Perhaps from deliberate arcane experimentation or accidentally derived from unnatural breeding of Chaos Magic induced slave-stock, Beastmen are not uncommon to the Northwind Region. While no less intelligent than Men, Dwarves or Elves, the collective of beings called Beastmen are less prolific in the world and more prone to tribal backgrounds and humbler beginnings. Due to their oftentimes unusual appearances, these beings can be subject to unfounded prejudices, being shunned as spawns of chaos or agents of evil – though evil is not any less unknown among them than its known among Men.
The Ape-men of Zolanti, however, are a prime example of a decadently wicked people. Theirs is a culture based upon sorcery and slavery, with the Ape-men resting comfortably at the top of their social strata. Men, Dwarves, and particularly Elves, whom are regarded as a delicacy, are actively hunted for slave stock and sometimes even pieced out for sorcerous rituals. They are known to worship dark and forgotten gods in obscene rituals handed down from the Serpentfolk of Y'th.
Yet despite all of these terrible traits, not unlike the Spiders of Apollyon, Zolanti merchants are tolerated within the City-State of Northwind, for the wares of their slave mines in the south, salts and spices, gems and diamonds, and the strong equally and rare Zolanti Steel, are desired in abundance.
The many tribes of Boar-men of The Howling Hills are a aggressive and territorial, yet downtrodden people under the yoke of Orculli dominance. They have been hunted and oppressed into acceptance of second class citizens of the Orculli way of life, leaving only standing stones and forgotten beast totems along the hills and moors they once roamed.
In a loose and scattered grouping of feudal states, often at war with one another for territorial rights, exist the Lion-men. They where once more numerous in the Northwind region, but the War of Kzin decimated their numbers when the ambitious Pridelord eyed the City-State of Northwind as a jewel in his crown. According to the Treaty of Kzin, no war-party of Lion-men may tread upon the lands the City-State claims, though there are allowances for peaceful coexistence of tribal settlements (and even a loophole which permits “Men-friendly” Adventuring Companies.)
The largest and most diverse of Beastmen are the Centaurs. These hexapods, having four legs and two arms, run the span from carnivores to herbivore, as they are not limited to Man/Equine lineage. Common to the Swarthlad Plains, The Committee of Swarthladshire even supports two delegates as representatives to The Council of Northwind. The City of Bulwark maintains an unusual division of Centauri Archers that has been wildly successful against Orculli aggression. Centaur traditions are often regarded as old fashioned, being particularly shamanistic while their religious beliefs are largely Druidic.
The Nanjaran Bug-men, or Macronoids, are a southern race seldom seen in the northern realms. It has been disputed among sages as to whether they are a proper Beast-race or not, as their behavior is decidedly hive oriented, with little individualism among them. They are mentioned here for the sake of argument and completeness.
The Serpentfolk of Y'th are a collective of reptilian races far older than Men, Dwarves, or Elves, and by last reckoning, are in decline. They are ruled by the Limbless Ones, a vile cabal of Nagas dedicated to the abolishment of all warm blooded life. Sketchy reports from the abandoned Dwarvish outpost of Stonehell tell of Serpentmen activity but details are unclear, conflicting, and questionable as to their accuracy.
The Yeti is an uncommon creature, but also one of the most readily accepted of Beastmen in Northwind. Their peaceful and noble demeanor belies their great physical power and strength. Their quiet, almost priestly, way of life is inoffensive to all but the most irritable tempers. Originating from small tribal villages among the Majestic Mountains, Yeti most often find themselves in the company of Men out of sheer curiosity, as Mankind is a bit of an enigma to them and the gentle giants seem to enjoy a good puzzle. The Bardic College of Northwind enjoys the privilege of having on hand a Yeti skald of considerable vocal skill, her hauntingly beautiful voice is only rivaled by the keen sense of measure and timing she displays upon her drum.