Fear and Loathing in Athas
A resourceful and hardy race, humans are the most numerous and diverse people in the Tyr Region. They can be found in every social stratum and situation: city dweller and desert villager, nomadic herder and merchant trader, pampered noble and wretched slave. Humans’ drive, ambition, and ingenuity help the race survive on the dying world and thrive under the rule of the sorcerer-kings.
Athasian humans come in all shapes and sizes, but they reflect certain predominant traits common to particular city-states. Humans in Draj, for example, have broad chins, bronze skin, and black hair that hardly ever grows on their faces. Humans from Guig have dark brown skin and rounder features with thick, curly hair. Tyr’s humans are varied because that city-state’s population is a conglomeration of humans from throughout the world. Regardless of their origins, all humans are given to unusual traits such as odd skin or eye color, exaggerated features, or lack of body hair—that might be effects of the magic that brought ruin to the land. Such traits are common and rarely elicit more than a glance.
More humans live in the city-states than they do anywhere else. Although humans are resilient and adaptable, the city-states offer shelter, water, and food commodities that are rare outside their walls. From Tyr to Draj, humans are the dominant people, dwarfing other populations in the city-states. They are the most likely to be free citizens, merchants, nobles, slaveholders, and landowners; most Templars are human as well. Outside the city-states, human numbers fall off, eclipsed by the other peoples of the deserts, but even in the wastes humans are common. They seem able to scratch out a living no matter where they reside.
As a people, humans are bereft of a past. Flooded with propaganda and prohibited by the sorcerer-kings and Templars from keeping written histories, most humans know only the stories told in their communities. These tales paint the despots as saviors, gods, or anointed champions who, through selfless actions, saved Athas from certain destruction. Many humans chafe against tyranny’s chains but hold their tongues, seeing no reason to jeopardize the shelter, water, and food they receive in return for their loy alty. However, although the sorcerer-kings have great influence over the city-states and their human popu lations, the rulers’ control is not as secure as it once was. When Tyr’s champions assassinated King Kalak and liberated the city, they sparked the fires of rebel lion across the region, opening people’s eyes to the possibility of a world free of the oppression that has defined life on Athas for so long.
Humans typically have backgrounds based on their home region.