No other race, no matter how aberrant, no matter how perverted, has been changed as much as the human race. Not only are there four offshoot races of humans, but the human race itself is an offshoot. Humans as they were before the Cataclysm no longer exist. They were infused with the elemental energies from the Outer Planes by the very magic they used to conquer the planet.
All three of the original races had factions of Eluen-cuthpar. In fact, there were several factions inside the racial factions, each working with and against one another. But it was the human faction from the Naschusa that held the authoritative power. Research on extending the lives of humans was being performed by this group with the help of several other human minorities.
Unfortunately for this race, everything they tried failed. Human lifespan has not changed. It may not even be possible. What happened is many of the humans were altered with elemental magic causing each to be strengthened by a particular element. Those mutated with the elemental magic were cursed (or blessed as some would see it) with a super gene – an utterly dominate trait to pass down the elemental alteration to all of their offspring. It is believed that unadulterated humans have ceased to exist on Thepa.
Aside from a few remote colonies, humans have become a race of mongrels. In any one community you might find people with blonde, red, brown, or black hair. In fact, many immediate families will exhibit a variety of pigments of not just hair but skin color. White, black, brown, olive, yellow, and tan are only a small sample of their variation. On the other hand, human eye color is dominated by two distinct colors, blue and brown, though some gray, green, and amber are present as well.
Human hair, eyes, and skin expose the differences of the human race and their unique ability to adapt. Before the Cataclysm, humans moved throughout Thepa with ease. Portals connected large cities to one another granting instantaneous transportation around the globe within seconds. Consequently, this technology led to a surge in the blending of cultures and people. Human nationalities became diluted causing their life expectancies to drop slightly, 70-110 years.
After the Cataclysm and the collapse of the enchanted highways, those surviving were forced to further rely on each other. The mixture of the human race became complete. Humans rise to a modest 4.5 feet to 6.5 feet tall and weigh between 100 and 220 lbs.
On the whole, humans are impatient and shortsighted. Their fleeting life spans and acute awareness of death drives them to spectacular heights and appalling blunders. In most cases, these peaks and valleys are trivial to the overall health of Thepa. Unfortunately, there is a mistake that humans make time and again that has rather devastating effects on themselves and those around them, the depletion of resources.
Emptying an area of its wealth is meaningless to humans; they typically move on without reflection. Some of the younger cultures actually assume that the areas drained will replenish themselves – a disparaging thought. Yet, not all humans are this callous. More conscious cultures, particularly those who have suffered from their lack of long-term thinking, reinvest in the future of their children by replanting woodlands or fertilizing farmlands, though it is true that those civilizations are far and few between.
Luckily, humans are adaptable. They always have been. Humans do not allow rigid lifestyles to dictate their existence; rather they embrace their way of life with a sense of ebb and flow, a synergy that allows them to acclimate to new circumstances. This ability is the reason why difficulties are seemingly overcome with ease. In fact, this peculiar trait is the singular reason why humans survived the Cataclysm. Even so, humans have become a remnant of that era.
During the brief period of time following the event, human civilization broke down. Those with similar racial traits flocked to one another as commonalities became a driving force for survival. The race split apart searching for the necessities of life: food, water and shelter. These commodities were scarce, which caused frequent fighting, wars, and eventually extinction of some of the weaker sub-races. Thousands of human cultures perished. Eventually the remaining humans found a foothold and settled into their new homelands.
Out of this harrowing recovery, an impression of their personality became apparent. Humans possess great determination, which effectively explains why the Naschusa were so driven into finding the secret of longevity. In part, they had a genuine desire for the prosperity of humans, but it was, more importantly, the envy of the other two races that pushed the life-weavers into performing experiment after experiment. Ultimately, it was the elemental infusions that were most successful, which is to say non-fatal or disfiguring.
Each exploration attempted to artificially give humans the advantage produced by one of the following elements: the timelessness of water, the endurance of stone, the vivacity of fire, and the infinity of air, respectively. And unsurprisingly, the adaptability of human nature overcame each infusion, absorbing them wholly without substantially changing their biology. In other words, humans were merged with the building blocks of the world. This acquisition of power gave them control over the elements and assisted the sub-races in surviving the Serpentine War where the pure strain of human could not. In the end, the changes did absolutely nothing to increase the average lifespan of humans. In fact, it seems to have lessened their age expectancy by a year or two.
You may ask how the human race became so diluted by this elemental gene. The answer is simple. Initial test subjects were of lower classes and minorities, and many test subjects needed to be utilized in the attempts of the Eluen-cuthpar. Failed science requires sacrifices. After seeing what the nobles believed to be beneficial changes, they too chose the mutation. Once the Cataclysm came the four sub-races had no choice but to intermarry, and to such a degree that any set of parents can no longer choose their offspring’s elemental type. The human race as it was known has become extinct.
Over the years many things have changed for humans, but the one thing that has seemed to stay the same is their sense of entitlement. They feel superior to others, even if they do not realize it. It is, in effect, the one cultural legacy left by the Naschusa. Humans try to deny their part in the Eluen-cuthpar, but at the same time there is an overwhelming desire to continue their successes by taming the wilderness and restoring order to their civilizations.
