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Ethnic Groups
Peoples of the Forgotten Realms

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This page is devoted to the different human ethnic groups of the Realms. As humans are the dominant race, I went into more detail about the various ethnic groups for this race. If you wish to know more about bonus languages & equipment and regional feats, please contact me.

An important thing to keep in mind is that our campaign currently takes place in the Silver Marches/Savage Frontier/Sword Coast areas. The majority of humans in these areas are going to be Illuskan or Tethyrian. Chondathans and Calimshans are also going to be somewhat common due to trade. While I will allow other ethnic groups, it is important to come up with a good background story to support your choice.

Human Ethnicities

1. Calishite - These humans are from the southwestern kingdom of Calimshan. They are shorter and slighter built than most humans and have dusky brown skin, hair, and eyes. They are usually very ethnocentric and see other cultures as short-lived barbarians. They enjoy comforts and respect from peers. Many Calimshans love wealth and have no problems with slavery. Calimshan is dominated by a great desert in the west, is a coastal nation, and many exotic spices and magics are exported from the country.

2. Chondathans - These people hail from the Vilhon Reach areas, the southern Dalelands, Cormyr, Sembia and the Great Dale. Basically, most places in the central parts of Faerun. They are slender and tawny skinned with various shades of light and dark brown hair (with an occasional blond or black). They are usually tall and common eye colors are green and brown. Many Chondathans are risk takers and merchants (on land and in the Sea of Fallen Stars). Often, the peoples of these areas have a deep respect for nature.

3. Damarans - The Damarans are often proud and stubborn. They hail from north central Faerun Damara, Impiltur, Thesk). They are of a moderate build & height and often have fair or tawny skin. Their hair is usually light brown to black and brown is usually the most common eye color. Damarans often see the word in black & white/good & evil. They hail from a harsh land and often make a living by mining and logging. Those who live in eastern portions of these lands hunger for the mined gold and are shrewd merchants.

4. Illuskans - These are usually a seagoing, warlike people that are from northwest Faerun. They are tall, fair-skinned and blue eyed. Around the coastal areas and the northern parts of the Moonshae Isles, hair color is fair or red and eyes are blue. More inland, hair color is black (typically called the Uthgardt - of mixed Illuskan & Netherese heritage). They are a proud folk who have adopted to rough environment of places like the Silver Marches and the Spine of the World. They tend to be alert, serious, and self-reliant. They usually bow to no lord.

5. Mulan - The Mulans dominate areas of eastern Faerun. They are generally tall and slim. Skin color ranges from sallow to dark brown. Eyes are hazel or brown. Most peoples from these areas usually shave their heads, but when hair grows out is usually dark brown. Often times they are arrogant and conservative. Magic (both arcane and divine) are plentiful in these areas. Class and family ties are often very important to members of these peoples. The lands are often dry. Notables are Mulhorand (with its own gods - like Horus-Re), the magocracy Thay, and the city states of Chessenta.

6. Rashemis - This ethnicity is noted for their tough, stout and muscular people. Rashemis tend to lack arrogance and have a deep appreciation of their land (in the northeast of Faerun). They have dusky skin, dark eyes and thick black hair. Men often grow beards, are usually warriors, and the society is usually matriarchal (lead by female witches).

5. Tethyrian - Tethyrians hail from Tethyr, Amn and areas around the Sword Coast, Savage Frontier and the Silver Marches. Considered a "melting pot" of other ethnic groups (Illuskan, Calishite, Chondothan), their skin ranges from dusky to fair and their hair and eye color vary widely. They are of medium build and height. These people are proud of their diverse heritage and have a strong independent streak.

7. Halruaan - These people are the descendants of the Netheril Empire who fled the destruction and settled in the southern coastal area now known as Halraa (where they intermarried with the Lapal peoples). Halruaans are proud of their Netherese inheritance and their aptitude towards magic. However, their land is composed of rules and regulations that govern their lives. They are a proud and ambitious group and rivalries and conspiracies are common. Skin and hair color range from light to dark due to the mixed heritage of Netheril and Lapal.

