Races in Calne
The races of Calne are broken into three categories: the mundane, the near-fey, and the fey.
The mundane races
Calne is home to many peoples, but humans are by far the most populous of the races. Ranging from the nations of the far south, up into the north in Torm, humans inhabit nearly ever part of the world.
Humans are as varied as the places they live—in Torm, humans tend towards ruddiness and sturdy builds to deal with the northern climes. Across the eldritch wastes and the Glittering Sea, where the sun beats harder, people are darker of skin and more slender of build—on the whole.
Halflings are humans' nearest kin among the races, and can be found wherever their taller cousins are. Apart from their height, halflings are rarely thought of as different from humans.
Less widespread than humans are the gnomes, ork-kin, and dwarvenkind. These races together are called the near-fey.
The gnomish people live only in the Tormon mountain range. They would likely never have been found were it not for the industry of The Torm City. However, c. 300 years ago, Torm's mining and industrial efforts attracted the attention of the insatiably curious gnomes. It was the gnomes' influence that propelled Torm so quickly to achieve the technological wonders it did, and the gnomes have even been incorporated into the Republic as a semi-autonomous state.
The ork-kin1 are one of the toughest peoples of Calne. They make their home primarily along the southern bounds of the eldritch wastes, though are given to wanderlust. Many make their way around Calne on merchant ships, being valued for their great strength and fortitude.
Having lived so long next to the eldritch wastes has had an effect on the ork-kin, and they are among the most unpredictable of the denizens of Calne. Many consider them to be half-feral. This is an unfair assessment: ork-kin are capable of the same feats as any of the other races; an ork-kin named Dr. Tusken Drallow currently serves as a professor of theology at the University of Grisholm.
Once one gets past their fearsome visage, the ork-kin get on well with most of the other races, save the dwarves.
The most reclusive of the near-fey, dwarves live in the archipelagos of the North Sea. Inveterate miners, some few migrated to Torm in the past, and are likely responsible for setting the humans of the Tormon isthmus down the path of industry that ultimately lead to the discovery of the gnomes.
Above all else, dwarves value the work of their hands. The only goods ever exported from the North Sea are raw materials, principally coal. More recently, the discovery of trenevant crystals has lead to closer ties with the states of the Tormon isthmus, though the dwarves still keep the humans and gnomes at arms length.
Dwarves are almost never seen south of The Torm City. Even venturing to Veer is farther than most will go. They keep to their own.
Their dislike of the ork-kin has never been explained.
The rarest of the races of Calne, the elves and their kin are almost never seen outside of their hidden cities.
The elves are simultaneous the most feared and most respected of the races of Calne. They are few and far between, but their mysterious natural magics are still not understood and capable of massive devastation.
Fortunately, elvenkind rarely feel the need to bring their powers to bear against the other denizens of Calne. They are aloof and their infrequent appearances are always cause for turned heads and whispers.
Little is known about them.
There are other fey races, though so little is known about them that they are often considered rumors. Most of these rumors compare them in appearance to the elves as a baseline, and then invent fantastic elaborations: winged creatures, elves of fire or ice, water-spirits, creatures that can change their visage at will…
Most academic circles acknowledge that there is more to the fey peoples than is known, but simultaneously argue that all of these rumors are about elves themselves, manipulating the world with their mysterious natural magics.
While the ork-kin are commonly referred to as half-orcs, they are a species unto themselves. In the distant past they may have spawned from a population of orc hybrids, but the ork-kin breed true. This seems unlikely however, as all reported cases of humans and orcs attempting to procreate since have never borne offspring, and the origins of the ork-kin are unknown.