The Grey Veil
Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs are the primary races with established communities. Halflings exist as a subrace of elves, and gnomes likewise as a subrace of dwarves. Elves and halflings have the fey type. Dwarves and gnomes have the Lawful subtype.
Other races are available with DM approval, but those characters will likely be the solitary example of their race and will not have significant cultural communities.
There are two distinct groups of elves; those that live on the surface (the Bright Court), and those who live underground (the Dark Court). There are distinct differences between the elves of the two courts, but all elves share the following characteristics:
Elves are matriarchal, organized into tribes, subdivided into extended family groups called kells.
Elves and halflings do not form formal syndicates; they engage in trade on a strictly individual basis. The fey love to make bargains and pacts, almost as much as they love finding ways to twist those bargains to their advantage.
Halflings are more tribal, feral, and capricious than elves. Elves and halflings have no formal social contract between them; they are allied insofar as they are fey, but beyond that there is a tenuous arrangement that is often disrupted by the relatively more wild and impulsive behavior of halflings.
The dwarves are a society of Law; all dwarves and their subraces have the Lawful type. The cultural analogue is a fusion of Edo-period Japan and Qing Dynasty China. There is a strong emphasis on performing even mundane activities with grace, decorum, and artfulness (think “tea ceremony”); a caste-based, Confucian social order with “a place for every person and every person in their place;” most activities organized around a monastic center, though dedicated to the ideals of Law and perfection rather than emphasizing deific worship. The greatest value is placed on craftsmanship, and skilled artisans are highly prized. Strong emphasis placed on honor, with each clan having its own particular code and tendency to focus on a particular skill, art, or discipline.
Dwarves are paragons of civilized culture. Honor, obedience, and loyalty are the foundation of their society, and they conduct themselves with the same devotion to aesthetics whether engaged in the pursuit of art, trade, or warfare. Dwarves are creatures of order. They are concerned with discipline, duty, hierarchy, beauty, artistry, and aspiring to perfection in word and action.
Each dwarf has dedicated themselves to a personal code. [find the analogue for this – Dragonlance?]
Dwarves have a single monastery-based syndicate which does all business on behalf of the dwarven and gnomish people.
Typical Administrative Positions
|Low Level||Mid Level||High Level|
|Removers of Waste||Tax Collection||Coin Distribution|
|Minor Construction||Major Construction||Construction Planning|
|Disease Control||Gnome Oversight||Coordination of Trade|
|Movers of Food||Food Distribution||Mayor of the City|
|Maintenance of Gardens||Gate Monitor||Governor of Farmlands|
|Maintenance of Roads||Assigner of Permits||Aid to the Emperor|
|Maintenance of Walls||Riot Control|
Gnomes have the Lawful type and are considered a subrace of Dwarves. They are generally of the lowest caste and are the laborers and technicians of Dwarven society.