Racial and Cultural Lore
As the Triumvirate has cleared regions of Known Elanthia, the brave and the enterprising have left the cities to reclaim farmsteads and establish villages. Human settlements in particular are known for their functionality and agricultural bent. Where Ilvari will look for the magic in the landscape, and the Stoneborn the ore, the Humans are bent on farming and cultivating the land.
The largest and oldest Human settlement is Quillmore, and most Humans can trace their lineage back within two generations to this proud city. Many Human settlements echo the Quillmore tradition of shingled roofs, whitewashed exteriors and quaint, cozy interiors. Practical and sturdy, the architecture is designed to be quickly assembled from local materials and incorporates simple machines (such as windmills, etc.) and arcana (glowstones, etc.). They can outlast anything Elanthia can throw at them - from mundane blizzards to magical ragestorms.
From MMORPG.com Q&A #15
Their high kings are long gone. Their numbers are few. Their kingdoms are broken. And so are they.
What can be said of Humans that has not already been said, that is not already known? Quite a bit, it turns out. Of all the races of Elanthia, the Humans were the ones originally entrusted as her caretakers. Somewhere along the way, they forgot themselves. The Sundering was a rude reminder of their duties.
The Humans have lived under the dark cloud of a curse since the day the world shattered. The curse strikes at random. It may take a newborn babe. It may take a youth in the prime of his life. It may take a doddering grandmother, ripe in her old age. They do not know the when, they only know the end result. The Human becomes sick. Within a few hours, they expire -- and rise again as one of the Broken, a monster doomed to shamble across the world, hungering for the blood of the living. There is no known cure.
In the last two centuries since the Sundering, the Humans have adapted to their condition. Their art and attire expresses their fey attitude. No village is without its designated Executioner, a man or woman trained in identifying the curse-sickness in its early stages and dealing with it. Vagrants are rudely treated, if not outright killed. Exile and disinheritance are tantamount to a death sentence. With the exception of those who die prematurely from sickness, acts of violence, or accidents, all bodies are burned.
The Humans have grown tough. They are resilient to stunning effects, and exhibit strong physical prowess. Visually, they have a distinctive old-world Europe style. They're an excellent choice for people who want a melee death-dealer that can soak up damage. Their talent for magic, however, should not be underestimated.
From MMORPG.com Q&A #15
Once content to stay removed from the struggles of Elanthia, the Ilvari are now faced with a choice they cannot ignore: action or extinction.
The Ilvari came to Elanthia with no intent to stay. They spent at least a thousand years devising ways to get back to the bizarre plane of magic they came from, desperate to reclaim their old life. Adaption came slowly, but surely. With the catastrophic failure of the Burlorg summoning, the hope of returning to the Demesne of Magic is now a faint, fading dream.
Since the Sundering, the Ilvari have become prey to a very strange, crippling illness. Every Ilvari who lives past two hundred succumbs to a deep coma from which they cannot wake. An Ilvari in this state does not eat or drink, nor do they physically diminish -- they merely sleep. The first massive wave of Ilvari who succumbed to the malaise shortly after the Sundering included the entire elder population of their civilization. The result was a crippling loss of knowledge and leadership to their people.
Worse -- and what few realized in those initial days of confusion and loss -- is what happens to the sleeper's soul. Trapped in the prison of her own body, the Ilvari ultimately goes mad and becomes a type of Broken that devours thoughts and memories. The Ilvari have trained special warriors -- called "Soulcatchers" -- to deal with their race's malaise. The Soulcatcher's duty is to separate the sleeping Ilvari's soul from her body, and place both in a safe location. Underneath the vast tree-city of Oakhome there are many of these sleeping Ilvari resting side-by-side, waiting for the day someone will find a way to wake them. Soulcatchers are distinctive in that they have a third eye painted between their brow, and tend to be ascetics.
The Ilvari are adept at magic. They did it first, and they did it best. Their minds are strong, making them resilient to the psychic control of others. The Ilvari visual style is a combination of bright fabrics and a nature-heavy leaf motif that can be found in nearly everything they do. Ilvari melee fighters favor magical effects and quick strikes than raw brawn.
From MMORPG.com Q&A #15
The Suwari, a cat like race, are unique among the accepted races of the Triumvirate in that they once were the magically engineered servants of the Ilvari. Having proven themselves to be just as intelligent and free-willed as any other race of Elanthia, they have gained their freedom - if not respect. Their earlier role as adorned pets still lingers in the psyche of the people of Elanthia. They are well received in Oakhome, the city of the Kinnaes, and openly derided in places like Quillmore, where the old Human ways still run strong.
The Suwari are extremely dexterous and quick, both in mind and body. They love beauty and commit themselves completely to the things they love; they rarely do anything by halves. Because they were partially born from Elanthia's own magic, the Suwari have a natural affinity for both Arcanum and Kinnaes spellcraft. Though they are fascinated by Gearsmith devices, they rarely have the focus to study it long enough to become experts at Gearsmithing.
The fight to end Suwari slavery is over. The fight to keep their freedom continues on.
If the Ilvari mage who made the first Suwari saw his creation today, he'd be in a state of shock. Gone are the subservient (but highly intelligent and capable) creatures that anybody who was anybody had on hand to fluff their pillows and bring cordials to visiting houseguests. The Suwari of today own land and livestock, are active members of the Triumvirate council, and are respected for their deeds. Mostly.
Unfortunately, the stigma remains stubbornly in place. At first the Suwari were hopeful that time would alter the perceptions of the others, but recent events have caused it to flourish. In particular, the acknowledgement by Suwari elders that the race is, in certain cases, devolving has ushered in a fresh era of fear and suspicion. There are even mutterings from members of the council that the Suwari need to be "collared again", or "done away with" completely. This, despite the fact that the other races have all experienced unusual -- and often catastrophic -- side effects from the Sundering.
A devolving or "feral" Suwari is one who has lost the ability to reason, and reacts entirely on instinct and spirit. It's as if the magical "glue" that binds their flesh and blood together has begun to dissolve. In its early stages, a feral can be reverted through the use of certain herbs and spells. After twenty-four hours, however, the condition becomes permanent. At all times, a devolved Suwari is extremely dangerous, and will lash out at loved ones and enemies alike. Suwari who survive an attack from a feral are in danger of becoming feral themselves. There is no known way to revert this condition, and no way to predict who will become feral. Even more frightening, certain Burlorg spellcasters appear to have found a way to cause a Suwari to devolve, and use these ferals as pets and thralls.
Suwari elders believe that restitution to the dead is one way to avert the devolving. They encourage all Suwari to make pilgrimages to major battlefields and "sites of mourning" to do penitence. In accordance with their own practical and material nature, many of these places have now been turned by other Suwari into pilgrimage "tourist traps", with garish tents, trinkets, souvenirs, and eateries.
Suwari have an extremely resilient spirit, and are resistant to things that may sap their mobility, will, or endurance. They also are uniquely suited to transferring some of their power to others, making them adept at healing. Suwari fighters are incredibly fast and hard to hit. The Suwari visual style is a combination of sumptuous, luxurious fabrics and intricate designs that bring to mind elaborate Persian rugs and dress.