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Peoples of Eradain
On Eradain there are five main human ethnic groups: Eradnians, Harad, Angharad, Danrae and Corsani. These primary ethnic groups have in some cases mixed with each other or other long forgotten peoples to form the current populations of the continent. Certain groups may or may not exist in different periods of Eradain history. These human groups compose approximately 80% of the "Civilized" race's population. Each ethnic group has its own native language. In Eradain, "Common" is a Harad Trade dialect, and not all NPC's will automatically know Common.
The Eradnians are a mix resulting from the conquering of the Angharad people by the Danrae (Norman & Saxon becoming English). The 'common' people have mixed more than the nobility or clergy. Danrae tend to dominate the upper class and nobility, while the Angharad blood is stronger in rural areas.
The Harad are one of earliest peoples to arrive in Eradain and can be found throughout the continent. The Harad have dark hair and eyes, with light complexions. The original Harad further split into four groups according to geographic location. The Northern Khorharad and Southern Harad have remained the most racially "pure", while the Western Angharad intermixed completely with Ang and the Eastern Sarharad have mixed with the Vol. Both the Ang and the Vol have almost completely disappeared as independant groups.
The southern Harad are similar to the ancient Egyptian people and live in an established theocracy.
The western Angharad are based loosely on the ancient Celts, Britons and Irish.
The northern Khorharad are primarily nomadic horse barbarians something like ancient Mongols.
The eastern Sarharad are traders, farmers, fishermen and sea-farers living in multiple city-states, something like the ancient Greeks.
The Angharad culture is based loosely on that of the ancient Celts, Britons and Irish. The Angharad are a druidic Clan society ruled by Queens and a warrior aristocracy. The Angharad revere a pantheon of nature oriented deities and their priesthood is known as The Circle. The Angharad people are generally fair skinned and typically have brown, red or blond hair. Their eyes range from the browns to greens. The Angharad people generally live pastoral lifestyles in small towns and villages, typically in fortified stockades. Some of the Angharad people are said to have 'the second sight'.
The Danrae people came from over the sea so long ago that no one remembers where they originally came from. They possessed the skill of making weapons with iron (which dwarves had jealously guarded from humans) and with their war like ways they eventually built an empire which covered much of this continent before it broke apart. The Danrae have had a long history of following a strong central government. The Danrae have dark hair, light complexions and blue eyes are not unheard of. Beards are often considered a sign of manhood, but are kept trimmed and neat. The Danrae are a patriarchal society, have strong bloodlines for magery and follow gods of war.
The Corsani live on the eastern side of the continent and are a mysterious and reclusive people. For various reasons the people of this Eastern land maintain a subconscious attitude of isolationism; recognizing that Gaoyu [GOW yoo] (meaning: "above and beyond"; derivative term for foreigners) DO exist, but not really caring that much. Of all the peoples on this continent only the Corsani met the might of the Danrae Empire at its height and sent them bloodied and running home. The Corsani are broken up into three groups, those that live in the coastal areas, the mountain dwellers and the clans of the plains. All the Corsani have an Asian like culture, the coastal Kanso people living simple lives and being most akin to the Chinese. The mountain people are a powerful race of "psychic warriors" called Chul-Nar. The Kanoshen clans of the plains are fierce warriors, constantly bound up in never-ending blood feuds. Corsani people have brown hair and eyes, bronze to dark skin and no facial hair. They are certainly less "advanced" then many of the other Eradan civilizations and while the concepts of commerce, higher education, and structured leadership are known to the Corsani these concepts have (for whatever reason) found it difficult to take root in this simple culture.
Elves are split into the four major groups: wood, high, gray, and Drow. Elves have communities in almost all the lands on the continent, but have a kingdom of their own, Avanoel, on the southwestern part of the continent. Wood elves live in the forests surrounding the Echoriath Mountains, they are intolerant of any non-elves, and defend those lands with deadly force. High elves live in the river valley areas within the kingdom in great tree cities. Gray elves live on and around the central mountain within the valley and are reclusive even among their Elven kin. The next largest community of elves are the tribes of wood elves that live in the Great Northern Forest.
Within the Dathi Forest at the borders of the human lands and the kingdom of Avanoel is the town Feylin. Most of the trade between humans and elves of the interior lands has taken place here for centuries. A population of half-elves now resides in the town and surrounding lands, Characters wishing to be half-elves would likely come from this town, and could be the offspring of a human and an elf, or they may have two half-Elven parents.
Dwarves live in several small kingdoms in the Dagalethe mountains, the largest of which is called Khuzdul. The dwarves are almost as paranoid as Elves in protecting their lands, but several communities of Dwarves live in major towns to conduct business between dwarves and humans, and there are an unknown number of dwarven enclaves dotted around the lands of Eradain. Dwarves control many of the best mines and resources of iron on the continent and often trade with humans for food, wood and animal products.
Halflings are almost as rare in Eradain as Gnomes, however there is a small kingdom of them located at the north end of the Thorn Wood behind what is known as The Great Thornwood Barrier. Very few humans have been beyond this barrier of Daggerthom plants, which are miles thick in many places (from Mckiernan, Dennis L. -The Mithgar Series).
Half-orcs are generally outcasts or viewed with suspicion by humans, but several have made reputations (good and bad) for themselves in the borderlands between human and orcish lands. Even more half-orcs can be found within the orcish tribes, where if they are tough enough to survive childhood, they are usually valued for their intelligence and ability.