Both one of the oldest, most widespread and most ambitious of all races, humans amass far greater numbers than any of the other races, having a faster cycle of reproduction than that of, for instance, deigan and penin, while the longer lifespan of humans compared to tarken allow them to have more offspring during their lifetimes and thus increase in numbers faster. That aside, humans are actually the civilized race of Reniam with the second shortest lifespan (the only race with a shorter lifespan being the tarken), rarely making it to turn eighty years old. Yet humans, because of their numbers and their ability to develop great measures of raw power, agility and wisdom with some work, as well as their quickly evovling civilizations, has become one of the most dominant races of Reniam, spreading out and mixing with all other sentient races' areas of specialty, although never matching the specialized races' masters of trade. Exactly where humans originally lived is unknown, as already during the early Barbaric Age had managed to spread over most of the continent, with the main concentrations of their population being in the southern and western nations compared to Rodoria, and they have only spread more since.
The appearance of humans is we are hopefully all familiar with, although the race possesses great variety in both dimensions, hair- and eye-color and even the color of their skin. Humans from northern regions of the continent (such as Rodoria) tend to have a fairly light complexion, whereas the further south one goes, approaching the tropical areas, their complexion darkens, sometimes as much as to dark brown and black.
Possibly one of the longest lived creatures of Reniam, deigan have an unusual way of aging compared to other humanoid races. They are born after a pregnancy that tends to lasting well over a year, only to take approximately forty years to mature. However, once they have completed adolescence and become adults, they simply seem to stop aging and remain in their prime for hundreds, or with the very oldest deigan even thousands of years without deteriorating physically at all. As far as is known, no deigan has ever died of old age, which has given room for speculation that they really have an unlimited lifespan - and if they have not, then it is so incredibly long that it might as well have been. The deigan are one of the ruling races of Reniam, although not nearly as dominant as the humans due to an unfortunate issue arising with their apparent immortality. To the deigan, if a member of any other race dies, it loses a finite number of years that can easily be estimated by looking at its age. The deigan, on the other hand, stand to lose an eternity of years in which they likely could have kept living, never aging or dying. Consequently, deigan tend to be very careful with their lives, reluctant to take risks and terrified of sudden changes.
Rather than being divided into a number of nations like humans do, deigan are divided by their blood, as they have somehow been divided into three branch-races, each with its own physical and psychological differences and each of them keeping their distance to the two others. Crosses between the branch-races are rare, but happen nonetheless, but the offspring of these unions tend to inherit their features almost solely from one of their parents, resembling only one of the branch-races rather than a mix of the two, or only with very slight traces of the second half of their bloodline. These crossbreeds are usually shunned by the other deigan societies and usually end up living a comparatively sad existence amongst the short-lived races.
Despite their differences, the three branches have several features in common. Deigan tend to be of a slender and feeble frame, possessing an exotic beauty that is well-known for utterly mesmerizing humans, sometimes to the point where they lose interest for their own race altogether. They grow no hair, on their heads or otherwise, but instead, feathers grow on their heads, swept backwards down their back where it grows in a trail that only ends a short way above the rump. Their ears are droplet-shaped and point straight backwards, away from their face, with the point - having a similar significance to deigan to the earlobe to humans - varying from less than half an inch up to over two inches in length. Another common feature is that they have small indentations in the palms of their hands - hollows that render the hand so thin that there is practically only room for the bones. This at once makes their hands more frail and less physically powerful than those of other humanoids, but make up for it my functioning as a sort of magical catalyst, allowing deigan to draw out magical energy more easily than other mortals.
The most common branch of deigan in Rodoria are the so-called ascended deigan, for which the most obvious physiological difference is their golden eagle-like feathers and their uniquely silver-colored irises. They are slightly taller than their fellow deigan, having an average height that is slightly higher than that of humans - although the height of deigan vary far less than that of humans. They also tend to be the feeblest of the three, and are consequently commonly perceived as the most attractive. The ascended deigan are relatively often seen in Rodoria because they inhabit southern Wegam Fermos, and thus are situated directly at the southern border of the human kingdom. Ascended deigan have a tendency to be the most pompous of all deigan and like to flaunt wealth, beauty and welfare, both to each other and other races. They like to build tall structures in materials of light colors, white marble being a favorite, and strive to make these buildings as exotic and interesting as possible by handling every detail like a work of art. Very few ascended deigan fall to poverty, as they tend to be very helpful towards one another (after all, who would condemn another to an infinite life of misery?). They are lead by a council of seven, chosen by the people to make decisions for their society, but which can be replaced very quickly if the population disagree on an action taken by them. Ascended deigan loathe violence, thinking it too barbaric for their civilized manners. They are the most talented in magic of the deigan breeds, making them some of the most excellent magi in all of Reniam, and rarely resort to using weapons - although when they are forced to, they tend to prefer spears and bows.
