Blood and Steam
The Races of Iron
Here I will address the new addition of races included in the Players Handbooks. I am going to attempt to include them as much as possible without altering the flavor of the world itself. This may require some alterations to the races as Dark Sun did to the races. Click the name link for stat-block builds and changes such as changes to Dragonborn (Dragonspawn) or Trollkin.
Civilized Races of the Human Kingdoms
Goblins in the Iron Kingdoms fall into two groups: Gobbers and Bogrin. Gobbers have been widely accepted into human society as they show a human-like social quality and values. They are swift learners and adept engineers. Bogrin on the other hand are the more feral of the goblin species. They are fierce warriors and still lean toward the more savage bent. Prejudices still occur with people who have been on the less civil end of a goblin confrontation, but as a whole, goblins are accepted fully into society.
Half-elves are rare if not non-existent. Racial prejudices on both sides of the family are so strong that they keep the production of such offspring to near non-existent.
Half-elves are shunned by their elven families and discriminated against by their human families. The elves see them as a product of rape and violence and usually jump to the conclusion that “Any half-elf born was a product of a human raping an elf.” The elven thought also consists of the idea that anything part human is an abomination. Whether that is true matters not. Humans see them as too close to elven to be trusted as a human and so half-elves are treated as little more than gutter trash within human lands ever since the Ios and Nyss elves removed themselves from civilization.
It is not uncommon for half-elves in human lands to cut, trim or mutilate their ears to look like human ears or tattoo or pierce themselves in order to disguise their elven side. Half-elves in elven societies are raised with half as much care as a full elven child. Most if not all half-elves in Iosan settlements leave when they come of age either due to desire to escape the oppressive lifestyle or because they have been pushed into leaving. There are no known living Nyss half-elves as you could guess as to why.
Halflings are not “halflings” there are nationalities of Humans who exhibit a shorter stature than standard humans of the Western Immoren. Morridane, Tordoran, Caspian, Sulese & Idrian (most notably some central and southern kingdoms) fall into these nationalities. You can build these nationalities using the Halfling or Human templates from the Players Handbook.
The Helspawn are despised by the elves. The originators of the race have long died and are long forgotten but the elves see them as abominations still. A combination of human and devil, no one remembers the original city or place where these fiends were birthed but despite this, their appearance alone carries the stigma of their heritage. While allowed in human cities, Helspawn are watched closely and treated with a mix of caution and disdain. Helspawn approaching any Nyss or Iosan city or settlement are murdered outright by it’tes scouts or inhabitants.
It is not uncommon for helspawn to find themselves in the service of secret arcana societies or thieves guilds as these places are the most likely to accept them. They are barred from military service within human lands as there is an underlying fear of corruption or associations with dark forces.
Humans are the dominant species among the civilized races. They are the primary races within most if not all major metropolises. This said, they come in a wide variety of ethnicities which are outlined in the link. Due to their differences and heritages, humans are commonly prejudiced against opposing nations and their members. The humans have, however, banded together to fight a common foe on a few occasions, one of such being the war with the Orgoth.
See Nationalities for information on appropriate background traits for humans (or other human civilization races) if you wish for extra benefit for heritage.
As with the eladrin, the gnomes were ripped from their homelands in a chaotic event that temporarily crossed the two realms. The gnomes however did not find solace with the Iossan elves, instead their natural light attitudes and boisterous senses of humor endeared them into human civilization. However, due to any race with prejudices, they are treated as second class citizens and are considered little more than foolish entertainers most times. Some more serious gnomes can be found working as apprentices for steam-work guilds and occasionally a well trained gnome will own / run a shop in a seedier part of towns. At first they were considered a separate breed of halfling who are considered to simply be small humans, but their noticeable differences ended this when more of them sprung up looking for a place to belong. Most gnomes find themselves in the slum districts of cities working for the entertainment or in the service of others.
Barbaric Races of Fallen Molgur
Half Ogrun are, as their name states, the offspring of humans and ogrun. When the Molgur tribes were united, humans and ogrun mated occasionally. This led to the production of half-breed offspring. These children of Molgur eventually followed the parental lineage of their choice when the tribes disbursed. This disbursement caused the half ogrun to become much more widespread.
Ogrun have a long history with the dwarves of Rhul. Once the primary warrior race of the long scattered Mulgor barbarian tribe, Ogrun were always very spiritual despite their combat prowess. Perhaps one of the largest races in Immoren, towering over civilized races and even monsters, Ogrun are an imposing sight. The Ogrun tribes of the north gave up worship of The Devourer Wurm long ago when they chose to join with the dwarven kingdom, where they learned stonework. They embraced the worship of Dhunia readily and maintain their spirituality as a very valuable part of their culture.
Ogrun can be found from other places across Immoren as upon the breaking of the Mulgor not all went north to Rhul. Some scattered to the forests and hills of the Central and Southern Kingdoms. Few fled to the islands of Schard and even fewer took their prowess to fight alongside the vile Nightmare Hoards of Cryx.
Trollkin have evolved beyond what their ancestral trolls once were. This primarily occurred when the smaller trollkin removed intelligent species from their diet. They are tribal in nature still despite their association with the more civilized races. They form tight-knit tribes called kith and are tied to neighboring kith called kriel. Every group of kriel are governed by one group called the Circle of Stones. Each kith is identified by a quitari, a tartan pattern that distinguishes their kith. These patterns are worn in the form of a sash about the shoulders or belt or loincloth.
