Races and Cultures

One evening as spring flowers
Fell about my feet,
I dreamt of wand'ring distant lands,
And the folk that I might meet.
Would they be quick and clever?
Or strong and long of arm?
What virtues would I find,
What virtues and what harm?
~ From the traditional Cerzi ballad Maraiza the Wanderer

Elves

The Elves are Madara's oldest race. While they appear similar to humans upon first inspection, many subtle differences differentiate the two races. There are three distinct elven races, each with a different culture and physical stature, but many traits are shared by all the elven races. Arguably the most evident of these are the elves' long, pointed ears, on average three to five inches. These 'knife ears' give the elves a more accurate sense of hearing than humans, and are full of nerve endings, making them extremely sensitive. Elves possess slimmer musculature, giving them more graceful physiques than humans. Elves have a significantly longer natural lifespan than humans, orcs, and dwarves, but this is offset by decreased fertility: while elves live longer, their population growth rate is slower.

Elven Cultures

The Atorrani
The Cerzi
The Mesiani

Humans

The human race is parallel with elves, sharing a distant ancestor. Physically, they are more versatile than the modern elves, being on the whole neither so durable as the Atorrani, nor as graceful as the Mesiani, but having much more variation between individual people. Having evolved more as builders, their hearing and other senses are less acute than elves'.
Humans are a very diverse race, and there are human settlements in almost every land on Madara. A great deal of human cultures exist, and new ideas and creeds are always arising amongst them.

Human Cultures

Eastern Continent

The Anmari
The Eastern Empire
The Southern Fiefdoms
The Druidi

Western Continent

The Ashaamba

Northern Continent

The Pathfinders
The Väwlrii

Dwarves

Dwarves are a squat race of cave dwellers. They are shorter than humans and elves (thus the name given by the first humans they encountered), but very stocky and muscular. Since they live underground, the dwarves posses many unique adaptions, such as infra-red vision and highly sensitive, whisker-like hair. Their adaptation to a life underground also hinders them, however - dwarves who venture to the surface find the sun uncomfortable and often wear protective clothing.

The only currently known dwarven culture is the Delviani, though their merchant caste is arguably a culture unto itself as members of that caste have adapted somewhat to living above ground.

The Delvians

Orcs

Thought to be either a divergent human species or a parallel evolution, Orkken (in Mesic, Orcani; in Atorric, Orkhani) lived along the length of the Tusk and in many of the Western Continent's deserts, but have since been driven away by various human cultures an live primarily in the tip of the Tusk, though there are many in the Cape of Free Peoples, the Fiefdoms of both continents, and in slums in human and elven countries.

The Orkken

Currently withheld & outdated.