Congrats on considering the purchase of this extensive guide to the cultures of the world by legend traveler Davorin Dewshining. The follow is a snippet of what you can expect if you choose to order your very own copy. We are currently accepting pre-orders for Volume 1, the Founding Races.
Hello friends, I am Davorin Dewshining the Wondrous and it is wonderful that you have chosen to purchase a copy of my cultural guide for perusal. You may be asking yourself, who is this and why does he find himself to be one of the leading authorities on not just the people he belongs to but to all peoples of the world? Oh, reader, may I provide my credentials humbly.
Davorin Deshining was not always the revered traveler. A half-elf of uncommon stature and natural charismatic prowess he had always been interested in those around him in his home city of Fortenberry but he did not begin seriously traversing the world until his mid-life. His early life was filled by marriage and procreation but once his family was firmly established and thriving his loved ones encouraged him to fulfill the destiny of wanderlust that was always been apparent in him.
He has traveled to all of the Founding home cities for this volume, receiving accolades and respect. To the Humans he is Davorin the Derring-Doer. To the Dwarves, Davorin of the Pebble. The Dragonborn dubbed him Davorin the Gilded Word, the Gnomes know him as only The Wondrous Wind. The Elves did not give him a title but they did give him an honorary degree in Tree Sciences. The Halflings honored him most though by giving him a title that does not translate fully into Common (Davorin believes that Common is the one true language to unite the peoples and their minds but understands that sometimes the truest of feelings can only be felt in one’s native language), muttered only in hushed tones as he passes by, See Idioot Jälle.
Davorin prides himself as someone comfortable at the table of a Dwarven noble, joining a game of Paworb with street children, doing business with Tieflings, and swinging between trees with Wood Elves. The respect accorded to him by all he meets has given him a unique and rare perspective on the culture of the Umbral world that he is now willing to share with you out of an honest desire to spread understanding and knowledge.
*Disclaimer: This book is under copyright. Any unauthorized reproduction of any or all of the contents within without proper permissions or citations will result in legal action. If you did not pay for the copy you have please send 37 Gold to the publisher. The publisher does not guarantee the validity of any information contained in this guide and is not legally obligated for any misrepresentation or misinformation. The views expressed in this guide are those of Davorin Dewshining, formerly of Fortenberry, and should be considered with discernment.
Chapter 1: Humans and the Drive to Procreate
It is widely accepted by the Human race that while a pure human is worth preserving it is not the primary procreation directive. Humans, unlike most other races, take pride in mixing their blood with others. In the halls of Human leadership it is not uncommon to hear it expressed that genetic variation will be the saving grace of the world. Cross-breeding is not uncommon and the Human parent will often fight for primary custody of the offspring. This is not to say that the other parent’s race does not accept the child but that the ferocity with which the Human race covets diversity makes all other attempts to integrate non-Founding Races pale in comparison.
While the Humans have claim over the city of Mercer they can be found migrating to every city in droves, part of the constant pursuit to dilute the shame of their ancestors who partook in the Purification. It can be speculated that the cross-breeding frenzy is in direct reaction to the horror.
Chapter 2: Elves, the Spokespeople of the Trees
It is a common misconception that Elves are pretentious, isolationist, judgmental, elitist, and rude. This is simply not true and anyone who approaches this race with an openness of mind can come to understand that their social separation is more due to their deep belief in their stewardship of the land than any feelings towards other races. In the travels of this author it was not uncommon for him to find an interview needed to be suspended because his subject was overcome with the need to walk alone in the woods. It can only be assumed that there is a special connection between the Elven race and the equally long-lived trees they walk with.
There vista of Bloomberg Fells is one that cannot be forgotten. The city of the Elves is nestled at a branch of the Bloomberg River. On the land handsome, white, pillared structures house the populace of High Elves and the main government and trade. In the forest that looks down over the buildings that cascade down the riverbed lofted wooden structures house the Wood Elves.
Chapter 3: Dwarves, a Culture Written in Stone
Nested under the North-eastern mountain range is the proud Dwarven city, Hebr. After the collapse in the Fourth Astral Era this race renewed their commitment to building a lasting legacy. You can now follow a member of the boisterous race into the grand Hall of the Ancestors, through the caves connecting commerce, religion, diplomacy, and home life. It is not uncommon to hear a fierce chant being belted from the lungs of a Dwarf overcome with racial pride and it is considered highly polite to respond with a spontaneous yodeled ditty of your own in answer.
