Legends of Belariath

Races

We have quite a lot of different races in Belariath. Some of them are unique, others are the standard ones you will find in most fantasy settings - elves, dwarves, humans, trolls and so on. We don't have vampires, werewolves, demons or the undead, because we are not trying to be all things to all people. The aim is to provide a cohesive mix of races which give variety while all fitting neatly into this world.

Even when you see a familiar race name though, you cannot assume they are identical to that race as portrayed in a book, a movie, or in another roleplay. A part of making Belariath a unique environment has been to look at each race with fresh eyes and give them some familiar qualities, but also make them different enough that they are not stereotyped from other locations. This is an ongoing process, as those people who play here keep adding depth to the racial backgrounds. Perhaps you too will leave your mark here with a new tribe, a new god or some other addition to the growing body of data available for all.

Below you will find a list of all the races included in the roleplay, together with a brief description. Following the link will provide you with more information about that race. Sometimes a lot more information.

Half-Breeds

As well as the single races, there are certain combinations available. Note that only those listed can be used here. Also half-breeds are considered sterile, so they cannot have descendents involving any more complex mix of races. For the purposes of stats and abilities, only those of the primary race are counted. The secondary race is for aesthetic reasons, modifying appearance but having no other effect. So if the secondary has wings, for example, you do not gain flight without the relevant spell. Only a primary with wings would give automatic flying ability.

Primary Races For Half-Breeds
  • Human
  • Elf
  • Sheyka
  • The Tribe
  • Cat Person
Secondary Races For Half-Breeds
  • Human
  • Elf
  • Cat Person
  • Torian
  • Chirot
  • Goblin
  • Dwarf
  • Halfling
  • Vulpine
  • Wolven

Note for character creation: If creating a half-breed use the primary for the Base Race and add the secondary into Race Description.

Cat People

The cat people are a harmonious people, gracing the forests of the wilds with their simple communities and unique gifts. They can range in color and in hair length, as any feline can, but are usually easy to spot. The blood of a cat is strong, and shines through even in the impure races that grace Belariath to produce mixed breed offspring. Look for pointed ears lifted off the skull; ears that turn and twist to locate any sound. Look for dark eyes with varied colored slits that contract and dilate at the merest change of light and can stare down the most hypnotic serpent or sorcerer. And of course, look for the most obvious feature, the long, dexterous tail.

Cat people have an expected feline grace that is demonstrated through their mastery of the physical arts and the more sensual of sexual pleasures. In combat their agility makes them dangerous but they lack the stamina to overcome an enemy who can outlast them. What a cat woman, or man, lacks in stamina, they make up for in desire, agility, and creativity. The curse of the cat-people given to them by the goddess when the ritual that created the race failed, the curse that was given effected their reproductive cycles. There are far more females in any given community than there are males, even outnumbering them 7 or more to 1. Thus, when slavers come to the woods to raid and cart away for sale and auction the easily worn down female prey, it is rarely a reason for outcry among this simple and delicate, yet hardy race.

Starter Classes: Bard, Cleric, Ranger, Thief, Mage, Druid, Warrior, Healer, Shaman, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Mist Raider, Monk, Warrior Mage, All Elemental Mages, Hierophant, Necromancer, Seductress, Priest/Priestess, Paladin, Warlord

Centaurs

The fighting spirit of humanity is toned down in the wealth and abundantly rich animal blood of the common centaur. Centaurs are half human/half horse by nature, and yet are a race all their own. They can be very tall, and often quite broad chested on both sexes. What they lack in the manners of progress and civilization, preferring to live in the wilds when given the choice, they make up for with determination and hardiness; centaurs often join causes for the good and the just. Centaurs generally roam in family groups similar to horse herds, founding nomadic tribes in the plains and lighter forests. There is little division between the sexes, and most centaurs have a good and honorable fighting spirit within, second only to their serene desire for peace. Oddly for a race so magical in design, centaurs do better in melee than anything. They have strong hearts and make for sturdy warriors and resourceful clerics. Their dedication to the natural world often turns their futures towards the guilds of rangers and druids, giving them a chance to heal the wounds of the earth around them.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Ranger, Druid, Shaman, Cleric, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Warrior Mage, Priest/Priestess, Earth Mage, Fire Mage

Chirot

Chirot, the bat people. An odd race, to say the least, some say primitive, usually stemming from their preferred living environment, however these people are sadly mistaken, the Chirot are as culturally advanced as the high humans. The Chirot live or "nest" as they call it in caves, however not the usual caves. The Chirot inhabit a large mountain range, with entrances high up in the rock, however these entrances lead to their actual "cities", large cavernous spaces cut out within the mountain itself, either by natural forces or the Chirot themselves, these spaces reach 160 feet high in some places. The Chirot actually build homes inside these spaces, from the rock they carve, they in fact do not carve out houses inside the rock, yet use their combined effort to hollow out large spaces and build cities inside them.