8. Bedine - These are the nomadic people who inhabit the Anauroch Desert. Originally from the distant land of Zakhara (the continent southeast of Faerun), these peoples are dark of hair and skin. Periodically, blue eyes appear from inter-marriages with the descendants of the Netherese. They have a natural distrust of magic, due in part to the destruction of the Netheril Empire and that kingdom's overuse of magic.

9. Sossrim - Hailing from the mysterious land of Sossal in the extreme northeastern portion of Faerun, these people use strange magic and are very attuned to nature. They trade in furs, gold and beautiful smooth-curved wooden furniture. They are a hardy folk who seem to enjoy cold weather. Sossrim have fair skin and almost white hair.

10. Lantanna - These humans like contraptions, gizmos, metal devices, and whirling sparks. They are from the island of Lantan off the southwestern coast of Faerun and the god Gond seems to have a strong foothold here. They are a secretive people and usually apprehensive of strangers. The Lantanna aren't much on casual magic. They typically have green eyes, red hair, and fair skin.

11. Nar - The Nars are a tribal society who love to barter. These peoples wear their long dark hair in horsetails and often don gaudy clothing. Their skin is tanned from years of exposure to the sun while on horseback. Their neighbors are the Vaasan and Damarans in north-central Faerun. The Nar are descended from the peoples of the Narfell Empire (after that kingdom fell).

12. Durpari - The Durpari live in the extreme southeastern part of Faerun. The Durpari value freedom and they have a business like approach to their culture. They are at ease with magic and are warm & friendly. Their approach to the gods of Faerun is a little unusual in that they feel that all the gods are part of a unified life force. Hair color tends to be brown and skin color is olive to dusky.

13. Vaasan - A tough, silent group of people, the Vaasan are used to monsters and bandits making life difficult. Vaasa is a fledgling kingdom that has just recovered from monstrous rule. Of the same stock as the Damarans, Vaasans tend to be a little fairer due to barbarian (possibly related to the fair-haired Illuskan) influences from the Great Glacier.

14. Turami - Turami men wear long, squared beards. They are a tall, mahogany-skinned, proud people who take pride in farming and finely crafted items. Turmish is located in central Faerun on the western shores of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Peaceful by nature, Turami lands are democratically governed.

15. Arkaiun - Considered a fairly new ethnic group in Faerun, the Arkaiun are usually found on the southern coast of the continent (usually around Dambrath). They are shorter and stockier than most humans and typically have dark brown or black hair. Skin color is usually dusky. Arkaiuns are a subjugated group who are ruled relentlessly by the half-drow Crinti in Dambrath. Sometimes the bitterness of being oppressed also affects relations with other races (namely elves).

16. Tashalan - The Tashalans live on the northeastern side of the Chultan peninsula. Considered by many to be very friendly, the Tashalan tend vineyards, grow exotic spices, and often enjoy hunting in the jungles of the peninsula. The Tashalan are dark of hair and and have dark or olive skin. They pride themselves on being excellent craftsfolk.

17. Ulutiun - The Ultutiuns- enjoy the cold areas of the world and live in the extreme northern reaches of Faerun (close to the north pole). Their world is usually endless ice and snow with a short warming period during the summer. They are a robust and keen peoples with dark hair and light brown skin. Men do not grow beards. They survive by living off marine animals and migrating caribou. Shamanistic magic is utilized by certain members of these peoples.

18. Tuigan - Often referred to as the "Horse Lords," the Tuigan live on the eastern fringes of the continent. Their lands separate Faerun and Kara-Tur. Approximately 10 years ago, a horde of Tuigan invaded the eastern lands of Faerun. Eventually, they were rebuffed, but some stayed behind to start new lives. Tuigan are superstitious and initially distrustful of strangers. They are fierce warriors and excellent horsemen. They have yellowish-tan skin and dark hair. Men often grow moustaches.

