The Dwarves of Cirinnia all dwell in and around the massive Tarrasque mountain range in the eastlands. There they are divided into three factions, each descended from one of the three clans that rebelled against the cyclopes in ancient times. The xenophobic Vorundron dwarves in the west, the democratic surface dwelling Mirordokin dwarves in the middle of the Tarrasque mountains, and the northern mine dwelling Bazdum dwarves
In the west the dwarven kingdom of Vorundron seal themselves up in the mountains behind invisible doors and secret passages. They are surrounded by the remnants of the once great cyclopes empire or Uraxis to the north, the elven forest of Mylandria to the south, and the ever expanding human kingdoms of Zorovia and Valdavia to the west. Rather than fight for territory and risk diplomatic entanglements Vorundron dwarves have become isolationists, trading only with other dwarven kingdom by means of an underground tunnel system that united them to the other dwarven lands. Vorundron dwarves are known for their long black beards they wear loose and shaggy and their pale complexion. They are harsh and traditional with a strict caste system that separates the workers from the scholars from the noblemen. Their monarchy and caste system is even more harsh than that found in human lands, with a myriad different rules for where lesser castes can and cannot go, do, or hope to become.
The largest and most influential group of dwarves are the Mirardokin in the central mountains. Mirardokin dwarves are known for their elaborately braided beards and tan skin. These dwarves have long preferred to live above ground in homes carved from the side of the mountain and easily intermingled with the humans who lived in the shadow of their mountain homes. During the great war a famine descended on the eastlands but the dwarves of Mirardokin had enough food stores to withstand it. The lords of Hawksmoor grew jealous of the dwarves’ riches and the people resented the dwarves for not suffering under the famine and so they stormed the dwarven holds. This sparked an all out war that ended with Mirardokin laying claim to all the lands of the lords that challenged them.
Today the dwarves of Mirardokin live as rulers and custodians of the human lands they won in battle. Rather than ruling over the humans as conquerors they folded
humans into their own unique system of governance, introducing them to democracy. Unlike other dwarves the Mirardokin give every adult who pays taxes a vote in government. Human cities had their mayors replaced with town councils, their barons replaced with assemblies, and their king replaced with the dwarven parliament. Humans and dwarves have a long history of mistrust and disrespect that keeps humans from rising to the highest political power but their influence is not insubstantial.
North of Tarrasque mountains a little tail of peaks, the Horns of the Tarrasque, jutt north into Belgarde. Here you will find the Bazdum dwarves in their great mines, known for their fiery red beards and ruddy skin. Neither isolationist nor friendly with humans the Bazdum live in great mountain halls carved out of peak’s heart. They make no attempts to hide their homes but these dwarves do not care whether they see the sun. They often trade with the Thanes and tribes but it is always stiff and formal. Hill giants, goblins, orcs, and human raiders haunt the mountains and often prey on Bazdum dwarves. The Mountain King rules with the advice of his clan lords who manage the day to day operation of the kingdom.
In addition to the main factions of dwarven society there are also a number of lost clans. The most famous of them are the Dolkarn dwarves. On the far eastern coast of Cirinnia is a mass of land barely attached to the continent with a ring of sharp peaks at it’s center. Here the largest veins of platinum are mined and elf, dwarf, and human once lived together in harmony. Centuries ago that peace was shattered. No one is certain what occurred but the dwarves and the elves spin very different tales. The dwarves claim that the elves coveted the riches of the dwarven platinum mines. While the elves claim that the dwarves had gone mad with power declared themselves kings over the peninsula, demanding tribute. Regardless, the elves that dwelt there used their dread sorcery to it’s fullest and crushed the dwarven kingdom of Dolkarn and it’s clans utterly. Now The Dolkarn dwarves are spread out itinerant and homeless across Ostia and Belgarde where they can be recognized by their ritually shaved and tattooed heads.
Dwarves have three names; their given name, their family name, and their clan name. To avoid confusion most dwarves only tell non-dwarves their given and family name and often translate their family name into the common. So a dwarf of the Rorgrim family may ask humans to call him “Silveraxe”, the rough meaning of his family name.
Example Names: Fulgan Stonehewer Zekkak, Gargrim Thunderspear Burathal, Thornar Oakshadow Musdaerg, Vombar Silverheard Okar, Namda Stoneblade Ermalk
Elves of Cirinnia once ranged from coast to coast in great unbroken forests before the Cyclopes came and enslaved them. Today they are found throughout the eastlands but have separated in different ideological groups, the four courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
Once the Cyclopes were overthrown the elves retreated to the great fey forest of Mylandria and began to rebuild their civilization. However there grew disagreement on how to live. Some wanted to create vast cities and roads to rival the humans while other wanted to live in harmony with the natural world around them. So the first great split occurred as massive cities of finest worked stone were erected by the Autumn court and cities woven into the trees were crafted by the Spring court. These city-states live in peace today but there is bitter ideological dispute.