Chirot have an intense disdain for those with bird wings, for they are said to be the oppressors of the bat winged ones in the next plane of existence. Their appearance throughout the race is very similar, most Chirot have dark and even black hair, iris and pupils are black as well. They have pale white skin, and pointed shell like bat ears covered in coarse fur, usually brown or grey, then there's of course the leathery wings, ranging from tanned colors to complete black, the rest of their body is surprisingly similar to humans though, save for their teeth, which are sharp for rending flesh.

Starter Classes: Knight, Bard, Mage, Cleric, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Paladin, Air Mage, Necromancer, Seductress, Priest/Priestess, Warrior Mage, Water Mage

Drak Sen

Usually ranging from the height of 5'7" to 6'6" they are mortals borne from the dreams of dragons. Created to serve the great ones in their time of need, to govern themselves and watch the flows of time as the world passed. From times past the Dragon-kin kept a neutral outlook on the world they were created to watch, scribes unto themselves to record all of history as the dragons slept. Now, fully coming into view within the world of Belariath, they too seek to claim a part of history and let themselves be known, only in rarity akin to the Magi, for their first and only duty is that to those who spawned them, the Dragons.

Starter Classes:
Metallic Scales: Warrior, Thief, Bard, Healer, Shaman, Mage, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen
Earthly Scales: Druid, Ranger, Warrior, Shaman, Mage, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen
Bejeweled Scales: Knight, Bard, Mage, Healer, Shaman, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen
Mineral Scales: Thief, Shaman, Mage, Knight, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes:
Metallic Scales: Air Mage, Warrior Mage, Warlord
Earthly Scales: Earth Mage, Mist Raider, Warrior Mage, Hierophant
Bejeweled Scales: Paladin, Water Mage, Air Mage, Seductress
Mineral Scales: Necromancer, Seductress, Fire Mage, Warlord

Duessa

"…If anyone unwarily draws in too close and hears the whispers of the Duessa, his wife and children will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a green field and warble him to death with the sweetness of their song. There is a great heap of dead men's bones lying all around, with the flesh still rotting off them. Therefore pass these Duessa by, and stop your men's ears with wax that none of them may hear…"

They go by many names, to the elves they are known as "Whispers" and among the Cat-People they are called "Shades". For the humans, a young and simple species at best, they are referred to quite mistakenly as "Dark Nymphs". Oh, the physical resemblance is there, of that there can be little doubt, but that is where any similarities between these beings and Nymphs end. While Duessa (doo-es'-ah) is the formal name for this race, the more familiar and descriptive term "Whisper" is commonly used and the two terms are interchangeable.

Duessa are Nature Spirits, formed from the first chaotic breath of life, which spawned all of Gaea's Children in the dawn of creation. But somewhere along the line these fragile creatures took a different path, or heard a different, darker voice urging them forth. They are female, delightfully so, taller than their sister Nymphs by a head, but no less beautiful for it. Duessa have a distinctive Elvish cast to them, so that they will appear almost half-Elven, with finely angular features and pointed ears. High arched brows above a narrow aquiline nose. Their hair is luxurious and black as the darkest night. Their flesh pale, often with a faint bluish tinge, as if bloodless beneath their smooth flawless skin. Their full pouting lips as well seem drained of color, touched with the same pale azure of their finger and toenails. Only the Whisper's eyes are warm, uncomfortably so with bright humid colors, primarily reds and yellows, flickering like dancing flames, or a penetrating crimson, like embers smoldering beneath their dark locks.

Starter Classes: Mage, Shaman, Thief, Bard, Artisan, Entertainer

Advanced Classes: Necromancer, Seductress, All Elemental Mages

Dwarves

Dwarves lead lives of rugged splendor in their mountain range communities, where they often spend their entire lives within the stone, mining for gold, silver, and precious gems. These they use to decorate their extensive and grandiose underground cities as well as for commerce. They are a long-lived race, much like the more eye-pleasing elves; but like the elves, they too have their valuable assets, and their secrets. Usually, dwarves are taller than the more slender Halflings, but shorter by far than an average human. Their bodies are stocky, sturdy, their faces ruddy from their mining and mineral extraction processes, and their chins bearded, often on both sexes.

