Mourning and Race
With its unique position actually positioned on the [red-planet]’s surface, the city of Mourning has its unique character as a city. This is especially prominently relayed in the race relations of its inhabitants. As a reminder, the most common races encountered in Mourning are Elves, Humans, Half-Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Kobolds, and Goblins. The city has historically also served as a refuge for visiting scholars from Tengu deepnests, and recently attempted to clear the way for Wyvarans to make their homes there.
Fiercely Factional, Elves exhibit a number of contrasting behaviors in their relations with other races.
Particularly magically gifted elves, especially those who move in Mageocracy circles, tend to look down on all who are not elves, even going so far as to refuse to purchase goods by any means—including through their numerous servants—from non-elves. However, there is an exception born out of a strange curse. (Knowledge Local DC 20) Elves in Mourning are plagued by a magical disease that causes about one pregnancy per gross to give birth to a single egg rather than a baby elf. Subsequently, the elves are bewitched and given over to downright parental devotion to the egg, which, upon hatching, births a single brutish Serpentfolk. The elfin parents continue their dedication for a solar year, at which point the baby Serpentfolk is secreted out of the city in some manner. (Knowledge Local DC 25) This bizarre curse, while very rare, has produced a few public spectacles as well as some serious speculation. However, the Academy members who have looked into the magical disease remain baffled. The disease appears only to afflict Elfin mages of considerable magical power.
Other elves, excepting those who are fully given over to Elfin supremacy, tend only to harbor serious hard feelings for Dwarves and Halflings. To humans and even more monstrous visitors, these elves are friendly. They tend to have a fascination with any visiting Tengu.
The Elfin Supremacist, on the other hand, is equally likely to strike down a non-elf who gives him a wrongheaded look in the street. These elves, clothed in bright green cloaks cut to enhance the aesthetic effect of their features, are frequently loudly overheard, and it is only a steady annual bribe to the city guard that keeps them out of Mourning’s dismal jail cells.
Human populations in Mourning are on the rise, threatening to overtake even the well maintained elf population. Certain variant humanoids (Aasimar, Tiefling, Sylph, etc.) are frequently born to human mothers, as are a wide segment of Half-Elves. As human populations grow, they are more frequently speaking out against unequal treatment of human citizens under Mageocratic dictum. Humans get along well with dwarves, although their relations with halflings are frequently strained by red-handed misdeeds.
Humans frequently have racial majorities in the Cup-drawn body, and they have historically focused their attention there. Some humans, feeling that their time as an uncomfortable minority is a penance to be shared, frequently aim for laws that penalize non-humans—particularly Kobolds, for whom humans have a lingering distrust.
Half-Elves tend to fit in with moderate elves of humans. However, they tend to regard elfin supremacists with supreme disgust, often inserting language in Corpus Juris specifically to target and persecute such ideologues. This endears them most to Halflings and Dwarves.
Dwarves are actually Mourning’s most frequent shopkeepers, as their superior craftsmanship has overcome some uncomfortable taxation and needless bureaucracy to act as the gold standard. Bringing with them on occasion mysterious brewed substances for libation, dwarves are Mourning’s only non-hallucinogenic party scene. There appears to be some kind of agreement between dwarf merchants and halfling thieves, as the number of reported thefts is dramatically lower among dwarf merchants than either elves or humans. Dwarves get along best with humans and half-elves. A dwarf is not exactly likely to kill a goblin in the street, but the two persistently rival races keep to their respective areas to avoid bloodshed whenever possible.
Halflings, while widely regarded as Mourning’s great thieves, are also its primary entertainers. And while a halfling’s hands are said never to be idle, they do take plenty of time to shake the hands of those with whom they are able to do business. Fostering a kinship around persecution, halflings work well with kobolds and goblins and reserve a constant sneering expression whenever an elf is near. If the elf is a supremacist, the sneer is replaced by near-continual bawdy joking, usually to mock the very elfin features a supremacist dresses for notice.
Kobolds are in mourning primarily as refugees from ongoing clan wars among the dragonkin. While they lack the craftiness of the wyvaran and the brute strength of the wyvern, these young Dragonkin consider humans and halflings their best hopes for fair treatment. On the rare occasion that kobolds are allowed into the sunlit parts of Mourning, they are often so dumbstruck by the brightness that a mocking elf commissioned a stone statue, “Kobold in light.” Unfortunately, brightness is never the kobold’s place, and the joke has largely sailed over their heads.
Goblins, unlike their Dragonkin competitors, seek to replicate halfling achievements of thievery in Mourning. They view kobolds primarily as competitors, and, given the opportunity, will arrange a mugging in the open city when the draconic kin are near. Regarded as a nuisance to be tolerated by many, Goblins rarely rise above such pettiness. Occasionally, a gifted and artistic goblin will paint portraits of anyone who’ll pay in the town square, and those who risk their coin frequently find the goblin’s painting of good quality for the dismal price.