In the Shadow of the Tyrant
Racial Perceptions in Freystadt
From the Marquering National Archives:
Due to the influence of Karzak, the Tyrant Lord, racial identity is not as much of a driving influence throughout the world as might be expected. Individuals tend to view themselves as Freystadtians first, and Dwarves, Gnomes, Humans or other races second. Still, each race will, of course, have a predisposition to certain activities and living conditions, and it is this that results in Freystadt’s current racial distribution.
Humans are the most populous race in Freystadt, and, indeed, the world. This is no surprise, considering their natural adaptability and ingenuity. It is said that Karzak himself was a Human, and may have given the race special treatment during his reign. The Human populations in Freystadt tend to congregate in the metropolitan areas, such as Freystadt City, Horstmar, and Stromberg, but, due to their versatility, they can be found almost literally anywhere in the nation.
Regarding the other races, Humans commonly hold no strong views or discrimination. Rarely, however, a Human family can be encountered that considers themselves to be a “Master Race”, likely due to their link with Karzak, and views other races as inferior. This behavior is not endorsed by the Freystadt government, but neither is it discouraged.
Dwarves function well in Freystadtian society, being naturally drawn to the sense of order and law inherent in the culture. Being the second most populous race in the nation, Dwarves are nevertheless relatively rarely seen in the main cities. Rather, the heaviest concentration of Dwarves is present in the extensive mining tunnels and camps that span the entirety of Freya’s Gauntlet to the North. Indeed, Freya’s Gauntlet can be considered a community of its own, one composed mostly of Dwarves.
In regard to other races, Dwarves are more insular than many other inhabitants of Freystadt. While they do not show obvious discrimination or racial hate, most Dwarves prefer the company of their own kind. Those Dwarves that choose to live in cities, however, are well-accepted and highly prized for their honesty and work ethic.
With the exception of Humans and sometimes Dwarves, Elves are the most commonly seen race in Freystadt. Highly prized in the military for their natural skill and inclination for the bow, Elves are well-accepted in Freystadt society, and given much the same consideration as Humans. Many Elves, drawn by their connection to nature, choose to live outside the boundaries of the nation’s major cities, and it is from these individuals that most of Freystadt’s farming communities and free-standing villages are formed.
Elves suffer an interesting reversal of the discrimination present in some Humans. Though almost all members of their race consider themselves to be equal to the country’s other races, Elves are often held in higher regard by Humans, being seen as somehow superior. This likely has something to do with an Elf’s natural grace, as well as their ability to look dashing in a military uniform, a trait highly valued in Freystadt society.
Due to to the high concentration of both Humans and Elves, particularly in metropolitan areas, Half-Elves are very common in Freystadt. By the same token, they can be found almost anywhere in the nation. Half-Elves have no society or culture of their own, instead adapting easily to both Human and Elven culture, and considered equal to both races by most other individuals.
Orcs and Half-Orcs
The majority of Orcs hail originally from Altun-Ha to the North of Freystadt. While they are not unknown in society, discrimination toward Orcs is much heavier than that toward other races, as they are considered “uncivilized” and “brutish” by the majority of citizens. In a nation that values civilization and order above all else, this is a serious issue. Orcs sometimes overcome these stereotypes and become members of society, but more often leave Freystadt for the more welcoming tribes of Altun-Ha. By the same token, Half-Orcs are so rare as to be almost unknown.
Though sometimes subject to the same prejudices which shun Orcs from Freystadt society, Mokole are more highly considered for their value as mercenaries. Though rare, Mokole also exist in other areas of Freystadt society, and, as long as they are of an agreeable temperament, are seen as more of a curiosity than a menace.
The Ensouled Sidhe present a curious problem for Freystadt. Being the nation that the majority of Blightmoor activity targets, most individuals whose souls are stolen by Moor Hags to become Ensouled Sidhe are originally citizens of Freystadt. Until recently, however, they were viewed with deep suspicion, thought to be an infiltration tactic used by Fey during the Grunewald War. Only within the past few decades have Ensouled Sidhe become a part of Freystadt society.
Many Ensouled Sidhe return to Freystadt after their transformation to resume their lives and duties where they left off, with varying effectiveness. Some Sidhe, after regaining something of their identities but still changed by the experience, see it as an opportunity to begin a new life. Only very motivated Sidhe ever leave the Blightmoor, so these refugees are often very successful.
A very small percentage of individuals are even transformed into an Ensouled Sidhe, and an even small percentage actually escape the Moor Hags and survive long enough to regain enough of their identity to return to Freystadt. As a result, Sidhe are exceedingly rare. The number of Ensouled Sidhe in the country at any one time is thought to be in the double digits.