Dwarves enjoy magic and its trickery, but do not use it to rise above other races or to twist the world around their fat fingers. They are a very physical and defensive people, and will take their axes, their preferred weapons of battle, to bear upon anyone who questions their gods or their manners. Never insult a dwarf about his smell or his god or his choice of drink or women. And never cross an angry dwarf. Most of all, do not attempt to cross blades with an angry, drunken dwarf who hasn't been home to his people in some time and desperately needs a woman!

Starter Classes: Warrior, Cleric, Ranger, Knight, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Warlord, Priest/Priestess, Earth Mage, Fire Mage

Elves

Prehistory

According to legend, there was a time when all elves belonged to a single race, before they separated into the three types we now recognise.

Dark Elves

The Dark Elves live in the hostile depths of the Nethergloom: a place without any light, just the radiation of weird mushrooms and other plants. Their eyes, having once been accustomed to light, can still see just as well as any other elf in the light, however due to mutations and gifts bestowed on them by Kirva, they can see even where there is no light. However direct sunlight or other bright lights will weaken a Dark Elf who is not accustomed to it. A member of this race entering the surface world after living their entire life in the Nethergloom will be very weakened, up to the point where they are no more hard to kill or capture than any nymph. Continuous exposure to sunlight will diminish these effects until they disappear.

Starter Classes: Knight, Bard, Thief, Mage, Cleric, Ranger, Warrior, Healer, Shaman, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Warlord, Any Elemental Mage, Seductress, Necromancer, Mist Raider, Paladin, Priest/Priestess, Warrior Mage

High Elves

The high elves call themselves the first born. While the truth is that dragons were around long before high elves, it is true that the high elves created civilization, and with it art, technology, literacy, ritual magic's, and social injustice. Because of their achievement, high elves are among the most arrogant of races, considering all others far below them, suitable only for menial labor to their betters.

Starter Classes: Knight, Bard, Thief, Mage, Cleric, Ranger, Warrior, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Any Elemental Mage, Warlord, Seductress, Necromancer, Priest/Priestess, Paladin, Warrior Mage

Sylvan Elves

Much like their elfin cousins, Sylvan Elves consider themselves to be the only True Elves. They are said to be the only elves that have kept their affinity for nature as the central foundation of their culture, choosing to spend their time in harmony with their surroundings. The balance of nature and self becoming so central to the very foundation of whom they are that it is not unusual to see them become Rangers or Druids, though the occasional darker Shaman is not completely unheard of within their ranks.

Sylvan elves are often called the 'forest elves', tending to be somewhat reclusive, or even shy, preferring the comfort of their familiar trees and earth to the crowded existence of town. However, one must not completely discount the sylvan race for their slight nature, for they are often found to be fearsome adversaries when crossed, especially in defense of the forest that they find so sacred.

Starter Classes: Ranger, Bard, Thief, Mage, Druid, Shaman, Warrior, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Mist Raider, Hierophant, Any Elemental Mage, Seductress, Monk, Warrior-Mage

Fae

"At a time that is not a time,
in a place that is not a place,
on a day that is not a day..."

The Faery Realm, remains distant from Belariath, although it actually exist within. In this mundane time, there are times and places where the two worlds meet, where a traveler may wander into this Hidden Place. Between places are entrances into this Magical Realm: between Land and Sea, between Day and Night, between One Place and the Next. This is why gateways and doorways are a prime ways into the Otherworld. Standing within a doorway, one is neither in one place or the next, neither outside nor indoors. It allows us a passageway into the in between world of The Faeries. The Land of The Faeries takes on many guises. It is the Enchanted Forests. It is the Shadow World. It is the reaches of Heaven and the depths of Hell. Never-never Land. The Dream World. The places where Faeries dance in timeless revelry.

Starter Classes: Bard, Thief, Mage, Druid, Healer, Entertainer, Laymen, Artisan

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Seductress, Earth Mage, Fire Mage, Water Mage, Air Mage

Goblins

Since they first appeared in the land of Belariath the Goblins, also known as Orcs, have been a deep thorn in the side of 'civilized' society almost the world over. Finding little lasting welcome in any one place, they spread rapidly, mostly living in migratory packs, settling only in the fringes; the kinds of places where no one wants the land enough to bother to run them off.

