Thursday, June 26, 2014

Races in the Colonies Part Two

The last time we visited The Colonies, we took a look at three of the six major races.  Today, we will look at the remaining three.  The races described in the first entry were, more or less, cosmopolitan in nature.  The three today, while having complex social structures in their own right, are much less urbane.  These races reside on the rougher edges of The Continent.  Rare individuals may represent these races in the settlements of The Colonies, but for the most part, these races keep to themselves.

The most populous of the three races are the Orcs.  These fearsome looking individuals live in small, extended family units scattered throughout the continent.  Orcs are capable warriors when the occasion calls for violence, but their primary existence consists of subsistence farming and occasional hunting and fishing. Many Orcs are talented craftsmen, especially in woodcraft.  Some Orc tribes located near forests have even taken on the relatively new occupation of lumber production.  Of the three races, they are the most likely to come into contact with Colonials, as the more outgoing Orcs trade their handcrafts, lumber, and surplus produce for metal tools, seafood, and more exotic goods. Orc tribes, on the whole, respect the delicate balance of nature and strive to use the land without abusing it.   Their balance is ill understood by most of the other races.  The Elves claim all interior lands, but especially forests, for themselves and resent even the modest intrusions of the tribes.  The Colonials look at the talents the Orcs possess and wonder why they do not do more to exploit the abundant natural resources of the Continent.  For their part, the Orcs seem content with their lifestyle.

The Elves profess to be the original inhabitants of the Continent, and are violently opposed to the incursions of the other races into "their" lands.  The Elves spent much of their long history warring with the other races of the continent.  For most of the other inhabitants, survival against the continuous attacks of the Elves has been the ultimate goal.  The Elves proclaim that each of the other races are invaders who do not respect the natural order.  It seems to the other races, however, that Elves are simply incapable of not hating anyone who is not an Elf.  The Elves are especially protective of the forests where they make their homes.  Little is known about the structure of Elven settlements, as no non-Elf has ever seen one and returned from the forests.  At least no one who will speak on the matter.  The exceedingly few Elves who have ever come to The Colonies will speak of their homeland either.  For all their protestations about the other races misuse of the land, it is rare to see an Elven warrior who is not wearing weapons and armor stolen on a previous raid.

While the Elves proclaim they are the first sentients to inhabit the Continent, the Reptilian Elders remember when the first Elves arrived, and so know the truth of the matter.  Of the major races, the Reptilians are by far the least populous.  There are perhaps only a few hundred of them left on the Continent.  Indeed, they are a dying race, and they are aware of this fact.  The Reptilians have a very low birthrate, offset only somewhat by the fact that they are extremely long lived. All but the youngest have lived on the Continent for millennia.  No Reptilian can recall any other member of their race ever dying of disease or old age.  They are not immortal, however, as evidenced by the great number of them slain by the Elves over they years. Most Reptilians live their lives as either as solitary individuals or in the occasional pair bond, scattered throughout the Continent.  They congregate only with the greatest infrequency.  On those rare occasions when one of the females lays a viable egg, the nearby Reptilians flock to the area until the new child hatches.  The Elves watch for these congregations, in the hope that they can destroy the new life.  Only on the rarest of occasions will a Reptilian ever be seen in a settlement of one of the other races.  With their race slowly becoming extinct, one would think the Reptilians would not have much to offer the other races of the Continent.  What the Reptilians do have, however, is a prodigious memory.  They remember everything that has ever happened on the Continent.  They remember those who inhabited the land before the Elves came.  They know where the ruins of that civilization lie.  And they know how to fight them should they ever return...

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