Mostly human varieties.
“Only he who penetrates into the depth of the game can express his personality in it.”
If you have already read the History of Lenfell you know that the island and surrounding lands have been settled for thousands of years by various races and groups. Most of the current inhabitants can be traced to two major human migrations: the Southern Hybori peoples in the year -2,312 and the Northern Hybori tribes in -1,311.
All known human languages share a common ancestor in the distant past here. The main modern groups are found in rooted in the Northern Hybori language family.
The Northern Hybori group consists of Argossean, also known as the “Common Tongue” as it is the main language used in trade, along with Thyran, Thulan, Zingaran, Koveli, Bossonian, and Dosadan. Ternachan, Ezlanni, and Toonali are dialects of Dosadan.
Zingaran is a mixture of the old Northern Hybori tongue with elements of Zamoran which is derived from a different language group. An interesting though trivial fact is that Thieves Cant is derived from Zamoran as that is the birthplace of the Rogue.
Bossonian is heavily influenced by the old Liguorean language from which Ilsigi and the Druidic Cant evolved.
The Uslu peoples of the Southern Degerloch Mountains speak a language distinct from the Hybori tongues. Though there are as many dialects as there are tribes scattered in the mountains; they can all communicate with each other in Uslu.
The chart below is provided to give you an idea of what the average member of the race looks like. In many lands the various peoples have intermingled so any combination is possible.
Thyrans and Thulans are not shown separately as they are racially the same as Argosseans.
Toonali, Ezlanni, and Ternachans generally fit the same build as the Dosadans.
Note: All of the entries above Elf are racially human, but humans from different societies, cultures, areas, or language groups, and not a true “Race” in the same terms as Human, Elf, Gnome, etc.
The name Argosseans encompasses most peoples who inhabit the islands and lands sough of Ilsig to the borders of the Great Desert. They were the first great migration that smashed into the ancient empires and levelled them to build a new civilization upon their ruins. Living mostly by the sea; they are a very independant minded folk and live mostly in city-states and small kingdoms. Their ships can be found in the far seas to the south and trading with Zingara and Zamora thousands of miles to the north of Ilsig. They are a short, stocky folk who have built a large civilization and consider their golden age to have been smashed by the Dosadan Conquests. Upon the death of Takkar of Dosade the Argossean kingdoms regained their freedom, only to lose it again under Emperor Donis a few hundred years later.
On occasion Argosseans will use their home village, town, or city, or their profession as a last name. The nobles will append their house name as a last name.
For a real world reference think Italian and Greek city-states.
The tall, lightskinned and very warlike Dosadans settled Dosade aproximately 1,000 years ago and after the Acheron Empire was finally crushed, they began warring with their neighbors. Wars that have not stopped. 600 years ago King Donis wrested control of the kingdom of Shadis from his brother inlaw, his son and grandson kept adding more lands by keeping the wars of expansion going. 491 years ago they conquered Argos herself. 444 years ago Takkar took the throne and razed the city-state of Trockil when its king refused to his new son inlaw. The “Great War of Expansion” lasted 37 years and ended with Dosade controlling most of the known world. Takkar reigned as Emperor for 36 years. This was the Dosadan golden age. After Takkar died the chaotic nature of his race once more arose and the empire broke into countless factions and Argos and other kingdoms rebelled.
All this began to change when Elric, son of Havok of Ternach was born in 355. By the age of 12 he had bested some of the most powerful warriors of Ternach. By 369 he was leading armies for kingdoms like Gravenhage and Toonal. In 375 he crowned himself King of Ezlann and then turned the crown to his brother and begins petitioning to be crowned Emperor of Dosade. He was refused for years since he was not of Takkar's bloodline. This all changed in 383 when he married the great granddaughter of Takkar and was crowned Emperor. He reigned in relative peace and prosperity until he died in 418 and his son Donis took the throne. Donis launched invasions within the year.
Dosadan noblility will use their fathers' name or their house name as a last name. Emperor Donis is therefore Donis Ulric, or Donis Havok. Other Dosadans are beginning to pick up the Argossean habit of using their professions or homes as surnames.
For a real world reference think Feudal Germany; Kingdom of Prussia.
7,000 years before the Hybori tribes smashed into and overwhelmed the Acheron Empire; the Empire of Shadiz was its eastern neighbor. The Hybori first put pressure on Shadiz roughly 3,000 years ago and 400 years later (Year one of the Zingaran Calendar, -2122 of the present Takkaran) the Hybori broke Shadiz and the remnants of that proud empire became the Kingdom of Zamora.
Zamorans are short, dark complected folk with a rangy build and almost universal black hair. Their eyes are mostly green or brown though black and even red eyes, a hold over from their mingling with Acheron, are seen on occasion. Zamora is over six thousand miles from Cherson and the current campaign area so Zamorans are rare though not unheard of. Their language stems a different family than the Hybori tongues, and their customs are vastly different from their Zingaran neighbors.
