Midnight Races

The Races of Eredane are beaten and abused by the Shadow as a rule. Some have sold their souls to Izrador, some continue to fight a battle which grows bleaker by the week. All have had their destinies changed by the Dark God's might.

Races Under the Shadow


The gnomes of Aryth appear to have given in to the Shadow, but in fact they run secretive resistances in the very heart of Izrador’s kingdom. Because they must hide their rebellious activities even from their neighbors, many hate the gnomes as collaborators. Some gnomes have even turned to the shadow heart and soul.

Living within Izrador’s realm and under his law, many gnomes pursue the path of the assassin.


The humans of Aryth have been downtrodden by the forces of shadow. The Dorns of the north are strong and fierce, though their legendary prowess is becoming a thing of the past as armed humans are killed on sight these days. The Sarcosans of the south are horsemen, though they too are losing their traditions under the iron grip of Izrador. The Erenlander people have ties to both the other groups, a hybrid culture becoming more and more enthralled to the Dark Lord.

The proud Dorns can qualify for dragonborn feats that do not make use of dragon breath. Some Sarcosans carry an ancient bloodline and have the Vistani feats from Dragon 380. Many Erenlanders from pioneering families use the feats and items included in the “Winning Races: Humans” article in Dragon 383.

Free Races


Most dwarves live in vast underground caverns isolated from the armies of Izrador, carved into the Kuldarun mountains in eastern Aryth. Other dwarves, the Kurgun, live in the half-ruined dwarven cities on the surface, constantly defending them against the Dark Lord.

Many of the Clan dwarves in their underground kingdoms have the Forgeborn feat from “Winning Races: Dwarves” in Dragon 383.


Elves have the strongest resistance to Izrador but even they are failing as his reign continues. The Caransil or “forest elves” are the most numerous and live throughout the central part of the forested Erethor. To the south are the Danisil or “jungle elves” who have powerful magics tied to their homes and deadly poison arrows to defend them. In the northmost reaches of Erethor live the Erunsil or “snow elves” and along the southwestern coast live the Miransil or “Sea Elves” who try to hide their communities from the attentions of Izrador. All four elven peoples fight with all they have to defend the last free places from the grip of Izrador.

The Caransil and Miransil are elves as defined in the Players Handbook; the Danisil and Erunsil are eladrin. Some of the Miransil have the Dusk Elf feats from “Winning Races: Elves” in Dragon 383, and some of the Erunsil have the Wintertouched feats from “Winning Races: Eladrin” in Dragon 384.


Near the magical nexuses which dot Aryth live some communities of beings that call themselves genasi. Izrador has corrupted many of these, but those who escape his notice or who live within the forests of Erethor still live free. They are determined to keep it that way, however, and outsiders are not at all welcome.

Izrador’s corrupted genasi servants use the Abyssal genasi manifestations from Dragon 380. The few of these individuals who leave Izrador’s ranks are mercilessly hunted.


In the northern Highhorn Mountains, the goliath tribes once lived noble lives of ancestor-worship. When Izrador began his conquest starting in the north, these tribes were decimated. Nine out of ten goliaths were killed, often through long, cruel torture at the hands of orcs. What is left of the goliath tribes is unfocused and bestial, many turning to cannibalism to survive.


Exceedingly rare, half-elves lead a very dangerous existence. Some live among their elven kin in the forests of Erethor where they have to work twice as hard for half the respect of their full-blooded cousins. Others live among the human communities under the Shadow where they must hide their elven heritage or be killed on sight. Stories constantly circulate of half-elves in Erenland who purposefully mutilate their half-pointed ears to disguise themselves, and others tell of desperate parents doing the same to their infant children.


Most halflings live in the lands under the Shadow where they are despised for their cultural and family ties with the elves. Halflings live as serfs and struggle to produce food for the orc armies occupying their lands. Some halfling clans manage to live free still as nomadic bands hunted along the southeastern margins of Erethor.

The nomadic halflings can make good use of the feats in “Winning Races: Halflings” in Dragon 381.


With the necrotic energy of Izrador’s occupation suffusing Aryth, the walking dead are much more common than they were a century ago. Revenants are hardly common place, but these individuals continue to rise from the dead across the land. When encountered by Izrador’s forces, revenants are given a chance to join the Dark Lord, but they are destroyed if they refuse.


Tied as they are to the well-being of the besieged forests of Aryth, the wilden are a race in decline. Many of their elders don’t believe that the wilden will survive more than a few more decades under the Shadow, inspiring the race to fervent acts of rebellion against the Dark Lord.

Races of the Shadow


These savage hunters originally native to the White Desert were eager to join Izrador’s army and seek revenge against the dwarves and humans who oppressed them for centuries. As the conquest turns into occupation, though, some gnolls grow restless and begin to look on the orcs with resentment.


When Izrador created the orcs, they followed their master’s example and enslaved other races. The collective goblinoid servant races make up a vast second tier of society under the Shadow, serving the chosen orcs. The clever goblins work as farmers and crafts, the steady hobgoblins as engineers and sailors, and the mighty bugbears as laborers and hunters. All of the goblinoids serve in the Dark Lord’s army as well, though they are far less zealous servants than the fanatical orcs.


Viewed by many as an unfortunate byproduct of the occupation, the half-orcs of Izrador’s kingdom are despised for their weak human blood. Some strive to prove the stereotypes wrong and become some of the most devoted servants of the Dark Lord. Others grow to despise the society that dislikes them and may join resistances in retaliation.


Like the goblinoid servant races, minotaurs are seen as lesser servants in the Dark Lord’s armies. They are employed as bodyguards and enforcers, though roving bands of them are also allowed to travel through Erenland to terrorize the human population into submission. Before they were seduced by the Shadow, the minotaurs had a noble, primal culture that some still remember. Any minotaurs pursuing the old ways, however, are tortured as an example to the others.


A race of servants for Izrador’s army, the shifters were magical creations from human and gnoll stock. They were intended to root out the elven resistance in Erethor but, when that campaign failed, they were forgotten by the Dark Lord as he turned his sight elsewhere. Forty years later, the shifters are scattered throughout the lands under the Shadow, employed by local legates as talking hunting dogs. Some shifters resent this attitude and a few have begun to help the gnomes with their secret information network.


Families of Erenlanders who pledged themselves to the Dark Lord early enough were blessed by the Shadow with a dark countenance. The tieflings serve as advisors, banner-carriers, and courtesans in the Dark Lord’s elite, though some have begun to re-think their position as orcs are constantly shown favoritism despite their limitations. The natural advantages of the tieflings, subterfuge, dark magics, manipulation, are much less appealing in these times of occupation than they were during the invasions. Tieflings are increasingly treated like pets instead of servants and some even go so far as to abandon their posts. Rogue tieflings are hunted as fiercely as any enemy of the Shadow as the arcane secrets they learn in Izrador’s fortresses would be invaluable weapons in the hands of the rebels.

Not-Approved Races

Devas, kalashtar, warforged, and dragonborn all may have existed in the world of Aryth in the distant past but now they are no more. Orcs do exist in Aryth but are fanatical servants of Izrador and are not suitable as player characters. Players will not be able to play these character races and other races will need to be vetted by me before they are allowed. Generally, races like drow, duergar, kobolds, and shadar-kai may match the setting well but they will not be present unless I have a good character submission that I chose. Be sure to write a compelling proposal if you want to play one of the races not mentioned in the list above, or specifically disallowed in this paragraph.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License