Race - Human

Human

Humans are a distinct oddity amongst the races of Kelden: they have no patron deity. The orcs claim Gruumsh, the gnomes have Scientia, even the aarakocra, in their inscrutable faith, follow lineage from some elemental being of air. Humans, however, claim no one, and as such have far less united religion than their neighbours. Despite their lack of unity, or perhaps because of it, humans are some of the most extraordinary people on the face of Kelden.

A Broad Spectrum

Mirroring their cultural variation, humans are more physically diverse than other common races. There is no typical human. An individual can stand from 5 feet to a little over 6 feet tall and weight from 125 pounds to 250 pounds. Human skin shades range from nearly black to almost snow white, and hair colors from black to blond (curly, kinky, or straight); males might sport facial hair that is sparse or thick, or may be clean shaven.

One thing which causes humans to stand out is their incredible fertility. A human can mate with any other race of compatible anatomy, and produce offspring reliably, whereas others cannot. This is why there are many half-orcs, even some half-dwarves or half-kithin, but that other half is always human. A lot of humans have a dash of nonhuman blood, revealing hints of gnome, orc, or other lineages. Humans reach adulthood in their late teens, and rarely live even a single century. It is in this short time that they make monumental changes.

Variety in All Things

Humans are the most adaptable and ambitious people among the mortal races. They have widely varying tastes, morals, and customs, even across the rather homogenous Deliphen. Where they settle, they stay. They build cities to last for ages and great kingdoms that can persist for centuries. An individual human might have a short life span, but ahuman nation or culture preserves traditions with origins far beyond the reach of any single human’s memory. They live fully in the present, making them well suited to the adventuring life, while also planning for the future, striving to leave a lasting legacy. 

Individually and as a group, humans are adaptable opportunists, and they easily stay alert to changing social and political dynamics.

A Totally Different Way

When confronted with a problem, a human’s approach is nearly unpredictable. Where a single elf or dwarf might take on the responsibility of guarding a special location or a powerful secret, humans will found sacred orders and institutions for such purposes. While dwarf clans and dragonborn elders pass on the ancient traditions to each new generation, human temples and governments often experience radical changes in policy from one generation to the next as new minds and hearts take the reins.

What defines humanity even more is not dedication or numbers, but their versatility and adaptability. A dwarf is like stone, sturdy and powerful, but once a stone breaks, it cannot heal. A human is like clay, much weaker but easily repaired when it is torn apart. While humans cannot endure, they can recover. In addition to adaptability in the face of trauma, a human has a power that few non-humans can command: improvisation.

As They Go Along

Humans who seek adventure are the most daring and ambitious members of an already ambitious race. They seek to earn glory in the eyes of their fellows by doing what no other human has been known to do. The aarakocra may make their homes in the towering Roostwealds, but it is the humans that seek to climb the mighty trunks, simply to dive down into the river so far below. It was orcs that first tamed the vicious dire boar, but it was humans that decided to race them.

Where a dwarf would follow tradition, and a gnome would follow the scientific method, a human will take a step back, smile broadly, and ask, “How can I do this with my bare hands and ten feet of rope?”

Human Names and Ethnicities

Having so much more variety than other cultures, humans as a whole have no typical names. Some human parents give their children names from other languages, such as Dwarvish or Gnomish (pronounced more or less correctly), but most parents give names that are linked to their region’s culture or to the naming traditions of their ancestors.

The material culture and physical characteristics of humans can change wildly from region to region. Even within Deliphen, for example, the clothing, architecture, cuisine, music, and literature are different in the northwestern lands bordering the Heartlands than along the southern coast, and all the regions of Deliphen are incomparable to the tribal cultures of Osmere.

Human physical characteristics vary according to the whims of the Elder Elves, who would breed humans for a variety of traits – height, weight, build, complexion, or even particular facial features – so that the humans of Kelden have every possible variation of coloration and features.

In Kelden, nine human ethnic groups are widely recognized. They are very broad categories into which at least two of most humans fit. These groups, and the typical names of their members, are used nowadays more as a means of describing your heritage rather than your current condition.

Calishite

Shorter and slighter in build than most other humans, Calishite features include dusky brown skin, hair, and eyes alike.