19. Shou - Due to trade between Kara-Tur and Faerun, a Shou person can often be found in most major cities. They even have small communities in the eastern portions of Faerun (called Shou-towns). They are known for practicing exotic magic (both divine and arcane) and utilizing strange weapons. While the term "Shou" is used to describe somebody from the large country of Shou Lung, often times it is used for others from Kara-Tur (such as T'u Lung, Wa and Kozakura). Skin color ranges from pale to tan - sometimes with a yellow or golden tone. Hair and eyes are usually dark brown or black, although green eyes are not uncommon.

20. Chultan - "Chultans" to the rest of Faerun, these people often refer to themselves as "Tabaxi"- a reference to the "one great tribe" that they feel they belong to. Chultans call the jungle peninsula of southwestern Faerun home. These are a dark-skinned people who enjoy the warm and humid climate of the tropics. By nature, they are reclusive and wary of power & wealth. They often live in tribal units. They have a great respect for magic and don't use it carelessly.

21. Shaaran - The Shaarans inhabit a huge swath of grassland that runs through the south-central area of Faerun. Nomadic by nature, the Shaaran tend to be simple, loyal and have a deep respect for the grasslands. Stealing is an acceptable part of Shaaran culture and seen as a survival mechanism in the harsh environment. They are of medium height and build with brown & black hair and eyes. They have tanned/yellowish skin.

22. Ffolk - This ethnic group generally live on the southern portions of the Moonshae Isles. They typically have darker hair and skin than their neighbors, the Illuskan (or Northlanders as their called) to the north. The Ffolk claim to have lived on the islands longer than the Northlanders and have a deep respect for the land. Many are farmers and, typically, they are distrustful of strangers. They are especially resentful of the pirates from the Nelanthar Isles to the south. They are organized into a number of small kingdoms.

23. Zakharan - This group of humans is very rare in Faerun and, when encountered, tends to be along the southern coastline as merchants. Both the Calishite and Bedine are distantly related to the Zakharan (via portals). They believe that honorable people must be hospitable. Their cloths are foreign (turbans, sashes, & keffiyehs) and they have their own gods. Due to the dry climate, skin is usually tanned and hair colors tend to be darker.

24. Maztican - The Maztican make up a number of smaller ethnic groups that are found on the distant continent to the west of Faerun. Due to Amn, Baldur's Gate, and Waterdeeps interest in the treasure and spices of this land, some Mazticans can be found in these areas of Faerun. They have their own gods and pride themselves on their strong warriors and grandiose artwork. Steel is rare in Maztica, but they have advanced stone weapons. Skin color is a reddish bronze and hair is usually dark.

25. Imaskari - The Deep Imaskari (as they are known today) have been cut off from the rest of humanity for thousands of years. Those rare peoples who know of their existence say they may be a sub-race all their own. The Imaskari were part of an ancient kingdom that retreated underground when their slaves, the Mulan, overthrew them. Due to years of isolation, they are guarded and detached but have a great love for magic. Their skin and hair are very pale.

26. Raumviran - These peoples live far to the northeast in Faerun between the lands of the Rashemis and the Sossrim. They were once part of the ancient Raumathar Empire. Both this empire and the Narfell kingdom were destroyed when they fought each other. Culturally and physically, they resemble the Rashemi but are a little lighter due to some Sossrim influences.

27. Gur - The Gur can be found throughout the Western Heartlands and areas of the Sword Coast (such as Baldur's Gate). They are a nomadic people and sometimes are referred to as "Selune's Children". They are thought to be of Rashemi descent (resembling those peoples). They are gifted with divination but sometimes scolded by other cultures due to instances of theft.

28. Shadovar - The Shadovar form a very rare and reclusive culture. Originally descended from the Netherese, they fled to the Shadow plane with their floating city. Recently, the have returned and are thought to inhabit the southern portion of the Anauroch desert. Nobody really knows what their attitude is, but it appears that they may be malicious. Due to the years of living on the shadow plan, Shadovars have a light gray tinge to their skin. Hair and eyes are usually dark. It is also not uncommon for a Shadovar to become a Shade.

Forgotten Realms