"Humans? They're like big, hairy cockroaches on two legs: they can live anywhere, and they're very fun to watch!" -Babbling Brook
Humans are quite possibly the most abundant race on all of Amlöst, and can be encountered in almost any climate, even in defiance of nature. They have been compared to cockroaches by dwarves, who assure them that it is a compliment to their versatility.
I, Arlen Dyveria of Ivria, being one of their number, was asked to write this descriptive text by Fayruz Blue-Ink, High Scribe of Listria in the year 751 of the Ivrian Calendar for use in a book.
Humans range in height from as short as four feet, to as tall as six and a half feet. Exceptional cases exist, with such individuals being even shorter or taller than usual. Builds vary based on a variety of factors, the most important of which are diet and exercise, although some are more prevalent in some regions than they are in others. Males tend to be heavier and taller than females, although most Themisyran women are taller than men. This is quite unusual, as both sexes of my race are of the same heights and weights! But .
Eye, hair, and skin color varies largely by region. Exposure to Sunlight, or lack thereof, will affect coloration, as will exposure to other elements and certain types of magic, and human skin is very sensitive with this regard. The texture of hair also tends to vary by region, as does distribution of body hair, in some cases -- some people in the Sea of Ogadia are completely bald, while those in Asgardia usually have quite a bit of hair.
In any case, High Scribe Fayruz requested that I detail the physical differences in human cultures. To save space, only exceptional builds will be noted; otherwise, assume that the culture listed shows a fair bit of variety in build.
- Asgardians tend to be tall and pale, with powerful builds. Hair and eye color tends to be dark, usually black in regards to hair, though lighter colors are also fairly common closer to the central parts. Their Padani cousins are of like appearance, but slighter and somewhat shorter, with red hair being a little more common.
- Calgarians and their cousins in the lands of Eald are similar in appearance to one another, with lighter hair colors and blue and brown eyes being common. Skin is usually tawny, though on the Islands of Calgaria ruddier complexions seem to predominate. Around Ivria, darker hair colors are more common, likely due to influence from the roaming peoples that settled there.
- Huikans are generally a slender people and have dark hair and dark eyes. Those coming from the Mountains of Raal (who call themselves the Raali) have swarthy skins and stockier builds, while those from all other regions have sallow skin.
- The people of Ogadi are an oddity, in that some tribes have members who have been bald their entire lives! Dark hair is common among these people, and complexions tend to be swart.
- Thu Varans are of dusky complexion and dark hair, and I've noticed that almost all of them have hazel-colored eyes. The upper classes tend to remove all of their hair completely, though the lower classes receive no stigma for doing the same. Heterochromia - that is, one eye being one color, and the other being another - is common in the southeastern parts.
- Themisyrans are as varied as Ivrians, and one individual can display the traits of numerous cultures. Only the Queens who claim direct descent from Themisyra herself give an indication of how humans from the distant past in the land she came from looked, and they are tall and olive of complexion, with rust-colored hair and green eyes. Women tend to be taller and of greater build, with Queens standing a head above them -- roughly six and a half to seven feet.
Humans run the gamut of personalities. Other races tend to approach unfamiliar humans with a fair bit of caution, as they are known to have a bit of a "mean streak" at times, being prone to unpredictable behaviors. Society, upbringing, and circumstance, will usually dictate a human's behavior and inclination, though exceptions exist, as humans are very exceptional creatures. Humans are almost fearless in their actions, but otherwise highly suggestible.
Human clothing varies from region to region, climate to climate, and from social class to social class. Poorer humans usually wear duller colors, with the wealthier specimens wearing dyed garments. Similarly, the clothing of wealthy citizens will range from being "tasteful", to "eccentric", to "downright scandalous"; that of lower class citizens will be more "plain" in appearance. Thu Varans are an exception to the rule that poorer citizens will have drab clothing, as the material required for dyes is plentiful there, and both social classes can readily afford it.
Themisyrans favor practicality and comfort over fashion, and many wear clothing that can be "broken apart" in case they fall overboard their great city-boats. Clothing can weigh you down while you're swimming, and the sooner you can get back on your feet, the better.
Where exactly humans came from is a mystery to all, and not even the most well-read and travelled sages can give a precise answer. So, it is commonly accepted that humans are one of many children of the Titans Dallana and Sturlaag. What led to their distribution all over Amlöst is unknown, though many races, particularly elves, suggest that ancient migration is the cause. Indeed, travelling scholars have found evidence to back this up.
Over the centuries, humans once again prospered, using their own skills, as well as those of their friends old and new, to build great kingdoms. Whether or not they maintained their friendships, or ended them on the edges of knives, depends entirely on who was in charge... To date, only the humans of Padan and Thu Vara have yet to anger the other races on as grand a scale as those of other kingdoms. Those of Zelamis were also considered "inoffensive" by other races, but Zelamis is long gone.
Humans inhabit much of the continent of En, but they have yet to settle other lands -- at least, in any great numbers. It is with great pleasure that I provide you with the pages detailing these wondrous homes!
- Tabra's Crossing
- Themisyran Isles
- Thu Vara
In tabletop fantasy roleplaying games, humans gain no special bonuses or penalties to their statistics; however, at the Game Master's option, they may take a +2 (or +1, depending on the system) bonus to any one score. Or, their versatility may be represented by additional skill points, talents, or even other special abilities such as a resistance to fear. A possible drawback could be a penalty to resist mind control, representing the human race's reckless tendencies.
Humans should be able to speak Common, a regional dialect, and any other language except for "secret" languages that would not be known to a beginning character (if the adventure starts at 1st level).
All classes are favored by Humans. The option to "dual-class" or otherwise switch classes while retaining the benefits of the original class should be open to humans if the other bonuses are ignored.