Races of Thiasa
In most settings, certain races (such as gnolls, goblins,and orcs) are presented as villains and monsters. While the flavor of these races still accommodates the role of primary antagonists, it also assumes that members of these races aren’t necessarily “born evil”, and are as capable of producing heroes (or at least interesting anti-heroes) as any other race.
Race, Culture and Nationality
Most of the people of the Realm have a unique culture (or several) that are shared by members of their own race. This is not universal. Individuals or occasionally entire groups may adopt a culture or national identity not normally associated with their race. There are Vallan Dwarves, Mithori Humans, Moradin Gnomes, Kaygani Goblins and others. For some, where you are from matters as much as (if not more than) whom you were born to.
Each region hosts re number of races and cultures that are common within its borders. However, some travelers merchants, and other adventurous folk will occasionally seek their fortunes far from their native lands. As such, occasionally a player can select a race common to a different region. This individual will almost always be regarded with at least curiosity, if not hostility, and their may not be another member of their race or culture within a thousand miles.
There are many across the Realm that might speak of having a strain of another race in their bloodline. A human miner might speak of “dwarf blood” or an unusually intelligent orc may claim hobgoblin lineage. For the most part, these are only tall tales. With a few notable exceptions, most races can only breed with their own kind. This does not prevent cross race relationships from forming (love is blind after all), but does prevent the birth of viable offspring. The major exceptions to this general rule are the following;
• Humans: There is something oddly adaptable about human nature; humans have been able to produce offspring with a variety of races including elves, giants (ogres, hill giants, and frost giants), and orcs. Rumors persist of humans being able to mingle with dwarves, halflings and goblinoids, but are rarely taken seriously. Vagran are originally from human stock, and can breed with humans, but the curse that afflicts the Vagran guarantees that any children will also be Vagran. Human bloodlines also take well to magical influence, and many families can legitimately claim celestial, draconic, infernal, fey or even undead blood.
• Elves: As noted above, elves can (and frequently do) mate with humans, producing Half-Elves. Half-elves are fertile, and can mate with either humans, elves, or other half elves. The elven blood dilutes quickly however, and any offspring of a half elf and a human produces a human child (perhaps with a few lingering elven traits). The pairing of an elf and half elf produces a half elf child.
• Orcs: Much like elves, Orcs breed readily and easily with humans. Orcish blood lingers, and offspring several generations removed from an Orcish ancestor can still show Orcish traits. Orc blood rapidly overpowers human blood, and the progeny of Orc/Half Orc pairings are almost always full Orcs.
Orcs have also been known to breed with giants, especially the brutish ogres. The offspring of these pairings are known as Orogs, and are renowned for both strength and cruelty.
• Others: As far as anyone knows, most races cannot procreate with anyone of another race. No dwarf pairing with a non-dwarf has resulted in as much as a pregnancy, and the only documented “Quarterling” (with a halfling father and human mother) was stillborn. Goblinoids can interbreed with each other, but only rarely as the offspring are sterile and usually mentally and/or physically malformed.
• Magic: Strongly magical creatures, especially those capable of taking on the forms of other races, have been known to produce viable offspring. Sometimes the progeny are seemingly normal, other times the child’s supernatural parentage is glaringly obvious. Celestials, Dragons, and Fiends are the most frequent to engage in cross breeding, but Fey creatures, elemental beings such as Djinn, even certain undead (usually Vampires) occasional have affairs that produce offspring.
Oftentimes no direct co-mingling is necessary, as a strong enough mystic influence can warp a creature into an entirely new being that can pass on their abilities to their progeny (if not struck sterile by the transformation). As always, magic has a way of making the impossible possible.