The dwarves are a dying race, the greatest of them having been killed in the final siege against the Eternal Hunger. Those who survive are the descendants of those who were unable to remain and fight due to illness, age, or any number of other factors, leaving a stamp of shame on those dwarves alive today. This, pared with the fact that the Empire they helped build has been destroyed and is now in the hands of humans, would be more than enough to leave the normally proud Dwarves broken. However, the appearance of Milton Blackstone, a firebrand new leader amongst the people, has lit a new spark of nationalistic pride in the dwarves which may lead to a new conflict, particularly as the Glitterhame, a dwarvn hold from long ago, has been recovered and delivered back to their hands.
Elves are a nomadic people, traveling the world and not laying down roots anywhere they visit for too long, always looking for the next road and the next opportunity to explore the world. The elves forsook the gifts of civilization and city life long ago, after the schism between the three elven people shattered the original race of high elves into three sub-units. Following their progenitor’s example, they travel the world, looking for adventure and staying out of the spotlight, content to do their part and move on rather than lay down ties. They feel far more at home in the natural world than in the artificial constructs of men and dwarves.
The Great Schism sundered the elven people into three groups, leading to the grieving followers of the murdered goddess Eladrineth to retreat to her creation, the Feywild, and shut themselves off from those who they felt had betrayed them. They have ruled the plane for millennia, becoming gradually more and more distant from their Elven cousins. Often haughty and with a natural talent for magic, the typical Eladrin is haughty and superior, considering the majority of races to be uncouth barbarians who have only just come to the civilization they’ve known and loved since nearly the dawn of time. However, in current times a disaster has struck the Feywild and many have been forced to flee to Arek to avoid it, a disaster they have kept a secret until such time that they can deal with it on their own. However, these displaced elven nobles are finding themselves in close proximity they’ve long lorded over, leading to a degree of tension that has been festering ever since.
It was said that during the height of the empire of Arek’s reign, there were no races more closely connected together than gnomes and dwarves. It was said that a combination of gnomish ingenuity and dwarves artisanship could eventually move the world given enough time and materials, and marvels the likes of which the world had never seen were born of this partnership. However, the revelation by a gnomish prophet that a time of unparalleled darkness was coming to Arek (a foretelling of the arrival of the Eternal Hunger) led to the breaking of this partnership. While the dwarves elected to stay and fight to the bitter end to preserve what they had made, the gnomes, ever pragmatic, urged retreat. To their shock, the dwarves people rejected their proposal out of hand, preferring to die than leave their empire in the hands of others. This led to the ultimate separation of the two, as the gnomes brokered a deal to move their race to the Feywild in exchange for service. Today, gnomes consider dwarves to be stubborn fools and dwarves consider gnomes to be cowards, a rivalry that keeps them separate and potentially prevents them from reuniting and repairing the damage done to their world.
Not everyone escaped when the rest of the races evacuated Thorvar to escape the Eternal Hunger. When the boats left, some humans were left behind, and had to find their own way to survive in an extraordinarily harsh environment. Some turned and joined in with the enemy, likely still being consumed but in some cases being transformed into Tieflings. A small subset, however, managed to hide within the sewers of the city, mountain passes, or wilderness areas, fleeing from the enemy that pursued them on a daily basis. Eventually, as they became more and more adept to surviving in the subteranean or wild lands, these people came to become more and more adapted to this natural world, eventually taking on more and more aspects of the beast as a result of the latent fel magics suffusing the land. Some fought to retain their humanity, becoming the Shifters that survive in small packs to this day. Others, who allowed themselves to fall even further into the beast, became foul lycanthropes and survive as a plague upon the land.
The story of the Dragonborn is known by most in Thorvar. It’s said that, during one of the battles of the Great Crusade, Marcus Fullgrim, now head of the house that bears his name but then simply a captain in Danar’s army, and his forces beceame separated from the main host of the army. They were pursued for many weeks by the enemy through the Grimjaw mountain range, only narrowly managing to escape through the ingenuity, stubbornness, and perseverance his family is famous for. However, their supplies dwindling and their morale dipping to its lowest, Fullgrim turned to the Gods one rainy night, kneeling in the mud of a mountain trail with rain pattering off of his armor, offering a prayer to his family’s patron, Bahamut, to deliver them to safety. In return, a silver flash of lightning illuminated a cave up the mountainside. full grim organized his men to go make a final stand within the cave mouth, hurrying inside and offering a brief, bittersweet prayer of thanks to the dragon god. As the men explored the cave, however, a cry of alarm called Fullgrim to a side room which was filled with the size of a small dog. To their shock, some of the eggs started to crack open, releasing reptilian forms to the floor. Fearing they were servants of the enemy, Fullgrim drew his blade and prepared to strike them down. However, his blow was blocked by his wife, who told him that these young lives were a gift from the gods and that they had a great destiny in the world. Sure enough, when the enemy patrols arrived, they found not an isolated, hungry group of desperate men, but a well armed and inspired force backed up by the children of dragons. Since then, the Dragonborn, still raised in secrecy from their hidden rookery, are raised by Fullgrim house to embrace honor and servitude. Though a young race, they are determined to make a difference in the world, convinced that they have a great destiny to fulfill.
The Drow are the masters of the Shadowfell, having been sent there after their jealous deity, Lolth, murdered the patron of the Eladrin and resulted in their banishment to the lands of the dead. They are an ambitious race, feeling that they were unjustly sentenced to this punishment simply for their loyalty to their own patron, they look now for a means of regaining the power and position they had lost. Some remain loyal to the spider queen, while others have turned from her in search of new patrons. Others have elected to find their own destiny, given that it was a god who put them in this position in the first place. In any case,, their ambition is only checked by the harshness of their surroundings and the unrelenting rule of the Raven Queen, ruler of the land of the dead and unapologetic opponent of the Drow in their efforts to take her realm from her.
Those humans who threw their lot in with the Eternal Hunger were transformed into Tieflings as a result of vile rituals performed by the demons to bring them closer to their gospel of ravenous consumption. Their souls were bound with a bit of the unfillable void located at the center of the Abyss, binding their souls to the dark beings located therein. Many did not do this willingly, but rather consented as a cost of survival. As such, when the opportunity to abandon their masters in Bael Turath and join the Grand Crusade came along, many jumped at it. Others did so reluctantly, giving up the power they had gained begrudgingly (or in the case of House Varov, not at all) and reintegrating into society. Unsurprisingly, very few of them are trusted completely, and have tended to band together for mutual safety in many cases.