The Shining Races
The term ‘Shining Races’ is used to refer to those beings capable of using magic as a blessing from the Goddess Great Azuri. They are known as such because the Namitha Ardrua are famously quoted as saying that the spirit of magic users ‘shines as if to shame the sun with their glory.’
While being one of the Shining Races does not automatically grant one magical abilities, it does mean that every member of the race can--with the proper training and effort--tap into the magical energies of the world. Other races can call upon certain, limited magics using techniques such as fetishes, alchemy, ancestor worship, and spirit pacts. These are known as the Forsaken Races and are generally looked on with pity, scorn, or distrust, depending.
There are nine Shining Races, any of which can be selected as PC characters:
- Dwarves (Hill or Mountain)
- Elves (High or Wood)
- Halflings (Lightfoot or Tallfellow)
Additionally, there are 6 'races' that are crossbreeds, also available as PC characters:
- Half-Elves: Human + High or Wood Elf
- Half-Orcs: Orc + Human or Hobgoblin
- Half-Ogres: Ogre + Human or Wood Elf
- Bugbears: Ogre + Hobgoblin
- Gnomes: Hill or Mountain Dwarf + Lightfoot or Tallfellow Halfling
- Aasimar: Any Shining Race, containing traces of celestial heritage
It should also be noted that races with 'half' in their name are referred to as such because they are universally sterile, being unable to propagate. Females from groups with unique names (such as gnomes or bugbears) breed true with males from either parent race or with individuals of their same hybrid group, often leading to independent populations with their own cultural identities.
Note that not all possible crossbreeds are listed, such as the vanishingly rare orc/ogre mix known as scro, either because they do not exist anywhere in a state that would make them a viable PC race or they are too powerful for beginning PCs to select from (such as Half-Dragons or True Lycanthropes).