Man (from the elven word of "mancipium", meaning thrall) is the most dominant race on earth, having multiplied exponentially and risen to supremacy in the wake of the fall of the elves and the following catastrophe that destroyed most of their civilization. More than half of the global population is thought to consist of the race of man, with most of their civilization concentrated in the eastern parts of the world, spread out and divided into a myriad of different city-states and small nations.
Scientifically classified as alfus secuntus, little is known about how mankind came into being as a full-fledged race, complete with their own genetic makeup, other than a few ancient elven histories detailing that they, alongside the dwarves, "sprung forth from the works and bloods of elves". A multitude of scientific theories suggest that man was a byproduct of magical experimentation or genetic manipulation done by elven scientists millennia ago, while others propose that both man and dwarf were created by pure happenstance: runt offspring from the elves, left alive to procreate and pass down their (d)evolved genes to their progeny.
A relatively new and short-lived race, man seems to have an intrinsic desire to find meaning and purpose in existence, causing them to be capable of the most virtuous of graces and selfless of acts, but also to easily succumb to the most heinous and depraved practices. Because of this, belief in a higher power is an almost universal constant in all of human culture, with organized religion often playing a pivotal role in the lives of many.
Man reach adulthood at around 19 years of age. The life expectancy of a man (both male and female) is around 70 years of old, with their maximum lifespan being around 110 years.
Empire of the Emerald Isles
The Empire of the Emerald Isles is a constitutional monarchy of Man founded in the year 1665 AE by Richard Enderling I, an intrepid businessman-turned-emperor, who quickly managed to draw thousands of eager immigrants from the mainland to his newly founded empire by offering well-paid jobs and lifetime bonuses for families who settled there permanently. Due to the Isle Empire's close proximity to the gnomish empire of Xiu Xi, the two nations are often considered each other's closest allies and rivals, with the former being exemplified by the rumors that Richard Enderling I was once invited to visit and speak directly with the emperor of Xiu Xi, Zhaong Wei the Wise, and the latter being manifested in a large gnomish naval force permanently anchored just outside the Emerald Empire's waters.
The empire is currently ruled by Richard Enderling III, colloquially referred to as Fat King Dicky due to his obscene size, infamous reputation for gluttony, and childlike demeanour. During the century after its founding, the Isle Empire has flourished and developed rapidly thanks to its prime location at the center of most sea trade routes, with its capital city of Plencken coming close to rival even the other great cities of the world in power if not also in size.
The people of the Isles are known to be skilled sailors and merchants, and have a well-established reputation of looking foreign and exotic, with many of them having brown or sometimes even black skin, and dark, almond-shaped eyes.
Examples of Common Male Names: Adam, Adrian, Brandon, Douglas, Hank, Harold, Fredrick
Examples of Common Female Names: Caryn, Hilary, Justine, Michelle, Rebbeca, Tanya
Examples Common Surnames: Jones, King, Moore, Robinson, Smith, Wilson
City-states of Gineas
In 1558 AE, the people of the kingdom of Gineas went into open rebellion against King James the Pious. Two years later, the people succeeded in overthrowing the king, upon which they disbanded the king's armies, dissolved the absolute monarchy, and divided up the kingdom into three equal parts, out of which the independent city-states of Calidor, Neermore, and Sinecliff would end up forming.
Over the past two-hundred years, the three city-states and their surrounding territories have together become the world's most powerful and influential political powers on the world stage. With groundbreaking inventions and innovations in the fields of mercantilism, science and industry, Calidor especially has earned the right to be considered the capital of the world.
With many Men and those of other races having been drawn to Gineas over the past few decades, the cities have become a melting pot of races, cultures and religion, coming to encompass Kin from all echelons of society and the spectrum of morality. With the advent of organized crime in the form of the Bad Crowd, the politics and inner workings of the cities of Gineas have become rife with intrigue and corruption, murder and terrorism, with countless officials on the take amidst the governments, guilds and ecclesiarchies who yearn for more power and more money, often at the expense of the common citizen and public safety.
Due to the mixture of different cultures and races over the years, the average Ginean appearance can be found all across the different spectra of height, build, and colors for the skin, eyes and hair.
Examples of Common Male Names: Abraham, Greyson, Isaac, Lee, Oliver, Reuben
Examples of Common Female Names: Anne, Alice, Brianna, Caitlyn, Diana, Victoria
Examples Common Surnames: Abram, Beckham, Cummins, Fletcher, Holmwood, Noel
The Free Cities
The eastern cities of Élia, Tersona and Matagán combined are often referred to as the Three Free, with them having formed an alliance of open trade and protection with one another in the early 1200s AE. Since then, hundreds of tiny hamlets, settlements and outposts along the fertile coasts have come to join or otherwise fall under the sway of the alliance over the centuries, with the "Free Cities" coming to establish themselves as a single nation consisting out of many.
