Prophecy: Races

MAJOR RACES OF EASTERN OERIK

Humans Elves Dwarves Gnomes Halflings Humanoids
Baklunish (Arabic) High Hill Rock (common) Hairfeet Kobolds
Flan (Native American) Grey Mountain Forest Tallfellows Orcs
Oeridian (Western European) Sylvan Derro Deep Stouts Goblins
Olman (tribes of South America and Africa) Grugach Grey     Hobgoblins
Rhenee (Gypsies) Valley Arctic     Norkers
Suloise (Aryan-type people, some with Eastern influences) Aquatic Deep     Gnolls
  Drow       Ogres
  Half-elves       Half-orcs
  Winged       Half-ogres
          Planetouched

Detailed descriptions of the races follow. Characters may be
of other races on approval of the DM (particularly if they are from
other worlds).

Humans

Nearly all the humans of the Flanaess can trace their roots to
five racial groups. (A sixth group, the Olman of the Amedio jungle,
exist as former slaves in the Hold of the Sea Princes.) Many folk
retain distinctive racial characteristics, but most are difficult
to recognize due to long centuries of mixed marriages. However even
in these cases, many families identify with a certain racial group
and follow those traditions and customs whether they resemble their
ancestors or not. Only the Rhennee shun marriages outside their own
race.

The Flannae

Members of the Flan race are accepted to be the first human
inhabitants of eastern Oerik; hence the term Flanaess. Originally
scattered nomads with no real settlements, the Flan were pushed to
various areas of the continent just over a thousand years ago by
the invading Suel and Oeridians.

The Flannae are recognizable by their bronze complexions and
wavy or curly hair. Their skin tones range from a lighter coppery
color to a deep brown. Flan eyes are most commonly dark brown or
black, with brown or amber appearing less frequently. Their hair is
usually black but also ranges through shades of brown-black, dark
brown and brown.

The Duchy of Tenh boasts of a pure Flan heritage. Geoff and
Sterich, while slightly mixed with other races, still identify with
the Flannae. Other nations that show strong Flan roots are the
Rovers of the Barrens, Stonehold and the Theocracy of the Pale.

The original Flan nomads of a millennium ago wore simple,
utilitarian clothing including loincloths, capes and leather
wrappings on their feet that served as shoes. They also wore
brightly colored body paints, primarily vermilion and yellow ochre,
in primitive patterns, a practice still common among the surviving
Rovers of the Barrens. In civilized regions such as the Duchy of
Tenh, Flan clothing tends to follow current fashion, though in
solid, bright primary colors.

The ancient Flannae were a peaceful people who followed a
regular pattern of seasonal migration. They lived off the land,
hunting and gathering, and their population remained relatively
steady. They had a strong view of nature as an entity, and the
myths, legends and culture all emphasized the importance and values
of a dose relationship with nature. All of the known druidic gods
are Flan in origin.

While many Flannae were able to coexist with the immigrating
Suel and Oeridians, others found themselves pushed from their
traditional lands. They were forced to hunt in unfamiliar
territories and climates, and some scholars speculate that the
Flannae nearly died out during these difficult years.

Some of the pureblooded Flannae still show characteristics of
their ancestors. They tend to prefer open spaces to crowded cities,
and they have an affinity for gardening (especially among those
with no choice but to live in crowded conditions). Some Flan
(particularly those of the Rovers, though many of them have been
killed in recent years) are good with horses. The Flannae have a
strong tradition for storytelling, and most families have a
repertoire of legends and traditions passed down through the
generations. They like to spend as much time as they can out of
doors, and a favourite pastime during comfortable weather is to
build an outdoor fire and gather the family around for an evening
of stories.

A modern custom among the Flannae is to plant a tree at the
doorway of their home. The tree helps to maintain the families ties
to nature and remind them to care for the Oerth mother Beory. Among
some branches of the Flan, if the tree sickens or dies, this is
taken as a sign that the family must move or perhaps bad luck or
some evil influence. Trees and plants are often given as gifts to
welcome a new baby or to greet a Flan family moving to a new home.
For good luck, some Flannae keep a dried or pressed leaf from their
home tree when travelling or adventuring.

