Weight: 80-250 lbs
Physical Description: See: Earthlings. Same physical creatures, though Ykindean humans tend to be extremely fit. Those with physical or mental deformities don't often survive until adulthood, so Ykindean humans give the impression of being hardy and resilient, when in fact disease just kills them younger than the rest.
Coloration: Human skin-tone ranges the gamut from pasty white to brown-black, encompassing all shades of brown in-between, including colors tinged towards red or yellow. Hair color ranges from almost-white blonde to natural red to browns of varying shades to black; it greys as the human ages. Eyes can be blue, green, grey, or brown - sometimes combinations of those, such as hazel.
Clothing & Adornments: Humans, like Avans, never go naked voluntarily. Normally dressed in durable cloth or light leather, they tend to wear long leggings, fitted boots, and tunics or vests over thinner, sleeveless shirts. Heavier pants and a jacket compensate for colder weather, but humans don't often wear cloaks or robes; however, some human hunters will wear cloaks, to appear more Avanic, and some human "nobility" (the presidents of large businesses or other important personages) will wear fine cloth robes. Kilts for either gender are not uncommon, though often considered impractical compared to leggings, and overalls are prominent among engineers and farmers. Humans are also very fond of hats, unlike the other sentient races.
Movement & Battle: Humans are the slowest runners of all Ykindeans, but they make up for it somewhat by having a very steady, measured gait both while walking and while sprinting. (Compare the human's consistent stride to a Panthera's bound-and-stop gait.) Despite being slow, humans are quite deft in climbing up and under various obstacles, and they will willingly venture into tighter spaces than any other race; they're also very good at clambering into and through trees. Compared to the other races, humans have no natural weaponry - lacking sharp teeth, a beak, and claws. However, this does not stop them from learning to fight unarmed, mostly utilizing punches and kicks that, while blunt, can hold enough power to be counted as dangerous in battle. Humans are almost always armed in battle, however, and their array of technological gadgetry is quite fearsome - they love explosives and firearms in particular, but many are also quite skilled with the more traditional blade weaponry, as well as crossbows.
Social Groups: Humans organize themselves into family-run businesses. Although some few humans are disowned by their families and thus free to join another, the only common way of adding new blood to family lines and thus businesses is through marriage. Humans who get disowned or choose to leave their families often must start anew, establishing themselves as entrepreneurs or affiliating themselves as independents with larger businesses. The head of the family is the president of the business, and he or she organizes the rest of it to his/her liking. Families band together with a strong sense of blood loyalty and drive for profit, but more than one human business has shattered and split because of in-house dissent or bitter politics. Humans tend to be cliquish creatures and do not often have several overlapping social circles - they tend to associate with their own family and their business partners fairly exclusively.
Ethnicities: Humans have several different ethnicities, generally grouped by region and distinguished by skin and hair color. Some of the largest, oldest families even seem to have their own unique ethnicity, separate from those around them. Race doesn't matter to humans - it's usually only an indication of one's origins, rather than one's innate qualities and flaws. Regional cultural traditions rarely effect interpersonal relations, especially in regards to business, so humans pay race little mind.
Daily Life: Humans are quite busy in their day-to-day life. At any given point in its life, a human is juggling the traditions and obligations of family with the duties and innovations of business, and most humans also choose a life-path outside their business, so they spend considerable time studying and training in that, as well. Humans are almost never solitary, having interactions with business partners or their family several times a day, even if their work is done in relative privacy. They tend to be gregarious and congregate, especially at mealtimes and just before sleep, to socialize and share news.
Technology: Humans are easily the most technologically-oriented race on Ykinde. Extremely curious and ingenious, they are constantly tinkering with new and old ideas, seeking to make something impossible work. They are, essentially, responsible for all of the gadgetry and devices present on Ykinde. Read more about their technology here.
