Humanity. A term describing the bipedal mammals, whose presence is present throughout the world. No land is beyond their grasp, no beast too strong to defeat them. They adapt and grow, always stronger and always wiser; their chief enemy being their own folly. They are numerous and diverse, and working together, not even dragons can stand before them.
For countless generations, humankind has lived in the world. They are not the strongest, the most cunning or the hardiest of species, but they make up for their lack of vicious qualities with solid craftsmanship, clever strategies and good adaptability. Anywhere in the world where water can be found is a potential home to humans, and they are as diverse as the world they live in, from the wild tribesmen of the Bear Tribes to the wise scholars of Elthern.
Humans live for anywhere between sixty and a hundred years. This varies depending on their affinity for magic, and an Adrilan tends to live longer than an Ivellean. Some wizards can of course extend their lifespans through magic, and this is a common pursuit as a wizard grows old, but none have yet managed to extend their lifespan past 130 years. A curious note is that even those who have seemed very healthy, appearing no older than 60, have suddenly had their health deteriorate rapidly, and die not long after their 130th birthday. It has caused several myths regarding those seeking eternal life, and most wizards grudgingly accept that their lives will have to end.
Humans vary greatly in physical stature and intellect; common misconceptions state that frail, weak humans are often wiser than those of great strength and endurance. This is very subject to discussion, but history records speak of strong and mighty warriors who also possess wisdom above their peers, such as Arrendal, king of Adrila.
The average human is easily capable of handling a great many tasks, from climbing, running and jumping to solving complex puzzles often left behind by other humans thinking themselves clever. They are nimble and dextrous, in addition to possessing quite respectable strength; like the wolfpack, humans will rally in great numbers to bring down a common threat.
Among humans, the mightiest ones are those of the Bear Tribes; they usually are a head and a half taller than their Adrilan neighbours, and possess tremendous strength; a common rite of passage is wrestling a bear and earning the characteristic claw scars that adorn the shoulders of the Bear Tribesmen. It should be noted that the Tribesmen consider winning through sheer strength alone a feat that, while it certainly doesn't happen every time, occurs often enough that it thought of as normal.
In contrast to the Bear Tribesmen, the Ivelleans are quite physically frail; while they don't snap and break with ease like the fairies of myth, to a Tribesman they appear to. They compensate for their weakness with magic, and master it to an extent not seen elsewhere. More on this in the Magic section.
Human culture is very much formed from their combined ambitions and ideals. The more civilised humans often consider themselves part of a nation, supporting it in some way, and at the same time gathering into a community on a closer level. Humans thus tend to be part of multiple communities, such as how a man of Highton will consider himself a Hightoner and an Adrilan at once. They are notorious for an insatiable drive to strive for their ambitions, to try and accomplish in life what they would like to, something very often causing rivalries, and in other cases friendships stronger than their ambitions.
Nevertheless, their cultures differ from place to place. On the West Coast, the arguably worst humans live; slaves are extremely common, and the entire community is built upon lies and deceit. Adrila contrasts greatly; Adrilans value honesty and equality very much, to the point where they give the common man military training so he can defend himself, and accepting women in the highest positions of the country. Ivellea and Elthern are somewhat in between; Ivelleans have slaves and won't permit women in the military at all, but they value human life enough so that their slaves get a decent treatment. Eltherners are a notch crueler than Ivelleans, keeping slaves separate from the rest of the society, but their eternal quest for knowledge leads them to preserve as much as possible. The Bear and Rhino Tribes have no notion of slavery, being too tightly knit to consider such a thing.
Humans start out with quite weak grasp of magic in their childhood, but their growth is exceptional in their teen years. Magic bonds with the human, giving the human a limitless source of magical energy and a magical ability that will remain with the person for the rest of their life. This ability is based upon the person's current skills, but as the person grows more adept at other skills, it will change and grow, taking on attributes from the other skills as well. A human who plays with fire as a child and teenager, and later is taught swordsmanship, will be able to manipulate fire as their basic ability, and gain great aptitude at adding flames into his swordsmanship. It is possible for humans to gain greater control of their naturally inherited magical abilities, but this comes at the cost of magic not manifesting like it normally does. Some examples of this includes those of the Federation, as well as the Holy Knights of the Arcane Church, who both employ magics specifically trained for.
Religion is a curious topic among humans. The Arcane Church has a wide following in Elthern and Ivellea, with people daily giving reverence to the magic that has allowed them to prosper as they have. By contrast, in more martial countries like Adrila and Tyric, the most common religion is the Church of Guardians, having the people rather see the five gods as benefactors and overseers of their daily activities, blessing those who excel at something. Other religions exist, though they are more considered cults and simplistic tribal magic. Not all humans believe in anything beside their own selves and what they can see, hear and feel, which is considered a very practical attitude. There have been surprisingly few religious conflicts in history; the Church of Magic generally consider those believing in the Guardians unenlightened and occasionally try to convert them, while those of the Church of Guardians rarely bother with those who worship magic. Tribesmen do get in conflict with other religious folk, but this is more due to the tribesmen's wild and primitive nature rather than anything else.