Legend of Terroth
The Many Races of Terroth!
Dragonborn are descendants of the ancient rulers who took mortal consorts. They are unfailingly loyal to their particular dragon, but few of their kind remain. They have spread out across Terroth to avoid suspicions of plots to see the dragons rise into power once more, though as there has not been a dragon sighting in over two hundred years, this concern has fallen by the wayside. The practice of staying spread out has not disappeared though, and it is not uncommon to find a pocket of dragonborn in the two main cities as well as the occasional dragonborn in the smaller towns.
The dragon’s blood that runs in their veins lends itself to magical practice and many find themselves yielding to the call and joining the White Lotus Academy to train before being hired by a chapter of the Red Mages. In fact, a few dragonborn have even risen through the organization to the point of heading their own chapters in the smaller towns and as such sit on the Merchant Council. Aside from the arcane practices, they are also well known fighters and among the most valuable mercenaries that the Red Mages hire.
Drow (Dark Elves):
During the dragon’s rule, while the humans turned to the devils for power and a way to survive and fight back, some of the elves, rather than retreating into Mithrendain, prayed to Lolth for the ability to combat the dragons. However, they had failed to take away the power from the Living Gate from the dragons and were crushed like the Githzerai were in the early days of the war. After their defeat, the drow tried to return to Mithrendain but their Lolth-worshipping ways made their cousins turn them away. Rejected, they wandered the land, hiding from the dragons as best they could. Eventually they stumbled across entrances to the Underdark, and seeing no other alternative, they sank into the ground, learning how to fight the constant threats that the cavern systems posed. After a few decades of fighting and scraping, they had established a place of their own and the drow society had finally begun.
The dwarves were one of the staunchest parts of the resistance against the dragons’ reign. They suffered long under the yoke of the rule, often used as manual labor due to their constitution and strength. A few clans managed to fortify themselves within various mountain strongholds, and they continued to fight the dragons from there. Despite the memories of the labor endured, even after the fall of the dragons, they continued to work the mines and stayed in their mountain holds.
However, their close ties with humans and other mortal races, sustained and forged in the fires of the war, made it easy for them to filter out from the strongholds into the lower lands. They are now mainstays of towns and cities throughout Terroth, often regarded as skilled craftsmen and traders. In general, each town will have a main clan that will govern dwarven happenings in a region, separate from the laws enacted by the civil governments, though these clans have started to see fractures between them along similar lines to the fractures within the Red Mages.
For countless ages, the elves of Terroth lived in the wilder places of the world, by and large seeking to find a harmony with nature and other races that they encountered. The rise of the dragons to power changed all of that and caused a split in the elven society. One branch of elves decided to seclude themselves away from the troubles of the world, hiding in their city of Mithrendain, which stands as a gateway between the mortal Feywood and the otherworldly Feywild. Within the city, they drew close the borders between the worlds and left it that way for the reign of dragons. Finally word managed to pass through the border that the dragons had been defeated, and they lowered the boundaries again. The elves that emerged from the Feywild were not the same ones that went in. The additional centuries of being completely immersed in the Feywild and its energy morphed them, made them more ethereal in nature and imbuing them with a more innate understanding of magic.
These high elves, as they have come to be known, are still strongly tied to the Feywild, and only a few decide to leave their city to venture out into the world. Those that leave tend to be younger, curious and eager to learn more about this strange world around them. However, no matter how strong a wanderlust they feel, almost without fail every high elf will return to the Feywild every few decades to refresh themselves in its energies, which can cause some within the mortal realm to regard them with more than a bit of suspicion. Still their inclination towards magical abilities has made them a welcome place in the mortal realms among the ranks of the Red Mages and a few even become instructors at the famed White Lotus Academy in the city of Whitehall.
The other branch of elves are the wood elves, elves who decided to stay in the mortal realm to fight against the dragons, to assist the other mortal races to free themselves from tyranny. Seeking to escape from the overview of the dragons in the larger cities, they stuck to the woodlands, learning more and more how to disappear into the land and blend their settlements into nature itself to avoid detection by allies of the dragons seeking insurrectionists. The stress and suffering endured at the hands of the dragons affected their race as a whole, causing their lifespans to short by a century or two, still much longer than most but shorter than their high elf cousins.
After the fall of the dragons, the wood elves slowly began to trickle out from the wood, integrating more into society again. However, the centuries spent in nature have made the idea of living among stone buildings again a bit of a distasteful one, and as a result the wood elves that left their forest settlements tend to live towards the outskirts of towns and cities. It’s a rare elf that’s able to live fully comfortably in the midst of civilization. A branch of wood elves have made an effort recently to create a place where elves feel comfortable and are able to live in harmony with the other races that need their stone buildings. The result has been the town of Olnin, which while not failing, it has not seen the success that was originally hoped. They are known to be expert woodsmen and often hire themselves out as guides and guards to traveling caravans moving through wilder places of Terroth to help bring resources and news of the world’s events back to their forest settlements.