They've gotten a bad rap over the centuries and perhaps rightfully so, for whenever a rogue warlord or ambitious Necromancer with a mind for some carnage needed an army, Goblins were almost always there. Rumor has it they were created by an evil Moriel with Necromantic powers in a bid to destroy the race of elves, a Necromancer who found his creation too inept and unwieldy to see his goals done. When asked if this is true, the average Goblin will only grin toothily and shrug.

Efforts have been made in the past to exterminate their kind outright, but no civilization that made the attempt still stands to tell of its failure. Thus, though hardly viewed as equals by modern society, the current Empire and those communities surrounding it accept Goblins as citizens, even if of a lower caste. Generally regarded as a race of dim-witted misbegots with no culture or society to speak of, few take Goblin kind or the threat they pose to authority seriously. This is a grave error.

Starter Classes: Bard, Warrior, Ranger, Thief, Shaman, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Monk, Warlord, Mist Raider, Necromancer

Halflings

Halflings are a small and understandably shy breed of people growing normally no more than three feet tall and looking for all intents and purposes very human. They can appear a bit rotund around the belly, having a good solid culture built in wine making and forest crop cultivation. Halflings tend to live in secreted away communities that can be near to impossible to find. They are a long-lived race, and not war born in the least. Given the opportunity, a Halfling will use his or her great agility and cunning to avoid contact with the taller races - more out of respect of differences than of size.

If forced to encounter another taller race, a Halfling is not something to be discounted due to their size or easily frightened nature. What they may lack in height or strength, they make up for in cunning and wiliness. Halflings prefer staves and daggers over large and ungainly weapons, and prefer to catch an opponent unsuspecting by ducking between the legs and slicing the Achilles tendon, rather than fighting head on. However, once a Halfling feels secure enough to approach or even speak to another race, it is very difficult to get them to shut up - I mean, cease in sharing their vast wisdom of the ages.

Starter Classes: Ranger, Bard, Thief, Druid, Warrior, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Mist Raider, Earth Mage, Water Mage

Humans

Barbarians

Barbarians can be said to exhibit and maintain the true primitive and original nature of all humankind. They have a more autocratic society and culture, and though they keep permanent settlements, they can be known to exude nomadic tendencies. What a true barbarian values is demonstrated by their choice of leaders. A good leader is strong and wise, able to lead his clan into battle and win, and come back home to wine, women and bawdy song. Magic is shrouded in superstition and treated with great respect, although it is not something many barbarians trust or indulge in. They trust what they see, smell and hear, as well as what their great hearts can feel.

An adult barbarian lives knowing that they have survived a childhood of hardship and character-building training, and has no doubt as to his or her value to the clan. Unlike high humans, barbarians do not create their societies depending on monetary assets or privilege. Among the barbarians, you fight for what you earn, and you keep it because you have the strength to defeat anyone who might have the courage or stupidity to try and take from you what is yours.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Bard, Shaman, Ranger, Druid, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen, Healer, Thief

Advanced Classes: Mist Raider, Monk, Warlord, Necromancer, Seductress, Hierophant, All Elemental Classes

High Humans

High humans are a progressive culture, working towards creating technologies to ease their short-lived years. They create refined cultures and exist in an extraordinary society built on detail and ranking. Humans are jacks-of-all-trades, and have their fingers in all professions, though they excel in the realms of the clerical arts and the magical. They pride themselves on their strong sense of discipline, which also leads them to be legendary knights of war and purposeful causes.

However, their close quarters within their cities often make humans distrusting or disrespectful of other races. Though they are not the most superior, having a shortened life span and few natural magical abilities, they tend to forget this and can act quite arrogantly and too self-assured in the presence of other races.

Starter Classes: Knight, Bard, Druid, Thief, Mage, Cleric, Healer, Warrior, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen,

Advanced Classes: All Elemental Mages, Hierophant, Priest/ess, Seductress, Necromancer, Warlord, Monk, Mist Raider, Paladin, Warrior Mages

The Tribe

The Tribe is made up of four clans of those tied to the same bloodline and a fifth clan known as the Spirit clan. Kay Clan is aligned with the powers of Wind and the East. Dies Clan is aligned with the powers of Fire and the South. Tul Clan calls on the powers of the Earth and the West. Jas Clan calls on the powers of Water and the North. The fifth clan is the Spirit Clan, a clan of spiritual shamans and warriors dedicated to the Tribe as a whole and able to use some powers from each clan and the powers of Spirit. The Tribe is nomadic in nature with a people physically larger then normal humans. Their skin is a bronze color with stark white hair and crystal red eyes.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Ranger, Mage, Druid, Shaman, Healer, Bard, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Warriors Mage, Hierophant, Seductress, Necromancer, Mist Raider, Monk, All Elemental Mages

