There are many races and creatures that inhabit the fantasy world that Kohta’s adventures take place in. This page is dedicated to providing background information on those Races that are known to create established societies and civilisations in the world, i.e. build cities, live in towns or villages or gather together in closely connected migratory tribal groups. As new races are discovered and new societies introduced they will be added here. If a creature is lacking in the perceived traits of civilisation, it’s background information will be added to the Bestiary page instead.
There are two primary groups of Orcs in the setting basically divided along ideological lines, the line between civilisation and barbarian. The terms are strongly held by both sides, the Wilds Orcs are proud of their barbaric heritage and strongly oppose the ‘weak’ civilised lives of their city dwelling distant cousins. The City Orcs on the other hand resent their savage cousins and view them as unwanted throwbacks to a darker time in their past.
Satori Orcs (City Orc)
Believed to be the descendants of the Orc hero Sa’Tor, the so called ‘city orcs’, they were thought to be found solely on the Eastern Isles until the overthrow of the Shan Dynasty when those still loyal to the fallen Emperor, both Orc and Human, were banished from their homelands, and scattered across the known world to live as refugees.
Though Satori Orcs claim they are the true Orc bloodline and many noble families claim they can trace their lineage back to Sa’Tor himself, there are those who believe that their race began due to interbreeding between Humans and Orcs.
This would explain the physical capabilities of Satori, being both bigger and stronger than humans, but smarter and more quick witted than orcs. However this view is not accepted by Satori scholars. Additionally the term Half-Orc is not used to describe Satori, as the term is used for a different creature from legend.
The Satori Orcs are generally considered a wise and honourable race, preferring to live in stable agricultural communities, or urbanized city centres, rather than the migratory hunter gatherer tribes of other Orcs. They practice the art of bushido and pride themselves on their ironclad sense of duty, honour and above all restraint. As Orcs they suffer from the same rage that consumes their Wild Orc cousins, however over many generations they have learned to repress their more base urges deep within themselves, and so now most Satori Orc’s are able to live peaceful and serene lives free from chaotic and berserk violence. However not all Satori Orcs are capable of such control, and there are some, especially during trying or stressful times, that succomb to their inner rage, these individuals are looked down upon by the rest of City Orc society as shamed individuals who lack personal control.
Orcs (Wilds Orcs)
Normal Orcs are distant (both groups insist very distant) cousins of the Satori Orcs, and are believed by many to be more beast than man. Organised into loose tribal groups such as the Jen’ha, the Shakkhan and the Boos Boos Li, they are much taller and broader than their more civilised cousins, though they lack the greater breadth of knowledge and wisdom of the Satori.
Their preferred habitats are the high mountains and deep swamps and jungles of the land, but they can be found anywhere there is good prey, or those they view as weak, as they prefer to hunt their food or raid for resources. They are migratory, and view the city building peoples of the world as inferior for their need to hide from the elements behind stone. However they have been known to peacefully co-exist with other racial groups, and even to visit human settlements to trade on occasion.
The Orcs and Satori Orcs hold no love for each other; in fact they have had a deep seated rivalry and hatred that has smouldered for as long as anyone can remember. The Orcs see the Satori as weak and happily raid Satori caravans or refugee camps where they can, whereas the Satori Orcs see the Orcs as a barbaric throwback to the past, and despise their lack of honour or cultural respect.
Elves are generally divided by the outside world into four main groups, these groups are physically and culturally distinct from each other, but yet each group itself is comprised of multiple different races, factions and sub-groups which can be as alien to each other as between the main races.
The four main groups are known to outsiders as,
High Elves, Dark Elves, Wild Elves and Imperial Elves.
High Elves are possibly mythical creatures of untold virtue and purity, they are said to have angelic wings and live among the clouds in shining cities of gold. Very little at all is known about their society and most believe them to be nothing but legend.
Dark Elves are a step down in myth, there are many old and dark tales that talk of dark skinned creatures that inhabit the deep dark places, far from the light. Whilst many of these stories have the ring of myth or legend to them they have been confirmed to have a common source, the Dark Elves.
Dark Elves tend to live in many places, though most dwell in the dark caverns and spaces beneath the surface, where they live in secret from those who live above. Not much is known about them as a people or their society, but they’re affects on history and occasional sightings are too numerous to discount the race as mere myth. To the learned they exist, and if the legends are true, they pose a terrible threat to all the mortal races.
Wild Elves are again a step down in intangibility. They are rarely seen in the more densely populated regions of the world, preferring the untamed wilds to the stone canyon cities of man or dwarf or imperial elf. Wild Elves can be found in almost any terrain, in woods or jungles, deserts or tundra, among the cave systems of the volcanic regions to the many sunny islands of the world’s oceans.
Usually they travel alone or in small isolated family groups, but occasionally they gather together into larger tribes or extended family units, either for cultural or protective reasons. But what is always the case however, is that Wild Elves are migratory, never settling down in one spot for too long before moving on to the next. Thus making them very hard to document, and making estimates of their numbers and dispositions almost impossible at this point.
Unlike the other races of elf, who appear to have many sub-species connected by a unified lineage, the term Wild Elf seems to be an umbrella term that covers many distinct racial elven groups that share common societal features, such as living in small tribal groups and migratory behaviour but do not appear to be genetically related at all.
