Given the original basis of the world of Kuramen in the D20 system, it should come as no surprise that there are multiple intelligent species co-inhabiting this world. I kept a few of the standard races, but there are others that I’ve added on; each of the races was originally crafted by the gods to fill a role. Some have kept to their purposes better than others, and some have split into multiple races by the events of history.
First came the dwarves, forged from the literal bones of the world immediately after the gap to the Void was plugged. Short and stocky, they exude durability and strength in a way no other race can. Made to be the front-line warriors and guardians of the world, the first line of defense against the Void if it tried to leak through into the world, they survive mostly unchanged from the earliest days of their people – save for when the Shadow corrupted those set to guard it and corrupted them into the duergar. They stand between the Void and the World, and between the Hunger in the heart of the world and the surface, tireless and determined to uphold the vows of their ancestors.
The elves were made second, crafted to watch the heavens and stalk the surface of the world, their senses drawn out to detect the corruption of the Void and of undeath. First to be taught the secrets of magic, they were chosen along with the dwarves to guard the prison-crypt of the Shadow, and from those elves came the drow. Having been given long lives but low reproductive rates to try to keep corruption from spreading, elves are somewhat rare, and half-elves are far more common as the elvish folk interbreed with humans to try to ensure that their traditions and culture will live on. Half-elven children are often treated warmly by elves, even those not related to them, as the race sees their future in the hands of these half-breed children.
Gnomes were crafted to be stewards of the natural world, born of the woods and grasslands. They make their lives as woodsfolk tending the forests, farmers who keep the land fertile, and herders who keep their beasts from browsing the land barren. Touched with a bit of strange magic during the birth of their race, the ample spare time they tend to have has resulted in a race of people who love song and story, with most being capable entertainers in addition to their chosen craft. Few like the cities or crowded places, suffering claustrophobia that worsens the longer they’re away from the wide open places they prefer to call home.
Halflings were born specifically of the god of comfort and home, children created to tend to hospitality and the care of others. During the reign of the last empire, they were the invisible backbone of the empire, serving as civil servants and ensuring that everything ran smoothly. Today, they tend to gravitate to similar roles; the best kitchens are run by halfling chefs, and no guild or bank is considered trustworthy without halflings on the administrative payroll. Those few who feel a desire for a more adventurous life often take up scholarly professions, maximizing the reward for their effort by bending the world to their will.
Kobolds are defined by their agoraphobia and nimbleness; while barbaric tribes still exist and plague the civilized lands, quite a few kobolds dwell in the mines and cities of settled lands, their nimble fingers, quick wits, and small size suiting them for any number of tasks that the larger races find difficult. Most public buildings in the larger cities have crawlspaces where a few kobolds live, giving up part of their pay for room and board in the narrow spaces between the walls and floors, minding the maintenance of the buildings with a skill that draws approval even from the dwarven people. Notably, few kobolds – even barbaric ones – have ever been corrupted by the Void.
Gnolls were born to be the aggressive front-line warriors to the defensive bastion of the dwarves in the battle against the void, powerfully built and cunning. The hyena-folk once served as the chief military might of the Empire, entire legions marching behind a skirmish line of heavy dwarven armor to wreak havoc on less powerful and nimble foes. They’ve retained their matriarchal and militaristic ways, filling out the bulk of the combat roles in the civilized lands. Soldiers, guards, and mercenaries are all likely to be roles filled by gnollish women, while gnollish men tend to logistics and sometimes operate trade caravans, almost certainly protected by groups of gnollish warriors.
Half-orcs are descended from the hardy orcish barbarians from beyond the Empire’s old borders; they tend to be hardier and stronger than their human relatives, with a reputation for some barbaric behaviors, but no one disputes the courage, loyalty, or tenacity of a half-orc. Scholarly half-orcs tend to draw surprised reactions from those who learn of their career, as most tend to have jobs that benefit from their endurance and strength, but the great libraries often find themselves grateful to have the sturdy folk on hand. While they tend to be regarded as barbaric and uncouth, they’re still a common sight in much of the region and well-accepted for their contributions.
Half-elves generally have a childhood filled with loving care from at least one parent; their elven parent almost always seeks their birth deliberately, to ensure the continuity of elven culture. With the amount of knowledge and wisdom available from their long-lived lineage, many half-elves tend to gravitate toward scholarly pursuits, but they often pick a single profession and strive to master it, dabbling in others to improve their ability in their primary profession.