The second most common breed is that of the free deigan, who are special in that they do not actually have any place that they call a common home, but prefer to either wander the countryside and travel the world or settle in places of nature, especially favoring lush forests. A free deigan's feathers are brown and more robust than the other breeds', and their irises are green. They are slightly shorter than the average human, but also the stoutest of the deigan branches (meaning that they are a little closer to human dimensions, but still sleek in comparison) and tend to be the most physically powerful of the three. Free deigan are known for their wanderlust, and unlike their cousins tend to discard wealth and worldly property since this just tends to tie them down and limit their freedom. They are the least condescending of the three (although the racial haughtiness towards other "inferior" races remains), and it is not unusual for a free deigan to socialize with other humanoids, often welcoming the company on their travels and hungering for stories to sate their curiosity. They are the least talented with magic of the deigan (making them an only slightly higher potential than humans), but are known to be exceptionally quick and light on their feet and having great control over their movements, making them ideal for using dexterous fighting-styles and very accurate archers. Free deigan prefer to use light swords and longbows.
The one that is naturally least common of the three, then, are the ones who call themselves the true deigan. They are the shortest of the deigan, the feathers that grow on this last breed of deigan are raven-black and longer and more delicate than those of the other deigan, and their irises are fiery red. Although the true deigan are not quite as arrogant as the ascended deigan when amongst their own kind, they have such a low opinion about all other races that they tend to treat them with scorn - and when an ascended and a true deigan meet, it is bound to end in open hostility. The reason for this is that for generations (which to deigan are quite long), a terrible blood-feud has raged between the ascended and true deigan because of the vast difference between their civilizations and norms. While ascended deigan value camaraderie, despise violence and think that none should be left to fend for themselves, the true deigan believe in individuality where the strongest must climb to the top over a mountain of corpses of those who stood in their way. True deigan are divided into small communities living in underground cities, each which is lead by a patriarch, chosen by a committee of the best true deigan of various trades in that specific city. To true deigan, however, that only means that they have to assassinate enough members of the committee and place enough of their own allies there to be elected themselves. Poisoning and hiring assassins is socially acceptable amongst true deigan, as they always hunger for more power and wealth, as well as they are very lax when it comes to enforcing the illegal kinds of magic. Their cities tend to be grand, built in dark materials (most likely for the sole purpose of spiting the ascended deigan) and crafted in crazy, exotic designs with curving and twisting columns and structures of completely irrational shapes. Their relative rarity can be owed to the ascended deigan, who have had the upper hand in the feud the last couple of centuries, leaving many true deigan cities abandoned or razed to the ground. True deigan are especially dangerous due to their balanced attributes compared to the two other branches, with them being quite capable with magic and with dexterous fighting, favoring daggers and shortbows.
Often considered blunt and distrustful, penin is a race that keeps mostly to itself, only admitting to interacting with outsiders when conducting trade with other races, or in the odd event when unwelcome strangers manage to stumble too near one of their cities in the hostile regions of northern Wegam Fermos, where there are plenty of mountains in which to build settlements and even more plentiful resources of ores and stone. The penin boast of their bargaining-skills, and their boastfulness is well-earned, for they are amongst the most stubborn and headstrong creatures in all of Reniam, but at the same time also some of the most indulgent and merry once they know that they are amongst friends.
