The Rod of Seven Parts
Humans are, by far, the most numerous people of the Dragon Empire. While members of many other races might consider humans to be flighty, prideful and perhaps over-reaching (though they might simply state it as “adaptable and ambitious” for diplomacy’s [or irony’s] sake) none will deny that humans have a knack for taming once-wild lands.
Dwarves originally came from the lands below the earth, but these days they also lay claim to the mountains that rise above it. They are often thought of as a dour and taciturn people, though anyone who has seen a dwarf in battle (whether in a dungeon or a tavern) or deep in his cups (whether in a dungeon or a tavern) can attest to the dwarven spirit and passion.
The Elves are three races, but one people. They are nominally ruled over by the Elven Queen, who sees them as three branches of one great tree, despite their differences.
High Elves, also known as “Light Elves” are often inclined towards refined, courtly or magical pursuits, and are the most likely contributors to the idea that Elves are haughty, superior and hard to get along with.
Dark Elves, called “Silver Folk” in their private courts and by those who wish to seem respectful. While not evil in any sort of cosmic sense, Dark Elves do tend toward pragmatic, and sometimes cruel methods.
Wood Elves were once also called “Gray Elves,” mostly out of a misguided desire by others to put everything into some sort of spectrum, but these days are occasionally also called “Wild Elves” or “Green Elves,” though both names are considered somewhat impolite in the Elven Queen’s Court of Stars. In any case, if people are thinking of Elves as freespirited folk living in peace with nature, they are thinking of Wood Elves.
Half Elves are, as one might expect, the result of a human and Elven union, but as a bizarre side effect of ancient pacts and agreements between the Elven Queen and a past Dragon Emperor, they are also occasionally born from two Elven or two human parents.
Half Orcs are similar to Half Elves in that they are also strangely birthed spontaneously by human parents. That’s about where the similarities end. Despite fullblood Orcs’ reputation as a blight on the land, Half Orcs are often seen as a sign of strength in a community, at least at the rougher margins, where the High Druid holds sway.
Halflings, perhaps owing to the belief that they are a younger race, are often thought of as naive, innocent, curious or any other number of generally-pleasant-but-ineffective terms of endearing description. That works just as well for the halflings. A lot of them want to live normal, unobtrusive lives. The rest want you think that they’re living normal, unobtrusive lives because that puts them at a relative advantage.
Gnomes are small and arbitrary. They’re prone to eccentricity. In the wild, they can be found living below ground or under the roots of trees. In cities, they often prefer living in cellars or on low floors in buildings. They have a well-deserved reputation for being exceptionally confounding; sometimes on purpose… not always, of course, but sometimes.
The following races are uncommon, but not unheard of. People tend to view them with a small measure of distrust, but at the end of the day, many would rather have a Dragonic, or even a Demontouched Tiefling for a neighbor than a hobgoblin or a fullblood Orc.
Dragonics tend to live in isolated communities in the wilds, near areas like the Red Wastes, thanks in no small part to the distrust that people tend to have for dragons who walk like men. In some particular patriotic places in the Empire, as well as places well disposed toward the Great Gold Wyrm (or the Three, for that matter) they may find themselves more welcome.
Holy Ones, or Aasimar, as they’re known in several ancient languages, are the result of mortal blood mixed with the essence of the Gods of Light, though how this happens is anyone’s guess. Somewhat unsurprisingly, they are most common in Santa Cora. Some even say they’ve been called there.
Forgeborn are living constructs. Many of them were created by master Dwarven smiths, and as such, Forgeborn are most common in Dwarven communities. Whenever a Forgeborn awakens to sentience, it’s treated as a real person and granted full citizenship. Occasionally, a Forgeborn of more exotic make will awaken in some ancient ruin, with no knowledge of who it is, who made it, or how it got to wherever it awoke.
Demontouched, or Tieflings, have something dark in them. Sometimes it’s the touch of a Dark God. Sometimes it’s a demon. Sometimes it’s the Diabolist. Whatever it is, it means that the Demontouched are often mistrusted and treated as outsiders. They’re strangely welcome in Horizon and tend to encounter difficulties and prejudice in Santa Cora.