The Oeridians

A millennium ago, the Oeridians moved from the west into the
Flanaess, where they eventually took control of what is now
Furyondy, Perrenland, the Shield Lands, the Great Kingdom of North
Aerdy, the United Kingdom of Ahlissa, Onnwal and Sunndi They are
sometimes difficult to differentiate from other races, with skin
ranging from tan to olive, hair varying in color from honey-blonde
to black (with brown and auburn being most common), and eyes of
every common color, though most often brown or gray. Oeridians are
recognized more easily through their choice of clothing.

Favouring plaids and checks, sometimes with unusual variations
such as diamond or lozenge patterns, the Oeridians are perhaps the
flashiest dressers in the Flanaess. Their clothing normally
consists of close-fitting trousers and short tunic with capes or
cloaks.

Historically, the Oeridians were fierce warriors and aggressive
about controlling land. They fought hard to maintain their borders
and even harder to acquire lands they desired. Conquerors by
nature, they are accustomed to thinking of themselves as the best
humanity has to offer and thus destined to rule. They are prone to
take charge, obey their superiors, and sacrifice for the good of
whatever group they are in. All Oeridians suffer from bouts of
temper, however, and those who can control their emotions and
channel their energies into productive activity are regarded highly
among other races.

Oeridans have a talent for focusing their attention in combat.
And this sometimes gives them the upper hand. They consider
fighting a craft, and practice is taken very seriously. Some
Oeridians practice acrobatics, tumbling, unarmed fighting and even
dance as part of their training. Because of the great amount of
time the warriors devote to practising their art. Oeridians tend to
be nimble.

The Oeridians are recognised for the superb weapons and armour
they produce. They are always looking for ways to improve their
odds in battle, and that includes perfecting existing weapons and
armour designs, and inventing new types of armour and weapons. They
are also very inventive with developing magical armour and weapons
and combat spells.

Oeridian custom requires that a gift be offered to a host or
hostess when an overnight stay is anticipated. Traditionally, this
gesture was meant to put the hosting family at ease and serve as a
sign that the visitors had no designs on acquiring the host’s land
or property.

The Oeridian people feel deep ties to their clan and are
fiercely protective of both their immediate and extended family. A
threat to an Oeridian’s land or property is only slightly less
important than a threat to his family.

The Rhennee

The Rhennee are truly the enigma among the races of Greyhawk.
While the other four races can trace their histories to elsewhere
on the continent, the Rhennee have separate origins. They are
thought to have first appeared in the Flanaess in the area around
the Adri Forest around 150 cy, moving west to avoid harassment by
Aerdy soldiers and citizens. The Rhennee increasingly left the land
to become migrants on the central rivers, until comparatively few
land-dwelling Rhennee now exist. Though they rarely speak of this
to outsiders, their legends claim that the race came to Oerth
accidentally from their home world of Rhop. Although the Rhenn-folk
have only a few ideas of what their home plane was like or how they
got here, they know that it was quite different from the
Flanaess.

At a glance, some Rhennee might be confused with Oeridians.
Rhennee skin color ranges in the tan to olive shades and hair tends
to be black or dark brown, and curly hair is most common. Their
eyes are most often brown, gray or hazel, but blue or green eyes
are not unusual The Rhennee are wiry and short, with males
averaging about 5′ 6″, but they are exceptionally strong for their
build.