Magic: Human magic-users utilize a great number of reagents for their spells, typically herbs and crystals. They are the most tool-oriented of the magicians on Ykinde, not only utilizing reagents to provide raw magical energy, but also using a wide variety of tools to prepare the reagents and enact the spell. Oftentimes, they will encapsulate a spell's finished power in a potion or similar concoction, making it simple for non-witches to use bursts of magical power when necessary. This magic-preservation method is what makes the majority of human technology possible, especially the steamwheelers and even some of their firearms.
Religion: Humans have no gods and no particular religion. They tend to venerate their family's most famous ancestors, but they have little care for the concept of a spirit world or an afterlife. They are far more practical in their beliefs, which include the acknowledgment that all living things have some magical energy to them, which can be utilized in spells. Though they have no religion, they are far from amoral or unethical; they hold the tenets of honor and fairness very high, given their business-oriented lives, but may not mesh well with other races' morality.
Reproduction & Parenting: Humans take the longest to reach maturity out of all the races on Ykinde. With a gestation of nine months and an infancy of a year, they reach adolescence at thirteen years and are considered adults at eighteen. Despite this lengthy childhood, humans rarely live to ninety years - more often reaching into the 70s before infirmity takes them. Humans value their choice of mate very, very highly, given the weight placed on said choice with all the family-business implications. Humans will not allow themselves to have children until they are formally married (thus forming an alliance between businesses, or simply adopting one half of the couple into one family), but they have no qualms about mating beforehand. (Their witches are quite good with herbal contraceptives.) Most humans will court for anywhere from a few months to several years before marrying, but the most common time period is a year; it is considered sufficient time to learn each other's personalities and bodies before making a long-term commitment. Most marriages are life-long, but a married couple deciding to split is not unheard-of, though it can get quite messy in deciding how best to sever the business-family union that resulted when they married. Since marriage is strongly driven by business gains, as well as emotional/intellectual attraction, same-sex marriages are somewhat common, as are childless opposite-sex unions. Those humans who do reproduce only do so one or two children at a time, but may have up to four or five children in their lifetimes.
Soldier: Human soldiers are often outclassed by skillful Avan warriors, massive Lupos braves, and even fierce Panthera bloodwalkers; however, they are quite efficient at what they do. Well-trained in the physical arts and well-armed with a wide variety of weaponry, soldiers have a trick for every situation and are surprisingly hard to kill. They tend to specialize in one of three branches: frontline soldier (heaviest armor and weaponry), flurry soldier (lighter armor and blade weaponry), and zen soldier (lightest armor and no weaponry). Frontline soldiers are the ones most often seen in the first line of defense or offense of a human town, bearing shields and large weapons like axes, broadswords, or maces. They wear platemail armor and often have several small, hand-thrown explosives for the moments before they become overwhelmed by an enemy; they're also the most common guards in places where the Elderwar conflicts may bleed over into human settlements. Flurry soldiers are considered deadly, both for their mastery of fast dual-wielded blades and also for their ability to kill efficiently and swiftly. Often used as personal bodyguards and assassins, they wear fine chainmail armor and often have short-range firearms alongside their knives or swords. Zen soldiers are quite rare; it's a path chosen by those who wish to physically hone their skills without being particularly useful in large-scale battles. They usually wear only well-crafted leathers as armor and bear no weaponry, not even explosives or firearms; they train in using their natural bodies as weapons and, although they aren't terribly effective against armed and armored enemies, they are very difficult to actually kill.
