Heroes of Ash and Flame Preview
The Races of Athas
Dwarf: A dwarf’s chief love is toil. A dwarf is never happier than when there is a cause to work or fight for, something he can approach with stoic single–mindedness for weeks, months, years, or even decades at a time. Once a dwarf’s mind is committed to a certain task, he’ll only set it aside after a great deal of grumbling and coercion. The fulfilment he achieves upon completion of a lengthy, difficult task is what he strives for.
Elf: Swift, sure, and self–reliant, an elf is conditioned to run quickly over sandy and rocky terrain, sometimes for days at a time. An elven war party on the move is a deadly force of endurance and maneuverability. Elves use no beasts of burden for personal transportation. It is dishonorable among elves to ride on an animal unless wounded and near death – even pregnant women and old elves are expected to keep up with the tribe or be left behind.
Goliath: Goliaths a fairly young race; a bizarre experiment where giants were magically crossbred with humans.. A goliath gain terrific size from his giant heritage, but also inherits that race’s dull wits. There is no goliath culture common to all of their kind. On the contrary having insufficient history and overall intelligence to have their own culture, goliaths tend to readily adopt the cultures of other creatures they admire or associate with. Goliaths are very imitative creatures, eager to fit into new situations as they present themselves.
Half Elf: Neither fully human nor fully elven, half–elves rarely find acceptance with either race. Elves are especially intolerant, at times driving mothers of half–elven infants from their camps into the desert. Humans are more apt to accept half–elves as allies or partners, but seldom accept them into their homes, clans, or families. Half-elves are outsiders, forever wandering from situation to situation without a people, land, or village to call home.
Halflings: A feral race from the distant jungles, halflings have the faces of wise and beautiful children. Regardless of age, their features never succumb to their years. Halflings possess great racial unity. They tend to rely heavily on their culture for communication. Halflings who have travelled widely outside their traditional jungle home have a much greater tolerance of those with a “lack” of halfling culture; and can communicate easily and without frustration. Their taste for human (and demi-human) flesh is well-known.
Humans: The most populous race on Athas, humans are tolerant of other races and can easily adapt to situations involving elves or dwarves, and even more exotic races such as goliaths and thri–kreen. Where other, less tolerant races come into contact with one another, humans often serve as diplomatic buffers. Compared to dwarves, muls, goliaths, and thri-kreen, humans aren’t very strong. They are, however, cunning, highly inventive, and persistent in the extreme.
Mul: A mul is an incredibly tough crossbreed of a human and dwarf. Their dwarven ancestry gives them a well–muscled frame and an incredible constitution – mul laborers can perform heavy work for days at a time without stopping. Muls are unmistakably human in appearance. Born as they are to lives of slave labor, with the taskmaster’s whip taking the place of parents and family, muls are given to a gruff personality and violent reactions.
Thri-Kreen: Six–limbed insect–men with tough, sandy–yellow exoskeletons, their survivability in the wilderness combined with their cunning and intellect, have made these mantis warriors the undisputed masters across large tracts of the desert wastes. The pack is the single unit of organization among the thri-kreen. Thri-kreen have a well–known taste for elves, which keeps both races at an uneasy peace when they are forced to cooperate.