For a real world reference think Arabic age Berbers.
As the Hybori tribes were migrating and pushing into the Acheronian Empire, some stayed and intermingled with the newly conquered people of Shadiz. From this mixture of peoples and cultures arose the Zingaran. With the exception of the Kingdom of Zamora, the lands of the Empire of Shadiz are now the various fiefdoms and Kingdoms of the Zingarans.
Zingarans are Mediterrean complected people with black, red or even blond hair with a rangy build; usually with brown or black eyes. The base of the Zingaran language is Northern Hybori with strong Zamoran influences. Zingarans are not as rare as Zamorans in the campaign area though still unlikely to be encountered often.
For a real world reference think Feudal Spain.
The Koveli tribes arrived around the year 200 in Upper Bossonia; the last of the Hybori peoples to migrate into the area. Sometime in the past they appear to have encountered the Zingarans in their travels as their language is linguistically linked to Zingaran though they bear no physical resemblance. The average Koveli is tall, light complected, with blonde, brown, or black hair. They are extremely warlike with several sucessive waves of water-borne invasions beginning in 318 and finally ending almost a hundred years later after countless raids and battles from Rimal, Eastgate, down to Aquilonia three thousand miles to the south. Though they are not considered a major military threat there are now pockets of Koveli scattered from Aquilonia up into Upper Bossonia. The largest incursion was a fleet of several hundred vessels under a chief named Dugurwulf. His fleet raided down the Cherson peninsula on a five year spree slaughtering countless people and enslaving more. Dugurwulf was finally defeated on 10/15/359 in the Battle of Deventer. The Kingdom of Eastgate launched a new type of warship in 369 and Baron Mornegel of Eastgate leads his private army on raids deep into Koveli held lands and forcing the Koveli king of Rimal to parley for peace in 373.
During this time of peace Baron Mornegel recruits large numbers of Koveli warriors into his army and in 374 invades Toonal in support of Duke Elric; spreading even more Koveli into the islands. The “Black Eagles,” Mornegels private army, operates in the various civil wars for three years before sailing for home.
For a real world reference it is easy to draw an analogy with the Vikings though they are more akin to the Visigoths of the 4th century AD.
The Bossonians came into the Ilsigi region behind the first wave of migrating peoples (Argosseans, Dosadans, Thyrans, etc) close to nine hundred years ago. Pacificistic nomadic herders as a general rule, these people made their homes in the sweeping forests both east and west of the Ilsigi Hills. There they encountered both the elves and Isigi and peaceful relations have reigned between the three from the beginning. The Bossonians, though peaceful in nature, are very much able to defend themselves; most being expert bowmen and woodsmen. They live in extended family units scattered across the area except for major religious feasts and in time of war.
Bossonians of both sexes wear their hair long and flowing or tied back by a simple thong. Being shepherds; most of their clothing is of wool with some flaxen shirts. All adult Bossonians wear torcs; rings of metal around their necks as part of their religion.
Bossonians are generally blonde, with brown or green eyes, light complected and tall; towering over the Ilsigi people they live amongst. Linguistically Bossonian is closely related to Dosadan which gives rise to theories they were once the same people several thousand years ago.
A real world reference would be classical Celts.
With the arrival of the Hybori tribes in the area fighting the Acheronians, the Ilsigi descendents of the ancient Liguorean peoples were able to withdraw into their hill towns free from subjugation for the first time in a thousand years. For 83 years Acheron was able to hold the Hybori back at the Mysic river until -1,744. Eight years later the city of Barkla fell (site of modern Eastgate.) The Kingdom of Ilsig was proclaimed by the King of Paramane in -1,167. The kingdom prospered for three hundred years until giants and gobliniods began pushing into the area and sacking the City of Paramane in -729, 85 years before the founding of Dosade. In 224 the Ilsigi Fortress blocking Lonoch Pass fell to the giants after years of sieges and this allowed free access all the way to the sea by the giants and montrous humaniods. In 280 the Bossonians were welcomed into the area in their flight from the Koveli but the Koveli raiders effectively cut off the three Ilsigi seaports; destroying Wirth in 365 while Marafi fell to the green dragon Yurokoka in 383; the same year the Suntaran hobgoblins rampage through Marcels province destroying multudes of villages and cutting Ilsig trade routes.
If invading barbarians, giants, and goblinoids were not enough problems; the Kingdom of Eastgate in 372 lays claim to all of the Ilsigi hill towns are surrounding areas. They send their own people to replace the Ilsigi Baron Vorpus. In 387 the town of Duchamp rebelled against Eastgate and under a truce the southerners leave Duchamp and other hill towns but retain Marcel.
