A World of Winds
The Birth of Kinds
[In mechanical terms Kinds function as Races, but the lore is different. The personalities of the different Kinds runs very close to the traditional, except Orcs have been civilized a bit]
The Humyn are born into seven Kinds. Within each Kind there are different skintones and different features depending on where in the World their ancestors have lived, and those features are passed down to their children.
Their Kind itself is passed down differently. There is a significant chance the child will have the Kind of it’s father, a greater chance it will have the Kind of its mother, and a small chance that during its gestation, it will acquire the Kind of the month’s influence.
So if an Earthborn condescends to bear the child of a Clayborn, the child will most likely be an Earthborn, but there is a meaningful chance it will be a Clayborn. However, if NightReap passes early in the pregnancy, the child might become a Nightborn.
Thus the only guaranteed way for a Kind to ‘breed true’ is for both parents of the same Kind to conceive shortly before a month that reflects their Kind.
As with most things, the Moonborn are the exception. A Moonborn that conceives a child will always bear a Moonchild, regardless of partner or time. This is the only what that Moonchildren are born. Moonborn are only born when a full moon passes early in the pregnancy. Moonchildren are more susceptible to astrological influences in their children than other Kinds, a fact that upwardly-mobile suitors use to their advantage when trying to arrange for an Earthborn child.
The Kinds Themselves
The Clayborn are one of the shorter-lived Kinds, and also one of the most varied. There isn’t a single trait that Clayborn tend to be best at, as there is with other Kinds. Their attitudes are similarly variable, although most have a hard time finding contentment in life, always seeking something different, better, or more plentiful. They are often; merchants, tradesmen, crafters, soldiers, and other positions which have the possibility of increasing advancement or success if one tries it just right.
Like the Nightborn, Clayborn don’t have the lifespan to accumulate the power, influence, and skill of the Earthborn or Moonborn. Clayborn hold the middle rank in the caste system of the polities that use it. Fortunately for them, the two ranks above them have relatively small populations, so in most places they still have significant influence as a Kind.
[Mechanically, the Earthborn are Dwarves with most of them having the Sky Sentinel and Surface Survivalist alternate racial traits. During character creation you can switch out Sky Sentinel for other traits but you must keep Surface Survivalist. Bear in mind the Earthborn like their mountainous castles, but are not a primarily subterranean Kind and do not have ancient grudges against orcs, elves, or giants]
The Earthborn are rulers. As a Kind, they have a knack for knowing when to make a move, and the tenacity to keep it. Longer-lived than any Kind except the Moonborn, this tends to lead to long, stable dynasties within the systems they rule. In the states that use the caste system, the Earthborn are at the top.
Not everyone can be the king, and the majority of Earthborn tend towards positions of authority and influence. Judges, generals, mob bosses, guildmasters, and a surprising number of master artisans are Earthborn.
One thing that other Kinds sometimes find hard to understand is that Earthborn don’t have an inherent lust for power. It’s actually the exact opposite, there’s a level of innate dislike of being bossed around and told what to do. This manifests in either finding a position of power where very few people are able to tell them what to do, or finding independence in some other way. A good proportion of mercenaries and adventurers are Earthborn.
Many cultures have a coming of age ritual for Earthborn which involve reacting the legend of an ancient Earthborn who gained a kingdom by slaying a powerful dragon. However, since dragons are hard to come by, other flying monsters are often substituted, or even represented symbolically for the less martially inclined.
The Fieldborn are the most common of the Kinds, and they are necessary to keep societies fed and running. Fieldborn tend to naturally have stronger family bonds than anyone except perhaps the Earthborn. Fieldborn seem to have a more positive baseline mood than other Kinds, which might explain why they seem content with the more basic professions they take. Most farmers are Fieldborn, and most Fieldborn are farmers.
That’s not all there is to the Fieldborn, though. Their positive attitude can spark a sense of wonder and whimsy, and when that happens, the Fieldborn get a touch of wanderlust. This can lead to them becoming traveling merchants and sailors, acrobats and minstrels, or thieves and con-artists.
Even the farmers shouldn’t be considered guileless peasants, although in states that practice it, Fieldborn are near the lowest rank on the caste system. The Fieldborn like comfort and luxury as much (or often more than) anyone else, and they find inventive, creative, and frequently illegal ways to improve their lot and profit off their own labor.
The Moonborn are special. And they know it. The longest lived, the favored of the Lunar Deities, the Moonborn are the rarest, smartest, prettiest, and generally considered the best of the Kinds. They’re also smart enough not to tell the Earthborn they agree with popular opinion. In the states that use it, they’re right behind the Earthborn in the caste system.
There’s something a little otherworldly about the Moonborn. They feel less connected to Humynkind than the rest of the Kinds. Many of them feel a connection to the world at large: nature, the life cycle, the weather, the passage of time, and so on. This might be partially inherent, and partially because they never have a parent of the same Kind as themselves.