A penin is a humanoid of modest height, rarely even growing to be four feet tall, but are very proportionally broad and powerful for their size. While most of their bodies are built the same way as that of any other humanoid, there are certain differences, such as the fact that both their heads and hands are incased in a tough naturally occurring bone-armor, appearing to be a sort of exoskeleton that covers all except their eyes, nose and mouth. The extra skull makes the penin's heads almost impossible to crack, and the bone-plates on their hands enable them to handle things that are too sharp or hot for unprotected hands without any discomfort. On top of this natural armor, the penin enjoy a remarkable constitution and amazingly durable bodies (proof of that is the fact that they enjoy drinking the beverage they call Finest like humans drink ale, despite of Finest literally being able to melt a person's hair, skin and eyeballs if getting in contact with them), making them notoriously hard to kill - especially since most non-lethal injuries just tend to piss them off. It was supposedly their very durability which caused the natural development of their mastery in the forging of weapons, as well as them being able to handle red-hot metal with their bare hands. Starting out hard to kill, penin naturally needed better weapons than other races in order to kill each other, and in order to protect against these better weapons, better armor was needed, etcetera, etcetera. Today, the penin have the greatest masters of metallurgy, masonry and carpentry in all of Reniam, and their forges are the origins of the finest weapons and armor in the world.
In battle, penin tend to take advantage of their hardiness, making tight formations to prevent their enemies from passing by them when forced to fight and hiding behind massive walls and siege-engines when trying to outlast their opponents - the latter being their favorite manner of achieving victory. Although penin - with habits that lead them to drink, fight and generally be in rather life-threatening situations during the practice of their crafts - rarely live to die of old age, they can live to be up to three hundred years old.
Tarken are exceedingly rare in Rodoria, as their homeland lies in Derisstahn far to the west of the human kingdom, past northern Wegam Fermos and with all but its easternmost tip with either the Qetemak Steppes for the northernmost part of the border, or the Tokif Wilds for the southernmost part of the border - but they are even more so because the tarken are infamous for their extremely conservative culture. Tarken are giants by human standards, averaging a height of almost eight feet and a width by their shoulders of more than three feet, and possess a racial brute strength that renders them capable of bending steel with their bare hands, and easily being able to tear a human's head right off its shoulders. They have very long and muscular ape-like arms, with hands that have only four fingers, including the thumb, each more than twice as thick as human fingers and each finger ending in three inch long bear-like claws. Although their shoulders and chests are huge, their waists tend to be amazingly slender and out of proportions, and they have legs that are quite short for their size - only about the length of human legs - with four-toed and clawed feet. They tend to have long, pointy chins and narrow heads, beak-shaped noses and very wide mouths, the latter full of sharp predatory teeth. Their ears are very long and pointy, their eyes are droplet-shaped and have black irises, and they are completely bald. Oh, and they have yellow skin. The only visible difference between male and female tarken are the female tarken's bosoms (although these tend to appear small and hard to notice in comparison, thanks to their huge and muscular frame) and their sexual organs. Unless they are naked, they are nearly impossible for all but other tarken's to tell apart.
Despite their grotesque appearance, tarken are far from monstrous and are actually amongst the honest of the races of Reniam, valuing honor almost as much as they do pride and glory in battle. Many who have never met a tarke mistakenly think that they are slow-minded creatures that are little more than animals, but this perception is mainly based on their bestial appearance and the fact that their society has not changed at all since the early Barbaric Age. The tarken remain barbarians and pride themselves being powerful and valiant warriors, as well as skilled hunters.
The reason that the tarken have not changed in the last two millennia is their depressingly slow lifespan. When a tarke is born, it matures completely within twelve years, and once it reaches maturity it is expected - no, required to contribute to the tarken community to its fullest, as they rarely live to see an age of fifty. Thus the lives of tarken are so short that their entire culture strives to make full use of each individual tarke before it dies, leaving little to no time for the schooling and development the other, longer-lived races have known. Tarken that derivate from the very strict norms of the tarken community, or which leave their home for personal reasons, are instantly branded exiles and called frehken - tarahn (the language of the tarken) for "outcast". Tarken despise frehken passionately, and they consider it the greatest possible dishonor, naturally making tarken extremely careful not to be named one such.
The tarken community is build up by a number of clans, which the tarken members inherit their surnames after, but they have a rather unusual system of leadership. Any tarke's worth is determined by their tarkir - tarahn for "heart", but which really refers to their weapon of choice. Any tarke with a tarkir of better craftsmanship or power than another's enjoy superior social status. Thus the leader of each clan is the tarke with the greatest tarkir, and a clan's authority over the other clans is determined by the clan-leader's tarkir. Thus, the tarke with the best and mightiest tarkir is the leader of all tarken. These tarkir are usually tarken-made weapons that are quite unique in design, but can at times also be remarkably powerful weapons crafted by other races - penin-made weapons are naturally popular amongst these.