Calishite Names: (Male) Aseir, Bardeid, Haseid, Khemed, Mehmen, Sudeiman, Zasheir; (female) Atala, Ceidil, Hama, Jasmal, Meilil, Seipora, Yasheira, Zasheida; (surnames) Basha, Dumein, Jassan, Khalid, Mostana, Pashar, Rein

Chondathan

Chondathans are slender, tawny-skinned folk with hair that ranges from almost blond to almost black. Most are tall and have green or brown eyes, butt these traits are hardly universal.

Chondathan Names: (Male) Darvin, dorn, Evendur, Gorstag, Grim, Helm, Malark, Morn, Randal, Stedd; (female) Arveene, Esvele, Jhessail, Kerri, Lureene, Miri, Rowan, Shandri, Tessele; (surnames) Amblecrown, Buckman, Dundragon, Evenwood, Greycastle, Tallstag

Damaran

Damarans are of moderate height and build, with skin hues ranging from tawny to fair. Their hair is usually brown or black, and their eye colour varies widely, though brown is most common.

Damaran Names: (Male) Bor, Fodel, Glar, Grigor, Igan, Ivor, Kosef, Mival, Orel, Pavel, Sergor; (female) Alethra, Kara, Katernin, Mara, Natali, Olma, Tana, Zora; (surnames) Bersk, Chernin, Dotsk, Kulenov, Marsk, Nemetsk, Shemov, Starag

Illuskan

Illuskans are tall, fair-skinned folk with blue or steely gray eyes. Most have raven-black hair, b ut it is not unusual for one to have blonde, red, or light brown hair.

Illuskan Names: (Male) Ander, Blath, Bran, Frath, Geth, Lander, Luth, Malcer, Stor, Taman, Urth; (female) Amagrey, Betha, Cefrey, Kethra, Mara, Olga, Silifrey, Westra; (surnames) Brightwood, Helder, Hornraven, Lackman, Stormwind, Windrivver

Mulan

The Mulan are generally tall, slim, and amber-skinned, with eyes of hazel or brown. Their hair ranges from black to dark brown, but it is not unusual to see a human in touch with their Mulan heritage shaving their head regularly.

Mulan Names: (Male) Aoth, Bareris, Ehput-Ki, Kethoth, Mumed, Ramas, So-Kehur, Thazar-De, Urhur; (female) Arizima, Chathi, Nephis, Nulara, Murithi, Sefris, Thola, Umara, Zolis; (surnames) Ankhalab, Anskuld, Fezim, Hahpet, Nathandem, Sepret, Uuthrakt

Rashemi

The Rashemi tend to be short, stout, and muscular. They usually have dusky skin, dark eyes, and thick black hair.

Rashemi Names: (Male) Borivik, Faurgar, Jandar, Kanithar, Madislak, Ralmevik, Shaumar, Vladislak; (female) Fyevarra, Hulmarra, Immith, Imzel, Navarra, Shevarra, Tammith, Yuldra; (surnames) Chergoba, Dyernina, Iltazyara, Murnyethara, Stayanoga, Ulmokina

Shou

Unique in that they arrived from across the Trackless Sea after the Crepuscular War, the Shou have skin yellowish-bronze in hue, with black hair and dark eyes. Shou surnames are usually presented before the given name.

Shou Names: (Male) An, Chen, Chi, Fai, Jiang, Jun, Lian, Long, Meng, On, Shan, Shui, Wen; (female) Bai, Chao, Jia, Lei, Mei, Qiao, Shui, Tai; (surnames) Chien, Huang, Kao, Kung, Lao, Ling, Mei, Pin, Shin, Sum, Tan, Wan

Tethyrian

Tethyrians are of medium build and height, with dusky skin that tends to grow fairer the farther north they dwell. Their hair and eye colour varies widely, but brown hair and blue eyes are the most common. Tethyrians primarily use Chondathan names.

Turami

The Turami are generally tall and muscular, with dark mahogany skin, curly black hair, and dark eyes.

Turami Names: (Male) Anton, Diero, Marcon, Pieron, Rimardo, Romero, Salazar, Umbero; (female) Balama, Dona, Faila, Jalana, Luisa, Marta, Quara, Selise, Vonda; (surnames) Agosto, Astorio, Calabra, Domine, Falone, Marivaldi, Pisacar, Ramondo

Human Traits

It’s hard to make generalizations about humans, but your human character has the traits described in the Player's Handbook.

Race - Human

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