The four races in Rædwald are all humans some are just more magical, insular, or savage than others. The land of Rædwald is ruled by the Eorðwerod, who call themselves ‘men’ the other races they call elfs, dwarfs, and wildings. These others races that men consider to be Ælþeód (foreigners) dwell in the borderlands the forests, marshes, moors, and mountains. They live in the isolated pockets of territory not yet claimed by the land hungry men of Rædwald.
There is rumour of an otherworldly realm of the fair folk, but no man has returned to tell of it and the only Ælfcynn in Rædwald are wild and savage forest folk that dwell deep within ancient woodlands.
They are slight and short; standing a whole head shorter than the Eorðwerod. They have raven black hair, fine angular beardless features, bright grey eyes, and nut brown skin. They shun all things crafted by men or dwarfs dressing themselves in the skins of deer and other animals. Despite the legends they neither fear nor are especially harmed by iron, but it is taboo for them to use it and anything else made of manish metal.
Their weapons are made of wood, stone, flint, and antler. Their longbows, despite being a primitive hunter’s weapon, are more powerful than the bows of men and rightly feared.
Each Ælf is bonded with an ageless tree-spirit, except for the player characters who are the Fæge, (the fey or doomed). Their tree-spirit has died and they are doomed to die a mortal death. It is not so much that they are exiled as that grief and sorrow drives them away from their home and kin, and their kin are no longer comfortable in the company of the treeless.
Some wander alone in wild woods becoming more and more savage until they are near bestial, others are drawn to the realms of men where, although not accepted, they may find a place in a lord's Wolfpack.
It said that in every generation there is but one man allowed to set foot on the clan mountains of the Dweorgas. In this way they conduct their trade with the race of men. Many tribes of men have fought and died for the foothills that border the clan’s mountains and the rich trade that land controls.
Of the Dweorgas themselves little is known save the richness of their mines and the brilliance of their metal craft. Standing a head shorter than men, they are broad, stout, and muscular. Pale skinned with jet black hair and eyes, they favour long forked beards. It is said there are no Dweorgaswífs (Dwarf wives) as the Dweorgas spring full grown and battle ready from mountain rock. Many is the tale of ancient warbands that marched into Dweorg mountains. There are no tales of any marching out again.
The player characters are the Edwíta, the disgraced. The source of their disgrace they tell no man, and only a fool with a death wish would ask. One thing all know is that for an Edwít Dweorg to return home is certain death, normally by a shameful unwarlike means such as strangulation.
EORÐWEROD (MEN OF EARTH)
The five races of men are named thus: Geats, Jutten, Saisons, Anglens and the Frisca. They are a most noble and warlike race, fearless, cunning, numerous and wise in both rule and counsel. Descendants of the gods themselves it is only natural that they rule the very earth itself. From Brytencynings (powerful kings) to níedþéow (slave thrall) the Eorðwerod are tall and rangy, with ruddy complexions, bright grey or blue eyes, and straw coloured hair with both the men and women favouring plaits.
The player characters are útlagan wulfeshéafod (outlaw wolfsheads). Like any Dweorg or Ælfcynn found roaming the lands of men, a Wulfeshéafod is outside the protection of law and can be slain without fear of reprisal or fear of blood feud. Without the protection of a lord or king that will undoubtedly be their fate.
What these war-like neighbours lack in craft and art they make up for in bestial fierceness and ignoble treachery. They inhabit the wilderness: moors, hills, and marshes that border the good farmlands of the Eorðwerod. They are tall and wiry, with pale skin, green eyes and copper red hair. All Ælþeód (foreigners) are treated with suspicion by the Eorðwerod, but the Réðealingas are especially despised.
Player characters are Morðorheteas (blood-fueder) having fled from their homeland until they can gain enough power to return and revenge themselves on their enemies, reclaim their honour, or simply return without fear of reprisal for the crimes they committed. Even though a Réðealing can be killed just for being in the land of the Eorðwerod that is still preferable to the fate awaiting them should they be captured by their own people. Membership of a Wolfpack and the protection of a lord means they might just live long enough to return to their homelands and take their vengeance.