Hello again RPHQers! This month’s blog topic is part 1 of a multi-part series about the Sentient races of Lyrae, how I came up with these races, and how they helped me to shape the world! Races within the world were the second thing I ever brainstormed for Lyrae. It took me many weeks of writing to flesh each one out, and create the races I think would be enjoyable for myself to write about, and for other people to roleplay! I also enjoy making creatures the most when creating a new world! So, Lyrae is full of wonderfully strange races! There are nine intelligent races within Lyrae, and several semi-intelligent races. Each one has its own culture, architecture, government style, and even biome! So let’s meet the first five races!
Humans are the first I’ll discuss because they are the most relatable. They are us, in every sense. Humans are one of the dominate species in Lyrae. There was a period of a few days where I was deciding to NOT include Humans! What a novel thought? (Ha...Sorry!) If I didn’t include them, the world would be full of humanoids, and I felt that it might be difficult for readers and roleplayers to connect to their characters. Afterall, not everyone enjoys critters as much as I do. So humans made the cut, and quickly became the most common race. Like in most settings, humans are adaptable, intelligent, and widely varied in appearance and location. Most people cannot use magic. Magic in Lyrae is a rare thing in the general public for most races. Humans are not exempt from this magic rule. They can be born with innate magic similar to how Jedi are born with Force Sensitivity! Humans can be found across the whole world, in all manner of professions and lifestyles. Humans in Lyrae all originated from one grand Kingdom, but eventually splintered off into two factions. One group of humans broke away from the original Kingdom and created an Empire on Venia. At first, the Kingdom of Azon wanted to destroy the Empire, but eventually the two groups simmered down into a tenuous peace. In the current setting, the peace is at an all time high, thanks to the King of Azon’s friendly relationship with the Emperor of Venia! Now, why did I split the humans up? Well for two reason! One, the split added history, and potential plot conflicts for the overall story. Secondly, the split gives choice to any potential players within my world. They can choose to be a more traditional human in a traditional fantasy landscape, or an imperial human in an exotic land! Overall the humans of Lyrae are just as important to the story and landscape as any humans in any fantasy novel. They are our connection to this world, and make it easier for new and apprehensive fantasy fans to digest the material!
Ah, Elves. A staple of fantasy literature! From Tolkien to Paolini or World of Warcraft to Elder Scrolls, Elves can be found in a myriad of stories and settings. For some reason, these magical humanoids are loved by the masses, including me! So naturally Elves were going to be in Lyrae! How are Lyraen Elves different than other Elves? Well, to be honest, they aren’t much different! I decided to go with a traditional tall, thin, Elf. They are vegetarians, innately magical, live in an ancient forest, and rarely come into contact with the outside world! They also live in a Kingdom, and currently serve a Queen. My Elves are not much different than others. They are one of the most magically inclined of all the races (Not the most though)! Almost all elves are capable of basic magic use (Ignoring the rule of magic in Lyrea). Not every Elf can use magic though. It is a rare occurrence, but a small population of elves within Lyrae are not capable of magic use. Elves are not limited to pale complexions and can be dark skinned too! Now, in many settings, Elves are usually the elder race, with all the knowledge and magic of the world under their belts. In Lyrae, that honor goes to another two races! Elves in Lyrae are similar to humans in that they are adaptable, strong, and diverse. They are xenophobic though, and rarely venture out of their magical pine forest. This makes them a rare race in the world. They live on Azon, on the Western side of the Wall Mountain chain, in a magical pine forest. There are two Elven diplomats in the Kingdom of Azon, and two in the Empire of Venia. The Elves strength in magic, and reluctance to interact with much of the outside world also provided me with plot points and twists. For potential players of any PnP game to come of this, it provides an exotic race of beings that are still relatable to humans, but with more edge!
Orcs in Lyrae are Imperialist brutes, native to Solymus. They are not the brightest of the races, and hold on tight to traditions and superstitions. They cherish strength, and power, as well as family, and their Orcish culture. Long ago, Orcs tried to invade both the Empire of Venia and the Kingdom of Azon, but failed after a long bloody war. On their return to Solymus after this invasion, a fierce storm sent many Orcish sailors to their deaths. Ever since that fateful storm, Orcs have been terrified of losing sight of land when sailing. This has prevented them from attempting a second invasion. Orcs live in an Empire ruled by a council of Clan Chiefs. The chiefs hold territory across Solymus, and they often play wargames with rival clans. They are resistant to cold climates, and were shaped by the rugged and harsh climate of Solymus. They are not capable of advanced magic, but are skillful in the ways of war. They are also skilled smiths, and masons. Orcs in Lyrae look like orcs from other fantasy settings. They are large, with blue-green or gray skin, and short tusks protruding from their lower jaw. They live in patriarchal clans, which are organized by territory. The chief leads each clan with absolute authority, and each chief represents their clan at yearly meetings. These meetings are held to allow the clans a chance to discuss disputes, diplomatic issues, and other topics relating to Orchish policies. Their “empire” has no one leader, and really only comes into play when the Orcs are taking land from other races. In times of crises the Orc chiefs are usually able to come together despite differences to ensure the wellbeing of their people. While Orcs may be aggressive toward each other, and even kill rivals, they care more about the social welfare of the clan as a whole, rather than individuals. I made Orcs afraid of water because I thought it would add a cool dimension to the fierce nature of the race. I also have a plan for the Orcs within the main story of Lyrae, that revolved around their past invasion.
