Many different intelligent species inhabit the world of Exterminis, from the “typical” fantasy races such as elves and dwarves, to more exotic races native to this world.
Humans are the dominant race in Exterminis: Reign of Destruction. They appear exactly as humans on Earth, with all of the variants of skin color, hair color, eye color, and other physical features present in our own world. Humans live in all of the inhabited regions of the world, and can be found in nearly all cultures.
The kucheri are a race of shapeshifters that live deep in the forests of Ashyr and the Nahuatl Jungle. In their human form, kucheri are indistinguishable from normal humans, although they may have unusual hair and eye coloring. In their animal form, they are similar to a typical normal animal of that type, but they are typically larger, stronger, and faster than normal animals.
Every kucheri is born under a star sign that determines their animal form, social caste, and profession among other things. Kucheri are born into their lot in life, and they learn to accept it at a young age.
Dwarves are a short, stocky race that inhabit deep underground caverns in remote mountains. They are excellent craftsmen, specializing in metalworking and stonemasonry. Dwarven arms and armor are highly regarded as superior to anything made by any of the other races, and it is said that any stone fortress built by Dwarven engineers will never fall.
Dwarves love precious metal and gemstones, and spend a great deal of time mining for these commodities. They also have a deep passion for ale and Dwarven Spirits which leads to much revelry when the day’s work is completed. This love of spirits gives them the added bonus of being nearly immune to poisons and disease.
The typical Dwarf is between three and four feet tall, and nearly as wide. They are solid walls of muscle. They are extremely strong and hardy, and make excellent warriors. Their practical nature also makes them shrewd businessmen and formidable negotiators. Dwarves are very fond of their beards (even the women) and consider them to be badges of honor.
The elves are known as The People of the Land, or Aniyunwiya in their own language. They are free spirited folk whose main wish is to be left alone. However, they are fierce protectors of the land, and this often brings them into conflict with the other races.
Typically, elves are just over five feet tall and very thin. many other races, and especially humans, find elves to be beautiful and elegant. Their complexions share the same range as humans, although usually their skin is somewhat darker because of the constant exposure to the sun.
Most elves are warriors who favor light (or no) armor, bows, hatchets, and hunting knives, but there are also powerful shamans in their tribes, and their innate ability to move quietly and disappear into the background make them excellent thieves, spies, and assassins.
The peri are the twisted, evil cousins of the elves. They live in the far north, and terrorize the barbarian tribes and feral clans that live there.
Peri society is governed by a strict code of honor known as Shan, or “The Law”, in the language of men. Shan reflects the cruel nature of the peri, with harsh punishments for transgressors. In Shan, every possible action is either Ki-Shan (allowed) or Haat (forbidden). The major tenets of Shan are outlined in two volumes: Illum Shan (The Book of Honor) and Illum Haat (The Book of Poison). These two books are regarded as holy texts as much as law books, and every peri grows up learning and memorizing these volumes.
There are 13 clans of peri, and each one is ruled by the eldest member of that clan, the Haj. Each Haj is responsible for all the members of his (or her) clan, and serves as judge, jury, and executioner in inner-clan disputes. Each Haj sits on the Council of Stars, which resolves inter-clan disputes by vote and deals with issues that affect the peri as a whole.
Physically, peri are very similar to elves, although their features tend to be paler and they are slightly stronger. Because their society revolves around subterfuge, deceit, and trickery, most peri tend to gravitate to the arts of thievery. Even their warriors and mages are more likely to act and react to situations as thieves first, and other professions second.
The ferals are a race of noble warriors that roam the frozen northern wilderness with the barbarians and peri. Standing over seven feet tall, ferals resemble nothing so much as a large bear standing upright. However, they have a pair of horns that curl behind their ears much like those of a ram, two large tusks protruding from their lower jaw, and oversized fangs that drip with poison. Each arm possesses a retractable set of two-foot long “battle claws” that are razor-sharp. Feral warriors often carve intricate designs into their claws, and coat them with various poisons, and feral mages often inscribe magical runes into their battle claws.
Although naturally peaceful and quiet, ferals become ferocious warriors when cornered or threatened. Feral society is governed by a code of honor similar to that of the peri, but whereas the peri twist their code into evil, ferals honor their code with goodness, fairness, and equality for all.
The text of the code is short and simple, which leaves it open to much interpretation. Although the code is primarily intended for combat, ferals use it in every aspect of their lives. Different ferals approach the code from different perspectives, and every feral finds meaning within the code for themselves. In its entirety, the code reads:
Never break an oath.
If you must fight, then fight to win. If you must flee, then flee to live.
If you must die, then die with dignity.
Kill only when necessary.
The quickest kill is the best kill. Do not cause, nor tolerate, suffering.
Do not engage inferior opponents.
Although only 8 lines long, the code has been the source for volumes upon volumes of philosophical, legal, and entertainment material produced by the ferals.
Ferals are often captured by peri and forced into slavery. Once enslaved, they are often forced to work in hard labor camps or used as champions in the gladiatorial arena. Barbarians hunt ferals sometimes for their fur, tusks, and claws. For these reasons, most ferals try to avoid contact with other races and cultures, although sometimes a small hunting party may raid the neighboring villages.