In the Three Cities, class politics are incredibly important, with high fashion and the upkeep of social appearances being incredibly important to the upper and aristocratic societies. Those who belong in the middle or lower classes often aspire to move up in the social hierarchy, which can be achieved with great personal success or simply by buying yourself into the right circles. Sadly, most of them are instead often drawn into the machinations of the powerful nobles and merchant guilds, used either as pawns in needlessly complicated plots or exploited for their cheap labor in the saltmines in the nearby territories. Those who have the good fortune of living in the countryside are often considered honest folk, though they face a poor and harsh lifestyle of farming on infertile soil and fishing in dangerous, cold waters.
The appearance of those who live in or near the Free Cities is often mixed: blonde hair and blue or grey eyes is just as common as auburn, red or black hair mixed with darker eye colors. The Men of the Free Cities are shorter than average, with the men favouring rough beards in the countryside, while the women usually wear their long hair in braids. In the Three Free, the hairstyles vary greatly as the ruling classes experiment with fashion appearances from other cultures, which then trickle down to the lower classes who tend to copy whatever the high society is doing.
Examples of Common Male Names: Benjamin, Constantin, Emmanuel, Michael, Oliver, Philippe
Examples of Common Female Names: Cassandra, Eveline, Isabelle, Jaqueline, Marcelle, Simone
Examples Common Surnames: Bouchard, de la Croix, Marion, Parris, Sartre, Thibault
Examples of Common Male Names: Alberto, Cesar, Fabio, Ismael, Juan, Matias
Examples of Common Female Names: Anita, Calista, Feliciana, Jacinta, Mercedes, Nikole
Examples Common Surnames: Alamilla, Escamilla, Fonseca, Juarez, Mendoza, Trujillo
Examples of Common Male Names: Alonzo, Cirino, Giovanni, Lazzaro, Peppino, Salvator
Examples of Common Female Names: Angelina, Carmela, Gaia, Isabela, Matilde, Ofelia
Examples Common Surnames: Amato, Belmonte, Di Antonio, Franzese, Montana, Padovan
Holy City of Ùr
The Waste is the second-largest desert of the world, falling only behind in size compared to the elven desert-continent of Nefaria, but while it may be smaller in size, it is no less lethal. It is said that unless one is blessed by the divine, nobody crosses its width alive. At the very center of the Waste lies the Holy City of Ùr, the last bastion of civilization before coming to the edge of the lands of Beyonder to the Far East, a wild, unexplored continent cut off from the rest of the world due to its seclusion and unreachability.
The city itself is thought of to be the oldest Man-made city since the Fall of the Elves, and it is built against a single, solid rockformation whose peaks reach up to the skies beyond even the clouds. The only thing that allows such a large city as Ùr to not only survive, but to thrive in as scorching a desert as the Waste, is the continual stream of clear, fresh water coming down the side of the formation to the city below. It is for this reason that Ùr was given the title of a Holy City of the goddess Hera by one of the three Prognati of the Heran Sect in the early 500s, claiming that only the magnimity of a divine being beyond the heavens could possibly bring to bear such a miracle of life in as inhospitable place as the Waste.
Ever since its naming as a Holy City, Ùr has been considered a Heran hierocracy with at its head the Prognatus of the East who is considered a priest-king, holding ultimate authority over the city and the Waste. Below him in rank and power is the rest of the Heran priest caste, who rule the city and its people with an iron fist and a rigid set of laws which, when broken, are met with severe punishment by the transgressor. Ùrians are solely and exclusively Men who worship Hera, with foreigners and those of other races being viewed with distrust. Those who are found out to worship another deity (or even worse, none at all) are met with open hostility, and are put to death should they not immediately convert when found out. The nobility of Ùr live a life of luxurious excess, while those of the lower and middles classes live a life of shortage as they try to eke out a meagre existence, barely scraping by day by day.
Ùrians often consider their city the pinnacle of civilization, and consider their scientists, engineers, bankers and philosophers to be at the forefront of their respective fields, although the rest of the world still considers some of their ways and traditions as backwards, if not barbaric: the Ùrians are the only society that still actively support the practice of slavery, being both the single greatest user and supplier of slave labor the world over. Ùrian hunting parties, said to be sanctioned by the Prognatus himself, scour the Waste for wandering nomadic tribes and unlucky merchant caravans to capture and enslave them.
The Men of Ùr tend to be of medium height and build, brown skin tanned by the fury of the sun, with large noses, dark eyes, and even darker hair. Most men have large, thick moustaches, sometimes alongside a trimmed beard. The women favor long hairstyles, as short hair on a woman is considered a sign of open rebellion against her parents.
