demi-human races

Note on living among humans: When talking about the population of Verland, most figures take into account human and halfling population, not demi-humans. Most humans do not realize this. There is a definite difference of perspective between average humans and the demi-humans living among them. The average human sees a dwarven business that has been there his whole life and assumes that the dwarf is a permanent resident and a staunch member of the community. The reality is that even 200+ years after the arrival of humans, almost all demi-humans still consider human towns temporary places to visit, vacation, or adventure for 50-100 years, not places to settle down. Very few demi-human children are born or raised in human towns or villages; most demi-humans still identify strongly with their homelands and go back to raise families.

Race Relations: While few members of the demi-human races would admit it, all three races are being profoundly affected by the human and halfling colonists that have intruded on their stable, insular worlds.

Dwarves: The dwarves are undergoing a youth cultural revolution. During the isolation of the last 2,000 years or so, the dwarves of the Iron Maw Mountains have had a stable population of about 15,000 spread throughout three large strongholds. They have worked, built and fought, but as is common with dwarves, they have become more and more conservative over the years. Once thriving clans of Warchanters (bards), Artificers (wizards), and Deepwatchers (rangers) have dwindled along with tolerance for anything that is not deeply ingrained in tradition. The coming of the humans is beginning to change this. Trade, adventure, and exchange of knowledge and culture have rekindled something in the last few dwarven generations, leading to great debate in the dwarven nation. Young dwarves following different classes, traditions, or gods are becoming more common, and younger dwarves are beginning to seriously consider making permanent homes among the humans, creating dwarven districts in some of the larger towns.

Elves: The elves would be the last to admit that they have enjoyed to the arrival of the humans in their lands, but it is true. The elven population has been about 5,000 for many generations, and they have lived a comfortable, if isolated life in their forest home. However, their leaders are well aware that considering the rising numbers and violence of the orc hordes over the last 200 years, if the humans had not come to unite the peoples of Verland, it is likely the elves would have been overrun years ago. In addition, the humans have treated the elves well overall, and the elves are gratified when the humans seek them out to be generals, teachers, and government and mercantile advisers. Currently, a permanent diplomatic corps enjoys an opulent lifestyle at the cost of the Verlander king and the great Western Academy of Military and Magic Arts counts many elves as teachers and heads of departments. In this way, the elves feel they can impart their superior traditions and values into generations of humans to come.

Gnomes: The gnomes had the most tenuous existence before the arrival of the humans. Many thousands of years ago, the gnomes were cast out of the realms of Faerie and have always found it hard to find a foothold in the mortal realm. They always ride the fine line between succumbing to boredom and lethargy, which leads to death, or reverting back to the land of Faerie, which leads to death. In truth, before the coming of the humans, the gnomes were a people in decline. However, the human’s arrival has done many things for the gnomes. By making roads and creating some semblance of safety across Verland, the gnomes can now fulfill their wanderlust. In addition, the short, frantic lives of humans and halflings provide gnomes with no end of adventure and excitement. Many gnomes have come out of their hillside homes to find new audiences or buyers for their elaborate constructions, new ideas, new arts, and new experiences, and after all, it is these things that keep a gnome young and healthy.

Half-Elves/ Half-orcs: These cross-breeds exist in reasonable numbers across Verland. They are treated pretty much as is written in the Pathfinder main book. Half-elves are usually regarded better by human society than elven- elves see them as unfortunate accidents, while humans in Verland still have a bit of hero-worship toward the elves. Half-orcs have a rougher time- they are usually assumed to be a product of the Orc Horde wars and many veterans give them a hard time, although in times of peace, they can make a place for themselves if they work hard and keep to themselves. The only thing that is not mentioned in the Pathfinder rules is that both half-elves and half-orcs have about a 50% chance of not being able to have children. That’s not to say that they don’t occasionally (see below), but it is harder for them.

Mixed Blood: So, what happens when a half-elf has a child with a human? Or an elf? Well, the general rule is that human blood trumps other ancestry. If a half-elf has a child with a human, the child is human, probably with a slightly higher Dexterity and fine features, but for game purposes, use the human template. The same thing applies to half-orcs; the child of a human and half-orc is a human for game purposes.
Conversely, if a half-elf has a child with an elf, the child is still a half-elf. Elves tend to follow the ‘one drop’ theory, and any human blood dilutes their purity. While this sounds like a conceit, in the case of elves, it may have some truth given their connection to the fey and inherently magical natures. It is true that any elf can instantly spot an elf with as little as 1/32 human blood. This is not true for orcs. If a half-orc and an orc have a child, the child is an orc.
The point of this is that the human population of Verland is quite a mixed bag. Scholars estimate that as much as 20% of the human population has at least one great-grandparent who was an elf or an orc, or both.

demi-human races

Verland Wudsong