The Peoples of the Land

Ondileth is a large region and is made up of many races, human and otherwise. Not all are well-liked or afforded the treatment they might get elsewhere. This is a summary of the larger humanoid populations within Ondileth...


Humans, by and large, easily make up the most populous group within Ondileth. Through the centuries their numbers have proliferated and both Sondash and Dresk are now most heavilly settled by humans, particularly the central valley. The leadership of Illincia and Tazzenport are primarily human, and those in power are unlikely to endorse much change there anytime soon. Likewise, the Illian Guard allows only human recruits, a policy that is being contested even now.
Tazzenport sees a wider variety of human races and clans than anywhere else in Ondileth. A colorful array of darker, lighter, and tattooed skin from the various islands and far-away lands passes through their harbor on a daily basis. Only some of those other ethnicities ever see much beyond the docks and walls of Tazzenport.


Next to humans, the most welcomed (or at least tolerated) race within Ondileth would be the dwarves. The stout folk are respected traders and craftsmen in several cities and their comings and goings are rarely even noticed by most people. There will of course always be those whose fear of the dwarves causes them to avoid or even speak out against the dwarves, but that is true even of several races of humans as well. Rowandale has proven more comfortable to most dwarves than the bustle and heat of Tazzenport or the condescending wealth of Illincia. Far to the Northeast are several dwarven cities, such as Exen, located both within or below some of the mountains there.


With a few exceptions, the majority of the halfling population has kept mostly to itself, preferring the more welcome environments of their own villages to these cities where everything is too large and nothing is very accessible for them. Of course, their (only partially unfounded) reputation as mischief-makers or swindlers hasn't helped either. A few brave souls manage to make a living, sometimes even a profitable one, in the cities. Of all the places, chaotic Tazzenport is the most likely place for the smallfolk to be seen outside of their villages and has a small but vibrant sector of town populated by halflings, followed perhaps by Rowandale which has a slowly growing contingent. The mage community is a little more welcoming as a few great halfling wizards have emerged through the ages, and garnered some respect for their people.


While no cohesive gnome community exists within Ondileth, a few are spied here and there around the land. Many are mistaken as hairy halflings or wimpish dwarves by ignorant humans, but a few are recognized and respected for what they are. Some in fact have found a welcome market in Illincia where the wealthy upper crust is always seeking the latest novelty or trinket with which to impress their friends. Like the halflings, the wizards are much more open to the gnomes, whose penchant for dabbling in new techniques and apparatus is viewed as beneficial for the art. Beyond that they tend to live in their own small villages tucked in more secluded places.


One of the more elusive demihuman races in the center valley of Ondileth are the elves. The politicking and social mores of the humans there tend to leave most elves frustrated and irritated with the experience. While their history had them at one time living across most of Ondileth, now they feel more comfortable on the outer coasts, or in several of the larger forests. One almost comic exception to the above prejudice, and of course in Tazzenport, is the elf that's the namesake for The Inn of the Drunken Elf. But he's been a fixture there for so long that everyone who knows him probably even forgets that he is an elf!


If elves feel alienated, then orcs are outright despised... especially since the Dagger Wars. Many many lives were spent during that ill-fated war and the memory still lingers. Rayel's pact makes it clear that no orcs aside from emissaries or traders are welcome in Ondileth for years to come. Half-blooded orcs risk being run out of town unless they look far more like their human parent than the other. They are most likely to be found in the Southern reaches of the land, or in more remote areas of the mainland.


These strange creatures, along with their Hobgoblin kindred, live primarily in the Oldwood Vale. They have been spotted only rarely outside of this area, but lately rumors have been hinting that more activity seems to be happening up there, and some are worried that it portends ill news.


More of a legend than anything, there are stories from far-off travellers of a cruel and decadent race, indulging in self-indulgent rituals and hedonism, often at the expense of the unfortunate who entered their lands. Many of the stories mention an astonishing spire-filled city in the far west where many of these creatures live, but few can speaks with authority about it.

2002 Brian Bloom, All rights reserved.