The World Of Khoras - The Cultured Races

Section 2 - Cultured Races

Anthropology is the science that tells us that people are the same the whole world over -
except when they are different.

Nancy Banks-Smith

The Nature of Khorasian Races

Within this text, a race is defined as any intelligent species which has developed language and culture. Khoras was once very much like earth. Originally, only humans lived in the world. Extreme planetary conditions (the stellar fission of Drellikar and subsequent effects of stellar radiation on evolution) have radically altered the evolution of all species on the planet. The most important, of course, is the wide diversity of races which evolved from the core human race. After the Sundering, the World Storm served as the catalyst that initiated all manner of accelerated evolution. Elves, dwarves, ogres and more all appeared in the relatively short span of one millenium while the core human race continued on and thrived. A similar pattern of species splintering was occurring with the animals and plants.

In addition, magic was employed in a military capacity for much of the Great War. Whole species were engineered and released onto the battle fields (saurians, baenites, morphians, tuskweed, shadow orchid and others). Even disease was tampered with and unleashed upon innocents in the name of patriotism (the Stiffening). The result of all this is a world abundant in life.

This text divides the races into three groups : the Greater Races, the Lesser Races and the Aberrants.


The Greater Races

A greater race, as generally defined by most scholars, is one which has a population greater than one million and that wields great political power, military strength and has had a significant influence on history. Greater races usually have well defined territories that they have absolute control over. There are fourteen greater races.


Avarians The Avarians are a winged humanoid race with pronounced avian characteristics. They have large feathered wings, lean bodies and hollow bones which makes them capable of true flight. The Avarians were originally mountain dwelling human clans that underwent accelerated evolution during the World Storm. It is not known why they acquired avian characteristics. However, according to texts of the time, a powerful human mage lived in that mountain range... a mage who was fascinated with birds and flight, one who had developed many specialized forms of magic that directly related to birds. It is almost certain that he had a profound influence on the evolution of the human clans in the area.
Baenites The baenites are a reclusive race of desert dwelling humanoids. Baenites are easily recognized by their tall, lean frames, black skin and bestial faces. The baenites were engineered during the Great War through magic. The Mage Lords of the Thullian Imperial Assembly created artificial beings called "Adapters" and sent them out into the Great War to fight. These warriors were designed to adapt to any environment or condition. Only one small group of adapters survived the war. When the empire fell, this group was left to fend for itself. They regrouped in an area that had been devastated by a battle of wizards, the Baen Desert. This group eventually evolved into what are now known as baenites. Their adaptive magic crumbled over the years.
Borrellians The borrellians are a humanoid race, very similar to humans, who live in the Ice Rock Mountains and are well adapted to the extreme polar conditions there. To escape the war, many humans fled to the icy north. They thought that if they went far enough away, no war would be able to touch them. While the wounded star rained down hellish radiation on the world, these northerners evolved, both physically and mentally, to their frozen homeland. The Borrellian evolution was a gradual change and only slight compared to many of the other races.
Dwarves The stout and dour dwarves appear as short, broad shouldered men with long beards and grim faces. The dwarves evolved by aberration. A group of humans fled the Age of Chaos by going underground. They adapted physically and mentally to a subterranean existence. Many scholars believe that during the early years of the World Storm, environmental energies were much more intense than they are now, possibly even penetrating deep into the underground to affect the changes that resulted in the dwarves.
Elves Woodsmen in the far west also underwent a form of forced evolution from aberration and adapted to a life in the wilds. Scholars believe that the concentrated life energy in the deepest woods augmented their alteration and the result was the elves. The elves are a diminutive race of forest dwellers very similar to humans in form and thought. They are highly magical creatures akin to the faeries of the world.
Grum Aberration forced the central farming communities to evolve and the change was even more slight than the Borrellians. Shorter, hairier and plumper, this group changed into the Grum. This variant race is simply an offshoot of the main human race.
Humans As mentioned above, the humans evolved naturally over millions of years from lower life forms. While many races evolved from humans, the pure strain human race has maintained a strong holding due to the innate resistance to stellar radiation that some organisms exhibit.
Magrakians A large, squat race blessed with great strength and greater fortitude. The magrakians are a friendly, gregarious race that are loyal to their friends and fierce on the battle field. While physically very powerful, they are not exceptional thinkers. Blessed with a lack of imagination, the magrakians like literal, straightforward things.
Ogres The ogres are a large and heavily muscled warrior race. They are an offshoot of the original human race that was adversely affected by the Drellisian radiation and mutated at a rate much greater than natural evolution. Ogres were greatly affected during the World Storm. Even now, they seem more susceptible to drellisian radiation. This is evident in their subtle mutations and genetic variations (tusks, tails, claws, etc) which vary from individual to individual within the race.
Phellysians The phellysians are humanoid blend of man and cat. These fur-covered creatures stand five feet tall, are incredibly agile, have excellent senses and often run on all fours. Phellysians were another engineered race created during the Great War. An arch-mage by the name of Rexilar decided to create a new life form to serve and defend him during those troubled times. The phellysians were never intended to be sent into battle in large numbers. Rather, they were a pet project of a single man. When Rexilar disappeared unexpectedly, these creatures began interbreeding and developed into a full race.
Saridians A tall, thin very intelligent humanoid race with a unique brain structure. The brain of the saridian has two separate and independent halves, resulting in two separate personalities and identities. This "dual nature" of every citizen has greatly affected their culture and society.
Saurians The saurians are a reptilian humanoid race with scaled skin, snouts and tails. They are wild, fearless, untempered creatures with a love of battle and fierce, uncontrollable natures. The saurians were engineered during the Great War by the Jakar for battle conditions in the swamps against the Alliance. They were originally designed to function independently for long periods of time in the wilderness. At survival in the wilds, the saurian proved to be exceptional. It is no wonder that they have easily made the inhospitable swamps their homeland.
Sybrenar A powerful warrior race with vaguely demonic physical attributes. Fangs, claws, horns and scaled skin lends credence to this belief. They have six fingers and their scales vary color depending on mood. Scales will be tinged red when angry. The sybrenar rule a powerful nation bent on dominating all other races. The sybrenar belief themselves superior to all others and destined to rule.
Vaullians The vaullians are a race of large, obese grey skinned humanoids. These ponderous creatures are brilliant thinkers, philosophers, wizards, naturalists and priests. They are unsurpassed as poets, historians and writers.