Mylandria was not the only home of elves. There are many elven enclaves scattered across the wild places of the east, including in the frozen north. The largest of these northern elves are in Dolkarn where they were once an encalve of sorcerers who sought refuge from leven societies preoccupation with wizardry. For generations they lived at peace with the dwarven miners and human tribesman who shared the peninsula until a unknown event came between them. The dwarves blame the elves and the elves blame the dwarves but the end result was the utter destruction of the Dolkarn dwarves and the establishment of an elven kingdom devoted to sorcery. This new kingdom quickly gained the nickname Winter Court. Today the sorcerer elves of Dolkarn rule with an iron fist over the human tribes and their fellow elves.
The south coast of the eastlands had long been home to elven cities, especially on the lucrative trade ports. When the Pelisian Empire began claiming land they allowed the elves to keep their cities if they paid tax but Pelias kept demanding more and more money and control over the cities. During the Great War the elven citites joined with Olmay and Bregios to overthrow Pelisian rule and the great elven general Talnor Laventian crowned himself prince of the newly forged Principalityof Issilia. Laventian believed in creating a domain with the united strength of power of elvenkind but without the dictatorial rule that taints Dolkarn. After taking his own throne Laventian declared his nobles and advisors the Summer court, promising to bring a golden age for elven kind.
Many elves do not concern themselves with lineage, so most such elves have only a given name and sometimes a nickname like Silverleaf or Moonsong given to them by their peers. Meanwhile there are others that do care a great deal about heritage and descendance, like the sorcerous Winter Court elves and the imperial Summer court. These elves always have a given name and a family name.
Example Names: Authion Undovaul, Belruin Icestar, Gulrond Aldavir, Nessiel Evenflower, Mellandirria Tinuviel
Gnomes are creatures born of the fey energies, never quite at home on this plane or the fey. The vast majority are found in the forest of Mylandia where they make their homes in elven society or in the wilds of the wood. Gnomes are individualistic to a fault, known for talking to themselves and developing their own unique eccentricities while living alone. They devote their time any number of projects, from art to science to magic depending on the gnome. They feel the most at home amongst the elves but when they do leave they tend to become wanderers. Some of the greatest travelling salesmen are gnomes and so too the greatest rogue archeologists.
Elves and humans have always lived in close quarters and so it is no surprise that if were possible they would soon produce offspring. The largest half-elf population is found in Issilia where they are openly tolerated. Many can also be found in Dolkarn but they are treated as second class citizens. The Westerness is also known for their half-elf numbers as it is the closest territory to the elven forest of Mylandria and each city-state and minor domain reacts to them in their own way. In Cirinnia half-elves are capable of having children with either elves or humans or other half-elves. The child they produce has a chance to be either a half-elf or the race of the partner. So, for instance, a half-elf mother and elven father can have a half-elven child or an elven child depending on how the fates decide.
In the thousands of years humans have been on Cirinnia, orcs have always been a problem. Orc clans tend to solidify for a time and form pacts and alliances with humans but this rarely lasts long before these orc “kingdoms” collapse into raiding and war. The offspring of orcs and humans have an even worse time than half-elves with no nation openly accepting of them. In Cirinnia half-orcs are capable of having children with either orcs or humans or other half-orcs. The child they produce has a chance to be a half-orc or the race of the partner. So, for instance, a half-orc mother and a human father can have a half-orc child or a human child depending on how the fates decide.
No one knows where the first halflings made their homes, but as long as written history halflings have been wanderers and nomads. Being so small halflings were always fleeing from predators and working together to outsmart them. Community became the single most important thing in halfling life with all things shared openly and no sense of personal ownership. This trait has caused endless trouble for them, causing them to be labelled as thieves and robbers by other races.
Today about half of all halflings can be found in travelling caravans, usually a dozen families and half that number of wagons. Their distrust for bigger folk and reputation as burglars doesn’t leave them long to wear out a welcome. So they travel from town to town trading goods, often stolen from the previous town, or performing for money enough to feed their caravan. The other half can be found halfling ghettoes set up in the biggest cities by those tired of the wandering life. These areas are usually home to organized crime and shady characters but the halflings who call it home raise honest, for halflings, families and strong communities.
There is only one city where halflings outnumber all others, Marshport, the single biggest hub of piracy, smuggling, and thievery on the continent. It was originally founded by halflings looking to start their own civilization, building stilt buildings over the treacherous swamp. It was a small halfling community until pirates discovered they could hide from coastal patrols in the marsh. Since then it has quickly grown up into a patchwork of handmade buildings and wharf streets. Unlike the pirate island of Sanghor, Marshport is governed by a council rather than any one pirate. Seats on the council are not voted for or appointed, but auctioned off. The highest bidder gains a seat on the council and the money goes to the treasury of the city for it’s maintenance. Marshport has almost no laws save for no rape and no murder. Those that violate the laws have a bounty placed on their head by the city council and anyone can claim the bounty. What’s more it is home to the satirical Thieve’s “Guild”, a mutual aid society for thieves to share information on how to burglarize the great cities of Cirinnia and how to escape their prisons.
Halfling form strong communities of multiple families but don’t value lineage and so only have a given name and a nickname they choose for themselves.
The civilized world is peopled and run mostly by humans. Millenias past humans were slaves to the cyclopes empire and formed the backbone of their labor force. It was a handful of great human, dwarven, and elven heroes who rose up and toppled the evil cyclopes. Since then human empires have risen and fallen but humanity remains strong.
To learn more about humans check out the page on Human Ethnicities.