Human Ways

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Humans are as variable in their characters as they are in their looks. Most of the World's children favor one pursuit or profession above all others: Dwarves favor the forge, Elves the Mystic Arts, and Centaurs are masters of warfare. The Sons of Men, however, practice all three with distinction, and ply many other professions besides. Curious and tenacious, Humans are avid questioners and quick learners, unwilling to leave a mystery unsolved or a method untried. As a result, the Sons of Men have taken up more professions than any other race, and are constantly enriching the World with new innovations.

Just as their skins range through both light and dark, Man's nature leads him to both creation and destruction. The Sons of Men built the Church of the All-Father, whose holy saints are renowned for their sacrifices and good deeds. Human Magi have revolutionized the Arcane Arts, devising new theories of magic and discovering new sources of power. The High King devised the Code, the purest expression of justice and virtue ever known, and Human Artists have created works whose beauty rival the greatest masterpieces of the Elves. For all the beauty the Sons of Men have brought into the World, they have also wrought uncounted terrors and calamities.

While Men may fall short of the Elves in arrogance, they tend not forgive any slights, and have remarkably long memories when it comes to holding grudges. For three Ages Men have feuded with the Elves, a bitter rivalry that culminated in the War of Tears. Conflict comes as naturally to Men as breathing, and most scholars deem that it was the folly of Men, particularly the High King Cambruin, that brought about the Turning and all the darkness since. For their own part, the Sons of Men tend to be too short-sighted to think in such terms. Most Men fight to win what they think they need, or to protect what they hold dear. Historically, their mortality gave Humans an urgency and impatience that have eternally frustrated the Elves. The new immortality born of Turning could lead Humankind to a higher level of maturity, or the Sons of Men may become even more reckless now that they no longer need fear death. Alas, the conflicts born of the Age of Strife seem to indicate the latter.

The societies Men build are, as one might expect, far from uniform. While most Men speak the same language, derived of old from a simple form of the Elvish merchant's tongue, the customs and traditions of each of the races of Men are very different. Some live in Kingdoms, where hereditary monarchs give land and titles to their loyal vassals, while others follow the rule of coalitions or councils. Many Men live in clans or bands, while others live in great Free Cities. Cambruin is the only hero in all of history who has even come close to uniting all the Sons of Men, but his work has been mostly undone since his death and the Turning.

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