Humanity: The little race that could
As a listener of this podcast, you may at first listen find it unusual that we rarely, if ever, refer to characters as being Human. This is because there are comparatively few of them around.
Many are the long lived races of the world and all known races have occupied the lands far and wide for as long as the history books recall; with one exception.
No more than a few hundred years ago, a sorcerous community, The order of Slen in the lands of Orthain produced the results of decades of study and unholy rites.
As talented summoners and practitioners of more sinister arts, those tainted by taboo and often perceived as requiring the sacrifice of one’s soul, regular were the walks into the underdark where demons were summoned and bound to do their bidding were frequent; Experiments with keepers and watchers and beholders were plentiful but the energy and resources required to maintain a hold upon these unearthly beasts was deemed taxing and beneath their worth.
It came about that a decision was made; seeing the rise in power of the Overlord in the north as he bent the elves to his will and built an empire on the backs of slaves, the sorcerors of Orthain required indentured servitude. They had not the manpower, nor really the incentive to themselves become slavers in the truest sense. Their own twisted logic perceiving themselves as somehow better than requiring truly sentient beings to be beholden to them. This belayed their true fear that if they were to become slavers, the Overlord would exact punishment upon them, something they thought best avoided.
And so, research began into creating life.
Golems were too simple; artificial constructs with no capacity to reason and capable of only simple tasks, flesh golems were cumbersome and only followed commands, not to mention the stench. For their work, they needed something deeper, capable of rationalising and its own form of creation; They wanted to invest once and have an army of self-reproducing units capable of doing complex tasks with no need to apply over-detailed instructions to achieve results. The end results varied; as dramatically as the races within Orthain. Some were short, some tall, others thin or fat, muscular. Naturally, sexes were created to enable procreation and even hair and skin tones varied, often dependent upon their incubation periods. Eventually, the process was refined and each sorcerer was capable of producing several units rapidly, each capable of independent thought and will, able to procreate and communicate in common. It was a great success.
At first, the short lived creatures (with a lifespan maximum of a mere 7 decades) were simply born into servitude and died in servitude, they existed purely within the confines of Orthain, instructed when going about the city to act as though they were simply golems and so they did and for a time, they succeeded. As they rapidly became prolific however, questions were raised about these “golems”, by which point it was too late for the populace. What council could withstand a sudden army at their door of bodies willing to die for their holy creators?
Orzen, an ambitious and powerful Sorceror amongst the order of Slen instated himself as the Grand Highmaster of Orthain and ruled for almost a century. Unbeknownst to the order, their creations over generations of reproduction had gained an immense volume of learning, each successive generation gained an increasingly strong gene pool, they improved; diversifying in strength and skill. As a byproduct of their creation, all of the creatures had an innate ability to sense magic. When one was born with the ability to handle magic itself, it was brought before Orzen by his parents. Delighted at the recognition of their child, the parents thought nothing of handing him to Orzen before the court where it was violently and bloodily murdered.
The wailing and grieving parents were dragged from the courts and Orzen declared that any signs of magic in the constructs was to be destroyed. Thus began the rebellion.
The city of Orthain was levelled; Through sheer numbers the creatures had thrown off the shackles of their creators and oppressors and they fled into the wilderness.
It was not long before tales were heard across the land; a new race had appeared. Abominations of a sort. Short lived and created through foul magic; humanity had come to the world.
Two centuries have passed since and humans are still rarely encountered. They keep to their communities in the wilderness and are generally perceived as un-natural and foul, unsightly and fearsome.
Creatures who are “half-X”, when their other half is human, are considered to be abominations. The parents of the non-human race perceived as unsound of mind.