Imperial Elves, by far the least mysterious group of elves, the Imperial Elves are known to all in the world and in the Tal cities in particular. Again despite what the name suggests not all Imperial Elves live in the Imperial Realm, though it is believed that that is where they all originate. There are several small kingdoms and city states created by Imperial Elves dotted throughout the known world, but they all tend to keep the same cultural ticks.
Imperial Elves prefer the habits of cities to the wilderness and untamed lands of their Wild Elf kin. They are renowned as a martial race, but also one well-schooled in both technology and magic, aswell as well schooled in the arts and academia.
Imperial Elves prefer stability above all else and will instinctively seek to dominate any region or environment they inhabit, and if necessary, or occasionally just possible, they will subjugate the other mortal races so as to better control their environment and avoid upheaval. Unlike groups of Wild Elves, who look to adapt to their environment, the Imperial Elf will instinctively seek to change their environment to suit them.
Humans come in many shapes and sizes, and are scattered across much of the world. Humans are the dominant race in the Eastern Isles and the Tal Cities, and make up the majority of subjects in the Imperial Realm and the lands far to the east and south.
The main human racial groups are as follows.
Humans who live in the Imperial Realm, and make up the vast majority of its peoples. The humans of the Imperial Realm are a large mixture of races, tribes and subservient nations, all of whom swear fealty to the Imperial Court. Most humans in the Imperial Realm live and die without ever seeing beyond their home valley or town, but for a lucky few, Imperial service offers a ticket to see the wider world. If a human is smart enough, strong enough, or just lucky enough, they can make it far in the Imperial Army or the Bureaucracy, but all know that the highest ranks are always the sole domain of the elves.
Humans make up the majority of the peoples who live in the Tal Cities, the local Lushani have lived in the area for many thousands of years, living along the regions many waterways, and in time have raised great cities along the coast. Lushani make fine sailors, and their ships are known in every known port of the world, where their traders ply their ways.
Once the Lushani people were free, but several generations ago the Imperials broke through the Barrier Mountains and brought the Tal Cities to heel. Ever since the Lushani have lived under the rule of the Imperials, but they are far from the Imperial Court, and so enjoy more freedoms than most in the Empire. But times are changing, there are many that wonder why they should live under the rule of a foreign power, and there are some who seek to change the status quo.
Hailing from a large number of small islands far to the south, the Islanders is a colloquial term that is used for the migrants and their descendants who have moved to the Tal Cities to find work and a better life than the abject poverty of their home islands.
Whilst Imperial and Lushani humans are physically very similar, the darker skin, white hair and taller, more muscled builds of the islanders sets them apart visually, and their Ocean Spirit Worship sets them even further culturally apart. As such there is much tension between the Islander groups in the Tal Cities, and the native Lushani. This tension has been exacerbated in recent years by the arrival of refugees fleeing the fall of the Shan Dynasty in the Eastern Isles, with a new more desperate and urgent source of cheap labour arriving, the tension with the Islander migrants is nearing a breaking point.
The Dwarven Kingdoms are a few scattered holdings and cities that stand alone amongst the remnants of their once vast subterranean empire, a nation which was shattered by some unknown calamity at the beginning of what the Dwarves call the Second Age. But that was over thousands of years ago and the long dark days of the Dwarves wandering through the darkness is coming to an end.
Prophets and preachers in the streets of Dwarven cities have begun calling for the end of the Second Age, and the beginning of a new one, an Age of Reclamation where the Dwarves return to their ancient holds and reclaim their birthright as masters of the earth. This is opposed by the growing cultural blacklash of the younger generations who, having grown up never knowing the wonders of the ancient Dwarven Empire, wish to seek a new destiny and rewrite what it means to be a Dwarf. Inspired by living among the surface races these young dwarves shirk the traditions and dour responsibilities that have been the hallmarks of their people, and instead seek a brighter future, one filled with the wonders of exploration, fueled by a thirst for technological discovery.
At this moment the Dwarven Kingdoms are at a crossroad, behind them lies a long and terrible past, filled with much loss and despair, and in front of them lie two competing paths, that could save their people, or tear them apart.
Goblins are a species of short humanoids known for their elongated ears and unusual skin pigmentation, they are believed to be distantly related to Orcs. Goblins are tenacious creatures with a propensity for adapting to their environments, and hence can be found just about anywhere and thrive in any environment. Goblin’s lives are generally shorter than most mortal races, but have a faster breeding cycle and are quicker at adapting to new situations.
Whilst some stories paint them as ferocious beasts that raid human towns and steal children away in the dark of night, the truth is that Goblins are much like any other mortal race. They live in extended family units, preferring to dwell in small villages among their own kind, and even when living in human cities they will group together and form their own little village communities apart from the rest of the city.
Each tribe and extended family group has their own sets of cultural tradition and historical legends, and some of which even have their own gods. Goblin villages and communities are notorious for the depth and complexity of their politics, and as a community increases in number it will inherently grow more fractious until a breaking point occurs when one, or multiple groups of Goblins will leave the village to start a new village in another location. This can occur relatively frequently, and is expected to happen once a twice a generation.