Magi

May the Sun forever smile upon your face, and the Wind kiss gently at your wings. May all books be open to you, all paths be safe for you. May the clouds shelter you from harm, and the night sky rest softly on your shoulders, with the Stars to light your way, and the Moon forever bright. May the world be yours to wonder at, but most importantly of all - may the Goddess ever keep her light ablaze in your heart.
- Old Magi Blessing.

Above all else, the Magi are devoted. Their one true calling, their ultimate purpose, is to serve their Goddess, Morpheous. In return, Morpheous grants them feathered wings of all colors imaginable, and forms to marvel at, with skin tone varying from jet black to the palest ivory. They stand larger than life, head and shoulders over the Torians that resemble them, yet still take to the air with the greatest of ease. Magic comes as naturally as flight, spells and enchantments leaping from their hands with but the slightest encouragement. Their home, Oceana, is a continent that floats in the skies above the ocean, far to the West of Nanthalion, held far above the water by powerful magic. The vast majority of Magi live there, without ever leaving their home. But as with every race, some wander, roam, and travel the lands below. Some even make their way to Nanthalion...

Starter Classes: Magi

Advanced Classes: Magi

Merfolk

Much legend and myth surrounds the Merfolk, that strange and fin-tailed race who dwell in the great waters of Belariath, but very little actual fact in regards to just who and what they are exists in the public mind. This isn't because these facts aren't available, many Merfolk who have chosen to walk the land are ready enough to explain their past, their culture, and their history... but such tales are rather dull in comparison to the wild yarns the other races tend to weave, and most of them prefer being entertained to being informed.

What is known of them is that while immersed in the waters their hips are scaled, and those curves end in a long and flat-finned tail of varying and often beautiful coloration. They can swim near as swift as a lean-built porpoise, but rarely reach such speeds for anything but joy's sake, the Merfolk having no natural predators in their waters, able to both outstrip and outsmart even the Sea Serpents of legend, or so it is said. When Merfolk find themselves on land, their scales gradually recede, their long tails forming a pair of long and usually delicate legs.

Starter Classes: Mage, Druid, Cleric, Bard, Knight, Entertainer, Artisan, Laymen, Healer, Warrior

Advanced Classes: Water Mage, Paladin, Hierophant, Warrior Mage, Monk, Seductress, Priest/Priestess

Minotaurs

Minotaurs are a race very human in body shape, yet set apart from humankind by having great bovine heads, faces, and feet. Their bodies are often covered in a short fur like any cows might be. They grow to an immense height of ten to thirteen feet, their long and often curving horns adding a few feet extra. There is no division between the sexes in this culture, yet there is a division between social standing. Most Minotaur have a ring through their nose; it is by the material this ring is made of that a minotaur shows their place in their delicate societal structure. A golden ring is a sign of royalty. Silver rings demonstrate noble birth and breeding. A simple steel ring through the nose shows that the Minotaur in question is a commoner or possibly a slave.

Minotaurs are treated with understandable deference among the other races, as they are very strong and able to create jewelry and armor, weaponry, with great ease. However, beneath their leathery hides, Minotaur carry an understanding of the world unlike most other races, and hearts and spirits as warm as a smithy's forge.

Starter Classes: Mage, Knight, Warrior, Shaman, Druid, Bard, Entertainer, Artisan, Laymen, Healer, Cleric

Advanced Classes: Warlord, Earth Mage, Warrior Mage, Fire Mage, Water Mage, Necromancer, Hierophant, Priest(ess)

Nymphs

Dryads

The Forest Nymphs, or Dryads as they are more properly known, are perhaps the most numerous, or at least the most common encountered. They share the underlying spirit natural to the forests and woods of Belariath. Some seem to associate themselves with a single tree or species of plant, such as an Apple Dryad who may inhabit a small orchard. Others feel an attachment to larger areas, caring for all the trees and plants in a wooded valley. All Dryads have a tree, which will be their home, the kind of tree seems to be a matter of personal choice, perhaps reflecting the Nymph's personality to some degree.