This streak of old arrogance runs through many nations and only fuels their hunger for dominance. This trait is may very well be a darkness for Thepa, but at the same time the cultural self-confidence is also the reason why humans easily thrive in so many places. And quite honestly, the belief in manifest destiny is born just as much out of the ignorance by the other races it is out of the pride of human achievements.
Human civilization in the singular is often joked about as an oxymoron. Humans are not offended, though, rather they bear it as a point of pride. Lessened and weakened as they may be, humans are still the most numerous and widespread race in the world. If their populace is not utterly destroyed, it will simply come back wiser and more determined than ever before. As such, there is no great human civilization, no single culture, yet there are a few themes that the various countries do hold in common.
Humans believe in manifest destiny. It is their inevitability to rule Thepa. How literal this rulership is depends on the culture, but the universal view of humanity’s future is never one in a subservient role. It is the duty of humans to restore a worldwide government and to play a vital role in administrating such a regime. Other races, while usually not treated as second-class citizens, are either noticeably absent from leadership positions or are unable to represent the best interest of all races.
Humans are the most practical choice to correct the mistakes of the past. They are well aware that the Eluen-cuthpar brought about their own demise through hubris and recklessness, but they will do things properly this time with oversight and wisdom. This particular tradition leads to a long and vaunted profession of historians and storytellers who emphasize patience and humility trumping raw power and naked greed. In the end, the victors are led to a happier and wealthier life.
Naturally, a great deal of tension exists between these two contrary ideals. On the one hand, the human belief system states that power is the natural birthright of all humans and by extension ambition must be a virtue. On the other hand, they condemn the use of power for selfish and reckless ends. Humans are quite aware of this paradox, and in fact choose to embrace it in their art and literature. The moral tension between gaining power and letting it corrupt the wielder is an extremely common undercurrent in human stories. Additionally, they examine the definition of corrupt use of power and the conundrum of those with power that hesitate to use it in defense of others for fear of unwise use.
Perhaps these reasons are why humans are such a religious race. A deity is, after all, a ruler of an afterlife, and thus the ultimate moral and practical authority of power. Elohim are generally consulted for wisdom and goals, while daeva are tapped to gain and keep said aspirations with minimal long-term problems. Yet no deity is truly infallible, and most humans at least suspect this fact; therefore, it is common for priests to also serve as moderators between the demands and advice of a deity and the human supplicants.
Humans dream of the glory days, those of when their ancestors monopolized Thepa. Humans speak often of regaining that greatness, but the world has changed. Humans have become dependent on the other races. The loss of the Eluen-cuthpar has cemented that need. Thepa has also become far more varied in this modern age with several new races biding for resources and deities that regularly influence the mortal coil, an unfelt power of the past.
But in truth, no human can actually remember what the kingdom and the glory once were. If you ask any three cultures about human antiquity, you will find five different answers. Every society has unique beliefs about life prior to the Cataclysm; many of which acknowledge that something was terribly ugly and corrupt about that world. Fresh, righteous ideas have populated the minds of those interested in restoring the days of yore. A new power will have to rise if humans plan to retake control of Thepa.
But if humans are anything, they are adaptable. They have used their uncanny capability to expand and their unbiased nature to regain some of their former glory. Humans welcome the other humanoid races into their communities as to gain knowledge and labor. Human cities are meccas of trade. Any race might be seen in a human town.
Humans have become the foundation of the known world, the critical backbone of the humanoid races. This circumstance has granted humans control to most of the doors in the world, yet many are still locked by keys humans do not possess. The potential for human supremacy exists, but it has found multiple obstacles, often impassable roadblocks. Only time will tell if they can unlock these crucial doors.
Arden: Humans do not like arden. The rat folk have been known to take up residence inside large human cities. They infest sewer systems and live off the discarded scraps and waste of the city dwellers. By living this way the arden end up carrying diseases that do not wholly affect them yet are quite capable of making others sick, even deathly ill. Humans view this race as a plague – a plague with the propensity for stealing food.
Amoraq: Humans capitalize on the talents of the amoraq. Their strength and their voices are valuable to the metropolises of human civilization, and business is booming, even with the occasional outburst. The human race does not seem to mind, though. Most of these incidents occur in taverns. And quite frankly, more fights occur by human hands than by amoraq.
Drow: Humans do not like the drow. Most nations forbid the dark elves from entering human lands, yet a few countries have recently allowed minor trade routes to be established between the two races. Drow cruelty has rarely been observed first-hand by the surface dwellers. Ignorance is bliss.
Duergar: Human sprawl has yet to expand into the darklands. As such, humans do not interact with duergar very often. The insular society of the duergar does not seek to establish a connection with humans, so the door remains shut, at least while the humans remain on the surface.
Dwarves: Humans enjoy the company of dwarves. They commonly share cups of ale and break bread together. Trade between these two races is greater than that any other two races. Humans basically find dwarves to be excellent neighbors.
