The Aftermath of Chaos
Humanity has recovered better than most races due to short life-span and quick breeding. No human alive recalls the Chaos War and only a few old men might recall the end of the Horned King’s rule. The world is the way it is and there is no nostalgia for the “better times” of the past. Mostly humans are concerned with reestablishing trade routes and taming the present dangers of the wilds.
Dwarfs did not fare well under the reign of the Horned King and have become a somewhat rare sight in “civilization”. The eldest in the clans recall the end of the Gods War. Older Dwarfs tend to stay in their mountain homes and are distrustful of outsiders. Be wary when entering the mountain holds of the Dwarfs. They are not kind to trespassers. Even invited guests must tread very carefully and avoid offense.
The race as a whole has become somewhat reclusive. However, the younger in the clans are starting to leave the strongholds and reconnect with the other races for trade and socialization. Some of the elder Dwarfs sometimes disparagingly refer to these young ones as “Hill Dwarfs” meaning “They have gone down into the hills to reside with the lowlanders”. The “Hill Dwarfs” have embraced this concept and, rather than being offended, turn the joke around calling their more reclusive brethren “Mountain Dwarfs” because “They stay hidden under the mountain.” Despite the “dour” stereotype often associated with their mountain dwelling cousins, the Hill Dwarfs are friendly, socialize openly with the other civilized races, and make very loyal companions.
Elves and Eladrin
The Elven races were spared some of the despair of the Horned King as they had retreated to the wilds just after the Gods War. However, with much of the Feywild destroyed or corrupted, many Elves and Eladrin living on Oerth consider themselves “the Exiled”. Similar to Dwarfs, the Elven population has splintered into two groups: those that distrust outsiders and see them as intruders in the deep forests (and sometimes dangerously xenophobic), and those that still associate with the “civilization” of humans and other non-Elvenkind.
Many Eladrin returned to the Feywild and have not been seen in the world since. It is not known how many still live in the parts of the Feywild not corrupted by shadow versus those who have died trying to reclaim their homelands. Those Eladrin that have stayed in the human world (the “Exiled”) have integrated themselves with human or Elven society but remain aloof as they are largely cut off from their original homelands and families. Many in the Elven/Eladrin population, being longest lived, remember with great sadness the devastation of the Gods War and Horned King. This sometimes makes them seem a little more reserved and introspective than the common free-spirited Elven stereotype.
Between the devastation of the Feywild and the yoke of the Horned King’s conquest, Gnomes fared very poorly in the last hundred years or so. They are a somewhat rare sight around human settlements as they tend to keep to themselves and stay hidden in the wilds. Still, there are the occasional few who venture out into the world of humans. Rarely do outsiders ever lay eyes on a true Gnomish settlement as they tend to keep their villages hidden away in the deep woods.
Like their full blood brethren, the Half-Elves feel deep sadness at the changes brought upon the Feywild and Oerth during their lifetimes. However, the Half-Elves, already considered outsiders to Elven societies and less connected to their Fey roots, are somewhat less affected by these transformations. The human side of their natures have allowed them to adapt more readily to the changing worlds.
Like Humans, Halflings have recovered well since the fall of the Horned King. They associate freely with humans and one will often find a Halfling neighborhood in larger human settlements and cities. Like humans, Halflings have a range of temperaments, from generous to greedy, sympathetic to sociopathic. The taller races often underestimate them due to their size and child-like appearance… However, Halflings can be as kind or even cruel as their human brethren.
The crafty often take advantage of the appearance of innocence and trustworthiness — an edge which makes them savvy in business. Halflings often refer to themselves as “the Ffolk” which has been bastardized as the “wee folk” by the taller race, a phrase which they loathe. There is an unwritten code of honor among the Ffolk — to actively avoid harming another Halfling, physically or financially. It’s perfectly acceptable to lie, cheat or steal from “the Talls”, but don’t cross your own kind.
Half-Orcs are seldom seen within human populations as they are treated as outcasts and mistrusted. Other races were treated poorly by the armies of the Horned King and they are reminded of that mistreatment in the visage of the half-orc.
Tieflings have not fared well in the aftermath of the Horned King. Often called “Children of the Horned King”, they are subject to racism, mistrust and often outright abuse. The race’s origin has been lost to time but many believe they are the product of men consorting with demonic or otherworldly beings during the reign of the Horned King… or if not then, perhaps originating from the followers of Orcus during the Chaos War. Both of these myths are less than likely. However the Tiefling race has been singled out for mistreatment and these stories are retold from village to village. As such, Tieflings try to keep a low profile amongst humans populations.
Dragonborn are a myth. Some people claim to have seen dragon-men, but they are likely mistaking lizard folk for something they are not.
Other PC races or monstrous races from the rule books are not available for PCs in this game unless a specific exception is granted.