The Rhennee live exclusively on the waterways, making their
homes on large barges that average about 60 feet long and 15 feet
wide. These sturdy barges are similar in style to a junk; they are
capable of navigating the Nyr Dyvs often-choppy waters and
treacherous storms, as well as river ways. These ships may have one
or two masts. A single barge may be home to as many as 45 people,
including a captain or chief, two to four guards, a “wise woman,”
an advisor or two, 13 to 24 adults, and seven to twelve children
(up to age 12). The guards may be male or female, but the advisors
are always female. The wise woman is the matriarch of the group
(although not all families on the barge are related); her role is
to sell fortunes for land-dwellers and thus earn coin, and also to
predict the weather, settle disputes and use her skills with
herbalism for minor healing. The wise woman is the driving force in
Rhennee society; not even a noble will knowingly contradict her. In
spite of the role of the wise woman and her advisors, Rhennee
society is extremely chauvinistic. Other women are treated as
helpmeets and gain some respect from the men, but they are
basically considered chattel. No formal rite of marriage exists,
and barge captains and nobles may have as many “wives” as they can
support. The men tend toward proud, aggressive behaviour and are
quick to issue a challenge to a non-Rhennee male who looks in the
direction of one of their women.

The Rhennee earn their living primarily through transportation
of goods and passengers, with some hunting, fishing, trading and
craftwork on the side. Most will not work when they can steal and
thus have good thieving skills, although they avoid stealing from
each other. Some also have a skill for tinkering, but their
reputations vary widely.

Most of these folk do not seem inclined toward good or evil, but
instead lean toward neutrality. Some Rhennee have recently followed
evil cults (for example those of Vecna and Iuz), but this influence
has been thrown off. The Rhennee follow a rather strict set of
norms that has different standards for their own kind and for
non-Rhennee. Many of their customs are baffling to outsiders, and
the Rhennee seem to like it that way. Outside the city of Greyhawk,
a large settlement (if it can be called that) of Rhennee floats on
the Selintan River. The city officials ignore the flotilla, leaving
the Rhennee to resolve their own problems in their own way. The
system works well for all concerned.

The Suloise

The Suel folk arrived in Oerik as refugees from lands south and
west of the Crystalmist and HelIfurnace Mountains. Escaping the
wars in their homelands, the Suloise helped to displace the Flannae
from their traditional lands and were themselves scattered far and
wide.

No one is certain what the ancient Suloise Empire was like. Most
of their former realm was destroyed by the Rain of Colorless Fire,
leaving behind what is now called the Sea of Dust. Rumours abound
of Suloise ruins and treasures buried in the Sea of Dust, but the
climate there is so harsh that few dare to go looking for this
wealth.

The Suloise are the fairest-skinned of Oerik’s races, some being
almost albino. Their eyes vary from pale blue and violet through
deep blue and the occasional gray. Hair color ranges in the
strawberry blondes, yellows and platinums. Wavy or kinky hair is
seen as often as straight hair.

The Frost, Ice and Snow Barbarians are the best examples of pure
Suel blood. Suel descendants are also predominant in the Duchy of
Urnst, the islands off the eastern coast of the Flanaess, and the
lands of the Scarlet Brotherhood on the Tilvanot Peninsula. Some
Suloise settled in the Amedio Jungle and Hepmonaland, where they
became tanned and freckled.

Ancient Suloise wore wide-legged pantaloons and loose blouses.
These styles are still popular but have been adapted for climate.
In the north, these garments can be of fur or felted wool, worn
with capes, furred boots and mittens. Those in the south sometimes
wear a loose vest instead of a blouse, and fabrics are lightweight.
Solid colors are preferred universally, with most folk having only
one or two colors in their wardrobe. The Suloise also like to wear
emblems and souvenir trinkets on their clothing. These ornaments
are considered important items of family heritage. They can be
passed down through generations.

The Suloise have a strong sense of the importance of ancestral
and family ties. They fight more among themselves than other human
groups because of these ancient allegiances.

The Suloise are not known for their patience and have a short
way with disagreements since they tend to be opinionated and
convinced that their notions are the best. A popular saying in some
parts of the Flanaess is, “when all the Suloise have left the
table,” meaning that nothing constructive will take place in a
discussion until anyone unwilling to be open-minded is removed.

These folk are also known for their manual dexterity. They have
a talent for all arts and crafts, especially those involving detail
work such as embroidery, sewing, leather tooling, sculpting and
painting. Suloise weavers can demand the highest prices on the
continent for their fabrics, both for the fine grain of their
weaves and the extraordinary detail of their patterns.

