Humans are perhaps the greatest mystery in the known world.

A mere century before the rise of the Unconquered Sun, the Hundred Fathers came down from the northern mountain ranges, descending from what had thought to be an uninhabitable wasteland in one great mass migration, carrying all of their belongings on their backs and violently establishing themselves along the northern periphery. The name is not literal, of course – there were thousands of them, not only men but their entire families, refugees from an unknown crisis.

Humans were not unknown before the Great Descent. They had been known for as long as the other races had been in contact, for as the races intermingled, intermarried and interbred, the offspring of Elves, Dwarves, Minotaurs, Dragonkin, Gnomes and Halflings took on a curious resemblance to one another which seemed to supersede blood and lineage. A human who is half Elf and half Dwarf is more likely to outwardly resemble a half Minotaur/half Halfling more closely than either human is to resemble any of their parents’ extended families.

However, no one had previously been aware that humans were anything more than the offspring of mixed families, so when an entire population suddenly appeared, it was a curiosity without any readily apparent answer. This is true not only because the Hundred Fathers spoke only Haerci (a language unknown to the other races at the time), but because those who came down claimed that they could not remember what event had driven them to seek shelter in the south. Their children, when they grew up, knew only that their parents had escaped from something so horrifying that the mere mention of the past would cause them to break into uncontrollable weeping, or to fall unconscious altogether.

In the aftermath of the descent, the humans have established no empire, but have resisted the incursions of others into the region north of the Western Pallavan Sea. However, there is also some tension in Arafel between two human factions – the Seaborn, from the southern regions, value their sense of hybridity and fluidity, while the Mountainborn prize their descent from the Hundred Fathers and maintain a sense of pride in “blood purity.” The distinction is perhaps more important for its invisibility, and many humans have taken to wearing blue (Mountainborn) or green (Seaborn) to demonstrate their allegiances and affiliations to the rest of the world. There has even been violence in recent years throughout the region around Arafel-Taboor.


Three Seas NickHirsch