In battle, tarken are renowned for their reckless manner of fighting and utter disregard of danger and pain. This is due to two things in particular: that tarken almost never stop to consider their next step before taking action, but rather tend to act spontaneously and thus often thoughtlessly, and their unique ability to go utterly and completely berserk. Tarken have two hearts and two sets of veins and arteries - a main heart, which is always active, and a secondary heart which only starts beating when the tarke is agitated or if the main heart suffers failure. This means that in battle, tarken pump out such outrageous amounts of adrenaline in their bodies that they basically become mindless engines of destruction, knowing no restraint or mercy but tearing through enemy ranks with all of their barbarism. It also means that they can sustain great damage to their bodies, as they will not really feel it as long as they are in this state of blinding rage, and that if one heart fails, the other will compensate. Tarken often throw away their lives by fighting like this, but each tarke is almost guaranteed to kill numerous enemies before getting taken down.
A final racial property about the tarken is their lack of affinity for magic. The souls of tarken are tied so closely to their physical bodies that it is practically impossible for them to perform any magic requiring their own magical energy, but at the same time, this grants them an uncanny resistance towards magic used against them. Being unable to use magic themselves, the tarken tend to be distrustful towards it, and sometimes even hostile towards mages. They think that magic is a means by which physically weaker races ease their own existence, and that those using magic only weakens themselves in the long run, making them lazy and undisciplined. In reality, though, most of their distrust is born from fear of what they do not understand.
This is the race that has its home in the islands of Melenaoth, situated to the north of Rodoria in the Melenian Ocean. They are also known as the cat-people and the Children of the White Tiger, and they are one of the latest discovered species of sentient creatures. Melenian culture is significantly different from that of the races that dwell on the mainland, since as the Melenians have developed their entirely own values and society that they aim to uphold despite of their bad luck after meeting with the mainland races. Still, the Melenians uphold a civilization where the females are the largest, strongest and most dominant, while the male Melenians are often considered of little value at all by the females, and are mostly used only as servants for mundane and simple tasks or as frontline infantry in battle, and occasionally, when the females feel like it, for mating. The Melenians are known to be masters of traveling at sea, having the largest known fleet in Reniam, and are the unchallenged rulers of the Melenian Ocean. Yet their specialty is actually being unheard and unseen, making them ideal for illegal activities and spying. Around Melenaoth, pirate ships amass to rob anyone daring to trespass into their territory, and on top of that, Melenian smugglers, thieves and assassins can be found all over the continent, and after their war against Rodoria in the early Age of Civilization, Melenian slaves can likewise be found all across the world.
Although the Melenians tend to have their hate towards the mainlanders in common, their society is too weak to actually commit any aggressions towards them, since it is constantly weakened by the unending civil war in Melenaoth, between the two different factions of Melenians. The one group, with their main settlement being Arkanoz of the Melenian isles, calls themselves the Regal and are lead by a Clan Mother and several Huntresses who work as her law-enforcers. The other group, which is mainly situated in Tigrola, are the Unseen, lead by an anonymous character only known as the Fence. Since the Regal stand for law and order, and the Unseen is largely just an advanced criminal organization with a city of their own, the war between the two factions has been ongoing for as long as the Melenians has recorded their history. Currently, however, an even more significant problem for their race is the very frequent use of the drug piaan, which makes the imbibers ridiculously huge and strong the longer they drink it, but at the same time is extremely addictive and causes their brains to degenerate. As they get larger and stronger by drinking piaan, they also lose their intelligence, eventually turning feral and ultimately dying.
