They are the human descendants of the Alfar and form the backbone of the entrenched aristocratic clans throughout much of the land. Most are staunch traditionalists who worship their alfar ancestors with pride.
They stand between 4’8” and 6’4”. They are usually considered adults by 21 and venerable at 90. They seem have slim athletic physiques as well as high sharp cheek bones and slightly pointed ears. Many have nonstandard hair and eye colour.
The Elan are morphologically unstable. Sickness, injury, extreme emotion and traumatic events can cause them to spontaneously change their height, features and even gender; hence their other name “Changelings”. These changes are usually temporary but may be permanent. Few outside of the Drineagh have any real degree of control over this.
It is a closely guarded secret known only to a few Elan that they possess a true form. Most Elan go their whole lives without realizing this; however it is said by those who know that only those who have seen their true form and completely accept that this is their real nature can control and command the change. This form is grey, genderless, hairless, slender, big heads with large black on black eyes and no noses, lips or ears. Children born this way are always handed over to the alfar and are considered dead to the clan. No mortal truly knows what happens to the babes but some speculate that these are where many of the Drineagh come from.
The Elan are caught between the devil and the deep. With each generation that passes they fade just a little; they need a fresh infusion of Alfar DNA to their genepools at least every fifth generation. This process is not helped by their unpredictability and meagre fertility of the Alfar. To expedite matters the clans greedily seek out Alfar scions to marry into their family as well as giving some of their children to the alfars service or sending a daughter of to a “convent” and hoping for the best. When an elani talks about a personal relationship with her god it is understood that she is not talking about a little voice in the back of her mind and a general sense of spiritual wellbeing.
By intermarrying normal humans their blood line fades; their longevity is diminished. Because of this many clans are endogamous and obsessive with purity. This carries its own risks and a great many clans struggle with infertility, congenital deformity and insanity. More pragmatic individuals accept that the extremes lengths that others go are even more damaging then taking normal humans into the family; those family attempt to strike some sort of a balance.
The elani produce few wizard or divine casters. They are known for their sorcerers, enchanters, artificers and inordinate numbers of fae pact warlocks.
Also known as fallen or wild clans; the Drineagh are nomads. Of all Elani they possess the strongest connections with the Alfar and their sihdees. It is said that they act as the eyes and ear and knives of the Alfar amongst the human lands, that each clan has its own patron who personally ensure their continuation.
Amongst the elani they act as spies, assassins and scouts for hire. Few trust them but all respect and fear them. The only thing worse than Drineagh knives in the dark is being captured; for there are no more sadistic and imaginative torturers to be found outside of the fairy courts than they.
They are most often in direct conflict with each other; either at the behest of the godlike masters in their intrigues or because of the vicious vendetas and generational feuds that can result. These shadow wars bear little resemblance to the open battles, duels and skirmishes of other peoples and are known for their convoluted pileups of gambit and counter gambit all covered in a thick fog of deceit and misinformation.
Of all elan the Geid possess the most extensive holdings. From their halls and fastnesses they rule huge swathes of land, their people owe them featly and tribute. At best they are firm but fair rulers and protectors; at worst they are arrogant and exploitative tyrants who think nothing for the welfare and happiness of their people.
The Geid are notorious slavers and raiders. They take great pride in border raids against neighbouring lands to take slaves, goods and cattle; some are also known for daring sea raids. They permit slavers to traffic, trade or even take captives in their territory, caring more about their honour and their cut than about the injustice being inflicted.
The clans create, breed, use and trade manbeasts. Whilst they don’t possess the true speech of their Alfar ancestors they use injections of ritual circles, injections of alchemically altered blood and potions to achieve this. Manbeasts form the cutting edges of their armies, lending firmness and power to their peasant levies.
Of all the elan the Aintiarna are the most cosmopolitan. The clans live together in large fortified towns. This arrangement of adjacent clan halls, compounds and vassal estates can make for a vibrant if tense society.
They are renowned for their metalwork’s; for the smithying, crafting and enchanting of high quality arms and armour. It is the trade in their crafts that provides the Aintiarna with the majority of their wealth and influence; the competition for trade and trade secrets is intense and at times cut throat.
Officially they acknowledge no human slaves in their lands; unofficially the Elani nobility can command any of their vassals in any way, punish or even kill them for any or no reason. The common folk can be ordered, bought, traded and sold into an indentures servitude that doesn’t even have the honesty to admit slavery. No slavery just means that the base state of most humans in many Aintiarna clan holds is no better than a slave.
Humans …poor bloody humans. Humans where one of the dawn races; the only known surviving dawn race. All modern mortal races are derived from humanity; by alteration as well as by hybridisation.
Humans are a rough, tough, adaptable folk who are the dominant race of Fulcrum. By population they outnumber all the other races combined by a factor of at least three to one. Most estimates place the combined goblinoid races in second, the manbeasts in third and the elani and little folk in a distant joint fourth.
These vibrant city states are typically confined to river valleys and the
coasts. They are the heartlands of humanity; typically small oligarchic republics or principalities. The rise of these cities are often driven by divine fervour; the belief that the gods are on side - protecting the people- is vital element in binding people together and giving them the impetus to throw of the superstations of traditional fae rule, fae worship.
The Freistats are the home of wizardry. The constant pressures of the fae and the other perils of the wilds as well as the interstate rivalry are the engine that drives forward magical and technological progress.
Most humans of the faelands live as the feudal vassals or serfs of the great Elani clans. The majority of the human race live in small freehold communities or serf villages within the faelands and have to either contend or strike bargains with the endemic goblin tribes.
These are territories ruled over by the settled barbarian tribes. They straddle the outlying areas and frontiers of the old empires. These are a wild almost lawless place where a mans rights are determined by the weight of his sword arm. These lands are divided up into areas ruled over by tribal confederacies and clanns. They are poorly developed and vicious feuds and border raids are daily realities here.
People worship gods, dragons, titans, trolls, devils, fiends and Alfar in any which way but loose. Power is power and the world is a dangerous place for mortals they will worships anything with power to share really; they don't discriminate.