Most Dryads have coloration reflecting their affinity with nature, with hair and eyes of green or brown, although in truth very nearly any and every color has been reported. Such shades are typically gentle however, pastel and pleasing to the eye. Their skin ranges from soft gold to verdant green and the hue often brightens noticeably when the Nymph becomes excited or aroused.

Starter Classes: Bard, Thief, Mage, Druid, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Seductress, Water Mage, Earth Mage, Air Mage

Naiads

The Naiads, or Water Nymphs, are similar to the Nereids, but inhabit the freshwater ponds, streams, and springs common to the wilderness of Belariath. They are usually encountered as they bathe among the reeds and lilies of a quiet pool and if disturbed will quickly disappear with a bare ripple, only to reemerge a moment later with shy smile and curious gaze. They rarely leave their watery lairs, though they too are comfortable on dry ground and it is not so uncommon to see them wandering the nearby paths, usually in the company of a Satyr or two.

Some Water Nymphs have skin as white as the petals of a water lily's blossom, others of a blue so deep as to be taken for black. Pale shades of blue are the most common, with eyes and hair somewhat brighter, the effect of the whole akin to drowning a man's senses with pleasure.

Starter Classes: Bard, Thief, Mage, Druid, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Seductress, Water Mage, Earth Mage, Air Mage

Nereids

The Sea Nymphs, or Nereids to use their proper name, are most comfortable in the depths of the seas and oceans of the world. They are somewhat more rare, most being understandably reluctant to travel any distance from their undersea homes. They are however, quite comfortable physically in or out of the water and can sometimes be seen capering happily on the warm sands of a secluded beach, or simply lounging languidly on the cool wet rocks, well worn by wind and wave, just beyond the breaking surf.

Nereids have complexions ranging from sea green to ocean blue, and a thousand shades in between. Their hair also varies, from green to blue, often streaked with white. Their eyes are often thought to change color, much as the sea changes with its moods, from calm green or blue, to cold gray or even black. But their skin is always warm and only rarely will a Sea Nymph's eyes stay dark for long.

Starter Classes: Bard, Thief, Mage, Druid, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Seductress, Water Mage, Earth Mage, Air Mage

Oreads

The mountains and rocky grottos of the Belariath highlands are home to the Oreads, the Mountain Nymphs. These fair creatures are among the most shy of all nature spirits, rarely emerging from their alpine sanctuaries. They watch over the majestic pine and redwood forests, barely accessible to even the most experienced forester, and rarely breached by human step.

Oreads are shaded gray, like the distant mountains they inhabit, with flawless skin warm and smooth as smoke. They may be light as the summits or dark as shadows cast long, most often somewhere in between. Black hair and eyes are the most common, although those from the highest peaks are often marked with the white of virgin snow, and brilliant blue of azure skies. When standing still she may appear statuesque, but the Oread herself is a far cry from her cold and stony home.

Starter Classes: Bard, Thief, Mage, Druid, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Seductress, Water Mage, Earth Mage, Air Mage

Sylphs

The Nymphs of the Air are known as Sylphs, and they are something of a mystery, in and of themselves. Where the other Nymphs are associated to a geological feature, or area, the Sylphs are vagabonds. They travel as the wind may blow it seems, without purpose and without cease. They are capable of flight, though they have no visible wings, able to float gently on the unseen currents high above the earth. It is said they make their homes on clouds, and come to ground only to ease the loneliness such a solitary life must bring. It does seem as if they are drawn to their journeys, rarely staying long in any one place, just enough to refresh their memories of laughter and gentle touches.

Sylphs are usually somewhat pale, with light blue eyes and hair, though this is not always the case. They are slender and seemingly delicate; their hair extremely fine and there seems to be a soft constant breeze blowing around them, tugging at the thin filament of their shawls. They may appear somewhat subdued for a Nymph or distracted perhaps, but typical of their kind, Air Nymphs are quick to smile and their initial shyness is easily overcome.

Starter Classes: Bard, Thief, Mage, Druid, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Seductress, Water Mage, Earth Mage, Air Mage

Ogres

Ogres are best distinguished and known for their huge shaggy bodies and extraordinary ugliness. This pales in comparison to their general lack of intelligence, however. They are slow to move and slow to think, but once they begin an action or a thought process, they become virtual juggernauts due to their natural tenacity and great strength. Ogres are muscular and often appear to bulge both around their bellies and their arms and thighs. Thus, they can take a great deal of damage and make great meat shields for casting races to hide behind in the heat of war. Their preferred weapon of battle is the club; it is easy to wield, easy to replace, and requires more physical action than thought.