The Suel have a long tradition of wizardry and magical research,
and the ancient Suel Imperium produced many powerful magics,
culminating in the Invoked Devastation that laid waste to the
ancient Baklunish Empire. Even now many Suel become mages. Perhaps
their dexterity gives them an advantage in manipulating spell
components and gesticulations.

The Baklunish House Rule

The Baklunish are settled mainly in the northwestern regions of
the Flanaess. Zeif, Ull, Ekbir and the Tiger Nomads are the best
examples of pure Baklunish folk.

Their skin tends to be golden and eyes are most commonly green
or gray green, with gray and hazel less frequent. Hair color is
always dark, ranging from blue black to dark brown. Baklunish
features can he seen mixed with those of other races in the nations
of Ket and Tusmit, and among the Wolf Nomads and the Paynim
tribes.

In the north, bright colors and gaudy patterns are typical of
Baklunish costume, with gowns and robes favoured, and short breeks
with long coats nearly as popular. Peasant folk in the north also
wear gaudy fabrics, but tend more toward a single long robe with
whatever adornments are available. The southern Baklunish favour
colors in the pastel ranges, with patterns also popular. Dress is
complex and fancy, with puffs, slashes and peplums. Ruffs might be
seen at formal occasions. When at war, this fanciness is eschewed,
and most soldiers wear rough fabrics, leathers and hides adorned
with shields and coats of arms. They often carry banners displaying
clan colours and symbols.

All Baklunish are raised to esteem honour, piety, generosity and
family. Pursuit of these virtues is so consistent that for a
Baklunish to kill his parents, for instance, is unthinkable.

The Baklunish have developed two distinct cultures. One group
long ago developed a horse-based nomadic culture based on raiding,
herding and trading the fine horses they breed. The settled
Baklunish are traders and farmers who have achieved considerable
power and built great cities and roads.

Like the Suel, the Baklunish are recognised for their magical
skill. They are especially noted for inventing new elemental spells
and using spellcasting in concert with others through co-operative
magic. Even to this day their reputation is due in part to the Rain
of Colourless Fire that the Baklunish brought down upon the Suloise
Empire a thousand years ago.

Elves

Elves (called “olve” or “olvenfolk” in Flan) inhabited the
Flanaess for centuries before the fall of the Baklunish and Suloise
Empires. Suloise, Oeridian and humanoid invaders pushed the elves
from their grassland and prairie homes. Fortunately, the elves
willingly resettled to the forests, where they held their own as
nearby human kingdoms rose, expanded, made war and fell. The
Suloise and humanoids, particularly orcs, gave the greatest trouble
to the elves, who often found themselves allied with their old Flan
neighbours and with the aggressive but reasonably trustworthy
Oeridians.

High Elves
tend to mix with other races most easily. They favour the town of
High folk, Duchy of Ulek, Archclericy of Veluna and the Spindrift
Isles. The shortest of their race, high elves average only about
five feet in height. They have pale complexions, dark hair and
green eyes, and tend to dress in greys, greens and pastels.

Gray
Elves
are reclusive and keep to themselves in the Kingdoms
of Celene and Sunndi. They have silver hair and amber eyes or
golden hair and violet eyes. The Elves of Sunndi have been forced
to add war-making skills to their culture due to the threat of the
Scarlet Brotherhood and the former Great Kingdom.

Sylvan
Elves
, also known as wood elves, tend to be even more
reclusive than the gray, avoiding even other elves when possible.
They make their homes in the kingdom of Celene, the Duchy of Ulek,
the ancient forests of the Flanaess and the town of Highfolk. Their
skin is darker than that of the high elves and they dress in browns
and greens.


Grugach
, the wild elves, live in tiny, isolated bands
in the temperate forests. They are short like the high elves and
very pale, but otherwise resemble sylvan elves.

Valley
Elves
are treated with suspicion by other elves for
reasons not clear to humans. These unusually tall (up to six feet
in height) elves live exclusively in the Valley of the Mage. They
are known to practice unusual magic presumably taught to them by
Jaran Krimeeah.

