THE AEANS are the people of the Inner Sea, originating on the island of Aeos long ago and spreading to colonize the isles and coasts. They are of average height (for humans), dark-haired and dark-eyed, with skin ranging from pale to olive. Appearances vary, due to the fact that the Inner Sea Lands have been subject to migrations and invasions for thousands of years. Aean language and culture dominates the Inner Sea from the city-states of Huran in the east to the old Imperial province of Carthenia in the west. They founded the great city of Tharsis 2000 years ago and built an empire that ruled the Inner Sea Lands for 1500 years.
THE KOTHS are typically tall (adult males average just under 6 feet), blonde, blue or gray-eyed, and fair. They dominate northwestern Mythandar, having migrated there from the East centuries ago to settle the lands west and north of the Andural River. With the aid of the Dwarves, the Koths advanced from bronze to iron, founded the great Kingdom of Anglamar and established settlements on the arctic coasts of Nordland. Their society is at a feudal level (like Europe in the Middle Ages), though the Nordlanders still live in semi-barbaric clans.
THE STORM ISLANDERS, or Danae are a dark-haired, fair-skinned people of the West (otherwise indistinguishable from the mainland Koths). A thousand years ago, they dwelled along the coast of what is now Anglamar, and when the barbarian Koths began to migrate westward, they were easily conquered and absorbed. However, many of them fled to the group of rugged islands that would later be called the Storm Isles. Over the centuries, the Islanders remained in isolation, except for visits by Inner Sea merchants and the sea-raiders of Nordland. The Islanders have adopted much of Anglamarian culture (including the language and religion) They remain simple folk and are not known as warriors or sea-farers.
THE VARALKANS dominate the central plains of Mythandar north of the Inner Sea. Like the Koths, they are tall and pale, though they have dark hair and usually gray eyes. The two ethnic groups are related, having dwelt as neighbors in central Mythandar for a thousand years before the Koths migrated west. The nation of Varalya rules a vast stretch of territory east of Anglamar and north of the Inner Sea. It is a clannish, feudal kingdom, extremely religious and warlike in nature.
THE MARI are an ancient civilized race who originated in the desert lands east of the Inner Sea. Ten thousand years ago, they were the first humans to rise from barbarism, develop agriculture, invent writing and build cities. They built the fabled city-states of Mezzoparan and founded the ancient mysterious kingdom of Kesh. Today, they dominate the eastern and southern Inner Sea Lands, inhabiting Kesh, the cities of Huran and, as nomadic tribesmen, all of the desertlands from Mezzoparan westward to the Bay of Amaran. The Mari are lean and very dark (ranging from Arab to African in appearance) and some of them are very tall (up to seven feet).
THE ALAYS are an ancient sea-faring folk of the South. According to legend, they came from the lost island of Atalay in the Western Ocean, fleeing to the coasts when that land sank in a great cataclysm over 5000 years ago. Now, they inhabit an island chain southwest of the Inner Sea, the Alay Isles, as well as several coastal cities. They are slim and handsome (the women known for their exotic beauty), with jet-black hair, black eyes and coppery red skin. As a people, they are gregarious and adventurous, explorers and merchant seafarers, famous for their scant style of dress, tattoos and ornaments of gold and silver. Alay ships sail to the ports of the Inner Sea as far as Huran and north as far as Arandor (in Anglamar) in Summer, bringing exotic goods for trade - silks, spices, wines and other goods from distant lands.
THE HAN dwell far to the east of the Inner Sea, beyond vast stretches of plains, deserts and mountains. They are little more than a legend to the people of the West, with a strange and mysterious civilization that is at least as old as ancient Kesh. The Han are said to control a great empire ruled by powerful sorcerer-kings. They worship alien gods of the sky, sea and mountains, practice strange magics, and possess vast wealth beyond any kingdom or nation of the Inner Sea Lands. The old city-states of Mezzoparan are said to have traded with the Han in the past, but there has been no contact between them for centuries.