Ironrocks The Ironrocks, named after thier mountainous homeland, are quite reclusive. Historians note only two times that any Ironrock Army has ever been seen, although each of these appearances has convinced observers that there are huge numbers of Ironrocks living in their mountainous strongholds. There have been less than a dozen times when any group of Ironrocks have been known to travel from their mountains. These journeys have all been ambassadorial in nature, and have been as short as the Ironrocks could make them. Each of these Ambassadorial Journeys have been made up of eleven Ironrocks, although only one of the eleven is ever known to speak in the presence of another race. There are no records of Ironrocks ever travelling singly. These short, bearded mountain men are forever serious, and are rarely seen to smile. The Ironrocks language seems very sharp and abrupt to non-natives, and this basic language pattern is carried over when the Ironrocks speak Human languages. Humans ofton feel that Ironrocks are surly and rude, since they have little room in their vocabularies for verbal subtleties. They are direct and to the point. Ironrocks are very concerned with humans crossing their borders. No human alive today has ever returned from the mountains, although Maracarans and Illhillians have been reported to come and go, apparently as they please. Historians feel that this is probably due to the recent growth in human population on Durrin. During the Dark Age, the Ironrocks were apparently quite hospitable to humans, as the human population was quite small, and did not threaten to overrun the mountains. It was only after the recent recolonization and the growth in human population that the Ironrocks have become increasingly insular. The Ironrocks had been friendly trading partners for centuries, until they realized that the humans were spreading into their mountains, and reaising an incredible number of children. The Ironrocks raised a huge army, and forcefully ejected the Humans from the Ironrock Mountains. The Ironrocks were very polite, and even helped to herd livestock and carry household goods. The humans, for their part were also fairly polite. Of course, what small farm family is going to argue when an armed party of a hundred Ironrocks politely asks them to move? The Ironrocks Army did not return home immediately, but spent the rest of the season erecting stone signposts at the border which they claimed. These signposts were erected every hundred yards completely around the Ironrock mountains, and still stand to this day. Any human now caught traveling within the Ironrocks border is captured and hauled into the mountains. These individuals are never seen again. On those occasions where herd animals cross the border, the Humans still do not dare to cross the border. Of course, since the Ironrocks will return any properly marked animals to their rightful owners, this rarely presents a problem. There are two notable exceptions to the No-Humans Rule. These are Isthmus City, and The Winevalleys. The Winevalleys are located along the Ironrocks/Labhartain border. The Ironrocks allow a number of valleys (which they had originally claimed) to be farmed by citizens of Labhartain. In exchange for half of the wine the farmers produce the Ironrocks allow a limited amount of autonomy to the farmers. The Ironrocks have built additional signposts along the borders of each of the Winevalleys, and like the main borders, no Human is allowed to cross. The second exception to the No-Humans Rule is Isthmus City. Isthmus City, and the surrounding countryside can be inhabited by any race, species or religious group as long as they follow Ironrocks Law, as written on stone tablets in The Square of Law, in the center of Isthmus City. The most common punishment for any crime is to be escorted to the border and not be allowed to return. This would not be quite so serious, if not for the fact that Isthmus City is surrounded by water... The Ironrocks built Isthmus City, and its port, to allow them to trade beyond Durrin. However, since Ironrocks don't travel, they have to depend on foreign ships for all commerce. Even though Isthmus City tends to be a profitable stop, few sailors enjoy spending much time here. Although the drinks tend to be quite stiff, the Ironrocks do not allow hospitality houses, so many of the other comforts of port are not to be had here. Those few individuals who have tried to run hospitality houses have been calmly escorted to the border, if male, and to a ship if female. Maracarans The Maracaran inhabit much of the rainforest in Bramhillian. The Maracaran's are very close to nature, heir homes rarely intrude on the natural beauty of the rainforest, and are often difficult for the uninitiated to observe, even from quite close. Those few Maracaran "cities" which do exist in the forest are stands of the huge Homeoak trees, whose branches grow at right angles to the thick trunk, making large platform homes easy to build. Most platform homes incorporate much of the living tree as walls and ceilings. Even then, few of the Maracaran homes are what Humans would call houses, since they are often open to the sky, with large windows to allow light and air to enter. There are also many small family groups who live in lone Homeoaks elsewhere in the forest. Unlike the city Homeoaks, these trees are usually quite young, and rarely reach more than a hundred feet into the sky. The small family group is most common in the forest, as family bonds tend to be quite strong. All Maracarans are able to utilize magic, and most specialize in magic affecting animals, plants and the elements. There are others, and this tends to run in families, who specialize in other aspects of magic. Some families of Maracarans produce items of a magical nature which have found their way into human hands, but these items are rarely of the destructive types of magic which Humans tend to prefer. The Maracarans are friendly toward humans, and families sometimes care for human children as their own. It is not uncommon for mixed-race pairs to have children. This is usually frowned upon by the Maracaran elders, but the young are not the best judges what is proper. These relationships are of course doomed by the fact that humans rarely live for more than a handfull of decades, whereas Maracarans sometimes live for centuries. Individuals of mixed blood usually leave the forest to travel among humans, and to explore their human background. There are also those humans who come to the Maracarans to study and learn elvish sciences and magical arts.