Visions of Aquelae: The Redstone Band
Humans of Aquelae are fairly wide-spread and populous; the primary or sole inhabitants of a score of isles, dubbed now the Isles of Man. Here Humans farm, fish, weave, tan, and trade; graze livestock and gaze at the sea. However, the Race of Men can be found from the icy isles of Ictscalleon through the turbulent waters around the Bole, to the burning sands of Dun Miridor. The brutishness of humanity has fended off strange beasts and deposed Orcs and Goblins alike from inlets and isles, its tenacity has eked out a living from scraps of soil more rock then earth, and its spirit has still found the urge to sing, dance, smile, craft things of beauty, and explore the mysteries of the whether-to’s and whyfores around them. Humans practice a wide range of crafts and magics, and among their ranks are found Chosen faithful, runemasters, elementalists, mentalists, soul-touched, sorcerers, summoners, mages, wizards, warriors, sneak thieves, traders, sailors, artisans of all skills, and all manner of folk. Human civilization has advanced to such a point in the last century that grand cities have sprung up, able to support those who think and paint and sculpt. Knowledge is prized, and the few libraries abound are often difficult to gain access to. Humans worship a handful of deities; chiefly among them The Shining One, who brings light and warmth to the world. There are also supplications to The Hiden, who clouds the sky and brings cool and rain (not overmuch to The Hiden, and not where The Shining One can see, else fierce storm or drought follow), offering to Old Har who controls the wind and waves (Sailors always make an offering if they get out of sight of shore – throw a barrel of wine, a crate of salt pork, a few fine-wrought metalworks, or similar, over the side), Ochoso the Victorious, and others. Humans generally speak at least one of their own languages, of which there are three.
The human calendar marks this as the 83rd year since the end of the Sandisle War, although most mark this as the 83rd year of Harmonious Peace by most. The end of the Sandisle War marked the end of major fighting and the declaration of a truce between the Humans and the Mirnm. However, not all contact has been so violent. In the 61st year of Harmonious Peace, a small caravan of Human merchants, lost in the mountains and seeking a rumored entrance to a Dwarven hall, were entranced by what they thought was the song of a chorus of angels, and almost dashed to death in the foothills below when they encountered the Aerie-echer. The merchants fled, and hired a band of Wanderers to deal with the problem. By the wit and wisdom of that band, another Race War was avoided, and Humans became the first “ground race” the Aerie-echer encountered.
In their first encounters with Mirnm, Dwarves, Elves, and Aerie-echer, Humans were mistaken for a breed of Orc or Goblin, and indeed among those races theories are quietly debated as to a common ancestry (or one coming from the other). Proponents point to Human’s tendency toward cruelty and violence, and fascination with gadgetry. Most of the races are tact enough (or whatever passes for tact among them) to not point it out, though.