Trollkin have slowly integrated into human society due primarily to their weaving trade, trollkin are master weavers and their patterns are elaborate enough to boggle the mind of other races tradesmen. This and their natural warrior stature and willingness to work for cheap, has made them welcome in human military and in heavy labor. Trollkin have a slight prejudice against all other races in the fact that they view them as “weak-blooded” but for those that they revere or respect they insist that the individual was “born a trollkin” or a trollkin in a past life.
Other Barbaric Races
Spawn of the vile dragons, dragonborn are subject to many legends and lore among civilized races. Some tales tell that one of the great dragons fell in love with a human arcanist, deceived him with a disguise of humanity and bore his children. The offspring were so hideous that he shunned her and abandoned her in the wilds. When he left he cursed her to remain stuck in human form for eternity, surrounded by her vile offspring.
Still other tales suggest a form of draconic lycanthropy gone awry, cursing standard humans and elves to grow scales and tails and transform into half-dragon-half-human monsters. These monsters are the subjects of tales told to frighten young children into not wandering too far from home. No civilized race knows the truth any longer and any of the above could be true or false. Only a few facts are known about these people; that they are barbaric, that they are frightening and fierce warriors, that they have inherited the power of flame or vitriolic breath and that they are not to be trifled with.
These spawn of the dragon make their camps and small villages in the wooded wilds of Khador and Ord. There have been few times when a scouting military team went into said wilderness only to have a lone survivor or so return with tales of roaring bellows ringing through the trees at night, gnashing teeth and horrendous scaled hides taking out entire troops. Dragon-Spawn are so rare in civilized lands that they are considered truly myth. The appearance of one would bring fear to it’s civilized viewers as the few dragons themselves are things of great terror.
The great mountain people, thought by civilized nations to be the mere offspring of giants, are actually a race giants themselves, albeit smaller and more rational. They hail from the icy mountainous barbaric tribes in northern Khador and Llael where they thrive with the land. They are accepted within human cities but are still treated with caution as they are known to be generally well behaved unless pressed. During the Orgoth wars Khador and Llael tried to convince the Giant-kin to join the fight but the giant-kin were having their own problems defending themselves from their own enemies and refused to put their forces on another war-front.
The Iosan are a “jingoistic” people, walled away in their kingdom of Ios where any non-elf daring to tread swiftly finds themselves in a whole new world of trouble. The Iosan people are xenophobic and staunchly protective of their kingdom. They have had nothing but plight since before most human historians can recall.
The Iosan gods are dead, all but one, and she is fluttering on the brink herself. The Iosan blame men and their new found gift of arcana for the draining of their deities. Whether this idea is true or false matters not to the Iosan. They are undergoing frightening trials where their lifestyle is fading, their gods are dead, and worse yet… Their children are being born without souls. All of these things lead to their hatred of other races and their need to isolate themselves.
In 80 CR, when the Orgoth Wars were at their peak, the only thing that was effective in holding the Orgoth hoard back was arcane magicks. When the Orgoth discovered this tactic they went about purging any dominion and any conquered city or state of all arcana users, any device used for such and anything remotely related to arcana. The Feywild was an unknown place that was parallel to this world but not of it. During the Orgoth purge of arcana a handful of arcanists knew that their only hope was to keep their powers about them. In their struggle to hide from their pursuers these mages tore a hole between the two realities and this forced creatures of the Feywild through. Among these were the Eladrin and Gnome races who upon entering the world were beset on all sides by warring nations and monsters. They hid among the Iossan elves and when their deities began to die the Eladrin carried on with them, taking up their distaste of arcana due to the fact that it tore them from their homelands and letting their shared opinion form an even stronger bond.
Eladrin are commonly found among the Iossan and don’t venture far into human territory. When they must they usually take on roles as martial combatants against the scourge of reckless arcana. Many Eladrin are Mage Hunters or Mage Assassins.
Where the Iosan elves hole up in their kingdom and mourn their dying goddess, the Nyss have moved on. They hate the Iosan elves and any who ally themselves with them, they feel they are weak and pathetic and refuse to suffer one to live. Truely they will slay any pathetic Iosan elf that finds it’s way beyond the massive Winter Stones that guard the boundaries of their new home.
Nyss elves are rugged, rough and harsh. They had to become such after leaving the rest of the elven lands centuries ago to travel north to find new salvation. They are closed off to other peoples of the world but when there are goods to be traded, as long as the merchant is brave enough to enter Nyss, then there is coin to be made off of metal objects.
Nomadic by nature, the Nyss do not form cities, but instead have constructed small villages out of stone, wood and ice that stand the harsh weather. These villages see a rotating number of Nyss tribes who come in and settle for short times before continuing onward.
Other Civilized Races
Devas are even more rare than in other general settings if existent at all. Simply put the Gods would frown upon or even punish any spirit that bound itself back into the mortal coil therefore taking themselves out of the ranks of the god’s army. On rare occasions a spirit will be allowed to return to the mortal coil in order to exact a specific duty for their patron deity, that when accomplished will cause the revocation of the spirits time in the mortal plane and their return to their god is immediate. Other even rarer cases, perhaps one in one thousand years, a heavenly spirit may come to the mortal plane to hide from a deity, renouncing any faith so as to avoid the watchful eye of the gods and clinging to other forms of power such as arcane or natural.
The gods do not let go of souls from their armies, any soul tempting fate to escape and become such a creature would be smote immediately as punishment for deserting it’s deities forces. Revenants are not a playable race.
Warforged do not exist in the Iron Kingdoms as the technology embraced for Colossus’ and Steam-Jak’s is as close as they have come to Warforged. Steam-Jak’s have a simulated intelligence due to the arcana driven thought chip in their head which allows it to understand, carry out and interpret commands given by it’s arcane master. Colossus’ and Steam-Jak’s are not playable characters.