Races

The descriptions below pertain to “locals” – members of each race that would typically be found in the area. You are free to use this as background material for your character, or create an “outlander” with some other origin. In the case of the latter, at least assume your character has moved to the area at some point in the past few years or has come specifically to offer (or sell) their assistance to the local militia.


Humans

Source: Heroes of the Fallen Lands; Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms

Humans are the most numerous race in the area. There are two major lineages among them. The first are descended from the original human inhabitants of the area, referred to colloquially as the “old line”. This lineage makes up the vast majority of humans living on Salt Ridge and about on quarter of the human population of Wayfare. After generations of close contact and alliance with wood elves, anyone of the old line has a trace of elven blood. The second is not a true lineage, but defined as any human ancestry not of the old line. For simplicity’s sake the term “Netheri” is used in reference to other humans having come to the area only after it was annexed by the Empire of Nerath. Nerathi make up about half the humans of Wayfare. Another quarter of the townspeople are of mixed Nerathi and old line ancestry.

Ancestral distinction means little in the day-to-day life of Wayfare. The town operates more of less under a Nerathi form of government. The humans of Salt Ridge tend to place more emphasis on their old line heritage, as they also maintain much of the ancient culture.

Humans of both areas produce their fair share of warriors (fighters, rangers, rogues). Regardless of birthplace, clerics, paladins, and wizards will have spent a significant amount of time training in Wayfare, while druids will have spent more time in the rural hills around Salt Ridge. Warlocks are equally likely in either location. Assassins would have been trained in other lands. These norms apply to humans raised in the area.


Dragonborn

Source: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms

Although dragonborn pass through the area from time to time (mostly alongside merchants and shipping vessels), there are none among the permanent residents. Presently, the Ironscale Clan has taken up temporary residence on the eastern edge of town. The Ironscales were hired as protection in the event that the Black Army marches on the town. The Ironscales have also been tasked with training up a local militia.

Clan tradition tells that in the days of Arkhosia, the Ironscales were the elite military of a powerful iron dragon lord and one of the more powerful forces of the time Since the ruin of that ancient empire, the Ironscales have served as an army for hire. Honor in battle brings honor to the clan. Due to their ancient ties to iron dragons, most breathe lightning. As with most dragonborn clans, the Ironscales have members of most classes in their ranks, and all will be trained in the application of their powers for use in both singular and group combat. If any class is rare, it would be druids. Ironscale warlocks most often favor the star pact.


Dwarves

Source: Heroes of the Fallen Lands

Most dwarves in the area belong to the Rock-Salt Clan, who work mines of Halite Hold. The salt trade is a major source of commerce in Wayfare. The clan moved to the area while it was still part of the Nerath Empire and eventually adopted the name of the mineral they mine. In fact, the salt trade was a major factor in the Empire’s decision to found the trade port that would become Wayfare. With the Empire gone, the dwarves remain a key factor in the stability of the region. While most remain in residence at the hold, a good number have moved into Wayfare, and a few have taken up the hermit’s life among the other folk of Salt Ridge. The patron of the clan is Bertram Rock-Salt, a stern and shrewd dwarf known for his fairness and his piety to Moradin. Bertram also has a very strong sense of justice.

Although all classes can be found among the Rock-Salts, fighters, paladins, and clerics are the most revered. Given the wilderness setting in which the hold sits, rangers are also common. Wizards must be trained elsewhere, but clan members may spend their youth in arcane studies elsewhere and return home. Rogues and assassins have their uses, although evil applications of their skills are not tolerated by the clan leaders. Similarly, a warlock who chooses the infernal pact may have trouble being accepted by the clan.


Elves & Half-Elves

Source: (Elves) Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Source: (Half-Elves) Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms

The elves of the area claim the forested hills of the Hickorywood as their home, and the tribe is thus known as the Hickorywood Tribe. However, they have recently been driven out by the Black Army and now live in a large encampment a few miles north of Wayfare. They await the marshalling of their allies in the region to begin a campaign to take their forest back. The leader of the tribe is a female named Adrie Hickorywood, respected for her wisdom and resolve.

The wood elves have an even mix of druids and clerics in their ranks and both classes are revered for their spiritual power. Among clerics and paladins Sehanine and Corellon are the most prominent deities. Wizards and warlocks are also common, with the latter most often having made a fey pact. Fighters, rangers, rogues, and assassins are also present.

Given the close proximity and regular contact with two human communities, half-elves are not unusual. The humans of Salt Ridge are more likely than the town-dwellers of Wayfare to produce half-elven offspring, although half-elves can be found among the Hickorywood Tribe, the town of Wayfare, and Salt Ridge. As natural dabblers, half-elves are as likely to be a member of any class as another.


Elf-Kin: Drow & Eladrin

Source: (Drow) Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
Source: (Eladrin) Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms

Neither eladrin nor drow have communities in the region. In what may seem a strange state of affairs to visitors unfamiliar with the area, drow are actually a more common sight than are eladrin. Eladrin (often called “high elves”) are only known to the locals for those that pass through on their way to other locations.

