Races of Vulcanica
The peoples of Vulcanica are varied, and come in all different shapes and sizes. Following the end of the Shadow War, many races that were once prevalent were forced out of Vulcanica or into seclusion, and many races that could not safely live in the Mortal World now suddenly could. As such, the peoples of the world have undergone a major demographic shift in the last century, which the Cartographer’s Guild has attempted to chronicle.
Described below are the ‘major’ races of Vulcanica, broken into four classifications, or ‘tiers.’ While there are other creatures and races in the world of Vulcanica, they represent such a small fraction of the world population that they are nearly impossible to accurately measure with the tools the Guild currently has available.
Players are welcome to select from any of the races in Tier 1 and 2 freely for their character, and may do so without penalty. Player characters from tier 3, however are strongly advised against, as their rarity and lack of status within Cinderfell society will mean they may start off the game with fewer advantages than their compatriots. This is described in more detail on the House Rules page. As of the beginning of the game, tier 4 races are off-limits, and not available as player characters.
As things are now, more than 90% of Vulcanica’s population is comprised of six different races, which the Cartographer’s Guild have classed as ‘tier 1,’ for ease of classification. Of the remaining 10%, the vast majority of that belongs in ‘tier 2,’ and the pattern continues all the way down to ‘tier 4,’ which comprises less than .001% of the population (1 in 100,000).
- Tier 1 (~90% of world population)
- – Though their ancestor’s crimes have been pardoned by the Emperor, many Dragonkin feel unwelcome in modern Cinderfell, and find life within its borders oppressive.
- – Still struggling to reclaim their lost honor, the Dwarves of Cinderfell are a proud and stalwart people, eager to help their Emperor.
- – A capable and diverse people, elves compete with Humans as the most populous of Vulcanica. They live for a very long time, and have centuries to hone their abilities.
- – The most diverse and populous single race in Vulcanica, and both a hardy and ambitious people. Many of the leaders in Cinderfell (including the Imperial Family) are Human.
- – Only now are the Orcs beginning to prove to the world that they are more than just mercenaries and thugs. They are an incredibly tough and internally loyal people, and it is speculated that “family” actually means more to an orc than it does to a dwarf.
- – Following their actions towards the end of the Shadow War, the Cambion have truly earned their rightful place in Cinderfell society. They are a very fearless culture, with a tremendous amount of loyalty to causes, and the Emperor readily recognizes the contributions they make to Cinderfell on a daily basis.
- Tier 2 (~8% of world population)
- – Forced back underground with the return of the sun, drow now control much less of the world than they did 100 years ago, and many are bitter for this fall from grace. A much less begrudging few have sought society’s embrace on the surface world, but their weakness to sunlight—as well as the actions of their ancestors—still makes full integration tremendously difficult.
- – When the sun returned to the sky, so too did the Duergar return to the surface. A long-forgotten civilization assumed lost in some ancient war, they have had the most difficulty reintegrating into the modern world. Though Cinderfell has accepted them officially, many of her citizens are still more than wary around the Duergar, and they are often the victims of mistrust, and worse.
- – Following the return of the sun, the Eladrin found Vulcanica once again livable. They returned to their sacred lands of Valiraura, where they live to this day. A rare few venture out into the civilized world, where they are often greeted with an apprehensive welcome. Though not actively mistrusted or mistreated, they are mostly just avoided by the majority of Cinderfell.
- – When the Dream World fell to pieces at the end of the Shadow War, the Kalashtar lost their homelands and much of their control over the Mortal World. They retreated to the backwaters and countrysides of Cinderfell, where they seek to rebuild their familial lands—but this world is very different from theirs, and progress is slow. Not actively avoided, many simply don’t understand them, and have no real desire to learn.
- – Previously believed to be completely wiped out, the selfless actions of Pondrus the Martyr gave many Minotaurs the courage to venture into the civilized world and attempt to follow in his footsteps. Though they are an ancient race, they are still recovering from the atrocities visited upon them in the Second Age, and are slow to trust the people of Cinderfell.
- – Arriving in the wake of Albrek the Martyr’s actions at the end of the Shadow War, the Shadar-Kai are a people with a renewed sense of purpose. Now, they work almost exclusively as agents of the Raven King, and, as the love the world had for Corax has not been forgotten, they are almost universally welcomed in Cinderfell.
- Tier 3 (>1% of world population)
- – An extremely rare sighting, the Elemental Folk tend to not venture into Cinderfell out of fear for being ostracized or worse. They tend to stick to their small communities in the remote parts of Pelor’s Fire, the Spine, Avalon, and the Heartwood, but the rare one who does venture out is often the source of much gossip and rumoring.
- – The Mountain Nomads of the Spine, and (mistakenly) believed by many to be young giants. The Goliath people’s interactions with Cinderfell have been historically limited, and the two cultures have a silent agreement that the Empire’s borders end at the Spine. When one does leave the mountains for Cinderfell, they often do so because they have been exiled from their tribe, and usually find company among the dwarves and the orcs of the south, if they survive civilized life long enough to make it there.
- – A tremendously rare sighting, the beast-folk of the Heartwood are (incorrectly) believed by many to be faeries, monsters, or cursed souls, and they are frequently the source of much superstition. They are plagued by short lifespans, and the Cartographers believe that they suffer from a disease that greatly decreases the odds of a child surviving birth. Accordingly, despite have just as long and detailed of a history as Humans, they never really grew beyond their small, tribe-like society in the Heartwood.
- Lady Phoenix’s Ravenguard is made entirely of the Kenku, a people of her own creation. They are a very defensive and militant people, and are incredibly slow to accept or request aid from Cinderfell. Interactions with the Kenku are limited, and most end with one or both sides feeling angry that such a backwards civilization could exist.
- – At the end of the Second Age, when the Raven King returned to his throne, many of the Revenants disappeared for good. An occasional few pop up every couple of years, but they are so rare that many refuse to believe they even exist any more. They share no unifying culture or heritage, and the only thing they have in common with each other is their lack of a true death. As necromancy is expressly forbidden in Cinderfell, many confuse the Revenants with true undead, and treat them accordingly (which is to say, like a monster).
- – Towards the beginning of the Third Age, a small Warforged foundry was discovered near what is now Fort Thrane. Though the foundry itself was completely inoperable, storage vaults all around it were opened to reveal hundreds of warforged, resting in a dormant state. With the Emperor’s permission, they were reactivated and set free, and they now roam Vulcanica. Many in Cinderfell view the Warforged with a combination of fear and respect, and though their knowledge of ancient history is impressive, they struggle greatly in adapting to modern times.
- Tier 4 (Immeasurable, >.001% of world population)
- – The world does not trust a liar, and doppelgangers do nothing but lie. What’s worse is that they are very good at it. Anyone discovered as a doppelganger is—at best—immediately forced out of town and blacklisted in the area, though few are so lucky. As such, many Doppelgangers go to great lengths to conceal what they can do, and never stick in any one area or with any one identity for very long. Theirs is a lonely life that, while lucrative (if they can find an employer that won’t kill them), is filled with hardship and fear.
- – Travelers of the Astral Sea, very few Gith choose to ever venture into the Mortal World. When they do, they are often viewed as aliens, and treated with the fear and aversion that accompanies such. Though the Emperor has officially announced that the Gith are welcome within his borders, the people are slow to follow suit, and more than one Gith has found themselves the target of an angry mob.