The Lesser Races

The lesser races are less well defined. They often have smaller populations. They also wield much less wealth, political power and military strength than the greater races. They are more often the victims of, rather than the drivers of, significant historical events. The lesser races tend to live in more diverse locations, somewhat scattered across the lands. Those that do control well defined territories tend to live in more remote regions.


Ankari A peaceful race of gentle wizards who inhabit a hidden realm and visit the world infrequently. Known for physical beauty, mental serenity and great prowess at combat.
Aswani Primitive bestial humanoids that live in shaman ruled tribes.
Boglings A race of swamp dwelling amphibious humanoids.
Goblins Small, ugly, grey skinned humanoids who are quick and skilled with weapons. They are usually cruel and intelligent. They dabble in alchemy, use poisons and can cast spells.
Guldra A mysterious desert dwelling reptilian humanoid race.
Hurkyte A primitive species of huge semi-reptilian humanoids.
Hyttar A short, green skinned humanoid race akin to goblins.
Jarkune A divergent branch of the secambru giants.
Karthasians A bizarre intelligent insectoid race with four distinct castes: Worker, Warrior, Thinker and Queen. They inhabit the jungle peninsula of Karth.
Mandalar A strong, fur covered warrior species crowned with two great horns. Common to Qeshir.
Merfolk The merfolk are a good natured race of aquatic semi-humanoids. A merman appears as a blue skinned, scaled humanoid. They have nictitating membranes over the eyes, gills, webbing between fingers and toes and fins along arms and legs. 
Morphians The legendary morphians were an artificially engineered race formed by powerful magic. Morphians are magical shape shifters, able to change their fluid like bodies into any object if roughly equal mass. They were designed to be the ultimate assassins and spies by the Irenni League for use during the Great War. Hundreds of assassinations were attributed to these creatures. After the Great War, those who had created them attempted to terminate them, lest they turn on their masters. Many escaped. Fear and prejudice of these creatures sent most into hiding.It is not known how many still live, but the few who did live do so in seclusion.
Orcs Orcs are a powerful warrior race, being a cousin to both goblins and ogres. As a race, they are foul smelling, ill tempered and cruel. They kill for pleasure and enjoy battle above all else. Orcs care nothing for honor or justice, laws or consequences. They can often be found working and fighting along side ogres, saurians, skrell, goblins and evil humans. Orcs have no nation to themselves but can be found in great numbers in the Coalition and Duthelm. Many orcs wander the lands, hiring on to whatever mercenary company will have them.
Phanglir A brutish, but intelligent warrior race descended from the humanoids of northeast Aggradar. One of only two races indigenous to the desolation.
Pugnar An aggressive canine humanoid race of bandits, warriors and thieves that live in desolate areas and raid civilized regions for wealth and slaves.
Sarthak Sarthak are a hideous race of underground dwelling, intelligent, vaguely humanoid creatures. Sarthak are a race of skilled sorcerers and powerful telepaths able to force other creatures to fight for them. Sarthak have also been known to become invisible, insubstantial, and levitate themselves in battle. The dreaded Sarthak are ferocious masters of the underground dwelling in huge underground cities where they delight in the torture and slavery of lesser beings.
Sayune The Sayune (say-YOO-nee) are a nomadic folk, related to the grum, who wander the civilized lands in huge caravans of wagons. The Sayune Clan was banished from the Falkir Clans in 2320. The exact reasons are shrouded in myth and fable, much of which conflicts. Today, the Sayune are a persecuted people, unwelcome in most lands. This treatment has embittered the Sayune over the generations and they  have degenerated into a poverty-stricken culture of panhandling and thievery. Many realms consider them nothing but beggars and charlatans, the children of evildoers who deserve their fate.
Scrub Rats Scrub rats appear as short (3' tall) proto-humanoids with thin limbs, pot-bellies, leathery brown skin and monkey-like faces. They have a crude language for communicating simple ideas - food, water, enemy, danger. Scrub rats are extremely primitive, dirty, smelly creatures of low intelligence. They are primarily concentrated in the southern half of the Sentinel Mountains, but can be found throughout the mountain range and in the Baen Desert.
Secambru A race of primitive giants that are slowing dying out.
Skrell The skrell are a race of rat-like humanoids that plague of the underground. They have long snouts, furry hides and long tails. The skrell band together in tribes which boast fearful names and symbols and members take great pride in their tribes. Inter-tribal warfare is common.
Thallasians An evil, aquatic race of crustaceans that dwell in huge cities on the ocean floor. They are the sworn enemy of the merfolk and frequently attack ships.
Trog Primitive, bestial cave dwelling creatures distantly related to goblins.
Trolls Trolls are large, ugly humanoid creatures with rough grey skin. Though very strong, they are exceptionally dim-witted creatures.
Urtas A tall, gangly race of ugly humanoids persecuted for their appearance.
Vothen A massive, furred, cloven hoofed humanoid race that often cooperates with other evil humanoid races.
Xorians The battle hardened xorians are a race of magically engineered warriors. They came into this world through a rift, a whole in the fabric of reality. Whether this is a spatial rift that leads to another world or a dimensional rift that leads to a whole other Universe is a subject of much debate. The lord, god and creator of this race is a mysterious being known as Xor. He could be a mortal mage, a form of spirit or a god. It is known that he is the engineer and architect of this race and that each xorian is created with dark magic rather than evolution and birth. Almost all xorians, of which there are about currently 7,000, live in the nation of Riftvale.



