An attempt by the gods to create servants better suited to hard work than the elves. Dwarves still follow the god of craftsmen, but bribed their way out of the servitude they were created for and have since remained fiercely independent. They retreated into the mines and deep cavern villages of the Daelriven and Corwaen Mountains once humans appeared. They still have limited contact with humankind, but don’t casually leave their mountain homes. They have set up “villages” at the base of the mountains in which to do most of their trading with outsiders. Some clans have discovered isolated valleys that are only approachable by the tunnels through their territory, and they plant crops in these to take advantage of the sun. The dwarves also make a very strong spirit that is highly prized in the human settlements near the mountains. The Daelriven dwarves are somewhat more open to outsiders than their kin in the Corwaen Mountains, but they still allow very few non-dwarves to enter their caves.
Traditionally, the Traders are caravan people, traveling the trade routes in the free states within huge, building-sized wagons pulled by giant beasts of burden. Some ambitious souls do choose to leave the safety of the caravan, however, and make their way into the larger world. These are still usually tinkers and merchants, although some do act as mercenary guards. The three main ideals of the Trader society are family, honor, and business. A trader that breaks his word during a business deal is considered the lowest of the low and isn’t welcome amongst his own people. Each Trader “family” runs their own caravan and those families that can afford it have houses set aside in Tradertown for the sole purpose of housing the members of the family that can no longer travel. Families consist of a family leader, his or her spouse, children siblings, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and even adopted members.
The first race created by the gods, they became divided into light and dark elves and warred with each other almost to their extinction. The dark elves are now considered legend to most humans, although it is guarded knowledge among the gifted that they do still exist in the deep bowels of the Daelriven Mountains. The dark elves kill intruders on sight. The light elves reside in the ancient forests of Arcat and Frezneld and can, on very rare occasions, be persuaded to offer their advice, but prefer to remain distant from the human world, their home magically guarded. Elves do wander the world to trade with other races and to fulfill the need to learn about other peoples. They are few in number outside the forest and are sometimes treated with more than a little suspicion. All elves, both light and dark, are born with the gift of magic.
They are the last race to have appeared in Mithra and have spread quickly across the land. Humans are ambitious, impulsive, and often treacherous, but are also the most compassionate and empathic of all the races. Personal traits are more individual than any of the other races, and it is quite possible for an elf or a dwarf to make an exception for a human they particularly like. While humans are often thought of as a lesser race by the longer lived elves and dwarves, they are also recognized as having great potential. Because of their persistence and ambition, the current time period of Mithra is called the Age of Man.
These cat people are nomadic and tribe oriented. They reside deep in the largest forests of Mithra and few people ever see one. At one time they were hunted by adventurers, prized as prey for their intelligence and advanced stealth capabilities. Only a handful of them are ever seem outside the forests, and these are usually outcasts, or those hunting down outcasts. They will keep themselves hidden, trying their best to blend in, dressed in deep cloaks or wrapped in scarves. They are a careful people, excellent hunters, and very patient to wait for their prey to make a wrong move.
Originally one of the monster races, the Kobolds became “domesticated” with the advent of man. They are used as household servants, messengers, and occasionally trained to be spies or assassins. Over the years they have become much more intelligent, due to their masters educating them to better handle difficult tasks, but they have always had a bit of the monster in them that no amount of civilized living can breed out. Kobolds are independent, striking out on their own at a young age (or being sold by their masters) and they rarely bother to keep in touch with their families after that. The are wily and quick, and despite their disassociation with anything related to family, they form tight working groups that they refer to as clans, in order to take advantage of numbers.
Being smaller and less stocky than dwarves, gnomes are a race of inventors and tinkerers. They too, may have been adopted by a god and shown favor in the world, except for their complete disregard for the gods that created them. Gnomes worship their own intelligence, believing that true “gods” don’t exist. They place their future in the hands of a thing they call “science” and will tell anyone who is interested that religion is foolishness. That said, there is a small sect of gnomes that have found religion due to a particularly devastating explosion in their mountain town. They believe they found proof of the divine in the otherwise unexplained survival of one district in the town, left perfectly intact after the blast leveled the surrounding buildings. These gnomes preach the love of the gods, and the mistake that the majority of gnomes are making. The other gnomes just don’t care, and shrug it off as the aftereffects of the explosion.