Races of Terros
While mechanically, the races in Terros are the same as in the Pathfinder Core Rules, there are some salient setting differences which will be detailed below.
The Dwarves of Terros are masters of alchemy and naval masterminds. They have come a long way from their roots as desert nomads, and now operate several thriving port cities.
Dwarves operate in a society that has a rigid caste system in place. Social mobility is all but unheard of, but that doesn’t mean that life as a Dwarf is unduly harsh. Even at the lowest tiers, Dwarves have respect for one another, and it is the duty and responsibility of the higher castes to take care of those below them, a responsibility which they do not shirk. The highest caste of Dwarven society are the royalty, who reside in beautiful palaces of alchemically treated stone or glass. Below them are the artisans, who hold a position of no small respect. Below the artisans are the warriors, who are in turn higher than the unskilled laborers of Dwarven society.
Dwarves live in peace with the other races, even if they keep them at arm’s length, with the exception of the Elves, whom they hate with a fiery passion.
Elves on Terros are a fry cry from your typical fantasy Elf. While tall and lithe, with a tendency to dwell in arboreal areas, Elves are not at all the noble paragons one might expect…
Elven society thrives on slave labor. Especially that of the sturdy halflings. The Elves live, isolated in their forest homes, sending out the occasional raiding party to capture more slaves, and eagerly subjugating those who trespass within their homes to a lifetime of humiliating servitude. Elves live in an anarchic society, where loose bands occasionally come together for mutual protection, or to take what they can by brute force.
Elves are constantly at odds with the other races neighboring them, the Humans, Halflings, and Dwarves. They harbor a special hatred for Dwarves, as the Dwarves will kill most Elves on sight, and make remarkably poor slaves. Due to their adoption of slavery, the other civilized races of Terros find Elves to be barbaric, to say the least.
Not much is known about the enigmatic Gnomes. They share their homeland with the gregarious Centaur, but have little contact with the world outside, leading to all manner of wild speculation. At best, Gnomes are regarded as strange by those outsiders that they do meet.
Gnome society is based in small villages across their homeland with no central governing body. They seem to value individual freedom, and do what they can to live unobtrusively upon the land.
Due to their isolationist nature, no outside races or nations have formed strong opinions on the Gnomes.
Half-Elves are looked upon with disgust by both Humans and Elves. Seen as vastly inferior by the Elves, and as a product of a barbaric culture by the Humans, Half-Elves have no real place in the world, and are often driven out of any home they may try to keep.
Half-Elves are a people without a home, and they have no society of their own to speak of.
Neither Humans, Halflings nor Dwarves harbor any love for the Half-Elves, but they seem to have found kindred spirits in the Orc people. Both are viewed as strange by the rest of the world, if for different reasons, and both struggle to find a place in society.
The Orcs are viewed as something of an oddity by the rest of the world, although their blacksmithing skills are without peer, and have garnered the respect of the other races. Their hulking, brutish appearance belies a noble culture with a strong emphasis on honor and civility.
Orc society is a typical Feudal hierarchy, with royalty being an inherited position. However, Challenge by Combat is a staple of Orc society, and the chief mechanism for social mobility. A peasant can rise to be a noble, if he has enough skill with a blade. Blacksmiths are highly respected in Orc society, and many of the better Orcish blacksmiths have petty fiefdoms of their own. Honor is paramount in Orc society, duels are common, and they conduct themselves in a manner so as not to impugn the honor of themselves or others, which leads to an unfortunate tendency of dishonesty amongst Orcs, to save one another’s face.