The Aberrants

The world of Khoras is filled with a wide array of mutants, genetic offshoots, unique creatures and more. Collectively, these are known as the Aberrants. Aberrants are not true races. Rather they are unique mutations. Some aberrations occur again and again, forming whole classes of aberrants.

Aberrants An aberrant is any creature born with various physical and genetic anomalies that make the creature unique. Aberrants vary in the degree of their mutations and many are so different that they are not considered members of their own race. For more information on aberrants, see aberration.
Etherbane The etherbane are a class of aberrants born with an extra internal organ which generates a powerful energy field that distorts magic. Any magic near to the creature warps, spells fail and magic items perform unpredictably.
Faerie A class of aberrants in which an elven female is born with certain physical differences and greater magical ability.
Giant A class of aberrants born to any race where in the individual grows to a much larger size than others of its race.  Giants are rare and usually live alone or in small groups in the wilds far from civilization.
Setharin A class of aberants in which an avarian is born with bat-like, rather than avian, physical features. These ugly creatures are rare and almost always outcast from avarian society.




The Origins of the Races

The following is a brief summary of the origins of the various races:

Original Species: Human

Forced rapid evolution due to massive radiation after Sundering:
Borrellians, Dwarves, Elves, Eshtari, Grum, Magrakians, Ogres, Saridians, Sybrenar, Vaullians, Ankari, Goblins, Hyttar, Merfolk, Orcs, Phanglir, Pugnar, Sea Gypsies, Trolls, Urtas,

Engineered by magic:
Baenites (created by the Thullian Empire for the Great War)
Phellysians (created by the wizard Rexilar)
Secambru (created by the Kytohan Empire)
Thallasians (created by a wizard pre-Sundering which then evolved and changed greatly after Sundering)
Mandalar (created by the Kithdari as a slave race)
Morphians (created by the Irenni League for the Great War)
Guldra (created by a wizard pre-Sundering which then evolved and changed greatly after Sundering)
Saurians (created by the Jakar resistance group prior to the Great War)
Skrell (created by the sarthak)
Vothen (created by a wizard pre-Sundering which then evolved and changed greatly after Sundering)

Offshoot of another race that came about through continuing evolution:
Aswani (offshoot of the Mandalar race)
Boglings (offshoot of the Goblin race)
Hurkyte (offshoot of the Saurian race)
Sayune (offshot of the Grum race)
Scrub Rats (offshot of the Skrell race)
Trog (offshoot of the Goblin race)
Sarthak (offshoot of the Kithdari race)

True Aberrations
Setharin (not a true race, an aberrant form of avarian)
Aberrants (individual aberrations that can occur in any race)
Faerie (not a true race, an aberrant form of elf)
Giants (individual aberations that can occur in any race)
Etherbane (individual aberrations that can occur in any race)

Came from another dimension: Kithdari, Xorians

Came from another star system: Karthasians



Racial Interbreeding






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