such suggestions. Elven scholars are quick to point out that no true elf has wings, and that brownies and leprechauns have more in common with the Galantites than they do with elves. The elven lifespan is extremely long, spanning at least 1000 to 1500 years.
Elven clothing is, well, flamboyant. Their warriors wear slightly more practical stuff on the battlefield, but even the elven armor shines beyond all reason. There are two trends in elven clothing. One is designed to so mimic the environment around the wearer as to make the person invisible to all but the most experienced eyes. The other is to develop clothing in the wildest colors with the most outrageous materials possible. The Royal Family, which has extensive contact with other cultures, is extremely sedate--almost stodgy--in its dress when compared to the clothing styles of their subjects.
The Elven Kingdom is ruled by Farador, who, with his queen, Tira, united all tribes of elves at the time of their flight from their homeland in the south. All religions are tolerated, but the worship of the Elven King is the only one visibly practiced.
Elven Guilders are among the finest on Centuria. The elven armorers are surpassed only by the Galantites, and the elven weavers and tailors are without peer. Elven jewelers are said to rival even the Galantites. Elven cooks seem to be almost telepathic in their ability to create what their guests want. All Guilds are represented among the elves, and their goods and services are worth every copper that the buyer pays for them.
Elven nobles have a bit of a problem. They lost their land to the Dark One long ago, and only Daethians can own Daethian land. So the highest ranking elven noble that can be found at the moment is landless. One or two enterprising souls are rumored to be carving out a new kingdom on the Other Continent, but so far the rumors are unsubstantiated.
Elven thieves can exist. In fact, these individuals are invaluable to the military supply lines and in securing intelligence reports. There are very few elven thieves, however, because of one major drawback: The spells that protect the Elven Kingdom will not allow a thief to pass. So any elf who becomes a thief may never, ever enter the Elven Kingdom again.
All elves are considered part of the elven army, but actually engaging in combat seems to be on a volunteer basis, and no command structure beyond a designated leader of the entire war effort appears to exist. Elven archers are the best on the planet, and elven warriors are extremely skilled in individual combat. But these folks can't fight together to save their lives. And that is a huge problem for the Elven King since an elf's life can be so phenomenally long if the individual does not die in combat. It is very, very hard for Farador to convince anyone to go out and risk his or her neck on a nightly basis. The Royal Family does its best to set an example, but only a fraction of the available elven warriors actually take to the battlefield regularly.
Magic is in the elven blood. Their kingdom is made of magic. Their Ruler is worshiped by giving him magic. All elves live and breathe magic. Most elves pick up at least cantrips at some point in their long lives. Many go on to become Mages in their own right. And the Wizards of the Elven Kingdom are without peer. The Daethian Wizards can't come close.
Half-elves are the offspring of the union of an elf and another humanoid. It is possible for the smallest elves to mate with Krills, though few of them do since great height is part of the elven concept of beauty. Daethians and Dumnonians are the most likely partners. (Rashtar is a long way away, and the elven association with magic bothers most barbarians too much for a Rashtarian to want much to do with the race.) Half-elves may visit the Elven Kingdom, but they may not live there. Most half-elves become mercenaries for the Krills or the Daethians, although some hire onto caravans and make the run to Dumnonia. Most half-elves are warriors, although they occasionally turn up as clergy, thieves, and even wizards. Half-elves have to do something pretty spectacular to earn the right to be granted land as a noble, and no half-elf can inherit Daethian land. Much of the land that becomes available for the Daethian Ruler to distribute as rewards to warriors comes from land that reverts to the State after a half-elf dies. Half-elves are thought to live between 200 and 300 years, but most of them die in the War before they see their 100th natalday.