Aquatic
Elves
breathe water as well as air, and have webbed
fingers and toes. They prefer temperate and tropical oceans and
seas. Near the Spindrift Sound and Spindrift Isles, the aquatic
elves are allied with the high elves.

Winged
Elves
are without a doubt the most reclusive and least
numerous of the elven subraces on Oerth. The most stiking feature
of the winged elves is their soft, feathered wings which span
anywhere from twelve to sixteen feet. They are thought to lair
primarily in the Rakers.

Dwarves

Dwarves (“dwurfolk”) are about four feet tall, broad shouldered
and muscular, with tan, gray or reddish brown skin and brown or
black eyes. Males and females both wear beards, though some females
are known to be smooth-faced. Dwarves live long lives, though not
as long as eIves, and they reproduce slowly.

The stout, sturdy folk of the mountains are considered by most
to be the salt of the earth and the keepers of the realms below the
surface. They prefer to live underground in vast caverns or tunnel
systems where they mine precious metals and gems. They usually
don’t live in human cities for more than a few weeks at a time.
Dwarves have a reputation for being taciturn and grumpy (which is
partly deserved), but they make excellent allies in any type of
battle or warfare, though it is hard to get them involved in
conflicts among those they consider “outsiders”.

Hill
dwarves
are most populous in the Principality of Ulek and
the Iron Hills. They are the most common type of dwarves in the
Flanaess. They are cooperative with the other races and are
especially valuable in battles against giants and humanoids.

Mountain
dwarves
are less common, taller, and paler than their
hill-dwelling cousins. The Archbarony of Ratik and the Principality
of Ulek have the largest populations of mountain dwarves. These
folk know secrets of the underground that other races cannot even
guess at.

The dwarves have evil counterparts in the derro and duergar (gray
dwarves). These races live deeper underground than the hill
dwarves. The secrets that they harbour are better left unknown.
Isolated pockets of
deep
dwarves are found battling the derro and
duergar. A small number of arctic dwarves can be
found in the High Boros lands to the far north.

Gnomes

Gnomes (“noniz”) are believed by some to be related to dwarves,
but aside from height, there are few similarities. Gnomes favour
woodlands for their homes, residing in burrows just below the
surface in hilly country. Gnomes are rarely taller than three and a
half feet, are moderately built, and have skin that resembles the
color of wood (from light ash to dark oak). They work well and
enjoy merrymaking.

In general, the gnomes of
the Flanaess defended themselves ably in the Greyhawk Wars, though
the Flinty Hills gnomes suffered more than their kindred elsewhere.
The gnomes’ success in the Wars is due in part to their strong
military tradition. They have recently expanded burrow communities
in the Kron Hills, County of Ulek, Veluna, Verbobonc, Highfolk and
Celene.

A few shy and elusive forest gnomes live
deep in the Amedio Jungle, Axewood, Burneal, and Gamboge forests.
They shun contact with other races, except when dire emergencies
threaten their beloved forest homes.

One important but scarce subrace, the deep gnomes (or
svirfneblin) live far underground; these have gray, hairless skin
and excellent heat-sensing vision, but little else is known of
them. Some are rumoured to magically command creatures made of
living earth and rock. Svirfheblin are believed to be among the few
good underground races.

Halflings

So called because they stand half as tall as most humans,
haflings (“hobniz”) are a cheerful race that make homes in burrows
similar to the gnomes. Light hair covers most of their bodies,
especially the backs of their hands and the tops of their feet.
Halflings usually travel barefoot, their thick-soled feet
protecting them from the pain others would feel stepping on briars
and sharp stones. Most halflings build shallow burrow homes or
cottages in grasslands, forests or hills.

Three subraces of halflings live in the Flanaess. The hairfeet, sometimes
called lightfoot, are the most numerous~ and many live among
humans. The
tallfellows
are about six inches taller and
comparatively willowy in build, usually living near elves, and

stouts
are about six inches smaller and live among
dwarves. Rumors of deep halflings have
started to come back from underground adventurers.