Elves: Humans trade nearly as much with elves as they do with the dwarves. Yet at times, some differences do arise. Human leadership changes every five to ten years while elven leadership is consistent for several hundred years. By having such a large turnover of leadership, human opinions and decisions that were once acceptable in the past may no longer hold true for the current regime, which can cause stress between the two races.
Fenodyree: Humans adore the fenodyree. They allow the halflings into practically every city. Even the barbarian tribes of the Forantine Tundra hold the halflings in high esteem. Though trade is high between these two races, the number of fenodyree in Thepa is low, thus fenodyree are only able to rank fourth within human commerce.
Goblins: Humans have several reasons why they tolerate this smaller race. One of which is a deep-seated yet unrecognized interest in the arcane. Humans possess an innate desire of the arcane. Humans have also found usefulness from The Rise. They hire goblin tribes to re-grow destroyed parks, forest resources, even areas to discourage border disputes. Humans remove the goblins before the areas become overly feral unless the area is to be used as a barrier with a warring country.
Kobolds: A surprising number of humans do not see the truth of the kobolds’ nature, or quite possibly do not care. Humans get along with kobolds and allow them to set up ethnic communities inside larger human cities. The governments gain substantial tax revenues from these scaly critters. And as long as the smell of their warrens is far enough away from the upper class, the kobolds are allowed to stay.
Kel: Humans are always battling the kel, though the fighting has a definite ebb and flow to it. Humans find themselves in one of two positions with the kel, at war or in a truce. The accords do not signify trade or friendly interaction. They simply mean that the two races are not trying to kill one another at that specific time. Even with all of the hostilities, kel mercenaries have become a common sight in most large cities. Most humans believe in judging another by his actions not those of his race.
Nalu: Humans value their relationship with the nalu. The nalu bring forth treasures from the bottom of the ocean and trade them for women and wine, a paltry price for the caches gained. Nalu will also protect sea-going vessels by providing scouts that lessen the chances for disaster on the open water.
Sobekites: On the whole, humans respect sobekites for their nobility and grace, and most countries allow the lizard folk to walk freely throughout their lands. The few countries that do restrict sobekite movement consider the race to be pompous and arrogant. Pious nature has a way of rubbing some the wrong way.
Humans do not have any specific reasons why they adventure. They are adventurers at heart, curious to seek out new places and things. Expansionism is not nearly as prevalent as it once was in human culture, but it still exists. Many human civilizations hire adventurers to scout and clear areas of land for governmental projects. Human adventurers are the most prevalent of the thirteen races to take up this profession.
Class Preferences: any
Religious Preferences: Adaska, Askii, Baiperus, Baris, Eadiac, Ibidi, Iteff, Ivaidin, Lugial, Rai, Vazuet, Zenaket
Racial Traits (PF)
When creating a human character, a player uses all the base traits presented below; these traits are inherent to the human and cannot be altered. A player then selects alternate traits to flesh out his human character. The total number of alternative traits may not exceed 4 racial points (RP). Each alternative trait has its RP cost listed after its name.
+2 to One Ability Score: A human character gets a +2 bonus to one ability score of his choice at creation to represent his varied nature.
Medium: A human is a Medium creature and has no bonuses or penalties due to his size.
Normal Speed: A human has a base speed of 30 feet.
Energy Cohesiveness: Select one of the follow four elements: acid (earth), cold (water), electricity (air), or fire (fire).
Energy Resistance: A human has resistance 5 to his corresponding energy type (determined by Energy Cohesiveness).
Elemental Summoner: When a human summons a creature of his chosen subtype (determined by Energy Cohesiveness) with a summon spell, increase the duration of that spell by 2 rounds.
Flexible Bonus Feat: A human selects one extra feat at 1st level.
Integrated: A human gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Disguise, and Knowledge (local) checks.
Languages: A human begins play speaking Common. A human with a high Intelligence score can choose any languages he wants (except secret languages, such as Druidic). The most common second language chosen by a human is the one that corresponds to his energy cohesiveness.
Skill Training (1 RP): Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft are always considered class skills for a human.
Spell-Like Ability, Lesser (1 RP): A human can use Unseen Servant once per day. The caster level of this spell is equal to the user’s character level.
Urbanite (1 RP): A human gains a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks made to gather information and Sense Motive checks made to get a hunch about social situations.
Elemental Assault (2 RP): A human gains the following supernatural ability. Once per day as a swift action, a human can call on the elemental power lurking in his veins to shroud his arms in energy. Unarmed strikes with his elbows or hands (or attacks with weapons held in those hands) deal +1d6 points of damage of his appropriate energy type (determined by Energy Cohesiveness). This ability lasts for 1 round per character level. He may end the effects of his elemental assault early as a free action.
Multitalented (2 RP): A human chooses two favored classes at 1st level and gains +1 hit points or +1 skill rank whenever he takes a level in either of those classes.
Skilled (4 RP): A human gains an additional skill rank at 1st level and one additional skill rank whenever he gains a level.
Racial Traits (DD)
Ignore the racial traits above and use the Human statistics in the Player’s Handbook, and allow a player the choice of the variant human traits option.
First and Second Artworks provided by Sandara
Third Artwork provided by Joseph Garcia
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