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PostSubject: General Human Information   Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:54 pm

Humans are by far the most populous race on Ansalon.
They are also the most adaptive and ambitious, dominating
whatever land in which they live through sheer numbers
and collective force of will. Much of this stems from a
deep-seated desire to experience and accomplish as much
as possible during their comparatively brief lives. Being
the children of the gods of balance, humans fully embrace
the gift of free will. Humans run the gamut from the
purest, shining example of good to the most debased, vile
specimen of evil, in contrast to the elves and ogres who
tend towards either end of the moral spectrum.
Humans can be divided into two distinctly different,
yet still physically similar, groups. Civilized humans are the
men and women who have chosen towns and cities over
the wilderness, while the nomads remain close to nature,
living and dying at the whims of the land. Neither group
is inherently better than the other, but both look at life in
very different ways. Both groups tend to look at the other
with disdain; the city dwellers considering their nomadic
cousins to be ignorant savages, while the different tribes
tend to think of city folk as pampered and weak.
Humans have also developed cultures in other lands
beyond the oceans surrounding Ansalon. The three
human cultures on the small continent of Ithin’carthia,
the Tarmak, Damjatt, and Keena, have made new homes
on Ansalon’s shores through the invitation of Ariakan.
Although outwardly quite different from other humans,
they are nonetheless a prime example of the varied and
diverse nature of humanity.

A Brief History
According to the folklore of humans, their origins lie
with the gods of balance, who set them upon the face of
Krynn in the Age of Dreams to stand between the elves
of Paladine and the ogres of Takhisis. The last of the three
to be created, they were likewise the last race to claim a
homeland. The elves had already taken the primal forests
of the Elderwild, and the ogres had seized the mighty
Khalkist Mountains. Humans, therefore, took the plains
and hills that were left. Nevertheless, this mythical land
of humanity, known as Mara, had its own riches, and the
humans felt blessed.
Of course, nothing can last forever. When the ogres
learned of the men and women of Mara, they swept
out of their mountains and enslaved them. Humanity
was put to work in the mines of the ogres, forced to
labor for generations, until the rise of the human slave
Eadamm. The property of Governor Igrane, a high ogre of
considerable importance among his kind, Eadamm saved
the Governor’s daughter during a mining accident despite
being ordered to leave. This was the turning point in the
history of both the ogres and humans; as Igrane learned of
human compassion—and free will—Eadamm learned of
ogre ambition. Freed by Igrane, who was later forced out
of the high ogre empire and fled with his cohorts to avoid
reprisals, Eadamm led a successful uprising. Even though
he was later captured, publicly tortured, and executed by
the vile ogre Jyrbian, Eadamm’s inspirational leadership
instilled his people with the tools of revolt.
The human tribes of the plains of Mara grew in number
as more and more humans shook free from the tyranny of
the ogres over the next hundred years. With the collapse
of ogre civilization, the elves took their place as Krynn’s
civilized race; humanity continued to live in barbarism and
savagery, albeit emboldened by their memory of slavery.
During this time, Reorx took the first of many groups of
humans to his mountain forges, teaching them the secrets
of metal and stone. Over the course of several generations,
these humans became known as the Smiths, the Chosen
of Reorx. Their possession of Reorx’s great secrets of
craft filled them with pride, setting them apart from their
uneducated brethren; eventually, this hubris so angered
