Humans are often considered an “average” people, able to do almost anything, but rarely excelling at any one thing. Yet Mournan humans, descended from those who saw Castlemourn shattered, are extremely adaptable. Humans of other worlds may resist change, but Mournan “Swift Tongues” watch for it. Great trouble can come without warning, and only those who change to meet its challenges survive. Ambition and energy (and sometimes recklessness) are marks of the race. Humans are a people of paradoxes; they take pride in their adaptability, but also delight in establishing a static way of life. Most established baronies and kingdoms are primarily human, as are many of the religious leaders. Despite the inherent chaos caused by their ambitious strivings, human leaders are best known for the order they bring to their domains.
This is not as contradictory as it seems to other races; since the Shattering of the Castles, human history is not noted for bringing order so much as attempting to bring order. Those attempts have caused more chaos, plunging various parts of Castlemourn into nigh-constant strife. This warring has hardened human lands, making them militarily and magically strong. The striving for order has also given rise to what other races call “human dreamers”: those who dream of a return to the Castlemourn that was, “Before the Castles Fell.” Every Mournan race has individuals fascinated by the mysteries of the past, but none has more such “dreamers” than humans.
Ironically, as the shortest-lived race (aside from the golaunt), humans are more generations removed from the Fall than others, and so have lost far more lore and knowledge. Humans hungry for such things often become merchants, travelers, or ambassadors to other lands so as to see and hear as much as possible, though few share the information they gain.
Within human-dominated lands, Swift Tongues defy easy generalizations. They frequently choose a narrow skill set in which to concentrate their efforts, though the breadth of what is available to them is vast. An elf warrior, for example, is expected to know not only the bow and sword, but how to watch for signs of magical blight, compose poetry and song, and even practice some magic. Yet most human warriors are only expected to master one weapon and little else beyond some battle skills. More than any other race, humans are interested in the past. The vast majority of questors (those who seek answers to ancient mysteries) are human. Some hunt for ancient items of power so as to wield them, while others seek only to destroy them for the greater safety of Castlemourn. Many questors are sponsored by a government or other powerful organization that allows them to keep monetary treasure they find, but expects them to hand over artifacts of power or ancient knowledge—on penalty of death. Personality: Human personalities are more varied than those of any other race. The folk of Baerent tend to be calm and collected, whereas typical Lothrans are ostentatious and aggressive. Yet such regional stereotypes are nigh useless; humans are the most individualistic race in Castlemourn. All humans, however, tend to be curious (though far less so than gnomes), headstrong, proud, and seek to shape the world to their own vision. Physical Description: Humans typically stand between 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 feet tall and weigh between 125 and 300 pounds. Men tend to be heavier and stronger than women, though exceptions abound. Men usually have greater upper body strength than women, while females outstrip males in lower body strength. Hair can be black, brown, blond, or red, turning gray or white as age increases; specific hues dominate regionally in rural areas. Males grow abundant facial hair, though many choose to be clean shaven out of personal preference or in following local custom. Dress and fashion vary, though poorer and more rural humans tend to wear the same (drab) styles and hues of clothing as the years pass. A careful human can hope to live for 100 to 120 years, though few actually live more than fifty years. Relations: In their dealings with other races, humans tend to be guided by regional politics and history.
Humans tend to mistrust elves, whose elders were alive Before the Fall, believing they closely guard knowledge, keeping powerful secrets for themselves. Dwarves, nearly as long-lived as elves, are seen as little better. Halflings and gnomes, however, are appreciated for their skilled handiwork, the useful items they make, and their willingness to engage in trade. Thaele are valued for the same reasons, but most humans are uncomfortable in their presence. Golaunt are clearly powerful and dangerous, yet have knowledge humans want; many humans fear anyone strong and aggressive, making their relations with golaunt difficult.
Alignment: Humans don’t tend towards any particular morality; an individual is equally likely to be good, neutral, or evil. Ethically, humans tend toward chaos (the desire to do as they please and to “find their own way”) but not in overwhelming numbers, for they find comfort in order, and tend to demand strong rulers who enforce clear laws. Human Lands: Humans are established in all the settled lands of Mournra, with the notable exceptions of the Harrag and the Mistcloak, Ironfell, and the Yarhoon.
Religion: For over three centuries, the Seven have been worshiped in every human community in Castlemourn. One or two of the Seven typically command larger congregations than the others in a given settlement, but on the whole, they are venerated equally.
Language: Humans share a single language known as Far Tongue, a sort of “trade common.” Each Mournan realm or region has its own Far Tongue dialect (approximately eight words in ten understandable by a Far Tongue speaker from “somewhere else”), and locals know a smattering of words in the ancient Crown Tongue that have acquired distinct local meanings and so can serve as a local “code” when speaking in front of strangers. Humans who travel and adventure tend to learn useful snatches of local dialects and the languages of other races. A majority of humans learn to read and write, as literacy is seen as a vital key to learning about the lost glories of the Realm of Castles.
Human Racial Traits
Medium: As Medium creatures, humans have no size-related bonuses or penalties.
Human base land speed is 30 feet.
Adaptable: Humans are able to learn or devise unorthodox techniques to perform unusual tasks to which their bodies and minds are not as well-suited as those of other beings. A human’s ability scores are treated as if they are 2 points higher for the purpose of meeting feat prerequisites.
• Automatic Language: Far Tongue. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic and Thaelen).
The Naming of Folk
Mournans bear an astonishing variety of names, some of which are said to have been ancient “Before the Castles Fell,” from “the far Mists,” or even from other worlds (though no full-witted folk will admit to having a bloodline from “otherwhere”).
Some of the most common human Mournan names are given in the following tables. Especially common names are marked with a C in the listings. Surnames used by notorious or very wealthy families are marked with an N. The Mournan equivalent of “John Doe” is Markyl Deljack (and for “Jane Doe,” it’s Baera Deljack). It should be noted that the male given name “Cendrikh” is pronounced with a soft “c” (as in “celery”) by some families and a hard “c” (as in “cat”) by others.
Mournans very commonly use the surnames of one to three proud old families (though NEVER with hyphens), switching the orders of these names around by whim or as prudence (such as local popularity of one clan or another) dictates. In rural or less “civilized” areas, individuals are more likely to use something like “Jus-son-of-Jus-the-smith” or “Klaela-kin-of-Lorth-who-slew-the-wolf.” While these names are predominantly human, other races also use these names.