The People of Aerde
The various people living in and around the lands of the Second Kingdom are generally from human stock. Entries with a question mark indicate that I am still looking for a better name. Here is the list:
- Exalted Ones: The human subspecies H. nobilis. They are generally superior, being stronger, taller, smarter, and healthier than the normal humans. Their main drawbacks are general callousness, low birth rates, and limited availability of advanced medicine needed for “upkeep” of their species. Without careful monitoring of possible mutations and deformities, it is feared that they will degenerate into mutants like the Ulars. Exalted Ones exist as the upper crust of society in most of Aerde, and serve as kings, generals, and high priests, living lives of extreme luxury comfort. They live as demigods among the rest of humanity, often attributed to their naturally-occurring psionic Talent Not suitable for player characters
- Pure-bloods: Normal humans are the most common of Aerde’s people, with the Gammas as a close second. They are split into the Commonality and the Nobility. Note that even the most powerful Pure-blooded nobles are diminished by the might and glory of the Exalted Ones.
- Gammas: these stunted, wiry folk are the field workers and manual laborers of Aerde. They are the servants of the Pure-bloods. An Exalted can kill a Gamma on a whim. They are barely better than slaves in the Second Kingdom. Though they are smaller and lacking in intelligence, some can posses their own brand of cunning and iron will. They are marked by their long, slender hands, which have only three fingers and a thumb, and their grayish skin tone.
- Slaves: Not a subspecies, but a social class. Either slaves by debt, birth, or defeat, they are treated as property. Any man who helps free a slave will be killed. Strangely, the Status of their master can often influence the Status of the slave. The slave of a high-ranking Pureblood cavalier could eventually earn his freedom and make a name for himself. It’s weird.
- Ulars: this is a ruined bloodline of untouchables, living in exile. Sometimes called the Blood Cursed, they are highly-mutated cannibal tribes who roam the fringes of civilization. It’s hard to be an Ular player character. They usually have discolored skin with a rock-like texture. Prone to a wide variety mental disorders, most are nearly mindless savages and while a minority are generally stable. It is unknown where the bloodline originated from, but since the Dark Age, they have spread everywhere.
- Olicanthes: Beast-man hybrids who served the Ancients as warriors. They are tall, strong, and aggressive. They have the heads of goats, bulls, or bison, and have hairy, thick bodies and sharp teeth. Some sport claws, horns, or tusks. They are known for their courage, blood lust, and skill in battle. They have little to do with the affairs of men, preferring to live in isolated areas. They live in a tribal system, and feuds between tribes are common. These feuds are sometimes put aside for holidays, and both sides take part in revelry with each other, only to meet again after the festivities on the battlefield!
- Morlocks: subterranean reptilian creatures with a humanoid, ape-like form, possessing only limited intelligence. They are stealthy, see well in the dark, and are strictly carnivorous. They often use found weapons and collect things in their lairs. Too stupid to be a real threat, and cowardly as well. They have a bent humanoid shape, large pale eyes and no ears, big mouths full of sharp teeth, and pale, scaly bodies. Their naked prehensile tails resemble a rat’s. Certainly not of human origin. Not suitable for player characters
- Gigas: The Gigas is a giant, or ogre-like creature. Essentially a human of massive size. They give the impression of being stunted, as they are very wide-bodied and have disproportionately small heads. They possess the minds of children, and serve generally in the armies of the Exalted a machines of war, capable of cutting a swath through ranks of normal men. They work in tight units with handlers who are responsible for their guidance, training, and care. Gigas Handlers are also shield-bearers who protect the legs of their giant companions, which are their greatest weakness in battle. Gigas are generally good-natured, and are friendly in their way. They can be up to a massive 12 feet tall, and weigh a 15,000 pounds. They are hairy, with a thick coat on their backs and forearms, and have short legs and very thick skin that gives them a flabby appearance. Think of them as giant babies trained to kill. Not suitable for player characters
- Krullicks: Krullicks are swarming, alien creatures resembling armored reptilian creatures with many features of insects. They are always found slumbering in buried or hidden pods, and wreck havoc when they awaken. It is believed that they are an adversary of the Ancients, and have been lying dormant since the Fall.
- Free Born: this a term, used mostly by the citizens of Gamaar, used to describe those born outside the lands of the Second Kingdom. The Commonwealth of Gamaar eschews the class system of Taer, and ousted the Exalted. The Free Born of Gamaar are typically Gammas or Pure-bloods, and possibly Ulars or Olicanthes.