However, it should be noted that ogres are considered a 'hungry' race; being built in proportion, an ogre male can cause great amounts of damage to almost any female who is not of his own race. And ogres have vast appetites for any female that is not of their own race; given what race they are, this cannot be held against them.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Shaman, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Warlord, Necromancer, Earth Mage

Pixies and Nixies

The male Nixies and their female counterparts, the Pixies, seem to be one of the few nature races who manifest themselves as both male and female, unlike the Satyrs, for example, who are all male, or the Nymphs who are exclusively female. Nixies and Pixies are smallish beings, able to change their form to a limited degree depending on their surroundings. In their homes, located in the remote and largely unexplored areas of the forests, they typically stand between 12 and 18 inches in height. When they leave their homes, especially on those rare occasions when the Nixie or Pixie will venture into the company of humans or elves, they are able to increase their size to about 4.5 feet or so. In the wilds Nixies and Pixies dress in light loose clothing fashioned from leafy plants and flowers. In the company of other races, they tend to dress in bright colorful silks, or similar fine fabrics. They are naturally comfortable within any extremes of heat or cold typical of their home environment and do not actually require clothing of any kind for protection from the elements.

Starter Classes: Ranger, Thief, Bard, Druid, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Mist Raider, Air Mage

Satyrs

Satyrs - Sex/nature creatures of the woodlands, plains, water and air. Several races united mainly by the fact that they are male only, very libidinous followers of the Great Generator. Satyrs are thought to be called into existence by the sexual ambience of Belariath itself. Nobody, including Satyrs, knows where they come from. About small to average height with no more than average human musculature. They do not tend to fatten but stay nice and lean. They have pointed ears, the horns and legs of goats with otherwise generally human features.

Starter Classes: Artisan, Bard, Entertainer, Laymen, Druid, Ranger, Healer, Thief, Mage

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Earth Mage

Sheyka

The Sheyka are a nomadic race, moving their tribe from place to place seasonally, following a traditional route that is known to keep them with enough food to supply their camp. It is rare to see them for any length of time and, more so, to see one planted firmly by means of purchasing their own land and/or building a house. They are often confused with Dark Elves, but have subtle differences if one pays attention. They are taller than most Dark Elves, but they have a similar build, usually ranging from six to seven feet tall. They are customarily lean from the hard way they live. Skin tones range anywhere from brown to a dark ebony with hair that is typically white, but other colors have been seen upon occasion. They have rounded ears, a feature that further differentiates them from Dark Elves. Sheyka tend to have extraordinary eyes, vibrant violet or muted blue orbs that can be seen through the masks the nomadic folk are known for wearing when socializing outside of their own tribe; one of many rituals that remain deeply seeded within their traditions.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Ranger, Druid, Shaman, Bard, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen, Healer

Advanced Classes: Warlord, Mist Raider, Necromancer, Hierophant, Earth Mage

Sithians

Sithians are an ancient race with the upper bodies resembling humans and lower that of a snake's, once claiming a huge expansive region of land as their own when the climate of Belariath was warmer. Their ruins can be seen throughout Belariath; crumbling funerary mounds with serpentine runes etched upon stone, and grassy hills that are in actuality pyramids eroded away by time. In the modern age, they have grown low in number, and have been isolated in their jungle homes, protecting their land unyieldingly with deadly force. They are creatures of sensuality and bestial savagery, bound by their rituals to serve their hungry and ancient god Tepictuc, the ravenous god of earth.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Knight, Thief, Ranger, Shaman, Cleric, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen, Healer, Mage

Advanced Classes: Warrior Mage, Priest/Priestess, Paladins, Necromacer, Any Elemental Mage, Seductress

Swan Maidens

The Swan Maidens, or Swan May as they are sometimes known, are a form of nature spirit. They appear to be always female and only rarely encountered on the wilds. Even rarer is the appearance of one in the more civilized reaches of Belariath. Their exact origin is a mystery, like that of most of the woodland beings, for they are not overly given to discussing such personal matters. They are rather less sociable than most nature races, not sharing the same extroverted personalities, which even the most shy of Nymphs, will exhibit in comfortable surroundings. They are often depicted as the queens of the forest, aloof and serene, with all the grace and beauty the very name might suggest.

