AfterLight is home to four hominid Species: Humans, Elves, Saurians, and Mechan. Each of these peoples has their own unique history, culture, and perspective. As a player character, you are a member of one of these Species. While your fate within the world of AfterLight is your own to forge, it would be ignorant to overlook the impact that your heritage as a Human, Elf, Saurian, or Mechan has had on your life so far and will yet have as your journey continues. This section exists to help you flesh out more details about your character when considering the people to which they belong. Everything from your physical appearance to your taste in food is influenced by (though perhaps not entirely dependant on) the Species and cultural heritage to which you belong.
The Species of Belhaven
Belhaven's size, prosperity, reputation, and relative safety have drawn inhabitants from every corner of the globe. While its geographical location on the western coast of Athrain sees it mostly populated by Humans, there is at least a small part of every surviving people group on AfterLight represented within the city's population. Most people tend to dwell in neighborhoods where others of their kind also live. It is quite common to find entire sections of the city carved out to reflect the cultural values and unique character of its majority inhabitants. Even so, there is a blending of cultures within Belhaven, not only in the liminal spaces between ethnic majority neighborhoods, but within the larger tapestry of the city as a whole. As far as culture goes, it is fair to say that Belhaven is both a melting pot and a salad bowl.
Racism is alive and well in the world of AfterLight. And though prevalent in many places, it is just as evil in AfterLight as it is in the real world. The stories told in the course of a game of Lux Aeterna are often stories about flawed heroes rising above their mortal vices and sins to achieve great and noble things. These flaws can include biases and prejudices against certain groups of people. Make no mistake - this is a character flaw, not a quirk or personality trait. Racism is wrong and a racist character is in the wrong with regards to this quality. Yet there is great power and pathos in the journey of a character who learns to forsake their prejudices and rise above hatred and fear. So while themes such as these should not be singled out for exclusion from a storytelling perspective, they should always be approached with the gravity they deserve and with a character arc of redemption away from racism.
Intermarriage between Species is frowned upon, not only due to the explicit teachings of the Aventist church, but also due to the simple fact that a union between two members of different Species cannot produce children. Humans are biologically compatible with other Humans (whatever their ethnicity may be) just as Elves and Saurians can only reproduce with other Elves and Saurians, respectively (it goes without saying that Mechan do not reproduce biologically). Even so, there are occassionally childless marriages between interspecies couples, who may face ridicule and exclusion from mainstream society for their love.
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Versatile, tenacious, and ambitious, Humans are the most populous Species in Belhaven. As such, Humans hold most of the city's power, wealth, and privilege as well as a great share of its misery. They are a diverse and optimistic people, always searching for the next horizon to conquer.
The Elves are a deeply spiritual people whose heritage connects them to the land and its many spirits. Naming themselves T'lalokee ("the speaking ones"), the Elves are natives of Calinost, a far away land where Lux is common. As such, the Elves have a natural resistance to its Glow and a talent for shaping it.
Once lords of Khemet, the Saurian people are a forceful, daring, and shrewd people with a knack for both business and warfare. Once they tamed the mighty Archosaurs to build their cities and fight their battles. The Saurians of today show equal merit in conquering the worlds in which they now dwell.
As the last vestiges of the world that once was, the Mechan people are at once a reminder of what has been lost and also what may yet again be. Their fractured memories find them searching for purpose and identity amongst the ruins of the world they once knew, beings unlike any other in all creation.