Moonborn tend to divide into those who want to experience and those who want to understand. The first group tend to be artists, gamblers, dabblers, shamans. explorers, etc. The second group tends to be scholars, arcanists, historians, enlightenment-seeking monks, and researchers.
The Moonchildren have at least one Moonborn for a parent. This generally leaves them with image issues, since the impression they’ll likely pick up from society is that they’re a flawed version of that parent. From their parents perspective, they might love their child, but they don’t understand him/her. The only greater parent/child divide is that of the Moonborn and their parents. This usually leads to the Moonchild having an unfulfilled need to belong that they try to find elsewhere.
They still carry some of their Moonborn parent’s social status with them, being right below them at #3 in the caste system in states that use it and with positive prejudice in states that don’t. Even in the caste system, the Moonchildren are an odd fit. They’re almost as varied as the Clayborn, but the connection to the Moonborn can’t be ignored.
Moonchildren often have the effect of harmonizing inter-Kind relations. Sometimes they’ll have the same aspirations as a Moonborn, but more often they’ll adopt the goals more common to one of the other kinds. With a high status and a flexible role, having a Moonchild working alongside you not only adds legitimacy to you, but to your profession and role in society.
As a result, Moonchildren are the most likely to marry (or have children outside of marriage) beyond their Kind.
[For race-specific favored class bonuses, if one is not listed for orc, use the one for half-orc]
The Nightborn are the ferocious aspect of Humynity, and while the Riverborn might separate themselves from the other Kinds by water, the Nightborn are separated by time and thought.
While the rest of the Kinds are naturally awake during the day, the Nightborn are active after the sun sets. They can see almost perfectly in the dark, but their eyes are sensitive to light. They are by far the strongest of the various Kinds, but are often stunted in mental and social skills. These factors leave them in the lower half of caste-system rankings in states that use it.
The focus on strength seems to be an indelible mark on their psyche. If most other people are smarter than they are, they don’t care. They don’t generally value intelligence. They value strength. And with strength comes respect. While valuing strength can (and often does) lead to a brutal might-makes-right mindset, most Nightborn are functional members of society who take roles in which their strength can be displayed and tested against other Nightborn for status indirectly. Laborers, soldiers, guards, bargemyn, and elevator operators are common positions for Nightborn.
Another way to look at the Nightborn is is terms of their relatively short lifespan. They have the shortest life of all Kinds, roughly half the lifespan of the Clayborn, and nearly a fifth of the lifespan of an Earthborn. There’s is a philosophy that values burning brightly for the short time you can.
The Nightborn have no inner guidance towards law or chaos. They could as easily be a monk devoted to bodily perfection or a paladin displaying the strength of his patron as they could be a lawless barbarian.
The Nightborn are split in their worship between small gods reflecting The Guardian and The Warrior. The Order of Champions and Order of the Bloody Hilt are the two paladin orders devoted to spreading law and goodness in the name of those concepts. Plenty of other Nightborn follow more informally, and with a less pointed moral compass.
The Nightborn almost always have a skin tone either a shade darker or greener than other Kinds with similar ancestry.
[Just about every inland Riverborn has the River Folk racial trait. The enchantment resistance’s weakness applies to hags, not aboleth. For race-specific favored class bonuses, if one is not listed for Gillmen, use the one for undine; if one is not listed for undine, use the one for gnome.]
If the Nightborn have a tendency to be violent, the Riverbon have a tendency to be wild. Where Moonborn have an affinity for nature in the ‘cosmic-connectedness’ sense, the Riverborn have a more primal connection. They often tend towards druidry under the auspices of the The Gentle God. Such worshippers are the most likely to travel away from the rivers and oceans, becoming more comfortable with the natural world in all its forms.
At first glance the Riverborn might be mistaken for a Clayborn or even a Moonchild, but they can’t pass. They have gills on their necks, purple eyes, fin-like ears, a limbs/torso ratio with longer limbs than other Kinds, and webbed hands and feet.
The Riverborn in society prefer to spend part of the day underwater whenever possible, although the more cosmopolitan settle for having tanks, tubs, (or for the poorer set) pits they relax in while living on land. This preference leads to Riverborn forming the majority of sailors and bargemyn.
Riverborn tend to congregate along rivers, naturally enough, and this can produce a sort of ghetto effect, as the riverfront areas are often left to the Riverborn while those with money and affluence settle elsewhere. There’s also the issue that the Riverborn are less bound to society than other Kinds. While other Kinds eventually have to respect the authority of the local landholder, a Riverborn can travel the river to the sea where no one else can follow.
In the ancient Hagwar, the Riverborn saw more conflict than any other species, as they battled the amphibious armies of the Hag Queens. While the Riverborn shared the Moonborn’s resistance to enchantment, the hags subverted that element of their essence, weakening their resistance to hag magic. The method of how they did this was never discovered. The curse gave the Riverborn purple eyes, a mark that left them tainted in the eyes of other Kinds.
The perception of the Riverborn is thus of a wild, mysterious, and slightly dangerous Kind. They are at the bottom of the Caste system in states that use it, and this contributes to sailing/sailors being a profession of ill-repute.