UPDATE: Dwarf, High Elf, and Wood Elf descriptions updated for Peresh, along with the contents list. More coming soon!
|Common Races||Uncommon Races||Rare Races||Unique Races|
Common races form the bulk of the civilized races of Peresh. They make up the bulk of the citizenry.
Dwarves are the most prominent race in Peresh, unrivaled in both cultural influence and population. In their lore, dwarves often refer to their kind as the Firstforged, the first created intelligent beings in the world. This is disputed openly only by the High Elf mystics, who claim that no one can know such ancient history. The Runes, the ancient basis for modern Dwarven language, are the oldest known writing symbols on the continent.
The Firstforged are highly religious. They worship the wide array of the Pantheon, favoring the Lawful and Good gods. Dwarves hold special reverence for Moradin, whom they refer to as “Forge Father” and “The One Among Many.” He is believed to be the creator of dwarves, and therefore the crafter of all good things. His FORGE OF CREATION is rumored to be hidden away by divine magic somewhere in the Hammerbelt, protected by the highest ranking paladins of Moradin and Erathis. The Dwarves revere Erathis because of her role in the Battle of the Forge and The Refining. There is an ancient distrust of dragons among dwarves. However, there are an increasing number of followers of Bahamut in the Hammerbelt. They claim it was actually he that led the defense of the Forge while Erathis was busy re-making Moradin. The most prevalent religious ritual among dwarves is The Refining, which serves as a coming-of-age ritual and pays tribute to the re-making (and strengthening) of Moradin.
The dwarves were once mortal enemies of the elves, but that has devolved to an almost-forgotten rivalry ever since the rise of the orcs. The orcs are the sworn enemies of dwarvenkind. The two sides skirmish in border disputes and occasional raids for supplies. The Shift War was a result of (and further cause for) bad blood between the two races.
Dwarves control much of the landmass of Peresh, especially the mountain and hill regions, which are rich with all manner of stone and ore. Their largest settlement is the city-state of Domil, now populated by its third generation of dwarves. The Assembly in Domil is the most powerful governing force in the Eastern half of Peresh. Other significant settlements of dwarves include the western gateway city of Ardaem, the elf-friendly towns in the Dwelvenbelt, and the undergound holds along HAMMER ROAD.
All dwarves favor Martial and Divine classes, particularly fighters and clerics. They make excellent paladins, which are often employed as commanders in the legions of dwarven soldiers. Runepriests are a less common but highly respected profession among dwarves. They are often found studying in the ancient places where divine runes are the most pure, making them ideal adventuring companions. Most dwarves have some devotion to the Pantheon, so divine classes are commonly commissioned and supported by the various dwarven temples of Peresh. Primal classes, particularly wardens, are found among Dwelvenbelt dwarves, but still less so than the Divine classes. Dwarves rarely study the Arcane magics, even then, it is only to better understand their enemies.
High Elf (PH)
Little is known about the high elves outside of their communal enclaves, known simply as “groves”. Some dwarven scholars have suggested that high elves may have originated on another plane of existence called the Feywild, but this has been widely discounted by the clerics and runepriests of Moradin and Erathis. They claim the Feywild is merely a term for remote areas of the Western Wilds which are home to fey creatures and pockets of high magic concentrations. Human scholars have observed high elves similarities to elves, and have determined that the elves must be descendents or distant cousins of the high elves. Further muddling the understanding of their origins is the fact that the elves and high elves are able to reproduce, but the offspring are often stillborn. The few that live always takes the racial characteristics of the mother. As such, it is a high crime in most places for an high elves to mate with another race. This may be another reason they usually keep to themselves.
Most dwarves call high elves “the Grey”, a reference to their seclusiveness and secrecy. Humans actually coined the Common term “high elves”, a name which some wood elves abhor. If the high elves have a name for themselves, they have not shared it with outsiders and rarely speak it aloud.
High elves tend to stay to the edges of dwarven and human civilization. Therefore, little is ever written about them. In fact, the most reliable sources are the elven Faerie Tales, which are stories passed down through oral tradition about the fey cousins of elves, the Faerie. These stories reference the high elves more than any other source.