Examples of Common Male Names: Aali, Fadil, Ghassan, Hayder, Jaffar, Memet
Examples of Common Female Names: Dana, Fadila, Fatima, Isra, Kübra, Soraya
Examples Common Surnames: al-Ahmed, al-Hakim, Nagi, Saab, Sultan, Zaman
Kingdom of Saderia
The Kingdom of Saderia is the oldest nation of Man in the world, and to for those who have never been to Saderia, it is a place of legend and chivalry, a place of incredible piety and selfess martyrs, of heroic deeds and wise kings. But those who actually tread the kingdom's weathered roads and visit its dilapidated cities are soon faced with the truth: while the rest of the world has moved on with the times and adapted their ways of living with the process of industrialization, Saderia has done anything but, and has been left in the trailing dust that is a lack of progress. Saderia's monarch, the Kaiser-Hertzog Gustav Hirschwald, has actively attempted to thwart any attempts at technological innovation within the realm, having gone so far as to entirely outlaw guns and any electrical devices.
While other nations now employ capable police forces, armed with guns and modern feats of technological engineering, the peace in Saderia is still kept by the King's Halberdiers, warriors trained in knightly warfare and melee combat. While travel between the cities of other nations is now realized with trains and airships, the only way to reach the Saderian capital, Grauwiesen, is either by horse or by cart. Although the result of a lack of progress (or as some might say, a stubborness to adapt) has caused the nation to fall on hard times, with many of its people seeking to carve out an existence beyond its borders, most of them still cling to their state religion, Triumvism, and pray for a brighter future.
Saderians are hard workers, with the majority of them being farmers, tradesmen and artisans. They are often tall, with blonde or brown hair and matching eyes. Red hair is a rarity amongst them, and those born with it are considered blessed by St. Leah for girls, or St. Eospeth for boys, although no one is entirely certain where this tradition came from.
Examples of Common Male Names: Alfred, Diederich, Ferdinand, Gerhardt, Günther, Isidor
Examples of Common Female Names: Anke, Claudia, Dietlinde, Emma, Heidi, Kristine
Examples Common Surnames: Autenburg, Bachmeier, Fabel, Goldschmidt, Hafner, Nettweiser
Cassian Wetlands Republic
Historically, the Cassian Wetlands were divided into two large duchies of Hexxen and Hellwhyle loyal to the crown of the kingdom of Gineas. After the Ginean people successfully overthrew their king, James the Pious, in an open rebellion in the year 1560 AE, both the duke of Hexxen as of Hellwhyle made claims to take over the ruling of the Wetlands. What followed then was an excessively burdensome campaign between the armies of the two dukes, as each tried to establish control over the other. After three long, bloody years that brought ruin to both duchies, it was Drydus ap Mercer, the duke of Hexxen, who ended up victorious and soon afterwards established the Cassian Wetlands Republic of today when he implemented the concept of universal suffrage. In 1622 AE the city-island of Aia and its adventurous sea-faring people, the Aians, joined the Republic and added its borders and respectable fleet of merchant vessels to that of Cassia.
In the two-hundred years since then, the entirety of the Republic has been at relative peace, and has become a centre of open trade and religious tolerance, with every seven years a new representative being chosen among the leading political figures of either Hexxen, Hellwhyle or Aia, who then make decisions on a national scale for the good of the Commonwealth. Corruption in the government is clamored to be minimal, although the Bad Crowd is just as active on the streets as it is in other nations (although not as badly as in the likes of Calidor).
Farms are a common sight in the northern and eastern parts of Cassia, as the grasslands there are said to be the most fertile this side of the Beyonder. To the south, the iron and copper mines dominate the landscape, and recent improvements in ore processing is causing an incredible boom in industry, bringing wealth to laborer and businessman alike.
Overall, the Men of the Cassian Republic are an industrious people, fiercely proud of their nation. They tend to be of medium build with fair or pale skin, and brown, hazel or grey eyes. Their hair colours range from black to dark brown - but red hair and blonde is not at all uncommon.
The Aians have a reputation for being skilled entertainers and sailors, and even more skilled pirates and cutthroats. Their skin varies from between light to medium brown, and they have light to dark brown, sometimes black hair. Their eyes are usually brown, but lighter colours are nothing out of the ordinary.
Examples of Common Male Names: Arwel, Cledwyn, Geraint, Mordred, Owain, Uther
Examples of Common Female Names: Angharad, Cerys, Eigyr, Lunete, Mairwen, Rhiannon
Examples Common Surnames: Bowen, Davies, Kendrick, Llywelyn, Rhydderch, Yates
Examples of Common Male Names: Adria, Artur, Carles, Ignasi, Mateu, Xavier
Examples of Common Female Names: Anais, Gisela, Lucia, Monica, Neus, Silvia
Examples Common Surnames: Agramunt, Castell, Marti, Odero, Toset, Vilaro