Dwarves are openly proud. The following is a list, in order of importance, of things you will hear the Dwarven people claim superiority in: brewing, stonework, beauty, , smithing, oral history, tradition, family, sailing, climbing, creating friendships, battle craft, supporting the Truth of the Flat Earth, honoring the Holy Beings, honesty, meat cooking, other cooking, traveling, animal husbandry, woodworking, magic, legislation, diplomacy, respect of others, creativity, healthy living, and humility.
Chapter 4: Halflings, a Wholesome People
The Halfling people are a domestic, agrarian race that values community and integrity overall. At first glance, an outsider may mistake the practical jokes loved by the Halflings as unnecessarily cruel and malicious but it is actually the highest sign of respect. It is this author’s pleasure to have been pranked nigh daily on his visits to these jovial inhabitants in even the smallest of towns sprinkled across the plains.
No race more than the Halfling race has taken to the sport of Paworb and they have organized a professional league that tours the whole of the Plains of McKinsey. The top Paworb players are considered even more important than any elected community head or religious person. Currently Iantiln Seaskipper is considered the unparalleled #1 defensive player and Norian Homeforger the greatest offensive player the game has ever seen. Fortunes have been won and lost because of the two but the play is so glorious that this humble author does not even miss the coin.
Chapter 5: Gnomes as varied as the islands they love
Gnomes divide their people into castes with families jockeying for power not unlike the Drow. Unlike that lesser people though, the Gnomish people have very strict rules for any deviance. While the home city is Hyder different groups have founded small suburbs on the surrounding small islands. They long ago acknowledged the inner need living within some of their hearts and as they are an accepting, diverse race in values, temperament, and alignment they actively seek to support all members. Every equinox a “ruleless day” is declared for shadow desires to be expressed.
Every solstice families meet to recommit and feed the bonds as well as re-imbue their leader with the authority to speak for them. Family membership is not necessarily blood mandated and since the society has sanctioned methods of conflict resolution no grudges exist between them for long. Each family establishes a communal house with lesser branches of the family living in surrounding structures. As the joke goes, a Gnome without a family gnomes he cannot survive.
Chapter 6: Dragonborns the Downtrodden
The Dragonborns have never fully recovered from their folly in the Astral eras. They are a closed off race that is not welcoming to outsiders, even this author struggled to connect. Their home in North Highland is plagued by the same elements they carry inside them. The Mountain of Fire nips at their feet, the frigid water eats away at the bit of arable land they have, the mountain soil is too acidic to till, the storms that caress the plains to the south only survive as booming sparks over their heads. Because of this it is not uncommon for the best and brightest of the race to leave the homeland for mixed cities that promise prosperity.
While one would assume such a lifestyle would make the Dragonborns a thankful, welcoming race they instead greet visitors who bring with them items of beauty and culture for appreciation with curtness and disinterest. This author has tried in vain to understand the suffering, the despair, the failure of this race but to no avail. It is with sadness that this author cannot speak highly of a race with such wasted potential, although they seem to speak highly enough of him.
While this is a guide to the Founding Races this author cannot help but mention a unique social phenomenon that has piqued his interest and has popped up in every city that he has graced. While the Astral era was marked by race and survival the Umbral era is seeing a rise in the need for heroes to overcome the inherited racial restrictions to perform feats for all of Acknowledged-kind. Whether it is because for the first time we can pause and look at the lesser world or because the world needs to balance against the vacuum left behind once the wars ended there has been an increase in Odd and Strange Happenings across all the land.
As is the way with balance, groups of heroes have begun to rise to meet the forces. Many of these heroes have banded together officially to create guilds. Guilds are formed with the intent to train and support up-and-coming adventurers and to give those with the need of aid some sort of security that they are being heard and their issues are being addressed by appropriate resources. Most guilds procure work for their members through solicitations but some also supplement work with visions from those gifted with sight. There is a range of adventuring guilds available, some are regionally focused, some are geared towards experienced swords, some look to maximize their influence, and most have adopted race-blind recruiting techniques much to the delight of this author. It is the hope of this author that this is just another harbinger of the adoption of acceptance he strives to foster in all he meets and all who hear of him.
While this author has not yet joined up he has not dismissed this as the next great adventure for him after all the volumes of this series are released to you, grateful reader.