The most mysterious of all the races are the enigmatic Lizard-Folk, called the Sinai. This race is one of the oldest on Lyrae. The Sinai are native to the jungles of Venia. Similar to the elves, this race rarely leaves its jungle home. The Sinai are smaller sized, humanoid lizard-like beings, with long thin tails, narrow snouts, and clawed hands and feet. Sinai are one of the smaller and frailer races, never growing more than five and a half feet tall. They come in a myriad of colors and patterns. Unlike the Argonians of Elder Scrolls (Of which they are semi-based), Sinai have no horns or feathers. All Sinai have roughly the same body shape. They are also cold-blooded, and lay eggs. They cannot survive long in cold climates such as Solymus without special clothing! Sinai culture is not understood by any other race on Lyrae, and the Sinai have not participated in the affairs of Lyrae in any real way. Their culture doesn’t appear to care about anything outside of their jungle. Individual Sinai do occasionally leave the jungle to adventure in foreign lands, but they rarely ever speak about their culture to outsiders. Some Sinai can be found within the borders of the Empire of Venia. Their own style of government is not known. It is believed to be set up like a Kingdom, but no outside races have been permitted to the Sinai capitol. The Sinai are known to be highly skilled users of magic, and every Sinai that has been encountered has had the ability to use magic. This leads most to believe that every Sinai can use the rare abilities of magic. In reality, they are the most magical race in all of Lyrae. The Sinai add a dimension to Lyrae that I think is very cool. They will play a major role within the story, and more of their culture and history will become available as the novel/Campaigns go on. This gives readers and players something to look forward to!
The Carcharia are perhaps my favorite race in all of Lyrae! These are the Shark-Folk of the Southern Seas. The name “Carcharia” is derived from the scientific name for a Great White Shark in our world. Their culture is based loosely on pacific islanders, such as the Samoan, Polynesian, or Hawaiian cultures. Carcharia are the most diverse species of being in Lyrae. They range from four feet tall to ten feet tall, and can look like any species of shark in our world! There are Carcharia that look like Hammerhead sharks, Tiger Sharks, and even Great White Sharks! All Charcharia have two legs, two arms, a tail, and gills. They are capable of breathing both air and water, and have webbed hands and feet. Carcharia live in tribes scattered across the Southern Sea, and southern shores of both Venia and Azon. They are the only race native to the Land Reefs. Their tribes are not organized into any one government, and they often fight amongst themselves. Each Tribe of Carcharia is its own system of government, complete with their own traditions, stories, and history. The race is held together overall by a common acknowledgement of species, and a strong respect for the Ocean. They build their land homes out of driftwood, coral, and shells. Their underwater homes are built out of shell and coral. Carcharia are born in the ocean, and raised in special underwater villages until they are four or five years old. They are born without legs, arms, or lungs. Those develop over time. Carcharia are an intelligent race, despite their fierce look. They are as capable of magic use as humans, and they can inhabit many types of environments. It is unknown how far north Carcharia have villages or settlements, as some sailors have reported seeing Carcharian hunters as far north as Solymus. The Carcharia do have a particular cultural event. Every ten years or so, Carcharian females lay eggs, which are affected by the tides and currents of the ocean. These eggs hatch into the largest, and most fierce warriors in all of Lyrae, the Carcharodon. The Carcharodon are around ten feet tall, and take the form of the Great White Shark. These Carcharia are the main defending force of the race as a whole. They are treated with the utmost respect among their kind, and are often in leadership positions within tribes. Soldiers on battlefields across Lyrae run in fear at the sight of a hulking Carcharodon. They are known to eat Humans whole! This race is the most exotic race in my opinion. I personally have only ever seen “weresharks” in ArcAge, and Shark People in the old cartoon “Street Sharks”! When I was creating the Carcharia, I thought “Huh, you know what would be cool? Fish people! That’s underused!”. A few google searches later, and I had them down!
In next month's post we'll learn about: Goblins, Dwarves, Dragons, and Avari!