Saltmarsh Journal

Journals for the Saltmarsh RPG Campaign

Races of Anaria

The sentient creatures of Anaria are divided into two main families – Men and the Dragonkin. The Dragonkin are all broadly similar, being scaly and reptilian, but come in a vast array of sizes, from the smallest skinks to the largest dragons. They also appear to be the more ancient of the races. Men are more diverse, but scholars agree that they are all commonly related because they are inter-fertile in the majority of cases.

Dragonkin

The Dragonkin encompass a number of races from the mighty Dragons down to the smallest skinks. They are all cold-blooded and therefore are mainly found in the tropics, although some of the smaller and more aquatic variants are found further north. They are usually inimical to all the human races, who they refer to as the invaders or usurpers. They worship the Five Elder Gods, and look back to an age before the coming of men when the world was a hotter, wetter and more dragon-orientated place as a golden age to which they can return when all the race of men is eliminated.

Mention must here be made of the Drakes. These are dragons that were captured by the Lordlings and robbed of their intelligence. They were then used as mounts by the Lordlings in order to fight and win against the Dragons. Few Drakes now remain, but they are still a potent force in the High King’s arsenal.

The hatred of the dragonkin, especially the Dragons for the Lordlings is long and bitter because of the Drakes, who they view as their lost kin.

Lordlings

The Lordlings are men who are directly descended from the gods and form a ruling and warrior caste within the High Kingdom. They are taller than common men, up to 8 or 9 feet tall, and usually slim of build. They are also fast, naturally adept at magic and very long-lived. Many nobles are Lordlings, as would be expected, but in these troubled times, more and more rulers are common men instead. Many Lordlings have abandoned their duties as rules and wander the land as knights errant. They have a complex system of honour among themselves, which some say they follow to the point of stupidity. They are also disdainful of common men and will react violently to defend their honour against perceived slurs.

Common Men

The population of the High Kingdom is mainly of human stock. Folk tales record that before the coming of the Lordlings, common men were like the elves of the forest. The land was ruled by Dragons that preyed on men, forcing them to live in forests or caves or high mountains where the Dragons could not face the cold. Then the Lordlings came and tamed the Dragons, creating Drakes that they used to fight back the Dragons and create the High Kingdom. Common men then became their vassals.

In the south and the Western Isles (including Trinalion), men tend to be smaller than normal, often as short as three or four feet high. These men are often referred to as halfmen or Halflings. At home they normally settle in farming communities. They are common as traders and merchants throughout the High Kingdom. They are not known for their military prowess, although they are good archers. On Trinalion they are noted for their pony-drawn chariots.

Trolls

The cold northern wastes are the home of trolls, who are another major branch of the human tree. Trolls come in a wide variety of sizes from dwarves to giants. All them tend to be rather rotund and bulky, partly as an adaptation to their cold environment. They are also rather hairy, possibly for the same reason. There is a lot of prejudice against trolls of all kinds in human lands, viewing them as stupid and aggressive. Much of this is misplaced although they do not have the same level of refinement as the High Kingdom, and it is noticeable that the larger the troll, the more its brain power seems to go into simple things like walking or standing upright. Trolls tend to have a tribal or clan culture and inter-clan violence for scarce resources is common. Within the clan, ownership tends to be communal. Their warlike reputation does make them highly valued in the High Kingdom as mercenaries. In polite company, the small trolls most usually hired as mercenaries are called dwarves.

Wolfmen

Mention must also be made of this point of the Wolf Nomads of the Eastern Steppes. Probably the most variant of human stocks, these terrifying warriors are half man and half wolf, able to change from one to the other at will, and riding into battle on their pure-wolf-brethren.

Goblins and Elves

The faerie folk of the forests are normally referred to as goblins or elves. They are usually slight and small and live in trees or caves underground. They are naturally skilled at magic, especially charms and illusions. They normally avoid contact with others but will harass or kill those that they feel are encroaching on their domains. The Dragons say that they are the eldest of the menfolk, and are the children of the ground and the trees. They appear to be virtually immortal and ageless, although sometimes they can age very rapidly, possibly at will. They certainly seem to have a degree of magical control over time that no other race has. Although they appear to not be related to other menfolk at all, accounts of children being born to the union of men and dryads suggest that they are related in some way.

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