During the war with the dragons, the brave group that sailed into the Elemental Sea to wait for the dragons at the Living Gate suffered causalities beyond mere death. They could not know when the dragons sought to return to the gate, so they were forced to stay for weeks that turned into months and years, lying in wait. The elemental energies that swept around them slowly infused into their bodies, transforming the normal humanoids among them into a new race, dubbed the genasi. They became living manifestations of the raw power held within the Chaos, exhibiting traits depending on the element they showed. Unfazed by this development, they returned with the other races to Terroth after stopping the dragons at the gate. They fought alongside the other humanoid races against the dragons, but unlike the tieflings, which were overthrown by the other humans, the genasi had fractured into various groups. Where the tieflings had remained one cohesive group, creating the illusion of an even greater threat, the small groups of genasi who did not possess the same ambitions as the tiefling were not seen as threats and were left alone in the following coup.
Through the centuries since, they have existed peacefully with the other races, spread out across Terroth in various roles as guards, advisors, and adventurers, among other callings depending on their manifestations. They hold no affection for any one group in Terroth, instead valuing individualism above all else and encouraging their kind to seek out personal desires. Indeed, Genasi have no longstanding animosity toward any other races, aside from perhaps the dragonborn as most races hold. Neither can they be said to be sure friends of any other race—not even their own. In human cities, some genasi prefer to deal with one group of friends while manifesting one element and keep a different circle of friends in another manifestation. Other genasi find friends who can deal with all their forms. Ultimately, each genasi is a unique creation unto itself and should be regarded as such, lest one face the chaotic consequences.
A joyful and curious people, the gnomes felt the full burden of the dragon’s reign as the strict control was established over the world, often with many of their beloved workshops ransacked and destroyed by the forces of the dragons. Yet the gnomes remained fiercely cheerful, becoming one of the few sources of laughter and merriment in communities across Terroth. Outside of the cities and towns, other gnomes worked tirelessly to help to hide resistance movements scattered throughout the lands, shrouding them with illusions and clever tricks alike. Within the resistance, research groups of gnomes spent countless years experimenting and developing new techniques and weapons to use in the fight against the dragons. While in the end it was primarily magic that led the day, the contributions and sacrifices made by the gnomes were recognized by all. To this day, gnomes are a welcome sight in any community and many hold positions of authority within the Red Mages as researchers.
Due to the reclusive nature for both of the elven races, half-elves are not overly common throughout the world. Those that do exist tend to be children of wood elves who have ventured into the world, sometimes born of trysts from caravan guarding assignments or the few elves that live on the outskirts of town. Because of this, they often raised by a single parent or in other cases by a community as a whole. Depending on the race of the mother will impact their upbringing, but a common thread among all of them is that the mixing of the blood instills a desire in them to wander the world, to find or make a place for them.
Halflings are an affable, warm, and cheerful people. They survive in a world full of larger creatures by avoiding notice or, barring that, avoiding offense. They appear harmless, and so have managed to survive for centuries, staying to the edges and shadows during the dragons’ reign and staying there even after the collapse of the draconic empire.
Halflings are practical and down-to-earth. They concern themselves with basic needs and simple pleasures, harboring few dreams of gold or glory. Adventurers are no more rare among halflings than among other races, but they usually pursue the adventurer’s life for reasons of community, friendship, wanderlust, or curiosity. Halfling adventurers are brave and faithful companions, relying on stealth and trickery in battle rather than raw might or magic.
Humans are decisive and sometimes rash. They explore the darkest reaches of the world in search of knowledge and power. They hurl themselves into danger, dealing with consequences as they arise. They act first and ponder later, trusting their will to prevail and their natural resourcefulness to see them through perilous situations. It was this drive and passion that allowed them to engineer the downfall of the dragons. Only they were willing to explore the possibilities of deals with the devils, and without their power, the dragons would have reigned unchallenged for many more millennia.
In the place of the dragons, the humans became the dominant race in Terroth. The cities are their domain, and while there are plenty of different races living in the civilized lands, most towns and cities are mainly humans. The human government that was installed after the dragons quickly fell apart due to conflicting differences among the regions, and that was when the Red Mages organization took hold of the power.
Heirs to an ancient, infernal bloodline, tieflings have no realms of their own but instead live within human cities. They are descended from the humans who bargained with the devils in order to gain the power to overthrow the dragons. Emboldened by their victory, they swept into power, attempting to commandeer the empire that the dragons had created over centuries, combining together the regional provinces that had each had their own sovereign dragon. However, their success was short lived as the other races took poorly to this raw power grab and quickly turned on them. Between the onslaught posed by the other races and their own internal squabbles, the short-lived empire crumbled.
Following the collapse of their empire, the tieflings were scattered. Bearing the infernal visage that was the mark of their pact with the forces of darkness, they found a cold welcome in the humanoid societies to which they fled. Once they were a powerful people who were known as the brave leaders who overthrew the dragons’ rule, but within a few decades of the collapse of their attempt at a government the tieflings were reduced to little more than vagabonds. Their population dwindled, and for many decades, the remnants were in danger of being wiped out and forgotten.
Over time, however, the last of the tiefling began to reclaim their place in the world. Cautiously earning the trust of other peoples, the descendants of those rebels began to spread into human communities that were willing to allow them to live in peace, and the tiefling race was reborn. In the present age, tieflings are less common than many other races, but their numbers grow stronger with each generation. They still hold a strong mistrust of the dragonborn, fearing a return of the dragons. They often take up lower positions in the governments and even the Red Mage chapters, preferring to watch from the shadows where no one will take notice of them. They know they must work to regain the trust that they lost so long ago, but they cannot allow their sacrifice of their own humanity to go to waste by allowing the draconic beasts to rise once more.