Witch: As mentioned earlier, human witches rely primarily on rituals, spells, and enchanted/empowered tools to use their magic. Whereas an Avanic mage can summon up a hellstorm with very little preparation and no reagents, a human witch will use a large number of ingredients to gather such power, then imbue it into a charm or crystal for later and instantaneous release. In this sense, witches are extremely dangerous, as they have no particular limit to how many charms and power objects they can carry; on the other hand, once their bag of tricks is empty, they are extremely vulnerable. Witches are rarely found in battle, preferring to craft magical objects for others to use in the thick of violence instead; however, they do still choose a primary and auxiliary specialization: blood witch (widespread damage that hits multiple enemies), venom witch (direct damage to a single target; poisons), and hex witch (cursing and transformation). Blood witches specialize in the magical equivalents of explosives, creating spells and talismans that damage an entire area at once; this is extremely dangerous for any other humans within the range of the spell, so they are somewhat uncommon. However, those talismans they create that can be thrown and then activated are quite potent and effective. Venom witches are by far the most common; they create objects and rituals to attack a single target, often doing a great deal of damage immediately and then wearing away at the body as time goes on. Poisons are a particular favorite of venom witches, hence the name, and fire to accompany these poisons is a common sight. Hex witches are fairly uncommon; rather than doing straight damage to one or many targets, they strip away the defenses, lower morale and resistances, and often place a lingering, withering curse on the target's spirit to bring it low over time. Hex witches can also temporarily curse a target into a different shape or body, or even render it comatose or numb. Most witch-made spells and power objects are given to soldiers for use on the battlefield; blood witch talismans are often used by frontline soldiers, while venom witch totems are typically used by flurry soldiers.
Medic: Human medics are the healers who brave the chaos of battlefields as often as they do the heart of business strongholds, all to heal those wounded and sick. They generally choose one of three specializations: hands-on medic (completely geared towards healing), ward medic (adept at healing but also capable of protecting themselves and others), and psychic medic (geared towards combat, targeting the enemy's mind). By far, the vast majority of medics are hands-on; they know practical first aid (stitching, splinting, etc) as well as the more magical means of healing (herbs, talismans, hypnotism). They deal with a victim's mind, energy, and body simultaneously, knowing that all must be mended to heal the individual completely. Much like witches, they use the innate magic in different plants and objects to help heal a body's energy; they also use psychic suggestion to help the victim's mind to accept the healing and speed it up. Ward medics are less effective healers than hands-on medics, but they are more self-sufficient, able to protect themselves and their allies with psychic shields (essentially subliminal programming to increase a body's strength and endurance, a mind's sharpness and swiftness). Ward medics can also strip away such shields on enemy minds and can often put new ones in place to weaken and demoralize. Though far less in number than hands-on medics, ward medics are more practical on a battlefield and less likely to get cut down if an enemy reaches them. Psychic medics are the least common type, though they are devastatingly effective; they are very poor healers, but they can provide the same buffer to ally minds as ward medics can. However, their power lies in their ability to get into an enemy's mind and tear it apart, piece by piece, using psychic suggestion and projection. Some psychic medics are so good that they can seemingly mind-control a person for a short while; they are quite self-sufficient on the battlefield, and some are occasionally used as protectors for hands-on medics or witches.
Engineer: Engineers are unique to humans, and it's quite a stretch to compare them to Avan naturalists, Lupos rangers, or Panthera beastwalkers. Engineers are mechanically-oriented and use gadgets, explosives, firearms, and other technological devices exclusively. They are the inventors and the tinkerers of the race. They tend to choose one of three specializations: mechanical engineer (using machines and robots, or even enslaved animals, to aid them), munitions engineer (firearms and explosives), and research engineer (non-combat). Research engineers are quite populous, but they're useless in combat, having ignored weapons training in favor of devoting themselves to the study and development of technology. Some of them will dabble in unarmed combat training, but most are simply academics and tinkerers. Munitions engineers are equally common, if not slightly moreso, and specialize in developing, customizing, and using firearms, explosives, and other such violent gadgetry. They are extremely useful in combat and will often accompany soldiers out into the battlefield; they also have shorter lifespans than most, given the volatile nature of their tools and tricks. Mechanical engineers are vested in robotics and autonomous devices; they were the ones to develop a slave-collar that will forcibly domesticate and control a wild animal, even a large and dangerous predator. This collar allows them to have a living creature as a guardian and companion, thus matching beastwalkers and rangers, who often have animal companions as well. Some mechanical engineers would rather build a mechanical creature and have it instead of a live animal.