Halflings are quiet, retiring, and do not seek attention. They
are farm folk, pastoral people who don’t get excited about much.
Basically good-natured, they have adapted many creature comforts
used by humans, and like safe comfortable lives. The few halflings
who go adventuring are exceptions to the rule.

Humanoid Races

Kobolds are the smallest of goblinkind,
standing only a yard high and having certain features that are both
reptilian and doglike. Cowardly as individuals, kobolds prefer mass
attacks against outnumbered foes. Their worst enemies are the
gnomes.

Slightly larger than kobolds but sharing their cowardice and
mass-combat tactics, xvarts are squat, yard-high,
blue-skinned humanoids. Xvarts ally with rats.

Goblins are more manlike than kobolds, slightly
taller, with flat faces, pointed ears, low sloping foreheads,
orange skin and fangs. Cave-dwelling slave-takers, goblins hate
humans, dwarves and gnomes.

Orcs are the most common humanoids in the
Flanaess. As large as well-muscled humans, orcs resemble bestial
gray-green cavemen. They are extremely warlike and eagerly
challenge other races for food and living space. They prefer caves
and can see in the dark, but return often to the surface to loot
and hunt for meat. They hate dwarves and elves and have learned a
bitter respect for humans, their most dangerous foe. Orcs often
fight among themselves, pitting tribe against tribe. Orcs can breed
with many other sorts of humanoids. The offspring of an orcish
father and an ogre mother is an orog or great orc: – basically a
taller, stronger, braver and better-equipped orc. The child of an
ogre father and an orcish mother is an ogrillon – still orclike but
even more brutish, stupid and violent, with particularly thick skin
and powerful fists.

Hobgoblins are the most ferocious, aggressive
and organized of the goblin races. They resemble tall, heavily
muscled and furred humans with red-brown or gray skins and red or
orange faces. Smarter than other goblin races, they are renowned
for their brutality and military skill.

Norkers are shorter relatives of hobgoblins,
with thick, armoured skin. The innately vicious norkers use clubs
and their own fangs to attack their enemies.

Gnolls and their stronger cousins, flinds, are
seven-foot-tall, hyena-headed humanoids of evil, selfish nature.
They hate their own leaders and can’t organize themselves for more
than occasional raiding parties. Gnolls and flinds take slaves to
perform all chores.

Bugbears are very tall goblins with thick,
shaggy fur. For their size they move quietly, and their strength is
considerable.

Ogres can be as tall as ten feet and have
savage tempers. Nearly as strong as true giants, ogres gladly eat
humans and demihumans. They are stupid but dangerous.

Half-humans, such as half-orcs and half-ogres, are
disliked by most humans and demihumans. Some find work and respect
in civilized areas, but the majority of half-humans are wicked in
intent and lack foresight and organization. Planetouched
individuals, decendents of Outsiders are generally more able to
blend into civilized areas.


Anthropomorphic animals
are becoming
more common. Once seen only in the Hepmonalands, they now are
occasionally seen in all reaches of Oerth.

Other Intelligent Races

Giants

Giants of the Flanaess come in many sizes and races, some with
unusual quirks. Though an army of giants and humanoids conquered
Geoff, they are not as a rule well organized. Most giants hate
humanity, probably because they were driven into the mountains by
humans.

Hill giants are the most common sort, often
inhabiting and raiding the outskirts of civilized lands.
Heat-loving fire giants dwell in the volcanic
areas of the Hellfurnaces, and frost giants live
in the high, cold peaks of the Barrier Peaks/ Crystalmists chain
and the mountains of the subarctic Thillonrian Peninsula. The cruel
and grotesque fomorian giants are best known from
the Howling Hills in the original lands of Iuz but can be found
elsewhere. Various other types exist.

Dragons

Dragons are huge winged reptiles of high intelligence that can
project breath weapons of fire, frost, acid, poison gas, lightning
or the like. Incredibly strong and often with great magical
abilities, dragons are widely feared. While their numbers have
diminished over the centuries, individual dragons are still
dangerous. Each can live longer than a thousand years, and many
recall great historical lore.

