If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan…or more specifically, a Tolkien fan, much of this is known to you. However, if you do not know the true history of Middle Earth, some of this may be shocking.
The will of Illuvatar
In Middle Earth, there are only two natural sentient races in the world. Men and Elves.
Everyone else, EVERYONE else, is unnatural.
In Elemental, those unnatural races are called The Fallen. In Middle Earth, they are given different names: Dwarves, Orcs, dragons, and yes, even our beloved hobbits.
Of all sentient creatures, the first made were dwarves. But they were not sentient first. It’s a long story but dwarves were made by one of the Valar (similar in scope to a Mithrilar in our universe).
The elves were the first “natural” sentient race brought into the world. And much of the sorrow that later came to the world of Middle Earth was because of the uncertainty about when and where the second natural race would come from – men.
One of the Valar, called Morgoth, took natural creatures of the world (including elves) and using his arts created (or bred) orcs and dragons and other unspeakable things. Even some lesser Maiar (Gandalf, Sauron, and Saruman were Maiar – they’re equivalent in scope to Dred’nir and Elas’nir in our universe – see Twilight of the Arnor) got twisted by Morgoth – Balrogs.
Mortal Men and Dragons
Now, in Elemental, there are two “natural” born races – Men and Dragons. Of the two, only men create civilizations thus only 1 playable race in the game is naturally sentient.
But there are several unnatural races in the world which we have referred to as Fallen. They’re called “Fallen” because the history books are written by men and have a man-centric bias. And ironically, men tend to be selective in what they call Fallen but that’s for another time.
The Fallen races in the game players deal with include the Urxen and the Trogs. Urxen breed quickly. There’s a lot of them. Trogs are far less common but far more lethal individually.
There are also the Sions but they’re not a race as much as, well, children of the sovereigns. The sovereigns are channelers but their children aren’t. Channelers have a very long life (hundreds of years – they’re effectively immortal in our game but they’re not truly immortal). Their children have a normal life.
The 4th age of Middle Earth
Now, getting back to Tolkien’s world, by the start of the 4th age, middle earth only had one natural sentient race – men. The elves were gone. And while orcs still festered here and there, they were on the decline as well. The halflings (hobbits) were confined to a small area of middle earth.
Obviously, Elemental takes place in a totally different universe. But hopefully this helps players understand where some of the terminology comes from and how it is relatable.