Galantites have more in common with boulders than with other humanoids. Their skin is craggy and tough, tending to tones of grey, brown and even black. A few Galantites have reddish or white skin, but they are rare. They have no body hair, but they sport an abundance of facial hair to make up for that, with both males and females able to grow luxuriant beards. Hair color runs the same gamut as Daethian hair colors. Galantite eyes are solid, without pupils or whites. They tend toward jewel tones in color, though metallics are possible and black is rather common. Galantites do not see well in full sunlight, but their vision is unsurpassed underground. They need no light at all to navigate their tunnels and they require only dim lighting to see the finest details. However, few Galantites have vision that's worth much at all in full daylight, and fewer still have eyes that can survive the blinding light of the desert sun. They are uniformly short, being no more than two-thirds the height of the average Daethian. They have stocky builds and short legs that makes it difficult for them to ride even small ponies. Galantites who travel with caravans tend to do so in special contraptions, almost house-like structures, that are fixed to camels' backs, and these Galantites have to be helped into place by their taller, fellow caravaneers. Galantites are believed to live between 300 and 400 years.
Galantite dress tends to consist of canvass shirts and trousers, leather and armor, whatever is practical for crawling around mines and defending the contents of those mines. No one has ever been able to tell the difference between male and female dress among the Galantites.
The Galantites stay in their mountains for the most part where they mine precious metals and ores. They are ruled by a monarch who is surrounded by an elite guard. (Most of the Galantites in this unit have no problem seeing in daylight; that trait tends to run in families, so these guard positions do as well.) Other guards are posted on the docks and outside the entrances to the mines. (The guards for outside the mines tend to be pulled from the elite guard because of their eyesight.)
Galantite Guilders fashion the raw materials into goods, which are offered to traders in exchange for items such as food and cloth. The Galantite smiths and jewelers are unsurpassed, and only they can work the Galantite ore for which the race is named. All Guilds are found among the Galantites, but the prestige of the Guild is determined by how much it contributes to the mining operations.
No Galantite nobles are known. The mines belong to the race, and, as far as anyone can tell, all Galantites work in the mines or as mercenaries or free-lancers for the caravaneers.
No clerical class is evident among these miners, although Galantite priests and priestesses are not completely unknown in the religious orders of Daethia.
Thieves are not tolerated among the Galantites. The penalty for theft is death. Galantites who become thieves may never, ever set foot in Mount Paradin again.
Galantite warriors are among the most fierce on Centuria. The problem is convincing them to leave their mountain and its treasure to go fight a war on a Border that is rather remote from them. Their king, Jochia, sends as many troops as he can, but it's a fraction of the warriors he has available.
Galantite wizards are uncommon but not impossible. Their magic is geared toward the creation of magical weapons, armor, jewelry and such. Most of the magic items on Centuria were manufactured by Galantite mages.
Krills are diminutive humanoids who have gotten one of the rawest deals of the War. Never growing more than two to three feet in height, Krills are perfectly proportioned, often quite beautiful and handsome creatures. They have no body or facial hair other than eyebrows and the hair on their heads. Their hair colors cover the same range as Daethian colors. They have the solid-colored eyes, without pupils or whites, that are common in many of Centuria's races. Eye colors for Krills include the jewel tones and black, with occasional woods and metallics possible. Skintones range from quite fair to deep mahogany; no black-skinned Krills are known, however. Their ears are sharply pointed, leading some scholars to speculate that the Krills may have originally been a type of elf that was exiled from the Elven Kingdom because of the race's size. Elven opponents of this notion are quick to point out that the Krill hair colors are inconsistent with elven hair colors and that Krills only have a lifespan of about 300-400 years.
The Krills are a race of thieves, and they dress accordingly. Most favor black, but they will wear whatever is required to blend in with their surroundings. Their artists are highly skilled at working with various colors, betraying a love of the flamboyant that is not reflected in the average Krill's dress. Their ruler, Crown Prince Treigo, is perhaps the flashiest dresser of the lot, and his attire is downright sedate compared to the garb worn by Daethians, Dumnonians and elves.