Melenians are just a little shorter than humans, their average height varying only a few inches from that of the average human. They stand on their hind-legs like humans, have arms and hands, but remain very feline in appearance. Their head and tail are those that of a cat, and their feet are paws, and although they have developed fingers on their hands, these still have feline claws. They also have full-body fur, varying greatly in color and patterns, big, pointy ears and eyes with pupils that vary from being regular circles or vertical slits. Melenian males are significantly more like cats than the females, walking hunched over when they stand and sometimes even resorting to walking on all fours. The females, then, are remarkably more human-like than the other gender. They stand perfectly straight, their heads held high and proud, but their most famous property is how much their physiology reminds of that of an attractive human woman, as female Melenians have genetically slim waists and wide hips, and very human-like (although furry) breasts. The female Melenians' resemblance to attractive women has caused many human slave-owners to abuse their female slaves - a mistake that is almost always the last one they make, as virtually any of the prideful Melenian females would rather die than allow someone to get away with having them suffer such an indignity.
Melenian males has an average lifespan of seventy years, while females easily live to be ninety. The quick reflexes and racial agility makes Melenians good warriors and assassins, and they tend to favor daggers, rapiers and falchions, and usually only use bows and crossbows when preparing to board another ship at sea.
Amongst the rarest of the sentient races, yet almost as widespread as humans, are the Nightwalkers. These are a breed of creatures quite unique in many ways, yet surprisingly similar to humans in appearance and nature. They vary as greatly in height and volume as humans do, as well as the color of their hair and skin vary, although Nightwalkers are often found to be unusually pale, as their nature bids them to remain out of the sun to prevent them from going blind. The most obvious difference between humans and Nightwalkers is that Nightwalkers have eyes that consist solely of pupil, having no iris, which means that Nightwalkers’ eyes sense any light in their surroundings, even when there is none visible to races with lesser dark vision. In turn, even weak sources of light burns their eyes, and if exposed to bright light, they can go temporarily or permanently blind, depending on the brightness of the light and the duration of the exposure. Nightwalkers also has an interesting culture, since they traditionally live by the code ‘death before dishonor’ and are willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of their own honor or that of their home and family. This code, which to many Nightwalkers is an obsession, is probably part of the reason for their decreasing numbers.
Nightwalkers live for around two hundred years, reaching maturity around the age of twenty-five. Although they age the exact same way as humans, they age considerably slower. Their civilization is almost nonexistent, since their few numbers mean that they only gather in a few villages that dot the lands, and otherwise just live amongst humans, since that is the race with the strongest semblance to their own.
Nightwalkers are not much different from humans when it comes to fighting, as they can use just about any weapon a human can with the same natural affinity. Even so, a certain order of Nightwalker warriors existed, and although it was reputably disbanded a century ago, the Knights of the Will are still famed for their skill, dedication to good and justice, and the development of a sort of 'sixth sense', which allowed them to 'feel' the presence and actions of their opponents even when they could not be seen and heard, allowing them to counteract accordingly. There are also a few mages, but these rarely wield much success in their field, and they are known to be useless archers as even the least flicker of light can ruin their aim.
Supposedly, the Nightwalkers were once far more abundant and powerful than they are now, and even had a sizable empire of their own to the far south of Rodoria, possibly in the regions now belonging to the human Catolohne Empire. Myths tell that, in these days, Nightwalkers possessed a mysterious power that was greater than any known type of magic, and which allowed them to create and destroy anything at their whim, and reputedly had even discovered a secret to obtaining immortality. If this was ever true, the Nightwalkers has long ago lost this power for one reason or another, no trace remains of their empire, and their numbers have been drastically decreased. Historians theorize that the ancient Nightwalkers were seduced by their own powers and in an effort to gain more turned on each other, effectively causing their empire to turn on itself until it was utterly obliterated. As for the absence of the power, there is no explanation to be had, and scholars can only guess, just as they can only dream to finding the secret themselves.
The Gazzeral is a race that is surprisingly similar to the Melenians, only being a race of reptilian humanoids instead of feline, retaining the scales, head and tale of a lizard. They were the original inhabitants and rulers of Rodoria and roughly half of southern Wegam Fermos, but were nearly exterminated by an alliance of humans, penin and deigan. Driven into hiding, the few survivors of the race now live in caves and deep, untamed forests. The Gazzeral are a thoroughly peaceful race, frowning upon all killing. As a proof of their pursuit of harmony with all things, the culture of the Gazzeral decided that they - despite being carnivores by nature - would strive to be vegetarians, living off the land while caring for the plants and animals, causing the regions they inhabited to be some of the most lush in Reniam. Not much is known about the Gazzeral, except that they make excellent sorcerers and healers, and that they were apparently once even more civilized than the ascended deigan are now. Now, however, the Gazzeral live in hiding, keeping their locations and lifestyles secret from the world. The only ones seen are known to have devolved to a more savage state, walking on all four and hunting prey from their caves like predators. These are not referred to as Gazzeral, though, but rather just as reptilians.
