People of the Haunted Highlands
Humans: Humans are the most common of the races of the Highlands, with perhaps exception of orcs, and come from a variety of ethnic stock. There has been much intermingling of ethnicities, but the following is a listing of the major human ethnicities, from most to least common in the Haunted Highlands:
Ugashtans: Native to the Highlands, Ugashtans tend to be of medium height with broad shoulders, and hair of a rusty reddish to light brown. Their eye colors range from grey to green to a golden hazel indicating a hint of their ancient bloodline. Their skin is sun-bronzed and they dress in homespun shirts with buckskin boots and leggings, loincloth, and bits of armor and fur. There are several different clans within these peoples, the three most prominent being the Blood Moon, Strong Buffalo and Fast Axe Clans.
Karboskians: Dark haired, olive skinned, with eyes of any color, the Karboskians are of medium height, broad of forehead, with a straight, slightly pointed nose and square jaw accentuated with manicured beard or shaved chin and full moustache.
Eskadians: Like Karboskians, Eskadians are originally of a pure Rhodensian stock, though they may have paler hair and skin of any tone as denotes their admixture with the travelers of the seas. They are otherwise of medium height and build with facial features that indicate their ancient Rhodensian heritage.
Rhodensians: As time has passed the Rhodensian common stock has remained basically unchanged, medium of build, with brown eyes, and dark hair. Rhodensian nobles tend to be narrow of hip and shoulder, and somewhat short, though their skin is paler than that of their common folk, probably due to anemia in their constant admixture with others of noble stock, and albinism is not uncommon.
Arutanians: These people of the northern peninsula are related to the Ugashtans and share some of the same physical features, though their hair colors tend to run toward the darker end of the spectrum, with jet black hair being the most common among its people. Arutanians dwell in coastal settlements, where they ply their trade in shipbuilding and fishing, and have long suffered under the yoke of Eskadian predation.
Jironians: Jironians have deep tan complexions and straight black hair. They tend to have long faces and glittering brown/black eyes, though some rare members of their royalty have golden eyes. Jironians have been affected by years of rule by brutal fiends and genies so they tend to have a slightly alien cast to their appearance and an almost elf-like curve to their ears which is hidden in most occasions by turban, helm, hair, or veil.
Northmen: Being tall and pale of skin, with hair ranging from all shades of blond to those with a tint of red, they have pale eyes of grey or light blue. They tend to be taller than Rhodensian races and thicker of build. Northmen are not native to the region and come from some northern continent across the icy northern seas.
Elves: Elves are extremely rare in the highlands, so rare in fact that most common folk of the villages and farmsteads have never seen a true elf let alone a slightly more common halfelf. Due to history and legend, elves are viewed with a certain amount of distrust and even fear, using elf more as a curse word than a racial epitaph.
Half-Elves: These are typically thought to be “true elves” by the natives of the Haunted Highlands, as most half-elves of the region are the progeny of the residents of Amyan Jymoon and the folk of the highlands. Most dwell in traveling bands now, or in cities such as Dro Mandras, Eskadia, Mantua, and Port Irusa.
Halflings: Halflings are of two racial branches. The more common branch is the Gilby branch, born of Gilby Hall. The second branch is the Broad Toe branch which occupies a great position of power in the distant city of Eskadia.
Gnomes: Gnomes are seldom seen by the surface dwellers of the Haunted Highlands, especially outside of Eskadia where they are reputed as usurers and gemologists. As such, little is known of their kind and they are viewed with the same trepidation as pure-blooded elves.
Dwarves: Archetypal as their deity, the dwarves of the Highlands are mostly descended from mountain stock. The majority of them are refugees from the various purges of Fanderburg and refuse to speak of their homeland and as often as not refuse to interact with other dwarves who have also been exiled from the kingdom.
Ruhks: These orc-kin are somewhat larger and smarter than common orcs, though not necessarily as intelligent as a true halforc. They are violent bloodthirsty beasts, whose intent in most cases is murder with the maximum amount of brutal violence so as to display their superiority to lesser orcs, goblins, and their like.
Orcs: Smelly, stupid, pig-eyed and foul-tempered, orcs are typical ingrates bred for war and little else. Their lives tend to be short and meaningless, ending in a splash of blood and entrails.
Goblins: Small, wily, and far more intelligent than their appearance dictates, goblins are quick-witted rogues who may stab you in the back as soon as look at you.
Hobgoblins: Smart, cruel, combative, hobgoblins are all of these things in excess. The hobgoblins of the Haunted Highlands come from two ethnic lines, the first being a mountainous sort who are believed to rule vast caverns beneath the Ugashtan Highlands and Pieter’s Reach Mountains. The other are a more surface oriented race, who dwell as nomads and bandits upon the Northern Steppes.