The tales tell of a race of peace-loving knowledge seekers who are more organized and civilized than any other fey beings. Despite their knowledge and civilized ways, the high elves never lord over any other creatures. They do, however, have domesticated beasts. The tales describe the birds and cats of high elf groves as friends or even family members. There is never a reference to “breaking” or “training” the animals as a human might do with a horse or a dog. These elves live alongside big cats like tigers and panthers. They also house raptors, like falcons and owls, in their aviaries.
The high elves seem to have few natural enemies or friends among the races of Peresh. They have been known to do battle with goblins and other monster races that disrupt civilized life in the Wilds. Otherwise, their combat prowess is used for hunting and self defense.
High elf religion is mostly a mystery to other races. They have been known to serve in temples of Corellon, god of arcane magic and creator of the fey. The dwarves have determined he is the Father god and co-ruler of the high elf version of the pantheon. The other co-ruler is Melora, whom high elves see as the Mother goddess of primal magic and the wilds. In their lore she is the wife of Corellon. This is a point of contention between high elves and wood elves, who see the elven goddess Sehanine as Corellon’s companion.
High elves see Primal and Arcane magic as two sides of the same coin, and Divine magic as a lesser discipline meant for the non-fey. Because of this, leaders of the Gray are often proficient shamans or casting druids. Hunting parties consist of magically adept rangers. Arcanists and shapeshifting druids commonly join the hunters in times of war. Unique to the high elves are their only full-time military forces – the incredible bladesingers, who use magic and sword in a combination supposedly invented by Corellon himself. The high elf devout rarely take up any Divine class, even when they serve in a temple of Corellon or Melora. High Elf priests would be arcanists and druids, respectively.
Wood Elf (PH)
The wood elves of Peresh are divided into two main categories: City elves and wild elves. They are genetically the same race. Unlike high elves, both versions of wood elf can breed with humans. The resulting half-elves can breed true, and therefore have their own entry ( see below ).
City elves are the more civilization oriented of the wood elves. Wood elf is a misleading name for them, since their high elf cousins actually live in the woods more frequently. Thus they are referred to by dwarves, humans, and orcs as “city elves”. They identify with their new, young nation of Anugan, which has recently been formed via a pact with a faction of human settlers. They aspire to build a great new civilization with their new human allies in their native lands – the eastern reaches of the continent. The elves benefit from the humans expertise with crops and cattle, and in turn they provide their knowledge of the land and a safe place to settle their families. Anugan elves are quite egalitarian, not declaring one race to be superior or one version of the pantheon to be correct. Anugan religion universally includes some aspects of ancestor worship. There is no patron deity of their nation; but, like other elves, Anugan elves claim Corellon and Sehanine as their racial gods. More importantly, the temple of Erathis is the largest and most ornate religious structure in the capital city, Anu. The only structure more impressive is the Tower of Anu.
Anugan elves tend to train mostly in the full slate of Martial classes. They often train in Arcane and Divine magics as well. Primal magic is much less common, except in those who worship their ancestors more prominently than the gods.
Wild elves are nomadic and tribal. They are one of the few people groups that does not recognize the pantheon of gods. However, they worship the Great Spirit ( Corellon ) and The Lady of The Moon ( Sehanine ) during the spring and autumn, respectively. Otherwise, their religion is entirely based on ancestor worship. Some tribes even describe Corellon and Sehanine as the First Ancestors, the first elves to exist and therefore worthy of high worship by all elves. The roving bands of elves have varying levels of organizational structure, but they do not consider equality a virtue like the Anugan elves do. Often, an elf’s life is planned for him based on the alignment of the stars and the phase of the moon at the time of their birth. This may determine their name, their profession, and even their future spouse. The welfare of the family is more important than the individual, and continuing the family line is essential to honoring the ancestors. Because of this, it is illegal to marry or mate outside of your own race. Hence the prevalence of arranged marriages among wood elves.
Wild elves gravitate toward all of the Primal classes and the lighter Martial classes, like rangers and rogues. Leaders are usually shamans who communicate with the ancestors. Warriors are often barbarians. Tribes with stronger ritual worship of Corellon or Sehanine may produce some Divine classes. One of the only Arcane classes found among wood elves is the witch, who is almost universally outcast except in the most Sehanine-revering clans. Sorcerers have appeared among the wood elves, supposedly only when born under a certain astrological sign.