This is a list of the common species in this world. There is an overview of each, which is accompanied by a more detailed description of each species if you click on their name. Note that these give an overview of the most common way these species are portrayed; it is perfectly possible to play a character that defies these definitions in some way.
If you have a concept for a character you wish to play, from a species not listed here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how your concept can be made to work with the world.
Whilst there are stranger things out there, these represent the vast majority of beings one is likely to encounter.
The Dwarves were the miners and master craftsman of the Empire. Their craftsmen had been part of many of the great works of the Empire. They felt that theirs was a place of respect and honour, though secretly the Elves disdained them. When the Empire fell, the Dwarves felt betrayed, having not been taken into the confidence they had come to expect from the Elves. The Dwarves were among the slowest to break from their tradition-bound ways, and there is still a perception that “Dwarven made” is best.
The Fae were the entertainers and artists at the Elven courts. Though their arts were held in great esteem, they were never permitted to learn practical skills, and this left them devastated by the Fall. Many Fae, unable to adapt, simply starved to death. In the years after the Fall, Dwarves and Humans generally held ill-concealed contempt for the effete ways of the Fae, but this is changing as those who remain struggle with the rest merely to survive. It is an article of faith for the Fae that they are truly immortal, and that any Fae who falls is simply waiting for rebirth.
Though widely shunned by Imperial society, some Goblins found a place within it: as spies, saboteurs and thieves. Goblins were known to be useful to those living on the edges of society, but the High Elves exploited this: the Empire could out-bid any renegade in hiring a mercenary Goblin, and they were used to infiltrate various trouble-making groups. A small number of Goblins were able to retire and live lives of luxury after rooting out, and bringing about the execution of, a number of prominent Wood Elves. Other Goblins began to aspire to that life, not realising that this was just another Elven way of keeping them in their place: forever outcasts. Even to this day, Goblins are considered untrustworthy and treacherous, especially by the Wood Elves.
The most numerous single species in the Imperial age was the Humans. With their short lifespan and rapid reproduction, the Empire used Humans as menial labourers, farmers and traders. Unlike the other short lived species such as the Orcs and Goblins, who were considered too vicious for their perfect society, the Elves regarded the Humans as one might a well-trained sheepdog: useful, but hardly suitable company at table. Since the Fall, Humans have remained ubiquitous, but are fragmented, even more so than any others. There is a saying among the Dwarves: if you sell an axe to a Human, the first thing he’ll do is fell another Human with it. It’s not quite true, but there is a grain of truth in it.
A short-lived species of warriors, the Orcs never submitted to the Elves, and were never accepted into Imperial society. As punishment, the Orcs were driven out into the most remote places, forced to live on the scraps they could steal by raiding remote villages before fleeing when armies of Humans, under Elven officers, were assembled to chase them away once more. This lifestyle demanded that only the strongest and hardiest Orcs survived. When the Empire fell, the Orcs were better off than most, knowing when to fight and when to flee. In the post-Imperial world, the Orcs are the second most numerous species, but while they have integrated to some extent, they are still viewed as the barbarian raiders they once were.
Descendants of those elves who rejected the strict confines of the Empire, the Wood Elves were the outcasts of Elven society. Even an elf born outside the Empire could not rejoin it, though few tried. For the Wood Elves, freedom was highly valued, and most Wood Elves lived either solitary lives, or in small family groups. This made them vulnerable during the anarchy after the Fall, and few survived. To this day, their outcast nature remains, but for a very different reason. Today, the Wood Elves are treated with suspicion and fear. Some claim they were in conspiracy with the High Elves to bring destruction on all, some merely hold an old grudge against their former masters. The irony of this is not lost on the Wood Elves.
Since the collapse of the Empire it has been found that humans can breed with both elves and orcs. The resultant offspring are always sterile and tend to take on some traits of both parents. Some communities are more accepting of these than others. No other species are known to be able to interbreed successfully with humans, nor have an orc and an elf ever been known to have produced offspring together.