Friday, January 23, 2009

Blixtian Demographics (by Ironbeard)

A couple of questions have come up regarding the population of Blixt and its racial make up. Consider the following to be general information that you have gleened while travelling across this kingdom over the last month and from your conversations with Zook as you march alongside of his gaily painted wagon.

Blixt is a multi racial society. At the social apex are the dragon rulers (King Yed and his children) and the half dragon aristocracy. The majority of the population consists mostly of kobolds, lizardfolk, goblinoids, mongrelfolk, and humans in roughly equal numbers. Members of each respective group tend to organize themselves in their own settlements. Thus, Ss'kanda, the largest village in Gix, was a predominantly lizardfolk settlement that owed fealty to Baron Malsvir. Scattered throughout the land are kobold mines and warrens, goblin and bugbear towns, and even human settlements. Incidentally, humans tend to be more numerous in the larger towns and more established villages.

Despite this tendency for settlements to be oriented around a dominant race (or species to be more exact) there is considerable intermingly among the various groups. It is a testament to the strength and ruthless power of Blixt's political structure that such disparate groups coexist as well as they do. We could say in our world's parlance that Blixt is somewhat of a "Balkanized" society; if the draconic dominion was ever to fade or crumble, the various factions would fragment and countless warring tribes would be at each others throats. Even given the fact that society is effectively held together under Yed's scaly fist, local tensions, minor rebellions, and blood feuds are not at all uncommon.

Other, more traditonally "good aligned" races ar not unkown in Blixt. Elves, halflings, gnomes, and dwarves are rare, but not completely alien. Members of these races exist on the margins of society or find ways to carve out a niche for themselves among the dominant population, usually by working some specialized profession or craft (such as entertaining or performing). Thus the sight of Aeschere or Quarian travelling down the road might raise an eyebrow, but would not necessarily provoke an immediately hostile reaction. Elves can be Blixtian after all. There is in fact a cult of elves (the Cult of Shanosis) that has devoted itslef to the study of draconic lore and power. Members of this group, while not numerous, are well known throughout the kingdom and many even hold positons of great power. Remeber that Aksana of the Disciples of the Eye was in fact an elf (who appeared to have dragon wings grafted onto her back). Also, recall that a significant portion of the King's seraglio is elven. Thus, many of Blixt's half dragon aristocracy are in fact half dragon/half elf. While some elves such as those who dwell in the Forest of Nan (Tranna for instance) are hunted and enslaved, this is because they are not Blixtian, not because they are elves. The Forest of Nan actually lies outside of the nrtheastern borders of Blixt. So to be clear, while an elf would certainly face a fair share of racial predjudice in Blixt, he or she would not be automatically treated as an enemy. The degree to which an elf will be accepted by his or her fellow Blixtians is directly proportional to the amount of respect he or she can command, usually by performing a valued or usefule trade or by being very dangerous and really good at killing people.

It is the same for gnomes, dwarves, and halflings. These groups are not common in Blixt at all, but if a group of Blixtian travellers crossed paths with, say, a gnome on one of the kingdom's roads, they would not immediately assume that the gnome was an alien or a dangerous interloper that needed to be killed or arrested. This is not, of course, to say that said gnome would receive a warm reception either, just that the sight of him would not set off alarm bells or anything like that. Thus, while elves, gnomes and halflings are certainly looked down upon as a general rule and have lower social staus, they are not automatically treated as enemies, criminals, or potential slaves. Those who are outsiders and are known to be such receive much worse treatment, however. Again, the attidude of Blixtian society towards a person depends more (but not entirely) on whether or not he or she is Blixtian than their race.Thus, in a Blixtian town one might find a gnome craftsman who is gainfully empoyed, while a gnome slave who was born somewhere else is being auctioned off just down the street. Interestingly, gnome slaves are sometimes purchased from southern markets as food. They are considered a great delicacy by many nobles in Blixt.

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