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"The Realms of Man must not fall. Our fate is intertwined with theirs, and if they fall, so too do we. For this reason, I taught their first masters of magic, and for this reason, we must not abandon Men, despite their barbarous ways."

Teclis, Loremaster of Ulthuan

Mankind, also called Men and sometimes Humans, Humanity or Humankind, are a race of intelligent, mammalian humanoids dominant in the Old World and the Far East. Mankind was one of the last intelligent peoples of the Known World to become civilised. However, they are now one of the most powerful and populous species spread across the globe and might be considered the dominant intelligent race of the mortal world since the elder civilisations of the High Elves and the Dwarfs entered their mutual states of decline.

Men are the chief devotees of the Imperial god Sigmar, as well as the primary opponent of Chaos' continued incursions into the Old World and the Far East. In a severe twist of irony, however, Mankind is also amongst the Dark Gods' greatest and most numerous servants.

It is very common knowledge that the race of Men is known to be highly susceptible to the influences of Chaos due to the fact that they were the youngest and most unfinished of the Old Ones' mortal creations. Unlike the Elves, Mankind has only just begun the transition into a species that can fully utilise the Winds of Magic. As yet, very few Humans are able to cast spells, though this number is slowly increasing as the centuries pass. However, most Human wizards lack the mental discipline or inner strength to prevent themselves from causing arcane mishaps or the capability to access all the Winds of Magic simultaneously, like the greatest of the Elven archmagi.

Humans have a highly developed brain, which is capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem-solving. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the hands for manipulating objects, allowed Men to make greater use of tools, much like the other humanoid intelligent races of the mortal world. Other, higher-level thought processes of Humans, such as self-awareness, rationality, and sapience, are considered to be defining features of what constitutes a "person," though such features are shared with the other major intelligent species Men share the Known World with, such as the Elves, the Dwarfs, the Lizardmen, the Skaven and the Greenskins (though some might question this last one).

Like most higher primates, Humans are social animals. However, Humans are uniquely adept at utilising systems of communication for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organisation. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families to nations. Social interactions between Men have established an extremely wide variety of values, social norms, and rituals, which together form the basis of Human society. With Humans present across the world and having adapted to every possible environment, they are currently the mortal world's dominant intelligent race. The current population of Men on the Known World numbers in the hundreds of millions.

Men are noted for their desire to understand and influence their environment, seeking to explain and manipulate phenomena through the practice of science, philosophy, mythology, and religion. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills, which are passed down culturally, though cultural stagnation or even retrogression is possible, as the grim history of the Elder Races of the mortal world so readily demonstrates.

History

Origins in the Old World

According to Dwarf accounts written after the threat to the mortal world from Chaos was ended by the Elves' establishment of the Great Vortex at the end of the wars of the Great Catastrophe, the first primitive, nomadic tribes of Men migrated to the Old World from the Southlands. They were few in number, used tools and weapons made from wood and stone, and settled initially in the southern lands that would later become Tilea and Estalia. The Dwarfs largely ignored them, especially since the two races lived so far apart.[4a]

Just over two millennia later, tribes of taller, fur-clad Men arrived from the east and settled in the forested lands to the west of the Worlds Edge Mountains. Some even migrated to the other side of the Grey Mountains. These newcomers proved successful at farming the land, and in order to reduce their supply lines, the Dwarfs began trading with these Human tribes during the closing stages of the War of Vengeance with the High Elves.[4a]

The Dwarfs exchanged tools and weapons made of bronze with the Human tribes for produce and meat. Then came the invasion of the Old World by the Greenskins, and everything changed. While hordes of Orcs and Goblins assailed the Dwarf holds, even more swarmed over the mountain passes into the Human lands of the west. To aid the Dawi in meeting this threat, Dwarf smiths taught the tribes of Men many of their lesser technological secrets, such as how to forge iron weapons and armour. In the face of their mutual foe, Dwarfs and Men forged a tentative friendship. This friendship would later blossom into an alliance that guaranteed both the survival of the Dwarfs and the further ascension to power of the nations of Mankind.[4a]

Realms and Peoples of Mankind

Dow4

A mercenary whose origin lies among the barbaric peoples of the Eastern Steppes.

"Men tend to understand each other's motives, so diplomacy between factions is simply a matter of balancing competing interests for mutual advantage."

