Here’s an introduction to the common races found in CITY. Written by a typically arrogant, bigoted Erisian scholar. There’s not much about the common races, actually, but quite a lot about Erisians. And CITY in general…
A Lecture About Race
- Introductory remarks to the Hrazbo-Y lecture series, given by Masshtek Vellolorum, director of the Misanthropic Studies program at the Museum of Defeated Cultures, Eris:CITY, winter 288, Monopolis Standard Year.
“So many species, subspecies, kin and kind in CITY! Putting a name to all would seem an insurmountable task. Better to put them to the sword. At least that would simplify the next census. But I am not here to discuss social policy. I come to enumerate the races of non-men, not to bury them.
The great novelist Marzel Joost put it thusly; “Counting the races that dwell in CITY is like counting needles in a stack of pins. Prickly, tedious work that’s hard on the eyes and likely to draw blood.” Consider that poor Joost was trying only to recall those non-humans he met over the course of his brief, alcohol-foreshortened life. I hope your seats are comfortable. We may be here a while.
That’s not counting the Oddities and the Entities imported through the Slave Gates during the height of the Gate Builder Empire. Beings made more from Ideas and Appetites then flesh and blood. Fortunately many of them were unique, and more importantly benign, such as the Golden Rahl, employed by the Temple of Mr. Spidergod as an icon, who has delighted children for centuries with rides up and along the walls of the temple in Saltbend on his gleaming arachnoid back, his eight perfect eyes full of the kindness that only functional immortality and enormous wealth can bring. A few were more sinister, like the Semi-Lich who guards the Crypt of the Syndics in Ulum Dreii. A creature born in the Land of the Dead, tasked with ensuring the dearly departed, do not, in fact, take it with them. Then there were those who brought perverse, alien ideas to the streets of our great Monopolis, such as the men of living fire who introduced trade unionism to Narayan, the so-called Hotfellows Local 151. They all but control the Pandoor ovens used in the great temples of Kruetzel located there. How shameful! They call themselves “Azer”. I call them malcontents. And it’s quite true that their race is comprised solely of men. I’ll leave you to consider their unspeakable practices on your own.
So what do we do about this conundrum? Why, we need only look to the wisdom our Founding Fathers in the Gate Builder Empire. They decreed “Power is Knowledge!” Not the other way around, as purported by the scholars of weaker cultures. Those with the power control the discourse. So what if the bestial species imported by the Empire for slave-labor number upwards of 27? What matter if their names were “Uruk”, “Oger”, “Hubgubblyn”, and “Trull”? We’ll call them all Ghul, the old Imperial word for ‘meat’. Or perhaps, the Kaza-Ghul, the ‘Eaters of Meat’, who, in point of vulgar fact, often feasted on each other.
We will gather up races like a child gathers jacks, into categories of our fashioning, and place them neatly out-of sight. We do this because it is convenient. We do this in the interest of having a manageable system of knowledge. But let me be unmistakably clear; we do this because we can.
That’s enough theory for now. Let us turn our attention to the important CITY races. First, of course, is Man, but I’ll leave him to the artists and trial lawyers to describe in detail. Next are the four Lesser Races; the Hannumin, Ruhk-Kaza, Shirac, and Garahjah…”