A large giant army invaded Gareth Bis in 397 and Baron Vorkuth requests aid from the Dosadan Empire which arrives in time to save the town and then launched several counter invasions into the giant homeland, weakening the giants to the point in 408 they sue for peace. In 393 the Emperor of Dosade grants all the lands west of the Ilsigi Hills to Erik of Duchamp who had killed the dragon and had begun rebuilding Marafi as his Ducal seat.
The Ilsigi are short and dark complected compared to the Hybori. They usually have black hair and black or brown eyes being on the short and stocky side. They are on average a cold, suspicious people toward outsiders but will genuinely warm towards those who mean no harm. Their is based on the town and defending it from the rest of the world if need be. Most Ilsigi men wear beards and wear their hair covering their necks. Women wear their hair loosely and long. Family is very important to them but it's almost expected for a wife of an impotent man to find a lover and bear children for him. Until recently the Ilsigi suffered plummeting birth rates and constant attrition from endless fighting took its toll to the point most towns had vacant sections.
Halflings, Gnomes, and even Dwarven enclaves exist peacefully amongst the Ilsigi.
For a real world reference think Classical Lebanon.
Almost a thousand years after the Hybori first began invading the lands held by the Empire of Acheron the ancestors of the Kothians crossed the Dragons Run and invade Upper Stygia in -356. 174 years later, by -182, they controlled the entire northern section of Upper Stygia with the exception of the great fortress of Kheltesh. The Kothians finally conquered Kheltesh in -104 in an epic battle which also saw the warrior princess Ishtar attain godhood on the battlefield.
Over the centuries since the conquerors have mixed with the subjugated people that are mediterrean complected with black or brown hair and black, brown, or gray eyes with a moderate build. Their language is laced with Shemite and even Stygian influences. The Kothians mostly dwell in coastal cities, relinquishing the great desert regions to the nomadic Shemites. Kheltesh was renamed Korikor and is their largest Kingdom. Kothian men prefer what moderns would call a mullet cut while their women cut their hair short until marriage, after which they wear it long and flowing.
For a real world reference think Classical Carthage.
The Uslu predate the Hybori invasions of the Acheron Empire several thousand years ago, but are not of Acheronian blood. They live primarily on the western side of the Degerloch mountains though some have been reported being sighted in the hills of western Gravenhage.
They are a stocky race in general, though some members can exceed six feet in height, with black or grey hair, black or amber eyes and a dark complexion. They generally have wavy hair and wear it in various styles depending on a confusing set of rules defining status in the trible, bloodline, and standing with the clerics of their bloodthirsty gods.
With their continued exploitation and contact with the Toonali of Lirance, there are now a myriad of mixed bloods: some with a mixture of features of both races while others can easily pass as an Argossean. It is possible to find blue-eyed members of the barbaric cannibal tribes far inside of the interior. Uslu men generally have sharp features while many of the women are considered exotic beauties and are sought after by the Toonali for slaves.
The various tribes war amongst themselves continously, following strict rules of ceremonial warfare, but will ally together when faced with outside threats like the Toonali or the Gnoll tribes that dominate the Baedlik Plains.
While the various tribes all have dialects they can understand each other well enough to consider it all one language, Uslu.
Most Elves live in small pastoral or woodland communities somewhat isolated from human communities though there are large contingents who live and interact freely with humanity from one side of the known civilizaton to the other. The elves have only one large political area under their control, the Kingdom of Amber, which predates even the Empire of Acheron and is closed to humanity. For the most part the elves stay out of human affairs and wars; prefering to live their long lives unhampered with the concerns of the shorter-lived races.
Dwarven communities can be found mostly in the Mountains of the Cherson peninsula, the Ilsigi Hills, and the Icounu Hills on Bicorporal Island, with some scattered clans on a few of the more mountainous islands with some spotted as far south as Aquilonia. They are extremely clannish and an un trusting folk; having been mistreated at the hands of humans for centuries. Never a populous people; it is rare to see many Dwarves together in one place.
Gnomes live in scattered mining communities throughout hill terrain in the known civilized world. They predate the arrival of humanity, just like the dwarves and elves, and have no problem intermingling with humans. Large numbers of gnomes can be found in Human cities from Ipazema to Rimal. Gnomes do not feel welcome in human settlements with a majority population of Dosadans, and despise Koveli. In the Ilsigi Hills they can be found completely integrated with the Ilsigi people with whom they have lived in harmony for untold generations.
Halflings filtered out of the east sometime before the Empire of Acheron reached its height according to Ilsigi stories. They mostly live in the Ilsigi Hills, in human towns but also have their own communities they refer to as, “warrens,” and down along the Cherson peninsula through the Kingdoms of Ternach, Eindhoven, and Choamonous. They also live on the Baedlik Plains on Bicorporal Island in communities nestled up into the Degerloch Mountains. Halflings can be found in almost any human city or town in the Civilized World.
Though they have their own language, heavily influenced by whomever their neighbors are, they usually embrace the gods of the people they live amongst.