Male and female Gazzeral differ significantly in built, as male Gazzeral tend to be more compact than the females, whereas females are very thin and long in almost every aspect of their being. One could say that male Gazzeral mostly resemble humanoid lizards, while females rather look like humanoid serpents. Their tongues can be both regular and forked, and the color of their hide varies greatly, depending on the environment in which they hatched from their eggs. Their pupils are narrow slits and their nostrils are mounted directly on their snout, as they usually are on reptiles. How long it takes for a Gazzeral to mature is not entirely certain - estimated to around eighty years - but it is known that they can live for more than three thousand years.
Truth be told, not many details are known about demonspawn, since whenever they are indentified, it is exceedingly rare that both demonspawn and the other survives the encounter. Demonspawn are the unholy result of the female demon Himyth - the only demon lord known to have ever conquered the Divide between Reniam and the Lower Plane - mating with a mortal. The progeny is demonspawn: part demon, and part their mortal parent. The appearance of these creatures is the most varied of all races, as there are practically no limits to how they can look. Demonspawn has been known to possess qualities of various mortal races, but at the same time have developed various inhuman, monstrous and demonic features that seem completely random. The only feature they all seem to have in common is that their eyeballs have mirror-like surfaces with no pupils or irises (which strangely does not seem to worsen their sight the least), but which opens a circular hole in the middle similar to a pupil when the demonspawn uses its powers, with the hole radiating a glow of apparently any color, but with which the color seems to be determined by the demonspawn's power.
All demonspawn have an inherently high probability of turning out evil, and even in the rare even that one of them manages to defy this trait, their infernal blood will tempt them to commit dark acts to sate their lust for death and destruction. Even so, demonspawn long not solely for this - quite the contrary, all demonspawn are not as much motivated by the evil in their hearts as the craving inflicted upon their minds by their Dread Mother. Upon their birth, all demonspawn receive a very specific drive: a desire that inevitably becomes the catalyst of everything they do, and a desire that they will spend their entire lives trying to sate. This desire can be various things, a few examples being hatred towards all things, thirst for violence, wealth or power, an urge to feel superior over all else or even just to hoard together as many random objects as possible... a truly freakish instance of such a desire could even be a vastly increased libido. No matter what they do, and no matter whether they wish to give in to their wicked heritage or not, demonspawn cannot resist this characteristic that defines who they are.
Another trait that seems just as irregular as everything else with these unique demonspawn is their powers. Demonspawn are incapable of performing traditional magic, but are instead granted individual powers that tend to be quite specific in their use but remarkably potent in that specific use. These powers, again, seem to be anything - examples include the ability to generate electric currents from their own body, ignite fire at their will, control and shape minerals in the ground, moving metal by magnetism-like means and even accelerating and reversing aging of creatures and objects. While these powers are great, they come at a grave cost. Demonspawn do not drain magical energy from their souls when they use their magic, as other mortals do, but rather activate their power by giving themselves over to their infernal half, allowing their demonic heritage to roam their bodies. Consequently, the more they use their powers, the more demonic they become - both physically and mentally. They will develop more and more monstrous features, just as the evil in their souls grows fiercer and harder to resist. However, as they become more demonic, their power becomes greater as well. A truly evil circle: as the power is used, it becomes greater and getting more tempting to use. And at the same time, the demonspawn becomes more evil and more susceptible to the temptation of its own power. Therefore, demonspawn that use their powers once are rarely able to stop using them again, and end up malevolent beasts for which there is no salvation other than death.
Due to all of these extreme dangers connected to demonspawn, most governments aim to exterminate their kind rather than live with the risk of them trying - and failing - to adapt to the world.
One last detail - as yet another result of their demonic heritage, as they mutate into increasingly demonic forms, their blood turns yellow and toxic. Furthermore, when a demonspawn dies, its body instantly dissolves into a cloud of sulfur.