New Hampshire Staff
Humans of Videa
Surrounded by the seemingly endless Mists exists a Realm known as Videa. This Realm protects and is populated by a variety of sentient life, but most notable amongst them are the Humans, for of all the races in Videa the Humans have the largest population. Their Kingdom of Videa, for which the Realm is named, is the most expansive society within the Mistwall and comprises approximately half the Realm.
Humans and the Law
Since the creation of the Kingdom of Videa, the Humans have been ruled over by a Monarch. While the Spirit Guardian of Videa and the Mistwall it creates may protect the kingdom from the Mists and their horrors, it is the leadership of the Monarch that keeps the kingdom from crumbling from within. Based on documents that have survived from prior to the founding of the Kingdom of Videa, Humans lived in sparse villages and city states that had little to do with each other. Some would trade out of necessity, but mostly they were isolationist, with differing values and beliefs hindering their ability to work with each other in any significant way. This led to a difficult way of life for Humans, as every township would have only its own citizens to provide safety from the creatures that now live in the Outlands; or, when the Mistwall disappeared each month, the monsters that lived in the Mists. It was not until the first Monarch, King Malkis Videa the First, began creating alliances and trade agreements between these villages and city states that unity started to take hold. Through his efforts and leadership, garrisons of militia from cities near each other were formed to provide protection to any village or city that needed it. Likewise villages began freely giving their excess food to places where it was lacking. In only a few short years the quality of life for Humans drastically improved, and the Kingdom of Videa was officially founded.
The Humans of Videa, through oral and written histories, have not forgotten what King Malkis the First did for them. They know that without his guidance or the laws and governance he established, they would not have the same quality of life they do today. It is for this reason that Humanity as a whole has remained loyal to the Videa lineage and the laws and order it has established. While individual Humans may take issue with the specifics of a law or a single Kingdom Official in particular, it is extremely rare to find a Human that does not fundamentally believe in the system of governance they live under as a whole. A law or Kingdom Official, over time and with the right people looking into it, can be replaced; the leadership their Monarch brings them can not.
Humans and Service to the Crown
To Humans there is nothing of more import than the prosperity of their Kingdom. The concept of “Kingdom first” is a common one amongst their populace and something that every child grows up hearing. However, this phrase goes beyond just dedication to the Monarch. In the eyes of a Human the Monarch is the Kingdom itself, and the Kingdom depends on the wellbeing of its citizens. As such, aiding your neighbor and helping your fellow citizens is also paramount. The Kingdom of Videa is a thriving community based on mutual cooperation and the idea that everyone contributes what they are able. The way a Human can contribute is highly varied and dependent on their skillset. Someone skilled at tending crops is just as highly valued as someone dedicated to child rearing. Importance is not placed on one's actual job or capabilities, but instead on their dedication to the Kingdom and the community it embodies. In this regard even those who are unable to contribute due to age, inability or other reasons are still valued and taken care of.
One thing all Humans have in common when it comes to supporting the Kingdom of Videa is military service; taking on one of the varied roles needed for a functioning military is considered a vital duty. Despite the Mistwall’s protection, for several days each month the people of Videa are forced to defend their borders against the monsters from the Mists. Even when the Mistwall is active there are many creatures that live in the Outlands that can pose a threat if they enter the kingdom. A sizable and powerful military is necessary to keep the Kingdom of Videa safe from all threats. For this reason it is the law throughout the kingdom that all citizens capable of doing so must serve in the Videan military from the ages of sixteen through twenty. This is not to say the military is comprised entirely of young adults, however. While it is only mandatory to serve in the military from ages sixteen through twenty, many choose to continue as soldiers past this compulsory period.
Not all who serve do so in a strictly martial capacity however. Those who lack skill with a weapon may be trained in Earth or Celestial magics, or the use of alchemy. Humans unable to engage in combat may serve in positions running messages, cooking, crafting supplies, or a variety of other necessary tasks.
If there is one thing that Humans take pride in almost as much as their kingdom, it is their family. While large sprawling families are not common, a familial structure does still exist with members of multiple generations living within the same area of a Shire, if not the same house. Trades and professions are often handed down from one generation to the next, with the children learning from their older relatives and continuing on their family business after their elders are no longer able to do so. Not all follow in their parents’ footsteps however, and some choose other trades or professions to learn. While taking a new trade may lead them away from their initial home, the Kingdom of Videa can be crossed in less than a week, and frequent contact is usually maintained. Humans without family may form strong bonds of friendship and be welcomed by others to whom they are not blood related.
Among Humans there are many events that are considered special occasions and reasons to celebrate. Below is a list of common celebrations by Humans. These are not the only events that are celebrated in Human culture, but they are the most widespread.
Marriage: It is very common for Humans to marry, and though there is no stigma against the marriage of a Human to another race, a Human’s sense of duty to their kingdom may be at odds with another culture’s beliefs. Regardless of choice in partner, marriage is a cause for celebration amongst Humans. The engagement process begins with the declaration of intent of two people to marry. The couple then begins to live together, at one of their families homes, for a fortnight, at the end of which there is a feast co-hosted by both families. This feast is generally an event solely for the families to attend, but very close friends may also be invited. At midnight after the feast, the couple is considered to be officially wed, and they may either move to a home of their own or remain with one partner’s family. It is very uncommon for Humans under the age of twenty-one to marry, as it is expected that their duty to Videa should come first, but that does not necessarily stop courtship from occurring before that point.