Though some Krills work as Guilders, clergy, warriors and wizards, any Krill who appears to belong to another class is merely a thief in disguise. They call their leader a "Crown Prince," but he, too, is simply a thief with delusions of grandeur. Their skills enable them to serve as brilliant scouts and spies, but any dragonless warrior who takes on a Krill as a member of his warband should never forget that this companion is a thief and, if caught, should be subject to the local laws regarding thieves.
They are called Krills after the city of Krillion, which they reputedly stole from the Daethians, but the name of their true homeland is Krellos.
Rashtarians are from the same human stock as Daethians, but their culture has led them to develop in a slightly different direction. They do not exhibit the Daethian variety of skin tones, tending instead to be light in complexion. All hair colors and eye colors are present, but blond and brown hair as well as blue and hazel eyes predominate. Like Daethians, Rashtarians grow facial and body hair. In fact, Rashtarians have raised the growth of facial hair to a fine art, often sporting long beards, handlebar mustaches, braided sideburns, and the like. Scholars suspect that Rashtarians have the same lifespan as Daethians, but the barbarians live in such a hostile land that most of them get killed before they reach much more than fifty years of age.
Rashtarian clothing is pretty simple. Trousers and shirts. A woman might occasionally wear a dress, but dresses are largely impractical in the terrain. Some tribes insist on even the men wearing kilts such as the one their god wears when he appears to them, but those groups are rare. The basic emphasis is on getting warm in a hurry and staying that way. Fur cloaks, vests, and the like are popular. Fancy leathers are almost unknown. Druids generally wear robes to distinguish them from the rest of the barbarians, but they can appear in standard dress as well. Rashtarians do, however, love their gold, gems, and every other form of physical wealth they can lay their hands on--mostly because such wealth is rare in Rashtar. If a barbarian is lucky enough to possess anything at all in the way of jewelry, he or she will definitely be wearing it for all the world to see.
Rashtar is a barbaric land that is primarily inhabited by loosely allied tribes of humans. Each tribe has a supreme ruler who is generally supported by a warband. The tribe consists of the extended families of the warriors and is usually self-supporting.
Guilders are welcome in the tribes as long as they have a warrior to support them. Smiths are particularly valued.
The only visible religion in the entire country is that practiced by the druids. It's possible that others exist, but the tribes are mostly bent upon supporting the White Wolf--who is rather good to them in return. Being practical and having found a rather generous god to worship, most Rashtarians won't take a chance on an unfamiliar deity.
An occasional cottager--particularly innkeepers--might be granted land by a local tribe. But no castles or manors exist. The land belongs to the tribe that protects it, with the tribal village serving in place of a stronghold.
Thieves know better than to brave the wilds of Rashtar. The barbarians are not particularly rich, and they tend to abandon thieves in the middle of nowhere without so much as a loincloth. The country just isn't worth the risk.
Wizards are virtually unknown in Rashtar. The barbarians have a hatred and fear of magic. They tend to berserk and kill anyone who even looks like a Wizard--not to mention the Wizard's companions and pretty much anything in the vicinity. This is something that is extremely ironic, since their ruler is the magic-using Elven Lord, Juel, and their god was one of the most famous Wizards of Corin. Juel is working hard, with the help of the druids, to overcome this fear in his people, but decades, if not centuries, will probably pass before there is much improvement. The Rashtarians do make a distinction: Divine miracles as practiced by druids are fine; miracles as practiced by the worshipers of other gods are tolerated; magic that is not divinely inspired is forbidden.
The Valla are virtually indistinguishable from Daethians except that these humans live backward in time. Removing a sword from a Valla's corpse, for instance, could cause the death wound to close and the Warrior to stand up and fight the unsuspecting "slayer." The Valla remember the future, but not terribly well. It's more as if they remember the future that is most likely to happen, though sometimes their "memories" tangle and they recall several possible futures at once. (Because of the "prophetic" powers this gives the Valla, this race is reserved for L.A. Malcor.)
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