—A saying amongst Bretonnian diplomats.[3]

The realms and notable ethnic groups of Men in the Known World include:

  • Albion - Albion is an island surrounded by mist and fog. It is home to the mysterious Ogham Stones and tribal, woad-wearing Human barbarians.
  • Araby - Araby is the desert realm of city-states united by a common culture that lies to the west of the Land of the Dead in the Southlands. It is comprised of both highly sophisticated commercial urban centres and tribes of desert nomads.
  • Bretonnia - Bretonnia is the kingdom of Men located directly west of the Empire whose people are ethnically related to the barbarian tribes of Men that founded the Empire. However, the society is deeply segregated where the peasants of Bretonnia are highly oppressed by the ruling class, more so than other nations. The vast majority of male nobles are bred for knighthood, being larger, fitter and more robust than ordinary men, while female nobles are renowned across the world for their beauty and grace. The peasantry, on the other hand, are a breed apart, with many sporting deformities and disfigurements caused by poor genes and inbreeding. Bretonnia is the Empire's chief military rival, and the knights that comprise its heavy cavalry remain the greatest in the Old World.
  • Grand Cathay - Lying in the Far East, Grand Cathay is the largest nation of Men in the mortal world. It is a vast empire, and its ruler is known as the "Dragon Emperor" for he is a Cathayan Dragon. Despite its size and power, Cathay is greatly isolated from the rest of the Known World by oceans, mountains, deserts and hostile enemies. Like the people of the Old World, the Cathayans are in constant conflict with the mortal and Daemonic servants of the Ruinous Powers of the northern Chaos Wastes. Another enemy the Cathayans face are the brutal Ogre Kingdoms to their west and northwest. Cathay is also at times riven by Chaos corruption and other internal political conflicts.
  • The Empire - The Empire stands as the largest and mightiest nation of the Old World but also a deeply corrupt and often unjust human society where many have fallen to the corruption of Chaos, yet it is still the greatest bulwark the Old World has against Chaos, pushing them back time and again. The Empire benefits from a great diversity of military units, black-powder weaponry and the various orders of wizards who comprise the Colleges of Magic, and is the home of the Cult of Sigmar. The Empire is quite large and diverse: there are broad cultural differences between the south and the north, as well as between people of Nordland (who have much Norse blood), Middenlanders (who prefer the god Ulric over Sigmar), Reiklanders, Sylvanians etc but broadly speak the same mutually intelligible language: Reikspiel. Despite being first united in 0 IC, the Empire became more and more politically divided beginning in about IC 1152, until being reunited in 2302.
  • Estalia - Estalia is a peninsula southwest of Bretonnia in the Old World, far from the threat of Chaos, but without an external foe to unite them, the nation is a land of a number of rival Estalian kingdoms. Estalia was once occupied by forces from Araby, but the Arabyans were driven out by a combined effort by other Old World human realms like Bretonnia, the Empire and the Tilean city-states. Like the Tileans, the Estalians are politically fractured into multiple city-states, and they may be descended from the ancient people of Tylos.
  • Khuresh - Khuresh, or the Hinterlands of Khuresh, are in the Far East of the Warhammer World. The few Humans who live there are said to be little more than food and cattle for the dreaded Snakemen.
  • Kingdoms of Ind - Ind is an eastern nation southwest of Cathay and west of the Ogre Kingdoms composed of many different competing kingdoms. They are said to worship a large number of gods.
  • Kislev - Kislev is a northern nation and an ally of the Empire that lies under constant threat due to its close proximity to the northern Chaos Wastes and the maddening Realm of Chaos. Kislev has 2 main ethnic groups, and one former one:
    • Gospodars - The Gospodars are the dominant ethnic group in Kislev, and appear to have once been related to the Kurgan, but split off from that tribe of Northmen in the distant past.
    • Ungols - The Ungols are a nomadic herding people who have inhabited the region of the Old World that became Kislev since ancient times, but were displaced and subjugated by the arrival of the Gospodars.
    • Roppsmenn - The Roppsmenn were a people of what is now western Kislev. They were destroyed by the Ungols, who in turn were fleeing subjugation at the hand of the Gospodars.
  • Nippon - The Empire of Nippon is the easternmost of the nations of Men, and is an island that lies off of the eastern coast of Cathay that is ruled by powerful feudal warlords. Little else is known about the country.
  • Tilea - South of the Irrana Mountains and the Vaults in the Old World, the fractious city-states of the peninsula of Tilea embrace trade, exploration and civil war with equal passion. Mercenary companies form the bulk of the armies that see combat in these lands, often fighting on behalf of the wealthy rulers of the many Tilean republics and principalities or further north in the service of the Empire. Like Estalians, Tileans may be descended from the ancient people of Tylos.
  • The Wasteland - The Wasteland is a low-lying land at the northwestern edge of the Empire that lies at the mouth of the River Reik and is home to Marienburg, one of the largest cities and commercial centres of the Old World. This region used to be a province of the Empire -- when it was referred to as the province of Westerland -- but seceded several centuries ago and is now fiercely independent. Perhaps out of spite, the people of the Empire soon after began to refer to the province as the Wasteland, sometimes due to the large marshes and bogs that surround the land.
  • New Worlders - The red-skinned native Men of the continents of the New World are often portrayed as primitive by Old Worlders and have historically had limited contact with other major Human civilisations. They live in small tribal units, each with unique languages and cultures that can vary significantly even within a small geographic area.[6a]
  • Northmen - "Northmen" is a general term for different ethnic groups who inhabit the Chaos Wastes and bordering regions. While technically Men, many of these tribesmen have been so mutated and hopelessly corrupted by their worship of the Ruinous Powers that they cannot be compared to the more civilised Men of the south. Due to the harshness and lack of resources of the Chaos Wastes, the Northmen constantly raid the more prosperous regions of the Old World and Cathay for slaves and other resources. Northmen include:
  • Amazons - The Amazons are an ancient civilisation of Warrior-Women who have made the deep dark jungles of Lustria their home. Deep within the Lustrian jungle, death comes in many forms. No surer way exists than to incur the wrath of the elusive tribeswomen that dwell in its darkest heart.
  • Pygmies - Pygmies are the smallest of all the Human ethnicities. Some Old Worlder scholars deny that they are Human at all, whilst others refer to them as "Lesser Men" or "Black Halflings." They come from the dense tropical jungles of Lustriawhere they live in small tribal groups.
Bruno Franke

