Akara: Lands of Chaos
The Race of Man is the newest of the races. They are essentially planar refugees from another dimension altogether, having been brought to Akara by the goodly gods both to save them and populate their world with the curiosity, wit, and tenacity that mankind so quintessentially embodies. Due to their mercurial natures, mankind was quick to turn against itself and the other races in an effort to place blame. They have since reconstructed their society somewhat, though bigotry and prejudice abound. As with all races, however, there are still good folk to be found. Humans make their homes just about anywhere, but notable places of human occupation are Azag, Grom, and various other settlements located throughout Akara. These tolerate the other races to a greater or lesser degree depending on proximity to the lands of these races.
Elves (or Wood Elves) were once immortal, though this is no longer so. Called in their own tongue simply “The People,” Elves were the first inhabitants of Akara. They were given custodianship of the world itself, and faithfully fulfilled this role while growing and learning as a people. Fond of nature and magic, the elves were a joyful people. After the catastrophic events, the Elves lost this innocence and with it their immortality. In these dark days, Elves have become mistrustful and arrogant, ever more deeply cloistering themselves in their forest homes, shunning all but their own. They trade out of necessity, but they maintain their airs of superiority even when not in their own lands. The Elven race calls the forest kingdom of Quel-Thanas home, located deep within the Ghostwood. Its location is known only to Elves and a select few.
Those high elves who abandoned the world at its destruction, retreating back into the Fey are called Eladrin. It is an old elven word meaning “The Heartbroken.” The Eladrin, also called High Elves, have a more detached connection to this world. Often seen as aloof and unapproachable, even to their own woodland kin, Eladrin simply view the world differently. They too share a deep love of the earth, but were more in tune with its magics. When the Rift belched out its wicket get, the High Elves suffered greatly and felt it keenly as the magics of the world were rent. They then retreated back into their eldritch Feywild, separating themselves from the pain. Their Woodelf kin stayed behind, not understanding the actions of their brethren. A few remained, and some now return. Their time in the Fey has made them even more distant. They walk between worlds with no home of their own. Some Eladrin have joined their kin in the kingdom of Quel’Thanas, while others roam the countryside mourning that which was lost. A great depression is a key feature of most Eladrin, giving them their name.
Originally attracted to the basic, intrinsic goodness of Akara, many devas called the world home. The devas of Akara are now decimated. They never were in great numbers, but the Great Rift reduced this to drastically low levels. It is rumored that only a handful remain. Devas who died in the war did not reincarnate as they ought have. No one can say why. Their gods are imprisoned, and their lives are difficult. Most devas who live in this lifetime seek a way to either free the gods, find out the fate of their kin, or defeat the evil in the world. However, their beauty remains, their strong moral conviction remains, and their memories of past lives will not let them rest until the world is made good again.
A proud and noble race, the dwarves were created by Moradin. They are industrious, stalwart, and stubborn as a whole, and not easily belayed when their mind has been set onto a thing. In the past, the Dwarves were the artisans and wrights of all things in the earth and on it. The Dwarves, as resistant to change as ever, fared the best of all the races in the aftermath of the Ancient Ones. They are more distrustful now, as are all the races, but they retain their stalwart determination and tenacity to ideals long-since abandoned by most. Their faith in their god has not wavered, though Moradin is as imprisoned as any other god. The Dwarves make their home in the mountains amidst the stone and earth they love so much. Deep within the Gol-Goroth mountains lies Dol-Gadur, the dwarven kingdom, sometimes called the Iron Halls.
The Halflings were a childlike, youthfully blissful race at the dawn of time. They were made by the gods to bring smiles to their faces, and this they did abundantly well. However, the great war left the halflings as bad off as any other race. Now a tribal, nomadic people. The Halflings wander Akara, much as gypsies. They use their dextrous fingers for thievery and charltanism as much for play and song these days. They have a reputation for being beggars and thieves, mistrusted by even the kindest soul. While not without reason, this reputation is somewhat unfair, as the nomadic, tribal nature of these small folk are the lifeblood of trade in Akara today.
Denizens of another plane, the Dragonborn hail from another universe. Several thousand were pulled through the Rift and their world destroyed as the Ancient Elder Gods gathered the power necessary to accomplish their megalithic task of crossing over. Once the citizens of a proud, extensive Empire, they now cling to remnants of their former glory. Like shipwrecked and marooned seafarers, they search for a place in this new, inhospitable world. Most races see them as yet another menace to pass through the Rift, however there is growing acceptance of them with each passing generation. They still hold true to their draconic ideals of honor and unrelenting devotion, and this has lead many a dragonborn Akaran to do great things.
Feared and shunned, tieflings are relegated to the fringes of society. Thought to be flesh-and-blood minions of the Ancient Elder Gods, the majority of society considers them cursed. This is not far from the truth. They were original brought through as servants of the Ancient Ones. However, the yoke chaffed the freedom-loving demon halfbreeds. They too longed for the freedom the other races enjoyed. Some of them remained evil and loyal to their wicked masters, but some longed to join the resistance. They were spellbound and in thrall to the horrors from the Abyss, and could do nothing but fight. This is a fact that none of the native races can forget. However, on the day when the Ancient Elder Gods were sealed in their prison, the bonds binding the tieflings was loosed. Some ran rampant and wrought havoc and discord wherever their feet trod. Others sought to overcome their nature and live in light. Tieflings are mistrusted at best, hunted at worst. Those who seek to do good in the world must overcome the stigma of those who wish it ill. They must also fight their own dark natures and natural propensity for evil. There was a general culling of tieflings, and most of the evil ones and some of the good ones were destroyed. Only a scattered few remain and they fight to rise above their stigma and fight their own dark natures. Some, however, succumb.
Other races exist, but so remotely from anything that contact is rarely, if ever made. (NOTE: Speak with DM if you wish to play a goliath, gnome, shifter, or any other non-standard race).
There were wicked, vile people in Akara’s Golden Age, but they were by far the exception and not the rule. Things such as goblins, bugbears, kobolds, and trolls were myths brought from other worlds to scare children. Now, due to the Rift, legend has become reality. Goblinoids, thanks in large part to their rapid fecundity, are rampant as are various other evil-bent creatures ranging from devils to dragons and zombies to banshees. Beware Akara, it is no longer the carefree land it once was.