Scarns Dungeon of Graves
The precise origins of the dwarves of the Scarred Lands are generally unknown, though many scholars say that dwarves were originally crafted by Golthagga to aid him at his forge; though this is said of many creatures.
The years following the Divine War have been unkind to the dwarves as such they commonly come across as a defiant, tenacious and bitter lot, reduced to a few city states & underground fortresses desperately trying to hold onto what little they have left to them.
Ghelspad and Termana are home to three dwarven subraces. The most prominent of the three refer to themselves as the dwarven race, while other races often call them “mountain dwarves” to distinguish them from the other dwarven subraces.
Mountain Dwarves are located primarily in the city-state of Burok Torn, though quite a few have managed to emigrate to other lands throughout the whole of the Ghelspad continent.
The second dwarven race stands in stark contrast to the nobility of the mountain dwarves of Burok Tom, existing as a festering shadow that reaches out to corrupt everything it touches. These are the black-skinned charduni, who worship the tyrannical god Chardun and seek to recreate their empire on Ghelspad. Though heavy losses in the Divine War dismantled their influence within Ghelspad, the Charduni yet rule a mighty empire in the eastern reaches of Termana, inspiring fear in those who know of them
The last of the dwarven races known only as the forsaken dwarves dwell deep within the Kelder mountains inside the living rock of their fortress kingdom of Krakadöm. All but the most foolish of travellers avoid the home of this brutal and territorial race.
Created long before the Divine War by the Titan Denev, elves are the longest-lived of the Scarred Land’s races. Where dwarves have a deep connection to the earth itself, elves are connected instead to the web of life that gives the world growth and sustenance. While the races of elves differ considerably in terms of culture and appearance, one fact remains true for all of them.
The Divine War crushed them.
The years since have been very difficult indeed, how each of the elven races has chosen to deal with this burden is a reflection of their inner character.
Two major elven races populate the wilderness regions of the Scarred Lands.
The Forsaken Elves, once called the high elves, inhabit the continent of Termana, pursuing the mystical arts. Haughty and severe, they have been extremely isolationist since the end of the Divine War.
Wood Elves, the most common elves on Ghelspad, remain close to their titanic roots, worshipping Denev and pursuing the paths of druidic magic from the depths of the Ganjus. While they have many philosophical differences with the rest of the divine races, they remain the most approachable race of the Scarred Land’s elves.
Most of the half-elves in Ghelspad come from the areas around the Ganjus especially those areas known for their alliances with the elven folk of Vera-Tre places such as the Bridged City, Amalthea and Vesh. In such areas, having elven blood is no hindrance indeed, in many such areas it’s a positive thing, a symbol of the alliance between human and elf that allowed the Druid War to be won.
Because of their origins half-elves lead hard lives accordingly they favour no profession in particular. They strive for acceptance wherever they can find it, and are happy to resort to thievery if acceptance is not forthcoming. Though sometimes despised by both humans and elves alike it is clear that half-elves tend to exhibit some of the best traits of both species. The more enlightened leaders of human and elven nations recognize this potential and will train half-elves who are willing to serve their causes. Indeed, many Termana-born half-elves have heard of the greater level of acceptance that their kind can often find in those areas around the Ganjus and have begun moving there in slowly increasing numbers. Though they are welcome in the area, the leaders of Vesh and Vera-Tre wonder how many of these half elves are genuinely seeking new lives and how many are there under Virduk’s employ as spies.
Finally, the elves of Uria have been known to mingle occasionally with the folk of Karria. Such unions are always brief romances, but some occasionally leave a human woman pregnant to raise a half-elven child in Karria. Those female elves who sport with the human men of Karria have been known to stay with him long enough to bear him a child, disappearing one night shortly after the child is weaned. These half-elves are never treated any differently from the other citizenry of that island nation.
Gnomes: The race of gnomes is unknown on Ghelspad
Once, the orcs were mighty. Each titan claimed a number of tribes of the orcish folk, and they fought with one another and preyed upon the weaker races around them. But now, it’s a rough time to be an orc in the Scarred Lands. The last of the titanspawn races with any real presence on Ghelspad, orcs are hated and reviled by the whole of the divine races.
Even King Virduk and the dwarves of Burok Torn agree on one simple fact: Orcs are the enemy, and must be destroyed.
Tolerance is not something for which the victors of the Divine War are well known, and hence nearly every orcish settlement outside of the Plains of Lede has been rooted out and destroyed.
Yes, it is a bad time indeed to be an orc in the Scarred Lands.
An orcs child, on the other hand.. . .
In contrast to their orcish parent, half-orcs are not typically killed on sight in most of the civilized regions of Ghelspad. This is because the two most common origins for half-orcs are fairly unpleasant: they are either bred for slave labour in lands such as Dunahnae,or are the result of orcish raids on settlements near the Plains of Lede, orc tribes have been known to keep harems of human women captured for the express purpose of breeding strong shock troops for their tribes. Half-orcs who make their way to more civilized lands have often escaped one fate or the other, and they garner a fair bit of sympathy from those they encounter. This does not mean they are treated well, they are simply allowed to live and make their own way in the world like everyone else.
Few peoples in the Scarred Lands have suffered to the extent halflings have, and none of those were victors of the Divine War. Small and weak, halflings have never had much to offer the other races of the Scarred Lands. As a result, their neighbours consistently bully and abuse them, taking advantage of every opportunity to disenfranchise the smaller folk.
On Ghelspad, the worst offenders in this regard are dwarves and human.
Humans take advantage of the halflings being agrarian, and thus tend to have good, hearty land suitable for human use.
Dwarves, on the other hand, feel that halflings are weak and stupid, unwilling to stand up to human oppression and thus unworthy of kindness. To the dwarves’ way of thinking, if the halflings won’t fight they shouldn’t be taking up valuable resources and space that can be put to better use.
Despite these unkindnesses, halflings remain resolute in their desire to lead peaceful lives. Sadly, this desire for peace left their lands ripe for invasion, a fact King Virduk took full advantage of when he chose to occupy halfling lands. Unwilling to be bullied by dwarves,and unafraid of humans and dwarves alike, the halflings simply accepted their fate and did their best to move on. As a result, they have become willing slaves in the Calastia war machine, supplying food and labour in exchange for a chance at peace. They eagerly lap up the platitudes bestowed upon them by King Virduk, even though they know his words are insincere. The truth of the matter is irrelevant to them they have been taken for granted for so long, trampled beneath the heels of so many different races that even false kindness is like meat and drink to them. And even those who do know of Virduk‘s falsity are quick to compare him to others who have outright abused the halfling folk for so long. Perhaps, they argue, it is a matter of degrees. The abuses heaped upon them have not robbed halflings of their most enduring characteristic: a quiet humility and resolve unseen in the rest of the Scarred Land’s races. In some, this resolve leaves them incensed over the indignities heaped upon them, and moves them to take whatever action they deem necessary to secure a better future for their people. Sometimes this results in open revolt, but more often the halflings’ rebellion manifests in quieter, subtler ways. Damaged goods may be sent to a Calastian noble, for instance, and a particularly oppressive warlord might find a slow poison taking his life where no blade ever could. True it may be that halflings are rarely skilled in direct confrontation, but that does not mean they cannot fight.