Starter Classes: Mage, Druid, Artisan, Laymen, Healer, Entertainer

Advanced Classes: Air Mage, Water Mage, Priestess, Seductress

Torians

Torians are a race of angel-like beings that mostly resemble humans with the main addition being a pair of exquisite wings on their back. Torians typically live anywhere where life can be supported; they are a wandering race who have learned to adapt to the climate and can survive in a number of places, from the heights of mountains to the windswept grassy plains. Torians are typically 5'4" to 5'7" tall on average, with a variety of eye and hair colors. The vast majority of Torians have white wings stretching perhaps eight to twelve feet in span... however; deviations from white are not uncommon. Black, red, and purple are generally considered colors of ill fortune while gold, blue, and cream are considered prosperous and lucky.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Ranger, Bard, Mage, Druid, Shaman, Healer, Entertainer, Laymen, Artisan

Advanced Classes: Warrior Mage, Mist Raider, Fire Mage, Air Mage, Seductress, Necromancer, Hierophant

Trolls

Trolls are one of the more misunderstood races in the realm of Belariath. They are great lumbering brutes, hulking much like ogres. However, what a troll lacks in comparison to an ogre's only slightly greater strength, they make up for in intelligence. Trolls have pointed and often floppy ears, long oft-crooked or bulbous noses, and squinting eyes beneath heavy brows that make them very sensitive to bright light. Given their naturally dark toned skin, resembling either the gray or black of mountain stone, the green of deepest swamplands, or the brown of earth and mud, one can almost assume trolls are a nocturnal race. A troll will use the night and the shadows to sneak into unsuspecting camps and steal people right from their beds to drag back to their caves or abodes, there to ravish them in more ways than one.

Their general inability to maintain social groups, discover or invent new things, or even create a true culture or belief system leaves people assuming wrongly that trolls are stupid and base born creatures. This, of course, merely works to the troll race's advantage. Trolls also regenerate, and a great school of thought has focused on how this is done.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Shaman, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Warlord, Warrior Mage, Earth Mage

Vulpines

The Vulpine race has evolved alongside, though along a different path as their Wolven brothers. In seeming opposition to the Wolven's, they believe their path is magical and not physical, finding themselves to be a merge of the physical and spiritual aspects of life. To this they credit their 'mother', whom the Vulpine believe to be a ten-tailed lady of radiant white. Their values also oppose those of the Wolven, for the Vulpine value wisdom, and knowledge over strength. Less dominant than the Wolven race they are occasionally forced into contest with their 'brothers' though neither side has yet to claim complete superiority yet. The Vulpine view this as one more example of the greater struggle between body and mind. Some similarities remain between the two, much like the Wolven Rangers; Vulpine Rangers are excellent hunters and trackers using a combination of natural and magical gifts in their hunt. Their cunning nature also makes them deadly enemies in large numbers, a group of which can bring a rain of fire down upon an enemy encampment.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Ranger, Mage, Shaman, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen, Healer

Advanced Classes: Warlord, Warrior Mage, Hierophant, Mist Raider, Any Elemental Mage, Seductress

Wemic

The Wemic race is a combination of lion and human. They possess two torsos; one is that of a lion. The second, stemming from the shoulders of the feline torso, is that of a human. Almost all Wemics have faces that are entirely human, save for the rounded ears and horizontally slited pupils.

Starter Classes: Entertainer, Artisan, Laymen, Druid, Shaman, Healer, Cleric, Warrior, Ranger

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Warrior Mage, Priest/Priestess, Earth Mage, Fire Mage

Wolven

The race of Wolven in Belariath is a largely misunderstood one. Wolven are not werewolves - they do not switch between human form and wolf form. There are many stories about how the wolven came to be, but most believe that like most of the mixed races, they are a result of magical experiments by wicked magi. The Wolven themselves believe they were created by the Gods to be the mortal embodiment of hunting. They represent the mergence of Man and Nature and are entitled to dominion over all other creatures. They value strength, courage, and skill in battle above all else.

For most outsiders, the Wolven encountered will be a proud warrior, wearing armor fashioned from his conquests and carrying a deadly hunting spear or bow, embellished with intricate carvings of his exploits. Wolven Rangers are renowned throughout the realm for their abilities as trackers and guides. But the unwary should always remember that while a Pack of Wolven can appear regal, even noble as they tilt their heads back and howl beneath the full and potent moon, Wolven in numbers usually mean death - Likely after a lengthy round of sexual ravishment.

Starter Classes: Warrior, Ranger, Mage, Shaman, Druid, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Warlord, Warrior Mage, Hierophant, Mist Raider, Seductress, Any Elemental Mage