Humans are simultaneously the most populous and shortest-lived of the Five Peoples living on Elanterra. The reasons for this strange dichotomy deal largely with their social structures and societal norms.

Physically, Humans are taller than most of the other Peoples, ranging from between four and six feet tall. With access to a proper diet, they are the most physically adept as well, at least on dry land. Humans have smaller, more rounded ears, and lack any other distinguishing physical traits. They can be found in settlements of various size throughout Elanterra. As a rule, Humans are opportunistic. If a niche can be found, a Human with find a way to exploit it to survive. Although not necessarily as adept as the other Peoples, Humans farm, raise, fish, hunt, mine, carve, brew, and sell. Other Peoples, particularly Hill and River Folk, often employ Humans as labor.

Humans tend to organize in strict feudal states called ‘Kingdoms.’ These societies are ruled by a supreme executive called a King. In some cases, the royal family rules together, or the Kings power is held in check by a Parliament of nobles, but this isn’t common. The title of King passes by blood from the current ruler to his designated heir, usually the first-born son. Women have very few rights in these Kingdoms, and cannot inherit titles or property. A woman’s inheritance will typically instead fall to her husband or eldest son. There are some rare cases of women ruling as regents or advisors for children too young to take the throne for themselves. Although women have little direct power in these structures, they tend to have the responsibility of managing their husbands houses and affairs, giving them far more influence than expected.

The largest Human Kingdoms are Argonia in the east and Lithia in the southwest. Hydraal is also nominally considered to be a Kingdom, although its political structure is much looser. Its monarchy is considered largely symbolic.

Although the ruling class holds most of the wealth in Human society, they make up a very small percentage of the population. Non-noble Humans are known as Serfs, and they are in some matters considered the legal property of the nobles, who most farmland and hires Serfs on as tenants for a percentage of the harvests. As with the King, these arrangements pass from father to son. In exchange for their labor and service, Human nobles are expected to protect the serfs from monsters, foreign powers (usually other Human nobles) and perform other duties of their station. In cities, or settlements not overseen by a noble family, Humans are considered “Free.”

Humans, particularly serfs, suffer from generally poor conditions and a lack of varied diet. Most Humans consider the magical arts to be taboo, and avoid magical healing. Since there are very few skilled healers that are not magicians, Apothecaries are common in Human lands. Their effectiveness varies. Use of magic, and in some cases being known as a spellcaster is a crime in most Kingdoms, with a variety of punishments. Lithia is the most zealous, with an elite corps of Witch Hunters serving in their military.

Humans worship a stern, authoritative god, called the Divine Emperor. He is often depicted robed in the night sky. He is secretive, and those outside of the nobility and clergy classes are not even privy to his true name. His worship states that Humans are called upon to do the service of their station, with a very few rising to the ranks of the clergy or other specialized vocations. Those that violate the social order are severely punished. As a result, Barbarian tribes and other Humans outside of the traditional social order are often shunned for turning their backs on ‘the chosen people.’

Compilier’s Note: This entry remains pretty accurate. Humans are ruled by kings, who have all the wealth and power, and everyone else stays at the bottom. Humans do much better in the mixed cities, particularly Carabos, where they are a large minority, and consist of most of the surface labor pool. The plight of women in Human society remains particularly bad. Hill and River Folk women traveling or doing business in Human lands are required to travel with a male companion, as a woman traveling alone will likely find herself detained ‘for her own safety.’ Dwarven women, obviously, don’t have this problem. –GB

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