Humans evolved from the first Shifter born without the ability to change, and as such are less obviously adapted to the environment than their more exotic counterparts. Additionally, the Shifters who chose this form believed that the First was a sign from God of what they should be. They are heavily xenophobic, believing that the act of shifting itself is a crime against God, and that human is naturally the perfect, God-directed form. Religious fanaticism plays a major role in their politics as well as their interpersonal culture.
Humans thrive on invention and progress in slight contrast to their evolutionary counterparts, pushed onto a more difficult path by their less adapted forms. Humans who make life easier for all other humans are regarded as heroes. This applies both to those who use technology to improve the human condition, and those who use magic. Magical families have interbred for centuries, trying to make the best of a dying art as their status fades to lower than those who have invented the recent industrial age.
Human Religion: Prism
The human religion Prism believes in the usual sins (murder, rape, disavowal of belief, etc), but it adds identity theft and identity malfeasance to the list of capital crimes, both in their penal code and in their scripture. Identity theft is as it seems – pretending to be a person other than one’s self. Identity malfeasance is less obvious: it refers to changing one’s body or activities to something different than what should be. This includes the long-lost trait of shifting, but is also significantly more subtle in the more nefarious context of gender roles. Humans who identify with a gender other than the form they’re born into (transfolk) or humans who are interested in a gender instead-of or in-addition-to their societal opposite (alter-sexuals) are also persecuted as criminals against human nature.
The unbroken, perfect circle is the symbol of Prism, and much of their architecture reflects that.
Prism scripture tells the story of the First, detailing his trials as unique in his world. He is generally portrayed as being the first sentient; the true understanding of his original unchanging nature is lost to time. He suffers many burdens at the hands of his family until he chooses a select few, and from them the human race is formed. It also deals with a traitor in the midst of the select few, one who leads to the creation of demons who masquerade as humans but who are not, demons that the First eventually drives from the human lands. Until recently, those passages were believed to be the end of the story, but with the discovery of the Lycans, they have taken on new meaning.
As previously stated, innovation is prized among humans, and it co-evolved with magic. Though only about a millennium old as a race, this combination has brought them to the industrial revolution. This technology has brought many changes, including the pursuit of coal and steam as energy sources, the tunnel through the Dwarven mountains that brought humans into conflict with the Lycans, the ability to mass produce firearms (though they are still unreliable and tend to break and blow up), and the mass production of clothing.
At the time of this game, the industrial revolution is in full force. Factories have sprung up throughout the human cities, and the technology behind them continues to become more refined. In search of alternate energy resources, in select, high-technology scientific circles, steam power is being pursued. Hints of new alarming and amazing discoveries have filtered through the populace, but nothing concrete.
Recent Human History
Approximately forty years before the start of the game, a power drill was invented to improve mining. Natural human curiosity combined with greed, and the Humans drilled a tunnel through the mountains. When they discovered a fertile, unexplored forest on the other side, they established Far Camp, the only Human settlement on the north side of the mountains. They soon discovered a race of hardy, apparently-human natives, but were horrified to discover that these creatures could morph into an animal form at will. The Humans immediately set to subjugating the Lycans (primarily the Wolves) but found that non-magical chains had no effect, and the Lycans were fierce warriors. After the slaughter of an entire logging camp who had tried to use their new slaves without enough precautions, it was decided that all the “demons” must be enslaved or eliminated. A full-scale invasion was launched with newly appointed General Bran McKenna at the front.
The invasion failed miserably, and the Humans were repulsed with massive casualties on both sides. Bitterness over the deaths is a persistent reality for both races, and the current peace is believed to be more of a temporary ceasefire than a true end to the war.
Timeline of Recent Human History
Supposedly descended from the First, the Gratine Monarchy has ruled by divine right for all of recorded history from City One. Each City has an appointed Lord, including City One, who manages the day-to-day governmental work, under the guidance and control of the King. However, only the standing Monarch and his appointed General (who must be noble in birth and is traditionally the Prince), have the authority to use the newly formed militia. With the new industrial technology, every member of this small, stridently loyal force, is armed with a gun.
Underneath the Monarach’s stability, however, trouble is brewing. The invention of industrial-level technology has spurred the creation of a merchant class who is beginning to resent the taxes placed on their economy and the restrictions against what they can bring back from the Lycan territory. Whispers are passing through certain channels, hinting that it might be time that the other humans get a say in how things are done. After all, the Monarch’s not the First himself…
+1 on the skill track to anything
Humans are the only race who do not receive a penalty to social interaction with humans.
Ability: Humans learn skills faster than other races and as such receive one extra skill point every minor milestone.