The “dark elves” are somewhat more tolerated in the area than in other parts of the world, although still viewed with suspicion by many. This is mainly due to the Shrine of the New Moon, which serves as a hostel of sorts for renegade drow who have abandoned the deadly, scheming society of their kin to walk a different (though not always moral) path. The Keeper of the shrine helps orient drow to life on the surface.

In either case, members of neither race of elf-kin are “locals”. Their background and class are therefore varied and diverse.


Goliaths

Source: Player’s Handbook 2

Goliaths are rarely seen in the vicinity of Wayfare. The nearest significant population resides in the higher hills to the northeast. Adventuring goliaths pass through the area from time to time, often seeking to build a reputation of deeds to improve their status among their kin.

Goliaths prefer classes that allow them to challenge their wits and physical prowess. Slayers, scouts, hunters, and guardian druids are common. Warpriests are drawn to the earth and storm domains.


Gnomes

Source: Player’s Handbook 2

Gnomes reside throughout the hills of both Hickorywood and Salt Ridge. The gnomes of Hickorywood were driven out by the Black Army along with the elves. Gnomish warrens are difficult to find and harder to penetrate, but the invaders employed squads of kobolds specifically for this purpose. About half of the displaced gnomes have taken up residence at the Wood Elf Camp with the intention of helping in the reclamation of their homes. The rest have moved on, many to live with kin on Salt Ridge.

Gnomes come in all classes, but tend to shy away from being front-line warriors. Gnomish wizards tend to focus on the illusion or enchantment schools, while warlocks most often take the fey pact.


Halflings

Source: Heroes of the Fallen Lands

As a river-faring race, many halflings pass through Wayfare on a regular basis; as a race of wanderers, not that many stay too long. The result is a sizable halfling community that is in constant flux. As bands of traveling halflings pass through, they pick up new members and leave others behind. In town, halflings find work mostly on the docs. Those that stay long enough to familiarize themselves with the region may also serve as guides for visitors traveling to destinations in Hickorywood or Salt Ridge.

Ostensibly, the “local” halfling band is the Willowise Family. At any point there is a circle of family elders (basically those who have been around the longest) who help organize all the halflings in the community and do a surprisingly good job of keeping tabs on who is in town, how long they have been there, and who has moved on. There are always a handful of other halflings who have more or less set down roots, adopted the Willowise surname, and assist the elders while also standing in line to replace one who passes away, retires, or is stricken by wanderlust and leaves town.

Halflings come in all classes, although rogues are by far the most common.


Half-Orcs

Source: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms

About 50 years ago a mob of orcs marched down from higher in the hills, intent on pillage and slaughter. Unfortunately for them, their path took them along the eastern side of Dragon Tear like and straight toward Halite Hold. After two days of an unsuccessful siege at the gates, the residents of Salt Ridge had marshaled themselves to the south and the elves of the Hickorywood had moved in and followed the orcs’ path. The orcs, now trapped between the elves and humans, panicked as a force of angry dwarves spilled out the gates. Most were slaughtered on the spot. Those few who escaped southward managed to regroup and make minor raids on some homesteads in the foothills before being driven out completely.

The presence of orcish blood among the subsequent generation of humans on Salt Ridge is a lasting legacy of this event, and there are a good number of half-orcs. Half-orcs are not ostracized for their origins, but like all members of that loose-knit community, are judged on their individual merits. Due to their rural origins and orcish blood, the Salt Ridge half-orcs favor classes such as fighter, ranger, druid, assassin, warlock, and rogue. Clerics, wizards, and paladins are rare and generally require training in Wayfare or other areas.

The Shrine of the New Moon also draws a good number of half-orcs who were raised among orcs, but have decided to seek an entrance to civilization.


Shifters

Source: Player’s Handbook 2

Shifters are few in number and live almost exclusively in the wild, making their way as trappers, hunters, and guides. There is no history of a distinct shifter tribe in the region. Shifters are organized by semi-nomadic family units (many of whom refer to themselves as packs or prides) that range across Salt Ridge and the foothills and into the Hickorywood. In fact, shifters are the only non-fey the elves allow to spend significant time in their territory.

Shifters tend to belong to classes that serve their lifestyle and learned from within their own family: rangers, druids, fighters, and warlocks. Other classes may require them to have spent time studying among other people.


Tieflings

Source: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms

Tieflings are one of the least populous races of the area, outnumbering only drow, eladrin, and half-orcs. Local tieflings belong to one of a handful of merchant households in Wayfare. Drawn to the area by commerce, the tieflings represent perhaps some of the most affluent and educated among the townsfolk and a bit of the old Tarauthian nobility is still apparent. It is not uncommon for a young tiefling born in Wayfare to be sent elsewhere during his or her formative years to be educated at an academy or apprenticed to a distant relative, and then return to serve the household in some capacity. In addition to the few locals, the scions of outside merchant houses often pass through the area to conduct business.

All classes are found among tieflings, as just about any skill set can be put to use in the service of a merchant house. Clerics and paladins, in their service to their deity may escape the obligation of the family business. But the status afforded members of those classes makes up by the honor it brings upon the household.

Races

Wayfarers GameDoc