Birth of a Child: While marriage is an affair celebrated amongst just the members families, the birth of a child is considered a much bigger event. The birth of a child marks the creation of another citizen to serve the Kingdom of Videa, and as such is an event celebrated throughout the village the child is born in, or throughout several neighborhoods in a city. This celebration is less a single event and more of an ongoing affair. Each member of the village, or neighborhood, will visit the parents of the child and offer some sort of service to the parents, just as the newly born child will someday offer their service to the kingdom. This service may be as simple as a child offering to pull weeds in the family garden, or as grand as offering to cook for the family for a whole week. The services offered are up to each individual, but are generally something practical and useful.
Unification Day: Unification day is a celebration of the once separate Human villages and city states unifying into the Kingdom of Videa. While the exact day that the kingdom was founded is debated, it is agreed upon by scholars that it was some time during the month of July. As such the exact day of celebration changes from year to year as decided by the Monarch. This announcement usually happens several months ahead so that citizens can prepare. Unification Day is generally celebrated with village or city wide parties in which citizens prepare food to share with each other, and various games and competitions are held. The day usually starts with individual oriented games and contests, and then moves to team oriented ones, symbolizing the change that the kingdom went through. The rewards for many of these contests are simply satisfaction in winning, but actual prizes might be awarded. Often the local Earl will send representatives to hold specific competitions with grand prizes being provided by the kingdom. While this celebration is mainly for the citizens of Videa, the whole event is about the coming together of individuals into something greater, so as visitors of other Realms have started to arrive, they too have been invited to join in the celebrations.
Relations with Other Races
Over the past millennia there have only been a few members of other races, aside from the High Orcs and Chaosborn, that have resurrected at the earth circle in Demeron. These have been far and few between however, and when it did happen the resurrected individual would either head out into the Mists in an attempt to get home, or end up assimilating into the culture of Videa. As such it was not until recently that the Humans of Videa started to encounter the cultures of the races through the Mists, and the time spent in contact with them has not been substantial enough to form any sort of cultural opinion. The only three races Humans have had any sort of extended contact with are the Chaosborn, the High Orcs, and the Beastmen of the Outlands.
Chaosborn: The Chaosborn do not share in the Human belief in duty to the Kingdom of Videa. Chaosborn believe in complete personal freedom and regard a monarchy as taking that freedom away. This can be a point of contention between the two races as most Chaosborn see Kingdom Officials as individuals imposing their will on others. Most Humans scoff at the notion that they are in undue servitude to the nobility. This conflict can easily escalate into fights if not handled with care. Despite this major difference in ways of life, on an individual basis many humans who interact with the Chaosborn find the more moderate individuals to be very amicable, and often good trading partners. As long as they are not badmouthing the kingdom or those in charge of it, most Humans will be happy to trade with a Chaosborn. Since Chaosborn do not commonly enter into the Kingdom of Videa with regularity, trades between the two races usually occur along the border of the kingdom and the Outlands. Since the King does not seem to have a problem with them, most Humans do not either. However, Chaosborn are rarely seen in the eastern reaches of the kingdom, and humans there are more likely to view them with suspicion or unease due to unfamiliarity.
High Orcs: High Orcs are another race that really only Humans living along the edges of Videa interact with. Due to the High Orc’s efforts in stopping monsters from the Mists from entering into Videa most Humans think well of them. Often soldiers stationed at border posts along the Mistwall will befriend and work with nearby tribes of High Orcs. Most all citizens know of the High Orc tribes scattered around the borders of Videa, but many have never actually seen them, and only heard stories of their ferocity in protecting the borders. This leads many Humans to not really know how to interact with High Orcs the first time meeting them. Their intense and direct manners often can be taken as intimidating to the average Human, even when the High Orc has the best of intentions. While not official citizens of the Kingdom of Videa, the High Orcs are recognized by the crown and afforded the same protections as a Videan citizen as long as they abide by the law.
Beastmen: Beastmen is a catchall term used by the Humans to describe the various uncivilized and monstrous races that live in the Outlands, such as Gnolls, Troll, Goblins, Kobolds, and the like. While peaceful interaction between Humans and these Beastmen has been attempted in the past, it has never ended well. Even when peace was achieved, it never lasted long. Beastmen attacks against the border of the Kingdom of Videa, in search of the food and supplies that are kept at Videan outposts, are not uncommon. It is very common for beastmen capable of casting necromancy to do so. It goes without saying that beastmen are not recognized as protected under the crown, and are considered enemies of Videa. As such almost all humans look down on them as monsters, and either readily fear or despise them.
Playing a Human
Among all the races, playing a Human allows for the widest variety of personalities. A Human is just as likely to be quiet, reserved, and academic as they are to be loud, brash, and physically oriented, or anywhere in between. The only nearly universal value is Humans’ views on their Kingdom and its Monarch. While each individual human could have any combination of ideals and desires that distinguishes them from their kin, they all value the strength of their kingdom and hold the desire to see it prosper.
All Humans strive to contribute to their Kingdom, though the ways in which they do so are varied. Whether it be harvesting goods for the Kingdom to use, serving in the military to defend Videa’s borders, or studying histories, medicine or lore, humans keep the wellbeing of their kingdom at the forefront of their thoughts.
You should consider playing a Human if you want to embody the idea of “Kingdom First.”, and strive to improve a kingdom on the brink of a new era.