Reorx that in 5000 PC, he cursed them with short stature
and an obsession to create to distract them from their
vanity.
In 4350 PC, the Graygem was released on Krynn.
Reorx’s Smiths pursued the erratic gemstone, chasing
it across the face of Krynn, capturing it, and then
accidentally releasing it again, a progression of Chaos of
which all of Ansalon’s races tell their own tales. Reorx’s
Smiths become the dwarves, gnomes, and kender, and
many other transformations took place in the path of
the Graygem. As this unlocked the world’s primal magic,
the dragons of Ansalon began to interact with the plains
humans, and the first of humanity’s arcane traditions
began to emerge. The story of the siblings Amero and
Nianki, later known as Karada, takes place at this time;
as a result of their interaction with dragons of good
and evil, the elves, and the fallen ogres of the Khalkists,
humanity learns to build cities and their numbers swell.
By the First Dragon War, Karada’s tribe had splintered into
many smaller tribes and spread out across Ansalon, while
Amero’s people become the first civilized humans.
Over the course of the next thousand years, as the
races of Ansalon grew and encroached upon each other’s
lands, conflicts continued. The humans fought amongst
themselves as often as they fought against the ogres,
goblins, elves, and minotaurs; plains tribes warred with
each other over precious resources, and the fortified towns
rose and fell as warlords and leaders brought together
armies to invade and conquer. No nation formed, however,
despite the growing move toward forming alliances
between tribes, until a horselord nomad named Ackal
Ergot came out of the foothills of the Khalkists, fresh from
warring against the ogres, to gather the plains people to
his banner. He headed westward, seizing territory with
the spoils of his ogre victories and swelling the numbers
of his army. Finally, after defeating the last of his major
opponents in other tribes, the Lord of the Western
Hundred faced off against his brother Bazan for supremacy
of the united tribes and won.
The newly founded Empire of Ergoth was the first
of Ansalon’s great human nations. Although Ackal died
soon after his coronation, his legacy persevered. His line,
occasionally broken by rivals only to rise again from the
flames like the Blue Phoenix they revered, continues
into the modern era. Ergoth was foremost of the human
nations for centuries, although its reach was not as great as
its Emperors would have wanted. Wars against the warrior
queens of Tarsis, the ongoing problem of barbaric tribes,
such as the Dom-Shu in the woodlands at the Empire’s
border, and the rebellion of Vinas Solamnus kept Ergoth
largely in check.
Solamnus, whose Rose Rebellion during the War of
Ice Tears led to the creation of the mighty republic of
Solamnia, began the next great era of humanity. His Knights
of Solamnia eclipsed the Cavaliers of Ergoth as opponents
of evil in the world. Alliances with elves and dwarves, and
even with the Ergothians, represented a shift from what was
once merely an age of bronze and iron to an age of steel. In
less than 500 years from Solamnia’s founding, many other
human nations grew to prominence, and the dominance of
Ergoth ended.
The next challenge to human advancement came with
the Third Dragon War in 1060 PC. Takhisis’s dragons
had risen from slumber, and brutal ogre warlords allied
with renegade wizards to threaten all of Ansalon, with the
Knights of Solamnia at the forefront of the conflict. This
was a time of great deeds and heroics, although bards and
storytellers later embellished much of it. Takhisis’s plot to
take over the world was thwarted by Paladine and Huma
of Eldor. Huma, astride his beloved silver dragon Heart,
confronted Takhisis’s mighty five-headed dragon aspect and
exacted her oath of banishment. The Dark Queen and all of
her wyrms left the mortal realm and would not return for
over a thousand years. The Age of Might had begun.

