Maze of the Blue Medusa
The People of the First City
It never fails to impress a visitor to the First City that its citizens are by turns the wealthiest, most refined, and most educated people in all the world, yet at the same time capable of the most malicious cruelties and licentious depravities. Like all those whose societies are ancient and rich, they are also cynical and filled with ennui.
The most singular feature of their life, which strikes any visitor the moment he arrives, is their strict hierarchical stratification, which all inhabitants obey without question.
In the highest strata are the Elves and Elf-Marked, those descendants of the Elder, the race who built the city's first buildings, founded its great civilization, and who have lived there since, they say, the dawn of time. They alone are permitted to own fixed property, to import and export goods, and to attend many of the city's libraries, archives and universities. They are a pompous and effete people, fascinated by clothes and fashions and the decoration of their own appearances, though they love learning and study and pursuits scientific, aesthetic and sorcerous.
Below the Elf-Marked are Men, who are themselves separated into castes. Some are warriors in private employ, others are shopkeepers or sailors, while others fight for money or sell their love (the courtesans in the First City being notable for their beauty and skill).
Beneath the humans are the unassuming and childlike Haffuns, eternal servants of the Elder and by ancient contract, servants the inheritors of the Empire.
And beneath the Haffuns are the slaves and criminals, as is appropriate of any civilized city.
There are other people in Kain-Illium that are neither citizens, nor slaves. Of these, the industrious Uvandir dwarves are the most populous, and can be found in the workshops and merchant stalls of the lower city. In addition, the scaled Draconians, those warlike raiders from the South are common throughout the foreign district, benefactors of the Peace of the Lady, even as the Dragon Empire devours the world around the First City. The Hell-marked Tieflings, devil scions and demon spawn can be found in the dark corners of the World Bazaar.
Lowest of all are the Orcs, who live outside the city in the Weird Wild, and are not permitted to enter the city proper except in servitude. They are unintelligent men, twisted by chaos and plagued with sin, but strong and tough, and they are sometimes forced to do manual labor or fight for sport, on pain of death or torture and for scant reward. They are undoubtedly unfortunate and pathetic beings, and deserving of their miserable lot. They do not generally have names, though those in employment are often tattooed or branded to signify who is their master.