Campaign of the Month: November 2007
Varis: The Broken Land
Modern Racial Relations
20 years after the Cataclysm and renewed Daemar aggression the different races of Varis have once again begun reconnecting with one another.
- Dwarves and Gnomes – Since the sacking of Blackpool and the consolidation of orcish forces in what was left or Bretyn the dwarves and gnomes of the Highlands have been more or less cut off from contact with the rest of Varis. The dwarves do have human allies in the form of the highland barbarian tribes but their contacts with other races, such as the Catfolk and the Elven nations is limited.
They are still mortal enemies with orcs, goblins and giants.
- Ilthar – The Ilthar withdrew to their forest homeland in the months prior to the cataclysm because of anti-elven sentiment stoked by the Daemar invasion of Cumbria. In recent years they have once again begun peaceful contact with their “pupils” and Ilthar ambassadors are once again advising human settlements.
With the dwarves they have little contact and their relations with orcs, goblins and giants are sour. Their relationship with Darinsharr has led to a friendship with the catfolk and most Ilthar feel a kinship with the ex-slave race because of their similar respect of the natural world.
The Ilthar have very little formal contact with their Daemar cousins and both nations seem to have chosen a policy of noninvolvement with the other.
- Darinsharr Catfolk – If any race on Varis could claim to have benefited even slightly from the cataclysm the catfolk of Darinsharr are that race. They were left with a large, heavily-forested island and their settlements suffered minimal damage. In fact, because of their isolation the residents of Darinsharr are seeing a cultural rebirth.
Their relationship with humans is still mixed, their racial history fosters distrust but the Catfolk acknowledge that their fate is still largely intertwined with their human neighbors and they have a small amount of trade with nearby human islands. Most human nations have no knowledge of the existence of Darinsharr and that is how the catfolk like it.
With the Highland Races they have virtually no contact and with the Daemar the Catfolk have no interaction whatsoever though they fear the Daemar greatly.
The majority of Catfolk live among humans in human-dominated regions and humans treat these catfolk in a variety of ways from oppression to relative equality. These catfolk usually view other races the same way their human neighbors view them.
- Daemar – No race has any active interaction with the Daemar other than war and battle and the Daemar wouldn’t have it any other way, for the most part.
They despise just about all the races, especially humans and Half-elves (who they view to be a corruption of pure elven blood). Catfolk are perhaps the race least despised by Daemar if only because they retain their connection with the natural world (in the case of Darinsharr) and they did not choose to invade Varis when the humans came as they were a slave race (Darinsharr and all other Catfolk). However, their pity for the Catfolk race only goes so far as to avoid wiping Darinsharr off the face of Varis.
They have little contact with the Highland races although they have a long and bloody history with giants and frequently send small strike forces to attack the orcs and their allies.
- Orcs and Goblinoids – The Orcish Nation (if one can call it that) is centered around the sacked capital of Bretyn which the orcs have renamed Garvelloch. As a generality the orcs enslave and slaughter first and ask questions later. Over the centuries they have enslaved nearly all the goblinoid races. The orcs and these races are part of separate (occasionally convoluted) castes.
All orcs are technically in higher castes than all other races (with the possible exception of giants who are allies rather than slaves). In reality however well-performing goblinoids and even other races are occasionally on “unofficial” equal footing with lower ranking orcs.
In general the caste system is this (in order from highest to lowest): Orcs, Hobgoblins, Goblins, Slaves. Within each category are numerous smaller castes based on profession and race and it would take far too long to go through all the variations here. ;)
As I said before the hordes of Garvelloch are actively hostile with all races other than certain allied clans of Svaltish humans. They frequently send warships to raid and pillage and bring slaves back to orcish land.