Races Of Rome

Citizenship is central to life in the Roman Empire, but race also has implications. Word travels fast within the empire and certain races have reputations forged in past conflicts or friendships with the empire. Though most non-humans remain in their people's homelands, many individuals travel the length and breadth of the impressive empire in search of adventure.


The dragonborn of the Roman Empire come from the wandering tribes of the southern deserts. When Babylon collapsed, many fled across the Middle Sea to North Africa where they became the Wadji of Egyptian tradition and others settled in colonies of southern Italia, eventually being absorbed into the Roman Republic. There they served as mercenaries, eventually becoming the vanguard for the first Roman Emperor Augustus. Today, they are loyal to the house of the emperor and serve as the backbone of Rome's army.


At home in the eastern reaches of the empire, the dwarves under Roman rule are a fractious lot. Ultimately, it was this fractiousness which caused the ruin of their long-standing resistance against Roman rule. Most dwarves live in the eastern mountains, but where these highlands change into rocky hills in the south their culture shifts slowly as well until it becomes the pastoral desert culture of the Near East, in the area that the Egyptians call the Red Lands.


Rare and misunderstood, these half-dwarves face prejudice throughout the empire. Named after a term for impure ore in Dacian, muls are strong and stout like their dwarven ancestors but with faces that resemble humans. They have a strong work ethic and in places where they are more common (Asia Minor and Illyrium) their high-quality crafts fetch a high price, though the Romans tend to be vague about the goods' origins.


Never conquered by the Romans, the eladrin live to the north in ice-lined fjords and dense taiga forests where the veil between the mortal realm and Feywild is thin. The area of this wild land has receded with the advancement of Roman rule, however, until many eladrin fortress have been left behind in ruin. Eladrin have been left behind too and a few choose to live in the lands of the human and make their way in the mortal world.


The descendants of eladrin who left the Feywild, elves live in Germania on the northern side of the Alpes from Italia. There they outnumber humans in the forested villages of the frontier and the Alpine provinces of the empire. They are fully integrated into Roman society, looking down on their wild eladrin cousins. With the chaos of imperial succession over the last century, however, the elves have begun to re-think their alliance with the human empire and a movement to reclaim their old fey lives has grown steadily in the northern provinces.


The children of Roman humans and northern elves, the half-elves have long been ambassadors of peace in the northern territories. With Livvy's rebellion, however, they are placed in the unenviable position of having to choose between the two halves of their being.


On the island province of Corsica et Sardinia, gnomes create mechanical wonders that have been able advantages for the Roman Empire. During the war against Carthage, the gnomes allied with the Romans and spelled their victory. While the islands were later the site of a slave rebellion and despite their fey heritage, they are considered loyal citizens. Known for creating powerful arcane weapons, the Mediterranean gnomes have recently created the [warforged] soldiers, reassuring the emperor in these troubled times and proving that they have yet more to give the empire.


Farmers and herders in the valleys of Hispania, the halflings were the first subject race of Rome before it was an empire. They live among the rich rivers and valuable farmlands as they have for centuries. Governors of provinces in Hispania are generally weak and complacent, chosen for family ties as there is no reason to have such a heavy hand in so peaceful a territory.


As the founders and heirs of the Roman Empire, humans have all of the power and influence. The growing class divide between patricians and commoners is part of the reason that Roman power is waning, however, and so today humans have the mixed roles of the empire's strongest defenders and most widespread detractors. Human frontiersmen have long seen themselves as the torches of civilization in the barbaric borderlands of Rome but as governors grow complacent or absent they begin to sympathize with their non-human neighbors.


The orcs are the stuff of frightened stories in central Rome where their wolf-riders are the very image of the wilderness. For many decades, the wilderness which the orc tribes called home was just that: hostile lands which no sane Roman would ever visit. When the Republic began to enlist orcish mercenaries in their battles to hold the empire together, however, orcs became somewhat regular sights along the border. During the failed coup by the dragonborn Salvian two years ago, an orc warlord named Dux Raban and his mercenaries were hired to defend the empire and he has become a rallying point for orcs who wish to be fully Solaran. Orcs living within the empire are received with trepidation, however, as many frotiersmen have grown up fighting off orcish raiders. Even half-orcs, most borne before the mercenaries arrived and generally accepted in previous generations, have come under new suspicion.


The Jassian tieflings of the east were conquered by Solara over five centuries ago but they still hold on to their ancient culture. Jassia was a rival state when the Republic of Solara was coming to power and they were crushed as a result. Today they are fully-integrated politically, though most still tieflings worship the efreetim that transformed the ancient Jassians. Some even take this commitment further into open rebellion against the failing empire, and in this they ally themselves with the Khemtian tieflings across the Middle Sea.


Created by the gnomes, the warforged have been around for barely half a decade. At first they were regarded as a curiosity, expensive replacements for the loyal Vigil Draconis, but the attempted coup by Salvian two years ago convinced him of the need for utterly loyal guards. This places the warforged at odds with the dragonborn as well as the orc mercenaries who were also brought in. Both groups, though hardly allies, are united in their dislike of the living constructs and the warforged slaves spreading through the empire find the going tough.
With the emperor's backing, warforged are being created in growing numbers, but they are all slaves. Warforged PCs may be owned by another party member or by the party's patron. Use the standard traits given in the Eberron Player's Guide for these warforged.

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