In the wake of the Third Dragon War, a revival of
nobility and honor began within the Knights of Solamnia,
and their ranks grew. Other nations accepted Knights
within their cities, including Kharolis and far Istar. Istar, a
small merchant nation slowly becoming a major influence,
forged a strong alliance with Solamnia that would usher
in hundreds of years of prosperity. Istar’s rulers became
corrupt, however, and were overthrown by the priesthood;
in their place, the Kingpriests were installed as the
supreme authority in the Istaran Empire. The currency,
trade, and politics of Istar replaced those of other nations,
which were slowly absorbed into the Empire under the
watchful and beneficial eye of the Kingpriests. Despite
occasional border clashes, trade disputes, and nomadic
revolts, it was a period of great peace and unity.
Istar’s fall began with the growing change in its policies
toward other races, the zealots who assumed the mantle of
Kingpriest, and the steady decline in equal trade standards
with independent nations such as Solamnia and Kharolis.
Challenges to the rule of the Kingpriest were met with
harsh diplomacy and the sharp end of the sword. With the
ascension of Beldinas Pilofiro to the throne, a man whose
life was foretold in prophecies, Istar entered its last years.
Omens and signs from the gods, ignored by the Kingpriest,
warned of a great disaster to strike Ansalon unless Istar
reversed its actions. A war with the Orders of High Sorcery
resulted in the destruction of two of their towers, the loss
of two others, and an enduring rift between wizards and
the rest of the world. The Lord Knight of the Rose, Loren
Soth of Knightlund, was tasked by the gods to ride to Istar
and stop the Kingpriest from challenging the gods for
dominance. He failed and was punished; Istar also failed,
and the rest of the world was punished likewise.
The Cataclysm was a fiery movement of change for the
humans of Ansalon. The widespread geological changes
that came about as a result of the impact of the “fiery
mountain” upon Istar plunged the continent into plague
and ruin. Ergoth, only a shadow of a once great nation, was
split in two and separated from the mainland by rushing
waters and earthquakes. Solamnia gained a coastline
where none was before. Thousands of lives were lost as
cities crumbled, fell into the sea, or were consumed by fire
and plague. Paranoia, fear, and the absence of the gods
made this the Age of Despair, one in which the glorious
days and glittering spires of human civilization were over.
The nomad humans of Ansalon managed to thrive in the
Cataclysm’s wake, reliant as they were on the natural world;
civilization remained only in small pockets, however,
such as Palanthas and a scattering of cities like Haven
and now-landlocked Tarsis. Solamnia’s aristocracy was
overthrown, as the Knights were blamed for the horrors of
the Cataclysm and chased from their manors. Most Lord
Knights fled to the western islands, leaving Solamnia to the
merchants, commoners, and those few nobles who held on
to cities like Caergoth and Thelgaard.
In the east, humanity took a decidedly more sinister
turn. In response to summons from the Dark Queen, who
had retrieved the ruins of Istar’s Temple of Light from the
Abyss and placed it in the mountains of the Taman Busuk,
large numbers of nomadic humans flocked to the Valley of
Neraka. They were joined by ogres and goblins, but Takhisis
knew humanity held the greatest promise for her new plans
of conquest. Humans comprised the greatest percentage of
her Dragonarmy officers and were lead by Duulket Ariakas,
a brilliant strategist and former Black Robe wizard who was
given supreme control over Takhisis’s armies. By 337 AC, as
Ansalon struggled to rise from the ashes of the Cataclysm,
Ariakas’s five Dragonarmies launched a series of invasions
that surged across the eastern half of the continent and laid
waste to all resistance. The War of the Lance had begun.
It took time for organized resistance to build against the
Dragonarmies. Humans, elves, and dwarves were divided
after hundreds of years of great mistrust and isolation. A
handful of heroes, including a pair of nomads from the
Abanasinian plains, the son of a Solamnic knight, a young
wizard, and his warrior brother, set out from the tiny village
of Solace to restore faith and hope to the people of Ansalon
and oppose the onslaught of the Dark Queen and her
dragons. Once again, an alliance with the good dragons, as
well as the alliance of feuding cultures in the spirit of free
will and opposition to tyranny, emphasized the power of
the human spirit to resist that which seeks to destroy it.
Although the elves, dwarves, kender, and even ogres and
goblins had their own lessons to learn from the War of the
Lance, the lesson humanity embraced was that unity, even
among diverse groups, was the only path toward a peaceful
and lasting future.

Common Traits
Humans are the most diverse of all the races of Ansalon.
They are often incapable of seeing the other races as
more than humans with additional traits or extremes
of personality, perhaps because of their own incredibly
varied physical appearance, cultural diversity, and sheer
numbers. Humans are tall or short, dark-skinned or lightskinned,
slender or stocky. Those physical characteristics
they do have in common with one another are, as a result,
characteristics they share with all other humanoid races.
As a general rule, humans are Medium-sized, usually
between five and six feet in height, although there are
significant examples of taller or shorter individuals. Their
average weight falls between 115 and 225 pounds. Women
are usually shorter and lighter than men, but in some
cultures, this may be reversed. Humans have no inherent
extraordinary or supernatural abilities, such as enhanced
vision; however, their ability to learn, grow, and acquire
extraordinary talents is well known. Indeed, some of
Krynn’s greatest mages, priests, warriors, and artisans have
been human.

Humans recieve the standard NWN bonuses and feats recieved upon creation.

_________________
Years of love have been forgot
In the hatred of a minute. - Edgar Allen Poe
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