A Human native of the Southlands.

  • Southlanders - Southlanders,[5a] also known as "Southrons,"[6a] are Men who live natively in the Southlands, despite the hostility of the tropical environment. They are described as having filed-down canine teeth and the same dark skin tone as the Pygmies, even darker than the members of the Ebonians nomad tribe. They do not wear clothes that cover the entire body in the style of northerners who come from a far colder clime. They know the land well and are expert hunters of its fauna.[5a] They are very primitive and have little contact with any of the other major Human cultures. They live in very small tribal units, often with unique languages and cultures that vary tremendously even within a small geographic area.[6a]
  • Skraeling - The Skraeling are the extinct Human inhabitants of Naggaroth. Once divided into several nations and tribes, they were all enslaved by the arriving Dark Elves following the Witch King's defeat in the Sundering.
  • Steppe Nomads - Steppe nomads live on the northern edges of the Eastern Steppes east of the Worlds Edge Mountains in the Far East. They share this vast territory with a number of partly nomadic Goblin tribes, but the steppe-lands are large enough to accommodate many different peoples without too much conflict. There are many different tribal groupings, such as the Hung, the Kurgan and the Tong, speaking various tongues and worshipping numerous gods. What they all have in common is their way of life. Nomads of the Eastern Steppes are constantly on the move, living on horseback or in wagons, hunting game, harvesting wild crops, and managing their hardy animals: horses, cattle, and goats. They also keep domestic fowl as well as powerful hunting dogs.[6a]
  • Strigany - The Strigany are the mortal remnants of the former Necromantic kingdom of Strygos. Now living as gypsies and nomads, they are a desperate people, often clinging to the half-forgotten legends that say that their ancient Vampiric masters will someday return to lift them from their pathetic lives.

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Rulebook (8th Edition), pp. 180, 188, 216
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Rulebook (RPG)
  • 3: Total War: Warhammer(PC Game)
  • 4: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition: Dwarfs: Stone and Steel (RPG)
  • 5: Fell Cargo (Novel) by Dan Abnett
    • 5a: Ch. 24
  • 6: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition: Core Rulebook (RPG)
    • 6a: pg. 222
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