Three primary types of dragons inhabit the Flanaess.
Chromatic dragons
are evil- natured and have scales like
bright enamelled armour. They are usually red, blue, green, black
or white. Metallic dragons have scales like bright
metal, and are usually gold, silver, bronze, copper or brass.
Metallic dragons are wise and better disposed than chromatic ones,
though even they may think fast of their own interests and
safety.

Greyhawk dragons are unique to Oerth. These
fantastic creatures are said to spend their time disguised as
humans, living in their cities and mingling with the populace.
Their human alter egos are supposedly wealthy, respected
individuals who interact with the upper classes and intelligentsia.
Greyhawk dragons are scrupulous about their disguises and maintain
them down to the last detail. Two Greyhawk dragons, a male and a
female, are rumoured to inhabit the City of Greyhawk.

There are also rumors of crystal dragons
inhabiting the Flanaess, but most sages agree that that is unlikely
and if such creatures were sighted, they were probably not
permanent residents.

A number of unusual dragonlike beings inhabit the Flanaess, some
intelligent. The dragonne is a cross between a
brass dragon and a lion; the chimera is a cross
between a red dragon, a lion and a goat. Wyverns,
flying reptiles with poison stingers on their tails, are not
uncommon in the mountains. Multiheaded hydrae prey
on adventurers in badlands and caverns.

One dragonlike being native to the Flanaess is the
dragonnel
, a wyvernlike creature found in the hills of the
Pomarj. Hunted by humans for centuries, the dragonnel is nearing
extinction, though some humans and orcs are rumoured to tame
dragonnels and use them as aerial mounts.

Underground Races

Beneath the Hellfurnaces is the world of Under-Oerth, seemingly
endless natural caverns and artificial tunnels spreading out and
down into the earth. These passages have their own peculiar
underground ecology of water-dwellers and lichens, mosses and
fungi. In its upper levels, this dark realm is inhabited by
humanoids of every sort. Farther down are stranger races, most
hostile to surface-dwellers.

Drow,
the evil dark elves, thrive in Under-Oerth. They trade with or war
on other races there and on the surface, and are renowned as
spellcasters.


Duergar
, the gray dwarves, inhabit deep regions and
seldom venture to the surface. Organized and intelligent, they
easily hold their own against other subterranean races. They are
masters of stone- and metalworking, but hate their cousins, the
hill and mountain dwarves.

The stunted dwarflike derro are among the
worst of the Under-Oerth races. They crave magic, power and slaves.
They are hated and distrusted even by other evil races, which avoid
them. Every twenty years, derro explode outward through the
underworld, attacking anything they encounter and destroying or
enslaving weaker races.

Jermlaine look like miniature humans that stand
twelve to eighteen inches high. These troublesome gremlins love to
swarm and rob larger beings, leaving the stripped victims for
monsters to find. Jermlaine like rats, and share their lairs.

Troglodytes are manlike reptiles that dwell
underground. These creatures emit a nasty musk in battle that
disables humans, demihumans and humanoids, allowing the trogs to
kill quickly and take the bodies back to their lair for a
feast.

Kuo-toa are fish-men, the descendants of an
ancient race almost completely destroyed by humanity. The few
survivors found refuge beneath the earth. Now they struggle to hold
their own against smarter, faster, more powerful races.

Wererats are frequently seen in the upper
levels of Under-Oerth, particularly beneath the Hellfurnaces and in
the sewers of cities and towns they have infiltrated in their human
forms. They conduct trade with other races, both under-and
aboveground.

Beholders may have come to Oerth from another
world or plane. A beholder resembles a sphere about four to six
feet across, with a single huge eye, a fang-filled mouth and ten
eyestalks crowning the sphere. A beholder can levitate to any
height, floating at the speed of a slowly walking human. Xenophobic
and cruel, beholders cast powerful magical rays from their
eyestalks; the central eye can cancel out magic used against the
beholder. Very few people ever ever see a Beholder. Fewer still
will ever live to tell their tale. But everyone knows of the
existence of them so terrifying is their reputation.

