The Five Lanterns
Races and Cultures
Elves – The Elves have been present on the plane of Khitan since time immemorial. They built grand cities on the summits of mountains and worshipped a god of sacred fire while humans scratched rough pictographs into cavern walls. After a series of devastating wars, humans and elves learned to co-exist and founded the first empire. Elves have a strong sense of heritage and community; their long lifespans have allowed them to make advances in engineering and alchemy. Elves have a particular skill with longbows due to their engineering prowess and knowledge of the natural world.
Dragonborn – The Dragonborn are noted for their focus on honor as much as their fearsome strength. They are one of the less populous races of Khitan, and usually live in small settlements and monasteries on the mountaintops. Their settlements were so reclusive that elves and humans were completely unaware of their existence for hundreds of years, until explorers stumbled upon a monastery in the Saiko mountains and established diplomatic contact. When a Dragonborn community becomes too crowded, several families break away to start a new enclave. They usually have no difficulty finding land; the noble families of Khitan frantically try to entice Dragonborn settlers to their estates. Due to their strength and honorable nature, Dragonborn are invaluable allies who can repel most attackers and would never betray their benefactors.
Dwarves – The Dwarves are the oldest and most spiritual culture in all of Khitan. They were carved from rock by the Kami themselves, and have maintained a strong link with the spirits of Khitan since. While alive, a Dwarf is flesh and blood, but after death, he reverts back to the stone from which he was made. Due to their spirituality, the powers of dwarven monks and priests are legendary. The Dwarves used to dwell under the mountains, but everything changed after a magical catastrophe known as the “The Day of Black Wind”, which turned most of the Eko forest to stone. The Dwarves migrated to the forest en masse, in what they called the Great Pilgrimage. They live there to this day, tending the petrified vegetation and carving vast cathedrals and shrines in the huge stone trunks of the trees.
Halflings – The halflings are a race of explorers and seafarers without equal. They spend most of their lives on the water, surviving by fishing and bartering the treasures of the ocean for manufactured goods. The bulk of halflings live on ships in a large collective known as the “Home Fleet”, a floating community of hundreds of ships of various sizes. The Home Fleet migrates seasonally, and occasionally halfling families go ashore for several generations, returning to the fleet with new knowledge, goods, and ideas. The Seido dynasty has made periodic attempts to integrate the halflings into the larger empire, but quickly found that it is wise to not anger the largest fleet in Khitan, no matter how peaceful the halflings seem.
Humans – Humans are the most adaptable of all Khitan’s races, mostly due to their short life-spans. Mankind is the most populous race in Khitan, but elves often hold higher positions in the hierarchy of the Empire due to their longer lifespans. A majority of humans live in cities and villages scattered around the islands and make their living as merchants, farmers, and tradesmen.
Tieflings, Genasi , Eladrin – These are refugees stranded on Khitan after the Day of Black Wind. With the closing of the planar gates, they became unwanted and unwelcome as the rest of Khitan struggled with the natural disasters that followed the Black Wind. Poverty and lack of a permanent settlement drove many refugees to rioting and looting; the Seido dynasty responded by banishing tens of thousands to distant colonies. Racism against Tieflings, Genasi, and Eladrin lingers in many places. It is further augmented by rumors of a refugee coalition called Bael Turath preparing for war against the Empire.