Altaeon: The Golden Age of Adventure
“Shifty fucks got put in there place a long time ago and never quite got back up. ‘Way I see it, things are better this way. They were dangerous- cruel even. People like me had to claw and scrape for anything we could get while they ate their fill and took as many of us for Gods know what as they wanted.
See- their gods were bigger and older than ours. They lived everywhere at once- in the mountain, in the oceans, and in the shivering red faults beneath the earth.In those days, they all spoke the same- all understood each other. Put em’ eons ahead of us. It’s why you still find their ruins everywhere- why the overgrown standing stones in Bolgundria look the same as they do in Jaysamir.
But our gods- oh- our gods were young, and they were crafty. Blessed Atolia broke their voices and burned their history to ashes. Brontaeus crushed the mountains underfoot and drank the rivers dry. Put the fuckers on the same level as us. Made it fair.
Naturally, we came out on top, and we stayed on top for a while. Things are changin’ though. Can’t really own Elven slaves any more. Can’t say nothin’ about the ears without gettin’ dirty looks from everybody in the tavern.
-Rex Krüger, Tempest
“Dürzé, not ‘Dwarf’, if you please.
I am Deicha-Viq, of Mother Deicha-Rosch’s third Brood. Like my fathers Deicha-Vuld and Deicha-Voq before me, I hold the position of head curator at the Durzen Cultural Society of Jaysamir.
To non-Durzen, the most perplexing thing about us seems to be, strangely enough, our lifespans. The eldest among us rarely live to see their sixth decade, and while I’ve never personally lost sleep over this fact of life, there has never been any shortage of taller folk eager to express their condolences for my condition.
Durzen never had a global monoculture in the same way Elves once did, and as a result, we are as culturally diverse as any other humanoid species ( please pardon my use of the term ‘humanoid’). There are, however, several features shared by most Durzen cultures that derive from characteristic of our species. For instance, Durzen have Three typically occurring sexes and all three are require to produce children. Gender rolls among durzen tend to revolve around different axis altogether than those of humans, Orcs, or Elves. We also tend toward polygamy and polyamory. It is not uncommon for a single durzen mother to have at least three partners, and any number of those partners may be part of any number of other relationships. Understandably, we tend to have massive extended families. All children within local family groups are raised communally.