Mind flayers, also known as illithids, are
human size and vaguely humanoid in appearance. Their slimy skin is
violet-colored and each hand has three fingers and a thumb. The
mind flayer’s head resembles an octopus: four tentacles hang around
its lamprey-like mouth, and its two huge eyes have no visible
pupils. The mind flayer uses the tentacles to grasp a victims head
and flays open the unfortunate’s skull, eating the brain. Many mind
flayers can cast magical spells, but some also have dramatic mental
powers called psionics, with which they can enslave or brainwash
others. Mind flayers live in great underground cities; one such
city apparently exists beneath the Hellfurnaces. They are not
believed native to Oerth.


Svirfneblin
, the deep gnomes, are almost the only good
underworld race. These hairless, hunched gnomes defend themselves
against the hordes of evil. Small communities of good aligned deep
dwarves
and
deep halflings
are rarely encountered.

Other Creatures

Aarakocra, are reclusive, winged bird-men who
inhabit mountainous regions, particularly in and around the
Thillonrian Peninsula and the Lortmils. Their wings (of which their
arms are a part) span twenty feet or more. Males have bright
plumage; females are gray and brown.

Beastmen are unusual green-furred humanoids who
live in tropical forests, especially the Amedio Jungle and
Hepmonaland. Skilled hunters living in treetop nests, they appear
to be peaceful but are wary of strangers.

Bullywugs are savage froglike humanoids who
hate all other races. Usually found in dismal wetlands,
particularly the Vast Swamp, bullywugs are notoriously destructive.
It is thought that some are servants of the bigoted amphibian deity
Wastri. Similar “frog­men” from tropical regions of the
Flanaess include the little grippli and the nasty grung.

Centaurs inhabit the cold northern plains
called the Barrens, now controlled by Iuz. Much of centaur culture
is similar to that of nearby humans, so the centaurs share their
neighbours love for finely tanned leather and fur, brilliant colors
and face paints. Other centaurs are known to live in Celene and in
the Dry Steppes.

Lizard men are bipedal reptiles who dwell in
swamps and other wetlands, particularly in warmer spots like the
Gnatmarsh, the Hool Marshes, Rushmoor, the Mistmarsh and the Vast
Swamp. Barbarous carnivores, the scaled lizard men are avoided by
most other races. Lizard men are usually green, gray or brown. They
are not very smart.

Merfolk are not uncommon in the Azure and
Oljatt seas. They generally avoid surface dwellers, but will
occasionally trade with trusted mariners.

Lycanthropes of the Flanaess include
werewolves, werebears, wereboars, weretigers and wererats. Wicked
werewolves, a danger in grasslands and hills, mix with regular
wolves and strike down wayfarers. Werebears are good-natured,
solitary inhabitants of woodlands and mountains; they have been
known to serve as Rangers of the Gnarley Forest. Forest-dwelling
wereboars are bad tempered and prone to pick fights. Weretigers are
rare, solitary and catlike in personality. As a group, wererats are
the most organized and powerful of lycanthropes, dwelling in ruins
and underground areas such as city sewers.

Kraken – evil gigantic intelligent octopi –
attack shipping in tropical and warm temperate waters.

Quaggoths are white shaggy-furred humanoids
found across the north. Quaggoths of the Flanaess are
surface­dwellers who prefer forests and rough terrain
aboveground to subterranean areas.

Sahuagin are the “devil men of the deep:’ an
evil race of aquatic humanlike creatures with piscine features such
as scales, fins and webbed hands and feet. Sahuagin raid other
undersea races and coastal communities.

Carnivorous trolls are seen throughout the
Flanaess. Vaguely human in form but with green skin and ravenous
appetites, trolls can heal their wounds, recovering even from
decapitation. Only acid and fire kill them.

Serpentine yuan-ti, exhibiting snake and human
characteristics, lurk in the tropics. Evil and untrustworthy,
yuan-ti seek the overthrow of humanity.